tip off

Crikey says: what not to say if you want a career in politics

Abbott ups the dial to full-blown terror panic. Fairfax hands balls to News: Carlton on parting ways with the SMH. Stilgherrian explains why metadata is a myth. The preference whisperer speaks! Rundle on latest Muir boning. ‘Trust in Media’ figures out: Tele up, The Age down. Poll Bludger on why 18C was dropped. Stand by for fireworks at Sydney’s ICAC. And name-checking the Dalai Lama at Bob Brown’s book launch.

An up-and-coming senior federal member of parliament attempted professional suicide earlier this week. The stains are permanent. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

This unfortunate career disaster was reported on the front page of yesterday’s Australian newspaper:

Aboriginal leaders have described as disgraceful, divisive and ignorant an attack by Labor’s indigenous affairs spokesman, Shayne Neumann, about coverage of reconciliation in The Australian and other newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Neumann, in remarks at the Garma festival yesterday, sought to link concentrated media ownership and past election coverage to the campaign against the Recognise movement for constitutional acknowledgment for Aboriginal Australians.”

So what did Neumann say in his talk to the indigenous Garma festival that was so alarming? He said this: “There’s too much power in the media controlled by one man who lives overseas.”

In using those words, Neumann broke the first immutable law of political survival in Australia: do not criticise News Corp or Rupert Murdoch in public.

If the hapless opposition frontbencher wants the correct talking points for any politician with survival instincts, he should refer to Tony Abbott’s speech at The Australian’s 50th birthday party last month:

” … there’s one urban myth that I believe I can and should kill: the claim that News Corp papers are ciphers for Rupert Murdoch … he may have become an American by necessity but he’s always been an Australian by conviction … no newspaper has more profoundly or more consistently shaped the intellectual life of our country … no paper more closely corresponds with the true spirit of Australia … long ago, The Australian found its authentic voice; that has helped governments and people to find theirs.”

That’s what you say if you want to succeed in politics in Australia.

6
  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 6 August 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    One more “Toady Lie”?

  • 2
    David Hand
    Posted Wednesday, 6 August 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    The Australian ran a pro and a con commentary about the Recognise referendum this week. So much for bias. What is damaging the pro recognition position is the poor articulation of the case.

  • 3
    Alex
    Posted Wednesday, 6 August 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Well, there goes any political aspirations I ever had. Fortunately, I’ve embarked on a much less stressful career in bomb disposal. Something my parents enthusiastically encouraged me to do from the day I could talk.

  • 4
    Posted Wednesday, 6 August 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    ALEX: Brilliant repöste (sic)

    I’d been thinking along the lines of working in a grenade factory. Not necessary, your reply says it all.

  • 5
    AR
    Posted Wednesday, 6 August 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Any word on which mudorc myrmidons “described as disgraceful, divisive and ignorant…”?

  • 6
    Northy
    Posted Thursday, 7 August 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Why do the biggest bullies in Australia (that’s News Corp) have such THIN SKINS?

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