Former Finance Minister and Labor veteran Lindsay Tanner, who left politics at the last election, has written a scathing critique of modern political journalism and political practice Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy.

It takes aim at the Press Gallery, media companies, politicians and even voters themselves in a discussion of why the media and politicians seem caught up in a cycle of trivialisation and spin. Bernard Keane recently caught up with Mr Tanner to discuss his argument.

[podcast]http://www.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Crikey-interviews-Lindsay-Tanner.mp3[/podcast]