Led by Kevin Rudd and signed by 240,000 people in Australia, the “Murdoch Empire” was suddenly publicly challenged
Source: Global Times
Murdoch and his media empire are facing a massive public challenge. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally petitioned the government on Friday to organize a royal panel of inquiry into Murdoch’s news corp.’s monopoly on the country’s media and manipulation of national politics. As of 11 p.m. Beijing time on the 14th, more than 240,000 people have signed a petition. “Browsing the parliamentary website is not a weekend hobby for many Australians”, the New York Times reported on the 13th, but did not expect that this petition challenging Murdoch attracted so many people to participate, and the Australian parliamentary website on Monday soared by 500% due to this joint signing activity, and even paralyzed for a time. Western media have always advertised themselves as “representing the standards of practice of the news industry”, including independent investigation, freedom of speech, objectivity and impartiality, and critical spirit, but now Murdoch News Corp., which is considered to have repeatedly participated in the change of Australian government, instigated Brexit, and is helping Trump re-elect, has become the “cancer of democracy” hated by petitioners.
Kevin Rudd took the lead and signed by 240,000 people in Australia
According to the Australian Parliament website, as of 11 p.m. Beijing time on the 14th, more than 240,000 people have signed a petition. Rudd said he was not surprised by the rush of support. He told the Australian Associated Press Agency on the 13th: “What I see throughout the Australian community is that people are increasingly angry about the impact of Murdoch Media Group’s monopoly on their lives. This anger eventually spread to a wider social movement, and people had enough. ”
On the 10th, Rudd said in the video of launching the petition: “The truth is that Murdoch has become a cancer tumor of our democratic system, a cancer tumor of arrogance. He said 70 per cent of all print media in Australia was owned by Murdoch, while almost all newspapers in Queensland were owned by Murdoch. Murdoch used these media outlets to maximize political influence, pursue commercial interests, and bully people with different views and collect political extortion protection fees. He said: “In the last 18 federal and state elections, we have seen Murdoch Media Group viciously suppress Labour and support the Liberal and National parties on the campaign trail. The level playing field no longer exists. ”
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said on the 13th that the petition will end on November 4 and be submitted to parliament on November 5. Unlike some States, the Australian Government is not obliged to respond when solidarity reaches a certain level. The New York Times quoted the media and political analysts on the 13th as saying that even if the number of petitioners is large, the ruling coalition composed of conservative parties is unlikely to approve the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry and does not want to confront Murdoch. Even Labour leader Albanese distanced himself from the petition submitted by Rudd. Despite this, the New York Times said on the 13th that Rudd’s move was a very public challenge to the 89-year-old Murdoch and his media empire. The establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry is the highest form of inquiry in Australia.
As a media empire, Murdoch’s News Corp has many first-line media outlets around the world. In Australia, Murdoch owns 14 of the 21 metropolitan daily and weekly newspapers, including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Courier Post, as well as Sky News Australia and the most popular website, Australian News Network. In Britain, he owned newspapers such as The Times and The Sun as well as a number of radio stations, while his American empire included Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and Dow Jones News.
The New York Times called Murdoch’s media empire “fueling the rise of right-wing politics” and “fueling and reshaping” democratic governments around the world. In the United States, Fox News and the New York Post have been die-hard supporters of Trump. In Australia, where Murdoch is more influential, center-left politicians such as the ousted Kevin Rudd believe News Corp and its enormous influence were part of the reason for their ouster.
“China virus” conspiracy theory concoctor
Rudd has challenged Murdoch this year for the first time. On May 8, he published an article in the British newspaper The Guardian, entitled “Murdoch Media Reports ‘Chinese Virus’ Conspiracy Theory with the Sole Purpose of Getting Trump Elected.” The article said that News Corp is doing its best to help Trump re-elect, and the so-called “new crown virus from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology” was first spread by Murdoch’s media.
Kevin Rudd exposed in detail the whole process of Murdoch’s media concocting the “new coronavirus laboratory source theory”. The first is Australia’s Daily Telegraph on May 4 to publish a so-called “global exclusive” report titled “China’s Bat Science – Explosive Documents Expose Allegations Against the Country.” The report claimed access to a 15-page dossier of research written by an unnamed “Western government” on the Chinese government’s responsibility for the outbreak. The report is full of speculation and smears, referring to Chinese virus researchers as “Batman” and “Batwoman”. The report suggested that the dossier was from the Five Eyes Alliance, and other News Corp media outlets later relayed coverage of the incident.
And the author of the above-mentioned “exclusive report” Maxon was interviewed by Carlson, the most popular anchor of Trump’s Fox News Channel in the United States, a few days after the report was sent. In the interview, Carlson and Maxon sang in unison that the 15-page dossier was “the strongest evidence to confirm our suspicions to date” and that “it is difficult to ignore it as a political document.”
“It’s all about politics.” Rudd countered in the article that Trump faced three difficulties in this election: the government’s response to the epidemic; how to save the US economy in the midst of the pandemic; And who can be tough on the Chinese government. Trump wants to win the election, but he does not have many chips on his table, so he uses Murdoch’s news company to use the “intelligence leak” to blame China for the epidemic and excuse the US government’s failure to respond to the epidemic.
After the report was released, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a rare public statement denying that the intelligence agency had intelligence to support the “man-made virus” conspiracy theory, and the Australian intelligence service and the British intelligence service also tried to dissociate themselves from the report.
The biological son also came to “mend the knife”
In recent years, Murdoch’s influence has come under increasing scrutiny. Peters, who had been an analyst at Fox News for 10 years, announced his resignation in March 2018, in which he harshly condemned Fox’s depravity: “I believe that Fox is no longer a legitimate and much-needed platform for conservative voices, but has degenerated into a propaganda machine in the service of a highly destructive and morally bankrupt government.” The New Yorker magazine criticized Fox News for “becoming a propaganda branch of the White House.” The magazine said that as Murdoch’s relationship with the White House warmed up, so did Fox News’ coverage of Trump, which covered Trump and conducted a “servile propaganda campaign.”
The New York Times said on the 13th that the Murdoch empire has been cheering for the US president. In 2018, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused Murdoch of using its media channels to help instigate an intra-party coup that ousted him, allowing the moderate Turnbull to eventually be replaced by right-wing nationalist Morrison. Murdoch’s newspaper, The Sun, has been presenting a demonised EU to British readers for years, leading directly to the British people’s referendum to leave the EU in 2016.
In the latest controversy, News Corp has been accused of minimizing the role of climate change when covering last summer’s wildfires, as well as racial discrimination in cartoons of tennis star Serena Williams. Murdoch himself admits that he is a climate change skeptic. Murdoch’s media has been pushing for the abolition of Australia’s carbon tax. Critics say Murdoch’s News Corp undermines global efforts to combat climate change and forces governments to adopt tough policies on issues like immigration.
On October 11, Murdoch’s son, James Murdoch, publicly criticized his father for the first time since announcing his departure from News Corp in July. He said he quit News Corp.’s board of directors because of growing unease about the agendas of media outlets such as Fox News, that he and his wife were “frustrated” by News Corp’s coverage of the Trump administration and global climate change, and that great news organizations “shouldn’t lie to cover up the facts.” The New York Times commented on the 13th that even if the Australian government does not take immediate action, anger against Murdoch will continue to brew, and “the Murdoch family is at the center of global upheaval.”
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