Blocked, unfollowed This morning, waking up to the news that there was no news any more (at least on Facebook), events he really ought to have seen coming (we did!), Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he had had “constructive” talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and that they had “agreed to continue our conversation to try to find a pathway forward”.
I mean, we were told the talks were “very constructive” with Zuck and “Sundar from Google” on Monday. How did that turn out? On the same day he told Sabra Lane that this “groundbreaking legislative reform” would “transform the domestic media landscape”.
We have to give him that, I suppose. It sure has.
Separately, this episode gives us yet another in the “making or unmaking of Josh Frydenberg” — after last year’s COVID-19 budget we now get to see whether he has the steel or the savvy to go up against a tech giant making good on its threats.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Limbaughing under the bar Rush Limbaugh, the bellicose pioneer of content-free outrage as a political stance on his radio show, has died of lung cancer. When we say content-free, we mean it: Politifact adjudged that of the Limbaugh statements it assessed precisely none were true, and 93% fell somewhere between half-truth and out-and-out lie.
The effluence of his legacy flowed — like all American culture warring — to Australia: his complete disregard for the truth, his meaninglessly ugly attacks on political opponents, his posture as the voice of the common underdog while fawning over powerful conservatives — a playbook that Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt et al couldn’t function without.
Here are a few of his greatest hits:
On torture at Abu Ghraib: “We’re going to ruin people’s lives over it, and we’re going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I’m talking about people having a good time, these people — you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of the need to blow some steam off?”
On Sandra Fluke, who addressed Congress about birth control costs: “[She] goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.”
On feminism: “It was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”
On Michael J Fox’s visible Parkinson’s disease symptoms: “He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act … This is really shameless.”
On civil rights activist Jesse Jackson: “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”
Limbaugh may have been a racist, a habitual liar, a raging misogynist and a total bully, but to give him credit he’s dead now and can’t sue us for saying that. And if you think we’re not showing sufficient respect for the dead, check his response to the AIDS crisis.
Fossil fuels mirth The Courier-Mail tells us: “A fossil could become Queensland’s newest official state emblem after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tasked her department to draft a shortlist of potential candidates for a new state symbol.”
Fabulous idea. Crikey readers, please furnish us with your suggestions as to which Queensland fossil you recommend? Joh Bjelke-Petersen?
The big guns Rupert Murdoch has incurred the wrath of the op-ed page of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. The newspaper for the small village of Saranac Lake, New York (with a wonderful masthead), has castigated Murdoch and News Corp, saying they “bear primary responsibility for the scars our nation now bears from Donald Trump”.
When you’ve lost Saranac Lake, you’re really in trouble.