Stats defeat bookish argument. The Right are going to town on MUP publisher Louise Adler’s remark that bookshops are disappearing from Australia — yeah, hah, hah, pity you supported the PIR protection scheme that killed the bookshops, hah, hah, the argument seems to go — best expressed by Imre Hasa’z’intheirsomewhereinsky in a bold, yawn, celebration of the shopping mall.

Good get, if it were true. But as bookshops have declined everywhere, hardly likely. Indeed as green left publication the UK Daily Telegraph reported Britain has lost 2000 bookshops of the 4000 it had in 2005. With no PIR loading, what’s the cause? “Heavy discounting by supermarkets, the rise of internet retailers and the growing popularity of e-readers such as the Kindle have forced nearly 2000 bookshops to close since 2005.”

Not supermarkets! In shopping malls! Ah well, no matter. Since the issue is not bookshops per se, but to kill the idea that any form of local protection might have some justification, why let the stats get in the way of a good piece of fiction? — Guy Rundle

Front page of the day. US papers are consumed by more debt brinkmanship in DC. The Washington Post’s local freebie Express summed up the argument …

Dowler payout doesn’t absolve News: Clegg

“No amount of money can ‘absolve’ News International of the ‘grotesque’ hacking of the phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, Nick Clegg said on Tuesday.” — The Guardian

Guardian won’t have to reveal its hacking sources

“Scotland Yard has ‘decided not to pursue’ its legal bid to force the Guardian to reveal the sources it used for stories about phone hacking.” — BBC News

Ted Turner: Rupert Murdoch must go

“Billionaire Ted Turner said News Corp Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch will probably have to leave the helm of his media company after a phone-hacking scandal that began at one of its newspapers.” — Bloomberg

Did WikiLeaks end the run of Al Jazeera’s director?

“The Al-Jazeera satellite TV channel has announced Tuesday that its director has stepped down after serving the network for eight years. Wadah Khanfar’s resignation follows release of documents by WikiLeaks, purporting to show he had close ties with the U.S. and agreed to remove some content in response to American objections.” — The New York Times

Facebook goes Hollywood (again)

“Facebook is looking to hire a big-name executive to cultivate relationships and strike deals with the film and music industries to bolster its media offerings.” — Reuters

Google+ now open to all

“About three months after Google launched a field trial of its Google+ social network, the service is now open to everyone without an invite.” — PCMag.com

Peter Fray

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