In argument the last line of attack is to invoke Hitler. Murdoch fell just short of that in his attack on Stephen Conroy in the Daily Telegraph. I would expect such a vile attack on Senator Conroy to be an act of desperation. After this ridiculous attack what else can Murdoch find to attack Labour? How far from reality can one organisation go before the public sees the insanity of the Australian Tea Party led by Abbott as a puppet head for Murdoch. Murdoch’s line about protecting free speech was the media joke of the century. He needs to learn the difference between free speech and mob rule.
Usually Murdoch’s press appears to support Abbott, but in this case it is a case the pure self-interest of his position came through loud and clear. Abbott was largely bypassed, which indicated that the real power to distort facts and lie to the public trests with Murdoch, not Abbott. How could an insignificant little man such as Abbott reach the position of potential Prime Minister without powerful forces to exploit his insignificance?
The extreme right controlling the press and distorting the democratic process for pure self interest goes back to when, in the lead up to the Great War, Lord Northcliffe used his media empire to stifle any news of attempts to avoid the war because war would be good for newspaper sales.
In Australia we have Murdoch throwing his weight behind Abbott. My reading is that the prize is control of the Australian sector of the Internet which will mean control of Australia. Whoever controls the communication controls everything,
Astro-Turfing is the art of creating a false grass-roots movement and the possible use of this tactic by Murdoch can be viewed in the Wurth Lecture given be Kerry O’Brien in 2011. If you listen carefully to what is being suggested it is scary stuff. http://bit.ly/X6Y6cU
All you need for modern day astro-turfing is computer power. The modern way is to assemble an army of avatars on the net and create the illusion a grass roots movement. One of the questions posed by Kerry O’Brien was whether or not the email campaign that saw Malcolm Turnbull replaced by Abbott was a real campaign or astro-turfing by Murdoch.
If Abbott wins the next election Abbott as Prime Minister would be bad enough, but we are also likely to get President Murdoch.
Also worth reading is The most important vote in a lifetime by Barry Tucker. http://bit.ly/WLm2rF