February 26, 2014

Rupert Murdoch

Blue Army: Persons of Interest

Rupert Murdoch (1931):
[Our] first responsibility [as journalists, is to earn] the trust and loyalty of our readers.

James Murdoch 1972):
There's an inescapable conclusion that we must reach if we are to have a better society:
The only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence, is profit.

Nick Broomfield (1948):
[Rupert Murdoch] paid Sarah a $3 million salary [as a news analyst for Fox News] and a $7 million [book] advance for Going Rogue.
[The] Koch brothers are massive contributors to Sarah and the Tea Party.
(Sarah Pain: You Betcha!, Gravity Films, 2011)

Rebekah Brooks (1968) [CEO News International]:
[Eliminate] in a consistent manner across NI (subject to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements as to retention) emails that could be unhelpful in the context of future litigation in which an NI company is a defendant.
(Email, January 2010, emphasis added)

Chris Bryant (1962) [Labour MP]:
Do either of your newspapers ever use private detectives, ever bug or pay the police?

Rebekah Brooks [Editor, News of the World, 2000-2003; CEO, News International, 2001-2011]:
We have paid police for information in the past …

Lawful Bribery

Chris Bryant:
Andy Coulson, who was sitting beside her, tried to say:
But only within the law!
And I pointed out it's against the law: bribing a police officer, suborning a police officer …
Andy Coulson (1968) [Editor, News of the World, 2003-2007; Director of Communications to David Cameron, 2010-2011]:
No, no, no, without — as I said, within the law.
Chris Bryant:
And then the chairman chose to close the meeting, for some bizarre reason …

Lowell Bergman (1945):
[After the story broke] Rebekah Brooks wrote to the chairman of the parliamentary committee [accusing] The Guardian of deliberately misleading the British public.

(Neil Docherty, Murdoch's Scandal, PBS Frontline, 27 March 2012)

Rebekah Brooks:
My intention was simply to comment generally on the widely-held belief that payments had been made in the past to police officers.
If, in doing so, I gave the impression that I had knowledge of any specific cases, I can assure you that this was not my intention.
(Rebekah Brooks: I have no knowledge of actual payments to police, The Guardian, 11 April 2011)

Would you like to know more?

(Marian Wilkinson & Janine Cohen; Rupert, Rebekah and Andy, ABC Four Corners, 30 June 2014)

The Face of Humility

[The hacking of Milly Dowler's (1988–2002) voicemail] was done … when Brooks was editor [of the News of the World. …]
Brooks flatly denied knowing about any hacking under her editorship …
Gordon Rayner & Andrew Hough:
The payout will include
  • a personal £1 million donation to charity from Rupert Murdoch … as well [as]
  • a £2 million settlement directly to the Dowler family.
(Daily Telegraph, 20 September 2011)

By March 2010, News International had spent over £2 million settling court cases with victims of phone hacking. …
(15 April 2015)
[Throughout] 2010 the civil cases against over News of the World over phone hacking kept coming …
Prosecutors say, at this time, Brooks approved a sweeping policy to delete emails en masse across the UK company.
The deletions were partly explained as an overhaul of News' old email system.
But Brooks specifically demanded her own emails to 2010 be deleted in what she called 'a clean sweep'. …
Brooks stepped up the email deletions just as the £8 billion takeover bid for BSkyB was announced in July 2010. …
James Murdoch:
I'm convinced that Rebekah Brooks' leadership of the company is the right thing. …
It's her leadership that has really gotten to grips with this whole period in the company's history.
Days later James told Brooks to go because the police were about to arrest her.
She would negotiate an £11 million pay out. …
Rupert Murdoch:
I would have thought that … at least 90% of the payments were made at the instigation of cops …

(Marian Wilkinson & Janine Cohen, Rupert, Rebekah and Andy, Four Corners, ABC Television, 30 June 2014)

A Better Society

Ha Joon Chang: Professor, Faculty of Politics and Economics, Cambridge University

The success of the Conservative economic narrative has allowed the coalition to pursue a destructive and unfair economic strategy, which has generated only a bogus recovery largely based on government-fuelled asset bubbles in real estate and finance, with stagnant productivity, falling wages, millions of people in precarious jobs, and savage welfare cuts. …

A government budget should be understood not just in terms of bookkeeping but also of demand management, national cohesion and productivity growth.
Jobs and wages should not be seen simply as a matter of people being “worth” (or not) what they get, but of better utilising human potential and of providing decent and dignified livelihoods.
Ways have to be found to generate economic growth based on rising productivity rather than the continuous blowing of asset bubbles.

Without a new economic vision incorporating these dimensions, Britain will continue on its path of stagnation, financial instability and social conflict.

(Why did Britain’s political class buy into the Tories’ economic fairy tale?, 19 October 2014)

Abbott on Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch

I’m an American citizen and [I] consider myself an American.


On 4 September 1985, Murdoch became a naturalized citizen to satisfy the legal requirement that only US citizens were permitted to own US television stations.
This resulted in Murdoch losing his Australian citizenship.

(21 February 2013)

Tony Abbott

I've got a lot of time for Rupert Murdoch because whether you like his papers or don't like his papers he's one of the most influential Australians of all time.
Aussies should support our hometown heroes — that's what I think … Rupert Murdoch is.

(Tony Abbott hails Rupert Murdoch as 'hometown hero', The Guardian, 6 September 2013)

[Apart from] John Monash, the Commander of the First AIF [who] saved Paris and helped to win the First World War, and [Howard Florey,] the co-inventor of penicillin [who] literally saved millions of lives, Rupert Murdoch is probably the Australian who has most shaped the world …
For our guest of honour … experience trumps theory and facts trump speculation.
His publications have borne his ideals but never his fingerprints.

Rupert Murdoch is a corporate citizen of many countries, but above all else, he’s one of us.
[And most especially] he’s a long-serving director of the IPA

[Tonight we] renew our commitment [and] our faith.
In a hundred years’ time [may] it be said of us that we … passed the torch of freedom [on] to our successors …

(70th Anniversary Dinner, Institute of Public Affairs, 4 April 2013.)

Murdoch on Abbott

Rupert Murdoch

Conviction politicians hard to find anywhere.
Australia’s Tony Abbott a rare exception.
(19 August 2013)

Great first day by PM Abbott firing top bureaucrats, merging departments and killing carbon tax.
(19 September 2013)

(Robert Manne, Why Rupert Murdoch Can't Be Stopped, The Monthly, November 2013)

Brothers in Arms

Wendy Bacon: Professor of Journalism, Australian Centre for Independent Journalism

[The] most critical point … was the hysterical overreaction by News Limited [to the proposed Public Interest Advocate.]
I don't think anyone could read this legislation and think there was anything remotely like a star chamber. …
Tony Abbott:
Not since the days of the Committee of Public Safety have we seen an attempt by a government to do something as Orwellian as the Public Interest Media Advocate is.
[The] Public Interest Media Advocate, the government's version of the Ministry for Truth, will be vetting every aspect of the media for fairness, accuracy and the professional conduct of journalists.
[This is] a complete distortion of what the law is actually proposing.

[Which] is that, after a whole lot of consideration of different factors, some of which are set down in detail, the advocate would have the power to approve a self-regulatory body.
Which would then, as it does now in the case of the Press Council, take complaints.
There is no suggestion … that this advocate would be in any way dealing with day to day content of the media. …

What we've got here, is News Limited and Abbott in unison … overstating and misleading the Australian public about the powers of the advocate.
The Minister … can't direct the advocate at all.