Gina’s Media Grab

On July 20, 2012, in Commentary, by admin

by Jim Osborne

The flailing Fairfax media empire has caught the interest of billionaire mining heiress Gina Rinehart. A woman who had the financial acumen of choosing Lang Hancock as a father, the kind of smart decision making which many think makes one worthy of the wealth of ten thousand labourers.

The worlds richest woman has purchased to date 18.67% of Fairfax, but has not yet been granted a position on the board. The purchase may not make financial sense to some as Fairfax has not been all that remarkably successful. Many are wondering why Gina might purchase a share in a poor performing company, specialising in printed news, which is worldwide having its readership move to online sources. As Gina already has more money than she could ever want, thanks to the Capitalist systems proclivity in rewarding handsomely those who already have a lot of money and have made it through inheritance, it seems clear it is about power. A fact that many pundits seem to fail to grasp. Wealth is nothing more than a tool to gain power. It is power, not wealth, which drives the like Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch. It is power which makes those already wealthy buy up more of the planet and bleed it dry. It is the struggle for power which is the true nature of the class war, a point lost on the Occupy movement who couldn’t see anything other than money as the player. This, one might add, is the same myopia which afflicts libertarian free marketeers.

The potential for this billionaire mining magnate to have influence over the content of newspapers like The Age has gotten some Australians in a huff and given them some mild anxiety about the future of the media landscape in Australia. Many are expressing concern that newspapers such as The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald will express a point of view which is somewhat more sympathetic to the needs of billionaire miners. This, they claim, will sully the quality of journalism, influence the public and degrade the quality public debate. They are worried that a pro-mining message will emerge within the printed words of the broadsheet, which is in reality a concern that the media will be more sympathetic to the needs of Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer. Most confusing of all, is they claim this will be a big win for “the right”. This author thinks that many simply think the business interests of the obscenely wealthy equates with ‘right wing’ politics, a simplistic and erroneous. They equivocate between the wealthy plutocrats and grass roots people politics fighting Liberalisms globalisation.

So is the concern that a bias will be introduced, or that the bias which will be introduced will be one of benefit to the hyper-capitalist class? The reality is a bit of both but as we shall see, the concern which seems to largely come from Liberal circles is misplaced and perhaps a little hypocritical.

Mainstream media has been attacked by the Left for some period of time, largely due to their unwillingness to swing towards turning into another “Green Left Weekly”. The Liberal left ARE the establishment, and it is the integrity of the establishment which they seek to protect using the outdated hippy era rhetoric of infantile scaremongering, muck-racking and hyperbole.

Every political activist, particularly Nationalist activists like us will be more than aware of the established media’s willingness to resort to sensation, slander, lies and the cheapest and lowest of below-the-belt hits in order to draw the attention of the roving eyes of the members of the peanut gallery. This is the mainstream media, and whether it is owned by Billionaire Tyrant Murdoch, back-of-the-truck-protesting Gina Rinehart or collectively by thousands of aspirational working class investors makes little difference. Yet we are now seeing some efforts to get the community to save Fairfax, with the belief that this will keep it independent. There quite simply is no independent media organisation in existence. There can only be independent forms of media.

There are some Left wing Liberals who sincerely believe that newspapers such as “The Age” are independent, and somehow stand in opposition to “right wing” rear-end rags such as the Herald Sun. Firstly, this belief in independence demonstrates that the far left doesn’t see itself as a political ideology, but as the natural end result of rational thought. Any other political opinion is treated as an aberration, a deviation from rational thought. The far left seem to believe, is the result of an objective, rational mind, hence why they do not consider a newspaper like “The Age” to be biased, but “independent”.

Of course in order to believe this, we have to believe that somehow one mainstream newspaper, run as big-business for shareholders is somehow fundamentally and elementally different to another mainstream newspaper run as big-business for shareholders. We also have to believe that by pure circumstance, those who run News Limited push a “right wing” bias into their media streams such as the Herald Sun (there is no doubt that News Limited push an agenda), but Fairfax is devoid of such bias, is open and independent and would just as likely publish a commentary stating why the White people need to abandon multi-racialism in order to preserve their racial heritage as it would a commentary in support of gay marriage.

We all know that some of Murdoch’s biggest critics, such as the ex-Greens leader Bob Brown have no qualms at all, and have publicly advocated for, suppressing particular points of view which they believe don’t have a place in our society. Most of the far left seem to agree that opinions which they consider against their political grain are not valid opinions, and therefore not worthy of considering or dissemination. One only needs to read online debates about gay marriage to see how frequently and readily supporters of gay marriage flatly state that opponents of gay marriage have opinions which should not be considered valid. As if an ‘opinion’ could be classed as valid or invalid!

What we have here is hypocrisy of the worst type. Hypocrisy created by willing blindness. The denial of bias on the Liberal side of politics has convinced them that they are truly independent, and therefore being independent, the most suitable media for the country to consume and engage in its national debates by. They are hypocritical in attacking ownership of papers by a few for the sake of avoiding political bias, but in having no issue when a paper, such as “Green Left Weekly” puts forward its own political bias.

In addition to this, there are the usual comments about how rich people should be prevented from buying up media. While this author is not the fervent defender of the wealthy that the “right wing” is supposed to be, one cannot help but see a degenerate form of class warfare in such a sentiment. What is it about someone who is wealthy, which makes them unsuitable to have control over media? Do poorer people make more suitable candidates for media ownership? We witness more abuse of the media by the wealthy, because it is only the extraordinarily wealthy who can afford to buy a large enough share of mainstream media to influence it, and there is no room for small time players to make it. The middle class and other workers simply can’t, so we simply don’t SEE what they would do should they have power.

But one cannot suggest that somehow the rich have an evil agenda, and poorer ‘indy’ media folk are honest and more trustworthy. There is no doubt, from this authors personal experience, that the proclivity to bias the media, to silence opinion, ostracise others and push an agenda is one that is unrelated to wealth. Dare I say that Gina Rinehart may be less of a threat to freedom of speech that many of the far left who consider themselves somehow morally superior to her. There is no basis to suggest that media in the hands of poorer people, or struggling students is somehow fairer than media in the hands of the rich. It is not control of media by the rich which is the issue, but centralised control, by anyone, INCLUDING those on the other side of the ‘class war’ which is the issue. Our capitalist system simply makes it easy for someone who has wealth, to hoard greater amounts of wealth, and the intermarriage between the capitalist system and our political system naturally creates a plutocracy which overrides the democratic machinations and the will of the nation. We have a system where the future of the nation is dictated by very large business interests. Not the business interests of the small corner store proprietor, the self employed and of the small to medium business who power the bulk of our economy, but of the very few people who are wealthy enough to afford the attention of and the service of the prostitutes in our government.

The press has been a whore for many years now, so this development with Gina’s takeover is neither a novel development nor a shift in our national media landscape. The mainstream media lost credibility a long time ago and there is no independent or bias free mainstream media left any more to defend. Whether this mining billionaire gets her control or not is rather irrelevant to us. It is indeed a sad reflection of how our national debate is controlled and bought but the issue isn’t that a wealthy person is exercising their right to buy the company but that our socio-economic system makes this an inevitability. People may try to ‘stop’ her, but Gina is not the problem. Our system, which allows and condones and financially rewards this behaviour is the problem. Our issue is not with Gina, but the economic and political model in which this is ‘standard business’. Here is where the potential for corruption lies. Here is where the doors are flung wide open to centralised ownership of the media for business purposes. Here is where our battlefield to regain ownership of our own nation is. In changing the political system to protect the interests of the nation.

The Labor party may be upset that Gina is making this move, but Labor would never challenge the sacred cow that is the centralist capitalist system. We have a government which is committed to vocalising its opposition to the behaviour of corporations and plutocrats, but will defend the system which permits and encourages this behaviour. We have in government slaves who sing loudly about freedom while fighting against the nation for their masters.

It’s too late now and instead we should be looking towards alternative media. The Internet provides a technology which allows for true freedom of speech, despite efforts by some to centralise and control information, such as Zuckerburgs Farcebook. This is a freedom of speech that worries many, as it allows people to express opinions that don’t believe are valid, such as ours.




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