Abbott’s honeymoon, as told by Abbott Tony Abbott’s Battlelines is being touted as some combination of Lenin’s What Is To Be Done and Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua, so it comes as a surprise to find that it’s a bit of autobiography, a few musings, a lot of ressentiment and some policy bits. There are some delights though. Take Abbott’s description of young love:

‘On our honeymoon, we’d spent three days sailing near Stradbroke Island in Queensland. Every morning, we had to work the boat off the sandbanks on which I’d stranded it as the tide went out overnight. As the yacht finally gyrated down the Broadwater under a stiff nor’easter and a badly managed ‘goosewing’ rig , her hands bleeding from pulling on unfamiliar ropes, Margie asked whether I always did things the hard way!’ (Battelines, p.4)

Say what now, Tony? God almighty I mean what the hell? Is this some sort of reverse-engineered alibi after worried locals called the cops (‘once again it’s very simple officer. I am dehydrated because I kept ramming the banks, and the blood on my wife’s hands is her own, from the ropes.(pause) Have I not yet mentioned the ropes?’) or a 70s feminist art project (‘Yachting is Frotting, 1979 — Andrea Dworkin and Judy Chicago used America’s Cup imagery to explore the inherently invasive nature of heterosexuality, as a form of patriachal steerage through internal waters, a mode of possessing that which cannot otherwise be owned’). God may move in mysterious ways, but when your honeymoon snaps involve ‘gyrating down the Broadwater’ it’s time to get in the jazz police. In the spirit of St Oscar on the death of Little Nell, you have to have a really dirty mind to think this is about boats.

But what sort of copy-jockey let this stuff through? “…the book has been edited by Christopher Pearson, who invariably reads and advises on what I propose to print’ (Battlelines, p xiv).” Ah. — Guy Rundle

Ten used to court Kyle’s controversy The Ten Network should not be allowed to escape unscathed from its dismissal of Kyle Sandilands from the judging panel of Australian Idol. They have as much form as he has. After all, why did the network have him there in the first place, then persist with him, even when there was poor publicity emanating from his antics on 2Day FM with sidekick Jackie O?

It’s not that his stunts and poor publicity are new… they were around when he was used in 2008 as the final hosts of Big Brother, and they helped send that pile of TV rubbish into oblivion.

Now the Ten network goes all holy and washes its hands of him in a peculiarly Pontius Pilate way.

“We thank Kyle for his contribution to Australian Idol over the last four years but it has become increasingly clear that as Idol has remained a family focused show, even more so this year with the 6.30pm Sunday time slot, his radio persona has taken on a more controversial position over this period which is not in the interest of the show.”

Gee, that’s a bit rich. His “radio persona” has been very controversial for longer than the past week. That’s why Ten hired him because it rated and made money for Austero. Does anyone think otherwise?Are we to take it that had Idol remained at 7.30 pm on Sunday nights (it will be 7.30 pm on Mondays), Sandilands would still have been there?

Ten is being cute to the extreme. Idol is going to 6.30 pm on Sundays because Ten doesn’t have a strong enough program to provide a lead in to 7.30 pm start, where it would struggle. And why would a lead-in struggle? Because the Seven Network has started Dancing With The Stars at 6.30 pm for the current season, instead of 7.30 pm as it did last year when it switched the program to Sunday nights.

Ten employed Sandilands and Ms O for just one reason: the ratings they attracted to their Sydney breakfast show on 2Day FM in Ten’s target 16 to 39 and 18 to 49 demographics.

That was a commercial decision, just as the sacking from Idol is a commercial decision. So don’t dress it up as anything else. In this case, there’s stark commercial reality for Ten. But if Kyle hadn’t screwed up with the stupid lie detector test, would Ten have made last night’s announcement? — Glenn Dyer

Journalist death toll. At least 46 journalists have been killed in 21 countries since the beginning of 2009, the International News Safety Institute (INSI) report said. The report states that Somalia, Mexico, Pakistan, Iraq and Philippines are documented as the most dangerous countries for journalists. — Rianovosti

When good reporters go bad. Today on MSNBC Jennifer Senior was on to talk about her article in the newest issue of New York Magazine. What transpired was one of the stranger technical glitches we’ve ever seen. Anchors Tamron Hall and David Shuster were literally speechless over what was happening. Can you figure it out? — Mediaite

Quote AP, pay a fee. We’ve known that the Associated Press has some odd policies in regards to social media and the web for a while. The AP social media policy says that employees need to control not only what they said on Facebook, but what their friends said as well. We also got wind last week of the AP’s plan to find where anyone uses AP material online in an attempt to stop what it considers unauthorized use of its content. To say it’s causing controversy would be an understatement. — Mashable

Chavez supporters raid TV station. Dozens of militant supporters of President Hugo Chavez stormed an opposition TV station yesterday in an escalation of Venezuela’s “media war”. Around 30 activists with red berets forced their way into the Caracas headquarters of Globovision, lobbed tear gas and threatened staff with handguns. — The Guardian

The death of photojournalism? Mark Glaser takes a look at Demotix, the citizen photo agency we told you about in April. Demotix is the second notable startup to take a crack at monetizing citizen photojournalism, following on the heels of Scoopt, a site that brokered the work of amateur journalists to major media organizations and split the revenue with the photographers. Scoopt was acquired by Getty Images and shut down early this year. — Newspaper death watch

Peter Fray

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