The left should look in the mirror before howling “media bias”

By Leith van Onselen

The Australian’s Chris Mitchell has penned a well argued article calling for the left to acknowledge its own media bias before throwing mud at the Murdoch press:

Media bias is in the eye of the beholder — but if the beholder is a Twitter warrior, bias means anything not of the political Left. Too bad about the 50 per cent of the population who vote conservative…

Three tweets by journalists last Wednesday make the point.

Chip Le Grand tweeted out the front pages of that morning’s Daily Telegraph in Sydney and Herald Sun in Melbourne. The Tele’s splash with a picture of Labor’s Bill Shorten said in caps: “The great divider”… His tweet showing the two front pages asked, “Did someone miss the orders from Rupert or could it be that different Newscorp editors make independent judgements about what goes in their papers?”…

Also responding to Chip was the US correspondent of the left-wing The Monthly, Richard Cooke, who without any apparent self-awareness tweeted of Chip, “Imagine tweeting this out to try and show that your company *lacks* bias.” This is breathtaking from a journalist working for mega-rich Melbourne left-wing publisher Morry Schwartz, who also owns The Saturday Paper, Quarterly Essay and publisher Black Inc. Schwartz Media wages non-stop war on anything conservative, giving the Melbourne property developer cover for his high-rise development business…

It’s a company fixated on the Murdochs and News, but only for commercial reasons…  Schwartz knows lefties will pay to read about what they hate…

Neither Dunlop nor Cooke, or the Schwartz empire, see their own biases. Yet from where half the population stands and votes, the ABC, Guardian Australian, the Conversation, Crikey and many of Nine’s former Fairfax papers seem every bit as biased as they claim News to be.

Too right. For every allegation that the Murdoch press is biased in favour of the Coalition, the very same could be said about The Guardian, The ABC, SBS, The Conversation, Crikey, Fairfax, The New Daily or Schwartz Media, each of whom have shown clear bias towards Labor.

Worse, both the ABC and SBS are taxpayer funded, so we are effectively paying for this bias.

As readers know, I have given a large number of interviews on immigration policy to a variety of media. Only at the ABC have I experienced its pro-mass immigration bias first hand.

For example, last year I gave a detailed 30-minute interview, as well as provided research supporting my claims, for ABC 7.30 Report’s three-part ‘Big Australia’ special (read my write-up here).

All the key parts of my interview were left on the cutting room floor, with The ABC instead running a few incidental sound bites and giving most coverage to immigration boosters.

The overall message from The ABC’s three-part special was that Australia has heaps of room and that population growth is inevitable, so we better get used to it. We don’t have a choice. Mass immigration is also supposedly driving our economic prosperity by skilling the nation and driving exports (myths debunked repeatedly, such as here, here and here).

I was told by the reporter that this segment was aiming to right the clear bias in the immigration debate at the ABC, as was shown in the earlier Four Corners ‘Big Australia’ report. However, instead of informing debate and presenting Australians with a choice, it merely reinforced the myths surrounding a ‘Big Australia’.

The fact of the matter is that bias exists across the Australia media spectrum. And the lefty’s living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

[email protected]


      • DingwallMEMBER

        More readers who see anything they don’t want to see as “blah blah blah”?

    • Ha! Don’t think Mr Murdoch would be too pleased with the return on his investment. MB only leaned a little to the right when Labor finally jumped the shark with their ridiculous parental visa policy and continual kowtowing to a foreign power.

      Or is just that anyone not singing from the same song sheet as you is wrong?

      • Or maybe it’s just your belief that Murdoch only wants to own and control the fascist outlets? I’d say he wants to control the whole country, the “left”, right and centre.

      • Talk about projection. I have no such “belief”, and no time whatsoever for Mr Murdoch and his political interference.

        Nor do I always agree with the position taken by MB on issues. But I do respect their efforts to make a stand for what they believe in, and if they make a living out of it too, more power to them.

        And I will call out those making up imagined stories about their financing in order to try and discredit them.

        By the way, any factual information to present in support of your inference?

      • It was a legitimate question, no? I am a MB reader, in fact hardly read any other media. Hence, I can question if the Satan has any fingers in it.

      • “I’ve often wondered: what IS Murdoch’s stake in MB?
        Did he put in any OTHER $?” (emphasis mine).

        Let me rephrase. Any factual information to support your foregone conclusion?

      • Fair call. And since you’re so linguistically insightful, let’s check your numeracy: is ZERO stake also a mathematical possibility? And next to the zero/otherwise stake could he have provided the seed funding, as an investor? Or is that just too much for you to comprehend? Or, most likely, just simply dismiss any possibility that does not agree with your perception?

  1. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Barry Cassidy annoyed me a little on the Insiders post election when he was lamenting the loss of, someone he clearly loved and respected, Bob Hawke.
    Several times he referred to Hawkie’s affable trait of having a “Zero tolerance of Racism”.
    The subtle point, it seemed to me, was to infer that support for a lower immigration Party was “Racist” and that any discussion on the matter was Racist, so let’s continue not discuss the subject at all.

    Maybe I’m drawing a long bow but it was my Gut reaction to what was otherwise a fond and nostalgic reflection on the extraordinary life of a fallen comrade.

    On a side note,
    did anyone get the feeling that Niki Savva in her reflections on Hawkie seemed to be concealing something Naughty going on during those Political/media junkets?
    Could have sworn she was blushing.

      • OK–but it’s not a ‘left wing’ thing: belief in endless growth is just as much part of the right as the left view of things. What’s strange is that the ABC has covered the ‘limits to growth’ thing many times ,but doesn’t apply it to population.

    • Spot on. Continual intentional conflation of racism vs. sensible debate around immigration settings and compositional choices.

  2. The bias in favour of pro-immigration policies is shared by both the left and ring wing. On the right, it is the business advocates who champ at the bit for an endless stream of cheap workers spouting the myth that Aussie youth are too expensive to be trained or lazy to work for sub award wages.

    Unfortunately for Labor they were not wiped out, so the prospect of a Mette Frederiksen arising from their ranks seems remote. In alternative reality that might have been Mark Latham.

    As for the ABC, I don’t have any issue if they get rid of it. No one-else would bother funding services to the country so all those National/Lib voters in regional areas would get exactly what they deserve.

  3. The absolute temerity for the left to scream media bias when its entire operation is based on activist “journalists” whose only job is to promote their agenda and smear anyone who question’s their agenda.

    • DominicMEMBER

      Yes, but they have ‘righteousness’ on their side which means the ends always justify the means.

  4. UE and DLS
    Imagine this.
    By some miracle you are now in charge of the Labor Party
    You’re No.1 Policy platform is reducing net immigration by 150,000 people.
    The CFMEU and ACTU rally all of their efforts behind replacing you within 3 months.
    Should you survive that you are now branded in the public sphere as a racist party of economic vandalism.
    You spend the next three years subject to a unceasing blitz of negative coverage from Every news outlet in this country, Murdoch, Guardian, Fairfax and ABC.
    The LNP adjust their image to soft-centrists, supportive of multi-culturalism and a strong economy, who promise to invest in better infrastructure to create jobs and support immigration.
    All of your own talk about investing in manufacturing and high value R&D, and restoring funding to universities is for nought.
    The LNP cut through with a massive scare campaign about destroying the economy and our global reputation.
    You win back some seats in Qld and regions, but lose significant ground everywhere else.
    You political career is over.
    And no-one will ever dare tackle the immigration issue ever again.

    • Instead, Labor ran on a policy of massively increasing immigration via unlimited parental visas and doubling the humanitarian intake.

      Until Labor moves back to becoming a genuine “labour” party, and abandons its open borders globalist agenda, it will struggle electorally.

    • I might be missing something but why would the Unions rail to remove you if you were for low immigration? It’s the main weapon used to push wages down and to make them less relevant.

      • Social justice warriors and virtue signallers in the ACTU, and construction boosters in the CFMEU

      • I think what you’re missing is that population growth (aka immigration in a post-maternal world) is also a primary driver of the construction industry, increasing demand for highrises and highways which the everyman ‘tradie with a ute’ relies on for a job to keep themselves housed and fed. The Fake Left unions are as hopelessly addicted as every other junkie institution in the politico-housing complex, mainlining the neoliberal Ponzi heroin and crying out for the safe injecting rooms of lower interest rates and moar credit. Rehab is for quitters.

  5. John Howards Bowling Coach

    I hate to agree with something from the partisan News Corp, but this is a fact. Often I torture myself by having the ABC on in the background with The Drum infecting my brain with extreme SJW types and pro immigration dogma only balanced by their inclusion of a vest interest lobbyist from some think tank or another with a script on also increasing the immigration rate. They used to sometimes let another view come in via the considered words of Judith Sloan, but she seems to have been banished. The other issue is they and and SBS are so in love with diversity virtue signalling that you’d have thought 50% of the population of Australia are lawyers from anywhere non European (Middle East, Asia, Africa being their favourite ethnic groups), rather than the reality that these people are heavily OVER represented in the media given they form below 10% of the greater population of Australia. The self hatred of European Heritage in Australia just makes you want to vomit.

      • John Howards Bowling Coach

        They have pulled the standard ABC and SBS trick here. Having a migrant talking up the benefits of Immigration into Australia. Flooding Australia’s media and opinion drivers with the thoughts and values of non Australians is essentially hijacking the argument and loading deck in favour of new arrivals. Peter Martin is not only a professional failure but borderline treasonous in his long run argument we should ignore anyone who is discussing any negative of Mass Immigration. Just the thought that an immigrant economics hack would argue a balanced view on immigration is flawed as their is a native bias. His railing against any protest from the local existing population is stupid. It reminds me of a post I once saw on Facebook, where a recent migrant stated that the Australian people should have less babies to make more room people like himself… How about get lost… Australian to stop having babies to replace ourselves with migrants, good luck getting people to agree to that.

    • But they’ll defend themselves and say the bias is to offset the bias of commercial stations!

  6. So the Washington Consensus has a left and right component – ???? – and how does one define the sociopolitical and economic factions in that paradigm.


    In other news I seem to remember the baby bonus birth death rate band-aid which lubed [tm] a underclass bubble [tm] of its own, and echos of sorts like Abbott suggesting a 50K upper class baby bonus thingy.

    Soooooo …. considering that a cornucopia of studies clearly show that as immigrate waves achieve a more comfortable life and higher social status they also start having less kids – readers vs. breeders thingy …

    Quite the conundrum considering the division of labour, whom will make the pins ….

      • MBA Taylorism w/ a side of share holder value as experienced by Boeing suggest that might be more difficult to realize than what the popular science PR suggests e.g. limmited to simple repetitive tasks whilst expending tremendous amounts of energy and resources.

        Remember the deal with sending Mfg to China, besides buffing financials was so the unwashed diden’t need to get a pay increase E.g. keeping prices for consumers low. But hay …. keeping the mopes weak and fearful works a treat … see election.

      • don’t introduce complexity.
        Labor lost because of immigration… which hurts average people… because.. a journalist said so.

  7. drsmithyMEMBER

    Is the excerpt above intended to be representative of the entire article ? Because the text above could literally be replaced by about a dozen words: “They call us biased, but we’re not biased, they’re biased!”

    Or even more succinctly” “NO U”.

    Meanwhile, the accusations of “left bias” against the ABC appear to hang almost entirely on its regurgitation of the orthodox neoliberal position towards immigration.

  8. “Too right. For every allegation that the Murdoch press is biased in favour of the Coalition, the very same could be said about The Guardian, The ABC, SBS, The Conversation, Crikey, Fairfax, The New Daily or Schwartz Media, each of whom have shown clear bias towards Labor”.

    Except that not one of the above, has a left wing bias which forces Labor and the debate to the left.

    In case I am wrong please point to their advocacy of re-unionisation of labour, greater industrial power for unions, nationalisation of banks and utilities, return to industry wide awards, removal of inflation targeting by independent CB, genuine full employment targets, soak the rich taxation.

    Oh yeah you can’t. In reality there is a far right Murdoch machine which drives the agenda and frames the language, and then a bunch of neoliberal lite entities who get sucked into Murdoch’s orbit.
    It is also pretty obvious that most of the ABC political journalists support the LNP