Saturday, July 31, 2010


... My Saturday morning paper tells me I should run away ...

'Run Away', Drawn From Bees [2010]

The Saturday edition [31/7/10] of the 'Gold Coast Bulletin' asks:
Why are there so many Indian cabbies on the Gold Coast?
When the real question is:
How can Murdoch's rags continue to get away with this shit?
How? Easy, it's because everyone lets him get away with it. You are responsible every time you buy a product from him.

You are reading this because you have a brain.

It is YOUR fault that this is happening to our country and to democracy all over the Murdoch-controlled world. You are to blame if you are not criticising the garbage his shills spout. You are responsible if you let people tell you something is a fact "because I read it in the paper".

Murdoch only gets away with this crap because YOU allow it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why is the Federal Government's Asia-Pacific television service going to tender?

'Crikey!' report [27/7/10]:

... As The Australian itself pointed out yesterday in a separate article: "The battle of Australia Network comes at a particularly tense time for the ABC and Sky, which is owned by Seven, Nine and and BSkyB (part-owned by News Corporation, publisher of the Australian). The two broadcasters are now direct competitors following the launch of the ABC's 24-hour news channel."

The Weekend Australian's editorial went on to sledge the ABC and its managing director Mark Scott over everything from Q&A host Tony Jones' interviewing style to the various agendas of morning radio hosts ...

(Isn't it interesting that although they have commercial arrangements with each other, the Murdoch media continually attack the ABC, while the ABC never criticise the Murdoch media?)

Surely if taxpayer dollars are involved, this network should be run by the national broadcaster?

Do you really want an American corporation running the Australia Network? Because that's what will happen.

Demand that your local candidate will keep this service in the public's hands.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More proof Brisbane needs another newspaper

Ask your candidates how they will tackle the lack of media diversity in this country.

'Brisbane Times' report [27/7/10]:

Queensland Health's most senior bureaucrat has condemned a newspaper for going into a hospital room to interview a grieving injured father without seeking permission.

Jade Quilligan, 22, died last month after allegedly shooting her ex-husband Lenny Comollatti, 36, and killing their eight-month-old son Anthony in central Queensland.

Queensland Health director Michael Reid argues The Courier-Mail breached "moral standards" by interviewing Mr Comollatti while he was recovering from gunshot wounds.

In a letter to Queensland Newspapers editor-in-chief David Fagan, seen by, Mr Reid says he is concerned about the episode.

"The Courier-Mail holds itself up to the public of Queensland as a champion of the people - an establishment that goes into battle for those who can not fight for themselves," he writes in the letter, dated July 14.

"Yet your newspaper had a journalist enter a Queensland Health hospital at Rockhampton, without permission, to talk with a patient, without his consent, less than two days after his eight month old child was allegedly shot to death by his former wife, who was later found dead at the scene of a car accident."

Mr Reid says other media organisations had contacted Queensland Health public affairs staffers to request an interview, but the man "made it very clear he wanted time to grieve, time to understand what had happened".

"The Courier-Mail sells the article resulting from this interview with a grieving and injured man as an exclusive - exclusive because other media had the compassion to follow the known protocols," he writes.

"Your own article says the patient appealed for privacy, but he was offered none."

In the article, headlined Shot dad tells of horror and published on July 9, Mr Comollatti said he was "not up to saying much" and was still in shock.

"Everybody's talking about it too much already," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"I'm just trying to get over it myself."

At the time, Mr Comollatti was reported to be awaiting surgery for gunshot wounds to the stomach.

Mr Fagan last night defended the journalist who visited the hospital.

"Queensland Health has peddled this letter everywhere," he said.

"We stand by our reporter who identified himself to the person he was interviewing.

"That's what journalism is.

"We don't need the approval of a government authority to speak to a citizen in this country."

Mr Reid declined to speak about the matter yesterday.

"The letter was intended to be a private communication to the editor of The Courier-Mail and as such I will not make any comment," he said in a short emailed statement.

London health authorities complained in 2005 after Australian journalists were caught "sneaking into hospitals" carrying bunches of flowers to interview bomb blast victims, ABC's Media Watch program reported.
Many Queenslanders would agree this is certainly not the worst thing the 'Courier-Mail' has done, but it's typical.

The Murdoch Press are not about journalism, they are thugs and propagandists for the neoliberal cause.

News Ltd. has a long, well documented criminal history. For Fagan to keep hiding behind the excuse of journalism when he is defending these kind of unethical acts is unacceptable.

Keep speaking out against this immoral, undemocratic organisation.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"The ABC does not have a policy regarding Murdoch press"

That's the response we received to our recent question about why negative stories about News Ltd. never mention it by name.

They are at it again, with the story about Shirley Sherrod ('World Today' 22/7/10):

... LISA MILLAR: But it was only the first part of that speech that was posted on a website by a conservative blogger. And it sent the right wing hosts and cable networks into a spin.

The agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack demanded her resignation....

The Fairfax press managed to name "Fox" as the culprit [23/7/10]:

A black public servant, whose father was murdered by a white man in 1965 and who has spent four decades working against injustice, has found herself at the centre of a storm exposing America's fragile race relations.

Shirley Sherrod was sacked on Monday as the Department of Agriculture's director of rural development in Georgia after a conservative website accused her of making racists remarks captured in a video.

The 2½-minute clip taken from a speech Ms Sherrod gave in March went viral, drawing the attention of the White House and department officials, who apparently feared an attack from a right-wing commentator.

Ms Sherrod had referred to an incident 24 years earlier when she had been working for a farm assistance group, admitting she had not done all that she could do to help a white farmer, whom she described as ''acting superior''. The website,, said this was ''evidence of racism coming from a federal employee''.

An Agriculture under-secretary ordered Ms Sherrod to resign and apparently referred to the prospect of the incident appearing on Fox News.

Even the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People condemned her comments.

With Fox News running the story ''Racism Caught on Tape'', Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak said he required ''zero tolerance'' on discrimination.

But the rush to judgment had overlooked one thing: Ms Sherrod's words had been taken out of context, plucked from her 43-minute speech in which she went on to say that meeting that white farmer in 1986 had actually changed her views.

''Working with him made me see that it's really about those who have versus those who don't,'' she told her audience. ''You know, and they could be black, they could be white, they could be Hispanic.''

The white farmer and his wife also came forward. ''She's a good friend,'' said Eloise Spooner. ''She helped us save our farm.'' And by Wednesday evening, once the full speech had been reviewed, Ms Sherrod had received apologies from the White House and from Mr Vilsak, who immediately offered her a new job.

''This is a good woman,'' he said. ''She's been put through hell, and I could have done, and should have done, a better job … The decision should have been [taken] with more thought and with far less haste.''

Ms Sherrod's father was shot dead by a white farmer in 1965, but an all-white grand jury refused to charge the killer. ...
Maybe it's time the ABC got itself a policy about the Murdoch Press.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Save Our Spit!"

Save Our Broadwater!
Save Our Gold Coast!
Save Our State!
Save Our Country!
Save The Planet!

Stop Murdoch!

Like most cities and towns around Australia, the Gold Coast is cursed with Murdoch newspapers.

On the Northern end of the Gold Coast there is no alternative.

Overwhelmingly united and strong local opposition to a proposed cruise ship terminal, headed by the "Save Our Spit" group, killed the idea dead a few years ago. It was a stupid idea and was roundly rejected by the local community. So where does a desperate development crazy group turn when the local people have sent them packing?

Over the past few weeks, the Murdoch Press have dug up and begun flogging the rotted carcass of the dead horse known as the Gold Coast Cruise Ship Terminal on the Southport Spit.

A genuine, honest, trusted local newspaper would send this lot packing, again. Or at least pretend to acknowledge the local opposition to their plans to takeover and destroy our public paradise by the sea.

That's why these ruthless developers love Rupert Murdoch's rags. They are not genuine, not actually local, and are demonstrably untrustworthy.

If you want to stop this madness, again, and send a powerful message to that old American who thinks he can run your country: Boycott Rupert Murdoch's 'Gold Coast Bulletin'.

Don't buy it.

Tell your local business friends that you will be forced to stop doing business with them if they give him their advertising dollars.

You'll help save the spit, but you might also help save our democracy and 'journalism' from destruction.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

FOXTEL is not the real thing

They are trying everything they can to get you to spend your hard earned dollars on their propaganda.

The latest desperate advertisement (on free to air television) uses this old Australian hit:

'The Real Thing', recorded by Russell Morris, produced by Ian "Molly" Meldrum and written by Johnny Young [1969]:

Come and see the real thing, come and see the real thing, come and see
Come and see the real thing, come and see the real thing, come and see
There’s a meaning there, but the meaning there doesn’t really mean a thing
Come and see the real thing, come and see the real thing, come and see
I am the real thing!

Oo mama mow-mow (repeat x 4)

Oo mama mama mama mama mama mama mow
Tryin’ hard to understand the meaning that you’ll see in me
Tryin’ hard to understand the meaning that you’ll see in me
There’s a meaning there, but the meaning there doesn’t really mean a thing
Come and see the real thing, come and see the real thing, come and see
I am the real thing!

Oo mama mow-mow (repeat x 4)

I am not seeing you
I am not seeing you

I am the real thing!
(ad-lib fade-out)

The children's choir singing toward the end is the Hitler Youth singing "Die Jugend Marschiert" (Youth on the March)

How appropriate.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What's wrong with this page?

If this page appears normal, you need to detox.

Avoid Murdoch publications for a week

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's your ABC, so don't be afraid to question them

We've contacted them many times. Usually we get ignored, but sometimes we get an answer.

Here's our latest effort:

Re: Deaths in custody in Queensland

I refer to your 'Deaths in custody in Queensland' story of [9/7/10], and particularly the following:

"...KATHY MCLEISH: They were devastated and media headlines added to the horror but it turned out there had been no car-jacking. The coroner found a communication error had led to that report, but the Kealtons say the police didn't return to straighten out the mistake and it was days before a witness contacted them to tell them there was no car-jacking.

LEIGH KEALTON: The police knew that didn't happen so there was really no excuse for them to put out that sort of story first to us under those tragic circumstances and secondly to the media because all of our friends and family both here and overseas were aware of that report in the newspaper. So it was a pretty hard pill to swallow. ..."

Is there an ABC editorial policy that dictates when the ABC mentions the Murdoch press they don't mention them by name, unless it's putting them in a positive light?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

UK campaign to Stop Murdoch

From '38 Degrees':

Rupert Murdoch has his sights set on gaining complete control of BSkyB and increasing his stranglehold on a free and independent media in the UK. He currently owns 40% of the company but wants to increase his stake to 100%.

This would be a disaster. It would give Murdoch even more political influence and it could open the door to biased, right-wing news like Fox News in the US.

A free and diverse media is a huge part of what makes democracy work. We can't rely on big business to make the right decisions about Murdoch's plan to buy BSkyB. It needs full and proper scrutiny by government. Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Business Secretary, has the power tell regulators to investigate the purchase before it goes ahead.

If thousands of us e-mail Vince Cable, we can persuade him to make the right decision and oppose Murdoch’s master plan.

Please sign the petition now, then ask your friends to get involved too.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Murdoch's Staff Are Directly Responsible For This Country's Xenophobia

The Prime Minister's suggestion that Australia needs to freely and openly debate the issue of asylum seekers got us wondering where she thinks this debate is going to take place?

Which of our lily livered commentators will dare point out how the xenophobia in this country has been cultivated by the Murdoch Press, and is being painted as a general national feeling rather than a minority point of view?

Reminds us of a couple of 'Spring Hill Voice' posts from three years ago:

Media Miss The Boat

Last week's Walkley Media Forum at the Regatta Hotel marked World Refugee Day by considering the topic, 'Missing the Boat? Reporting on asylum seekers and refugees'. The forum was moderated by Cathy Border from Channel Ten, and included presentations by Dr Angela Romano, Senior Lecturer In Journalism at QUT, David Costello, Foreign Editor of the 'Courier-Mail', Peter McCutcheon from the ABC's '7.30 Report' and John Murungi from the Refugee Claimants' Support Centre.

Dr Romano emphasised that the public is reliant on the media for information on this issue. Yet her studies on the media's reportage of asylum seekers revealed a disturbing use of biased and inflammatory language in news media stories. Examples included, 'Boatload of illegal refugees seized' (from the 'Courier-Mail'), and another in
'The Australian', about "refugees" in the New Orleans superbowl in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina, which was juxtaposed with a report about Jesse Jackson pointing out the inaccuracy of describing people in their own country as refugees.

As for who dominates the agenda, she found that in 2003, 61% of the 'Courier-Mail's' stories were based on government sources, while in 2007, this has dropped to 22%. Dr Romano said the negative stereotypes and common and simple concerns that people had about refugees and asylum seekers could be easily addressed by the media.

"Antipathy comes about because people don't know who they are," she said.

Dr Romano explained that the Federal Government are sophisticated in understanding people's prejudices, and that journalists are being left behind in
the wash.

"Journalists are missing the boat because governments have the resources
and journalists don't," she said.

Referring to the years between 1999 and 2001 as a "wild period" encompassing the riots at Woomera and Port Hedland, David Costello said that now is a good time to be talking about refugees, given we are experiencing a period of calm.

"We don't lock up kids anymore," he said.

Mr Costello defended the 'Courier-Mail's' coverage of refugee and asylum seeker stories. Singling out a particular "hard-working" 'Courier-Mail' journalist, he said, "If you're looking for demonization of asylum seekers, you won't find it in Margaret Wenham's stories, or in the rest of the 'Courier-Mail's' pages."

Mr Costello undertook "newstext" searches, which he said showed that the 'Courier-Mail' was "out of step" between 2001 and 2002. But he pointed out that a 1999 editorial stated that most refugees are genuinely seeking refuge. He later added that the coalition government have overreacted. "We are not faced with a full scale invasion," he said.

"The media should work to dispel myths about boat people."

Citing the "children overboard" example as a "moral lowpoint" for Australia, Peter McCutcheon expressed concern at the manner in which governments can affect and distort items of public interest.

"Why are journalists still talking about it?" he asked, later explaining that the "children overboard" affair highlights a "broader systemic problem" which has resulted in the diminished quality of public debate.

He said he has experienced "stonewalling and obfuscation" when attempting to obtain straightforward information about various operational matters. He made it clear that this is evident at all levels of government.

Reflecting on the past eleven years, and Australia's inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, John Murungi said, "I've come to realise it's not personal."

As for what it means to be a refugee, "We are talking about human lives," he said.

"And nobody ever chooses to leave their home."


Haneef - News Ltd disgraces itself, as usual!

The Sunday Murdoch papers would lead a fool to the conclusion that Dr Haneef was going to blow up the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast.

Today's [22/7/07] 'Sunday Mail' (and its inbred cousins) gives the impression that there could possibly be some kind of justification for the undemocratic and extra-judicial treatment of Dr Haneef. Their police reporter invokes innuendo as journalism without shame or remorse to vilify and demonise "them".

There has been a great deal of unexpected support for Dr Haneef from all quarters. This is possibly because of the blatantly political motivation behind the whole episode. When the AFP shamelessly becomes a tool of the Federal Executive, as has happened with the behaviour of Australia's (your) Federal Commissioner with Dr Haneef, it is time to wonder how the concentration of media power in the hands of Mr Rupert Murdoch could possibly benefit Australia, we Queenslanders, or our general security and well-being.

The Sunday Murdoch rags were at it again from dawn today (i.e. Saturdayafternoon's policy planning sessions) and it took until all the feathers had been spread to the four winds before the AFP called the lie at 4pm. The AFP only bothered to call that lie AFTER the doctor's Solicitor appeared at the very public Forum at Griffith University. You could assume the lie would have been left out there but for SBS and other non-mouthpiece outlets.

The Murdoch article was, as is their fashion, based on anonymous (but very senior!!) "sources" and conjecture. So, a "source" says the AFP is wondering whether there may have been a plan and if there was a plan whether people may be involved in that plan etc...... You know how it works. If this is the best the Feds can do, I want my money back!

If only Mr Murdoch's operatives had been so judgmental of the flaky evidence that ended up in the illegal invasion and failed occupation of Iraq, instead of concentrating
on religious differences within Australia.

Since Mr Murdoch is not even an Australian, why do all our politicians care so much about his opinions, you may ask.

Make a point of publicly rubbishing the Murdoch Press at least once a day, and don't allow anyone who refers to the Murdoch press as if it were credible source go unchallenged.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dear Mr Adams, It's a Matter of Principles...

Broadcaster, writer and film-maker, Phillip Adams, was one of a cast of characters who appeared in Murdoch's advertisement's for 'The Australian' which were screened on SBS Television last September

Mr Adams writes in his weekly column in 'The Australian' [3/7/10], that he has resigned from the ALP (emphasis added):

... Rudd and I talked regularly. The last time we spoke he was urging me to resign from The Australian to protest its editorial line, advice I declined to accept. And we argued about his climate change strategy. I by no means agreed with other policies and tactics. But nothing would have persuaded me to support a move against the leader who'd defeated Howard, made that superb "sorry" speech and handled the GFC with such skill. The right to dismiss a PM belongs to the electorate at an election, not to a drunken governor-general or factional bullies drunk with power. Rudd goes, so I go too. Seems the lethal Latham was right.
So, as a matter of principle, you resign from the ALP after 50 years because: "thugs now dismiss leaders at their whim. In cowardly conspiracies."

But you happily continue to work for the Murdoch machine despite the "thugs" and "cowardly conspiracies" at every level of his machine doing everything to appoint, dismiss and control the leaders of your country (and the rest of the world for that matter). Despite the inestimable damage they are constantly doing to this country's democratic process and media.

Why is that? What's the difference?


[Thanks to public libraries for free access to the unprincipled rag used as the source for this piece.]

Friday, July 2, 2010

Geoff wants to help

Geoff Provest MP has made it easy for his constituents to contact him with a full page "Geoff-o-gram" in this four-page "Community Newsletter" which appeared in this week's 'Tweed Border Mail [1/7/10]

Australians need to reclaim their democracy. This involves holding our elected representatives to account, and getting them to represent OUR interests rather than those of multi-national corporations.

An important aspect of this will require big changes to our media.

So whenever you get the opportunity, let your politicians know that you are unhappy with the current state of media ownership in Australia, and would like them to do something about the Murdoch media's unhealthy stranglehold.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

First Murdoch Ignores You, Then Murdoch Ridicules You, Then Murdoch Buys You - Then You Lose

Another one bites the dust!

Now that Rupert Murdoch owns him outright this should provide an interesting tinge to his the outcome of his The changing relationship between federal politicians and the media in the internet age project.

How did working for Murdoch work out for people like Tim Dunlop? For FFFFS, why do you town bikes think Murdoch is going to finally 'Luuurve' you when he has tossed over so, so, so, many of your kind before you? Do you really think that you are the 'one', somehow different? That maybe he'll leave those nasty tarts like Glenn and Andrew and Dennis and Piers and move in with you and start an honest life putting his powers to good instead of evil?

"This time it's different, babe. I've never felt this way about any writer ever before. Babe, I promise I'll never interfere in your work. I want you for your mind...I want you for your freedom to say exactly what you feel without any fear or favour."

"Hmmmm, brains! Yummy!"

Fucking idiots.

Do some homework before you sell your credibility to Rupert. Read one of the many books written by your predecessors who also thought they were 'the one' for Rupert.

Remember, he's about 100 years old and despite the myths, he can't live forever. One day he'll be dead and you will be alive. And a lot of very, very, very pissed off people are going to be wandering around with pitchforks looking for the people who allowed people like him to do this to our world.