The Age poisons minds. Monday is normally a news graveyard but surely nothing can top the un-bylined drivel (David Rood’s name was later attached to the online version) trotted out in this morning’s Age reporting “research” undertaken by dumped ALP state secretary Stephen Newnham. The five-page CPI Strategic report, paid for by the timber industry, wisely concluded that a major factor driving Victorian logging policy, rather than the policy itself, was a succession of Labor premiers’ attendance at university.

Leaving aside the fact that state Labor has hardly been an enemy of wood chips, the report, entitled ‘People NOT like us?’, boldly states that job cuts in the late 80s and early 2000s were the result of “inbuilt cultural prejudice” caused by pernicious “white-collar decision makers”.

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John Cain, Joan Kirner and Steve Bracks had all committed the mortal sin of attending lectures, whereas industry saviour Jeff Kennett had only done one semester at ANU. Kirner had attended the University of Melbourne, Cain had also frequented Parkville and Bracks had learnt his ways at that hotbed of privilege, the University of Ballarat. Sherryl Garbutt, who was environment minister during the early years of Bracks’ reign, went to La Trobe. Shockingly, three out of the gang of four had emerged as “trained teachers”.

Newnham hedged his bets on what the ALP’s current crop means for the state’s trees. John Brumby attended both a private school and a university, but has a face-saving farm in Harcourt. Environment minister Gavin Jennings was a “university educated social worker” but also mixed it with the workers at his alumnus Beaufort High. And agriculture minister Joe Helper, God bless him, was a motor mechanic in a former life.

It’s here where the rub becomes clear. The timber industry is currently battling the Wilderness Society over logging in water catchment areas in the lead-up to the November state election.

Higher education, Newnham concludes, has poisoned what was left of the ALP’s working class consciousness. But the fact that the self-serving screed ever appeared in Victoria’s paper of record should also leave political editors at The Age‘s Media House checking their heads. — Andrew Crook

SMH in love with free travel. The clearest sign yet that the Sydney Morning Herald‘s no-handouts policy is now a distant memory was provided in Saturday’s edition, where deputy editor Amanda Wilson wrote a smug and thoroughly nauseating travel story about her experience amid the “all-encompassing luxury” of the Silver Spirit cruise liner. Silversea paid for the trip, presumably worth several thousands of dollars.

In perhaps the most hateful passage among many, Wilson gushed: “So pivotal is the butler to my Silver Spirit experience that at the end of the cruise I declare: ‘Arnel, I think I am falling in love with you.’ Suave, and chaste as ever, he replies: ‘Yes, madam, I know.'” Many readers have abandoned their hope that the Herald will ever be refashioned as a serious and substantial newspaper. However, they do not expect to be insulted with drivel like this. — a Crikey reader

The global fight against content piracy

“The US government has decided that it has the right to take down content on any website in the world if a movie or recording studio complains about it.” —

Advertisers want compo if Games audiences plunge

“Businesses that have spent almost $25 million for prime-time advertising during TV coverage of the Commonwealth Games will seek compensation if audiences plunge because of problems in Delhi.” — Sydney Morning Herald

Advertisers’ own media group to measure audiences

“Advertisers are putting together their own media research group to scrutinise media audience measurement systems.” — The Australian

Europe’s parliament addresses patchwork copyright laws

“Last week [the European Parliament] called for a long-overdue overhaul of European copyright laws, aimed at fostering the development of a single European media market.” — New York Times

BBC magazines for sale

“The BBC is seeking a commercial partner to take a majority stake in its magazines business, in a move that could see flagship title the Radio Times being sold off after nearly 90 years.” — The Guardian

Twitter, blogs tell hidden story of Mexico’s drug wars

“A small army of bloggers and tweeters is filling the gaps left by traditional media in Mexico that are increasingly limiting their coverage of the country’s drug wars because of pressure from the cartels.” — The Guardian