MAGA is fighting back against the mob and so are we… but we need your help. Join our growing army and click here to subscribe to Revolver. Or give the gift of Revolver—simply select the annual subscription and select “This is a gift” on the next page. If you want to give extra during this critical time, you can make a one-time or recurring monthly donation — whether it’s $1 or $1,000, every bit goes towards the battle to save our great nation.

Guest Post by Gabriel O. Yates

Fox News’ ouster of Tucker Carlson earlier this year signaled a dramatic shift in the media empire built by Rupert Murdoch. Tucker’s populist message is no longer at the center of the cable giant’s coverage. Murdoch has made no secret of his disdain for Trump, and despite Fox’s difficulties selling DeSantis to its viewers, the network remains fully dedicated to going in a more “respectable” direction. 

The “conservative” network recently imposed the hugely unpopular transgender agenda on its staff, requiring all employees to use the proper gender nouns. Of course, trans staffers can use whatever bathroom they want.

And these changes aren’t limited to Fox—it’s happening all over Newscorp. Not too long ago Revolver chronicled how Murdoch has increasingly weaponized Newscorp asset New York Post against Trump.

And these changes may further accelerate based on who’s now running the Murdoch empire. Indeed, as bad as the patriarch Rupert has been as of late, there has always been talk that the full ideological makeover of Newscorp properties was contingent on the level of influence of Rupert’s far more liberal (and perhaps less business minded) son James Murdoch.

A recent report from Newscorp property Wall Street Journal hints at James’ rising influence over the media empire. The piece in question investigated the environmental soundness of the use of  lead cables by phone companies. What the WSJ failed to note to readers is that the report was orchestrated and funded by the far left-wing Environmental Defense Fund. The WSJ relied on Marine Taxonomic Services to collect data and research on the cables. The MTS is funded by the EDF. The Journal denied the EDF funded the testing in one of its articles, but the EDF provided a different story.

“The Wall Street Journal reached out to EDF to learn more about the risk of lead cables in lakes, rivers, and streams around the country,” a press release from the group stated. “EDF agreed to provide guidance, assistance, and funding to MTS to help identify cables and conduct sampling.” That sounds like the EDF was heavily involved in the investigation.

WSJ would want to muddy these links based on the targets of the investigation. The EDF has an ax to grind against the telecommunication companies. It would be unseemly for a newspaper to allow a biased source to shape its coverage. But that appears to be what happened. AT&T, a company targeted by the series, dismissed the report’s findings based on its undisclosed reliance on a partisan group.

The Journal eventually issued a correction admitting the EDF provided $85,000 to MTS for its investigation. 

This series was given top-billing by the paper. It was not some overlooked blog or backpage oddity. This was a prominent feature showcasing the Journal’s alleged investigative prowess—and it was crafted by a left-wing group. The Journal’s right-leaning audience would likely not appreciate that connection.

But the plot thickens in a far more consequential direction in terms of the future of the Murdoch media empire. As it turns out, the EDF has a direct Murdoch connection. Rupert’s son James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn have given tens of millions of dollars to the EDF. Kathryn even sits on the group’s board. James, who is set to inherit much of the family business, is, as mentioned, notoriously liberal. He has frequently pushed for his father’s media empire to move more to the left and gain liberal respectability. He openly attacked Donald Trump and fretted over Fox’s populist turn. According to Vanity Fair, “James is horrified by Fox News and tells people the network’s embrace of climate denialism, white nationalism, and stolen election conspiracies is a menace to American democracy.”

He and his wife donated over $11 million to left-wing political causes in the 2020 election cycle, with more than $2.5 million of that going directly to Democrats.

The EDF is a suitable recipient for James Murdoch’s generosity. The group is undoubtedly progressive. Their most recent 990 shows EDF has contributed grants to fellow left-wing organizations like Ceres (a founding network of Climate Action 100+), the League of Conservation Voters, and the open-borders “environmental group” Sierra Club. 

EDF’s advocacy arm, the Environmental Defense Action Fund, spent over $8.2 million on independent expenditures in 2022 cycle elections. Of that total, 97.06% benefited Democrats and only 2.94% benefitted Republicans.

If that wasn’t proof enough of their ideological stance, EDF issued a glowing press release in 2019 applauding Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal as “an important step forward” that “is generating thoughtful ideas and building real political momentum.” This is all of course not to mention the underlying connection between the radical environmental perspective of groups like the EDF and the ESG phenomenon that has taken over Wall Street and much of our financial industry, awarding special economic favors and incentives for corporations that comply with the liberal environmental agenda, which always seems to have more to do with rewarding special interests than actually helping the environment. These are exactly the kinds of liberal organizations that pay lip service to the environment, but end up condemning Tucker Carlson for reporting on the environmental degradation of vast quantities of litter left by illegal immigrants.

The new, “post op” version of Fox and other Murdoch entities do not limit their friendly relationships to hypocritical liberal environmental organizations. The Murdoch family has donated to other far left groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, which led the campaign to deplatform Tucker Carlson. Fox has even been donating to several far-left groups, including the terrorist-supporting Southern Poverty Law Center.

It’s bad enough to donate to these groups. It’s another thing to allow them to dictate your news coverage. The clear influence of the EDF on Wall Street Journal’s reporting may indeed  foreshadow a new phase in Murdoch programming. Rather than Tucker setting the tone, lefty NGOs call the shots.  

Fox News and its sibling Newscorp remain the titans of conservative media. Millions of Americans turn to these sources to find coverage and opinions they won’t find on MSNBC and CNN.  The media empire would lose its core audience by going woke, but that may not bother the Murdochs. They would rather gain liberal respectability than offer fair and balanced news. As Revolver explained in a now-classic article on the political economy of media—it’s ultimately not about profits, it’s about power. And if the Murdochs are good at anything, it is cozying up to the corrupt power centers that have increasingly run this great country into the ground. 

Gabriel O. Yates is a former writer for Newscorp publications and currently works in finance