Media briefs: down and down at the Oz … ducking the issue … 1300 jobs lost …

Return of the escalator of decline! Win prizes! Fans of the literary stylings of Mr Paul Kelly will recall his unveiling of the “escalator of decline”, the strange machine that goes down by going up, which we are all on. “No one knows where the escalator is going,” Kelly intoned, which seemed to doubly confound the principle of the escalator, which was now a wandering one.

Word came from on high that Surry Hills was not happy that the warning by”Australia’s greatest political commentator” was not being taken seriously. Chris Kenny weighed in, so you knew it was getting serious. Now in a final desperate attempt to get some respect for this ridiculous metaphor, Maurice Newman has weighed in. The article itself is predictable fat-headed dyspeptic businessman blather, but it has a doozy of a mixed metaphor, in which the government is running on empty, being reined in to get a seat at the dinner table.

Now it’s over to you, Crikey readers! What does the escalator of decline look like? Can you draw us a picture? Can your kids draw us a picture? Send them in, online or by post, and some Crikey merch and freebies will go to the best entry. It will then become a $10 million public sculpture in Sydney.  — Guy Rundle

Quacks like a duck. The Crikey bunker was rather puzzled this morning by a story in The Sydney Morning Herald website about a girl in Sydney who has been attacked by what’s believed to be her pet duck.

There’s not really much more to the story than that. We’re going to risk the ire of Fairfax’s lawyers and republish the story in its entirety…

A pet duck has bitten a girl in Hurstville in Sydney’s south.

The girl is understood to be the owner of the duck.

Paramedics treated the child for the bite at her residence about 5pm on Wednesday.

It is understood that the victim has not been transferred to hospital.

It is unclear what species of duck committed the act.

However, ducks can get aggressive during mating season.”

What is going on? Crikey understands the news desk got a tip-off about the attack, and the Fairfax editors decided, in their infinite wisdom, to stick cadet Eryk Bagshaw with it. He evidently tried to have some fun and reported it straight, with very few details. The editors were tickled and let it through.

Amid all the terrible news lately, the whimsical story seems to have struck a chord with readers. The piece has nearly a thousand shares so far. — Myriam Robin

Who, us? We’re British. The Guardian’s London bureau has published a redacted version of the superinjunction revealed yesterday by WikiLeaks. Compared to locally headquartered news outlets, the Guardian has been relatively confident in its reporting of the injunction, despite having a business presence in Australia that could be used to prosecute the media company in Victorian court. That said, the outlet hasn’t been entirely laissez-faire — we saw a comment published on a story this morning that flagrantly breached the superinjunction. But by 11am, that comment had disappeared.

Profit boom for ITV UK. No wonder Liberty Global and its chairman and biggest shareholder, John Malone, bought BSkyB out of ITV, the UK’s leading commercial free-to-air broadcaster —  ITV overnight reported a 40% rise in first half pre-tax profits to 250 million pounds (A$450 million), thanks to the World Cup in Brazil, which boosted ad revenues 13% in the second (June) quarter. First-half revenues rose 7% to 1.225 billion pounds (A$2.2 billion, which is more than the total ad revenue of the Australian commercial TV industry in the June half year of A$1.8 billion).

Total adjusted profits — earnings before interest, tax and amortisation — rose 11% to 322 million pounds (A$571 million). ITV Studios, the production arm that makes shows including Come Dine With Me and Coronation Street, recorded revenue rises of 2% to 402 million pounds (more than A$720 million). Profits rose 14% to 72 million pounds (A$128 million).

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6 Responses

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  1. The Tele will be pissed at being scooped on the duck story by the SMH - that is normally their territory.

    by seriously? on Jul 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm

  2. You obviously haven’t seen “The Birds”?

    by klewso on Jul 31, 2014 at 1:34 pm

  3. The “Escalator of Decline”?
    To me it sounds like that tornado in the far more original Wizard of Oz - it just goes round and round, like a hyper bowl. Once it picks you up, you just never know what it’s going to drop you in? And it’s spelt different.
    But then there’s the muzak in their “Maul of Discontent” - how many times can you listen to “I’ve done all of the dumb things”?

    by klewso on Jul 31, 2014 at 1:49 pm

  4. The escalator of decline will be a motorised version of one of M. C. Escher’s continuously declining (or ascending) staircase etchings. For Murdoch journalists, it has the benefit that one can descend eternally, without actually getting any lower, so dire warnings about descent can be trumpeted continuously- the common Murdoch modus operandi of making assertions while ignoring evidence.

    by extra on Jul 31, 2014 at 2:05 pm

  5. Re the quack attack, priest who had the duty of hearing confessions of nuns in a closed order said “it is like being nibbled to death by ducks”.
    Google shows only modern usages of the phrase but methinks ‘tis from G K Chesterton though whence he nicked it I know not.

    by AR on Aug 1, 2014 at 8:06 am

  6. Bloody hell. “Eeyore” has mangled it, much like an escalator does to ones footwear if caught. The only way an escalator can be in decline is if its slowing down, not going down?

    Paul Kelly is, by now, a senile geriatric, and Chris Kenny is more of a dog f ucker than he ever was.

    by Dez Paul on Aug 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

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