James Murdoch slams his family for promoting climate change deniers

James Murdoch slams his family for promoting climate change deniers

January 14, 2020

Rupert Murdoch’s son James breaks ranks to publicly criticize his family’s media empire for promoting ‘climate change denial’ on Fox and other News Corp platforms amid ongoing Australian bushfire crisis

  • James and his wife issued a statement on Monday amid growing criticism of News Corp and Fox’s handling of the crisis 
  • They said they were ‘frustrated’ that there was an ‘ongoing denial’ of climate change across James’ father’s Australian newspapers
  • The Australian newspapers have, under criticism, insisted they are not denying climate change but presenting all points of view
  • They – along with conservative American outlets – have pointed to claims that arson may to be blame for the fires and not climate change 
  • 27 people have died and hundreds of millions of animals have been killed in the fires  

James Murdoch and his wife have issued a furious rebuke at his family for promoting climate change ‘denials’ across their various media platforms amid the ongoing Australian bushfire crisis. 

James, 47, and his activist wife Kathryn issued a statement on Monday to The Daily Beast where they said they were ‘disappointed’ by the coverage of the fires by Fox News and other News Corporation outlets. 

‘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,’ their statement read. 

James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn have issued a stunning rebuke of his father’s media empire and its coverage of the Australian bushfires. Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch (right) remain at the helm of Fox and News Corp 

Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch who are now at the helm of the Fox and News Corp empire

Lachlan became the CEO of Fox News in a reshuffle which put James on the outs of the day-to-day running of the family business in 2018. 

Since then, he has worked at the helm of the investment fund Lupa Systems but he retains a seat on the board of News Corp. 

He rarely speaks out about the running of Fox or News Corp and insiders at the latter say his unprecedented statement is akin to him ‘p****ng inside the tent’.  

The ‘denial’ James and Kathryn refer to includes allegations that arson and not climate change are to blame for the bushfires which have killed 27 people and hundreds of millions of animals since they took hold earlier this year. 

It has spurned a furious debate in Australian media and politics. 

It began with an announcement from the New South Wales Police service on January 6 that the force had taken action against 183 people since the start of the bushfire season. 

The number related to 24 people who were accused of deliberately setting bushsires, but many more who were accused of lesser crimes like failing to comply with a total fire ban or failing to properly discard of lit cigarettes on matches.   

Conservative media outlets however ran away with the 183 total figure. 

Soon, social media erupted with claims that nearly 200 people had been arrested for starting the fires.   

Columnists at News Corp’s various Australian newspapers covered the arson arrests, as did countless other outlets around the world. 

27 people have died and hundreds of millions of animals have been killed in the fires in Australia

Climate change activists have hit out at the spread of ‘disinformation’ like this report, shared by Fox’s Sean Hannity, that the fires have in part been caused by arsonists 

But some of the newspapers have been accused of downplaying the severity of the fires in comparison to other news stories. 

Namely, The Australian was accused of burying it from its front pages.  

On Saturday, the newspaper issued a strong defense of its coverage of the topic. 

It said it was not promoting one opinion over another but was presenting all sides of the ongoing public debate on the issue.  

Rupert Murdoch is yet to comment directly on the controversy. 

Earlier this year when asked about his network and newspapers’ coverage of climate change, he dismissed the notion that he or anyone else was in denial of it. 

‘There are no climate-change deniers around, I can assure you,’ he said. 

Neither Fox nor News Corp. immediately responded to DailyMail.com’s inquiries on  Tuesday morning.  

Murdoch with his two sons on his wedding day in 2016. Lachlan ascended to become CEO of Fox and James left the company to start an investment fund 

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