In the news … November 2020

Comedy hour with Ita ABC and Scotty from marketing

24 November 2020: You’d have to be devoid of any sense of irony not to get a chuckle reading about Ita Buttrose’s defence of the ABC to a Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation audience, and Scott Morrison’s plea for understanding from China to an audience of the right wing UK think tank, British Policy Exchange.

What Buttrose said about intensifying ideological attacks on the ABC by Coalition MPs and apparatchiki is quite true.  And it should be a major concern to anyone who supports the Enlightenment values of Western civilization.  Freedom of the press is central to those values, but is being actively undermined by media magnates like Rupert Murdoch and Nine Entertainment chair Peter Costello, with laws permitting the most concentrated media ownership in the developed world don’t help either.

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The Murdoch doctrine: hail the ruinous orthodoxy


What do we owe a titan of international capitalism?  At the very least, to take what he says seriously.  Rupert Murdoch, in his speech at the Institute of Public Affairs 70th anniversary dinner (Melbourne, 4 April 2013)[1], does not make that easy. His method consists of caricaturing his imagined opponents, tilting at straw men, ignoring all contrary evidence, and then failing to explain his own philosophy with any clarity or detail.  Nonetheless, the claims he makes, however unsatisfactory in their expression, are important, all the more so as they represent a capitalist orthodoxy. They deserve to be treated as if the best case, rather than his case, had been made in their favour.[2]

Murdoch merits identification as the archetypal hero of Reaganomics and Thatcherism, the most obvious manifestations of a revolutionary shift in post-war Western political economy away from social conscience and responsibility, towards a harshly dog-eat-dog, monetised, solely economic conception of politics, society, and human aspirations.

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