Liars for NewsCorp

By January 10, 2019Australian Politics, Media

Because I refuse to subscribe to any of the pretend newspapers owned by NewsCorp and the appalling Rupert Murdoch, nor watch his silly Sky News, I only see a few of the items of drivel which pass for news at NewsCorp. However, I do enjoy sticking the boot into them, for their lying by omission, mostly. Journalism, especially in newspapers, has been in decline for quite some time1, and that has left the way open for people like Murdoch to debase the profession of journalism2. He uses his newspapers to push his religious, hard-right, neoliberal, climate change denying agenda. Perhaps the worst example of his excesses is Fox (Faux) News in the US. In Australia, the worst are probably his two tabloids, the Herald-Sun (aka the Hun) in Melbourne, the Daily Telegraph (aka the Daily Bellylaugh) in Sydney, his broadsheet, The Australian, and on television, Sky News3. Murdoch’s debasement of journalism has been referred to online as ‘rupertage’ and its practitioners ‘ruperters’. This is how they operate:

Charles Miranda (Daily Bellylaugh) wrote under the headline ‘Labor leader Bill Shorten missed an Anzac Day dinner with Diggers to visit a Dubai shopping mall’. This was a lie by omission, because Liberal senator Scott Ryan accompanied Shorten and also missed the dinner. Neither Shorten nor Ryan were informed about the dinner4.

Out of a speech given by Labor MP Anthony Albanese, in which he stated that successful Labor governments have collaborated with unions, business and society. Of course, ruperter Geoff Chambers (The Australian) manufactured a conflict between Albanese and Shorten, stating that Albanese’s speech went against Shorten’s ‘anti-business crusade’, this despite the fact that Shorten has announced numerous initiatives in support of business5.

Peter Dutton released information about a boat, containing an Indonesian crew and several Chinese nationals, which was ‘swooped on’ by the Navy. The fact that this boat arrived on Dutton’s watch made it a little difficult for Renee Viellaris (Brisbane’s Courier Mail) but, undeterred, she stated effectively that the Labor Party don’t know what to do with asylum seekers. In fact, the Labor Party have said that Manus and Nauru should be processing centres, not indefinite detention centres6.

After the five by-elections in July, 2018, four of which were won by Labor and the other by the Centre Alliance, recidivist ruperters Simon Benson and Geoff Chambers (The Australian) wrote a piece headed by ‘Plotting ‘blows up in Albo’s face’’. It was subtitled ‘Anthony Albanese’s leadership ambitions are in tatters following Bill Shorten’s clean sweep at the by-elections, say senior members’. Hilariously, they state that although Shorten has majority support among Labor voters, Albanese has more support from Coalition and One Notion voters. Really?7

Ruperter Rory Callinan (The Australian) headed his piece with ‘Shorten accepted upgrades at hotel under a human rights cloud’. It stated that the hotel in which Shorten stayed and received upgrades has a connection to the Sultan of Brunei who wants to legalise stoning to death of homosexuals and adulterers. Despite these laws being suggested four years ago, nothing has happened as it is thought that the Sultan is sensitive to outside perception. Nowhere does Callinan mention that Malcolm Turnbull and Marise Payne have accepted gifts from Brunei, and Payne and Peter Dutton have accepted gifts from the UAE, where homosexuality is already sometimes punishable by death8.

Rachel Baxendale (The Australian) published what was intended as a hatchet piece on Labor frontbencher Tony Burke. She bemoans the fact that Burke, who was then environment minister spent money on aircraft visiting the Tarkine Wilderness in 2012 which was topical at the time. She also attempted to paint a false equivalence between Burke and his wife and Barnaby Joyce and his paramour Vikki Campion, by noting that Burke’s now wife worked for GetUp and was Burke’ chief of staff despite their relationship not starting until some time afterwards9.

Steven Wardill (Brisbane’s Sunday Mail) stated that the husband of Queensland’s Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington had to close his Gloria Jeans coffee shop franchise because of a ‘vicious’ boycott organised by the Electrical Trades Union. This wasn’t mentioned by Mr Frecklington when the business actually closed down. He said that the franchise agreement had run out and he wanted to focus on his first passion, farming. The ETU stated that there was no boycott and that they had bigger things to do than look at a coffee shop10.

Unhinged ruperter Chris Kenny (The Australian) stuck the boot into the ABC accusing it of fake news and conspiracy theories after ABC reporter Andrew Probyn related a story of a conversation between then PM Malcolm Turnbull, and media billionaires Murdoch and Kerry Stokes. Probyn’s story turned out to be true. The fact that Kenny, a climate change denier (he believes it is a conspiracy) accuses others of fake news and conspiracy theories simply demonstrates his lack of self-awareness11.

Brad Norington and Andrew Clennell (The Australian) stated, prior to the Wentworth by-election, the independent candidate Kerryn Phelps (she eventually won) was ‘open to tearing down the government’, which is an option kept in reserve by any independent member of parliament. On Sky News it was suggested that she could create chaos; to which she replied. “We have chaos now”. Indeed12.

Elias Visontay (The Australian) wrote a piece about Rob Oakeshott suggesting he may contest the seat of Cowper at the next federal election. This was designed to damage Oakeshott’s chances, by stating that it could net him tens of thousands of dollars. This is true, and is for any candidate. Each candidate who gets over 4% of the primary vote obtains 273.454 cents for each primary vote. Visontay does not mention this detail until the second last sentence in his piece13.

The unnamed Federal Political editor of the Courier Mail wrote a piece which was published in the Hun (Herald-Sun). It was headed ‘Queenslanders turn to Scott Morrison after leadership spill’, and maintained that Turnbull’s demise was motivated by a desire to increase the government’s popularity among Queensland voters. It had the Government’s primary vote climbing 1% from a sample of 839 voters. Given the relatively small sample size, statistically, nothing had changed14

Joe Kelly and Paige Taylor (The Australian) tried to assert that turmoil in the Coalition was the reason that the Labor policy to dump the Howard government’s generous cash refunds for imputation credits was not being noticed. They give an example of how a couple both in their 70s will lose something between $10,000 and $12,000 per annum, which means they likely have $200,000 worth of shares, They extrapolated this to indicate that many old people will suffer. Nowhere do Kelly and Taylor mention that modelling indicates 75% of the benefits go to the richest 10% of households15.

The hack, Troy Bramston starts off his ‘kill Bill’ rant in The Australian by maintaining that the Labor Party’s central mission is ‘to implement the socialist objective’. This mission statement comes from nearly a century ago, and is belied by all subsequent Labor governments who have been anything but socialist. This is desperate stuff from a ruperter trying somehow to prop up what they must know is a deeply incompetent government16.

Recidivist ruperter Greg Brown has written a piece in The Australian when Liberal assistant ministers Sarah Henderson and Linda Reynolds were wheeled out to defend the merit-based selection of choosing Liberal candidates. Reynolds accused Labor women of allowing themselves to be used to promote quotas, seemingly unaware of the concept of irony. The Liberal Party’s merit-based selection process has led to the selection of Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly and Angus Taylor. Enough said?17

How these Murdoch employees can call themselves journalists is beyond me. They must be completely lacking in any sort of integrity or professionalism. They demonstrate why Rupert Murdoch and his media interests are the greatest threat to Australian democracy that we face. We must have truth in media laws.




  • Yes Minister says:

    Whilst I agree totally that Rupert Murdoch is less desirable than dog dropping, and his rags are merely an embodiment of their owner, I take exception to the unstated implication (possibly unintended) that other newspapers published in Australia are the holy grail of journalism. The fact is that ALL newspapers including the online versions play a game that has stuff-all to do with .telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. As the adage goes, they never let the truth get in the way of a good story. The MSM generally declines to expose judicial corruption, and by and large, the shenanigans of the bureaucracy are deemed unfit for publication. To the best of my knowledge, only one (online) media operation Kangaroo Court of Australia has ever seriously thrown rocks at the judiciary, although in my opinion it is more to do with Shane Dowling’s personally vendetta against the NSW Supreme Court (and other entities) than a desire to expose judicial corruption generally. Recently, Dowling demanded information from a colleague to use in his personal campaign, but refused outright her request for publication of extremely damning material that wasn’t on his personal hit list. I’ve also encountered both Fairfax and Guardian reporters declining to publish exceptionally well supported material that is highly damaging to politicians and the bureaucracy. Probably the best insight into the incestuous relationship between the government and the media is the movie ‘All Governments Lie’ by white Pine Films in Canada.

    • admin says:

      I don’t for a minute believe that any media outlets are squeaky clean. It is just that Murdoch’s is one of the largest and therefore has much influence on our political system. Part of the problem with undertaking a blog like this is if I wrote about all I wanted to write about I’d never get any sleep. I’ll have to check out that film.

  • Yes Minister says:

    A question I’d like answered is why a grubby yankee business person with questionable ethics is permitted to maintain a virtual stranglehold on Australian politics. One would logically think that the ALP (apart of course from the impossibly feeble Shorten) hasn’t screamed blue murder from the rooftops. Its not as if the Courier Mail and The Australian are the only rags available, and if all else fails, there is always the internet and social media.

  • Yes Minister says:

    There is a LONG list of issues he could have used if he had any gumption to discredit the lying nasties but he has sat on his backside every time. Consider the Indue racket, the ongoing Centrelink disaster generally and especially Robodebt, the two deliberately borked Royal Commissions, lying nasties caught with their hands in the till, the Barrier Reef Foundation boondoggle, the litany of Baaanaby’s stuffups, live exports, attacks on the ABC / SBS, the growing number of terrorism incidents in Australia, the criminalization of dissent, the incestuous relationships between the LNP, OneNotion and Bernardi’s mob of rabble, yadda yadda yadda. As things stand, Shorten constitutes the best chance the lying nasties have of getting up again in the forthcoming federal election, whereas they wouldn’t have a snowflake’s chance in Hades without his ineptitude.

    • admin says:

      I disagree; there are many of those topics on which Shorten and others of the shadow cabinet have spoken out. Unfortunately, because of the way politics is corrupted these days, coupled with the Murdoch problem, Shorten has to play it very cagey. The disturbing thing for me is that people don’t seem to like Shorten, whereas for me that is immaterial. I want to see what he does if he wins the election. If he doesn’t do what I think should be done, I’ll be all over him like a cheap suit.

  • Roger Bates says:

    Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers are so comprehensively deceptive it’s difficult to know where to start. Consider Murdoch’s first newspapers – Adelaide South Australia where he maintains his newspaper publishing state monopoly – the fake archives of his newspapers that are within Australian state & national public libraries & have also been exported to British Libraries UK London, & the crimes & corruption that those fake archives & corrupt journalism conceal on behalf of politicians of both political parties [political opponents] & law enforcement they appoint. includes 2 media releases of ASC [since renamed ASIC] the newspaper articles reporting of which have been erased/deleted from the now fake archives that would be impossible without his approval. Ask Rupert ‘What does he know?’ about the fake archives of his newspapers, the crimes concealed & the damage he has done.

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