It’s more than a tad superfluous to call out any Murdoch-owned media outlet for lying and being self-interested but every now and then they actually go far enough to stir my rage. Today it was an editorial in “The Australian” clamouring for the newly elected conservative government to interfere with the ABC and cut its budget (big fucking surprise). For those unfamiliar with the situation, the ABC in Australia (similar to the BBC in the UK) is a non-commercial taxpayer-funded broadcaster that provide a free service.
Traditionally the ABC TV ratings were well below the commercial networks as ratings was not the number one concern for the ABC – providing quality programming was. There should, of course, be ongoing discussions about what value this provides and what the ABC’s budget should be but when a media outlet publishes such self-serving lies as this editorial in the Australian (and as Murdoch scions have done regularly about the BBC) then I call bullshit.
Print media companies in particular have one overriding concern with the ABC. Their outdated business model is dying and they are desperate to find some way to recoup some lost revenue from the internet that is killing their existing cashflow. Despite the fact these companies are run by uber-capitalists, their arguments seem to be dominated by the idea that they deserve to make money because what they provide is so wonderful. Apparently competing in an open marketplace is for some other suckers.
The ABC publishes their news content online for free. Every time the geniuses at a commercial news organisation say “let’s put our content behind a paywall” there’s the spectre of the ABC and free content. Why pay for news when you can get it for free? This interests me because the ABC has always provided their news commercial free in competition with commercial outlets so what makes the internet so different?
Obviously I don’t know for sure but as an outside observer, the clear message I get from traditional media is the internet scares the shit out of them and they still don’t understand it. They make the same arguments against it as were made about every technological change in history and just as everyone who tried to stop advances in the past were wrong, they are wrong this time. They make pathetic attempts to argue that the internet is somehow different to everything that came before, oblivious to the fact that the same argument was made about every new technology in the past, including the pianola roll.
Or maybe they’re just hoping we don’t notice how full of shit they are.
My overwhelming problem with their bullshit is they have one problem and one problem only. They want to put up a paywall for their internet content. They know people will go to free ABC content in droves and ignore their paywalled content. They think if the free ABC content vanished then they would make money via subscriptions to their site. They refuse to come clean and admit this because they don’t want to make it blindingly obviously what lying, self-serving scumfucks they are. I’ve got news for you dickheads: it IS blindingly obviously what lying,self-serving scumfucks you are.
Oh, and also you’re wrong about paywalls being your future in any version of the internet. I don’t know who’s selling you this bullshit but you need to grow the fuck up and accept it simply isn’t real. Even if in some sick dystopian future you manage to kill off the ABC & BBC through the politicians you’ve bought and paid for your paywalls simply won’t work. There will always be a competitor without paywalls and that model will always fail for everything but niche interests. The internet simply doesn’t favour slow moving global media behemoths.
And make no mistake about it, these media moguls combined with the telcos will wreck the internet in their attempts to force it to conform to how they imagine the world should be. Every bullshit law they push through in the name of copyright or “protecting the children” is aimed solely at giving them the control to only allow you to see what they want to give you when they want to give it to you. But to get to some specific from the Australian editorial that enraged me.
In the first paragraph they dare to invoke “struggling digital startups” as if they give a shit. The suggestion that these global behemoths considered anyone but themselves is nothing short of a bald faced lie. When these greedy fucks start with such an obvious lie, you know it’s only going to get worse.
Then they wander off into some bizarre fantasy land where the ABC’s expansion into digital media was completely unforseen and couldn’t possibly be part of the ABC mandate. They ask the bizarre rhetorical question “What is the ABC’s role?” then answer is completely falsely with the insane right wing rhetoric of “unchecked bureaucratic tendency to towards empire-building”. Seeing as you provided an answer that was so patently false, I’ll give you the real answer: ‘TO PROVIDE A FUCKING SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC YOU FUCKING FUCKS!”
I can’t get over how much this editorial answers itself. Newspaper publishes self-serving editorial aimed at nothing more than promoting the greed of its global empire and asks “What should the ABC be doing?” PROVIDING A FUCKING ALTERNATIVE TO YOUR FUCKING BULLSHIT YOU PIECES OF SHIT!
The Australian, like all Murdoch media, is shamelessly biased and treats any reporting that shows any views that differ to Murdoch’s as absolutely wrong-headed and biased. Once you get into this pathetic excuse for an editorial you realise it’s nothing more than schoolyard level name calling. “Everything I do is good and everything you do is dumb! So nerrrrrr.” If I want to see Twitter-level shitfights I’ll go to Twitter. These egotistical freaks regularly hold themselves up as champions of journalism like it’s some kind of golden virtue. This drivel isn’t journalism in the public good – it’s pathetic name calling and demonising of anyone you don’t agree with. And that’s what I do!
To be slightly more charitable, the rubbish printed in this editorial is nothing more than horrifically biased opinion parading as objective fact. And to anyone who wants to say “but it’s an editorial – by definition it’s opinion” I say “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” For too long these fucking hypocrites have gotten away with this veneer of “editorial” as separate from “news” even though they present them right alongside one another. They know full well that editorial content is barely differentiated from news by the public (if at all) and the Murdoch media in particular are shameless practitioners of presenting their biased politics as editorial then reporting the “news” that people are saying this.
Expect to see much more of this bullshit in the coming years. The evidence is apparent throughout the global Murdoch empire that they will not hesitate to shamelessly lie to promote their own interests. They have zero concern for what is in the public interest and are concerned solely with their own revenue. I have nothing against making money – it’s something I try to do as well. But using a public platform to lie and undermine the public’s access to an alternative to their partisan fuckwittery is nothing short of evil.
Traditional media will become more and more desperate as the cash cow they thought would last forever continues to die. Their influence is undermined by the internet as well but that is a much lower priority to them than money. All of their current strategies are doomed to ultimately fail but they don’t give a shit how much damage they do on their road to ultimate failure. Any damage they do to institutions like the ABC and the wider internet will do nothing to help them but they will sure as hell hurt the rest of us.