A recent tweet from media mogul Rupert Murdoch, in which he seems to imply that Barack Obama is not a “real black president,” and that Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson would be, has sparked controversy.
The tweet from the 84-year-old billionaire co-chair of 21st Century Fox was posted on Oct. 7, just before Carson was to appear on “The Kelly File” on Murdoch’s Fox News Channel, NBC News reports.
It praised both the retired neurosurgeon and his wife Candy.
“Ben and Candy Carson terrific,” the tweet reads. “What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.”
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Many responded to the tweet, seemingly taking exception to the use of the word “real.”
“Can you please regularly advise black Americans on which of them is ‘real’, so they'll be free of doubt?” comedian Harry Shearer shot back in a tweet directed at Murdoch,
Murdoch followed the tweet with another that said, “Read New York magazine for minority community disappointment with POTUS,” according to CNN Money, which suggested the referenced article, which wasn’t linked, was one titled, “Has Barack Obama Done Enough for African-Americans?”
It’s not the first time Murdoch has praised Carson — who was once a paid contributor to Fox News — in tweets, CNN Money reports.
“Everywhere pundits keep underestimating Ben Carson,” Murdoch wrote last week. “But public understand humility as admirable, listen to the multi-faceted strong message.”
In March, just after Carson left the news network, but before he announced his presidential bid, Murdoch said of the man, “Wonderful character, up from Detroit ghetto, sadly seems political naif.”
By August, Murdoch had noted the candidate’s rise in the polls and said that “his life story should make every American optimistic.”
In September, the billionaire tweeted: “2 stories. Carson, Detroit ghetto to brilliant neurosurgeon. Obama white upbringing to community organizer. Sincere men, different values.”
The same day he tweeted that Carson may be “the one to beat,” and that he was “irreproachable on background, achievements, character, vision.”
Reached by NBC to comment on Murdoch’s “real black president” tweet, 21st Century Fox spokesman Nathaniel Brown said in an email, “We don't comment on his tweets.”
On the morning of Oct. 8, Murdoch seemed to address the controversy over his comment.
“Apologies!" he tweeted. "No [offense] meant. Personally find both men charming.”