Over the past month, Australia has lost a prime minister and the ABC has lost its chair and managing director. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to know that one media organisation — led by one media mogul — was instrumental in fuelling and encouraging that turmoil. Today we continue a series looking at the shadow of fear that hovers permanently over Australian democracy.
In 1995, I spent several months reporting for a profile of [Rupert] Murdoch for The New Yorker. During ten days in his offices, I attended meetings, witnessed negotiations, listened to his phone calls, and conducted about twenty hours of taped interviews with him. At least a couple of times each day, he talked on the phone with an editor in order to suggest a story based on something that he’d heard. This prompted me to ask, “Of all the things in your business empire, what gives you the most pleasure?”