New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks America would be better off if Rupert Murdoch left the news business.
De Blasio, a Democrat, said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday that the news outlets run by Murdoch — including Fox News and The New York Post — “put race front and center, and they try to stir the most negative impulses in this country.”
De Blasio said he believes that Donald Trump would not have won the presidency if Murdoch’s News Corp never existed, and the country would be “more unified” without those publications.
“There would be less overt hate, there would be less appeal to racial division,” he said, echoing comments he made to The Guardian last week.
“Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter challenged de Blasio and said “politicians make lousy media critics.” Stelter asserted that the anti-media rhetoric is reminiscent of President Trump’s attacks against news outlets.
De Blasio insisted his stance on Murdoch’s empire is different from Trump’s press attacks. The mayor said he is not anti-media and defends News Corp’s “right to exist.”
“I believe in a free, strong media with diverse views. I’ll defend it with all I’ve got,” de Blasio said. “But we have to be able to call out when a particular company has a corporate agenda, has a political agenda, and has very effectively changed the American discourse.”
Criticism of Murdoch’s empire is common on the left, but it’s notable to hear a politician like de Blasio speaking out so forcefully. His recent comments may be a way to stand out in a potentially crowded field of 2020 presidential aspirants.
Stelter asked if de Blasio may be mulling a run for the presidency.
“I am mayor of New York City, and I will continue to be. My term goes to 2021,” de Blasio said.
News Corp did not respond to a request for comment.
CNNMoney (New York) First published August 12, 2018: 1:29 PM ET