James Murdoch Pans Fox News and News Corp For Climate Denialism Amid Australian Bushfire Crisis

James Murdoch

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James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn issued a rare public rebuke of his father Rupert’s media empire in a statement on Tuesday, chastising News Corporation’s tendency for climate change denialism as devastating wildfires tear through large swathes of Australia.

“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,” a spokesperson for James and Kathryn told the Daily Beast’s Lachlan Cartwright. “They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”

Brutal. James, derided in hushed tones by Fox News staffers as the liberal son, left the family empire last year with a few billion to launch an investment company. Lachlan, whose politics are more in line with the conservative family patriarch, took full control of Fox News parent company Fox Corp. last year.

While our American readership will be well acquainted with climate change denialism on Fox News, Murdoch properties in his home country of Australia have faced intense scrutiny over the same during Australia’s ongoing wildfire disaster.

New York Times Australian bureau chief Damien Cave documented in a story last week how News Corp’s properties are spreading anti-climate “misinformation” about the Australian bushfire crisis. Critics of Murdoch, Cave wrote, are “increasingly connecting News Corp to the spread of misinformation and the government’s lackluster response to the fires. They argue that the company and the coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison are responsible — together, as a team — for the failure to protect a country that scientists say is more vulnerable to climate change than any other developed nation.”

As the Daily Beast notes, News Corp “dominates” Australia’s media, “publishing more than 140 newspapers and employing 3,000 journalists in print, broadcast, and online.”

One longtime News Corp executive told the Daily Beast that the statement from James is a direct attack on his brother Lachlan and father Rupert, who remains the chairman of News Corp.

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