This would be the next post for the editors’ evaluation. The following taken from Ad’s piece last week (without photos):
In a fair contest, Kevin Rudd and the Labor team would have been more than a match for Tony Abbott and the Coalition team. But it was not a fair contest. From the very beginning of the election campaign Rupert Murdoch marshalled his formidable forces in support of Abbott while he waged a barefaced propaganda war against Rudd and Labor. When before have we witnessed such an onslaught?
Conscripted by Murdoch from his position of editor-in-chief of The New York Post, ‘Field Marshall’ Col Allan, known inside News Corporation as ‘Col Pot’, a reference to Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge genocidal dictator, was instructed by Murdoch to “go hard on Rudd, start from Sunday, and don’t back off”.
Allan soon got to work. His message to Murdoch’s editors was straightforward but brutal: “You have been going hard on Labor but now, with Rudd’s revival in the opinion polls, you have to go harder.” Indeed, they had been ‘going hard’ with vicious front pages since July: Captain Chaos, Wreck it Rudd, Hellhole Solution and Rudd’s Boat Show (referring to the PNG arrangement), Kev’s $733 million Bank Heist, Price of Labor, It’s a Ruddy Mess and Rudd’s Carr Wreck, when the Budget revision was released, and Island Hell referring to Manus Island.
The attack heightened with The Daily Telegraph’s: Finally, you now have the chance to…KICK THIS MOB OUT on Monday 5 August.
As Bruce Guthrie, who had a successful legal run in with Murdoch, so well recorded in his book Man Bites Murdoch, writes in his Brisbane Times article It’s on: Rudd gets the Col shoulder as Murdoch telegraphs his punches: “By Thursday he and the Telegraph editor, Paul ‘Boris’ Whittaker, had taken another shot at Rudd, casting him, Anthony Albanese and Craig Thomson as ”Thommo’s Heroes”, playing on the late 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes. By Friday, it was the turn of The Courier-Mail, the Brisbane tabloid turning Rudd and star candidate Peter Beattie into circus clowns.”Guthrie questioned Rudd’s wisdom in ‘taking on’ Murdoch: “What can he expect? First off, News does not play fair. And it’s not always troubled by the truth. The PM will be misquoted and misrepresented, photographed – or Photoshopped – any notion of balance abandoned.
“My case [his Supreme Court case against Murdoch for wrongful dismissal] taught me there are two kinds of truth in this world: what happened and what News Ltd says happened. And in Murdoch’s world his version trumps everything – given his clout and reach in this country, that can be a scary realisation. Rudd should also know he is not only taking on the Telegraph – he’s taking on the entire Murdoch empire.”