The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Paul Howes backs Rinehart's bid for Fairfax and rejects public interest test

A surprisingly bi-partisan op-ed from Paul Howes in the Sunday Tele today in which he falls into line with my many arguments on the subject:

Everyone is talking about Gina. Not since she took on her stepmother for control of her late father's fortune has she loomed so large in Australia...But I don't think that Gina Rinehart controlling Fairfax, or Channel 10, is the portender of doom that many believe it to be.

While I'm staunchly Labor, I don't believe that the government or the community as a whole has the right to stop Gina from taking control of newspapers or other media outlets.

After all, from William Randolph Hearst, to the owners of this paper - the Murdoch family - and indeed the original Fairfax family, rich individuals controlling large media outlets is nothing new.

So Gina controlling Fairfax, or Ten, doesn't unduly concern me. That's the free market, right? That's how capitalism works. If Rinehart wants to spend some of her $30,000,000,000 on dying old media companies, well, she's welcome to give it a go...

In the end, Gina Rinehart can own all the media she likes. She can buy up every last newspaper and TV station for all I care.

Because surviving as a media outlet into the future - where anyone can make, disseminate and find news at the click of the button - is going to take great skill as a media proprietor.

And as a media proprietor, I rather suspect Gina Rinehart will make a great miner.