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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 19 May 2007
The Grist on Murdoch, an evolving green story
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: big media

People say Rupert Murdoch, media mogul, is simply moving with the times and getting ahead of something big and serious. We prefer to think that he is looking into the eyes of his young child and knows what we all know - we are amazing animals that need our mother earth like nothing else in this universe.

Over to Grist here 16th May 2007 who obtained privileged access to the Man, and look out for the reference to George W Bush being a covert greenie (#@$&?!). Hysterical hey?:

Murdoch, She Wrote

An interview with Rupert Murdoch about News Corp.'s new climate strategy

By Amanda Griscom Little

16 May 2007
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch.
When Rupert Murdoch, the cantankerous and conservative owner of Fox News, enthusiastically joins the fight against climate change, you know we're past the tipping point on the issue. Think landslide.

Last week,
the media mogul pledged not only to make his News Corp. empire carbon neutral, but to persuade the hundreds of millions of people who watch his TV channels and read his newspapers to join the cause. Messages about climate change will be woven throughout News Corp.'s entertainment content, he said, from movies to books to TV sitcoms, and the issue will have an increasing presence in the company's news coverage, be it in the New York Post or on Hannity & Colmes. Yes, as Murdoch told Grist in an exclusive interview on his climate plan, even Fox News' right-wing firebrand Sean Hannity can be expected to come around on the issue.

Murdoch's climate conversion marks a major turning point for a man who has made campaign contributions to numerous conservative Republicans, including recently ousted Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), both of whom have expressed skepticism about the reality of climate change. Now, as Murdoch told Grist, a willingness to address the climate challenge will be a "litmus test" in his political giving.

Still, Murdoch is hardly a sentimental do-gooder. "[A]cting on this issue is simply good business," he said during the launch of his climate plan last week.

Whatever the motivation, News Corp.'s global reach is immense, and its grand climate plan could, if faithfully implemented, have a seismic impact that makes that of An Inconvenient Truth look like a tremor.

I sat down with Murdoch in his midtown Manhattan office after the launch to discuss how he came to embrace the climate cause, what he thinks of President Bush's environmental record, and whether an action hero can drive a hybrid car. (Full disclosure: I have a book contract with HarperCollins, a News Corp. company.)

questionWhat motivated you to implement your climate plan? Was there a "conversion moment" when you realized this needed to be a priority?

answer I grew up in Australia, which is facing its worst drought in 100 years -- that has struck a personal chord for me. I've read about the climate issue over the years, but I was probably a bit more skeptical than my son, James, who's a complete convert, and who converted me. I saw what he did at [British Sky Broadcasting] and we said, well, let's make it company-wide.

question So this is an example of younger-generation sensibilities trickling up?

answer Well, more twisting my arm, at first. But I've become more enthusiastic day by day. I don't think there's any question of my conviction on this issue -- I've come to feel it very strongly. The more I've looked into it, the more I've been able to see what we can do, not just from an operations standpoint but by subtly introducing [the climate issue] into our content.

question What do you intend to achieve with your climate plan, and how will you meet your goals?

answer We want to help solve the climate problem. We'll squeeze our own energy use down as much as we can. We'll become carbon neutral for our own emissions within three years, and be entirely transparent throughout the process, publicly reporting our reductions and offsets. But that's just a start. Our audience's carbon footprint is 10,000 times bigger than ours, so clearly that's where we can have the most influence.

Posted by editor at 12:30 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007 12:47 PM NZT

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