Murdoch versus everybody intensifies

In the US, Fox News is under assault, via Twitchy:

As many have noted in the weeks since the election there has been a notable flight from Fox News by the audience. Following a series of on-air incidents and editorial decisions by management the ratings at the annual leader in network news have been in a freefall.

The latest comes from the segment of the morning info-tainment programs. For the longest duration Fox & Friends has sat atop the ratings in the early day hours, but now we are seeing that the viewer-flight is affecting the network in numerous time slots. So much so that over at MSNBC they just experienced a rarity — Morning Joe took the ratings title last week.

What is revealing there is what is NOT being touted, such as the fact that they have not held that position in nearly TWENTY YEARS. Also important, ”overtake” is a bit of a stretch here, when what is actually happening is Fox losing about 300K viewers, not Joe surging ahead with newfound popularity.

Here is the problem:

In Australia, Rupert is scrambling, at Domain:

Rupert Murdoch has made his first public comments about the abrupt resignation of his son James Murdoch from News Corporation’s board, rejecting assertions the company denies climate change or that he did not consider his son’s point of view.

News Corp, owner of The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun was criticised by James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn Hufschmid in January for promoting climate denialism after the global media empire’s coverage of Australia’s bushfire crisis gained global attention and scrutiny. James decided in August to quit the board of directors after years of unease about its editorial direction.

“Our board has many discussions but James… claims that our papers have covered the bushfires in Australia without discussing climate change. We do not deny climate change, we are not deniers,” Rupert Murdoch said.

It sure looks like he’s got denial down pat. One more time for the road:

Crikey is going hard too:

Sky News Australia’s outrage model of inflammatory “after dark” commentary reaches well beyond the relatively small number of Foxtel subscribers.

It has also spread well beyond the reach of Australia’s system of media regulation.

As Inq reported yesterday, Sky essentially regulates itself on what is broadcast on subscription television, and that unregulated content is available to millions more viewers via digital platforms and free-to-air television in regional Australia.

…Sky has pursued a digital strategy which has magnified its reach and influence via video clips on YouTube and Facebook.

An investigation by technology reporter Cam Wilson revealed that its partisan video content has experienced explosive growth online. Wilson found:

  • Sky’s YouTube channel has nearly 900,000 subscribers — behind only ABC News, which has more than 1.2 million\
  • Its videos have been viewed 500 million times and are being watched more than 3.7 million times a day on average
  • An Alan Jones video downplaying the risk of COVID-19 — “Australians must know the truth — this virus is not a pandemic” — has been viewed 2.2 million times on YouTube
  • A video implying election fraud — “There is ‘something odd about postal votes which have magically materialised’ for Biden” — was viewed more than 330,000 times in 18 hours on YouTube.

The legislation which covers broadcasting in Australia, the Broadcasting Services Act (1992), was framed at a time when pay TV was beginning and no one imagined how the internet would be harnessed to destroy the idea of truth.

It has left the regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), with no power over digital websites.

ACMA is now playing catch-up by working with digital platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, TikTok, Apple and Amazon to halt the spread of disinformation online with a voluntary code of conduct.

Yet it was a similar self-regulation approach which allowed misinformation and baseless conspiracy to flourish on subscription television in the first place.

Murdoch hacks have responded with some More Kevin07 fake news:

Kevin Rudd is likely to be urged by federal officials to register as an agent of foreign influence because of his vast overseas connections and ongoing involvement in international relations.

The former prime minister has asked the Attorney-General’s Department whether he needs to join the foreign influence transparency scheme’s public register because he leads a host of inter­national bodies and forums, most of them based in the US and one backed by a Chinese company.

A spokesman for Mr Rudd told The Australian he did not believe he currently had to register because he did not work directly for a foreign government, but Mr Rudd was willing to sign up if he was ­advised to do so by Canberra.

My own view is Kev should be registered. His role at the China-sympathetic Asia Society alone is enough. But the timing of this is the giveaway and, if anything, this abuses the register more than it does Kevin07.

Anyway, we’ve seen these mass uprisings against Rupert before. They all fade in time. The best thing anybody can do to hurt his empire is to switch off his products.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Had a video chat with my brother in law and his wife recently, who have been in the US a few years (she is Texan, he is Aussie).

    It was hard.

    They’ve gone off the deep end. Gone full Trump-tard, paranoid, only get news and info from alt-right sources; conspiracy theories; can’t trust Fox anyone (apparently it’s owned by CNN anyway, they say…); massive, widespread election fraud by the Dems because ‘they would do that’…

    Happened fairly quickly, too; he used to have a really good head on him. We knew they’d be ‘stewing in the juices’ being in Texas, but, wow, they’ve really drunk the Kool-aid…

    Allege this and that about the election, ‘the left’, the virus, Bill Gates, masks, Trump, the Dems being super evil, etc, etc, and only being able to trust the Whitehouse and basically no one else.

    Trump has poisoned the minds of millions of people, and is acid for their unity. So toxic. And, sad.

    • I’ve seen a lot of these people on forums I visit, and it does my head in they can’t accept the immutable fact that if one side is cheating, they’re BOTH cheating.

      Plus, you know, wearing masks is about turning you into a sheep, and just a sign that the government is going to implement socialism. Srs.

      • “Socialism”, the irony is that the average Trumpanzee would be far better off with universal healthcare and a little bit of democratic socialism. They’ve been brainwashed by Rupert’s organs as well as iHeartMedia, that owns hundreds of local radio stations pushing slime like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.

      • I don’t understand why US people worry so much about Socialism/Communism – they are clearly right/far-right as a nation, and Nationalism and Fascistic authoritarianism is clearly far, far more of an issue.

        I guess it’s a combination of not liking the far-Left’s authoritarian offering, but being much more comfortable with the far-Right’s authoritarian offering; and, having a near-total dearth of the authoritarian problems of the right.

        I used to think it was authoritarianism that US conservatives didn’t like, and now after engaging with many of them over the last year, I’m genuinely more inclined to think it’s actually more just left-wing authoritarianism they don’t like, and actually have a disturbing degree of comfort with ultra-nationalism and right-wing authoritarianism, if it (at least initially) serves their desires to win the culture wars they keep talking about.

        • Total brainwashing. On visits to the USA I have spoken to people who think that one or two social aspects to a society is communist dictatorship while at the same time being unaware, like most Aussies and Boris loving Brits are of being in a right wing crony capitalist quagmire. What I have noted in all 3 countries is that because of the toxic right wing propaganda parading as reality and news we have half the population voting in favour of the petty wants of the mega rich and big corps against their own very real needs for health, housing, education and infrastructure and so on. You cannot even discuss these issues with them on account of them ‘knowing’ the facts as they have been told by the corrupt media they follow.

      • “It does your head in” @MrWalker… only to allege that the collective behaviour of one group of people, or two groups of people is an ‘immutable fact’?
        Goodwill people. Try and find some lest we will all fall victim to our own irrationality.

    • People make out as though Texas is super Republican. It’s not, it’s a purple state. The views of white people in Texas and California are closer than many realise.

      • It might go blue in 4 years time, with Californians moving to Texas, and younger people tending to be more blue…

        Depends how much the GOP keeps pushing the Nationalist agenda – that’s an effective poison, that one.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      Discussing Trump is like discussing gun rights. Leave rationality at the door. Jim Jefferies is just about right on guns.

      • Wouldn’t you know Trump would be trying to force himself on us, even after we’ve said “no”?

    • Fox News was a key Trump enabler when they backed claims where facts were dismissed fake news and lies became alternate facts. Fox is getting what it deserves.

      • Not praising Trump is the ONLY reason Fox is loosing out in the US. Nothing to do with Murdoch’s self serving greed, arrogance and immorality.

    • So yes, your assessment is wrong. Some people are broad minded enough to realise the relentless prejudice towards Trump has been/ is completely unhinged and absolutely hypocritical.
      To blame one person for everything (particularly Russia, COVID) is crazy; yet making the case that consensus has way overreached reality is not allowed. What you represent is cancel culture – and that’s what people don’t like.

  2. run to the hillsMEMBER

    I cancelled my Foxtel subscription a couple of weeks ago, and when asked for a reason by their call centre lady I launched into a rant citing my dissatisfaction with their owner and the Sky News coverage of the US Election, although the main reason for cancelling was it was no longer worth $82 a month. I was a subscriber for over 20 years and they threw the kitchen sink at me to keep me signed up.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      For $82 a month you would want hot and cold running au pairs. Or whatever Reusa reccommends.

  3. Trump is pushing OANN. Rumour is that he is planning his own news network after the Whitehouse. But networks should still bear in mind that win or lose, over 70 million people still voted for Donald Trump. If Fox wants to try and turn into CNN overnight in order to “be on the right side” they won’t gain viewers but simply compete for the 50% of viewers already watching the Left-biased news organisations. Its the likes of OANN and Breitbart that will benefit from mainstream news channels attempting to go Left.

    • 70 million people voted for the Republican candidate. Not necessarily because they liked Trump.

    • ‘go Left’? I think it’s more an issue of generaly refusing to push poor-quality claims that are poisoning peoples’ minds (even more) and corroding their democracy (even more).

  4. No, Rupert is not “scrambling” and Crikey hasn’t been relevant for 15 years. And Turnbull is a hypocritical clown who ran a Big Australia program, thereby making it harder for this country to reduce its emissions. He is a pompous but vacuous [email protected]

    What DLS seems to want is a reduction in media diversity in Australia.

    • Reduction in media diversity? Isn’t News Corp front and centre of reducing media divesity? Hence, isn’t cheering Murdoch’s problems also cheering a potential resulting increase in diversity, as his grip on media loosens?

      And, isn’t DLS and Leith’s MB a key example of media diversity?

      Why, then, given the above points, would someone argue that DLS is for a reduction in media diversity?

      Have I missed something?

      • Depends on what you want from media. MB is highly opinionated commentary about news from other sites. Not unlike MSNBC.

      • What happens if News Corp is neutered or vanquished? ABC and Ninefax emerge as the big winners, leaving Australia with even less diversity of opinion among its media outlets and commentariat.

        • And pigs fly. News Ltd is the house journal for the IPA and LNP (and Gerry).
          Gina and co will not let News Ltd lose its current dominance.

          Remember the Murdochism (Merdism) is the religion, Donny, BoJo and Scotty are just the useful idiots who front for Merdism.

  5. It’s sad in the modern age that media diversity means we have left media and right media. Seems there is no actual politically neutral media any more.

    • It is a ‘virtue’ thing now to be conscious of your unconscious bias; yet strangely hasn’t worked – we are only more polarised and poisonous than ever.

      • Disclosing your bias before revealing it in the way you report on the facts. That’d be as close to neutral as you could get these days.

  6. kierans777MEMBER

    As expected, Andrew Bolt was in fine form in today’s Herald Sun painting KRudd and Turnbull as cry babies, and claiming that News Corp really doesn’t have that much of an audience. Yet only a few months ago the Herald Sun was boasting about it’s increase in readership and how big it’s readership/influence was. Another example of one of News Corp’s finest hard at work.

  7. Has anyone who is brainwashed ever realised that they are brainwashed? If you are certain your side (e.g. of the media) is better, that should be a red flag. As others have said, the real issue is how idealogically-divided and fact-twisting all msm is. If you think all 70 million republicans are dumb, ‘ist’ or deceived, then you haven’t honestly tried to understand the position of the other side.

    • Yes, but right now the dominance of brain washing is absolutely in the extreme right wing sphere of 24×7 propaganda. 3 word slogans and outright lies are absorbed by the media and passed as facts to the punters. Read the left’ish media and there is far more fact checking and balance. The other issue is that 80% of all media is right wing in nature. We have very little extreme left biased left wing media. Even the Guardian was against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.(and Corbyn only wanted a socially minded democracy on par with Scandinavian countries)

      • 3 words slogans, like black lives matter? Not sure where your 80% media is right wing in nature fact came from. It seems unlikely to me, even before considering new media Facebook, Google Twitter.

    • I’ve tried, a lot, but it seems all but impossible to find anyone able to rationally explain them.

      In particular, it is difficult to find anyone on the right who can outline their objectives outside of a context of being opposed to something they think the left wants, or indeed its very existence. We’ve seen that here in the MB comments for a year or more, where the overwhelmingly most common reason given for wanting a Trump second term was something along the lines of “making the lefties suffer”.

      • See @smithy i’d say its simplier than that (and i disagree its about making people suffer). We just have different views, apply different ideology on the same set of facts / data. You say potato. I say potato. Kinda like that except the accents are more consequential.
        Cause bad ideology does bring its own suffering.

        • ‘Everything is just an opinion’ is a common conservative response to criticism, right up there with ‘stop trying to oppress me’ (or ‘cancel me’ seems to be trendy today).

          But neither of them carry much weight.

      • The truth drsmithy is that neither side (left or right) reflects the average joe on the street anymore. Identity politics, and global issues don’t appeal to the person on the street who sees a myriad of problems locally. As a classic example – why are we donating foreign aid when there is poor locally? Why are we spending billions on business/countrywide infrastructure when my local hospital is at max capacity? Why do both the left and right seem to want to build concrete jungles everywhere – why isn’t government trying to preserve our quality of life instead?

        When we aren’t even protecting our local environment but talking about targets, investing in infra that improves our quality of life and not destroys it, and our politicians are corrupt both the left and right seem out of touch. We haven’t even got the basics right, and many people feel both sides of politics don’t represent their interests.

  8. Its a mistake to imagine Rupert drives the agenda, and the current backlash from conservatives who are responding to post election changes at Fox confirm this. Instead Fox mirrors its audience, giving it what it wants. Should Fox disappear overnight or curl up into a soft and cuddly leftish ball indistinguishable from the rest, then its audience will seek and create a new and better Fox.

  9. People are leaving Fox because they are not reporting the obvious election fraud. Ie they are part of the globalist conspiracy too.
    Blind Freddy can see the fake data.
    Every election result using dominion shows an identical line of results with the exact same split of votes. Thats obviously fraud.
    Yep Trump convinced me he was an idiot too.
    Turns out he’s the good guy and this is a sting that’s going to send Soros and Killery to jail.
    Unlike admiral Ackbar they didn’t realise its a trap.
    Use or dismiss the intel as you please.

      • I am amazed at how many people seriously think anyone would go to the trouble and risk of systemic and widespread voter fraud to produce an essentially lame outcome due to not controlling the senate as well.