The son and daughter-in-law of News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch have fired a broadside at the company’s position on climate change, expressing their disappointment at the “ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
Speaking to The Daily Beast, a spokesperson for James Murdoch and Kathryn Hufschmid said their “views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known.”
It’s not just a family issue either, as James continues to serve on the News Corp board. His statement really does mark some high-level enmity at the company, which has long platformed climate denialists like Andrew Bolt, the brains trust over at Sky News’ Outsiders, and provided positive coverage to climate-denying politicians.
Even then, questions remain over how much influence James Murdoch could have in the day-to-day operations of both News Corp and American TV juggernaut Fox Corporation.
Lachlan Murdoch, who serves as co-chairman at the former and chief exec at the latter, has donated $2 million to bushfire recovery efforts (News Corp itself has chucked in $5 million). Still, he has been cited by The Guardian as a private climate skeptic.
Rupert Murdoch last year dismissed suggestions the company harbours hardcore climate deniers, despite the fact Bolt claims any move to wind down the carbon-belching industries which contribute to climate change is cover for “wannabe totalitarians”.
For what it’s worth, News Corp Australia has been on the defensive regarding its climate reporting since last week, when an Australian staffer sent a company-wide email calling bullshit on the company’s “misinformation campaign that has tried to divert attention away from the real issue which is climate change to rather focus on arson (including misrepresenting facts).”
In response to that ordeal, News Corp Australia’s head honcho Michael Miller said “Australia is having a serious conversation about climate change and how to respond to it,” but continued to focus on arson as a central factor in the intensity and severity of the ongoing bushfires.
You can catch up on The Daily Beast’s full rundown here.