tip off

Hey liberals, muscle-up

One of the particularly cute themes being strongly peddled by some conservatives at the moment is a narrative of persecution.

The least subtle, and certainly most amusing, version of this has emerged from The Australian in recent weeks, marked by a series of missteps from the national broadsheet that have served to put on unusually prominent display the various wars that outlet is engaged in — the war against Labor, the war against the Greens (the “Stalinist, pot-smoking, paranoid” Greens as one Australian press gallery journalist calls them), the war against bloggers, the war against the ABC … on the list goes.

But a particular theme of The Australian’s extended bouts of self-justification on these issues — the extent to which it realises it has mishandled an issue is in direct proportion to the column inches it gives over to justifying itself afterward — is that it is the paper itself that is under attack from others. Bob Brown was bullying The Australian, editor Chris Mitchell lamented to Media Watch. Was Brown “running a campaign” against the paper, its impressively witless media editor Geoff Elliott demanded to know in an email to the Greens. Laura Tingle and Barrie Cassidy were ganging up on The Australian, an editorial declared, raising the prospect of some unholy alliance between Fairfax and the ABC.

All of that you probably know, but I mention it by way of context for yesterday’s effort from The Australian in which various business worthies chorused they felt intimidated and threatened by the government.

Gatherings of business leaders always yield much the same thing for whatever media outlet brings them together to provide an uncritical and unbalanced platform for their views — this one was the ‘Australian and Deutsche Bank Business Leaders Forum’, although it’s the Financial Review that usually pulls business leaders together and writes up what they opined over a three-course lunch and wine. The gatherings invariably produce material about a ‘bold reform agenda’ that is being urged on government. On closer inspection, the ‘bold reform agenda’ usually consists of the same things — lower corporate taxes, more IR deregulation and more industry-specific infrastructure paid for by government — but that’s par for the course.

But to engage in a collective act of self-delusion and construct a joint fantasy about being persecuted by the government is a wholly different thing. Particularly less than four months after a prime minister was removed from power as a direct result of the campaigning of several powerful foreign transnationals, illustrating the power of plutocracy — or, more accurately in the case of the mining companies, of kleptocracy.

But however deluded, this fantasy takes on a reality of its own when backed by the mainstream media, which can inject a story into the news cycle and then keep it there by running follow-ups, fueled by denials prompted by the original piece. So it was today with Matthew Franklin, that Joe Friday of the press gallery (just facts please ma’am, and none of that commentary stuff), and Annabel Hepworth. “As revealed in The Australian yesterday, respected chairpeople claim…” blah, blah, blah, although annoyingly they forgot the “as exclusively revealed”.

It looks a lot like an echo chamber, a nice image now appropriated by conservative commentators to describe their new media enemies, though sadly without any attribution to those of us who’ve been pointing out for some time that the entire media landscape is fragmenting into what I originally preferred to call ghettos of agreement. Still, a particularly loud echo chamber nonetheless.

This isn’t just an example of the fantasy world apparently inhabited by senior business figures and journalists, or for that matter yet another example of how The Australian routinely lies — ho hum, man bites god — but a miniature example of what public debate has devolved to from what was an under-appreciated high point in the 1980s and 1990s. Public policy debate has become a simple contest of narratives in which the mere fact that something may be true, or better evidenced or more rational than something else, is no grounds for it to be preferred over other, more convenient stories that serve the interests of the most powerful participants.

T’was ever thus, I hear you say — when was mainstream political debate anything but a competition of vested interests in which power rather than quaint notions of truth and logic determined the victor? But not so fast. I’ve argued before that public policy debate in Australia has been damaged over the last three decades by a range of factors, from the politicisation of the public service, the explosion in ministerial staff and lobbyists and the growth of a professional political class to the proliferation of economic consultants ready to provide independent modeling showing black is white.

For the progressive-minded, this presents a great challenge. Successfully shaping public debate, or even just having visibility in debate, requires tools like economic modeling, polling and access to a friendly media outlet. Online networks, for example, aren’t enough — it is salient that the remorselessly self-promoting GetUp has only had real success once it moved beyond its online campaign roots and become involved in real-world action in the courtroom on voter enrolment.

It is a wholly uneven contest if an issue pits you against corporate interests, against which even governments — especially governments with as few communication skills as this one — struggle. Even large community groups, NGOs or trade unions can’t exercise the same influence as the alliance between corporate Australia and mainstream media outlets.

For this reason it was interesting  that Ged Kearney, almost at the end of her speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday, announced the ACTU would undertake a survey of all union members, partly with the intention of “improving the quality of our national thinking” and “nurturing a willing and active support base for new policy and campaigns”. Kearney spoke of the need to shape a “unified national agenda”.

The ACTU is currently the only entity of the progressive side of politics capable of significantly influencing public policy debate. Its WorkChoices campaign, after all, played a key role in undermining the Howard government — in a manner that has been compared (unfairly in my view, but it’s worth thinking about) to the mining industry’s campaign to remove Labor from office.

Its willingness to invest in the tools of public policy in an effort to influence debate is one that smaller progressive organisations, such as NGOs, should take heed of, if necessary by putting aside differences with other groups and collaborating to fund the sorts of investments in public policy research that will enable them to compete more effectively against the narratives being pushed by corporate interests and the mainstream media. Some NGOs are already taking this approach, but they remain the exceptions when it should be the rule.

The alternative is sitting round complaining about the lies being peddled in places like The Australian, which in part means you allow the agenda to be set by your opponents anyway. As the ACTU is showing, progressive groups have to take the time and money to properly tell their own stories and drive their own agenda rather than letting their opponents dominate debate.

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  • 1
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s not only the Australian - the ABC has decided that pointing out the law is irrelevant when they talk about things like refugees and seeking asylum for example.

    Again today we have Aunty letting Bowen babble about “regional processing” and Morrison babble about “losing control of our borders” without once mentioning that under the law anyone is allowed to seek asylum and under the law we have zero right to try and stop them doing so.

    They call it “balanced debate” but all we get is this mindless “he said”, “he said” and people are none the wiser.

    Processing” refugees is nothing more than an interview and application form 866 which can only be applied for in Australia.

    Which of course is the point the morons aren’t getting at all.

    I can only conclude that our media are as ignorant of the law and as racist as our scummy leaders.

  • 2
    Acidic Muse
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article Bernard.

    I have no doubt the union movement is the institution best placed to facilitate this kind of discussion but I suspect it will continue to be outdone by the forces of fascism and/or economic rationalism.

    The greatest advantage the Right will always have over those of us to the left of Atila the Hun is their capacity to massively out spend us in developing the tools to successfully promote the public policy that best serves the interests of their corporate sponsors

    The money they spend funding right-wing stink tanks, PR firms and other corporate proxies to come up with ever increasingly creative rationalisations as to why it’s in all our interests that people like Clive Palmer and James Packer pay less taxes on their total income than the average working stiff. They get an almost direct return on investment on that outlay because Clive and James et al save literally billions of dollars on their tax bill every year - providing them with a huge incentives to ensure a reasonable proportion of those savings flow straight back into the political machinery that perpetuates their prosperity.

    It’s an unfortunate fact of life that the same thing cannot be said when the centre-left wins it’s policy arguments. Yes, living standards and quality of life generally are improved , but there will never be the same level of direct investment back into funding the institutions that created the benefit.

    Unions have undoubtedly fought , and in many cases won some of the most important battles waged on behalf of working Australians over the past couple of decades. Despite this, union membership has continued to dwindle as a proportion of the total workforce and the left has continued to fracture and divide as a consequence.

    That said, the battle to stop the rot has to begin somewhere and this is an excellent first step. What Australia needs now more than any ever is more centre-left voices of reason being heard more often by larger audiences. As long as large corporations remain the gatekeepers to mainstream media access, we will undoubtedly be thwarted at almost every turn.

  • 3
    Harvey Tarvydas
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    Fabulously stimulating, worthwhile and worthy BK.
    I am going to think about this to see how I can assist with such a profound call or maybe just comment usefully.

  • 4
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Harvey a useful call to Bowen could go like this “I have just heard that Pakistan likes the idea of a regional refugee centre so they are sending their 1.9 million Afghans to Australia”.

  • 5
    joanjett
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Well some of the smaller players who lack the spending power to get their message across could do worse than strike up a friendship with the person over at the Gruen Factor who decides The Pitch content every week! Seemed to work for the Greens and VE. Perhaps they could lobby Todd Sampson & co directly and bypass the pollies? Just a thought :)

  • 6
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    The economic modelists are the real problem. How many “independent” models are quoted showing things that are clearly untrue but are taken seriously because they are independent and therefore better than the biased public service when in fact the “independent” anaylsis was paid for by an interest group. The Libs budget figures are a great example.
    As I have said previously the Libs since the election have claimed the Treasury, Finance Dept & Defence chiefs can not be trusted and they know better.

  • 7
    asdusty
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Prof Fred Block’s excellent 3rd annual Ted Wheelwright lecture on tuesday at the Uni of Sydney offered an alternative to the current trajectory of globalisation/neoliberal dogma/free market capitalism. Transitioning to a truly green economy, providing a universal basic income, expansion of ‘empowered particpatory governance’, and the democratization of the corporate form. However, significant change must be driven by the grass-roots, and Prof Block saw a coalition of progressive groups (unions, religious groups, NGO’s) as the catalyst for prompting this change. Heres hoping we can make it happen.

  • 8
    Rush Limbugh
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    What, more Liberals winging about the media….nothing to see here.

    You blame the media for bias, look at the some of the BS in the current Climate Change debate.

    You want BS, look in your own backyard.

  • 9
    john2066
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Lets not forget the campaign started on this very website, the fact the Australian receives millions per year in government recruitment advertising, advertising that should be removed from this ‘news’ paper forthwith and just placed on a govt. website for free.

    Every taxpayer should be carefully keeping the job ads from the weekend Australian, and writing letters to the contacts named therein demanding to know how much public money is being spent on these ads and demanding that they stop.

    No. more. government. advertising. for. The. Australian.

  • 10
    Stevo the Working Twistie
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    You’d think Rush Limbaugh would know how to spell his own name. But then again, maybe not.

    But you are right - in the name of “balance” every crackpot denialist gets their 15 minutes against reputable scientists who have spent entire careers studying the climate (think Monckton). Yes, there is some major BS in the climate change “debate”.

  • 11
    Acidic Muse
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Hey Rush … you must be a true conservative .. you even misspelt your own name …it’s limbaugh :)

    @Jimmy

    You mean like the Centre for Independent Studies .. lol

    The Right just can’t stay away from their much loved Nazi euphemisms

    Arbeit macht frei !!

  • 12
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Acting as appointed (at least per medium of working for the most important person in their world, employed to do their unelected bidding, from their privileged, almost unique position, pointing out how the country should be run - to benefit that employer) “arbiters of all that is Right”, it’s a bit like, say the editor of a capital city newspaper in a one paper state, calling those
    with the temerity to ask for explanation of “his” particular political coverage (the modus operandi, in his paper) “apologists for politicians”.
    Ironic really, when their own work is basically just that, “party pimping”, and little more. As if those they protect and apologise for, are not really “politicians”, and are above that, according to these “doyens of appropriateness”, with all these resources at their disposal?
    Apparently you can do that - when you can write your own rules, and spin news!
    (Media Watch archives?)

  • 13
    David
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    @Rush Limbugh…well if anyone is familiar in dealing in BS you are, you are a worthy companion for the unhinged monk, he deals in cr-p. admits it.

  • 14
    Oscar Jones
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    The Australian is increasingly shooting itself in the foot with their rather fanatic anti-Labor bias and do no-one a service but most importantly-themselves, While Rupert must know that his silly US Fox News is the pits , it obviously reaches a good audience and therefore serves Murdoch’s bottom line-profit.

    But I’m finding people from all walks now are beginning to tire of the Oz’s repetitious campaign -even my Coalition friends. Aussies these days don’t take to fanatacism and are pretty well educated when it comes to political bias in the media. We do actually need The Australian and it’s been a terrific publication in the past but it really risks tarnishing it’s reputation for all time much as the ABC seems bent on spoiling what has been one of the world’s great TV outlets.

    Check out the site below which has broken quite a few stories -admittedly of the more fluffy kind-that have been picked up by News Ltd and Fairfax publications which does demonstrate that the net is all powerful now.

    The Australian needs to return to good investigative journalism as it once did ( their Dr Haneef disclosures were a credit to the newspaper and a good example of what we should expect).

    http://www.thesocialshuttle.com

  • 15
    guytaur
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I think a Parliamentary Inquiry into Newspapers needs to be held.
    It needs to examine where Editors who are supposed to be Independent of the Owners of the Paper have become beholden to those owners. It also has to examine how the owners selection of Editors also influences reporting of the news.
    Note I said news. Not opinion.
    This inquiry should have the terms of reference to recommend changes needed to combat these mechanisms that do indeed form the nexus between Corporations and “Mainstream Media” like The Australian.
    Things like funding competition in the print space where there is only a one paper town.
    Making digital televison and radio channels available for community broadcasting. Remembering that costs in this area are plummeting as we see by the proliferation of vodcast groups like revision 3 Twit Tv and the like. Of course in the short term this cost will be high for the commercial television stations. However this will fall dramatically with television over internet a reality with the NBN.
    This along with all news and facts referred to in current affairs program to be held up to a similar charter as that the ABC operates under.
    A Parliamentary Inquiry into this would go some way to improving the situation in debates for all of us.
    There is still a huge resource base for the corporate viewpoint to be pushed.
    I do not hold my breath for such an inquiry though I suspect the Greens and Independents might like one.
    I am however made happy in the knowledge that voters and the Independents and Greens back the Government on the NBN.
    Then we will see things change as the non tech average person discovers the wealth of material available on Itunes alone.
    This will make them realise how cheap Video Production for the net is and will be broadcasting on it.
    I am surprised in fact that Channel 31 and all the people on it are not already posting their programmes online as well.
    I believe this new paradigm of media will do with news media what music media has done to the music industry.

  • 16
    Paul
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I agree with all in this article, well done.
    However,what I can’t understand is
    1 why is Labor so disinterested in attacking the untruths of the conservatives
    2 or do they try and it’s not reported,
    3 or do they actually agree with the propositions being peddled?”
    If they do belong to a political elite then they should be sacked for incompetence.
    I agreed with most of Rudd’s policies, I changed my votes to Labor after 20 years of Green support because of that, but it does seem a waste of time.
    All I can hope is that Labor is developing some great policies to wow us all, because they are absolutely crap at politics. it is not as if the Libs are political geniuses either.
    Labor remind me of rabbits in a spotlight, seemingly unable to do anything to save themselves or a progressive agenda, and all the while the rednecks (including the ABC) rule.
    What is true about present Australia is that if someone cries and says they are being picked, on the public will believe them, regardless of the facts and even if it is patently ridiculous, ie banks, mining tax, CPRS etc etc.

  • 17
    eclectic eel
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Good article Bernard.

    The right wing bias of just about all forms of media has been manifest in the run-up to the last election.
    It not only makes the life for the increasingly centrist Labor government difficult, but it also nobbles authoritative information from scientific studies - like those on climate change, the Murray- Darling etc. These are rubbished by the
    likes of Bob Katter and Barnaby Joyce who get more airplay than the experts.

    One thing I’ll question in your final sentence Bernard: ” progressive groups have to take the time and money to properly tell their own stories and drive their own agenda rather than letting their opponents dominate debate”.

    I don’t know how progressive groups can compete with the mainstream print and electronic media with the aim of influencing the average punter. Organizations such as “Get up’ and “Crikey” can only do so much. With the union movement struggling and environmental groups portrayed as stalinist ratbags, the right-wing media are becoming more
    brazen, petulant, and shrill. Witness the rise of the Tea Party in the US.

    There’s certainly a need for more discussions like this - to redress the imbalance.

  • 18
    Space Kidette
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    @Oscar Jones
    I think the Australian has outlawed the use of the words ‘investigative’ and ‘journalism’ in the same sentence.

    I thought the media ownership rules were supposed to restrict the number of media outlets a single entity could own just so this sort of deliberate bias would not be the only opinion people could access. Can someone enlighten me as to how this is allowed?

  • 19
    Skepticus Autartikus
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Your headline has an error in it. It says “liberals” who clearly would not be your target audience here!

  • 20
    Jeremy Yapp
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Very good article, Bernard. This is really important stuff and well done Crikey for trying (most of the time) to be part of the solution. Don’t know if you read this far down the comments list, but just in case:

    Which Oz press gallery journalist calls the Greens “Stalinist, pot-smoking, paranoid”?

    Why be complicit in their defamation/misrepresentation by granting them anonymity? I bet they didn’t share their views with you on that condition - they were probably mouthing off in the Parly House cafe. So either they believe this and think it’s an acceptable opinion - in which case they shouldn’t mind you teneed anonymity - or they’ll be outraged that you broke a confidence: an implicit admission that their views are unacceptable. Which hopefully will give others pause before they express similar opinions. And before you know it, people are pausing before they *think* such things. And that benign form of self-censorship, folks, is called cultural change. Let’s make it happen.

    Before Rush Limbeau accuses me of Orwellian thought-policing: it’s not. really not. Just a way of asking people with extreme views to provide an evidence base for their stated opinions. And neither the Left nor the Right should have a problem with that.

  • 21
    Jeremy Yapp
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    some typo in there. sorry. “in which case they shouldn’t need anonymity” became hybridised with “in which case they shouldn’t mind your telling us who they are”.

    But another thought: do those on the Left have a problem with hat so much of union funds coming from poker machines? Is there a conflict of interest here that we should address or at least acknowledge? And any ideas for alternative funding streams?

  • 22
    davirob
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    God bless the right wing daily,truly what would we talk about if it wasn’t there.

  • 23
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Friday, 8 October 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I think we should go after News Limited advertisers.

    I’m cordinatiing a campaign on Twitter called #pwnNewsLtd aimed at targeting News Ltd advertisers.

    If anyone here is interested, check out the hashtag for more information.

  • 24
    john2066
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Good job Fran.

    Taxpayers need to understand that every dollar wasted on government ads in the Australian is a dollar taken out of their wages.

    Every dollar we take from the Australian with its ridiculous and totally unnecessary government ads is a victory for proper fiscal conservatism. In fact, when you think about it, the Australian’s staff themselves should be demanding that all ads be removed from their paper as well.

  • 25
    Acidic Muse
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    @Skepticus

    The headline is correct .. we of the Centre Left and Centre are the real liberals in Australia …the Liberal Party and their co dependant allies are neo feudal conservatives. If we had truth in political advertising laws, they’d be forced to change their name

    @Paul

    Labor exists within an ever shrinking gene pool and that sort of inbreeding inevitably leads to a dearth of brilliant thinkers and clever strategists in their midst - this is what happens when you allow grasping gormless cretins like Mark Arbib to become major power brokers within the party. It begins at grass roots level with all the branch stacking and continues right up through the factional system to create a toxic echo chamber where honest brokers - those opposing voices who point out the fallacy or weakness of certain positions or arguments - simply no longer exist.

    @Fran

    I wish you well with the campaign but those advertisers are paying for market access and as long as NewsCraporation can give them that, I suspect they will go on advertising regardless of any campaign being run by those of us who wouldn’t wipe our ass with one of Murdoch’s rags

    The market power of Limited News can only be diluted by greater media diversity and real competition. The problem here is not only the level of control Murdoch has over what he actually owns and the strategic alliances he leads, but the level of influence he exerts by setting the agenda on a daily basis for other commercial media and even worse - the sycophants at the ABC who are falling over themselves to make ABC 24 sound as much like Sky News as as humanly possible in pursuit of higher ratings. After all, isn’t the dumbed down gossip-mongering and mindless “sportscaster” incendiary polemic-ism of programs like The Drum and The Insiders merely an attempt to emulate Murdoch’s tabloid trash business model?

    NewsCorporation has become the self replicating retro virus of then Australian media - our biggest problem right now is stopping it’s spread because finding a cure seems well beyond our reach in the forseeable future

  • 26
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    And not just taxpayers either John2066.

    Money paid to News Limited becomes part of the cost structure of the goods and services advertised there. Buying those goods and services is like donating to a subversive organisation. We should make clear that if we have no choice but to use them, that we do this despite their support of subversion of public policy via their support of News Limited and that we will, at the first opportunity, choose someone more responsible to do business with.

  • 27
    davirob
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s not about the oz’s propanganda versus you or your likes propaganda,people here talk about everybody except them just not getting it and needing to be enlightened around to your point of view.The Murdoch press works because people agree with it.Australia is not the country you think it should be.You are the ones in the walled community.Wail on please.

  • 28
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Acidic said:

    NewsCorporation has become the self replicating retro virus of then Australian media - our biggest problem right now is stopping it’s spread because finding a cure seems well beyond our reach in the foreseeable future

    Indeed and I used the virus metaphor myself in my pitch:

    Their publications have also infected the ABC, whose lazy and witless journalists take the latest talking points from the OO as if it were the News and frame discussion accordingly. News Ltd is not merely a media organisation. It’s a virus that is causing a chronic illness in public culture.

    http://www.tinyurl.com/pwnNewsLtd

    Right now it runs at a loss, so clearly, normal market forces don’t apply. This explains why it can afford to be such a partisan rag. Murdoch clearly wants to use it to run government policy. We have to up the cost of Murdoch doing this by prejudicing its market position still further and deliegitimaising it as an organ of commentary.

  • 29
    geomac
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    DAVIROB

    Interesting point of view but not backed up by any rational argument. The OZ for example is carried by Murdoch as it doesn,t generate enough bucks to survive as a single paper. The various other Australian publications do ok especially the Heraldsun because of its pictorial format and strong emphasis on sport. Of course in some states Murdoch is all they have as a state based newspaper which is by no means an endorsement of popularity but more a case of no alternative. I gave up on the Sun in Victoria many years ago and switched to the Age. If I was a punter I,d probably get the Sun for the form guide but not for news.

  • 30
    asdusty
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    @davirob
    2010 Australian Federal Election: First preference vote by party…(smaller parties discounted)
    Source AEC website

    Parties with a progressive agenda-
    ALP 37.99%
    Greens 11.76%
    Total 49.75%

    Parties with a conservative agenda-
    Liberal 30.46%
    LNP 9.12%
    National 3.73%
    Total 43.31%

    The people have spoken my friend, and Im afraid that it is you who are in the walled community. The majority of people want a progressive agenda in Australia, and an unbiased, free press to go with it. Suck it up!

  • 31
    davirob
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Kate Ellis is my MP an I voted for her.This is about the wah wah wah that rotates around the oz.Some people here are satellites in/of its orb,time to move on.Fingernails down the blackboard.

  • 32
    davirob
    Posted Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    People get labeled,green,left,economist,conservative and then their views get discounted ‘cause they would say that wouldn’t they well that’s how Crikey seems to me.Endless flagellation.One of many exceptions Elan ‘cause she crucified that overwound muse.

  • 33
    freecountry
    Posted Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Rather clever, Bernard Keane: you start with a spurious persecution claim by the Australian, which makes us feel - rightly - embarrassed for them.

    This is your lead in to other, more substantial persecution claims by business groups of persecution by the Gillard government. Some of these claims have a great deal more substance than that of the Oz. But you’ve very cleverly tarred all persecution claims with the same brush of ridicule.

    This is the kind of sophistry which drives public policy in Australia today. Using superficial resemblance of two things to argue actual equivalence … Associative logic, the instinctive language of the unrefined human mind. There’s a brilliant illustration in Monty Python and the Holy Grail of using associative logic to identify a witch . Mr Keane has just used the same trick to suggest that the Gillard government is incapable of persecuting any sector.

  • 34
    Kevin & Julie Harris
    Posted Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Dear Bernard

    Julie and I are in FiJi at the moment and sipping on a nice fresh pinacolada down at the beach.

    Julie likes to play beach volley-ball with the locals but I can’t play and are just forced to watch and cheer-lead from the side…you know ” nice block Julie” & “great spike love” etc etc..aghhh…and there is some local guy called Muki hanging around, but dunno what he wants.

    Anyway, was just catching up on the news back home and have read your article.

    Both Julie and i agree that it is one of your Finest and even though we don’t like you we must give credit where credit is due…sycophants?..maybe.

    Julie reckons you are on the Road to Damascus…you know what comes next!!!

    Your’s Sincerely

    Kevin & Julie Harris

  • 35
    Acidic Muse
    Posted Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    @Fran

    I read back in August that NewsCraps full year profit was 2.7 billion globally but haven’t seen figures for his aussie media business. The Oz has often run at a loss as a business unit but it’s a flagship or branding exercise that gives him access to opinion leaders and decision-makers, so I suspect he couldn’t care less.

    @Davirob

    Dude, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Murdoch’s power lies not in market acceptance but in his degree of market control. News Limited controls almost three-quarters of daily metropolitan newspaper circulation in this country.

    Some Australian cities, like Sydney and Melbourne are lucky enough to still have a non Murdoch daily paper but in Brisbane and Adelaide, NewsCrap is the only game in town.

    Here in Sydney, many who read the Daily Terror certainly don’t agree with News Craporations economically rationalist ideology - they buy it for the sports pages, the lurid crime stories and the celebrity gossip he wraps it all up in.

    One of the reasons NewsCrap campaigns so avidly against the ABC’s online presence is that Murdoch hopes to one day wield as much control over the online delivery of news in Australia as he currently does in our print media.

  • 36
    davirob
    Posted Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Dude, you have no idea what you are talking about,@Acidic Muse,honestly I do,I know,I understand,how could you be a Crikey subscriber and not get it?I was just having one of those days when I wanted to soar beyond the bl**dy oz.Cheers.

  • 37
    AfroTrance
    Posted Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Can we please not refer to ‘the left’/’progressives’ as ‘liberals’ in Australia? It only confuses and the term has been bastardised by the Americans.

  • 38
    asdusty
    Posted Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    @davirob
    Here are a few concepts to consider before your next post:
    Coherence
    Sentence structure
    Grammar
    You have made five posts on this thread and I still dont get what your on about. You are either:
    a. Having a go at progressives (probably)
    b. Having a go at conservatives (possibly)
    or
    c. Wanting to look like a complete berk (definately)

    Unless your intention was c., I suggest putting the wine glass and/or bong down and having a think about what your going to write before contributing to the debate.

  • 39
    davirob
    Posted Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Spelling check here please,definately,@ Asdusty,before slinging off at me regarding grammar you just need to get everything correct too don’t you think?I am a fully paid up subscriber an I am totally fed up reading about the bl**dy Australian newspaper.Now maybe that’s my problem.Lastly sunshine when you’re in charge here let me know.

  • 40
    arthurneddysmith
    Posted Monday, 11 October 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    @Asdusty

    It has to be “c”… just replace “wanting” with “tending”.

    But there’s a simple solution for you, Davirob. If you don’t want to read about the “wah wah wah that rotates around the oz,” then perhaps you shouldn’t have sought out an article that relates to it and read it through … or continued down the page to the “wah wah wah” comments … and read them through too.

    Personally, I’m much more sick of the wah wah wah people who rotate around the wah wah wah that rotates around the Australian than the “wah wah wah that rotates around the oz,” and I’m only seven posts in.

  • 41
    AR
    Posted Monday, 11 October 2010 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    It was calculated in the 90s that, in Oz, UK & USA governments - national to local - employed more journalists than newspapers or broadcasters.
    However the number employed by commercial enterprises, as PR flack catchers exceeded government.
    Informed public? fuggedditt!
    There is a solution, very simple but not ‘easy’ (which is why the evil bastards always come out on top).
    Buy less, think & talk more with everyone you know, family, neighbours, friends, colleagues and the person next to you on the Clapham omnibus. Pubs maybe not as it tend to be the booze verbalising.
    As a general rule, the more something is advertised, the less you need it (anyone seen an ad for potatoes or matches lately?) and the greater its intrinsic harm or deleterious nature (and manufacture, almost by definition).
    If in doubt, ask the age old question, “Cui bono?”.

  • 42
    Kevin Herbert
    Posted Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Nice work Bernard.

    Thanks

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