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US News James Murdoch Slams Fox News and News Corp Over Climate Change Denial

15:20  14 january  2020
15:20  14 january  2020 Source:   thedailybeast.com

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The downsized empire will be focused on News ’s traditional news business – newspapers , online The Murdochs also will hang on to the top-rating Fox News channel in the US and Fox sports cable The relationship endures. Over the past month the Australian has taken up the cudgels in defence of

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James Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch are posing for a picture: Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty

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In a long-simmering rift between factions of the Murdoch family over climate change, Rupert’s younger son, James, and his activist wife Kathryn are attacking the climate denialism promoted by News Corporation, the global media group, and also by the Fox News Channel overseen by James’ older brother, Lachlan.

“Kathryn and James’s 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,” a spokesperson for the couple exclusively told The Daily Beast as wildfires rage in Australia.

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Robert Johnson writes: News Corp shareholders are paying for Rupert Murdoch ’s personal derailing — on three continents — of the science and consequences It’s not an incidental occasional item, its a relentless drumbeat, a take-no-prisoners campaign costing News Corp and FoxNews and Sky TV a

With the recent cold snap impacting much of the United States, it was only a matter of time before Fox News used the record-lows to champion the demise of global “There you have it: ‘War on Christmas’ is over — ‘War on Carbon’ begins,” Stewart said. “Global warming: Just one more ‘liberal conspiracy.’

“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.” 

Related: How Murdoch is influencing Australia's bushfire debate (New York Times)

  James Murdoch Slams Fox News and News Corp Over Climate Change Denial © New York Times

The extraordinary public rebuke from Kathryn and James—who is the CEO of Lupa Systems, a private investment company he founded—comes as Australia has been ravaged by the worst fires seen in decades. The blazes have claimed 27 lives and destroyed thousands of properties across multiple states, with an estimated 1 billion animals feared dead. News Corp Australia dominates the country's media landscape, publishing more than 140 newspapers and employing 3,000 journalists in print, broadcast, and online.

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Bill also attacked Fox News for covering "deep state" conspiracy theories, calling them troubling and silly. "I just wish those guys would cut it out and go He went on to say that climate change denial is largely a generational issue, pointing out that it's very rare to meet a young climate change denier.

News Corp . CEO Rupert Murdoch has stated that News Corp . "can set an example" and "reach our audiences" when it comes to fighting climate In a 2007 interview with Grist magazine, Murdoch stated that as a result of his efforts to fight climate change , Fox News and his newspapers will

One longtime News Corp executive, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, described the comments by James, who continues to sit on the board of News Corporation, and Kathryn as an intentional attack on Lachlan and Rupert. “They are p***ing inside the tent and that’s unusual. It’s evidence of how high tensions are within the family over climate change. The majority of people who work here agree with James. We are hoping this may be the tipping point,” the exec said.

Critics say Murdoch’s Australian newspapers and his television networks have continued to publish stories and opinion pieces that dismiss widely accepted science about climate change.

On Nov. 24, as fires were already burning in Australia, News Corp columnist Chris Kenny wrote in The Australian newspaper, “Hysterical efforts to blame the fires on climate change continue, even though we have always faced this threat and always will.”

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News Corp is the home for climate denial in Australian media. With sceptics Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine, Terry McCrann and Tim Blair as columnists, and Graham Lloyd as The Australian’s environment editor, the parent company of Australia’s most-read and influential newspapers provides

"Dear James , News Corp has the power and global reach to promote civil discourse around the " Fox News has become a safe haven for bigotry and anti-semitism. Though Glenn Beck is leaving, sitting The fourth section accuses News Corp of hypocrisy. Though it claims to be a green company, it has

Gallery: Australia's bushfire catastrophe (Atlantic)

a man standing in front of a sunset: Nancy Allen and Brian Allen stand outside as high winds push smoke and ash from the Currowan Fire towards Nowra, New South Wales, Australia, on January 4, 2020.

A day later, another News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt wrote in The Herald Sun: “Let’s assume you’re silly enough to think global warming is causing worse bushfires around the world. (In fact a recent NASA study found that the area burned by fire has dropped 24% over 18 years.)… True, the world has warmed slightly as it rebounds from the little ice age that stretched from 1300 to around 1870, but can we cool it on this panic? In that time of warming, life expectancy has shot up, world grain crops have set new records, and the death rate from extreme weather has been slashed by 99%.”

On Jan. 6 on Fox News, contributor Raymond Arroyo—speaking on The Ingraham Angle about Golden Globes winners warning about climate following the Australian fires—said, “They just arrested 12 people in Australia for those fires and they were blaming it on climate change. Wrong again!”

Two nights later, host Laura Ingraham referred to it as a “climate change flameout” and said that “celebrities in the media have been pressing the narrative that the wildfires in Australia are caused by climate change” while again hosting Arroyo, who added: “This is incomplete reporting, Laura. Though Australia has had the highest temperatures on record—the driest season ever—it’s not correct to say climate change caused these wildfires.”

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For years, Fox News has done more than any other major news outlet in the United States to As a result, News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch was recently placed at the top of Rolling Stone's list of James Murdoch told the group that the News Corporation 's own environmental efforts had saved it

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Other Murdoch family members were less forthcoming to share their views of News Corp’s coverage of climate change. When contacted by The Daily Beast, Elisabeth Murdoch hung up after being quizzed on the issue. In 2011 News Corp bought Elisabeth’s TV production company, Shine Group, for $673 million.

Wendi Deng, the mother of Murdoch’s two youngest daughters, Chloe and Grace—and who divorced Rupert in 2013—told The Daily Beast, “I can’t talk about this,” when reached by phone. Prudence Murdoch, Rupert’s first child who resides in Australia, did not respond to repeated requests for comment. 

On Wednesday The Daily Beast contacted a representative for Lachlan and Rupert requesting comment on James’ statement and asked about both men’s position on climate change but received no response. The Beast followed up with a query asking if Lachlan or Rupert planned on donating money to bushfire relief efforts.

Late Thursday, it was announced Lachlan and his wife, Sarah, had pledged $1.4 million (AUD $2 million) to bushfire recovery efforts. 

Lachlan and Sarah recently splashed out $150 million on a mansion in Bel Air, California, the second most expensive residential property sale in the United States.

On Monday News Corp announced that it will donate $3.5 million (AUD$5 million) to bushfire relief. Rupert, whose net worth is estimated by Bloomberg to be in excess of $7 billion, and his wife, Jerry Hall, pledged $1.4 million (AUD $2 million).

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The Fox News Sunday host repeated the statistics he had cited earlier, adding that half of all Americans live in counties with unhealthy air The back and forth continued. Pruitt's performance on the Sunday show earned the rare distinction of being panned by both climate change advocates and

Murdoch -owned media has peddled countless falsehoods about the crisis, critics say. A NewsCorp employee attacked the “misinformation campaign” of Rupert Murdoch ’s empire over Australia’s fires. Defended prime minister Scott Morrison—who shows little concern over climate change —for

Gallery: Animals take shelter from Australia's blistering bushfires (Reuters)

A weary kangaroo shelters on a patch of green grass surrounded by burnt bushland along the Princes Highway near in Milton, Australia. REUTERS/Tracey Nearmy

“It is clear that confronting the bushfire disaster in Australia requires both an immediate response and an ongoing investment in rebuilding the lives and livelihoods of those most affected by the fires across the country,” Rupert said in a statement. 

James and Kathryn have long been passionate about the environment and have both spoken publicly in the past about the dangers of climate change. In 2008 Kathryn joined the Clinton Climate Initiative and later served on the board of the Environmental Defense Fund. In 2014 the couple founded the Quadrivium Foundation, an organization that invests in a range of programs tackling issues including electoral interference and climate change. “There hasn’t been a Republican answer on climate change,” Kathryn told The New York Times. “There’s just been denial and walking away from the problem. There needs to be one.”

The couple have also donated to the Anti-Defamation League, Unite America, and to Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.

After 21st Century Fox was sold to Disney for $71 billion last year, James used his $2 billion windfall from the sale to found Lupa Systems, a tech and media investment company that has thus far acquired stakes in Vice Media, the Tribeca Film Festival, and a comic-book publisher. Last year he told The New Yorker, “There are views I really disagree with on Fox.” 

His father was forced to address the climate issue at News Corp’s annual general meeting in New York in November following a question delivered via proxy from Australian shareholder activist Stephen Mayne. 

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Climate denial starts at the top Mr. Trump’s influential senior strategist is the former chief executive at Breitbart News , which regularly publishes articles with headlines like “Global Icy Silence From Climate Alarmists” and “ Climate Change : The Greatest-Ever Conspiracy Against the Taxpayer.”

Recent polls have found the number of people who believe climate change is real has jumped. What convinced them?

Rupert Murdoch © AP Rupert Murdoch

The questioner asked, “What do you believe is the global role of News Corp in the geopolitical climate? If you do believe in climate change, Mr. Mayne is interested to hear why News Corp gives climate deniers like Andrew Bolt and Terry McCrann so much airtime in Australia?”

“There are no climate change deniers around, I can assure you,” Murdoch Senior responded while also touting that the company had “reduced our global carbon footprint by 25 percent, six years ahead of schedule.”

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Mayne, a longtime Murdoch critic, said there were numerous examples of News Corp journalists and commentators who promote climate denialism in print and on air. 

“Within the Australian division, there are individuals who are obsessed with climate change denialism such as Andrew Bolt and Terry McCrann, both of whom are 30-year veterans of the company and are close to Rupert and Lachlan. The failure here is a failure to intervene to withdraw the green light for unhinged denialism within the Australian division,” he said.

“It entirely comes down to Rupert and Lachlan. They are equally conservative and fully on board with everything from Fox News to climate change denialism.”

According to an account published by The New York Times, Lachlan was impressed by the way Bolt aggressively questioned Al Gore after he presented a slideshow on climate change at a News Corp retreat in California in 2006. 

James Murdoch. © Getty James Murdoch.

“Clearly James was the one who persuaded his father in 2005 to embrace climate change action, but his father doesn’t actually believe it and nor does Lachlan,” Mayne added.

“There’s been a long-term rivalry and disagreements between Lachlan and James, and Lachlan has won in a sense as he’s stayed and he’s a chip off the old block like his climate-denying dad,” he said.

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Last week a News Corp staffer based in Australia, Emily Townsend, sent a damning all-staff email addressed to News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller. 

“I have been severely impacted by the coverage of News Corp publications in relation to the fires, in particular the 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),” she wrote.

“I find it unconscionable to continue working for this company, knowing I am contributing to the spread of climate change denial and lies. The reporting I have witnessed in The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun is not only irresponsible, but dangerous and damaging to our communities and beautiful planet that needs us more than ever to acknowledge the destruction we have caused and start doing something about it.” The email was quickly deleted from News Corp employees’ inboxes.

In response Miller defended the companies’ coverage. 

“News Corp stands by its coverage of the bushfires. The dedication and professionalism of our journalists and photographers have kept the community—particularly those Australians affected directly—informed and supported.

“We respect Ms. Townsend’s right to hold her views, but we do not agree with them.

“Our coverage has recognized that Australia is having a serious conversation about climate change and how to respond to it. However, it has also reflected there are a variety of views and opinions about the current fire crisis.”

A rep for News Corp didn’t respond to James and Kathryn’s remarks. A rep for Fox News declined to comment. 

Mayne believes News Corp stands at a moment of reckoning, but it may be too late to correct course. 

“We haven’t had this situation before of a massive disaster with the company being internationally slammed for climate denialism and a key family member calling out the appalling coverage in Australia,” he said. 

“They are so all into a ‘do nothing’ position that they will look stupid if they pivot. It ultimately comes down to the family—it’s an internal dispute within the family. Rupert hates giving in to the left.”

On Saturday The Australian, the company’s national masthead, printed an editorial defending the paper’s coverage and lashing out at competitors who have questioned its editorial stance. 

“In our coverage, The Australian’s journalists report facts about how to tackle bushfires and about how to deal with the impact of climate change. Second, we host debates reflecting the political division that exists in Australia about how to address climate change without destroying our economy,” the editorial stated.

“However, our factual account of bushfires, climate change and the remedies, as well as our editorial commentary on these issues, have been willfully and ineptly misrepresented by The New York Times and Guardian Australia as climate denial.”

—with additional reporting by Justin Baragona

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment against the climate crisis. We’re supporting those on the front line tackling the Australian bushfire crisis. Find out more about our campaign here.


Charles meets Greta as he calls global warming 'greatest-ever threat' .
Prince Charles has said climate change, global warming and loss of diversity are the "greatest threats humanity has ever faced" - as he met activist Greta Thunberg for the first time. He was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.The prince said: "Now it is time to take it to the next level. In order to secure our future and to prosper we need to evolve our economic model."He arrived in Switzerland in a fully electric Jaguar car and met teenage campaigner Thunberg after his speech.In his keynote address, he said: "We are in the midst of a crisis that is now I hope well understood.

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