Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Murdoch Journalist Denies Murdoch Media Conspiracy

Andrew Bolt : 'We All Love A Good Conspiracy'

Murdoch Explains How He Uses His Media Empire To Change And Shape Public Opinion

Herald Sun columnist, and blogger, Andrew Bolt rails today against the growing tide of claims that Rupert Murdoch (Bolt's boss) instructed his Australian media empire to go after John Howard because he refused to step down. And that Murdoch gave the double thumbs-up to Labor leader Kevin Rudd earlier in the year, and ever since, Murdoch's sprawl of national, state and city newspapers have been backing Rudd, if not totally, then with a blinding enthusiasm once reserved for John Howard.

But there is no conspiracy, Andrew Bolt claims, all Murdoch columnists and journalists are free-thinking and independent. They can write whatever they like :
Murdoch columnists simply write what they really think, reacting to events that are obvious to anyone with eyes to see and the courage to report.
This theory that Murdoch orders his writers to speak his own mind is peddled by many of the usual suspects, from radical propagandist John Pilger to RMIT's journalism graduates.
But Bolt's claims that Murdoch never "orders his writers to speak his mind" comes completely undone when you look at the May speech by Rupert himself where he clearly lays out his plans to use his worldwide media empire to convince the public that climate change "poses a clear, catastrophic threat" and that he can change the beliefs of hundreds of millions of people.

Not only does Murdoch openly admit to his plans to use his newspapers, cable TV and movie-making empire to change peoples' minds about the threat posed by climate change, he says his media will pump his message directly to its readers and viewers.

All the below quotes from Murdoch's speech can be viewed in the context of how his vast Australian newspaper chain has reflected and precision-focused his desire to see Howard gone and Rudd installed in the prime minister's office :
"We need to reach them in a sustained way. To weave this issue into our content-- make it dramatic, make it vivid, even sometimes make it fun. We want to inspire people to change their behavior.

"The challenge is to revolutionize the message.

"We need to do what our company does best: make this issue exciting. Tell the story in a new way.

"Now... there are limits to how far we can push this issue in our content.

"...we can change the way the public thinks about these issues..."
That's exactly what Sydney's Daily Telegraph in particular has been doing. Changing the public mind on how they view John Howard, not necessarily how they view Kevin Rudd. Of course there will be the throwaway columnists hammering Rudd, but that's not where the true influence and change induced by a concentrated media campaign matters the most.

The vast majority of newspaper readers take in the headline and the photograph of the newspapers they buy, and then they might read the intro. Maybe. Most newspapers go unread by their readers. They glance at photographs and headlines and the first few paragraphs. And in Murdoch's daily tabloids, the use of headlines and photographs have consistently, and quite obviously, torn apart and aimed to discredit the once impenetrable image of John Howard they've carefully built up, stone by stone, over the past decade.

Ever since Murdoch's May speech marking climate change as a key issue for promotion through his media empire, Andrew Bolt has quieted his criticism and once hysterical attacks on those who promote the fight against global warming. Sure, he'll still flog Tim Flannery and Al Gore with a wet lilly, but he's pulled back from branding all believers in global warming as being mentally defective and believers of "the most superstitious pagan faith of all".

We go through how Murdoch betrayed Andrew Bolt on global warming in The Changing Climate Of Andrew Bolt here.

In the intro to Bolt's 'No Conspiracy Conspiracy' piece, this is written :
We all love a good conspiracy theory, but anyone who thinks opinion writers are told what to write by Murdoch is delusional.
But anyone who thinks an established and highly paid Murdoch opinionst, particularly one as compromised as Bolt, is going to even touch on the truth about about Murdoch's 'hands-off but guiding hand' approach to the editorial content of his newspapers is probably delusional enough to believe what Bolt is writing.

What isn't delusional is that moderators are heavily censoring comments to Bolt's piece, dismissing any Murdoch conspiracy. And the censorship is going down at both the front page and on Bolt's blog. Both avenues of comment have been open all day and only attracted a measly 28 comments, combined, by 1pm.

There may well be a conspiracy, but don't expect Andrew Bolt to be your Oliver Stone.

Murdoch Journalists Warns Howard Government About Negative Column Before She Even Finishes Writing It

The Changing Climate Of Andrew Bolt

Andrew Bolt Admits Defeat On Global Warming : "I've Done My Dash"

Back In The Gutter Where He Belongs