Only a tiny fraction of voters would have read The Australian newspaper’s editorial on Friday in which the paper implored West Australians to vote for Colin Barnett’s Liberals.
Of that tiny fraction, an even smaller portion would have been News Limited shareholders.
Those few readers financially invested in the newspaper they were flicking through must surely today be considering selling their shares.
Rupert Murdoch’s great vanity project, which for decades dominated the nation’s journalistic landscape, has lost the plot.
That the self-professed powerhouse of Australian journalism could endorse the Barnett government for a third term shows the people running the paper have no feel for WA.
That voters did the polar opposite of what The Australian suggested is yet more proof that the paper’s power is vastly overstated.
The paper’s own Newspoll showed West Australians were sick and tired of a government which itself was sick and tired.
How arrogant for a newspaper which has long treated WA with disdain to tell its local readers they are completely wrong.
Bizarrely, it is doing the same at the Federal level, tacitly backing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a time when its own polling shows that Labor leader Bill Shorten is on the ascent.
At a time when newspapers everywhere are struggling, maintaining relevance to the day-to-day lives of readers and would-be readers is more important than ever.
The Australian is failing spectacularly on that front.
It is the key reason that more copies of The West Australian are dropped on the press room floor as the printers calibrate the register than The Australian sells across this State.
Murdoch’s stubborn insistence that the loss-making paper continue rolling off the presses, draining cash from News Limited’s already depleted coffers every time it does, shows the magnate is as out of touch with business as his flagship product is with contemporary Australia.
The mind-numbing pre-occupation with internal party politics and backroom business dealings — on rude display each day through the likes of Will Glasgow’s incestuous ode to financial rumour-mongering — will guarantee The Australian’s cringeworthy descent into obscurity.
Nobody is listening, Rupert.
For years The Australian promoted itself as being the “heart of the nation”.
Another organ would be more appropriate.