Elections are always a contentious time. This year, in Australia, all of the major television networks have refused to air an ad created by GetUp Australia as they consider it distasteful or they don’t want to anger Rupert Murdoch.
Channel 10 said outright on the phone that they wouldn’t run the ad because it criticises [sic] another media outlet. Lachlan Murdoch is on the company’s board. We’re sure the two are totally unrelated.
Channel 7 refused the ad because “the creative execution was considered distasteful and potentially offensive to our audience, so we have decided to make a stand.” So noble. We created a new version of the ad with the ‘offensive’ bits blurred out. They didn’t respond.
Channel 9 at least approved the ad, and ran it for four days. In fact, 615,800 people have already seen it on 9 across Brisbane. On Monday, they pulled the ad, and blamed it on a “coding error,” saying it never should have run. Whoopsadaisey.
So why, exactly are the networks hesitant to run the ad. It may have something to do with the monopoly that Murdoch has on the newspapers in Australia and the relentless propaganda his papers are pushing.
Regardless of what one thinks of Rudd and his policies, propaganda and censorship do not lend themselves to a free and fair election.