https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... e-minister
Relevant to OP: Murdoch media moved to oust Turnbull for not being rabid enough on climate policy. These actions are probably not illegal. They wouldn't be in the U.S., although they might have been before 1980. Point is, capitalists directly make the laws (libertarian pole), or lawmakers with systemic awareness bend to perceived needs of capitalism-as-necessity (liberal pole). The actions cannot be called secret, but rather obscured through inattention from the media, which in Australia would be mostly Murdoch. Problem is not "conspiracy" of Murdoch lying to Turnbull that he may lay off, then having his reporters go on the attack. Problem as I've been saying is 1) that Australian media ownership is concentrated in this one conglomerate he owns as an outcome of capitalism, and 2) that capitalist ideology validates this private ownership as the good and necessary producer of prosperity, and 2a) celebrates the kinds of assholes who achieve such ownership as the worthiest of humans. Thus facilitating and encouraging such action, making it into business as usual. The conspiracy frame serves the obfuscation, albeit in a secondary way.
Turnbull was warned Rupert Murdoch was trying to remove him as prime minister
Malcolm Turnbull understood to have received call from billionaire Kerry Stokes warning News Corp was looking for leadership change
Wed 19 Sep 2018 02.55 EDT
Turnbull was warned Rupert Murdoch was trying to remove him as prime minister | Australia news
The former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was warned in a phone call from the media mogul Kerry Stokes that Rupert Murdoch and his media company News Corp were intent on removing him from power, Guardian Australia understands.
According to sources close to Turnbull, the former prime minister says Stokes relayed in a conversation in mid-August that he had been in contact with Murdoch and had discussed a News Corp push for a leadership change.
The Australian Financial Review and the ABC have also reported that Murdoch had told Stokes, chairman of the Seven Network, that Turnbull needed to be replaced as prime minister.
Stokes is said to have replied that the likely result of such a campaign would be to deliver government to Labor and Bill Shorten.
Murdoch, according to both reports, brushed aside Stokes’s concerns, saying Labor would only be in office for three years.
The Guardian sought comment from Stokes and News Corp.
In a statement to the ABC, also provided to the Guardian, Stokes said: “I have never been involved in leadership events nor autopsies of them like the one you have published.
“Furthermore, the characterisation and supposed details of the private conversations you have assigned to me are wrong.”
He did not address the central contention of both reports that Murdoch had wanted a change of leadership and that Stokes had warned Turnbull about this.
Stokes acknowledged that the ABC had been attempting to speak to him before it went to air with its version of events. But he said the ABC had relied on “spin from parties attempting to rewrite history”.
A spokesperson for News Corp said they were unable to comment on the contents of Murdoch’s calls.
However, the Australian columnist Chris Kenny accused the ABC of undergraduate journalism “that is a jaundiced concoction of rumours and factual errors purporting to suggest that Malcolm Turnbull lost the prime ministership because of a media campaign led by this newspaper”.
He said the editorials in the Australian had been supportive of Turnbull or neutral on the question of who should lead the party right up until the challenge.
The 2018 leadership spill in numbers – video
Guardian Australia understands that Turnbull, who is believed to habitually take notes of his conversations, was so alarmed by the call from Stokes and what he perceived to be a gathering News Corp campaign against him that he later made a separate approach to Murdoch himself.
That call came after his near-death experience in the party room on 21 August, when he survived a first attempt to remove him as prime minister 48-35. But the general view was it was too narrow a win and a second challenge in the near future was inevitable.
According to sources close to Turnbull, a desperate prime minister tried to explain to Murdoch that the only result of changing leaders would be to deliver government to Labor.
He pointed out he had shifted on the national energy guarantee policy so hated by many News Corp commentators and Tony Abbott and he had delivered, in part, on tax cuts.
It did no good. Murdoch fobbed him off, promising to speak to his son Lachlan about it. According to the ABC report, Murdoch also said he did not know what Boris was up to – a reference to the Australian’s editor-in-chief, Paul Whittaker.
Murdoch had arrived in Australia 10 days earlier and Turnbull believes News Corp, the most powerful media organisation in Australia, became more hostile towards him from that time.
“There was no doubt there was a marked shift in the tone and content of the News Corp publications once Rupert arrived,” said one of Turnbull’s former staff. “And there was no doubt in our minds that News was backing Dutton.”
As is tradition when the Murdochs come to town, there had been a function with editors, at Lachlan Murdoch’s Bellevue Hill mansion, a few days after Rupert Murdoch arrived.
That same day the Daily Telegraph had warned of “a toxic brawl” over energy policy. On Sky the night-time commentators Peta Credlin and Andrew Bolt ramped up their negative assessments of the national energy guarantee and of Turnbull himself.
The next day, Sharri Markson in the Telegraph had the inside running on the forthcoming leadership challenge and was the first to report on the likely challenge by Peter Dutton.
The Channel Nine journalist Chris Uhlmann went on air on the Today show, the day after the first challenge, to accuse News Corp and Sky News of waging war on Turnbull, accusing media figures of going beyond reporting to picking up the phone and lobbying.
Markson has defended News Corp’s reporting as straight, objective news reporting and described Uhlmann’s broadside as a “disgusting and outrageous attack”.
The attacks on Turnbull were also taken up by the 2GB shock jocks Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, who amplified the attacks on their network of stations. At one stage, Hadley read out an email from an anonymous MP in support of a leadership change but, through a slip of the tongue, appeared to indicate on air that the text was in fact from Dutton. He later denied it was from Dutton.
By week’s end the deed was done. But the candidate Turnbull believed News to be backing, Dutton, had failed to win the numbers, giving Scott Morrison a chance to come through the middle. The ABC noted that Stokes’s West Australian had editorialised in favour of a compromise, and had advocated for Morrison and Bishop.
As he gave his final speech, Turnbull referred to an “insurgency” inside his party aided by outside forces in the media.
The Telegraph spent the first week of Morrison’s prime ministership praising the new prime minister for his first appearance in parliament.