MURDOCH FANS THE FLAMES…. It seemed, for a while, like the political world was prepared to move beyond the animosity between Fox News and the White House. Presidential aides seemed to cut back on noticing the Republican network’s partisan efforts, and Fox News returned to more routine, everyday bashing of Democrats.

Indeed, just 13 days ago, we learned that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs met personally with Fox News SVP Michael Clemente. There was talk of a “truce.” It was time to move on.

Or so we thought. just four days after the reported “truce,” Chris Wallace gave Rush Limbaugh a half-hour of airtime on “Fox News Sunday,” which the right-wing radio host used to make one ridiculous attack against the president after another. There was no obvious reason for the interview.

And just a few days after Wallace’s love-fest with Limbaugh, Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch told Sky News Australia that Glenn Beck’s infamous anti-Obama tirade — Beck called the president a “racist” with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or white culture” — was accurate.

SKY NEWS: The Glenn Beck, who you mentioned, has called Barack Obama a racist and he helped organize a protest against him. Others on Fox have likened him to Stalin. Is that defensible?

MURDOCH: No, no, no, not Stalin, I don’t think. I don’t know who that, not one of our people. On the racist thing, that caused a grilling. But he did make a very racist comment. Ahhh … about, you know, blacks and whites and so on, and which he said in his campaign he would be completely above. And um, that was something which perhaps shouldn’t have been said about the President, but if you actually assess what [Beck] was talking about, [Beck] was right.

A few things. First, Murdoch may not watch Fox News, but on-air efforts to equate Obama with Stalin are fairly common.

Second, Beck was “right” when he called the president a “racist” with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or white culture”? Murdoch isn’t even willing to distance himself from obvious insanity — which just so happens to have displeased 81 advertisers?

And third, within seven days of a reported “truce” between the Republican network and the Democratic White House, this is what we’re seeing. I guess the “truce” is over?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.