Did Rupert Murdoch just racially slur US president Obama?

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

In the last few weeks, News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch has made it pretty clear who he’s backing in the race to be the Republican candidate in the 2016 US presidential election – and it’s not Donald Trump.

The former Australian has been praising Ben Carson, 64, a retired paediatric neurosurgeon who announced his run to be the Republican Party candidate for President back in May. Carson was the first surgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head in 1987.

The Detroit-born African-American and son of a Seventh-day Adventist minister is widely admired, has been a popular conservative commentator in recent years and has been gaining ground on Trump in recent polling. He’s also ahead of Democrat rival Hillary Clinton in several US states.

Carson was previously a paid contributor to Fox News, the pay TV channel owned by Murdoch, before launching his candidacy, and was back on Fox overnight, speaking on Sean Hannity’s evening show.

And that’s when Rupert Murdoch intervened in a manner that Carson didn’t need, seeming to imply that the country’s first African-American president, Barack Obama, isn’t a “real black”.

Race is a big issue in America, and with Donald Trump’s fondness for conspiracy theories about Obama not being US-born, Murdoch’s intervention was a “with friends like this…” Caron’s race for the White House didn’t need.

Carson himself has yet to respond to Murdoch’s tweet.

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