Peta Credlin
Peta Credlin (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

World’s shortest campaign So now we know. After years of simply ignoring the reporting of scandal after scandal, of failure after failure, we’ve finally found journalism that will make this government act.

One front page, a scattering of shock jock segments, and one utterly gabbled word jumble sale from Peta Credlin. That’s all it took to shift Scott Morrison away from stripping medals from special forces troops.

Compare this with years of coverage of robodebt, the sharing of forged documents to discredit an enemy, the prosecution of whistleblowers (hell, take your pick), all of which simply came and went.

Fine China For all his undoubted insight, it was news to us that former ambassador to China Geoff Raby was, shall we say, high profile enough to be a brand ambassador. But via the ABC’s Bill Birtles we got the following image:

Of the massive tariffs slapped on Australian wines by China in recent weeks, Auswan Creek, which produces the Ambassador Shiraz, received by far the most lenient: 107%. As Birtles points out (and anyone who tuned into our Crikey Talks event featuring Raby could attest), Raby has been a consistent critic of Australia’s handling of the relationship with China.

Of course, although Raby is on the label, the softer tariff might have less to do with his rhetoric and more to do with who actually controls the company.

Southern discomfort So authorities in South Australia are dealing with a second major COVID-19 fuck-up in a week, now saying a man who attended several shops before testing positive for coronavirus did not breach his quarantine order because he wasn’t actually under one.

This follows the promise that they would set the cops on a casual hospitality worker for lying to authorities.

Interestingly, neither the blunder nor the police state crackdown on a vulnerable person has caught the attention of The Australian, Credlin or any of the grotesque carousel of Sky After Dark carnival barkers.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. Cory Bernardi, former turncoat senator and failure even by the standards of Australian politics in the past five years, has at least gone the Marshall government pretty hard.

Incidentally, in keeping with its approach of only hiring people who Google suggests if you start searching for the CPAC speakers list, Sky has given Bernardi his own show, starting next year.

Socrates so wrong Was it Shakespeare who said one must always be careful about the provenance of quotes one finds on the internet? This was an aphorism Coalition Senator Gerard Rennick might have heeded.

In the course of a Twitter spat with The Guardian‘s Greg Jericho — ironically about whether the Bureau of Meteorology was fabricating information — Rennick called upon that titan of inquiry, Socrates, and his timeless observation: “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.”

You may see where we’re going here. As the clumsy faux-formality of the quote — redolent of someone trying to sound like a smart old-timey person — may have alerted you, there is no record that Socrates ever said that.