Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has only himself to blame for losing the top job.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has only himself to blame for losing the top job.

Why NY Times’ Murdoch ‘expose’ is just a crock

I was almost proud when America's most famous newspaper last week said I was one of the plotters "destabilising democracy in North America, Europe and Australia".

Let my enemies tremble!

But The New York Times, instead, proved the surest way a newspaper destroys a reader's faith is to write about something the reader knows.

And about this I know plenty.

Two months ago, the Times's Jim Rutenberg asked to talk to me about "about the Murdoch empire at this time of transition" and about its Sky News, where I host The Bolt Report.

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I said no, I'd be wasting my time, given he was certain to take a "hostile look at the Murdochs, one tailored to suit the prejudices of a New York Times audience".

Rutenberg protested his series "will not be hostile", but that wasn't true.

It ran last week, claiming to describe "the Murdoch family's role in destabilising democracy" on three continents.

But it's not worth spit, to judge by its account of my role.

The Times says Murdoch's son, Lachlan, invited Sky employees to his Sydney home last August and asked: "Do you think Malcolm is going to survive?"

Natural question, given prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had lost every poll for two years.

But to the Times, it was actually an order expressing Lachlan's "desires", and "in the days that followed, Sky Australia's hosts and the Murdoch papers … set about trying to throw Turnbull out of office".

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has only himself to blame for losing the top job.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has only himself to blame for losing the top job.

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Indeed, "Andrew Bolt told his Sky viewers that Turnbull's 'credibility is shot'."

What a crock. First, I missed Lachlan's gathering, and have never written to orders.

Second, Lachlan couldn't make me "set about" what I'd already done for years.

I'd opposed Turnbull from the day he became prime minister in 2015. That day, I wrote he had no judgment and would "be the leader of a party he cannot unite".

He'd fail because his global-warming beliefs were "potentially another party-splitter".

Fellow Sky hosts Peta Credlin and Alan Jones also opposed Turnbull, while other Murdoch columnists - Peter van Onselen and Niki Savva - defended him to the last. (Didn't they get Lachlan's "order"?)

And Turnbull failed exactly as I'd predicted.

That's the other crucial point the Times ignored in blaming the Murdochs for Turnbull's fall: Turnbull destroyed himself.

He was hopeless.

Like The New York Times.