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Media briefs

Feb 12, 2010

Faine bags Altona, headline cliches and government spin distorts war

774 presenter Jon Faine bags out Altona in Melbourne's West, as a cheap but crap place to live. Plus, ouzo shameless cliched headlines, NT News returns with their mythical (or not!?) monkey and other media gems from around the traps.

Nothing good about the west, just fumes and cheap real estate: Altona bashing is a classic inner-Melbourne snob pastime, and today 774 presenter Jon Faine decided to get in on the action. In an interview with the byelection candidates of Lyn Kosky’s former seat —  Jill Hennessy from the ALP and Greens candidate David Strangward (Liberal Mark Rose declined the interview invitation) — Faine declared Altona the cheap real estate suburb people only live in because they can’t afford anything better. Presumably they move straight to the east or inner-north once they’ve cashed in their Altona real estate.

Jill Hennessy: Well Jon, there’s a reason that people are moving in droves to this part of the western suburbs, it’s because it’s a terrific place to live.
Faine: Why? In what way? Name the best thing about Altona.
Hennessy: Well, we have great …
Faine (interrupting): It’s industrial, it gets the fumes from the industrial zones wafting across it. It’s not a very attractive area and never has been and never will be.
Hennessy: Oh well Jon, I don’t know what parts of the Altona electorate you’ve been down to look at, but there’s the gorgeous bay along Altona, there’s fabulous wetlands …
Faine (interrupting): They’re spoiled, it’s the worst part of the bay.
Hennessy: There’s Cherry Lands (sic)and there’s fabulous vibrant communities throughout the entirety of the electorate.
Faine: It’s cheap real estate, that’s the only reason people look to it, come on.
Hennessy: Well Jon, people are entitled to access affordable housing and as this community grows it is absolutely essential we continue to invest in community infrastructure  to ensure that the west is a livable part of Melbourne. Melbourne has again been identified as the world’s third most livable city.
Faine: most of the area you represent — there are some houses that sell for a lot of money with water views — but the rest of it is cheap real estate for people who are getting a foothold in the ‘own your own home’ market.

At the end of the interview — which admittedly did also focus on political laziness by the Labor government accustomed to the safe Labor west — Faine gave a small disclaimer about his initial rudeness.

Faine: And thank you for putting up with my impertinence. No point having you come in and just having a jolly old chat, instead the whole point of it is to put you under some pressure.

Some of the “pressure” may have sounded more like blatant cheap insults, but don’t be confused, he was just being a hard-hitting journo. — Amber Jamieson

Crikey loves a cliche, but these are ouzo shameless: When it comes to writing headlines, Mick the sub is king down at Crikey (latest hits include: ‘Obama tackles ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the good old US of gay’ and ‘Abbott crosses the flaw defending Barnaby’). But sometimes it’s difficult to write a quirky headline and that’s when the obvious cliches come in. The media has been rolling in them lately in stories about the failings of the Greek economy, as the EU decides whether to bail out the debt-stricken nation..

Notice a theme?


—  Amber Jamieson

We said he was nuts first: Ever since Barnaby Joyce confused billions and millions at the National Press Club, amidst a routine more appropriate to an eight-year-old’s birthday than national policy, the press have continued to stick to the same line about BJ — that whatever you think of him, he just speaks his mind, calls it as he sees it, etc, etc.

How long is this “man in the street” thing going to stick around, in a lazy and incurious press gallery? I have no doubt that Joyce believes what he says, but the wackiness comes from the fact that it’s rooted in a decades-old ideology — right-wing Social Credit — that guides his every thought. Social Credit, as this correspondent noted before Christmas, was the theory beloved of the Catholic Right, the League of Rights, the LaRouchites etc, etc — which ultimately believes that any national debt is bad, and that Keynesian-style spending is part of a plot to advance socialism, an attitude ultimately stemming from a belief that “usury” is a sin.

When Joyce focuses on our relatively light debt load, he does so because he believes that we will be punished for incurring it, in a cosmic manner. When he confuses billions with millions, it’s because his mind is in an earlier era, where small-town life, of the manner of his beloved hometown of St George, was still dominant, and national accounts were measured in the millions. Barnaby’s the most, not the least, ideological of anyone on the shadow front bench, which is why he sounds at right-angles to reality.

To repeat my conclusions of December — Joyce will have to go, because the Opposition has a finance minister who, in the last analysis, does not believe that finance itself is moral. Until then, he is a gaping wound in Abbott’s side. — Guy Rundle

Fullalove for Texan road rage: Classic vox pops from today’s Cairns Post.


The case of the mythical monkey continues in NT News:


Can the Gold Coast Bulletin convince the ‘White House surfer dude’to take a trip to the sunshine state? Yes they can, with a drop of photoshopping magic:


Government spin distorted war

A SENIOR Australian Army media adviser who served in Afghanistan and Iraq has revealed that a culture of excessive spin and unnecessary secrecy stopped important information reaching the public.

Andrew Bird, who left the army in December after eight years as an information operations and media adviser, said Defence obscured or painted an overly rosy picture of war in places such as Afghanistan. — The Age

More talk radio for Melbourne

Melbourne’s talk radio market is to see a major shake-up with a new station to launch within months, it was finally confirmed today.

The new station will be fronted by Steve Price, who resigned from Sydney station 2UE. It will be a joint venture between  Macquarie Radio Network and Pacific Star Network. — mUmBRELLA

Google — overlapping growth

Hardly a month goes by anymore without an announcement from Google that promises to change everything. More and more, these announcements sound like déjà vu. —  Slate

The savior of traditional print format

My excitement doesn’t brew from iPad’s functionality out-of-the-box but from its potential in changing how we design dense information websites. I remember 15 years ago the utter confusion publishers were going through to understand the impact of the internet on publishing and how they would take their paper or magazine and “put it on the screen”. — Fast Company

MEDIAite’s top New Yorker Valentine’s Day covers

A beautifully-designed Valentine’s Day cover used to be an annual event for many magazines. Today, with the exception of an occasional women’s service mag, Valentine’s Day has almost disappeared from the newsstands. Thank goodness for the New Yorker, which has done an annual Valentine’s Day cover for over 70 years. — MEDIAite

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2 thoughts on “Faine bags Altona, headline cliches and government spin distorts war

  1. Aphra

    Jon Faine was appalling today. Lately, he’s taken to talking over every politician or interviewee with whom he disagrees and he’s becoming more disdainful about those on a perceived (I presume) lower socio-economic status than the lumpen bulk of ABC listeners. Not too long ago he declared that those who shopped at Aldi wouldn’t be the type to want to visit a farmers’ market. What sort of a comment was that?

    He’s been around a little too long. He’s losing his deftness and touch. He’s engaging more and more in tabloid. He’s better than what he’s become.

    My friends in Altona are outraged at his snobbishness. Both husband and wife have Ph.Ds and only temporary professional jobs. It’s a great tribute to their indefatigable hard work at menial and less challenging occupations that they managed to find an affordable house in Altona with a big enough garden to be almost self-sufficient in vegetables and milk (they keep a grumpy goat). Certainly, Altona’s not Toorak or Point Piper but that’s no need for those of us lucky enough to be living in the trendy inner suburbs or in spacious, beautiful surrounds in the suburbs, to sneer and disparage.

    Faine often speaks about his attending Melbourne Boys High School. So did my son; so did one of my abovementioned Altona friends; so did my godson. All agree that Faine is becoming a real tool.

    Once upon a time I used to think that he was the very best that Melbourne morning radio and talkback had to offer. Actually, make that the best that Australia’s morning radio and talkback had to offer. I remember those days, clearly.

  2. stephen martin

    “Government spin distorted war “- Of course what’s so unusual about that. They always do, it’s all about keeping morale high on the home front. I understand for example that the Allies in WW2 claimed to have brought down, one way or another, more German planes than were built.