Rupert Murdoch

News Corp Watch Never forget the difference in the reality News Corp portrays to its consumers and the one that the people who work there actually inhabit. It seems that around the time white supremacist sympathiser Tucker Carlson was encouraging his viewers to be “nervous” about the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine in the US, his company’s executive chairman Rupert Murdoch was calmly taking his first dose.

When a problem comes along The Small Business Party has been knocking about in Western Australia for years now, changing line-ups and names about as much as early Spinal Tap. Now it’s trying a real re-brand.

The party has merged with WA Republicans to form the WAXIT movement, in an attempt to create an autonomous independent state. Given it’s never had a candidate elected, it’s… ambitious. But Mark McGowan’s emperor-like popularity has recently renewed the state’s history of recalcitrance. That might give them a boost at the coming state election.

Nightmare juice Well, it’s been a helluva year, and the Art Gallery of WA knows what we need: a nice relaxing stroll around a new exhibit…


Reliving 2020 (for some reason) As an industry, journalism has spent many years dancing along the edge of the canyon. Then 2020 came along and gave it a series of good-natured shoves.

By September, AAP had announced it was shutting its doors; the ABC had announced hundreds of redundancies and cut its 2021 cadet intake; Julian Assange’s extradition case dragged on and on; and James Murdoch finally became as disgusted with News Corp as everyone else and quit. 

Plus: Facebook and Google were fighting the Australian government on (not brilliant) legislation that would force them to pay media companies a chunk of the money they make from mining data from news clicks.

In October, the budget for all Australians (that largely left out anyone who wasn’t a white man) dropped. Families Minister Anne Ruston defenced the lack of women-focused programs by pointing out that women… also use roads.

Bad romance infected Australian politics in the last few months of the year. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian was revealed to have risked it all for that rogue Daryl Maguire, while the behaviour of Alan Tudge and Christian Porter came under investigation by Four Corners.

In November the Brereton report was released. This damning indictment of Australian elite soldiers’ conduct in Afghanistan was leapt on by our frenemy China. A low-level official tweeted a doctored image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to a child’s throat, which caused us to lose our damn minds. 

Meanwhile the US saw the highest voter turnout in its history, making the choice between two elderly weirdos vying for the presidency. As it became clear that Joe Biden would win, Donald Trump did precisely what he had told us he would, and refused to concede.

In possibly the defining image of Trump’s America, many outlets called the election for Biden as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani made baseless claims of voter fraud from the carpark of Four Seasons Total Landscaping — a small business wedged between a sex shop and crematorium, the only place a show like this could come to its conclusion.

And in perfect and sickly narrative symmetry, December started with fires ravaging Fraser Island and a new outbreak of COVID-19 necessitating a lockdown in New South Wales.

Christmas Cards Crikey — via visual satirist Tom Red — has intercepted a cache of secret Christmas cards from our political class.

Today, it’s the Greench himself, Adam Bandt.

Merry Christmas Today is our last Tips and Murmurs for the year. Thanks to our wonderful readers, and to everyone who sent in tips. Have a safe and happy Christmas.