Thursday, September 30, 2010

We were wrong about Murdoch!

Sorry everyone, apparently he's NOT a horrible old fascist and his media outlets ARE fair and balanced:

Murdoch, Bloomberg embrace immigration reform

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- They weren't as funny as television Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert, but media moguls Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg made a similar appeal to Congress: Do something about immigration.

Murdoch, the founder of News Corp., urged lawmakers during a hearing Thursday to match attempts to secure the border with efforts to ensure that employers can't hire people illegally. ...

Murdoch and Bloomberg lead a coalition of businesses and mayors to push for immigration reform. The group supports providing a path to legal status for those in the U.S. illegally. Murdoch himself was born in Australia and, while expanding his interests in U.S. media, became an American citizen in 1985. Citizenship allowed him to own U.S. television stations.

"As an immigrant, I chose to live in America because it is one of the freest and most vibrant nations in the world. And as an immigrant, I feel an obligation to speak up for immigration policies that will keep America the most economically robust, creative and freedom-loving nation in the world," he said.

The illegal immigrant population has tripled in the U.S., even as the government has increased enforcement spending almost every year since 1992, Murdoch said. The wave of immigrants only started to crest when the country hit a recession, he said.

Murdoch and Bloomberg said they believe Congress needs to help employers discern between workers authorized to work in the U.S and those who are not. The Obama administration has been auditing employers to find those hiring people illegally.

Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat, told Murdoch she thought his support for immigration reform did not match coverage of the immigration issue by Fox News, which is a large part of his News Corp. empire. She said his testimony was contradictory to Fox News "talking about anchor babies." The term, considered derogatory by some, is a reference to children born to at least one illegal immigrant parent.

"Why don't you use your power to help us to promote what you are talking about?" Waters asked.

"I would say that we do," Murdoch said. "We certainly employ a lot of immigrants at Fox ... and we do not take any consistent anti-immigrant line."

Murdoch said he would have no trouble supporting his hearing testimony on Fox News, "nor would a great number of the commentators on Fox News." ...
Well there you go, we've obviously got him all wrong!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is That True, Or Did The 'ABC' Just Copy It From 'The Australian'?

Shamelessly Cut-n-Pasted from Deltoid:

Is that true, or did you read it in The Australian?

Category: Leakegate

Batboy found in cave

The Australian breathlessly informs us that:

The UN is to appoint an astrophysicist to be the first contact for any aliens ...

Mazlan Othman will describe her potential new role next week at a scientific conference at the Royal Society's Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire.

But Matthew Weaver at the Guardian has spoiled the fun by contacting Othman:

Apart from the hilarious picture, the thing about this story is that the ABC was still repeating this as fact, without acknowledging that it came from the hopelessly discredited Murdoch 'press', at least a full day after it had been debunked.

Overwhelming evidence is gradually building up that there is something untoward going on between the inner workings of the ABC (apparently up to the highest levels of the organisation) and the Murdoch machine.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

28 September: Boycott Murdoch Day

Tomorrow the new federal parliament sits.

Make a statement.

Don't buy Murdoch's newspapers, don't watch his pay television and don't click on his websites.

Boycott any ABC shows which feature Murdoch employees.

Make a point of sending an email or a letter to your elected representatives letting them know how you feel about Murdoch's dangerously powerful control of our media.

It's only one day, it's not a hard thing to do.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who would think the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior was a joke?

Tonight [20/9/10], the ABC screened an excellent documentary about the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985:

This week on Four Corners, "Return to the Rainbow Warrior", a story that attempts to finally get to the truth of a murderous attack that New Zealanders describe as an act of state sponsored terrorism. ...
That brought to mind a 'Spring Hill Voice' story from way back in October 2007:

Rupert's Cultural Warriors Hard At Work On The Gold Coast

Cast your mind back to 1985 when Greenpeace was actively campaigning to stop French nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific Ocean….

Every Tuesday, Gold Coast residents are the lucky recipients of a News Ltd. throw-away, 'The Sun'.

It's a useful read if you want to buy a car, are looking to have your prejudices confirmed or enjoy spending your hard earned money on consumer items.

'The Sun' employs that classic News Ltd. strategy of incorporating little columns and articles that convey confusing messages to the reader, amidst the array of advertising and propaganda.

Said messages seem very clear to me:

If you drive down to the shops and buy enviro-lightbulbs to put in your green bags, there will be no global warming, and your grandchildren will live forever in an antipodean wonderland where the car reigns supreme and the rivers will run with desalinated water, bombing Iran is the proper thing to do because people in the Middle East are terrorists, health and education are privileges rather than taxpayer rights, women should fulfil their role of either being a breeder or a prostitute, unions are the devil, and any organic event or artistic experience not sponsored and contrived by a corporation should be viewed with suspicion and disdain.

Take this week's 'By The Way' column by Peter Barnes. It is headed by a photo of the half sunken "Rainbow Warrior" and the caption reads: "HOLED… Greenpeace members should have remembered to put the bungs back in the Rainbow Warrior". That is so funny - oh ba ha ha ha! Next week Barnes could use a photo of the ruins of the "Sari Club" in Bali with a caption like: "Drunken Yob Aussie's have too many Flaming Sambuccas!"

The column is oh so chatty and light, with its sidesplitting local anecdotes. This week, the first is about a corporate 'green' marketing promotion by 'The Sun"' (the last is about some locals who forgot to put the bungs back in their tinny, which then sank) - but why use a photo of the Rainbow Warrior? Rupert's cultural warriors are as hard to turn around as a battleship, so Barnes has to grudgingly acknowledge his master's edict with a cynical plug for consumer environmentalism while snidely mocking the very real and very dead victims of the same enviro-wars he is now cashing in on, with a joke about dedicated people killed by the illegal French bombing in New Zealand.

And News Ltd's hacks have the gall to accuse this site of being "horse-shit"! Their hypocrisy is staggering.

UPDATE!! Peter Barnes writes his usual lightweight column this week [17/10/07] but, after the 'Sun' had a few letters making the same point as we have, finishes with:

"Several readers questioned the use of a picture of the ship Rainbow Warrior to illustrate an item last week. Well, they were absolutely right and I salute those alert readers who take the trouble to comment when they see something they believe to be wrong."

It's typical of a Murdoch "correction" or "apology" isn't it? You know: 'Well sooorrrrryyy, then!' With a veiled hint that whingey wimps can't take a joke.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Great Idea

Journalism Warning Labels:

From Tom Scott's 'Making Stuff Happen' blog:

It seems a bit strange to me that the media carefully warn about and label any content that involves sex, violence or strong language — but there's no similar labelling system for, say, sloppy journalism and other questionable content.

I figured it was time to fix that, so I made some stickers. I've been putting them on copies of the free papers that I find on the London Underground. You might want to as well.

Go to his website and print some for yourself.

We bought a box of 6,500 labels for $25 from Officeworks.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Do something before the momentum fades

The hung parliament presents ordinary Australians with a unique opportunity to call for changes that will make this country a more equitable, inclusive and nicer place to live.

As the political lobby group 'GetUp!' have said in an email to supporters [10/9/10]:

... In this new political climate, GetUp members have an unprecedented opportunity to clean up politics, shape the way this new Parliament works and determine the direction of our country. ...
'GetUp!' are also asking members and supporters to undertake a survey to assist them in mapping their next steps to keep the momentum going.

So if like us, you feel our democracy is threatened by the Murdoch machine, we encourage you to complete their survey and/or write to your elected representative and let them know that the most urgent step is to reign in the divisive influence of the Murdoch Press:
The move to a progressive Australia can only be achieved if the problem of media ownership, which has reached saturation point as evidenced by News Ltd.'s hysterical attacks on the democratic outcome of the federal election, is urgently corrected.

To begin with, we suggest:

1. Dismantling the virtual monopoly of the Murdoch Press;

2. Purging the ABC of all News Ltd. influence and think tank influence;

3. Immediately ceasing all Government advertising in the Murdoch Press (GetUp! should do this too)

The Tide Is Turning

Who would ever have imagined that Laura Tingle would be able to say this on tonight's [10/09/10] Lateline?
... Leigh Sales: Laura Tingle in your regular Friday column today you wrote that the Labor minority government is trying to figure out whether to respond to what it sees as a ferocious and continuing campaign against its legitimacy by News Ltd. newspapers. Elaborate on that for us.

Laura Tingle, AFR: Leigh, I think that there has been a long history of tension particularly with the Australian with Kevin Rudd. And it was always seen as an issue with the Australian rather than News Ltd.

The News Ltd. tabloids seem to have escalated their aggression towards the Labor party during the election campaign, but I think it's really been the post campaign push against/ attacks on the credibility of a minority government as an idea, the attacks on the independents and The Greens, which has made people think "this isn't going to go away. We're not quite sure why this is happening, but we've got to decide whether we actually confront this, or whether we just let it go through to the keeper."

I suppose the interesting thing is, I think there are interesting issues here for both News Ltd. and for the government because there are all these commercial decisions, that the government will have to take which will have a direct impact on News.

It's a very big elephant in the room, and I think we don't really know how that's going to play out. And it's also not just Labor, it's the Greens and the independents and we've got Bob Brown now, talking about how he's had enough of the way News Ltd has been behaving and he's not going to cop it anymore.

Leigh Sales: George Megalogenis, I don't want to put you in an awkward position, I'm sorry, but you are a News Ltd. journalist ....
Who wouldn't be "sorry" for anyone who ends up being a News Ltd "journalist"?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A new Australian media/journalism blog

The Failed Estate

The tyranny of constant publication

... At some point, though, the ability to publish instantly must start to work against comprehension. While there's nothing wrong with journalists providing running commentary on breaking news events, you wonder sometimes whether we're at risk of losing the benefit of the long view - or even the middle view that used to rest somewhere between the immediacy of wire service snaps and the pampered perspective of magazine journalism.
The more the merrier!

Monday, September 6, 2010

It woz News wot lost it

Matthew "Rupert says you've got it wrong" Franklin

The independents have come out swinging against Murdoch's crude bullying attempts to tell them what to do.

In essence, what swayed Oakeshott and Windsor to back Labor rather than the Coalition was the relentless hammering by Murdoch's hacks of the talking point that Australians really wanted an Abbott government.

Sucked in you losers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

If you're scared of Murdoch, you don't deserve to call yourself a journalist

The 'New York Times' report [1/9/10]:

In November 2005, three senior aides to Britain’s royal family noticed odd things happening on their mobile phones. Messages they had never listened to were somehow appearing in their mailboxes as if heard and saved. Equally peculiar were stories that began appearing about Prince William in one of the country’s biggest tabloids, News of the World.

The stories were banal enough (Prince William pulled a tendon in his knee, one revealed). But the royal aides were puzzled as to how News of the World had gotten the information, which was known among only a small, discreet circle. They began to suspect that someone was eavesdropping on their private conversations.

By early January 2006, Scotland Yard had confirmed their suspicions. An unambiguous trail led to Clive Goodman, the News of the World reporter who covered the royal family, and to a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, who also worked for the paper. The two men had somehow obtained the PIN codes needed to access the voice mail of the royal aides. ...

Goodman and Mulcaire ended up in jail. But don't worry, they both sued for unfair dismissal and settled for hundreds of thousands of pounds. Murdoch's other crooks got off scot free even though subsequent civil litigation cost him a nice chunk of cash. Of course, these crooks don't care about that. It hasn't stopped them from their usual low-life dishonesty.

Read the whole 'NY Times' article, it's a cracker. And for those of you who care about things here in Australia, the ABC or possible motives behind Murdoch's local outlets disgracefully rubbish journalism:

"An avalanche of unforgiving coverage culminated on April 8, one month before the general election, in a Sun story headlined “Brown’s a Clown.” Brown’s strategists assumed that Murdoch’s motives were not purely ideological. They drew up a campaign document conjuring Murdoch’s wish list should David Cameron become prime minister. Among the top items they identified was the weakening of the government-financed BBC, one of Murdoch’s biggest competitors and long a target of criticism from News International executives. On May 11, David Cameron officially assumed the position and elevated Coulson to the head of communications. Within the week, Rupert Murdoch arrived at 10 Downing Street for a private meeting with the new prime minister. Cameron’s administration criticized the BBC in July for “extraordinary and outrageous waste” during difficult financial times and proposed cutting its budget."

What are you doing to Stop Murdoch? We suggest reading this great article and giving it to everyone you know.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Murdoch press reckon they, not Fred Nile, are God's police

What's the real story behind this?

That's what your ABC should be finding out for you.

...The Daily Telegraph reports a parliamentary internet audit shows that Reverend Nile's computer has been used to access internet pornography. ...
Australians are sick of this rubbish instead of real journalism. Tony Windsor MP summed it up nicely a week or so ago:

... “I wouldn’t give that paper the time of day,” he said, referring to the Daily Telegraph.

“It just shows the role of some within the media in terms of the election process that we’ve just gone through.

“I won’t be taking the Telegraph as one of my political advisers.

“I don’t give the article or the paper any credibility at all.” ...
It's time we ran these crooks and liars out of town.

John Cusack joins Stop Murdoch!

John Cusack has shared his opinion of Murdoch's Fox News:

Welcome aboard Mr Cusack!