Fox CEO Worried About Dismissal of Negative Stories as Fake News

  • Murdoch: ‘Real worry’ in term being co-opted by politicians
  • Fox News host tried to separate fake news from tough reporting

The chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox Inc. said he’s concerned the term “fake news” is being co-opted by politicians trying to dismiss critical coverage.

At a conference Thursday, James Murdoch said the debate about fake news has changed from last summer when it was only about “deliberate falsehoods” spread on social media. 21st Century Fox is the parent of Fox News and the Murdoch family controls News Corp., owner of the Wall Street Journal.

“That’s been co-opted by a political class to denigrate things that they don’t want to hear,” Murdoch said at the Enders Analysis media and telecom conference in London. “That’s around the world. That’s a real worry.”

President Donald Trump frequently calls the news media “fake news,” especially outlets that are critical of him like CNN and The New York Times. Trump also has personal ties with James’ father, Rupert Murdoch, who is chairman of News Corp., 21st Century Fox’s executive chairman and has been running Fox News.

Last month, Fox’s film studio apologized for a marketing campaign for the movie “A Cure for Wellness” that created sites meant to look like legitimate news outlets to spread false stories, some of which got shared on Facebook.

For more on Trump’s relationship with Fox, click here

On the other hand, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith last month tried to separate the term fake news from tough reporting about the president while he was defending CNN and its coverage of alleged Trump campaign ties to Russia.

“Fake news refers to stories that are created often by entities pretending to be news organizations solely to drive clicks and views based on nothing of substance,” Smith said. “CNN’s reporting was not fake news.”

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