Oz Blog News Commentary

Pointing at a mirror

September 24, 2023 - 10:38 -- Admin

I have written about this sort of thing before, most notably in the context of the ludicrous ‘Keith Murdoch Oration’ given by the chief executive of News Corp, Robert Thomson1 some time ago, in which the lies were queued up like beads on a necklace2. 

While I have been considering again writing about this for a while, it is only now that I have been so infuriated enough to write this by the rancid criminal hypocrisy of Rupert Murdoch when he said: “Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who would question their provenance and purpose. Elites have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class. Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth”3.

The Murdoch media is a prime example of a self-serving bureaucracy. Murdoch and his minions rabidly push the conservative political agenda because it allows organisations like his to make billions for his family through lower taxes, grants4, subsidies5, and lax regulations6.

One of the funniest things is that billionaires like Murdoch and his ilk disparage the ‘elites’ as if they are not part of the elite. Former Prime Minister John Howard often referred to the ‘elites’ who, he said, were trying to undermine his program, which mostly consisted of shovelling money to the wealthy and scapegoating asylum seekers and indigenous Australians. Howard’s ‘elites’ included people with expertise, such as economists, scientists and sociologists, but excluded those who actually were the elites in government and business7. It was Howard’s way of fomenting scorn among the populace thereby deflecting attention away from those, like him, who were the elite and actually had the wealth, power and influence, and were misusing it for their own gain.

When the malevolent Murdoch claims that “most of the media is in cahoots with those elites”, he is of course referring not to his media, but those ‘other’ outlets. This is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black. It is the Murdoch media which is in cahoots with the real elites; the billionaires and millionaires of big business, as well as the political elite. This is clearly evident by the way the Murdoch minions mirror the conservative and far right talking points. To say that those ‘other media’ “peddle political narratives rather than pursuing the truth” is perhaps one of the most hypocritical of his statements. The Murdoch media is notorious for lying, again with the aim of making the conservative side of politics look less like a bunch of halfwits. I have written of many instances of the Murdoch media lying of which I became aware8, 9. I am sure there are many hundreds more, because I did not actively seek these lies out, is simply bumped into them in my online perambulations. 

This bovine ordure from Murdoch is the epitome of the methodology of conservatives, the far right and religious nutters. They accuse others of the crimes of which they are guilty. It is similar to what is called ‘Accusations in a Mirror’ (AiM) and came to prominence during the Rwandan genocide. The basic idea of AiM is deceptively simple: The propagandist falsely accuses one’s enemies of conducting, plotting, or desiring to commit precisely the same transgressions that one plans to commit against them. For example, if one plans to kill one’s adversaries by drowning them in a particular river, then one should accuse one’s adversaries of plotting precisely the same crime”10, 11.

While I doubt that Murdoch intends to knowingly commit genocide, he is here accusing others of the crimes he himself commits. This sort of finger-pointing has burgeoned in Australia, ever since Howard was elected. This has manifested itself in a couple of other ways in recent years: 

The whining by the likes of Morrison about religious freedom as if there was some form of discrimination against the religious, when what he was mostly concerned about was the freedom for the religious to discriminate12.

The Voice to Parliament ‘No’ camp of Dutton, Mundine and their disgraceful cohort has accused the government of wanting to divide the nation, whereas it is the status quo which has divided the nation in life expectancy, incarceration rate, infant mortality, health, education and employment13. While Dutton cannot be blamed for all of the depredations of the ‘No’ camp, it is clear that assorted neo-Nazis have joined them. At one small ‘No’ rally, a large banner which says “Voice = Anti White” was on display14. One peculiar person at the rally even had a Trump flag. That bloke could be the subject of an entire Ph.D. in psychology. Given this association, it is wise to remember that while not everyone who votes No is a racist, every racist will vote No.

Another bizarre instance of this finger pointing was when some of the religious right-wing nutters threatened drag queens’ story time at libraries with online abuse and occasional bomb threats15. In several cases, the events have had to be cancelled because of threats to library staff16. In many cases, drag queens are accused of being a danger to children by some of the religious (the Australian Christian Lobby, of course)17.

Victorian premier Dan Andrews said, in parliamentary Question Time, that it was “a disgrace” a drag story time in Melbourne needed to be cancelled. He added; “It’s shameful. My message to those people is if you want to behave like the worst elements of the Florida Republican party, well get to Florida. Get over there where your hateful views might be worth something, they’re worth nothing here”15. This is another aspect of the most recent incarnation of the ‘accusing others of your crimes’ technique which warrants mention; it is imported directly from the US, from the crumbling Trumpesque Republican Party.

It is also ironic that the religious are concerned about children being endangered by drag queens when it is some churches which are havens for child abusers. In many, if not most cases, the hierarchy of these churches knew the abuse was happening, but either did nothing or actively covered it up18-20.

Accusing others of the crimes you commit is a common theme among conservatives and the far right, and their religious bedfellows. Of course, much of the media dutifully and naively report such accusations, seemingly incapable of seeing through this charade of finger-pointing and unable to perceive the hypocrisy of it all.