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Fox News Channelled Down Under:

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This narrative traces over a two year period how News Ltd's Peter van Onselen uses many of the same tactics used by the Fox News Channel in the USA in his weekly programme The Contrarians on Sky News. Week after week the host leads carefully chosen panels to beat up on the government of Australia and the PM and anyone who challenges the dominant narratives and concerted campaigns the News Corporation is running against that the government. Over the two years there has been an unrelenting campaign to delegitimize the Prime Minister and have her replaced. As early as April 2011, concern for patterns emerging on The Contrarians was such that a closer look was being taken at the style and content of the journalism and punditry being employed. Others who had been at first amused, later perplexed and eventually horrified by the offerings of the Fox News Channel were seeing similar patterns emerging on The Contrarians. There was a suggestion that Peter Van Onselen was using the strategies that made FNC a financial success but a disaster for ethical journalism and informed citizenry. The first three chapters look at programs from April/May 2011 and identify tactics which might make good television, promote the media baron's agenda but diminish the quality of civil discourse and rational debate. They feature stacked panels, disrespect for other views, selected narratives, silenced opposition, exaggerated language, emotionally charged claims and disrespect for Australians who don't support the political agenda of those who control the media assets. The second part of this narrative responds to programs separated by 12 months and covers a grieving process that travels through sadness, disappointment, pleading, anger and then despair. This takes the form of letters which contain what others may have said to Peter Van Onselen who in their view appears to be placing loyalty to his employer and the primacy of the bottom line of the corporation over loyalty to journalism and the va