Rupert Murdoch on ‘Extremists': It’s What They Call Themselves

This morning, News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch sat on a very distinguished panel at the third day of the Clinton Global Initiative: it included Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey; Jose Ramos Horta, President of Timor-Lest; Stepan Mesic, President of Croatia.

It was a very civil discussion, titled “Building a Global Multi-Ethnic Community.” But Mr. Murdoch did face some tough questions from the moderator, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson.

Ms. Robinson mentioned “how a lot of reporting on what we call the War on Terrorism” includes “references to Muslim extremists that hurt so much in that region.” She also questioned the use of very harsh language in the media to describe undocumented migrants.

“How would you respond to the sense that the media is part of the problem?” she asked.

“The question of the media and how it reports things like the War on Terror—the War on Terror is a very real thing,” Mr. Murdoch said.

“Do you accept that using terminology like Muslim extremists has been hurtful and yet very common?” she asked.

“It has been the case in the Middle East,” Mr. Murdoch said, holding his ground.

“I mean, there were Catholic extremists in Northern Ireland” he continued. “There were Protestant extremists in Northern Ireland. That’s how they define themselves.”