There was an interesting exchange between Julian Clarke, News Corp’s local boss, and Senator Christine Milne in the Senate Economic References Committee into Tax Avoidance. Julian Clarke spelt it out very clearly that Rupert Murdoch was running The Australian for ideological purposes. The exchange was as follows:
“With due respect, I don’t expect you to agree with this, but I consider The Australian to be the finest national newspaper operating in Australia,” [Clarke] said in reply to a question from Senator Milne.
Milne: We are not agreed.
Clarke: You are in a minority.
Milne: Not according to your sales.
Clarke was then asked if our ‘finest national paper’ actually had any direct competitors. He admitted “no there isn’t. But if The Australian wasn’t there, there’d be no one doing what we’re doing.”
Clarke: We have a difference of opinion about why we’re doing it. But every time you tell me we are doing it to run tax losses, I’ll tell you we’re not.
Milne: I’m happy to accept you are doing it for ideological purposes.
Clarke: I’m happy with that.