"The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of (the corporation), but to make all other modes of thought impossible"
- George Orwell, 1984
Rupert's culture warriors are still circling the wagons, seeking to smear their critics and proving that there is nothing more viciously tribal than a News Ltd newsroom.
In an obviously coordinated move, Murdoch's scribblers are seeking to ridicule what they have been told to say are misdirected and paranoid attacks by respected figures such as AFR columnist Laura Tingle and businessman John Menadue over News Ltd's partisan news coverage.
A couple of weeks ago, Geoff Elliott, Mark Day and Caroline Overington sang from the same songsheet, declaring in one way or another that News Ltd was being assailed for doing its job in applying the unflinching scrutiny to the government demanded by its membership of the Fourth Estate.
Now it's the turn of Janet Albrechtson, who predictably seeks to tag anyone campaigning for higher standards of journalism as a "leftist". For someone accusing her critics as "Orwellian", this is as about as close to 'Newspeak' as it gets. There is only one planet in Janet's universe and that is the one that sees any criticism of her proprietor's standards as compromised in some way, as if Murdoch's minions were the final arbiters of objectivity. Oddly, News Ltd's histrionics grow ever stronger in direct proportion to the length of the list of those who believe it has abandonned any pretence of undertaking fair and balanced journalism.
Wouldn't it be braver for Rupert's scribblers - for once - NOT to put on their flak jackets and start fighting from their dug-in positions and entertain the possibility that their organisation's overwhelming dominance of the news landscape in Australia and the aggressively partisan nature of its news coverage are working against the possibility of a properly functioning democracy?
Instead, true to News Ltd's tribal form (see 'Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism'), Albrechtson seeks to smear Menadue (funnily enough a man who spent seven years as general manager of News Ltd in Australia) as one of the feared "elites" so out of touch with The Australian's noble causes that we are told sit "at the pragmatic centre" of Australian politics.
That's how they construct reality at News Ltd. We're normal. Everyone else is out of step: