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(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)

In Malcolm Turnbull's various critiques of the toxic role on News Corp in the United States and Australian politics, his most damning indictment extended beyond the traditional arguments that the Murdochs and their outlets were bad for democracy. When giving evidence to a Senate inquiry into the media in April, Turnbull went much further in articulating how the company is a threat to national security and safety. His words are worth quoting at some length:

Look at the way the News Corp tabloids, for example, regularly seek to incite animosity towards minorities, particularly Muslims. It was a huge issue while I was prime minister because everything I was doing was obviously designed to reinforce our success as a multicultural society. What is so frustrating is that these voices on the populist right, particularly from Murdoch's organisation, are essentially doing the work of the terrorists ... Ultimately you've got to judge people's policies and programs by their consequences. I'm saying that it is self-evident that the way the Murdoch press has operated both here and in the US has been absolutely adverse to our national interest. In the US their agenda appears to be effectively the same -- I'm not saying it's co-ordinated or motivated -- as that of America's most trenchant adversaries.

That goes far beyond Turnbull's other main charge -- which is more a statement of the obvious, really -- that News Corp is now a political party for the Murdochs, not a media outlet. Turnbull also repeatedly mentioned January 6, and News Corp's role in inciting that insurrection in the United States -- the point being that News Corp's threat isn't confined to confirming the narrative peddled by Islamist terror groups, but extends to direct incitement of social division and of violence against democratic institutions.