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  • Aug, 2012

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    Elisabeth Needs To School Gina

    It’s only in the strange world we live in, where the “free market” isn’t roundly derided as a failure, that a speech by a media executive calling for the world to “reject the idea that money is the only effective measure of all things” makes you sit up and take notice. Particularly when that executive’s last name is Murdoch. Not Rupert. Elisabeth.

    Last night, Elisabeth gave the MacTaggart address at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. I can’t say what this means long term, whether the 44-year old executive who runs News Corp’s Shine Television used the speech to embark on a long campaign that takes on the very world view espoused by the Rupe and Elisabeth’s younger brother James, both of whom have been at the center of the hacking scandals, not to mention paragons of the global media industry.

    But, she did make a splash, per the Sydney Morning Herald:

    In marked contrast to the dry economic rhetoric preferred by both her father and brother, she said that people needed to “reject the idea that money is the only effective measure of all things or that the free market is the only sorting mechanism” and said that “the absence of purpose” could be “one of the most dangerous own goals for capitalism and for freedom”.


    But she repeatedly gestured towards liberal values with references to progressive political figures, including “one of my heroes” Vaclav Havel and Nelson Mandela whom she watched walk from prison “through my tears”.

    I can’t help but note the vast difference between the views of Elisabeth, at least as stated in this one speech, versus those of Gina Reinhart. While Elisabeth seems to want to open up new voices and encourage democracy, Gina is trying to sell off one-third of her stake in Fairfax—a move which has further depressed the stock— because she was unsuccessful, so far, at using her wealth to muzzle people.