CNN host Howard Kurtz on Sunday blasted News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch for an "atrocious" suggestion that stereotyped the "Jewish owned press" as having a hidden agenda.
In a tweet on Saturday, Murdoch had lashed out at what he called the "Jewish owned press" for its coverage of a recent conflict between Hamas and Israel.
"Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?" he wrote.
The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart quickly noted that Murdoch's tweet managed to offend both journalists and Jews.
"It’s offensive to journalists because it implies that institutions of the 'press' should reflect the ideological biases of their owners," Beinart wrote. "Reading Murdoch’s tweet, it would be logical to conclude that he believes that any newspaper he owns should reflect his right-wing views, even in its news coverage."
"Murdoch’s tweet is offensive to Jews because he’s suggesting that when it comes to Israel, Jewish media-owners should let their Jewishness guide their journalism. ... Murdoch seems upset that Jewish media owners are not Israel-firsters. He wants their tribal loyalty to a Jewish state to trump their professional obligation to oversee fair-minded, unbiased journalism."
In his Sunday media analysis on CNN, Kurtz also tore into Murdoch.
"Last night, he went beyond outrageous to offensive," the media critic said of Murdoch, observing that most media organizations -- with the exception The New York Times -- were owned by public companies like Viacom, Comcast, Disney and Time Warner.
"And beyond that, this media mogul who isn't shy about interfering in his own newsrooms is suggesting that Jewish Americans have a hidden agenda in which their religion trumps their commitment to journalism," he added. "That is atrocious and it is beneath Rupert Murdoch."