Pure Poison IconThis morning’s #lolstralian:

Not The Onion

The hammer and sickle. Communists. Not giving big business a tax cut the Liberals have refused to pass through parliament. Forcing single mothers onto the below subsistence NewStart. Yeah. “Smash the rich”. Communists.

See, this is why I wonder how much blame for the ALP’s poor Newspolling should be ascribed to poor salesmanship – with national media like this, what can they do?

ELSEWHERE: Is it “class warfare” when governments slash public services and welfare for those in utter poverty so they can fund massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big business? Or only the other way round?

UPDATE: Luke Ryan at The Vine dares to call the brave objectivists (see what I did there) at The Australian “propagandists”:

This isn’t intended as a defence of the Government’s Budget (I’m not enthused) or some partisan shot across the bows of the Liberal Party or even a real engagement with the content of the paper itself, but rather to suggest that if anyone involved in the production of this front cover looked at it and thought “You know what? This is exactly what a newspaper is meant to be” then they have no business using the title journalist. Just call yourselves propagandists and be done with it, because this thing is closer to the output of a Stalinist regime than anything contained in the 2012 Budget.

Meanwhile, our friend Mr Denmore has the shamelessness point out the impossible to believe reality:

Apparently, in this new Tea Party, Fox News-inspired world where the facts are optional, socialism is defined as any measure that involves redistribution of any kind – as if the entire post World War II edifice of the mixed economy was a mirage…

So if we really are seeing the vanguard of red-in-hammer-and-sickle socialism, as the media tells us, the financial markets (where REAL money is at stake) are saying the complete opposite. In fact, Australian government bond yields moved to record lows after the budget (yields fall as prices rise). That’s telling you that global investor demand for Australia as a safe haven amid all that’s going on in Europe is stronger than ever.

Shut up with your facts, Denmore. CLASS WARFARE!

UPDATE #2: The Australian puts on a brave face, but it looks like we hurt its feelings:

Our headline of “Smash the rich, save the base” sat over a striking Bill Leak cartoon of Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard bedecked in “Occupy Treasury” garb, a hammer and sickle flag, leading a workers’ protest. It was Leak at his best, vividly demonstrating our summary of the budget’s overriding theme – class warfare. The Pure Poison column on the Crikey website saw the front page as a way to absolve Labor of any blame for its woes: “With national media like this, what can they do?” According to a comment on the site, even the ABC is in on the act: “I just wish the ABC would stop getting its news list from the front page of the The Australian.” Elsewhere, our front page was revealed as a capitalist plot: “This outlandish response only underscores the fact that the ruling establishment will tolerate no deviation from the imposition of austerity measures squarely on to the backs of the working class.” That reaction, as it happens, came from the World Wide Socialist website. Sad when the hammer and sickle is out of favour even there. More illuminating was another Crikey comment: “When I saw the headline, I was happy. If this is what the budget is doing, then Labor are doing something right for a change.” What pleasure for The Australian to spread happiness and cheer to Crikey’s socialists.

“Socialists”. Maybe there’s a drawing with “larrikin artistic licence” coming featuring us as an invading red army, too.

UPDATE #3: Come to think of it, I don’t think the editors of The Australian‘s sister News Ltd tabloids believe this:

The people of the suburban and regional mainstream actually do not desire government hand-outs so much as the freedom to pursue opportunity for themselves and their children.

Clearly, based on their budget coverage, the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun are convinced their readers are interested in little more than how much cash is being sent their way.

Don't get mad. Get Crikey.

Get full access including Side View and Crikey Talks.

Subscribe now and save 40% on a year of Crikey and get one of our limited edition Crikey sticker packs.

Hurry! Ends midnight Friday.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
40% off + free merch