Murdoch Censorship Gives the Lie to ‘Freedom of Speech’ Claims

Dick Smith

Mr Williams, CEO of News Limited in Australia says we do not need to worry about the domination of the Murdoch press because we now have digital media! “Let’s see if it works” said Dick Smith.

Read Dick’s subsequent probing letter to Mr Williams.

Kim Williams AM
CEO and Managing Director
News Limited
2 Holt St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Via Email

Dear Kim

Murdoch Censorship Gives the Lie to “Freedom of Speech” Claims

I believe your personal campaign against proposed government media reforms is hypocritical as it is your organisation that is largely responsible for this reaction by our politicians.

You claim, “We are in danger of limiting the full reign of freedom of speech which we cherish and keeps our democracy on its toes.” This is, to put it plainly, claptrap. Your organisation constantly limits freedom of speech and even censors paid announcements when it is in your commercial interests to do so.

You say we shouldn’t worry about your organisation’s dominance of the media as a diversity of opinion can now be had through digital media. Could you be referring to this type of opinion from a popular online site:

“The news industry is failing us; owned by self-interested corporate media barons who put profit before principle. Today’s news is more interested in generating sensationalism and controversy than fulfilling its historic mission of educating the public and our democracies are in danger as a result.”

Never have truer words been said, but where can we read them in print?

Personally, I would prefer that the government’s planned media reforms were not necessary, but I can see why they are being proposed. Many Australian politicians and leaders have told me they are scared of the power of your organisation, and so they should be.

I believe your threats of High Court action are a smokescreen to deflect criticism from the real issue: your organisation’s biased and intimidating reporting. You have one agenda only – the pursuit of ever-increasing profits for your shareholders. You have absolutely no interest in anything other than this and you should admit it, not make false claims implying your prime concerns are freedom of the press and democracy.

I hold the quaint belief it is incumbent on media owners to ensure their papers and broadcasting channels behave responsibly and in the public interest and show leadership on important issues that affect us. And while calling governments to account, they should not so intimidate politicians and public officials that they interfere with the process of rational debate and good policy. Your organisation has clearly failed this test.

I do not need to remind you of the corrupt and criminal activities of many of your proprietor’s employees and their associates in the UK. What is never mentioned is that this has come about as a result of the unwritten “Rupert Murdoch agenda” that if your people don’t achieve ever increasing circulation and profit growth they will lose their jobs.

I must make it clear that I do not blame your journalists; I have found most to be professional and fair-minded. It is obvious that they “self-censor” what they write knowing that if they ever reveal views that are in conflict with your proprietor, then their careers will be brief. This is at complete odds with your claims of ensuring free speech and being concerned about threats to democracy.

And I’m on to you. When friends ask me why your organisation runs such opposing views on climate change – from Fox News’ claims that it’s all bunkum to The Australian newspaper occasionally claiming it’s accepted science – I am able to say, “it’s simple. It’s all about making more money. They have worked out they will get more advertising and make more money on Fox News if climate change is debunked using sensationalism whilst they are likely to get greater circulation and more advertising dollars if The Australian shows a different view, so staff are directed accordingly”.

In effect, your organisation promotes views that meet the prejudices of your audience so as to maximise profits. This is not promoting free speech – it is abusing it.

And it sure works. Your organisation recently declared a 47% profit increase when the people you make most of your money from, the middle and lower income earners in the United States, are doing it tough with record unemployment levels and housing foreclosures. No wonder the “occupy” movement exists.

Of course, I know the pressure you are personally under. If you don’t keep sending ever increasing profits to New York you could suddenly be sacked – just like former Daily Telegraph Editor, Gary Linnell or Herald-Sun Editor, Simon Pristel.

It may not be so serious if your boss, who has so much influence in Australia, was respected and trusted by most Australians. The opposite is, in fact, the case. Just recently he was voted as one of the least trusted. He was placed number 97 on the Readers Digest “Who Do We Trust 2012” list. Only an errant footballer and a foul-mouthed shock-jock were held in lower esteem by the Australian people. Of course, you made sure there was no mention in the Murdoch media of this as all of your journalists worldwide “self-censored” on this issue. Once again, what about your “freedom of the press” claims?

And now to the subject which I am vitally concerned about and that your journalists have self-censored as it is at odds with your “grow profits at all costs” agenda.

That is the need for major debate and planning by our leaders on how to move to an economic system that does not require perpetual growth in population and the use of resources and energy. You are an educated and intelligent person and would know that our present economic system is not sustainable as the earth’s resources are finite and we are clearly heading for challenging times. Yet I have not once seen in a Murdoch publication an editorial which covers this important issue.

It’s even worse than this. Your organisation actively attempts to suppress coverage on the issue, and many politicians have also told me they are not game to mention that our present system of economic growth is unsustainable knowing they will be ruthlessly attacked by your organisation.

Because you fail to show responsibility in this important issue, I prepared a paid “announcement” (see attached) to run in the Daily Telegraph about my Wilberforce Award and the issue of growth and offered a $5,000 reward to a journalist who could get the issue covered in a Murdoch paper.

Almost predictably, the Daily Telegraph refused to run my paid announcement unless reference to the Murdoch press was deleted, and you supported this decision. This was clearly censorship. Of course it was all kept secret and the Australian public never got to hear of your actions. This is just one example of your suppression of ideas that challenge your corporate agenda. How many other views do you censor in order to meet your profit objectives?

Because of this, I have recently produced a magazine and I am printing 2.4 million copies to be inserted in daily newspapers. The magazine is entitled, “Dick Smith’s Magazine of Forbidden Ideas That You Won’t Read About in the Mainstream Media” – a copy of the front page is attached. The magazine is primarily intended to convey important messages that your journalists fear covering because they challenge your perpetual growth agenda.

As you control 70% of the print media in Australia, it’s obvious that 70% of my magazines will have to go in your newspapers. So will you reject my magazine as you did the original paid announcement? Let’s test your commitment to free speech.

Of course, I would normally write this letter to your boss, Rupert Murdoch, directly. However, in his last letter to me of 1 June 2011, he showed how sensitive he was to any criticism by rejecting further communication. This was because he was offended by my criticism of the Daily Telegraph for its front-page attack of Cate Blanchett when she dared to support the carbon tax. Isn’t it amazing – Rupert Murdoch tells people, “Climate change poses clear catastrophic risks” and claims he made News Limited carbon-neutral and he is treated like a hero by you and your colleagues, whereas Cate Blanchett is attacked so more papers could be sold and more profits made!

I am releasing this letter publicly, though I have been warned it is a high-risk strategy to criticise your organisation and that retribution will be swift. I wonder if you will instruct your reporters to come after me, just as News Limited did to its critics in the United Kingdom? But I think it is time to stand up to your bias and bullying and put your claims of “freedom of speech” to the test.

Yours faithfully
Dick Smith

Update: Here is the advertisement that the Murdoch media were too precious to publish:

Extra $5,000 reward for coverage of the Wilberforce Award in the Murdoch Press

The Murdoch press are absolutely paranoid about anyone mentioning that we can’t have constant growth in the use of material resources and energy.

What is even worse is the way our politicians appear to have been intimidated on this subject. Many politicians I speak to agree with the simple fact that we can’t always have growth and we need to move to a more stable system. However, a number of them have said to me ‘Dick, what you are saying is absolutely correct, but if I said it I would be crucified by the Murdoch press’.

I think everyone should be horrified at this. I think Rupert Murdoch himself would be horrified if he knew that free speech was being curtailed because people were frightened of his newspaper clout. My experience with Rupert is that he always wants both sides of an issue to be covered. It seems a pity that his Editors and Journalists in Australia don’t understand this.

The fact is we should be discussing all sides of the issue and acknowledging the fact that the growth we have had over the last thirty years cannot continue indefinitely. I am the first to admit that this growth has benefited people greatly, including Rupert Murdoch and myself. But it’s a simple fact that you don’t have to be a very good businessperson to be making more and more money in such a growth-fuelled environment – and we all know that one day there will be a limit to this growth.

It is very sad and also incredibly serious that we presently have a group of politicians, no matter how small, who agree with the important facts about this ‘growth reality’ but are not game to discuss it because they will be attacked.

Recently Barry O’Farrell, the Premier of New South Wales, stated that we would not have another airport in Sydney. He was attacked mercilessly by the Sydney Daily Telegraph. “How could someone doubt growth?” was basically the attitude of the Telegraph.

I have therefore decided on a special $5,000 prize for the first young person under the age of thirty who can get definitive coverage of the Wilberforce Award in the Murdoch press, including the fact that our present economic system, which requires perpetual growth in the use of resources and energy, is not sustainable.

So go for it! It must be possible. I am hoping that one day there will be a journalist working for the Murdoch press who is able to get the truth out and both sides of the argument will be fairly shown.

Remember, this is not a personal, emotive view of mine – it is a simple fact that we can’t always have perpetual growth in the use of material resources and energy in our finite world.

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95 replies

  1. WOW!! The tide is certainly turning! More please. I’m sick to death of Rupert’s LIES..I’m fed up with his protection racket of Tony Blabbott..his totally disgusting insults aimed at our hard working PM..The last straw was his vile headline ‘Dead Woman Walking’..Piss of Rupert..WE don’t want you in OUR country!

  2. Thank You Dick Australian of the year or Century

  3. Well said Mr Smith, and it needs to be said. Unfortunately, huge numbers of people who need to read your letter will never see it — because of the suffocating influence that the American citizen Rupert Murdoch has on the Australian news media.

  4. Terrific letter Dick.Most people have no idea what Rubbish they are seeing on the Media. We certainly need more spent on education and they may wake up and think seriously about having this man as our Prime Minister.Also find out who was involved in the Ashbyaffair.

  5. Dick Smith for President

  6. Quite right, Dick. Quite right.

  7. Where things might go from here could be interesting. I look forward to seeing Dick Smith’s magazine.

  8. Excellent, thank you Dick Smith and thank you Michael for publishing this. Faith restored in those who would fight for that which they know is right, those with the bigger vision.

  9. C’mon people! Share on every bloody social media you have access to. This is BIG!

  10. Great letter Dick, good to see we have a mouthpiece for the rest of us, one who has the gall to stand up to the Murdoch empire. Well done mate.

  11. Good letter Dick, but I don’t believe it’s rupe’s pursuit of ever increasing profits – I think it’s a matter of arrogance, hubris and control – otherwise why would he run the Australian for many years without a profit if not to control the flow of (dis)information for his own purposes?

  12. Let’s be clear. ‘Freedom of the Press’ is a hallmark of a democratic society It’s an important ‘right’ that should be supported. But not at any cost. It’s not an ‘absolute’!

    The ‘freedom of the press’ is but a ‘means’ to an ‘end’ (in this case – a democratic society). When it’s not doing what it claims to do, then its status is diminished and by its own hand. Let’s not get blinded by slogans. Let’s do what Dick Smith has done and ‘analyse’. He ought to be congratulated.

  13. Don’t always agree with you Dick but you’ve nailed it with this, wel done!!!

  14. My sentiments entirely. Thank you very much.

  15. This is HUGE!!! Finally someone willing to take on the Murdoch empire!! Respect, Dick Smith, pure respect! If you feel strongly about freedom of speech then share this as much as possible and educate others as to what is happening!!

  16. Outstanding.

  17. I don’t read The Australian so I am wondering does it give any legitimate coverage to the arguments against the OFFICIAL version of what really happened at Boston? Like for instance the older brother being taken into custody naked and very much alive and walking unaided (in video) and the photo of his body in the morgue seriously mangled after an apparent shoot out? and thats just for starters.

  18. You have my utmost respect, Dick Smith. I hope you can at least get your message onto a commercial TV station or whichever way you can communicate this to the country.

  19. Wow! You go Dick. That was a wonderful read.

  20. Well said Dick Smith. I commend your courage and sense of moral ethics and justice. Respect can never be bought, it is earnt! Take a bow Dick, you have earnt it from me and many others, something Murdoch will NEVER do. You have said what so many of us have wanted to say for so long!
    Murdochs’ arrogance and contempt knows no bounds.

  21. Great. At last someone is calling them out on their lack of freedom of speech. Thanks Dick and Michael.

  22. Well done Dick. No integrity in the Murdoch Press. Seeing Tony Abbott faking being a Prime Minister frightens me. We need to become aware of the damage done to the Australian society by Rupert Murdoch, a man who’s ego is the guiding principle fed by his desire for power for power’s sake. Looking forward to reading your insert when it is permitted to be published and circulated!

  23. Wel done Dick!

  24. Thank you Dick Smith. You are a good Australian and much appreciated.

  25. Good on you Dick. You are right about our limited resources and I think the overpopulation problem is more urgent than you suggest. Meanwhile Murdoch, who relinquished his Australian Citizenship (what an Australian Patriot he is) wants continued economic growth for his own short term greed. And he tries to shut down anyone who disagrees with him. I support your cause and wish all success, for Australia’s sake.

  26. I would agree with you how can we go about empowering our politicians to take back the right to govern without fear or favour and ensure that never again will there be a situation as in Britain where government rise and fall at the whim of powerful not so faceless persons

  27. Wonderful letter, Dick. Thank you so much for standing up to the tyrant/bully Murdoch and his minion Williams. You speak for many of us and have our heartfelt support, as expressed by others here.
    It is so vital that this death grip of control over information and government is broken. Murdoch et al ought to be having nightmares every night because that is what they are fostering for so many people, the environment and the future in their pursuit of power, control and profit.
    I hope your message is heard right across this land and around the world.

  28. do unto others……..Murdoch should examine his own conscience and life…..not a nice man …..how would he feel if the papers told his real story….but he has money…..but that does not change who he really is …..a cruel ugly man….thank you for bringing this to the fore……but as you said the average middle people only believe what they read not knowing that it is lies……you are a fine man and good australian {not someone that has changed his citizenship…….good luck with your campaign

  29. You bloody beauty Dick. Go for it, I predict most are 100% behind you. Perhaps we should all send a copy to Kim and spam him with what the majority of the general public are thinking.

  30. Well said Dick – My thoughts exactly!
    Murdoch’s audacious claim to superior “morality” in his IPA speech would make Goebbels proud.
    I am disgusted that an aspiring Prime minister of Australia would so blatantly align himself and his political party with such self serving propagandists as evidenced at the IPA 70th bash.
    It is an obvious conflict of interest -he is supposed to be serving the Australian electors – not media and mining magnates seeking to increase profits!

  31. Can someone post this on UTube please – that will help it circulate.

  32. Thanks Dick for your courage. This is what happens when you lower the education standards you get a population that can not see through the lies of the media and get distracted by football. I hope your magazine is a big success and i look forward to reading it.

  33. If only we had more people willing to stand up

  34. Well said Dick Smith, my only criticism is that Murdoch puts a LIE to pretty much everything that his media interests put to print as well as freedom of speech and the freedom of the press.

    Migs, keep up the good work :cool:

    The other BIG lie that he has been instrumental in is the alleged carbon tax lie, which after two years is still doing the rounds, and I have just revisited in my latest post “T Abbott and the truth about lies” :grin:

    http://truthseekersmusings.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/t-abbott-and-the-truth-about-lies/

    Cheers :grin:

  35. perfect . Just keep it up. Time wounds all heels. Murdoch is not immortal. There are no pockets is shrouds.

  36. Well said Dick!! When was this written?

  37. It was written last year. But it’s timeless.

  38. Thank God we still have realistic people like Mr. Smith .
    We need to stand up to MSM and stop them from using Puppet Abbot for his benefits.

  39. In Canada we are very weary about Murdoch too. He should be put in jail.
    Phone hacking in Britain. How cruel!

  40. Bravo Smithy.Beware of the ‘Minister of Propaganda for the New World Order’.The ‘Dirty Digger’ will go to great lengths to destroy your integrity.
    Unfortunately our politicians are in lockstep with him to maintain their power and influence.If we do have media oversight it will be interesting to see how big the loopholes are and if it’s possible to drive a single or double decker bus through them.
    With Gina Ironheart on the board of Fairfax the noose is tightening.
    Social Media is a hope for the future,but politicians are increasingly using it to bypass press realises and thus avoid media scrutiny.

  41. Sad, ABC is going down the gutter .Howard mates still at the board.
    Look at Leigh Sales last nite. Have to be kind to Abbott or she lose her job.Sick

  42. Link sent to another (un-named) global forum.

  43. Good one Dick Smith, you have exploded in my estimation of you. You are well and truely back on my card list.
    Totally agree with a previous comment that the ABC has reached a new depth of low crumby reporting. Leigh Sales is off the card list, no Walkley this time.

  44. Dick …PLEASE run as an independent senator. Love your Aussie views

  45. What an absolute waste of time.

    Ignore Ltd News. Tell your friends to ignore Ltd News. Get on the phone to the ABC and ask them to stop referring to Ltd News or having Ltd News guest on.

    Ask your contacts on Facebook or Twitter to stop providing click-through links to Ltd News.

    See if you can go without Foxtel – cancel it today. Much of the material is available on the internet already, AND you could actually have more fun playing a sport than watching it.

    Call and complain to companies that advertise in Ltd News, or tell the companies you patronise to make sure they don’t start.

    Dick Smith correctly identifies the motivation of the organisation, but then fails to suggest the cure: the only way to break them is to stop making it profitable.

  46. good on ya mate!

  47. I hear that The Australian runs at an enormous loss already. Murdoch just keeps it operating as a mouth piece. What he loses on his papers, he’ll make up through his political influences.

  48. What can I add, but…..TRIPLE LIKE!

  49. Onya Dick….Hit the nail right on the head……If anyone should be cloned it’s you….WE soooo need more of you to fight the freedom fight in our wonderful Australia. As it is now & I so want it to stay for my future prodigy to enjoy….Best of Aussie luck to you & your always for your country views…

  50. Well said, Dick! Who would ever have thought our democracy which many fought and died for could be under such threat by one of our own…

  51. Well said! It seems the next Australian federal election is between Julia Gillard and Rupert Murdoch. I hear that Tony Abbott has a small role to play in it too. He will make the perfect wooden puppet.

  52. Thank you Mr Smith. I don’t appreciate being an Australian who is afraid for the future of my country.

  53. @Michael Taylor I think you’re correct. Ltd News papers around the world lose money.

  54. I wish our journalists could write as well as you! Very well argued, clear, challenging – where will it go? How to get it out there?

  55. Thank you, Mr. Smith…. respect and solidarity. I want our ABC de-politicised, too.

  56. Well said Dick, it is monstrous that the democratic principles our diggers fought so hard to protect are being thrown away on the whim of an old American who is more interested in power for it’s own sake.

    @ Bill Makin, nice summation of the next election, sure is scary.

  57. Well done Dick.Like many,I am sick of Murdoch’s malign influence on our(and the world’s) media.Good to see someone with some clout standing up for the rest of us.

  58. Mr Dick Smith – re dr professional misconduct – dr regisration – you know that I have been advocating for a change in the dysfunctional sysem that was operating. I was a female victim who had a fall and had to go to a medical pratitioner for treatment and this dr was paid by Medicare. Within 48 hrs a cyclone was going through that township and I was requested to assist this dr with a lift home to his daughters (who he said were home alone). I checked my position was safe. It was not. I was battered, bruised, raped twice, left with internal/external injuries together with serious eye vision impairment. QPS police refused to take a statement from me… Finally Premier Mr Beattie intervened and a report was put in place and a letter of professional misconduct committed by this dr was expressed as being found to be rue. Sadly the justice ended with the receipt of this letter… I had to go thru a medical board tribunal as did other women, one was hammered into stating that the intercourse was consensual of which she advised me ”was not” but the Qld med Bd Solicitors convinced her that he would go scott free unless she relented – but I was asked to do the same but I would not….. Cairns Post wrote several articles and stated the dr’s name. I contacted the Cairns Post to give them a reply. I was not allowed to do so……. I downloaded Qld Tribunal files and discovered extroardinary outcomes and battled to get a dr register put in place – These sensitive files calused the closure of the Qld Medical Bd after a dr registration system was publicly put onto the internet. However when I discovered false info was being report I began to speak out – and as of the 17th April after a Criminal Law Specialist has invesigated 365 cases of some approx 565 cases it was found that 65% of these complaints were handled inappropriately. I began advocating for change in 2004 after a kangaroo crt held in Brisbane via this Medical Bd Tribunal put me, my ex marriage details, my child sex abuse information, sexual abuse re my children via other offenders on display in a public courtroom with a ABC journalist. I was horrified…… The end result was they dismissed my allegations although a Solicitor stated my case could be conducted under what’s termed ‘similiar fact evidence’as this dr had a history of sexually assaulting/harassing other vulnerable single female clientelle.. So it has taken the Qld government to release this information into the public arena for some 9 years with holding this evidence. Should Mr Springborg be able to legislate for a Ombudsman to handle the Health Complaints this will dispel the current CONFLICT OF INTEREST that exists in APHRA and within their connecions to the media releasing information prior to a Tribunal hearing.

  59. What is Dicks reaction to the huge increase in immigration under the premise that we don’t have enough taxable workers to pay for the retirement pensions of the elderly. What a way to create an ever unsustainable problem. Not only that but we are importing those that do not agree with our theologies and lifestyles and want to change our country to those from which they came and therefore will bring the problems associated with that. We have politicians from other countries coming here and warning us of the problems they have endured but due to intimidation or financial bullying they have been forced to be quiet on the issue.

  60. PS – A GAG ORDER was placed upon me by the Qld Medical Board. This operates legally for 6 yrs that I could not speak to the media or go on a local television station and tell this true story……..

    Re previous child sexual abuse – it was conducted in a closed courtroom as the offender was a Ex Prison Officer – an awarded compensation for only $80,000 in 2006 which was governed under the Sentencing Act of Vic has no legislation enforcing this compensaion to be paid.. My stepfather died in 2011 – without paying his cimpnsaion order. He found a loophole and left the fund he and my late mother accumulated to a Charity who are now legally fighting me re a future care package and to dae my legal bills are up to $79,000 – with more to come…… This is the system that operates currently in Victoria. Without a care package I have to manage on my Blind Disability Pension. I became homeless 3 times – until NSW awarded me a small sum of money so that I could get into a home and by furniture…..Vic paid me a small sum of money together paying for me to travel to meet up with my brother who had been ill – he passed away in 2011. I have ITP and have received he backlash from he Medical profession of Cairns and was refused treatment at the local hospital – I was forced to hitchike to Townsville and I arrived bledding out with a platelet count of 2. I spent 8 days having platelet transfusions and heavy steroid treatment….I am fighting this case as I have a daughter who has a child who has a rare genetic disorder and I cannot become a burden upon her life – with a care package and when my funds run out and I can no longer afford to able to afford a rental property and electricity I will be facing only a one way exist from this situation should my care package fail in my courtcase in August. I have spent all my monies, sold my land, sold my furniure andpersonal jewellery to engage in this fight for the Rights and Justice for women to to have the right to say “no” TO RAPE AND FOR CHILDREN TO BE NOT SEXUALLY ABUSED.. My ITP may well be a outcome of the years I endured insertion of dirty fingers into the body of a small child thus causing the immune system to break down causing most like this ITP – which if throughly investigated and found to be correct – such children are receiving a incurable death sentence with horrific bleedouts and horrific recovery time after transfusions and steriod treatment…. I have not been fighting this fight for just myself but for all the members of my family sexually abused and for others abused by eminent people considered trustworthy in our society who have commmitted such horrendous crimes via their sexual addiction.

  61. @ Ben.

    Go white Australia policy eh? The same sort of prejudice was aimed at other minority groups arriving from war torn regions in our recent past, but are now assimilated. The Italians , the Greeks , the Lebanese, the Vietnamese and now people from Africa and the Middle East.

    Lets not tar everyone with the same brush.

  62. Absolutely brilliant Dick. So refreshing to read the truth.

  63. Thank you Mr Smith for your courage and strength of character. Your words are simply the truth about what has been and is happening in Australia’s media. I will support you any way I can.

  64. Ben Apr 25

    We have politicians from other countries coming here and warning us of the problems they have endured but due to intimidation or financial bullying they have been forced to be quiet on the issue.

    That’s a new one to me.

    Can you supply any sources for those claims? For instance which politicians came here warning us and evidence of the intimidation and financial bullying they endured by Australia, which would be an international incident with huge repercussions if true?

  65. The Empire Strikes Back!

  66. Dick for Prime MInister!!! Thank you for a breath of fresh honesty.

  67. Can you supply any sources for those claims? For instance which politicians came here warning us

    Technically he is right.

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3689995.htm

    Murdoch pushes and nurtures much of the same fear mongering.

    http://www.news.com.au/national-news/nothing-to-fear-from-me-says-geert-wilder/comments-fncynjr2-1226577528050

    Scary if one is using Wilders as a weather vane.

  68. One extreme racist politician and was he bullied and threatened to not speak out here? So who are the other politicians and when were they threatened?

    To give an illustration of misconceptions and ones deliberately fostered by Murdoch this is the situation of misinformation in the UK that’s stoked by the right there and some of it holds true here as well. We see it everyday from the gormless right who constantly post misconstrued and untrue information.

    Ask people in the UK how many immigrants there are and people tend to reply around a third – or, to be precise, a foreign-born population of 31.8%. This figure is from a huge international survey of migration perceptions, by Transatlantic Trends, which asked people in Britain, the US, Germany, Italy, Spain and France what they think about immigrants.

    It also finds that people in the UK are more likely to believe “there are too many migrants” and that migrants are more of “a problem than an opportunity” than any of the other countries surveyed. And the figures don’t change – more than half of the British population (57%) think there are “too many immigrants”, a figure that has stayed nearly the same for the past four years. And that is higher in the UK than any other country.

    In fact, that 31.8% figure is a wild over-estimate; in 2011, some 11.3% of the UK population were foreign-born.

    It’s the same when you ask British people about their huge welfare spending, the biggest chunk of their budget. They will say around half goes to paying the unemployed when in fact the unemployment component is down amongst the smallest components at around 3%. The greatest portion by far goes to paying State pensions, including the huge ex-Pollie payouts.

  69. This myth from Britain has a direct parallelism to Australia as most Australians also believe there’s massive welfare fraud and no one fostered that belief more outside of the current affairs shows than Howard, with Bishop the elder front and centre telling lie after lie on the figures. Just like in the UK welfare fraud here is very low and the minimum a government can allow without spending far more recouping the small amount of fraud than they gain in doing so.

    This is exactly what happened to Howard where he ended up spending so much attempting to get piddling amounts of fraud he abandoned the program after a year or two.

    The British public reckon benefit cheats are a massive problem: a recent opinion poll showed Brits typically believed 27% of the welfare budget is lost to fraud. Given the public also think benefits are considerably higher than they really are, that all adds up.

    The reality, though, is much less dramatic. The DWP publishes official estimates of fraud in the welfare system. The most recent publication estimated overall fraud at 0.7% of the benefits bill. At £1.2bn, that sum might – just – be said to count as “billions”. But we should remember benefits can be underpaid as well as overpaid – and last year, those underpayments (arising from errors by either officials or claimants) added up to £1.3bn – more than the cost of fraud.

  70. Terrific letter, Dick. Champion!

  71. Obviously Dick Smith doesn’t need reminding!

    Remember! “True Liberty Is When Free-born Men Speak Free!”

    John Milton’s Areopagitica,
    Crying freedom for the press
    Back in 17th century England,
    Resisted monarchy’s excess.

    His tract was a mighty weapon
    In democracy’s progress.
    We are the beneficiaries
    Of his most eloquent address.

    But we ‘free-born’ were complicit,
    As we watched and acquiesced
    While that freedom was abused
    With a brazen shamelessness.

    We encouraged one man’s ambition
    To buy up, control, possess
    As property, our thoughts in print,
    And we applauded his success.

    We shared profits with this behemoth
    Who now destroys our happiness
    And publishes news of our world,
    Writ as he commands it be expressed.

    This threat of global tyranny,
    Warns that it’s time to re-possess
    What for him is now a licence
    To break all rules and decency transgress.

    Our precious freedom so perverted
    Has caused democracy’s regress.
    Let’s use our laws while we still can,
    Redeem ourselves, and truly free the press.

    http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/remember-true-liberty-is-when-free-born-men-speak-free/

  72. It’s quite bizarre for this to be posted here as a “freedom of speech” issue when Dick’s main cause is against our high immigration rate and against “perpetual population growth”. For god’s sake, his website is called http://dicksmithpopulation.com . I’m not Sherlock Holmes, but I think there’s a clue in the title….

    And I must say, irony abounds…

    ie: If any conservatives expresses an anti-immigration viewpoint, the left vilifies them as “extremists” (even without checking their facts, of course). See Mobius Echo’s silly comments above.

    But Dick Smith can do it, and as long as he throws in a “by the way, Murdoch is a jerk” angle, you all clap like seals!

    So guys, are Dick Smith arguments right or wrong about our immigration rate and “perpetual population growth”? Or do your opinions change depending on who is making the argument…

  73. There are a few things I disagree with Dick Smith about, Crash Skeptic, and his views on population growth is the major of these. However, I agree with his opinion of the Murdoch media. You might have noticed that this is what this post is about.

    If a post is ever put up here about his position on population growth I will no doubt express my objection, but I’ll wait until such a post is published, if it ever is.

    I also consider that this post is more about the Australian arm of the Murdoch media than it is about Dick Smith.

  74. Insults and sneering sarcasm can never make for a convincing argument. They are merely indicators of self loathing. I sincerely hope you are able to get the necessary professional help for your condition.

  75. Sorry Roswell, I was referring to Crash. :)

  76. Start regulating the media……If you do that your fucked. The Feds have enough power. Wake up. If you don’t like Murdoch exercise your freedom to change the channel. If you regulate you loose that freedom.
    As for Dick, enough said

  77. Thanks Bill. Naturally I knew that all along. ;-)

  78. Ben, what channels does Murdoch own?

  79. Good letter Dick, but it would be better to replace the term ‘carbon tax’ with what it really is, that is a ‘ fixed price Emissions Trading Scheme ETS’. This then changes to a market based ETS in two years.
    Murdochs’ morals can also be determined from his vast casino investments. Anyone who needs to make their money from the gambling weakness of others losses my respect.
    Murdoch is a critter of the worst kind.

  80. …..and print. ;)

  81. @Crash

    It’s quite bizarre for this to be posted here as a “freedom of speech” issue when Dick’s main cause is against our high immigration rate and against “perpetual population growth”.

    I think you seek to conflate the two issues for the purpose of derailing the topic. Conversely, you seem to have double standards, accusing Smith of ulterior motives when you probably don’t see a problem with Murdoch having more views than news and using his media empire mendaciously to persuade people who to vote for. For the purpose of more wealth for himself and his shareholders and to ensure his ideology prevails.

    For god’s sake, his website is called http://dicksmithpopulation.com . I’m not Sherlock Holmes, but I think there’s a clue in the title….

    Like I said, conflating the two. The topic of the story is not population, but Murdoch, although he does make passing mention of population in the story. But the title of his letter is:

    Murdoch Censorship Gives the Lie to ‘Freedom of Speech’ Claims

    And I must say, irony abounds… ie: If any conservatives expresses an anti-immigration viewpoint, the left vilifies them as “extremists” (even without checking their facts, of course). See Mobius Echo’s silly comments above.

    Talking about checking the facts. If you bothered to check what both he and I were responding to, it was one of your conservative mates attempting to vilify certain immigrants.

    “we are importing those that do not agree with our theologies and lifestyles and want to change our country to those from which they came and therefore will bring the problems associated with that. ”

    Something you would typically hear at ltd .news. And then to add weight to his argument, he uses a right wing extremist politician as a baseline.

    Others are right. This is not a discussion about population and I also have views that are not quite aligned with Dicks. But putting that aside, you and Ben seem eager to take the spotlight off Murdoch.

  82. I pay scant attention to the media now.

  83. Rupert Murdoch is a pig ape. His father was a criminal, too gutless to fight in WW1, but sent others to their deaths. His slut mother recently died, and taxpayers were stung to pay for this bitch’s funeral. Rupert is a slimy animal criminal. Dehumanize and criminalize the murdoch animals now!

  84. Thank you so much for saying it all so simply. I look forward to seeing if I can find your magazine! I want to read it!

  85. Thank you so much Dick Smith. It makes me proud when such a well known Aussie like yourself will stand up and be counted like this. And yes, I have no doubt that you risk media repercussion for saying what you have – sadly, the media seems to have unlimited power re: its ability to slander or smear people. So you have shown a lot of courage too. I thank you.

  86. Attention span of a gnat FDA?

  87. Were the words too big for you, FDA?

  88. The poor man wants to be rich but the rich man wants to be King.Rack off Rupert.

Trackbacks

  1. Murdoch Censorship Gives the Lie to ‘Freedom of Speech’ Claims | The Australian Independent Media Network | lmrh5
  2. An Aussie hero accuses Murdoch media of bias – TruthInNewsMedia
  3. Murdoch Censorship Gives the Lie to ‘Freedom of Speech’ Claims | The Australian Independent Media Network | ITM Australia

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