Tuesday, September 03, 2013
The video above is an ad from GetUp Sydney and criticises ex-Australian Rupert Murdoch for using his papers to try and help Tony Abbott, leader of the rightwing Liberal Party, win the Australian federal elections on Saturday. Naturally, the mainstream media couldn’t allow it to be shown.
The ad has been banned by commercial TV stations, leading GetUp to lodge a formal complaint. The question is, is the ad fair?
My opinion—and it is only mine—is that, yes, it’s fair. Rupert has always used his media to promote his political interests: It’s the whole reason he set up Fox “News”. Far right billionaires using media to control the debate and manipulate the public is always wrong because they always do it with an eye toward what’s good for their own bank balances. Which is why it would be such a disaster if the crackpot Koch Brothers got control of Tribune Company in the USA.
So, yes, I’m sure that Murdoch’s media in Australia absolutely is trying to steer the election toward victory for Abbott and the rightwing. The question is, even if ordinary Australians were able to see the ad, would it change their mind about how they’ll vote? I doubt it, and Rupert can claim some credit for that, too—this isn’t an overnight rightward shift, after all.
Rightwing billionaires trying to buy elections, and to hoodwink voters into doing their bidding, is nothing new. But people ought to be able to know it’s happening. Banning this commercial doesn’t serve the public’s right to know.
GetUp’s best-known ad outside Australia is probably their marriage equality ad from a few years back. I still like that ad.