The Weekend Australian of September the twenty fourth features another of Brendan O’Neill’s heart rending defences of the tattered image of News Ltd. Brendan is furious at “bigwigs who will poke their noses into the behaviour and morality of the media.” Given that the Murdoch press was poking their noses into other people’s behaviour and morality in a way that made it a criminal act seems to have been missed by Brendan. Here’s a tip Brendan, when you commit a criminal offence you will get noses poked in your business. Another point is that if you lie about knowing about the committing of a criminal offence that too will be scrutinised and judged by people with big wigs.

Now Brendan it is interesting that you have dredged up John Milton to complain about the paradise that you have lost.  “If then his Providence – Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, – Our labour must be to pervert that end,” Perhaps Milton did have some premonition of the Murdoch press. However, I don’t believe he had any inkling at that one man could so dominate world media and thereby politics, so pervasively and aggressive that any opposing voice is shouted down and campaigned against using not reason and debate but by personal abuse as was hurled at Cate Blanchette.

Brendan claims “Milton argued that public discussion, the battle of ideas, did not require a referee, certainly not one as powerful and biased as the state.”  This paraphrasing is a rather imaginative extrapolation from Milton’s “Let Truth and Falsehood grapple,” and “Who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?” While this is a noble statement it does not fit his argument as the Murdoch media is not prone to presenting both sides of an argument and as Brendon’s article shows nor does it stick to the truth. For example Brendon states Not content with having brought about the closure of the News of The World, a paper read by7.5 million people, some campaigners seem to want to eradicate all publications they consider scuzzy and inferior.”

This statement is blatantly false. It was Rupert Murdoch who closed the News of The World in a desperate effort to limit the damage to the corporations credibility caused by that papers criminal hacking of phones and computers. The campaigners had nothing to do with it.

I note that Brendan presents himself as the “ordinary bloke” on the side of the man in the street. He bravely takes on the “elites” and the politicians and “celebrities’ and ‘bigwigs” and of course “academics”;  to whom he ascribes as exhibiting “eye swivelling snobbery”, whatever that is. This dislike of anyone who has intelligence or social status seems at odds with him choosing an archaic classical poet to give some credence to his defence of his master, who I might add, is clearly a bigwig.

Brendan’s ordinary bloke portrayal even goes so far as to use an identifying photo in which he has forsaken the usual business attire for the black tee shirt and facial stubble. One could easily imagine that it was snapped in his garage while he was tuning up his FJ Holden. There is a distinct odour of the Roger Ailes – Fox News resentment methodology in the Brendan O’Neill articles. Rolling Stone magazine wrote of Ailes “He takes the shame of people who feel that they are being looked down on, and he mobilizes it for political purposes. Roger Ailes is a direct link between the Nixonian politics of resentment and Sarah Palin’s politics of resentment. He’s the golden thread.”   Brendan is our own Aussie nickel plated version.