Feb 4, 2013

‘Chaos’, or how to see the world like a political journalist

After years of complaining about politicians failing to treat voters like adults, Julia Gillard has done just that -- and incurred the wrath of the press gallery at the same time.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

What a collection of hypocrites political journalists can be sometimes.


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86 thoughts on “‘Chaos’, or how to see the world like a political journalist

  1. john2066

    The press gallery are morons.

  2. Andrea

    An excellent article; I couldn’t agree more. On a related matter, I wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald last week complaining that it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between news and opinion in the paper. Their article about the resignation of two senior ministers in the Gillard government was a good example. It was in the News section, but started: “Julia Gillard’s extended election campaign has suffered another damaging blow with the shock resignation of two of Labor’s most senior cabinet ministers”.

    This is not news, it is opinion, and most of the coverage of the announcement of the election date falls into this category. Could the media refrain from telling us how to judge the news, and instead just give us the facts so we can make up our own minds?

  3. Jimmy

    The Herald Sun has gone particularly feral since Gillard named a date, “227 day Farce” was Thursdays front page, “Chaos, What Choas” was yesterdays and yesterdays editorial was along the lines of everyone is looking forward to getting rid of Gillard but it would be nice if Tony gave us at least one policy if it isn’t too much trouble.

    The notion that by simply naming a date we are in campaign mode is simply ludicrous, Victoria has set terms so if we followed the argument to its logical conclusion the Victorian Paliament is constanlty in campaign mode.

    The gallery also routinely claims that Abbott needs to release some policies but when he announces that he will cut the school kids bonus and give back middle class welfare to the better off by rolling back measn testing, the champions of the Aussie battler who would be outraged by a similar ALP move are silent.

    “. Election coverage is, at least the way it is normally done now, easier than regular coverage, because it focuses exclusively on politics — who’s up, who’s down, who’s stumbled, who’s made a gaffe, what do the polls say, who has strayed off-message, who will win. It’s an excuse to abandon content in favour of race-calling.” How is that different to any coverage of the past 3 years?

  4. Holden Back

    We now have direct access to the press conferences in question. I think Bernard is not alone in thinking the assembled reporters seemed cranky and ill-informed, while the actors in this ‘chaos’ seemed remarkably cool, calm and collected. Was part of the tantrum that no-one in the press gallery had a leak on the retirements?

  5. The Pav

    The simple fact is whether Gillard advised the actual date for the election now or later the election campaign was on.

    All she did was recognise the reality and got on with things.

    Personally I’ve always more than a little offended that the calling of an election has been a plaything of the PM

  6. Jimmy

    The Pav – “The simple fact is whether Gillard advised the actual date for the election now or later the election campaign was on.” Abbott had actually launched a mini campaign the Sunday before after 2 years of virtually non stop campaigning but that doesn’t fit the narrative now does it.

    There was a great cartoon in the Age over the weekend with Abbott’s diary and all the important dates marked, there was an early October date when Abbott had marked “Reveal massive black hole in costings”.

  7. Daly

    Good article thanks.
    Not a word on the PM’ s speech except in Crikey.
    An ill informed electorate may vote for Tony Abbott who has never had to answer any policy questions from his cheersquad media friends, just wear fluro vests and silly hats.
    I hope those who believe this rubbish will be delighted to be represented internationally by a Lycra clad Tony, with the economy in tatters from Joe’s unnecessary cut backs, and Julie’s abrasive foreign policy getting all our neighbours off side.
    I plan to say ‘I told you so and I voted proudly for Julia who has behaved like an adult despite appalling bullying coverage of her highly successful government’.
    Don’t complain to me; learn to reject journalists and read the original speeches and docs for ypurself. If you want entertainment choose a ral movie and let politicians do the serious stuff of running the country.

  8. klewso

    “Chaos Theory – A Pantomime” by Mr Murdoch’s Grade 5.

  9. fractious

    Excellent Bernard, just excellent.

  10. Steve777

    The next NSW State election date is known – 28/3/2015. However, we don’t seem to be in the midst of a four year State election campaign. As for the Federal election, well that was never going to be before August 3 unless Tony Abbott could somehow get a No-confidence vote up. And while it could in theory have been as late as November 30, in practice it would have been most unlikely to have been later than October 26. So the date was known to be within a pretty narrow range. Until August 12, it’s the period of ‘governing’.

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