Earlier in the week I published an article about what I perceived to be blatant media bias in favour of the Liberal Party and Scott Morrison during this 2022 Federal Election campaign.
It has been brought to my attention by one of my fellow branch members (named Don) that The Courier Mail (CM) appears to only be publishing letters to the editor which are favouring Morrison and the Liberal Party, and normal progressive contributors like him are not having their letters published, even though he has been a regular published contributor to the CM for many years before the 2022 Federal Election was called. As you may recall from my above mentioned article, the CM is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia (NCA).
Don is a retired Honorary Associate Professor. As a scientist, he has studied and worked at Sydney University, the University of Queensland and Cambridge University. His writing is always very astute and courteous. Set out below is a letter Don has tried twice to have published by the CM this week, to bring some balance to what are otherwise very biased articles, only for his letter not to be published:
“PM Scott Morrison’s confected outrage at Labor’s campaign against cashless debit cards for pensioners, contrasts with the LNP’s baseless yet successful scare campaign on “Labor’s” death taxes in the 2019 election (and still continuing) despite no basis in facts as noted by columnist Mathew Killoran (C-M, Apr 20). Indeed, they were based on comments by Anthony Albanese more than 30 years ago, since retracted and not repeated. By contrast, the Morrison government is running a continuing programme to expand the use of cashless debit cards, currently trialling them for welfare recipients in remote indigenous communities such as Cape York, and JobSeeker payments in regional communities such as Bundaberg/Hervey Bay. The Department of Social Services website notes these trials will continue to December 2022, and offers the invitation: “People receiving the Age Pension may volunteer to participate.” As recently as February 2020 Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said “we’re seeking to put all income management on to the universal platform, which is the cashless debit card”. The Morrison government now says it has ruled out extending cashless debit cards to pensioners in the next term of parliament, but clearly it intends to keep extending them to other welfare recipients, and some (or all?) pensioners will be fair game in future parliaments if we continue to re-elect this government. Beware the thin edge of this wedge.”
There are no passages of Don’s letter which could be construed as inflammatory or abusive. Indeed, Don is very reserved with both his use of language and the subject matter of his letter.
As I’ve recently explained (on my Facebook page), the Morrison Government amended the legislation at the start of 2020 which expanded the use of the Indue Card to apply to pensioners. Notwithstanding his stage managed objections, Morrison has not said he will repeal the 2020 amendments, nor has he accepted Anthony Albanese‘s invitation to scrap the Indue Card.
What concerns me is the NCA bias, which I’m informed by my fellow progressive friends on social media is just as blatant and misleading in the other capital cities in which NCA publishes newspapers (I believe only The West Australian is not owned by NCA, but the reporting in that paper has also been blatantly biased in favour of the Liberal Party), is undermining a foundation stone of our democracy, namely the Fourth Estate. As I also reported to you in my above mentioned article, Labor and the Greens have sought in December 2021 for a Judicial Inquiry to be conducted into media ownership and the quality of the news being reported in this country.
If a person of immense education and work qualifications is now being shut out as a contributor to the letters to the editor of the CM, then we are living in a compromised system of politics and major media business interests.
This is not the Australia I was born into in 1969.
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