The broader issue of political donations was high on the agenda this week. Sparked off by revelations that ALP Senator Sam Dastyari had received a personal payment from a company with Chinese government links, it came back to a solid focus on Dastyari after a media conference which was widely ridiculed by journalists across the country. Dastyari’s fate has overshadowed some interesting calls from insiders like Michael Yabsley for a Canadian-style system where only individuals can make political donations. Both union-reliant Labor and corporate-reliant Liberal probably way prefer the focus being on Dastyari than that idea.
The bizarre disappearing, then reappearing act of the Tromp family was perfect tabloid TV fodder, with enough twists and turns and conspiracy theories mixed in with that touch of schadenfreude that has entertained humans through the millennia. Surprisingly few Tromp memes on social media — this one was definitely primarily a broadcast phenomenon.
Most of the focus on the fate of the same-sex marriage plebiscite was discussion among supporters of marriage equality about which was the more important principle, protecting LGBTI people from the claimed hate speech that would come with a public vote, with perhaps some concern that the vote might lose, despite overwhelming support in polling, or finally actually achieving marriage equality.
In another tabloid storm, online threats from Islamic State against various iconic Australian sites received exactly the publicity IS were hoping for, with front pages and plenty of talkback chatter. As IS face financial difficulties in Syria and Iraq and increasing military pressure on the ground and in the air, they must be thrilled that they can still rely on plenty of free publicity to try and fill the coffers.
Concerns surfaced this week that the Royal Commission may not have enough resources to get things going quickly and reach all of the affected communities, most of the coverage on the ABC.
How much do we love sport? A US Open which saw all of the Aussies out by the beginning of the second week managed to get more coverage than the dominant domestic political issue of the week. And footy finals are just around the corner…