Sep 2, 2013

Rupert censored: Herald Sun spikes Murdoch review

A review of a new David Williamson play on the life of Rupert Murdoch was written for the Herald Sun -- but it never appeared. What happened?

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter


A review of David Williamson’s Rupert, a play charting the career of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, was pulled from publication in Melbourne’s Herald Sun and is unlikely to appear in the paper.

Regular Herald Sun theatre reviewer Kate Herbert filed a review, which could have run as early as Friday, for the Murdoch tabloid. Four days after Rupert opened on Thursday, the play has still not been reviewed by Melbourne’s biggest-selling paper in print or online. Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston today suggested his paper is unlikely to publish a review of the play at all — despite it being arguably the most anticipated original Australian production of the year. Johnston tells Crikey the play is too “niche” for his readers’ tastes.

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11 thoughts on “Rupert censored: Herald Sun spikes Murdoch review

  1. John Taylor

    Freedom of speech is alive and well eh Suzanne Blake. Suzanne? Suzanne? Earth to Suzanne Blake….

  2. tonyfunnywalker

    Freedom of Speech — a right unless it happens to be you that is being critiqued. This is like censoring Gilbert and Sullivan and Laugh In.

  3. Keith Gow

    The Hun reviews shows that are a lot more niche-market than Melbourne Theatre Company shows! I know, it’s the only reason I read anything on the Hun’s site. This is censorship, pure and simple.

    Can’t wait until we have a Prime Minister in Murdoch’s pocket, too.

  4. Andybob

    Weird. The consequence of not reviewing is speculation about why they’re not reviewing, which inevitably leads to suspicion of proprietor influence, thereby perversely ensuring the undesired outcome. That’s the problem with the “his Master’s voice” method of control, sometimes the underlings overthink it.

  5. klewso

    Do they print bad reviews of Abbott’s plays?

  6. zut alors

    Can’t wait for the next chapter in the Murdoch story.

    Will he re-marry, will there be more heirs, will Abbott be a godfather?

  7. Venise Alstergren

    THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD SUN: “”These are the kinds of shows that interest the vast majority of our readers.””

    Quite so. Heaven forbid that your readers should actually think.

  8. AR

    The failure to print is bad enough but the mewling mendacity of Johnston is a shame of the journalistic trade.

  9. FunkyJ

    Come on people, this is the Herald Scum we’re talking about here. It’s finals week in AFL AND a drugs cheat to expose.

    No room for arty wank.

  10. Malcolm Street

    More Murdoch control-freakery. What are they going to be like with Abbott in?

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