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Tag Archives: Murdoch media

Vote for Newscorp !

I don’t live in Victoria and I don’t vote in Victoria but from a distance it appears to me that the two main contestants in the upcoming state election are the current Premier representing the ALP, Dan Andrews and Newscorp although, in the latter case it is not clear if it is the dirty digger himself standing or the prodigal son who may be living on his yacht in Port Phillip Bay – but is he on the Victorian electoral roll ?

Truth is it’s neither and they don’t seem all that fussed about the Liberal Party but they both dearly want to destroy the ALP.

At the weekend Newscorp’s Herald Sun had an exclusive on the ‘steps’ that the unfortunate Premier slipped on in March 2021 – senior reporters (I can’t use the term journalists as that would imply that they were purveyors of news and this is certainly not news) had hastened to a holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula to photograph the steps and interview surrounding neighbours. Evidently they had been instructed to rekindle the conspiracy theories that something untoward had happened all those months ago. It was, their editor thought, worthy of a front page and they reported exclusively that the holiday home and the offending steps had – wait for it – a new coat of paint. Clearly, there was nothing happening in the state of Victoria warranting attention on the front page of this right-wing tabloid.

What are we to make of this nonsense ? Has Roop lost his marbles or is there something more sinister afoot ? We do know that the Victorian Liberals tried, at the time of the unfortunate accident, to conjure up social media conspiracies suggesting that the Premier was drunk or had been beaten up. Then the appalling Louise Staley, opposition treasury spokeswoman, gave new impetus to the complicated web of conspiracy theories by demanding that Andrews come clean and answer questions about the conspiracy theories that she and her colleagues had been spreading.

With all the misinformation and disinformation swirling Ambulance Victoria, whose crew had taken Andrews to hospital, and the chief commissioner of police both felt it necessary to take the unprecedented action of issuing statements setting out the facts.

In the meantime SKY News seem to have got the same memo about the Andrews onslaught with fake journalist Peta Credlin producing an exclusive exposé on the Cult of Daniel Andrews : I haven’t seen this effort by Credlin and probably won’t go out of my way to watch it. Suffice to say that l anticipate that it will be another hit job on the Premier of Victoria.

Two former prime ministers, Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd have called for an enquiry into media diversity in Australia which, if adopted by the new Labor government will obviously take a close look at the dominance of Newscorp in the press and increasingly on television where they now dominate payTV and are demanding exclusivity of many sporting codes. They are also increasingly penetrating free to air television in regional areas where Sky after Dark is becoming a FOX News surrogate peddling extreme far right dissension and climate change denial and misinformation.

I believe an enquiry is overdue, what do you think ?

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Do The Saints Keep Losing Because Jesus’ Father Didn’t Marry His Mum…

Look I know that Essendon are the Bombers, but the Saints made a better headline and like the mainstream media I’m more concerned with sounding good than actually conveying accuracy in my headlines.

By the way, I loved the front page that I saw today: CHALMERS OFFENSIVE. I’m presuming that it was meant to be a play on the phrase “charm offensive” even though there’s no suggestion that the Treasurer is launching one. The paper managed to get easy with calling Dr Jim offensive without any link to what they’d written. Where’s “Mad As Hell” to use that one and say just a bit of fun, eh? The actual piece was about how abolishing the Stage 3 tax cuts was going to hit teachers, nurses and tradies. I could write a whole piece about how the Stage 3 tax cuts could be manipulated a bit so that, not only were they fairer, but they could be made less costly without abolishing them entirely. It’s interesting though, because the media is wildly speculating that Labor are “softening us up” for a change and then complaining bitterly about their broken promise… which mightn’t actually happen. Labor may actually mean it when they say that they intend to go ahead with them.

Whatever Labor end up doing, I’d like to suggest that while it’s good to keep promises, reassessing a situation closer to the time is always important. I’m sure that nobody would argue that Barry should keep his promise to drive his mum to church this Sunday even though it means dragging her out of the hospital where she’s on a respirator.

But before I got distracted by the whole tax cut thing, I was going to comment on that poor guy who lost his job because of his religious views, Now, if you read the original version of the Bible you may end up a wee bit confused…

No, not just because it was written in a foreign language…

Was it originally written in Hebrew, Latin or some other language?

Whatever, it certainly wasn’t written in English so there’s a whole range of things that may have been lost in translation.

Anyway, in case you haven’t followed the news, Andrew Thorburn was asked to resign from the job that he’d been given after an extensive search by Andrew himself, after which he concluded that the best person for the job was him. (Yes, yes, shades of Morrison, but stop interrupting and making me lose my train of thought!)

Andrew Thorburn has an impressive track record in the corporate world where he told the Banking Royal Commission that he had no idea what was going on and that dead people were being charged for financial advice that they weren’t receiving. In some cases, this was because they were dead, but as Mr Thorburn believes in life after death, he may not have seen it as a problem… unlike all the problems he acknowledged as problems even though he had no idea they were going on because he was just the CEO, so how could he be expected to know what was happening?

Let’s just pause a minute here and look at the way things are meant to work in a secular, inclusive society according to those outraged by Mr Thorburn’s sacking/resignation:

  • Nobody should exclude anyone from a job on the basis of their religion, unless the body doing the employing is religious itself, in which case they shouldn’t be forced to employ someone who doesn’t adhere to their values.
  • Nobody who’s religious should be excluded from a job based on the position of their religion on certain topics, even if that position is in direct conflict with some of the views of the organisation employing him, her or them.
  • Schools don’t open on Christmas Day, indicating a refusal to celebrate Christmas and all schools should be celebrating Christmas even if the teachers employed there have a religious objection.
  • Australia has the right to insist on certain values and people who don’t adhere to Australian values should go back to where they came from, even if their objection to the value is religious in nature.
  • If the people not adhering to Australian values happen to be non-migrants who are just doing things like calling January 26th Invasion day, then they should be sacked from any job they hold because they don’t appreciate how lucky they are, because if the British hadn’t invaded then it would have been the French and that would have been a bigger problem because most of us don’t speak French.

Peter Dutton thinks that Andrew Thorburn should be re-instated, and not just because Dan Andrews thought that removing him was a good idea. No, it’s like I said: religious institutions have the right to consider religious views when hiring and firing, but nobody else does.

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What’s the go, Albo? (Part 1)

OK, Albo’s no Italian stallion – despite the euphoria of love on the rebound – especially after our abusive relationships with a series of cads, war criminal Howard, then “me myself and I” – Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison-too much in love with themselves to brook any rival – whose neoliberal religion sees people as mere consumers; or commodities in a transaction. So it’s not quite love at first sight yet and we’re not quite over the moon, however wonderful it is to see a normal human being become Prime Minister.

Barely a month has passed since amateur DJ, Albo moved his shaving kit into The Lodge bathroom and stashed his Midnight Oil, Spiderbait and Powderfinger amongst his trove of classic vinyl into the spare room yet we’re wondering about the new bloke. OK. He sounds decent, speaks sense and doesn’t lie his head off. That’s refreshing.

But is it enough? Did anyone expect Albo to be in such an oil-fired-nuclear-powered hurry to kiss Biden’s arse? Suck up to Soekarno puppet, Joko Widodo? Where in the pre-nups does it say that, We the People, agree to turn Darwin into a US Marine Base of over 2000 troops on a rotational basis? Whatever that means. The Marines are part of a Top Secret Plan in which Australia helps the neo-con hawks in the Pentagon goad China into a nuclear war over Taiwan. Soon. What could possibly go wrong?

Madeleine King certainly strikes a bum note when she calls for coal to step up to fill the void to push power prices down. There is no void. But our generators can play funny buggers with the supply if they want to create a crisis. Hold a gun to our heads. We know that Australia is a carbon capture state but King still shocks us.

Has Labor learned nothing from the Teals’ performance at the last election? Does it want to alienate the very MPs it will need to support its legislation in the Senate?

And who isn’t blind-sided when Albo dons the Morrison cloak of a secret National Cabinet – or COAG on stilts? Doesn’t he know that the cloak is a poisoned robe like the shirt of Nessus? Look what it did to Bulldozer Morrison.

COAG is a Keating stunt from 1992. It doesn’t need re-heating. There are already calls for local councils to participate. But why stop there? Those at home, such as age pensioners who must choose between paying the power bill and eating could join those who will now be sick with worry that they won’t even get Jobseeker.

All could rack up points just by logging in. Amazing Julie Bishop didn’t think of it. In 2015, her DFAT was gutted but she did get her hipster innovation Hub? A “gorgeous little funky, hipster, Googly, Facebooky-type place” it was supposed to come up with clever ways to run foreign aid on no money. Yep. Look where we are now.

The poor and needy will just have to eat less. So the minimum wage is lifted by 5.2%. An extra $20 per week? Whoopie do. It won’t even cover the rise in the price of petrol. With inflation tipped to hit seven per cent by market whisperer, the superbly reserved, Phil Lowe, by this time next year, our lowest-paid workers will suffer a cut in their real wages. Phil’s the lad from the Reserve Bank, an outfit from 1960, who knows we’ve all forgotten that nowhere in its charter is the notion that it will control inflation.

It can’t. You can’t control inflation caused by external causes including Putin’s genocide in Ukraine and the global Covid pandemic that, with the blind eye of authorities, is on track to kill 15-18,000 of us before the year ends. Our COVID case and death rates are one of the highest in the world. Super news, for all of us but Rupert who controls our mainstream news, seems to have kept the facts away from his newshounds.

You wouldn’t read about it in any mainstream news, including our ABC, which Morrison’s captain’s pick, Ita Buttrose, decides needs an entirely redundant Ombudsman to report directly to its Liberal-stacked Board. It’s a slap in the face for hard-working investigative journalists such as Four Corners, even if they do get Matthew Carney to replace Sally Neighbour. OK. Joel Tozer from Sixty Minutes gets 7:30 but he’s ex-ABC.

Covid is your own responsibility now, kids. Inflation? Think of the economy, (amen) as The Australia Institute’s Richard Denniss reminds us, “while high inflation is bad news for the budgets of 10 million Australian households, it’s good news for the bottom line of the commonwealth budget. While rapidly rising prices for groceries, coffee, petrol and building supplies mean tough choices are being made around Australia’s kitchen tables, those same price rises mean government revenue from the GST are set to surge.”

Those left jobless, by the recession we’re rushing into, carrying a trillion dollars in debt – thank-you Josh Frydenberg – will be further pilloried by the seven billion dollar Morrison scheme of requiring job seekers to rack up points before getting forty dollars a day to live on or $200 a fortnight below the Henderson Poverty Line.

Can’t be fixed now. Tony Burke tells us he’s inherited a war on the poor that’s too late to end. Far too hard to raise Jobseeker above the poverty line? What’s the go, Albo?

Unfixable is the Morrison-Taylor energy crisis. He may sound a bit dim but don’t be deceived. Angus Taylor’s a smart cookie. There’s not only the family firm that former Water Minister, Barnaby Joyce gave $80 million to in the Watergate scandal, involving the Taylor family’s East Australian Agriculture with an HQ in the Caymans. Plus another firm which sprayed Roundup on endangered native grassland that he has to manage. With a bit of help from a mate. Cayman Islands? It’s all a mystery, but as Gus assures sticky-beaks, such as Fran Kelly, all the best companies do it.

Thank goodness newly appointed US Trade and Investment Commissioner Giovanni Pork Barilaro is able to draft Taylor’s family firm a cool $130,000 in 2018 for a project to prove that it wasn’t poison. Grass has its bad days, too, you know. Best of all, Gus Taylor is able to keep the lights on just until Labor won the election. Doubtless Gus will be cheered to learn that a federal ICAC, an election promise, the PM is determined to keep, will be set up by December.

Well done, Albo – and Attorney General Mark Dreyfus QC. But The Greens want the ICAC up and running before the October Budget. Helen Haines, they argue, already has a model ready to go. And the cross bench will have the power.

So what’s the go with Coal-Keeper, Albo? The Energy Security Board (ESB) is one of a bevy of at least half a dozen, vital to ensuring that coal remains king, while government subsidises the massive profits of largely private companies which don’t pay tax – with the exception of Queensland whose state generators are into profiteering anyway. The ESB claims in its newest report that it isn’t a coal-keeper at all, yet the fine print admits that keeping the coal fires burning – using public funds to subsidise a few fabulously wealthy multinational corporations – just might happen anyway.

The wonderfully named Anna Collyer, chair of the ESB, is in The AFR, Monday, 20 June

“… in the past, the concept of a capacity mechanism has been dubbed ‘coal-keeper’. It is a catchy line, but it is not the intent. The intent is to design a tool that provides more certainty around dispatchable capacity – that is capacity that can respond to a dispatch signal on demand.”

Yet as Crikey’s Bernard Keane notes, the ESB admits that, in the fine print, “a capacity provider may decide to factor in refurbishment or retrofitting costs into their bid and if this is cost-competitive against new capacity, then customers receive the reliability benefit of this asset remaining in the market.”

Now Chris Bowen is shovelling money into the off-shore accounts of our nation’s energy racketeers, paying generators to keep the lights on in a system rigged to reward the big investor while it leaves families in the cold and dark. We’ve shacked up with Labor for at least three years? Single-term governments are rare in Australian politics.

Of course, it’s early days. Of course, we’re jumpy. Years of suffering abuse, neglect and gaslighting in a serial relationship based on lies, the demeaning cruelty of coercive control and gaslighting is enough to give anybody PTSD.

And when the wide boys in power have been milking the till, fiddling the books and colluding in the game of mates behind a thick veil of secrecy – all to enrich the top end of town, almost anyone honest, decent or fair would be better.

Yes. We know Albo’s got to keep his head down. But is it a small Target Strategy or no bottle? Labor won the election. It now holds seventy-seven seats in the lower house and the senate has enough Greens and Independents to be workable. Even with one UAP senator in the upper house. If they don’t stick their heads up soon, the ruling Murdoch-Stokes-Costello-ABC media oligopoly will destroy Labor.

It’s a relief not to see a PM giving out ukuleles to Pacific leaders. But Albo has to be decisive. He is. But it’s all a bit frantic. Nine years too late to put the dumpster fire that the LNP made of our financial aid to our Pacific neighbours.

ScoMo didn’t carry a hose. Albo’s dashing all over our the Pasifika dousing embers. Our formidable Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, is run ragged. But it’s been nine years since Abbott and Hockey slashed $4.5 billion from Foreign Aid, a move they followed up in their second budget raid on Julie Bishop’s kitty with another $3.5 billion “efficiency dividend” of a billion dollars a year over three years.

Much as he may and try to please our US masters who fear that Pacific Islands nations now turn to China after being given the cold shoulder by Australia, it’s a bit late. China has outbid us in the battle for hearts and minds. The China-Pacific Island Countries Common Development Vision is a plan extended to at least a dozen Pacific states.

Granted, Penny Wong is on to it. She says; “China has made its intentions clear. So too are the intentions of the new Australian government. We want to help build a stronger Pacific family.” Is the language right? It’s dangerously close to the patronising duplicity of the previous regime. Island leaders scorn “boomerang” aid that largely benefits the Australian donor. But there’s more, Wong touts more of Kanaka 2.0 where Pasifika workers fly in and pick our fruit, tend our vines and labour in our vegetable market gardens but she’s got to combat the lived experience of workers who have made the long trip, worked all season only to return out of pocket to their labour contractor.

In a desperate pitch, along with “our Pacific labour programs” a modern form of slavery for many, she offers new permanent migration opportunities.” The last bit’s tricky. It may, sadly, be just practical given the rate at which our heavily subsidised fossil-fuel industry contributes to rising sea levels through exported coal and gas. Emissions rise as other countries burn our exported fossil fuels. They are now more than double Australia’s domestic emissions.

But won’t The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun have fun with the permanent migration? Morrison used to go off his chops about “sugar on the table.” Pull factors only in the Murdoch-approved Coalition fiction of events. No hint that people get into leaky boats to escape hell on earth at home.

Rudd stopped the boats, by declaring that no-one arriving by boats would be settled in Australia in his flawed, 2013 Pacific Solution. But expect a re-run of the lie. Already there are images of boats of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka appearing in Murdoch’s gutter press. The implication that boats are arriving because Labor is soft on borders ignores the worst economic crisis to ravage the nation since 1949, forcing the nation to default on its loans and creating grave political and social unrest.

And as we love-bomb bemused Pacific Islanders, we are doing very little for Sri Lanka, save turning back at least three boats in violation of UN law on refoulement and in repudiation of our obligations under international law.

Hockey and Abbott hollered for years about a debt and deficit disaster and how there was a budget emergency. Then Hockey went on The Nation in New Zealand in July 2014 and admitted he’d been making it all up. Luckily our ABC did the right thing and no-one else in the mainstream media picked it up either. In case you missed it, here’s what he said.

“The Australian economy is not in trouble… There’s no crisis at all in the Australian economy.”

Of course, Sleepy Joe Biden’s got Albo on the hop. The big shock is not that Labor’s all the way with the USA. That’s the Labor path, not that history exists anymore given the eternal present bestowed upon us by Odin’s Eye, our MSM Cyclops, working tirelessly around the clock to produce a virtual national frontal lobotomy. If the past and its study were permitted to exist, we’d know that Labor is very much in favour of the alliance. Or we’d form the foolish notion, even after the publication of Jenny Hocking’s research in the Palace letters, that we are in charge of our own destiny.

And our great and powerful friend, Washington, has never upped the peppercorn rent that we charge for its bases at Nurrungar and Pine Gap that are so handy in guiding its missiles and drones. If we’re squaring off to go to war with China, Pine Gap is critical, according to a couple of high-ranking military types who fired a shot over our bows down under, ahead of the Morrison’s government’s massive loss on 21 May.

Admiral John “Lung” Aquilino, boss of the US Indo-Pacific Command, last year declared that war against China was “much closer than most think,” described Australia as an “extremely high-end partner.”

“Lung” is a hawk and was Trump’s pick for the job in December but after Biden’s victory, he needed to be reviewed. Nice work, Biden.

On backup vocals during the visit, is General James Dickinson, another hawk, head of US Space Command. Australia is a “critical partner” in space warfare, including to monitor Chinese space operations, he gushes – guardedly.

“This is the perfect location for a lot of things we need to do,” he tells London’s The Financial Times. “Things” include going to war with China over Taiwan, another military adventure in which Australia will tag along without any tedious parliamentary debate. Or gesture towards democratic process.

Even Little Britain goes through the process of parliamentary debate. (Not that it stopped Thatcher’s madness in The Falklands, another coup for Rupert’s press.“Stick it up the argies” one tasteful banner screamed. Nor did it impede the neocon New Labour’s Tony Blair from war crimes in Iraq.)

Shooting down China’s hypersonic missiles is also on Aquilino’s list whilst – another “thing”- the US expands its base in Darwin to accommodate storage of 300 million litres of fuel.

Third, what is described as “over two thousand Marines” are now deployed in Marine Rotational Force-Darwin. Could be two hundred thousand as far as we know.

“Marry in haste repent at leisure” my Dad, a Royal Navy veteran, used to say, in that way he had of firing bits of folk wisdom, wise old saws and music hall ditties into the void between us; along with shafts of rebarbative dockside-matey’s wit that you suspected were aimed at you. “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes, son.”

Not that we’re married to Albo or his Labor government. Indeed The Narrative, aka “The National Conversation” on vacuous chat shows like The Drum, refreshed each morning by The Australian, the Pravda of a uniquely concentrated, inbred and incestuous Australian mainstream media oligopoly, says no. Our MEDIUM says we’re having a fling and the Coalition is still the government in exile and eternally newsworthy.

Insiders features serial failure, Spud the dud, Peter Dutton while Dave Littleproud bones Barnaby Thomas Gerard Barnaby Joyce, the knight in shining armour and Riverview Old Boy, a loving silver-spoonful, who brags that his parents are “quite rich” is on Sky in his heroic fight for the Weatherboard Nine of Warwick and the shareholders in Santos.

“I didn’t give a toss for where power comes from, but one of the greatest afflictions for people in the weatherboard and iron is they can’t afford power,” he says in 2018. That’s working well for BJ at present, as the other remarkable cartel in all our lives, the electricity generators get the red card from the regulator for withholding supply to bid the spot price up. An industry allowed to set its own regulations by captive politicians

Abusive relationships seldom end well. There are the highs; elation when you discover that your new partner seems to care, like when the Biloela family is allowed to come home. We hope it’s not just a token. Or joy when you see he can lead a team; delegating to capable ministers instead of overshadowing, upstaging, micromanaging and having an affair with his own image in the lens of his personal photographer.

But then there are the lows. Julian Assange? Letting Jobseekers suffer a new set of petty cruelties? Keeping Morrison’s National Cabinet – and keeping it top secret? An energy Minister sucking up to the mining oligarchy? Madeleine King, a coal shill?

When Employment Minister Tony Burke says it’s too late to abandon the Morrison misgovernment’s $7bn point system Pbas to qualify for a jobseeker payment that is well below the Henderson Poverty Line, it’s a worry. Burke says contracts have been awarded. But try telling that to Emanuel Macron. Burke is saying all the right things but it does seem as if the Coalition has booby-trapped the incoming government; poisoned the chalice of electoral victory.

“What the government’s designed, some of it’s more punitive than actually getting the job done. We want to make sure, and I’ll be changing it over the course of the next week, to make sure that we can have a system that’s designed to get people into work, rather than some media stunt to punish people.”

Burke needs to speak to a few job seekers. There’s enough of them around. Half don’t make it into official statistics. They’ll tell you how demeaning it is to prove yourself worthy of a pittance. It doesn’t matter how much you dress it up or claim you have a system up your sleeve, it’s completely irredeemable. Any civil society worth its salt knows that support for the needy and vulnerable should be unconditional. Scrap it. Put the money into fixing the NDIS which the Liberals have done their best to scupper.

But there are lows and lows, Albo. You dash off to Tokyo like Joe Biden’s bellhop. Far too keen to get your riding instructions as deputy sheriff of our bit of the Pacific. You’d barely been sworn in? Putting Penny Wong on how many charm offensives to counter China’s designs? She’s barely time to re-pack her travel bag. What’s the go Albo?

Snap out of it. Yep, we’ve all got PTSD thanks to being monstered by the fat controller Morrison and his gaslighting, happy clapping bullies, still feted and enabled by the gang of five led by Lizard of Oz.

We all get the face we deserve, but Murdoch’s wizened, fissured mug looks like an elephant’s scrotum, with apologies to David Hockney who on seeing WH Auden said if that’s his face, imagine what his scrotum must look like. One comfort is that having sunk half the family fortunes into Disney +, the patriarch has halved his family’s net worth. Another small consolation is that only about half the population “use news” on any given day. Then, there’s the tragic decline of print media. Rupert’s rags may have to fold. Or they may already be sold. Given News Corp’s secrecy, we’d never know.

Don’t let it spook you, Albo. The Pacific Islanders want us to commit to zero emissions. That’s better than your charm offensive. No matter how brilliant she is, Penny Wong will never match the Chinese budget for aid. War with China? Hold your nerve. Don’t fall for the cock and bull of neocon loonies in the Pentagon. Look where it’s got us in the past. A winnable nuclear war? Mutually assured destruction? MAD. Nah. Just madness.

Hold your fire. There’s heaps to do at home. A Voice to Parliament. Energy. Welfare. Education. Higher Education. Health. Wages. The Arts. Climate. Everything worthwhile’s been neglected under the fossil fuel muppets of the last nine years.

And do bring on the Royal Commission into Murdoch. As soon as you can.

Morrison didn’t just drive the Liberal Party into a mountain. He and his predecessors dismantled our democratic, civil society. You call yourself a builder in the election campaign. Let’s see some of that. So what’s the go, Albo?

Link to Part 2

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The enemies of free speech

By Kathryn

The unspeakable, blatant ultra-right-wing bias of the Murdoch press in favour of the LNP is the huge elephant in the room here! Why isn’t the Murdoch’s name mentioned? The Murdoch media’s unregulated control and influence over just about every aspect of our media, especially the vile, unconscionable propaganda and relentless character-assassinating slander spewed out on a daily basis within such notorious Murdoch rags as The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Australian and from ultra-conservative Murdoch-manipulated repugnant and truly offensive “Shock Jocks” (eg Alan Jones, Steve Price, Andrew Bolt, Ray Hadley, the ghastly Miranda Devine, Peta Credlin etc) is a criminal abuse of power! The verbal diarrhoea spewed out by these enemies of free speech and their determination to control everything we hear and see on every form of media is absolutely intolerable, and getting worse. Now we have ongoing muzzling of free speech, the arrest of essential whistle-blowers and the unlawful prosecution of journalists and protest marchers!

Every day the Murdoch press, their spineless lackeys in the LNP and their collaborators within the unelected swill of the undemocratic IPA, rage against the ALP, the Greens, unions, against the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in our country, against legal asylum seekers escaping from the tyranny of an illegal war Howard helped to create!

Every day Murdoch and his salivating shock jocks are ramping up xenophobic racism, hatred, fear, misogyny and heaping verbal attacks against young, female climate change activists on SkyNews, 2GB or the vacuous talking heads on Channels 7, 9 and 10 (the airhead, Kerry Ann Kennerly is an offensive example)! Now we have politically-motivated raids and hugely expensive government-sponsored Royal Commissions against unions, the ALP and into the offices of the ABC without one word of protest in the Murdoch press who, in fact, cheered on the fascist campaigns against these hated opponents of the LNP/Murdoch/IPA agenda!

How did all this start since the time when Labor introduced the regulation that more than 51% of our so-called democratic media could, and should, not be owned, managed and controlled by a single entity?

Answer: the undemocratic, Murdoch sycophant and infamous war criminal, John Howard rescinded the Media Ownership Laws in this nation and gave permission for the catastrophic bias, fascist lack of democracy, unashamed elitism and prejudiced right-wing bias by the LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance to be ramped-up to a level which goes against everything our nation values and once understood about democratic free speech, and our rights as a so-called democracy to expect and demand impartiality of the news! This unholy collaboration of totally corrupt, mutually benefiting elitists is, without any doubt, the worst, most dangerously fascist attack against our democracy in history – and it goes on and on unabated and, in fact, is escalating.

Let’s never forget that Murdoch is a non-taxpaying, non-Australian who tossed his Australian citizenship in the garbage decades ago so that he could meet the American requirements of being an American citizen in order to get his world dominance of the American press to control public opinion (to his benefit) in the USA. The internationally-despised, power-obsessed megalomaniacal Murdoch dynasty – and their truly vile, self-entitled and callously inhumane sycophants – are the worst kind of undemocratic spinners of fake news, blatantly muzzling free speech, distorting facts and presenting a phoney parallel reality to serve themselves and the agenda of the bible-thumping hypocrites in the extreme right-wing conservative end of politics.

The fact that the LNP/Murdoch/IPA have staged non-stop attacks and venomous slurs against anyone and everyone who has the courage to stand up and speak out against Murdoch’s remorseless lies, self-serving hyperbole and tyrannical, draconian influence over the right-wing Murdoch whores in conservative governments in the UK, USA and, especially, the LNP in Australia, is beyond criminal!

Let’s not mince words: The Murdoch dynasty and their mates in Murdoch’s IPA owns the LNP lock, stock and two smoking barrels! They write the LNP agenda, compose the LNP’s elitist policies and dictate what these spineless, non-achieving lackeys in the Abbott/Turnbull/MorriScum chaotic circus say and do! The Murdoch-owned media – and their disciples in SkyNews, 2GB and free-to-air TV – are as guilty for what they do not report as for the type of propaganda they do! No mention of the LNP’s current national debt and deficit disaster of more than $700 billion after they screamed blue murder about the moderate $240 billion debt left behind by Rudd and Gillard! Not one mention about the LNP using taxpayer funds, in the middle of one of the worst droughts in our history, to fund the construction of private dams for the sole use of foreign-owned cronies of the LNP in the thirsty and unspeakably greedy cotton growing industry!

No mention of the non-stop, undeclared donations handed to them by the non-taxpaying billionaires who sit on the Board of the IPA, eg Rinehardt, Twiggy Forrest et al. No mention of the evil, politically-motivated defundment of Australian taxpayer-owned ABC and SBS where the LNP/IPA is constantly threatening the ABC with further defundment and privatisation (against the wishes and best interests of the huge majority of the Australian public) if the ABC does not “toe the conservative line”! No mention of the fact that ever since Abbott crawled into power on a stack of Murdoch-published lies, broken promises and slanderous campaigns (like the horrendously misogynistic Ditch the Witch campaign that went on for months on end against Julia Gillard), the LNP/Murdoch/IPA have embarked on a deliberate, undemocratic campaign to “stack” the ABC Board with a long line of LNP/Murdoch/IPA sycophants (like Janet Albrechsten, Ita Buttrose and many more) to garnish full control of what Australians will hear and see on our taxpayer-owned television station – the last bastion of media not fully controlled by Murdoch … Yet! No mention about how the LNP/IPA are stacking every panel with vile, self-entitled elitists peddling right-wing propaganda on every panel show, especially Q&A, with insignificant, repugnant grubs like James Patterson (also a member of the IPA), the awful serial liar Alan Jones and an array of other toxic conservatives.

If there is one thing the LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance know and follow to the letter is what the Nazi Propaganda Minister and Hitler espoused: “If you tell a lie often enough and with enough conviction, in the end, people will believe it” and, very clearly: “When you control everything people see and hear, you can control how they think!” The Alliance are masters of manipulation, proficient snake oil salesmen, pushing filth, slander and lies, distorting facts and omitting any form of news that will damage their own fascist agenda or expose their criminal level of corruption, economic mismanagement, environmental vandalism and ongoing self-serving rorting and waste of hard-earned taxpayer funds!

BRING BACK ESSENTIAL AND DEMOCRATIC MEDIA OWNERSHIP LAWS THAT WILL INHIBIT AND SILENCE THE BLATANT, ONGOING FASCISM OF THE LNP/MURDOCH/IPA ALLIANCE.

This law must be enshrined by the judiciary to ensure that it cannot be changed or rescinded by ruthless self-serving LNP governments in the future!

This article was originally published as a comment under Government Funding and the Free Press.

 

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I hope Rupert is happy

There was a time not so long ago when Australia’s future looked bright.

In 2008, Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generation and COAG agreed to a definitive strategy to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.

We had successfully negotiated the global financial crisis with continued growth and relatively low unemployment.

We were world leaders in putting a price on carbon. We were addressing water issues with the Murray-Darling buyback scheme and extending marine parks. We had introduced water trigger legislation giving the federal government the right to oppose mining in sensitive areas.

We had expanded the Renewable Energy Target and established the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Wind capacity trebled and Labor supported the installation of more than 1 million solar panels.

Needs based funding for school education was underway, tertiary education had been expanded, and we had an agreement with the states on hospital funding.

The rollout of a world class fast NBN was underway.

We had a mechanism for deriving some income from the mining of our natural resources which was just about to start earning some money as they moved into production phase and had used up their accelerated depreciation.

We had introduced paid parental leave and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

There was a Royal Commission into child sex abuse instigated.

Our troops had finally come home from Afghanistan.

We had our first female Prime Minister who was admired around the world who looked on bemusedly at the vilification she received at home.

But Rupert Murdoch wasn’t happy.

We had a debt and deficit disaster, which is now much larger.

They were a dysfunctional illegitimate government who knifed their own leader, just like the Libs have done.

We had to get rid of the carbon and mining taxes to improve investment and employment, both of which have gone backwards after the repeal.

And Juliar told us there would be no carbon tax, just like Tony said there would be no cuts to health, education or the ABC.

So what do we have to look forward to now?

Another war in the Middle East.

Paying hundreds of billions for war toys.

Paying hundreds of millions for political witch hunts aka Royal Commissions designed to demonise Labor and the union movement.

Becoming a toxic dump for the world’s nuclear waste.

A great big new tax on everything you buy.

Paying billions to polluters.

Forking out millions to try and keep Telstra’s copper network working so we can have really slow broadband.

Lots of big new coal mines and CSG mines dotting our prime farmland.

Getting sued by global corporations if our laws interfere with their profits.

An influx of 457 visa workers.

Condemnation by the world for torturing asylum seekers.

The selling off of all our assets.

Working till we are 70.

The removal of penalty rates.

Being told that government spending on everything to do with society is unsustainable because we need more money for security.

I sure hope Rupert is happy because we have paid a hell of a price for him to get his way.

 

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Bill Shorten takes climate change seriously, so guess who isn’t happy with him?

‘The frontline of climate change’ was the appealing subject of the email I received from Labor this morning. It read:

We often talk about what effects climate change will have on our economy, or on agricultural land, or how many more natural disasters we’re likely to suffer.

What we talk about less is how climate change is affecting some of our closest neighbours right now. And it’s devastating. The Papua New Guinea and island nations in the pacific are facing real, existential threats from climate change.

Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and Richard Marles are visiting these islands this week and talking to people about life at the frontline of climate change.

This is an issue that isn’t going to go away – we’re likely to see and hear a lot more about it as the International Climate Change Conference in Paris approaches at the end of this month. We’ll keep you informed as much as we can.

Now you’d think that’d be a good thing. Here we have a group of politicians and a political party taking climate change seriously and placing it front and centre on the table. And added to that, they are engaging with counties that are most likely to be the first victims of rapid change.

In most countries this concern and their initiative would be applauded. But they might just happen to be countries where the Murdoch media doesn’t have the same influence as it does here. Instead of it being applauded, we see it derided. Andrew Bolt of The Herald Sun led the way:

LABOR leader Bill Shorten will test the honesty of journalists this week when he tours Pacific Islands he claims are drowning.

Will they dare report that most of the islands are in fact growing or stable? Or will they again prove they cannot be trusted to tell the truth about the global warming scare?

Shorten and deputy Tanya Plibersek plan to visit Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.

As the gullible Sydney Morning Herald announced: “Labor wants to put climate change at the centre of public debate in the run-up to a major United Nations summit in Paris later this year.

Sister paper The Daily Telegraph could only feature the story as one that will see ‘Bill Shorten . . . fly 16,000km on a private jet . . .’ and mock him with the image above with the caption ‘Labor overboard with private jet tour’, while all that news.com.au wanted to tell us was that Bill Shorten danced awkwardly while in Kiribati with suggestions that it might give us a good reason to laugh at him.

One would think that the Murdoch media don’t like the idea of someone taking climate change seriously.

Personally, I’ve had it up to my teeth with the Murdoch media. How can any important issue or any non-Coalition politician get a fair run in this country while the Murdoch media has so much power and so many right-wing fanatics spreading the Murdoch gospel?

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Squeaky Clean

Putting aside the fact that Julia Gillard was treated as a back-stabbing-murderess after she replaced Kevin Rudd as PM. Putting aside that she was labelled ‘the illegitimate PM’ even after she went straight to an election to let the ‘people decide’ and then won, but for some reason was then even more ‘illegitimate’ presumably because she led a minority government and it suited Abbott’s Liberals and their mates in the media to paint this as unstable when really it was the most productive government Australia has ever had. Putting aside the grand hypocrisy of none of these labels ever being assigned to Malcolm Turnbull when he plotted and schemed and white anted and undermined and destabilized and finally got what we all knew he wanted because he was quite openly campaigning for it: Abbott’s job. Putting aside that he hasn’t gone straight to an election and is instead intent of pretending he was legitimately chosen by the people to be PM when he quite clearly was not. Putting aside all these things which really make me so mad I could lose my mind, except that I won’t because it’s all so predictable that the Liberals would have their own leadership spill and it goes completely unnoticed by the mainstream media like a massive ‘meh’, when Labor’s leadership spill was the only thing the media wanted to talk about. For 5 years.

What I really want to discuss today is the fascinating situation of Turnbull’s Prime Ministership where he can do NO WRONG, according to the mainstream media, and anything that does go wrong in his government is, incredibly, coincidentally, conveniently, somehow painted as still the last guy’s problem. Still Abbott’s fault. Except Abbott isn’t the PM anymore. Turnbull is. How the hell does Turnbull get away with this bullshit? He reminds me of the classic quote from the classic movie, Shawshank Redemption, but replace ‘Andy Dufresne’ with ‘Malcolm Turnbull’: Malcolm Turnbull – who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. How? How is Turnbull squeaky clean after all the crawling through shit he’s been up to?

Take, for instance, the horrific and tragic case of rape victim and asylum seeker, ‘Abyan’. Dutton is in a bit of hot water over this. That’s not to say Dutton is in as much hot water as an Immigration Minister should be who has denied an asylum seeker, a frightened young woman, the dignity and human rights any human being deserves, for political gain. But there is some criticism of the way Dutton has handled this situation, such as here, here and here. And you will notice in this Dutton-criticism, Turnbull is either given a cursory mention, or not mentioned at all. As if he’s somehow not involved in this situation.

As if he’s floating situation, detached, uninvolved, an innocent bystander. As if somehow Dutton wasn’t chosen to continue in his evil role of Immigration Minister in the new Turnbull government, and therefore doesn’t report to Turnbull like an employee reports to an employer, where the employer is ultimately responsible for the decisions made by that employee and liable for any damage done by that employee. Why is Turnbull not being held liable? How is he coming out of this squeaky clean?

Another example is the news this week that the rolling ball which Abbott started rolling in his ideological quest to eat away at the public’s ownership of Medicare by privatising some parts of it, with the ultimate goal of privatising all of it, is still rolling forward. I’m really glad there are news outlets letting us know about this treachery because it’s a really seriously important news story that all Australians would be interested in. But I don’t understand why articles about this news story, such as this one, fail to even mention the word ‘Turnbull’.

Turnbull, who we all knows likes to talk, and likes to explain, and is even well known for his particularly patronising ‘mansplaining’ tone, which he no doubt uses because he looks down on all of us since we’re all poorer than he is, is completely silent on this issue. He’s had plenty of time to comment and as far as I can tell he’s made no comment. It’s really not hard to guess why he’s made no comment. There are two reasons: a) because he doesn’t want to be splattered in the dirt of this issue, having to explain why his government is considering turning our universal health sector into a profit making machine for potentially international companies who would then ‘own’ our health records and eventually may own our entire health system. And b) Turnbull loves this idea, and hopes if he keeps his mouth shut it will more likely slip through unscrutinised. Which it possibly will. Turnbull loves this idea both for ideological reasons and perhaps because he has money invested in the companies who will make billions out of taking over Australia’s Medicare system, money which will be filtered through the Cayman Islands, un-taxed and back into Malcolm’s pocket which is bulging with cash. Of course there is a class-war, and Malcolm’s pocket is winning.

Long-time readers of my blog will recognise that the longer my sentences, the angrier I am. My keyboard will also tell you that the intensity of my fingers hitting the keyboard is a fair indication of the level of blood boil going on. So yes, I’m angry about this ‘Turnbull getting away with swimming in shit, yet still being treated like the beloved-shiny-sparkling-glistening-in-the-sun-squeeky-clean-brand-new Prime Minister who can do no wrong’. I’m terrified the squeaky cleanliness will get Turnbull another Liberal term of government and all the horrors of his political agenda will come about, unabated by any real scrutiny, just like the media did when they betrayed the country by giving Abbott such a free pass. It’s not just News Ltd this time either. It’s also Fairfax, the ABC and even, inexplicably, the Guardian. I’m not asking for these media outlets to do anything except their job and their job is not to let Turnbull get away with zero scrutiny on issues damaging to Australians. Just do your jobs people. For the love of dog, just do your jobs.

 

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Two things I have trouble with involving the Abbott Government … all right, three!

Negativity-21 OK, I know it’s obvious, but I want to know why Justice Heydon can say that there was absolutely no reason for him to disqualify himself for accepting an invitation to be the guest speaker because – as he points out in his sixty seven page justification – it doesn’t demonstrate that he agrees with the politics of the organisation where he’s going to speak.

So there’s no problem with him accepting the invitation. Got it! Except now the question is why he felt that he had to change his mind about speaking there. It might be perceived as bias. But now his ruling on apprehended bias is that a “rational” person wouldn’t see it as bias.

I guess, from that, one could infer from that as Heydon decided to change his mind about speaking then he isn’t a “rational” person.

We also learn that Justice Heydon is famous for not reading emails.

Which seems a clear link to the Liberals who have a reluctance to read anything (as Kaye Lee pointed out in “Less Shovels And More Reading” a few days ago).

While not reading emails or anything going to their office has been a popular pastime for Liberals since Peter Reith and the children overboard fiasco, I suspect that it may become popular for unionists in the coming days.

“Sorry, Justice Heydon, but I’m well-known among my colleagues for not reading emails, opening letters, checking bank statements or anything else you wish to question me about. I wasn’t aware of any of this and I don’t see how any rational person would expect me to keep track of what I’ve been doing when – as a union leader – everyone knows that I’m a bludger who never does anything but wage war on those poor multinationals who are providing jobs for Australians as part of their charity program.”

But I’m more concerned about the Fairfax “jihad”.

Yep, that’s right. Minister for Not Reading Press Releases, Mr Peter Mutton told everyone that Fairfax were waging a “jihad” against the Abbott Government. Which if you look up almost any definition of the word, is a wee bit confusing. For a start, surely they need to be Muslims to wage a “jihad”. Although Waheed Aly does occasionally write a column for them, so perhaps he’s converted Amanda Vanstone and Peter Reith to the cause. And Paul Sheehan. None of those columnists ever show the Abbott Government in a positive light.

Yes, yes, I know. Allowing such people to give you their thoughts does make the Abbott Government look bad. Anyway, the Petester wasn’t finished, obviously concerned that he didn’t have anyone at “hello”. Or “jihad” for that matter.

PETER DUTTON: I think it would be helpful if some of the commentators in the area, in this space of politics, started reporting on the incidents, as opposed to being players themselves.

I think there’s a huge move by Fairfax at the moment to try and bring the Government down, that’s fair enough. But they aren’t, they aren’t….

They aren’t supposed to be political players, they’re supposed to be objective reporters of the news and I think many of them have morphed into frustrated politicians themselves.

Yes, they should get back to simple reporting of incidents the way the Murdoch Press does. Then we can see simple reporting of incidents like the fabulous: “We Need Tony” or “Kick This Mob Out”!

Although I seem to remember that we were told that News Limited were a private organisation and that they were allowed to be biased. Fairfax, on the other hand (sorry Andrew Hastie but that wasn’t directed at you!), should stick to reporting the facts because, well, they’re being “helped by the ABC” according to Pete the Insignificant.

But I find it strange that he thinks that “commentators” should stick to reporting “incidents”. I thought the whole idea of commentators was to commentate, but I’ve always been a bit funny about words and their meanings. You know, I’m one of those that thought that when Abbott said that there was no difference between him and Rudd on Education, I thought that meant that he was saying that he’d implement the same policy, not that they both had a university degree. Or that no cuts meant that he wasn’t going to reduce the funds to pensioners, not that he wasn’t going to take a knife to them.

Still to be fair, all our Minister for Operational Matters actually said was that “it’d be helpful” if they stuck to reporting incidents. Objectively. You know, factual reporting. Using last Friday’s events maybe he’d be happy with something like this appearing in Fairfax.

“Operation Fortitude was called off when a clumsy worded press release caused people to compare the Abbott Government with Hitler and Stalin and to make comparisons between the Border Force’s black uniform with the Nazi SS. The press release wasn’t read by the Minister’s Office because they don’t have anything to do with the day to day operational matters, so they didn’t think that it was worth reading something sent to them. The Prime Minister assured us that he knew nothing.”

Yeah, that should make him happy.

That, and a decision by the media to stop reporting that there’s disharmony in the Liberal Party, because it’s not really news. People leaking. As Dutton himself told us, people could have a pretty good idea who was doing the leaking, and they’re doing it for their own ambitions and they should be sacked. But there’s no disharmony, and any attempt to report disharmony is just due to the Labor/Green/ABC/Fairfax/socialist/Jewish/alien/Islam/foreign/World Trade Centre conspiracy to bring down the natural rulers by refusing to mention that all they think about is Jobs and Growth And Security, and if you think about something often enough, then it happens. We all know that, we’ve all seen “Field of Dreams” and we know that if we build it they will come.

Mm, perhaps I should apply for a job as Tony Abbott’s speechwriter.

 

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The Murdochracy

We are fighting a war on Climate Change in Australia, we are fighting a war against the strong scientific inference of climate change. It is a sad fact, that the absolute significance to changes in the earth’s climatic cycles are not acknowledged to the broader society.

Transnational media has been allowed to access false information on false pretences to formally and informally describe scientific consensus that is neither true nor conclusive. We are living in an age where it is these pretences that lead to the revulsions in public discourse. They perpetuate evidence to the people that anthropogenic climate change does not exist. We can attribute the gradual process of capitalist change to be an overt perversion of scientific reverence. Intelligent and scientifically minded individuals resist in vain, for the conservative social stance is both triumphant and celebrated, but why?

We can look to these clues with changes in social discourse, by examining the News Limited media. By examining News Limited we can incorporate a corporate capitalist phenomena, where an innate power for financial profit has lead to a democratic override, and the winner takes all. We are living in a time where neither a strong evidential basis nor bi-partisan approach will evoke change significant to stop the transgression of the multi-faceted 70% power distributed, Murdoch media. The shocking reverence of the situation is this: what you read, what you see and what you hear is all a representation of interpretivist opinion backed up by sceptics and conglomerate news bodies who seek to mandate public discourse – without true mass media approaches. These approaches are misrepresentations of facts and figures and bias which divulge the ever condensing incorrect views of climate change. These revered and conversely public trusted tabloids are the ones that are perverting the social justice. The very same justice that leads to the dilution and unstructured social opinion that not only persuades but integrates societal ‘know how’.

For those who are aware, this is what we know: it is not just the configuration of society that controls these aspects, and the dissertation of opinion underlying strong scientific background- as well as the complete and utter reverence that science can and should uphold. It is also something else; it is the greater understanding of complex concepts that are not transcribed in a proper ‘user friendly’ way or if transcribed at all. It is the external factor, the foundations of knowledge and the complexity of interpreting this knowledge to the people. I suspect the underlying consideration that we must address is the ‘denial’ and current ignorance that surrounds corporate body structures such as News Limited and the current Liberal Government and one Tony Abbott and their stakeholders. We can only deduce from these observations, a conformist acquisition, one, where media owned adversaries seek to ignore the evidence of climate change science for, their own initiatives for the favouring of their own financial gain.

For this idea to uphold, we must take into consideration the influence that transnational media can and does have on the wider public opinion. We must transgress this idea further, and consider the elements of . . . dare I say it . . . propaganda. Yes, propaganda! Consider this: it is not without thought that we go so far as to say, political factions of propaganda are truly evident in mass media.

Propaganda, whilst alluding the attitudes of political opinion also eludes the values and emotional upheaval of individual opinion; take for instance Adolf Hitler’s approach. As far as we know, we can see these attitudes transgress to the audience through the author’s personal epitomes and consumerist views. That is, through short worded slogans and repeated headlines that seek to optimize emotional and social relevance- often termed invoking the climate of fear, for example ‘Climate change not caused by humans” and “With Climate scientists like this no wonder we doubt”. A tactic that invokes contextual wording to interpret things that tug at fear and make people go ‘wow’, ‘The media doesn’t agree with experts why?’ But, does this transgress (mass media approach) to influence and persuade individual opinion? Does this really pervert public discourse?

YES and here’s why. We have only to examine the structure of hierarchy in Australian society, to exude confidence that indeed capitalist opinion has strongly and forthright berated the notion of climate change science. How, you ask? By decreeing the factual publication that follows it, in exchange for the more effervescent emotionally charged ‘writing on the wall’ and these short worded slogans are the misperceptions that invoke the general climate of fear. The wall has become no longer responsible for initiating freethinking thought or providing factual and progressive knowledge for adequate exploration of external stimuli, that is, exploration that provokes progressions in critical thinking before one accepts new knowledge. In place we have this wall, a safe cove r- a mask if you will, one that seeks to perversely calm and elude individuals away from real danger, pushing an agenda that ignores the kind of investigative thought that brought about the uprise of modern society, modern economy and scientific progression.

Indeed News Limited has exceeded these prospects, and further constructed a consumerist approach that not only constrains the individual, but also eludes them to the incorrect information that will eventually decimate social, emotional, environmental and political/democratic structure. News Limited will elude their audience to a point of no return in which case, we will see more than a group of troubled individuals with no free thought -but a group of troubled individuals that will vote according to these allusions that have propagated in their mass media world. The result you ask? Well, it’s a group of right winged zombies who neither understand nor amend their thought as to why they voted in such a contentious (conservative) way.

For all to see, News Limited got their wish, for the first time, democracy has failed and for the first time, transnational media came, crushed, killed and decimated an audience of free thinkers. News Limited poisoned their right to execute free thought or one that would favour their way of life. For the first time ever we see ‘tradies’, ‘parents’, ’single mothers ‘, ‘pensioners’ and ‘low-income earners’, vote against subsequent benefits that aim to target the particular struggle their respective bracket represents. What has Murdoch Media done? They have allowed Tony Abbot and his pack of liberal dogs to come forth for the kill and bring about the inevitable crumble of social justice. The Murdochcracy has created a new breed in society, once and for all-this new breed has gone against their own rights, their own free will and their best interests at heart- for favour of liberal conservative factions that aim to destroy the very things they are voting against . . . sound familiar? So, the political factions that were once opposition (for good reason), are thrust into power and News Limited epitomise these views with each passing day, so now, for the first time ever – a corporate capitalist structure has finally decomposed the walls of democracy and laid foundations of misadventure to the democratic right of the people.

That is right – you heard that right! News Limited has succeeded in diluting the values of free thought, transgressing ignorance and interpretivist views that assist with the consumerist/conservative approach to financial gain. One that is not in the best interest of social discourse, the best interests of the people and… not in the best interest of scientific reverence. So . . . the bottom line – all of this is not in the best interest for exposing the truth of Australia’s Changing Climate and the struggles that are yet to come. Is it propaganda? Has the Marino Wool from our jackets been pulled over our eyes? Australia’s climate is changing, so why has News Limited and it’s Murdochcracy been allowed to decide our fate?

*Author’s note-when I say ‘climate change’ I am referring to ‘anthropogenic (human induced) climate change; therefore, the sceptics view is: denial of ‘human induced climate change’.

 

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The political economy of climate change

In the mass media, the political economy perspective is centred around the principal notion that the media is owned and run by elites that seek to mandate the distribution and dissemination of media content, in accordance with their own ideological values. Most notably, those values that reflect a more right wing political sentiment (Herman and Chomsky, 2008). Therefore, political economy is synonymous with the view that corporate news structures own the right to media content and therefore own the right to the message. Under these pretences, corporate news bodies are able to frame content according to the best interest, concerns and needs of the elite (Herman, 2009).

Freedom to act and freedom to promote autonomous views provides news bodies the propensity to perpetuate and distort information of an untruthful nature (Herman, 2009). News bodies therefore, have the power to distort the public perception and promote views that consequently transcend the decision process of modern polity (Gamson et al, 2013). The production of media content, infers the beliefs that dominate state and private activity in society. The way the media is propagated, is central to society (Herman, 2009); therefore, the nature of media content informally legitimises political decision. In brief, the nature of media content holds an influence unlike any other and any information that is distributed from corporate news bodies truthful or not, will always influence a core component of political discourse.

Propaganda is a phenomenon that aims to influence the thinking and attitudes of individuals in a population or society. Propaganda is most consistently linked to events in history that are associated with war and religious freedom (Jowett and O’Donnell, 2011). The ways print media is a propagated and produced can more often than not, intervene with the political economy perspective and take on characteristics that demonstrate agenda setting properties reserved for propaganda delivery (Black, 1977).

Climate change is scientific fact and humans are to blame. Humans must act to reduce carbon emissions. Action requires injecting money into the global economy at all costs- to all financial and economic institutions, to prevent further damage to the earth (IPCC, 2011). In Australian 59% of the print media is owned by News Corp, the remaining 30% represent the independent channels (Bacon, 2011). Print media owned by News Corp include, The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun. In Australia, an unusually high concentration of sceptics’ views on climate change are routinely observed in print media, such content rivals that of scientific fact and most notably appears to reflect the views for the best interests and concerns of the elite (Bacon, 2011).

Herman and Chomsky, (1988) adhere to the views that the political economy of mass media holds a crucial function that links political economy to the media; where media owned adversaries construct their views in ways which can be attributed to propaganda techniques. This article examines the Australian media and draws parallels to an Australian context, for content that displays a sceptic’s view of climate change. It will examine content from a report published in 2011 entitled: ‘Sceptical Climate’ by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (Bacon, 2011) the report includes a highly detailed analysis, in which the study teased out inconsistencies that were noticeably reflective of the sceptics’ viewpoint of climate change in print media.

Using examples from the report by Bacon (2011), this article will determine whether suspected techniques of propaganda outlined by Herman and Chomsky (1988) are evident in the Australian print media. In order to establish how climate change sceptics’ views are published in the print media, it will draw parallels to sceptics’ views expressed, views of which may be strongly associated with propaganda phenomenon witnessed elsewhere in the world. It will examine the propaganda influence through three filters: ownership, news sourcing and convergence in the dominant ideology; as described by (Herman and Chomsky, 1988).

Ownership

  • Print media ownership in Australia is concentrated and News Corp owns 56% of the print media (Bacon, 2011). Ownership ranks very highly among those who reflect the liberal or right wing political stance (Gantzkow and Shapiro, 2010). This is not only reflective of the political economy principles described above but Boykoff, (2008) notes; this is synonymous with a content analysis of print media that was distributed from news corporations in the UK in 2008. Corporations, which were also owned by News Corp. Herman and Chomsky (2008), state, high concentrations of media ownership, tend to exhibit characteristics that represent propaganda tactics. This therefore, also confirms, (that) media ownership is a strong template for analysing content with suspected propaganda substance.

Print media example

  • Title: Climate Change Rebel Fights back – The Daily Telegraph, (2010); “I am writing to offer personal briefings on why “global warming” is a non-problem to you and other party leaders during my visit. You say I am one of “those who argue that any multilateral action is by definition evil”. On the contrary: my first question is whether any action at all is required, to which the objective economic and scientific answer is – no”– an example of interconnections with elite actors and the need to maximise profits and denial of climate change, to push an agenda for no-action which is in the best interests of elites.

News sourcing

  • Journalistic professionalism in the Australian print media influences public policy. Whether journalists in the media exclude some sources in favour of others, or they simply forego the inclusion of other any sources at all, they are likely to display one dimensional characteristics (Bacon, 2011). Such characteristics were also found in the Gulf of Persia, (Nohrstedt, et al 2000). Herman (2009) states, such characteristics also demonstrate a strong tendency towards propaganda tactics commonly attributed to instances where media is both owned and run by the elites; rendering it synonymous with the political economy of mass media perspective.

Print media example

  • Title: Climate change not caused by humans: academia – The Sydney Morning Herald, (2007); “In these circumstances it is incredible that some leaders of scientific societies and academies have tried to use their authority to demand acceptance of the IPCC report.”– example of using the role of experts and intellectuals in an opinion piece from a one dimensional perspective of a journalist to construct a sceptic’s view of climate change.

Convergence in the dominant ideology

  • Reinforcement of views and ideas, using the anti-factor; that are in the best interest of the elites positions and interests is also a phenomenon that is displayed in the Australian media. High paid journalist Andrew Bolt, also an elite and climate change sceptic, published more opinion pieces on carbon pricing in Australia than any other (Bacon, 2011). Antilla, (2005) also notes the framing of climate change sceptics’ views to be a theme in the USA and demonstrates, that it was also a predominant notion that was shown in the US media over and over again. Good (2008) through extensive content analysis- discovered that, reinforcing elite views was a prominent theme and also attributes these characteristics to reflect tactics that show distinct similarities towards propaganda.

Print media example

  • Title: With Climate scientists like this no wonder we doubt – The Herald Sun, Andrew Bolt (2014); “It’s farce like that which helps explain why the CSIRO reported last week only 47 per cent of Australians buy its spin that the climate is changing and we’re to blame”. An example of how elite journalist Andrew Bolt, is reinforcing a sceptic’s opinion of climate change toward existing sceptics and those individuals who have not yet formed an opinion on the matter to invoke fear and the anti-factor, implying a government institution is the enemy-in order to push an elite agenda.

Conclusion

In Australia, by the virtue of autonomy, print media in Australia has been allowed to produce false information on false pretences to formally and informally describe scientific consensus on climate change that is neither true nor conclusive. The absolute truth of climate change has been masked. Through the wrongful disclosure of media sectors, the facts of scientifically diagnosed climate change, are wilfully and wrongfully promoted from a sceptic’s viewpoint.

Since print media, is owned by elites, it is clear climate change action is not in their best interest. In high concentrations in print media, content reflects the opinions and interests of the elites and hence the truth is subject to improper representations that inherently reflect propaganda techniques. Most of the sceptics’ viewpoint on climate change were sourced from Australia’s most powerful media body, News Corp. The techniques of propaganda present in content evidently coincide with media ownership and propaganda filtration from media ownership, news sourcing and convergence in the dominant ideology.

Most, or all content, reflects the ideals and best interests of the elite which exist in conjunction with media owned adversaries, who spread their own message, of un-truthful claims, and henceforth are clear signs of propaganda initiatives. These messages are constructed in the context that is congruently linked to the political economy perspective and reveals a sceptic’s view of climate change in the media is therefore, right wing slanted; un-moderated and freely distributed at will for the purpose of influencing political discourse.

References

Andrew Bolt, The Herald Sun (2014) http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_with_climate_scientists_like_this_no_wonder_we_doubt/

Antilla, L. (2005). Climate of scepticism: US newspaper coverage of the science of climate change. Global environmental change, 15(4), 338-352.

Bacon, W. (2011). A SCEPTICAL CLIMATE Media coverage of climate change in Australia 2011.

Black, J. (1977). Another perspective on mass media propaganda. General Semantics Bulletin, 44(45), 92-104.

Boykoff, M. T. (2008). The cultural politics of climate change discourse in UK tabloids. Political geography, 27(5), 549-569.

Gamson, W. A., Croteau, D., Hoynes, W., & Sasson, T. (1992). Media images and the social construction of reality. Annual review of sociology, 18(1), 373-393.

Gentzkow, M., & Shapiro, J. M. (2010). What drives media slant? Evidence from US daily newspapers. Econometrica, 78(1), 35-71.

Good, J. E. (2008). The framing of climate change in Canadian, American, and international newspapers: A media propaganda model analysis. Canadian Journal of Communication, 33(2), 233.

Herman, E. S. (2009). The propaganda model after 20 years: Interview with Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 6(2), 12-22.

HERMAN, E. Y. C., & Chomsky, N. N. 1988 Manufacturing consent: the political economy of the mass media. New York: Pantheon.

Herman, E. S., & Chomsky, N. (2008). Manufacturing consent: The political economy of the mass media. Random House.

Jowett, G. S., & O’Donnell, V. (Eds.). (2011). Propaganda & persuasion. Sage.

Mitigation, C. C. (2011). IPCC special report on renewable energy sources and climate change mitigation.

Nohrstedt, S. A., Kaitatzi-Whitlock, S., Ottosen, R., & Riegert, K. (2000). From the Persian Gulf to Kosovo—War journalism and propaganda. European Journal of Communication, 15(3), 383-404.

 

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In the Clash of Ideologies, Language Wins the War

Image courtesy of the australian.com.au

Image courtesy of the australian.com.au

Jim Morrison famously and prophetically said, “Whoever controls the media, controls the minds”.

This is certainly the case in Australia.

In this guest post Loz Lawrey looks at how the media – the Murdoch media in particular – shape out attitudes and opinions.

In 1988, Professor Noam Chomsky reminded us that the media “serve, and propagandise on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them” (1). Never has this fact been more blatantly obvious than it is today.

The glaring anti-Labor/Greens bias on display by the Murdoch-owned news media during the term of the Gillard Government exaggerated Labor’s dysfunction and gave credibility to a Liberal/National opposition devoid of policies or ideas, other than a plan to hand decision-making over to commercial vested interests.

Today much of the mainstream media’s energy is spent fulfilling the roles of apologist and spin doctor for a right-wing conservative government which serves the wishes of a global oligarchy.

Selective coverage of current affairs events, skewed “opinion” pieces disguised as news reportage, simplified “black or white” presentation which avoids all nuance – the mainstream media has an endless supply of tools for the manipulation of public perception.

There is, however, more to the message than what is essentially the delivery system, or the means of presentation. The TV or radio program, the article in the print media or even the political billboard are simply what the megaphone is to the voice – the means of imparting the message. It’s in the language that real power and control resides.

Political forces use language as the weapon of choice on the field of public debate – what some refer to as the battlefield of ideas. In this arena, the army with the sharpest, most evocative language will prevail. There is little need for true logic or reason to underpin one’s arguments, only that a perception of reasoned lucidity is created by the language used.

While all sides of politics strive for control of any public debate through their use of language, conservative forces in our society have become masters of what is known as weasel language, or weasel words. The terms come from the reputation of weasels for sucking eggs and leaving an empty shell – at first glance weasel words create an impression of real meaning supported by research-based evidence or expert advice, which upon closer inspection is found to be hollow and devoid of substance.

This mastery of language, together with the recent structural disarray in evidence on the left of the political spectrum, goes a long way to explain the survival of conservatism around the globe, despite its continuing assault on the public interest, both nationally and globally.

The work of bodies such as the right wing Institute of Public Affairs is as much about formulating the language used to justify its ideologically-based policies as it is in formulating the policies themselves.

Words such as “free” and “freedom” are tacked onto the labelling language used to define and create a perception of a proposal or idea. Hence we get “free market”, “free speech” and “freedom of choice”. Once you insert a word such as “free”, a benign impression is created of harmless intent.

So it is that when a spokesperson for the IPA argues that people should be “given the right” to work for less that $16 per hour, they are claiming that working for less than the established and agreed minimum is a freedom. In this way, shifting employment conditions closer to the slavery end of the spectrum is made to sound like a positive, liberating move. It will hardly be a liberating experience for those workers who endure it, however, when they find themselves working longer and harder for less or very little, unable to meet their own living needs.

The term “free market” creates an image of happy global business, unfettered by tariffs and protectionist regulations, with goods moving freely about, resulting in best outcomes for both business, workers and consumers. The fact that tariffs were developed as a means to counteract trade imbalance and injustice is swept aside, because who wouldn’t want “freedom” in the marketplace?

Now business regulation designed to level the playing field and increase real fairness in trade is labelled by conservative governments as “red tape”, an evil to be done away with. Environmental regulation intended to protect our natural heritage landscapes and control resource extraction is now dismissed as “green tape”.

These terms belie the fact that such regulation has been developed over many years in response to the perceived need to maintain balance and sustainability in all things into the future.

Even the term “sustainability” itself has been highjacked by the weasel-worders. When the term is used in the context of economic debate, any cuts to spending or public funding are easily justified. Old-age pensions? Unsustainable. A living-wage pay rise for child-care workers? Again, unsustainable.

The rhetoric of conservative ideology is cleverly employed over time to erode the positive public perception of ideas and institutions which are seen as contrary to the the right-wing world-view.

A gradual sanding-down of the public’s acknowledgment and appreciation of the workplace rights and entitlements won over years of union organising and picketing has been achieved by the repeated portrayal of unions as hotbeds of thuggery and corruption.

Dismissive rhetoric about “the left” ignores the fact that leftist political values are based upon social justice, inclusion and concepts of decency and fairness. The ongoing message is that an empathetic worldview is “loony” and that to embrace a cynical philosophy of “winners and losers” is to dwell in the “real world”.

In this way a political message has been delivered into the public sub-consciousness: that leftist views are “crazy” and “loony” in their consideration of the public good, and that right-wing extremist views which can only benefit a minority elite are “sensible”, “rational” and “economically sound”.

Somewhere, somehow, logic and reason lie bleeding and forgotten by the masses, while weasel words and tabloid headlines are regurgitated as valid arguments in the arena of public discussion.

(1)  Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988)
by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman

 

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An Open Letter to Journalists at News Ltd

Dear News Ltd Journalists,

I’m writing you this letter on behalf of all Australians. That includes everyone who can vote in the upcoming election, as well as those too young to have a say in their own future. I wanted to let you know that your behaviour throughout the election campaign has been appalling. I know you know as well as I do that it’s not the role of a journalist to campaign for a political party. Journalists often justify their bias by saying that opinion pieces can be whatever they want them to be – whether or not they’re biased, unbalanced, untrue, or part of a conspiracy on behalf of your boss to get rid of the NBN, which threatens his business interests. But you’re not just contributing opinion pieces and amateur PhotoShopped front page images, denigrating the target of your smear campaign. You’re also contributing news articles, designed to bring about a certain result, a result you’ve allegedly been instructed to manufacture to help your boss make money. Doesn’t this make you feel dirty? Doesn’t the 17 year old aspiring journalist in you feel even a little bit sad about finding their middle-aged-self behaving in this unethical way? Don’t you care about the impact your work has on the country you live in?

I’m sure many of you justify your blind obedience in the ‘get Rudd’ campaign to the fact that you need a job. You have to do what you’re told so you can keep working as a journalist. I know there’s not many jobs out there for journalists, but this doesn’t justify you doing the wrong thing. There are hundreds of examples throughout history of ‘employees’ doing the wrong thing on behalf of their bosses, and justifying this wrongness by saying they were instructed to do it. That doesn’t make it OK. If Murdoch told you to hit your wife, would you do that too? Where exactly is the line that you wouldn’t cross, no matter what your boss wanted? Is there a line? When you write puff pieces about Tony Abbott, when you do glamorous photo shoots of Tony Abbott’s daughters but don’t actually ask them a question, when you choose not to scrutinise Abbott, and omit news that is damaging to him, when you support Mal Brough’s campaign to destroy Slipper and then ignore the news that you were part of the Ashbygate conspiracy which a Federal Court Judge has revealed, when you cover your front page with blatant propaganda to help Abbott win government, but don’t tell your readers what his real plans are, when you give a candidate a free run and create the misleading impression that the Labor government is unsuccessful, you are failing Australia. Your job is not more important than your responsibility as a journalist. How are you ever going to get another job with this sort of behaviour in your background?

I actually think it’s an absolute outrage that not one of you has resigned in protest during this election campaign. Not one of you has stood up for journalistic integrity and said ‘enough’. Not one of you has said your pay cheque isn’t more important to you than your ethics. And what about all the jobs your readers will lose because of your campaign? You know Tony Abbott has proudly announced that he’ll sack 12,000 public servants. These are people doing important work in our communities. They help people. They support the disadvantaged in society. How is your job more important than their jobs?

No doubt many of you are Liberals yourself, having been hand-picked by your boss to make sure you’re on his side. But even if you think Tony Abbott deserves to win the election, and even if you like his policies and are completely in favour of his plans for this country (assuming you know what these are), don’t you think the Australian people have a right to hear both sides of the story before making up their own minds? Don’t you think it sounds a little bit like Fascism for your boss to decide that he wants an Abbott win, and then for you, his minions, to do his dirty work in the most blatantly dishonourable and immoral media campaign this country has ever seen?

Perhaps you read letters like this, and you are so hardened to the world that you let it roll over you, like water off a duck’s back. But I just hope that somewhere, deep down inside you, there’s a little voice reminding you that you’re doing the wrong thing. If you even have the ability to feel guilty, to feel ashamed, even if it’s just at 3:00am in the morning when you can’t sleep, I hope you feel awful.

It’s also important for you to know that we won’t forget what you’ve done. If your boss gets his way, and you do manage to deliver Australia the most conservative, austerity obsessed, downright mean and selfish government we’ve ever had, it’s very likely most of your readers, especially those in areas like western Sydney who’ve you’ve conned most successfully, will not be very impressed with you. They might ask why on earth Abbott is cutting spending on services they need, like health and education, when they didn’t hear about it before the election. They might be disappointed to hear their work rights are being undermined by the same front bench who came up with Work Choices. And they might be really pissed off when the surplus they’ve been promised is actually a gigantic $30 billion dollar black hole. No doubt you’ll do your best to blame all these woes on Labor, as this is your unthinking knee-jerk reaction to everything. But how long can this work? I know you like your readers dumb, but don’t underestimate how quickly people work out that they’ve been screwed over. I hope your precious job is worth it then. I would have thought your entire industry was in enough trouble without you putting another dozen nails in its coffin through your own arrogance and incompetence.

 

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Abbott loves Murdoch: a reminder

Within hours of my post “Murdoch hates Rudd: a reminder”, where I predicted that the Murdoch media would turn even more feral towards the Government as the election nears, this front page from the Daily Telegraph is splashed across the internet:

Tony Abbott was quick to kick it along:

For his part, Opposition Leader Abbott, speaking just minutes later, pointed to our “robust and diverse media culture” and said some would be in his corner, some wouldn’t, and one had to “take the rough with the smooth.”

Was he smirking at the time, I wonder? After all, we all know who’s in his corner. Someone he loves deeply, apparently. Thanks to AIMN reader Kaye Lee, here’s a reminder of how deep that love is:

TONY ABBOTT’S ADDRESS TO THE IPA APRIL 5 2013

“John Howard has said that Rupert Murdoch has been by far Australia’s most influential international businessman; but I would like to go a little further. Along with Sir John Monash, the Commander of the First AIF which saved Paris and helped to win the First World War, and Lord Florey a one-time provost of my old Oxford College, the co-inventor of penicillin that literally saved millions of lives, Rupert Murdoch is probably the Australian who has most shaped the world through the 45 million newspapers that News Corp sells each week and the one billion subscribers to News-linked programming.

Rupert Murdoch has sometimes changed his political allegiance but he’s never changed his fundamental principles. At least since the mid-70’s, those have been greater personal responsibility, smaller government, fewer regulations and support for open societies that don’t build walls against the world.

For our guest of honour, as for anyone deeply steeped in reporting, experience trumps theory and facts trump speculation. His publications have borne his ideals but never his fingerprints. They’ve been skeptical, stoical, curious, adventurous, opinionated yet broad minded. He’s influenced them, but he’s never dictated to them – as I happily discovered myself in 1989 while writing editorials in favour of the pilots who were trying to ground the airline that he then half owned. As a transgression, this turned out to be far less serious than spelling his late great mother, Dame Elisabeth’s name with a ‘z’ rather than with an ‘s’!

Rupert Murdoch is a corporate citizen of many countries, but above all else, he’s one of us. Most especially, tonight, he’s a long-serving director of the IPA, as was his distinguished and celebrated father, Sir Keith.”

Political brown-nosing of the highest order, don’t you think?

 

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Welcome to The Australian Independent Media Network

The idea of The Australian Independent Media Network sprung up overnight in response partly to this quote from the Under the radar article on the Café Whispers blog:

Isn’t it a great pity that excellent articles are being written in the Fifth Estate that slip under the radar into oblivion? Isn’t it also a great pity that this will continue to happen? Isn’t it also a greater pity that such hard-hitting, truth-telling articles will forever be drowned out by our hysterical, manipulative, dishonest, sensationalist, gutless, unfair and unbalanced media in this country?

Has there ever been a greater need for the Fifth Estate to join forces? If we don’t, a lot of what we write will continue to slip under the radar.

And capped off with this comment under the blog topic:

One fears that it will not be an evidence-based election, but there is plenty of evidence that it will be a fear-based one. Our strategies for getting the message across needs lots of thought and discussion like this post provides.

The idea of a representative body for Australian bloggers has been tossed around for a couple of years but it had never really taken hold. Tim Dunlop’s article in The Drum last October titled Media pass: citizen journalists need an industry body emphasised the need for something to be done. The introduction to the article reads:

Australian bloggers have a lot to offer in public debate, but an independent body is needed to establish the credibility and increase the exposure of our citizen journalists.

We are now at that point.

Over the coming days and weeks you’ll see this site take shape and the network develop, followed by what we endeavour to be quality, unbiased, balanced, independent journalism. Goodness knows this country needs some.

The Australian Independent Media Network: Build it and they will come.

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