Evil empire gets on board


Spare a thought for die-hard Liberal Party supporters this morning dear readers, as they wake up to the headline “Murdoch endorses Rudd as PM”. Can you imagine just how much that will upset them? As you drink your coffee, think of poor Janet Albretchtsen, having to work out another column on why a victory for Kevin Rudd will be a victory for John Howard. While you happily go about your Sunday, old Denis Shanahan will be sweating up more meaningless media stories that haven’t yet hit the opinion polls. You may be having care-free catch-ups with friends, but Gerard Henderson will be busy googling up the ways that Kevin Rudd has proved John Pilger wrong, really. As you pick up that novel, know that poor Greg Sheridan will be looking giddily at months of columns about India. Before you settle into an afternoon nap, pause a second over the likelihood that Tim Blair will be confined to amusing himself about Shiek Whatsisname for the rest of his life. Compassion, dear readers, spare some compassion for the unfortunates among us as you go about your day off. Thankfully, Liberal supporters will be comforted by Honest John’s assurances that, despite the rumours, he’s not quitting, never ever. That’s a core promise.

Update: The ‘sphere’s favourite fake turkey fondler, Tim Blair, seems to have become so discombobulated that he now thinks all “die-hard Liberal Party supporters” work for News Ltd. Pop over to poor old Tim’s place to feel the pain.

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60 Responses to Evil empire gets on board

  1. Jacques Chester says:

    Rudd looks like the cat who got the cream in that photo!

  2. swio says:

    I saw the story on channel 7 news last night. It looked a bit more like a beat up. A tv crew caught the two of them on the street between the office door and car. Murdoch’s words were in response to questions from the journalist and looked more like forced and generic answers to unwelcome questions rather than a strong endorsement of Rudd. Murdoch may have meant them though. Makes me wonder what Rudd had to sign on to. I wonder if we are about to get our own version of Tony Blair.

    If Murdoch really has decided he wants Rudd as PM then its all over for the coalition. I can’t see how they can possibly win with the Murdoch papers strongly on Labour’s side. If thats the case then the run up to the election is going to be alot of fun.

  3. Peter Martin says:

    I too am chilled.

    BTW – Gerard Henderson writes for Fairfax.

  4. Amanda says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it — the Oz on Thursday was wall to wall 28 solid pages of all the ways everyone’s life will be ruined under Labor.

    As for being “caught” on the street. I expect if Rupert does not want to be seen going from the office to the car, he is not seen. It can’t hurt to send a message to Howard he can’t be taken for granted, whether he is really entertaining the idea of getting on Kev for PM or not.

  5. Rex says:

    The ratlines will be running hot this morning. Piers will be on the phone to Bolta.

  6. Link says:

    I knew it. My brazen guess is that this has something to do with Rudd’s broadband plan and Fox arriving into our ‘living’ rooms, via our tele-computers (whether we want it or not).

    Rudd indeed looks like the cat who got the cream, and Rupert looks like he just made himself another squillion dollars (but then I guess he always looks like that). Helen Coonan will be looking a little glazed over this morning too, as will my buddy Sol both who hopefully have been effectively shafted.

  7. Fleeced says:

    The broadband plan was the first thing that popped into my mind as well… Murdoch has a lot to gain if the government spends stolen funds collected taxes to subsidise broadband.

  8. Gadget says:

    No, i dont beleive it.

    Seems more like a media beat-up by the workers to try to rationlise Labors twisted beleif system into thinking Rudd was acceptable to the universe.

    I dont beleive anything Labor trys to tell me.

  9. I thought the official newspaper of the ALP was – or used to be – The Labor Star. I’d be interested to know, Gadget, when Archimandrite Rupert sold them the Sunday Terrorgraph.

    Just wonderin’ is all.

  10. Laurie says:

    Rupert was clearly angling for the photo-op. There is no way that he a) needed to leave his building at the same time as Rudd; or b) Needed to walk with him for several blocks, unless he actually WANTED to be seen.

    What this actually means, I don’t know. But Rupe was definately angling for the shot.

  11. whyisitso says:

    Here’s poor ol’ Chris Shiel getting off again on his lurid fantasies. Murdoch was obviously making a polite response to a typically dumb question from a dumb journalist and we have him and the leftist ABC ejaculating into their corn flakes. Give us a break!!!

  12. Jason Soon says:

    was obviously making a polite response to a typically dumb question from a dumb journalist and we have him and the leftist ABC ejaculating into their corn flakes.

    Not an image I care to contemplate, whyisitso but I agree with your sentiments. Saying Rudd would make a good PM is not the same as saying Rudd would make a better PM than Howard.

  13. I see the new media laws are finally starting to create the predicted chaos, then. First the Daily Telegraph is owned by the ALP, now it’s been nationalised and handed over to the ABC.

    One thing botheres me – how can all of this have happened so quickly, on a Sunday afternoon when the ASX isn’t open for trading?

  14. Bring Back CL's blog says:

    I agree with both Whyisitso and young Jase.

    I would add a caveat however if the polls continue as they are then grand OLD Rupert will change as the late Kerry Packer did.

  15. Graham says:

    Yes, well…the minimum inference from Rupert’s statement is that Rudd would be an acceptable PM, which effectively validates him at the big end of town, and puts him on an equal footing as far as Newscorp goes. Rupert could equally politely have said, “Look, um, you know, it’s not my place to give an opinion on who would or would not be a good Prime Minister. That’s up to the voters to decide.” Even though he wouldn’t believe it for a moment. It’s fairly clear he has endorsed the man of Steele.
    Probably the real conversations Albrechtsen et al are having is “Bloody Rupert! He’s gone and changed the rules! How can we characterise our past columns as actually supporting Rudd? Obviously we can’t just flip-flop. We’ll have to ease into it, say we’ve cleverly seen something we didn’t see before and that the public are too stupid to notice.”

  16. Janet affects not to be fazed by it. It’s others, she reckons, who’re going to have a hard time dealing with it:

    The inner city elites, who have railed about Murdoch

  17. C.L. says:

    Except that Murdoch didn’t “endorse” Rudd. He gave the equivalent of a “whatever” to the question of whether he’d be an OK PM. In modern Labor terms, that’s anyone who isn’t certifiably bonkers. Curious reaction on the left, though. The headline: ‘Leftists Roll Over – Now Endorse Mogul, Champion of WorkChoices’.

  18. C.L. says:


    When News Limited heir apparent, Lachlan Murdoch, invited Mark Latham to dinner at the Murdoch family country estate recently, there was one particularly tempting course of discussion – would a Latham government move Telstra out of Foxtel?..

    Media mogul Rupert Murdoch bought the rural mansion called ‘Cavan’ in 1965.

    Anyone who gets invited here knows that they’re going to a special place for the Murdoch family and it’s here that Opposition leader Mark Latham had an intimate dinner with Lachlan Murdoch three weeks ago.


  19. Geoff Honnor says:

    I guess the test of whether or not this is “endorsement” (I’m not persuaded) will be assessed in News Ltd Op Ed over the next couple of weeks. We’re constantly assured that Rupert directs the editorial line so we should presumably be anticipating a Damascene conversion in respect of Shanahan, Akerman et al. Breath holding wouldn’t, I think, be recommended in the interim.

  20. swio says:

    I don’t read the Daily Telegraph. But I do check out the head line on the front page. It will be obvious in a week or two if Murdoch has taken a position. Those headlines are not exactly subtle. Rudd had been taking a bit of dumping from the Tele lately.

    As far as broadband goes, well if Murdoch wants to try selling his television services over an infrastructure back end that Labour wants to build that’s fine with me as long as its a genuinely open infrastructure. It does not seem to make much business sense though. High quality broadband would open up the playing field which should make life harder for his style of business. I wonder if Rudd has promised that the broadband plan will include some sort of anti net-neutrality catch that will allow providers like Fox to maintain monopoly over high speed video on it. That is the current dream of pretty much all the major telecommunications companys in the US but they are not getting very far with it. Australia is just the kind of place to make something like that work as a pre-cursor to getting it done in other markets.

  21. harry clarke says:

    Rudd isn’t as obviously stupid as most of his Laborite supporters. If he wins office he will turn into Australia’s Tony Blair and be more conservative than John Howard. The Mr Magoo bureaurat heading a no-hoper bunch of ex-unionist hacks.

    Murdoch didn’t back him – he just said that he probably knows how to hold his knife and fork and make us all feel guilty about his disadvantaged childhood.

    I agree that Rudd is toilet-trained – although I think Howard would be a much, much better PM – he wouldn’t disagrace us by doing a cowardly retreat from Iraq or by sabotaging our long-term prosperity by staging ridiculous charades with union bullies.

    Yes I agree that Rudd has all the glibness and gile that might win enough seats.

    The big public benefit of having Rudd is that we will stop hearing so much from leftwing blogs about the failings of Australia’s greatest Prime Minister, JWH.

    What will you guys talk about? Maybe a recovery in the Sydney real estate market and how yoose all luv dem workers?

  22. Personally, harry, I expect to spend a lot of time bitching about the ALP pandering to you guys to keep you in their pockets for the next election.

  23. whyisitso says:

    Just like the Left, TG, never bloody happy. Get a life, buddy. Never happy unless you’re miserable.

    We’ll regret losing Howard, but life goes on. After our four steps forward in this country it was always inevitable that we’d eventually get our (hopefully only) two steps backwards. Human progress was never uninterrupted. I suppose we’ll get some consolation seeing you losers so bloody miserable.

  24. whyisitso says:

    I meant GT.

  25. cs says:

    Heh. Keep those rationalisations and compensations flowing my dear right-wingers. The post is here to serve.

  26. You’re pretty damn cocky for a guy who can’t even spell a pair of initials right, whyisitso.

  27. Cortexvortex says:

    When is backpages coming back?

    There was a hollywood interview with Mike Moore re Murdoch and he said that it ( eg Fox news etc) really didn’t come down to politics, it’s all about money. In fact Fox recently tried to get a Democrat debate hosted there.

    Neither Rudd nor Murdoch does anything by accident, the sidewalk walk and the comments are serious.

    PS it’s my oldest daughter’s 14th birthday today, when discussing the “all tip and no iceberg” she asked “who’s Keating?” I realised that she was only 3 when we got Howard for a PM!

  28. Fleeced says:

    ‘it’s my oldest daughter’s 14th birthday today, when discussing the “all tip and no iceberg” she asked “who’s Keating?” I realised that she was only 3 when we got Howard for a PM!’

    Hehe, it makes you feel old, doesn’t it? A lot of staff at our office are 18-20… the realisation that they were as young as 7 years old when Howard came to power is quite frightening.

  29. cs says:

    When is backpages coming back?

    Unlikely. Would love to blog the 2007 election. But blogging is an insidious incursion on other work. Don’t know how I blogged the last election in retrospect. Sure, it all starts out easy enough, but the next thing you know it’s eating into everything. Unlikely, but …

    Nor do we know when the election is going to be held. As of this moment, the Libs in marginal seats will be running around like chooks with their heads cut off. Gripped by frenzied panic, the government doesn’t finally have to go until 19 January. The expectations of around November are extremely strong, but if the polls remain strongly negative for the government … there’s always the thought that, well, ‘if we’re going to lose now, we might as well wait and lose later, and that man on the white horse might just come over the hill’.

  30. Don Wigan says:

    I think that CL (for just once, I agree) and Geoff have got it pretty right. It’s a sort of ‘keeping options open’ type of ploy. He has yet to join Team Rudd.

    I, too, would like to se a little more distance between them than Blair managed. I guess we on the left have to be just as wary as the Howardistas if he does come on board. What’s the price, and could the election be won without Rupert’s support?

  31. Abu Xhowdah says:

    Jacques Chester said:

    Rudd looks like the cat who got the cream in that photo!

    Good analogy. That’s what happens when you spend 40 minutes on your knees under Rupert Murdoch’s desk.

  32. Patrick says:

    NB, Gummo, the ASX would have nothing to do with the sale of either the Tele or the ABC as far as I can work out!

  33. Bring Back CL's blog says:

    What I find most interesting is that it was Murdoch who suggested the longish walk knowing full well that TV cameras etc would be there to show it.

    I think he is merely warning Howard he can change sides easily if he has too.

    My suspicion is the polls will do this.

  34. Spiros says:

    Well, FWIW, today’s Herald Sun has the headline “YOUNG RUDD WINS TRUST” which refers to opimion poll results.

    The interesting thing here is the word “YOUNG”. Could there be a News Limited theme here that Howard is “OLD” and it’s time for a generational change?

  35. Gianna says:

    equally revealing, the way Howard was at pains to insist Murdoch was lying: “Yeah, well he only said that because Rudd was standing right next to him!”

  36. Link says:

    Rudd also looks like a very contented minion walking a few paces behind the ‘sun king’, as Janet A, obseqiously referred to her Lord and master this morning.

    I read somewhere recently that the MSM need to look like they’re backing the right pony to be seen as being on top of the game. At the moment its getting more difficult to be sure who exactly is feeding who. Press or public, as the honeymoon drags on and IR threatens to put us back into our respective corners?

    I doubt that if Rupes was really ambivalent about the one who would be PM, he wouldn’t care to be seen gadding along the high street with the young fella. No doubt, (as anyone would and does) he finds Howard dull as dishwater and is bored to tears by his little fears and lack of ‘vision’, whereas the young Ruddy– he’s an interesting fellow, very bright, very astute, with an excellent sense of humour and a forward looking ‘eye’.

    I don’t know that Murdoch excercises terribly much editorial control, in The Australian at least, other than of the winking nods and blind bats type. London to a brick its the right wing nutters who try their darndest to write what they imagine will please their ‘sun king’. They are far more likely to have an insecure need to appeal to the bossman whereas, leftwing nutters are more likely to tell bossman to go to blazes.

    If Murdoch did exercise any actual editorial control, writers like Phillip Adams would have received the boot long ago. Which reminds me I must ask him some time whether he’s every received editorial guidelines on the issue of sacred cows, taboo subjects or whether he has ever been pre-emptively censored by management.

  37. Patrick says:

    its the right wing nutters who try their darndest to write what they imagine will please their

  38. C.L. says:

    #37 Murdoch walked a guest from the antipodes to his car. What did you expect, “later, dude” in the office upstairs?

  39. Bring Back CL's blog says:

    he would do as he usually does let them walk to the car themself

  40. C.L. says:

    Last time around, the Murdochs asked Latham to dinner.

    He was “endorsed”!

  41. C.L. says:

    Ratty Rudd promises to set up Picking Winners bureaucracy. Another great idea – up there with the early dawn service and the 2050 greenhouse “policy”.

  42. James Hamilton says:

    My own feeling about the Howard Years can be ripped off from Apocalypse Now. I stand on a rise Robert Duval-style and look around at the battle scene and smoking ruins of social democracy and say wistfully to myself “You know, some day this Cultural War going to end,(sigh)”

  43. C.L. says:

    What is “social” democracy and how can it be differentiated from ACTUAL democracy – you know, the one by which Howard has won four victories (so far)? Is it kind of like The West Wing – a parallel fantasy world to comfort melancholy lefties? Rudd: an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

  44. Ken Parish says:

    Ratty Rudd promises to set up Picking Winners bureaucracy.”

    Yes, it does sound like an amazingly silly “back to the early 80s” policy, but at least he’s only proposing to spend $200 million on it, which is chickenfeed. Rudd’s broadband policy is much sillier, not because it proposes spending the Future bullshit Fund, but because all they need to do is ensure that market participants can build fast broadband infrastructure where it makes commercial sense to do so (and not to small country towns where it doesn’t), without being blocked by the Telstra monopolist. And even Rudd’s broadband plan is more sensible than Howard and Coonan’s alleged reactive plans to climb into bed with the Telstra monopolist. That would set Australia back a long way.

    Of course, the reality of Rupie’s streetwalk with Kevy is that it’s a very public shot across Howard’s bows: “If you jump into bed with Telstra and stymie my chance to grab a bigger slice of the broadband action, then I really WILL endorse little Kevy in all my newspapers and then you really WILL be stuffed, Johnny.”

  45. Ken – what things from the early eighties are you thinking of?

  46. C.L. says:

    Mrs Rudd – doing $58 million worth of business thanks to the Howard government. Should we consider this an endorsement of the Prime Minister?

  47. C.L. says:

    Top Rudd economic adviser abandons ship. Note the usual Rudd office lies and – what’s this – a possible unfair dismissal?

    A KEY economic adviser to federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has quit less than four months into the job amid speculation there were differences between the two men.
    Former Reserve Bank senior economist Jeremy Lawson signed on with the Labor leader in February.

    A spokesman for Mr Rudd told News Ltd newspapers that Mr Lawson quit for personal reasons involving a relationship in Sydney.

    But News Ltd understands he quit over working conditions and differences of opinion with Mr Rudd and others in his office.

  48. Bring Back CL's blog says:

    His economic adviser would have to be in Canberra. It would be untenable for him to work in Sydney. That is obviously a comment from a person who has never seen an Opposition leader’s office at work.
    Do not forget that there is more work and pressure in an Opposition leaders office as they do not have the bureaucracy to assist them.

    It used to be a regular occurrence that people from treasury would help out in the Opposition leaders office for a time and then go back to treasury for a ‘rest’.
    That essentially ended with Howard and Costello.

    One can be told of the pressure involved etc of working under such conditions but until one experiences them you do not know whether this is for you.

  49. C.L. says:

    As a southerner, Homer, you don’t know much about Rudd’s reputation in Queensland – a narcissistic prat almost impossible to work with. The critic of WorkChoices was famous for getting people boned – now he can’t even keep his economics staff in an election year!

  50. Bring Back CL's blog says:

    I have observed at least two Opposition leader’s office pretty closely.

    Back in the late 80s there was a small bloke with glasses amd then in the late 90s there was a large man with a hearty laugh.
    I know of the turnover of those offices and how some of the people could not cope with the pressure.

    I do repeat you could not possibly have the economic advisor in Sydney.

  51. C.L. says:

    Left out of what, the right wing evangelical Christian bible-basher multi-gazillionaire perfumed gigolo Burke/Murdoch/Jones/Laws sycophancy Sunrise on 7/apron on 9 lumbered with Gillard fake dawn service club?

    You must be embarrassed, Chris. Please know that I feel sympathy, old son.

  52. cs says:

    You must be embarrassed, Chris. Please know that I feel sympathy, old son.

    They all vote Currency, ol’ bean, they all vote. Between you and me, Labor supporters aren’t too fussy about who votes for the party. Why, Labor will even accept your vote, when you turn. Can’t be long now, what with all your other mates furiously pushing each other aside to get on board. Carn Currency, if you get in now, you’ll just beat the late rush.

  53. C.L. says:

    The lad is not for turning.

  54. David Rubie says:

    C.L. said:

    Left out of what, the right wing evangelical Christian bible-basher multi-gazillionaire perfumed gigolo Burke/Murdoch/Jones/LawsPacker sycophancy Sunrise on 7/apron on 9 lumbered with GillardHoward fake dawn service club?

    When did Alan Jones join the ALP?

  55. C.L. says:

    And Gillard’s been struck off the party’s membership roll too, has she?

    Ratty Rudd has refused to criticise Jones because he wants to appear on his show.

    Chris, the IR policy introduced in the dead afternoon of ANZAC Day is looking good: Rudd’s new IR plan may be illegal, say law experts.

    He’s so clever!

  56. Bring Back CL's blog says:

    CL should have been listening to RN this morning.
    Gilly quietly answered those queries. Not dead at all.

    I am somewhat surprised at the reaction after all there is no change.

    They are simply putting all the functions together to gain some synergies.
    Very private enterprise really except those synergies rarely appear.

    Still I would have thought a one-stop shop is just what Business would/should want.

  57. C.L. says:

    When the Coalition does it, Homer whines about “centralisation”. When Labor does it, it’s a “one stop shop”.

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