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Oct 11, 2012

Is the social media fury at the press gallery misplaced?

Criticism of the Canberra press gallery for its reaction to Julia Gillard's misogyny speech may be misplaced. But it's worth examining in the broader context.


Social media is rarely kind to the Canberra press gallery but this week there’s been one of those periodic outburts of fury. Only, unlike the 2010 election campaign or the Labor leadership spill early this year, this one has a strong element of gender to it.

The gallery stands accused of entirely missing the significance of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s speech on Tuesday, which sent Twitter and Facebook into overdrive and was quickly picked up by major international websites.

Peter Hartcher, in particular, copped a savaging for his “we expected more of Gillard” piece. And Fairfax’s own Piers Akerman, Paul “Magic Water” Sheehan, copped a bucketing for his attack on the Prime Minister which included a snide reference to her childlessness, one later removed by a Fairfax editor without explanation and, until prompted by Mark Colvin, any acknowledgement.

So — clueless, don’t-get-it (male-dominated) press gallery or lefty echo-chamber Twitterati?

The first thing to note is the two are talking about different things and, to some extent, at cross-purposes. The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics — what works politically, what doesn’t, what impact political performances will have on the functionality of the government in the short term and, over the longer term, its prospects for re-election. The gallery also focused on the wider context for the speech, which was the government defending the wretched Peter Slipper. Criticising the gallery for “not getting it” misses that what they’re supposed to be getting isn’t necessarily in their job description.

Countering that is the insistence this was a key political moment, that voters, especially but not only female voters, will respond positively to the Prime Minister’s speech, that they’ll be pleased a female Prime Minister has pulled such an important issue to them out into the open.

That’s entirely possible, but gallery journalists are no better placed to make that assessment than anyone else — indeed, worse placed, if they’re based in Canberra, which offers a distorted view of the world. Nor, it must be said, are social media users well placed to make such an assessment. Twitter, even if 10% of Australians are said to use it, is unrepresentative of all voters, and most likely skewed to the politically-engaged anyway; Facebook is a more representative platform because it is much more widely-used, but in both cases selection bias is a problem, because both allow us to shape what we see. And merely because large foreign websites are carrying it doesn’t mean it will resonate with Australian voters.

Where the “don’t get it” criticism of the gallery may have more substance is that a key moment arrived in political debate without being heralded or particularly noticed. The issue of gender in politics has been simmering since Julia Gillard become Prime Minister. The misogynist abuse of her from sections of the Right outside Parliament, whipped along by shock jocks and sections of News Ltd, has drawn increasing attention. But in recent weeks the issue has erupted into a storm, particularly after Alan Jones’ “destroying the joint” comments. Tony Abbott’s decision — yet again showing he refuses to be hobbled by his own previous comments on any issue — to attack the Prime Minister was always going to create a tipping point.

Never before have gender issues been at the centre of political debate like this. Indeed, the Canberra tradition is to resolutely ignore such issues. Female politicians have, usually silently, endured double standards in how the press treats them. Both sides of politics consigned women to “soft” portfolios involving welfare and social services, with the silent assumption they were incapable of the hard stuff of government, good only for doling out money. Male politicians arrogantly assumed the right to dictate women’s reproductive choices. Attempts to lift the representation of women in Parliament were dismissed as “patronising”.

Suddenly that’s over. A female Prime Minister has directly, fiercely, attacked her opponent for misogyny, in a way, clearly, that no male politician could ever have done.

Women understood this as an important moment better than men. We come back to that significant gender gap I’ve mentioned several times, how over 60% of women voters think the Prime Minister, and all female politicians, cop criticism that male politicians do not, while only 40% of men do. That 61% shows it’s not just Labor and Greens-voting women who feel this way, but many Liberal-voting women as well, women who are prepared to back the Coalition even with Abbott leading it.

This was a political moment most of the gallery, focused on the tactical battle of day-to-day politics, missed.

But that doesn’t resolve the issue of the extent to which the events of Tuesday resonated with most voters, who unlike either the press gallery or social media users, have little interest in politics. Time and polling will give us some clues as to the wider impact, if any.


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215 thoughts on “Is the social media fury at the press gallery misplaced?

  1. Andrew Chalmers

    But Bernard, it wasn’t just the Twitterati, it was also the veracity of it bounding through Facebook.

    With a far more representative section of the population, it looked as though an entire generation of young women, who had NEVER been engaged with politics before were suddenly tapped on the shoulder.

    The video was linked, relinked and relinked again through suburbs and regions across the country with young women pressing ‘Like’.

    Now, that’s politics.

  2. Frank

    Is there a word missing after “misogyny” in that lede?

  3. robinw

    Perhaps the Press Gallery’s job description needs expanding. It’s remarkably empty of anything but sound and fury right now and we know what that quote ends up as … ‘signifying nothing’. I agree with those commentators who state that the Canberra Press Gallery has been in one place too long and point to AAP and Reuters as examples of organisations that by rotating staff regularly have fresh perspectives offered while with our lot, they are so stale as to be predictable.

  4. Jimmy

    “The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics — what works politically, what doesn’t, what impact political performances will have on the functionality of the government in the short term and, over the longer term, its prospects for re-election” What a load of old cobblers – the press gallery currently sees it’s role as regime change and if they can’t get that they want a leader to be toppled – everything is reported through that prism.
    The fact that the right have far more “commentators” and a willing cheersquad in News ltd means this was always going to be viewed as anti Gillard. The fact that more independent journalists with no “skin in the game” have seen it as a line drawn in the sand against s-xism clealry demonstrates the lack of perspective from the gallery.

    It will be interesting in coming days to see if the main stream media in this country stick to their based view (see today HS front page) or listen to the comments from OS and social, recognise a change in the public’s mood and change their tune.

  5. robinw

    And in addition, how can Gillard be a misogynist? A misandrist maybe though not on any evidence I have seen.

  6. Jimmy

    “The press gallery doesn’t see its job as ana l ysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics — what works politically, what doesn’t, what impact political performances will have on the functionality of the government in the short term and, over the longer term, its prospects for re-election” What a load of old cobblers – the press gallery currently sees it’s role as regime change and if they can’t get that they want a leader to be toppled – everything is reported through that prism.
    The fact that the right have far more “commentators” and a willing cheersquad in News ltd means this was always going to be viewed as anti Gillard. The fact that more independent journalists with no “skin in the game” have seen it as a line drawn in the sand against s-xism clealry demonstrates the lack of perspective from the gallery.

    It will be interesting in coming days to see if the main stream media in this country stick to their based view (see today HS front page) or listen to the comments from OS and social, recognise a change in the public’s mood and change their tune.

  7. jmendelssohn

    It’s worth remembering that Tuesday’s debate came just after Monday night’s Q+A when the men on the panel, led by the appalling Christopher Pyne, treated Kate Ellis with open contempt. Tony Jones was either unwilling or unable to control them.
    I was still seething about this when I heard Julia Gillard’s response to Abbott – and gave a mighty cheer. Enough is enough. It’s about time the bully boys in politics and the media met a true Mistress of Discipline.

  8. drmick

    Maybe its the press gallery that needs to get there heads out and smell some real air for change. Who gives a purple toss about the tactics. There are no tacticians in the opposition and Limited News could phone in question time on behalf of the parroting cerebral vacuum that parade as the opposition. They have to be coached in the delivery & the content of the delivery every day. Geez.
    You are saying the content of what is said is irrelevant? So the faithful reporting of the bastardry of the opposition and its supporters, (which is all that the Main Sewer Media report anyway), is what you report?. Any wonder the gallery doesn’t understand. You are reporting for whom? How many? Any wonder the great unwashed vote for the “Tactical Hero” of the parliament then.

  9. Jimmy

    Jmendelssohn- I only saw the last couple of minutes of Q&A but what I saw was terrible, Ellis couldn’t get a word in without Pyne & Ackerman yelling over the top while wearing a stupid schoolboy grin.

  10. David Grace

    And the MSM wonder why they are becoming increasingly irrelevant…commenting on politics as if its some kind of bizarre football match is not what people are after from journalists. Especially when only one side of the football match they believe they are reporting on is supported. Michelle Gratton’s attempt to explain herself on radio national was pathetic.

    Time for a change…remove the tired hacks from both journalism and parliament and get people with real vision and principles in there instead.

    And by the way, everyone apart from the journos heard in the speech that she did not support Slipper, Ms Gillard did however support due process which I thought should be applauded.

  11. Lisa_Donna

    As you quite rightly stated “The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics”

    So why was there no analysis of the Oppositions blatant political tactic of forcing a vote in the first place? Why no mention that this unprecedented tactic SHOULD have been voted down for it’s pure political point scoring. Why no mention that the texts are part of a court case that is still ongoing?

  12. Pamela

    I loathe Gillard but thought she did women proud on the floor in her address on abbott misogony.
    Has the canberra a press gallery realised that one of the reasons we have stopped buying newspapers is that we do not see any relevance in their reporting of politics and policy and the decisions being made about how we live in this country. They just dont get it. They are interested only in the playground fight of parliament and who is punching who.
    One of the reasons so many are turning away from politics is same.

  13. jennatilz mckrackin

    Everyone in the media keeps saying “the government (is) defending the wretched Peter Slipper”. This is simply not true, but it is so crucial to the story. The PM strongly condemned the texts of slipper in her speech. Some say that by not sacking him they are supporting him, that is just absurd logic and requires a jaded cynical judgement – by the media. Was it convenient for the government not to sack him – perhaps, but the whole issue of implied support and who’s man he is – liberal or labor is pedantic & irrelevant – its a beat up to encourage conflict – its journalists creating work for themselves.

    JG is subjected to vicious criticism & bullying from Abbott et al – largely based upon rubbish (die of shame, toxic tax based on “lie”). Abbott stepped over the mark – Julia Gillard exposed him and destroyed him in a historic speech and the pathetic media heap more crap on JG. The media failed badly yesterday and they should hang their heads in shame.

  14. Jimmy

    The thing that has made me laugh the most over the past few days is the press gallery lamenting that the parilament is focusing on this scandla rather than policy or legislation. They went on to call a kettle black and neglected the passing the quite significant legislation so far this week.

  15. mg57

    I can only assume that the Canberra press gallery are so used to looking at things through a political strategy lens, that they have missed the entire point of Gillard’s speech. Q & A on Monday was illustrative, as others have noted, for not only Christopher Pyne and Ackerman, but also Lindsay Tanner, talking over Kate Ellis. LT should be ashamed of himself! The broader issue of language use and abuse from both sides, and its impact on legitimising sexism and general disrespect in public discourse, is being ignored in most of the mainstream commentary. However this of course serves the needs of media for sensationalism and drama. No wonder we’re all disillusioned!

  16. MarkWW

    The problem is that, in unison, Credlin’s Cretins in the press gallery accepted the Liberal spin that Abbott’s motion was principled, and that the government, in opposing it, was defending Slipper’s SMS bloopers. They also completely ignored Darryl Melham’s speech which clearly laid out the reasoning for the Government’s position. Sheehan (and Fairfax) should just be embarrassed by what he has published. Not worthy of a serious newspaper, his putrid opinion belongs with the juvenile haters that pollute the PM’s facebook page.

  17. notmensa

    In most workplaces, the behavour of Mr Abbott, My Pyne and others would meet the definition of ‘bullying’ and be subject to disciplinary action.

    The fact that Ms Gillard called them out on it was inspiring to the many, many women who have had similar experiences of discrimination, bullying and harrassment in their workplaces.

    The response of the media and Mr Abbott – to accuse Ms Gillard of playing gender politics and/or to say we should just move on – is again what many, many women experience in their own workplaces when they try to address these issues.

    That she is now being attacked for

  18. Crunt Another

    “The issue of gender in politics has been simmering since Julia Gillard become.”
    No doubt Keane’s next piece will be about social media fury at decreasing standards of writing and subediting.

  19. vealmince

    A rare miss for you, Bernard, and being far too kind.

    Do you really believe the only value the press gallery can offer is horse-race journalism? Of course they are meant to provide social context, but in this case they failed utterly. They were too busy huffing about puffing their view from nowhere about how Julia Gillard was just as hypocritical as Tony Abbott. Or like the ABC, verballing interviewees about how Abbott can’t possibly be a misogynist because the dictionary definition of ‘misogynist’ is someone who hates women.

    They’re so used to giving Abbott a free, uncritical pass, when someone calls him on his shameless and endless hypocrisy, they can’t deal. They have to offer ‘balance’.

    Whereas almost everyone outside their self-reinforcing bubble thought, ‘You know what? He really is a prize turd.’

  20. Jack Phat

    I agree entirely with MG I have always been a huge fan of LT until Monday night how he could even talk to Pyne the Whiner is beyond me BUT to display what looked like total disrespect for Kate Ellis was disgraceful.
    I and my family and many friends are of the 20% who will decide the next election, my family have voted our federal LIB member in once, out once and back in at the last election. I am confident that he will be voted out with Tony Abbott as leader and back in with Malcolm Turnbull as leader. I could not tolerate Julia Gillard after what she did to Kevin Rudd and I’m sure she regrets it now as well butI have developed a grudging respect for her which she has earned through tenacity and ability. Her speech in response to Tony Abbott was momentous.
    It appears to me that except for Malcolm Turnbull most of the current conservatives Pyne, Joyce, Jones, Bernardi, Hockey all come from the bottom 25percentile of the private school system.
    Come on Malcolm step up to the plate and hand the Mad Monk his Last Supper, you know he deserves it, JUST DO IT.

  21. Raffaello

    Bernard… what the? Press Gallery job description focused on Political Tactics as opposed to social significance of politics. It seems this “job description” did not stop them descending into an orgiastic morass at the mere sniff of a leadership challenge, it does not stop them from characterising a leadership change with the most subjective language… “knifing, assassination, etc. etc.
    Once again, the Canberra press Gallery has demonstrated the inability to see the wood for the trees. Bernard, I generally love your work, although I don’t see the need to be so forgiving of your colleagues…..

  22. John Bennetts

    I agree with the majority of comments thus far.

    1. The typo must be fixed.

    2. The government stated quite clearly and rationally that they could not support a motion to sack the Speaker which, if passed, would have clearly been an interference with a current court case. They did not say that they supported the Speaker, but they clearly stated why they could not support the Opposition’s silly motion. The Canberra Press Gallery, almost to a man (and woman) failed to understand this.

    3. Abbott used inappropriate words – again – and was called out for this by the PM. This is a separate issue, not directly linked to Point 2 above. Indeed, the PM could have delivered a speech similar to this on any one of a number of occasions previously, on precisely the same grounds. The Leader of the Opposition has so much previous form that it isn’t worth listing it here. The man is not made of very nice stuff.

    Not your best work, Bernard. You missed the bull’s-eye.

  23. john2066

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, Labor just pushed through changes to kick single mums off benefits. Thats the real gender news for this week, but we wont read about it, as it involves substance.

    Most Labor MPs wont care, they likely send their kids to private schools, which they pay for with the cushy seats they inherited from their parents.

  24. Jimmy

    Interesting that the SMH has a very similar article online currently which again lists the role of the gallery to “it is not the job of the press gallery to laud a speech. It is the job of journalists to place events in context, supply background and nuance, and to make predictions about whether political actions will deliver votes.” The last “role” is completely wrong and they seem to be missing the context, focusing on the Slipper issue and missing Abbott’s and the MSM’s attitude of abuse to gillard.

  25. Moloch

    “The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics — what works politically, what doesn’t,”

    I think that could reasonably said to be the Press Gallery -including yourself – being hoist by its own petard.

    The one thing I haven’t seen, here or anywhere else in the MSM, is a decent article about Tony Abbott’s long standing tactic of misogyny…

    His continual whispering across the dispatch box – finally called out by the PM on Wednesday. His use of proxies to demean Labor women – ‘deliberately barren’ or as mentioned above, the execrable Christopher Pine never allowing a woman to speak.
    his dog-whistling – women are only fit for ironing and bestowing their ‘greatest gift’ of virginity.

    Perhaps you’re right – looked at like this maybe its not a tactic, maybe its a strategy…
    Aren’t you supposed to be analysing them too?

  26. ffs_melb

    I’m sorry Bernard, but I cannot fathom the meaning of this job description: “The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics — what works politically, what doesn’t, what impact political performances will have on the functionality of the government in the short term and, over the longer term, its prospects for re-election.”
    How can one assess the effectiveness of political tactics or the effects on electability without analysing the social significance of events? Is there some sort of abstract calculus that determines the outcome of elections which is entirely independent of the impact of political tactics on the electorate?

  27. jennatilz mckrackin

    This is journalists arbitrarily defining their roles to justify themselves. Condescending bollocks.

  28. Jimmy

    John2066 – “Meanwhile, back in the real world, Labor just pushed through changes to kick single mums off benefits” NO they shift single mums off the pension and on to newstart once their youngest child turns 8, three years after the go to primary school. Big difference.

  29. cairns50

    agree with a lot of your aricle bernard, but the canberra got it completely wrong, especially peter hartcher who likes to portray himself as being different to news ltds right wing warriors

    paul sheehan article was all one could expect from someone like him

    abbott thought he would have an easy kill attacking slipper and at the same time attacking and abusing jilia gillard along the way

    what julia said will go down as one of the most famous speeches ever made in the australian parliament

    that speech showed in black and white who should be elected prime minister of australia at the next election

    and it sure aint tony abbott

    bravo julia what more can i say

  30. PK93

    Here’s the point missed by both BK and the press gallery. Abbott’s / the Lib’s use of “misogyny” to knock Slipper off was the height of hypocricy and audacity given that they (including their fellow travellers like Jones have cultivated, leveraged and unleashed misogyny to their political advantage over the last 2 years.

    I watch politics very closely and thought Gillard’s speech was brilliant and on the mark. It is not just the “you-go-girl” apolitical set that apparently see the world differnetly. It is hioghly engaged people who see the incredibly spineless double standards of the press gallery and ocassionally boil over when it becomes offensive.

    And how the hell is the died of shame comment not cost Abbott his job? Atrocious double standards!

  31. Mobius Ecko

    johm2066 let’s get something right whilst you go off topic to Labor bash.

    It was the government and the opposition in a rare full agreement of a government policy that pushed through that legislation. Howard used to always sheet bad policies that he put through and agreed to by the Labor opposition as also belonging just as much to Labor, so this is no different.

    It goes the same for the really terrible National Security bill that Abbott and the Coalition are in full agreement with.

  32. cairns50

    PK93 mate because its tony abbott and alan jones who have no shame, they would not even know the meaning of the word

    simply not decent human beings

  33. Nightingale John

    Journalists are members of a club, and within the club they herd themselves together into packs that go bounding after prey determined by the pack leaders. In this case the prey chosen by the pack’s alpha males (funny that) differs from how it seems to the rest of us, at least to those of us not chasing the alpha male’s chosen prey.

    Sometimes all the packs come together to chase the same prey with the same cries. Sometimes different packs have different cries.

    The Press Gallery is obviously not comprised of individuals making their own judgements, We’ve all known that for years. Crikey has been a bit of an outlier, trying to ignore the alpha males with some, but not complete success. But the only way to avoid the natural human instinct for sociability and colleagiality is to avoid the Gallery and sit unobtrusively in the public gallery and never talk to any other journalists. A big ask…

  34. Anne Cooper

    Wrong Mr Keane. From the minute Julia Gillard became PM gender has been at the centre of Australian politics. It is her gender which has her slated as a failure when by any measure hers has been a resoundingly successful govt. Problem was… She lacked legitimacy because of her gender. This was disguised by accusations of dishonesty and duplicity when both those claims have no basis but many women of Australia recognized it for what is was. After all we live with it. You mr leaned we’re oblivious but you would be. Now jones has done us the favours of exposing the sinister misogyny and sexism especially that of Abbott. She is a wonderful and courageous leader, and I think a visionary (an old fashioned word ill admit) and now she has shown us all what a warrior she is. Can you imagine how young women feel now? I’ll tell you – they feel enabled, as their brothers always have been.

  35. NQAussie

    Bernard, you write as though you wish to be returned to the Christmas List of News wannabe`s??

  36. sebster

    Weird article. What’s not to get?

  37. negativegearmiddleclasswelfarenow.com

    the MSM have collectively failed to ‘call’ a major speech

    they have completely miss-read the situation

    the Main Stream Morons

  38. Charles Dodgson

    Bernard, I think you nailed it with: “The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics — what works politically, what doesn’t, what impact political performances will have on the functionality of the government in the short term and, over the longer term, its prospects for re-election.” That, it seems to me, is exactly the problem; because the press gallery has simply not adapted to the milieu of the new digital age.

    Anyone can now access the details of what is happening in Parliament from their own desk. We don’t actually need self-satisfied journalists (you Crikey journos excepted) telling us what is happening. Personally, I now only look to journalists to give me on-the-spot reports and I get increasingly frustrated that none of the mainstream media seem capable of providing this. All the journos you mentioned – but strangely left out all the ABC journos Sales, Alberici and Crabb who also completely failed to place Gillard’s speech into perspective – failed in their duty to actually report. I reckon they have all been exposed as lazy. All they did was repeat their collective prejudice against Gillard. Not only did they fail to place Abbott’s parliamentary tactic into a perspective (there has been next to no reportage of the legal and legislative implications that would have arisen if the speaker had been voted out in a no-confidence motion while still under police investigation); they also failed to recognise the significance of Gillard’s speech as a statement of gender politics. The foreign media are not so boundup with the personal battles of the parliament and, therefore, can actually see the theatre in terms of the longer term political outcomes.

  39. michael r james

    Nice try BK, but you still don’t really get it. When you and Peter Hartcher (and Emma Alberici) find themselves agreeing with the likes of Sheehan, Bob Ellis, Michelle Grattan, Nikki Savva, Jennifer Hewitt and Judith Sloan, you really need to stop, count to ten, take a walk and rethink.

    People had different reasons to react so strongly to Hartcher. My own was that the whole framing of his argument was partisan and wrong. He repeated the meme that “Gillard defended Slipper” but dozens of comments here and on his article (which BTW was cowardly stopped at 11am after being blitzed by 700 uniformly hostile ones) pointed out she did no such thing. Indeed the dumb reader’s poll associated with Harcher’s article asked a shabby push-poll question: “Do you agree with Gillard’s support of Slipper.” Given only 5 points separated the poll results it was remarkable.

    It seems it takes Tony Windsor, Adam Bandt, Rob Oakeshott and Bob Katter* (!) to state the obvious: the vote was entirely about avoiding Parliament setting a precedent by sacking a parliamentary dignitary without notice or proof of criminal wrongdoing. Avoiding turning Parliament into a kangaroo court. This was the main reason why such criticism has been aimed at Hartcher and particularly Alberici in whose interview with Tanya Plibersek was wholly and aggressively misfocused, and persistently so. Most of us have long stopped listening to Grattan or the usual NewsLtd bunch and embittered old men like Ellis, Sheehan and Richardson, but it is truly dismaying when the more sober political journos get it so one sided, and dead wrong.

    Sure, to also avoid losing a vote while this chaotic situation was resolved. And Hartcher and others may be right to say Gillard has acted in these matters (Thomson, Wilkie, Slipper) to secure her government but, doh! like no other leader of any persuasion would not have acted to keep their parliamentary numbers. (Criticize on the competence but criticizing for the motive is ridiculous.)

    As usual it took Laura Tingle for a proper journalistic approach to put the events in context using the evidence and background.
    *Tingle cited Katter: Katter had been party to another “kangaroo court” in Queensland during the Jo Bjelke-Petersen era and “to this day I still get shooting pains in my chest at the terrible injustices that occurred there”.

  40. fredex

    The role of journalists is to deliver eyeballs and ears to the advertisers in the mass media that employs the journalists so that all concerned can maximise profits.
    Who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Thats a basic tenet of journalism, all other considerations are secondary.

    Why pretend otherwise – perhaps as a smokescreen to disguise the economic vested interest fact?

    That makes the entire preamble in Bernard’s piece pure self serving bollocks. Which means that which follows is based on bollocks and valueless.

    Added to the journalists’ desire to service the economic vested interests we have in this particular case the not so subtle intrusion of their patriarchal sexism.
    Patriarchy is the context in Australia in general and the mass media in particular and even if you are a woman in the field of journalism that is a social fact that has to be accomodated one way or the other.
    Which is the point that was made several times yesterday by people who understand [because they experience the patriarchal power] eg Susan Mitchell here, Penny Wong on ABC TV last night talking to a victim of sexism who could not admit it in this case.

    The consequence of all this context and the journalist’s long term compliance with such is that they never would come close to understanding what they witnessed in parliament.
    After they talked to themselves they printed the usual crap.

    Only the social media came close to understanding the significance of what had occurred, although Crikey is to be commended for having Susan Mitchell’s piece, and that of Shakira Hussein, oh and First Dog.
    For all the social media’s disadvantages and faults they at least are free [yikes -what is that word doing there!] to see without imposed blinkers and to describe without having to pass through the editorial and marketing filters.

  41. zut alors

    I ceased reading analysis from the Press Gallery ages ago – apart from reading Bernard Keane just to keep my hand in. Reports these days are based on personalities, tactics, scandals, power struggles.

    Whatever happened to principally reporting or analysing policy? It doesn’t appear in Keane’s above-mentioned job description.

  42. johncanb

    As you Bernard so perceptively said yesterday there are two main narratives running here. The narrative that the main stream media almost universally (left and right) jumped on yesterday and Tuesday was that the government showed poor judgement in defending the wretched Peter Slipper. As argued above by other correspondents, there is a good case for saying that Gillard was not defending Slipper in her speech on Tuesday. What in the press gallery zeitgeist led them to take a different view? Is it a function of the twittering which leads to groupthink? It is a fascinating example of difference between the gallery and others which should be explored further.

    The press gallery considered the government lost the day, and I think they were right in the end, but to a large extent because the press gallery painted it that way. The gallery is very important in filtering Parliament for most of the population.

  43. Jason Dwyer

    from what i read the press gallery decided to just ignore the politics of how it came to the debate.

    it was all ‘ohh, shes a hypocrit cos shes defending teh indefensible’

    what i heard ( having #qt on in the background as i often do ) was repeated repudiation of the content of the messages ( not that i’ve seen a hanging offense in there ), but a defense of due process.

    the opposition tried to wedge the government, and the msm has simply aided and abetted, and in the process has completely conflated the debate of a long history of misogyny with slippers private puerile messages.

    as a result, the magnificence in delivery of gillards rebuke of abbott was lost, most tellingly in the shrieking of the likes of paul ‘magic water’ sheehan.

    its almost like the majority of the MSM just went to print with whatever was in the LNP daily briefing notes

  44. rhwombat

    Bernard. This is the beginning of the end of the ancien regime. Julia Gillard has just won the next election. Get with the program, or go and stand in the naughty corner with the rest of the sycophants with Daddy issues. This just illustrates the underlying truth about the conservatives failing to achieve escape velocity from their patrons – a term I use intentionally.

  45. john2066

    Fair enough single mums aren’t being kicked off benefits, but they are being cut bigtime. And the Liberals went along with it, ok, but Labor still proposed it and supported it.

    The determination of people to discuss irrelevant rubbish they can get publicly passionate about rather than things actually happening isn’t just limited to the press gallery.

  46. klewso

    The press gallery seems quite happy to “analyse social significance of politics” when it suits – just as they’ll take up some causes and not others – as they suit.

  47. Arty

    Q&A is an excellent program with humour and thought both presented when there is no politician on the panel.

    The presence of a politician soon curdles the output. That is when I seek superior entertainment on channels 72 or 90.

    It is unfortunate that the Q&A chairmen cannot resist the temptation to get a political scoop. Watch his body language and the light in his eyes when the political gotcha moment is at hand.

  48. shepherdmarilyn

    Yes but many of those young women and other single parents don’t understand that sweet Julia shafted them big time.

  49. shepherdmarilyn

    So Peter Slipper sent some off colour texts about women to another man, get over it.

    He didn’t murder anyone, start a war, molest babies or even claim to hate women.

    Jesus wept what precious flowers.

  50. Jimmy

    JOhn 2066 – “Fair enough single mums aren’t being kicked off benefits, but they are being cut bigtime.” Why shouldn’t a single mother who’s youngest child is 8 (and attending primary school) move off a pension and on to newstart where they have to undertake some form of training or gain some employment. And it shouldn’t be forgotten they can earn over $900 a fortnight and still receive newstart and will pay no tax on the first $21k they earn thanks to this govt.

  51. Dick Reynoldson

    So, what you are saying is, the press gallery doesn’t see its job description as the reporting of actual facts. What a surprise!

  52. lindsayb

    I spent all of yesterday watching the Aussie MSM commentators navel gaze about how JG had stuffed up again, while the speech went viral around the globe.
    It’s time for the ar*ehats who call themselves journalists to leave the Abbott cheer squad and do some real reporting.

  53. klewso

    Q&A is little more than a vanity piece.

  54. Phil Wales

    Thanks, as usual, for a piece that has made me think. There are some questions that came up as I read through this piece:
    Is that job description ascribed to the press gallery actually the job description?

    If so, has it always been this way or has it simply become that way through laziness (it seems to me that there are numerous historical examples of political journalists whose job descriptions seem to have been more than that)?
    Again, if so, is it a good enough reason to actually have a press gallery? If it is true that those engaged in social media are generally more politically engaged and the press gallery is so apparently out of step with them – and the rest of the population don’t really care as much – then, bluntly, to whom are the press gallery still relevant?

    If this job description holds then can it be suggested that the press gallery are simply part of the political game and have abdicated their right to fulminate about hypocrisy or double standards when it suits them (or even to classify their pieces as “opinion”)? Can we argue that significant elements of the press gallery been generally complicit in some double standards and hypocrisy themselves – that it is, in fact, hypocritical to point out hypocrisy on one side of politics and downplay it (or, in the cases of the articles referenced, fail to mention it altogether) on the other?


    3 out of 10 Bernard.

    You can do much better. I’ve given points for spelling and grammar.

  56. Frank Birchall

    Julia Gillard’s speech was magnificent and should have been reported as such by the media. Hartcher’s piece was particularly disappointing because he usually demonstrates journalistic competence and fairness. Not this time. Sheehan’s rubbish is only read by his rusted-on right wing supporters; probably gives them a warm glow but is just preaching to the converted. For a good report of the speech, see the New Yorker.

  57. Rosslyn Envall

    I agree with the majority of comments – Oz media were biased and blinkered – I saw and hear the debate, and the majority of MSM including the ABC ladies were misrepresenting what was said

  58. Emerald Emerald

    Julia Gillard has risen scores of notches in my book. Her speech was important, measured, deserved and gutsy. Good on you Julia! Good on Susan Mitchell for ‘getting it’ too.

  59. GeeWizz

    The speech played well in the feminist and overseas sector, but I really think it’s backfired back here at home.

    Gillards coming off as a lightweight now, blaming “men” for all her mistakes.

    For every woman voter she may have picked up, I’m guessing she lost 2 male voters. It really was pathetic.

  60. GeeWizz

    BTW may I point out that those screaming the loudest about what a triumph Gillards speech was the other day are the vocal minority who scream the loudest but are irrelevent at elections.

  61. Jimmy

    Geewizz – “the vocal minority who scream the loudest but are irrelevent at elections.” Is this finally some self awareness?

    “Gillards coming off as a lightweight now, blaming “men” for all her mistakes.” Agian if that is all you took from the speech you really shoud re-assess you views on women and your ability to comprehend.

  62. izatso?

    hey wiz, in the face of plain fact, you persist in projecting your sad hope that its all a bad dream ….. wakey wakey, little one. People help people when they can be helped, otherwise you get left to scream alone.

  63. shepherdmarilyn

    Actually Gee, women are over 50% of the voting population.

  64. Paul

    The press gallery actually does not do analysis it does what the employers tell it to, to a person. Overwhelmingly those employers loathe the present PM and the minions do their job. Why else does the ABC allow Peter Reith, of all people, to write articles about the government.
    What is missing from the press gallery, and our media in general, is both diversity and competence. We have hacks, nothing more, who incestuously try to outdo each other in being the same.
    To be clear, my understanding of the term hack is to describe an aged, broken down, spiritless, disinterested and self consuming horse. That is what, in my humble opinion, we have in our mainstream media – and they serve this country terribly while serving their masters every wish without question.
    I don’t do social media but I do think it has a greater ability to analysis political moments than our press gallery do through the bottoms of their glasses.

  65. Hunt Ian

    Bernard tries to explain why the press gallery differed from the “lefty echo-chamber Twitterati” without noticing that the press gallery need not be “male dominated” nor have some sort of special professional brief in order for them to pursue a line of attack of Gillard for “supporting Slipper”.

    In reality, Gillard simply opposed Tony Abbott’s parliamentary attack motion, designed to show that a puerile, obscene remark in private from Slipper was some sort of gross misogyny, and thus a warning to Gillard and the ALP to stop attacking honourable people like Alan Jones or they would have the same blow torch turned on them. Julia Gillard did not support Slipper personally.

    The reality, no doubt depressing for parliamentary members of the ALP, is that the mainstream media backed Tony Abbott in their attack on Gillard and others like Tanya Pliberseck, who is accused of trying to “excuse the inexcusable”.

    If we ask why this occurred, Bernard seems not to have noticed that the media pack is employed by organisations that are owned by a small minority who are wealthy enough to pay their salaries. Whoever pays the piper calls the tune. Just suppose the owners of the media want the Gillard government gone to put unions back in their place and to make sure that poorer people pay for the economic crisis. Suppose also that this is clear to most of the pack and that most of the pack takes “economic rationalism” for granted and recognises the crime committed by Kevin Rudd in suggesting that “economic rationalism” had seen its day. Suppose they also recognise the crime committed by Rudd and Gillard in running up debt to protect Australia’s economy from the GFC and thus protect ordinary Australians from the savage cuts we see in Europe. Tto propose such action they even invoked the economist Keynes, whose views foresaw “the euthanasia of the rentier”.

    Why then would we not expect the pack to attack Gillard for “hypocrisy”, or whatever the current Liberal Party line might be, and be joined by the ABC journos, who want not to be apart from the fray. Why be surprised or invoke some professional “brief” to account for the fact that mainstream media journalists miss the importance of Gillard’s speech and much else, which overseas journalists do not have the same interest in missing? It seems that the “echo twitterati” can be called “lefty” but we must not call the mainstream media pack “right wing”. There are clearly some lefty journos and many of the right wingers are not as far right as Alan Jones, Piers Ackerman, Andrew Bolt, Paul Sheehan, Dennis Shanahan, et, etc, some of whom are in turn not as far right as Fox News. Social media is not missing the peculiar professional brief of journos, as Bernard claims, but noticing the political slant of their comment, which stands out in this context like a sore thumb.

  66. Dogs breakfast

    These comments are pretty clear cut. The Gallery missed the tornado while reporting the weather, and apparently the tornado wasn’t relevant to their self-perceived job descriptions.

    Peter Hartcher’s efforts weren’t just missing the point, they were partisan dribble by the bucket load. Some time ago he gave up political reporting and went to political barracking. I’m assuming he was snubbed once and just hasn’t got over it. He was just wrong wrong wrong.

    And as for the Gallery’s perceptions of what their jobs are, well if you are write BK then they have no future. I wonder what that old curmudgeonly fellow who used to do the weekend SMH opinion page would think of that job description. Can’t remember his name unfortunately. He might be a barracker of the coalition but I don’t think he’d be much of a barracker of the current gallery.

    Just missed it completely. Very disappointing

  67. Dogs breakfast

    I just hope that Gillard sacks her damned media managers and comes out fighting, as she did in this speech. She would be a genuine chance of being re-elected, even if widely hated, because people will vote for someone they hate if they respect them, just ask Paul Keating.

    I must disagree with you Frank Birchall, Peter Hartcher has not written a fair and balanced article, except in the Fox news sense, for quite a while now.

  68. lindsayb

    you are of course entitled to your opinion, even if it is demonstrably wrong.

    You state “I really think it’s backfired back here at home”. Check out the readers comments in a broad cross section of media rather than relying on the murdorc press gang and you will see a different picture.

    You state “For every woman voter she may have picked up, I’m guessing she lost 2 male voters” The only thing here that is correct is your statement “I’m guessing”. Everything I have seen from real people (not trolls, liberal party staffers etc) indicates this went over well with male and female genders.

    Your statement “It really was pathetic” says a lot more about you than about anyone else.

  69. zut alors

    Wizz, I’d be most obliged if you’d supply a link to a transcript where the PM is ‘…blaming “men” for all her mistakes’.

    It’s most unusual for any politician to mention or list their mistakes and, despite giving my full attention, I failed to notice the PM rattling off a litany of her Best Ever All Time Bloopers and attributing them to men…or, as you quaintly put it “men”. Do you have that transcript handy?

  70. Lisa Kunea

    ((Not your best work, Bernard. You missed the bull’s-eye.))

    Crap! He missed nothing at all. But only he and I would know that. The bull’s-eye is in what he did n’t say. The rest of you are nothing but insecure blind-sided idolaters with a complex worse than Oedipus.

  71. Lisa Kunea

    (((Not your best work, Bernard. You missed the bull’s-eye.))

    Not so! He missed nothing at all. The key is in what he did n’t say. The rest of you are all blind-sided insecure idolaters with a complex worse than Oedipus.

  72. Matt Shabani

    Lisa-hahaha, that was the worst case of moderation that never was, that I have ever seen on social media hahaha.

  73. izatso?

    ….. ‘inscure idolatOrs with a complex’ ….. now I wonder where Lisa could have projected that from. ‘Medic !’

  74. Matt Shabani

    Medic!- hehehaha, you got that right. I think someone’s hidden her prozac. Her spellings improved though.

  75. Hamis Hill

    Women and men exercise their power in different, usuall-y complementary ways in famili-es and in other co-operative enterprises, such as democracies.
    The ancient greek myths seem to encompass the present difficulties.
    Zeus, Jupiter or Jove, the greatest and the highest, represents ultimate power and this cannot mean much unless, as in the myth he gets to f-ck whover he likes, including the children Europa and Gannymede.
    Reasonabl-y enough Hera, representing wives and mothers, is against such things.
    Misogyny and the worship of Jove by both men and women go hand in hand.
    The present worshippers of power are no different from the characters of the myths.
    The women haters worship the concept of unlimited male power and fear any threat.
    The fact that politico-religious dementoids like Abbott and the DLP still exist in 21st century Australia shows that we have not evolved very far in our understanding of human nature in the last three thousand years.
    There is more detail in the history of the earth mother worshipping Archaic Greeks being over-run by the Sky-Father worshipping warriorsof later Greece as the underl-i-ng social conditions of the myths.
    Basic Psychology reaaly. Might be worth a read, unless of course you think politics was created yesterday and history is irrelevant.

  76. Venise Alstergren

    BERNARD K: “”The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics — “”

    Surely political tactics-in the case of the rancid rabbitt, and a host of politicians and press gallery commentators-encompass precisely the ‘social significance?’of the participants anti-feminist views. ie: When they use their own prejudices to formulate their opinions?

  77. schaffer bill

    I love the way Sheehan is so wonderstruck with himself for coining such delightfully inventive epithets as ‘Member for Sewer” that he feels compelled to repeat it on a daily basis. Anybody wanting to celebrate the Sheehanite cause should go to Facebook and search ‘Paul Sheehan is a Joke’.

  78. Gratton Wilson

    Marion Wilson
    I did not regard Julia Gillard’s speech as defending Peter Slipper. I heard it as condemning Peter Slipper’s text messages but defending the position of “The Speaker” from being blackened by text messages that may yet be formally judged to be vexatious and inconsequential – private communications that should not have been exposed to public attention. If The Speaker can be forced from office because of private text messages then surely all other MPs must display their private text messages to public view. Perhaps lots of people send similar text messages to dear friends and confidants.

  79. Tim nash

    This is a little different to yesterdays article BK.

    I began to think you where writing very much like the press gallery.

  80. Charles Dodgson

    yes Hamis Hill, I agree that much can be learnt from reading history. Our Opposition Leader is a very well read man and understands these allusions well. It surprises me that not more is made of the metaphors relied upon by politicians.

  81. Joel

    Puh-lease. The press pack missed the point because they were being partisan shills, par for the course at the moment. I listened to the speech and didn’t think she was defending Slipper at all – in fact, there was a fair bit of attack on him but mostly it was a go at the hypocracy of the opposition. And fair call at that.

  82. Suzanne Blake

    No comment in the GLEC regarding the s_xist comments at the Labor Union dinner last night, that Swan and other Labor MP’s stayed at after the comments?

  83. Edward James

    Any claim our court process in another place, has anything to do with the peoples political business is just garbage, and should be treated accordingly! While MSM. Main Stream Media, produced by those who are bought and paid for their spin and hum. Is monitored and watched, then interpreted by hangers on. We Public Trust Journalist like so many of those who pay to publish here on crikey.com.au Own the grass roots truth of what matters to us taxpayers and ratepayers both Nationally and in NSW. The existence and idea, our constitutions separation of powers matters is without doubt. It is just a shame our Federal First Law Officer has such a poor grasp of what good governance is all about ! Edward James

  84. Patriot

    There, there. lefties. You won’t hear much about this tommorow. MSM will be in a frenzy over the new documents and allegations from Ralph Blewitt regarding the Gillard-Wilson-Blewitt scandal. Gillard bore false witness to Blewitt’s power of attorney for Wilson. Badaѕѕ motherfuсker indeed!

  85. andrew36

    You idiots just dont get it do you, by not sacking slipper she defended him. The majority of the media got it 100% right, even many usually on the left. If you think she come out of this on the positive side you seriously dont have a clue.

  86. izatso?

    Parliamentry process dipsticks ….. abbott could’nt sack the sad sack either, if the situation were reversed …. woooooo, Pat n’ Andy, Dense n’ Defective, you’re welcome.

  87. geomac62

    No grey with you apparently just black and white . 100% right , not mostly right or partly right . Anyone who has a different viewpoint take is an idiot rather than sees things differently . Well the oration I heard by the PM definitely expressed condemnation of the texts by Slipper . Then I heard of the long and cordial relationship between Abbott and Slipper including as well the many times the coalition have endorsed the man to represent them . The thrust of that background to illustrate the bare faced hypocrisy of Abbott to say he was unfit for speaker but ok for 26 years of service to the coalition. The PM even quoted the admiration Abbott had stated for Slipper . You missed all that ? Finally the PM nailed Abbott with his insidious died of shame reference and exposed him as the cur he is . Even the opposition front bench was cowed or should that be thoughtful ? Unlike on many other occasions of this nature no one was sin binned for raucous behaviour . No you have it wrong but I won,t call you an idiot just that you have it wrong . That speech will be remembered for quite a long time .

  88. Patriot

    A quick lesson in gender awareness:

    When referring to women, motherfuсker is a compliment, “piece of work” an intolerable insult.

  89. geomac62

    Ed James
    We Public Trust Journalist like so many of those who pay to publish here on crikey.com.
    Is that how you see yourself ? I see my sub as being able to read articles not available to people who don,t pay . As for comments ( publish ) well that can be done on various media including Crikey without payment . I just see my and other peoples comments as having our two bobs worth , airing an opinion . Praise an article or add an observation . Of course some make a comment that has no relation to anything concerning the article but our comments are not the main game just the garnish . No offence intended Ed but your the parsley on the fish and so am I .

  90. izatso?

    Oh yes Pat, that was all he could say in his torment. Tell us again, dear.

  91. Patriot

    I’d love to know what names missuses Wilson and Emerson called her.

  92. Anne Cooper

    Why has this gotten nasty? Isn’t that the kind of discourse we are arguing against and what we DON’T want?

  93. izatso?

    Pat’s a churlish fool in his enmity. Stole someone’s name, and hides behind it

  94. Matt Shabani

    Got it Andrew. This lot will never see trees let alone the forest. Political bias must go before a fall. The bigger picture or be damned.

    Note: The author is apolitical.

  95. Patriot

    Gillards father must be turning in his grave!

  96. GeeWizz

    So on the same day Gillard screamed “S_XISM!” and “MISOGYNIST!” Gillard and Labor did the following:

    1. Every single Labor MP voted to support Peter Slipper and his comments that compared women’s genitalia to a jar of pickled oysters

    2. Passed legislation in Parliament removing parental payments for 100,000 single mothers

    This Gillard woman has form….

  97. izatso?

    Pat’s seething away there, are’nt you Pat ? His lonely brain cells clatterin’ an’ collidin’ round his skull. Seeth, Pat, Seeth …… YeeeeHawr

  98. izatso?

    Uh Oh, ‘nuther seethin’ screamer ….. wiz picks up the lies where he dropped off. Lying to yerself again, wiz. Lies in his sleep. Lies awake. Tzzz …..

  99. floorer

    izatso? busy trolling the troll (with some talent incidentally). BTW, apolitical ?…… BS.

  100. izatso?

    …… Mr floorer, I simply dislike Tory Parasites, along with their half baked, pathetic, dimwitted, and now seething aparatcheks. BTW, its my BS, so carry on …..

  101. floorer

    izatso?, please carry on as you wish. Apolitical BS was a snide remark directed at M Shabani.

  102. Matt Shabani

    Ok, being apolitical gives one the insight to realize Gillard’s tirade against the mad monk was a desperate attempt to cover their own ( Labor )lack and short circuited issues.

    She grabbed her 15 minutes, but the deep-sighted remain unmoved and see the folly.

  103. floorer

    Matt, Definition of APOLITICAL / from Merriam- Webster;

    : having no interest or involvement in political affairs; also : having an aversion to politics or political affairs……. Yet you are here commenting? Seems contradictory to me is all.

  104. izatso?

    Matt, Matt. You are correct, floorer, this is triple BS in one post. Apolitical as Abbotts second sphinter, recently delivered.

  105. Patriot

    Gillard going to gaol for her role in the AWU fraud. Not many misogynists there. She’ll be surrounded by strong women. Bet she can’t wait.

  106. Aliar Jones

    There isn’t a single comment thread, and very few opinion columns, that haven’t repeated the utterly bogus and idiotic lie that Gillard was ‘supporting’ Slipper. She was doing no such thing.

    Peoples political filters are warping their ability to comprehend basic facts.

    The MSM has utterly failed to present facts.

  107. Aliar Jones

    Again, exactly what outcomes do you want Marilyn…I often agree with your comments on refugees etc but your loathing of the government is only grist for the mill of those who will do infinitely worse.

    get a little perspective.

  108. rachel612

    Twenty years ago the great essayist Joan Didion wrote about ‘Insider Baseball’, the practice of journalists focussing on political tactics and performance. Her point – all those years ago – was that such blathering, while important to politicians and the press, was ultimately no more important than yesterday’s column on the baseball game. It had no relevance to policy or national interest, or even to people’s lives.

    Gillard changed that yesterday. She dared to step outside club rules and say it like it is. I am disappointed that it was on the same day that she reduced benefits for many women, but that has nothing to do with the substance of her message, which every Australian woman knows to be true.

    I am a heterosexual Australian woman, and I cannot believe my good fortune to have found a man as a long term partner who treats me as an equal. But this *is* a sexist culture, and our political culture is an extreme reflection of that.. Every Australian woman knows it. Even Julie Bishop, tonight on ‘7.30’, had to admit she cannot always defend Tony Abbot’s statements, even though she respects him. And she was supporting him!

    I have other issues with this Government – principally its refugee policy and its current view on online regulation. But that doesn’t mean the Prime Minister was wrong.

    It does mean the press gallery is irrelevant, and too busy counting strikeouts to focus on the game as a whole. That’s long bern true, but being players inside the club they won’t see it until the club loses Its supporters. It may already have lost them. The New Yorker’s commentary was so much more relevant than Michelle Grattan’s.

  109. izatso?

    these sad people. Pat, you are profoundly disturbed. Go easy on yourself, and don’t leave the mess for someone else to clean up, eh ?

  110. beachcomber

    Bernard, here lies the problem: “…The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics …”

    The press gallery did not “get” Julia Gillard’s speech because they are more intersted in what Peter Slipper does with his dangly bits that it is in real issues facing the Nation.

    It’s cheap and lazy journalism to write about the mindless activities of an irrelevant and perpetually useless backbencher from Queensland.

    The public may want to better understand the economic crisis in Europe, and how this impacts us. Or learn more about the decision makers in China, their motivations and policy directions in what will probably be the biggest economy in the world our lifetime. Or which species will die first, which countries will be most impacted, and which regions in Australia hardest hit by Climate Change.

    But with media ownership concentrated in just a few hands, and a petrol company like cartel ensuring minimal variety, the press gallery won’t talk about that. Sensational headlines and cheap thrills are all we get.

    I am disappointed you see to be getting sucked into that mentality. “Its focus is on political tactics…” yet ignores the biggest tactical victory a PM has had over an Opposition Leader? Give me a break.

    Gillard destroyed Abbott. He only survived becuase the mainstream media ignored it. Watching the video is fascinating. He probably wished he had run out of the room like his did with Chrissie Pyne once before, but had to sit there and cop a thorough and detailed analysis of his failings as a person.

    The mainstream media have seriously let us down over the last few years, and this speech highlights their failings. I doubt they would have missed Gough Whitlam destroying Billy McMahon, or Paul Keating destroying John Hewson and Andrew Peacock.

    You are wrong when you say “Criticising the gallery for “not getting it” misses that what they’re supposed to be getting isn’t necessarily in their job description”. Reporting politics is their job, not obsessing about Peter Slipper’s sex life.

    They did not “get” it because this PM is a woman. They have made up their mind about her, and no matter what she does, what she achieves, they write want what they want to write. It is not what we want to read, which is why crikey, Facebook and twitter are increasingly the source of our information.

  111. izatso?

    ….sorry, Rachel, nice post, very pertinent. Do look at the single parent issue …. it cuts in when the child reaches eight years old, it is not a case of deserting these families, lots can change in that time ….

  112. Boudica

    I do wish that people here and in other website commentary would stop referring to ” kicking single mums off benefits”.

    It is the single parents payment and is paid to single parents of either (and regardless of) gender.

  113. floorer

    Rachel, IMNSHO I believe the blather has a tone which influences who people vote for.

  114. Patriot

    Izatso wants a crook for PM. Turkey voting for Christmas.

  115. izatso?

    small i, Pat….. and I am very happy with our current brave and resourceful Prime Minister thanks.

  116. GeeWizz

    The Twittersphere has allowed the vocal minority to be louder than normal… it’s given them a new format to protest, rather than their usual rent-a-crowd protests with placards.

    That doesn’t mean these vocal minority are any more relevent then they were previously, simply more annoying.

    We’ll see this in the polls…

  117. izatso?

    ….. mmmm …. the wizzersphere is all twistersphere …. sooooo glad you find it annoying ! try ignoring that poll stuff. you are so good at ignorance.

  118. Matt Shabani

    “..Matt, Matt. You are correct, floorer, this is triple BS in one post..”

    Is that so izatso? What would you fkin know anyway. Politics is what we get when hidden ones are pulling the wool over our eyes. The fodder of the sheeple, the drink when we’re not having a drink, the great decoy of diversion that leads astray and above all the real opiate of the masses.

    I won’t drink from that cup…hiccup!

  119. Patriot

    It was the first letter of a sentence, izatso. Even an inane, gibbering fool like you gets a capital there. Enjoy it, loser – it could be the highest you’re ever elevated by someone with a brain.

  120. johncanb

    Even though Bernard misfired on this issue, he should be congratulated on getting it right so frequently. He is a truly independent, highly intelligent, perceptive journalist and normally does not follow the Press Gallery groupthink. And so it is fascinating that he got it wrong this time. Interestingly First Dog got it exactly right, even to the attitude of the press gallery. And he was one of the first (maybe the first this week?) to nail the Gillard government for the real hypocrisy of stripping benefits from single parents. Does First Dog being in Melbourne help with his perspective?

  121. izatso?

    seeth and fizz in one. love it, Pat !

  122. Matt Shabani

    Mr Shabani, either pick a side and participate or go away.

  123. Matt Shabani


    You mean 1st mutt got something right? hahahabwooooah!!!!somebody frame it…quick.

  124. GeeWizz

    [“Even though Bernard misfired on this issue, he should be congratulated on getting it right so frequently.”]

    Lots of hubris here… we still haven’t seen the polls.

    My guess would be the PM has misfired with this little stunt, the twitterphiles are irrelevant and that Labor will be dumped on in the next set of polling data.

    Those with memories longer than 5 minutes will remember that Anna Bligh pulled the same type of desperate smears on Campbell Newman and went from bad to electoral wipeout in the polls as a result.

  125. David Hand

    Bernard, you say, “Never before have gender issues been at the centre of political debate like this.”

    In my view, the misogyny pantomime is just another classic ALP campaign. Time honoured, mate. The only reason it’s not been wheeled out before now is because no male predecessor could use it.

  126. Hamis Hill

    Mysogynist Labor, the hypocrits, are letting sole fathers stay at home while sole mothers have to survive on the dole or go to work?
    Why haven’t the MSM picked up on this?
    Maybe because it isn’t true?
    Economists should be rabitting on about how in a strong economy with high employment wage demands will cause inflation unless sole parents who can work, once eight year olds can be trusted to get themselves off to school and home again, actually go out and bolster the workforce numbers.
    What the hell happens to eight year-olds in those double-income, massive mortgage families?
    The jobs are out there and it is better for the parents and the children to have more money in the household.
    All terribly misogynist! Que?

  127. Hamis Hill

    Does every adverb have to be moderated? Reall-y?

  128. GeeWizz

    [“Mysogynist Labor, the hypocrits, are letting sole fathers stay at home while sole mothers have to survive on the dole or go to work?
    Why haven’t the MSM picked up on this?”]

    It was the perfect distraction… attack Abbott and scream S_XISM!! while stripping parental payments from 100,000 single mothers which is Labor heartland.

    And not a word was spoken by the media on the issue…

  129. izatso?

    wee wiz, seeing as how you own the one legged MSN, if there really was an issue they could use against Labour policy, they’d be on it. It ain’t an issue, because no-one is disadvantaged. Excepting you, wee wiz, the screaming is all yours …..

  130. Hunt Ian

    GeeWizz reads but seems not to understand. The opinion polls are all. Another contributor points out that the MSM might have got the “victory” for Abbott right because the MSM has such a big role in forming public opinion.

    GeeWizz gets excited about the Labor Party policy of stripping parental payments from single parents when their children reach the age of 8. This was supported by the Liberals and would have been introduced by them if Labor had not got in first. GeeWizz you have got to get your preaching of the Liberal Party line straight. Yes. The theme is the attack on sexism is a big distraction from all the sins of the Labor Party. But no, taking parental payments away is not a sin, it is Liberal Party policy. Perhaps you should have said that the cries about sexism distracted attention from the failure of the Labor Party to introduce such good policy sooner. And of course, because it is such good policy, there was hardly a peep of “opinion” from the MSM, although a word was said – it was reported, along with criticism from the Greens, who point out that it is harsh.

    It is good to see GeeWizz and Patriot flushed out to put some “balance” into Crikey commentary-the shame is that their comment seems so peculiarly smug.

  131. Person Ordinary

    this thread may be dead, but …

    Is there better journalism online somewhere? Some news feed or blog or forum?

    Or is this best we can do to find quality argument to slog through more than 100 comments on a garbage Crikey article?

  132. Ronson Dalby

    You could always start your own blog, Ordinary Person, instead of whinging on someone else’s.

  133. Person Ordinary

    So that’s a No …

    Many great posts here that show a lot of people really do understand what is going on. If we could start from a more considered argument, we might get there more easily and more often. Anyhow …

  134. David Hand

    Hey Ordinary,
    I find that occasionally these threads are capable of good exchanges that I find helpful. I do have to trawl through a lot of highly partisan and peurile posts to get there. By that time I am firmly cast as a troll, because my views tend to be to the right of most posters in the Crikey Crypt.

    I think this thread has the potential to unpick a very significant issue around the role of social media in politics today. Questions like, did Julia’s speech go viral becaus it was game changing or just great TV? Did it damage her or Tony? Why does twitterland overwhelmingly say she was fantastic but the press gallery think she stuffed up? Was her spray notable because it was uncontrolled? Was it uncontrolled or yet another bad call from her advisors? How will it play in marginal seats?

    In spite of the name calling that goes on here, the posts give some insight to these questions that we would not otherwise get.

    For what it’s worth, I think she overshot badly and it will backfire on her. Twitterland is superficial and left-biased. The press gallery has called it correctly. Labor has undone what were a couple of good months for them. The risky decision to recruit Slipper has blown up on them.

  135. GeeWizz

    [“No comment in the GLEC regarding the s_xist comments at the Labor Union dinner last night, that Swan and other Labor MP’s stayed at after the comments?”]

    Gillard must now commit to never attending another CMFEU event as they demand of Abbott not to go on 2GB otherwise they are hypocrites and misogynist woman haters

  136. GeeWizz

    [“Questions like, did Julia’s speech go viral becaus it was game changing or just great TV? “]

    Man gets hit in groin with football video is much more popular based on views than Gillards anti-man hate speech.


    What does this prove? It’s the internet and people watch videos for a chuckle.

    Watch Dillard bomb in the polls as men voters(and some women voters) are disgusted with her “it’s all mens fault, waah stop being mean to me!” pathetic rant.

    The left do a lot of back patting on what a great job they are doing lets see what the punters think…

  137. Jimmy

    Hunt Ian – FIrst off I agree with all you said except “stripping parental payments from single parents when their children reach the age of 8.” while they are taking away the parental payments they are still paying the newstart.

    The other thing I wold say about your comment is that the MSM has made a big thing this week about how the govt should be focusing on legislation and not Slipper and the Gender wars but yet the legislation you refer to and the one which saw Australia sign up to the EU carbon trading scheme (both significant pieces of legislation) were only reported through the “which way did slipper vote” prism.

  138. Person Ordinary

    David Hand
    I respect your comments and tone. Guess I am having a whinge that even a good thread, where our collective opinion is actually enhanced through the sharing of insight, dies after a day or so and disappears into the background noise as new shallow, partisan, purely political issues are crafted to distract us. That somehow the learned truth disappears and every new thread starts from poorly considered and poorly developed argument. This is a limitation of the medium.

    But I think it is likely that social media will evolve into something that does retain that truth, that objectivity that the trolls try so hard to subvert. Of course there is plenty of evidence around that any emergence of “Objective Media” is already being actively repressed …

    On Gillard, I think she hit the nail on the head with that speech, and it profoundly resonates with people who can summon up any empathy at all for being on the receiving end of misogyny. You may be right about the men that can’t.

  139. gerri willesee

    ‘Never before have gender issues been at the centre of political debate like this.’ Not really Bernard. I well remember the horrors I experienced in 1969 and onwards as a young woman caught up in a political ‘scandal’. And I remember what happened to Junie Morosi in 1975 when racism was added to the sexism. Sadly, It was life-defining.

    Thanks to anne summers.com.au we can now all see the reality for today’s women. We are no closer now to treating women equally or to have men understand the pain they’re dishing out. Male chauvinist pigs we called them. And they were. And they are.

  140. Matt Shabani

    ((Was it uncontrolled or yet another bad call from her advisors? )))

    It was prearranged and a very bad call from her advisers, very dull indeed.

    I get so sick of this political charade and all these periphial issues. Don’t get me wrong, the political writers and toonists here on Crik-y are the best in the business and I am sure even they themselves tire of the demand to have to front up day in day out and maintain some sort of appeal. It would be ok if these periphial issues could be discussed in depth and searching the underlying reasons by pulling back the veil, so to speak and flushing out the nitty gritty.Here, moderation and common sense prevent that.

    Sometimes, I even enjoy being abused by the commentors. It’s sort of cute, but other times, well…hmmmm…it’s BANG-ZOOM, Alice!.

    Come up with something.
    Yours truly troll.

  141. Matt Shabani

    That’s it. No more moderation, it’s nothing but menial from hear on. Who really cares anyway?

  142. Bob the builder

    “The press gallery doesn’t see its job as analysing the social significance of politics. Its focus is on political tactics — what works politically, what doesn’t, what impact political performances will have on the functionality of the government in the short term and, over the longer term, its prospects for re-election. ”

    WTF?!?!? Their job is to report on policy and let us know what the government and opposition and minor parties are doing or advocating.

    The fact that they fail abysmally in that is beside the point – their endless tea-leaf reading is no substitute for properly informing the voting public.

  143. David Hand

    To illustrate my point about how these threads change my thinking, I think it is possible that Gillard’s speech may in fact carry a significant legacy in the overall changing trends regarding the role of women in society and the barriers they face. A powerful woman speaking for you about your deeply held convictions has a great impact.

    The problem of course is that it is so corrupted by Labor’s narrow objective of defending Slipper and demonising Abbott that to most people she is likely to be seen as hypocritical. That’s how the press gallery has called it.

    I think another factor in the way the left elites have responded to it is a view, expressed by many posts here, that the press gallery and the main stream media creates and guides public opinion. I have low acceptance of that. In my view, people make up their own mind about things and Julia’s speech, for all its visceral passion, will hurt her in the long run because of its political context.

  144. Kram2222

    Gillard plays the sexism card at every opportunity. It is her that has created the low level of personal abuse politics. It is her that sets the standard of political debate. She is cringe worthy and an embarrassment for women’s equality and not the hero. Cowardly hiding behind her concocted accusations against her male opponents. Continually abusing others for the exact thing she uses as a weapon, goading males to try the same form of personal abuse, just hoping for them to prove her right. Gillard certainly is a “piece of work.”

  145. Person Ordinary

    DH – Willingness to gradually change opinion is admirable, but you can also trip yourself up by thinking, and actually posting, little mistakes like “Labor’s narrow objective of defending Slipper” When one premise is wrong, the argument falls over.

  146. GeeWizz

    Kram, Dillard was creaming S_XISM! the other day because Tony Abbott looked at his watch.

    She really is that pathetic and desperate. I reckon Tony should call her out on this stunt and say she really is a biotch and to grow up

  147. Mike Shaw

    @Matt Shabani

    I disagree Matt, if you had been following the articles recently you would realize they have been some of best seen in a long time.

    It really is a credit to some of the journos and their stimulating like mindedness. Hard to find in the general community.

    I should know, being a regular visitor to many sites.

    But that’s the trouble when you get too much of a good thing, you expect it all the time.

  148. Claire Duffy

    Good points, but I still smell self-defence. If you’re a journalist you’re not supposed to mis-call a big moment like this, and plenty did. It’s pretty simple, we are not twitterati or female voters, we’re people with a taste for revenge. We like the underdog to bite. We like it the bullied to become the bully. But, if you’re part of the commentariat, or you’re a bloke of a certain kind, you are used to shaping the discourse. The idea of a woman, (or a PM who’s behind in the polls) biting back, being forceful, or treating her opponent to the same scorn she’s been treated with, is so bizarre and unexpected that the only response is ridicule. It’s an ancient tradition: Women are supposed to keep quiet. More here: http://wp.me/p2k3hy-By

  149. Venise Alstergren

    ANDREW BOLT, PIERS ACKERMAN and ALL the RIGHT WING TROLLS who inhabit the comments section of Crikey, always, in their blind panic to condemn the Prime Minister, and or the Labor Party, infer is that the Liberal Party, especially as led by Tony Rabbit, would never stoop to hang onto to government by forming an alliance with another political party. No, no, no, a thousand times no. How could anyone imagine the Liberals would descend into the gutter.

    In Victoria we have the dubious honour of being led by a Liberal Party Premier; one Ted Baillieu,who won the last state election BY ONE SEAT ONLY. And, how did he win? He won because the Victorian, and {Federal Liberal Party} can only form government in an alliance with the NCP aka the Nashos. But hey, we are not allowed to criticise this cosy arrangement by the Coalition. We are allowed only to castigate the Labor Party for relying on the support of a minor party, or independents.

    It turns out there is a very devious gentleman indeed, a Mr Geoff Shaw, Liberal member for Frankston, who has been abusing his position by helping himself to multiple freebies to run his own business. Is Ted Baillieu about to do the principled thing and remove Geoff Shaw? Absolutely not, “he is an excellent Parliamentarian” quoted Ted Baillieu in Spring Street, yesterday.

    In order to sound totally sincere in his speech to the State Parliament he managed to express his horror of sexist comments about women and to introduce some bills from somewhere, to help under priviledged ladies. Unfortunately I was convulsed with laughter about the whole episode and missed the fine points-if there are any.

    An ode to the right wing trolls:-

    Beware all you pollies scribes* and suchesses,
    Take heed of my warning and pray.
    Deny Right Wing bias and muchessness
    The public may you they flay.

    Delete the word of your choice.

  150. Venise Alstergren

    THE MODERATOR: I repeated my comment twice because I left out an important word in my poem. The final line should have read “”Or”” the public may you they flay.

  151. Person Ordinary

    … and GeeWizz reaches out to Kram2222 and the trolls all hold hands …

  152. David Hand

    Enlighten me, Person.
    What other objective did the ALP have in that debate where they opposed the sacking of the speaker?

  153. Kram2222

    Very witty Person O. So we can assume you approve of the sexist card being played by Gillard and the rest of her herd at monotonous regularity? Oh, and I suppose you approve of her using her deceased father (RIP Mr Gillard) for political means? First time I’ve seen this new low in politics. Nothing this “piece of work” won’t do to make accusations at her opponents. Must be too hot in the kitchen for this female. Looks like her mum didn’t let her help out when she was little and now she just can’t take the heat.

  154. Bob the builder

    “Oh, and I suppose you approve of her using her deceased father (RIP Mr Gillard) for political means?”
    Message 1 to Planet Troll. She was responding to Citizen Jones’ use of her father for political means.
    Message 2 to Planet Troll. Abbott’s the one playing the sexist card the whole time. Gillard and Labor have finally decided to call him out on it.
    Remember, blue ones in the morning, red ones at night.

  155. drmick

    Kram , patriot, wiz and the rest of you trolls.
    When did you stop sleeping with your mother?
    When did you stop sleeping with your sister?
    Is your daughter next or is the next door neighbours dog next?
    Have you stopped beating your wife and children?
    I bet you are still aroused from when the same S@x marriage drivel raised the possibility that you can marry the duck you are “petting” in spite of the fact that it is male and does not like what you are doing to it. Answer these reasonable questions honestly otherwise you can’t take the heat & need to have a big look at yourself. And The impressive effort to type with one hand wile playing with yourself with the other is both disturbing and a feature of the limited new idiot.

  156. michael r james

    Impressive, drmick, that you got that past the mod.
    Still I think more polite wit is better in these circumstances (just disappointing it didn’t come from BK, and Rundle is MIA). But here is the most succinct comment I have read and I will try posting it here (especially as Carlton has posted it on his Facebook page).

    October 13, 2012
    Mike Carlton
    EVERY time you think Tony Abbott has scaled a new height of hypocrisy he finds another Everest and climbs effortlessly to a still higher peak. Without oxygen.
    His motion to dismiss the Speaker on Tuesday was mired in cant. It had nothing to do with Peter Slipper’s lewd text messages and everything to do with Abbott’s lust for power. This is the man who famously told the independent MP Tony Windsor that he would do anything but “sell my arse” to become prime minister and, ever since, has shown every sign that he meant it.
    Abbott was prepared to trash parliamentary convention and the presumption of innocence before the law in his rush to wedge the government if he could. A vote to overthrow a speaker has never happened before. (Jim Cope, Gough Whitlam’s first speaker, resigned in 1975 when he knew he had lost the confidence of the government.) But to hell with principle. So ambitious was Abbott, so ruthless, that the friend whose wedding he’d attended, whose counsel he had sought, a man chosen nine times as a Liberal candidate – was now to be collateral damage, so much cat’s meat.
    The Tories and their media claque howled blue murder when the government backed the Speaker in the vote but, repugnant though it was, it was the proper thing to do. Julia Gillard and her women ministers, especially, were clearly offended by Slipper’s adolescent grot. But their support on the floor of the house recognised that the allegations against him remain untested while allowing space for him and his family to cling to some shred of dignity in his resignation.
    In this they were helped – and the Parliament and the nation were helped – by Windsor and his fellow crossbencher Rob Oakeshott who, with typical tact and decency, privately convinced Slipper it was time to quit. Then, piling yet more humbug upon hypocrisy, Abbott announced he would be only too pleased to accept the wretched man’s vote.
    The Prime Minister’s speech skewering Abbott for his sexism and misogyny was a ripper, rightly applauded around the world. Nice to see the Real Julia come out fighting.]

    The two independents deserve credit for handling this appropriately but it should also be noted that Anthony Albanese also saw Slipper right after they did, and confirmed the inevitability of Slipper’s resignation. (Though Albo carries most of the responsibility for not forseeing and preparing for Abbott’s move; it is precisely his job.)

  157. Kram2222

    Bob, Message 1 : Incorrect, she was defending Slipper, no mention of Jones in that diatribe. She brought her father’s death into the national debate debate. No one else. Her deliberate tactics. Not even Jones did that. His was a small, private audience with one spy. In Message 2: Incorrect, its Gillard, Wong, Roxon, Plibersik, Ellis, Albanese etc etc lining up to play the sexist card. Surely you are not that naive, so therefore what are you? An alien? So what planet are you from?
    @drmick: Very insightful glimpse into your life. You are a very busy boy then.

  158. michael r james

    Good lord, my post sailed thru! Talking about the good lord I cannot help posting another delicious bit from Mike Carlton (really in form today) on that other misogynist bully and Abbott-buddy Alan Jones. Poor Allan he has to resort to driving his Lexus.

    OH LORD, they have taken
    My Mercedes-Benz.
    My sponsors are fleeing,
    I’ve run out of friends.
    I tried to call Julia
    To make some amends;
    But still they done took back
    My Mercedes-Benz.*

    *With thanks to Janis Joplin.

  159. michael r james

    Oh and if the trolls want to read some more considered interpretation of the Gillard speech then, in addition to the midweek Laura Tingle piece I mentioned earlier, they could read Julia Baird (Fairfax) and George Megalogenis (Newsltd). Though I thought Mega was even better this morning on ABC RN (together with Joan Kirner).

    And for all those MSM journos (not just the usual suspects at NewsLtd) who bleated about “context” (“defending the indefensible in Slipper”), alas including B Keane, they should know that the detail of context is quickly lost. Great speeches live on quite independent of specific context, and it is why there was such a strong response to the speech around the world. (Though if they had seen the Alan Jones history and the Abbott history now consistent and spread over 4 decades, they would have applauded even more.)

  160. schaffer bill

    All the posthoc talk about the press gallery having to provide ‘context’ that gullible users of social medua habitually neglect is fantastically condescending and disingenuous. The full context is that the Liberal cynically moved to wedge the government by referring to private text message with no political implications that were sent by a person they preselected. To paint the whole sorry scenario as one in which Gillard alone was self-servingly pursuing narrow political objectives is very, very far from providing ‘context’.

  161. schaffer bill

    excuse typo above ‘Liberal Party’

  162. schaffer bill

    oh … and the other ones, too 🙁

  163. floorer

    drmick’s nailed it.

  164. drmick

    Thank you floorer. I have had enough and I am sure other normal people have too.

  165. izatso?

    Oh dear, the weekend echo …… the trolls must ignore Mr James timely deliverence of Mike Carlton’s Plain English for another day ….. they will fail, naturally, and deny reality to defend the indefensible. I thank both Michaels for their adherence to verity, Grand Work …… ! Dr. Mick ….. true and enough …… Thank You Julia Gillard, you absolute Champion, for traumatising Mr Abbott in Parliament and giving him his Testament to the Whole World……

  166. izatso?

    BaHaahaha …… ! Abbotts Testament to the Whole Wide World ! ! Indelible in Hansard …… Viral on YouTube ….. Witnessed and Acknowledged Across All Religious Stations ……. Tony Abbott is a Spiritual Miser ….. A Spiritualy Defective UnAustralian ….. An UnCaringly Crass Conservative Dullard who’s best response after 15 minutes of considered deconstruction is a tormented ‘you’re a piece of work ….’ A sad and pathetic excuse for a Parliamentary Representative, those who voted for him have been swindled, have been stooged. Stooged by a Half-Man ….. A Half-Man …. !

  167. GeeWizz

    I’m still waiting for Dillard, Labor and it’s lefty hacks to give clear and concise examples of Abbotts “s_xism”

    So far we’ve had Dillard scream S_XISM! because Abbott looked at his watch… is this all she has? Pathetic, disgraceful “piece of work” alright.

    I hear Labor are now saying they are toning down their S_XISM! attacks… internal polling must be in showing it’s backfiring

  168. drmick

    Still waiting for a response, confession or a denial wiz. when did you stop sleeping with your dog? did you become aroused when the same marriage bill talked about animals and humans? Get back in your hole & off this site; and take your thrush coloured friends with you.

  169. Liamj

    The arrogance of old media hacks is hilarious, has no-one told them that social media now provides a ready measure of just how ignorantly opinionated they are? The wrong-footing on Gillards misogyny speech is classic example, nearly all MSM journos frowned on it while 75% of the nation was thrilled (the other 25% are the problem).

    I guess thats why reactionary billionaires run newspapers at a loss, to push their odious opinions.

  170. Boo

    Ok. So Julia didn’t really hit Tony on his glass jaw. He is just resting his eyes? Swaggering about – not punch drunk, just his usual swagger? Or is it that Julia is boxing dirty? Unlike Tony, no Tony only hits walls!

    Tony is a liability. It is his good fortune that the times and the media suit him, not to mention Labors tendency to bumble. Julia’s speech showed up just what a liability he his. And with the team of sycophants lined up behind him, what a liability it is. Its hardly surprising with a leader that’s hyper aggressive, self interested and with no intellectual depth, that these qualities are projected onto and emulated by his underlings.

  171. Hunt Ian

    David Hand asks an astonishing question: “what other motive did the ALP have when it opposed Abbott’s motion”. He also claims that people make up their own minds. Of course people make up their own mind. But Alan Hand seems incapable of interpreting opposition to Abbott’s motion as anything but support for Slipper, presumably because he was informed by MSM that that was how it was to be interpreted. What apart from MSM or his political convictions could convince him that people could vote against Abbott’s motion, while accepting that his position had become untenable. That is precisely why some independents voted against or abstained from voting for the motion. If they could do that, why could not the ALP also do that? Because, it seems, MSM has decided that Abbott is right when he deliberately went into the parliament with the intention of wedging the government: either vote with me or be accused of sexism. (And if you don’t like this wedge, take it as a lesson about what happens when you criticise poor old Alan.)
    There can be all sorts of reasons why people oppose motions without supporting the position that the motion attacks. It is highly significant that this obvious fact is hardly considered by MSM in this case, and interesting that David Hand does not seem to get it.

  172. David Hand

    Well Ian,
    You’re not clear in what other motive the ALP had in opposing Abbott’s motion. I concede I don’t get it so please tell me what Gillard and the ALP leadership had in mind if it wasn’t to preserve their 2 vote cushion by preserving the speaker in his role and did it through attacking Abbott’s own beliefs?

    I get the independents wanting to help Slipper avoid the ignominy of being sacked but Julia was well into her rant when they took that position.

    Julia called Tony a misogynist last week. No other colleague of hers is willing to agree with her. That pushes Julia’s rant into a visceral letting off steam with some dodgy substance that the ALP would prefer to distance itself from.

  173. Hamis Hill

    Yes, David, Labor is very afraid of losing the mysogynist vote, a very sizeable one in good old OZ, care of the convict and religious heritage.
    That is well understood and long commented upon at both home and abroad.
    Abbott will continue to cater to the misogynists, they are a big part of the population.

  174. Elbow Patches

    I knew something different was happening re Gillard’s speech when my 17 year old daughter (who is not interested in parliamentary politics) came to me and alerted me to it having seen it posted by one of her friends on Facebook.

  175. Aliar Jones

    The ALP is playing the ‘misogyny card’?

    smells like the Alan Jones fanclub’s limp idea of a ‘gotcha’

    Sorry right whiners, ur side has waaaaaay too much form to attempt a flip on this one.

  176. Person Ordinary

    David Hand
    You wrote: “Julia called Tony a misogynist last week. No other colleague of hers is willing to agree with her.”

    This is simply not true. Many Labor front benchers have in fact strongly and publicly asserted this view in response to questions from ABC journalists.

    Maybe you are on the wrong channel?

  177. jmendelssohn

    I have a very dear friend, a politically and socially conservative woman of 70. I was therefore curious to hear her opinion of the Prime Minister’s speech (she has not been a Gillard supporter).
    She felt empowered by it. She admired the speech, and Julia Gillard because of it. Every woman has had the experience of being the subject of constant niggling put-downs; of being patronised and mocked by people who know less than we do, simply because of our gender.
    This speech is greater than party politics, and the Prime Minister should be credited for finally telling it like it is. She was not only speaking for all women but for all people who are tired of bullyboy tactics.

  178. john2066

    Ok, I get it. The single mums (and some dads) who’ve had their benefits cut can proudly say ‘I dont have enough food for my children anymore but at least Julia changed the debate on gender! The commentariat are impressed and thats all that matters!!’

    Most labor women’s concern for gender in politics seems, interestingly, to revolve around their own personal advancement. More preselections, more ministerial appointments; thats it, we’ve (I’ve) made it!

    The whole political ‘debate’ is really a show about nothing. Being PM is now just a series of media stunts – open a hospital, soldier funerals and turn up for regular ‘surprise’ visits to the troops overseas.

  179. Jimmy

    John2066 – Answer me these few questions before you go too far on your “poor single parent” spiel.

    1) Why shouldn’t a parent who’s youngest child is 8 and attending primary school 6 1/2 hours a day be asked to work at least in some capacity?

    2) Given the recent increases in the tax free threshold and impending increases in the FTB (plus the change in income that can be earned prior to having FTB cut back) how much worse off will the single parent be?

    3) What other govt subsidies are available to the single parent? ie Health care card, rent assistance etc.

  180. john2066

    Hi Jimmy.

    Point 1 – ‘Asked to work’ is the point. They are being pushed on to newstart with no guarantee of a job. If these people could have gotten a job, they likely would have got it. The govt are just cutting benefits before they get a job.

    2- They will still be considerably net worse off. This change was pushed to cut the budget deficit, not in response to these other changes.

    3- We are talking about a cut in benefits. Just because other things continue as before doesn’t unwind the fact benefits have been cut.

    I just think its hilarious all these EMILY’s list and Labor womens’ groups (really just clubs for personal advancement) congratulating themselves on Julia’s speech when the actual policies consist of things like this.

  181. Jimmy

    John 2066 – ” If these people could have gotten a job, they likely would have got it.” Really? We have traditionally low unemployment and you think they can’t find work? Maybe they could do some training paid for through their job network provider? And it provides greater incentive, that’s the point.

    “They will still be considerably net worse off. This change was pushed to cut the budget deficit, not in response to these other changes.” Figures please John – Transferring from the Pension to Newstart will mean they lose about $65 per week, the chagnes to the tax free threshold means they can earn about another $5k a year (up from $16 to $21k) before they are lose anything in tax, add in the increase to FBT and the amended school kids bonus and I don’t see how it will be a massive cut.

    “We are talking about a cut in benefits. Just because other things continue as before doesn’t unwind the fact benefits have been cut.” Yes but you have previously said the are getting kicked off welfare, the fact is they will still get considerable govt support, they just need to get a job.

    And Gillards actual policies consist of things like this and increasing FTB, the tax free threshold and the school kids bonus, look at the whole picture.

    And finally at what age should we stop paying single parent payments 18 when the parent has been out of the workforce for a couple of decades – what hope of employment will they have then?

  182. john2066

    – I didn’t say ‘kicked off welfare’ I said reduced benefits, this is a benefit cut.
    – She’s cut the tax rates – thats great if you get a job. The overwhelming people on single parent benefits aren’t working. They are also heaps better off if they win the lottery.

    – Whatever way you slice it, and dream up job opportunities (which aren’t there) which benefit from lower tax rates this is a benefit cut. Maybe you think thats great, maybe you think all benefits should be cut; ok great. My point is that in a week where Labor plays the gender card, they are implementing a massive cut in single parent’s (overwhelmingly women) benefits.

    The little hereditary club that is now the ALP really is a disgrace.

  183. Jimmy

    John – John2066
    Posted Thursday, 11 October 2012 at 2:08 pm
    “Meanwhile, back in the real world, Labor just pushed through changes to kick single mums off benefits.”

    “She’s cut the tax rates – thats great if you get a job.” She has also increased FTB, you don’t need a job for that and it also provides greater incentive to get a job, previously people on the benefits would have a massive disincentive to find work because for every dollar they earned they would lose 15% in tax and possibly 20% in FTB B and 20% in Pension, increasing the tax free threshold alleviates this.

    And why aren’t the job opportunities there, unemployment hasn’t been above 5.5% in years, jobs are out there.

    And I’m still waiting on those figures and when you think they should have the pension removed?

  184. David Hand

    Person – 15 minutes research-

    730 last Wednesday
    “LEIGH SALES: So, let’s be clear here: you are alleging that he is a man who hates women? PENNY WONG: I think that he is certainly guilty of sexism and I think that there are things which Tony Abbott has done – I mean, he can talk to you about his motivation, but I think to stand up in front of signs that describe the Prime Minister as a man’s bitch and a witch, and never acknowledge the fault in that, really betrays a really very poor judgment.”
    So Penny talks sexism and poor judgement but won’t call him a misogyny.

    Lateline last Wednesday
    “TONY JONES: But the key allegation was that he is a misogynist, a woman-hater. Do you accept that? Do you believe that about him seriously? WAYNE SWAN: Well he’s certainly got a record, and the Prime Minister ran through it, of making some extraordinary statements which can only be seen as being very anti-women.”
    So Swan talks about “statements that can only be seen as anti-women” but does not actually call him a misogynist. And in case you think this is semantics, I am absolutely sure that should Swan be interviewed and asked “so when you called Tony a misogynist” he would deny it.

    Insiders Sunday
    “BARRIE CASSIDY: It is a bit hard to get back onto public policy, though, when that allegation is out there that Tony Abbott is a misogynist. Do you believe that he is? GREG COMBET: He is a very aggressive, arrogant sort of fellow and likes to lead a lynch mob. And that’s one of the reasons we opposed a motion he brought. “
    Nope, no agreement with the misogyny label there either.

    Person, I’ve just looked at three. Maybe Plibersek agreed somewhere? I’d be interested to see it.

  185. David Hand

    Person – 15 minutes research-

    730 last Wednesday
    “LEIGH SALES: So, let’s be clear here: you are alleging that he is a man who ha tes women? PENNY WONG: I think that he is certainly gui lty of s_xism and I think that there are things which Tony Abbott has done – I mean, he can talk to you about his motivation, but I think to stand up in front of signs that describe the Prime Minister as a man’s b*tch and a w*tch, and never acknowledge the fault in that, really betrays really very poor judgment.”
    So Penny talks s_xism and poor judgement but won’t call him a misogyny.

    Latel ine last Wednesday
    “TONY JONES: But the key allegation was that he is a misogynist, a woman-ha ter. Do you accept that? Do you bel ieve that about him seriousl y? WAYNE SWAN: Well he’s certainl y got a record, and the Prime Minister ran through it, of making some extraordinary statements which can only be seen as being very ant i-women.”
    So Swan talks about “statements that can only be seen as ant i-women” but does not actuall y call him a misogynist. And in case you think this is semantics, I am absolutel y sure that should Swan be interviewed and asked “so when you called Tony a misogynist” he would deny it.

    Insiders Sunday
    “BARRIE CASSIDY: It is a bit hard to get back onto publ ic policy, though, when that allegation is out there that Tony Abbott is a misogynist. Do you believe that he is? GREG COMBET: He is a very aggressive, arrogant sort of fellow and likes to lead a l ynch mob. And that’s one of the reasons we opposed a motion he brought. “
    Nope, no agreement with the misogyny label there either.

    Person, I’ve just looked at three. Maybe Pl ibersek agreed somewhere? I’d be interested to see it.

  186. izatso?

    Post Twice – Twice the Ignorance ….Our David has never ever watched the studied demolition by PM Julia Gillard of T. Abbott, in her Glorious 15 minute delivery of Abbotts World Wide Testimony, his World Wide Embarassment.David will not acknowledge T. Abbotts complete disintegration under Parliamentary Camera. 1.2 million hits and rising. Stephen Fry tweets derision for Abbott to his (Fry’s) 4.8 million followers ….. Denial, David, and Divertion, your Desperation is measured in Double Postings ……

  187. David Hand

    My double posting was because the first one went to moderation.

  188. izatso?

    PM Julia Gillard defrocking of T. Abbott was not moderated … straight into Hansard, directly on Camera, and you have not seen what the Whole World now perceives, you blinkered fossil.

  189. Person Ordinary

    David Hand
    Once again I respect your genuine efforts to inform yourself, and really try to justify your right wing opinion with evidence – a lot more than can be said about many of your fellow travellers.

    Did you also see Bill Shorten on Q&A tonight? He defined misogyny in wider terms. and then agreed that Abbott fits those terms. While it may be semantics, there has not been one front-bencher so far who has backed away from the charge absolutely applying to Abbott.

    Misogynist is an ugly term, and should not be bandied about lightly, but in the end, Tony Abbott is technically a misogynist.

    The Prime Minister’s speech will resonate for a long time to come, whether you can appreciate it or not.

  190. Person Ordinary

    DH – reply in moderation …

  191. David Hand

    I’m overseas, Person,
    So I did not see Q&A. I did watch a 10 minute podcast where Shorten redefined the meaning of the word. Shorten – “The ‘old’ definition of misogyny is ‘do you hate women’ and Tony Abbott does not hate women but my new improved definition of the word allows me to put forward on national TV Julia is not wrong.” (some paraphrasing there as the transcript wasn’t available). Surely even you can appreciate the futility of any discussion about this issue at all if we disagree on what words mean.

    You are also mixing two themes which are both in this event but are nevertheless different. One is Julia’s feminist rant, which has warmed the hearts of many many people. The other is whether or not Tony is a misogynyst. No one except the prime minister will say he is (in the ‘old’ definition of the term!).

    So she’s scored her goal, fixing in the minds of millions that her opponent is a misogynyst, while all her colleagues (and you) now use Orwellian doublespeak to avoid admitting to the untruth contained in her rant.

  192. izatso?

    David hand has no right whatsoever to comment on PM Julia Gillard’s delightfully delivered demolition of Tony Abbort until he has watched the entire 15 minutes in detail. You just cannot man up to it, David. You have not the Dangles, David

  193. izatso?

    ….. as in, you will not read my post, where all others do. Hansard. Parliamentary Camera. YouTube, 1.778 million views in 6 days. Yes, David hand, you certainly are ‘not at home’.

  194. David Hand

    But Izzie, I have watched the entire 15 minutes in detail. I am one of those 1.778m viewers. So you should not allege that all 1.778m viewers are fans. It is a newsworthy event and watched by a lot of people for a lot of reasons.

    Pull your smart arsed head in.

  195. izatso?

    No. Still yet, you desperately deny Abbotts denounciation and deconstruction by PM Gillard in front of the Opposition defibrillation team, and the whole world witness’ Tony Revealed. Oh dear, David, l ie to me as usual, but cease ly ing to yourself, for your last breaths sake. Do.

  196. Mithra Fernando

    Although, in a way related to the same matter I would like to mention a comment made by the Australian’s Paul Kelly(PK) in defence of Alan Jones(AJ). PK wrote that AJ had a special status,(http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/hypocrisy-rules-but-both-sides-of-politics-are-courting-danger/story-e6frg74x-1226486865933). This status is something that AJ does not deserve but created by people in the media like PK. If you look at the real percentage of the people listening to AJ it is negligible. This does not seem to matter, what matters to many of his admirers such as PK is the amount of venomous bile AJ can spray.

    What surprised me most was the lack of condemnation of AJ’s poor excuse that was publishedin the news papers. AJ wrote that he heard those horrible words at a birthday party for one of his godson’s that he had attended a couple of hours before the Liberal Youth Club function this was a pathetic excuse that Paul Kelly (PK) and many others in the media have failed to mention. One thing for sure AJ with his lame excuse has admitted that he does not have his own brain to make a judgement on things.. this we know, we also know the same thing about PK … they have strings attached to their pens and brains.
    Hats off for Malcolm Turnbull to refute AJ’s atatement about him being a victim of cyber bullying.
    The revolt was against “vicious and destructive public discourse”, he said.
    “It is difficult not to believe that he is getting a dose of his own medicine. (http://www.news.com.au/national/alan-jones-gets-dose-of-own-medicine-says-malcolm-turnbull/story-fndo4eg9-1226491707732)

  197. Venise Alstergren

    DAVID HAND: “” Tony Abbott does not hate women””. Your statement to which I would ask a question.

    “Which well known political leader has a misogynistic attitude towards women in power: whist displaying affection for women who are in a dependent position?” If can give your answer as anyone but Tony Abbott you’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.

  198. David Hand

    Well Venise,
    You need to define misogyny first. Do you mean it in the dictionary definition as a hatred of women or do you mean it in the new age, conveniently defined Shorten definition, taylor made for his political opponent?

  199. izatso?

    Worse than David Hand, Tony Abbott has not the dangles, balls, cojones or the mentality to get over and accept being bettered, in any give situation, by a Woman. Tony Abbott has been on over-reach all his pampered life, delivered of a free pass for all of the defining moments that strengthen any other normal character. He is a Half- Person, characterised by his pathetic overcompensation towards success. A Bad Loser, quite simply.

  200. David Hand

    Definition if a misogynist, Gillard, ALP cabinet and Venise Alstergren style-
    “Someone who raises $140,000 for the Manly Women’s Shelter”

    There you go- The Weekend Australian is good for something!

  201. izatso?

    O Ho …… Public Relations Photoshoot at the flamin’ Town Hall …. Did it doornock ? …..Or rattle a can at the lights Dave ? It did nothing of the sort…… Photo-Op to Photo-Op, Sound Bites-a-Speciality. Actual Work ? Impossible.

  202. Venise Alstergren

    DAVID HAND: I am fully aware of the meaning of the word misogynist. The only “Shorten definition” I use is the Shorter OED. No, you won’t get me into a futile discussion on semantics.

    Just answer the question I asked you in comment 199.

  203. Venise Alstergren

    DAVID HAND: Doubtless the same person who donated money to a women’s shelter has given twice the amount money to the victims of the Priestly Paederasty Society?

    Please answer the question I asked you in 199.

  204. David Hand

    Answer to Q199

    Peter Slipper

  205. izatso?

    no range, no allowance for windage, wrong target, ergo, complete miss. lift your aim, concentrate harder, also point at the designated aiming point, not whatever is the easiest …… T, Abbott is no leader, but to use his own expression, he is a great target ! ARF & ARF, ain’t he just hilarious ?

  206. shepmyster

    Bernard as a busy man (136hrs this fortnight) and a person who hasn’t got the time to disseminate all that is said and claimed in Canberra, then I find the job description of the press gallery you put forward, unsatisfactory to say the least.
    I don’t trust politicians,..,any of them and I see the journalists role as helping me disscern fact from fiction and to test claims made by them. The press gallery fails dismally at this task and are deserving of the condemnation leveled at them.
    The media acts in a lot of ways the same way as the Police do. The good ones know who the bad ones are but they are loathe to act against them. The reputation of the force being paramount. The media acts in exactly the same way. They are more concerned in protecting journalisms reputation by denying that hacks & scum reside within their ranks, than they are about rooting out the unworthy and unethical.
    This has worked extremely well over the last couple of hundred years but of course now we have the ability to evaluate their performance we’re not happy and the reputation of your profession has taken a beating because of it. Journalism in Australia is on the canvas, wether it gets counted out or not is going to be up to journo’s like you.

  207. Venise Alstergren

    DAVID HAND: I’m not biting. Peter Slipper does not lead a political party. All you are doing is to betray your own fears on the same subject.

    Next question. Try to make it valid. I get bored easily.

  208. David Hand

    You need to construct your spiteful misandrist questions better. You were clearly aiming a slap at Tony Abbott, even giving me the answer that you then hector me to agree with.

    Your problem is that Tony Abbott is not a misogynist. No one except the prime minister has accused him of such.

  209. izatso?

    DAVO ! HEY DAVO ! …. for your ignorance….. no range, no allowance for windage, wrong target, ergo, complete miss. lift your aim, concentrate harder, also point at the designated aiming point, not whatever is the easiest …… T. Abbott is no leader, but to use his own expression, he is a great target ! ARF & ARF, ain’t he just an hilariously Pathetic Tory Tool ? Don’cher think ? Huh ? What a Pillock. History. With its Terminal Testimony wrapped up for posterity by PM Gillard’s Staunch Speach in Parliament. A piece of Hansard History even you cannot ignore, no matter how you change the ‘Context’ of its true context. You will try, so I’ll give you the last waffling word. Ptooey, etc …… and a dismissive pffff …..

  210. David Hand

    That should be “speech” not “speach”

  211. Venise Alstergren

    DAVID HAND: I hardly think you to be in a position to correct another person’s spelling when you are incapable of reading a third person’s writing.

    “”“Which well known political leader has a misogynistic attitude towards women in power: whist displaying affection for women who are in a dependent position?”” Were my actual words. I could even say:-

    Which leader of a political party displays a misanthropic attitude towards women in power: whilst being of good humour {in the sixteenth century meaning of the word} towards women who are in a dependent position?

    Misanthropic being a person who dislikes people, which when taken by a man towards females comes to mean misogynistic.

    You may twist and turn like a weaving spindle but it avails you not. If you are saying that because Tony Abbott enjoys going to bed with women he is not a misogynist, you are utterly mistaken. Most of history’s great rakes disliked women. Women were fine in the abstract, but not in the particular.

    Now stop being a nag and a scold.

  212. izatso?

    ….. and an absolute cad !

  213. izatso?

    …… Peach of a Staunch Speech, which ever way you turn.

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