The rise of community independents is the standout story of the weekend elections. But it has been accompanied by another major story: the failure of News Corp’s national and capital city outlets to keep the Morrison government in power.
The Murdoch organisation threw everything it had at discrediting the government’s opponents. It also abandoned any pretence of neutrality or balance. But to no avail. Voters paid no heed to warnings that Australia would be plunged into chaos if independents were elected, and ignored the endless attacks on “red” Anthony Albanese.
In short, the Australian electorate gave the Murdoch machine the finger.
How nasty did the News Corp coverage get? Here are just a few examples in the lead-up to the election.
On Climate 200 convenor Simon Holmes à Court
“Holmes à Court sure saw his constituency coming: mostly women who have grown weary with the usual array of things on offer from the usual parties. They are excited to be part of something new — not quite Liberal, not quite Labor, not quite Green — something different.
“It is possible that … the women who have become teal devotees in Liberal-held seats don’t realise they have become pawns to tear down a party that clearly Holmes à Court has turned his back on.”
“He treats Australians as though their vote is for sale. He is attempting to takeover the parliament with money.”
“Businessman Simon Holmes à Court could reap a bonanza for his commercial interests … Mr Holmes à Court has significant financial stakes in companies devoted to investing in decarbonisation and renewable energy technology.
On teal independent candidates
“The teal T-shirt brigade, the co-funded, co-branded, hand-picked candidates of Climate 200, have failed the independent test time and again … the political equivalent of a Gucci handbag flogged for $20 on the beach at Kuta. Fake … a bunch of entitled, elites who don’t know and don’t care about the challenges of everyday Australians.”
“Useful idiots … wealthy one-eyed activists.”
“Destructive, harmful and dangerous … a direct threat to our national security … not only populists, they are extremists.”