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One that the Murdoch media got horribly wrong

1 Before this win, Labor was last in power for six years from 2007-2013. Before that, you have to go back to 1993, when Paul Keating was Prime Minister. The Coalition has dominated the intervening years, and it has done so with the assistance of the newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Things changed forever on May 21 2022. People, in their wisdom, decided that Rupert’s mastheads were part of the problem and not the solution. The influence they once carried in the form of deception, misleading headlines or straight outlying was no longer.

The traditional means by which we gathered our information is now well and truly antiquated.

The control over how we once sought our political news, namely newspapers, has been eroded to the point of obsolescence. This election has proven it. The Murdoch newspapers – try as they may – had very little influence on the election results. There is now a significant disconnect between those who produce news for consumption and its consumers. The monitoring of information from Murdoch and the election outcomes show just how out of step they are with the voting public.

The public rejected traditional media like the Murdoch mastheads for the same reasons they shied away from the Morrison Government. They were sick and tired of all the lying, for example, about climate change, neo-conservatism, and significantly, the state of play in the theatre of politics. They preferred to get their information from social media outlets and reputable online sources such as The AIMN.

The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail, The Advertiser, The Mercury, and the Northern Territory. News Corp is reported to control 70% of the printed news in all capital cities.



In terms of politics, they are now a defunct rabble. Their opinion isn’t worth the cost of the ink that adheres itself to the newsprint they use.

News Corp in this election was at its bombastic best. Its front pages were full of dangerous, destructive insulting and harmful pictures. They savaged independent candidates with articles that knew no boundaries.

Writing in The Guardian, Malcolm Farr was critical of elements in the Murdoch media, postulating that:

“The most destructive, harmful and dangerous vote anyone can make in the forthcoming election is for a teal independent or the Greens,” wrote the Australian’s Greg Sheridan on May 3. “They are both a direct threat to our national security.”

A futile comment, as it turned out, as the Greens picked up another three seats, and the Independents stomped home in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Most were women replacing men.

Despite what was a clear direction from the punters to elect the independents, Murdoch is known to prefer maintaining a two-party system.

So, what comes out of all this rejection of Murdoch and his acolytes? There are still some good sports pages to read and pics galore, but I wouldn’t trust the politics.

In debating their tactics with colleagues and friends, I have noticed that the Sky (and Fox) viewership seems to be marked by a collective personality disorder whereby the viewer feels almost as though they’ve been let into a secret society. Arguably, this has been the election in which the bias of its tilted reporting has been exposed?

When the polls have been analysed to the nth degree, and all the data is done and dusted, one of the biggest stories of this election will be how Murdoch’s News Corp failed to have the desired influence on the result. From newspapers to television; it has become impotent. Maybe forever. I want to think so.

If a newspaper article is written in a manner to suggest objectivity, but subjective words are scattered throughout it together with carefully phrased unsupported statements, then dismiss the piece as having no cogency.

2 The new Ministry:

Ups and downs

On the last count, Labor had secured 77 seats from which it has to select a Speaker or select a Speaker from the crossbench (which would be a brave move). Either way, it will govern in its own right.

Albanese has been quick out of the blocks selecting a Ministry to take Australia into the future. He advised all the Ministers “not to waste a day” of government.

Jason Clare, Labor’s campaign spokesperson ended up with education. A little surprising given the work he had done on housing policy. And Albanese wanted to promote the Queensland left-wing senator Murray Watt, and he did. Straight into the cabinet.

Women will be an issue for both major parties, but Albo is way ahead of the Coalition, boasting of appointing the “largest number of women ever in an Australian cabinet.”

Relative to its importance, early childhood ended up in the outer Ministry. “Given cheaper childcare was so central to Labor’s campaign“, that really surprised me.

I’m also surprised when a person with expertise in one area is given another. Murray Watts is a case in point. He has vast knowledge in communications yet ended up in foreign affairs.

The ins and outs

It’s a bit like selecting a football team. You need 22 fit players, and you have 30 players competing for the 22 spots.

Three females have “moved from the backbench to the outer Ministry“:

“Left-winger from Western Australia Anne Aly, Anika Wells from Queensland, and Kristy McBain, both right-wing are from New South Wales.”

Remember, all the factions have to comply with Labor’s Affirmative Action policy. Wells “needed to replace the Queensland right-winger Shayne Neumann” (formerly, veterans’ affairs) on the new frontbench.

So, Aly ended up with early childhood education, and Wells got aged care and sport. McBain got regional development. There are now ten women in a 23-person cabinet, which I think is a record.

Albanese has invested in a talented professional team with Marles in defence, Penny Wong in foreign affairs, Katy Gallagher in finance, Jim Chalmers in Treasury, Mark Butler in health and Tony Burke as leader of the lower house and in the workplace relations portfolio.

NSW right-winger Chris Bowen will implement the plan he set up in opposition for climate and energy.

Bill Shorten was given the portfolio he wanted, disability, even though they are not close, or so it is said.

Pat Conroy will work with Penny Wong on the Pacific in the outer Ministry- left-winger Andrew Giles will manage immigration. Victorian Clare O’Neil in home affairs), and the left-wing senator Tim Ayers will be assistant minister for trade and manufacturing.

As a reward for having delivered four lower house seats to Labor’s column in 2022, Patrick Gorman was appointed assistant minister to the prime minister.

Andrew Leigh, an economics professor, is always disadvantaged because he is not a faction member. He is one of the Labour party’s best brains. Albanese has kept him as an assistant treasury minister responsible for competition policy and charities in honour of his substantial expertise.

The South Australian right-wing veteran Don Farrell has also kicked a goal; now, he’s Labor’s deputy Senate leader. Farrell also keeps the portfolio of special minister of state, which he held in opposition, together with trade and tourism.

The to-do list

The first Albanese cabinet and Ministry were sworn in at Government House on Wednesday morning, and the subcommittees of the new cabinet met for the first-time last Thursday. There is much work to be done.

With a trip to Tokyo out of the way, Albanese is now on his way to Indonesia.

Upon his return, he will nominate Sue Lines, a Western Australian senator, as the new Senate President when the 47th parliament meets for the first time in the last week of July.

As for the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Queenslander Milton Dick and Victorian Rob Mitchell have shown interest, but the more exciting prospect would be Tasmanian veteran independent Andrew Wilkie who has expressed interest in sitting in the Speaker’s chair.

My thought for the day

Would you rather play in a team of champions or a champion team?

My previous post: The villain takes centre stage


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  1. Terence Mills

    SKY in Australia both as a pay TV channel and more recently as a Free to air offering in the regions has, like FOX in the USA a business model that is aimed at the disaffected. In the US the have nurtured a following with white, poorly educated middle aged men (mainly) who are open to conspiracy theories and who insist on their second Amendment rights to carry guns : Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity with Rupert Murdoch’s encouragement, justify this ‘right’ even in the face of overwhelming evidence that many in society are not mentally competent or sufficiently mature to own semi-automatic weapons.

    Interestingly, the second amendment was introduced into the US Constitution in 1791 at a time when the guns available to the general public were a single shot Revolutionary-era musket, that had a one-round magazine capacity. Its maximum accuracy range had to be within 50 meters. Reloading the gun involved adding gunpowder, using a ramrod to insert the lead ball holding it vertically to make sure it didn’t roll out There were also single shot 9 or 10 inch barreled, smooth bore flintlocks of 1 inch bore, which were notoriously inaccurate.

    As the NRA are sticklers for maintaining the literal black letter of Constitutional law then perhaps they should accept that the intent of the founding fathers should be upheld and only single-shot guns permitted to be owned by the general public.

    Almost a Shakespearean solution : see The Merchant of Venice – Act IV.

    But, I have digressed – my point being that the SKY model in Australia, like FOX in the US, is out to create discontent and alienation among a small but noisy group of people in our community : they fostered and groomed the anti vaccination mob who were led to believe that there was a government mandate that everybody had to be vaccinated against COVID – patently untrue yet they swallowed this nonsense from Paul Murray and others at SKY and even marched on Canberra !

  2. New England Cocky

    Ahhh JL, you ask such fiendish rhetorical questions. Certainly the Albanese LABOR government is a team of champions in a champion team, but why play members out of position?
    LABOR made the same mistake with Maxine McCue, the vanquisher of liability Johnnie Howard, a highly regarded professional journalist, very skilled in dealing with publicity, yet despite her political success the Labor Boys Club passed her over for a no name male. Something about shooting your self in both feet come to mind.
    Talk about a team of champions …. just look at the huge leadership talent available for selection, any one of at least half a dozen capable of being Prime Minister. Now what was that about Scummo, Voldemort Duddo, Porelein and Bragger Bandt??
    To quote the musical, How to succeed in Business Without Really Trying, ”The company’s in the very best of hands.”

  3. Kerri

    Must admit I was stunned that Plibersek was not in Education and Andrew Leigh not Assistant Treasurer.
    But I wonder if Albanese’s strategy is to reduce any potential ammunition by placing MPs in positions they have not spoken out about before the election?

  4. Baby Jewels

    Sky are almost choking on their own bile since the vanquishing of the Liberals. Rowan Dean, Andrew Bolt, Paul Murray are rousing the great unwashed to storm the capital – with lies, mainly. Now Dutton is telling such whoppers that the gullibles couldn’t possibly see through, as well,..just more lies. Liberals are for workers! And blaming the rising cost of living, especially power prices – on Labor, who were only sworn in 3 days ago. Ahh, Righties. With a bit of luck Dutton will keep this up for the next 3 years at which time, they’ll be locked out for another 3 years.

    Is there any truth to the rumour that Frydenberg has bought property in Cook, and will run for Cook in a by election after Morrison resigns? Clearly, he never was much of a Victorian.

  5. Albos Elbow

    Where is the so called change in COAL-NP and Commander Voldemort Potato Head.
    After one week in opposition, its still do fuck all to help fix the problems, but blame Labor if something goes wrong.

    Thankfully they won’t be in power again for a very, very long time.

  6. Harry

    If Labor proves to be an effective, inclusive government it might reduce the impact of the hard right media. Early days but the signs are encouraging. The right love scare campaigns but a competent, moderate, social democratic government should counter that.

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    Gillard was an effective, inclusive government that provided good governance. Made no difference.

  8. Jackie

    Author barely mentions Sky News – which has for the last year or so been beamed all over the regions for free.
    Yes, Rita Pahani at 4pm, just in time for the kids when they get home from school! The Gold Coast is obviously considered a region, because we get it here on Channel 53. Some of their reporting is good, but the overall tone is anti-Labor. Peter Dutton speaks their language.
    ALSO – social media has bypassed the power of the Murdoch newspapers. I dont know what the circulation figures are\= but news papers are for the old who like to sit an read them. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok All circulate the articles from decent journalists, and parties can target their advertisements direct to various cohorts. On the other hand, why should we put up with the vicious campaigns Murdoch runs in Queensland and Victoria against the Premiers?

  9. Kaye Lee


    I share your surprise about Leigh and Plibersek though they both can do important work with what they have been given. So pleased to see Leigh in charge of charities and Gary Johns gone. Hopefully Tanya can sort out the Murray-Darling and shine some light on the water rorts that have been going on including Barnaby’s dams and Angus Taylor’s involvement.

  10. Kathryn

    The first thing the Albanese-led Labor government MUST do is to reinstate the strict media ownership laws we used to have in this nation which forbade any single, totally corrupt, lying, conniving entity – like that self-serving American predator, Murdoch, or other individual or single entity or corporation – to own more than 51% of the media in this nation!

    Ever since that appalling, corrupt, power-obsessed war criminal, John Howard, rose up to “ lead” one of the worst, most wasteful, lying, conniving, inhumane and inept regimes in our history then went on to rescind the democratic media ownership laws, this allowed the formation of the notorious LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance which, in turn, gave that unspeakably depraved Murdoch full ownership over just about every form of televised and printed media in the nation. As a reward for “services rendered”, Murdoch then, and ever since, has chosen to openly and malevolently favour the LNP whilst undemocratically character-assassinating Labor, the Greens or anyone standing in the way of the LNP’s unquenchable thirst for autocratic, absolute power – a level of corrupt, all-consuming power about which the Alliance REFUSES to be questioned, disputed or challenged!

    When ONE corrupt, self-serving entity – such as the LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance – owns the overwhelming majority of the media, they CONTROL THE NARRATIVE and, make no mistake about it,THIS level of malignant control of everything people hear and see is the first step on the road to FASCISM! To make matters considerably worse, the depraved, fascist alliance between the dictatorial smug elitists in the LNP, Murdoch and the unelected swill of callous capitalistic neoliberals in Murdoch’s IPA, then decided to take matters one step further into right wing extremism and infect and corrupt OUR taxpayer-funded ABC! They did this by parachuting right-wing sycophants like Ita Buttrose in as Chairwoman and the most appalling right-wing biased LNP-supporting Z-rated ex-SkyNews hacks into powerful seats to distort and further corrupt our national broadcasting station with disreputable far-right ideology and spew out appalling character-assassinating lies about the ALP, the Greens or anyone opposing the sick and twisted views of Abbott, Morrison and that brutal sadistic psychopath, Dutton!

    OUR ABC now plays host to shrieking right-wing grubs who openly support the LNP which just happens to be the very same undemocratic, corrupt regime that has defunded the ABC to the tune of nearly $1 BILLION since 2014! Now ABC viewers, whom statistics have proven are mostly left-wing, are now confronted and nauseated by the intolerable and intolerant lies and blatant bias of shrieking right-wing grubs like Fauziah Ibrahim, the insipid journalist Johanna Nicholson and positively appalling right-wing extremists like Peta Credlin, Paul Murray and grotesque members of the LNP (past and present) who keep popping up every now and again like a bad case of herpes! The WORST of the worst of these is that ex-SkyNews hack, David Speers who continues to stack the Q&A panel with right-wing, LNP-supporting sycophants and/or attempts to shouts down or silence any left-wing or opposing view! Such a disgusting and depraved abuse of power on OUR taxpayer-funded ABC!

    All of these second-rate, Murdoch-influenced, right-wing, LNP-sycophantic talking heads esconsced into EVERY form of media in our country, are as guilty for what they DO NOT REPORT OR SAY as for the lies and baseless slander they do! Not a word about Penny Wong’s recent trip to the Pacific Islands where she successfully managed to UNDO all the damage done by the elitist insular idiots in the LNP! Instead, the undemocratic bitter and twisted losers in the LNP/Murdoch-controlled press (including the ABC) are now attempting to freeze the ALP out; choosing to completely ignore, and childishly snub, the ALP – our elected government – and, instead, harp on and on ad nauseum, desperately trying to elevate the catastrophic unpopularity of the thoroughly decimated LNP – a thoroughly disgraced, totally corrupt, internationally condemned and despised regime of regressive climate-change-denying Neanderthals, smug sneering elitists, skirt-lifting misogynists and callously inhumane psychopaths that were, justifiably, kicked to the gutter because they – and their internationally-condemned American propaganda minister, Murdoch – completely lack even the most minute levels of fair play, credibility, compassion and integrity!


  11. Michael Taylor

    Kathryn, the truth-in-media laws like they have in Canada would be a good place to start. Under those laws bullshit in the media is unlawful.

    And surprise, surprise… the Murdoch media isn’t in Canada.

    Bullshit is OK in Australia, though.

  12. Kathryn

    Michael Taylor, so true! This is ONE area Australia desperately needs to take a leaf out of Canada’s book! Murdoch is like a sick, twisted cancer supporting and rewarding the worst, most corrupt right-wing extremist regimes in the western world. 😢😢🤬

  13. leefe

    The only good thing about NewsCorpse is the Times cryptic crossword. Otherwise, the entirie output of the company deserves instant shredding – along with a hefty percentage of its staff.

    Yes, I’d have liked Plibersek to get Education, but Environment is possibly the most important portfolio there is, given the mess the planet is in. We need someone like her if we’re going to have even half a chance of sorting it out.

  14. wam

    The murdoch papers, lord, like palmer, would have failed in 2019, if they weren’t feed controversy from billy, booby and the bandit which allowed the media to manufacture news.?
    True Florence, a good government ejected by an inept rabbott, a sneaky lemon, a nervous whinging muslim and a lying media.
    The bandit was there then and now???
    fact check: The core claim that the Fox News Channel is not available in Canada is false.

  15. Michael Taylor

    wam, I meant newspapers. My error.

  16. Albos Elbow

    At precisely 9 am last Wednesday, a woman phoned the prime minister’s office. “Can I speak to Mr Morrison, please?”
    “Mr Morrison is no longer the prime minister.”

    On Thursday morning at 9 am, the same. “Can I speak to Mr Morrison, please?”
    “Mr Morrison is no longer the Prime Minister.”

    And on Friday at 9 am. “Can I speak to Mr Morrison, please?”
    “Mr Morrison is no longer the prime minister! I’ve told you three times now! Why do you keep asking?”

    “I know he’s not the prime minister any more. I just LOVE hearing you say it!”

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