Muslim ex-News Corp. exec says he quit over anti-immigrant rhetoric

Muslim ex-News Corp. exec says he quit over anti-immigrant rhetoric
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A former senior Murdoch executive told NPR in an interview released Thursday that he left his job in 2017 over the coverage of Muslims and immigrants by Fox News and other Murdoch networks.

"Scaring people. Demonizing immigrants. Creating, like, a fervor — or an anxiety about what was happening in our country," former News Corp. Senior Vice President Joseph Azam told NPR. "It fundamentally bothered me on a lot of days and I think I probably wasn't the only one." 

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News Corp. is separate from Fox News, but both are run by Australian-born mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family. 

Azam served as group chief compliance officer for News Corp.'s corporate headquarters, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. He worked for News Corp. between 2015 and 2017. 

NPR reports that Azam is a Muslim immigrant and war refugee. He told the news organization, however, that he was upset by the rhetoric "as an American."

"My issue with this isn't as an American Muslim. It's not as a refugee. It's not as an immigrant. It's as an American," Azam told NPR. "I live here. I have kids here. And it worries me that, you know, what's being put out into the universe could actually create a lot of risk for them."

A Fox News spokesperson did not comment on Azam's resignation, instead directing The Hill to News Corp. A News Corp. spokesperson also declined to comment. 

Fox News has recently come under fire for comments about Muslims made on Fox by host Jeanine Pirro as well as comments made by host Tucker Carlson on a "shock jock" radio program about a decade ago.

Fox News reportedly suspended Pirro after she questioned whether the fact that Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarGroups, lawmakers use 4/20 to raise awareness about marijuana sentencing reform Ocasio-Cortez plans visit to Kentucky despite being disinvited by GOP colleague Man arrested for threatening Dems, citing Omar comments MORE (D-Minn.) wears a hijab puts her in opposition to the Constitution. 

Fox News condemned Pirro's remarks in a statement, saying they "do not reflect those of the network." 

Carlson said years ago that Iraq was full of "semiliterate primitive monkeys," according to audio unearthed by left-wing watchdog Media Matters. He has refused to apologize for his remarks.