What is whiteness? It's a question that both ethnic studies scholars and stoned ethnic studies freshman have pondered for decades. But for News Corp magnate Rupert Murdoch, the answer is simple: whiteness is what Rupert Murdoch says it is.

Addressing the controversy behind Ridley Scott's extra Anglo adaptation of the Book of Exodus, Murdoch weighed in on Twitter with a provocative (if not particularly convincing) "some of my best friends are white Egyptians" argument, writing, "Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are."

But while Middle Easterners have been considered white at various times in the past (including on the 2000 U.S. Census), Murdoch's observation seemed to miss the spirit of the criticism directed at Scott's melanin-deprived Exodus.

In any case, Murdoch soon backpedaled, first clarifying that what he really meant was that Egyptians are "far from black" before acknowledging "there are many shades of color."

Move along, folks. Nothing racist to see here.

[Images via AP Images]