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Murdoch's 'Jewish press' comment stokes row

Sapa

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch has stirred up an online row with a tweet complaining about the "Jewish owned" press.

Facing accusations of anti-Semitism, Murdoch backtracked on Sunday, saying he disagreed with his critics, but was sorry anyway. (AFP)

Murdoch, whose News Corporation empire includes HarperCollins publishers, Fox television, BSkyB, The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, wrote on Saturday on Twitter: "Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?"

Facing accusations of anti-Semitism, Murdoch backtracked on Sunday, saying he disagreed with his critics, but was sorry anyway.

"'Jewish owned press' have been sternly criticized, suggesting link to Jewish reporters. Don't see this, but apologize unreservedly," Murdoch, who is known as a strong Israel supporter, said in a new tweet.

On Monday, Britain's Guardian newspaper said Murdoch was "trying to channel the right wing's ardent support of Israel by challenging the left wing's more critical view of Israeli brinksmanship - particularly as Israel appears on the verge of another invasion of Gaza."

CNN's media commentator weighed in, saying Murdoch's tweet "went beyond outrageous to offensive, truly offensive. He played off the worst kind of historical libel against Jews. And while he later tweeted a semi-apology, it's not clear he understands the magnitude of his hurtful words." - Sapa-AFP

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