It’s Getting So Ugly I Can Hardly Breathe

I had a big long rant planned about Rupert Murdoch and the ugliness he peddles wherever he casts his gaze.

Sadly, the news out of Pakistan tonight has me feeling completely and utterly defeated…. for the moment. Personally speaking, it’s fair to say that 2014 has been a pretty shit year and 2015 only holds the tiniest glimmer of hope for getting better. Every time you try to pick yourself up there seems to be another idiot with an agenda just itching to bring you back down again.

So I’ll leave my long rant alone. Here’s a short one instead.

Yesterday, in the midst of the siege in Sydney, Rupert’s masochistic chip-wrapper The Daily Telegraph rushed out their PM edition with this wraparound:


Sydney is the city of ‘shock-jocks’ in Australia and the Tele seems intent on being the print version of the same. At the very moment when cool heads were required – when lives were still on the line and nerves were at their edgiest – there’s the Tele trying to whip up a frenzy. Turds.


Just when you think News Limited has already jumped the shark, up comes Rupert Murdoch himself with a tweet posted live from the bowels of hell:


Yes, in the aftermath of a lone-wolf hostage attack resulting in two innocent people dying, Rupert’s first public utterance is to congratulate his mini-me psychopathic birdcage liner for being the only one to capture the action live.

(and…. they weren’t the only ones reporting live, but why let the facts get in the way of a shit story?)


I’m a news junkie. I love writing and I’d love to write for a living one day.

Being a writer means you have to read, though. With crap like this going around, it’s getting harder and harder to do.

Be decent. Be decent to yourselves and decent to one another. Please.

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  1. 2015 will be better, there will be summertime manfood with Tassie guests. 🙂
    If the big stuff wont go your way then just enjoy the small ones you can affect yourself.

  2. Forget about your prejudice against Rupert Murdoch. You fail to state the most important fact at all – that there is a connection between the two events and that is murderous Islam. It is to that that your rage should be directed.

  3. National Enquirer stuff. Yellow journalism at its worst. We have enough trouble here (US) with Fox.

    1. …and MSNBC and Huffington Post and Bill Maher and and and and and and. This is NOT a one-sided problem. It’s an integrity problem. Presenting only one side of anything makes it a half truth by definition.

  4. News media are all employed, unfortunately, in making events seem to be more important, urgent or sensational than they are. This is a fundamental shift from the truth. It affects all journalism, from automobiles to politics, from business to art, etc. This has always been my problem with “news”. Every ‘fact’ reported has an untold story. What is that story? Unless you do the math, you may never know.

    I agree with you, Steven, that this ‘newspaper’ cover is junk. Purely pandering prurient portrayal. I’d like to have a ‘truth meter’ stamp on every news paper and news site that an independent research group certifies as that publication’s rating for the previous year. Wouldn’t you look differently on this if this newsprint had a seal in the upper left that proclaimed this periodical was only 20% trustworthy over the last 12 months? You’d be able to dismiss this as more drivel, worthy of wrapping fish.

    1. Thanks for defining. This makes the headline more ambiguous as do most British language papers have double meanings. Whereas American English is more defined but no less biased. A cult by definition is plural people so is the implication that Monis was getting his ideas from ISIS (a cult) or whatever they are called this week. Or is he defining the sick act of a lone terrorist and that is what he was. Not a militant nor a gunman.

      This takeover of the Lindt shop was with malice aforethought because he walked in with an ISIL flag and an illegal gun, with intent to take hostages

      The reports coming out of Pakistan right now are making my stomach churn and unfortunately things will get worse before they ever improve.

  5. Will try, like you Swade, to be the better person. Too many of these scaremongering out there. The thoughts and prayers of us in Scotland are with those who have found themselves caught up in this horror especially those who have lost loved ones and to all Australia. God bless.

  6. The Telegraph’s cover and Murdoch’s comments were a step too far, no question. The sad irony is, though, that he and the other rags – who are no less guilty of spinning tragedy for profit on a daily basis, but are maybe a little more subtle about it, well sometimes – are only producing a product the masses readily buy. For every self-confessed ‘bleeding heart’ staring in disgust, there’s another person who feels the same way. Who’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is mere opinion and semantics, at the end of the day.

    We do have an unhealthy obsession with news of tragedy. One only needed to watch Facebook light up with everyone’s posts and comments. The likes of Channel 7 and ABC providing live feeds of the siege, as clearly distasteful as it was to do, were only attempting to satisfy the public’s demand. We condemn it -then log on anyway.

    It’s just my opinion, but the cries of ‘Innocence Lost’ are a tad overzealous. Though tragedies of this ilk are mercifully rare in Australia, it’s hardly our first time. Port Arthur, obviously, springs to mind, though I would consider Gallipoli or even the Eureka Stockade as more nation-defining examples. Again, as much as despise modern journalism’s passion for hype and catchy puns-as-headlines, it’s only some newspaper editor’s attempt to connect to the broader public’s current emotive state. And whether or not you’re #illridewithyou-ing or gripping a pitchfork tight, and I think we’re all feeling a little violated today.

    The recent events in Pakistan are indeed horrible though, so perhaps it’s best to keep perspective. Here’s to a better 2015.

  7. Well if it’s any comfort here in little insignificant Belgium, Sidney’s events were widely covered yesterday. But today old Rupert’s tweet also made the news headline or better, Australia and the world’s disbelief ans shock about this tweet did. Or how one can be a media guru and yet get shot down in flames by his peers.

    Maybe this world isn’t as rotten as the odd old imbecile would like to make us believe.

    There’s hope for 2015 !

    Our thoughts go to the families and loved ones of this weekend’s victims.

    1. I heard some brief reference while the whole Sydney thing was still going on to an incident in Gent, 2T. Was it resolved OK?

      And yes, the fact that Rupert is getting called out more and more is a good thing. He’s not Elliot Carver from the James Bond film, but he’s got the hysteria side all worked out.

      1. The hostage situation in Ghent turned out to be fake, the person who made the fake emergency call was identified and arrested.

        But while the potential incident briefly made international headlines, I had to search a while for the outcome of the incident having heard nothing about it any more.

        Once again proves that good news often is no news. Rupert would have been dissapointed at the un-dramatic unfolding…..

  8. Acceptance, Swade.

    Go see Nightcrawler this Friday.

    Sums it up well and is just about worth it for the Challenger R/T action alone.

  9. Losing faith in Australia’s direction over the last 5 or so years. People in high powered positions milking it for all they can, never ending bickering from federal and state politics, massive wealth gap creating a working poor with some accepting they will never own a place called home. Corporations dictate to so called government and the Sydney siege outcome made my ticker skip a beat…

  10. I don’t know where to start……so I’ll start at the beginning……

    Chicago based columnist Mike Royko never named Rupert Murdoch by name, only referring to him as “The Alien”. At the time Royko and Murdoch became acquainted, Murdoch was a Australian citizen.

    clipped from Wikipedia:
    When the Daily News closed, Royko worked for its allied morning newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times. In 1984, Rupert Murdoch, for whom Royko said he would never work, bought the Sun-Times. Royko commented that “No self-respecting fish would want to be wrapped in a Murdoch paper”, and “[H]is goal is not quality journalism. His goal is vast power for Rupert Murdoch, political power”.

    A little more background. Royko was born and raised in Chicago in a working class (blue collar) neighborhood. As a result of a heapful of talent and a few breaks he became a political columnist for the Chicago Daily News (broadsheet, afternoon) newspaper. His column was Monday thru Friday, located on the inside (left margin) of page 3. When the Daily News was shuttered in 1978 (falling circulation mostly as a result of being a afternoon paper), Royko moved to the Sun-Times (tabloid, morning) and continued his column until Murdoch bought the Sun-Times in 1984. Royko then moved to the Chicago Tribune, continuing to write a daily column until his death in 1997. Royko won a Pulizter for commentary and also authored an unauthorized biography “Boss” of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley (hizzoner ‘da mayer in Chicago speak) which was on the New York Times best seller list for 26 weeks. R.J. Daley was the father of more recent Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

    Another clip from Wikipedia:
    In 1984, Field sold the paper to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and the paper’s style changed abruptly toward that of its suitemate New York Post. Its front pages tended more to the sensational and its political stance shifted toward the conservative. This was in the era that the traditional Republican (conservative) bulwark, the Chicago Tribune, was softening its positions, ending the city’s clear division between the two newspapers’ politics. This shift was made all but official when Mike Royko defected to the Tribune.

    Roger Ebert later reflected on the incident with much disdain, stating in his blog.
    “On the first day of Murdoch’s ownership, he walked into the newsroom and we all gathered around and he recited the usual blather and rolled up his shirtsleeves and started to lay out a new front page. Well, he was a real newspaperman, give him that. He threw out every meticulous detail of the beautiful design, ordered up big, garish headlines, and gave big play to a story about a North Shore rabbi accused of holding a sex slave.

    The story turned out to be fatally flawed, but so what? It sold papers. Well, actually, it didn’t sell papers. There were hundreds of cancellations. Soon our precious page 3 was defaced by a daily Wingo girl, a pinup in a bikini promoting a cash giveaway. The Sun-Times, which had been placing above the Tribune in lists of the 10 best U.S. newspapers, never took that great step it was poised for.

    Murdoch sold the paper in 1986 (to buy its former sister television station WFLD to launch the Fox network) for $145 million in cash in a leveraged buyout to an investor group led by the paper’s publisher, Robert E. Page.

    To sum: a couple of things about Murdoch – he was not liked by many/most members of the newspapers he owned here in the US. Royko’s distaste of Murdoch’s newspaper ethics and conservative leanings were part and parcel of his move to the Tribune. Royko made many comments, always critical, about Murdoch but always referring to him as “the Alien”. The moniker stuck even after Murdoch naturalized as a U.S. citizen to enable his ownership of U.S. television properties as US law requires owners to be citizens.

    In essence, the leopard doesn’t change his spots. Sorry to see Murdoch soilng the Sydney tragedy with his remarks.