Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has written to Rupert Murdoch about News Corp Australia’s coverage of his government.
Mr Andrews said he had raised with the US-based media mogul the ongoing vitriolic attacks on his Labor Party government.
But his message to Mr Murdoch did not ask for such attacks to stop.
“I can reveal that in the wake of Gladys Berejiklian’s resignation as NSW Premier I have written to Mr Murdoch in New York asking that his news outlets continue their attacks on me and my government,” the Premier said.
“I have stressed to Mr Murdoch that in no way do I want News Corp Australia’s outlets to go soft on me, or worse become my cheer squad as they did with Gladys.
“I urged Mr Murdoch to tell his editors, reporters, columnists and commentators to keep bucketing me.
“If Gladys’s fate is what awaits any state leader who has the full, unquestioned, and totally biased backing of News Corp Australia, then I don’t want it.”
Mr Andrews said his only concern was that News Corp Australia’s attacks might “run out of steam” in the next year.
“The last thing I want to see is for outlets like the Herald-Sun and The Australian to dial back their attacks before the November 2022 state election.
“If you remember in the 2014 campaign Murdoch media attacks on me and Labor were relentless, yet we won four seats to snare 47 out of 88 in the lower house to form government on a swing of almost 2%.
“In 2018 News Corp Australia’s attacks were, if anything, worse. Yet I led Labor back to government with an extra eight seats and a swing of almost 7% to give us 55 seats.
“In simple terms, the worse the Murdoch media attack me and Labor, the better we do with voters.
“I would dearly love the same to happen in November 2022 so it’s vital that News Corp Australia doesn’t flag in its attacks.
“They really need to pace themselves so they can ramp up their illogical and obviously biased coverage that will guarantee me and Labor another term,” Mr Andrews said.