tip off

Crikey says: comment should not be cheap*

Revealed: millions for White Energy on coal projects to nowhere. Crikey’s investigation continues. The war on whistleblowers has come to Australia: Bernard Keane on the tactics. Why you don’t have to pay for Foxtel. Thailand on the brink — again. The de Soto theory on Aboriginal land rights. And Jane Caro on the education devolution.

Regardless of what he is writing about — the nuances of government policy, Labor’s existential turmoil or the policy pratfalls of a new government — our politics editor, Bernard Keane, brings his penetrating insight and peerless authority.

Crikey is blessed with writers such as Guy Rundle and Jane Caro on the state of the world, Margot Saville and Cathy Alexander, Matthew Knott on media, Paddy Manning on business, Raymond Gill on arts and culture, and many others in the top rank, who have lived through the big moments in the nation’s history and are able to provide readers with a sense of perspective, knowledge and balance on the issues of the day. Along with experienced editors, they allow us to cut through the noise and tumult of a frenetic news cycle to explain events.

Yet that can’t be said of all media outlets, especially when seasoned journalists are being traded for ones unable to see beyond the dazzle of the instantaneous fix of Twitter or web-first publishing. These callow reporters and trainee talking heads are setting the pace at News Corporation, with their “thoughtful” views and inane analysis five minutes after something has happened.

We can see the crude results in the way the ABC is being portrayed as bad, mad and chaotic by the baby faces in the Murdoch stable. To date, the low-point of juvenilia was struck by Greg Sheridan and Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian. For the sin of publishing the scoop about Australian phone surveillance of the Indonesian president, Sheridan accuses the ABC of being “driven by a specific, narrow ideological worldview” and by “the obsessions which emanate from that ideology”. And Albrechtsen goes further, claiming ABC managing director Mark Scott “chose to fuel tensions and nationalist sentiments in a fledgling democracy” and “to undermine an immigration policy aimed at preventing deaths at sea”.

This twaddle would be harmless if these ill-informed innocents were on the fringes of new media, learning their craft in the minor leagues. Alarmingly, these infantile musings reflect the priorities of their organisation: it’s a reverse-publishing model, the manic frothing of a conservative cult setting the agenda for a once-venerable newspaper, which traditionally served older, educated, middle-income readers in Sydney and Melbourne.

No wonder News Corp editors have lost touch with loyal readers and the respect of the old hands still in the newsroom. At The Australian, Ayn Rand alumni have wrested cultural and editorial control in the face of insipid leadership from editor Chris Mitchell and his acolytes. You wonder if anyone’s really in charge at Holt Street and how long this idiocy can last.

*For another version of this editorial, visit The Australian

  • 1
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    LOL Thank goodness for that last line.
    I thought I’d walked through a *very* strange deja vu looking glass there for a moment.

  • 2
    drovers cat
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    They say the first sign of mental illness is when you start hearing voices. Those at the Australiar get Rupert’s and PM Gollum’s edicts every other minute.
    I’ve never seen a whole newspaper staff go mad all at once before.

  • 3
    Vincent O'Donnell
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    How friable are words.

    I’m looking forward to Snowden’s release of the metadata of the Abbott-Sheridan phone calls.

    Might do wonders for Greg’ reputation.

  • 4
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Solid gold. Thanks, Crikey.

  • 5
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Strength of News Ltd Media and Abbott Govt. political alliance should not be underestimated. Their corrosive impact upon the Nation’s fabric, identity, values and compassion towards others continues to gain credence and authority as their strategy of distortion, obfuscation and lies recast the National debate. Crikey’s comments today are hopefully a small re-balancing of what todate, has been a cakewalk for the foreign owned News Media / Abbott Govt. To shine a white light upon one’s own profession is fraught, and open to similar treatment as the ABC now endures. Evenso, this fight must be joined. A line has been crossed.

  • 6
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    But they’re not “ill-informed innocents” - they’re “ill-informative professionals”, Right in the middle of that Limited News cess pool, paid to spin that way; though they do reflect those prioritised Murdoch musings.

  • 7
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Too right Klewso and they are getting away with murder. Wasnt it the ooze that faithfully reprinted wikileaks? Talk about fuelling tensions. Pot, kettle, murdock right wing nutbags.

  • 8
    Gary Gaunt
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I thought Sheridan got it spot on and Albrechtsen likewise

    I enjoy the ABC for their cultural stiff and documentaries but turn right off when Sales, what his name from the Insiders start their self righteous indignation form of reporting.

    Abbott needs to put a dose of salts though the lot.

    Stand by for the usual stoning by the intellectually disabled luvvies.

  • 9
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh look; One of the nuts fell out of the tree. “Paging large chappies in white coats armed with antipsychotics to aisle 8”;someone bolt is lost again.

  • 10
    Gary Gaunt
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink


    so you have identified yourself as one of those stoners, bit like a Life of Brian set around here.

  • 11
    Gary Gaunt
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Stooe away, it does go away you know.

  • 12
    Chris Gulland
    Posted Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I very much value my Crikey subscription. It is one source that I take into consideration when I need to make a point of view on a subject.
    Unlike some commentators who believe their role is to convert you to become a disciple of their sermons. Sorry! even political parties now realise there is more than one opinion out there and some of them are very good.(sorry Tony)
    News Ltd, ABC, Fairfax, and Crikey et all. Lets not rely purely rely on opinion pieces for your future readership.

  • 13
    Gary Gaunt
    Posted Thursday, 5 December 2013 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Chris Gulland,

    My thoughts exactly, we are each entitled to our own and the sources that inform them.

    Unfortunately some of the denizens of Crikey don’t see to quite like that. Their loss.

  • 14
    Posted Thursday, 5 December 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    And God forbid that Limited News and it’s Con-troll freaks would ever want to bully and stifle contradictory political commentary to theirs, in their market dominance.

  • 15
    Posted Thursday, 5 December 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    When was Mudorc’s never proftable vanity rag “venerable”?
    What Klewy said, the usual suspects aren’t simply dumb ‘innocents’, they are maliciously mendacious with aforethought, following orders without qualms.
    Newsless Corpse - where facts die.

  • 16
    Posted Friday, 6 December 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    A bit harsh, Janet Albrechtsen’s comment that Mark Scott “chose to fuel tensions and nationalist sentiments in a fledgling democracy”.

    Sure Australia has a leader whose Immigration Minister poses with military officers to gain credit with the weak-minded, but we’ll improve.

    Don’t give up this fledgling democracy just yet.

    And as for her criticizing the fuelling of tensions and nationalist sentiments, it’s wonderful to see that The Australian has finally decided to rise above that. Can’t wait to see what the new Australian newspaper looks like.

  • 17
    Gary Gaunt
    Posted Friday, 6 December 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink


    See thats the problem in Oz and the NAPLAN results confirm it, hardly anybody can read and comprehend English

    “chose to fuel tensions and nationalist sentiments in a fledgling democracy”

    Albrechtsen refers to Indonesia not Australia.

    Back to school my friend

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