News Corp slams Turnbull’s ‘false’ claim
NEWS Corp has hit back at former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull for a false statement he made on the ABC's Q&A program on Monday night about its coverage of the bushfire crisis.
"Last night, former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made the false assertion against News Corp on the ABC's Q&A program: 'We had 12 million of hectares of our country burnt last summer and your newspapers were saying it was all the consequence of some arsonists.'
"This unsubstantiated statement is blatantly untrue. The facts demonstrate starkly the falsity of Mr Turnbull's claim," a News Corp Australia spokesman said.
"During the bushfires period, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser published 3335 stories about the bushfires between September 1 last year and January 23. Only 3.4 per cent mentioned 'arson' or 'arsonists'. In this same period, news.com.au also published more than 300 bushfire stories, of which only 16 mentioned arson, equivalent to 5 per cent. Not one of these small number of stories stated the bushfires were "all the consequence" of arsonists."
News Corp Australiasia Executive Chairman Michael Miller addressed the issue in January this year.
"Contrary to what some critics have argued, News Corp does not deny climate change or the gravity of its threat. However, we - as is the traditional role of a publisher - do report a variety of views and opinions on this issue and many others that are important in the public discourse on the fires," he said at the time.
Originally published as News Corp slams Turnbull's 'false' claim