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Apr 3, 2013

Yes, Rupert, racism is disgraceful — tell your newspapers

Rupert Murdoch has attacked Labor for being racist and portrayed himself as an immigration advocate. Does that ring true, given the stories his newspapers run? Crikey intern Ben Westcott trawls through the archives.

Yesterday News Limited chairman Rupert Murdoch, who is visiting Australia, took aim at Labor for being racist while portraying himself as a champion of immigration.

“I think the way they’re talking about the 457 [visas] is disgraceful and racist. I’m a big one for encouraging immigration, I think that’s the future,” Murdoch told Sky News from Darwin in relation to the Gillard government’s criticism of 457 visas.

We thought we’d trawl the archives for stories from Murdoch’s News Ltd publications over the last three years, relating to immigration and race issues. Judge for yourself whether Murdoch’s anti-racism crusade rings true …

In May 2012, The Daily Telegraph ran this piece:

The Daily Telegraph, 22 May 2012

The poll beside the article said 67% of readers thought immigration should be completely banned. The paper followed up in October 2012 with a piece describing the diseases that asylum seekers carry:

The Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2012

Piers Akerman, a columnist for The Daily Telegraph, was once described by Murdoch as “one of News Limited’s greatest assets“. During controversial Dutch MP and anti-immigration activist Geert Wilders’ visit to Australia, Akerman published this:

The Daily Telegraph, 19 February 2013

Akerman wrote:

“His message cut through strongly — Islamists make poor migrants in Western liberal democracies. We need to hear his message and think about what our misguided multicultural policy has wrought here.” published this last week on some of the “perks” asylum seekers receive once they arrive (such as medical care):, 28 March 2013

The Herald Sun has also persistently and extensively followed the issue of asylum seekers, writing this in November 2011:

The Herald Sun, 29 November 2011

This year the paper raised concerns about educational requests by Muslim leaders:

The Herald Sun, 20 March 2013

The popular Herald Sun columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt has found himself in trouble in the past for remarks others deemed racially discriminatory. He was taken to court in 2010 over two blog posts — “It’s So Hip to Be Black” and “White is the New Black” — in which he claimed “fair Aborigines” were emphasising their indigenous heritage to obtain political clout.

In 2011 Bolt wrote “Keeping up appearances on immigration“, in which he discussed immigrants who commit crime:

The Herald Sun, 27 April 2011

Murdoch’s critics have often claimed he exercises strict editorial control over his publications. Given his remarks this week, and the examples above, have they got that one wrong?

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22 thoughts on “Yes, Rupert, racism is disgraceful — tell your newspapers

  1. Achmed

    I am still bewildered how anyone can claim that a review of the use of 457 visas to ensure the system is not being rorted by employers and that the employers are employing qualified Aussies and employing 457 Visa workers for what is intended is in anyway racist.
    A desperate attempt by using the “race” card to stifle debate and protect the employers who are misusing/rorting the 457 visa system

  2. klewso

    So you’re asking “Is what Rupert says for public consumption (and appearances), and what Rupert does are the same thing?”?

  3. klewso

    So what line does Murdoch push in public re “Climate Change”, and what barrow does his press push?

  4. Matthew of Canberra

    Just breathtaking.

    There must have, surely, been a discussion on the plane with a media adviser which went something like

    “Rupert, there’s just no way you’re going to get away with that – you’ll be laughed out of town”

    “Just watch me”

  5. shepherdmarilyn

    Achmed, it is racist because Gillard was talking about the workers who are largely brown when she should have been talking about the employers who do the rorting.

  6. Matthew of Canberra

    “is in anyway racist.”

    Even if it was an outright crack-down, it’s still a stretch to claim it’s anything to do with “racism”. It’s protectionist, sure. But I don’t see where anyone (at least in the ALP) is expressing a view on what “sort” of people get should approvals.

  7. MJPC

    Rupert is towing the political line in his newspapers, for the consumption of the great unwashed. For his big end of town buddies he is all for immigration, the less educated the better as they are the slaves of the future in an Australia which the LNP will seek to create a working poor.
    At any rate why is the government taking any notice of Rupert, is is an american.

  8. Microseris

    Given the content of his papers, the only reasonable explanation is dementia.

  9. Jeff Allen

    What? Rupert an Australian? I thought he left for (tax) pastures greener (until his mate Little Johnny ammended the capital gains tax legislation so he could buy and sell media operations in Australia without troubling himself with triffling taxes…)
    What right does he have to come over here and say ANYTHING let alone be critical? Just becasue he decides who will run the country, doesn’t give him the right to criticise it!

  10. Andybob

    Ben I trust you had your tongue firmly in your cheek with the closing question to your article. Rupert’s editors have nightmares about falling out of step with the great man, but this latest thought bubble for public consumption will not result in a change of coverage at all.