James Murdoch Opens Up on The Family Rift Over Climate Change, Politics

Left: Lachlan Murdoch by Eva Rinaldi – Cropped from https://www.flickr.com/photos/evarinaldiphotography/8778375791/, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link. Middle Rupert Murdoch by Eva RinaldiRupert Murdoch, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link. Right James Murdoch by NRKbeta [CC BY-SA]

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to NYT, James Murdoch once thought he could persuade his father to be more concerned about climate change, but his effort to “make Sky News neutral” by getting Al Gore involved were rejected.

James Murdoch, Rebellious Scion

By Maureen Dowd
Published Oct. 10, 2020

Increasingly uncomfortable with News Corp’s politics and profit motives, Rupert’s younger son chose chickens and sheep over Fox, and insists he doesn’t watch ‘Succession.’

Mr. Murdoch, 47, resigned from the board of News Corp this summer with an elliptical statement, saying he was leaving “due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.”

“I reached the conclusion that you can venerate a contest of ideas, if you will, and we all do and that’s important,” he told me. “But it shouldn’t be in a way that hides agendas. A contest of ideas shouldn’t be used to legitimize disinformation. And I think it’s often taken advantage of. And I think at great news organizations, the mission really should be to introduce fact to disperse doubt — not to sow doubt, to obscure fact, if you will.

“And I just felt increasingly uncomfortable with my position on the board having some disagreements over how certain decisions are being made. So it was actually not that hard a decision to remove myself and have a kind of cleaner slate.”

At times, over the years, it looked like James and Kathryn might be bringing around Rupert Murdoch on climate change. But that was not to be, either.

In 2006, he promised to make Sky carbon neutral. (He invited Al Gore to give his climate slide show at a corporate retreat in Pebble Beach, Calif., a talk that inspired Kathryn Murdoch to become an eco-warrior.) He drove a Prius around London and then switched to an early model of the Tesla roadster; he later joined Tesla’s board.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/10/style/james-murdoch-maureen-dowd.html

I can’t help noticing James seems to be doing most of the talking. So far Rupert and Lachlan have been a lot lower key on the issue of their rift with James.

Despite the family disagreement, James admits his father has supported his efforts, like any good dad should.

I think this points the way to a resolution. If James thinks there is a big demand from Conservatives for a right wing pro climate action news service, well James has access to some of the best media advice in the world. James should just get on with it.

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October 15, 2020 at 08:42PM

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