The Associated Press revealed last year that it had scored $8 million to promote claims of global warming. The AP impartially described this massive conflict of interest as an illustration of “how philanthropy has swiftly become an important new funding source for journalism”.
“This far-reaching initiative will transform how we cover the climate story,” its executive editor claimed. That is no doubt true. And an incredibly damaging admission.
The philanthropic quid-pro-quo saw five organizations fund the AP’s dedicated team of “more than two dozen journalists” to cover “climate issues” that the wire service would then plant in papers around the country to terrify Americans into supporting ‘green’ taxes and subsidies.
The Associated Press did not bother to explain to its readers or the newspapers that run its stories why these organizations were impelled to throw millions at it except sheer benevolence.
Nor did it explain why they might be particularly interested in convincing Americans that the climate sky is falling and that our economy must be dismantled and ‘greened’: raising energy prices and putting millions out of work. The paragon service of journalism did not even bother explaining to its readers what one of the five, Quadrivium, was beyond a Latin word.
Quadrivium is the pet project of James Murdoch and his wife, the ‘black sheep’ of Clan Murdoch, who left the family business in a huff “due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets“. Quadrivium seeks to reach “a majority of the public” to generate “urgent action” on the bipartisan passage of a US climate strategy.”
The proposed template is the “carbon rebate plan” which would tax Americans through their carbon use and then promise to pay some of the money back to them. The plan comes from the Climate Leadership Council whose board includes Kathryn Murdoch: James’s wife.
CLC’s partners include major banks, JP Morgan, Santander and Goldman Sachs, energy companies, BP, Shell and Conoco, who believe that the proposal will be good for them.
The AP has helpfully promoted the CLC’s carbon tax plan in puff pieces like “Carbon tax plan worthy of bipartisan support”. Its editorial board described the CLC as a “group of venerable Republicans” and claims that taxing Americans for the benefit of special interests would be “a quintessentially conservative plan”. That was a strange new respect from the AP which has relentlessly tried to associate Republicans and conservatives with Nazis.
The “venerable Republicans” currently on CLC’s board include not only Kathryn Murdoch, but also a former Goldman Sachs executive focusing on climate finance, a board member of the Brown Advisory Sustainable Investing Advisory Board and a founding managing partner of “Qiming Venture Partners: one of China’s premier VC firms” that was an early investor in TikTok.
That is what ESG looks like underneath the Gen Z activists being paid to scream in the streets even as the AP is being paid to scream more respectably in stories planted in local papers.
Serious journalism would ask questions or at least mention some of this in passing. The AP instead acts as a mouthpiece without even enough lingering self-respect to disclose any of that.
James Murdoch has put a lot of money into green projects. His foundation joined a consortium of investors piling into BlackRock’s $250 million climate fund. He’s also on the board of directors of Tesla, and a potential candidate to succeed Musk, and the EV car company’s business model depends on a government subsidized climate panic.
Lupa Systems, Murdoch’s venture capital fund, also has some investments in environmental startups. The AP might have mentioned this to its readers before writing an article congratulating itself for taking cash to promote Murdoch’s views. But it’s not just Murdoch.
The Rockefeller Foundation, which is another of the Big 5 funding AP’s climate propaganda, put $500 million into green energy abroad. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, another of the AP’s climate sugar daddies, has numerous climate initiatives, and these include the Climate Finance Fund. The Foundation refuses to invest in companies that drill for gas or oil.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, set up by the eccentric tycoon as a tax shelter, was quickly hijacked after his death. Delaware, where it was incorporated, appointed a board that sold off Hughes Aircraft to GM. But HMMI’s original emphasis on medical research has more recently declined into wokeness. Last year, HMMI announced a $2 billion investment to increase “diversity” in science. HMI appears to be a major investor in Kreido Biofuels,
And finally there’s the fifth of the AP’s big five climate funders: the Walton Family Foundation.
The foundation of the Walmart heirs has four board members. Lukas Walton, Sam Walton’s grandson, also serves as its Environment Program Committee Chair. Lukas’ $4 billion Builders Version organization directs 90% of its investments into ESG. S2G Ventures, its capital fund, declares that its mission is “investing in a humane and healthy planet.” It has an extensive portfolio of ‘green’ companies including Bluestar Energy Capital, a green energy investment company, Common Energy, a solar power company, Electric Hydrogen, and Carbon America which focuses on carbon capture.
Those investments seem likely to do better if Mr. and Mrs. America, or at least the CEOs and financiers who take the media seriously, keep reading about the threat of “climate change”.
The AP is taking money from organizations heavily leveraged in green investments to promote the need for green investments. And it fails to disclose the financial interests that its funders have in promoting global warming hysteria.
The closest that it gets to addressing the inherent conflict of interest comes when Brian Carovillano, AP’s vice president for grants, concedes that, “this is a mutually beneficial arrangement.”
The AP’s benefit is obvious. What’s the benefit to the donors?
Instead of answering that question, the AP story simply notes that Brian Carovillano had to “get used to the idea that funders weren’t just being generous; they had their own goals to achieve.”
The AP echoes Carovillano’s insistence that the money comes “without strings attached; the funders have no influence on the stories that are done”. Except that the whole point of the grant is for the service to produce stories on the topic that the funders are interested in. Since the AP is not about to report that there are more polar bears than at any time since the 1960s or that climate doomers keep changing the date when everyone will die every few years, the content is predictable. The AP would like to benefit from repeat business from these massive foundations, so it’s going to produce the kinds of stories that will bring more money flowing its way.
That’s the way to maintain the “mutually beneficial arrangement” aimed at helping the Associated Press pay the bills while helping its generous donors fulfill their “goals”.
In recent years, Democrats and the media have targeted conservative groups like the Heartland Institute claiming that they act as “fronts” for oil companies. The AP promoted documents stolen from the Heartland Institute about its funders and has spent years running hit pieces on Heartland without revealing that the wire service is a paid shill for green special interests.
The AP’s arrangement sheds light on the media’s financial agenda in promoting green programs that would destroy the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Americans. While the media has its biases, these are not wholly organic. The ability of special interests to capture the media at the source by targeting wire services like the AP shows how what we read about the environment is being manipulated by networks of special interests with billions at stake.
The next time you see an AP story about “climate change”, you know who’s paying for it.
Democrats have proposed an investigation of Heartland and the oil companies. It may be time for an investigation of the AP and the financial interests funding its global warming propaganda.