Even after the staggeringly biased coverage News Corp Australia has dished up during this campaign, some things still manage to shock.
In the news pages of The Australian today, Nick Tabakoff and Michael Owen report on an “experiment by a media technologist” that found headlines on The Guardian and Fairfax websites are more biased than those in News Corp publications. Apparently this implies News Corp’s overall election coverage has been “neutral”.
As Paul Barry demonstrated in a blistering Media Watch takedown last night, that claim is laughable when it comes to The Daily Telegraph — which runs yet another anti-Rudd beat-up on its front page today. The same goes for The Oz, which portrayed Rudd as Hannibal Lecter in a cartoon last week. It’s gotten so bad that Labor MPs including Bob Carr and Bill Shorten are publicly goading News, risking further wrath.
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Directly above Tabakoff and Owen’s piece is a hatchet job on Labour MP Tom Watson, who is visiting the country to campaign against Rupert Murdoch’s media dominance. Written (of course) by attack dog Christian Kerr, the piece lambasts Watson — a victim of News’ unethical practices — over getting lost on his way to a radio interview, his weight (a “large man with a fondness for double lunches”), his “vanity” (he wears funky glasses and “hipster shoes”) and even a relationship with a (shock!) younger woman.
It’s the sort of story that Watson has railed against: demeaning the journalists who write it, the editors who publish it and the man who makes the whole sordid enterprise possible — Keith Rupert Murdoch.
An irony that is entirely lost on those who work there. And that’s the real shocker.