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We all know Rupert Murdoch runs the Liberal Party

We all know Rupert Murdoch runs the Liberal Party. Can we all agree it is time he stopped running the country too?

No matter who wins the ultimate cage fight victory, we all know who the real leader of the Liberal Party is. Whether Turnbull prevails to limp wet-lettuce-leaf-like to defeat at the next election, whether ScoMo blusters and lectures his way into high office, or whether the potato-man leaps triumphant from the boiling pot without being skinned, we know none of them hold any authority. No, the real leader all along is Rupert Murdoch. Always was.

Don’t believe me? Watch this rant by Chris Uhlmann who is being called brave by many other senior journalists who never had the guts to say the same. In a nutshell, Uhlmann has admitted that media commentators and journalists have become players in the political process, making themselves part of the story, and changing political outcomes because of it.

Uhlmann seemed fed up that powerful right-wing commentators have been helping Dutton to spill Turnbull’s job, suggesting that the game has gone too far. This reminds me of when I was a child. My sisters and I would be skylarking around, and my mother would say: this is going to end in tears. Uhlmann is crying because he doesn’t like the way Dutton’s media supporters are behaving, but that’s not to say Uhlmann isn’t a player too. He knows the game well. How else do you think he’s got where he is?

It’s lucky I don’t mind saying – I told you so – because I did tell you so. I’ve been talking about the disastrous impact of media ‘playing’ in the political arena for as long as I’ve been blogging. All the while, I’ve been criticised by the very few journalists who engage with me, for being a conspiracy theorist, for being ‘a broken’, for not knowing what I’m talking about.

There’s this idealism amongst media players about their role in society. They see themselves as the ‘Fourth Estate’, as watchdogs on democracy, holding the government and the opposition to account, all in the name of the public interest. We’ve been told that this leads them to be pure, objective observers of reality, and that they provide fair and balanced coverage of all things political, in order to help voters decide which leaders are worthy of our votes. This idealism tends to result in some fairly arrogant attitudes amongst journalists, such as believing they know better than the public, that they can see political events more clearly than us, and that they are un-biased in their analysis of news, unlike us ‘cheerleaders’ who take a side and can therefore not be trusted to have credible views on anything.

The clash between folk like me, who question whether journalists should be reporting leaked information from, say, disgruntled staffers in a Labor MPs office, when there is clearly a political motivation behind the leak, and the journalists who constantly claim everything is above board and there’s nothing to see here, move along, has become more and more toxic in recent weeks. I’ve been blocked by many senior political journalists for complaining they are inserting themselves into political games rather than being the objective and fair custodians of truth that they claim to be. I’ve complained that they, intentionally or not, bias their reporting towards ready-made narratives, without hearing, or seeking alternative explanations. I’ve complained that balance doesn’t mean ‘he said, she said’, it means investigating both sides of a story and giving the reader a fair assessment of the credibility of both claims. If one side says it’s raining, and the other says it’s not, it’s the job of a journalists to look out the window and tell us which is correct. I know it’s not always as easy as that, but at the very least, journalists could try.

I know there are good journalists out there, but there are also terrible journalists out there. Lot’s of them. Let’s get this straight. You are not a watchdog on democracy when you are a player in the political process. This whole situation has been made worse by the number of media players who have stepped straight out of political roles, and into the news media. There are media players who gleefully talk of vendetta journalism, like it’s totally normal that a journalist would campaign against political opponents (I’m looking at you Sharri Markson). Sharri, incidentally, doesn’t appreciate Uhlmann’s comments, what a huge surprise, and claims she can single-handily assure the public that News Corp has had nothing to do with Dutton’s campaign, because apparently she knows everything that is going on in that entire organisation, and the Daily Telegraph are pure news reporters who don’t play political games, and also there are fairies living in my bathroom cabinet.

The point is, the cat is now out of the bag, and we all knew it was there all along. So what? You don’t need to be writing a PhD thesis on this stuff, which I currently am, to understand why it’s dangerous for media players to be so tangled, twisted, intertwined and meddling in the political process. These people claim to be speaking the truth to power, when really they’re distorting the only version of political reality the voters can realistically access, using the voice of the powerful. This means that powerful people, like Rupert Murdoch, can, on a whim, decide to change the Prime Minister of Australia, and his media-playing-employees go about making that happen. It’s the stuff of dictatorships. It’s the stuff of corrupt, fascist, bullying regimes where the public are misinformed in order to control them. This is not small fry. This is our country, and Rupert Murdoch is pulling the strings.

I’ll finish on this. Jacinda Ardern, the young, optimistic, proactive, kind, authoritative and competent Prime Minister of New Zealand is paving a truly impressive progressive agenda for her country, and she is doing so with popular support from the public. New Zealand doesn’t have any Murdoch media. Enough said.

18 comments

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  1. jimhaz

    Note that Murdoch arrived back in Australia on the 10th August. I’m certain he arranged for his media to be all lined up to support someone more far right than Turnbull – just like he did in the USA with Trump.

    I so want him to be gone from the world.

  2. Henry Rodrigues

    I have been excoriating that decrepit old bastard now for many years, on this website and on others. We all know the corrosive influence he has on our political system and our media, including the ABC where a protege of his rules. We all certainly wish the bastard the worst fate we can think of and as soon as possible, before we surrender our country to him and his family and his minions, irrevocably. Can’t wait to see the bastard in his hole in the ground together with the rodent of Woolstonecroft and the chimp and all those dickheads in the conservative side of politics.

  3. ozibody

    Indeed Victoria ! I understand Rupert Murdoch flew into Australia in his private jet on August 10 and, whilst it’s not all his personal doing, his worldwide organisation has the supreme power to advance the neocon agenda significantly …. tho’ ‘ Prop Up ‘ is a more current term, according to some sources I follow.

  4. paul walter

    Even the Drum was onto Murdoch, esp David Marr this evening.

  5. Che Corrie

    The trouble with all these journalists is, most of them aren’t. They are reporters at best. We can thank the rise of celebrity ‘news’ for that, people being appointed to report based on looks and having a nice voice for television, without the proper training or experience in how to actually do the job. It means they end up just saying what they’re told and haven’t got a clue how to investigate a story themselves.

    As for the fourth estate, they have never been – and were never meant to be – the watchdogs of democracy, that was only the mask they wore. They have always dabbled in politics, pulling strings and manipulating the emotions of the unaware masses. All we have really seen going on here is the inner workings of how they really operate, without that mask.

  6. totaram

    I haven’t forgotten, Chris Uhlmann telling us that the SA blackouts were caused by there not being enough “synchronous generation” in the grid. No one asked him to define what that item was and he wouldn’t know. All generation inserted into the grid has to be “synchronous” although there are subtleties about being “voltage synchronous” but not “current synchronous” etc. So someone who tried to be so partisan when he was still at the ABC, is now worried about what the media are doing to our political process. Hurrah!

  7. paul walter

    totaram, that sounds like spontaneous generation, from the dark ages. We are getting in bigger strife every moment.

    Che Corrie, it’s been a fascinating week and lovely to see them off balance and showing their real colours.
    The best of them deserve deep respect, but some of them make even me feel better about myself.
    Perhaps there is a god after all..

  8. vicki

    C,mon this PM was bow towing to the fractions to appease them and in the end it bit him on the arse, its so plain to see how this came about, but I would like to ask WHY the MEDIA is NOT asking the obvious question “why now? when the PM said he would put a cap on electricity” Is their self INTEREST with kick backs from the Energy Companies so immersed with their decision making that they have to dismantle the WHOLE Liberal Party? Corruption at its best and worse for ALL to see.

  9. vicki

    Spot on, my mother has being saying for decades that We need to get rid of Murdoch and that people on TV can’t really comment on what is right otherwise they will get the sack if they say anything that Murdoch doesn’t want out there, so fear NOT WE are AWARE of this Parasite and his Influence in Politics and his CONTROL over MEDIA.

  10. Adrianne Haddow

    Excellent piece Victoria.

    Australians have watched Murdoch and his poisonous editors and columnists derail the democratic process in this country since the Whitlam years, and possibly before, but I wasn’t paying attention then, being too caught up in the Vietnam War and the conscription of my male peers. I hated the Liberal Party then, and I hate it still.

    The squatocracy that Murdoch represents, have always felt they are entitled to this land and all the riches it contains. Their flirtation with Fascism in the years post WW1 and WW2, to counteract the rise of communism, workers rights and workers unions showed the ideology that the Liberal Party was founded on. The ordinary citizens were, and are still, tolerated as wage slaves, war fodder and targets for the propaganda and fear based politics that keeps the likes of Murdoch and his parasitic supporters at the top of the pile.

    This old man, and those he protects, are now a danger to the planet and the well being of all who live on it. Murdoch’s evil media empire and his poisonous employees, I won’t allow them the privilege of being called journalists, sow the seeds of distrust regarding science and feed their misinformation to the fools who claim to be unpolitical, as if that’s a virtue, all the while being manipulated to vote against their own best interests for whichever group of opportunists Murdoch and his IPA parasites deem fit.

    I’m heartily sick of this old bastard US citizen damaging our Australian society, our future and the future of our children, in his obscene grasping for more wealth.

  11. corvus boreus

    I refuse to purchase any Murdoch media product, and will not even provide links to their articles.
    Beyond this, my personal policy of action is, wherever I see that newscorp slime-sheets are being left out to pollute the public perception (eg tabloids given to fast-food joints) I take those rags and leave them folded firmly open on the pages of classified advertisements for ‘escorts and adult services’.
    I figure the ads for hookers are probably more honest and less offensive than the headlines.

  12. Adrianne Haddow

    When I was teaching, I was appalled to find piles of Murdoch’s rags, delivered at a cut rate to schools.
    The draw card being a glossy educational supplement, published weekly, but the odious rags were delivered daily. The idea being to remove the educational insert and send the rest of the propaganda home with the kids. A free ticket to the hearts and minds of the electorate.

    I did my bit by moving piles of the rubbish to the art room for table protection, always discarding the inflammatory front sheet so our ethnic students could not see the disregard for themselves and their parents blatantly displayed in the headlines.

    Alternatively, we did lots of paper mâché constructions, and the best use was to form a no dig base for our school veggie garden. A fitting use for the dirt Murdoch and his columnist dished up.

  13. Nigel Drake

    I agree with the sympathies expressed here in regard to the undesirability of Mr. Murdoch continually interfering in politics.
    My ongoing question is: “What the hell can we do about it?”
    WIth as much influence as a single grain of sand in the Great Sandy, I can only ever hope to be an irritant under the eyelid of someone who blindly follows a media which promulagates less truth than a deluded Biblical evangelist.
    GetUp seems to have a handle on social affairs (not those of the Barnyard Joyce kind) but even they are having less impact than one would hope.
    I see it as a need to fight money with money, so I will have to increase my contribution to GU to help them/us along.
    And keep stirring the shit out of everyone that I come across who believes that they have a divine right to insist that everyone follows the same trail that they and the other sheeple have trampled across the paddock of civilisation.

  14. Paul

    Murdoch, the ultimate pragmatist. Not unlike Abbott really except he will say and do anything to make himself richer.
    Unfortunately for the many that is an alignment with the Right side of politics and his influence in today’s media is obvious even to blind Freddie.

  15. New England Cocky

    “I’ll finish on this. Jacinda Ardern, the young, optimistic, proactive, kind, authoritative and competent Prime Minister of New Zealand is paving a truly impressive progressive agenda for her country, and she is doing so with popular support from the public. New Zealand doesn’t have any Murdoch media. Enough said.:

    Either does Fiji where News Ltd was required to divest their interest by government regulation. Perhaps Australia needs to do the same.

  16. Rhonda

    Good one CB! That’s a method I might adopt. Sometimes at the stupidmarket I’ve often taken to pulling out my pen and scrawling BS! across the front page on display. I also support NEC’s suggestion, but…wishful thinking. NZ looks to be thriving under Jacinda Ardern. She makes me happy

  17. corvus boreus

    Rhonda,
    ‘Cindy seems pretty cool.
    When questioned over Director Taika Waititi’s comments describing NZ as ‘racist as phuq’ she responded;

    “I’m not sure exactly where F sits on the quantum.
    Is there racism in New Zealand? Undeniably.
    Is there racism in most countries? Undeniably.
    Can we do better? Yes.
    And I’m really proud of the efforts we make daily to do better.”

    Pretty solid answer, methinks.

    Ps, here’s some more good sport from the Kiwi PM;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HynsTvRVLiI

  18. Dija

    Thank you for telling the truth. When will Australian people wake up to all this ? When will politicians work for Australia not USA ? Keep us out of overseas problems which don’t concern us ? Keep our Diggers home ? All this twisted politics we close our eyes to. Money 💰 is the key word not people. Rich for the Rich nothing else seems to count anymore.

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