“You would have to nuke that place to get rid of the horrible vibes in there.” — a former Fox News producerPrior to being sacked last month, Bill O’Reilly served as the programming tent pole for Fox News, as he had done for the past two decades. Sitting at his 8 p.m. perch, O’Reilly regularly attracted the biggest audience
Saturday 30 April 2016 In 2013 the then Treasurer Wayne Swan, wrote an essay about the ever-increasing inequality that had invaded our society. The right-wing Murdoch press immediately attacked his piece as class warfare. So what the hell is this class warfare everyone talks about? I would have thought that there was less class distinction in Australia than…
“Could it be that people are starting to question whether Miranda Devine and Ray Hadley and Gerard Henderson may not know quite as much as the experts?”
In late July, Robert Thomson, the suave chief executive of News Corp – the recently separated and financially challenged publishing branch of the Murdoch media empire – announced that Col Allan, the editor-in-chief of Rupert Murdoch’s favourite tabloid, the New York Post, was coming home to Australia on a two- to three-month assignment. Unless Allan’s visit had some political purpose, the return of the native was difficult to explain. Under his editorship, the New York Post has reportedly lost several hundred million dollars since 2001.
The Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch have self-interested agendas that go well beyond the interests of those who carry their banners.
Three of Rupert Murdoch’s largest and most powerful news outlets promoted baseless conspiracy theories that Google is using its alleged “close ties” with the Obama administration to receive favorable treatment and to push its policy agenda. Murdoch has a long history of attacking Google.
On March 24, News Corp’s Wall Street Journal reported on the purportedly close ties between the Obama administration and Google after discovering that Google employees have visited the White House multiple times since President Obama took office. The piece went on to allege that Google used its ties with the White House to get favorable action from a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) antitrust probe into the company.
The New York Post (News Corp) went further on March 28 in an article titled “Google controls what we buy, the news we read – and Obama’s policies.” The article speculated that Google has used its influence and financial contributions to the Obama administration to receive favors including net neutrality regulation, favorable FTC action, and contracts to fix the Affordable Care Act’s website. The piece speculated on “what’s coming next: politically filtered information.”
21st Century Fox’s Fox News echoed the New York Post during the March 30 edition of Fox & Friends, with co-host Clayton Morris claiming “the same search engine that controls our news also controls the White House.” During the show, Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo claimed that Google was “being investigated, the president dropped it — net neutrality — Google wanted the president to go that way.” Bartiromo also speculated on whether Google was “editing” the news “to make it more favorable for the president.”
But the Wall Street Journal admitted that the “FTC closed its investigation after Google agreed to make voluntary changes to its business practices.” And the FTC pushed back critically to the Journal‘s piece, writing:
The article suggests that a series of disparate and unrelated meetings involving FTC officials and executive branch officials or Google representatives somehow affected the Commission’s decision to close the search investigation in early 2013. Not a single fact is offered to substantiate this misleading narrative.
Rupert Murdoch, head of both News Corp and Twenty-First Century Fox, has a history of attacking Google. Murdoch has accused Google of being “piracy leaders,” and in 2009 found himself in a war of words against Google and threatened to block his content from the search engine.
Now I seem to remember that one of the reasons that John Howard refused to apologise to the stolen generation was that “we” weren’t personally responsible. Afterl all, none of “us” ever stole children so how could “we” apologise for something we didn’t do. And I seem to remember that the Murdoch Media was fairly supportive of this position.
But now I find that Mr. Murdoch embraces the notion of collective responsibility. If you’re a member of a particular group, then you’re responsible for the actions of all members of that group.
It’s an interesting concept.
Should perhaps all energy companies be fined for the actions of Enron?
Or all newspaper journalists be jailed for the phone hacking in Britain?
Of course, it’s be ridiculous to jail all journalists. I think just the ones who work for Murdoch would probably be enough.
But now we’ve established the notion of group responsibility. Here is my quick list of people who should apologise on behalf of their group:
- All police should apologise for the death in Ferguson.
- All bank employees should apologise for the GFC.
- All drivers should apologise for the car that cut me off the other day.
- All Dutch immigrants should apologise for Andrew Bolt.
- All teenagers should apologise for the popularity of “One Direction”.
- Alll Australians should apologise for the election of the Abbott government.
Ok, it’s only a quick list, and maybe an apology isn’t enough. Maybe like Rupert says until the people who are part of the group “recognise and destroy”…
Oooh, that sounds a bit nasty and threatening when put in another context. Gee, I certainly don’t want to suggest that any member of that group should “recognise and destroy” someone else in the group.
I mean, people reading this blog might get the wrong idea about what I mean and it would sound like I were inciting hatred and violence.
Lucky Rupert’s made himself a lot clearer about what he means by “recognise and destroy” and that the words won’t encourage such things!
Rupert Murdoch’s family fortune is valued at about $15 billion, but he plans to increase that substantially before his time comes to an end, writes Rodney E. Lever.
AN AMERICAN LAWYER once made an astute observation:
“Rupert Murdoch is very good at what he does. The question is: is what he does any good?”
I tend to think rather of Rupert’s smile when he knows he is in trouble. He seems like a crocodile barely suppressing a savage snarl.
The smiling crocodile will be celebrating his 85th birthday on March 11 and must be giving some thought to the inevitable march of time.
Those who like to measure monetary wealth have put Rupert Murdoch’s family fortune at about $15 billion. That sum is about three-quarters of what it takes today to appear in Forbes magazine as among the world’s super rich.
Rupert is clearly planning to increase his wealth and soon.
The early polls for this year’s British election has the Labour Party in a strong position. If the Tories lose in 2015, Murdoch will surely have to reconsider the future of his operations in Britain.
Times Newspapers Ltd has been losing money from the day he acquired them. There is no sign of them ever being profitable, despite some dubious accounting techniques to pretend they are making money. The Sun remains profitable, but is losing ground, no longer with the total freedom to wreck the lives of famous people who sometimes fall into human error.
Rupert has never been popular with British Labour since his wooing of Margaret Thatcher, his crushing of the printing unions, and the time when he coddled Tony Blair and John Howard, and helped to start the Iraq war for George W Bush.
Given the hacking scandal that continues to haunt him and exposes more suspicious activity as time passes, he might be politely asked by a new British Labour government to shut the door on the way out.
Rich people like to “Think Big”. That’s what carried families like the Rothschilds, the Oppenheimers and the Rockefeller’s through most of the 20th century.
The latest Forbes magazine list of the richest families are not British or Americans. The top ten last year carried names like Fontbana, in Chile; Bailleres, in Mexico; Albrecht, in Germany; and Kwok, in Hong Kong.
With their wealth measured at more than USD $20 billion each, none has made their money from flogging newspapers. Common to them are either family inheritance or enterprising ideas and hard work.
He has also bought a 25% share in another Indian internet company named PropTiger, for $30 million. PropTiger provides online real estate advertising, contiguous with his online U.S. real estate Move and his online Australian REA Group.
He flies stacks of daily issues of The Australian and the Wall Street Journal to India every day and spreads them around. It pushes up their circulation figures even when they are given away free.
‘… will help Indian consumers make smarter financial decisions through interactive, decision-making tools powered by sophisticated algorithms and data.’
Advanced technology will provide
“… reliable and independent data to help investors in India make important decisions using accurate information tailored to their independent needs.”
BigDecisions.com was launched in 2013 by two Indian investors, Manish Shah and Gaurav Roy. With News Corp money in the bank they will go on to start new ventures that they might be able to sell Rupert too.
Rupert’s interest in India may have been stimulated by the 2008 financial crisis, blamed on the George W. Bush administration in the US for creating a fresher climate for illegal activity that greatly harmed innocent investors.
Bush and the Republican Congress lifted restrictions on share trading after the debacle of the Iraq war. Some of the erased regulations dated back to the World War I depression of 1929, and set conditions that led to World War 2, leaving Britain broke and the U.S. as the richest country on the planet.
When Barack Obama became president in 2009, he appointed a new head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White, now 68 years old, but a notoriously tough lady, who has reconstructed a new set of protective measures for investors.
She proved to be a guardian angel of the U.S. economy, re-instituting and strengthening rules and regulations that set boundaries for the major banks, stockbrokers and share traders.
Rupert Murdoch is attracted to India, now one of the world’s larger economies. Its economic growth increased from 4.7% in 2013 to 5.5% in 2014 and expects a further increase in 2015. America is still the world’s leader, with its GDP three times larger than India.
The U.S. suffered considerable damage in the crash of 2008, much of it due to gung-ho management of Wall Street after the Securities and Exchange Commission’s deregulated.
The development of faster electronic share trading represents about 85% of all stockmarket trading.
Systems have grown to a point where vast amounts of money can be shifted around the world at an incredible speed: one million dollars can be transferred anywhere one single second.
Electronic machines are only as fallible as the human beings who touch the keyboard. Some investors wonder if financial transfers at the speed of light could cause unimaginable consequences. Time will tell.
One way or another the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. That’s still the way of the world. Rupert Murdoch surely plans to continue this trend.
News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch directed his editors to “kill Whitlam” some 10 months before the downfall of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government, according to a newly released United States diplomatic report.
The US National Archives has just declassified a secret diplomatic telegram dated January 20, 1975 that sheds new light on Murdoch’s involvement in the tumultuous events of Australia’s 1975 constitutional crisis.
Entitled “Australian publisher privately turns on Prime Minister,” the telegram from US Consul-General in Melbourne, Robert Brand, reported to the State Department that “Rupert Murdoch has issued [a] confidential instruction to editors of newspapers he controls to ‘Kill Whitlam’ “.
Describing Mr Murdoch as “the l’enfant terrible of Australian journalism,” Mr Brand noted that Mr Murdoch had been “the principal publisher supporting the Whitlam election effort in 1972 Labor victory”.
With a publishing empire that included The Australian as well as daily or Sunday newspapers in every Australian capital, Mr Murdoch’s new editorial direction was seen as a critical political development.
“If Murdoch attack directed against Whitlam personally this could presage hard times for Prime Minister; but if against Labor government would be dire news for party,” Mr Brand telegraphed.
The consul-general’s urgent report was prompted by US Labour Attache Edward Labatt who drew upon a range of confidential union and business sources, including people working for News Limited newspapers, to report on industrial relations and political developments.
Mr Brand’s telegram makes it clear the words “kill Whitlam” were a political direction to News Limited newspapers and not a physical threat to the prime minister.
The consul-general’s January, 1975 telegram has only been declassified this week after Fairfax Media applied for access 10 months ago. The identity of Labor Attache Labatt’s confidential source of information has been redacted.
Other diplomatic cables previously released by the US National Archives and published by WikiLeaks in mid-2013 revealed that Mr Murdoch foresaw the downfall of Whitlam’s Labor government a year before its dismissal.
In November, 1974, US Ambassador Marshall Green reported to Washington that Murdoch privately predicted that “Australian elections are likely to take place in about one year, sparked by refusal of appropriations in the Senate”.
One year later, on November 11, 1975 Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed Mr Whitlam as the prime minister after the Liberal-Country Party opposition blocked the budget in the Senate.
Although Murdoch believed he played “a substantial role” in Labor’s 1972 election victory, his enthusiasm for Whitlam had quickly waned.
“He expects to support the opposition in the next election,” Ambassador Green reported in November, 1974.
The newly released US cable reveals Mr Murdoch’s political shift was quickly confirmed, at least 10 months before Kerr’s dismissal of the government.
News Limited newspapers savaged Whitlam and strongly backed opposition leader Malcolm Fraser, so much so that journalists at The Australian took industrial action in protest.
The Labor Party was crushed at the polls and did not return to power until 1983.
Mr Fraser acknowledged Murdoch’s support but said the newspaper proprietor’s political role is easily overstated given the collapse in public support for the scandal-ridden Whitlam government.
“Rupert had influential newspapers, certainly, but I don’t think it affected the election outcome,” Mr Fraser said.
John Menadue, News Limited general manager in the early 1970s, expressed surprise that Murdoch might have given an editorial direction as “blatant” as “kill Whitlam”.
Mr Menadue, who was head of the prime minister’s department from 1974-76, said Mr Murdoch’s “modus operandi was more cautious, more subtle in those days, but I wouldn’t dismiss it … he’s certainly more blatant now … more extreme right wing.”
News Corporation did not respond to questions about Mr Murdoch’s role in the political events of 1975. But on Friday Mr Murdoch visited the headquarters of his British newspaper division in London after his protege Rebekah Brooks was cleared of phone hacking at the most high-profile trial and biggest police investigation of recent times.
The 83-year-old US-based media mogul flew in to hold discussions with staff after the trial of former News of the World journalists concluded with a former editor of the tabloid New of the World Andy Coulson being convicted of hacking.
News UK is the parent company of The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and the now-defunct News of the World.
Australian-born Murdoch was photographed being driven away from a property in Mayfair in central London on Thursday, reading a copy of The Sun, and then went to the offices in Wapping, east London. He has yet to comment on the outcome of the eight-month hacking trial.
With Gough Whitlam’s legacy now being reconsidered and debated, one thing the Australian media are not prepared to discuss is the role of Rupert Murdoch in his dismissal, writes Rodney E. Lever.
WITH THE SAD PASSING of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam this week, it is interesting to recall how his illustrious record has been besmirched and distorted over the years – even in recent years – and how certain elements involved in his dismissal have been removed from view — and placed down the memory hole.
Having been closely involved at that time, I was amazed at Australia’s national broadcaster’s either incompetence or deliberate burying of the truth.
The ABC reeled out all the false allegations thrown at the Whitlam Government by Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers at the time, with no evidence whatsoever to back them up. It simply repeated ugly and untrue stories from The Australian — stories that have been since been shown to be contrived, exaggerated and false.
Did they mention that John Howard was one of the busy bee Liberals who secretly brought Khemlani to Australia and took him to a Canberra hotel with his two suitcases of records of supposed dealings with the Whitlam Government. After long days and nights sifting through the papers, Howard and his colleagues found nothing – absolutely nothing – which could be held detrimentally against Whitlam and his government?
No. There was no mention of that. Nor have I seen any mention of this in the welter of articles about Whitlam and his dismissal this week.
This is just one part of the concerted misinformation campaign carried out by the Murdoch press at the behest of a furious, jilted, Rupert Murdoch in 1975.
In 1975, Rupert Murdoch came back from England, where he had just purchased The News of the World. He came expressly to destroy a government which, three years earlier, he had helped to elect.
Murdoch had hated Menzies. He also hated McMahon, who was in the pocket of the Packers.
He campaigned for Whitlam in 1972, with all the emerging power of his newspapers and expected rewards in return.
From Whitlam, he got nothing back, not even condescension, for Whitlam certainly had at least the same level of personal ego as Rupert Murdoch — perhaps even more.
Miffed by Whitlam’s failure to reward him for his support in the election and Whitlam’s failure to accept the Murdoch view on how to run the country, Rupert began his ugly, ruthless campaign to bring Whitlam down. It was the most savage attack on an elected government in the history of this country — with the possible exception of the attacks on Julia Gillard and Labor’s reforms in the last term of Parliament.
Joan Evatt recalls this vicious propaganda campaign:
In the early stages of the campaign, there had been criticisms from highly regarded journalists about their copy being so altered that their stories bore no resemblance to articles that had been filed. Placement was pushed back, headlines were deemed by them as scurrilous and not reflective of the content, and so the outraged allegations of not just media bias, but direct editorial interference, precipitated a strike of journalists.
Denis Cryle in a 2008 book outlined journalists’ complaints:
…the deliberate and careless slanting of headlines, seemingly blatant imbalance in news presentation, political censorship and, more occasionally, distortion of copy from senior specialist journalists, the political management of news and features, the stifling of dissident and even palatably impartial opinion in the papers’ columns…
In the Murdoch Papers, Dr Martin Hirst detailed some firsthand accounts of the overt anti-Whitlam pro-Liberal bias of the Murdoch press, including by former Murdoch employee Alan Yates:
Alan Yates was a third-year cadet on the Daily Mirror and recalls the dismissal ‘shocked the entire newsroom’. Yates was on the AJA House Committee and says that while Murdoch was not necessarily in the newsroom, ‘his editors and his chiefs of staff were certainly involved in day-to-day selection of editorial content’. Alan Yates has said that he felt powerless as a ‘junior reporter’, but remembered his copy being altered to favour the Liberal Party’s viewpoint:
‘When questioning the chiefs of staff and chief sub-editor about this I was clearly told that that was the editorial line, the editorial people had thought that it was a stronger angle. Therefore I was left not too many options to go.’
Murdoch’s journalists rebelled at the vicious campaign and many resigned from the company in disgust
Alas, I was not among them. I was the senior executive of News Corp in Queensland and the lone breadwinner for my family and the father of six children, all at a critical stage of their education. I felt unable to walk away from my job so easily as some of the other journalists. But the events of those days brought me to consider resignation at a more appropriate time.
The mainstream media, by ignoring this sad episode, are touching up historical events to make them more palatable to certain current actors — specifically Rupert Murdoch. By doing so, they tarnish the Whitlam legacy and mislead the Australian people.
In effect, the mainstream media are sending Rupert Murdoch’s – and its own – role in the premature downfall of Gough Whitlam down Australia’s growing memory hole, thereby doing the Australian people a manifest disservice.
Most working Australians pay at least 30-35% of their wage or salary in income tax. And then they pay 10% GST on most purchases, tax on petrol (about 65% of the cost of petrol are taxes), stamp duty on house or car purchases, land rates, utility taxes, road tax, and a Medicare levy. On top of all those added taxes they still have to pay school fees, university fees, and in some cases, medical fees. The list goes on and on.
So what amount of your income are you really paying in taxes? I bet most people have never bothered to sit down and work it out and would be shocked if they knew the answer. At a conservative calculation around 65%-70% of your income is going to taxes in one form or another.
And yet many Australians are still happy to let the mining sector and other multinational “non-Australian” companies pay less than 2% taxes? Really?
Now what do you get in return for all those taxes you are paying?
A government who now tells you that you are not entitled to anything for those taxes you pay. You now have to pay for you own medical and health care, own retirement, own education, own disability costs (if you have one), and own unemployment support should you be one of the victims of poor government that does you out of a job. Oh, and don’t be fooled into thinking your taxes pay for things like utilities, roads and infrastructure, because you are already paying for all that directly or indirectly.
So then were are all your taxes getting spent? Subsidies for multinational foreign owner mining corporations who pay barely a fraction of their returns in taxes or any of their capital in Australia. Subsides on coal and oil industry rather than renewables. American made fighter jets to protect our shores from boat people. A nice fat tax refund of $880 million to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. A war on terror that is half way around the world trumped up by lies, fear mongering and distortion. Politicians who retire on a nice big lifetime retirement package, while you will be expected to work until you’re 70. Companies like Google or Apple who evade paying nearly a billion dollars in taxes while taking advantage of off-shore tax havens.
Then to add to the burden, the governments sell off the farm. Letting China and other foreign companies buy up Australian land and properties and our core industries. They sell off what your forefather’s taxes paid for like all the tax paid utilities and infrastructure. Yet our own children can no longer afford to buy their own houses.
So are people still feeling good about paying 65%-70% of their income in taxes and what you get back in return? Still happy to wipe out the mining tax and carbon tax and to let your own taxes subsidise all those foreign companies?