Thursday, May 22, 2014

Murdoch's Daily Telegraph Exploits War Heroes To Demonise Disabled

By Darryl Mason

So desperate is Rupert Murdoch's Daily Telegraph to distract from the chaos and madness of their beloved Abbott prime ministership, they're now willing to insult thousands of disability support pensioners, and use injured war veterans to do so.

The tactic is old, cliched and dangerous in the extreme: try to turn public anger on the poor and helpless so they have less energy to rage against a government that's already plummeting in the polls.

Here's the disgusting front page of Rupert Murdoch's Daily Telegraph today:

It should be noted that the WW2 image on the right is copyrighted by the Australian War Memorial, so it can't be used in political campaigns or advertising. A more gruesomely foul commercial use of this image (to sell papers) has never been seen in Australia. The image on the left of people queuing is a stock image, and it's of able-bodied Americans, not 'disabled slackers'. The inherent deceit is jaw-dropping.

Incredibly, this 'More Disabled Pensioners Than Veterans Injured In War' bullshit isn't a new story. It's completely recycled from this Daily Telegraph 2011 story:

It also happens to be a complete lie. Of the most disgusting kind. The numbers of people signing onto the disability pension, as a percentage of population is not rising. Proof:

Graph via @TomWestland

Seriously, what kind of fucked-up people use injured war veterans to demonise disabled people? It's incomprehensible.

Also interesting that PM Abbott has defunded the disability discrimination commissioner, allowing the Daily Telegraph to viciously target disabled pensioners with appalling front pages like the above, and face far less retribution or accountability:
Five members of the Australian Human Rights Commission have lashed the government for ripping $1.7 million out of the organisation and defunding the disability discrimination commissioner role.

The commissioners' show of unity came as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten personally intervened in the matter on Tuesday by writing to Prime Minister Tony Abbott urging him to reconsider the decision.

Mr Shorten accused Mr Abbott of distorted priorities for axing the disability discrimination commissioner position after appointing former Liberal Party member Tim Wilson to a new $389,000-a-year ''freedom commissioner'' post last year.

Daily Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker is ultimately responsible for that gruesome and lie-soaked front page. He also happens to be a good friend of PM Abbott. Here they are laughing it up over drinks on the night of the 2014 Budget, which Whittaker's Telegraph has given stunningly-biased levels of support and spin:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and close friend Paul Whittaker, editor of the Daily Telegraph

The DT's shit-kicking of the poor has been ramping up since Abbott was elected PM last September. This is a recent example of what they think of their readership:

A tweep has today altered the Daily Telegraph's masthead for accuracy purposes:

The Daily Telegraph's ongoing attacks on the poor, 'dole bludgers' and the disabled has come at a great cost. The DT's circulation has plunged by more than 60,000 in just two years. It is losing thousands of readers a week. People are literally abandoning the newspaper, which used to be the second most read in Australia.

They can hardly be blamed for doing so.

And on a personal note, my older sister is on the disability support pension, she's also been employed at a disabled workshop for four decades, working full-time, earning a tiny income to supplement her pension. SHE IS NO SLACKER  She also buys the Daily Telegraph for the train ride to work. Well, she did.

The Daily Telegraph has insulted her and all the disabled people who work so hard alongside her. Plus war veterans! What the hell is wrong with these people. It's just appalling, absolutely appalling.

As a former journalist, and newspaper editor, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I hope it's true that Western Sydney is boycotting the Daily Telegraph and its advertisers. Hopefully the financial punishment will wake them up they will will treat people with respect and stop this vicious, ongoing  demonisation of the poor and disabled of Sydney and NSW.\

UPDATE: That lie-soaked Daily Telegraph front page has been updated on Twitter. Much better, and far more truthful:
Image via

Great job.