Tony “Spartacus” Abbott. “Tony Abbott is the Spartacus of Australian politics. No longer content to be slaves in Kevin Rudd’s victory procession, the Liberal heartland has found its Spartacus and revolted,” writes Arthur Sinodinos, latest entrant in the Oz’s “who can ramp up expectations around Abbott to an unfulfillable degree” competition. Great stuff, the Spartacus thing. Spartacus was eventually crushed by the imperial might of Rome, and ended up crucified with thousands of his supporters. These guys. No, I’m Kirk Douglas’ other son! — Kim Serca

Ben Bernanke named as TIME Person of the Year 2009. TIME gives their annual award to the chairman of the Federal Reserve for preventing an economic catastrophe. — TIME

“Slap on the wrist” for Kyle and Jackie O. The Australian Communications and Media Authority will impose new restrictions on Sydney radio station 2DayFM following Kyle and Jackie O’s now infamous lie detector interview, but a loophole in radio rules means that the broadcaster will escape a fine. — The Age

Facebook to monitor all things Berlusconi. Facebook will monitor content on its site dealing with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy following an attack at a political rally that left him hospitalised. — The New York Times

Two strikes and you’re out at Channel Seven. Channel Seven is set to enforce a new low-tolerance drug policy for its staff, following Home and Away star Todd Lasance’s arrest for alleged possession of cocaine over the weekend. — International Business Times

A year of media errors and corrections. Craig Silverman chronicles the best (worst) media errors and corrections of the year, with the West Australian even making the cut. — Regret the Error

Top Twitter trends of 2009. The Iranian election, swine flu and Gaza were among the top trending news events on Twitter this year. The top trending people? Michael Jackson and Susan Boyle of course – Twitter Blog

Toyota’s social media disaster. Toyota’s now disastrous experiment with social media highlights the need for advertising agencies to understand how social media works before they attempt to utilise it in campaigns — mUmBRELLA

Newsrooms don’t need more conservatives. The Washington Post’s claim that newsrooms need more conservatives is more about finding a form of journalism that offends nobody and mirrors the partisan breakdown of the population as a whole, writes Thomas Frank. — The Wall Street Journal

The decade of reality. Reality TV hit the big time in 2000. And in the decade since, it has come to dominate our screens in all its manifestations. Gawker examines the highlights and lowlights of the plethora of reality genres. — Gawker

Peter Fray

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