A tough week over at Fairfax Media just got tougher with federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton unloading on the embattled business and its striking journalists saying people would be better off without its publications.
In what can only be described as an extraordinary attack, Dutton told Sydney’s 2GB this morning – which is majority owned by Fairfax Media – that despite the staff strikes over the past seven days productivity “went up last week” during the stoppage.
The comments follow news today that striking staff have issued a no-confidence motion in Fairfax bosses, who, in turn, have threatened to sack who use personal social media accounts to attack the company.
Clearly Dutton is no fan of Fairfax newspapers or its journalists, however, the cause of his ire is not entirely clear. Dutton has been touted as a possible replacement to Malcolm Turnbull should the prime minister slip further in the polls.
Dutton told 2GB that Fairfax’s reporting was “out of touch” and the media business only had a “a couple of good journalists” on staff, his comments reported on The Australian.
As Immigration Minister, he appeared to take particular umbrage of Fairfax’s criticisms of the government’s immigration policies, particularly around refugees. He said Fairfax had an “ideological argument to push” regarding the government’s rough stance on refugees.
“I don’t think our lives were affected one way or another,” Durron said of the strike.
“I think people realise that you can live without reading Fairfax newspapers. I think it’s a better way to lead your life, that would be my advice.
“When they say ‘the Prime Minister has been captured by the Right’ or ‘has been playing to the conservative base of the party’, what that’s code for is this: They’re saying that Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t undone the boats policy, he hasn’t allowed the detention centres to close on Manus and Nauru. That’s the one thing they’re obsessed about.
“This is their criticism, they believe that already we should’ve had gay marriage or we should’ve had a Republic, they can’t believe that somebody like Turnbull is being captured into thinking you continue Operation Sovereign Borders and stop people coming by boat.”