Bolt: Kevin Rudd’s media rant is full of errors
KEVIN Rudd is demanding an inquiry into media abuses. Hey, let's start by investigating this failed prime minister's own rotten journalism.
Rudd's opinion piece calling for "a full royal commission into the abuse of media power in Australia" reveals not just his paranoia but weak grasp of facts.
Errors of fact, bias, conspiracy theories, cherrypicking and unsupported allegations - it's all there. Spelling errors, too.
Rudd's piece appeared in the sympathetic Sydney Morning Herald, long his favoured outlet for leaks, tips and exclusives.
In it, he warns of a "rolling crisis" - the media is falling into the hands of a wicked cabal with "a combination of extreme ideological conservatism, fuelled by rampant commercial interests".
The ABC has had "conservatives politicise its board … and pressure its management to get rid of troublesome journalists".
Meanwhile, News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch has been "up to his neck in the elevation and removal of Australian prime ministers".
And now Rudd's beloved Fairfax will be "consumed by a television company (Nine) which is chaired by Peter Costello" - ominously, a former Liberal treasurer.
Let's deal with the nutty conspiracy theory first.
Rudd's suggestion that conservatives rule at the ABC is bizarre. The ABC is overwhelmingly of the Left, and when chairman Justin Milne did try to tackle its bias, he did it so clumsily that he was forced to resign last week.
As for Fairfax, Costello even trying to turn the SMH or The Age into conservative newspapers is as likely as banshee Herald columnist Clementine Ford admitting men aren't just potential rapists.
In fact, Rudd fails to note that the media is overwhelmingly of the Left: not just the ABC and Fairfax, but SBS, Guardian Australia, Junkee, Buzzfeed, The Conversation, Channel 10's The Project and more.
Even Murdoch's newspapers employ many Leftist columnists and journalists, including Phillip Adams, Troy Bramston, Tory Shepherd, Susie O'Brien, David Penberthy, Jack the Insider, Malcolm Farr, Dennis Atkins and Graham Richardson.
And get this: Murdoch's news.com.au news site recently stunned me by hiring Shannon Molloy, who'd campaigned to get Murdoch's Sky News banned from screening in Qantas lounges.
But Rudd's piece is craziest when he gets to his real target - Murdoch, who this delusional man blames for his downfall.
In Rudd's mind, Murdoch has swelled to ginormous proportions, "owning nearly 70 per cent of Australian print". Er, Murdoch's News Corp actually owns a third of newspaper titles.
But on Rudd ploughs: "Murdoch used this power ruthlessly to run a campaign to depose Malcolm Turnbull in favour of Peter Dutton."
False again. Turnbull's strongest media supporters - Nikki Savva, Paul Kelly, Miranda Devine and Peter van Onselen - are all employed by Murdoch newspapers and defended Turnbull to the last.
Now for the fun bit. Rudd pooh-poohs the argument that most Murdoch papers, in fact, backed him in the 2007 election that made him prime minister.
That didn't count, he whines, because they'd earlier run two stories that hurt him.
One was that his wife's company had allegedly underpaid workers - claims Rudd said were later dismissed.
Wrong. The Office of Workplace Services later found the company had indeed underpaid workers, but accidentally, and had repaid them. And wasn't that a relevant story?
The other story that Rudd said showed Murdoch's malice is that Rudd, drunk, visited a New York strip club with News Corp editor Col Allan.
As Rudd put it: "Allen (sic) leaked my infamous visit to Scores nightclub … to the Murdoch Sunday papers, while neglecting to mention the fact that it was Allen, himself, who took me there as his guest. Does anyone seriously think that Howard was ever subjected to that sort of 'journalism'?"
Wow. Check all the errors. Rudd gets Allan's name wrong. Rudd claims on zero evidence that Allan leaked that story, when he'd earlier blamed the Howard government.
He's wrong again to claim the Sunday Telegraph did not reveal Allan was there. It did, and quoted Allan defending Rudd as a "perfect gentleman".
And how silly of Rudd to claim bias, saying former Liberal prime minister John Howard would never have been subjected to that sort of journalism.
Rudd should explain when Murdoch papers ever refused to report that Howard was drunk at a strip club.
As if. They'd have gone berserk.
I could list more examples of Rudd's errors, but who takes him seriously now?
And who's dumb enough to buy his pitch for a royal commission into how a wicked Murdoch duped a foolish public into dumping a wonderful prime minister?