So I don’t normally cover engagement notices. But on Tuesday, climate activist Jerry Hall and climate super-denier Rupert Murdoch announced their impending nuptials in one of his many newspapers.
This is one of the most unusual couplings since James Carville and Mary Matalin or Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts or James Inhofe and Barbara Boxer. OK, I made up that last one, but still.
I mean, we have the actress and model who had four children with the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger (and who has argued “climate change is the biggest threat the world has ever seen”) getting engaged to the man Rolling Stone magazine labeled “The Disinformer” in a 2010 story naming the “The Climate Killers: 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb the climate catastrophe.”
Rolling Stone said Murdoch and his NewsCorp empire, which includes Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, “have become the nation’s leading source of disinformation about climate change.” Not sure that does justice to the man whose media empire is also Australia’s leading source of climate disinformation and one of the top sources of disinformation in England. A 2014 survey of public opinions on climate change in 20 countries found the top three countries with the most climate denial were, in order, the United States, Great Britain and Australia. Quelle coïncidence!
Age hasn’t softened the 84-year-old Murdoch. Quite the reverse. In 2007, Murdoch told his employees at NewsCorp and Fox, “Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats. We may not agree on the extent, but we certainly can’t afford the risk of inaction.” And in 2009, Jack Bauer became the first-ever “carbon-neutral torturer” as I reported at the time, when Fox’s “24” became the first TV production to go carbon neutral.
Not that any of this affected the fire hydrant of disinformation that is Fox News, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, or most of NewsCorp’s media outlets around the world. As for what Murdoch himself believes, last February, he tweeted that winter ice in the North Atlantic somehow undercut the theory of global warming:
Seriously. In a July 2014 interview, Murdoch said climate change should be treated with “much scepticism” and “We shouldn’t be building windmills and all that rubbish.”
And in August, he tweeted:
A climate change skeptic not a denier. Sept UN meets in NY with endless alarmist nonsense from u know whom! Pessimists always seen as sages
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 27, 2015
That should all make for interesting dinner conversations with his alarmist bride to be, who told reporters in 2009, “All the experts say governments need to act now if we’re going to have any chance of saving our children from catastrophe.”
Thanksgivings should be even more fun, since Murdoch’s son James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn are sustainability advocates, with Kathryn in particular having worked for both the Environmental Defense Fund and Clinton Climate Initiative. Indeed, while Rupert remains executive chairman of the (disinforming) print outlets, James has been running 21st-Century Fox since August — and quite differently. In December, 21st-Century Fox signed the White House Climate Pledge, joining some 150 other U.S. companies who “have committed to demonstrate their support for action on climate change and to voice support for a strong outcome to the COP21 Paris climate negotiations.”
I’d like to recommend to Rupert’s entire family this ThinkProgress post from November: “How To Talk To Your Climate Denier Uncle This Thanksgiving.”