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Aug 22, 2014

Bill Shorten and the News Corp method of blackmail

The threat to Bill Shorten from unproven rape allegations may lie as much in them not being used against him as in any media smear campaigns.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s decision to identify himself as the subject of a police investigation into sexual assault allegations when he was a teenager was made in anticipation that News Corporation would attempt to use the story against him, Labor figures say.

The lengthy investigation concluded this week, with police deciding not to recommend charges in relation to events involving Shorten and an unnamed woman at a Young Labor event in the 1980s. Yesterday, Shorten confirmed what had long been discussed on social media, that he was the target of the allegations.

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24 comments

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24 thoughts on “Bill Shorten and the News Corp method of blackmail

  1. klewso

    Is “Limited News” run much like J. Edgar Hoover ran his FBI (“F***ing Blackmail Institution”?)?

  2. rhwombat

    The Royal Commission into the News Corpse Maladministration after the next election is going to rival that of Pell’s pets or NSW Liberals. I might take up knitting.

  3. klewso

    It was either “out” himself or face a “death of a thousand cuts” – well quite a few – working for Murdoch, anyway?

  4. L Hudd

    If someone would just take out Rupert in the interests of democracy no jury would ever convict.

  5. mikeb

    When this story came out y’day I happened to be in a Sydney taxi. The driver who had a thick middle-eastern accent was scathing on the “girl” and on the allegations. Perhaps this “leak” could backfire on the News corp cheer squad.

  6. granorlewis

    I find it hard to believe that you have written this stuff Mr Keane. After all what has been said publicly is that the Victorian authorities have deemed that in relation to this matter, there is no likelihood of a criminal conviction. Not that it didn’t happen – only that there is no basis for a criminal hearing on the matter, This poor woman, who has been ashamed of what happened on a tragic night 30 years ago, when a testosterone-charged male took advantage of her 16 year old body, has been traumatised all that time – and more now as she is confronted again by this man, acting as you now say to ensure he is not blackmailed over the matter. Shame on you all.

  7. SusieQ

    Yet the Melb arm of the empire has still chosen to run it on the front page (no I didn’t buy a copy!) despite all the other news around (including George Pell’s evidence to the RC)and despite there really being no story to tell.
    What a dreadful company they are.

  8. Djbekka

    Obviously something bad happened to a very young woman 30 years ago. I saw a short account without much context. Equally, there is insufficient evidence to make a case against Shorten, the Victorian authorities say. If media empires are compiling dirt files as alleged here, none of us are safe. With luck, the next 30 years will see the development of a better culture of gender relations. Let’s work for that instead of indulging in a hypothetical forensic account of events we didn’t witness.

  9. zut alors

    It’s reminiscent of J Edger Hoover having a file on a politician. He never needed to bring it out of the drawer, the fact that he had it at his disposal guaranteed him all the power.

    If Palmer ever carries out his threat to start a newspaper it could be of service dishing the dirt on the Murdochs. A taste of their own medicine may not be efficacious but would be entertaining to the Great Unwashed nevertheless.

  10. Graeski

    It’s an interesting strategy. Abbott’s biggest electoral weakness (historically, at least) is his unpopularity with women. Snide insinuations of rape would trump that, I expect.

    Better still, Liberal politicians can piously wring their hands while News Limited and the shock jocks dish the dirt.

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