The Herald Sun’s resident military correspondent, Andrew Bolt, raises concerns that the Defence Minister is turning the ADF into some kind of PR outfit.


Smith demands better spin doctors to hide the kind of damage he’s caused

So first Stephen Smith trashes the public image of the Australian Defence Forces

Just why Defence Minister Stephen Smith has called six separate inquiries into the allegedly sexist culture of the Australian Defence Forces is a mystery. You see, the excuse for this massive attack on the ADF – Chairman Smith’s Cultural Revolution – is actually trivial, despite the mad hype since.

Now we find he wants more spin doctors to fix the ADF’s reputation:

THE strife-torn Defence Department has assigned more spin doctors to politically sensitive areas after Defence Minister Stephen Smith ordered a shake-up of its 100-member public relations machine.

Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that the Southbank Jester is using a quote from one of his own opinion pieces to support his contention that Minister Smith is trashing the ADF’s image and look at his argument.

The outrage being expressed towards the ADF at the moment is the result of a cadet taking her story of a nasty act by other cadets to the media. I think it’s safe to say that no-one in the Defence Department, either civilian or military, is happy that the incident occurred or that it has ended up as part of a media circus. The ADF’s image wasn’t trashed by Steven Smith, but by a cadet who bizarrely felt the need to share his sexual exploits with his mates in real-time. What would have been outrageous is if the Minister has insisted that a business as usual approach was all that was needed.

Following on to the next point, did Smith demand changes to the ADF’s media management to cover his own alleged cock-ups?

The report pre-dates the unprecedented public row between Mr Smith and military chiefs over their handling of the ”Skype scandal” at the Defence Force Academy.

So I guess that’d be a no.

It’s click-bait, pure and simple, firstly Bolt quoting himself, and then pairing it with some vaguely related information allowing his readers to find some implicit link that doesn’t actually exist. This type of post from Bolt is the intellectual equivalent of mass produced fast food, it has the appearance of food, but no sustenance, and if it makes up the bulk of your diet it’ll lead to serious health problems.