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Rupert Murdoch's daughter-in-law bucks the family's conservative reputation, pledging millions to fight climate change

Taylor Nicole Rogers , Business Insider US
 Oct 19, 2019, 09:29 AM
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 7: Rupert Murdoch, Chief Exe
Rupert Murdoch attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
  • Kathryn Murdoch, the daughter-in-law of international media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, publicly contradicted the family's conservative stance on climate change in an interview with The New Times' John Schwartz published September 26.
  • Murdoch described herself as a "radical centrist" to The Times and even pushed Rupert to consider endorsing Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election, The New York Times reported in April.
  • Murdoch's husband James profited $2 billion (R30 billion) from the sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney earlier this year, and the couple is heir to Rupert Murdoch's multibillion-dollar fortune, Business Insider previously reported.
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Kathryn Murdoch has arguably been the least front-facing member of the conservative media dynasty she married into. But now, she's publicly bucking their legacy to tackle climate change.

"There hasn't been a Republican answer on climate change," Murdoch told The New York Times' John Schwartz for a profile published September 26. "There's just been denial and walking away from the problem. There needs to be [an answer]."

Her father-in-law Rupert Murdoch has a close relationship with President Trump, calling the Oval Office regularly and hiring at least 21 former Trump administration officials at Fox, Business Insider previously reported.

Murdoch, on the other hand, described herself as a "radical centrist" to The Times and even pushed Rupert to consider endorsing Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election, The New York Times reported in April. Her husband James - the former CEO of 21st Century Fox - may lean even further left. James donated to the presidential campaigns of both democrats John Hickenlooper and Pete Buttigieg, according to a recent profile by The New Yorker. "There are views I really disagree with on Fox," James told The New Yorker.

The couple now classify themselves as "anchor funders" of a movement to eliminate partisan voting in the United States, according to The Times. To that end, the couple says they plan to make a donation exceeding "nine figures" (ostensibly greater than $100 million (R1.5 billion)) to organisations such as nonpartisan group Unite America. By reforming the company's electoral system and reducing partisan deadlock, Murdoch says she hopes to build political will to fight climate change.

Murdoch uses the wealth, influence, and conservative ideologies associated with her family name as a "double-edged sword" to further her work, per The Times.

Of course, like most of the family, Murdoch and her husband are billionaires. James personally profited from the sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney earlier this year, banking $2 billion (R30 billion), and the couple is among the heirs to Rupert Murdoch's multibillion-dollar fortune, Business Insider previously reported.

Murdoch previously worked with the Clinton Climate Initiative and the Environmental Defense Fund, The Times reported.

"I'm very comfortable staying in the background and continuing to work quietly," Murdoch told The Times. "[But] I've decided doing that means I'm not working hard enough, I'm not doing everything in my power to do."

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