The media Hanson obsession

Congratulations to the Australian media for giving Pauline Hanson
millions of dollars in free publicity today. I wonder if any of the
journos have the guts to ask Hanson how much she is spending on
advertising for this election, or is she expecting to get all the free
publicity, like she has done before, and therefore spend minimal
amounts on advertising? Why does the media have to subsidise her
political ambitions all the time? Is she really that newsworthy? On
another point, Andrew Denton and the ABC have done exactly the same
thing. Millions of dollars of free publicity for his program next
Monday. This just continues the recent phenomenon of TV programs
releasing details of their programs prior to it going to air as “news”
and therefore gaining huge amounts of free publicity for their program.
It is not news – it is a free advertisement, yet all the media seems to
tag along. Is this just another example of lazy journalism nowadays?


Latham’s Sunday gaffe

Hey Crikey, did you see Latham explode under a light prodding from Laurie Oakes on Sunday?
Iron Mark must have skipped breakfast, or his minders were still in
bed, because the way he lost control 3/4 of the way through the
interview was surely the most revealing moment of the campaign thus
far. Without some pre-scripted platitudes, or some populist nonsense to
spout at will as he has been able to do in his press conferences, Iron
Mark proved he is incapable of explaining something as simple as his
tax system without getting hot under the collar and blaming everyone
but himself for the mass confusion it’s caused – notably the media.

I trust the interview will get a good flogging around the traps because
it shows that the alternative Prime Minister would possibly be the most
embarrassing statesman this country has seen in recent memory. Can you
imagine if he was actually asked a difficult question on the world
stage and decided to explode like this, rather than acting like a
normal human being? Good lord… we would be a laughing stock. Howard
might not go in for a lot of matey and blokey talk – but at least he
can handle himself and not betray his roots out at Canterbury Boys High
when the bullets start to fly. Latham, it seems, is still only half a
step away from the gutters of Green Valley and, to be quite frank, I
think this Sunday appearance might be the moment where we can say that Latham stomped on the accelerator to really losing this election.

Howard’s Wallabies Scarf

Mark Latham comment?

I was just talking to friends of Phillip Ruddock, who said they he had
mentioned a comment from Mark Latham that “everyone north of the
Parramatta River is the enemy”. Am I behind the times, or was this
comment not widely reported?

Just sounded like a foolish comment… but we don’t really have a use for it, on the south bank of the Darling.

Benjamin Shuhyta

Alumni antics

Geez the Crikey readership scares me sometimes. It’s
O-Week at university (used to be, back in the good old days) when all
the private school tossers go around asking people, ‘…and where did
you go to school?’

Thankfully, with the benefit of a back-of-nowhere state government high
school, I reckon I can be confident that I’ve made it to where I am
today on the merits of my own work — not having to brag about who went
to my school.

Bring on the politics of envy. Marky, you’ve got my vote.


School alumni

What about a resort of the alumni list to document the schooling of all
sitting House of Reps and Senate members. This may elucidate the reason
for the bias of federal funding towards private schools. We all look
after own don’t we?

Pam Wood

Why no Queensland schools?

No Queensland Schools on the list? Why? Are the schools not
rich enough, or is Queensland too marginal. I am a long-time
Labour voter who has just turned Liberal. My wife is mumbling the
same sentiments. All because of this announcement on
schools. And no, we are not wealthy. We do not own a big
house, or even a small mortgage. We just choose to do as much for
our children as we possibly can.

If Latham changes his mind on Queensland schools after the election,
and our school fees go up – it will be those of us who are straining to
pay the fees who will drop out. These private schools will only
be full of the wealthy, and what will happen to the already stretched
state schools.

Hopefully, Labour will once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


Labor secret school plan

It is not the poor Catholic and Anglican schools which will receive any
extra money under the Latham Scam, this money is targeted to BUY
support from specific religious leaders. Their schools are
set up and run by religious fanatics. Labor have cottoned on to the
fact that it cheaper to buy support via this means than the ethnic
branch stacking that it has carried out in the past. Don’t say you
weren’t warned.


Nine News

Ask yourself “When was the last time Nine News ever BROKE a story”?
Answer, well you’d need to have a VERY long memory. Perhaps this is
because the Nine Newsroom Chiefs conduct their 9am daily News meetings
with the attitude that “If it ain’t in the Tele then it ain’t
News”. Or perhaps it’s because Nine’s Sydney Newsroom Chief of
Staff John Choueifate has his head so far up the Premier’s arse that
he’s forgotten what daylight looks like.

If Nine wants to be serious about being a serious News leader then
perhaps Mr Packer should make sure that the NEW BROOM makes a clean
sweep rather than leaving the crumbs still under the carpet.

Edna Wellthorpe

Channel 10 and the PM

What is it with Channel 10 and the PM? Although this household is
pretty well outside the normal 10 demographic, we watch a fair bit of
it. This week alone both Rove (asking them to flash the lights at
Kirribilli to signify that the PM will come on the show) and The Panel
(endless repeats of the PM’s best ‘Valley Girl’ impersonation – “hello?
hello?”) have been fairly pointed. I think The Panel has had a
few shots over the past couple of weeks. Surely a bit telling if
the mainstream media starts taking the piss?


GST Windfall

Interesting how the GST game is being played during the election
campaign. Wonder whether any journo is game to go back to day 1
with the GST and the massive under estimates of GST revenue receipts –
if it was fair and above board the GST tax should be revised downwards
to say 7%. This would be some substance of importance in the lead
up to the election – not the wishy washy stuff dealt up daily.

Theo in Northern NSW

Life on the margins

God, oops shouldn’t mention mythical beings, it’s murder living in a
seat like Greenway that’s turned marginal. Our mailboxes keep
getting stuffed with shiny election sh*te from the two major parties.
Before we were almost totally ignored until close to polling day and
then we’d be “bombarded” with a couple of tired old fliers from Frank
Mossfield or his even worse predecessor. To give Frank credit he did
reply to a message I sent him about our craven stance towards the
murderous Soeharto regime.

No such luck with replies from the two major party wannabes who are
presently promising us the earth. I asked them both via email for their
positions on the evolution v creationism debate. This is because the
rodent and one of the dopey Kemp brothers axed Australia’s search for
near earth asteroids and thought of more religious loonies having any
input into government decisions on science or education sends a shudder
down my spine.

Giordano Bruno

Owen Outsider on the minor parties

I know this is late, but “Owen Outsider on the minor parties” on 6th September seems uninformed.

He says in the article: “More than any other party the Democrats
depend on public funding, and the rule preventing those with less than
4% in an electorate receiving money could kill them”.

With all due respect, that’s just plain wrong. The Dems receive more
than adequate corporate funding, as you will see on The Greens’
disclosure website,

In fact, it is The Greens who depend on public funding more than any
other party. Any AEC disclosure statements will clearly show that all
the largest donations to The Greens come from individuals, not
corporations. The Greens would dry up without public funding and
frankly, that’s why they have so many candidates in safe seats.

Greens candidate in the electorate of Sturt

West pinches yarn

Today, Friday September 17, the West Australian published on its front
page a yarn that we published on our front page on September 11. It was
about the ALP candidate for Tangney, Gavin Faugh (no relation to the
cricketers) being fed up with Labor, claiming it had shafted him by not
pre-selecting him for the state seat of Murdoch. He said he was going
to run dead in the seat which he openly confessed he had no hope of

There was no mention in the West yarn about our earlier story, which
covered the same ground. And if journo Robert Taylor had discovered the
story independently of us that would have been fair enough, except he

During the week we faxed the story to the West because its Inside Cover
columnist Gary Adshead was chasing up a complaint from parents who were
unhappy that their kids appeared, without their permission, in a photo
on our front page next to Waugh. Adshead hadn’t seen the photo and
asked us to send it to him, so we faxed it and the article.

Now, assumption can be a dangerous thing but I’m going to take a punt
that Adshead received the fax, recognised it was a good yarn and
alerted Taylor (who, by the way, is a very good political journalist
and always worth a read). While Taylor obviously rang Waugh and
interviewed him (and organised a better pic than we ran), I reckon he
should have acknowledged that the story first appeared in the little
ol’ independent suburban weekly Herald a full 6 days previously.

As well as editing the Herald papers I squeeze in a bit of tutoring for
first year journo print students. Maybe I should book Taylor in for a
tute when the subject of “attribution” comes along.

Brian Mitchell
Editor, Herald Newspapers

TV telephone polls

Those oh so repetitive annoying election issue phone polls are no more
than manipulation of skewed public opinion – as are the
letters-to-the-editor newspaper submissions – as are the talk-back
radio chatters

Some names of course have been identified (letters and talk-back) as
staffers who are of course being paid by the taxpayer as is the
equipment they use

Would it be any surprise that a hefty number of SMS and phone polls
activations were in fact coming from the politicians, their staffers
and families with the taxpayer again picking up the phone bills

Ray Martin must be dozing at his desk expecting viewers to believe that
within a short space of time 20,000 callers have responded – if he
wanted to make it look more authentic he could at least vary the number

Is it any wonder that politicians of any persuasion continually repeat
that there is only one poll that matters and that is on election day –
all polls before hand have too many variables to create flaws and not
produce a realistic

Tad in Northern NSW

Oz Media bashes Aunty

Poor Aunty. Pilloried quite rightly for not taking The Debate live from Nine on Sunday evening “
Oh come on! The “Debate” was always going to be just a soapbox on
which our two sad options for leadership could stand and say what they
liked in between a few interesting questions that they would not answer.

Good on Auntie for relegating it to 10am. It was more than it deserved.

I very much enjoyed not waiting up to see the dramatisation of Stephen
Hawking’s brilliant and challenged rise to the pinnacle of physics …
wish I could do that sort of thing all the time and not have to keep
tabs on our pollies and try and make my vote count!

Mike Chivers

Recruiting for the top job

Since the PM and the alternative PM refuse to engage in a proper
debate, I suggest that instead of the great debate we have the great
job interview. The candidates who are reapplying for the top job could
be quizzed on their achievements, qualities and plans, perhaps by some
specialists from recruiting agencies. This is a format that many of us
are familiar with and might be more entertaining. This could also
provide the opportunity for the type of probing questions that Gail
Lane would like asked. Here are a couple of my own. Are you
really sure the people of Iraq are better off?

Why is the 15% super levy imposed on the compulsory component of an
employees contributions, wasn’t it supposed to catch people salary
sacrificing extra super as a tax lurk?

Dave from Corangamite