When does a biased media corporation cross the line from political advocate to a private political party?
Lord Haldane, Lord Chancellor of England prior to the Great War, worked hard to bring about reconciliation between Britain and Germany and avoid war. Unfortunately the British press Overlord Lord Northcliffe (Alfred Harmsworth), creator of Tabloid journalism, believed that war would be good for paper sales actively worked to silence Haldane and promote war.
In his day Harmsworth was a political force that promoted wars, elected governments and replaced Prime Ministers.
Such is the power of a biased and concentrated press. Nothing has changed in that the concentration of media power leads to bias and distortion. News Limited has led to bias and distortion in the political process in the USA and in Australia.
In the USA News Limited aggressively promoted the creation and rise of the Tea Party, and in Australia the dumping of Malcolm Turnbull for Tony Abbott by the Liberal party. I take seriously the questions asked by Kerry O’Brien about if ‘Astro-turfing’ tactics where used in both events. (See my blog ‘The Race to the Bottom, Dec 12)
What about policies?
Tea Party = No big new Taxes. Tony Abbot = No big new Taxes.
Tea Party = Cut Government spending. Tony Abbott = Cut Government spending.
Tea Party = Cut welfare. Tony Abbott = Cut welfare.
Tea Party = Cut taxes for rich. Tony Abbott = Cut taxes for rich.
Tea Party = Promises are aspiration. Tony Abbott = Promises are aspiration.
Is it just coincidence that Tony Abbott comes up with exactly the same policies of the Tea Party? Or could it be the Tea Party and the Australian Liberal Party are merely public subsidiaries pushing the agenda of the real political party, News Limited?