FACT CHECK: Did Jacinda Ardern Make This Statement About Rupert Murdoch?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a derogatory remark about Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch.

Verdict: False

There is no record of Ardern making the statement attributed to her in the post. It appears to be a variation of a quote from a different person.

Fact Check: 

The post claims Ardern was asked why New Zealand “does not suffer from the rage of older white men like in other western Anglo countries,” to which she responded by saying, “Because we’ve never allowed Rupert Murdoch to set up a media outlet here.” Murdoch is an Australian-born media tycoon who controls Fox News, The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal, according to Forbes.

There is no evidence that Ardern ever made such a statement. A search of the New Zealand government’s website did not yield any results for the alleged quote, nor does it appear on Ardern’s social media accounts. There are no credible news reports suggesting the prime minister made the alleged remark.

The quote appears to be a variation of a 2020 quote from David Cormack, a co-founder of a public relations firm. Cormack told The Guardian in 2020, “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.”

“We have no recollection of the Prime Minister making this comment and cannot find any source for it,” said Ellen Read, the deputy chief press secretary for the Prime Minister’s office, in an email to Check Your Fact. (RELATED: Did New Zealand’s Government Tell A Public Broadcaster To Censor Anti-Government Comments On Its Social Media Platforms?)

This is not the first time a fabricated quote has been misattributed to Ardern. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim from January 2021 that alleged the prime minister had endorsed a candidate in the upcoming Philippines presidential election.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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