Rupert Murdoch. PHOTO World Economic Forum/Supplied.

Whilst Facebook (Meta) and X (formerly Twitter) indeed spread misinformation, conspiracy theories and what can only be described as utter codswallop, what about Australia’s mainstream media?

As Prime Minister Albanese said on ABC News Breakfast this morning: “We’ll do what’s necessary to take on this arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, but also above common decency.

“What the eSafety Commissioner is doing is doing her job to protect the interests of Australians, and the idea that someone would go to court for the right to put up violent content on a platform shows how out-of-touch Mr Musk is. Social media needs to have social responsibility with it. Mr Musk is not showing any,” Albanese said.

That’s all well and good, except one could easily argue Rupert Murdoch (News Ltd), Kerry Stokes (Seven West) and Peter Costello (Nine Media) are also ‘arrogant billionaire(s) who think they’re above the law’ too. They certainly act like it.

The Prime Minister and opposition leader – whether today or in the past – won’t stand up to Rupert Murdoch, Costello, or Stokes though. That could cost them an election should they ‘turn’ on Albanese. Or Dutton. But Elon Musk, well, that’s not such an issue for them. “It’s The Sun wot won it.”

Murdoch’s British red-top tabloid ‘The Sun’ after “assisting” the Tories to victory in the 1992 UK election.

Yes. Prime Minister. If you’re going to stand up to Musk and Zuckerburg then you need to stand up to Murdoch, Stokes, and Costello too. Or the proposed enforcement is all a show with very little go.

Little does the public know that independent freelance journalists aren’t granted access to halls of power – our State and Federal Parliaments. It took independent media outlet Crikey years of lobbying to get access to parliament to report.

It’s a closed-loop shop, where politicians decide what journalists (usually ABC, Stokes’, Costello’s & Murdoch’s journalists) but they don’t want independent journalists to be part of the press gallery and ‘upset the apple cart’ whilst they all scratch backs. No wonder Albanese and Dutton are ‘on board’ for this ‘enforcement’ with sudden bipartisan support.

Both major political parties must please the Murdoch’s, Costello’s and Stokes’ of Australia and their ambitions. But Musk and Zuckerberg? Easy targets. Yet they all do the same bloody thing.

This is despite last year when the Labor Government proposed a ‘misinformation bill’ that Liberal Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton said was “a very bad bill” that gave the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)  “extraordinary powers” that would be “strongly opposed.” I guess Murdoch called Peter Dutton on his direct line yesterday?

If Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are out of touch with ‘modern values’ then so too are Murdoch, Stokes & Costello’s legacy media outlets and the journalists who file for them.

It’s a classic case of legacy mainstream media, who have power over state and federal governments, using such to do their bidding whilst screaming “Look at social media, look at social media.” Look over here, not at us.

Legacy media screaming such into the void using the well-worn ‘look over here’ (DARVO) tactic, trying to get the public to move on, quickly, in today’s twenty-four-seven news cycle hoping the public forgets they’re no better or worse than Musk or Zuckerberg.

Same modus operandi. Only a different delivery method.

It is their own exposure for publishing propaganda and outright falsehoods for clicks, hits, shares and likes that they are shying away from. Just like Musk and Zuckerberg do.

News Corp’s Janet Albrechtsen for example? Working with Walter Sofronoff, effectively interfering in a criminal trial? Then having some tucker with the ‘steam cleaning’ former Senator, Linda Reynolds in WA just last week? Andrew Bolt? Ben Fordham? They too spread utter codswallop, encourage violence, protests and more. Why aren’t they too part of the same proposed laws?

Murdoch’s ‘News of the World’ says goodbye and takes the fall for the (ongoing) phone hacking scandal.

Alan Jones and the Cronulla riots? Then PM, Julia Gillard was “thrown out to sea.” Anyone?

Channel 7’s Spotlight program paying for Bruce Lehrmann’s prostitutes, Thai massages and some cocaine anyone?  Channel 7 not disclosing they illegally obtained court documents from Lehrmann. Documents he should never have given to anyone other than his lawyer.

Not only did Seven receive such material, but it also then used those documents as part of its Spotlight series to attack Ms Higgins, a rape victim. Privileged material that journalists, producers, and executives at Spotlight had to have known they had no legal right to even have this material, let alone use it for the background of forming an ‘exclusive’ news report on behalf of the rapist Lehrmann.

Channel 7 News naming the wrong person, yet again? Seven News named Benjamin Cohen, a University student who had nothing at all to do with the attack. And where did Seven News gather this information? Oh, that’s right, social media. I dips me lid.

If The Australian’s Albrechtsen is such a great journalist, she would have known from the get-go that Lehrmann wasn’t as innocent as he claimed, but she ran with the story anyway, fully supported by the boss, Rupert Murdoch, in defending a rapist. Hits and clicks.

It’s not the first time Channel 7 has used social media and raced to be ‘first’ and got it wrong. At University they teach today’s journalism students ‘not be first’ but ‘the first to be accurate’. You, the MSM, all race to the same social media platforms you suddenly despise (did they pinch some revenue from your boss?) and grab it and run with it, without doing any actual journalism or basic checks.

To claim that social media is any different to your own ‘reporting’ (for want of a better term) is utter hypocrisy. Writ large.

The ACMA has the power to cancel Channel 7’s broadcast licenses tonight. Yet, they do not.

If the government is going to – and rightfully so – introduce legislation to curtail such misinformation and the spreading of violent videos, propaganda and utter codswallop, then surely that should also apply to mainstream media outlets too?

Absolutely, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk should be held accountable for what they allow to be published on their platforms. But if the government is serious about stopping the spread of hateful content, lies, propaganda and utter codswallop, then shouldn’t it also include mainstream media?

Every TV station, radio station and capital city newspaper (at least) needs to be included in such legislation. Not just ‘social media.’

Murdoch’s British red-top tabloid headline “The truth” It was utter bullshit. IMAGE: CReative Commons.

If true, and the MSM means what they say about Musk and Zuckerberg, then we will not see any more violence on the news ever again, will we? Or will we switch on the station, for the firing and the yelling? Even watch the killing? Oh yeah. Horror Movie it’s the 6:30 News. Shocked right out of my brain.

The only reason the mainstream media are going hard on Zuckerburg and Musk is that they’ve ‘knocked off’ the MSM’s own business model, and beaten them at it, ‘knocked off’ the audience, advertisers and their ‘rivers of gold’.

Murdoch’s staff got busted hacking phones and spreading codswallop during the last US election (Fox News/Sky News). He just settled another defamation action in an out-of-court settlement with Hugh Grant. Murdoch’s only paid out 1,300 out-of-court settlements for phone hacking. So far. So good.

Try buying a copy of Murdoch newspaper in the London suburb of Liverpool. You won’t find a copy. Hillsborough. Why? Murdoch knowingly published codswallop. Again.

How can Channel 7, or Murdoch’s News Ltd demand that Meta and X are ‘held to account’ for spreading codswallop, publishing live videos of stabbings and more, when they are no better?

Kerry Stokes, owner of Seven West Media. PHOTO: ABC News.

The only difference? The medium in which such utter codswallop is delivered to the public – the ‘audience’.

On the surface, it appears that the mainstream media is screaming for the regulation of social media. They continue publishing and broadcasting codswallop unabated.

In reality, the MSM are upset at social media, because they – the mainstream media –  listened to Kerry Packer’s infamous words “[the] internet will [just] be for porn and gambling” – and whilst Packer’s observations are in many ways correct, it’s the ‘rivers of gold’ at the newspapers, radio and television stations (advertising revenue, $$$) that dried up as commercial advertisers went online and private classified ads went online to sites such as eBay instead. Ask The Melbourne Trading Post.

It also needs to be considered that Musk himself didn’t instruct anyone to publish the attack on a Western Sydney church after the Sydney bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly stabbed on a live stream. An end user, not Musk, published it. It was being live-streamed, online by that church and someone published it online.

Yet, Murdoch, Stokes and Costello instruct their journalists to lie and produce utter codswallop that suit the company agenda. What about the 9/11 attacks? Should the networks have published the footage? What about Gaza today? Should we be seeing such violence?

The mainstream media missed the ship. By the time the MSM realised that the ship had long set sail, the MSM was left standing on the pier, hoping for its return to port. Someday. Maybe. Now, they’re using the Government to try and bring that ship back to port. It’s too late. It is now on the high seas and it ain’t coming back to dock.

Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Stokes and Peter Costello are no better – nor worse – than Zuckerburg (Meta) or Musk (X).

Crikey journalist Bernard Keane yesterday published an article “Everyone hates social media, right? But stop pretending you’re better than it.“ at the same time I was writing this article.

“Social media can be blamed for many ills of society. But the corporate media — and their obsession with “if it bleeds it leads” news non-standards — pretending they get to sit in judgment is laughable,” Keane’s article stated.

As Keane rightfully points out: “It’s [the MSM carrying on about Musk] motivated not by a prim concern for the ‘protection’ of Australians but by the realisation that social media is destroying them.”

“What about Melbourne Victory supporters attacking a goalkeeper, a referee and security guards? Where would the commercial networks be without the footage of (inevitably) “wild” brawls that are routinely used to pad out evening news bulletins?” Keane rightfully pointed out.

It’s destroying them – the mainstream media – they missed the internet ship and it long ago lifted anchor and set sail. The MSM chose not to listen. Just like radio did to newspapers in the 1920s and TV did to newspapers and radio in the 1950s.

Perhaps Murdoch, Costello and Stokes should look in their own backyards – into a mirror – and look at the standards in their legacy media outlets, that they own and control,  before worrying about what’s acceptable to be published on social media. What about what you publish and broadcast? It’s proven you publish and broadcast utter codswallop too, or did you forget that bit?

There’s no difference in principle between social media and legacy mainstream media. The only difference is the method of delivery.

Legacy media outlets publishing – no doubt on behalf of the boss – articles about what Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) and Zuckerberg’s Meta allow to be published on their platforms is a classic case of not seeing the forest for trees.

It’s up to the public to demand that whatever is applied to social media publishers the ‘internet’ and social media equally applies to legacy mainstream media too. Otherwise, it’s one rule for legacy media and another for social media, which is what the legacy media is fighting for to protect their assets and backsides.

Former Treasurer Peter Costello. Now Charman of Nine Media. PHOTO: Parliament House

It has nothing to do with morals, standards, or journalism. It’s about returns on investments for the shareholders of News Ltd, Seven West and Nine Media as they lose ‘eyeballs’ and therefore advertising revenue to social media.

Here’s Costello’s Nine Media’s tweet just as we prepare to publish, tweeted at 1932hrs AEST. Is this not ‘broadcasting violence.’ And where are you doing so? On Musk’s X (formerly Twitter).

“A disorderly Celtic Football Club fan has been filmed punching flight attendants and police on board an easyJet flight from Edinburgh to Turkey. Shocking footage shows police and multiple people attempting to subdue the man, who then lunges and begins throwing punches,” states the tweet.

Legacy media has no right to complain about social media spreading violence, hate speech, and such when they are no better, nor worse, at publishing or broadcasting utter codswallop.

Anyone for “African crime gangs” “immigrants are stealing our land” “First Nations people are all drunks” or an Andrew Bolt column of ‘so-called’ facts? Remember, MSM, this is the shit that you – yes you – publish and broadcast daily.

Shareholders want a return on investment and some dividends for their investment. So, you’ll do exactly what Musk and Zuckerburg do. Allow the publication and broadcasting of utter codswallop to provide such to shareholders. The public and reporting fairly? What’s that?

Murdoch, Costello, and Stokes are trying to make Musk and Zuckerberg the bad guys who use their platforms to ‘spread disinformation, violence and outright lies’ when they do the same bloody thing.

Pot. Meet Kettle.

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