Rupert Murdoch's youngest son has slammed his family's media conglomerate for perpetuating the myth climate change does not exist amid this summer's horror bushfire season.
James Murdoch, 47, joined his climate activist wife Kathryn in publicly shaming media giants News Corp and Fox News for their coverage on Australia's bushfire crisis.
In a rare public statement, the couple expressed their deep disappointment with the Murdoch media empire.
“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 told The Daily Beast.
“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
There has been a growing chorus of voices calling out Murdoch-owned mastheads for reporting and commentary that downplays the link between this bushfire season and climate change. So far the fires raging across Australia's eastern seaboard have claimed 28 lives, destroyed more than 2000 homes and burnt through more than ten million hectares of land.
An unnamed Newscorp executive said the couple was deliberately out to attack the Murdoch family, especially considering James’ older brother, Lachlan, is currently in charge of overseeing the Fox News Channel.
“They are pissing inside the tent and that’s unusual. It’s evidence of how high tensions are within the family over climate change. The majority of people who work here agree with James. We are hoping this may be the tipping point,” the executive said in a statement to The Daily Beast.
Australian media outlets including the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and The Australian have been widely criticised in recent weeks for pushing a denialist stance on climate science.
For example, The Australian has repeatedly argued that this year’s fires are no worse than those of the past – a claim which scientists have slammed as untrue.
Just last week, News Corp finance manager Emily Townsend hit out at News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller after he sent a company-wide email spruiking how much the company had been helping bushfire-affected communities.
Ms Townsend had been so "severely impacted by the coverage of News Corp publications in relation to the fires" that she found it "unconscionable to continue working for this company", she wrote.
While the public statement was a rare move by James Murdoch, he has previously distanced himself from the views presented on Fox News.
"There are views I really disagree with on Fox (News),” he told the New Yorker in September last year.
Daily Beast claimed the $9 million in donations by Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch and News Corp to Australian bushfire relief efforts were only made after the news site contacted them for a response to James' statement.