News Ltd wearing its bias on its sleeve for Murdoch
SPARKS are flying between the nation's leader and the man with the lion's share of Australia's newspapers with the News Corporation boss taking a swipe at the Federal Government's ambitious National Broadband Network policy.
Mr Murdoch's obvious disdain for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his administration played out on day two of the Federal Election campaign in Brisbane.
Mr Murdoch tweeted "Oz politics! We all like the ideal of an NBN especially perfect for Foxtel. But first how can it be financed in current situation?"
It came a day after News Corp publication, The Daily Telegraph, carried the headline "finally you now have the chance to...kick this mob out" on its front page with a picture of Mr Rudd.
Asked about the relationship at a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Rudd conceded it was fairly clear Mr Murdoch did not like his government.
"I think he has made it fairly clear...that he doesn't really like us and would like to give us the old heave-ho and get his mate Mr (Tony) Abbott in," he said.
"Well, it's a free country and he can do that if he wishes through a free media."
Mr Rudd asked Mr Murdoch why he would not want an NBN.
"The bottom line is it's for other to ask the question why Mr Murdoch really doesn't want the NBN to be connected to everyone's home and everyone's small business premises," he said.
"Does he sense it represents a commercial challenge to Foxtel, which is a major cash cow for his company or not?
"But I would rather hear from him on those questions or hear from his corporation."
A spokesperson for News Corporation said any suggestion that their editorial position was based upon the commercial interests of Foxtel demonstrated "a complete ignorance of both our business and of Foxtel".
"The general News business would benefit from faster national broadband speeds and Foxtel will benefit as it is be able to offer more choice and new services to consumers," the spokesperson said.
"Furthermore, Foxtel faces broadband competition with or without a national broadband network - of any type or speed.''
What do you think? Do you prefer your news straight or do you like strong, opinionated newspapers?