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Lachlan Murdoch, who will lead Fox News parent company New Fox, said, “Sure, I think she is” when asked if former employee Megyn Kelly has been damaged by her pending departure from NBC News following inappropriate racial remarks she made.
“I am a big fan of Megyn’s,” Murdoch said. “I like her a lot. We didn’t want her to leave Fox when she did.”
But he said the network doesn’t plan to hire her back: “Having said that, I’m very happy with our current lineup on Fox, and we won’t be making any changes there.”
Murdoch said he hopes that Kelly still has a future in media “because she’s very talented.”
He was also asked by moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin to respond to criticism leveled against Fox News by Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan, who said that “by espousing unfounded conspiracy theories and justifying Trump’s reprehensible statements and actions, Fox News fuels our country’s divisiveness.” Levitan called out Murdoch, saying, “I sincerely hope Lachlan Murdoch recognizes the damage this is doing and finally brings sound journalistic ethics and standards to his network before more unhinged people are riled up to send bombs and shoot up churches and synagogues.”
Murdoch responded by saying that he thinks Levitan is a “genius storyteller” and said he “completely understands” his position, though he pushed back somewhat on his thesis.
“What Steve is doing, and I completely understand this, and I accept his opinion on this: He feels that, frankly, the anger and the intolerance of opinions that we’re seeing across all of our community today in America — and so, when I hear that, or read it on Twitter, or wherever he wrote that, I completely understand where that’s coming from. Having said that, you have to look at our platforms,” he said.
Murdoch said that Fox News’ biggest critics don’t watch the network. “They’re picking up pieces from Twitter and social media and elsewhere,” he said.
Asked whether his network is radicalizing criminals like mail bomber suspect Cesar Sayoc, Murdoch said, “I don’t take responsibility for a criminal who was a criminal before Fox News even started. I don’t think it’s fair to make that criticism of me or of Fox News.”
Murdoch was also asked how he feels about President Trump’s love of Fox News. “I think he dislikes us less than everyone else,” he said, mentioning occasional Trump skeptics such as Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace and Gerardo Rivera.
He also spoke fondly of New Fox’s communications lead, former White House communications director Hope Hicks, but said there was “no connection to the White House,” calling reports that Jared Kushner lobbied Murdoch to hire Hicks “100 percent false.”
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