James Murdoch’s wife Kathryn has voiced her agreement that her family, which owns Fox News, must ‘put their country above their profits’ and disavow President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.
Kathryn Murdoch, 47, expressed the sentiment in a tweet on Friday, saying she agreed with CNN host Jake Tapper, who had stated: ‘The Murdochs and the people at Fox have an obligation to put their country above their profits. It is very important that people make it very clear — that there is no credible evidence of widespread fraud.’
‘I agree with this,’ Kathryn tweeted. Her remark came as little surprise given her history of public criticism of Fox News coverage, particularly on the topic of climate change, and her work with groups such as Unite America on bridging partisan divides.
Her husband James stepped down from the board of Fox News parent News Corp in July, citing disagreements with some of the company’s editorial content.
Kathryn’s latest comment comes a time when Fox News and other media outlets face divisive questions over how to cover the unfolding vote count and Trump’s explosive claim, without proof, that the election is being ‘stolen’ though rampant fraud.
James Murdoch’s wife Kathryn (with him above) has voiced her agreement that her family, which owns Fox News, must disavow Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud
On Friday, Democrat Joe Biden was on the brink of winning the White House after taking the lead in the potentially decisive state of Pennsylvania. But Trump showed no signs of being ready to concede and his campaign insisted the bitterly contested race is ‘not over.’
CNN reported that Fox News employees had been instructed to avoid calling Biden the ‘president elect’ on air even if the network projects Biden will win the presidency.
‘If you’re a Fox News report, and you’re going to abide by this crazy instruction, you might as well hand in your press credentials at the same time,’ commented CNN’s Tapper.
A Fox News spokesperson told DailyMail.com that there have been no network wide memos or editorial guidance from Fox News regarding the type of instructions that CNN claimed.
Fox News, along with CNN, was one of only two major news networks to carry Trump’s angry White House address in its entirety on Thursday evening, without cutting away.
In his 17-minute tirade Trump claimed he was the victim of ‘big media, big money and big tech’ coming together to commit ‘historic election interference’ to give Biden the presidency.
Fox News contributors Bill Bennett and Byron York said that just because Trump did not allege specific instances of irregularities doesn’t mean there haven’t been any. But the president and his lawyers need to present evidence, they said.
‘What we saw tonight is a president who believes that at the end of the day, when all the votes are counted, the election is not going to to go his way, so he’s trying to plan an alternate route to retain the White House,’ said Fox White House correspondent John Roberts.
Fox News, along with CNN, was one of only two major news networks to carry Trump’s angry White House address in its entirety on Thursday evening
Kathryn Murdoch, 47, expressed the sentiment in a tweet on Friday, saying she agreed with CNN host Jake Tapper (above)
Other members of the network’s news staff have also remained skeptical, demanding proof of Trump’s claims.
‘We haven’t seen that level of fraud. He’s saying it’s there, but we haven’t seen it,’ said Bret Baier, Fox News’ chief political correspondent, while pushing back on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an interview on Friday.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson, one of the network’s top opinion commentators, took a more sympathetic line, saying broadcasters are duty-bound to cover Trump’s accusations and not airbrush them from the election.
‘Our system works. It has worked before. If people air concerns, resolve the concerns,’ Carlson said in his monologue on Thursday night.
‘Don’t call them names, don’t sweep those concerns under the rug, don’t shut it down artificially with unelected news anchors.’
Earlier this year, Kathryn Murdoch spoke out about her ‘radical centrist’ politics in an interview with Politico’s Women Rule podcast.
James Murdoch, Kathryn, Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng leave Murdoch’s annual summer party at the Oxo Tower in London on June 17, 2009
News Corp Executive Chairman and Fox Corporation Co-Chairman Rupert Murdoch
‘This is the first time where I’ve really decided that I have a voice and I need to try to use it,’ said Kathryn, who has long quietly supported climate change causes after Al Gore convinced her the issue was urgent in a 2006 presentation.
‘The decisions we make in the next few years are going to have an impact on coming generations,’ Kathryn said. ‘I need to know that I’ve done everything that I can possibly do.’
The Murdoch family retains 39 percent of the voting power in News Corp, the parent company of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.
Founder Rupert Murdoch, 89, remains executive chairman of News Corp, with his son Lachlan Murdoch as co-chairman.
James Murdoch, the younger son of media mogul Rupert, had been on the board of directors at News Corp since 2013 when he quit in July.
He said: ‘My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.’
He did not go into detail about his differences with the company, but has been publicly critical of its news platforms in the past.
In his resignation letter, James cited ‘disagreements over certain editorial content’ as the reason for his departure
His departure meant the board will now consist of ten members, headed by Rupert and Lachlan.
James has spoken out against his father’s company on a number of occasions, with him and his wife Kathryn slamming the family business for promoting climate change ‘denials’ during the Australian bushfire crisis in January.
The pair released a statement saying they were ‘disappointed’ by the coverage of the fires by Fox News and other News Corp outlets.
‘Kathryn and James’s 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.
‘They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary,’ their statement read.
The ‘denials’ were in reference to allegations arsonists and not climate change were to blame for the destructive wildfires.
His comments were perceived as ‘unprecedented’ and sparked speculation of a feud within the family since he rarely speaks publicly about his role in the business.
James is known as the more liberal Murdoch brother, while older brother Lachlan’s views seem to be more aligned with those of his conservative father.
He was even last year reportedly looking to set up a $1billion new project including a liberal news outlet, in stark contrast to his father’s Fox News.
In March it was further suggested he pumped money into start-ups looking to combat fake news.
His firm Lupa Systems was said to have teamed up with Betaworks to create a ‘more sustainable news ecosystem’.