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Reality bites

By 2353NM

Every political commentator in the land has their own personal opinion, most hide it and at least present a façade of even-handed questioning of politicians from all sides of politics. A week and a bit before the election, Sky News Paul Murray didn’t. In what The Guardian called an expletive laden anti-Labor tirade Murray demonstrated his bias in technicolour during the off-camera ‘audience warm up’ prior to a televised interview with the LNP’s Peter Dutton at a suburban Brisbane hotel. Some of Murray’s remarks included

imploring them to vote for the Liberal and National candidates, rather than minor parties, to ensure a Coalition election victory.

During the 10-minute monologue Murray mocked former treasurer Wayne Swan, the president of the ALP, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, West Australian premier Mark McGowan and Sky News commentator and regular guest Nicholas Reece, deputy lord mayor of Melbourne city council.

Murray laughed at Swan for coming to the defence of Albanese, when he accused the media of “disgusting” gotcha journalism. “And again, what about Wayne Swan the other day, screaming and moaning because of course ‘the press has been mean to Albo, too mean to Albo’, Murray said.

Murray broadcasts on Sky News, a subsidiary of News Corp. His rant is a test of character for the management of Sky News and News Corp as it is now obvious they employ a commentator on politics that has gone on the record with a hatred of one side of politics. He clearly cannot report on the political news or conduct interviews in an unbiased, fair and equitable basis.

Should Sky allow Murray to keep his job, they are demonstrating to all and sundry that they really don’t care that one of their (one assumes) highly paid talking heads has no concept of fairness or balance. If they do, they demonstrate that there is an implied political agenda to everything they do. The implied bias doesn’t just affect Murray, it affects every report that Sky News puts to air, regardless of the talking head.

Ironically, in the same week that Murray mocked various ALP MPs and got away with it, News Corp criticised former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for insulting a journalist (probably one of theirs) in Melbourne. You can’t have it both ways and be fair or balanced. It’s probably reasonable to suggest that Rudd is not the most balanced identity in Australian politics and he is putting his name to a campaign to initiate a royal commission into the actions of News Corp. But if Sky News allows their staff to criticise their political enemies, it’s probably expected that someone will return fire. If Sky News won’t take action, their parent company, News Corp should. Unfortunately for the reporters that attempt to do a good job at News Corp, there will be allegations of bias that cannot be completely rebutted while Murray and his ilk at News Corp keep their jobs. A former News Corp journalist of 30 years standing gave his opinion in The Guardian in 2019. While we can’t confirm it, it’s probably reasonable to suggest that Tony Koch’s opinion hasn’t changed since then.

News Corp has a problem, they already have ceased publication of actual newspapers through most regional areas of Australia, steering consumers to the websites spawned by the discontinued newspaper titles. As a lot of News Corp’s regional coverage is web based and written by people in capital cities, the ability to find out about local events is severely limited. A reputation for bias towards a political party won’t result in people with alternative opinions paying a subscription to read ‘local’ news written by people that could be thousands of kilometres away.

Ironically, at the time News Corp is reducing coverage, the ABC is expanding its presence in regional areas. Conservatives, frequently using News Corp publications as their mouthpiece, claim that the ABC is a waste of taxpayer money and should be privatised. At least one organisation is funding people to live in regional areas and report on current events in those regions.

News Corp’s implied bias makes it hard for them as the ALP’s Anthony Albanese is now the Prime Minister. Why would anyone from the new Government discuss anything openly and honestly with an organisation that doesn’t censure their employee who is clearly is biased against the incoming Government and seems to have an anti-government agenda? The ALP has also committed to restoring some funding to the ABC, so there is an alternative (and publicly funded) alternative to News Corp’s bias with a charter to retain balanced reporting content. The increased funding from the deals with Facebook and Google have already ensured that the ABC can afford to open offices staffed by journalists in smaller regional communities, the same communities that no longer get the newspaper dropped off at the store every morning.

Regardless, expletive laden’ rants are not what those who attended the Sky News sponsored ‘Paul Murray’s Live Pub Test’ interview with Peter Dutton expected to see at the Eatons Hill Hotel on the northern outskirts of Brisbane a week or so ago. Even if News Corp has absolutely no pretence of impartiality and fairness, they have a duty to consider the mental health of their employees.

What do you think?


This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. pierre wilkinson

    Paul Murray is just one of a plethora of biased, opinionated, lackluster lackeys of the old scrotum Murdoch, along with the 2GB shock jocks and those so called media representatives masquerading as journalists and reporters in the other MSM organisations.
    Thankfully the Australian people have woken up to their lies and misrepresentations, giving both Murdoch and his sycophants a resounding defeat in the election.
    Bring on the Inquiry into media ownership that little John, the lying rodent, created.

  2. ajogrady

    Australians need to start paying attention. Our democracy is under threat and it not from a invading marauding nation. Its from within. Our democracy is being stolen right under our noses by billionaire media barons and mining magnates fulfilling their own self interests that do not benefit the majority of the Australian people. That is not how a true and proper democracy works. Its not what those who made the ultimate sacrifice fought for. We are a lesser people and a corrupted nation for this interference. While politics can be boiled down to the integrity and character of the parties, perhaps it is not just the integrity and character of the political parties that are in question. It is also the integrity and character of main stream media journalists reporting on the those political parties that is also in question. Biased, prejudicial and suspect journalism is undermining our democracy. Journalists are not ment to make partisan political statements dressed up as questions or make unbalanced subjective reports across media outlets.
    Democracy is being gamed by big legacy media and played to benefit big business. If businesses pay large amounts of money to “influencers” to gain advantage over their competition then how much is the influence of the L/NP turd polishing media outlets of Murdoch, 7 and 9 worth to the L/NP? The Main Stream Media are a life support system and cheer squad for a side of politics that has decimated Democracy. The MSM is the problem not the solution. Advertising with these media outlets should be counted as political donations to the L/NiP.

    Worst debt blow-out in the developed world refutes Coalition claims of economic competence

    Zombie Doctrine: belief in Coalition as “super economic managers” sticks, despite proof otherwise

  3. A Commentator

    Clive Palmer apparently spent about $100mil on advertising, about $200 per vote.
    He got nowhere.
    The public doesn’t buy political crap just because it’s advertised or advocated

  4. corvusboreus

    Paul Murray is a dyspeptically flatulent shartbag whose main audience is captive barflies.

    Albanese’s government should use this electoral term to completely reset parameters on media engagement.

    For starters, they should conduct the majority of their public discourse on the nation’s public broadcaster (the one with the binding charter stipulating impartiality of conduct) rather than paying court to murdoch’s muck-rake minions.

    Enough with ‘pub-tests’ debates conducted on pay TV; i’d prefer to hear more input on public policy from people who are actually sober enough to drive home

  5. Michael Taylor

    I didn’t spend a cent yet can boast a better return than Palmer.

  6. Max Gross

    The Murdoch media stranglehold on Australia is clearly a case of foreign interference. The new Labor government must legislate its demise.

  7. Canguro

    I’m not a consumer of Murdoch media, in any of its forms, so cannot speak with any experience; never bought a Daily Telegraph, nor The Australian, at least not in the last 25 years, and certainly would never subscribe to a paid TV station like Sky News. It’s just not in my DNA, my philosophy being if you don’t want your mind polluted, then don’t expose it to pollutants.

    Nonetheless, from my readings on the Wrinkled Goat’s media empire, one things seems to be a common feature: They (the employees) love to dish out the criticism of the ‘opponents’ (those whom Murdoch deems ‘the enemy’ of his interests), but they can’t take being criticised themselves.

    I don’t pretend to be too analytical on these matters, but I wonder about the likes of the people that populate these media organisations. Highly paid to spray venom, lies & falsehoods, toxic attacks, propaganda. People like Paul Kelly… once touted as a ‘serious’ journalist, but just as capable of spurious agitprop as the like of Miranda Devine, Paul Murray, or Cruella, the would-be consort of the Mad Monk.

    All of a similar ilk: Mephistophelean, all partakers of the Faustian bargain. Horrible people, actually.

    Anybody with an ounce of discretion would rather run a 100 miles rather than expose themselves to the toxicity of these worthless scribblers and ranters.

    Would be great if the new government could stamp out this plague on our nation. It’s a most damaging influence.

  8. A Commentator

    If only there was some way people could access an alternative perspective on politics.
    If only like minded people had a way of connecting, talking and promoting their opinions.
    It’s just a pity technology can’t seem to solve the problem, and everyone has no option but to consume Murdoch’s media.
    Maybe one day people will be able to get another perspective?

  9. Mark Shields

    It took a lot of scientific rationalisation to defeat the religious nuttery of this recent far-right hegemony. BUT DON’T FOR ONE MINUTE THINK, IT IS OVER! The Religious Right are even more wilfully ignorant and angry than before and like Trumpist predecessors, they are going to come back with an even stronger anti-science, anti-history argument than ever before, to destroy the cohesion of our social fabric.

    Whilst the radical Leftists let ignorance and greed become the Gulag State, the ignorant Right-Wing let greed and apathy beome the Corporate State… The great desire of a uniform global mindset has yet to find a political ideology, and as small as this planet is becoming, the greater the independent and micro managing community units become, the more linked to the social community, they eventually become!

  10. Phil Pryor

    Canguru is on track, for these shitskulls try to project their shit obsessions out to create a personality for themselves, lacking in reality, but gained in imagination and fantasy by dreaming of conquering imaginary opposition, Truth is an enemy, for they embrace evil filth, look for the rigged deal, the rails run, the graft and corruiption road. Merde Dog patronises them. SICKO..

  11. New England Cocky

    @ Michael Taylor: The reason for your relative success compared to Palmer is that AIMN provides objective articles written by ”amateur journalists” who do excellent research before committing their usually detailed thoughtful analysis to paper. This is NOT re-hashed press release written by an unthinking private school off-spring of ”a good mate” needing a job because they are otherwise unfit for real employment.

    Stand up and take a bow Michael & Carol. Australian journalism lives outside the mainstream media-ocrity!!

    PS How many theses do you have to complete before you can claim to be a journalist?

    Max Gross: Very much agreed.

  12. Terence Mills

    Perhaps the disturbing thing about Paul Murray and others in the Sky menagerie is that they pose as journalists. But they fail to meet any of the professional standards that we have come to expect from journalists : they do not fact check, they support unfounded conspiracy theories, they lack objectivity and are chronically politically biased.

    Under Morrison there was active avoidance of the ABC and ministers were encouraged to support Murdoch publications and Sky at the expense of the public broadcaster.

    A sample of audience numbers from TV Tonight demonstrates how desperate things are at Sky :

    CREDLIN 56,000
    BERNARDI 38,000

    The only way that Murdoch could turn around these abysmal numbers would be by appealing to a broader audience and lifting the standards of their presenters – this is unlikely to happen in the short term but just how much money is he prepared to lose ?

  13. A Commentator

    I think that’s the point.
    Partisan barracking by the media creates a shrinking market for their product.
    The only people that tune in are those that are already oriented to that perspective, and wish to have it reinforced.
    Traditional media is in steep decline. Anyone with a mobile phone can access any media outlet in the world.
    Don’t get bothered about the partisan view of a small and shrinking media outlet.
    The election result and the free falling market demonstrates the impotence of traditional media

  14. Kathryn

    One of the first things the ALP need to do is to get rid of the appalling, dangerously undemocratic, totally biased right-wing red necks that were parachuted into OUR taxpayer-funded ABC by the disreputable, thoroughly discredited PATHOLOGICAL LIARS in the LNP! Z-rated, talentless, pro-LNP hacks like David Speers, Lisa Millar, that dreadful shrieking harridan Fauziah Ibrahim and Patricia Karvelas! Get rid of them! They all did so much to character-assassinate, vilify and denigrate the ALP, the Greens or any left-wing individual or group in order to keep the absolute worst government in our history in power!

    There can be no doubt that both Abbott and Morrison, both of them nauseating bible-thumping hypocrites with Morrison being a lunatic and very warped member of t.he notorious paedophile-protecting CULT of Hillsong, degenerated the inept LNP into becoming an even more deplorable, sick, twisted version of the most incompetent, inherently corrupt, smug, lying pack of political parasites in living memory!

    Morrison’s cabinet of smirking, lying alpha male misogynists remain the most offensive, callously inhumane, corrupt pack of self-entitled elitists on record … only the war monger, John Howard (Morrison’s hero) was as depraved. If you can judge a man by the type of deviant he admires, then Morrison’s sickening fawning adulation of Trump and Howard says SO MUCH about him – none of it good!

    Thank God the majority of Australians kicked the unspeakably depraved fascists in the Morrison regime to the gutter! GOOD RIDDANCE TO VERY BAD POLITICAL RUBBISH!

  15. Spindoctor

    Labor will endure more of the same vitriol, bias, smear, hate and lies for the next three years as the LNP are neutered as a force, but the Mordorc, Stokes and Costello media cartels remain the key propaganda elephant dominating national news and info. Sky’s kenny, murray and credlin know they must spout their right wing BS to keep the salary coming in. They are locked in and lose all credibility so even now they are urging the LNP to go even harder MAGA trump right. Murdoch makes many billions through his wide US interests and is virtually untouchable there, cuddling up to major political and business vested interests, so the likelihood is he will persist spending hundreds of millions in losses for his rags and Sky just to remain a political and business influencer here. He has said so, that he can put up with a Labor term and bide his time. Our cartel trio have also been untouchable by Labor/greens independents for decades but now the parties know they cannot allow the status quo to remain even as ad boycotts by disgusted and highly motivated people like MFW continue. MFW cost 2GB and Sky millions according to a Bolt admission. People are galvanised enough for change for boycotts to grow nationally. Rudds half million petition for an RC has weight so this time Media must come under the spotlight.. and if karma and justice apply Murdoch is gutted, sliced, diced or banned and broken up as a foreign agent, Costello and stokes also reduced, highly regulated and watched while the ABC and new start up papers in those communities where Rupert closed 128 print editions get as much assistance as possible. We also need ABC short wave back to inform pacific communities and maintain a presence in their lives and politics. This is an exciting time because we as a nation have the opportunity to shift the balance from that of rich vested interests pursuing profit at any cost to responsible ethical principled media to work as we face climate and other priority one challenges coming down the line. The cartels are not untouchable and it is time for huge payback.

  16. Kaye Lee

    There is an easy way to get rid of Murdoch. Tighten up the tax laws so he can’t exploit them as he did when the Coalition came to power and we handed over almost a billion dollar tax return to him.

    Why News Corp got almost $1 billion of your money

  17. Albos Elbow

    Don’t spend one cent, click on any one web page or watch or listen to anything connected to Murdoch.
    He only responds to money and power.

    Can’t wait till he and his family are dead and gone.

  18. Henry Rodrigues

    Its time to cleanup the augean stables. Surely Labor can convince the teal independents and the Greens, who were as much maligned as Labor were, by Murdoch and his shameless immoral operatives posing as journalists, including the hidden ones that Kathryn has identified, Millar, Karvelas, Speers and that no talent Fauzia Ebrahim. Add half price Sales to that list. Labor can legislate for a unbiased and non partisan media starting with reconstituting the ABC according to its charter. To begin with, getting rid of the mealy mouthed Butter and rose, who was well versed in the deceptive arts by none other than that tax evading lump of arrogance, Kerry, and then purging all the ex Murdoch hacks. The fools on Sky will die a natural death when deprived of the oxygen of popular attention. Even that perpetual juvenile delinquent who mucks around in the IPA, Rowan Dean, only gets encouragement because he is on a retainer from Murdoch. As for Stokes and Costello, they’ve now lost all credibility. Ch 7’s Kochie is another bullshitting talking head who’s time has come.

    Maybe Simon Holmes A Court might be persuaded to take over the management of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age and restore them to their illustrious past as true independent media outlets. They still have a few great journalists on their staff. Ross Gittins is one of them. Moir still knows comes up with pithyiest of cartoons.

  19. wam

    The autocue journalists, tv/radio and news paper journalists are rightwing and fixed to selling ads.
    The standard belief by advertisers considers labor to be the enemy QED.
    However they chase ratings so labor could do worse than provide the morning shows with evidence of rorts.
    Perhaps getting private schools to pay back job keeper, might make a morning show story?
    (I remember the boys of sacred heart, the rabbott, his joey pynenut and shorten I forget the others there are only 4 schools in Aust. The SA sacred heart, made a profit of $7m and claimed $8m from job keeper) but there will be a myriad of rorts to be uncovered as evidence for an ICAC???
    you are right, cangaroo paul kelly seemed honest years ago but the old clay feet has been showing for this millennium

  20. Malcolm Ansell

    We need to deeply understand How Murdoch gets away with what and how he does his influence!
    Remember the Sky news court case in the UK some years ago, re phone tapping of ‘suspects’ – targeted members of the community who the Sky combine could rip apart publicly, for Entertainment!
    During the court case that came later, Murdochs defense was – “we are an Entertainment Business”, not a News business, hence the truth in reporting did not matter.
    Since then, he and his sycophants have got away with continued Election Leading and Interference, destruction of Journalism and the truth, and causing great suffering and sometimes death of people targeted, because of the parties he has assisted to be elected – ref. the Great Australian Ultra Conservatives, who amongst more than I can stand, gave us RoboDebt, where some 2000 people are shown tom have suicided.
    His reign is a continuing Cancer on the USA, UK and Australia, and I really hope Mr Rudd and Mr Turnbull get involved again with our new bright and shiny Govt, in trying to shut down this scourge.
    No wonder James left.

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