Journalism is a bifurcated trade. You must consider what is in front of you while at the same time watching for what lurks to the side or is obscured by the day-to-day. In today’s Crikey, Bernard Keane continues our look at BIG, considering the growing power of corporates and large investment groups. Private Media chairman Eric Beecher also looks at a type of big — the immense and undue influence on the Murdoch empire on all aspects of Australian life. Beecher has been a leading critic of News Corp for decades. His weekend read is timely and powerful, and a reminder of the vital importance of independent media.
As for what is in front of us, well, we can look no further than Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate to see another example of what is wrong with governance in this country. Janine Perrett gives Holgate a serve while David Hardaker runs the numbers on the Australia Post board. Michael Bradley looks at ex-Crown chairman Rob Rankin and Charlie Lewis delivers another volume of Crikey’s spiv dictionary. Again, thanks for all suggestions — the Spiv-tionary might well last the rest of the year.
Today is also marked by another Trump v Biden televised debate. Catch up on our website later in the day for Lewis’ take, but first read Richard Holden’s excellent analysis of why Biden has to win and win big. Elsewhere, Lewis reminds us of the contribution of Australian journalism to this year’s presidential race, Amber Schultz takes a hard look at ideas to end the national shame that is aged care, Andrew P Street reports on news you may have missed and Glenn Dyer and Keane assess the RBA’s next move. And, of course, there’s TV ratings.
You might have missed him. I know have. But after a short break, Guy Rundle is back. Read his take on the US election — and why the result is not as clear cut as the polls suggest.
There will more to come on Trump v Biden in coming days. But we can’t let go of two big events happening right before our eyes: the ongoing exposure of how business and politics mingle and infect each other in NSW, and the implications of having a BIG federal government in every sense of the word. Oh, and inspired by NSW, we’ve got the next installment of our Spiv-dictionary. Thanks for your suggestions — keep them coming.
In other parts of Crikey today, Jason Murphy examines the numbers behind the jobs slump, Kishor Napier-Raman look at the potential for agriculture to save the economy, and David Latham argues for the arts community to become better organised.
Back in politics, Amber Schultz reports on the looming preselection of a Liberal candidate who supports gay conversion therapy and Charlie Lewis investigates whether taxpayers are paying for Tony Abbott’s trips around Europe. All that plus TV ratings and a sparkling edition of Tips and Murmurs.
Today Kevin Rudd makes the case for a royal commission into how News Corp exercises power. He opens up with: “As a Crikey subscriber, you hardly need convincing about the threats that media monopolies pose to democracy.” Couldn’t have put it better myself. You probably haven’t read about the Rudd petition in a News Corp publication. As Kishor Napier-Raman reports, plenty of other petitions get a mention and a big run at News, but not this one. Funny dat…
Talking about issues with our corporate culture, Bernard Keane examines the entities abetting terrorists and child abusers — look no further than a couple of our biggest banks — and Stephen Mayne previews the Crown Resorts annual general meeting. Amber Schultz keeps on the money theme, with a review of top earners in taxpayer-funded entities, and Georgia Wilkins examines the cosy relationship between the COVID-19 commission and the federal government.
On matters of state politics, Eva Cox makes the case for Gladys Berejiklian to stay on, Charlie Lewis has the latest in the spiv dictionary and Keane considers Victoria’s favourable treatment of the racing industry. All that plus Chris Warren on anti-trust moves in the US against Google, Schultz on changes to blood donations, Lewis’ latest Tips and Murmurs and TV ratings.
Who the heck is advising the NSW premier? Whoever it is, please stop. As Janine Perrett writes, it’s starting to look as though sound judgment has deserted Gladys entirely. How else to explain subjecting yourself to an interview with Kyle Sandilands?
Thank heavens for distractions. Today, Georgia Wilkins and Bernard Keane write about two other scandals besetting NSW: the icare insurance debacle and the airport land deal. We’ve also launched the Crikey spiv-tionary, defining the words and phrases that enter our lexicon in these troubled times. Your submissions would be very welcome.
Turning to the pandemic, today’s edition includes neurologist Kate Ahmad on the hidden impact of COVID-19 on the elderly, Amber Schultz on the tendency of virtual meetings to bring out the worst in certain men, and Kishor Napier-Raman on the latest virus trends around the globe.
We’ve also got Madonna King on the euthanasia debate in Queensland, Michael Sainsbury on the protest movement in Thailand, and Glenn Dyer on the appropriate role for ratings agencies in the current economic climate. All that plus Tips and Murmurs, a new Data Dump from Jason Murphy about hybrid vehicles, and last night’s TV ratings.
Today’s Crikey comes in three (hopefully) satisfying parts: elections, Gladys and everything else.
The elections section features William Bowe on the results in both NZ and Canberra, Ross Stitt on what Australian pollies can learn from the Ardern landslide, and Bernard Keane on land tax and how it shaped the fight for the ACT… or rather, didn’t. Plus Georgia Wilkins on the entirely predictable outcome of the Perth mayoral contest and the role media mogul Kerry Stokes played in shaping the race.
As for Gladys, we just can’t look away. Janine Perrett takes apart the spin, David Hardaker considers the other disappointed “lover” in the saga, and Keane takes a blow torch to rotten politics in NSW. And rightly so.
Rounding things out, we’ve got Tom Ravlic on the deplorable parts of the web, Chris Warren on fake news, and Amber Schultz on Melbourne’s latest lockdown update, alongside your regular favourites in Tips and Murmurs and Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings.
It’s hard not to talk about events in NSW politics. Certainly, we can’t not. But for a minute let’s consider another reveal this week: as Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer write today, one of the final shibboleths of neoliberalism was jettisoned by the Reserve Bank and hardly anyone made comment. We correct that today.
Meantime, Gladys and Daryl: should she stay or should she go? And why on earth did she ever get mixed up with him in the first place? Rosalind Dixon, Margot Saville and David Hardaker look at these and related issues, and Keane asks a big question: if we can’t trust government, who or what can we trust?
As Charlie Lewis notes, it’s pretty hard to see much trust — or curiosity — on the Crown board. Dean Parkin writes on the Greens’ change of heart on an Indigenous voice to parliament, and Clinton Fernandes writes on Balibo, 45 years on.
Regulars today include Andrew P Street’s Week That Was and TV ratings with Glenn Dyer. To round out the edition William Bowe looks at a couple of interesting elections coming this weekend, Amber Schultz at moves against Trump on Twitter, and Janine Perrett celebrates an Australian success on Broadway.
NSW’s ICAC inquiry is compelling viewing. But for a bigger, more sophisticated picture, check out the grilling of James Packer and the Crown board.
Today’s Crikey examines power and influence through these two windows. The view is deeply disturbing. What Donald Horne wrote in the early 1960s seems even more apt today: we are a lucky country run by second-rate people. I’ll leave it to Bernard Keane, Georgia Wilkins, David Hardaker, Kishor Napier-Raman and Michael West to fill in the details.
Elsewhere, Glenn Dyer and Keane examine a shift in Reserve Bank strategy, Jason Murphy looks at retail vacancies, Adam Schwab puts Daniel Andrews in the crosshairs, Michael Sainsbury reports on how the pandemic is unfolding in Indonesia, and Charlie Lewis explores today’s MP talking points leak in Tips and Murmurs. All that plus your letters and last night’s TV ratings.
Political predictions are fraught and invariably flawed but the premiership of Gladys Berejiklian is beginning to look terminal. Which, to be frank, is a pity. Because a) she has brought a high degree of stability and competence to NSW politics; b) she put the NSW Nationals back in their box; and c) she is a woman. But with every passing hour, her judgement comes into question and the unanimous support she enjoyed only a few days ago is seeping away. She may survive, but at what cost? If this particular cloud has a silver lining, it is that it has renewed focus on a) the importance of a fully funded ICAC; b) the inadequacies of the proposed federal version; and c) the need to tighten up the ministerial code of conduct.
In today’s Crikey those issues are examined by David Hardaker, Bernard Keane and Michael Bradley respectively. And then there is COVID-19, which is certainly going to last longer than most political careers. Keane and Glenn Dyer look at global growth and the virus, Amber Schultz at the world’s experience of lockdowns and Kishor Napier-Raman at some hairy, scary disaster planning by Mike Pezzullo — one of the nation’s top bureaucrats and a good mate of Peter “Spud” Dutton. Funny timing to be scaring the bejesus out of us, you might say.
Janine Perrett continues her examination of the power of being a Packer, and Charlie Lewis pens a cheat sheet for directors and witnesses appearing before the Crown inquiry. (Why should Andrew Demetriou be the only one able to do live cribbing?) Rounding out today we have Madonna King on the Queensland election and David Latham on the need to support the news media. (Especially independent Australian-owned news media like Crikey, I should add.) All the above plus Tips and Murmurs with that Lewis guy, and TV ratings with Glenn Dyer.
Yesterday Crikey headlined that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was only human — a compassionate note echoed this morning in headlines and by Malcolm Turnbull, Anthony Albanese and many other pollies. The premier is only human, she has a personal life, she’s entitled to keep it private. But in politics there are boundaries: if it smells/seems/is dodgy, you have to do something about it — don’t turn a blind eye.
In today’s Crikey, Bernard Keane, David Hardaker, Janine Perrett and Kishor Napier-Raman examine different aspects of the “Game of Mates” being exposed in NSW. That the premier is caught up in it is perhaps the most surprising aspect of all. That state politics is awash with influence peddlers and worse should surprise no one. And, as Keane writes, why would a reasonable person think that federal politics is any different? They wouldn’t. Bring on a proper federal ICAC.
Also today, Tony Jacques looks at reputational management, Chris Warren at Kevin Rudd’s anti-News Corp petition, and Michael Bradley at an important decision in the “campus rape” debate. There’s TV ratings and Charlie Lewis’ Tips and Murmurs. One tip in particular is worthy of debate: should the ABC be spending money on a campaign that tells us we “love” it? Strikes me that the money could be better spent elsewhere and that as an exercise in campaigning against government cutbacks, it risks falling into self-parody… Oh, and as Lewis notes, “love” is probably not the word that springs to mind if your house burnt down in a bushfire last summer. The ABC has got it wrong. What do you think? Send your thoughts to [email protected]
Is it too early to call the federal budget a failure? Caution might say yes. But, as Bernard Keane writes today, there is already significant evidence to suggest that Joshua’s Spree (as it was nicely described by The Australian) is a stuff up. Tomorrow’s OECD growth forecasts will also be timely to the post-budget debate, as Glenn Dyer and Keane report.
This morning has come out of the blocks fighting: Victoria’s top bureaucrat has pulled the plug, and the NSW premier has revealed she was in a close relationship with disgraced MP Daryl Maguire. Amber Schultz reports on the latest in the lockdown state, while Charlie Lewis offers a short history of sex in politics.
It’d be great to get back to policy, but unfortunately our nation’s wealthy just can’t stay out of the limelight. Stephen Mayne looks at Harold Mitchell, Georgia Wilkins at Anthony Pratt (and his mate Donald Trump) and Janine Perrett recounts how James Packer got his way in Sydney. Meanwhile, Chris Warren returns to a key Crikey issue: the influence of big tech and political attempts to rein it in.
On the pandemic, Ben Clark and Adam Schwab both consider the impact of COVID-19 on young people and those considerably less well off than, say, Pratt, Packer or Mitchell. All that plus Tips and Murmurs and last night’s TV ratings.