De Blasio slams Murdoch, Fox News: 'We would be a more unified country' without them

De Blasio slams Murdoch, Fox News: 'We would be a more unified country' without them
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is slamming conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Fox News, saying that “we would be a more unified country" without their influence. 

“If you could remove News Corp from the last 25 years of American history, we would be in an entirely different place," de Blasio told The Guardian last week before he spoke at an event in New Orleans, adding that he believes Murdoch is responsible for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's election in 2016. 

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De Blasio said if it weren't for Murdoch and Fox News, "we would not be suffering a lot of the negativity and divisiveness we’re going through right now."

In the interview with The Guardian, de Blasio discussed a range of topics, from his vision for progressive politics to the midterm elections this November.

He also voiced strong disapproval for Trump's rhetoric regarding the media, saying "there is no comparison between a progressive critique of the media — and overwhelmingly corporate media, by the way — and a president who does not believe in free speech and is trying to undermine the norms of democracy."

"If you see a steady decline in democracy, we’re going to have to vividly defend a lot of media we don’t agree with," de Blasio added. "But I don’t want to give them a free pass on what they have done to all of us.”

Fox News isn't the only entity owned by Murdoch that de Blasio has gone after this year. The mayor said in May that The New York Post is "divisive" and that he wouldn't "shed a tear if that newspaper is no longer here.”

Fox News, which was once again the most-watched cable news network in July, is known for its supportive coverage of Trump, with hosts such as Sean Hannity consistently defending the president. Hannity has also echoed Trump's charge that much of the media is "fake news." 

Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney addressed De Blasio's comments on Wednesday.

“When Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant in New York City, the Mayor Bill De Blasio called for a boycott," Varney said. "Chick-fil-A defends traditional marriage. De Blasio said it spreads a message of hate against gays. His honor, who's deep into identity politics, setting one group against another. I call that divisive.

"Well, De Blasio has not changed his tune," he continued. "Only now, he accuses FOX of being divisive... But seriously, you have to ask, just who is divisive? Who is dividing our country? My opinion is this: identity politics divides us."

Updated at 1:36 p.m.