Murdoch has them by the balls.
What is it that Rupert Murdoch has that enables him to demand of our government millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money whenever he wants it?
I first came across this story in 2017 when the government kicked in $30 million dollars to Foxtel to promote women’s sports. It appeared as a one-line item in the budget of that year.
At the time it pricked a lot of ears, and questions were put to the then minister Mitch Fifield. As usual, he played a straight bat to all the questions he faced. There wasn’t a journalist who could penetrate his defence.
On the surface it looked as though Murdoch’s Foxtel man, Patrick Delany, just demanded 30 million dollars and got the money without so much as a condition being bowled.
They could spend the money in any way they wanted and the umpire would overlook any excessive appeals. Not a bad deal. The umpires didn’t even have to write a match report, meaning no plan on how the money would be spent even existed. There wasn’t even a plan to enforce a follow on.
Although it is supposedly to:
“… support the broadcast of underrepresented sports on subscription television, including women’s sports, niche sports, and sports with a high level of community involvement and participation.”
Why would you give that sort of money to a subscription television station? Wouldn’t the ABC be a better proposition for underrepresented women’s sports?
I mean, they didn’t even have a plan for a bit of ball tampering in Murdoch’s groin area when he was fielding in the covers, let alone the promotion of women’s sport.
There were never any terms or conditions, no plans needed to be submitted, no terms and no accountability. The women’s cricket team didn’t even have a dress code.
All attempts at fielding documents under Freedom of Information were denied for the reason that they didn’t exist. Any drunk on the boundary would reckon a googly had been bowled at the taxpayer during a pandemic.
Minister Fifield declined to comment:
“But a statement from his office said the decision was made by the Government as part of the budget process, and the FOI decision was made independently of him.”
Now you have to pay a subscription to Foxtel who have asked for money from the government, and in turn the ABC for broadcasting rights for women’s sports for which we already pay tax. Hit that one to fine leg.
Is that clear? If not, it simply means they got $30 million dollars no questions asked.
But Foxtel being the run hungry buggers they are weren’t satisfied. They asked for and got another $10 million. They don’t even have to submit a plan until the end of the season. Just before the footy starts. If you are thinking it’s a bit of a balls-up you would be correct.
With the latest $10 million a further FOI request was hit for six when:
“Communications Minister Paul Fletcher’s chief of staff Ryan Bloxsom said the disclosure ‘could reasonably be expected to have a detrimental effect on the working relationship between the minister’s office and the Prime Minister’s office, now and into the future’.”
That sounds to me like a bit of grafting at the crease now and into the future.
So, let’s hope that the parliamentary inquiry into Murdoch’s media ownership brings some sanity to the game. At the moment only one side is playing cricket.
My thought for the day
The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of reason never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation.
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