James Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News' parent company, has been slammed by conservatives for harshly criticizing President Donald Trump and suggesting he had backed Nazi sympathizers.
Earlier this week, Murdoch, who heads 21st Century Fox, wrote "What we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the president of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people."
Murdoch pledged $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League to fight hate crimes and prejudice, he said.
"The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob," Murdoch added.
"I can't even believe I have to write this: Standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists."
Trump did condemn white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers, including the person who murdered a young protester.
But, in an angry exchange with reporters in New York on Tuesday, President Trump reiterated his initial comments that "there is blame on both sides" in the melee over the removal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue from a downtown Charlottesville park.
However, Trump's defiance drew praise from many conservatives, including commentator Ann Coulter, who tweeted Tuesday: "We got our leader back."
Radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham added that the president "made some points that were factually right."
"There was violence on both sides in that event Saturday," she said. "Anyone who watched the video could see it."
News of Murdoch's criticism of Trump drew sharp blowback from some conservative quarters.
A Breitbart News story on the Murdoch letter drew over 2,500 comments from angry readers, most supportive of Trump and critical of Fox News.
Here are some examples:
- "James Murdoch and his ilk destroyed Fox and is a traitor to the people who made Fox News number 1."
- "It's amazing how the leftist business leaders think it's ok to take these publicly funded businesses into failure by alienating their Conservative customers."
- "If Trump was saying and doing the things that the dishonest press 'reports,' I would agree that he is badly hurting the country. The fact that the dishonest press is distorting and smearing him puts the onus on the dishonest press for badly hurting the country. When do fake journalists have to answer for sedition?"