Murdoch Puts Cancel Culture on Blast

News Corp chairman rails against censorship in rare public remarks
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2021 8:11 AM CST
Rupert Murdoch: Cancel Culture Will Hurt Societies
Rupert Murdoch introduces Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the Herman Kahn Award Gala, Oct. 30, 2019, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Freedom of speech is being suppressed by "awful woke orthodoxy," according to the head of the conservative publishing empire that includes Fox News. News Corp Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch spoke against "cancel culture" and a "wave of censorship" in rare public remarks Saturday as he accepted a lifetime achievement award from the Australia Day Foundation, a UK nonprofit, during a virtual ceremony. "For those of us in media, there's a real challenge to confront: a wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation, to stifle debate, to ultimately stop individuals and societies from realizing their potential," the 89-year-old said in a two-minute prerecorded video, later shared by the News Corp-owned Herald Sun, per the New York Times. "This rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media, is a straitjacket on sensibility."

"Too many people have fought too hard in too many places for freedom of speech to be suppressed by this awful woke orthodoxy," continued Murdoch. Sen. Josh Hawley made much the same argument in an editorial published in the News Corp-owned New York Post on Monday. That was the same day Twitter announced a new trial feature, Birdwatch, in which viewers can add notes to tweets they believe are misleading, per Bloomberg. The comments from Murdoch, who hasn't tweeted in almost five years, appeared to "reflect the anger expressed by far-right conservatives … that Facebook, Twitter and other platforms are overreaching in their efforts to stop the spread of misinformation online," per Variety. Murdoch didn't say how he planned to respond. "A lifetime achievement award does have an air of finality," he said. But "I'm far from done." (More Rupert Murdoch stories.)

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