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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

media, conservatives, multiculturalism « Previous | |Next »
February 9, 2006

Anthony Lowenstein "argued that 'after the recent publication of the Latham Diaries Mark Latham articulated the sad reality of today's media: its job is not to serve the public interest, but to maximise profits. A statement bound to disappoint idealists, but a challenge to the rest of us.' This interpretation misses the political agenda of News Ltd.

An example is the conservative position on nationality which is plainly stated here. This expression of the conservatism advocated in Murdock's Australian and Fox Television is articulated by James P. Pinkerton, a republican, columnist for Newsday, White House staffer under Presidents Reagan and Bush, contributor to the Fox News Channel and a Fellow at the New America Foundation. Unlike Tim Blair, Pinkerton is more than a simple conservative partisan warrior.

The position he advocates refuses multiculturalism in the name of political and cultural assimilation. Parts of Pinkerton's op-ed. piece in Newsday were recycled in todays cut & paste section in The Australian. Pinkerton says:

The lesson of the Muhammad cartoon controversy is: Multiculturalism between nations is inevitable, but multiculturalism within nations is disastrous....Differences between the West and the Muslim world can be chalked up to just that - differences. That's the truth about world ethnicity, and no amount of politically correct wishful thinking will change that truth. Countries that ignore that basic lesson of history and political science put themselves at grave risk of internal discord, subversion and civil war. Either a country is united in its common culture or it becomes disunited in its multiculturalism.

The implication is clear, isn't it. National unity means saying no to multiculturalism because it spells disunity. What is required is social cohesion. This is the Prime Minister's Australia Day speech about social cohesion and national unity.

Pinkerton is quite clear on the implications. He says:

Short of worldwide war, followed by occupation, there's not much the West can do about Muslim culture in Muslim lands. That's international multiculturalism, alas. But on the issue of intra-national multiculturalism, there's plenty we can do. We can monitor, we can insist upon political and cultural assimilation and we can impose strict controls on immigration and travel visas - down to zero if need be. We might not be able to change them, but we can keep them from changing us.

Now we know. The 'we' in Australia would be the Australian-Britains, would it not?

Bruce Page, writing in New Matilda says that his term for the Murdoch product:

"... is 'privatised political propaganda'; that is, governments' own ideologies, made to order. The return it generates is business concessions in print and broadcasting — monopolies preferably — which enable a basically mediocre outfit to pump itself up to world rank...

Page sees Murdoch and his heirs monopolizing the sedate trade of apologising for entrenched and incompetent power.

Tis more than an apology for the Howard government we have here. The Murdoch newspapers have their feet in both the market and political life, and the use the freedom of the press to fight a cultural war against non-market liberals. In doing so they have turned their back on the pen being the key to public enlightenment.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:56 AM | | Comments (4)


Interesting points and I think fairly accurate. I agree that the Murdoch empire is not simply about profits - I have written elsewhere about this - but I also believe that the ideological battles are often exaggerated in importance. For example, the Murdoch press may well drop support for Howard and switch to the ALP, and not, I believe, because of ideology, rather populism.

good point.

I was trying to think of The Australian and the other News Ltd newspapers as political entities as well as a business ones; a political entity that is more than Page's privatized political propaganda----which is ideology.

They have rejected the old conception of the media as the watchdog of democracy. So what is it replaced with?

The irony of Multiculturalism is that, on a linguistic level, Western English speaking countries are becoming less multi-cultural than non-English speaking countries.

The children and grand children of Non English speaking Migrants to Australia lose their knowledge of their original language and become mono-lingual. Conversely, and lets use Greece as an example, everyone under 30 years of age is bi-lingual. They speak Greek and English.

that is indeed a sad irony.

Mono-lingual is one to be regretted. In a multicultural society there should be an emphasis on bi-linguality as part of our education, whether it is private or public.

Language is the house of being as Heidegger said---roughly meaning it is the "as-ness" of our contextualized experience. Since language is a way we turn towards the world together then Greek-Australians are impoverished to the extent that they lose Greek and speak just English.