Sunday, August 12, 2012

Groundhog News

News is what's new. At least that's the traditional definition. But in the case of a heavily concentrated Australian mainstream media, news is defined by the same half-dozen issues constantly rehashed as vehicles for faked-up conflict and partisan opinion mongering.

So at the start of every week, it is a fair bet that The Australian Financial Review (formerly a pro-market paper, now a pro-business lobby rag) will spin as "exclusives" a handful of front page beat-ups on productivity and the Fair Work Act, along with a couple of hatchet jobs on the NBN.

Editors of the News Ltd tabloids, meanwhile, will photoshop Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard as Dickensian urchins picking the pockets of western suburbs aspirationals with a carbon pricing scheme that they will continue to wilfully misrepresent.

At The Australian, hordes of bitter-and-twisted old reactionaries will line up to regurgitate the latest talking points from the Koch-funded climate change denialist industry in the US, while faking up opinion poll-driven front pages that conspire to make the government  look bad.

Aunty ABC, forever worried about accusations of left-wing bias, will do her usual thing and overcompensate by infesting her every second program with representatives of the IPA or some other "think tank" whose job it is to spread the message that government is the enemy. News radio will rip and read the headlines out of the News Ltd press, while the ABC online will act as a clearing house for opposition press releases.

On Q and A, a panel of one Labor Party hack, one Liberal Party hack, one right-wing culture warrior, one incoherently right-on pop singer and one fish-out-of-water visiting author will be asked the same questions about 1/ cynicism about politics 2/ asylum seekers and 3/ the Rudd-Gillard saga and 4/ same sex marriage - resulting in totally predictable answers and  much hooting from a studio audience stacked with Young Libs.

On Twitter, the same people will share the same links which reveal the same busted nature of politics and  media. Lost in all the mix will be a bunch of headlines showing the Australian economy doing better than every other economy in the developed world.

And Tony Abbott will say 'NO'.

It makes me feel like Bill Murray.


  1. But this weekend The Oz came up with a totally new story that really broke new ground, about how Kevin Rudd, or his backbench supporters, or someone, anyone, was stalking ... Bill Shorten for the ALP leadership.
    "then put your little hand in mine ..."

  2. You do have great Sunday lunches Mr D.

  3. A collection of headlines from the AFR re NBN and a coupla other things..
    [Pinched from Mike James at Crikey]

    -Slow NBN rollout a wake-up call
    10 AUGUST 2012
    -Power price focus boosts business risk: RBC
    -Big states challenge NBN’s opt-out provision
    09 AUGUST 2012 | DAVID RAMLI
    -Gillard power price claims ‘a fabrication’: Abbott
    -NBN hopelessly behind targets
    -Union threat to innovation
    -NBN turmoil looms. After that, it’s murky
    09 AUGUST 2012 | TONY BOYD
    -The dimming down of the NBN vision
    09 AUGUST 2012 | PAUL SMITH
    -Get used to waiting for fast fibre
    -Slow progress ensures an NBN rethink
    09 AUGUST 2012 | TONY BROWN
    -Energy market gridlocked
    -Oakeshott to press NBN Co for answers
    09 AUGUST 2012 | DAVID RAMLISlow rollout endangers NBN
    -Swan accused of using Costello rule to mask NBN costs
    -NBN costings balloon
    PRINT: 08 AUGUST 2012 | PAGE 51

    Sad aint it?


  4. Sad, yes. But what the hell do we do about it? There is no point talking amongst ourselves, preaching to the converted, etc.

    1. "But what the hell do we do about it?"

      Good question, in fact I can't think of a more important question.
      Probably the single most important issue in Oz politics cos most others are directly informed [sic] by the problem of our media.

      Not sure what the answers are tho'.
      I suppose we, as individuals, do what we can.
      Whatever that may be.
      For me its raising the issue of the fact that we have a problem wherever I go on the net.
      In a more general sense we need a political answer[s] for the whole of Oz society.
      I have some ideas [eg Finklestein [sp?] with clout], what about you?


  5. ‎"The decision to ban the live export trade in panic after a television programme was probably the most disastrous single incident in the history of Australia’s relationship with Indonesia"

    i thought this gem from Abbott might be newsworthy but apparently not, alas.

    1. As the ABC's Sabra Lane Twittered:
      Tell that to the families of the Balibo Five.

  6. Meanwhile in "Joe's Apartment" would the last one out please switch off the lights

  7. The Press resemble troupe of screeching monkeys flinging faeces.

  8. Knifeyspooney, so the Balibo Massacre* was less disastrous than NOT torturing cattle. Hmm, Liberal land. It's a wacky place!

    *That's a disaster I can think of off the top of my head, there are probably even worse ones you can point out

    1. i agree with you, i thought my use of the word gem was fairly obviously ironic

  9. Aunty ABC, forever worried about accusations of left-wing bias, will do her usual thing and overcompensate by infesting her every second program with representatives of the IPA or some other "think tank" whose job it is to spread the message that government is the enemy. News radio will rip and read the headlines out of the News Ltd press, while the ABC online will act as a clearing house for opposition press releases.

    Sadly, this is dead accurate.

  10. Q'n'A this week has Peter Singer, who should be a bit more interesting than the usual suspects (although I'm not sure why he would have let himself be roped in to it), and someone called Phillip Blond. He's billed as a theologian, but he got a gurnsey as the originator of the Big Society this morning - Thatcherism in a shiny suit and white shoes. I hope Singer gets the opportunity to tear him a new arsehole.

  11. Being biased (and deliberately so) puts the ABC in contravention of its own editorial policies. How the hell does a public institution get away with flouting its own guidelines? The government needs to call an inquiry into ABC news and current affairs, ascertain which individuals are responsible for the implementation of the bias, kick arse and draw up a list of reforms to ensure this institution never again is allowed to go so intentionally off the rails.

  12. Mr Denmore

    I just want to thank you. Sometimes, like Yossarian, I start to wonder if it is just me. Fortunately, you help me realise I am not alone.

  13. I too want to thank you, because I too have felt very lonely in my views. It is blatantly obvious to me that News Media is pushing the barrow of the Opposition, and swaying easily swayed minds. Regarding the ABC. I have been an avid ABC listener/watcher for many years, now I find I am getting angry with some of the presenters' rhetoric. Chris Uhlmann and Tony Jones are two that spring to mind immediately. QandA is getting worse and is certainly not 'balanced'. This current Government has achieved amazingly well, considering their difficult governing position. I shudder to think what would be the outcome if the present Opposition came to power. Perhaps the LNP in my State of Qld., would be a good guide. Nearly all environmental safeguards have been wound back, and in a time when this is imperative to the health of this land. So, I am heartened to read that there are people out there who can see the big picture and have not got the wool pulled across their eyes.

  14. You forgot to mention the Sydney Morning Herald, which may lack the obvious bias but is as boring as batshit. Did I say boring? Fcuk!

    And they want to put their mediocrity of a website behind a paywall! Good luck with that

  15. Well said Jim ! I've only recently discovered your site via politically homeless site. So refreshing to see some quality journalism. Thank God for the web!

    Keep up the good work. Even dear old auntie recently has let me down so many times. Bring back Kerry O'Brian to the 7.30 report. I'll never forget the grilling he gave phoney tony over his back flip on the parental leave issue !