In an escalating battle between News Ltd and Fairfax Media over who is right over pay-TV piracy allegations, News Ltd has today resorted to running a story with the headline “Put Up or Shut Up”Over the weekend, full page advertisements were taken out in the Financial Review by the New Ltd Company NDS, at the centre of the allegations. This is in stark contrast to the first 24 hours when News Ltd publications failed to report the story despite Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy calling for a Police investigation.
According to today’s Australian newspaper which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, News Limited chief executive Kim Williams has said that he has written to AFR editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury and demanded his letter be printed in full in today’s AFR.
The letter is the News Limited chief executive’s strongest criticism of the AFR’s claims yet, going even further than last week’s damning public statements, calling the reports “nothing more than an exercise in ‘tar and feathering’ “.
“Falsehoods, fanciful conclusions and seriously misconstrued evidence characterise your vast stories. These have run over five days and across more than 20 pages of newsprint. In all of these anti-piracy actions, I did not see a single shred of evidence to support your allegations. Not one shred,” Mr Williams said in the letter.
He denies claims by AFR journalist Neil Chenoweth, arguing that Chenoweth’s claims is built on a trove of “stolen” emails that have been “manipulated and often misunderstood”.
At the end of the two-page lambast, Mr Williams demands the AFR contacts the AFP or ceases to publish the allegations.