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FILE – This is a Wednesday, May 16, 2007 file photo of News Corporation executive James Murdoch, as he addresses a session during the second day of the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in New York. News International said thursday July 7, 2011 that it is shutting down the News of the World tabloid that is at the center of Britain’s phone hacking scandal. James Murdoch, who heads the newspaper’s European operations, says the 168-year-old newspaper will publish its last edition Sunday. The scandal has cost the paper prestige and prompted dozens of companies to pull their ads. (AP Photo/Osamu Honda, File)

James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, resigned from the board of News Corp, the publishing arm of daddy’s media empire on Friday, citing “disagreement over certain editorial material.”

Translation: Rupert’s left-wing son can’t handle “fair and balanced” news that isn’t all left-wing, all the time.

News Corp is the parent company of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, and is one of two media companies owned by the Murdoch family. The second company, Fox Corporation, owns Fox News, Fox Business and the Fox television network.

During a 2019 interview with The New Yorker,  Murdoch was clear about his disdain for Fox News news.

“There are views I really disagree with on Fox,” he said, presumably referring the views of on-air personalities such as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Jessies Watters, Lou Dobbs, and others. James’s older brother, Lachlan, 49, has run Fox Corporation since 2018.

Murdoch’s resignation letter was simple and to the point— belying the obvious political friction within the Murdoch family.

July 31, 2020

The Board of Directors News Corporation 1211 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10036

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I hereby tender my resignation as a member of the Board of Directors of News Corporation (the “Company”), effective as of the date hereof.

My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.

Sincerely,

James R. Murdoch

Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch thanked James for  his contributions, in a statement to FOX Business. “We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” they said.

During an interview with Vanity Fair last year, Murdoch said he was disappointed over Shepard Smith’s departure from Fox, while also discussing past sex scandals at the network, including the scandal that brought down the then-king of cable news, Bill O’Reilly.


So did Murdoch actually watch Fox News? “Um, no,” he said.

Needless to say, Fox fans and other conservatives were near-giddy over James Murdoch’s departure.

Setting aside the misstatements above about News Corp being the parent company of Fox News and related sentiments about what impact his departure might have on Fox, it’s clear that the “Fair and Balanced” crowd wants Murdoch as far away from the family media empire as possible — and not without cause.

Murdoch’s wife Kathryn Hufschmid wasn’t spared, either. This tweet pretty much sums of the sentiments on the thread about her.

In January of this year, James and Kathryn issued a statement condemning the Murdoch media empire’s coverage of  climate change.

Do you think it’s worth noting that Hufschmid served as Director of Strategy and Communications for the Clinton Climate Initiative from 2006 until 2011? Me, too.

The Daily Beast’s reporting of the statement was written like only the DB can. Under the headline “James Murdoch Slams Fox News and News Corp Over Climate-Change Denial,” with a kitschy “Fiddling While Oz Burns” graphic thrown in for maximum effect, the piece labeled the Murdoch family’s views as “climate denialism.”

In a long-simmering rift between factions of the Murdoch family over climate change, Rupert’s younger son, James, and his activist wife, Kathryn, are attacking the climate denialism promoted by News Corporation, the global media group, and also by the Fox News Channel overseen by James’ older brother, Lachlan.

“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 as wildfires rage in Australia.

“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”

One longtime News Corp executive, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, described the comments by James, who continues to sit on the board of News Corporation, and Kathryn as an intentional attack on Lachlan and Rupert.

“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 exec said.

Critics say Murdoch’s Australian newspapers and his television networks have continued to publish stories and opinion pieces that dismiss widely accepted science about climate change.

Clearly, the parting of ways — at least professionally — between James Murdoch and family has been brewing for some time. Now that the parting has occurred, perhaps social media keyboard warriors can stop sniping at one another over “biased” this, and “fair and balanced” that, and focus on more serious issues like posting pictures of their cats.

Nah, I’m just messin’ with you — let the festivities continue!

Mike Miller
Political junkie. Former senior writer and editor at Independent Journal Review. Realist. Slayer of hypocrisy. Sports lover (except for soccer, of course). Insufferable pizza snob.
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