Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Murdoch’s Transplant

by RICHARD NEVILLE

Shock! Horror! Rupert Murdoch’s media discovers an organ previously undetected by News Corp’s proprietor – the human heart. This find has rocked the media empire and its flagship broadsheet, The Australian, forcing it to re-assess its mission. The result is Total Rebranding.

First to go is the motto emblazoned on the masthead: “Keeping the Nation Informed”. Focus groups reported that the claim was widely regarded as ironic. Today’s re-branding is built on two pillars of wisdom designed to project the core values associated with Murdoch’s media, even Fox News. These twin pillars are “intellect and compassion”. It is reported that guffaws greeted this announcement at the launch party and scores of guests were ejected from the Casino.

In an unprecedented editorial, The Australian is defending its move to copyright the new tagline, the one fashioned from the pillars of intellect and compassion. Critics point out that the paper’s lack of intellect has been notable in its 30 year war against the science of climate change . As for the second strand of the re-brand, ‘compassion’ … as in “compassion for all living beings”, this too is thin on the ground at News Corp. It has not been extended to the millions of people killed, orphaned and maimed in the wars promoted by Rupert Murdoch.

Okay, enough carping. Here’s the new motto: THE HEART OF THE NATION

How about that? Grandiose, self important, untrue. Very Murdochian. The authorized explanation for the switch is published below, to which a few unauthorized observations have been highlighted:

The AUSTRALIAN, July 21, 2007: When The Australian was launched 43 years ago last Sunday, the Opera House had not been built, Kruschev was in power in the Soviet Union and the paper cost sixpence. While times have changed, The Australian’s values, articulated on the front page by the proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, have endured (have vanished) and are reaffirmed (are mocked) in the five words that appear underneath our masthead from today – The Heart of the Nation.

In 1964, we promised readers impartial information and independent thinking – but failed to deliver. The editorial stance of a Murdoch organ rarely deviates from the party line. Other newspapers have allowed themselves to be sidetracked by fads such as anti-globalisation instead of recognising that in transcending borders, industry, commerce and science are lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in India and China and plunging millions of people into poverty everywhere, at the same time. While cogent arguments can be made on both sides of this debate, only one side is stressed in MurdochWorldTM. As the cult of celebrity and the pursuit of gossip skews the news judgment of some of our competitors and is rife in the Murdoch empire, The Australian is proudly committed to keeping readers abreast not just of news and current affairs but at the cutting edge of developments in business, science, technology, the arts and the world of ideas – some of which is excellent.

We have always been and we still are the only national daily broadsheet newspaper, occupying in every sense the ground at the heart of the nation – how can you occupy the massive area of Australia, while professing to be its heart? Oh, here’s how: Just as the heart pumps life-giving blood around the body – which body? The body corporate, the body politic or Rupert’s body ?…. so we are committed to reporting on, and to, every part of Australia. We have bureaus in every state and territory. We cover the remotest outback, the country towns, the big cities, and we have more foreign bureaus than any other paper in the country – but the slant is always the same: pro White House, militaristic, Islamophobic, angry, humorless, jingoistic, fear mongering …

We get the exclusive interviews with world leaders (your reporters are duchessed, embedded, junketed, dazzled and have read the script, which is why your geopolitical coverage is propaganda. A single issue of VICE Magazine [e.g. vol 4 number 8] offers more insight into Iraq than your rag, and it’s free) and we break all the big stories (except negative ones on your boss and his corporate and political cronies). We print our paper in plants across the length and breadth of the nation – congrats. The heart is the core (you said it was the “ground”…) at the centre of things, the seat of the soul (you said it was the “pump of the blood”). And when the heart and the mind work together the conscience is born, at which time the journalist resigns.

The Australian today is more respected (ridiculed) than at any time in its history. Our competitors are mired in the past, (lighter on their feet, more open minded) harking back to a time when governments made all the decisions for us (when governments were not cajoled by megalomaniac media proprietors to rattle sabres and trash civil liberties). They are, as they have always been, parochial in their outlook, driven by out-dated rivalries and blind… to the merits of your proprietor. Today’s Australians are confident enough to go beyond our borders and take on the best in the world in business, science and the arts. They are, like us, proudly Australian, but unlike your founder, not yet citizens of America … or its servants.
We know that you, our readers, care about what goes on in the world and that that is why you read our paper, before fleeing to more reliable sources and the wild world of the web. That is why we believe that, together, we are the heart of the nation, while others believe you’re its anus.

* * *

On the same weekend this tripe appeared, Murdoch’s organ in Queensland, the Courier Mail, was putting the boot into the ill treated Indian doctor, Mohamed Haneef, trying to link him to a “planned terrorist attack” on a skyscraper, which the police later dismissed as absurd. No presumption of innocence in MurdochWorld™, not for a Sim card wielding Muslim. Heart of the nation? More the soul of a lynch mob.

RICHARD NEVILLE has been around a while. He lives in Australia, the land that formed him. In the Sixties he raised hell in London and published Oz. He can be reached through his very bracing website, www.richardneville.com.au/ He has recently launched: Home Page Daily.

 

RICHARD NEVILLE lives in Australia, the land that formed him. In the Sixties he raised hell in London and published Oz. He can be reached through his websites, http://www.homepagedaily.com/ and http://www.richardneville.com.au/

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 30, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
Thinking Dangerously in the Age of Normalized Ignorance
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed Book
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate? 
Andrew Levine
A Putrid Election: the Horserace as Farce
Mike Whitney
The Biggest Heist in Human History
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Sick Blue Line
Rob Urie
The Twilight of the Leisure Class
Vijay Prashad
In a Hall of Mirrors: Fear and Dislike at the Polls
Alexander Cockburn
The Man Who Built Clinton World
John Wight
Who Will Save Us From America?
Pepe Escobar
Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid
W. T. Whitney
When Women’s Lives Don’t Matter
Julian Vigo
“Ooops, I Did It Again”: How the BBC Funnels Stories for Financial Gain
Howard Lisnoff
What was Missing From The Nation’s Interview with Bernie Sanders
Jeremy Brecher
Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor
Binoy Kampmark
Pictures Left Incomplete: MH17 and the Joint Investigation Team
Andrew Kahn
Nader Gave Us Bush? Hillary Could Give Us Trump
Steve Horn
Obama Weakens Endangered Species Act
Dave Lindorff
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
John W. Whitehead
Uncomfortable Truths You Won’t Hear From the Presidential Candidates
Ramzy Baroud
Shimon Peres: Israel’s Nuclear Man
Brandon Jordan
The Battle for Mercosur
Murray Dobbin
A Globalization Wake-Up Call
Jesse Ventura
Corrupted Science: the DEA and Marijuana
Richard W. Behan
Installing a President by Force: Hillary Clinton and Our Moribund Democracy
Andrew Stewart
The Democratic Plot to Privatize Social Security
Daniel Borgstrom
On the Streets of Oakland, Expressing Solidarity with Charlotte
Marjorie Cohn
President Obama: ‘Patron’ of the Israeli Occupation
Norman Pollack
The “Self-Hating” Jew: A Critique
David Rosen
The Living Body & the Ecological Crisis
Joseph Natoli
Thoughtcrimes and Stupidspeak: Our Assault Against Words
Ron Jacobs
A Cycle of Death Underscored by Greed and a Lust for Power
Uri Avnery
Abu Mazen’s Balance Sheet
Kim Nicolini
Long Drive Home
Louisa Willcox
Tribes Make History with Signing of Grizzly Bear Treaty
Art Martin
The Matrix Around the Next Bend: Facebook, Augmented Reality and the Podification of the Populace
Andre Vltchek
Failures of the Western Left
Ishmael Reed
Millennialism or Extinctionism?
Frances Madeson
Why It’s Time to Create a Cabinet-Level Dept. of Native Affairs
Laura Finley
Presidential Debate Recommendations
José Negroni
Mass Firings on Broadway Lead Singers to Push Back
Leticia Cortez
Entering the Historical Dissonance Surrounding Desafinados
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi: ‘My Life is My Message’
Charles R. Larson
Queen Lear? Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk”
David Yearsley
Bring on the Nibelungen: If Wagner Scored the Debates
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]