April 6, 2022

If you’re a fan of Fox News, you may be a little upset with a quote going around about its founder, media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

According to social media posts, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently said that her country doesn’t have an issue with the “rage of older white men” because it has never allowed Murdoch to start a media company there.

“Asked why New Zealand does not suffer from the rage of older white men like in other western Anglo countries, PM Jacinda Adern replied, ‘Because we’ve never allowed Rupert Murdoch to set up a media outlet here.’ The guy has wreaked havoc on civil society in (the) US,” a tweet re-shared on Instagram says.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The tweet, which misspells Ardern’s name, is wrong. We could find no record of Ardern saying this in searches of news archives or in meeting transcripts from New Zealand’s House of Representatives.

Ardern’s office said the quote lacks legitimacy.

“The Prime Minister did not make this statement. I have no idea who made it up,” Andrew Campbell, Ardern’s spokesperson, told PolitiFact in an email.

The quote may have been re-appropriated from a statement about Murdoch made by David Cormack, a former policy and communications director for New Zealand’s Green Party.

Cormack told the Guardian in October 2020 that “a huge reason that our politics is not so extremely polarised and so far out there is because we no longer have Murdoch-owned press in New Zealand, and it’s never taken a foothold.”

The statement wasn’t about the “rage of older white men.” And Cormack didn’t claim that New Zealand never allowed Murdoch to set up shop there. The Murdoch-owned News Corp has had stakes in New Zealand media companies in the past.

Cormack acknowledged that his quote was being misattributed on Twitter several times, at one point writing, “New Zealand, i am @jacindaardern now. I’m sorry. I don’t make the rules.”

Our ruling

Social media posts claim that Ardern said New Zealand doesn’t have issues with the “rage of older white men” because “the country never allowed Rupert Murdoch to start a media outlet there.”

There is no evidence that Ardern, or anyone else, said this. A similar statement about Murdoch was made by a former New Zealand Green Party communications director, but it’s not the same quote.

We rate these posts False.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for this fact check here and more of their fact checks here.

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Samantha Putterman is a fact-checker for PolitiFact based in New York. Previously, she reported for the Bradenton Herald and the Tampa Bay Times. She is…
Samantha Putterman

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