(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd beamed out of the screen with a supernatural and beatific calm, as though the prime minister's office was merely a stepping stone to this period, his true destiny, his star child stage, giving Rupert Murdoch both barrels at every opportunity.

He rattled off example after example of the "cancerous" affect News Corp has had on Australian democracy -- if you wanted to know about racism, sexism, climate denial, COVID misinformation in the Murdoch media, Rudd had three examples and a page of footnotes.

There was a sense that no one else in the room had done as much homework as he -- which may have been true of most rooms he's been in. But it went further than that. It added to the impression no one else at Monday's Senate inquiry into media diversity had quite so clear an idea of what they were trying to achieve. The hearing subjected attendees to the zoom call's uncanny ability to find one's worst angle and least ideal lighting, interspersed with music that sounds like Solsbury Hill played on keyboards used to score corporate videos in 1994.