News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt has used his Sky News show to slam his employer for its U-turn on global warming, calling it ‘propaganda’ and ‘rubbish’ and saying it will delight Scott Morrison.
The controversial commentator’s intervention was prompted by the Murdoch Australian tabloids’ new campaign backing action to do more to tackle climate change.
‘Millions of Australian readers would have got a shock this morning when they picked up their Murdoch newspapers around the country,’ an angry Bolt told his TV audience after the company’s metropolitan dailies published lengthy newspaper wraparounds.
‘Sixteen pages of News Corp’s global warming propaganda, telling them why Australia should cut its emissions now to net-zero, telling them it will be good for us. And that is a shock,’ he said.
Sky News presenter Andrew Bolt is outraged that the Murdoch newspapers have launched a climate action campaign
Rupert Murdoch’s Australian branch launched its new environmental project Mission Zero this week, saying it aims to ‘inform Australians about the key environmental and climate issues of our time’ in support of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The campaign is backed by business leaders and environmental campaigners but has come as a shock to many Australians – not least some of the company’s in-house climate change sceptics.
Bolt said the Murdoch papers’ seeming change of heart on the need to do something to curb global warming is hypocritical given how they had previously relentlessly attacked the Labor Party and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull for their stances on the issue.
He said Prime Minister Scott Morrison will ‘actually be delighted because he can now have the Malcolm Turnbull-type policy that he wants – net-zero emissions – and take it to the next big global warming conference in Glasgow in November, knowing that he has the backing of the Murdoch media.’
Bolt – who seemed floored by News Corp’s move – added that people ‘should worry’ when big business, big media and big government’ all seem to agree with action on the climate.
He said the tabloids’ coverage urged readers to ‘forget all that stuff we used to say’ and that they were now expected to prepare for government action on the issue.
Andrew Bolt’s climate sceptic views have not been watered down by his employer suddenly backing action on global warming
Bolt said he discussed the issue with his News Corp editors and was assured the company still believes in debate.
‘I am still free to say exactly what I think and that is the only reason I’m still here,’ he said, adding that ‘It’s rubbish. I don’t buy it.’
Not everyone was buying News Corp’s supposed change of mind, though, with former prime minister Kevin Rudd tweeting ‘Murdoch is today predicting an investment bonanza for agriculture under a decarbonised economy.
‘I wonder what’s changed since they joined with the Liberal (Party) to criticise climate action under Labor as a “lunchbox tax”,’ he wrote, going on to repeat his call for a Royal Commission into the power and influence of the Murdoch newspapers.
When News Corp initially flagged its intent to embrace action on climate change last month, Bolt said he had lost the battle over global warming.
‘My whole company’s against me. I know that against these huge players, all the big political parties, my own employer, all the media and big media outlets, what am I? Just someone on the sidelines. Someone just howling on the sidelines, but telling you the truth,’ Bolt said.
Mr Turnbull said last year that News Corp’s ‘campaign on climate denial’ had done ‘enormous damage to the world’ and had left a ‘shocking legacy’ of inaction.
Michael Miller, the executive chairman of News Corp Australasia, said commentators such as Bolt would not be ‘muzzled’ on the issue of global warming.