Maybe Peter Gleick could draft up some memos from Murdoch firing News Corp. skeptics?
UK enviro writes in “News Corporation, the Murdochs and Climate Change” at Huffington Post:
… However, the reputation of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal for subjecting their audiences to misreporting of climate change has led some to assume that unscientific denial is hard-wired into all News Corporation media businesses, including its UK newspapers.
Indeed some have made the extraordinary allegation that News Corporation may have been involved in the hacking of the so-called ‘Climategate’ e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.
This far-fetched notion apparently stemmed from the arrest in July 2011 of Neil Wallis, the former executive editor of the News of the World, in connection with the phone-hacking scandal.
Wallis had left the News of the World in August 2009, and his departure, at that time, was not being publicly linked to the phone-hacking scandal.
Wallis joined the Outside Organisation as a freelance consultant. According to the Eastern Daily Press, the University of East Anglia contacted the Outside Organisation for public relations help during the ‘Climategate’ crisis. Wallis was at least partly responsible for arranging a sympathetic feature in The Sunday Times (also owned by News International) about Professor Phil Jones, the climate scientist at the centre of the controversy.
Given that Wallis had just started to try to make his living from public relations, it is a little far-fetched to suggest that he would have been trying his best to fail, rather than succeed, in countering the negative publicity for University of East Anglia.
With last week’s news that James Murdoch is stepping down as executive chairman of News International, there perhaps should be concern that News Corporation’s UK media outlets will start to downplay climate change, if not embrace outright denial. The Times has yet to replace Ben Webster, its excellent environment correspondent, who has been re-assigned to report on the phone hacking scandal.
And it remains to be seen how much longer the Wall Street Journal and other News Corporation media outlets will blatantly disregard the company’s commitment to provide audiences with “content of the highest caliber” about climate change.