The Murdoch Mission to Save Democracy: The Rest of the Story

Inconvenient facts the New York Times didn't deem “fit to print”

On March 14 the New York Times ran a profile of wealthy lefty activist Kathryn Murdoch, daughter-in-law of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, under the cloying headline “How a Murdoch Hopes to Save American Democracy.” She told the Times that our supposedly existential national malfunction is the ongoing failure to implement “good ideas” crafted by “smart people.”

“Basically, everything that we were looking at would run up against a nonfunctioning government,” she said.

The Times added that by “everything that we are looking at,” she meant stuff like “campaign finance reform” and “climate legislation.”

Kathryn Murdoch is on the board of the Environmental Defense Fund, a climate extremist group so radical that they support shutting down carbon-free nuclear power stations. Politically, she refers to herself as a “radical centrist,” and by that she means she once held down a job working for the Clinton Foundation and defined her 2020 presidential choice as whomever the Democrats nominated.

The Quadrivium Foundation, co-founded with her husband, James Murdoch, gave more than $25 million in 2019 to left-wing advocacy groups, including $11 million for the Environmental Defense Fund.

So there’s no complicated mystery regarding what she wants done with “climate legislation” and “campaign finance reform.”

But twisted through the political goggles of Times reporters, this story translated into a sinister “phalanx of Republican opposition” standing in the way of “bipartisan policy wins” to one side. And on the other side the heroic Murdoch and her allies riding to the rescue as “a group of centrist-minded donors” who were “growing increasingly frustrated.”

The clearly less-than-bipartisan Murdoch, according to the Times, “has become a leader of a network of donors seeking to change the way Americans choose their elected officials.”

The Times noted billionaires Laura and John Arnold as two of the co-conspirators in the effort. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation is also well funded. They have already teamed up with the Murdochs and produced suboptimal results in Michigan.

Seeking to politely raise this and another impolite issue with the New York Times, we sent a letter to the editor from our president, Scott Walter.

But we haven’t heard back.

So the readers of the newspaper claiming it provides “All the news that’s fit to print” won’t be learning some important context for the story in their newspaper. But we don’t hide the inconvenient truth our readers. We have room to print it.

The letter is reproduced below.

To the Editor:

The March 14 profile of Kathryn Murdoch (and her allies, John and Laura Arnold) omits context around their mission to “Save American Democracy” (“How a Murdoch Hopes to Save American Democracy,” March 14).

For example, in 2018, the Murdoch and Arnold foundations collectively kicked in $5.6 million of the $13.9 million spent favoring an “independent” redistricting commission ballot proposal in Michigan. Their out-of-state money swamped a mere $3.2 million spent by the in-state opposition. Alas, Michigan’s democracy saviors at the commission have shown independence from voters by repeatedly voting themselves pay hikes, overspending their budget, violating Michigan’s Open Meetings Act, and failing to meet constitutionally required deadlines to get their one job done.

Another omission of content: The article gives only Republican examples to demonstrate how partisan primaries supposedly threaten democracy. Why didn’t you ask Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) if Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s possible challenge to his re-election comes from the centrist faction of his party?

Scott Walter

Washington, DC

Note: A previous false narrative about Kathryn Murdoch we’ve exposed is the claim that she’s opposed to “disinformation,” when in fact she funds it. See “Democratic Donors’ Disinformation Ops.”

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