Until today, I’d never seen a national broadsheet with pretensions to fair and balanced reporting actually admit that it wasn’t just biased against a party supported by 14% of the country, it wanted to “destroy” it. But that’s just what The Australian did in its editorial today:

Greens leader Bob Brown has accused The Australian of trying to wreck the alliance between the Greens and Labor. We wear Senator Brown’s criticism with pride. We believe he and his Green colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box. The Greens voted against Mr Rudd’s emissions trading scheme because they wanted a tougher regime, then used the lack of action on climate change to damage Labor at the election. Their flakey economics should have no place in the national debate.

Well, there you are. You can take pretty much everything The Australian says about the Greens in that context: they are not interested in giving them a fair hearing, or listening to what they have to say, or presenting their arguments for public assessment: they want them “destroyed”.

Everything you read about The Greens in that paper can now be almost completely discounted by that fact. You can only conclude that if there’s a smear, they’ll run it. If there’s a positive story, they won’t. If there’s a way of presenting the Greens’ policies in the most damaging, least accurate light, that’s how they’ll be presented. The Greens will not be given fair opportunity to respond to critics’ claims about them (including the asinine ones made in that editorial). It will be relentless, one-sided, hostile propaganda.

Anyone who seeks to rely on The Australian for information should be aware that whatever they’re told about the Greens will be subject to the most extraordinary, deliberate bias, with the express purpose of having them “destroyed at the ballot box”.

I know it’s hardly news that Hardly News has an axe to grind against the left in general and the Greens in particular: but this admission, this defiant declaration today is extraordinary. They genuinely think the right so victorious that they can without commercial consequence announce their utter contempt for anyone who believes otherwise. Screw you, progressives who believe in public services, civil liberties, a social democratic Australia. You’re the fringe, and the country’s biggest media empire is working to make sure you are no longer represented in parliament.

This is The Australian openly eschewing reporting for advocacy; nearing the completion of its transition into the Fox News of Australian media.

UPDATE: Maybe the Australian‘s editors are right: maybe their readers won’t in any way be concerned about being openly led around by the nose. After all, many of them voted Liberal even after Tony told them that you couldn’t believe what he said – something they bizarrely cheered as being “refreshing honesty”. Maybe they will, without irony, applaud the Australian promising to dedicate its reporting about the Greens to telling them what they already – because they believe what the Australian tells them about the Greens – believe about the Greens.

(Via reader Wayne.)

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