Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Rupert Murdoch has responded to accusations from his son James and others that his news organisation promotes climate denial.
‘We do not deny climate change’: Rupert Murdoch addresses son’s exit from board
By Zoe Samios
November 19, 2020 — 12.08pm
Rupert Murdoch has made his first public comments about the abrupt resignation of his son James Murdoch from News Corp’s board, rejecting assertions the company denies climate change or that he did not consider his son’s point of view.
At the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday morning (AEDT), Mr Murdoch was asked why he did not accommodate some of James Murdoch’s views on climate change and on US President Donald Trump. James Murdoch has long been seen to have more progressive political views than his family and was critical of Trump in a New York Times interview in October.
“Our board has many discussions, but James … claims that our papers have covered the bushfires in Australia without discussing climate change. We do not deny climate change, we are not deniers,” Mr Murdoch said.
Columns by Melbourne writer Andrew Bolt and Sky commentator (and The Australian Financial Review columnist) Rowan Dean in the tabloids and former ASX chairman Maurice Newman in The Australian have described climate change as a “cult” and “a socialist plot”. In a broadcast on News Corp-owned Sky News, Bolt criticised the “constant stream of propaganda” on the ABC about the climate crisis.
…Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/we-are-not-climate-change-deniers-rupert-murdoch-addresses-son-s-exit-from-board-20201119-p56fy3.html
Tolerating diversity of opinion, in the form of providing wildly popular Murdoch Media personalities like Andrew Bolt a platform, does not mean Murdoch agrees with everything those personalities say.
But I guess old fashioned ideas like news managers giving their best journalists editorial freedom are no longer encouraged, at least when it comes to climate change.
Greens can be unforgiving of minor deviations from their dogma, even from people who helped found their movement.
Retired NASA scientist James Hansen, whose 1988 testimony pretty much kick started the climate movement, was accused of being a “denier” in 2015, because he does not think renewables alone will be enough to curb global CO2 emissions.
It is difficult to imagine someone being more alarmist than James Hansen; Hansen thinks the oceans will literally begin to boil if we don’t rapidly curb CO2 emissions. But Hansen still faced accusations of being a “denier”, because he thinks nuclear power should be an important part of the solution to climate change.
Update (EW): Tidied the text slightly.