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Citizen Murdoch and Albanese

By Frank Carrigan

First came the puff piece in ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly’ and then the softball profile on ‘Sixty Minutes.’ One could sense Citizen Murdoch and his editors would be observing that Albanese was beginning to look a winner, and Morrison more clueless by the day.

Time to begin to let the sunset on the full-blooded support Murdoch has given Morrison since he stepped into Turnbull’s shoes. Time to make sure the policies of the potential new Prince fell into line with those acceptable within the corridors of power at News Corp.

Globally, Murdoch is a declining force. Major parts of the empire have been sold off. But in Australia, he is still the kingpin. He was never going to sit on the sidelines and let his few competitors make the running on smoothing the path to Albanese’s anointing. Of all his Australian assets none wields more influence than The Daily Telegraph. It reaches right into suburban heartlands, and shapes minds and votes that the major parties must gain. These parties bow down before The Daily Telegraph both at a state and federal level. Stories in The Daily Telegraph can appear in Murdoch’s other tabloids throughout Australia, and be picked up by TV stations.

It was thus no accident that when News Corp moved, the vehicle chosen was The Daily Telegraph. The interview with Albanese was a pastiche of the punchlines the Labor leader has been trotting out at business forums and other venues across the country. Every line in the article framed Albanese as a safe pair of hands.

These days Albanese is firmly in the ambit of the liberal centrist position that is music to the ears of business leaders and the mainstream media. It was the standpoint of Murdoch when he launched The Australian. Today Murdoch is an arch-conservative but as he showed with Blair in Britain, he can live comfortably with the mild reformism of Labour governments. And he can hedge his bet for if Labor wins, the Australian with its battery of right-wing opinion writers will day in and day out make sure that any deviation by an Albanese government will be heavily chastised. The Australian was a key player in the coup that deposed Whitlam in 1975, and although it annually clocks up heavy financial losses it is kept afloat for it remains an essential part of Murdoch’s clout in Canberra.

Young Lachlan, glued to his father’s side, has recently been in town giving a vacuous reactionary speech to a right-wing think tank. He will have rallied the troops in an outpost of the family empire to make sure the Canberra baton will only go to someone who is a safe pair of hands.

Albanese, in the interview in The Daily Telegraph, declared he wants to lead a party of mainstream Australia. He repeated a number of times he wanted to be a friend of business. He stressed his belief that business and unions were in accord and the overarching aim of the economy was to lift profits and wages whilst boosting productivity. Elsewhere Albanese has invoked the spirit of the Hawke-Keating epoch that began in 1983. Albanese opines their consensus and cooperative program not only delivered Medicare and universal superannuation but at the same time boosted wages and profits. Albanese views the Hawke-Keating years through a rosy hue. He is eager to duplicate their program. Viewed from a more realistic angle the Hawke-Keating pluralist model contains a salutary lesson for Albanese. It was a policy experiment that at its inception contained the seeds of its demise.

It is easy for any aspiring Prime Minister to build castles in the air about the capacity of civil society to create harmonious relationships between various stakeholders, but in order to work a pluralist model requires a distribution of power that strikes a fair equilibrium. Hawke and Keating created an asymmetrical economic policy and in time paid the electoral price. Albanese needs to tune his political antennae if he wants to avoid the pitfalls of the Hawke-Keating era.

There was no straw that broke the camel’s back and led directly to the demise of the Hawke-Keating program. There was a combination of factors that ruptured the fragile alliance between the constituent elements of labour and business that the Hawke-Keating pact attempted to unify.

The core of the Hawke-Keating economic and industrial relations policy was an arrangement termed the Accord. Everything Albanese says echoes the themes struck in the Accord. In essence, under the Hawke-Keating Accord, the theory was government would operate with both business and the unions and this tripartite deal would implement social and economic policy. On the social front, Medicare and universal superannuation evolved from this partnership. It was the social welfare reforms of this type that produced a string of Labor victories at the polls. But they were flawed reforms, and the concession they demanded in reduced wage claims chipped away at the parliamentary primary vote of Labor. Medicare lacked a truly egalitarian edge. Its scheduled medical fee rebate system provided only a portion of the charge imposed for specialist services, and lack of dental cover has blighted its record. Workers had to dig into shrinking real wages to offset the sums they had to pay for medical services.

With universal superannuation since leaving politics an older and wiser Keating has spent years railing against business not stumping up enough of a levy to provide a comfortable retirement for the workers who laboured to build modern Australia. He has piercingly pointed out that in recent years none of the increases in productivity went to wages. It has instead gone to the profit share of national income. These productivity-based profits, notes Keating, need to be channelled to the universal superannuation scheme in order for retired workers to be less reliant on the parsimonious state pension in old age.

Even in the early years of the Accord when the economy and employment were humming, real wages were cut as the mantra was to boost not wages but the profit share. As average earnings limped along personal debt tripled. This was a clear sign the punters who were the backbone of the tide that lifted the boat of Labor electoral support were wallowing. Real wages continued to fall across the period Labor were in power and the profit share soared. As the wages share of national income fell whilst productivity escalated Labor began to walk along the path of electoral perdition. In a nutshell, workers were not being compensated for boosting their labour output. A deep recession in 1990-91 ebbed away support for Labor. But in the 1993 election Hewson grabbed defeat out of the jaws of victory with the terror he struck over the introduction of his planned GST and Keating nicked the election.

Keating survived, but the lessons were not learnt. He was incorrigible. At a business lunch shortly after the 1993 election, he spoke about his record of boosting the profit share and lifting productivity whilst slashing unit labour costs, and coupled that with prefiguring the end of industrial awards and a shift to enterprise bargaining. A ninety-year-old collective wage bargaining system that Labor had always promoted as an article of faith ensuring wage justice was being hollowed out by a Labor government. Through all this, the business elite boomed and millionaires proliferated and there was no evidence of profits being used to fuel the investment needed if manufacturing were to be revamped, and a clever country take off. Commodity exports remained the backbone of the economy.

In 1996 the voters threw up their hands and Labor had its lowest primary vote since the Great Depression. Workers had despaired after years of low wage growth, increased work tempo, and empty promises of a pluralist heaven that was always over the horizon. The Accord faded into history only to be resuscitated more than twenty years later by Albanese’s pitch. Business that had never been an official party to the Hawke-Keating Accord banked its profits and through the Business Council of Australia drove the Howard government forward as it introduced statutory individual contracts and peeled back dismissal laws and the award system in an even more comprehensive fashion than Keating envisaged.

On China, Albanese promised The Daily Telegraph his government would be as hardline as the coalition, and develop an even stronger bond with the US. He has noted in recent months he regularly chats with Paul Keating. Their conversations would be interesting. Albanese’s hawkish approach on China would not resonate with Keating. The ex-Prime Minister is one of Australia’s finest public intellectuals, and has developed his ideas at a quantum level since he lost office. Keating understands that the US is an overstretched power that treats Australia as a client state as it strives in a hapless fashion to contain the rise of a rival destined to eclipse its role in the Asia-Pacific region. The US thinks it will click its heels and Australia will be part of a war over Taiwan that (as Keating has noted) it cannot win.

Albanese in The Daily Telegraph speaks in glowing terms about Curtin’s WW2 turn to the US as being the foundation of a perpetual Australian alliance with the US. This is a coat-tail theory of history that courts disaster. Curtin was a realist and adapted his politics to events of the day as he realized the UK was finished as a global imperial power, and incapable of defending Australia. Albanese needs to stop listening to the bloated pro-US intelligence community in Canberra, and their press acolytes, and put national independence first – and play off the competing parties seeking hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region to Australia’s benefit. The Solomon Islands, one of the smallest nations in Australia’s Pacific orbit, has learnt that trick and how it has upset those in Canberra in lockstep with the US. Albanese needs to turn a deaf ear to their quisling viewpoint.

The past is, as the expression goes, another country. They do things differently there. Albanese needs to find new campaign lines. Harking back to some golden political age where labour and business shared productivity gains whilst wages and profits rose in unison perpetuates a myth. The pursuit of economic democracy cannot be boiled down to nostalgic lines drawn from memory lane. It is naïve to believe that business will be a selfless co-partner in something that resembles Accord Mark Two. Unions are far weaker today than during the Hawke-Keating era and capital has even less reason to do anything more than pay lip-service to anything smacking of a pluralist relationship with its workforce. Currently, the profit share is high and wages have been flat-lining for years. Albanese will have zero chance just as Hawke and Keating did of watching rising productivity being shared between capital and labour. One way of raising wages is through a labour shortage: but that part of free-market doctrine, as the present is showing, seems as busted as most other maxims of neoclassical economics. In a profit system maximizing profits is the only game in town, and the theatre of politics on the hustings in a passing parade.

Frank Carrigan was an academic specialising in politics and history.

 

 

 

This article was originally published on Pearls and Irritations.

 

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15 comments

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  1. Harry Lime

    Little wonder Albanese is doing a stirling job of not being Scott the Liar Morrison.Comes down to whether the crumpled yank gives the nod to his rabid horde of journalistic impostors.Whatever, it still means the country is going to shit no matter what.Labor hasn’t been what it used to be for years.The one ray of hope may be the ascension of the Independents/Greens that could hold the balance of power,and hopefully prevent a minority Labor government from being Liberal lite,or Christ forbid,a minority LNP mob from extremism. If Labor blow this election,there are a whole lot of stale passengers who should be given their DCM notices.A complete renewal would be on the cards with the injection of fresh,intelligent and visionary people with only the best interests of the nation in mind,and the ejection of time serving party hacks and apparatchiks.Tell me I’m dreaming.
    Or are we just plain fucked?

  2. Kaye Lee

    Excellent article.

    Undermining and demonising unions, making it illegal to withdraw labour, bringing in visa holders who cannot make waves for fear of losing their job, rising household debt combined with insecure work – no wonder low unemployment no longer results in wage rises. They have stacked the game (and the Fair Work Commission) in favour of employers.

    Privatisation has ceded a lot of government influence – on cost of living, on wages, on service provision. Business walked away from their part of the Accord by not sharing the profit growth and exploiting tax avoidance measures. Government could/should go back into business and provide both jobs and fair competition if the private sector continues their rampant greed.

  3. Rupenot

    The COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA is a registered corporation with the Securities Exchange Commission in Washington DC since 1973. How can we get from here to a democracy of the people for the people? Voting for corporate grifters who take their orders from afar is unlikely to work. We could always ask Uncle Rupert what does he think is a good idea, and then do the opposite. You still think your vote has something to do with freedom?

  4. Kathryn

    Anybody who could allow their minds to be corrupted and polluted by the filthy, totally right-wing-biased, lying Z-rated Murdoch rags has zero discernment and not one iota of intelligence! Murdoch is an internationally reviled, thoroughly discredited, totally depraved predator who uses his destructive, self-serving media to spread and disburse the most depraved type of politically-motivated right-wing propaganda in order to prop up the worst, most corrupt right-wing regimes in the western world! This includes the lying, conniving, smug and totally self-serving LNP who have not contributed ONE SINGLE THING to benefit the lives of ordinary working- and middle-class Australians. The dangerously undemocratic LNP/Murdoch Alliance – and their kowtowing subservience to the unelected neoliberal swill in the IPA – is a disreputable, fascist collaboration of the worst types of relentlessly greedy, uncompromising neoliberal capitalists and smug, condescending elitists in the country! The LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance only have ONE agenda and that is to enrich and empower the already rich and powerful Top 1% at the expense of ordinary Australians!

    EVERYTHING that benefits ordinary Australians and the lives of our children, eg Medicare and anything supporting the health and welfare of Australian citizens, funding State primary, secondary and tertiary education, public transport and just about every form of social service that provides benefit to our most vulnerable citizens is being torn apart, annihilated and defunded into oblivion by the LNP at State and Federal levels!

    The LNP want to sell-off and PRIVATISE everything taxpayers own and turn our education and health systems into a second-rate version of America’s over-priced, inefficient and sub-standard privately funded health and education systems – a notorious capitalistic system that has proven to be an EPIC FAILURE compared to the State government-funded and State government-managed systems currently in operation throughout Australia, the UK, New Zealand and, especially, right throughout Scandinavia! The funds the LNP saves from relinquishing its responsibility in using OUR money to benefit our children’s education and our health will, instead, go into their OWN pockets with the LNP’s escalating salaries (Morrison now being the fifth highest paid politician in the western world) and/or handed out to their multi-billionaire supporters in the Top 1%.

    The stone-cold elitists in the LNP (mostly) have THEIR children educated in the esoteric, elitist atmosphere of expensive private schools but most Australians prefer to have their children educated in the egalitarian environment of high-quality State-funded government schools where they can mix with a wide and diverse range of cultures and not just within the rarefied, privileged environment of expensive private schools that service the entitled children of the Top 1%.

    The LNP have already been very outspoken AGAINST our highly valued Medicare! They want the exorbitant, unfair “user pays” system that currently exists in the USA where the cost of health care is now prohibitive to anyone not earning a six figure salary!

    A vote for LABOR will ensure that the self-serving neoliberal elitists in the LNP will NOT get a chance to defund and annihilate our highly valued Medicare and our children’s State-funded primary, secondary and tertiary education! The LNP want to annihilate, destroy and defund EVERYTHING that is taxpayer funded which will turn our nation into the dysfunctional, exorbitantly expensive user-pay systems that have failed ordinary working- and middle-class Americans!

    Here is a LIST OF THE NEGATIVES/CONS OF PRIVATISATION OF EDUCATION AND HEALTH SYSTEMS:

    It can lead to even higher costs for the public to pay.

    Although the goal of the privatisation of education and public health is to lower the costs for each community, the opposite impact usually occurs. The only way it can be cheaper is if there are organisations already prepared to step in to take over the process. It is not unusual for the expenses of a school to rise by 60% or more when there is a transition from the public approach to the private one. That means a difference of thousands of dollars per family, which may not always produce the better grades or graduation rates that are wanted.

    There can be a decline in the overall service quality.

    When the privatisation of education occurs, then there can be a reduction in the quality of the services and classes that students receive when going to school. The reason for this disadvantage involves the need for profitability. A private company must be profitable, or at least not lose money, if it can provide essential and useful services. That could mean the new agency hires the teachers who want to work for the least amount of money, skimping on support staff, and even keeping utility costs down by implementing specific policies that limit technology use.

    Privatisation leads to less flexibility.

    Even though having politicians involved with the educational system is not always beneficial, there is more flexibility available with a public system because of this structure. If something needs to change so that kids can have the classroom they deserve, then legislators can pass new laws while in session that can make this outcome happen. The same cannot be said if the privatisation of education occurs. Government-managed schools tend to conform to high quality standards that are required to follow State-wide regulations.

    There are corruption issues to consider.

    The goal with the privatisation of education is to remove the element of special interest money and lobbying efforts from the school system in each community. Although this option does make that happen, it creates a new problem. Companies can compete for the contracts to provide services, which means the doors become open to unscrupulous behaviour. The government is still going to choose which company provides services to each community, so there is a financial incentive on both sides to create a paid relationship. Instead of looking for the best service provider, some look for the most money.

    It does not guarantee an improvement in the classroom experience.

    When discussing the pros and cons of the privatisation of education, then the primary benefit is the option to have more choices. Instead of being assigned to a specific neighbourhood school, parents can use the new funding structure to take advantage of the best schools in their community. That advantage only exists when there are alternative schools that have a reputation for providing a better educational experience.

    It would require changes to the accountability efforts already in place.

    Private schools (including religious institutions) are often exempt from the mandatory standardised testing that occurs in the public system. These tests are useful in determining where a student’s learning status is compared to their classmates and other kids their age.

    Student performance is often better in State-run schools than private schools.

    The goal of the privatisation of education is to save money, but it should be noted that children perform equally well in either setting. When one looks at the 10 top performing schools in the country, the high majority of those schools are, in fact, government-run schools, particularly government-run schools that are academically selective.

    Some families might not be able to afford some school options.

    Low-income families would struggle in a privatised environment because there are higher tuition costs to pay and extraneous costs (eg expensive uniforms and extended sporting commitments). Even if taxpayer funding still occurs for the school, a private institution could theoretically charge families any price for classroom access. Unless there are legislative controls in place to prevent this issue, many struggling households would not use what becomes available to them.

    Market forces don’t always create cost reductions.

    The idea of privatisation is that it would create more competition in a community. This process would improve the quality of the education received while lowering its cost to stay effective. Competition requires a desire to be present in that community in the first place. If there are under-performing schools in low-income areas that struggle to bring in any funding, then a private company isn’t going to take over that facility. If the school becomes unprofitable, they will shut it down.

    Scarcity only works if there are multiple choices available to parents. Since most school districts only have 1-2 elementary schools, a single middle school, and then one high school, the concept of privatisation struggles to function as it should.

    There could be less overall quality.

    Competition can work to reduce costs in the educational field, but it can also cause a race to the bottom in funding and resources. There could be so many new schools in a community that there wouldn’t be enough people to fill the open positions. Some districts might struggle to receive any applicants because of their geographic location. There could also be increases in the teacher-student ratio that may challenge even the best students to stay focused on their learning instead of the distractions that happen around them.

    As such, it is IMPERATIVE that State and Federal governments maintain a high level of funding to our State schools. A high quality, egalitarian State-funded education is the BEST gift we can give to our children and future generations! Also, Medicare is the best way to provide a fair, high level of medical service to Australian citizens NO MATTER their financial status! A country can be judged by the way it treats its poorest citizens!

    NEVER FORGET that the ONLY government that have a history and policies in place to provide generous funding to our State schools and Medicare is the Federal and State Labor governments WHEREAS the neoliberal elitists in the LNP want to sell-off and PRIVATISE everything Australian taxpayers own with disastrous consequences for ALL Australians who are working- and middle-class!

  5. Ill fares the land

    I am close to a person who is a trans-woman. I have seen enough to know how difficult her life has been – from feeling like a freak to being ashamed that “he” needs to live as a “she” to be true to who they are, to worrying about how they can have the “normal life” they crave as a trans-woman in a society that is getting better, but still struggles with such things and providing the resources they need to navigate an emotional whirlpool. And we have a PM who endorses for pre-selection a woman who is prepared to attack trans-people and gays. Morrison knew very well what Deves stands for all along and ipso facto, endorses her hateful, spiteful, nonsensical and divisive views. Moreover, Morrison is likely playing a political strategy – expecting to lose Warringah, but hoping, if not expecting that Deves vulgar and hateful comments, which only hurt the LGBTIQ community, will win him votes in other seats. This is how utterly, repugnantly disgusting Morrison is as a person – he doesn’t care who he hurts, attacks or shames as long as there are votes to be won. This, on its own, is enough to make sure this guy gets kicked out of office and there have been enough ham-fisted blunders, all made because of the guy’s massive personality defects to give a picture of someone who is so far from being an inclusive leader that it is almost more than I can process. The accumulated picture of is one of a slime who failed upwards to gain the power he craves, solely for its own sake and to recast Australia in a form that is more pleasing to his perverted views of the world and how it should be. Sadly, there are enough Australians who will, no matter how low Morrison sinks, just lower their standards bar so they can rationalise he is the right person to be the PM.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Rupenot,

    That is incorrect.

    The Commonwealth of Australia is a Form 18-K United States SEC registered entity representing the nation of Australia for the purpose of issuing securities in the US market. Form 18-K registrations are used only for foreign government registrations with the SEC and do not create a corporation.

    The registration has been subject to various conspiracy theories. Most relate to the idea that Australia ceased being a sovereign nation following the formation of a “Corporate” entity, or that the entity violates the Australian constitution. These conspiracies are baseless; the registration of Australia utilized Form 18-K and did not create a corporate entity and this does not violate Australia’s sovereignty. US regulations and laws would only apply to operations done in the US, that is, only securities issued in the US would be subject to US regulations.

    If an institution covered by the scheme were to collapse, the Australian Government would, at its discretion, issue debt securities that would be subject to US laws and financial regulations. As of 2020, Australia has yet to issue any securities related to the deposit guarantee scheme through the entity.

  7. Canguro

    Minor gripe. Harry Lime uses the acronym DCM, as in “If Labor blow this election,there are a whole lot of stale passengers who should be given their DCM notices.”

    I’m not the smartest tool in the box – I have no idea what DCM means – but I’m good at googling; The Free Dictionary provides more than 110 meanings for the acronym, none of them seem to provide context.

    Isn’t it a service to readers to use the full expression initially, then shorthand/initials/acronyms secondarily? I thought that was a conventional approach to such usage. It isn’t enough to assume (that word, again) that all readers axiomatically comprehend such terms.

    I’m quite prepared to have a Homer Simpson ‘Doh’ forehead slap, but it isn’t really necessary if writers are sensitive to their audiences and the mixed range of skills per comprehension of written language.

  8. John OCallaghan

    God help us all if Morrison and his thugs slimeball their way back into power courtesy of our totally corrupt media and Australian apathy.

    I dont have much faith in Albanese and his band of nodding Neddies and Nellies though, and i say that because if an opposition cannot hold the most corrupt Govt in our history to account,even allowing for a biased corrupt media, { take a leaf out of Adam Bandts book}… then im afraid they are destined to be a one term Govt.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Canguro,

    My guess is Don’t Come Monday.

  10. Michael Taylor

    Canguro, just because you haven’t heard it before it doesn’t mean you’re not smart. It simply means you haven’t heard it before.

    I’m 100% certain it means “Don’t come Monday”.

    I received one of them in my first job. I didn’t want to do a welding apprenticeship, so a DCM was in my next pay packet.

  11. Canguro

    Bless you both, KL & MT.

    Totally OT, I’ve just finished the first of the four so-called Neapolitan novels, My Brilliant Friend, the work of the highly lauded pseudonymous Italian author Elena Ferrante; three to go! What a blast, what a privilege it is to be literate and be able to share in the brilliance of such creative genius.

    As posted elsewhere yesterday in response to Kaye Lee’s dictum that education is the key to female emancipation and can play a major role in addressing the burgeoning problems associated with global overpopulation, I can only endorse her views entirely, and again recommend any interested readers avail themselves of the 2013 documentary Girl Rising if they wish to see first-hand, from our western standpoint, the beneficial impact that education has in the lives of women in third-world countries.

    It really is the key to unlocking the future; for all.

  12. Harry Lime

    Canguro,Kaye Lee and Michael Taylor are right.Random things from years past pop into my rambling mind and just go with the stream of consciousness at the point of writing.Sometimes it can be a bit embarrassing,and I’m not trying to be a smartarse
    Michael..

    I’ve had a few DCM’s in my chequered career.

  13. Canguro

    Thanks Harry,

    Not to thrash the point, but I notice you’ve edited 🙂

    Urban Dictionary offers the following…

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bcd

    Given you were, presumably, a teenager at the time, I’ve guessed at its meaning.

  14. Graeme Taylor

    Colonialism as practiced by Britain included get a bunch mates of the UK Politicians to invest in “Joint Stock Companies” in the colonies. The British East India Company, the Virginia Company and the Australian Agricultural Company, Inc 1824, are prime examples.
    This notion of Australia being a Corporation has some truth to it, but it didn’t happen in 1973, nor 1934 when Australia first submitted accounts to the US SEC. Indeed, the UK Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia can be seen as the corporate merger of some wholly owned British Colonies, with each division maintaining some autonomy,
    Rupenot, rather than defer back to some previous time when Australia was somehow more legitimate than now, just remember that 30 years ago, the highest imposed Court determined that these lands were settled as if a Terra Nullius, when that was not the situation.

  15. Andrew J. Smith

    I can give you a curious and concerning transnational dynamic exemplifying the reach and influence of Murdoch media, on other media & nativist libertarian ecosystem to support conservative parties i.e. GOP, LNP & Tories.

    US media claiming strong links between Putin-Xi and partnership on Ukraine invasion, without any compelling evidence. The modus operandi is to make Biden-Dems look weak leading up to the midterm elections on behalf of the GOP, or worse, Fox’s favourite, Trump; while Fox is happy to have Tucker Carlson promote Putin and at times be used for RT content…..

    On April 1, The Age (guess SMH too) had commissioned ‘analysis’ from Washington correspondent Farrah Tomazin ‘First dismissed, Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal gets rebooted” seemed to rely upon Giuliani & (Murdoch owned) NY Post as credible sources (partially NYT & WP too; ‘circular referencing’?)

    For one thing, Guiliani – who gave the material to the New York Post – is hardly known for credibility.‘ (but we’ll cite him anyway?)

    https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/hunter-biden-s-laptop-scandal-gets-rebooted-ahead-of-mid-terms-20220401-p5a9z0.html

    Worse, is the other outlet promoting and transmitting this meme is Zero Hedge, based in Bulgaria, allegedly linked to Russia with editorial line like ‘Putin & Trump good, Obama, Biden, Merkel & EU bad’. Further, according to Bloomberg earlier this year, the US govt. alleged that Zero Hedge is a propaganda arm of Russia:

    ‘U.S. Accuses Zero Hedge of Spreading Russian Propaganda…. Zero Hedge, which has 1.2 million Twitter followers, published articles created by Moscow-controlled media that were then shared by outlets and people unaware of their nexus to Russian intelligence…….Zero Hedge has been sharply critical of Biden and posted stories about allegations of wrongdoing by his son Hunter.’

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-02-15/us-accuses-financial-website-of-spreading-russian-propaganda

    It’s a symptom of transnational agitprop that is often missed domestically or behind borders, but gains more eyeballs/clicks and traction to be spread further globally and become ‘truthy’.

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