American media mogul Rupert Murdoch is flying to Australia to personally endorse calls by former prime minister Kevin Rudd for a royal commission into News Corp Australia’s reporting.
Mr Murdoch left New York this morning Australian time in a private News Corp jet and is due to land in Canberra in the early hours of Thursday.
It is understood he will hold a news conference at Canberra Airport to urge Prime Minister Scott Morrison to establish a royal commission into the reporting practices of News Corp Australia, something Mr Rudd has been advocating for several months.
Mr Rudd’s efforts have been attacked mercilessly by media outlets owned or controlled by News Corp.
The Bug understands Mr Murdoch’s support for a royal commission is to be contingent on the Morrison Government issuing strict terms of reference for the inquiry.
“Rupert backs a royal commission but only if it is limited to examining one particular aspect of News Corp reportage,” a company insider said.
“His change of mind on a royal commission followed the publication of a front page story in today’s Courier-Mail in Brisbane which clearly blames the Morrison Government for the fatal debacle that has been its handling of the aged care sector in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. (pictured)
“The Courier story used words like ‘fiasco’ and ‘botched’ and ‘failure’ to describe the federal government’s efforts while talking up the Palaszczuk Government as the saviour, coming to the rescue of all those poor old folk in nursing homes in Queensland.
“Rupert wants any royal commission to focus on that story and that story alone so he can find out exactly how it ended up on the front page no less and so he can satisfy himself just how many of his employees need to be sacked so as it never happens again.”
Mr Rudd could not be contacted for comment.
NOTE: Main illustration supplied by News Corp Australia