Murdoch strikes at Democracy
By Stephen Fitzgerald
29th October 2018
Updated 13th January 2020
10:55 am 3rd November 2011 - On a dark and rainy morning the ABC News headlines read: “Murdoch press a threat to democracy: Cameron”. Senator Cameron said he would take a motion to Labor caucus seeking to widen the existing inquiry into the media to look specifically at News Limited's "absolute hatred" of Labor.
Going after Labor leaders is one of Rupert’s favorite pastimes. Rather than hunting lions in Africa or tigers on the Punjab - That's way too dangerous and way too hard and goes nowhere towards corporate control and exploitation of society.
As an example - The response from the average bucko in the street is that Bill Shorten is an idiot. Oh really, on what do you base that powerful observation? The response is always the same - "Because he is". Whereas, the truth would be: "Because Rupert Murdoch told me so".
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd launched an incendiary attack on Tony Abbott and News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, who he claims have undermined Australian democracy and contributed to the "orgy of political violence" that led to Malcolm Turnbull's ousting.
Murdoch blew in to take a swipe at Turnbull for being too middle conservative and usher in the extreme right wing of the LNP. Right-wing media have given a megaphone to reactionary forces in the Liberal Party. ABC political editor Andrew Probyn outlined what look like the very plausible entrails of the evident involvement of Rupert Murdoch in the recent Liberal Party leadership spill.
SMH - "Turnbull lodged complaint with Murdoch over coverage in last days of his prime ministership" Only later, according to sources familiar with the conversations, did Mr Turnbull learn of a private discussion in which Mr Murdoch told fellow media mogul Kerry Stokes that the government leadership had to change. Clearly, you need to be a Murdoch bitch if you wish to lead the LNP and run the country - What does that say about Scott Morrison? What does that say about our democracy?
I vaguely remember, somewhere back, Turnbull having a go at Murdoch. Now, would Murdoch really be that vindictive, that he would make a concerted effort, to get rid of our elected Prime Minister, because Malcolm wouldn’t play ball? That's one theory and it has felled previous politicians but, if the truth be known, Malcolm Turnbull proposed action on climate change to the detriment of the powerful fossil fuel industry. And, that speaks for itself.
In the U.S. the headlines read “Corruption? Is Rupert Murdoch Hacking our Democracy? Reagan exempted Murdoch from foreign ownership rules and eliminated the "Fairness Doctrine". Rupert Murdoch then became the propaganda recruit for Reagan. A Reagan bitch or, was it the other way around?
Rupert Murdoch bought the Rockefeller mansion in New York for $44 million dollars in cash. The fact that the house used to belong to a Rockefeller shows that Murdoch understands his spiritual ancestors and his role in the world. Every era needs an evil, heartless elitist it can blame its problems on and Rupert foots the bill for the James Bond villain.
If there's one man in the world who might ever possibly build a device to control the weather to burn our cities or drown us all, unless the governments of the world pay him several trillion dollars and recognize Fox News's copyright of the phrase "Fair and Balanced," it would be Rupert. Backing the global fossil fuel industry and war economies, to destroy the planet with global warming, fits the bill nicely for Mr. Murdoch.
The man has amassed a giant fortune and news empire through consistently pandering to the lowest common denominator and relentless shock journalism, in true William Randolph Hearst fashion. He got big in Britain by putting topless girls on page three of The Sun and the Daily Mirror. If you recall, he was unable to use this tactic in the U.S. They are not so easily titillated so he had to latch on to stuff like the non-existent killer bee threat to get a foothold.
Of course, he also owns the Fox networks, which have given the world some great TV shows, but mostly tasteless sitcoms and horrible reality shows about gold-digging idiots. And then there's Fox News. Rupert must have gotten up one day and said, "I don't like the progressive left, so I'm going to start my own news channel where I can hang shit on them all day. Excellent. It's not really the politics of Fox News that are entirely objectionable as much as Murdoch's ability to start up his own blatantly obvious propaganda news network.
With all the talk about evil corporations around today, and yesterday, even those clowns at Enron the drop kicks on Wall Street couldn’t compete with a good old-fashioned robber baron like Murdoch. He's a super-rich, selfless jerk who doesn't even attempt to hide it. The only constant for Murdoch is power, money and self-interest.
How, with disinformation, Rupert Murdoch Is Influencing Australia’s Bushfire Debate: It’s all part of what critics see as a relentless effort led by the powerful media outlet to do what it has also done in the United States and Britain — shift blame to the left, protect conservative leaders who pander to the financial elite and divert attention from climate change to protect the powerful fossil fuel industry.
The problem now, of course, is that this entrenched mind set from a bygone era has the potential to drive catastrophic climate change, devastating sea level rise, destroy the natural world and crush humanity.
While we are on the topic: A political history of the Daily Mail
Lets have a look at another rag muscling in on the Australian media market. The Daily Mail has been described as a right-wing conservative middlebrow juggernaut that reaches 29 million UK readers. Like Murdoch, it pushes bikini clad nymphs with glowing bottoms and once again the fabricated killer wasp threat to attract readers in the land of OZ. Have a look at how many articles the Daily Mail are pushing on Microsoft News front page. I stopped counting at 133.
The 1930s saw the Mail engage in its most notorious political intervention. Harold Harmsworth, by then Viscount Rothermere, had met with and admired both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and encouraged positive depictions of their regimes in the Mail and the Daily Mirror, of which he was a major shareholder. During the first half of the decade, the newspapers duly ran multiple articles in support of the fascist movement taking over much of Western Europe.
The success of the Third Reich hinged on taking control of 4,700 German media outlets. That was done with strong arm brutality, murder and coercion. Next came instilling fear into the population. A fabricated fear of a communist uprising gave Hitler his foothold and the rest is history. This talks about the power of the media and how it can take an entire world to the brink of destruction and no doubt with a bit of input from Harmsworth!
On a lesser note, critics of the Mail have accused it of deliberately stirring up hatred with its rhetoric, which journalist Mehdi Hasan once summed up as “immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting” and slandering the EU.
The Mail has carved out a place at the heart of Britain’s political life - and not always a comfortable one. Editor Sir David English went on to be unabashedly partisan during the conservative Thatcher era. Next editor Paul Dacre cemented the paper’s status as a political force that even prime ministers ignore at their peril. “There is no doubting that Dacre believes in, and flaunts, the Mail’s power just as much as the political class fears and cringes before it,” says The Guardian.
Dacre’s greatest political legacy will surely be the Brexit referendum. The Mail had been laying the groundwork for years, filling its pages with stories about “barmy Brussels” regulations and the EU’s sinister scheme to strip Britain of its sovereignty. In 2003, the Mail called a draft EU constitution a “blueprint for tyranny” while in 2011 it warned that Germany was turning Europe into a “Fourth Reich”. Many commentators have argued that such reporting was a major influence in the anti-EU sentiment that drove the Leave vote.
“Without the systematic press distortion about Europe over the years, I don’t think we would even have had the vote in the first place”, writes former Labor strategist Alastair Campbell.
You can challenge my logic here if you like but, it seems to stack up:- The Daily Mail has been around for over 120 years and the founder, current chairman and controlling shareholders are the super wealthy elitist billionaire Harmsworth family. The conspiracy theory is that the European Union proposed tax avoidance laws that would impact the British elite. To avoid paying those taxes there was a concerted push to leave the EU led by the Daily Mail. I am suggesting: well before similar tax laws were introduced into British law. So, just the thought of paying more tax, at the behest of historic arch rival Germany, drove the British elite to push for Brexit and, once the ball was rolling, it sold news papers bigtime $$$ and still does.
So, Brexit saved the British elite nothing and will, no doubt, cost them in the future so, there's a bit of poetic justice. The only winners are the Harmsworth who have made a fortune on the press from something they fabricated. Kind of like media moguls starting a war in South America to make money off the press.
Wow, and here they are in the land of OZ building a readership to help Murdoch and 2GB brainwash the middlebrow into shooting themselves in the left foot and leaning to the right. Ensuring that the top 1% of the super wealthy control this country, to benefit themselves, and screw the rest of us. Except, of course, for the politicians who enable them and we won't mention any names Scotty... F@#% beam me up!
Solution: Switch them off
Thanks Rupert, what, you don't have enough already! You feel the need to suck the life out of society hand in hand with the rest of your parasitic cronies. We have independent and social media now and, we see straight through you. Leave our democracy alone or we will switch you off. “Click” Murdoch’s gone. It’s that easy. Now we just have to get rid of the rest of the parasites.
Comments (Now Closed) But worth reading...
SteveFitz October 30, 2018 at 4:03 pm
Thanks NEC brought back fond memories – During the Vietnam war, to boost the numbers Billy McMahon introduced conscription for 18-year old’s. Back then we didn’t have the vote until age 21. So, we had no say in the matter, which seemed a bit undemocratic, to the average kid who just wanted to go for a surf. Two years in the armed services or two years in prison, if you objected, was the choice. Yes, we are in the land of the young and free.
I was called up, so I remember 1972 when Gough promised to save young boys from the war, release us from prison and give us the vote. With that national wave of support Gough would have won the election hands down without Murdoch and, Gough could see that.
Murdoch had hated Menzies. He also hated McMahon, who was in the pocket of arch rival, the Packers. He campaigned for Whitlam in 1972, with all the emerging power of his newspapers and expected rewards in return. From Whitlam he got nothing and, fair enough. Whitlam had the democratic support of the entire country, without Murdoch.
Miffed by that and, Whitlam’s failure to accept the Murdoch view on how to run the country, Rupert began his ugly, ruthless campaign to bring Whitlam down. In 1975 Murdoch came back from England where he had just purchased The News of the World. He came back expressly to destroy a government which three years earlier, he believed, he had helped to elect.
At the behest of a furious, jilted, Rupert Murdoch it was the most savage attack on an elected government in the history of this country – with the possible exception of the attacks on Julia Gillard and Labor’s reforms in the last term of Parliament.
As pointed out – Murdoch’s hatred for Labor continues to this day. So, how do we get around that. For the sake of higher ideals and, that would be protecting democracy, as already suggested – Switch the bastard off.
Mr Murdoch – There is a wave of protest rising up against corporate interference in Australian politics. If you interfere with our democracy we will boycott your News Corp products: For starters that would be: news.com.au, Chanel 10, Nova radio, Foxtel, Fox News, Sky News, The Australian, The Telegraph, The Herald and, you can throw in the shock jock propaganda machine 2GB. I’ve already done it.
SteveFitz October 30, 2018 at 4:11 pm
David – Imagine a world without fossil fuel – And nothing to fight over. We will run out of it one day so, we have something to look forward to. If we still have a liveable planet.
Jim – There is political activism coming from all sorts of minority groups – Being aware of it puts us in a better position to respond accordingly.
Coralie – “Just as they are ready to do anytime free men anywhere waver in their defence of democracy”. We need a collective conscience where good people don’t let bad people get away with it.
SteveFitz October 30, 2018 at 4:59 pm
@ IFTL – The merger of Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment will create Australia’s largest media company, trumping Fairfax Media’s long-time rival Murdoch’s News Corp for the title. Politicians allow these media giants to grow and expand and create their own problems, in terms of political interference, down the track.
Fairfax and Nine are not Murdoch although, it would be prudent to have an independent body keep an eye on them to subdue political bias without impacting freedom of speech. It’s a tough one and, I think it must come back to our choice – Who do we watch and who do we believe? We already have the guts on Murdoch's self serving political agenda and here's another update: -
SteveFitz October 30, 2018 at 6:01 pm
Thanks Zathras – I have a vague spark of a memory of that now. “As you recall (perhaps from Menadue’s memoirs?), after Whitlam’s win Murdoch wanted Whitlam to appoint him High Commissioner to London in return for his media support. Whitlam refused and called Murdoch “a shonky slob” into the bargain. The rest, as they say, is history”.
Whitlam owed Murdock nothing and it shows the arrogance of Murdoch. Something that seems to echo in the character of the LNP. Birds of a feather I guess.
SteveFitz October 31, 2018 at 8:58 am
Henry – The average life expectancy for the Australian male is 82.5 years. Murdoch is 87. Knowing that they should have been dead 5 years ago, most people pull their horns in. Not demi-gods, they believe they will live forever. They don’t and, then we will have Lachlan Murdoch. We can only hope he doesn’t worship false idols.
SteveFitz November 1, 2018 at 10:38 am
Your right Christopher – Murdoch holds about 70% of the regional news papers – It’s called clout. When someone hangs shit on someone else there is always an agenda of self interest or revenge. We should always look for motive and, the unprovoked attacker is generally the bastard with the most to gain. Wiser country folk understand the concept.
Still, if we didn’t collectively fall for the brain washing, budding right-wing authoritarians would probably aim to do what China does. Set up vast re-education camps with giant photos of embracing LNP and corporate leaders hanging along the walls. And, nationalistic songs of pride and glory playing all day. Just give them half a chance.
I like this one: “Let us go children to the Fatherland – Our day of glory has arrived”.
Good on the French - They storm the streets when they are being screwed by right-wing media and their elected representatives. Go the yellow vests.
SteveFitz November 1, 2018 at 11:22 am
Even with media backing, extreme right-wing politics don’t get much support from thinking people. That’s when they seduce the church with billions to pick up the sheep vote.
So, what we have is the LNP coalition with corporate's, the media and now the church. It’s a winning combination that has been woven together over eons. For the sake of democracy, it needs to be unpicked occasionally. With the LNP falling apart, and with the help of social media, I think we could be seeing that.
SteveFitz May 21, 2019 at 1:59 pm
Then again, Murdoch's attack dogs do draw blood. Murdoch v Labor. Did News Corp’s Queensland monopoly decide the 2019 election?
SteveFitz June 06, 2019 at 9:15am
Working hand in hand with Murdoch is the right-wing LNP Morrison government in another all out effort at censorship to stifle freedom of speech and undermine our democracy. Australia May Well Be the World’s Most Secretive Democracy.
Go to my next article: The China Crisis (It's become academic)