26 August 2013

Let's just rename it Murdoch Watch and be done with it

Another week, another full episode on News Ltd and the Daily Telegraph - I'm getting boring, but so is Paul Barry

This week it's makeup-gate - the story that a make up artist called Kevin Rudd rude on Facebook and this led to six articles in the Telegraph...cue investigation!

Was the Telegraph the only media outlet to cover the Make-up artist 'story' - absolutely not, but it was a convenient excuse to lay into the Daily Telegraph, rather than say, the Sydney Morning Herald

Fact is, everyone covered it, TV, radio, and all the papers, the story became part of the 'narrative' - that being the one that says Rudd is a vicious, nasty, little man

That is a narrative that has existed for several years - it's built on quotes and stories from his own colleagues, the leaks he was responsible for throughout the Gillard era and his often tetchy public displays

No doubt the right wing are going to hammer this narrative a lot more than Fairfax and the ABC but this is simply how 21st century 24hr sound bite political news works, it's cruel and a lot of the time bloody stupid - but the politicians' play it just as much as the media do, only Labour started whingeing about the 'hate media' when they suddenly lost favour

They also asked for this kind of debate, running negative, personal ads and refusing to engage in any meaningful policy debate (and I'm talking about both sides here) - the press need to fill pages every day, and they knows what sells

Yes, the Telegraph is biased, News Corp is biased - we know this, and you could pick up the Telegraph on any day of the year and find crap...it's a tabloid

But is it really a worthwhile pursuit providing a running commentary on a poorly written, populist newspaper every week?

Despite the howling from the left, it has no mandate to be impartial, unlike the ABC, it is simply a commercial enterprise seeking profit, governed by traditional libel laws and is entitled to preach its opinions to anyone willing to pay for them

When there is so much criticism of left-wing bias at the ABC, which is mandated to be impartial, shouldn't they be more worried about that than pointing out perfectly legal behaviour at commercial enterprises

Or does Paul Barry, who is writing a (possibly negative) book on the Murdoch Empire, just have an unhealthy obsession with Murdoch

The Labour/ABC narrative on the Murdoch conspiracy is just as odious as the beat-ups the Tele does on Rudd...but which is more interesting to the public debate?

And as an aside, what the hell is the failed media regulator from the UK - Labour MP Tom Watson, doing on Q & A?

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