Rupert Murdoch's Son Calls Out Fox News and News Corp For Climate Change Denial in Coverage of Australia Fires

News Corporation scion James Murdoch directly criticized the "ongoing" climate denial occurring across his family's worldwide media empire, including Fox News' coverage of Australia's devastating bushfires.

Murdoch, the younger son of News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch, expressed their disappointment with Fox News and the Australia faction of his family's publications Tuesday in comments made to The Daily Beast. In a statement, Murdoch and his wife Kathryn referred to their long-held public record in fighting against climate change causes and its devastating impacts, and noted their "frustration" with News Corp's reporting on the worst fires in Australia in decades.

The couple said the connection between the devastating effects of climate change and the Australian bushfires is undeniable. The ongoing fires have so far led to the deaths of 28 people, the destruction of 3,000 homes and reports that about one billion animals have been killed, displaced or otherwise affected by the fires, according to conservation experts.

"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 the couple exclusively told The Daily Beast.

"They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary," the couple said to The Daily Beast's Lachlan Cartwright Tuesday.

Murdoch still sits on the News Corporation board, but also recently founded a private investment company for tech and media, Lupa Systems. In 2014, the couple created the Quadrivium Foundation that advocates for electoral politics reform and tackles climate change catastrophes. Kathryn also sits on the board of Unite America, which seeks to unify political parties and push forward with a wide range of public initiatives. News Corp-owned publications across the world include The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

Fox News host suggests that the Aussie fires are the media's fault:

"You should be questioning why there are so many arsonists. It is due to spectacle, just like mass shootings -- it is encouraged because of the news."

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 13, 2020

Speaking at November News Corp general meeting in New York, Rupert Murdoch told an Australian shareholder "there are no climate change deniers around, I can assure you," The Guardian newspaper reported at the time.

Fox News representatives did not respond to Newsweek's requests for reaction Tuesday morning.

This is not the first time the couple has spoken out against conservative U.S. politics or News Corp outlets' coverage of climate change. "There hasn't been a Republican answer on climate change," Hufschmid previously told The New York Times. "There's just been denial and walking away from the problem. There needs to be one."

On Monday, The Daily Beast's Justin Baragona highlighted Fox News host Greg Gutfeld after he said the Australian fires had become a media-led "spectacle." Gutfeld told viewers to question "why there are so many arsonists." Also last week, Fox News host Laura Ingraham described the Australian crisis as a "climate change flameout."

An anonymous News Corp executive told The Daily Beast that there are "high tensions" among the Murdoch family over the climate change rift between Rupert, James and his brother, Lachlan. "The majority of people who work here agree with James," the executive noted.

james murdoch kathryn hufschmid climate
News Corporation scion James Murdoch directly criticized the "ongoing" climate denial occurring across his family's worldwide media empire, including Fox News' coverage of the Australia's devastating bushfires. EMMA MCINTYRE / Stringer/Getty Images