The jokes write themselves about the Murdochs wanting to do for weather what they have done for news with the upcoming Fox Weather streaming service, but the prospect is no laughing matter.
From The New York Times:
Later this year, Rupert Murdoch is set to debut Fox Weather, a 24-hour streaming channel that promises to do for seven-day forecasts what Fox has done for American politics, financial news and sports.
Sean Hannity will not be giving a forecast (yet). But Fox Weather, which will be funded by advertisers, is aggressively poaching star meteorologists from Houston, Seattle, St. Louis and other markets. It is also taking a run at major talent at the Weather Channel, with several Hollywood agents recounting frenzied bidding wars. A top Weather Channel meteorologist — Shane Brown, whose title was “senior weather product architect” — defected to Fox last month despite efforts to keep him.
Inside Mr. Murdoch’s company, the view is that the sometimes-staid world of weather TV is ripe for disruption. Fox is hiring a throng of meteorologists and weather data analysts for the venture, which includes a flashy multimillion-dollar studio at its Midtown Manhattan headquarters. The service will cover major national weather events and integrate dozens of local forecasters from Fox’s regional affiliate stations.
Rupert Murdoch is an open denier of manmade climate change. Son (and white nationalism apologist) Lachlan Murdoch reportedly shares the view. We have repeatedly noted the anti-science propaganda in Fox’s discussions of weather and climate.
Alexandra Petri wrote a humorous column for The Washington Post anticipating Fox Weather’s schedule. Some excerpts:
2—4 a.m.: Dangerous Hurricane Now Making Its Way from Foreign Waters to Your Home Because Joe Biden Isn’t Strong Enough
6—8 a.m.: Worst Weather Moments of the Obama Administration
9:30—11 a.m.: Static Shots of Trump Golf Courses Where the Weather Is Very Nice
3—4 p.m.: We Just Broke a 100-Year Heat Record in Five States, But They Wouldn’t Call It “Permafrost” If It Were Not Permanent Frost
But ultimately, it’s no laughing matter. Last night, Chris Hayes explained how Murdoch's media conglomerate "has been crucially important to climate denial across the English-speaking world.":
HAYES: Murdoch`s News Corp, which is among the largest media companies in Australia was found to be part of another wave of misinformation. An independent study there found online bots and trolls exaggerating the role of arson in [Australia's 2019 and 2020 wildfires], at the same time that an article in his newspaper, The Australian, making similar assertions, became the most popular offering on the newspapers website.
It`s really not a stretch to say Rupert Murdoch`s media empire right up there with the world`s fossil fuel companies, stopped us from taking action on climate change sooner and continues to block us. And we`re now dealing with the fallout. The month of June has record -- had record-setting heat. It was the hottest on record and Boston. Salt Lake City, Utah had its hottest day ever. Palm Springs, California tied its record for hottest day ever at 123 degrees. That does not even include the crazy temperatures we saw in the Pacific Northwest that reached well over 100 degrees, and the hottest day ever in the history of Canada, in a town that was burned to a crisp literally to the ground just a day after so it has set the record.
But it was not just North America, no, no, no. Meteorologist Scott Duncan shared this heat map of Scandinavia showing a Norwegian town far above the Arctic Circle measuring over 34 degrees Celsius, or more than 93 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature ever recorded at that latitude.
So, one can only imagine how Weather Channel practicing climate change denial would approach these stories.
Brian Stelter has a somewhat comforting skepticism of the venture’s success. It’s not a big marketplace, he tweeted, and while Fox likes to tell a story of expansion, in the end, it’s still Tucker Carlson TV.
Fox Weather was announced last year. I viewed it as part of a bigger story Fox is telling via the press – portraying CEO Suzanne Scott as an expansionist, leading Fox into new lines of businesses like lifestyle (they produced a Christmas movie) and weather and podcasts and books.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 6, 2021
Will some people watch? Of course. Will it be as profitable as "Fox & Friends?" Of course not. And that's why I come back to the point about Fox's "expansionist" messaging: They can add more arms, but they're still Tucker Carlson TV.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 6, 2021
Meanwhile, you can watch Chris Hayes’ deadly serious warnings about the Murdochs’ threat to the climate below, from the July 6, 2021 All In with Chris Hayes.