Rupert Murdoch owns a lot of expensive things. As of Thursday he owns another.
In true Murdoch fashion it wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill acquisition. No, his company bought the world’s most revered and pre-eminent science magazine, National Geographic.
In a deal reportedly worth $1.04 billion, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox acquired the magazine which has been published as the journal for the not-for-profit National Geographic Society since 1888.
The new deal is a for-profit joint venture that brings National Geographic’s cable television group along with National Geographic’s other properties under 21st Century Fox’s banner.
This includes its magazine and print publications, studios, maps, travel brand, licensing and e-commerce arms.
Since its first issue in October 1888, the magazine has told stories about science, history, culture and discovery.
It has always advocated for the conservation of the planet, and more recently has been a vehement voice for action on climate change.
The awkward thing is, the media tycoon hasn’t been a known champion for global warming reform.
He is what you would call a climate change skeptic.
“We should approach climate change with great skepticism,” Murdoch said in a 2014 interview. “If the sea level rises six inches, it’s a big deal in the world.
“The Maldives might disappear or something. Ok, we can’t mitigate that, we can’t stop it.
“[But] we just need to stop building vast houses on seashores.”
Responses like this, to what some say is the defining problem of the 21st century, have sparked concerns about his purchase of National Geographic.
Will the magazine stay objective? Will it continue to champion a cause its proprietor doesn’t really see as threatening?
Cue the internet, which answered the questions in true satirical style. Take this response, using a seminal National Geographic cover, perhaps its most famous.
It is the iconic cover featuring an Afghan refugee girl by American photographer Steve McCurry.
The photo has been lauded for the subject’s piercing green eyes. Here’s how the internet wove it into news of Murdoch’s acquisition:
— Dan Watkins (@d3talk) September 10, 2015
It wasn’t the only great reaction that emerged after the announcement on Thursday. Here are the best we found:
— Gerry Porter (@ficklesonance) September 10, 2015
— Noël (@TheWrongNoel) September 10, 2015