July 17, 2014

Horse 1714 - Rupert Murdoch's 'Gift To Our Nation"

The Australian newspaper is Rupert Murdoch's 'gift to our nation'' Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told a gala dinner in Sydney to celebrate the publication's 50th birthday.
On Tuesday night, Mr Abbott – who once worked as a journalist at The Australian – said the contemporary publication is ''one of the world's very best''.
- Sydney Morning Herald, 16th Jul 2014

Let's think about that 'gift to our nation' that Rupert gave us. What was the intent of that gift?

"Please note that we are not a left-wing Labor paper nor are we tied to any particular party or philosophy. We are simply in the business of reporting, interpreting and sometimes commenting on the facts – in that order”.
- Rupert Murdoch, staff memo, 1965

You know what? I actually believe this. The Australian newspaper is not a left-wing Labor paper; it is a right-wing business paper and as such it makes perfect sense that it is not tied to any particular party. It currently aligns itself and white ants one of them but the second that that party changes its tack, it'll dump them flat on their face. That party knows that too and is very very obedient.

It breaks stories, challenges governments and links the complex web of events and impacts across the country every day. 
The is the news brand with exclusive access to Australia’s wealthy and powerful. 
- The Australian, advert blurb, from News Corp Australia

Indeed it is. The Australian has exclusive access to Australia’s wealthy and powerful... including the current Prime Minister, who "in spirit" still works for them. Just who did he mean back in January when he complained that the ABC "appears to take everybody's side but our own'', and lacks ''at least some basic affection for the home team". Which "home team" would that be? Tony seems to think that that home team is The Australian; Don't believe me? Why, he even admitted it himself:

This, alone, should make it uniquely influential in our nation’s life.
On any particular day, The Australian is not necessarily the most influential publication in our country.
Back in 1992, when I was an ex-journalist and somewhat disgruntled political staffer, Paul Kelly told me that I would always have a job at The Australian.
When I tried to redeem that pledge, shortly after the 1993 election, the paper was having one of its periodic budget crises.
I never went back but like to think that, in spirit, I’d never left.
- PM Tony Abbott, to the 50th Anniversary of The Australian, 15th Jul 2014

Futhermore, The Australian which is Rupert's prized doyenne of all of News Corp's worldwide operations (splits aside), is seemingly able to dictate policy by yelling as loudly as it can into the ears of its minions; sooner or later, its minions also start signing the same song.

One of the Government's newest - and arguably one of its most influential - senators is calling for the GST to be increased and broadened, the abolition of the federal health and education departments and the privatisation of the ABC if it fails to address concerns of left wing bias.
In his maiden speech to Parliament, Senator James McGrath, who has previously been a party strategist, has also demanded the ABC's youth radio station triple j be privatised immediately.
- ABC News, 16th Jul 2014

Who stands to gain the most from a privatised ABC? Surely not someone with a commercial interest to gain from the shift in market share. As Rupert said himself, the Australian is in the business of reporting, interpreting and sometimes commenting on the facts. Those facts are that this is the news brand with exclusive access to Australia’s wealthy and powerful. Just remember that. It has exclusive access to Australia’s wealthy and powerful; whilst the voters do not. One of its ex-columnists is now the Prime Minister and in spirit, never left the newspaper. Who does he work for? It's probably not you.
That's Rupert Murdoch's 'gift to our nation'.

Happy 50th Anniversary to The Australian; who's boss is not.

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