Category Archives: News Ltd


Rupert tells people who’d dare challenge his family’s little gerrymander at the News Corp AGM that if they don’t like it, go sell their shares. And meanwhile the increasingly ironically-named “News” dot com dot au* website does this for a fellow media billionnaire:

It’s like they don’t care how obvious it is any more. They have the power, they’ll do what they like, and it doesn’t matter how dodgy and corrupt it looks. Suck it up, ordinary people – you’ll swallow what you’re given, and be grateful for it.

*I’m going to have to start pronouncing the word “News” in “News Ltd” with the sarcastic inflection you give to the word “Christian” in the “Australian Christian Lobby”.

ELSEWHERE: By the way, talking of Quality Jernalisms

Through the looking glass

A thing the Daily Telegraph and sister News Ltd tabloids actually published this morning:

The revelation comes as… middle- and high-income families struggling with cost of living pressures brace for cuts to private health rebates and the impact of the carbon tax.

Who’s notably “struggling with cost of living pressures”? “Middle- and high-income families”! Everyone, apparently, except those on low incomes.

Yeah, “middle- and high-income families” have it the worst. No wonder they’re so resentful of refugees and the poor.

Utterly insane.

Ted Baillieu: WE HAVE FIGURES THAT PROVE LABOR WILL RUIN YOU but no you can’t see our working it’s secret

Surely you can just take our word for it?

THE Baillieu government has been accused of using ”laughable” excuses to block the release of economic modelling it used to attack the Gillard government’s carbon tax.

The government cited public interest and privacy issues as reasons it will not hand over calculations behind a media release by state Energy Minister Michael O’Brien last July.

We don’t need to back up our bullshit numbers! They must be true! They were published in the Herald Sun!


This transparently stupid waste of the department’s time and your taxpayer money brought to you by Ted Baillieu’s “Liberal” Victorian Government. Thanks, guys.

Real story missed

The ALP holds a database of disturbingly private information about voters. The Age accesses it in order to expose it. The Herald Sun‘s response? To bash The Age and defend the outrageous abuse of ordinary voters’ privacy:

VICTORIA Police has launched a criminal investigation into allegations senior reporters from The Age newspaper illegally hacked into an ALP electoral roll database and searched the private details of dozens of high-profile Victorians…

The database, which Labor is legally entitled to hold, contains personal details of millions of Victorians including names, addresses, phone numbers and marital status as well as any confidential dealings between individuals and the party.

WHY is Labor “legally entitled” to hold this material, deceptively obtained? They don’t warn ordinary people who write to them, or communicate with them, that their details will be recorded and kept. They don’t warn those who fill in those voter enrolment forms and send them back to the nominated address, which happens to be ALP headquarters, that they’ll be noting down their private details.

Both big parties do it, so it’s not surprising they’ve made sure it’s not against the law – but isn’t that precisely the sort of thing for which the media should hold them to account? Well, not the Herald Sun. Taking advantage of ordinary people? That’s fine with us. Calling to account those who take that advantage? An outrage!

Cost of living increases that we can’t yet blame on the carbon price

Today’s Herald Sun, whinging about cost of living increases that have NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE MINING BOOM and are NO REASON we should’ve had a super profit tax on those milking our national resources and adding huge inflationary pressure to the economy as a whole:

Keep the above image in mind when, in two years’ time, the Herald Sun runs a nearly identical piece but blaming it on the then carbon price.

The Australian pretends Greens have “failed” if they don’t run the parliament with their one lower house seat

The campaigners at News Ltd aren’t unaware that their general smears about the Greens are of limited effect in deterring Greens voters – voters who obviously simply don’t believe them. That’s no reason not to run those smears – it’s important to make sure that potential Greens voters are deterred from learning anything about the party beyond the half-truths and outright lies that make them sound like “extremists” – but it’s obviously not going to be enough to see them “destroyed at the ballot box”.

So there’s the second approach: make unrealistic, strawman claims about them that their voters might like to believe – the regular “moral superiority” sledge, in particular – and then when they fail (with their limited parliamentary representation) to achieve all those impossible “goals”, portrary it as some kind of a failure. So, for example:

Greens backtrack on carbon tax, saying they’ll accept a compromise price

THE GREENS have backed away from their hardline position on a high starting price for the carbon tax, conceding they won’t get the price they want in negotiations with Labor.

THEY’VE FAILED! They’re “backtracking”! “Conceding”!


The Greens’ stance is at odds with its decision to vote down Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme in 2009 because it was too weak

Well, no, it was because it was worse than nothing, giving public money to the biggest polluters at the Liberals’ insistence, but anyway, don’t let reality interfere with your cunning little bit of Greens-bashing.

When Greens deputy Leader Christine Milne said last week a carbon price of more than $40 a tonne would be needed to shift Australia’s reliance on coal-fired power to cleaner energy, the Gillard government responded that the starting price would be `well south” of that.

So she didn’t say that the Greens would accept nothing less than $40/tonne – just that it was the necessary price to achieve the sought-for aim of an effective shift away from coal. That doesn’t mean that they’d prefer no deal to $40. That doesn’t mean that they’re unwilling to negotiate.

So where’s this failure? As Brown points out:

I’ve always said this is not going to be a Greens package,” he said in Canberra.

“I’ve had talks with big fossil fuel-involved corporations and they think about $40 is about the price that’s required if you’re going to get a transition from coal to gas and onwards towards renewables. But we’re looking at a package here of measures to get us in that direction. It isn’t just a price that counts,” Senator Brown said.

“All I can tell you is that whatever price comes out of this process is going to be the more active, the better because we’re there. It won’t be a Greens price, but it will be greener because we’re there.

Let’s hope that Greens voters got that far into the article. Well, if they were reading The Australian in the first place.

It’s no surprise that the biggest Greens haters at News Ltd are trying to portray this as a betrayal of principle:

This compromise may possibly hurt the Greens, who may be blamed by conservative voters for giving us an unpopular tax, and blamed by the Left for agreeing to make it ineffectual, too – while Labor voters may conclude there’s no product differentiation now to tempt them into voting Green instead. The fate of the Democrats after compromising on John Howard’s GST is a warning.

Fortunately, Greens voters are smart enough to see the difference. The Democrats promised no GST, and their then voters (like me) believed them. And after they betrayed us, and voted for the GST Howard would otherwise not have been able to pass, we never voted for them again. In contrast, I suspect most Greens voters are happy for the party to be achieving whatever it can with the power it has won in Canberra – and any effective carbon tax at all is entirely due to their influence. So we’re hardly likely to give up on them.

The thing that would make us give up on them is seriously selling out. The relentless hatred of them by the Murdoch press reassures us that they haven’t. The minute News Ltd starts writing positive stories about the Greens, that’s when we’ll start worrying.

Things Deadwood is less offensive than

You may have noticed that The Australian is very angry with an indigenous woman who (a) sued Andrew Bolt and (b) said that she found a defender of the “Intervention” on Monday’s Q&A more offensive than a fairly crude scene in Deadwood.

The thing is, I doubt very much that Ms Behrendt is alone in her view that the “Intervention” is very offensive indeed, or that Deadwood is an excellent example of extreme offensiveness.

In fact, there are a whole lot of things I think many of us would agree are more offensive than even the most revolting scene in that well-reviewed but unashamedly crude series. Things that presently affect real people’s lives, in the real world. For example:

  • Laws that discriminate on the basis of race – eg the “Intervention”;
  • Laws that discriminate on the basis of gender – eg the 2004 version of the Marriage Act;
  • Mandatory detention;
  • Politicians targeting the poor and desperate on behalf of the rich and spiteful;
  • Rules that make the Disability Support Pension almost impossible to get for many very genuine cases (eg the “must be going to last more than 2 years and you can wait while our doctors take over a year to attest to that” rule);
  • The editorial board of The Australian and their abuse of their prominent media position to attempt to destroy individuals (particularly ordinary citizens without an effective way of fighting back) with whom they politically disagree;
  • A major media organisation relying on lies, half truths and smears to attempt to “destroy” a political party supported by 1.5 million Australians;
  • The chronic underfunding of mental health facilities in this country;
  • The Biggest Loser;
  • Copyright laws that make a musical reference in “Down Under” by Men At Work to a 1934 round a multi-million dollar infringement.
  • That stupid anti-theft plastic packaging that injures you when you’re trying to open it.

I’m sure you’ve got some ideas too. What else is out there that surpasses even Deadwood for sheer offensiveness?

UPDATE: Oops. I originally put the order of offensiveness backwards by accident. Those things were listed as being LESS offensive than Deadwood! I know – ridiculous. Stuffup fixed.

The Clot Factor

Finally, someone standing up to the leftists and their right-way-up graphs: The Clot Factor:

The revelations of more Flannery hypocrisy are game-changing, too.

“Scrutiny”, redefined

The ABC has decided to endorse – by repeating without quotes – The Australian‘s description of what it’s been doing to the Greens ever since it declared it wanted them “destroyed”. The Australian, and now the ABC, calls that concerted one-sided campaign of misinformation “scrutiny”. A special kind of “scrutiny”, where you don’t actually analyse in any detail what the object being “scrutinised” actually says and does, but instead attempt to misrepresent and belittle it via associations, smears from opponents, and outright lies.

So – the word “scrutiny” now means something very different to what I had previously understood it to mean. I think I’ve got it – but wouldn’t mind some help to really help establish it in my mind. Have readers got any similar examples of “scrutiny” as per this definition they’d be willing to share in the comments? The most amusing wins a prize*.

*Prize may simply be other commenters’ admiration.


This morning Andrew Bolt revealed that the entire point of the ABC inviting him on to Insiders is to troll lefties:

I should thank [Greg] Jericho. He proves a theory the ABC has explained to me: that the sanctimonious critics of the Left who send Insiders outraged missives demanding the purging of conservatives like me from the show are among the first to switch on when we’re on.

Ooh! Ooh! Right. Right, well, I’m not watching next time! I’m not! I’m… oh. Bolt’s leaving Insiders, possibly to have his own show on another network? Really?

Well, I’m disappointed that I can’t actually prove my ability to resist his trolling by boycotting his next appearance on Insiders, but… well, Bolt with his own show? That should be comedy gold.

Twitter certainly thinks so, with the #BoltsNewShow tag going completely insane this afternoon. Here are a few of the suggestions:

  • The Inciters
  • Packed to the Ranters
  • Andrew Bolt’s War On Everything
  • Thank God I’m Here
  • Top Git Australia
  • Meet the pricks
  • Border Insecurity
  • Snide and Prejudice
  • Are You Being Sued?

And many, many more. Your suggestions welcome in the comments, particularly if you’re not on Twitter and are sick of missing out.

ELSEWHERE: Richard Ackland last week on Bolt’s trial:

But, is my right to free speech indelibly tied to Bolt’s right to free speech? Not if he makes grievous errors, it isn’t. Is it acceptable to whip up vilification on a newspaper’s website? What is the responsibility of journalists and publishers in this situation? Where is the ground for honest argument?

The difficulty is we do not have a right to free speech, beyond the vagaries of the common law. If we had a charter of rights, Justice Mordecai Bromberg would be required in this case to balance Bolt’s right of free speech with the rights of the applicants not to be racially picked upon and we’d have a better idea of where the line lies. But of course, Bolt campaigned furiously against a charter of rights.