Sky News radicalising Australians, driving politics to conspiratorial far-right fringe: Rudd

“Australia’s Sky News used to be a curious outpost of the global Murdoch empire. It is now a central force in radicalising Australians and driving our politics to the conspiratorial far-right fringe. #MurdochRoyalCommission is now more urgent than ever,” tweeted former prime minister Kevin Rudd who is leading calls for a royal commission into Murdoch’s influence on Australian government and politicians.

As the first witness at a parliamentary inquiry into media diversity last Friday, Mr Rudd revealed his and former Coalition PM Malcolm Turnbull’s fear of Murdoch when they held the nation’s top job, turning the spotlight on Murdoch’s influence on the current Australian government.

“The truth is, as prime minister, I was too fearful of the Murdoch media beast. That’s just the truth of it. I could pretend that I wasn’t, but I was,” he said.

The inquiry comes amid Australian government’s push to further empower Murdoch and other media moguls.

“The truth is, as prime minister, I was too fearful of the Murdoch media beast. That’s just the truth of it. I could pretend that I wasn’t, but I was,” he said.

“The Murdoch media monopoly is the monopoly which dare not speak its name. We can’t mention the M word, because we know it invites retribution.

On October 10, Rudd created a petition to establish a royal commission into the strength and diversity of Australian news media – he called it a #MurdochRoyalCommission on Twitter.

Rudd’s campaign against News Corp also coincided with Rupert Murdoch’s younger son James Murdoch’s interview with The New York Times where he explained he left the company because he was concerned its newspapers were disguising facts and endorsing disinformation.