August 28, 2021
Opinion by Greg Ray
They say that in crises people show their true colours. It is especially true of leaders, who can either blossom into greatness or shrink into cowardly mediocrity. It is also true of media outlets, as evidenced by the Murdoch empire. The Murdoch empire fought during the bushfire crisis to make it all about “arsonists” and “greenies” – anything except climate change. Now, in the Covid crisis, it seems to me to be desperate for us to “open up” and “live with the virus”. I don’t subscribe to any Murdoch products, but I do receive daily emails from The Australian, the empire’s mad broadsheet. Today’s example highlighted the psychotic lunacy of the masthead. It slammed Western Australia for wanting to keep Covid out. It slammed Queensland for building dedicated quarantine facilities. It quoted – hahahahha – billionaire media magnate Kerry Stokes urging the states to “open up”. It promoted an opinion piece saying lockdowns are unnecessary. It had a few non-demented stories just for camouflage. Then it was back to its hobby horses: smash its competitor, the ABC, accusing it of bias (OMG I will laugh myself sick at this deranged hypocrisy!) and it played its other broken record about blaming China for the virus. This is NOT a newspaper, people. This is a propaganda unit operated for the benefit of big business and to the detriment of you and I. If you read it, read it for laughs. It is rubbish.
I wrote this following piece way back during the bushfire crisis. But it seems timely to bring it out again in the Covid crisis.
CAN it be happening at last? Can the great Australian Murdochracy be crumbling to ash in the concentrated heat of the bushfire crisis? I can hardly let myself hope that this thing I have wished and longed for over so many years might at last be approaching, but I can smell in the wind, along with the rasping smoke, years of anger and impotent frustration at the old geezer’s fake-news stable boiling over. You can sense the beginning of something like fear coming from the Murdoch outlets as they fight to regain control of the “news agenda”. But right now they’ve lost it.
From the furious people of Cobargo refusing to shake the hand of Murdoch’s nominee prime minister, to the righteous rage of the Nelligen firey who leaned from his truck to tell the PM to get fucked, to the boiling backlash rejecting the mogul’s humbug about greenies causing the fires – News Corpse has really lost it. The soulless mercenaries who populate Murdoch’s opinion pages, rant on his Sky News channel and polish the benches in parliaments on his behalf don’t seem to know what has hit them. Sure, there are still plenty of mugs lining up to have half-arsed opinions injected into their skulls by the minions of the charlatan wizard. But the signs are unmistakable that many of the sleepers are awakening, rubbing their smoke-reddened eyes and wondering what they’ve been thinking all this time. They are shaking their heads in awe at the lying tripe that is offered to them as news and commentary on something as real and direct as the wildfires and they are asking what other lies they have been told.
If only they will keep asking, because they will discover an edifice of falsity so deep and broad as to astonish. And even though it seems impossible that the English-speaking Murdochracies could shake themselves free of this terrible parasite that has possessed and controlled them all these years, we must remember that other seeming impossibilities have come to reality in our lifetimes.
What is a Murdochracy? Just a profoundly misled nation. And by definition a system of government by and for global finance capitalism, moderated through intensely focused misinformation. In a Murdochracy people believe there is no alternative but to capitulate to corporate fascism. All the hard-won victories of their forebears are to be handed meekly to the owning class. All the great assets of their national estates and commonwealths are to be sold – not necessarily to the highest bidders – and their pockets relentlessly picked by the parasite class of tax-dodging transnational wealthy that the Murdoch media empire serves and represents. No politician who threatens to expose or undermine this agenda can be permitted to survive, and the Murdochracy ensures such threats are destroyed by any means available. Meanwhile those chosen for elevation to “power” are those who have already signaled and proven by word and deed that they will deliver whatever the master demands. Tax breaks for the rich, punishment for the poor, destruction of the natural environment, crippling of the national economy – everything that favours the already rich and already powerful.
Twenty or thirty years ago words like these would have sounded shrill and hysterical. Today they are frankly matters of fact. Of course, News Corpse is only a middle-manager in the global government of the hyper-rich, and the arch-propagandists of the social media empires are already sliding into the seat alongside the fading old lord of fake news. Their lie factories are set to eclipse anything the world has ever seen and they too will be working for the same ultimate master. But just as the citizens of the Soviet Union reputedly learned how to read between the lines of their state-owned propaganda organisations, maybe enough of the benighted and misled people of the Murdochracies will acquire the same skills. And what a victory it would be; what a breath of fresh air it would be; if enough Australians were shocked awake by this wildfire disaster to bury the myth of News Corpse’s invincible grip on their minds and their opinions.