Recently whilst discussing the coronavirus epidemic with my older sister she mentioned an article in the Australian given to her by one of her children. The article stated the death rate in aged care homes this year was less than the previous year. I was asked what I thought of this and, despite being extremely suspicious of anything published in the Murdoch media, for a moment was taken aback. Like so many arguments posited by these articles there may have been a kernel of truth in it. I expressed my suspicions but replied that because of social distancing, lockdown and flu vaccinations, the fatalities from influenza, normally about 500, had dropped to about 35, and that the figures quoted in the article may therefore be possible.
There are problems about writing about something that remains unsighted, but most of the pieces in the Murdoch media conform to a pattern and much of the commentary is an interpretation designed to push their various hidden agendas. Many of these agendas are obvious even to a casual examination. For instance, the continuous attacks on the ABC, or more recently those on google, facebook and twitter, are because these organisations threaten the News Corp business model – they provide their news free. Again, the anti-labour stance of the Murdoch media is merely the continuation of policy in such organs as the Sun Herald that they have been following for 100 years.
But it is the agendas relating to science, or objective truth, carried on by the Murdoch media that are the most bizarre, puzzling and possibly criminal. The unsighted coronavirus article possibly contains cherry-picked or misleading statistics, distortions of morbidity stats and unattributed, and therefore highly doubtful, sources, all supporting the agenda that the current Andrews government coronavirus lockdown in Victoria was a big mistake. Whilst it is evident that this government has made some mistakes it is also quite clear that they are following best science in the coronavirus lockdown, and the political ‘blame-game’ agenda they are playing is most unwelcome.
Which brings us to the anti-science climate agendas of News Corp. They have been recently exposed by the NSW bushfires Royal Commission and critically in the ABC’s Media Watch in relation to their “bushfires are caused by arsonists not climate change” campaign. Anyone living in or near the fire zones in East Gippsland could tell you instantly that this was a fabrication and that the source of all our fires was lightning strikes, which in turn, were heavily influenced by climate change. The Murdoch media in their war against climate science is both Machiavellian (whatever it takes to get what you want) and Marxist (the end justifies the means) with their “lies, damned lies, and statistics” and is certainly criminal. It hardly varies from some of the Goebbels Nazi propaganda methods of the 1930s – that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.