Tag: News Corp

News Corporation chalks up $1.9bn loss as Foxtel’s value written down by another billion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

 

News Corporation sign in New York

Global media giant News Corporation has suffered another nasty full year loss of $US1.4 billion ($1.9 billion) as it continues to write down the value of its Australian pay-TV subsidiary, Foxtel.

billion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Royal outrage as conservative chorus rounds on ABC | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

 

Royal wedding merchandise on sale in Windsor. The ABC has come under fire from News Corp and Coalition MPs for sending a TV crew to London to cover the nuptials.

Wedding coverage and executive bonuses spark new round of Aunty bashing. Plus Daily Telegraph gets it monumentally wrong

News Corp columnists, including the Australian’s Gerard Henderson, the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt and the Courier Mail’s Des Houghton, have all lined up to denounce the ABC in the past few days.

Here is a taste from the Australian’s Chris Kenny: “Since last week’s budget the ABC has taken a bit of a break from demonising Australians as deplorable xenophobes, Islamophobes, homophobes, misogynists and racists to focus on its own funding problems.”

via Royal outrage as conservative chorus rounds on ABC | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

Watch NPR’s David Folkenflik’s brutal takedown of Fox’s handling of Sean Hannity

Murdoch and Hannity are Trump “confidantes” and see value in that relationship.

The contradiction then becomes in the terms “news” and “journalism” and the product  that’s actually being delivered.

Watch NPR’s David Folkenflik’s brutal takedown of Fox’s handling of Sean Hannity

Geoffrey Rush And The Newspaper Accused Of Defaming Him Are Arguing About Who Is Liable

Actor Geoffrey Rush.

News Corp is trying to blame their source for their lack of verification

The newspaper accused of defaming Geoffrey Rush says the theatre company that confirmed a complaint had been made about Rush’s alleged “inappropriate behaviour” should also have to pay up if the publisher loses the high profile lawsuit.

via Geoffrey Rush And The Newspaper Accused Of Defaming Him Are Arguing About Who Is Liable

Why Malcolm Turnbull’s Government Will Win The Next Newspoll! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Andrew Bolt’s approach to commentary wrong move on wrong move on forget the facts even a clocks right twice a day just say it first. It lingers longer right or wrong ( Old Dog)

So it’s no surprise that these commentators don’t call out politicians for their lack of prophetic powers. After all, when everyone’s getting it wrong, it’s best just to move forward and hope that nobody has a memory or enough time to go back and point out that the most accurate thing that anybody said was: “Whatever. The sun will still rise tomorrow.”

Why Malcolm Turnbull’s Government Will Win The Next Newspoll! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Wil Anderson on Tonightly: ‘People more offended by C at end of AB than about C-bomb sketch’ | Media | The Guardian

Tonightly with Tom Ballard (front) pushes the envelope with its edgy comedy on ABC.

In this case which came first the media or the politicians? In this case the politicians came from behind and were just media puppets pulled by the strings of Murdoch Media. It’s a case when neither the politicians or the media represent us. They merely try to service us in a prick of a way (ODT)

The communications minister Mitch Fifield and Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi both complained about a segment in which a candidate for Bernardi’s party Kevin Bailey was called a “cunt”.

“I would say the majority of people are not offended by the word, they are more offended by the C at the end of the AB than they are about the C-bomb that was used in the sketch,” Anderson, a Triple M Hot Breakfast co-host, told Guardian Australia.

“The majority of people who are offended by these jokes are not really offended by these jokes. They are, by their very nature, offended by the very idea of the ABC and they want to prosecute an agenda against the ABC. This is just an example of something they can use to prosecute an agenda.”

via Wil Anderson on Tonightly: ‘People more offended by C at end of AB than about C-bomb sketch’ | Media | The Guardian

On Twitter Lies Spread Faster Than Truth | IFLScience

 

“Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information,” the study authors report in Science. “Whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1,000 people, the top 1 percent of false-n

via On Twitter Lies Spread Faster Than Truth | IFLScience

“THE BONKING BEETROOT”: Deputy PM and “homewrecker” Barnaby Joyce allegedly may have traded sex for favours with powerful Canberra lobbyist – True Crime News Weekly

Shari Markson from Murdoch’s stable didn’t break the Barney Story but did raise it to political thunder to discredit Malcolm Turnbull our PM

Only after billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch gave the nod to his News Corp foot soldiers last week to proceed with publishing the truth about some of the scandals surrounding Mr Joyce, did other journalists suddenly somehow discover their reporting mojo and investigative capabilities.

 

Rupert Murdoch
Media mogul and political kingmaker Rupert Murdoch (Commons)

Over the past week, news headlines in Australia have involved almost nothing else apart from the struggles facing Mr Joyce. The headlines have even travelled around the world with media in the USA and UK reporting on Mr Joyce’s troubles and travails. Clearly and obviously this story was in the public interest. But why not in October and November last year when Mr Joyce was facing an important by-election in New England caused by his own ignorance of his citizenship status?

via “THE BONKING BEETROOT”: Deputy PM and “homewrecker” Barnaby Joyce allegedly may have traded sex for favours with powerful Canberra lobbyist – True Crime News Weekly

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: The Barnaby Joyce affair — another case of #mediafail (except for IA)

 

‘There’s something of a convention in Aus politics: unless there’s criminality, coercion or abuse involved, private lives are private.’

This is nonsense, of course. There is no such convention — “something” or otherwise.

The media presented stories about Gareth Evans’ affair with Cheryl Kernot and Jim Cairns’ affair with Junie Morosi when there was not a hint of criminality, coercion, or abuse. The mainstream media also enjoyed reporting on the private life of Julia Gillard while she was prime minister, even outrageously asking her whether her hairdresser partner Tim Mathieson was a homosexual. The ABC then destroyed any notion of impartiality or discretion when it aired a tasteless and unfunny sitcom based on her supposed private life, called ‘At Home With Julia’.

via EDITORIAL EXCERPT: The Barnaby Joyce affair — another case of #mediafail (except for IA)

News Corp expands its pro-Trump fakenews despite failing U.S. economy

Most TV news reports over the weekend cherry-picked Friday’s data on January’s jobs. The statistics were a mix of good news and bad. Total jobs increased. But so did people looking for work. The jobless rate for women decreased. But for men, it increased. The overall jobless rate did not go up. It did not go down either. Wages increased over the year. So did inflation.

Naturally, the pro-Trump media highlighted only the positive — in stark contrast to their approach through the Obama years.

via News Corp expands its pro-Trump #fakenews despite failing U.S. economy

The Saddest, Wrongest ‘Fact’ In Tony Abbott’s Climate Speech

Almost as bad is the claim that ’99 per cent of scientists believe’ as if scientific truth is determined by votes rather than facts.”Votes? What votes?Abbott seemed to be suggesting that the 97 percent consensus (the 99 was a mistake by Abbott, it’s actually 97) was based on some bogus poll.Wrong.There was never any poll of scared scientists who pretended to be in furious agreement about climate change lest they be branded as heretics. In fact, the paper which first identified the 97 percent consensus was a 2013 survey of the scientific literature that was already out there.And what 97 percent of that scientific literature effectively said was: it’s happening and we’re causing it.

Source: The Saddest, Wrongest ‘Fact’ In Tony Abbott’s Climate Speech

Why are we letting the fossil fuel industry make the rules on climate change action? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In an article in today’s Australian, Janet Albrechtsen waxes lyrical about departing boss of the Minerals Council, Brendan Pearson, who she claims was “shoved out of his job as boss of the Minerals Council of Australia by those who prefer feel-good corporate bromides and green myths over energy facts and figures.”These purveyors of “green myths” were, among others, BHP and Rio Tinto who said they had lost confidence in Mr Pearson due to his unstinting advocacy for coal, something Ms Albrechtsen, on the other hand, considers a virtue, Source: Why are we letting the fossil fuel industry make the rules on climate change action? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Richard Spencer tells Israelis ‘White Nationalism’ is akin to Zionism | +972 Magazine

The prominent white supremacist is given a platform on Israel’s top-rated news show, and the host doesn’t once challenge his anti-Semitism or hateful views. By +972 Magazine Staff Israel’s most popular prime-time television news show gave white supremacist Richard Spencer a platform to try and convince Jewish Israelis that White Nationalism is analogous to Zionism, adding that Israelis should relate to him and his ilk. [If the video below doesn’t play, watch here or here] “As an Israeli citizen, as someone who understands your identity, who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and history and the experience of the…

Source: Richard Spencer tells Israelis ‘White Nationalism’ is akin to Zionism | +972 Magazine

Cries of ‘witch-hunt’ ring hollow for Catholic clergy survivors

Finally, to those who jump, without hesitation, to the defence of Cardinal Pell and assume that his accusers are “deluded” or “confused” or hold some maniacal vendetta: As stated above, George Pell is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but that does not mean that his accusers deserve to be summarily dismissed in the way that children almost always had been until the royal commission turned decades of silence and obfuscation and failure-to-believe on its head.

Source: Cries of ‘witch-hunt’ ring hollow for Catholic clergy survivors

Rupert Murdoch’s axing of Bill O’Reilly shows his defiance turn to pragmatism

Rupert Murdoch prizes loyalty and profits, both of which Bill O’Reilly brought him in droves, but Murdoch has also proved he is a pragmatist at his core.

Source: Rupert Murdoch’s axing of Bill O’Reilly shows his defiance turn to pragmatism

Fox News Caught Lying: Sweden Reinstated Draft Because Of Russia, Not Refugees

Fox News’ Fox & Friends falsely claimed that Sweden’s reintroduction of the draft was due to violence in the country precipitated by refugees, when in fact the draft is being reintroduced to counter Russian aggression in the region.Despite Fox’s assertion, Sweden’s government is reintroducing the draft for men and women in the count

Source: Fox News Caught Lying: Sweden Reinstated Draft Because Of Russia, Not Refugees

Donald Trump Stays Silent On Mosque Shooting While Raging Over Louvre Knife Attack

“A new radical Islamic terrorist has just attacked in Louvre Museum in Paris. Tourists were locked down. France on edge again. GET SMART U.S.”

Six people died at the Quebec City mosque, and one person was slightly injured in the Paris attack.

Source: Donald Trump Stays Silent On Mosque Shooting While Raging Over Louvre Knife Attack

How Years Of The Right-Wing Media’s Obama Hatred Paved The Way For Trump

At noon today, Donald Trump will swear the oath of office and become president of the United States. His ascent would not have been possible without the years of vitriol that the right-wing media directed at his predecessor.That hatred of President Obama, and the related scorched-earth efforts to smother his agenda, prepared the way for Tru

Source: How Years Of The Right-Wing Media’s Obama Hatred Paved The Way For Trump

Reply to News Corpse: ‘Michael Danby staffer exposed as pro-Shorten blogger’|  It’s  what Andrew Bolt does and is still at News Corp

Dave Donovan explains in detail just exactly how far The Australian went to smear IA contributor Peter Wicks.

Norington smears Wixxy: The Australian gets caught lying, but refuses to apologise Part 1

Source: Reply to News Corpse: ‘Michael Danby staffer exposed as pro-Shorten blogger’  Part 2

Trumpists beat Muslim-American Child of frmr Fulbrighter, harass Family out of US | Informed Comment| What Andrew Bolt encourages here

By TeleSur | – – After a series of violent attacks and recrimination, an esteemed Muslim academic flees the U.S. …

Source: Trumpists beat Muslim-American Child of frmr Fulbrighter, harass Family out of US | Informed Comment

Fox’s Kurtz Pushes Fake Clinton Quote That A Different Fox Host Already Apologized For Airing

Fox News’ media critic Howard Kurtz attributed a fake quote to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, predicting that she would have to answer in tonight’s presidential debate for calling primary opponent Bernie Sanders’ supporters a “bucket of losers.” But Snopes.com and BuzzFeed have already reported that this quote — origina

Source: Fox’s Kurtz Pushes Fake Clinton Quote That A Different Fox Host Already Apologized For Airing

The reality of Manus Island – » The Australian Independent Media Network

By Behrouz Boochani This is my answer to Peter Michael whose article (now behind a paywall) in The Herald Sun quoted Immigration Minister Peter Dutton: “MANUS Island asylum seekers are trading taxpayer-funded cigarettes on the black market to pay for ­alcohol, electronics and ­marijuana.” In the Manus prison, a skinny man with a pale and…

Source: The reality of Manus Island – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Weekly Beast: tough questions for News Corp hacks going for ABC job | Media | The Guardian

Journalists at Australian on shortlist for ABC news director. Plus Sarah Ferguson’s candid advice for anyone thinking of going into marketing

Source: The Weekly Beast: tough questions for News Corp hacks going for ABC job | Media | The Guardian

Woman With No Recollection Of Last 10 Years Asked To Run Major Media Company

rebekah brooks

A British woman who can’t recall any of the conversations she has had over the past decade will head up the UK arm of one of the world’s largest media organisations.

A spokesperson for the company said Ms Brookes, 47, was the obvious choice for the position. “Apart from the fact that she has absolutely no recollection of what happened at the previous companies she ran, she is the perfect choice for this role,” the spokesperson said.

“She has a knack for a good story, she’s great with people. Sure she couldn’t remember whether the Prime Minister of Great Britain attended her 40th birthday party. But then, who does remember these sorts of finer details?”

The spokesperson said Ms Brookes would run a tight ship as CEO of UK operations. “Although naturally we don’t expect her to have any idea about what’s actually going on at the company”.

Gayby Baby: Out Of The Mouth of Piers Akerman who never bothered to see it.

Whatever the Daily Telegraph pays Piers Akerman to spread his unique brand of ‘commentary’, it’s not enough. So if you’re reading this Rupert Murdoch, double the man’s salary.Akerman’s column this week attacking the independent Australian documentary, Gayby Baby – and the Tele’s complementary campaign of smearing shit all over itself and then grinning like a five-year-old – has done more than any hard working publicist could ever do to promote a film that every Australian should see.

Source: Gayby Baby: Out Of The Mouths Of Babes, And Piers Akerman | newmatilda.com

Corporate Media

Print

John Pilger – Episode 12

the role of the corporate media in manufacturing narratives, its relationship to capitalism and commodification, and the importance of independent media to pierce through the propaganda. Pilger provides his blistering critique of the especially insidious liberal media whose misinformation and disinformation is so critical to the ruling class. Eric and John touch on an array of other topics including Greece, Ukraine, and debt as a neocolonial weapon. All this and much more on a slightly abbreviated Episode 12 of CounterPunch Radio, featuring as always intro and outtro music from the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie,

Rupert Murdoch’s Sun Endorses 2 Rival Parties in UK Vote

LONDON — Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid Sun has spoken, urging voters to back David Cameron’s Conservative Party in Britain’s election — unless they’re in Scotland. There, it says, they should vote for the Scottish National Party.

The differing endorsements raised a few eyebrows Thursday, since the London-based Sun dubbed the pro-Scottish independence nationalists “saboteurs” determined to wreck Britain.

But the Scottish edition — which has a separate editor — said the SNP would “fight harder for Scotland’s interests” and praised leader Nicola Sturgeon as “a phenomenon.” Its front page depicted her as Princess Leia from “Star Wars.”

The SNP is predicted to win most of Scotland’s seats on May 7.

Murdoch’s newspapers were long a powerful force in British politics, but their influence may be waning in the Internet age.

O’Reilly Cameraman Disputes Fox News Host’s Falklands “War Zone” Story:O’Reilly claimed he rescued his bleeding cameraman during a riot in Argentina. But the journo who shot O’Reilly’s video says this didn’t happen.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly continues to insist that he never misrepresented or embellished his wartime reporting experiences and other previous episodes—even after CNN, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Media Matters, and Mother Jones reported significant discrepancies between O’Reilly’s accounts and what actually occurred. Last Tuesday, O’Reilly appeared on David Letterman’s show, where he maintained he had always been “accurate” when discussing his journalistic exploits and had never “fibbed” on air. (“Not that I know of,” he said.) Yet O’Reilly’s characterizations of his reporting during the Falklands war, El Salvador’s civil war, the troubles in Northern Ireland, the Los Angeles riots of 1992, and the 1977 re-investigation of the John F. Kennedy assassination have been repeatedly challenged, in several cases by former colleagues. Now a principal character in one of O’Reilly’s more dramatic tales—in which the Fox commentator plays a heroic role—says this particular story is not accurate.

In recounting his experiences as a CBS News correspondent reporting from a “war zone” during the 1982 Falklands war, O’Reilly has said that he rescued a CBS colleague during a violent protest that erupted near the presidential palace in Buenos Aires after Argentina surrendered to the British. During a 2013 episode of the O’Reilly Factor, he recalled:

I was in a situation one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands, where my photographer got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete. And the army was chasing us. I had to make a decision. And I dragged him off, you know, but at the same time, I’m looking around and trying to do my job, but I figure I had to get this guy out of there because that was more important.

O’Reilly told a similar version in a 2009 interview: “The camera went flying. I saved the tape because it was unbelievable tape. But I dragged him off the street because he was bleeding from the ear and had hit his head on the concrete.” In this account, O’Reilly claimed that soldiers had fired into the crowd with live ammunition, “gunning down” civilians, and that a soldier pointed an M-16 at him as he tried to assist his injured cameraman. In a 2001 book, O’Reilly reported that “many” people had died during this melee.

“I was not beaten at any time during my Buenos Aires assignment. I do not even recall Mr. O’Reilly being near me.”

The record is clear, and O’Reilly’s own report for CBS News confirms this: Argentine soldiers did not massacre civilians during this protest. And now the cameraman who shot the video that O’Reilly filed from this demonstration says another part of the Fox host’s account is untrue: O’Reilly never came to his aid, nor was he in need of rescue.

Ignacio Medrano-Carbo says he was the cameraman on O’Reilly’s crew that night. Jim Forrest, the crew’s sound man, confirms Medrano-Carbo was paired up with O’Reilly. “I worked with Ignacio during the surrender riots in Argentina during the Falklands war,” Forrest says in an email. “We were O’Reilly’s crew the night of the riots.” (O’Reilly has identified another CBS journalist named Roberto Moreno as his cameraman, but Forrest, Medrano-Carbo, and another former CBS journalist who worked in Argentina say that Moreno was a sound man at that time; Moreno has turned down requests from reporters to talk about the episode.) Medrano-Carbo certainly was shooting video in the middle of the tumult. A BBC documentary (at the 56:28 mark) captured him filming scenes that appeared in O’Reilly’s report.

Medrano-Carbo has sent the following statement to Mother Jones:

After a call from a cameraman friend, I watched Bill O’Reilly’s report filed in 1982 from Buenos Aires for CBS during the Falkland War posted a few weeks ago on the Mother Jones web page. The part that caught my attention was Mr. O’Reilly’s claim that he helped his cameraman to safety who was bleeding out of his ear after he fell when chased by the army.

Ninety-nine percent of the footage in that report was shot by me. Does that make me his cameraman? I never fell nor was I bleeding out my ear at any time during my Buenos Aires assignment. I do not even recall Mr. O’Reilly being near me when I shot all that footage nor after I left the unrest at Plaza de Mayo that evening. But it is not uncommon to be separated from your reporter during a disturbance such as that one.

I also read that some colleagues were accusing Mr. O’Reilly of negligently asking his cameraman to turn on the camera light for his stand up. In his defense, I will attest that he never asked me to turn on the light for any reason. I turned on the camera light at my discretion and possible folly. I also never shot a stand up for Mr. O’Reilly.

In another report…Mr. O’Reilly states that his cameraman that night was Roberto Moreno. Mr. Moreno was indeed there but at that time he was a sound man and working with seasoned CBS cameraman Carl Sorensen. Mr. Moreno, who became my friend, did not pick up a camera until years later. My last name is Medrano perhaps Mr. O’Reilly got confused since Mr. Moreno went on to shoot for CBS News? Medrano? Moreno?

Lastly, I can confirm that no one I know of who worked with me in Buenos Aires during the Falkland War ever heard of any CBS crew member getting beat or hurt. Nor did any demonstrators get killed that night at Plaza de Mayo—to quote a colleague, “or we would’ve been following up at the morgue and interviewing family members.”

Fox News and O’Reilly did not respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: After this story was posted, O’Reilly told TheWrap, “I never worked with Ignacio Medrano-Carbo. This is nothing more than yet another coordinated attack which predictably comes on the heels of my appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.” In response, Medrano-Carbo tells Mother Jones, “I don’t know what to say… Ninety-nine percent of that footage in his report was mine. How’d he get that footage, if I’m not his cameraman?…I have the footage to show.” Medrano-Carbo shared with Mother Jones the raw footage he shot that night, and it does match the video in the report O’Reilly filed. He adds, “You can see me in the BBC report. Why would I lie? You used 99 percent of my stuff, and I’m not your cameraman? I certainly did not get beat up. You did not help me.”

Scientific American Takes An In Depth Look At The Tea Party. This is applicable to the LNP, Tony Abbott, and all Murdoch elves such as Albrechtson,Bolt,Blair,Devine etc. See the connection here. Unfortunately Fox News is rated as the most believable news provider in the US by 25% yet it gets a rating of 8% in delivering truth. Murdoch’s influence of madness is widespread on issues of anti- climate change, anti- Islam,anti- multiculturalism, anti- corporate tax, anti- penalty rates, etc etc

sa

THE CABIN ANTHRAX, MURPHY, N.C. (CT&P) – This month’s edition of Scientific American is somewhat of a departure for a magazine that normally steers well clear of politics. It boasts several well-researched articles examining the right wing in general and the Tea Party in particular.

“We wanted to highlight how a group could overcome the serious handicaps of its individual members to become a viable political force in our society,” said SA editor Michael Moyer. “The rise of the Tea Party, the Christian Right, and their propaganda arm, Fox News, illustrates how a species crippled by superstition, racial hatred, and lower than average IQ’s can rise to a position of prominence in the modern nation state.”

teaparty1

The issue, which is on news stands now, traces the growth of the Tea Party from a ragtag army of inarticulate individuals all the way to this year’s midterm elections, when an alarming number of the insecure cretins won national political office.

“We tried to get inside the minds of these people, as frightening as that prospect was,” said Moyer. “We really wanted to find out what made these people tick. We placed particular emphasis on finding the common threads that unified this group of backwoods bumpkins.”

“What we found was fear. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of minorities, fear of science, fear of gay people, fear of just about any fucking thing you could imagine. The overwhelming consensus was that this group of people yearns to return to the days before the Enlightenment, where their outdated ideas and archaic societal standards ruled with an iron fist.”

The SA team spent a great deal of time analyzing the movement’s leaders Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and a host of other kooks such as Steve King and Louie Gomhert.

sarah-palin-1

“One only has to look at the leadership of this movement to see how incoherent and insane their beliefs really are,” said Moyer. “If you go back and examine some of the speeches and statements made by Bachmann and Palin over the last decade, it reads like something out of H.P. Lovecraft. Nothing makes sense. For example, last weekend in Iowa, Palin was apparently possessed by one of her demons and began writhing around the podium and speaking in tongues. It was truly scary.”

Although the writers and editors at SA came to no definitive conclusions about the future of the right wing and the Tea Party, Moyer said that they will most likely be swept away by the tide of history.

“To paraphrase Huxley, extinguished theologians, and in this case reactionary political factions, lie about the cradle of progress as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules,” said Moyer.

Although many midterm Congressional races were won by Tea Party supported buffoons, the facts seem to support Moyer’s argument.

Gay marriage, Obamacare, and decriminalization of marijuana, three policies that the far right is rabidly against, are more popular than ever and gaining national acceptance.

“It gives us hope for a bright future in which the voices of these kooks are drowned out by the voices of reason and science,” concluded Moyers. “I am a fervent supporter of free speech and support these people’s right to be as ignorant as they want to be, but I fully believe that they will be remembered by history as the wingnuts they truly are.”

Murdoch prepares Bishop for Libspill

JulieBishop

Abbott must be having a horrible Christmas break. He can’t have missed that his old buddy, his mentor Rupert has completely dropped him and in doing so, has given permission for his newspapers to admit that PM Abbott is a dud. They’re still not yet ready to admit he’s always been a dud and that they were stupid to support him in the first place (as if they’ll ever be ready for this sort of atonement), but they’re willing to go as far as actually reporting his poll numbers, which speak for themselves, and saying that if only he could get his ‘message’ right, their neoliberal Tea-Party agenda would be gratefully accepted by the electorate instead of wholeheartedly rejected. It’s fascinating to watch an entire news organisation finally coming round to the fact that the public knows better than they do whether someone is a good PM or not. I thought the whole definition of ‘news’ was telling us all something we didn’t know, and being first to the story? Abbott’s incompetence is old news, and News Ltd coming to this realisation last is really the only thing you need to know about the incompetence of News Ltd. ‘Oh Abbott’s polls are bad!’ they all cry in unison! ‘We totally didn’t see that coming!’.

So what are News Ltd going to do now that their favourite son has spectacularly failed? If you’ve been paying attention to the number of puff pieces being written at News Ltd about their chosen successor, Julie Bishop, you will see that a Libspill is clearly being planned.

As soon as I realised that Julie Bishop was being put forward as the most likely replacement for Abbott, I realised just how screwed the Abbott government is. Because if Bishop is deemed as the ‘best performer’, it shows just how badly the rest of them have performed. Think about it for a second. What exactly has Bishop done which is so high performing? Perhaps if the definition of high performing is ‘not stuffing up as badly as the rest of the Abbott ministry and being protected by News Ltd so even if you did stuff up the public never heard about it’, then Bishop has been high performing. But all I’ve seen is very basic no-more-competent-than-you’d-expect-of-an-average-politician-statements from her in response to international tragedies, such as disease, terrorism and plane crashes, and of course I’ve seen her slashing the Foreign Aid budget, making Australia the stingiest rich country in the world, bar none. I can see that News Ltd are clearly happy about this, but as I’ve said previously, News Ltd’s opinion and the general public’s opinion do not match and are increasingly at complete odds so News Ltd being happy about something more than likely works against Bishop in the long term.

But even more interesting than the claim that Bishop is ‘high performing’, is News Ltd’s strategy of backing a female Prime Minister, after systematically mauling our first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, with a sexist, low-life, scum-filled campaign of hateful lies and misinformation. Just to remind you all, Julia Gillard was the most successful Prime Minister this country has ever had. You won’t ever see any such analysis done in News Ltd papers, but this Guardian article has run the figures showing Gillard as the winner. So keeping this in mind, and keeping News Ltd’s vile anti-Gilllard campaign in mind, how are News Ltd going to position Bishop, a female, unmarried, childless ex-South Australian lawyer as PM material, when they so blatantly positioned Gillard as unfit, whilst appealing to the scum who read their newspapers, who were only too happy to agree? They built the anti-female-leader narrative, so how are they going to tear it down in support for Bishop?

So far, I have seen three strategies at work.

The first is to dress Julie Bishop up in her favourite ridiculously expensive clothes, to do a bit of airbrushing and to photograph her looking relaxed and feminine as if she doesn’t have a care in the world (or an office, or a desk, or, for that matter, a job. Notice how male politicians are never photographed posing as if they’re in a fashion magazine?). It’s also worth noting at this point that when Gillard posed for a Women’s Weekly photo shoot in 2007, Bishop was reported as saying:

“I don’t think it’s necessary to get dressed up in designer clothing and borrow clothing and make-up to grace the cover of magazines… You’re not a celebrity, you’re an elected representative, you’re a member of parliament. You’re not Hollywood and I think that when people overstep that line they miss the whole point of that public role.”

Clearly Bishop thinks she is Hollywood and is a celebrity and that’s the end of that.

The second strategy to ready Bishop for the position as Australia’s second female Prime Minister is for her to paint herself as not a feminist, and not as having benefited from feminism to get where she is. It was all her, apparently. And women who think they need feminism to get ahead need to stop complaining and get on with it, apparently. I feel that Bishop claiming she’s got where she is without the help of the feminist movement is akin to the captain of a football team being presented with the Grand Final cup and saying ‘thanks so much for all the applause. Clearly I played really well and that’s why the team won. I don’t know what all those other guys on my team were doing, but without my individual effort, the Grand Final cup would not be mine today’. Feminists have every right to be offended by Bishop’s suggestion that their hard fought battles are just a campaign of whinging. And of course they have every reason to laugh at Bishop, who is one of two women in Abbott’s cabinet, after being the only one for the first year, presumably because all the other Liberal women of merit were too busy complaining instead of being merit selected in a cabinet that is full of un-merit-worthy men. You’ve got to laugh so you don’t cry!

Finally, the last strategy to prepare Bishop for a leadership challenge is for News Ltd to claim that she is nothing like Gillard, and so should never be compared. Please look away now if you don’t feel like being angry for at least the next month over the following statement that was made in this Courier Mail Julie Bishop-fan-mail-puff-piece. Or do what I do and try to turn your anger into productive rage:

‘Dignified yet determined, Ms Bishop has succeeded where Julia Gillard failed, by showing that women can perform at the highest levels of political office without either hiding behind their gender or sacrificing their femininity. A passionate advocate of women, Ms Bishop believes in merit-based promotion, and her own hard work is now reaping rewards, both on the international stage and in domestic polls. And the damage done by Ms Gillard to the public perception of women in leadership roles is slowly being healed as voters regain confidence that a female politician can deliver’.

So this is the campaign and it’s well underway. There’s no sign yet as to how News Ltd will deal with Bishop’s embarrassing past of plagiarism, or her seedy career as a lawyer fighting against asbestos victims, and apparently once asking ‘why workers should be entitled to jump court queues just because they were dying’. But we will watch and see as News Ltd comes up with new techniques of dishonesty to repel any criticism of their new-found-favourite candidate. And of course, it will be fascinating to see how such a leadership spill could possibly be orchestrated without use of the words ‘blood’ and ‘stab’ littered throughout the reportage. No doubt that’s the last piece of the puzzle that needs to be worked out before we wake up to find Abbott gone, and PM anti-feminist-pro-Armani-asbestos-Julie in his place.