CANBERRA – Australia’s commercial TV networks are refusing to run an advert that accuses Rupert Murdoch of printing “misleading crap” in his newspapers ahead of national elections, the activist group behind the ad said Wednesday.
The Australian-born Murdoch, now a U.S. citizen, owns mass-selling newspapers in his former homeland and his Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph has called for voters to “kick out” Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Labor Party government in Saturday’s polls.
“It was great when you could pick up the paper and get . . . well . . . news,” says the man in the ad by left-wing activist group GetUp! as he stands on his front lawn to collect a newspaper, later using it to clean up his dog’s droppings. “But political bias presented as news is, well, misleading crap. Don’t let the crap decide your vote. Stand up for what you want. Tell Rupert, ‘We’ll choose our own government.’ “
GetUp!, which describes itself as an independent community advocacy organization, is complaining to the competition watchdog after three major commercial networks refused to air the video, which has been viewed more than 270,600 times on YouTube.
“Seven, Nine and 10 are still refusing to run it,” GetUp! spokesman Rohan Wenn said, adding the Seven Network had described the ad as “distasteful” and that Network Ten, of which Murdoch’s son, Lachlan Murdoch, is a director, had said it did not want to target another media group.