Fox News’ slanted coverage, climate change denial, and now the Australian fires have caused a huge split in the Murdoch family.
Why it matters
Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch has long been known as a climate change denier, but the ferocity of the Australian fires have brought him a backlash too.
News Corp Australia publishes over 140 newspapers in the country in addition to owning broadcast TV networks. His outlets are infamous for publishing editorials denying climate change or playing down its impact.
And its not just in Australia. Murdoch-owned Fox News takes the same line. Last week its host Laura Ingraham criticized people for “pressing the narrative that the wildfires in Australia are caused by climate change,” while hosting climate change deniers on her show.
In a statement to the Daily Beast, his son James Murdoch lashed out:
“Kathryn and James’ 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.”
“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
It is an extraordinary rebuke by an heir who was once considered to be taking over from Rupert Murdoch.
A veteran News Corp executive, who asked to remain anonymous, added:
“They are pissing 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.”
Criticism from the younger Murdoch—if it filters down to Fox News—could change attitudes in America and perhaps save the country from a similar calamity.