Ever since the 'kindly' Commission Salesman bowled up to my front door and enthusiastically informed me that I was lucky enough to have Foxtel running down my street now(!), and for the 'Low Introductory Price' that he was offering me I could have access to all those shows that you'll never get on Free TV, like the Movie Channel, the Discovery Channel (lots o' cute, furry animals to look at, preserved as if in an ethereal aspic on the TV screen, for my guilt-sidelined viewing pleasure. Don't think about habitat destruction...Don't think about habitat destruction). And, of course, let’s not forget the Opium of the Masses, the Sports Channel. Note, however, he didn't mention, the Politics Channel, SkyTV, as I'm sure at Commission Sales School they are taught not to mention The War. The War on Progressive politics by the Arch Conservative Plutocrat, Rupert Murdoch and the media minions of Murdochistan, which has been coming at the unsuspecting masses since Cable TV came to this country, and the USA, and Britain (where, in his inexorable way he his aiming for total control over BSkyB). I. Have. Been. Suspicious.
Now, you may say I'm being overly alarmist and paranoid about the Murdoch agenda and the extent that he is prepared to go to to bring about his Conservative Caliphate.
Now, whilst it may not be as overt as in the USA, if we just take a look at how The Australian
and SkyTV circled the wagons around Tony Abbott last week after his, so obvious it was embarrassing to watch (but, like a car crash in slow motion we did. Again. And again.), major brain explosion after Mark Riley had the effrontery to not follow the media script, we could see clearly that a pattern of behaviour by the Murdoch journos is in operation here in Australia, just as it is overseas, when it comes to doing the spade work to protect a favoured political son or daughter who has exposed their all too human frailties to the nation. A formula originally conceived in Australia, as it has been said that Australia was Murdoch's Petrie Dish that the behaviour of the rest of his media, for all intents and purposes, grew out of, and now feeds back into.
However, whilst I always suspected this, and thus told the 'nice' Foxtel Salesman, “Thanks, but No Thanks” I never felt confident enough to go public with my conspiracy theory because I never had the proof “That would convince the Old Bailey”, as Howard used to say, and, as an unreconstructed, old Lefty softy (sadly, a dying breed), I always gave those who reported politics from the other side of the political isle the benefit of the doubt that they were just reporting things from their heartfelt perspective, without any particular malice of forethought.
Boy, was I wrong!
The scales fell from my eyes last week when I read an account from a formerly, deeply-embedded Fox News Insider
that you may wish to read.
To call the majority of the journalists who work for News Corp 'unthinking, almost brainwashed acolytes', is not putting too fine a point on it. No wonder they are sent to America to go on 'Retreats' with the Grand Poobah of Fox News, Roger Ailes (Richard Nixon's former Press Secretary, which tells you everything you need to know about the guy), or, if you're lucky, or one of News Corp's Editors, you get to sit at the feet of greatness itself and be in the same room for an extended period of time with Mr Murdoch himself. Whereupon you are given the line and the length you should pitch your game at when you go back home to Australia.
Of course, it's denied. However, we now have the proof that I have craved to justify my suspicions from all those years ago when I denied permission for the man from Foxtel to hook me up with a direct line from Rupert into my house and my brain. I did so because I smelt a rat amongst all the cute and fluffy animals on the Discovery Channel. Now, 10 years later, it's good to know that my initial instincts were right.
Thus my local crusade to get as many of my friends as possible to give up their Foxtel habit as well. Unplug Rupert and put up a Firewall against him, and then keep spreading the word to as many people as possible. It's the hard slog of a Gallipoli-like campaign, but it's worth the effort before it's too late and he has a line into so many households and minds that resistance is futile.
So, in summary, this is what you need to know about how it is 'As Above' (in the US), and thus, 'So Below’ (Down Under in Australia):
- Fox News/SkyTV/News Ltd. is run as a partisan operation.
- Its primary goal is to prop up the Coalition/Republicans/Tories, and knock down the Labo(u)r Party/Democrats.
- It is their modus operandi
to undermine the Gillard government, or any Labor State government that doesn't play ball with them.
- They're a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news media.
- We all know their media outlets lean Right, but, over time, they have become an open and active political player; sort of, one part character assassin and one-part propagandist, depending on whether the parties they favour are in power.
- The operation thrives on conflation and fabrication, exaggerations, falsehoods and misleading proselytising. Just look at and listen to Bolt, Akerman, Jones, Hadley, Steve Price, Howard Sattler, the list goes on, into newspapers and TV and Their ABC.
I mean you only have to go back a week to the Abbott Brain Snap to see how the operation worked. The Murdoch/Coalition machine seamlessly snapped into action when needed after the Abbott Brain Explosion occurred (raw footage here
Within the hour the ABC and other TV stations had been fed a Press Release from the Opposition Leader's office, which they dutifully and unquestioningly read out straight away on air. Overnight the scribes at The Australian
went to work rewriting history. Abbott's virtual catatonia became a 'Dignified Silence'.
Subsequently, a distraction to the Abbott episode is created by the formation of an anti-Labor government story to run over the Abbott story. In this case it was the 'Julia Gillard's tears were confected' meme. This was meant to take the heat off Tony Abbott and direct people's agitation and rage back at Julia Gillard again. And, as today's Nielsen poll in the Fairfax papers proves, it is a strategy that works spectacularly well. The 'Sympathy Vote' has gone all Abbott's way.
To kick one of these campaigns off, a Hate E-mail appears to be the first cab off the disinformation rank, as the forces aligned against Progressive Social Democrat governments attempt to turn the ship of potential or actual positive public opinion around, and redirect gaze away from the fallibility and failings which have been on show from a Conservative politician, such as in the case of Tony Abbott's media faux pas
of the past week. Thus we had the 'Julia Gillard's tears were a sham' line which came out as soon as possible after her Condolence Motion speech was made.
Next, the e-mail recipients, having got their lines, flood the accommodating radio station talkback lines, the ABC's website, Facebook
, and media website blogs, with their, ahem, 'considered opinion'.
The momentum is kept up with a Bolt or Akerman article in the newspapers and online. Throw in a few political cartoons to visually reinforce the point trying to be made disingenuously; send the best Coalition mouthpieces to Lateline
, the 7.30 Report
and ABC24 Breakfast
, Radio National
with Fran Kelly, ABC Local Radio
around the land, and tie it up with a nice little bow on the weekend, with an 'Opinion Piece' by someone like Christopher Pearson or Greg Sheridan, close friends of the Opposition Leader, and, if you're lucky when an opinion poll is being taken, you will get the desired result. PR101 for Conservatives.
Finally, the weekend political shows on television pontificate on the matter, and never miss the opportunity to have a go at the government too, and reinforce the meme as a result of the strategic presence of one of the Murdoch message machine men on one panel or another.
Now, they may also mention a Conservative politician's travails, but they give equal weight to the entirely confected message campaign that has gone on in the previous few days. And rarely does a host of one of these panel programs, or one of the other panellists, attempt to deconstruct their often stridently put assertions. And, if they do, the Shock Journalist just interrupts their flow of point making by shouting over them and loudly disagreeing with them. Which is a big problem with these shows these days, and why many thoughtful people are turning away from them in search of rational debate wherever they can find it. This is a big problem which these shows ought to try to resolve if they are to maintain a sense of impartiality. However, as things stand at the present time, the over-arching Murdoch/Conservative paradigm is being pursued relentlessly and successfully through them.
So, never forget these wise words from the Fox News Insider
: “I don't think people understand it's an organisation that's built and functions by intimidation and bullying, and its goal is to prop up and support the Coalition/Republicans, and to knock down Labor/Democrats. People tend to think that the stuff that's on TV is real, especially under the guise of news. You'd think that people would wise up, but they don't.”
So, next time that nice man from Foxtel comes to your door, or buttonholes you at the Shopping Centre, say, “Thanks, but No Thanks.” And if you've already got it, treat SkyTV with the scepticism it deserves, or, even better, just bin it and put your money and time to a better and more enlightened use.
What do you think?