Saturday, October 20, 2007

Murdoch Media Chief Blasts Howard Government For Its War On Freedom Of Speech

News Limited CEO : "It's A Disgrace", Claims Freedom Of Speech More Restricted Now Than Any Other Time "In Living Memory"

In an extraordinary speech, Rupert Murdoch's key man down under, News Limited CEO John Hartigan, has attacked the Howard government for trying to shut down public debate and curtailing freedom of speech in Australia.

Hartigan said :
" freedom - the freedom of speech - is more restricted now than in living memory".

He believed the media enjoyed even less freedom than when, as editor of the Brisbane Sun, Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen tried to jail him.

Attorney General Philip Ruddock was "kidding" with his claim that "Freedom Of Information laws ensured all appropriate material is available to the public", Mr Hartigan said.

He said a current review of laws was so limited in its terms as to be "a disgrace".

"I believe Australians still care about their freedom and the value of great journalism.

"If you do too, fight like hell every inch of the way."

Interesting. When Fairfax reporter David Marr says the Howard government is curtailing freedom of speech in Australia, Murdoch media opinionists like Andrew Bolt go absolutely bonkers, call him hysterical and attack him for exaggeration.

But when his own boss echoes Marr and blasts the Howard government for curtailing freedom of speech?

Not a word from Bolt.

Hartigan's full speech can be read here.