Addressing a libertarian think-tank in Perth last July, the British climate change sceptic Christopher Monckton urged Australians to create a home-grown version of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News. The "super-rich", he said, should invest in the media, install like-minded commentators and give the country "a proper dose of free-market thinking".
Lord Monckton's visit was part-funded by one of his biggest Australian fans, Gina Rinehart, the multi-billionaire iron ore magnate. A year on, Ms Rinehart – the country's wealthiest individual – is on the verge of becoming its newest media mogul, a prospect that is sending a chill through newsrooms, boardrooms and the corridors of government.
Seventy per cent of Australia's newspapers are already owned by Mr Murdoch. Now there is a real prospect of most of the remainder – including the liberal-minded Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age – being controlled by someone who would out-class even Mr Murdoch, some believe, in her reactionary views and appetite for meddling.
Fairfax journalists – already shocked by the announcement of a shake-up that will see one in five jobs disappear, and by the departure this week of three popular editors – are horrified. Ms Rinehart appears to want "to make the papers into a propaganda platform for mining companies and climate change deniers", said David Marr, one of the Herald's most respected writers. [emphasis mine]
Sounds to me as though that remaining 30% needs to be woken up and called to action. And while you're at it, wake up the PEOPLE (you remember THEM, don't you?!?) and have them let those in power know that they do not like the current situation, nor will they tolerate it.
There is an old saying: we get the government we deserve. I wonder that the same may be said of the media.
She bears a resemblance to Miss Piggy from Sesame street, USA.
Miss Piggy was not a regular denizen of Sesame Street. That she is Kermit the Frog's regular squeeze doesn't figure in.