Maybe Rupert wants to stop the boats

The Murdoch conspiracy has been gaining a bit of traction over the last couple of weeks, being kicked along by Paul Sheehan’s article in The Age Murdoch’s vicious attacks on Rudd: it’s business where Sheehan echoes our earlier claim that:

News Corp hates the government’s National Broadband Network (NBN). The company has formed a view that it poses a threat to the business model of by far its most important asset in Australia, the Foxtel cable TV monopoly it jointly owns with Telstra.

The claim has found its way to the top office in the land, with even Kevin Rudd recognising that:

Murdoch’s views on the election campaign largely mirrored those of conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott, who has promised to downsize the planned broadband network.

“Does he sense it represents a commercial challenge to Foxtel, to the major cash-cow for his company, or not?” asked Rudd, referring to the planned broadband network.

Meanwhile, even the British press has picked up on the story, agreeing that the conspiracy is well and truly hatched and is evident in the destructive attacks the Murdoch media have launched against the government, saying:

The reason for Murdoch’s dramatic intervention in the current election has caused some debate. One interpretation of Murdoch is that he acts only for commercial advantage. Reflecting this, Paul Sheehan in the Sun-Herald argued that Murdoch wants to destroy Rudd and Labor because they are building the National Broadband Network (NBN). The NBN’s capacity to allow the quick downloading of movies and other content would be a threat to Murdoch’s Foxtel TV operation, so the argument goes.

Of course, this is all scoffed at by Tony Abbott.

Maybe Tony Abbott hasn’t been paying attention to the vile attacks on the Australian Government by the Murdoch media. Or from Murdoch himself, who recently tweeted:

So Mr Murdoch believes that Labor has wrecked the country. How wrong could he be? As Alan Austin points out in today’s Independent Australia, “profound falsehoods about Australia’s economy are repeated relentlessly” and the Murdoch media are the ones leading this charge. I’ve been to America a few times in the last couple of years and I am struck by the number of people who comment how envious they are of Australia’s economic position and, in particular, how our government guided us through the global financial crisis. Mr Murdoch is the one American I know of – and the only one publicly – to openly condemn our economic status. He says it’s bad. The evidence shows the contrary.

But unlike other Americans, Mr Murdoch has immense financial interests in this country. Of course he wants to protect them. Even nurture them. Old Rupert can only be supporting the Coalition for no other reason than they offer the best deal in protecting those interests. They simply have no other policy that could possibly attract his fanatical support. It has to be the NBN, or the destruction of it, more’s the point.

Or maybe – and I say this jokingly – he is only behind the Opposition because he wants the boats stopped.

What do you think?

36 comments on “Maybe Rupert wants to stop the boats

  1. So Labor “Wrecked” the country, yet Foxtel’s subscriber base increases… The only way that can happen is if people have more money to waste… So. not really a wrecked country hey???

  2. micwoo..or cannot afford to go out, so take the cheaper option of TV subscriptions. I don’t go out much any more, I can’t afford the cost. The ALP and unions have rooted Australia.

  3. Talking $#!t again I see. “I just gave my staff a $7K wage increase.

    Oh poor beggar me 🙄

    Australians wanting to complain about longer-term trends will get no support from an AMP National Centre for Economic Modelling study released last May. It finds the average family is ahead by $224 per week compared to 1984: low-income households are $93 per week better off, and high-income households are $429 per week better off.

    About 40 per cent of household spending is discretionary – on so called ‘luxuries’ – and this is up from 38 per cent two decades ago.

    AMP financial services managing director Craig Meller acknowledges that this isn’t how Australians feel. But he says “today it is not uncommon to expect to eat at good restaurants, buy the latest technology and enjoy holidays which don’t involve camping or staying with relatives.”

    “Maybe it is not the cost of living that’s soaring out of control, but rather our aspirational selves telling us we need more,” he says.

    No politician is ever able to suggest that these pressures are not real, nor that they are even getting better, for fear of being labelled as “out of touch”. The problem, however, is that the latest data from the ABS shows that increases in cost of living for most households are as low as they have been in the past 20 years (outside of the GFC).

  4. The ALP and unions have wrecked this country? Well maybe you should move into the proposed economic exclusion zones proposed by Gina’s Andev and the IPA in WA or Abbot in Tasmania…what simplistic nonsense,,,, go for a fucking walk in park smell the roses and get the fresh air of reality 🙄 Foxtel? Mate you cant afford not to go out sitting an your ass with all that seething ignorance…

  5. I posted this over at Media Watch XXI, but it seems to fit better here

    ltdnews is fighting valiantly to kill of the anti NBN theme finally being recognised

    Yesterday, both Telstra chief executive David Thodey and Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein declared the high-speed broadband network good for business, saying it would help, not harm company prospects.

    “The critical thing for Foxtel is to get access to more homes to be able to sell the Foxtel service,” Mr Thodey said. “Anything that helps us do that is good news and so the NBN, in that sense, is helpful.”

    But read between the lines. Which NBN? Of course they would like to get Foxtel everywhere. But, under the coalitions plan, the infrastructure being leveraged for the vast majority will be Foxtels/murdochs. He will own that. Making it much easier to monopolies his Foxtel business over any new players. Labors means his infrastructure (which is vastly inferior to fibre) is bypassed, and a completely open, and far fairer, competitive field arises. No wonder Murdoch hates it.

    The article also mentions Foxtels own IPTV services, as if them branching into what other players are already doing as ‘embracing’, rather than just competing.

    I’m sure Foxtel will appreciate anything that can help them get content to viewers faster. But, I’m also sure, balanced against losing their monopoly against a truly open competitive field, they will choose monopoly any day.

    Their years of totally unbalanced and parochial articles that misrepresent and outright lie about Labors proposal are a testament to how much they really don’t want Labors solution. The libs policy does suit them much better, not just because, as I mentioned, they will own a large proportion of the infrastructure, but also because, any new infrastructure will suit their current delivery model rather than any of their competitors.

    Mr Freudenstein said “a world with NBN makes it easier for us”

    That one is difficult not to call an out and out lie. I don’t see how anyone in a business environment can argue that bypassing an infrastructure that it has invested heavily into, and guarantees them a monopoly control, can make it ‘easier’ for them.

    Labor should ramp this up, because if this is the best defense ltdnews can come up with, they have lost already.

  6. Perhaps not a lie Tom – the NBN would make it easier to get their content to more customers, but as you say, it would also enable competitors into the market.

  7. it would also enable competitors into the market.

    And that right there is why rupert doesn’t like it, unlike the libs ltdnews friendly, consumer unfriendly proposal

  8. Somebody said that they took the cheaper option of Foxtel,rather than going out at night.
    Surely you are joking.At least by going out you will be awake.

  9. Murdoch & News Ltd are turning this country into a laughing stock.

    With statements like those @ 3:33 the right wing have turned into a laughing stock.

  10. Hasn’t been a good week for Murdoch:

    There has been a lot of debate this week about how important News’ ferocious coverage of the ALP will be in shaping the election outcome, and how important mainstream media are in the digital news environment. What we can say with some confidence is that the capacity of any media organisation to influence public opinion is inversely proportional to the degree of scrutiny and transparency which surrounds its activities.

    For the moment at least, News is the story of the campaign, and not in a good way. Nothing it prints, posts or broadcasts about the competing programs on offer in 2013 can be read free of the highly illuminating context this week’s events have provided.

  11. ME and there sure is plenty to laugh at when you lefties are in view. Beattie…ohhahaha ohaha..Its being laughed at up here. He is loathed up here and Rudd has misjudged the electorate….again!

  12. hmm, the CEO resigns. This must mean that news corpse is in (a href=”″>crisis 😯

  13. its so bad that Australians are having overseas holidays in record numbers – so much for being poor. We all did it tough when first starting out, buying our first home etc.. We didnt blame the government then – why do we now?

  14. Summo your ignorance is outstanding……go and work in Ginas’ mines for two dollars a day if you are so prone to that line of thinking…..jack ass

  15. THE AUSTRALIAN; Steve Lewis, August 09, 2013 4:03PM. The opposition leader Mr Murdoch and shadow treasurer Gina Rinehart said, ” if elected we will cut the current 30 per cent company tax rate to 3 per cent”, The policy is due to be officially announced on Saturday at an event in Adelaide. The policy would come into effect immediately after election

    It’s understood the new policy cost the federal budget a mere $545 billion a year until 2017, with the impact falling to just $350 billion a year after that. …..

  16. With CW why worry what Murdoch has to say.Just say it here.
    Rudd thinks he owns 70% of media. Sorry Kevin its less than 40%. and he
    does not like it when they don’t write the scripted lines.
    Talk to Beattie he knows the media boys!

  17. “Less than 40%! That’s bullshit.

    I think it is true. Murdoch has about 35% of the newspapers. But 70% of the people who purchase a newspaper buy Murdoch.

    It looks like very few people like to buy green-left weekly.

  18. Bacchus @1.52pm, the AMP got it right. The only ones really doing it tough are the unemployed and low income earners.

    What are essentially luxuries are regarded as bread & butter necessities these days, it seems. Sloppy was right when he gibbered about a “sense of entitlement”.

    However, it’s not the poor and disadvantaged who have Sloppy’s inflated sense of entitlement, but his “battlers” on $100+k, whining because they’re living beyond their means and demanding welfare to finance their next overseas holiday.

    Voyager’s using the eleventy calculator. Meredoch may not OWN 70% of media, but he controls 70% of print media circulation.

  19. “The only ones really doing it tough are the unemployed and low income earners.”

    Yes and there are a lot more of them since Labor got into power.

  20. OK some facts.

    Rudd said Murdoch owned 70% of newspapers, not 70% of media as Voyager stated, so Voyager is wrong.

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded at a media conference in Brisbane that “Mr. Murdoch is entitled to his own view… he owns 70% of the newspapers in this country.”

    But Rudd is wrong also if he is referring to sales but closer if he refers to circulation, especially in the major population centres..

    News Corp Australia titles account for 59% of the sales of all daily newspapers, with sales of 17.3 million papers a week, making it Australia’s most influential newspaper publisher by a considerable margin.

    2011, which is the last confirmed figures show that among capital city and national daily newspapers, which are by far the most influential in setting the news agenda, News Corporation titles accounted for 65% of circulation. Fairfax Media, the next biggest publisher, controlled just 25%.

    The figures have shifted to Murdoch’s favour since 2011 though.

    Also adding to Murdoch’s stable in Australia.

    April 2007 it paid more than $200 million to buy the Sydney-based Hannan family’s FPC stable of 25 magazines and 13 community newspaper, including The Wentworth Courier in Malcolm Turnbull’s affluent seat.

    November 2009 Lachlan Murdoch paid about $120 million for a 50 per cent stake in the DMG radio business, which owns the Nova stable. This was followed by his move on Ten late last year.

    Campaign that the Murdoch-influenced Sky News has run to knock the ABC off for the Government’s $223 million Australia Television contract.

    The biggest moves have been through Foxtel, after agreeing to shell out almost $500 million for the live broadcast rights to every AFL game, except the Grand Final, over the next five years. Foxtel is 25 per cent owned by News Corp which has management control and this AFL rights deal was quickly followed by the attempted $2.7 billion Austar takeover to create a pay-TV monopoly.

  21. Mo, you’ve hit Neil with some facts. He’ll be confused.

    Expect a reply about the number of children in detention. Or something about Paul Keating. Or something about how nasty you are.

  22. Mö, also often forgotten are the ubiquitous News Corp owned community newspapers:

    The News Community Media network comprises 111 publications covering Australia’s six major capital cities, offering an unparalleled audience:

    5.6 million people read a News Community Newspaper each week
    3.3 million live as a family*
    2.1 million live with children under 18 years in the household

  23. And it’s not just those who actually pick up a paper that are the reach. Most TV and several radio stations, including all of the ABC outlets, have segments reading newspaper headlines and discussing the main stories in the print media. Overwhelmingly it’s Ltd News that gets the prominent coverage.

    Then there are the info shows, like The Project and laughingly Bolt’s that is nothing more than Liberal Party propaganda, that also reiterate Ltd. News items without critical appraisal or questioning.

    A newspaper still has great reach beyond it’s printed page and this is the reason Murdoch keeps his loss making media arms. The are political and power tools.

  24. Those last couple of sentences are worth repeating Mö – the influence of Ltd News’ publications is often poo-pooed in the 5th estate, but I think this bit is ignored:

    A newspaper still has great reach beyond it’s printed page and this is the reason Murdoch keeps his loss making media arms. The are political and power tools.

  25. For both Murdoch and Abbott, politics is a game. Both love that feeling of power, one from having exerted it for decades, and the other from having pursued it for decades.

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