The “nepo babies” of right-wing media
In an ecosystem that’s steeped in lies and questionable hires, nepo babies are a staple
“Nepo babies” — short for nepotism babies — are the children of high-profile people who likely benefited from their parents’ connections, fame, and insider industry knowledge to catapult their own careers. From blog contributors to Fox Corp. executives, nepo babies are a staple of the right-wing media universe.
Nepo babies are common across all sectors of business and society, including Hollywood, academia, and politics. The children of nepotists can seemingly rely on their trickle-down clout for a foot in the door, surpassing those who must find their industry footing on their own.
The exploration of nepo babies came to prominence recently after TikTokers began drawing connections between young stars and their parents. A New York magazine story dubbed “How a Nepo Baby Is Born” expanded the analysis of nepotism in American media and spurred content examining nepotism across various sectors.
Nepotism among right-wing media figures informs aspects of the media beyond the echo chamber of conservative platforms. There are nepotistic right-wing media and political connections across the American media landscape, from the mainstream media to the far-right. It also exemplifies the revolving door between the media and the Republican Party, a longtime pattern.
In right-wing media, some cases of nepotism are overt and celebrated, like the father-son duo of Steve and Peter Doocy of Fox News, while others are more clandestine (see: Tucker Carlson). However, it is important to note that not all nepotistic relationships come down to sharing the same job field or title, as prominence and influence don’t necessarily come down to a job title. Sometimes, having a notable last name or the right leverage in one field can bolster the opportunities for younger generations.
Thus it’s not surprising nepo babies run amok in the right-wing media ecosystem -- drawing their influence from parents either in the media business or politics -- considering it’s an industry steeped in lies, conspiracy theories, and questionable hires. Here is a noncomprehensive list of nepo babies in right-wing media:
Australian conservative media mogul and Fox Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch is the son of journalist and publisher Keith Murdoch.
Lachlan, James, and Elisabeth Murdoch
Lachlan, James, and Elisabeth Murdoch are Rupert Murdoch’s children. All three have benefitted professionally and personally from their father’s right-wing media empire.
Fox News’ white nationalist host Tucker Carlson is son of Richard “Dick” Carlson, former CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and director of Voice of America.
Tucker Carlson’s son, Buckley Carlson, is the communications director for Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).
According to journalist Judd Legum, Buckley Carlson has received an unusually large series of raises during his employment with Banks.
Newsmax and right-wing radio host Greg Kelly is the son of former New York City police department Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Raymond Kelly has appeared on numerous right-wing news shows as a commentator.
Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of former President Donald Trump, is a right-wing podcaster.
Former Fox News contributor and podcaster Lara Trump is Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law.
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy is the son of Fox News host Steve Doocy.
Former Fox News host and current CNN anchor Chris Wallace is the son of former 60 Minutes reporter and media personality Mike Wallace.
Right-wing pundit and editor-in-chief of the The Daily Wire Ben Shapiro is the son of composer David Shapiro. David Shapiro reportedly wrote for Breitbart under the pseudonym William Bigelow.
Additionally, Shapiro’s mother worked as a television executive.
Right-wing radio host Andrew Giuliani is the son of former New York City mayor, podcaster, and FOX entertainment reality television contestant Rudy Giuliani.
Alyssa Farah Griffin
Alyssa Farah Griffin is a CNN political commentator, a co-host of ABC’s The View, and a former Trump administration spokesperson. Her father, Joseph Farah, served as the executive news editor at the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner and is the founder of the right-wing conspiracy theory website WorldNetDaily.
Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe is the daughter of lawyer Jeffrey Ferris Boothe, a former staff member of the Senate Appropriations Committee in the 1980s and a legislative assistant to former Sen. Mark O. Hatfield (R-OR).
Editor-at-Large at The Spectator and Fox News contributor Ben Domenech is the son of Douglas Domenech, a former official in both the George W. Bush and Donald Trump administrations.
Former co-host of The View and current DailyMail columnist Meghan McCain is the daughter of the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Harold Ford Jr.
Fox News contributor and former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) is the son of former Rep. Harold Ford Sr. (D-TN).
Danielle D’Souza Gill
Danielle D’Souza Gill, the daughter of right-wing pundit and conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza, hosts a show on the Falun Gong operated outlet The Epoch Times.
Fox News contributor and The Washington Times writer Charles Hurt is son of author and former Reader’s Digest Editor-at-Large Henry Hurt.
Mark Levin, a Fox News and right-wing radio host, is the son of the late author and illustrator Jack E. Levin.
Fox News correspondent Claudia Cowan is a daughter of actor Barbara Rush and the late Hollywood press agent Warren Cowan.
Fox News resident liberal commentator Jessica Tarlov is a daughter of the late film producer Mark Tarlov.
Fox News contributor Byron York is the son of the late WBRC television personality Tom York.
Conservative columnist and Editor-in-Chief of The Dispatch Jonah Goldberg is the son of right-wing literary agent and author Lucianne Goldberg.
Celebrity chef and FOX entertainment television personality Daphne Oz is a daughter of television host and failed Republican nominee for Pennsylvania Senate Dr. Mehmet Oz.
L. Brent Bozell III
L. Brent Bozell III is a right-wing writer and founder of the Media Research Center. He is a son of the late Catholic writer Patricia Buckley Bozell and right-wing activist L. Brent Bozell Jr.
Neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol is the son of the late journalist Irving Kristol and conservative historian Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Governor of Arkansas and former Fox News contributor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the daughter of former governor of Arkansas and right-wing media host Mike Huckabee.
Heiress and Republican media investor Rebekah Mercer is a daughter of hedge fund billionaire and GOP mega donor Robert Mercer.
Jay McGraw is the co-founder and CEO of Stage 29 Productions, which produced a show for the right-leaning British outlet Daily Mail. He is a son of television host Dr. Phil McGraw.
Hannah Claire Brimelow
Hannah Claire Brimelow is the daughter of white nationalist writer Peter Brimelow. She is a contributor to YouTuber Tim Pool’s right-wing outlet, Timcast, and was reportedly recruited by Timcast Editor-in-Chief Cassandra Fairbanks (who is linked to white nationalists).
Rex Jones, the son of conspiracy theorist and Infowars founder Alex Jones, has appeared on his father’s outlet to attack left-wing activists.
Reality television star Bristol Palin is a daughter of former Alaska governor and reality television personality Sarah Palin.
Gettr director of operations and right-wing writer Kingsley Cortes is a daughter of former right-wing radio host and former Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes.
Charlotte Pence Bond
Right-wing writer Charlotte Pence Bond is a daughter of former Vice President Mike Pence.
Maureen Bannon is a daughter of right-wing host, January 6 coup plotter, and former Trump aide Steve Bannon. On Twitter, she describes herself as “CEO of WarRoom,” her father’s podcast.
Latest updated date (2/13/23): This piece will be continually updated with more examples as they are discovered.