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Day to Day Politics: Rudd Vs Murdoch

Author’s note:

Today I have given over my daily post to a repudiation by Kevin Rudd of the Murdoch press. At the end I have included the AUSTRALIAN PRESS COUNCIL REGULATIONS.


With all the recent coverage of Turnbull’s telephone encounter with Trump, I missed a story run on 1 February 2017 on page 1 of Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph which friends have just drawn to my attention.

It alleged that in 2010 as Prime Minister I imposed “the same type of visa bans” as President Trump has just done in the United States under his Executive Order of 27 January. This “news story,” not even classified as a comment piece, is utterly false.

President Trump’s “Executive Order: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” imposes a blanket ban on seven majority Muslim countries (Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen), preventing all citizens from entering the country. It was based explicitly on the potential security threat that immigrants from these countries may pose to the national interests of the United States. The legality of this order is now being tested in the US courts after a US Federal Court judge issued an injunction against implementation, and subsequently upheld by the US Court of Appeal following a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

In 2010 my government implemented a temporary freeze on asylum applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, not all citizens, for a period of three and six months respectively. Furthermore, these were based exclusively on official departmental advice that the security concerns in both countries had changed at that time, reducing the risks to local peoples, risks that would otherwise have caused them to seek asylum in other countries including Australia. These measures were neither proclaimed nor conceived as anti-terrorism measures. These Australian measures were similar to reviews that were then concurrently being conducted by the UNHCR concerning changing conditions within these countries. And this review was for the UNHCR’s own asylum seeker processing purposes.

At the time of announcement, then-Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Evans stated that “The decision has been made in the light of the changing circumstances in both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Evolving country information from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan is likely to have a significant effect on the outcome of assessments as to whether asylum-seekers have a well-founded fear of persecution within the meaning of the Refugees Convention.” Our position was aligned with the notion that conditions may be improving in the countries in question.

There are seven reasons why the Telegraph’s story is factually wrong. These are listed below.

I would appreciate them printing them as my response to their misleading story, or by providing evidence which disproves each of these. I’m not holding my breath. But it does give them time to send it to their friends in the government to draft a reply for them.

The core documents are:

President Trump’s “Executive Order: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” can be accessed here:

Our policy announcement can be accessed here:;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F0U1X6%22

Fact Number 1:

President Trump suspended the entire US refugee visa program for 120 days. [Sec. 5 (a)]

My government never did this.

Fact Number 2:

President Trump has suspended refugee visa admissions from Syria indefinitely. [Sec. 5 (c)]

My government never suspended refugee admissions from any country indefinitely.

Fact Number 3:

President Trump has reduced the overall refugee visa cap to the US by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000. [Sec. 5 (d)]

The Labor government never reduced the overall refugee visa cap. In fact, Labor later increased the annual intake by 50%, from 13,750 to 20,000.


The conservative government under Abbott later cut this number back to 13,750.


Fact Number 4:

President Trump has banned all citizens from seven Muslim majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen) from entering the US for 90 days.

Source: Fact Sheet: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States

My government never banned all citizens of any country from entering Australia.

There is a massive difference in the scope of these measures: between banning all citizens from seven countries entering the US, and a temporary suspension of asylum seekers from two countries from applying for visas to enter Australia.

Fact Number 5:

President Trump’s blanket ban targets seven majority Muslim countries, inferring a problem with Islam.

My government never imposed a ban in relation to either citizens or asylum seekers from any country or countries based on race or religion. In the case of the temporary suspension of visa applications from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, Afghanistan is a Muslim country, whereas Sri Lanka is Buddhist.

Fact Number 6:

President Trump has announced his measures against seven Muslim countries as “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States.”

My government never announced nor conceived of its temporary measures in relation to asylum seekers from Afghanistan or Sri Lanka as a measure to protect Australia from terrorist attack.

As noted above, our decision was taken on the expert advice of officials that security circumstances had significantly changed in both countries warranting a reappraisal of previous government policy on protection visas for their nationals.

Fact Number 7:

As for these particular allegations from the Daily Telegraph of Labor double standards, it should be noted that on 10/04/2010 this same publication attacked the two measures announced by my government, as amounting to a “non-policy.” In fact, they noted that “Also of interest is that the Government will not reject asylum seeker claims; instead, it will merely suspend them.”


It is peculiar that the Telegraph would now pay such attention to what they considered then as inconsequential. But, then again, consistency has never been the Telegraph’s strong suit, particularly if it means bashing the Labor Party and supporting a Liberal National Party government.


A number of the Murdoch papers continue to deal in factual inaccuracy. I have listed on Facebook just three recent cases as they relate to me. Heaven knows what they do to the people who do not have a social media platform to try to defend themselves. So why do they do this? As Murdoch newspaper editors have boasted privately to me over the years: “Because we can.”

Second, because Murdoch owns 70% of the Australian print media, and in my home town of Brisbane has a total monopoly, they know they can get away with it.

Third, they know the Press Complaints Council is a toothless tiger when it comes to policing journalistic standards.

Fourth, because they are not held to account for upholding such basic standards as asking for comment from people attacked in a story, in the case of this Trump story they did not bother to ask my office for comment before publication. This would have enabled us to have time to put these facts before them.

Fifth, and most importantly, people, corporations, universities, members of parliament, have learned to fear these same Murdoch papers over the years if you dare challenge the accuracy or fairness of their stories. In fact, they have created a culture of fear so that people refuse to stick their heads up. This is bad for our democracy. These guys are just as likely to launch a campaign against you on a long-term basis to teach you a lesson not to complain again. It’s a part of a bullying culture, reinforced by their monopoly position, towards people who have the temerity to challenge them on facts, or oppose their editorial line. Which is why papers like the Daily Torygraph in Sydney and the Courier Fail in Brisbane will continue to do the same to people like me and others who don’t just meekly bend the knee.

My prediction is that the Daily Telegraph’s response to this posting on Facebook, if it responds at all, will be to deride it as resembling the social media attacks by Trump himself on parts of the US media. The Brisbane Courier Fail has already tried that one. But as you can see, this 1500 word posting is not exactly a 140 character twitter attack. It’s a point by point factual response to the basis of the Telegraph’s original story for which they did not ask for my response before publication in the first place.

PS. For those not following the news coverage here in the US, the single largest media backing for the Trump Administration in the United States is Murdoch’s Fox News.


The Australian Press Council regulates the Australian media. Just have a look at their principles;

Publications are free to publish as they wish by reporting facts and expressing opinions, provided they take reasonable steps to comply with the following Principles and the Council’s other Standards of Practice:
Accuracy and clarity
1. Ensure that factual material in news reports and elsewhere is accurate and not misleading, and is distinguishable from other material such as opinion.
2. Provide a correction or other adequate remedial action if published material is significantly inaccurate or misleading.
Fairness and balance
3. Ensure that factual material is presented with reasonable fairness and balance, and that writers’ expressions of opinion are not based on significantly inaccurate factual material or omission of key facts.
4. Ensure that where material refers adversely to a person, a fair opportunity is given for subsequent publication of a reply if that is reasonably necessary to address a possible breach of General Principle 3.
Privacy and avoidance of harm
5. Avoid intruding on a person’s reasonable expectations of privacy, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.
6. Avoid causing or contributing materially to substantial offence, distress or prejudice, or a substantial risk to health or safety, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.
Integrity and transparency
7. Avoid publishing material which has been gathered by deceptive or unfair means, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest.
8. Ensure that conflicts of interests are avoided or adequately disclosed, and that they do not influence published material.


“We would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the media and self interest groups”.



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  1. Adrianne Haddow

    Thank you, John Lord for posting Kevin Rudd’s response to the Mudrake Press propaganda.
    They can’t stop trying to denigrate the Labor party.
    Let’s not burn flags. Let’s have a public burning of the Murdoch newspapers in every city and town.

  2. auntyuta

    I wonder, how can you teach people to think for themselves? I think we need some very good teachers to make a better society!

  3. Jack Straw

    The Murdoch Newspapers should only be used to wipe your arse with or wrap your fish and chips with.Disturbing imagery but true.

  4. Harquebus

    I would not have known about this because, I don’t buy Murdoch’s crap rags papers, I don’t visit his websites and I cancelled my Foxtel subscription about 15 years ago. The only way that I can hurt him is to not give him any currency.

    The only fake stream media that I consume now is from our ABC and that is only to ascertain what it is that they are not saying which, is a lot.

    “I’m not ashamed of any of my papers at all and I’m rather sick of snobs that tell us that they’re bad papers, snobs who only read papers that no one else wants. I doubt if they read many papers at all.” – Rupert Murdoch

    Will Michael Taylor soon receive a very attractive offer for this site?.
    I would suggest a response just in case but, profanity of that type is definitely against the rules.


  5. helvityni

    “The only fake stream media that I consume now is from our ABC and that is only to ascertain what it is that they are not saying which, is a lot”.

    Ms Sales was certainly not saying much to the speed-speaking ( shouting) Morrison last night on 7.30. He had free-range, she could have stepped aside altogether…

  6. passum2013

    Good on you Rudd my friend Stick it to Rupert he deserves it Keep up in this in the AIM Network and willing share for the Bloke that kept Australia working and out of the recession that was world wide with the exception of Australia and China.

  7. Kronomex

    I’m not a fan of K. Rudd but I did like the fact that he didn’t kowtow to the Great Rupert like certain unnamed LNP politicians did and still do…cough…Abbott…cough, sneeze…Turnbull…sneeze. As we all know the Great Rupert is a fickle monster and carries grudges like a certain nasty “commentators”. Oh no, I feel a couple more sneezes…ah, ah, Jones!

    Ah, ah, ah, Bolt! I’ll have to stop the sneezing attack is…ah, ah, Hadley…is getting worse.

  8. Alan Baird

    I am pleased to declare myself an enthusiastic snob. I sneer at the Murdochracy. They invent news. They mistake opinion for fact routinely, regularly and always kiss up and kick down. Their benighted readers live in a parallel F*cks Nooz universe where faith Trumps science and alternative facts burgeon. I never purchase anything from their Augean Stable of Excrement which can never be cleaned but have been known to read a Terror when eating a cheap Maccas cone, only to deride the rubbish that passes for “articles” and the sycophantic letters attempting to curry favour with the egregious management. As Donald T. Rump would say, “Sad”.

  9. Terry2

    In his quest to promote conspiracy theories about the media’s reluctance to report on ISIS inspired acts of terror, Trump has seen fit to publish his own ‘alternative facts’ and ‘false news’.

    He has included in his dodgy dossier the 2016 deaths of Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, and Tom Jackson, 30, who were killed in a knife attack at a hostel in Queensland last August. Smail Ayad, 29, from France, has been charged with their murder.

    There is no suggestion from those who investigated this tragedy that it was connected to an act of terrorism and certainly no ISIS involvement.

    The problem for our media outlets is that they have to jump on this misinformation quickly at a time when their resources are at an all time low and with the full knowledge that they will be castigated by the President of the USA either on Twitter or more likely on Fox News who seem prepared to accept Trump’s excesses without question.

  10. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention John.

  11. helvityni

    Talking about Murdoch papers; I used to buy the weekend Australian , keep the Review for book reviews, and articles on Arts, the rest I binned.

    I kept most of the SMH, only the sports, racing and real estate sections were left behind…

  12. Egalitarian

    Well this is what modern extreme capitalism is all about.Privatise everything.Divide the people.Feed them bullshit information via the news and exploit the poorest and plant good seeds of fear bombs everywhere and empower the police.

  13. Vikingduk

    Ah yes, News Corpse — Where The Truth Goes To Die. What made repulsive rupert such a poisonous little slug I wonder, what joy, satisfaction, contentment does this disgusting excuse for a human gain? Are his children of the same rotten to the core nature?

    From a supposedly intelligent species, why do we permit/encourage/allow lying, fear mongering shits to prosper?

  14. MichaelW

    Friend of mine buys the Telelaugh, I asked him why? His reply, for the form guide I throw the rest away.

  15. Möbius Ecko

    Ms Sales was certainly not saying much to the speed-speaking ( shouting) Morrison last night on 7.30. He had free-range, she could have stepped aside altogether…

    Not that anyone needs any evidence of the ABC and especially the 7.30 Report bias against Labor, they reinforced it on the show. Andrew Probyn continued the ABC’s recent attack on Labor’s environment policies by referring to their “slavish support” for renewables.

    “Slavish support” as a statement from a supposed unbiased reporter?

    I’ve never heard the ABC refer to anything the Coalition has supported as being “slavish”. That has to be a deliberate Labor put down by the ABC and comes after a string of similar supposedly innocuous statements against Labor policy, especially on their environmental policies.

  16. Jack Straw

    Who the Hell is Daisy Cousens ? Just watching Q & A . What a trumped up dingbat !

  17. jimhaz

    Missed this as well. Very nice to see.

    By rights Shorten should step in and support this. The ALP has always been too scared to attack full on – and that is what is needed with Murdoch. They need to sue News Ltd as much as possible.

    I betcha however that Rudd leaked to the Tele both before and after he was deposed.

  18. MichaelW

    I read the Telelaugh, the free bits that is, sometimes leave comments which surprisingly get printed most of the time. One went something like this: Reading the comments by Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt and their loyal followers is proof enough that all far right wingers should be made to sit IQ and psychiatric tests before being allowed to vote or enter politics. You can imagine the responses I got, which only re-enforced my case.

  19. helvityni

    Jack Straw, I wasn’t really interested to remember her name, was it the one waving her arms a lot..

  20. Steve Laing -

    And I heard this morning that Nikki Savva has now been given a weekly morning “slot” on Fran Kelly’s show. The slow drip drip drip of the rightwing into the ABC has fast become a flood to try and salvage what’s left of Malcolm’s reputation. Will Insiders finally shake off any remnants of credibility it has left? Or will Guthrie have managed to Murdochise the ABC in order to serve and protect the IPA and its parliamentary stooges?

  21. Jack Straw

    Quote of the year by Daisy

    “Look,” Cousens declared. “The way you have to understand Donald Trump is that he is kind of like that weird relative that everyone has that comes over once a year at Christmas, who is nice, but occasionally he says things that just make you go, ‘Oh, God, sorry, he didn’t mean that’, but ultimately you forgive him because he is nice and gives you the best presents. That is the only way to understand Donald Trump.”

    Hitlers Niece probably said the same thing about good old uncle Adolf until she killed herself.

  22. lawrencewinder

    It’s interesting to note how Truffle’s parliamentary hissy -fit is being extolled as strength particularly as the ABC persists in calling this “a blistering attack?” When in real fact it was a pathetically bullying rant aimed solely for the benefit of the ruling rabble’s recalcitrant right-wingers and only serving as a distraction from their daily exposure as the most incompetent and corrupt cabal to ever pretend to be a government.

  23. andrew oakes

    should it not be made law that no company can own so much of our media. this should have been stopped a long time ago.

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