Tony Abbott

Yesterday we asked readers how many words The Australian will end up writing about the latest Ramsay Centre Holy War. The answer ranged from “close to 500,000” to “too bloody many”. 

Meanwhile, others offered notable interviews missing from our political interviews series. “Katter’s segue from gay marriage to killer crocs” and Abbott’s famous “suppository of all wisdom” line received special mention. If you missed our list, catch up here.


On the Ramsay Centre Holy War 

Mick Donohoe writes: How many words will The Australian dedicate to its latest Holy War? Far too many. How many should it dedicate to this Holy War? The entire paper: news, editorials, comments, fashion, lifestyle, sports, crosswords, comics, classifieds and all other advertising. In fact they should not even print their normal masthead — just attack, attack attack. That way it will be clear why and who they are writing for, and the rest of us can go on ignoring the rag.

Jeremy Henderson writes: The real question about the Oz‘s culture war is not how many words are written, but how many people actually bother to read them.

I suspect that I am among many reluctant subscribers to The Australian, with qualms about contributing to the Murdoch empire, but still keen to read the output of some excellent writers and journalists, including Peter Lalor, Gideon Haigh and Peter Van Onselen, together with those articles to which Crikey directs me from time to time. But that doesn’t for a minute mean that I am ever even slightly tempted to read the angry ravings of the ever-indignant op-ed writers with enough axes to grind as would arm the entire Viking fleet.

Louise writes: How many words will be written? Far too many. On the verge of a massive rejection whenever the next election is held, the Libs are now scrambling to leave a “legacy”. Social change has never been something they’ve been able to accept.

Richard Thompson writes: It’s wonderful to speculate about the number of words that may be written in spite by a bunch of troglodytes about their rapidly diminishing influence, but the fact remains that the views of The Australian are very much over represented in other media. Why should a newspaper with such a tiny and subsidised circulation mean anything? It is merely a vehicle for promoting the extreme views of a tiny minority. It would be better in most cases to just ignore them.

DF writes: I once worked for several years in the media relations section of a major federal department, compiling the most relevant (to the department’s responsibilities) media articles for a Coalition minister’s daily media roundup. Believe me, the Oz used to have a powerful influence on the minister’s media staff, as well as the Opposition, which you could usually assess by watching Question Time and monitoring the doorstops.

Woe betide those of us preparing the media roundup if we missed or judged not sufficiently relevant an article in the Oz, and Rupert’s tabloids as well. There had to be a good reason for omitting anything by Bolt, for example. 

Of course this was also a political tactic by the minister’s office as the media roundup was widely circulated in APH, so by having their pet journos included in it, the staff were also setting the agenda in the offices of all recipients, including the Leader of the Opposition.


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