Whoring for Murpack

Writing in today’s SMH, someone named Peter Bartlett reckons diversity is overrated when it comes to media ownership. “Synergies” are far more important:

To ensure a high standard of media requires high quality people and players, providing resources to investigate and follow up news, and able to weather cyclical storms. In any environment, after cross-media and foreign restrictions are lifted, obvious synergies between television, radio or print would result in a market of at least four providers of significant-scale media services to the public: three commercial media consortiums and the public broadcasting services.

But where would three (as opposed to two) large commercial consortia emerge from if cross-media and foreign ownership rules were relaxed? Wouldn’t Packer just buy Fairfax and Murdoch the Seven Network? That wouldn’t leave enough non-Murpack media outlets to form a third consortium of any significance.

And what of the proposition that size and resources create “synergies” that benefit the public? Murdoch is already one of the world’s largest media companies. It already controls 80% of Australian print media and has a dominant position in pay TV. Is the Murdoch press a bastion of high quality investigative journalism and a wide range of challenging opinion punditry? Does Foxtel produce quality first-run drama and innovative state-of-the-art programming? No?

Then how come this Peter Bartlett bloke thinks more of the same would be good for the consumer? It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that he’s a senior partner of Kerry Packer’s lawyers Minter Ellison, could it?

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

Does Foxtel produce quality first-run drama and innovative state-of-the-art programming? No?

You mean like current Fox Dramas such as 24, North Shore, The O.C., or previous Dramas on Fox like Party of Five (1994-2000), Sliders (1995-2000), 21 Jump Street (1987-1991), The X-Files (1993-2002,)Ally McBeal (1997-2002), Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-2000), Dark Angel (2000-2002), Melrose Place (1992-1999), Millennium (1996-1999) or New York Undercover (1994-1998)?

Not to mention Fox’s comedy line-up featuring King of the Hill, Malcolm in the Middle, The Simpsons, That ’70s Show, Futurama (1999-2003), In Living Color (1990-1994) and Married… with Children (1987-1997).

Yeah you’re right. Apart from producing about 10 of the most popular dramas worldwide and the world’s single most watched show in history (The Simpsons), single-handedly reviving the TV sci-fi genre with “The X-Files” what has Fox ever done for us?

Have you ever watched any of those shows Ken? Let me guess, they’re either of poor quality or mindless drivel, not worth mentioning in the grand scheme of things. One episode of Four Corners has more value than all of Fox’s lineup put together, right?

zoot
zoot
2022 years ago

Yes Yobbo that’s what Fox has produced. I think in the context of Ken’s argument you should tell us what Foxtel has produced.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Sam

The programs you listed are American ones made by Fox in the US. I’m talking about Foxtel the Australian pay TV operator. What shows does it make besides a couple of cheap talking head chat programs? If Murdoch bought Seven and Packer bought fairfax, what we’d get is not only a further concentration of ownership but a further narrowing of program choice. No doubt you’re right that a Murdoch-owned Seven would end up repackaging Simpsons, Malcolm etc, but so what? We won’t get synergies that lead to better programming choice. The only synergies will be the ones that help Rupert and Kerry to make more money by controlling everything.

I must say I completely fail to comprehend how anyone can be sanguine about the prospect of Australian media being totally dominated by just two men. Few things could be more of a threat to individual freedoms, and yet you claim to be a libertarian.

chico o'farrill
chico o'farrill
2022 years ago

Some of the greatest TV ever made in that list, no doubt. But they were made in the days before “synergy” became the buzzword. Take a look at contemporary productions, it’s a very different story.

A company’s ability to “synergize” is directly opposed to its ability to “create”. The word is so flipping Year 2000, I can’t believe people still get away with it. Let’s see, Enron was all about synergy, and I bet Worldcom was as well. There’s no doubt Telstra as its lost a bundle since IPO has been synergy-heavy.

Any intersted party seeing the word “synergy” show up on company communications should be wary. Anyone reading “obvious synergies” should grab what’s important, and head for the hills!

Spiros
Spiros
2022 years ago

Foxtel produces Foxsports. What more can you ask for?

But seriously, all is not necessarily lost. The ACCC might stop Murpack owning everything, at least to judge by Graeme Samuel’s recent comments.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

Ken: You are correct to say that Murdoch buying Seven wouldn’t really result in any great renaissance in the Australian TV industry. That isn’t really Murdoch’s fault though, is it? The fault lies entirely with the Australian government for refusing to allow more than three commercial free to air networks. Opening up the spectrum would do much more to help.

As to what “Foxtel” has produced, firstly I don’t see how you can make a distinction between Foxtel and Fox in the US. They are part of the same company, no? Secondly, Foxtel has brought a great deal of programming to Australian pay TV that was previously never available (like Discovery Channel, Sci-Fi Channel, blah blah, I’ve been through all this many many times before).

There are hundreds of shows on Fox that have never been seen on Australian free-to-air TV. But you wouldn’t know, since you don’t have it or care to have it.

In this respect I don’t see how this is any different from Newspapers who run stories from wire services like AAP and Reuters.

Foxtel is no different to the free-to-air services in that it buys more of its content than it produces themselves. Even channels like 7,9,10 don’t produce much of what they broadcast on their own. Really only the news and current affairs shows are produced in-house (like Foxtel). Drama and comedy programs are outsourced to contractors like Southern Star and the FFC. This is the way the business works.

Again it’s nice to see your argument rounded off with an ad hominem attack on me Ken. Keep checking under the bed for corporate shills if it makes you happy.

Rupert Murdoch is not a threat to anyone’s freedom and it’s ridiculous and paranoid to say otherwise. No matter how many newspapers or television stations he owns, as long as it is legal to begin a new one then nobody’s freedom is under any threat.

Would a Packer buyout of Fairfax result in the systematic murder of all their journalists and editors? No? Then what is to stop them starting a new paper and taking their existing readership with them? Oh, that’s right – nothing.

Even with the near domination of Murdoch of the existing newspaper industry, brave dissenters like yourself still refuse to swallow their propaganda. It seems that freedom isn’t really under threat. Or is it a case of you and your readers being smarter than the general population and therefore more able to see through their lies?

rupert
rupert
2022 years ago

as long as it is legal to begin a new one then nobody’s freedom is under any threat.

One of the most ignorant/naive statements ever to grace the blogosphere. If it was in fact true, there would be no incentive for Murdoch to buy another existing newspaper. There’s a real world out there, in case no-one else has noticed. Dream on if you like, but don’t place all your trust in the fairies at the bottom of the garden Yobbo (apt name!).

yobbo
2022 years ago

I see. I thought the incentive to buy another paper was to “make money” rather than to enslave the people of Australia as part of a wider plan of world domination. But then I’m ignorant and naive.

rupert
rupert
2022 years ago

A willing apologist for wealthy oligopolists becoming wealthier and more oligopolist. Yobbo is a moron or a groveling tool for his betters.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Sam

I apologise for the ad hom comment about your only ostensibly being a libertarian. You may well be right that opening up the free-to-air spectrum and allowing as many new entrants as there is bandwidth would fix the problem. But that isn’t what Howard is proposing. He’s proposing a much more limited form of “deregulation” which is carefully calculated to deliver an effectively complete duopoly to just two men.

It just isn’t the case that a half-baked deregulation of this sort is somehow better than the status quo. Any rational evaluation leads to the conclusion that it will be worse. So you should be opposing it, and arguing vehemently that nothing short of complete deregulation (including freeing up the free-to-air TV spectrum) is acceptable.

I would support that position. I’m not a doctrinaire social democrat or “regulationist”. My default position is one that rejects any rigid ideology and attempts to evaluate any policy on its utilitarian merits. Allowing people to own two rather than three media types in any market, and abolishing foreign ownership rules (except global FIRB ones), given the current ownership pattern in Autralia, is a policy set for which a utilitarian evaluation leads to the conclusion that it’s a bad idea, that will merely entrench the dominance of Murpack. So it should be opposed. That doesn’t require you to support the status quo, or any “regulationist” solution.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

But even if you did open up the free-to-air TV spectrum, you’d still need stronger anti-monopoly laws than Australian currently has (generally, not just in relation to media). One of the things history teaches about capitalism is that it tends towards monopoly, and that monopoly then negates many if not most of the efficiency and freedom benefits of competitive capitalism.

There isn’t any obvious attraction in being a libertarian who hates being ruled by bureaucratic but democratically elected governments, but is perfectly relaxed about being ruled by an unelected ruthless billionaire tycoon who is beyond influence let alone popular control. That’s really what I meant by the comment you construed as ad hominem, and I don’t resile from it.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

“Would a Packer buyout of Fairfax result in the systematic murder of all their journalists and editors? No? Then what is to stop them starting a new paper and taking their existing readership with them? Oh, that’s right – nothing.”

There are huge barriers to entry into the print newspaper market (although much less so if you go solely Internet-based). You need a vast printing and distribution network, large premises and staff (it’s a labour-intensive industry), and an advertising base (or proven circulation figures so advertisers will pay for space).

All that costs big money. Way back in the mid-1980s Peter Isaacson (no pauper himself) tried to start a Sunday newspaper in Darwin. Murdoch had until then been the sole newspaper proprietor, and had never bothered with starting a Sunday paper. However, as soon as he heard Isaacson was about to start one, Murdoch rushed his own Sunday paper onto the streets. He bankrolled his local NT subsidiary with a war-chest rumoured to have been up to 5 million dollars. They delivered the Murdoch Sunday paper into every home in Darwin free of charge for six months, and went round every advertiser in the isaacson Sunday paper and offered them the same space in the Murdoch paper for half the price. Isaacson tried to compete, but just didn’t have long enough pockets.

Do you seriously think any group of existing journalists and editors would have the money to withstand that sort of ruthless financial pressure? If you do, you’re living in Disneyland. The above story is just part of the picture of why capitalism tends to monopoly, and why strong anti-monopoly laws are crucial to a functioning capitalist economy.

zoot
zoot
2022 years ago

“Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one” – AJ Liebling

mark
2022 years ago

Sometimes I wonder if the defence of such helpless little creatures as McDonald’s or Murpack is because they’re actually worth defending, or because you take umbrage at rabid, merciless left-wing bullies like Ken here. “If the lefties dislike it it must be good” becomes “if they don’t love it, they must be lefties” becomes “they suck!”.

FOX and FOXTel already exist. If Murdoch continues to be blocked from carving himself a bigger piece of our media pie, we will not be missing anything. Murdoch and Packer won’t be losing anything, either, unless you consider giving two would-be monopolists the chance to go from megafuckingrich to megamegafuckingrich something worth sacrificing a vital part of Australia for. Further, by allowing Murpack to expand their empires by buying previously independent outlets, we will not gain anything.

Lots of risk for no return, excepting the possible “reward” of having a great many people you’ve set yourself up against grinding their teeth.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

There are huge barriers to entry into the print newspaper market (although much less so if you go solely Internet-based). You need a vast printing and distribution network, large premises and staff (it’s a labour-intensive industry), and an advertising base (or proven circulation figures so advertisers will pay for space).

Ken, Green Left Weekly has managed to put out a weekly newspaper without fail since 1990 despite not having any of the things you mentioned as required.

It’s true to say that they aren’t going to be billionaires any time soon, but I doubt there’s much that Packer or Murdoch could do to shut down their little operation. The dissenting opinion doesn’t have to be as prominent as the mainstream – people who want to find it will do so, as do the people who find our blogs.

Saying that Murdoch and Packer would have a “monopoly” on newspapers is like saying that Coke and Pepsi have a monopoly on soft drink – it’s simply not true. They may have something like 98.5% of the world market share between them (a figure which I just plucked out of my arse), but that’s not a monopoly or even a duopoly.

The only true monopolies (or duopolies) are the ones that are enforced by legislation – like the airline industry, or the television industry, the wheat board and so on.

Despite Coca-Cola’s dominant share of the soft-drink market in WA, I could still make some ginger beer and sell it in a stall on the side of the road.

This sort of thing happens more freqently than you would imagine, even in industries typically thought of as monopolistic (like the Australian brewing industry – little creatures pale ale, anyone?).

You seem to be of the opinion that any competitor to the existing giants would have to start on the same scale to succeed. That’s patently false – Richard Branson started Virgin Records by signing the boyfriend of a girl he saw singing in a pub, that guy’s name was Mike Oldfield and for a long period of time he was Virgin’s only signed artist.

As for the television laws – you are right that the present situation is pretty dire, and that allowing Murdoch to buy ch. 7 wouldn’t do much to help it. However, I don’t see how Murdoch buying 7 would be the death of democracy in the country.

It’d just be more of the same in my opinion – although Rupert might actually turn channel 7 around a bit. I don’t really care if Murdoch or Stokes owns the network as long as the programming is good.

Don’t forget that network television proprieters have to compete with substitute goods like everyone else. If you don’t like what’s on TV, you can rent a video, surf the internet or read a book. Rupert isn’t going to buy channel 7 and use it as a propaganda tool because viewers would simply switch off if he did.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

Oh, and Rupert, do you have anything to contribute other than calling me names? If not, kindly fuck off.

saint
2022 years ago

“One of the things history teaches about capitalism is that it tends towards monopoly”

Yep, ask any successful businessman. It’s not about competing but eliminating the competition.

Otherwise we would be progressively loosening our anti-trust laws.

On a more serious note. I have always felt we have very little competition here say vis-a-vis even some of the smaller European countries. I wonder if we don’t get so much diversity and competition because we face the combination of isolation (from other industrialised) countries *and* small population/market. Any economist care to comment.

P.S. Look what happened to our airlines, and don’t tell me business travellers like me get much choice with Virgin’s routes and timetables.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

Let’s not forget here that the issue is the marketplace of ideas. Easy enough for us to tap away putting out opinions, but that does not make a democracy. That requires the huge amplifier of a proprietor or a national broadcaster to create genuine debate and support alternatives.

Our problem already is that the amplifier works badly to create the aforementioned debate. And in Britain, the amplifier – courtesy of Murdoch mostly – creates a relentless attack on public figures which feeds the base instincts of an audience. Oowah witchhunting.

What values do you want to dominate the media? You can’t actually write this problem off by accusing critics of elitism; at the end of the day you have to say our system degrades quality and will need more regulation or it will disappear completely.

See cable drive out free to air. See ads colonise cable. Ask yourself: Is this really quality programming I am watching? Yes, cable in the US creates quality drama – but only there where the market is so huge, and only in drama. I tell you, cable is killing documentaries. Just check what Discovery thinks is a wildlife doc. Chomp chomp.

mark
2022 years ago

That’d be why nobody watches FOXNews in the USA, Sam?

Martin Pike
2022 years ago

Yobbo, you say

“Rupert Murdoch is not a threat to anyone’s freedom and it’s ridiculous and paranoid to say otherwise”

Really? You stupid boy. Whats this about then:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/1998/int/980309/business.the_murdoch_chi9.html

Martin Pike
2022 years ago

Murdoch blocks free expression, lesson 101 (extracts, full story linked above):

“…sudden decision by HarperCollins U.K.–a subsidiary of Murdoch’s News Corporation–to dump East and West, a memoir by former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten that offers up a frank and often unflattering assessment of the Chinese government… Proffitt, one of Britain’s top nonfiction editors who has worked with Simon Schama, Frank McCourt and Doris Lessing, was so excited by what he read that he wrote Patten: “I don’t think I have ever read a book by any modern politician which is so lucid or engrossing or which has quickened my blood so frequently.” This description is confirmed by Peter Bernstein, publisher of Times Books. “He recounts in great detail and with great style and verve his dealings with the Chinese,” HarperCollins was so excited..Patten was toasted “effusively”..

But a more important person, it turns out, was less than enthusiastic…A statement.. by News Corporation read in part: “Rupert Murdoch at no time tried to change Patten’s book. From the start, however, he expressed dissatisfaction about the decision to publish it. He made his view clear to HarperCollins when he first learned the book had been commissioned”…

It was not the first time Murdoch, who plans to do major business in China, has deferred to Beijing. In 1994, he removed the British Broadcasting Corporation from his STAR satellite system’s offerings to China…Murdoch told his biographer, William Shawcross, “We said in order to get in there and get accepted, we’ll cut the BBC out.”

On Feb. 5, his superiors told Proffitt to drop the book and threatened dismissal if he breached HarperCollins’ confidentiality.”

He is a disgusting robber barron, and there’s plenty of proof.

yobbo
2022 years ago

And then I suppose he used his powers to convince every major book publisher in the world to do the same, right?

Publishing houses reject books all the time for all sorts of reasons, dipshit. It’s not violation of anyone’s freedom to do so. Do you even know what the fucking word means? Fancy calling me stupid.

See look, Martin, here’s your book. Despite Mr Murdoch’s best efforts, free expression continued on its merry way. Capitalism wins again!

Alan Green
2022 years ago

This story on Media Watch yesterday shows exactly how a media company company can silently ignore inconvenient news. I can’t imagine that reducing the diversity of media ownership will give us better journalism.

saint
2022 years ago

In tonight’s story on Murdoch pulling out his headquarters from Adelaide, a media analyst commented along the lines (correct me anyone as I didn’t pay close attention) that the Murdoch press is not an opinion leader but an opinion follower. If Murdoch thinks public opinion is swinging one way, he promotes it, endorses it, reinforces it (and perhaps shuts out dissenting views) in the pure pursuit of profit.

saint
2022 years ago

Probably a fair assessment. And another reason perahps, why I too can’t imagine that reducing the diversity of media ownership will give us better journalism. Or more diverse views.
Just more of the same.

Nick
Nick
2022 years ago

Fistly, I’ve had Foxtel for years & can’t recall the Sci-Fi Channel being a part of it except for a few measly tidbits thrown our way on late night TV1. An American friend of mine often sympathizes with me that he can watch many a fantasy/sci-fi show that i can’t…sure we’ll get a few of the shows sometime down the road when the computer effects etc. look ancient & the plots have less topical relevance…when the masters of Foxtel decide we are worthy…& if Foxtel is so brill & looking after our lust for diverse entertainment then how come we still haven’t been bestowed with the likes of “Taken’ (alien abduction series), Carnivale (myth, superstition & reality collide during the Depression years), Enterprise (Series 1-3…nought on Foxtel cause their still milking the previous Star Trek series)…gimme a break!…i enjoy aspects of Foxtel but the selection we are offered up here is 2nd rate compared to the States…)

Still, all this is fairly inconsequential”

yobbo
2022 years ago

Thanks for the ridiculously long post on how Fox News is biased to the right. This is not only obvious to anyone, but also has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion. But hey, at least you gave your fingers a workout.

P.S. The reason you never hear anything good about Greenpeace or PETA is because there’s nothing good about them.

chico o'farrill
chico o'farrill
2022 years ago

Nice example of “synergy” Alan.

If there’s uncomfortable news happening within one media portal, and owner can effectively quash the issue by not allowing it to flow through to his other portals. Of course, and owner would never do this. But he may employ phenomenally well-paid senior management to do so. He is free to do so.

And customers are free to believe that they are receiving accurate and unbiased news. Of course, they are free to believe the opposite too.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Sam

I’m at a loss to know how you can argue that FoxNews’ evident blatant right wing bias (which you concede) is completely irrelevant to this argument. It might not be crucially important in the US, because there are lots of newspapers, TV and cable networks, and Murdoch doesn’t control most of them. But here in Australia he owns 80% of the newspapers and effectively controls the main cable TV network. If he also owned one of the three free-to-air TV networks, the extent of his domination of what we all get to see and hear would be even more frigntening than it already is.

It’s certainly true that it’s possible to access information on the Internet, as we bloggers do, but for most people TV and newspapers are their only source of information. If all they get are the views of one man (or rather the news and views of which he approves and that suit his interests) then that is a truly frightening and unacceptable concentration of power in any democratic society. It isn’t freedom; it’s the antithesis of it.

Martin Pike
2022 years ago

The problem is Yobbo, you proudly ignorant cromagnon throwback, in THAt industry at THAt time there were sufficient competitors to pick up the book. However RWDB thugs like yourself have no objection to virtual or absolute monopolies forming under the Murdochs of the world.

The point is that he abused his power, and threatened freedom of speech, and so if that freedom of speech is not to be lost either:
(1) such unethical conduct needs to be blocked; OR
(2) antitrust and anti monopoly laws are used to restrain excessive domination of industries by too few people, and this is doubly important in certain industries, such as media.

I don’t object to Murdoch having a few blatantly right wing papers floating about, but I do object to him having a monopoly in much of Australia and blatantly pushing such views (which if you saw the shareholder meeting highlights you will see that he admits to doing).

Such laws under option (2) above are not antithetical to free trade economics, in fact they are called ‘golden straitjackets’ in recognition of the need for a certain amount of regulation to stop monopolies abusing their dominant position to stifle competition.

Mate, if you lived somewhere like the NT and there was a monopoly held by something akin to green left, and the worldwide company behind it bought out or undercut every attempt to raise another paper, you’d get pretty frustrated and I venture to suggest you’d wake up to yourself and agree that real freedom of expression doesn’t come from 1 simple old grub dictating the contents of editorials around the world.

ANd yes, he admitted to as much, RE the iraq war, to his shareholders.

yobbo
2022 years ago

I’m at a loss to know how you can argue that FoxNews’ evident blatant right wing bias (which you concede) is completely irrelevant to this argument.

It’s pretty simple, really. I think Fox News is a good example of Fox’s capacity as a company to fill a demand that nobody else had satisfied, and that’s why it is such a great success.

You think Fox News represents the attempts of one man to take over the world through the media. If you Murdoch buying 7 would result in 7 becoming a free-to-air version of Fox News, you’re insane.

But here in Australia he owns 80% of the newspapers and effectively controls the main cable TV network.

And yet Phillip Adams still gets a run in The Australian, BBC and CNN are run on his own Pay TV network, Mike Carlton hasn’t been shot, etc. etc.

The point is that he abused his power, and threatened freedom of speech, and so if that freedom of speech is not to be lost either

No, he didn’t. Freedom of speech does not include the right to have your books published. In fact Freedom of Speech has nothing to do with the actions of private business, only governments.

Besides which, Australians do not have a right to freedom of speech anyway, take a look at our anti-vilification laws sometime.

mark
2022 years ago

Back off, Martin. Sam’s a Libertarian, with all the unfortunate nonsense that implies. You’re a… whatever you are, with all the unfortunate nonsense that implies. We all have our weaknesses.

[Casts a sly look in Sam’s direction… nahh, he probably won’t bite. Then again, that might be less because of wisdom and more because of sulking?…]

Martin, you’ve let your argument float off into the wind while you concentrated on outrage at Murdoch being a bastard. Given that Sam doesn’t consider Murdoch such a bad bastard after all, and likely never would (see for reference: McDonald’s), this is not a fruitful line of attack.

Sam, nobody (including Martin, though it’s hard to tell) seriously believes Murdoch would turn 7 into FOXNews. For one thing, we’re a much more liberal country than America, and would have far less tolerance for FOXNews’ bullshit than the yanks do. However, more and more potential news sources being used solely for Murdoch’s POV can never be a Good Thing, and it doesn’t matter that most programming will be More of the Same Crap, or that people like Phillip Adams are occasionally let out to attempt an ineffectual bleat or two as a sop to editorial independence.

The only way one could see someone monopolising news sources as a Good Thing is if they were impressed by the fact lefties don’t want them to; this is not exactly Cro-Magnon, but it is Very Sad.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Mark

Your attempt to tak the heat out of the discussion is admirable, but I think you’re mischaracterising Sam’s position as well. I assume Sam’s position to be the normal neoliberal one that minimally regulated free markets will produce the best outcomes and the greatest choice in the long run. I wonder whether Sam accepts the proposition that capitalism without strong anti-trust laws leads to monopoly?? I think that’s really the key to this argument. If Sam can only argue that it won’t be an absolute monopoly because people will still have room to publish noprofit giveaways like Green Left Weekly, or publish something for free on the Internet, and that the monopolist will exercise his control benevolently (Seven won’t really change much), then his argument will be seen by most as monumentally unconvincing.

Why does it nevertheless convince Sam himself? You’d have to ask him, but I suspect it has more to do with quasi-religious faith in libertarian prescriptions than with a perverse dislike of anything that lefties advocate. If you ever had the experience of arguing with a stubborn old commo, you’d know what I mean. Even if you argued them into a corner where they couldn’t justify their position rationally, they still adhered to it grimly. They still KNEW they were right, and believed that smarter marxists than they would be able to explain why. Their ideology was their identity. Maybe that’s true for all of us to an extent.

Martin Pike
2022 years ago

Yeah, I’m not sure that my points were really responded to. I’m not concentrating on him being a bastard, I’m referring to specifics. I guess it is a difference of opinion as to whether a proprietor reaching down and overriding the decisions of his own editors and publishers and clearly canning a book so he can kiss the arse of a dictatorship constitutes any limit on freedom of speech. Yobbo’s attempt to run a rather pithy ‘plan B’ argument based on the fact that he can’t go up and racially abuse someone in Australia suggests he concedes Murdoch’s move is pretty indefensible.

My point was not to unilaterally state that he should be shot and all his wealth given to charity- I actually put an argument that I believe is consistent with market economics, that it only becomes an issue when excess market domination by one (or two or three with the same mindset) occurs.

It is pretty postmodern to assert that there is no objective standard allowing his actions canning the book to be described as unethical, pretty mind blowing actually. This sort of refusal to admit the worst excesses of open trade pushes people away from it, and self-satisfying positions taken by the likes of Yob will only in the long term damage trade liberalisation and reverse the process.

Nick
Nick
2022 years ago

lol…Yobbo mate, thanx for worryin’ ’bout the health of my fingers…i try to live up to the adage, use it or lose it’

hey, what determines whether a post is ‘ridiculously long’ & ‘seriously’ long?…:)

now, you reckon the Right-Wing bias of Fox News is ‘obvious to anyone’…i assume you mean ‘anyone’ who watches it? fair enough…sorta…but if this is the case, then how come Rupert & his mates keep refuting it. Mr. M was recently caught on vid stating that his channel was more ‘fair & balanced’ than any other. Is he in denial? Surely not?

Still, i’ll give you the lobby when it comes to ‘the benefit of the doubt’. Let’s run with yer argument…which ya appear to be statin’ at least…that anything that is so bleedin’ obvious shouldn’t be worthy of discussion…right? So if someone kills a chook, a porker, a dog, a cow, a whale, it’s obvious (i guess depending on yer cultural bias) that such an act is cruel, barbaric at the least painful…crikey, could ya imagine runnin’ for it with a big bugger of a harpoon stickin’ out of yer groin…or back…ouch! So, if it’s so bleedin’ obvious to ‘anyone’ that this action is pretty crap in the extreme…then should we assume that you find it unworthy of discussion/debate?

hmmm…let’s move on, cause i’m worried i’ve been rude & basted you with a brush you don’t deserve…

i sorta wonder why you decided to play reductionist when it came to PETA & GreenPeace…i rolled ’bout all nite…contemplatin’…queryin’ yer motivations…moments of nostalgia/past entered my dreams like a Libertarian’s wet dream of why not to vote…who can ya trust, who speaks the true speak?…i asked meself as i chomped on a Harvey’s burger of the long lost past, soon to be burger kronig & old man macdonald…the radio blurted out that Elvis had just died (no mention of the shitter/throne he slumped over, the bucket load of drugs involved)…me mates & i freaked…thinkin’ bout the previous famous corpses layin’ ’bout our short history…kennedy’s, luther king, morrison, hendrix, pearl…we got steamed, paranoid, adrenalised…we rode home in our noxious lead blastin’ cruiser, Kiss raisin’ the roof of detroit…our neighbour’s rock city…& as blood brothers promised to the heavens & our posse we would never, never again believe the f’ news, the facts were all BS…elvis was killed, had to be…

so, what’s this got to do with your views, PETA & GreenPeace…almost search me…but i know i woulda screamed outa the car that nite that any animal luvin, enviro-protectin’ hairball was a pussy compared to the the passion, the determination, the righteousness we felt at the moment…all of 15 goin’ on 16…bar the driver P.

was only a few weeks later my mates/buds & i were sittin’ on the stairs out front of my parent’s home in TO…& a squirrel made a run for it across the road & headed up the ‘lectricity pole…immediately a couple of young ‘prove their tuff its’ start peltin’ the wee thing with stones…it froze, lettin’ go of the chestnut in it’s teeth, tail twitchin’…my mates & i were cool…we watched, observed in silence…the stones started hittin’ close to their target…we watched…then…my Dad, my enemy, my nemesis, the authoritarian of all authoritarians in my mind, ripped outa the screen door & at the top of the stairs boomed out ‘move on ya little bastards!!!’…then puffed out his chest & strode slowly towards the culprits. They raced for their lives…instead of pursuin’ them he walked towards the pole & started ‘cheepin’…whisperin’ ‘your safe now, off ya go little one’…& waited there beneath the ‘lectricity pole like Sampson until the squirrel made it’s escape. Then my Dad turned back, gave me a short glance & retreated back to his kingdom. A place that had suddenly become more than a dictator’s preserve to me, a place i wanted to be worthy to live in…it took me years to realise that tho.

Anyhow Yobbo, i guess your blatantly reductionist & apparently ‘off the cuff’ comments re: those organisations, was less leaning towards the ‘black & white’ judgementalism of the imperial talkbackers & right-wing bomb throwers…& more based on evidence & experience…fair enuff…again…so i can only surmise then that you know of organisations that have assisted the cause of animal welfare & enviro protection & preservation than GreenPeace & PETA mucho better than them…how ’bouts fillin’ us in…i’d ‘preciate it somethin’ chronic…

ok, now let’s get to the issue of Foxtel etc…rereadin’ my post i’m certain that i referred to Foxtel & Sky News on a few occasions…perhaps ya were in a rush…a rush to judgement?…sound like any Presidents?

As for Ch.7…what a red herring…if any channel is goin’ to be come the next purveyor/promoter of all things MurFox News it’ll be Sky News…but i’m sure ya know that already…right?…:)

and lastly…yea, i’ve had my cathartic fer the nite…in respect to yer conjecture that my critique of Fox News was nuthin’ more than irrelevant…in yer words ‘has nothing to do with the discussion’…i’m confident that Ken & other multi-wise contributors have made a concise & effective case for its relevance…but TRUST ME…i’m quite willin’ to elaborate/expand…

have a goodie yobbo!!!!