Murdoch dishes on Fox News feuds with White House, MSNBC

Jeff Bercovici

Rupert Murdoch wants everyone to know that Fox News doesn't start playground fights -- but it's not afraid of them, either.

On a conference call to discuss News Corp.'s (NWS) fiscal first-quarter earnings, the 78-year-old chairman, dialing in from Sydney, Australia, was asked about reports that Fox News had agreed to a "cease-fire" in its war of words with MSNBC, and about a recent White House effort to isolate and discredit his network.

"We did not start this abuse, which we thought went way beyond," Murdoch said about the hostilities with MSNBC, implying that it was the rival network's commentator Keith Olbermann and colleagues who had initiated them. "It was personal and went way beyond -- not on me but on others. Finally, we had to allow people to retaliate. The moment they stop, we'll stop. We don't believe in it, and we don't think it's good business."