Feb 9, 2018

If you want a government-media conspiracy, it’s right in the open

The media obsessing about Barnaby Joyce and the ethics of reporting his relationship is trivial compared to the "boiling frog" effect of relentless claims about national security.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

It's enough to make a genuine conspiracy theorist cry. The press gallery conspired to suppress Barnaby Joyce's relationship with a staffer, according to social media and some mainstream media commentators. Either the conspiracy was because of the Machiavellian machinations of Malcolm Turnbull's office (despite past form suggesting that they'd struggle to spell Machiavellian on a good day) and the complicity of journalists, or because of some Boys' Club mentality that wilfully applies a double standard to male politicians.

Some of us, of course, were carefully preparing the groundwork for this conspiracy eight years ago just so we could look consistent last October. And even cunningly defended Julia Gillard from commentary about her personal life. All in a day's work in the press gallery, where we regularly convene to identify what we'll conspire to withhold from the public.

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7 thoughts on “If you want a government-media conspiracy, it’s right in the open

  1. klewso

    Children Overboard; Iraq/Saddam/terrorist sponsor/WMDs; ‘Labor’s negative gearing will ruin the economy and flush the value of your family home down the toilet’; bugging East Timor :-
    “Don’t worry, journalists have nothing to worry about in our next authoritarian foray into poli-speak policies – it’s just whistleblowers and anyone else that let’s on about how incompetent we are, that we’re out to silence”.
    “Fair enough.”
    It will be funny when Labor gains power and those avenues of embarrassment are closed off?

  2. graybul

    Absolutely correct Bernard. Failure of Australian Media to deliver even the most basic elements of their charge; further weakens our ailing democracy. SHAME!

  3. AR

    The SMH failed in 2005 to carry details of the Customs case at Sydney airport because the Oz had begun it.
    Both David Marr & Richard Ackland at the time queried, separately and then together, this omission.

  4. Cameron

    As I understand the sequence of events with the ABC’s publication of some of the cabinet files as thru were in thrpublic interest. Well done ABC. The Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet wanted all of the documents back, but the ABC witheld them until the PMC boss issued a public acceptance that the PMC was responsible for the breach of national security. Well done ABC.

    Goverbnents need to explicity say that public needs investigative journalism to avoid boiling any more frogs.

  5. brian crooks

    crikey is as hypocritical as the Murdoch press on the Barnaby Joyce issue, they knew of this scandal well before the New England by election but chose to follow the Murdoch doctrine of whatever coalition politicians do must not be opened to the public gaze, but anything labor or the greens, or Pauline Hanson for that matter does should be investigated to the enth degree and on the front page of every newspaper, there is also the matter of the story from Tony Windsor regarding the woman’s complaint to him that a prominent, intoxicated senior politician followed her young daughter into the female toilets and harassed her , these are serious allegations that must be followed up and thoroughly investigated and not swept under the carpet by a compliant right wing controlled press.

  6. klewso

    Speaking of conspiracies how about those Greens?
    Poor old Jim “Attack is the best form of defence” Molan? He only ever made it to Major-General grunt in the army, now he’s a senator.
    He went to Iraq to bring them democracy – look how that worked out. If the right Muslims and a few others had to die for it, that was what it took?
    How was he supposed to know where “those” videos came from? As far as he knew they just hit his Gee! spot?
    Makes you glad our defence is in the hands it is when a bloke like him can get as far as he did in it (along with Newman, Hastie, Nikolic, Stewart, Brough et al)?
    It’s a good thing our media – from Blot to 7:30 – are around to whack it up those Greens for the way they’re trying ‘use’ this issue.

    1. AR

      Although not having reached double digits I was aware that Ike spent most of his time of the golf course.
      The last ‘real, blood & guts’ general to reach ultimate office, he warn’t sending no-ones boys into the grinding machine.
      Alas, the Drumpfster has sullied even that artificial pasture.

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