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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John Garrett
October 15, 2020 6:06 pm

Rx: James needs to become a regular reader of WUWT.

October 15, 2020 6:32 pm

“James should just get on with it.”

But that would mean using his own money.

Reply to  Hivemind
October 15, 2020 6:40 pm

I don’t imagine that is in particularly short supply. 😉

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  fred250
October 16, 2020 6:57 am

There is always a LARGER supply of OPM.

And it has the advantage that any losses go to those other people.

Bruce Ploetz
October 15, 2020 6:48 pm

Slightly off topic, but hilarious Biden gaffs in the ABC Town Hall. He gestured with his hands to show a battery size about two cubic feet and said it could power your house for five days when the sun doesn’t shine on your solar panels. Supposedly the wizards in Silicon Valley are working on this magical unicorn-powered battery.

There are no hardware engineers or power researchers in Silicon Valley, Joe, maybe the Google software guys are working on the voice controls for this mythical super-battery? Will it be a purple Yahoo product? Designed by friends on Facebook?

He has forgotten all about Solyndra. Wants lots more federal loan guarantees. Payoff time for SEIU and all the usual suspects.

New roads and new old roads with charging stations everywhere. Electric cars 100% American Made. Guess he is going to reopen heavy metal mining in the US! I’m for that, greens may not agree.

Strangely he says his Biden green deal is not the green new deal. It’s much more realistic. No carbon emissions from power generation by 2035, not 2030. 2030 is just not realistic, man.

Now that the show is over you can see the big screens in the stands – probably they were using those for prompters

Harry Davidson
Reply to  Bruce Ploetz
October 16, 2020 11:39 am

This US election is very strange. The polls say unequivocally that Biden will win by a large margin. Everything else, and I mean everything else at least that I can find, says that Trump will win.

Wondering Aloud
Reply to  Harry Davidson
October 16, 2020 3:19 pm

Does anyone actually answer pollsters anymore? I suspect Trump voters don’t.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Bruce Ploetz
October 16, 2020 3:13 pm

No, the battery won’t need to hold much charge. That’s because a “SMART” device controlled by governmentnt will turn off all the other devices in your house that use electricity.

Dudley Horscroft
October 15, 2020 7:06 pm

If he really wants a newspaper which supports the Climate Change push, he should buy the Turnbull Times and turn it into a profitable newspaper supporting his views.

For the benefit of US readers, the “Turnbull Times” is the derisive name given to the Australian edition of the “Guardian”, aka the “Grauniad”.

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
October 16, 2020 12:33 am

Ha ha ha! I still get people saying I spelt the Guardian wrong when I say Grauniad in comments! Ha ha ha!

Rod Evans
Reply to  Steve
October 16, 2020 12:56 am

I now refer to them as the Groaniad, which seems to cover their core attitude to everything except extreme left policies, about which they are incredibly enthusiastic.

Reply to  Rod Evans
October 16, 2020 2:41 am

“which seems to cover their core attitude to everything except extreme left policies” — really? I hadn’t noticed /sarc. Their sports pages are the only thing I reads these days but you have to make sure of their scores. Once they reported Man City lost to Man U when in fact the opposite was true.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Rod Evans
October 16, 2020 5:03 pm

My preferred anagram is “DungAria”.. quite fitting for the shitsongs they publish.

M Seward
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
October 18, 2020 4:38 pm

I was once a Grauniadian but now I am a DungaArian.
I have seen the light RHS, I have seen the light.
Thankyou for that.

Harry Davidson
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
October 16, 2020 12:16 pm

It all dates from the 70s when they were notorious for their poor proof reading, and did once refer to themselves as the Grauniad. The name stuck, partly because Private Eye kept using it.

October 15, 2020 7:28 pm

Unfortunately this is news.

October 15, 2020 7:37 pm

Seemingly the intelligence DNA of the patriarch did not pass to his offspring.

Joel O'Bryan
October 15, 2020 8:46 pm

I have an idea James Murdoch could start up a News Network, maybe call it something like Current TV2.
The cable channel would start out as a user-generated content channel with content made by viewers in 15-minute blocks. The channel could then later switch formats to become an independent news network aimed at progressive politics and the climate change scam and climate religion stories and all the jazz.

Then when it fails miserably, James and his investors could use promises of government political connections of influence to sell the failing news channel to some rube Middle Oil sheiks for a fortune.

paul courtney
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 16, 2020 12:08 pm

Mr. O’Bryan: That’s the Gore-acle business plan. He’s a guy to watch- he puts no $ into the losing ideas he loudly promotes, then quietly makes a fortune where he actually put money on the line.

October 15, 2020 9:22 pm

“Increasingly uncomfortable with News Corp’s politics and profit motives, Rupert’s younger son chose chickens and sheep over Fox,”

When you fret about global warming and dangerous man-made climate change, you’ve already sided with the sheep.

October 15, 2020 11:26 pm

Nice to see you here my friend. I haven’t been around much.

Reply to  HotScot
October 16, 2020 2:56 am

And great to hear from you, HotScot my friend. I’ve been busy – fighting the New Scam “full-Gulag Covid-19 lockdown” and the Old Scam “man-made global warming aka climate change”.
Notice how the scammers-that-be have linked the two, as in: “To fight Covid-19 we have to fight climate change” and such illogical drivel? WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, clown price Justin Trudeau, Greta and others have made that ridiculous linkage, and leftist academics and the “bought” press have parroted it. It is clear that Covid-19 and global warming are NOT even remotely related, and no honest, rational person could be so stupid.

I called it correctly on 21March2020 – NO LOCKDOWN! Covid-19 was a relatively mild flu except for the very elderly and infirm. Covid-19 is less dangerous to the general public than the 2017-2018 flu that nobody remembers – the lockdown was a huge over-reaction or a WHO scam.
Sweden correctly did not impose the full-Gulag lockdown and had low death rates and has now achieved herd immunity – forget vaccines, all flu’s die because herd immunity is reached.
Watch this video by Ivor Cummins – his Covid-19 conclusions of 8Sep2020 agree with my conclusions of ~21Mar2020, almost 6 months earlier. https://youtu.be/8UvFhIFzaac

My March calls:

21March2020 (Willis and I independently called it correctly on the same day)
Isolate people over sixty-five and those with poor immune systems and return to business-as-usual for people under sixty-five.
This will allow “herd immunity” to develop much sooner and older people will thus be more protected AND THE ECONOMY WON’T CRASH.

This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again.


Best personal regards, Allan MacRae in Calgary

October 16, 2020 8:17 am

“and profit motives”

Ever notice how frequently the children of people who have made a lot of money, are opposed to allowing people to make money.

October 15, 2020 9:39 pm

There is probably a huge appetite and market for a news organization to return to real journalism, presenting both sides of the story as is to how real journalism is supposed to work. How this would relate to the topic of climate, would ensure both sides are given equal time to the subject. Both sides would be given equal time to make their case, and would probably be a real hit with the audience. Can you imagine ABC, BBC or CBC doing that? People are getting sick of propaganda.

There is a real appetite for being told the truth, which in some ways is why Fox has the highest ratings as they are telling the stories the other networks aren’t. In fact, just saw it reported that Tucker Carlson has the highest ratings on cable and I think he deserves it. At least Fox is more truthful with what is happening in the real world, as compared to say CNN or MSNBC. I would rather listen to a real good academic debate about various climate topics than be constantly spoon fed all this end of the world propaganda. I think a lot of other people would be too, and so could be very profitable for a news organization to return to true journalistic roots, and tell both sides of the issues. Let the viewer make up their own mind, once presented with credible sources and facts from both sides of a debate. Most MSM is one sided.

Reply to  Earthling2
October 16, 2020 6:12 am

Return to real journalism would require real journalists. Now do you see the problem?

Reply to  WRMAC
October 16, 2020 7:41 am

True to a degree, but there are many journalists that could present both sides of a story honestly if they were allowed to by their corporate structure and their (owner) themselves subscribed to journalistic integrity. Concentrated corporate media is part of the problem with all this, when a few rich people or corporations winds up owning the majority of media. It might be part of a larger problem where wealth is more and more concentrated in the hands of a few, such as we see with Twitter, Google and Facebook, to name a few. Maybe time to bust it up after we see how that works just the last few days.

I know there is a market for this, because while biased news and opinion used to be very subtle and beyond the masses being able to discern propaganda, it is so bad now that even the most dimwitted partisan all agree that there is little truthful reporting about anything anymore. We see it everywhere now, not just media. Nature abhors a vacuum, and I am just surprised that no one attempts to return to balanced reporting. It could be a real money maker as most everyone now knows that most journalism is basically spoon fed pablum fake journalism, just like fake climate/weather projections out a 100 years that many people also see through and question. That’s why many people turn to blogs such as this to get unfiltered information, especially on climate matters. You can’t trust Scientific American on climate for at least a dozen years now.

No wonder mainstream print media is collapsing and near death. To make maters worse, then we get Gov’t/State owned media with huge budgets being able to push their political agenda paid for on multiple media platforms by the taxpayer. One can hope we will return to journalistic integrity, and it would be profitable at the end of the day because a lot of people are yearning for being told the complete story, not just some one sided agenda being pushed by hacks and the new gatekeepers of information.

Reply to  Earthling2
October 16, 2020 8:21 am

The problem is not the concentration of wealth, it’s the concentration of power in government.
BTW, the bigger government gets, the more concentrated wealth gets.

Reply to  WRMAC
October 16, 2020 8:18 am

Step one to getting back to real journalism, would be the firing of anyone who has a “journalism” degree.

Reply to  Earthling2
October 16, 2020 6:31 am

That is even true at Fox. The news division, while less left-wing than the others, still presents topics from a left of center view. They still get their topical marching orders from the NY Times and Washington Post. They just tend to be more newsy in their presentation. It is only Fox’s opinion programming that is fairly to the right.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  OweninGA
October 16, 2020 12:11 pm

“That is even true at Fox. The news division, while less left-wing than the others, still presents topics from a left of center view. They still get their topical marching orders from the NY Times and Washington Post.”


Fox News is still treating the New York Times and other Leftwing News Media outlets as legitimate news sources, rather than treating then as the Democrat propagadists they are.

October 15, 2020 10:20 pm

James Murdoch is an idiot, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch are not idiots.

October 15, 2020 11:28 pm

Having despised Rupert for decades for his interference in British politics, I now think I may have been wrong about him all along.

Ursus Augustus
Reply to  HotScot
October 18, 2020 4:53 pm

Rupert and co have a number of tabloidy rags here in Oz but they are more than offset by the leftard MSM of the AGe, The Sydney Morning Herald and any number of other papers. The standout if the national daily/eekend paper, The Australian which is comparatively objective, balanced and presents a wide range of commentators. None of the competition come close to the general standard of journalism at the Oz.

As a measure of how bad the Oz’s competition is, I recall being in Sydney some years back and arranged to meet an old acquaintance at a cafe for breakfast. I was early so bought a paper. I normally read the Oz but being in Sydney and my mate being a lefty, Green voting, inner city livingm lesbian femnazi lawyer (barrister) I decide that when in Rome… and bough the Sydney Morning Herald. WHen she saw me reading the SMH she arced up and said ‘what are you reading that crap for?’ Gobsmacked I apologised theinking I should have just had a warm up coffee. It wasn’t that she thought the SMH was not left wing enough but, her being of very sharp mind etc, it was just crap content, thrown together, sloppily researched, junk journalism.

I now buy the Oz even in front of her. Her teeth grind at the sight but she doesn’t say anything.

Rod Evans
October 16, 2020 1:01 am

This is yet another example of the Green advocates running away from the truth. They can’t persuade those who challenge their flawed beliefs, so they simply run away.
They can’t be seen to accept the truth as the alternative to their core false beliefs.
I hope he doesn’t expect anyone to applaud his abandonment of real life.

Reply to  Rod Evans
October 16, 2020 8:23 am

The next step the progressives take is to criminalize disagreement with them.

October 16, 2020 2:50 am

The last thing the world needs is another climate change alarmist media network.

October 16, 2020 2:51 am

The last thing the world needs is another climate change alarmist media network.

John Doran
October 16, 2020 3:10 am

Two books James Murdoch should read:
1) Human Caused Global Warming The Biggest Deception In History
by climatologist Dr. Tim Ball.
Only 121 pages, well illustrated, reveals all: science, politics, money, people & motives.
Names the frauds who concocted the 97% consensus nonsense.
Names Bankster Rockefellers & creepy Soros as chief among the multi-billionaires pushing the fraud.
Dr. Tim co-founded http://www.principia-scientific.com dedicated to truth in science.
He also won a $multi million court case vs “hockey stick” fraud Michael Mann.
Put Ball defeats Mann in search box.

John Doran
October 16, 2020 3:15 am

Second book James Murdoch should read:
Heaven and Earth, Global Warming: The Missing Science
by geology Prof. Ian Plimer.
No easy weekend read this: 500+ pages, 2,000+refs & indexed.

Paul B
October 16, 2020 3:17 am

A bit off topic but relevant I think….

It seems to me that ‘climate change’ exists in two domains. One is spiritual/religious in nature; people BELIEVE in it.

The other is fact based; WUWT, for example. People here don’t believe in it, or not. They argue fact. It seems to me an impossibility to debate spirituality with fact.

I don’t have a clue as to how to break that knot, but I’m also confident that the fact domain is losing the debate. Emotion is easier for most citizens and it is the only tool of the political class.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Paul B
October 16, 2020 12:17 pm

“but I’m also confident that the fact domain is losing the debate.”

I don’t know. The Fact Domain may be losing among the Elites, but just about every poll shows “fixing” Human-caused Climate Change is not a high priority for most people.

October 16, 2020 3:36 am

My friend Viv Forbes writes from Australia. Once upon a time, this would have been satire. Not anymore…

The Covid Lockdown Is A Practice Run For The Big One – The Carbon Lockdown.

If climate alarmists win the elections (US and local), our freedoms and prosperity will evaporate like CO2 from a warm beer. The fact that their green energy program is madness will be irrelevant to the new WCO (World Carbon Organisation).

To meet UN Paris targets there will be no more petrol cars, diesel trucks, reliable electricity, beef burgers or Christmas ham, but bio-fuelled battleships, hydrogen-fuelled planes and sail-powered bulk carriers will be decreed (except in the BRICS world). Diesel submarines will be scrapped and NATO will mandate battery-powered battle tanks. Pit ponies will return to the mines, and farmers will plough with Clydesdales.

Soon they will design a mask that absorbs CO2 from your breath. Mega-cities will be “unsustainable”. You will be confined to your local commune and shop in pedal-powered trikes with battery-assist. You must eat local food and use electric power only when they switch it on for your district (but never on still, frosty mornings).

Our obedience to the Covid Lockdown has given them confidence to enforce their Carbon Lockdown. They will track us with microchips and control our travel, food, water and electricity usage via 6G.

We are entering the GREEN ZONE.

Viv Forbes
Washpool Qld, Australia
15 October 2020

Excellent cartoon: “The Covid Zone”
comment image

October 16, 2020 4:22 pm

…and then with 7G, why, not even our trusty tinfoil hats will help us.

Reply to  Loydo
October 16, 2020 6:35 pm

Look up “The Night of the Long Knives”. In 1934, Hitler executed many of his strongest allies including the leadership of the thuggish Nazi Brownshirts, who helped him gain power.
Boy were they surprised! You should’ve seen the looks on their faces!

Careful Loydo, when the new Fuhrer comes to power, many loyal minions could just “disappear”.

Forget climate change Loydo – if you need to be afraid of something, be afraid of the Long Knives.

Reply to  Loydo
October 16, 2020 10:40 pm

“tinfoil hats”

And I bet you have them tugged in hidy-holes all over your basement…..

Be very scared, Loy..

…… the CO2 radiation is out to get you, Loy !!

John Bell
October 16, 2020 5:28 am

I bet James uses and relies on fossil fuels every day every day every day…all his life…what a HYPOCRITE!

October 16, 2020 5:38 am

I would suggest James plows his own money into the new, exciting “Debate Has Ended News Network” with host Al Gore and friends. Don’t forget to commit to 7 seasons of Virtue Signaling with the Rich and Famous and another series called Beachside Estates of the Climate Scare Mongers.

Citizen Smith
October 16, 2020 8:29 am

What was James thinking when he hired the Reverend Gore to put on a dog and pony? Obviously that would destroy any credibility that he was looking for a balanced “contest of ideas”.

Gore is nothing more than a worn out politician. And an inept one at that. He only got as far as he did because his dad was rich and famous.

October 16, 2020 10:54 am

“He invited Al Gore to give his climate slide show at a corporate retreat in Pebble Beach, Calif.”

I can only presume that Al Gore and James Murdoch traveled to this retreat by bicycle, or possibly in a cart pulled by oxen wearing appropriate methane capturing devices. Nothing else would make sense.

Tom Abbott
October 16, 2020 11:51 am

From the article: ““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.”

Isn’t that what Fox News does? Legitimize disinformation, I mean.

My major gripe about Fox News is the management takes every lie the Leftwing News Media puts out and treats it as though it were established fact. A day or two later, we find out it was all a pack of lies.

But that doesn’t stop Fox News from treating the next Leftwing lie as legitimate.

One would think they would be a little skeptical of news stories coming out of the Leftwing Media considering that just about all of them have been lies for the last four years.

How about a little skepticism, Fox News? Stop promoting the Leftwing narrative every day as being legitimate. It’s not, they are a bunch of liars. Proven liars. Quit giving the Leftwing Media the benefit of the doubt. They don’t deserve it.

Steve Wood
October 16, 2020 2:07 pm

Anyone know what ‘a contest of ideas’ is?

Reply to  Steve Wood
October 16, 2020 2:34 pm

Uh, James believes Al Gore is engaged in one of those contests….methinks James is kinda dense…..and less than honest.

Michael S. Kelly
October 16, 2020 6:45 pm

“f James thinks there is a big demand from Conservatives for a right wing pro climate action news service…”

WTF does “pro climate” mean?!?!? Seriously, in any coherent, cognitively viable form, what does the phrase “pro climate” mean?

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