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

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 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!