||Issue No. 177||09 May 2003|
Joining The Dots
Interview: Staying Alive
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Industrial: Last Drinks
National Focus: Around the States
Politics: Radical Surgery
Education: The Price of Missing Out
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
History: Massive Attack
Culture: What's Right
Review: If He Should Fall
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The Locker Room
Letters to the Editor
The Workers Press
It is heartening to see your editorial advocating that the Labor movement seriously support a Labor press: "A workers'
press to challenge the dominant vehicle of the bosses through the Tele, the Fin and the new neo-con daily, The Australian."
I recently sent the following email to over 600 members of the ACT ALP, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive - be sure to visit the links at the bottom...
[ Note to the editor: The veracity of Cash for Comment document can be proven on request if necessary ]
Email about News Ltd to ACT ALP members
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 13:14:50 +1000
From: Alex Pollard
Lincoln Wright's article on the frontpage of the Canberra times (25/4) has drawn attention to an as yet undiscussed cause for the current leadership problems.
I've sent this email to you, as fellow ACT ALP members, because neither our political leadership nor the bulk of the media wants to explore this urgent issue.
On February 19 Michelle Grattan commented on AM that there is a media campaign against Simon Crean.
In response to an email I sent to him concerning this article,
asking "Will you please identify which major news organisation is behind this campaign, and what this has to do with its CEO's position on the War in Iraq?" Shaun Carney of the Age noted that I had "joined up the dots pretty well." Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd has been strongly and openly supportive of Bush's War in Iraq.
Then there was this News Poll in The Australian comparing Crean to Beazley as preferred leader. In the absence of any challengers, News Ltd now has to resurrect an old friend of Tony Blair.
News Ltd dominates newspaper circulation in Australia, controlling the best-selling daily in every capital city except Perth and Canberra. This gives News Ltd the power to set the news agenda every day, across Australia.
News Ltd is part of the Rupert Murdoch's global News Corp media empire. Napoleon-like, Murdoch expands his empire ceaselessly. His strong backing for Bush's War in Iraq, via his US newspapers and the infamous Fox News Channel, will very likely see News Corp gain regulatory approval to take
control of US satellite television.
Here in Australia, the major media players are staying on the Government's side in the hope of ripping up the cross-media laws. The laws prevent Murdoch from gaining control of a free-to-air network in addition to his
If Simon Crean is deposed, political pundits will likely declare that it is politically fatal to oppose Australian participation in America's imperial wars of conquest. It would be harder to gain Australian political independence from future US-led wars. Lincoln Wright's article hints at the unpleasant possibility that the US Embassy is somehow involved. But without News Ltd, the US Embassy would be impotent.
News Ltd would also be sending a very strong message to all Australian parliamentarians: Don't get in our way. More than ever, Australian politics would be played out strictly within the narrow parameters set by News Ltd and other major media. How much more chronic tedium which ignores real issues can we put up with from the Canberra Press Gallery?
The Australian Labor movement needs to recognise that News Ltd is our enemy just as much as the Liberal-National Coalition is. We must unambiguously target News Ltd as the most influential proponent of both socially destructive policies, and also Australia's participation in an illegal war of aggression. In the short term, we need to rein in News Ltd's unlimited hubris.
Australian democracy can not remain the plaything of a powerful clique of ruthless unelected media hacks.
No Labor parliamentarians or officials need endorse a campaign against News Ltd. Obviously it would be better if they stayed out of it. Any such campaign would have to be the work of Labor's ordinary members. That's why I've sent
you this email.
Please send me any ideas, feedback and skepticism you have about such a campaign.
P.S. To get a sense of how News Ltd thinks, have a read of some of their internal documents:
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