Virginia Bryant is an award-winning artist/painter whose writings have been featured in daily newspapers and other publications. The flowing article Los Angeles Progressive 29 October 2023) she shows that there is also a vigorous campaign in the United States to win the Freedom of WikiLeaks founder Jullian Assange from persecution and a lifetime of imprisonment. Two politicians are spearheading a bipartisan effort within the Democrat and Republican parties and building support within the Congress and Senate, as part of the broader campaign. Most American agree that Assange should be freed.
Interview with Gabrial Shipton Julian Assange’s brother reveals the movement to free Julian is growing, and this is being helped by the Australia cross-party delegation of members of the federal parliament, which has gone to Washinton to put to their American counterparts, Australia’s call to stop the persecution of the award-winning journalist and publisher. Nine in 10 Australians support Assange, and support is growing in the United States.
Australia’s support is so strong that the prime minister and the leader of the opposition agree that “enough is enough.”
Gabrial suggests that perhaps those in Washington who value the Alliance the United States has with Australia might to consider this. He finishes by paying tribute to his brother’s courage, standing up in difficult situation marked by years of unjust imprisonment.
Rupert Murdoch’s announcement of his stepping down as chair of News Corp and Fox News will no doubt bring cheers from millions of people around the world. His toxic version of news, clogged with its customary sensationalism, deliberate misinformation, influence over governments, and promotion of what amounts to a twentieth century form of fascism, has inflicted a great deal of harm.
Murdoch announced the news in his United States flagship newspaper the Wall Street Journal. But the 92 year old tycoon is not exactly going into retirement. He will merely change roles, and most probably, continue to exert his toxic influence from behind his son Lachlan.
He wrote, “For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles.”
Lacklan is a chip of the old block, groomed to continue on the same track. He shares his father’s politics and style. There will be no change here, and it might even get worse.
Rupert Murdoch’s stepping down form formally leading the media empire makes sense. At 92, he hasn’t a lot of time to hand over the family business. More importantly, the business is enmeshed in a series of scandals and lawsuits, with him as the central figure. His reputation, and that of NewsCorp, Fax, his other media platforms have fallen around the word. Newsprint circulation is falling, and so are viewers of his television stations.
Try as he may, Rupert Murdoch’s efforts to penetrate as the principal force in digital media and information has hit a brick wall.
This scenario is reflected within Australia, where he originally came from. Rupert inherited the origins of his empire from his father Sir Kieth Murdoch, who already owned a big slice of Australia’s print media. It was after expanding to England taking over the smutty news of the World, and introducing the anti-union headquarter in Wapping with the support of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This became the model and springboard for the rise of the global empire.
In Australia, Murdoch moved to successfully take over more than three quarters of print, television, and radio media. Governments assisted this by progressively watering down laws limiting cross ownership over different forms of media.
Murdoch’s capacity to make or break governments paved the way. His power became so potent that would be prime ministers and government required his endorsement to succeed.
Through this, Murdoch was able to shape policies. The keystone ones were the promotion of extreme neoliberalism in economic and social policy; fanning racism against those of colour and different faith; leading media away from investigative reporting, towards trivialised, manufactured, and misinformation news. He has been a leading force in involving Australia in a series of wars against others.
Rupert Murdoch, who went on to centre his empire in the United States and become a citizen of that country, has been crucial to how far the unhealthy subservience of Australia to the demands of Washington has gone. A relationship which has brought a shift towards the militarisation and leads us to confrontation with China.
Murdoch is a major influencer over domestic policies, ranging from economic management and industrial relations to health and education, climate change and lowering carbon emissions, the treatment of Australasia’s first peoples, and the treatment of refugees arriving by boat.
NewsCorp and its satellites have had a corrosive effect. Although the departure of Rupert Murdoch might be regarded as a wonderful thing to see, it is action that puts an end to the monopoly he created that I needed.
For a start, cross media ownership laws must be restored. outlawing anyone from having a private monopoly over media is the next step.
The much publicised case of fox News v Dominion Voting Systems in the United States has been settled outside the court for a payment of $US787.5 million. Fox News, and this means Rupert Murdoch have escaped punishment for spreading the lies that Donald Trump really won the 2020 presidential election and that this was due to massive electoral fraud. Continue reading Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News escapes facing justice in the United States→
The Belmarsh Tribunal begun a hearing on 20 January 2023, at the National Press Club at Washington DC. Testimony was heard from to hear expert testimony from journalists, whistleblowers, lawyers, publishers and parliamentarians, on assaults to press freedom and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, with special attention paid to the case faced by Julian Assange
Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Srecko Horvat, the co-founder of DiEM25, chair the event, organized by Progressive International and the Wau Holland Foundation.
Members of the tribunal include Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Noam Chomsky, linguist and activist Jeremy Corbyn, member of U.K. Parliament and founder of the Peace and Justice Project, and many more.
Julian Assange has won a small victory. The way is open to appeal to the Supreme Court last December’s decision by the Lords to give the green light to the United States campaign to have him extradited to face charges of treason and the prospect of a lifetime in high security and brutal imprisonment. Jess Glass (The Independent 24 January 2022 writes about what happened on Monday. Legal representatives for Washington have given some assurances of proper treatment but have also left it open for this to be changed.
The following is from John Kiriakou, a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who became a whistleblower. He spoke out because of his opposition to the use of torture during President Bush’s time and charged during the Obama administration under the Espionage Act. John Kiriakou was sentence to 23 months imprisonment. The article below was first published by Reader Supported News (13 December 2021).