Jun 16, 2017

Rundle: thank God for Laurie Oakes and why Mia Freedman bullied Roxane Gay

Laurie Oakes was exactly right to do as he did and expose the cosy pollie-journo relationship inside the Canberra bubble.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Thank God for Laurie Oakes! What the hell will happen when that long shadow, like Skywhale, passes from the Canberra Hills? Oakes’ decision to broadcast Malcolm Turnbull’s half-hearted imitation of Donald Trump at the Midwinter Ball was absolutely the right one, for numerous reasons. The "special relationship" -- read: supine grovelling -- of Australia to the US will survive Turnbull’s little turn; judging by numerous Letterman etc appearances one of the few human qualities Donald Trump possesses is a willingness to mock and self-mock his outsize public persona, haha.

It’s not Trump who is exposed by the mockery, but Turnbull. Believing himself to be in the charmed circle of the politics-media caste, Turnbull let his truer self out for a run. Gone was the "patriot", hammer of Manus Island, etc etc, and back was the boy from Bellevue Hill, the ex-journo with the Bill Hensons on the wall. The turn exposes Turnbull’s flaws rather than Trump’s; he can’t help but suck up to whichever group he happens to be around, and he was desperate to communicate to the people he shares a big building with that he wasn’t the bloke pitching for the margins of the One Nation vote on the Nine news.

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24 thoughts on “Rundle: thank God for Laurie Oakes and why Mia Freedman bullied Roxane Gay

  1. Bob the builder

    Great stuff Grundle, just missed the part where you admitted you’d been writing Corbyn off for months.

    1. Guy Rundle

      not accurate. i was very positive, then critical after many months when they couldnt get it together – and yes, i still didnt think hed broken through. but that’s different to the collective onslaught from day 1 in the Guardian….

      1. Bob the builder

        Straw man. I never said you were anything like the Guardian.

        Though is “whoops, I got it wrong” so hard to say?

        1. john tingey

          He wrote an article about a week from the election that suggested Corbyn might do quite well, predicted the result to within five seats. I don’t think three months ago that anyone thought Corbyn had much chance, and there were a lot of good reasons for that.

  2. Charles Richardson

    Well, God forbid I should be defending Nick Cater, for whom I have nothing but contempt, but the idea that Labour’s gains came mostly from working-class voters won’t really stand up. The polling all shows much bigger gaps associated with age and education levels than with class, and they’re getting bigger over time.

    1. Guy Rundle

      maybe, but
      1) labour still controls the majority of working class seats – they never lost them. cater’s presenting a few crossbacks as a working class swing to tories
      2) youth increasingly is an economic class – all but the middle upper and upwards facing harsher work, housing etc possibilities uniformly
      3)the economic class within age brackets wld have to be examined. i’m sure corbyn got a lot of middle class youf. but he may also have drawn in many unemployed/low waged youf who hitherto hadnt voted
      4)cater was doing it seat by seat, trying to present them as wholly x or wholly y

      1. Charles Richardson

        No dispute Cater’s a dill, so your points 1) and 4) are entirely correct. 2) probably has some truth to it, but I think you overstate the case, and even if it is a class it’s not the traditional working class. 3) yes, there’s probably some of that, but it looks to me as if he got a decent slice of the non-youth pro-Europe middle class as well. Agreed more data crunching would be good; I’m not sufficiently motivated to do it myself, but I’m sure someone will.

  3. sjterry

    “Supine grovelling”? Rather difficult, I would think! Don’t you mean “prostrate grovelling”? Maybe your imagery is of a dog rolling over and playing dead on back? Or wanting it’s tummy tickled?

    1. AR

      I think it’s another one of those words people use in direct contradiction to the true meaning.
      Another one irritating me, esp lately, is the use of ‘enervating’ to mean “energising”
      Supine is the antonym of ‘prone’ – Stokely Carmichael once said the only position for women in the Panthers was prone but that was probably coz he didn’t know the difference, rather than any aversion to the missionary position.

  4. Needlemeyer

    Indeed, The Guardian has been disappointing. I had faith in it and will continue to subscribe (financially, by the way, as it is optional), although I am now more wary. I just hope it sees the error of its ways. It does seem it is making an effort, but will it prove to be more than token?

  5. Jack Robertson

    Thrilling. Jesus. Exquis…ok, just, yeah. Great piece. The juxta of Oakes/Freeman is bang on; there’s the two choices facing a serious media, deciding how to remain viable. Go all glossy and meh-meh-mia.

    Or the fucking furniture over like Oakes – your own cosy-conventional, too-long unexamined, workaday operational furniture, Press Gallery. And maybe then We. Will. Back. You. We’ll pay. We want you to fuck things up, man. Don’t care if you lean left, right or batshit nuts. Just fuck things up a bit.

    Like these talented nuts-on-the-road lunatics hereabouts, get it? Crikey charges, what, $20 a month? Me, I’d gladly stump up a shift’s worth a month – about $200 – to underwrite writing of this thrillingly true quality; talent shackled to I-don’t-care-what-anyone-else-thinks (ie nor have to, us the point)…the nothing-to-lose business model leaning itself down to the minimal essence. It’s all about the writing, and that’s all about the writers. Full body comms. Thrilling.

    OK, I gush, but geez, you guys are winding up on a full court press lately, pushing each other and each other’s ideas to a fantastic degree…it’s wonderful, cheers. It’s worth every cent. Long may you, etc…(And I am quite quite serious about upping your subs. It’s such a critical time in the world and your stable of crackpots, your mode as a whole… is worth much more than you currently charge. Just IMHO. And I’m not as well off as most of your subs, I bet. Charge more!)

    My own memory of Laurie Oakes is from way back in the day, when I was Army ADC to GG Bill Hayben and Laurie was among the (many) guests for BH’s Yarrakumla 60th. I wrangled a taxi for Oakes’s trip home and he got delayed with goodbyes; I ended up paying the meter the zero just before he was winched aboard. It was about $12 or something inconsequential…but he was on the phone first thing next morning, to reimburse the public purse, quite crankily ferocious in his desire to eschew of any hint of mispropriety.

    It’s what you want. Ugly hacks who care not a shit for celebrity but will die to defend their independence of mind, their byline…

    But enough about real journalism.

    In fairness to Mia…she’s, like, so very very pretty isn’t she!? Hang on…wait…is there a Walkley for prettiness? Not yet? Outrageous! Surely there must be – most of the next gen of havjsvare so pretty, so thin, so full-lipped and TV sultry. And that’s just the boys. Maybe Mia and Annabelle could present the inaugural one, to say Peter Overton and Mark Riley – so smokin’ hot in their flak jackets, mmmm, war zone crumpet chic yum yum…title suggestions on a postcard, all, best haiku published…I reckon ‘Prettiest Pouting in a Political Piece-to-Cam’!!! Ooh, saucy Meeja! And…How’s about an annual Foxes & Foxettes of Teh Fourth Estate nudey calendar? For charity alone, mind! And pray: yes, we copped the best dressed polly yarns, but…what of the honest jobbing scrivs? Who of the Gallery wore the belle-iest gowny-wowny to the Bally-Wally, Meeja Princes n’ Princesses? Hmmm? We haves teh rights to know!! Freedom of spee-….protection of democ-…erm…future of serious…erm…without you civilisation is…

    Chortle fucking chortle. Oh yes, indeed. Chortle chortle chortle fucking chortle…

  6. klewso

    Re that cosy little symbiotic politico-hack dependency – Lyons on The Dum last night going on about “the perils of press censorship”?
    A Murdoch minion working in the kitchens of Murdoch’s Ministry of Misinformation and Obfuscation – managing what it wants and doesn’t want us rubes to see : and God help any other news service that crosses that Murdocracy line?

    As for Cater – catering to one side of politics.

  7. zut alors

    Is it too elitist to brag of never having read a piece written by Mia Freedman? Yep, thought so.

    1. klewso

      She was good in Rosemary’s Baby – but what a price to pay – coming that close to Rupert?

      1. zut alors

        Klewie, firing on all cylinders.

      2. AR

        I don’t recall that we ever got to see Rupert’s baby – was it her acting debut in swaddling clothes? – though one of the coven did that it had the Master’s ayes.

  8. rhwombat

    Nice return to the local fold Grundle. Moar Jez!

  9. AR

    I still have a cassette of an encounter on arvo ABC (2013) between Grundle & Cater in which the latter was sliced & diced, almost crying towards the end. He finally called a halt saying, “I didn’t come on this programme to have my Boss insulted!” which one might think would limit his broadcasting opportunities somewhat.
    Except that now the Evil Empire will have TEN so that’ll be fun watching SKY & Fux for free.

  10. klewso

    “Froggy Turnbull and the Scorpion Press”?
    When will he learn savvy?

    (Who was sitting in the vicinity of the aspect from where that footage was taken? “Toad’s Haul” table?)

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