Nov 10, 2017

How the media — including me — helped normalise political extremists

We've created a world in which abuse and harassment of politicians is normalised. The media is a big part of the problem -- and not just the mainstream media.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

"We speak exclusively with the blokes who ambushed Senator Sam Dastyari in a busy pub. Join us tonight, 7.00pm."

That was tabloid barrel-bottom scraper A Current Affair yesterday, advancing the cause of public interest journalism by giving a platform to racists to justify their harassment of a politician. Exclusively.

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24 thoughts on “How the media — including me — helped normalise political extremists

  1. Irfan Yusuf

    It’s been going on since TV first appeared. And before that, radio. Sectarian and racial abuse is as Aussie as meat pies and non-halal vegemite.

    1. lykurgus

      Erm… what the f*ck’s non-halal Vegemite? Besides the sump oil that Dick Smith was trying to flog.

    2. Owen Richardson

      and before radio, newspapers and magazines

      1. AR

        The proud masthead of the Bulletin until the 60s, “Australia for the White Man!”.

  2. Geoff Davies

    The commentariat carries more responsibility than that. It did not identify John Howard as a radical ideologue bent on drastic social engineering (begun, it is true, by Paul Keating, but they don’t call him out either). Nor as a reactionary extremist when he took over Hanson’s ground and blocked Tampa, unleashing the right-wing political-correctness attack dogs in the process.
    The Liberal Party has been captured by extremists (both ideological and reactionary), yet the commentariat continue the lazy label ‘conservative’. They are not, they are well along with dismantling our liberal democracy. Heil Dutton.
    The Labor Party has been captured by careerists who are just there for the power.
    All of this was normalised by continued lazy use of ‘left’ and ‘right’, disguising the huge shift since the 1980s. Our country is almost unrecognisable.
    Any Menzies fan should be happy to vote for modern Labor, which is well to Menzies’ right. Menzies would be thrown out of his party. Menzies despised Fraser for trampling precedent, Fraser despised Howard for peddling hate. Now we have vengeful boofhead Abbott and vile Dutton. Of course the neo-nazis are coming out of the woodwork, the political climate that welcomes them has been cultivated for a long time.
    And of course there’s the long-standing active campaign of Murdoch.

  3. brian crooks

    the only good thing about Pauline Hanson and one nation is Pauline Hanson, when she goes, so does one nation, she knows that, and more importantly so does the liberal party, when they can get no more traction from her they`ll do what they did last time, get rid of her, we only have to wait, and the Queensland election may be the trigger, if she does well, but not well enough and costs the LNP then they will go after her with all guns blazing

  4. Russ

    “From her luxurious 147-acre Queensland property, Hanson was no more likely to have an insight into what “real Australians” were thinking than Malcolm Turnbull from Point Piper. ”
    Bernard – the article you link to says the property would sell for 1 million bucks – that’s not much per acre, in fact a poorish sort of property for the district. Comparisons with Point Piper are bloody ridiculous – why do you continually make these partisan gross exaggerations?

    1. Marcus Hicks

      LOL, the One Neuron supporter is feeling ‘triggered’. It still proves that she has no idea what “ordinary Australians” actually need. That & her constant support of the Coalition’s anti-worker policies, & the fact she is milking members of her party for all they’re worth.

  5. klewso

    ….. So what about ‘Hinch’s Senate Diary’?

  6. klewso

    So much of our viewsmedia is little more than professional trolls – paid to push their opinions and views as news.
    Our media seems to see itself as apart from the degeneration it comments on – as if it has no role in the devolution – while using their elite position to project their politics into our homes and lives, editing facts to suit their agenda – encouraging and legitimising what they do.
    Even at the ABC, where there are those for whom speculation, conjecture and supposition seem reserved for Labor : then dropped when it comes to their indulged Limited News Party, for whatever reason – not least, possibly, fear of upsetting these vengeful clowns that call themselves Government? Alberici Nov; 6, on about how high Australia’s company tax was, so much “out of kilter with the rest of the world” at 30% (for those that actually pay their tax due) : where The Business, less than a week earlier, had put it into perspective – and mid-range (between the US/France/Japan and Canada/China) compared to other developed countries.

  7. Huw Llewellyn

    Racially vilifying people is not acceptable. But lets look at the other side of the equation. Lets look at the professional politicians who pursue careers largely as some expensive taxpayer funded game. Once they tire of this the keep theiri snouts in the trough by leveraging their contacts with their mates through working for the banks, the gambling industry or the mining industry. Then there are the party hacks and hangers on who slipsteam along behind them feathering their nests. The voters and constituents come a distant last. There is little wonder there is simmering anger towards these people. Hansen taps into this even though her views are reprehensible her fellow travellers cynical. The Libs in particular have allowed her to flourish. Lets be clear these people should consider themselves lucky to be abused verbally sincee they deserve so much more for thier betrayal of this country and its people. Remember what happened in 1917 and what happened to the Bourbons. Thoroughly deserved in my view. The deaths of those in power at this time eave me cold. We are heading this way too. So maybe the politicians need to start sitting up and taking notice of this pent up anger before it is too late.

  8. old greybearded one

    We got here via Murdoch, Packer, Trump, Abbott, Jones and Hadley, but especially Howard, Abbott and Jones. Racists all three and Howard the worst. Misogynist bigots two out of the three. Even I will not accuse Howard of being as bad as Abbott.

  9. John Hall

    Know I remember why I don’t watch the so-called ‘Current Affairs’ anymore. Fairy Floss reporting with a squirt of bile.
    Why neo-nazi’s get free oxygen is beyond me. They represent all that is wrong with humanity. Do an in depth analysis and have searching questions but not a shallow talk-fest. The current affairs team is no match for 4 Corners and should stick to covering Pet Parades and the newest fashions.

    1. John Hall

      Not forgetting that Howard and his ilk gave Pauline the oxygen by endorsing her as a Liberal candidate in the first place! Pauline and rise of Alt Right May become what Howard is ‘best’ remembered for. Now – I’ll go and watch Pauline on ‘Dancing under The Swastika’.

  10. Marjorie Carless

    When people think, as our population is doing right now that we are being treated very unfairly by people we elected to do ensure we have the basics, a roof over our head, food on the table, help with health when we need it and a full time job to pay for it. We don’t have those things at he moment and we can see business profits rising, thousands of 457 visas being issued, not enough jobs for Australians, corporate chiefs being paid obscene salaries even when their companies aren’t doing so well and to top it all our politicians spending millions of dollars on expenses. Historically these are the symptoms of a population under stress and although violence or racism can’t be condoned it could just be the beginning, encouraged and broadcast by the media for headlines and as usual more profit for them.

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