Kathryn Murdoch, wife to former News Corp executive James Murdoch, is a shopaholic, but she doesn’t hoard shoes, purses, or makeup. No, Kathryn is obsessed with spending her family’s money on anti-Republican and Never Trump political causes.
Kathryn handed over $1 million to the Republican Accountability Project in the first quarter of 2022, according to FEC documents. The Republican Accountability Project scores GOP members in regard to how they addressed voter fraud in the 2020 election. The group suggests that members who spoke publicly about concerns of fraud or failed to vote to impeach President Donald Trump were complicit in the January 6 riot at the Capitol building. Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney and Senator Mitt Romney are among the lawmakers who received a perfect score. Kathryn’s million made up nearly a third of the Republican Accountability Project’s overall fundraising in the first quarter.
The Republican Accountability Project is under the umbrella of Bill Kristol’s Defending Democracy Together, a dark money group that backs so-called Republicans who hate Trump. Kathryn previously revealed that her husband James’s nonprofit, Quadrivium, funded Defending Democracy Together. The couple poured $100 million into Quadrivium back in 2019, a large chunk of which was spent on left-leaning political causes. In addition to Kristol’s dark money group, Quadrivium helped fund groups that favor the Democratic Party’s supposed “voting rights” bill, oppose the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, and support taxpayer-funded gender transition surgeries for active duty military.
During the 2020 election cycle, Kathryn and James gave $3.4 million to Democrats, especially to Political Action Committees that sought to elevate Joe Biden to the presidency. Thus far, in 2022, James has donated $34,800 to Democrats and $5,800 to Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski.
James, the son of Rupert Murdoch and brother of Lachlan Murdoch, resigned from News Corp in July 2020. He cited “disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.” The New York Times reported that he took special issue with the media empire’s tone on climate change.
James and Kathryn have since publicly criticized News Corp, with James alleging that it was “used to legitimize disinformation” and Kathryn tweeting that she “agreed” with CNN’s Jake Tapper that Fox needed to “put country above profits.”
Despite their hand-wringing about “disinformation,” Kathryn has used her money to prop up disinformation campaigns from the left. Around the time that James left News Corp, Kathryn donated half a million dollars to PACRONYM, according to the Capital Research Center. PACRONYM was founded to oppose Republican political candidates, but is also closely affiliated with the left-wing advocacy organization ACRONYM. ACRONYM dropped $25 million on a project called Courier Newsroom that claimed to be revitalizing local journalism, but was really just a front for left-wing political advertisements. Readers are led to believe that they are consuming an independent news product when they are actually being fed campaign materials from Democrats.
“Courier Newsroom is a clandestine political operation, publishing, among other things, positive stories about moderate Democrats who face difficult reelections in November,” the Washington Post reported. “Courier’s main backer is ACRONYM, a liberal dark-money group that has invested heavily in Democratic digital advertising and campaign technology.”
Kathryn denied to the Capital Research Center that she had ever given money to ACRONYM, but the connections between ACRONYM and PACRONYM appear unending. The groups were founded by the same individual, PACRONYM pays for ACRONYM’s office space, ACRONYM in turn gives hundreds of thousands to PACRONYM each year, and ACRONYM’s IRS filing describes it as the “direct controlling entity” of PACRONYM.
Kathryn’s public war against “disinformation” has earned her a spot on the Aspen Institute’s “Commission on Information Disorder.” Last year, The Spectator World reported on the partisan makeup of the commission, the board members’ own flirtations with disinformation and revulsion for the First Amendment, and the commission’s myopic view of disinformation as being exclusive to right-wing media outlets and the Trump administration. My colleague Oliver Wiseman helpfully pointed out in November that the commission’s final report on disinformation chillingly calls for more government oversight of online speech.
The term “disinformation” is increasingly being used by the left to decry information that is damaging to them and their political causes and to justify censorship. Last month, The Atlantic held a disinformation conference at the University of Chicago where journalist Anne Applebaum dismissed the media’s rejection and Big Tech’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, and CNN media reporter Brian Stelter described questions about his outlet’s many false reports as a “popular right-wing narrative.”
Kathryn and James Murdoch may claim their charitable giving is meant to create a healthier political ecosystem, one that atones for the alleged mistakes of James’s father’s media empire. Instead their endless funding of left-wing candidates and dark money groups is perpetuating the very thing they love to complain about.