Joe Hockey in Washington DC
Joe Hockey (Image: Sky News)

Have AAP shareholders been put on notice? Plus the Australian media’s blind spot on police violence; and Joe Hockey joins the right-wing shouters on Sky. Catch up with all the latest tips and murmurs from the Crikey bunker.

Get down with AAP (yeah you know me)

Crikey has heard that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has put News Corp, Nine and Seven West Media on official notice regarding blocking the sale of Australian Associated Press (AAP). Literally on notice. A tipster told us that the ACCC issued a notice to the parties, saying shareholders had to check back with the ACCC before accepting or rejecting the bid.

The ACCC would only confirm that it “will be watching to ensure there were no inappropriate impediments to any potential sale of AAP”. We asked if they’d issued any specific notices, but they didn’t reply by deadline.

Unity ticket

As America continues to writhe down into the quicksand, buffeted by police brutality, riots, and a president by turns absent and incendiary, Australian media have (understandably) provided blanket front-page coverage.

One recurring theme has been a sense of incredulity from Australian reporters — one literally saying “people in Australia don’t have the understanding of the history of police killings”. Which would probably be true, if they relied on the Australian media.

But, as journalist and academic Amy McQuire has pointed out, the deaths of countless Indigenous people at the hands of Australia police (and attendant protests) don’t get a fraction of the attention and hand wringing we reserve for race relations in the US.

Corporate compassion

Still in the US, these days, you can set your watch by how long it will take corporations to use a social trauma to try and sell you some of their tat.

Over the weekend, the two sport shoe behemoths heroically put their differences aside (just like the Bloods and the Crips during the 1992 LA riots) to call for justice.

Adidas tweet about US protests

Somehow, it manages to be worse than our own hall of fame moment, when Woolworths decided what Australia needed while remembering those felled in battle, was a cheeky little pun:

Another government appointment at Sky News

In another sign of the network’s lurch towards Fox News absurdity, Sky News today announced former Australian US ambassador Joe Hockey has been appointed US political contributor, and will “play a key on-air role during the channel’s 2020 US Election coverage”.

He will join the after dark screamers on Sky that he was so matey with while in government — Peta Credlin, Alan Jones, Paul “Your many Australian supporters … wish you nothing but the best” Murray, and Chris Kenny. Given Hockey’s obsequious relationship to Trump (playing golf with the absentee president as impeachment proceedings closed in), how much independent commentary do you reckon we will get from our former ambassador/treasurer/cigar enthusiast?

Love in the time of corona

Not content with the first round of “odd couple BFFs” cliches that greeted the co-operation between Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter and Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus, since all this false Accord talk, we’ve been treated to another. Here are some of our favourite quotes from the flurry of coverage:

The matchmaker

Greg Combet made all this happen:

Greg Combet suggested it. I’d sort of said to him I think I need to try and talk directly with people in the union movement. I don’t necessarily speak their language. And Greg suggested that Sally was probably the one that I should talk to first.


Why, he’s the most irritating man I’ve ever met!

The unions thought I was some flashy private schoolboy descended from a long line of British lords with a silver spoon up my arse.


But, eventually …

… what Christian actually does is interrogate it. He’ll ask questions. He’ll probe, and want to understand the argument.


Sally’s intelligent, rational, reasonable.


One government observer says: “I think they are both a bit surprised by each other, and how willing they are to have an open and frank discussion about issues”.

We’re sure this media-approved love story will work out brilliantly for workers while the Coalition and its business lobby friends dust off their old wish lists.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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