Like many Australians, I watched the Four Corners series 'Fox and the big lie' over the last two Mondays. While it wasn't surprising viewing for those of us who closely monitor far-Right media and politics, it certainly was highly disturbing. There is no doubt that the Murdoch media played a key role in growing and consolidating public support for Donald Trump and his far-Right administration. There is also no doubt that the Murdoch media, and Fox News in particular, played a key role in fuelling conspiracy theories about the 2020 US election being stolen, amplifying illegitimate claims about voting machines and voter fraud. Obsession with this conspiracy amongst some American voters ultimately led to the deadly Capitol riots in January that were aimed at overturning the valid result of a democratic election.
Why does this matter here in Australia? Promoting the big lie was a political choice made by Fox and News Corp. Media ownership here is concentrated heavily in the hands of News Corp. Fox even has a local far-Right TV outpost in Sky News. Sky was famously suspended from YouTube last month over its COVID-19 conspiracy theories and has provided racism a platform in innumerable incidents over the last few years. When people challenge News Corp, the company will try to undermine their credibility and silence them. That certainly happened with Four Corners, with the dozens of critical articles written in News Corp papers about the investigation. But these stories of rotten power and influence must be told and critics of the Murdoch media will not be silenced. I look forward to continuing to speak out about the extremism and danger of these far-Right media outlets.