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TIME FOR TRUTH: The Fin Review’s excitable claims against their corporate rival don’t stack up

Rupe470One of our favourite former student revolutionaries, known as Penbo, in the same way as Che Guevera was known merely as Che or sometimes el Che, came in off the long run in responding to the Financial Review’s sensational attacks on News Corp.

It’s worth reading it all here, complete with its assertion that the Fin is “an obscure trade journal read by rich people who collect cufflinks.”

I quite enjoy reading the Fin Review and admit to owning a few cufflinks but Penbo is right that their big splash had all the moral utility of a Russ Hinze belly flop: plenty noticed it but it was pointless and there remain big questions about the motivations of the performer.

Buried in the original breathless yarn was a line ‘None of the actions (referred to in the article) would be illegal, senior lawyers told the Financial Review.’ despite framing the yarn as some kind of organised criminal conspiracy, warranting pages of shock-horror coverage. (As Penbo notes, more than they devoted to the 9/11 terror attacks!)

Commenting on the second day of “reporting” on the old emails, The Age’s Mark Hawthorne noted on Twitter:

Latest #afr report on #NewsCorp has more quotes from their editor than government, AFP and #newsltd put together. Unusual.

Very unusual. Even on VEXNEWS. And also unusual to see some internal gentle criticism play out on Twitter. Hawthorne is a good journalist and his concern I think reflects a general view that the Fin deliberately misinterpreted and misleadingly presented those emails to create a sensationalist, false and – as Penbo noted – fundamentally and commercially absurd impression that a pay-TV company had encouraged activity that could only discourage people from paying. It’s clear to me from reading it all that they were doing no such thing.

Anyway, good on you Penbo for criticising this latest boring example of “stacks-on” Rupert Murdoch. If he or his company ever decides newspapers are too much grief and aggro with not enough money in them and decides to sell them up to penny-pinching private equity folk or someone like Clive Palmer who’d take an unpleasantly active role in editorial matters, then no doubt the same obsessive Murdoch critics will look back with nostalgia on an owner with a great passion for journalism and a love for newspapers. No-one’s perfect but I think we’ve been mostly lucky to have him.

Senator Conroy – who will soon bring NBN joy to my suburb and my people so I will not abide criticism of him – made it clear last night on ABC’s 730 that he had not – and the government had not – referred the Fin’s claims to the Australian Federal Police and seemed to encourage Fairfax to make a complaint to them, something they seem highly unlikely to do.

End of.


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  1. I lost faith in the Fin Review long also when it employed Stephen Mayne. You can judge a paper by the quality, or lack thereof, of it’s correspondents.

    Glen Miln’s reaction on the night of nights was fully understandable.

    Posted by Lost faith | March 30, 2012, 13:06
  2. Andrew, the NBN is a big white soon to be extinct woolly mammoth!!

    Posted by wtf? | March 30, 2012, 13:55
  3. Doesn’t surprise me that Fewfacts Meeja, in it’s death throes, is desparate to come up with a smoking gun which will lead to state-sponsored survival. Bit surprised that a Minister of the Crown (sobbing nuclear milk-boy Conroy) could expose himself by supporting this vacuous shit.

    Posted by Toad of Toad Hall | April 2, 2012, 14:03
  4. One would think that the bottom-lip quivering milk boy Conroy would have ditched the Anna Who? playbook by making noise about people being “behind jail” (sic) and threatening to refer their enemies to Plod before admitting “Evidence? I got nuthin'”

    Posted by Toad of Toad Hall | April 2, 2012, 14:06
  5. SBS Dateline just screened the BBC Panorama program about News Corps alleged hacking of a pay TV rival, On Digital (later called ITV Digital), subscriber access card codes, by NDS a News company based in Haifa in occupied Palestine (Israel).

    ITV Digital stated in about 1998 went bust in 2002 as the hacked fake access card were obtained widely by subscribers which allow access without ITV Digital getting payed.

    This could be the end for Rupert Murdoch and also promoted the idea of a world wide Jewish conspiracy by the NDS operation in Israel.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 3, 2012, 23:32
  6. James Murdoch has just stepped down from the board of BSkyB.

    Both James and Lachlan were also on the board of NDS during the ITV Digital hacking allegations.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 3, 2012, 23:46
  7. Is the NBN the federal government equivalent of Victoria’s former ALP governments Myki mess?

    Sen Conroy however did the right think by not allowing BSkyB to run the NBN. He gave it to our ABC.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 3, 2012, 23:49
  8. ***James Murdoch has just stepped down from the board of BSkyB***

    Good. The cowardice of this wimpy little man has cost the jobs of hundreds of people at News of the World. Does anyone remember when Prince Charles’ phone was hacked? The leftie press thought that was hilarious.

    If Murdoch had any cojones he would stare down the snarling terriers of the Guardian and BBC until they turned tail, and crept back into their poxy kennels.

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | April 4, 2012, 0:52


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