Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What happens if you don't Stop Murdoch?

Just ask anyone who used to have something to do with the 'Wall Street Journal' before Murdoch got his claws into it.

GQ did, and the results are edifying. Some interesting quotes:

Hillary Stout
Former editor, WSJ
The reaction to the offer was absolute, indescribable shock. To me, Murdoch was the tabloid king—topless women and screeching headlines. He was sort of the anti-Wall Street Journal.

Bruce Page
Author, The Murdoch Archipelago
The only investigations that take place in the Murdoch papers are carefully controlled checkbook journalism jobs on minor people and gossip operations. They never take on anything where they don't know how it's going to end, because the people whose toes get trodden on may well be the guys he's doing deals with.

Theo Francis
Former reporter, WSJ
I think the Journal might have been able to stay independent, if that had truly been the focus of the owners and the managers. But it wasn't. The focus of the owners and the managers was the dividend. With Rich Zannino's ascendancy to CEO, I think there's no question that the company was not about journalism any more—it was about making money.

Anonymous #2
Reporter, WSJ
Look, the person who sold us down the river was Rich Zannino. He wanted to do this deal so damn bad. Zannino's been like a Cheshire cat about this deal. He went and got nice and tan after it was all done.

Anonymous #1: Rich Zannino was not well liked in the newsroom. He was actually a figure of some derision. He was not a newspaper person. He was this perpetually tanned—to the point of being nearly orange—guy in perfectly tailored suits in a newsroom that is not known for perfectly tailored suits. What newsroom is? He had a tendency to have one too many buttons undone on his shirt and spoke in corporate-ese. This is of course a newsroom full of business reporters. We pride ourselves on our ability to see through corporate bullshit, and he spoke in nothing but corporate bullshit. Zannino's money came up quite a bit, the amount that he was potentially going to make in a deal. There was a sense that Murdoch had sat down with Zannino; Zannino sees dollar signs and jumps at the deal. He didn't have longstanding ties to Dow Jones or loyalty to the Bancrofts or to the Journal. I don't think anybody ever thought he would stick around after a deal.

Greenspan: Zannino took a couple of breakfast meetings with Murdoch without telling the family, and they were furious at him. So he was sort of a marked man: If the transaction did not happen, he could lose everything. And he had a trigger point in his deal with Dow Jones that if a sale happened, all his options vested, and it was a $20 million payoff. My view is that the board should have pushed back and said, "You forced us into a process, and now we're going to do an official process to sell the company." Murdoch somehow got Zannino to convince the Bancrofts, "Let's not prolong this." And then the media did its thing, which was, "If the Bancrofts don't sell, the stock is never going to recover."

Anonymous #3
Source familiar with the transaction
A big deal was made at the time, though it wasn't written about very much, of the fact that Dow Jones used Goldman Sachs for the deal, and Goldman Sachs had historically been NewsCorp's house bank. Everyone in the deal world talked about it. Everyone. Literally, people, their jaws dropped: "How could you use NewsCorp's banker to advise Dow Jones?" Zannino in particular came in for a lot of criticism: He handpicked Goldman, and he knew that Goldman would make sure the Dow Jones board would approve the deal.

Greenspan: When I met with this special committee of the Board, just Zannino and two or three other guys, they acted like it was a pain in the ass that they had to be in that room. They didn't want me to walk through any of the material, the metrics, that I had put together. There's this one guy, Harvey Golub, who used to be chairman and CEO of Campbell Soup, and every time I tried to talk about why I thought the stock value was greater, he goes, "I don't want to hear from you. I don't want to hear any more about that." I was shocked. They had gotten their bankers all ready to say NewsCorp's offer was fair, so they had checked that box. They weren't looking for other possibilities. Afterward Zannino takes my card and goes, "You've got some really good ideas. I'll follow up with you." Of course I never heard from him.

Anonymous #3: The view on the street was that the fix was in. And that was proved out by how this thing ended, without [Murdoch] increasing the price by one penny. I can't think of a deal where the first bid ended up being the final bid. I just can't think of it in my career, and I've been on Wall Street for thirty years. When management basically rigs a sale so that it's assured of happening, by using a NewsCorp banker, that's pretty outrageous by any standard. I think they thought they could get away with it, that no one would notice.

Calderone: Zannino walked with over $20 million for 18 months' to two years' work. He was supposed to get the newspaper on better financial footing and he walked away with $20 million.

Wow! Who is this Zannino bloke, and what does he do these days? Well, he was appointed to the board of trustees of "Pace University" apparently:
Alongside Zannino, 27 members sit on the BOT. The Chair of the Board is Aniello A. Bianco, alumnus of 1961, who is the vice president of Hildebrandt International. Other alums include Ivan G. Seidenberg of 1981, who is now the chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications and Edward F. Murphy, alumnus of 1974, who is now the executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. According to Christopher Cory, executive director of public information, "The experience in the job market that these members of the Board have is great for the University."
What an interesting chap, apparently he is also the managing director of some mob called CCMP (no doubt a shining light of corporate rectitude and propriety!).

Anyway, these days all you need to know is: Murdoch, Zannino, Goldman Sachs = Poooooooo!!!! It Stinks!

Oh, and by the way, has anyone pondered what it might mean that Rupert Murdoch now actually owns the Dow Jones index?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Murdoch's continuing conquest of your ABC

Remember this?

Well funnily enough, we never heard about this until the other day:

ABC Commercial announced today a new commercial partnership with HarperCollinsPublishers Australia as its new publishing and distribution partner for ABC Books.

The announcement concludes a 12-month review of ABC Books and the search for a new publishing partner to take the business into the digital era. ABC Commercial began reviewing ABC Books in February last year, issuing 11 expressions of interest to potential partners in mid September. ...
In fact we were only alerted to it by an advertorial in the "Unwind dine & play" section of the 'Tweed Border Mail' [22/12/09]:

"ABC delicious quick smart cook by Valli Little (HarperCollins, $39.99, out now). The title says it all - quick smart cook is packed with clever ideas for those short on time, as well as smart dishes for stress-free entertaining. ..."

As per usual, apart from The Greens, nobody thought this deal worthy of any consideration.

Thanks to ABC commercial, you now have another way to boycott Murdoch.

Just don't buy any ABC books!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

PR Watch on Murdoch's 'Quality' Climate Journalism

"PR Watch" has a fairly basic, but essentially OK, take on Murdoch's bi-polar climate change position. Here are some classic quotes:

"A month ago, Sean Whittington from the Australian PR firm, Field Public Relations, issued a press release promoting a speech by Ian Plimer, a mining company director and noted global warming skeptic. Plimer was one of the skeptics who spoke last week at the oppositional Copenhagen Climate Challenge, which was co-sponsored by the U.S.-based Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and the Danish group, Climate Sense. Whittington's media release, issued on behalf of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a professional group for those working in the mining industry, rather unremarkably featured a dozen paragraphs extracted from Plimer's speech.

Before Plimer had even made his speech, an Australian Associated Press (AAP) journalist filed a story. As blogger Tim Lambert wryly commented on his Deltoid blog, "I think it is awesome that the AAP can report from the future."

Not surprisingly, the wire service story was picked up on News.com.au, a website of Rupert Murdoch's News Limited, which has become a champion of climate change skepticism. AAP is a wire service owned by four major newspaper companies, one of which is News Limited, which holds a 45% stake in the company. On its website, AAP boasts that the pillars of its reporting are " balanced and fair reporting", "get it right, then get it first", and "produce quality news that's ready to use."

But the AAP story on Plimer's speech is an exemplar of the success of PR. Of the dozen paragraphs in Whittington's media release, nine were used in their entirety in the AAP story and another one in a paraphrased form. Only two paragraphs weren't used. None were attributed as being from a media release."

The bold bit is ours. Jeeez! Does Murdoch want to be the king of the 'each way bet' or what? Obviously he has torn a great big hole in his own empire by making himself reliant on the flying rabid monkeys of Fox and his tabloid monsters in Oz, US and the UK for income and his political biffing-stick.

While craving the artificial facade of 'genuine' legitimacy always (rightly) denied to him by usurping the WSJ and such, the fading old fox has wedgied himself on the barbed fence of the chookhouse - he is now so conflicted by riding both sides that he is doomed to self destruct in a "fraud of debtly leverage" as the baird may have put it.

Ta ta, you old wrinkled horror.

Action: Take a break, sit back and make a bet on whether Andrew Bolt or Tim Blair will be the first rat to leap from the stinking ship-pile of floating (and sinking) Murdoch.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why you shouldn't write letters to News Ltd. publications

1. Apart from the fact that at least half of these papers have a single owner and ferociously push his neoconservative, anti-environment agenda, none of these newspapers will treat your input objectively. The corporate media (particularly the Murdoch press) is not your friend.

2. They get to choose what letters to publish and you are participating in the propaganda process because they may alter your raw material to suit their agenda:

This letter was published in this week's 'Gold Coast Sun' [9/12/09]:

The Australian Press Council Adjudication No. 1446

The Australian Press Council has dismissed a complaint by Ken Thomas against The Gold Coast Sun related to his letter published on August 26, 2009.

The letter was one of a number of letters related to the war in Iraq published by the newspaper over several weeks.

Mr Thomas complained that his letter had been altered unfairly, resulting in loss of meaning.

The council found no evidence of a breach of its principles.

Newspapers have reasonable discretion in modifying language or reducing the wordcount of letters provided the published letter does not distort the writer's view.

In this case, the editing by the newspaper did not substantively alter the main thrust of the original letter or its meaning.
Regardless of whether you are endeavouring to promote an issue or complaining about something that has appeared in Murdoch's publications - don't engage with them, don't comment on their blogs, and don't write to them - it allows them to control the issue and prolongs their stranglehold on community discourse.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When the bully comes begging, tell the bully to fuck off

We've asked the Queensland Conservation Council/Walk Against Warming organisers why News Ltd. is a sponsor of this year's event:


I have previously supported the Walk Against Warming and would like to support this week's Walk Against Warming, however I question the fact that News Ltd. are one of the sponsors of the event.

I specifically recall the Brisbane 2007 walk and Andrew Bolt's post about it ridiculing the event and dishonestly suggesting that far fewer people attended than really did.

As you must be aware, News Ltd's Andrew Bolt is one of Australia's loudest, and most disingenuous, critics of the science of AGW. News Ltd.'s Piers Ackerman and Tim Blair (and many other local News Ltd. staff) also push the fossil fuel industry's line against taking any real action to limit industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

It is extremely hard to avoid the conclusion that the Walk Against Warming has been co-opted by News Ltd.'s PR division to improve their credibility, push other agendas and ensure that they have greater control and ownership of the climate issue.

What is your justification for allowing News Ltd. to play a part in this year's walk?

I will be posting this question and your answer on www.stopmurdoch.blogspot.com


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tony Abbott: "I am not frightened about an election on this issue"

Derrr! He has Murdoch's tick of approval to take the conservative side of politics in Australia way, way off into the crazy authoritarian backward 'right'.

Earlier this month we received a response from the ABC to our many queries about the tediously frequent appearance on our ABC of Murdoch staff (after a tortured game of cat and mouse). We must have had the same effect as a nit on a rhino, because last week we heard a Fairfax voice being interviewed about something.

Of course, that is totally missing the point. There is no reason for ANY properties of the commercial media to turn up on the ABC. We have all manner of ABC journalists and commentators who could comment on any of the topics covered by Trevor Jackson's Murdoch guests on 91.7 ABC Coast FM.

Today [1/12/09] it was Murdoch's Malcolm Farr who graced us with his fatuous ponderings on Tony Abbott. If we cared what Farr and the rest of the Murdoch cadre had to say about anything, which very few people actually do, we could read their rubbish in print or online. This is just more evidence that there has been a concerted effort by the ABC and Murdoch's minions to raise News Ltd's deservedly lacking credibility by getting them time on the ABC.

Well fuck that!

We've done our bit, we've showed you how to do your bit, we've provided the links for complaints about this crap to the ABC. If you can't be arsed to resist or complain this encroachment of Murdoch's toxicity into the public broadcaster then maybe we should start charging you to visit this site.

BTW. Why are they still debating the ETS legislation in the senate?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mr Murdoch (my boss) says: "We have to give the planet the benefit of the doubt"

Yes. It's me. Again. On Your ABC. This time I'm debating Laura Tingle with Leigh

"Look, Rupert is playing his cards close to his chest. Do you think I'm going to tell you anything of any real value? If so, you would have to be the most naive person I've ever met."

Leigh Sales should have asked Van Onselen what he made of the fact that Malcolm Turnbull had lunch with (his employers) News Limited executives today. That would have provided us with either the usual dishonest answer, or a refreshingly honest answer, to the question of who really runs this country.

It seems that the answer is "Rupert Murdoch".

When is Kevin Rudd next meeting with Rupert Murdoch, and how often does he take instructions from that person's operatives?

Wouldn't it be nice if we ran our own country?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Australia. Climate. This is your democracy.

Peter van Onselen appeared with Annabel Crabb on tonight's [24/11/09] 'Lateline'.

Van Onselen may as well have just said: "Rupert's message to you is that Turnbull is GONE!"

Democracy needs journalism. Corporate journalism operates in the opposite direction. Australia is now a democracy/journalism free zone. Opinionism is not journalism, but nobody cares and nobody is really doing anything to bring these corporate journalists back into the service of genuine democracy.

Weird how the only people who get really shitty about the above statement of fact are "journalists", usually of the Murdoch persuasion, while at the same time doing their masters' bidding.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why should asking the ABC a simple question be like pulling teeth?

ABC TV's News Bulletins appear to be relying more on Fox Sports

Here's the ABC's latest response to our recent queries:

Thank you for your emails, which have been referred to me for response.

I understand your core question to be this: "Are there any guidelines, or other relevant considerations, governing the appearance of persons employed by commercial media organisations (specifically Rupert Murdoch's) as interviewees on ABC outlets?"

The short answer is no, at least not in the specific terms that you use in your question. All ABC content is covered by the ABC Editorial Policies, which are available in their entirety here - http://abc.net.au/corp/pubs/edpols.htm. The policies cover the use of specialist commentators in section 5.7 which states (in part): "It is ABC policy to provide a range of views on significant issues over time, ensuring the broadcast and publication online of a diversity of perspectives. To achieve this staff should use a number of different commentators and analysts." Many of the examples you cite in your email are instances of ABC programs using commentators or analysts to help bring a diversity of perspectives to their audiences.

ABC Radio has provided the following information in response to your email:

Regarding interviews with Noel Mengal:

Sitting In is a segment covering new musical releases and the commentator is Noel Mengel is the Chief Music Writer for the Courier Mail.

The segment has proven to work well with the Coast audience and positive feedback has been attributed to Noel's expertise, knowledge and experience in the music field. Noel Mengel has proven to be a credible and unbiased commentator and has provided a consistently balanced and entertaining viewpoint and his employment by News Ltd hasn't proven to influence the segment or compromise editorial independence.

Regarding interview with Richie Yorke:

Ritchie Yorke was a close friend of John Lennon's and he was also the first breakfast announcer on Coast FM, and thus was believed to be an appropriate commentator to discuss the reissue of the Beatles back catalogue with him. Ritchie Yorke is a freelance writer and hasn't been employed by News Limited for approximately two years; he has proven to be a credible and unbiased commentator and is arguably the most experienced commentator in his field.

Regarding interview with Steve Waterson:

Steve Waterson (Editor, Weekend Australian) was interviewed because the magazine was about to publish revelations about the Beatles' split, courtesy of a piece written by British journalist Ray Connelly. Ray Connelly was unavailable for comment.

Regarding interview with Stuart Honeyset:

Freelance journalist Stuart Honeyset was interviewed to detail the account of an interview with Bart Cummings prior to the Melbourne Cup. Bart was not giving any other interviews and Stuart was one of a very select few journalists who had contact with Bart.

It’s unsurprising that The Book Show would occasionally speak to literary critics. This daily program covers an enormous range and quantity of literature and speaks to many authors and other commentators in the course of this coverage. The October program listing shows some of the diversity of topics presented and voices featured - http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/index/date2009.htm#October.

It’s also unsurprising that News Ltd journalists will appear on Insiders since each episode of this program includes a panel of journalists from various Australian media organisations. The program’s website explains: “Each week the program brings together the experience and insights of leading political commentators and other contributors representing a wide range of opinions.” The program’s regular commentators are listed on its website here - http://abc.net.au/insiders/aboutus.htm.

For more information about ABC editorial standards and how these apply in practice, I encourage you to visit the link provided above - http://abc.net.au/corp/pubs/edpols.htm.

Yours sincerely,

Head, Audience and Consumer Affairs

So, to summarize. The response to the question: "Why do so many Murdoch properties appear on the ABC?" is:

"because they just do, OK?".

Why not ask them yourself? You might do better than we did!

Please let us know how you go.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oops! ... I did it again

"All aboard"
"Britney, before you go, there's something I want you to have"
"Oh, it's beautiful, but wait a minute, isn't this? ..."
"Yeah, yes, it is"
"But I thought the old lady dropped it into the ocean in the end"
"Well, baby, I went down and got it for you"
"Oh, you shouldn't have"

'Oops! ... I did it again', Britney Spears [2000]

Remember "Murdoch's Law"?

When a politician quotes a Murdoch newspaper or Murdoch himself, they lose the argument.
Well it seems our politicians can't help themselves.

From yesterday's House of Representatives hansard:

Asylum Seekers

Mr TURNBULL (2.00 pm)—My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to his repeated denials that any special deal has been offered to the asylum seekers that were aboard the Oceanic Viking, and I ask the Prime Minister whether he has seen Dennis Shanahan’s column in the Australian today which states:

… they have wrung a special deal from the Rudd government.

Or the column of Greg Sheridan, who writes that the Prime Minister must stop:

… telling the most outrageous lies about Australian foreign policy.

Or the column by Paul Kelly, who writes that the Prime Minister:

… seems to think almost any line can be spun and will be believed, even when it is nonsense.

Will the Prime Minister finally stop treating the Australian public like mugs and admit he has used a special deal to entice the asylum seekers from the Oceanic

Mr RUDD—We know when logic has departed, hyperbole arrives. This is a question based upon the observations of a range of journalists for whom we may have individual respect, yet some corporate doubt, but I leave that for those in the gallery to contemplate. I simply say what I have said before: the good thing about our country is freedom of speech. Part of that freedom of speech is having a robust debate, including newspapers like the Australian. The editor of the Australian says he edits a right-wing newspaper. Good on him; he does, and it is part and parcel of the robust debate in this country. I welcome the contributions of all of those individuals. It is part and parcel of the vitality of Australia’s democracy. And we may agree or we may disagree, but every organisation, every media outlet, including that whose editor describes it as a rightwing newspaper—or someone told me a centre-rightwing newspaper; I am told that makes a difference— should be entitled in our great democracy to have their say. ...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

'GetUp!' Does It Again

Several times this year, we've pointed out to 'GetUp!' that it is unacceptable for them to place their advertisements (using the donations of supporters) in News Ltd. publications.

Well they're doing it again - seems like they're doing it every couple of weeks these days:

As MPs make their way back to Parliament next week, confront them with a huge newspaper ad countering the polluter lobby's fear-mongering and showing that cutting emissions creates jobs.

Parliament decides our fate on climate change this fortnight so make sure they see your call for investment in renewable energy to create clean-energy jobs.

Can you contribute $30, $50, $100 or more to put this ad in The Australian for every MP to see next week?

The journals of choice of the "polluter lobby" are Murdoch's. By paying to advertise your view in News Ltd. publications, you are giving credibility to their totally discredited writing and editorial views and therefore complicit in pushing the deny and delay line.

Think very carefully about why you would give cash to Murdoch to run this ad. As we've said before, there are plenty of other, better, more honest ways that money could be spent to send this message.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Murdoch's bovver boys sent to give Adler a touch up

"... It's not always true that time heals all wounds
There are wounds that you don't wanna heal
the memories of something really good

something truly real,
that you never found again

And though they talked for just a little time

Before she said she had to go

He saw the meeting as a tiny sign

That told him all he had to know ..."

'Louise', Human League [1984]

Today the Federal Government rejected the Productivity Commission's recommendations to change current laws to allow for cheaper overseas books into the Australian market.

The former head of the ACCC, Professor Alan Fels, and CEO of Melbourne University Press, Louise Adler, debated the issue at the National Press Club.

As we've noted previously, Murdoch's folks tend to only turn up at the National Press Club when a Murdoch barrow needs pushing. Today's 'debate' was preceded by the government's announcement against the side Murdoch was backing - the big players. So these two got the job of having a shot at Adler (they failed miserably).

Anyway, Professor Fels made a point of holding up a copy of Dan Brown's latest book ("The Holy Crap Batman", or something) and saying that the poor suffering clowns who read that stuff are forced to pay $49.95 but in the UK and USA only pay about $27AUS. So it was one of those double-take moments when a few hours later at the local Coles supermarket the same hardback book was abundantly available at $24.48!!

Of course, we had no trouble resisting the non-existent urge to buy such a bargain.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hypocrisy and Loathing

Comment from "Dewgong" at Crikey's "Pure Poison":
"Even Bolt {This text removed because Andrew Bolt has asked our publisher to limit personal criticism of him}"
Why is this so infuriating? Of course it is civil to limit criticism to the argument rather than the person. The problem is that Andrew Bolt (Kim 'Il' Carr, Al Gore is fat, Chairman Rudd etc..) is a glass-jawed hypocrite.

What makes it worse is that the moderator makes it clear that the demand came not directly from the craven coward/bully Bolt to them but by going over their heads to the top, presumably Eric Beecher no less.


Maybe "Crikey!" should consider their readers before worrying about Murdoch serfs' precious feelings.

Massive Conflict Of Interest?

John Rolfe. A man who draws a wage from the 'Daily Telegraph' (as seen on Channel Seven's 'Today Tonight' - 10/11/09)

Murdoch makes millions from sweetheart deals with the two giants of Australia's grocery duopoly.

Wayne Swan operated "Wayne Swan's Pricewatch" site for ages, then abruptly shut it down just before the ALP won government in 2007.

The ALP promised to keep the duopoly "honest" with a tax-payer funded "price-watch" site which was to be run by "Choice". That enterpise was shut down before it even got going, allegedly due to lobby pressure on the government by the duopoly.

Now Murdoch's man is going to run the campaign to watch prices and the public are going to do all the hard work, for free?

Okay, sure. That should work a treat, shouldn't it? A cynic would say that this is one of the most mind-numbingly obvious examples of a steaming coil of crap you could imagine. But cynics are so, whats the word, cynical.

Trust Murdoch. Rudd and his team of robots do!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Advertising your campaign in the Murdoch press sends no message to our leaders

We support Amnesty's current campaign, but do not understand why they are going to use the donations of supporters to place an advertisement in the 'Daily Telegraph':

... Risking everything, they flee in the hope of reaching safety. And then, often only kilometres from freedom, their chance for a new life dissolves into despair.

We saw this again last week, when a Sri Lankan boat sank drowning 11 men, including two young boys. As Australians, we pride ourselves on being reasonable, compassionate and fair. But the only way our Government will begin to see asylum seekers as a moral responsibility, not a political inconvenience - is if the public show they care about the human tragedy behind the headlines.

That’s why we’re ready to run a powerful ad in some of our most popular newspapers to shift the refugee debate back towards real Australian values. All we need is 750 people to chip in $30 to run our full-page ad in this week's West Australian and Daily Telegraph. Can you be one of these people and help put an end to the politics of fear? ...

The Murdoch press does not speak truth to power, it spreads propaganda, lies and spin.

As we've said before, activist groups could focus on any other medium (such as billboards, independent publications - even APN or Fairfax press - at least they are Australian owned and have a shred of credibility) and reach more people.

News Ltd. is a company that has done inestimable wilful damage to democracy, journalism, reconciliation and the environment in Australia and throughout the world.

The ever-intensifying nature of their beatups and moral panics illustrate the contempt they have for Australian citizens and matters of national decency.

The Murdoch press should be paying Amnesty for lending them credibility they do not deserve, and you should consider carefully where your donation may end up.

Friday, November 6, 2009

PM sets an example for the nation

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, wife Therese Rein and pets Abby and Jasper featured in the Spring 2009 edition of 'Tawl Tails' - the Animal Welfare League of Qld. magazine

We've mentioned previously that monomedia pollution can be put to good use, so it's good to see the PM setting an example:

Q: Since arriving at The Lodge, Jasper and Abby have attracted the media's attention several times - did you expect your pets would be under such scrutiny?

A: No - but Jasper and Abby often discuss it.

Q: What, to you, is the most outlandish or surprising reaction you have had so far - I understand at one stage there were questions as to whether lawn restoration would be required to cater for Abby's toilet needs?

A: Abby was understandably embarrassed when there was widespread speculation about who was going to clean up her poo, but we reminded her that today's papers would be lining Jasper's litter tray tomorrow.

Riddle Me This...

The ABC has asked us for specific examples in response to our recent questions:

Thank you for your email.

Can you please identify the specific instances you would like a response to in an email to me.

Thank you for your patience.

Here's our response to their response to our response:

As well as an answer to the overall general policy question, some specific examples follow:

ABC Coast FM (91.7), approx. 8pm 5/11/09 News Ltd.'s Noel Mengel

ABC Coast FM (91.7), Trevor Jackson approx.5pm 30/10/09 News Ltd.'s Stuart Honeyset

ABC Radio National 'Book Show' approx 8/10/09 News Ltd.'s Geordie Williamson

ABC Coast FM (91.7), afternoon 25/9/09 News Ltd.'s Steve Waterson about an article by News Ltd.'s Ray Connelly in 'Weekend Australian' magazine

ABC Coast FM (91.7), Trevor Jackson approx. 9/9/09 News Ltd.'s Richie Yorke

ABC Coast FM (91.7) Briony Petch approx. 31/8/09 News Ltd.'s Noel Mengel.

ABC TV "Insiders" all the time, News Ltd.'s Glenn Milne and Andrew Bolt and many others.

There are many, many other specific examples but if I could start with these in the context of my previous question I would appreciate the ABC's response.

Again, thank you for addressing these questions so promptly,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ABC answers a question with a question

Here is the ABC's response to our recent question:

Thank you for your email. We would be happy to respond, however, we do require correspondents provide their full name.

Further, if you would like a substantive response, we require that you provide specific examples to support your concerns, including the date of broadcast or publishing.

And here's our response to their response:

... Yes, I would like a substantive response. I did provide, by reference to the "Crikey" comments, one specific example. There are numerous other specific examples at: www.stopmurdoch.blogspot.com but, to make it easier perhaps I could re-phrase the question and concern.

"Are there any guidelines, or other relevant considerations, governing the appearance of persons employed by commercial media organisations (specifically Rupert Murdoch's) as interviewees on ABC outlets?"

My particular concern is the high volume of Murdoch staff being given airtime on the ABC.

Thank you for responding and thanks in anticipation of your further response,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"Murdoch is a big bad bastard": Keating

Tony Blair's advisor, Alistair Campbell, wrote that former Prime Minister Paul Keating gave Blair some advice about dealing with Murdoch:Blockquote
“On Murdoch, he told TB: ‘He’s a big bad bastard, and the only way you can deal with him is to make sure he thinks you can be a big bad bastard too. You can do deals with him, without ever saying a deal is done. But the only thing he cares about is his business and the only language he respects is strength’.”
Paul Keating is quoted in the Fairfax press today [2/11/09]:
''News Corporation is not only now specialising in tabloidism of the worst variety, but in Britain of course a number of their journalists have been charged for phonetapping other journalists and individuals in public life,'' he said.

''Against that background its chief executive chairs the Right To Know campaign. So on the one hand Mr Hartigan poses as the guardian of ethics and morals in newspapers. On the other hand he has his ratpack off the leash running around at night denying people their privacy and forcing lenses into their faces.''

How refreshing it would be if current politicians had the balls to criticise Murdoch's slimey ways, fat chance - he owns them all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Murdoch's Law - Part IV

Here we go again!:

The Prime Minister speaking during Questiontime [28/10/09]:

... We have a policy which we have defended in the course of this debate because it is the right approach. It is the responsible approach. It is hardline on people smugglers. It seeks to be compassionate in relation to the circumstances of asylum seekers. That is the right approach under these difficult circumstances. Our approach, however, is consistent. Those, they cut and they trim each day depending on the politics of this debate because they are driven not by the policy of this but by the politics of the document which was circulated to the Australian newspaper yesterday, which

In prosecuting debates of this type you do not get news stories by trying to change perceptions; you get them by reinforcing stereotypes.

Quote unquote from the Liberal Party; quote unquote, from Senator Ronaldson’s chief of staff after, apparently, a meeting between himself and the office of the Leader of the Opposition.

By the way, although Hansard has been changed, earlier he referred to "Indonesia, Malaysia and other mainstream countries".

What is a "mainstream country?"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Murdoch's Law - Part III

When a politician quotes a Murdoch newspaper or Murdoch himself, they lose the argument.

In Parliament yesterday [27/10/09], Anthony Albanese MP Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government said:

... In today’s Australian, in an article entitled ‘Dig dirt, Turnbull office urges’, it highlights the risks of electronic communications being leaked. ...

As if the 'Australian' (which is owned by the world's best known "Dirty Digger") is a journal of repute.

Keep an eye on your political representatives. Are they REALLY representing your interests? Listen to parliament (and by that I don't mean Question time - it's hopeless), or read some Hansard rather than rely on the monomedia to tell you what's going on.

In addition, an interesting day out can be had by sitting in the public gallery of your local council or State Parliament. The politicians freak out when they see their constituents sitting there.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Concern growing over Murdoch infiltration of ABC

You obviously have access to the internet.

It's really easy to send a complaint to the ABC. Here's our latest effort:

Dear ABC,

We have been concerned for some time about the number of News Ltd people who turn up on the ABC (radio and TV across all outlets) and have questioned this before.

On comments at places like Crikey's "Poison Pen" others have also expressed the same concern, e.g:

Posted October 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

Re: Chris Uhlmann’s article.

What’s with this ‘cross-fertilisation’ between Murdoch media and the ABC? Many of the reporters and commentators I hear on ABC radio these days are from SkyNews and other Murdoch sources. Doesn’t the ABC have its own news staff any more?

Now this piece from Chris Uhlmann which was originally published on the ABC website in a different form is now in The Australian.

Tobias Ziegler
Posted October 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

Good questions, Daphon. I don’t have the answers, but Margaret Simons has been writing about this lately and has had some reaction from News Ltd’s Greg Baxter – see her blog posts here and here.
Posted October 24, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

Thanks for the links, Tobias. I can’t help feeling something’s going on here that fans of the ABC may not like particularly with Murdoch putting pressure on the ABC and BBC over paywalls. Time will tell."

Our questions are:
1. Given that Murdoch already controls so much of the means of discourse in Australia, why do so many of his properties get such a large presence on the ABC?

2. Why can you not, either use your own staff to provide comment, or seek out other comment/opinion on the topics you regularly use to promote "Murdoch" properties' views?

We have posted our request on our website and will post your response.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Make Up Your Own Mind"

Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO, Chair of the National Human Rights Consultation Committee, presenting the findings of the National Human Rights Consultation at the National Press Club

Health, education and housing were revealed by Fr Frank Brennan to be at the forefront of the roundtable community discussions and submissions, which form the basis of the National Human Rights Consultation Report.

"We need to take responsibility for each other," he said.

He also very diplomatically chastised the Murdoch press, particularly Paul Kelly.

The Murdoch press have demonstrated they are against Australia having a Bill of Rights.

Interestingly, a Channel 7 journalist asked a question today - along with journalists from Fairfax, AAP and the Canberra Times.

Of course no Murdoch scribes asked any questions. As we've obsverved before, they never appear at NPC addresses if a speaker's topic is likely to challenge some neocon agenda being pushed by their publications.

You might also want to bear in mind who is on the Board of the ABC, when listening to any discussion on their radio or television shows about a Bill of Rights.

Fr Brennan called on Australians to make up their own minds about a Bill of Rights.

And indeed you should. Read the report.

PS We're still waiting for the Prime Minister to fulfil his promise that he would re-instate the position of Staff Member on the Board of the ABC.

Monday, October 12, 2009


When will Australia's leaders grow some?

Fairfax reports on the stoush between Murdoch and the White House [13/10/09]. Here are our choice quotes about Fox:

... Speaking of media magnate Rupert Murdoch's Fox, Dunn told the Times in an interview published Monday: "We're going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent.

"As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don't need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organisations behave," she said.

In comments just days earlier to Time magazine, Dunn, a veteran Democratic Party communications strategist who joined the White House in May, denounced Fox as "opinion journalism masquerading as news."


Appearing on CNN on Sunday, Dunn said "the reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."

Dunn said the White House would not be a "passive bystander" as opponents try to "tear down the president and his presidency."

"We will push back," she said.

How many times do we have to point it out?

GetUp!? Why are you wasting the money donated by supporters on the wilfully ignorant?

The coal lobby has brought out the big guns - the same man behind 'Kevin07' is running their campaign. And there's already signs it may be working - with key politicians dancing to the coal lobby's tune. They want to further weaken the Government's woefully inadequate emissions trading scheme with even more exemptions for the coal lobby.

You can show Labor and Liberal leaders alike that there's something more powerful than the polluting lobby: everyday Australians, like yourself, who are fed up with weak action on climate change and are willing to do something about it.

If we can raise $50,000 in the next 48 hours we'll buy ads on TV spots like Meet the Press and Sky News, as well as in the areas that the coal lobby are running their ads, so that Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull can see that Australians are not buying the coal lobby's line

Giving money to Rupert Murdoch is antithetical to your stated goals.

Seriously. You cannot find any other way to send your message?

While you are begging for money which will be spent with Rupert Murdoch, you are destroying your credibility.

"Dr Zen" & Julie Novak: Yeah, Whatever

Today [12/10/09], Murdoch's 'Australian' decided that the story of one of his sub-editors at his monopoly Brisbane 'Courier-Mail' getting sacked for being critical on a blog of one of his spruikers is newsworthy. 'Brisbane Times' (a Fairfax outlet) ran with the story this afternoon.

Why has it taken until now for this Brisbane story to be reported in Brisbane?

The 'Sydney Morning Herald' got the "scoop", reporting the story on 29th September (shouldn't that be embarrassing for News Ltd?). Silencing dissent is stock-in-trade for News Ltd., so who is surprised and who cares?

...''Tuesday is my least favourite day here. It goes very slowly. It's also the day I sub a lot of the columns, and they suck.'' But it was his attack on columnist Julie Novak, a research fellow from Melbourne's Institute of Public Affairs, as a ''rightard'' who ''shows no sign of thinking in her incoherent screeching'' that sealed his fate....Dr Zen is now looking for a new job. ''I was just astonished that [Novak] had run to my bosses instead of just emailing me and asking me to take it down.''
You were "astonished" by that? How long did you work for these people? How could you NOT know the way they operate and the way they handle criticism?

It's all very funny and amusing, isn't it? Why can't anyone tell us who this person, "Dr Zen", is?

What a mockery of journalism!

Bet you $100, "Dr Zen" bobs up again in some well paid role in Brisbane.

These people are truly "unflushable" aren't they?

Action: Have a good laugh

Sunday, October 11, 2009

News Flash, Rupert: There isn't a "movement toward paid-for content" in the real world.

Poor old Rupert still doesn't understand that his very deliberate and active "war on proper journalism" has driven away readers. In his weird world, the reason he is going broke is because players like Google link to his crap newspapers. What an odd man:

News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch has launched a stinging attack on Google and other online entities for stealing content.

At a conference of World Media Executives at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Rupert Murdoch has taken aim at search engines like Google as internet parasites.

According to the News Corporation Chairman, the so-called "aggregators" on the internet steal content from traditional media organisations and, he says, the time has come for them to pay for it.

"If we do not take advantage of the current movement toward paid-for content, it will be the content creators - the people in this hall - who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs will triumph," he said.

Human rights groups have criticised China for hosting the media summit given the level of press censorship here.
People, spare a thought for "the content creators", please!

And another thing, back off you anonymous "human rights groups" who asked not to be named, presumably, China is the perfect host for this media summit BECAUSE of the level of press censorship there. Rupert and friends are right at home.

Write to your local News Ltd. paper in furious agreement and DEMAND (or you could use words like "outrage", "horror", or "fury" because these seem to appeal to them) that they take their "content" behind a pay wall immediately, for the sake of humanity.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dear ABC Radio National 'Book Show'

Let the ABC know how you feel:

Question regarding today's segment about Herta Muller

It is with great concern that I note the increasing frequency of News Ltd. people appearing across the ABC.

Was there no other guest you could have interviewed for the segment about Herta Muller than the "Chief Literary Critic" from 'The Australian'?


Here's the ABC's prompt response:

Thank you for your email. The Nobel prize for literature was announced late last night our time. Unlike other literary prizes, the Nobel does not have a short list so there is no way of preparing ahead of time. We tried this morning to find a literary expert familiar with Herta Muller's work but were unsuccessful. Geordie Williamson is wonderful talent and extremely knowledgeable about the literary world and he did a super job at the eleventh hour. I hope this explanation meets your concerns.


Murdoch has nothing to offer you

He tells his readers and viewers what to think. Of course he won't let you do it.

'Adbusters', we understand your idea but are very disappointed in your latest campaign, and if you don't refrain from pandering to Rupert, we will not be renewing our subscription to your mag:


We're continuing our campaign for media democracy with a series of subvertisements aimed at disrupting the promotion of overconsumption and attacking the legitimacy of advertising. We want the right to broadcast these subverts and we're willing to pay, but the major networks aren't willing to air them. So far FOX has officially rejected our first spot, COMMERCIAL BREAKERS, and MTV has cut off communication entirely.

The idea behind COMMERCIAL BREAKERS is simply to sabotage the meaning of advertising and undermine the power of brands. The average TV ad presents the consumer with a crisis, be it a crisis of identity, a crisis of hunger, a messy floor, an unsightly blemish or erectile disfunction. The crisis is always a crisis of choice, but there is only one choice: the product being advertised. Each ad expresses an individual brand's vision of utopia; a perfect world constructed around a singular message: if you buy the product being advertised, you will be happy and content ... if only for a moment.

This consumer utopia – beamed into our consciousness 24/7 – is a distraction from our real crisis, be it existential, spiritual, environmental, economic or political. And so rather than interpret advertising as a choice between colas or a choice between brands, we seek to reinterpret it as a choice is between the real and the artificial. It's not Pepsi vs. Coke, it's Cool Diet Cola vs. Climate Doom.

After a string of legal victories against Canadian television networks, we are now determined to take on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and MTV in American courts. In order to make this happen in the near future, we need our legal war chest filled. It's a tough and expensive game going head to head with these giant corporations in court, but we refuse to back down.

How else can you help? Agitate FOX and MTV and help us spread COMMERCIAL BREAKERS on the web. If you're a twitter user, throw a #fuckfox hash tag on your tweets. Make your own viral subvertisements, memes or mindbombs and launch them anywhere and everywhere you see fit.

Adbusters Media Foundation

Positions Vacant

From the Queensland Conservation Council's October edition of 'Queensland Connection'

Queenslanders also want more media diversity - how else are they going to get informed about all environmental issues?

Like the Queensland Conservation Council, we'd like Stradbroke Island to be protected too, but we don't understand why they are praising the 'Courier-Mail'.

Which is why you should apply for the jobs mentioned in their newsletter and steer them in the right direction!

Organisation Manager Needed @ QCC - Brisbane

QCC is seeking an Organisation Manager. This is a full time position with an attractive salary package.

A full job description is available on the pdf below or by emailing QCC on manager@qccqld.org.au

All applications must be submitted by 5pm October 9 2009.

Community Campaigner needed @ QCC

Queensland Conservation (QCC), the peak non-government environment group in Queensland is seeking the services of a Community Campaigner.

The Community Campaigner has responsibility for implementing QCC campaign strategies with a particular focus on broad community engagement.

This position is offered on an initial short term basis (with options to renew). In the short term it will focus upon organising community activities and events in the lead up to the Copenhagen Climate Talks in December. A central task will be the organising of the annual Brisbane WalkAgainstWarming event.

The community campaigner is expected to have demonstrated experience in organising community events, knowledge of the issues and strong communication skills in media and community relations.

A salary package (includes 9% superannuation) of $12,000 is offered for a 10 week contract (12 October- 18 December 2009)

Interested persons should submit an Expression of Interest to reception@qccqld.org.au ASAP

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thanks Costa!

While they're giving them away.

There are many uses for monomedia pollution.

And here's another:

"... The Ghantous family in water starved Melbourne, have already implemented systems to save water inside the house. Costa paid them another visit to help them reduce water consumption outside. The front garden was a mass of compacted soil that created runoff and an environment that made it impossible for anything to grow. By creating a native garden that requires little maintenance, Costa provided the family with not only more pleasant surroundings, but also further ways to help save our precious resource of water.


Costa cleared the weeds and then the small amount of grass that was on the lawn - the lawn was levelled and the covered with a layer of wet newspaper to act as a sealer to prevent any further weed growth. (Make sure that the newspaper is about 8 pages thick and overlaps about 10cm). The area was then covered in a layer of mulch...."
Wet "News" papers will possibly poison your garden literally, or from a 'Feng Shui' point of view, but at least it is a way to put them to use in some positive way!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why D'Ya Do It?

The 'GetUp!' advertisement from last Friday's [25/9/09] edition of 'The Australian'

"When I stole a twig from our little nest
And gave it to a bird with nothing in her beak,
I had my balls and my brains put into a vice
And twisted around for a whole fucking week.
Why d 'ya do it, she said, why'd you let that trash
Get a hold of your cock, get stoned on my hash ? "

'Why D'Ya Do It?', Marianne Faithfull [1979]

'GetUp!' are running a campaign to save the internet from censorship.

We support this campaign, but do not understand why 'GetUp!' persist in using the donations of supporters to place their advertisements in 'The Australian'.

As we've said before, 'GetUp!' could focus on any other medium (such as billboards, independent publications - even APN or Fairfax press - at least they are Australian owned) and reach more Australians.

News Ltd. is a company that has done inestimable wilful damage to democracy, journalism, reconciliation and the environment in Australia and throughout the world.

The ever-intensifying nature of their beatups and moral panics illustrate the contempt they have for Australian citizens.

Do 'GetUp!' really want to be associated with this kind of trash?

The Murdoch press should be paying 'GetUp!' for lending them credibility they do not deserve, and you should consider carefully where your donation may end up.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Radio Rupert: ABC as Murdoch Enablers

ABC Coast FM's listeners this afternoon [25/9/09] endured an interview with Steve Waterson about an article by Ray Connelly about the Beatles that is appearing in this weekend's 'Weekend Australian' magazine.

This was basically a 10 minute advertisement for the 'Weekend Australian'.

OMG & WTF? "The Australian"?? These horrid war mongers, ie anyone who works for Murdoch's spruikers, are beneath scum in our view.

Obviously they see themselves differently. We see them as they truly are: Murdoch enablers.

They (Murdoch enablers) get very angry and defensive when we call them for their Murdoch allegiance.

Anyway, shouldn't the ABC stick to the ABC for comment and opinion and leave Murdoch's properties to talk politely amongst themselves? But of course, Murdoch's shills have no credibility and need to leech off your ABC for that. That seems to be the reason they are always (ABC TV, ABC Local Radio etc...) turning up their stinky ideological biases on your airwaves. As a genius once said: "In Australia, the Government is a fully owned subsidiary of News Limited"!!! (Or words to that effect).

Which ABC presenter would win the prize for having the most Murdoch properties on their show this month?

It would be a close competition.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sue them!

AAP is reporting that Tania Zaetta has settled a lawsuit against the publisher of The Daily Telegraph over a report that the Defence Department was investigating claims she had sex with troops in Afghanistan.

Zaetta is quoted as being "very satisfied with the settlement".

It seems obvious that such a settlement would involve Murdoch writing her a very big cheque.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Want to know what News Ltd. said?

Just tune in to your ABC:

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he is not going to apologise for an incident in which he swore.

News Limited papers have reported Mr Rudd used several expletives during a tense conversation with some of his backbenchers.

The MPs were unhappy with the Federal Government's decision to cut the printing allowance for politicians.

Mr Rudd says he does not regret his choice of words.

"It's fair to say that consistent with the traditions of the Australian Labor Party, we're given to robust conversations," he said.

"I made my view absolutely clear - that is that these entitlements needed to be cut back, and I make no apology for either the content of my conversation or the robustness with which I expressed my views."

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith played down the issue when speaking to Channel Nine.

"There's as much chance of the Prime Minister swearing as you or I have sworn from time to time in the past," he said...."

This is tediously predictable from Milne.

From House of Representatives Hansard [14/9/09]:


Ms NEAL (Robertson) (4.12 pm)—Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation. I am rising because I have been grievously misrepresented—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr PD Secker)—Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Ms NEAL—Yes.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER—Please proceed.

Ms NEAL—In an article dated 13 September, Glenn Milne, of the Sunday Telegraph, wrote and printed an article about me. The contents of that article are entirely untrue and false."

When is somebody going to stand up to these creeps?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Let He Without Honesty Or Ethics Cast The First Stone!

According to that putrid rag, 'The Australian', the Federal Attorney General has dumped on Lawyers and their fees (no link, it poisons your mind and computer). He must have said it in a press release or exclusive comment to Murdoch's operative because it can't be found in the speech the article refers to.

The speech is interesting anyway, at one point the AG says:

"The June 2009 Roy Morgan survey of the Most Ethical and Honest Professions placed lawyers 14th on a list of 30 professions, with a rather dismal 30 per cent level of public confidence. [ii]

Clearly, public opinion and experience is not helped in any way by the inherent inconsistencies in areas such as complaints-handling and discipline.

In February, at the request of the Commonwealth, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) extended its commitment to regulatory reform across a wide range of Australian industries to include the legal profession."
Wow! 14th out of 30 is rather dismal when it comes to "ethical and honest", isn't it? Unfortunately the Attorney General failed to point out that "newspaper journalists" came in on that poll at 28th out of 30.

And he also didn't say that "public opinion pollsters" and "federal MPs" came in at 17th and 18th out of 30. Nurses and Teachers were up at the top, doesn't Murdoch demonise them all the time for wanting decent pay and conditions?

"Clearly, public opinion and experience is not helped in any way by the inherent inconsistencies in areas such as complaints-handling and discipline." Indeed! We really do need to hold these unethical and dishonest people to account, they should be subject to some kind of regulation.

Let the most dishonest and unethical cast judgment on those seen as more honest and ethical, that's a good idea.

Action: Have a bloody good laugh at these people, and maybe point it out to your friends.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A rare moment indeed when an Australian politician criticises the Murdoch press!

Question time in The Senate [17/9/09]

"Senator HUTCHINS (2.07 pm)—Mr President, my question is to the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Sherry. Is the Assistant Treasurer aware that overnight the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released the 2009 Employment outlook annual report? Can the Assistant Treasurer tell the Senate about this latest independent assessment of Australia’s economy? What does the OECD say about the role of the government’s stimulus package in Australia’s economic performance during this global recession, especially in comparison with other advanced economies? Does the OECD report indicate whether the government’s stimulus package has lifted employment and whether the number of jobless would now be higher without the stimulus strategy, and, if so, does it say how many jobs this swift and decisive government action has saved? Finally, does the OECD report forecast whether the government stimulus strategy will have—

(Time expired)

Senator SHERRY—Firstly, the OECD is a worldleading, independent and well-respected economic organisation. It states that job losses across the OECD would have been far higher if national governments had not implemented fiscal stimulus packages. The fiscal stimulus strategy and actions of governments around the world have in fact avoided a depression.

Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting—

Senator SHERRY—It is a lot more reliable, Senator Macdonald, than the Australian. This is what the report says: Vigorous government actions to stabilise financial markets and raise aggregate demand appear to have prevented the financial crisis from developing into a depression, but have not been adequate to prevent a severe recession in most OECD countries. ‘Vigorous government actions’? Let’s see: they would be the fiscal stimulus and the bank guarantee. These are the very things that the Liberal and National parties have continued to criticise, attack and oppose...."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't talk to them

The Gold Coast monomedia reports that next month's "Secret Sessions" rave festival in the Numinbah Valley has been cancelled because:

"...A report to the Gold Coast City Council revealed the festival site was only a few hundred metres from the low-security Numinbah Correctional Centre and officials there had warned the event could create 'serious security concerns'...."

Murdoch hates anything that's independent, underground or that he can't get his claws into.

His properties always push his agenda.

The only good thing about this snarky story is the last sentence:

"...Festival organisers and the Numinbah Adventure Trails did not return requests for interviews from The Bulletin yesterday."
We've discussed this before.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I smell desperation

How does this amount of advertising pay for a 36 page broadsheet?

A stand full of free copies of 'The Australian' has appeared in the foyer of 239 George Street, Brisbane. I suspect these have bobbed up targetting office buildings all over the country.

Late last night, there were still plenty of copies left - so perhaps it's true that you can't even give away this rubbish!

Apart from their desperate television ads trying to get readers, they are also running on-line ads desperate to get advertisers.

Recent comments on 'Mumbrella', say it all:

# Smithee
8 Sep 09
11:56 pm

On a slightly related note….. Anyone notice the ad for The Australian now running on this site ? Anyone with any knowledge of the print industry wwould have to wonder about the text of the ad ? “When did you last advertise in The Australian?” That’s an odd and dangerous question to ask and does not logically lead to where the marketing team may hope.

Again, quite amusing is the line: “Share in the success of Australia’s fastest growing paper”.

Hee hee. Is this deliberate humour ? Surely that’s like saying: “Enjoy the thrilling rush of travelling on the world’s fastest-moving glacier.”
# AdGrunt
9 Sep 09
5:06 am

Surely the last time anyone advertised in The Australian was because the marketing mob had to announce a competition winner nationally?

No readers. No advertisers. No credibility - except with the majority of our politicians and the ABC.

Surely the free market is telling Murdoch that Australians have had enough of his crummy propaganda?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This is beyond a joke. I want my ABC back

One of the reasons we moved to the Gold Coast was to get away from the Rupertcentricity of Brisbane's media landscape.

We know Australia is a Murdochcracy, and often contact ABC's Coast FM to let them know we aren't too pleased about Murdoch properties appearing on their shows, but FFS is there not one South East Queensland ABC voice who hasn't dallied with Bowen Hills?

Here's our latest email to ABC Coast FM:

Dear ABC Coast FM,

Yes it's me again with my regular comment for you ignore/laugh at in the tea room, or whatever you've been doing with my comments!

Why did Trevor Jackson have to have the 'Sunday Mail' entertainment writer Ritchie Yorke on his show this afternoon?

I understand Yorke says he was in John Lennon's "inner sanctum", and that may be why he was deemed to be a suitable interviewee because the Beatles' catalogue was re-released today. May I suggest that a marketing person from EMI would have done a more transparent job.

In any case, I do not believe that with all the resources and contacts the ABC has, there was no-one else Jackson could interview.

Surely Yorke will be able to publicise his forthcoming book about Lennon in the 'Sunday-Mail'?

Is it really the case that there is no other music writer/expert in South East Queensland Jackson could have interviewed?

As we've said before, doesn't Murdoch own enough of the means of discourse in this world already without getting his properties a run on the only place where we might hear other views?



ps It is old news (1996 - see wikipedia) that George Harrison revealed the song 'Something' was written when he was thinking about Ray Charles.

pps I certainly won't be buying any Murdoch influenced revisionism of John Lennon's life! Albert Goldman tried to do that, but Lennon will always be a cultural icon.

So this Murdoch paid agenda enabler, Ritchie Yorke, has no place on your ABC Coast FM. Unless perhaps viewed in light of this from the blurb on his own website:

"... Yorke linked up with the mass market weekend newspaper The Sunday Mail and began contributing to its entertainment pages on Queensland Day (June 6) 1987. Thousands of rock profiles and interviews later, he moved back to freelance writing after 20 years at the Mail. And left behind his descriptive phrase about local talent – Briz-bands.

He also became involved with ABC Radio both as a presenter and program producer. There was a syndicated documentary series, Classic Conversations with John Lennon, and an array of other docos on long term artists of significance such as Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Little Feat, The Band, INXS, Daniel Lanois, Dire Straits, the Neville Brothers and many others.

He was also part of the opening broadcast of ABC’s Coast FM station in Mermaid Beach...."

Surely Trevor Jackson and the ABC Coast FM producers should have mentioned that incestuous link at some point before or during this fatuous promo piece?

Are you nuts? Disclosure? Nah, that's not the way in these days of your "Murdoch/ABC"! It's all about politely screwing your taxes into his pockets, you just love it. You must, otherwise you would try to do something about it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

When was the last time anyone read the 'Australian'?

A cast of characters appear in Murdoch's latest advertisement being screened on SBS during the cricket. Peas in the 'Australian's' pod!

From David McKnight's chapter - 'Murdoch and the Culture War' - in 'Do Not Disturb: Is the Media Failing Australia?' (edited by Robert Manne, 2005):

"The 2004 move to change the legal domicile of News Corporation from Australia to Delaware, USA symbolises an ideological orientation within the Murdoch camp and the wider conservative elite of which it forms a part.

This intellectual orthodoxy is most obvious in the broadsheets such as the 'Australian' and the 'Courier-Mail' and is also present in a populist and more aggressive form in the mass-circulation tabloids such as the Sydney 'Daily Telegraph' and the Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. The senior editors of News Ltd. are quite conscious and open about their role in the crusade for conservative hegemony. To frame this crusade they have introduced the term 'culture war' from the lexicon of US conservatism. In an editorial celebrating the US invasion of Iraq an anonymous editorial writer at the 'Australian' discussed the conflict between radical Islam and the West and added:
"Of course, there is another war of values, and it is the culture war being fought within the West. This is the war between those who feel that on the whole our values and traditions are sound, and those among the intellectuals who argue that they are simply a cloak for racism and brute power."
In the intellectual universe of the right, legitimate criticism on a variety of social and cultural issues is treated as a full-scale attack on Western values. Those who applaud the invasion of another country, and its bloody consequences, are able to parade as moral standard-bearers defending Western values against the barbarian critics who oppose such invasions.

Today this intellectual universe and its aggressive 'war of values' sets an agenda for public debate. They can do this thanks to the monopolistic newspaper holdings of News Ltd. News owns the biggest selling daily (the Melbourne 'Herald Sun') and in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Darwin, it has a daily press monopoly; in terms of circulation it has almost 70 per cent of the capital city and national newspaper market."
Imagine a desperate drug-pusher. Nobody is buying his poisonous, addictive and deadly mind-altering wares anymore. He has enormous financial problems even though he still drives a big black car and has huge and intimidating thugs all around him. What will he do to make sure that he stays at the top of the heap?

He'll push more poison onto more suckers and he'll get as many street-pushers to help him as his diminishing influence can muster. He needs to use his last ounce of power and capital to make sure that he doesn't go down alone.

Well, he could pay all sorts of has-beens to appear in a formerly credible place to suggest users should perhaps get just a bit more of that stuff he's pushing. Sadly, it may just work.

"When was the last time you smoked crack?"

Why not give it another go? Seriously, you'd be helping a dealer and the overall economy and in the end that's also good for you!

If you give a rat's jacksie you can take any of the actions we have suggested in previous posts, or better still come up with your own and tell us what it is.

"When was the last time you did anything about Murdoch?"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why would you?

Paul Kelly is giving the National Press Club address on 8 September:
"The March of the Patriots"

Paul Kelly is Editor-at-Large of The Australian. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of The Australian (1991–1996). He is the author of The Unmaking of Gough (1976), later titled The Dismissal (1982), The Hawke Ascendancy (1984), The End of Certainty (1992), November 1975 (1995) and Paradise Divided (2000)..."

Why would you pay to be lectured by a man so obviously biased against enlightenment?

As a fully paid-up whore for the Murdoch/Neo-Liberal project, his irrelevence should disqualify him from participation in the general public discourse.

Not here in Murdoch-controlled Australia!

We think you'd be better off spending the money on subscribing to a community radio station or shouting a couple of struggling journalism students a counter lunch and your words of worldly wisdom.

But if you do go to this event, I dare you to work the following into a question to Mr Kelly (even though Bob Ellis is completely hopeless in so many ways, he does make a valid point or two now and then!):

"Time presses. Extinction approaches.
And Paddy McGuinness is dead.

How is one to explain yet another hairy, boozing, bulky Leftie who became a grumpy obese neofascist colonel Blimp who still called his Balmain acquaintances 'comrade' and still somehow meant it?...

And now he was dead, and twenty hours later still dead.

How many such stories are now approaching their end. Of honourable, able journalists of once good conscience like Ray Martin, Mike Willesee, Jim Whaley, Laurie Oakes and, amazingly, Paul Kelly serving the Dark Side for decades in return for sheaves of money. They start out believing they will do it for only a couple of years. Then they start out believing they will do it for only a couple of years. Then they say they are going, and their salary is doubled. Then they convince themselves the compromises they will henceforth make (like going easy on Howard and hard on Beazley) are not significant, and have no influence, really, on history and if the people are that influenceable, fuck them. Then they have expenses - a divorce, a villa in Tuscany, a brood of racehorses - that require a few more years. And then they turn sixty-five, and feel they should continue, for just a few more years. And soon that adds up to a life..."

('And So It Went: Night Thoughts In A Year Of Change', Bob Ellis)

Dear Coast FM - Again!

Seems like every week we email the ABC's Coast FM to have a whinge about Murdoch properties appearing on their shows. Unfortunately, we have to do it again. They'll ignore us, but that's OK. The point is, it has to be said:

Dear ABC Coast FM,

Why did Briony Petch have to have to have the 'Courier-Mail's' Noel Mengel on her show this evening?

If I cared what Noel Mengel had to say (which I don't), I would read the 'Courier-Mail'.

Is there no other music writer in South East Queensland you could interview about up and coming musicians?

Doesn't Murdoch own enough of the means of discourse in this world already without getting his properties a run on the only place where we might hear other views?


Sunday, August 30, 2009

When Murdoch Says News Should Be Paid For....

Murdoch's "Gold Coast Bulletin" is a 'sponsor' of the 'World Rally Championship' Rally in the Tweed Valley. If you're still wet from coming down in the last shower you may be surprised to know that Murdoch's next paper just South of the Gold Coast, the 'Tweed Sun', has been not only loudly shilling the Rally, but also making outrageously unjournalistic claims about crazy, radical, loony, fun-hating, dangerous 'greeny' types who oppose the Rally in their quiet region.

At the top of recent editions there has been coloured advertising counting down the weeks to the rally. Wow! How Exciting!

The Paper's headline comes in just below that. August 20 was: "Organisers slam 'guerilla tactics' RALLY PESTS". Good old Ed Earl shamelessly spews his shillery over onto page 3 (how apt for a Murdoch stenographer!), and it turns out that the 'rally boss' calls something 'guerilla tactics'. Of course he 'slams' those tactics, like you do.

Ed Earl then eventually makes the serious claim that the No Rally Group "has threatened dangerous protests". No evidence for this or the earlier assertions is given, but we are able to report that "some think these allegations are the usual fabricated Murdoch bullshit". Of course those thoughts are ours, Ed never tells us where his claims came from.

So, this week ("Just 1 Week To Go WRC Pure Excitement") has the headline: "No Rally group rejects radical protest plans MADNESS".

In this piece of pure Murdochian confection Ed can now report that the 'No Rally' group "has distanced itself from extremists" planning extreme things about which Ed still can't provide any evidence.

In the story, Ed states as fact in the first paragraph: "PROTEST pests are planning extreme measures to disrupt the WRC Rally...", shit man! If you have evidence of that you should call the cops, there are laws against 'extreme' things. Ohhh, you still don't have any evidence beyond your brief to demonise citizens who are a bit worried about having a car race in their front yards? Well, this is a job for a Murdoch shill!

We won't name the two men Ed names because they could probably sue him and we don't want to distract them. Ed attributes a 'vow', 'suggestion that fires be lit', 'claim', boycott' and 'target' to various named and unnamed people all without a single quote.

Pure Murdoch. Put that on your tomatoes and watch them bloom!

Thanks, Ed.

PS- Down that way there is a REAL newspaper called 'The Echo'. Picked up this week's copy which manages to be balanced in its reporting about people looking forward to the excitement of a car Rally and people not happy about the Rally and how it will affect them and the environment. They even carried some 'anti' and 'pro' car ads. As far as we know, worlds did not collide and civilisation did not collapse as a result of this balanced journalism.

Please, please, please Murdoch, take your papers behind a 'pay-wall' and charge a very high price. Please!