tip off

The Oz versus the Greens: well beyond the normal News Ltd bias

Judging by the frantic self-justification yesterday and today, the penny has dropped at The Australian that they have overplayed their hand in declaring their desire to destroy the Greens.

This is a significant addition to our understanding of News Ltd’s agenda. I predicted the day after the election that this secretive, unaccountable American and Saudi-owned media company would go after the Greens, but I never thought it would be baldly stated as an editorial goal of the paper.

It’s one thing to be biased in your coverage. The paper’s consistent partisanship and open hostility to Labor is taken as read by all except its most blinkered adherents — even, perhaps, by its own journalists, some of whom are prone to reassuring people outside the News Ltd bubble that they don’t really agree with many of the things they write and shouldn’t be judged on them. And to an extent it’s understandable, given the paper’s declining readership that skews much older and wealthier than even other newspapers.

But its declaration of war on the Greens is a whole step beyond that.

Doubtless at some point after that editorial, the penny dropped in the minds of News executives and Chris Mitchell that, having declared that the goal of the paper was the destruction of the Greens, nothing The Australian reported about the Greens could henceforth be taken at face value. Anything it reports about the Greens, or policy issues of concern to the Greens, is now automatically suspect. How can anyone trust it to report accurately on the Greens or environmental issues?

The ABC, which is used to taking its late night and morning news agenda cues pretty much directly from The Australian, will now have to vet and fact-check even the most anodyne report if it touches on a party that outlet has vowed to destroy.

Such a declaration can now not be withdrawn without inviting even more ridicule than has already been heaped on the paper. Thus the rather frantic tone of self-justification over recent days. In the single funniest editorial of perhaps the past decade, The Australian yesterday declared itself the victim of a conspiracy by the ABC and Fairfax to undermine its quality journalism. Perhaps annoyed that its clear intent to delegitimise the new Labor minority Government was identified so early, it declared that The Oz was the real victim of delegitimisation —  delegitimisation of its coverage. Its media writers — who are front and centre on many a campaign of import to News Ltd’s commercial interests — have also joined in. Chief Kool-Aid guzzler Caroline Overington devoted most of her Monday media column to hectoring Laura Tingle and David Marr. And today Geoff Elliot ran a series of truncated quotes from “senior media professionals” to back the newspaper.

None of that will help: The Australian is condemned out of its own mouth — its political reporting is automatically biased, not just by the usual partisanship, but by an open declaration that it wishes to destroy the Greens.

An example of how they will try happened earlier this week. On Monday, The Australian put together a story about Greg Combet and his attitude toward coal, given its prominence in his electorate. A journalist from the paper called the Greens to invite them to respond to Combet’s comments. Sensing a trap, the Greens refused to cooperate, offering an anodyne comment about “building a working relationship” with Labor. Yesterday, according to the Greens, another journalist from The Australian called again to try to extract a more useable, aggressive quote about Combet and coal, and when the Greens refused again to play along, threatened to run a “Greens going soft on coal” story and ring around environment groups to elicit hostile comments about them. The Greens have mentioned the incident to environment groups and suggested they be on the alert for journalists from The Australian trying to manufacture splits in the environmental movement.

Impressive stuff from an outlet that claims it is being bullied by Bob Brown.

The Australian complains about “delegitimisation” of its coverage. The delegitimisation is entirely self-created, and started when it switched from being a conservative paper — for which there is a strong case in the Australian media landscape — to a partisan paper. But an open declaration that it intends to destroy, rather than accurately report on, an important aspect of Australian politics takes The Australian’s degradation of its own reputation to a new level.

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  • 1
    Daemon Singer
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I do wonder whether it will come as any sort of shock to the Australian, that outside of the Liberal party and its coalition with the Nationals, most people who are actively involved in politics are actually quite smart, and I’m not talking about the politicians themselves, but rather those of us who come election time stand up and assist our chosen party at the polling place.

    I actually enjoy many things about The Australian, but I have to confess that its substantially right-wing bias has become somewhat tiresome over the last few years. Now to have them actively engaged in pulling a political party down, puts them in a somewhat invidious position vis a vis information reliability.

    Declining readership aside, their seeming incapacity to understand the needs of the current generation of news consumers must weigh heavily on the minds of their accountants when we all rush out in the morning with a cup of tea and sit down in front of a computer and read all three newspapers within half an hour (Brisbane-based). Added to that is the fact that we read those same three newspapers at no charge, and it seems the writing should be on the wall, even if it isn’t, for the Oz and their colleagues.

    One gets somewhat used to the Murdochs, the Fairfax’s et al screeching about whichever party they don’t particularly like, trust etc., But to have them come out so bluntly and put their political cards on the table is a somewhat new experience, at least to this reader. I’m not sure whether it was an accidental breach of the Chinese wall, or whether they are trying for a new look, but it sure does make reading the Oz a whole new ball game.

    One can only hope that the subs and friends of the ABC spent a little time looking about before sending items off to News 24, which would then have the capacity to make them look rather stupid, if it had come straight out of the Oz.

  • 2
    Mr Squid
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’ think the Australian’s piece of self-debasement will have any effect on the ABC whatsoever. it too has set itself on a course of debauching every principle of ethical, honest, objective, independent and responsible journalism.

  • 3
    Pamela
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I decided to personally blacklist The Australian by reading it online only- and never buying it. Sadly may be heading this way with what was once my beloved AGE.

    Just too much OLD PARADIGM- Bob Katter you have much to answer for!
    But seriously the old one -two political game is just so last year. Time for real discussion, reflective new ideas. Is this not why we decided not to give the bastards a free run? We are just over watching the kiddies fight.
    Time the media caught up and stopped alternately urging and reporting the puerile fights. The Coalition 2IC needs debarking- did you see her last night UURRRGH and Yes Fran- you are in there too.

    Still in luv with Crikey though…

  • 4
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    You should also not discount the effect their blatant dummy spitting after labor was returned to their delegitimisation.
    Hopefully now they have been exposed we might be able to get some rational analysis of policy or is that just to much to ask?

  • 5
    Scott
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    The only way to have a truely balanced view point is to read the words of both the left and the right. The left is well served with the SMH/Age so it is only fitting that The Australian performs the role of mouthpiece of the right (at least it’s not the telegraph).
    I reconn the Oz should just stand behind it’s comments instead of trying to backtrack. Just looks weak.

  • 6
    tentomushi1
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Some papers did engage in front-page editorialising during the campaign, but The Australian was not among them.”

    Oh boy did that comment have me laughing for a while!

  • 7
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Fox News was once a legitimate news organisation. I wonder how many parallels there are between its descent and the descent of the Australian.

    The recent antics of that newspaper and its parent company show how significant media anti-consolidation laws are in protecting diversity of opinion.

  • 8
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    The Greens should be issued with tape recorders for all incoming phone calls.

  • 9
    johnd
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Well, it’s nice to see that Rupert has ordered that the Australian should more closely emulate his crown-jewel news organization Fox News.
    Soon the Oz will be filled with pseudo journalists frothing at the mouth and declaring that Julia was born in Haiti and is a citizen of Bosnia, and so shouldn’t be allowed to be Prime Minister.

  • 10
    D Smith
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    @Klewso, under the Australian telecommunications act, you must notify the other party on the phone that the call is being recorded.

    I can’t imagine any of The Australian’s reporters wanting to be recorded. They’d probably report it as “Another attack on the Saintly Australian by those evil hippy, communist, stalinist, union loving, elitist, educated Greenies.”.

  • 11
    Grogary Farino
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    People should simply read The Australian and crikey.com.au; much like Goldilock’s final porridge, the mixture should be “just right”.

  • 12
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny how, under their own “Howard Media Ownership Laws”, and what they delivered, they still can’t seem to be able to “flourish” beyond the rhetorical, and still draw all this public flack and opprobrium, amid their own “engineered” lack of competition - while sponsoring and trying to sell their brand of government to the electorate at large.

  • 13
    wilful
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The ABC, which is used to taking its late night and morning news agenda cues pretty much directly from The Australian, will now have to vet and fact-check even the most anodyne report if it touches on a party that outlet has vowed to destroy.

    hahahahaha. you jest, surely? we can only dream.

  • 14
    Adam Gilbert
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I wear The Australian’s declining revenues, readership and relevance with pride!

    The whole sad episode of the OZ declaring blatantly and collectively of their intent to destroy a political party very telling. It is clear that they see the Greens and their progressive politics as hugely threatening. They know that at this election this Greens have cut-through in Australia, not just in the fringes.

  • 15
    Damien
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    The Australian is utterly discredited in my view and has been since the days of the Howard Government. I don’t know anyone who reads it who isn’t involved with one of the conservative parties to a greater or lesser extent. It’s a pity therefore that the ABC, and commercial TV, must look to it for a lead on national issues simply because there’s so little competition in the national print news space. This really helps the Murdoch papers to shape popular impressions of public policy. If you keep repeating the same fiction without being challenged effectively, it soon becomes the truth.

  • 16
    Mr Denmore
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Anyone interested in this subject should listen to today’s radio interview with John Menadue on the failure of the media, during the election campaign - most notably the partisan sheet that The Australian has become and more particularly the echo chamber of the ABC.

    Menadue, it should be said, is a former general manager of News Ltd:

    http://tinyurl.com/285vwn9

  • 17
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    The fact that the Australians readership & revenues are declining is largely irrelevant, the fact is that the most popular papers in each state are all Murdoch owned and I can really only speak on the Herald Sun but it’s political commentary is also very right wing but lacks any seriousness at all (eg Andrew Bolt spent an editorial last week on his dog) so the Australian operates as an agenda setter of sorts. You only have to look at the BER to see thatit’s false campaign can very quickly lead to all other news sources referring to something as “troubled” or a “policy failure” based solely on the Australians opinion.

  • 18
    Daemon Singer
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    @Adam Gilbert: I agree. It’s a sad indictment on Australian media in general, but the right-wing elements of it in particular seem to almost take it as a personal affront when somebody other than the Lib/National coalition get up.

    Speaking of “get up”, the exercise by that pseudo-political body during the recent election must also have given them (the Oz), cause for concern, since by its very existence Getup is demonstrating that there are a lot of Australians are there with enough concern about the political process to want to involve themselves in it at a grassroots level with a view to being heard in the corridors of power, just for a change. I suspect it’s true to say, it certainly is from my perspective that once a political party is in power irrespective of what badge they wear, the people who put them there are simply ignored.

    Perhaps it’s time for such information organs as the Oz to take a long hard look at what people actually think rather than what they think people should think (based on their editorialising about whatever it is they want people to think about). In truth none of these media organisations believe any of us actually think, but rather are guided in our actions in an unthinking way by what we read in the media, and what we do as a result of that reading.

    @D Smith: it’s interesting to see the reaction one gets, when one informs the caller, especially a commercial organisation such as a telco or a bank that the call is being recorded. In general, they can’t get off the phone fast enough.

  • 19
    Michael R James
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    WILFUL Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    The ABC, which is used to taking its late night and morning news agenda cues pretty much directly from The Australian, will now have to vet and fact-check even the most anodyne report if it touches on a party that outlet has vowed to destroy.

    hahahahaha. you jest, surely? we can only dream.

    Maybe I was dreaming this morning when — either on AM or regular ABC612, still half asleep I cannot remember — a newslady described the Turnbull appointment in terms exactly (not similar, exact word for word) in the Australian’s headline article (that I had read online just after midnight): “Turnbull brought in to bludgeon Labor over NBN”. And non, she wasn’t reviewing “what the papers say”, the ABC do not do that, intentionally.
    Wilful, it happens all the time — almost every single day on major issues. You need to pay more attention.

  • 20
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    One OO journo threatened to sue me for defamation after someone else advised him I said he was knowingly lying about his source for the BER rants.

    What a hoot. How precious do these jerks have to be before they are laughed out of town?

    Like Paul Maley jumping into bed with the sinhala Ambassador here to create so-called scandals about “terrorists’ in the Tamil cohort. All those who went to Canada that Maley claimed were tigers got refugee status.

    It was not reported by Maley.

    And the OO wrote at least 4 editorials claiming that asylum seekers should be sent away, which was in direct contrast to the reality of the law.

    Everyone needs to read the book about Dr Haneef and then weep with despair - all the news outlets in this country take the word of the OZ and reprint it because apart from a few like Paul McGeough and some in the field over seas they don’t bother looking for news.

    It was wonderful to see Rudd off to Pakistan this morning after the 4 Corners program had me weeping over a tiny baby girl dying.

    For the record - our aid to the whole of Pakistan has been about $40 million, during the war we spent $40 million as well but that was for the federal police to prevent any refugees daring to come our way while the Taliban displaced 3 million Pakistanis.

    OUr budget to rebuild the illegal concentration camp in Curtin was $143 million.

    For Afghans and Sri Lankans whose cases were illegally suspended.

  • 21
    David
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    johnd…some foul rubbish has already been thrown at Julia. Living in sin, barren, childless, an atheist in the Lodge, cant afford a handbag, what she wears, how she looks….its a bloody disgrace. I would have expected an outcry of protest at such shabby treatment of our PM, but no, apart from a few calls o talkback, a few blogs, hardly a whimper. Although our Liz and Shepherd Marilyn on these pages have been quick to support her. And the Libs dare to complain at Abbott being given a few descriptive names, he should be so lucky.

  • 22
    Space Kidette
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Surely, this vindictive vitriol, which has become the trademark of the Oz and it’s stuck-up, holier than thou, lower than C-grade journalists, just has to wither and die soon. Although, I must admit that it has become my real life Dilbert dose every morning.

    I read it in anticipation of the hiliarious over-extension of the tiniest of details into sensationalist, life-threatening global dramatics that has me in absolute stitches most days. Would I ever buy an Oz - Never! Nor would I purchase any of it’s stablemates. Limited News will never see coin from my pocket.

    What is very sad is that the power of the media is being exploited to influence the mindless masses who do purchase this daily rag to determine the political outcome preferred by one individual. I am glad to see that the industry as a whole, has decided to beat up on these media dictators, and I am equally glad to see that Bob Brown is wise to BS being bandied about and his decision not to be ridden roughshod by those mindless journalists.

    As to what is happening with the ABC journalists - I can’t figure out what they have to gain by being Ruperts second mouthpiece. I used to be proud of the fact that the ABC represented truth in journalism and could be trusted to present balanced and factual reporting and analysis. Now I don’t even bother to flick over to Aunty - except for the Gruen Transfer and Spicks and Specks. Their news and current affairs I can read anytime at OZ online.

  • 23
    john2066
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Yes, this is the beginning of the end for this bacteria strewn rag, as you correctly point out, partly owned by Saudi interests. How can you ever trust its coverage?

    The Australian has openly declared its hand - its ‘news’ is to be slanted and wont give you the proper story.

    All taxpayers should also be combing through the government ads section in the Weekend Australian , and aggressively challenging the govt departments wasting our money in this way.

  • 24
    jimD
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that The Australian has chosen to admit their strategy of direct attack on a political party. Some of the comments above suggest that this is simply The Aus following the model of FoxNews in the United States, but this is not quite the case; Fox News hides behind a curtain of “fair and balanced” presentation of the news, and of a policy of “we report, you decide” (both of these are actual promotion slogans used by Fox News in the US). They are both ludicrously untrue, of course, but where did the idea come from? It could be something the loathsome Roger Ailes came up with to amuse himself, but it seems more likely it has come about through orders from Murdoch himself.

    It’s hard to say why Murdoch would want it this way: he is an old man, he is extremely wealthy, and were he normal, he would at this stage of his life be looking for legacy, presumably by insisting on quality in his news services, but in fact he has deliberately chosen the other path, leading the way for the US media to the bottom. Does someone like Murdoch really want the Tea Party to gain political influence, or a pinhead like Sarah Palin to win the Presidency? Can a man that smart be that stupid?

  • 25
    Space Kidette
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Surely, this vindictive vitriol, which has become the trademark of the Oz and it’s stuck-up, holier than thou, lower than C-grade journalists, just has to wither and die soon. Although, I must admit that it has become my real life Dilbert dose every morning.

    I read it in anticipation of the hiliarious over-extension of the tiniest of details into sensationalist, life-threatening global dramatics that has me in absolute stitches most days. Would I ever buy an Oz - Never! Nor would I purchase any of it’s stablemates. Limited News will never see coin from my pocket.

    What is very sad is that the power of the media is being exploited and extreme bias is being used to influence the mindless masses who do purchase this daily rag to determine the political outcome preferred by one individual. I am glad to see that the industry as a whole, has decided to beat up on these media dictators, and I am equally glad to see that Bob Brown is wise to BS being bandied about and his decision not to be ridden roughshod by those mindless journalists.

    As to what is happening with the ABC journalists - I can’t figure out what they have to gain by being Ruperts second mouthpiece. I used to be proud of the fact that the ABC represented truth in journalism and could be trusted to present balanced and factual reporting and analysis. Now I don’t even bother to flick over to Aunty - except for the Gruen Transfer and Spicks and Specks. Their news and current affairs I can read anytime at OZ online.

  • 26
    Space Kidette
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Guys, I only posted once - don’t know why it appear twice.

  • 27
    michaelwholohan1
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    @ Mr Denmore, I heard Menadue today.; he was measured commanding & should be heard by all. This man has been in all the places & knows.

  • 28
    Peter Evans
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Good grief Scott, what makes you think the Fairfax papers are left-wing? Ridiculous. Just because the Australian is nutty right-wing doesn’t make it’s competitors automatically left-wing. The SMH and Age are moderately right-wing - certainly they are largely status-quo and pro deregulation of most things. The AFR is strongly right-wing, but, a few articles by IPA contributors aside, not on the nutty end of the scale like the Australian. There is no mainstream left-wing news and current affairs media in Australia. No large media organisation wants any sort of reform to society which would lessen the power of market forces.

  • 29
    kakuru
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    The ABC, which is used to taking its late night and morning news agenda cues pretty much directly from The Australian, will now have to vet and fact-check even the most anodyne report if it touches on a party that outlet has vowed to destroy.”

    Shock-horror! The ABC has to fact-check its news articles! What’s the world coming to!

  • 30
    baal
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that one of Miranda Devine’s last columns for the Sydney Morning Herald was a vilification of the Greens in Tasmania whom she characterised as ‘bullies’ harassing poor innocent Gunns. Clearly she was practicing for her new role for Murdoch’s rag. In her absence the odious Paul Sheehan will take up the challenge (he’s already had a go at poisoning Rob Oakeshott) but it remains to be seen whether the Herald will replace Devine (maybe they have) with a similar harpie.

  • 31
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    The Australian’ is a total and utter embarrassment and disgrace. To directly state that their goal is to destroy the Greens goes far and away beyond what journalists should be doing - reporting the facts. If a paper leans towards one side or the other, fair enough (as long as the public can access BOTH as readily) but this is just plain WRONG.

    Dennis Shanahan has also come out and called the Greens policies “radical” and a polar opposite to “economic sense”. He dis not state how or why these policies are “radical”. This, along with most other articles from this paper, shows a woeful lack of research/refusal to present both sides of an argument.

    Also, to say that the SMH and The Age are left wing is a little idealistic, is is not? They sure aren’t judging from the coverage I’ve read. Thank goodness for people like Ross Gittins.

    The Australian’ is just frothing at the mouth that it’s beloved Abbott and Conservative Co. were not voted in and since they appear to not understand what they SHOULD be doing as a newspaper they have resorted to the lowest type of sniping and criticism.

    And don’t even get me started on the handbag….

  • 32
    Douglas Evan
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    The Oz is running true to form with its attack against the Greens. The strategies its journalists have been using against the Greens have been used by them before in other circumstances. Bob Brown was quoted by Laura Tingle in the AFR “…The paper sees itself as a determinant of democracy in Australia. … It has stepped out of the role of the fourth estate to think it’s the determinant of who has seats in the Parliament and it’s time it was taken on.” He is right. Tingle may well have highlighted the real reasons for this latest flurry of disinformation and dirty tricks when she wrote on September 9 ‘…If nothing else, the government has a range of major policy issues to make with direct commercial consequences for News (Limited). …Those decisions start with the question of what the government does about a review of the sport anti-siphoning list which determines which sports can be shown on free to air and pay TV - for which you can read Foxtel. What happens to the national broadband network has long term implications for Foxtel and internet broadcasting. Government support for the ABC’s 24 hour news channel - which already has three times as many viewers as Sky News … is another commercial threat which fits into a global campaign News is running against public broadcasters.” There is ample reason to suppose that what is really driving the Oz’s campaign to destabilize a legitimate elected government is their desire to protect their profits.

  • 33
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    No handbag?!! Clearly not fit to govern.

  • 34
    Cuppa
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    There must be a Parliamentary Inquiry into the conduct of the media during the recent election campaign. The ABC must be put under the closest scrutiny of all because, out of all media outlets, it is the only one REQUIRED by Charter to provide a fair and meaningful product.

    Chief among the concerns which need to be publicly examined:

    Its slavish devotion to The Australians’ editorial line,

    Its unquestioning acceptance and presentation of Liberal talking points as gospel,

    The domination of its hourly radio news bulletins by Liberal spin (“The Federal Opposition says …”),

    Its pointed failure to give the Greens adequate and proportionate publicity,

    The encroachment of Murdoch mouthpiecs onto ABC airwaves in regular commentary positions (Milne, Akerman, Bolt, Kelly, Shanahan etc), which colours the ABC’s political coverage,

    The shoddy pursuit of ideological positions by various presenters, and their giving disproportionate airtime to wingnut commentators,

    The dominance of particular right wing, Liberal Party-connected think tanks (Institute of Public Affairs) of commentary slots at the ABC blog, The Drum,

    … For those interested in following up this topic, John Menadue was interviewed on 702 Sydney’s ‘Mornings’ about this topic. RECOMMENDED listening:

    http://blogs.abc.net.au/files/john-boyages.mp3

  • 35
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    No handbag no lodge! tut tut! I notice that Abbott doesn’t carry a briefcase much, however…

  • 36
    rossco
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I think it is ironic that the more the Aus attacks the Greens the more their support goes up. There must have been a few of the hacks who found it hard to publish this weeks Newspoll.

    I am a Green living in WA and I get both the Australian and the West Australian. I am in my 60s and have always had a daily newspaper wherever I have lived. Getting my daily news from the net just doesn’t cut it for me.

    The West gives me local news and the Aust national and international news. I also look at Sky News, Crikey, various blogs, Lateline, Q&A, CommonDreams etc. If the Aus goes behind a firewall I won’t be affected.
    I think it is important to distinguish between “news” and “comment”. Where the Aus goes astray is having too many of its reporters inject comment into what should be news. You just need to apply your own b s filter when reading.

    What I find really frustrating, and I know I am not the only one, is the way in which the ABC just acts as a broadcaster for News Corp when it comes to news and current affairs.

    If the ABC did its own independent news gathering and broadcasting the Aus biased and misleading reporting would have very limited coverage ie just its direct readers.

  • 37
    negativegearmiddleclasswelfarenow.com
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    This is why I subscribe to Crikey - where else would this story be written! Stick it up ‘em Crikey.

  • 38
    anony
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    caroline overington? looks like her behaviour re: george newhouse/malcolm turnbull is now her standard procedure.

  • 39
    Nick Gye
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    George Meglogenis was put on the spot last Friday on Lateline , he was with Laura Tingle on the day of her article about the Oz. George is the best writer on the Oz, consistently informative. Informative is not something that the Australian is anymore, there’s just less worth reading in it.

    The Australian has a bully-boy approach; it’s sensitive to criticism and adopts an outraged and self-righteous tone, like in regards to the Laura Tingle piece. It’s ‘cut & paste’ column serves mainly as a vehicle to have a shot at its commercial rival, Fairfax.

    However, I am still subscribing as the West Australian doesn’t cut it for me. Though I am now buying the AFR every day.

  • 40
    JaneGullveig
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Abbott doesn’t need to carry a briefcase, he carries a budgie.

    Aside from stupid humour, I must ask, is Rupert going senile?

  • 41
    Turkey Tongue
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    More than a few contracts are up for renewal at the ABC in the short term future.The top job among them.Hoping to see some new faces and fact based reporting return to airwaves,instead of the puerile regurgitation of OZ propaganda,neurosis editorials.

  • 42
    nerk
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Peter Evans and Douglas Evan have it right.

    It’s easy to forget that media corporations are just that - corporations. They want what corporations want - which is profit. Their different brands are marketed to different demographics to increase market penetration, but they’re all fundamentally right-wing because all corporations want small government, low regulation, low taxation, free markets, etc so they can maximise profit. Yes, there are other issues overlayed on that - but it will always be a primal driving force in corporatised media.

    It’s not surprising that News Ltd - the biggest and most powerful - has carved out the Lib/Nat bias as its stomping ground given that it’s politically more expedient to go with the more right-wing of the major parties. What is surprising is that they’ve been prepared to drop all veneer of impartiality to fire this salvo at the Greens. It’s understandable that they
    should hate and try to discredit the Greens, but extraordinary that they should violate the journalist’s code of pretending to be neutral. I actually find it hard to imagine what they think they’ll gain through such a direct approach.

  • 43
    johncanb
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I was so excited when I read Chris Mitchell’s editorial indicating that the Oz wanted to destroy the Greens. My friends couldn’t work out what I was on about, but I agree with Keane’s take that that editorial was fatal overreach. Hubris leads to a fall. With any luck he will do it again.

  • 44
    Cuppa
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Calling Bernard Keane

    Would you please consider interviewing John Menadue for Crikey? As a subscriber I would love to read more of his critique of the media’s conduct during the election, including, especially, that organisation in which we all have a vested interest, the ABC.

    The more publicity that is given to his call for a Parliamentary Inquiry, the more likely it is to move ahead to reality.

    Thanks Bernard.

  • 45
    baal
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    MR SQUID - how rude and crude. I fear the look of Ms Ewart is the least of her shortcomings. She has no brains. One of the ABC’s cut and paste claque. Her partner? Was and maybe still is Barrie Cassidy. Enough said.

  • 46
    dkr
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ll second CUPPA’s call for a Menadue interview. His interview on ABC radio today, while not exactly short at 15 mins, left me wanting more.

    It was the disgraceful performance of the News Ltd/ABC/Fairfax journalists and editors that prompted me to subscribe to Crikey last week. Crikey’s probative reporting and analysis deserves reward. The OO deserves to be used to wipe up puppy excrement.

  • 47
    CliffG
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    An friend’s unpublished (as so many are!) letter to “The Australian”.
    “With the latest election count in “The Australian” showing Labor with 50.08% and the Coalition with 49.92% of the two-party preferred vote, isn’t it time your “Letters” page reflected this near perfect 50-50 split?”
    But day after day we still get a 75 to 25 per cent right wing bias or worse in the “Letters”.
    If you want to see a more balanced “The Australian” end your susbscripton and don’t buy the rag!

  • 48
    Mr Squid
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    why am i unable to judge ms ewart on the same rubbish basis that the abc judges Ms Gillard, and presumably other women?

    the questions i have asked are the type of questions that now inform the new and obscene abc.

    the abc, and crikey, i might add, has been awash with the most dreadful steroptyping, especially during the election campaign.

    I fail to understand why one of the four estates of our society is not exposed to the same formal scrutiny that politicians, our churches, the judiciary and others are exposed to.

    we are a lesser society because we fail to do so.

    I read with horror recently that the independents are likely to recommend that journalists be given wider rights to hide their sources.

    I shudder to think what the unethical, self-serving, and dishonest scum at the Australian and the ABC will do with that.

    And don;t give me any nonsense about the ridiculous press council or the abc’s laughable editorial self-regulation.

  • 49
    Mr Squid
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    cuppa, points 1, 4, 5 and 6 are spot on. I’m no Green, but my local ABC’s lack of coverage of them during the election campaign was scandalous - and deliberate.

  • 50
    Posted Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    The Australian has gone mad.

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