Newspaper Nine Queensland
(Image: Unsplash/Bank Phrom)

Did the media help the government by ignoring the substance and focusing on the trivia of new tax cuts? Bernard Keane and many Crikey readers were inclined to think so. As some pointed out, the media’s coverage seemed to play to a strategy. Elsewhere, readers discussed politicians’ tendency to bear-all — for better or worse — in political biography.

On the media’s tax coverage

Ian Hunt writes: In a world of monopolies and trade zones with rules that most favour the USA, neoliberal ideology should look far fetched but our media will show that the principles of propaganda are least concerned with truth. As one of its founders noted, when propagandists tell a lie they should make it big.

Steven Westbrook writes: The lazy commercial media cooperated with the bait and switch strategy. Advertise the tasty morsel now, but let’s not explore the cutbacks in the services later.

Don Maclean writes: Even the ABC reported it as a game of tag with no analysis of the underlying issues. Has the ABC given in to their financial masters to avoid giving them “unnecessary” offence? If so it won’t stop further funding cuts.

R. Ambrose Raven writes: Media debasement of good journalism has made political conflict its preferred commodity — with utter contempt for cost to good government and our future. Journalism has steadily degenerated, but so has the public service, both assisted and often driven by the stratification of the political class into fully-owned subsidiaries of transnational capitalism versus the 99% that has to earn a living. The ruling clique control ensures that discussion reflects only their values and only their interests. So journalists are only rewarded when helping decision-makers and politicians to talk only to themselves, and when helping promoters of the consequent tactics to strip more from the 99%.

On political documentaries

Joe Boswell writes: Christopher Warren seems unimpressed with politicians writing their own account of history and apparently thinks the job is better outsourced. And yet, writes Professor John Charmley: “‘History will judge us kindly,’ Churchill told Roosevelt and Stalin at the Tehran Conference in 1943; when asked how he could be so sure, he responded: ‘Because I shall write the history.'” Six volumes in all, and a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. The citation lauded, “his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”. So, job done.

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Peter Fray

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