The Wall Street Journal profile on Rupert Murdoch featured in yesterday’s Crikey has proved a mine of fascinating information. No more so than in this paragraph:
Occasionally, he penned stories for his papers. In 1976, he wrote what he says was a “terrific scoop” for The Australian, News Corp’s national paper, about an Iraqi loan scandal involving a former Australian prime minister, Gough Whitlam. His story carried the byline “a special correspondent,” without his name. Mr Murdoch says that among his sources was another politician who later became prime minister. The story sparked an uproar among Mr Whitlam’s supporters, who arranged a boycott of the paper that cost it thousands of readers. The lost circulation “took a long time to get back,” Mr Murdoch says.
Murdoch clearly enjoyed recalling one of his most controversial — and openly interventionist — forays to the coal face of Australian journalism.
But who was his source? Which politician, who later became PM, would have had entree into the deepest and most secret inner workings of the ALP of 1976? Which politician, later a prime minister, would have been outraged at ALP dealings with Arab-world financiers? Which politician, and later PM, would have been so sympathetic to the Israeli cause that he would have been prepared to damage his own party in order to sink the dealings between Whitlam and Iraq? Which politician, later PM, would have leaked to Rupert Murdoch?
Rupert should come clean.
Crikey will not publish on Monday, the Queen’s Birthday holiday.
Have a happy day, Ma’am. We’ll be back in your inbox on Tuesday.