Rinehart feels that Australia’s carbon tax, which is due to go into effect on July 1, would negatively impact Australians and that “she remains concerned by the lack of understanding in the media on this issue,” it said in Hancock’s statement to Four Corners. It continued:

To lessen the fear the media have caused over these issues, Mrs Rinehart suggests that the media should also permit to be published that climate change has been occurring naturally since the earth began, not just the views of the climate extremists. It is a fact that there have been ice ages, then periods of global warming to end the ice ages for thousands of years, and these have occurred naturally, including due to the earth’s orbit, and not due to mankind at all.

“Ms Rinehart never gives interviews,” The Independent in the UK noted earlier in the week. “But her values - pro-free market, cheap foreign labour and tax concessions for mining, and anti-government regulation, red tape and climate change science - are well known.”

Mocking Hancock’s “white knight” characterization of Rinehart earlier in the week, The Economist argued that she is actually a “black knight … stalking Fairfax at its most vulnerable moment.”

Rinehart has the support of Australia’s most famous media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, however, who owns the rival conglomerate, News Limited. “Understand lefties worried by Gina R. But is she, or any other single person, to be banned from buying or starting a newspaper? Think anew,” he wrote in a tweet on Sunday.

A day later, according to The Australian (which is published by News Limited), Murdoch told Bloomberg that it would be “a nightmare” if Fairfax closed because it would leave his company in a monopoly situation, though a Fairfax spokesman said, “There’s no chance of that happening.”

Whatever the outcome, Fairfax’s restructuring plan has already taken a toll. The Sydney Morning Herald’s publisher and editor in chief, Peter Fray, and its first female editor, Amanda Wilson, as well as The Age’s editor in chief, Paul Ramadge, announced Monday that they are leaving the company. And the war between Rinehart and Fairfax is not over. In fact, this week’s battles are probably only a preview of the upheaval to come.

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Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.