- Rupert Murdoch’s daughter-in-law Kathryn is championing a fight against disinformation and partisanship.
- She pledged $100 million of family foundation money to combat fake news, especially on climate coverage.
- Lawmakers have accused outlets including Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News of promoting misinformation.
Rupert Murdoch’s daughter-in-law Kathryn described how she plans to spend $100 million on projects battling misinformation and partisanship in the US.
The project may raise eyebrows given the widespread accusations that Murdoch outlets, especially Fox News, have championed those two ills.
Kathryn Murdoch is a former communications executive who married Murdoch’s second son James. She told the Financial Times that the couple had invested a total of $100 million dollars into their family foundation Quadrivium.
The investment is indicative of how the couple has forged a markedly different path to other members of their family, championing environmental and progressive causes.
Quadrivium has already made multi-million dollar investments into pro-democracy projects and describes its mission as “working to restore the health of our US democracy at a time of increasing polarization and dysfunction within the system.”
Kathryn Murdoch this year issued a multimillion-dollar grant to the Associated Press to fund climate change reporting, as well as giving $5 million to local newsrooms, and working on a report about combating disinformation, the FT said.
The money came from James’s $2 billion payouts when Disney bought the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox, which James previously ran, per the FT.
Democratic lawmakers have long accused networks including Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News of being responsible for the kind of misinformation Quadrivium appears to have in mind.
Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney in February this year wrote to
companies questioning their decision to host networks including Fox, citing coverage aimed at some channels to the January 6 Capitol riot.
“Misinformation on TV has led to our current polluted information environment that radicalizes individuals to commit seditious acts and rejects public health best practices,” said the letter, cited by The Hill, which drew widespread backlash from House Republicans.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney singled out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for criticism more recently, saying his suggestion that the January 6 riot may have been a “false flag” attack was “un-American” and accusing him of lying.
“We have an obligation that goes beyond partisanship and an obligation that we share, Democrats and Republicans together, to make sure that we understand every single piece of the facts about what happened that day and to make sure that the people who did it are held accountable,” Rep. Cheney said.
James Murdoch himself last year singled out his father’s companies News Corporation and Fox News — which is run by James’s brother Lachlan — for their outlets’ coverage of global warming.
“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 told The Daily Beast in January last year, while bushfires were destroying properties across Australia.
“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
Insider contacted Fox News for comment but did not receive an immediate response.