Take your pick on the way News Corp operates.

On oath before the Leveson Enquiry, Rupert Murdoch said “I’ve never asked a prime minister for anything’. (Leveson transcript 25 April 2012)

In his book ‘The Whitlam Government 1972-75’, published in 1985, Gough Whitlam says

… in the week after the 1972 election, Menadue, who had become my private secretary at the beginning of 1960 and had then become Murdoch’s financial manager in mid-1967, saw me on Murdoch’s behalf to put the proposition that Murdoch should become High Commissioner in London. Murdoch was confident that there could be no conflict of interest, since he would put his British interests in trust and there would be no public outcry since the media proprietors would not oppose the appointment of one of themselves.’ (p.581)

In my book ‘Things you learn along the way’ published in 1999, I said

Murdoch certainly believed that he had played a major part in the 1972 election result and that something was due to him. What he asked for was that he be appointed as Australian High Commissioner to London … Murdoch raised the appointment with me and explained that if he was the High Commissioner he would put his newspaper and television interests in trust so that there would not be a conflict of interest. He believed also that he could influence other Australian media proprietors and avoid medial flak for the new government over the appointment. He has since denied that the sought the High Commissioner’s job. … But Whitlam was adamant about Rupert for London. “No way” he said.’ (p.113)

He boasted way back in 1997 “I bet if I was going to be shot at dawn, I could get out of it.” (Shawcross, Rupert Murdoch, The Making of a Media Empire p62/3)

On his latest trip to Australia Murdoch gave us the benefit of his well-researched and in depth  understanding on climate change…”we should not be building windmills and all that rubbish” and to meet rising sea levels. “we have to stop building vast houses on the seashore”   His loyal employee and interviewer, Paul Kelly, did not even blink.

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John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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