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The antediluvian media

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Friday, 30 April 2010 11:02 by Ad astra

I’ve been wondering what chronic disability it is that has been afflicting so much of the media, wondering why its political commentary is so predictable yet so often lacking in depth, so devoid of clarifying insights.   Where have the competent columnists gone?  We know there is a handful, and we know who they are.  We are even more aware of the rabble rousers: the Akermans, the Bolts, the Milnes, and those who, while being capable of writing decent articles such as the Shanahans, so often abandon journalistic standards to write disgracefully partisan pieces with one aim – to demean and pull down Kevin Rudd and his Government, to make it a ‘oncer’.

A plausible diagnosis of this affliction is journalistic sclerosis, a chronic and incurable condition, the result of advancing age and an unwillingness or incapacity to undergo renewal and adapt to the realities of contemporary communication and the trends of latter day politics.  This condition is aggravated by an infective process, the organism responsible being Coalitiococcus which leads to partisanitis, a chronic condition subject to acute exacerbations.  There is no cure once the condition is established.  Even when it appears to be quiescent, it can flare up with the slightest aggravation into a fulminating illness that only time can resolve.  Immunization against the offending organism might reduce the prevalence of partisanitis, but the sclerosis appears to be irreversible.

How has this condition taken hold?  Since most of the mature journalists are now middle aged, their background is from another era.  The Internet has come upon them, Facebook and Twitter have arrived, the Fifth Estate has proliferated and is challenging their previously exclusive right to report political events, offer opinions, pontificate, and sit in judgement on politicians, their actions and the political process.  Their authority and their right to do all this has not been challenged until fairly recently, but the blogosphere has arisen to contest that right, and they don’t like it.

Reflect on the era in which they grew up professionally.  While some like Paul Kelly, Michelle Grattan, Laurie Oakes, Malcolm Farr and Paul Bongiorno would remember well the days of Hawke and Keating, even Whitlam and as far back as Menzies, many contemporary journalists would be more familiar with the Howard era that stretched for so many years.  They would be used to his style of governing and the way he used the media.  But it seems as if they have failed to progress as fast as John Howard did.  He made talk back radio an art form, appeared regularly on TV, and paid careful attention to the media cycle. 

Kevin Rudd has followed this trend and extended it.  Although it might be expected that the media would welcome Rudd’s attention to the media cycle, instead he is incessantly criticized for being ‘obsessed with the media cycle’.  Can you understand this?  Why would they be so upset?  Is it because Rudd’s media focus causes them to get off their butts to cope with it?  Is it because they believe they should control the media cycle, not Rudd?  They seem to suggest that policy formulation and attention to the media cycle are incompatible.  They are not.  Rudd believes that if he is to communicate effectively with the electorate he needs to be out there every day with a photo opportunity, a grab for the evening TV news, a message that his Government is active, doing things.  Why is he pilloried for this?  Are the journalists upset that Rudd is calling the shots, not them; is it that they feel he is using them and the media for his political advantage?  Well that’s exactly what he’s doing; they had better get used to it.  And when he uses Twitter and Facebook and his website to promulgate his messages to different audiences, they pour scorn on these mechanisms.  Why?  Is it because they bypass their conduits to the people?  Is it because they believe they are the media and how dare Rudd circumvent them?  Is it because Rudd reportedly treats many of them with utter disdain?  It’s said that journalists dislike Rudd but like Abbott, a good bloke that they find easy to relate to.  Maybe this results in payback because Rudd declines to be obsequious, and so they strike at him with the power of their pens.

There is a preoccupation in the media with what it regards as the ‘cynical use of the media’ for political purposes by politicians, especially Rudd and Government ministers.  They regularly look for some sinister reason for an announcement.  Is it to distract from the Government’s problems?  Is it to steal a march on his opponents?  Is it to get ahead of some unpleasant news?  Is it a way of making the pace?  Yes, it is all those things, and the media doesn’t like it.  They like to be in control; who does Rudd think he is?

So they counter this upstart through two approaches:

First, they demean the man as often as possible with as many of his supposed ‘misdemeanours’ as can be mustered, and repeat them endlessly with the hope they will be burned, mantra-like, into the psyche of the voters.  You know them well – the bad-tempered Rudd, the rude Rudd, the slave-driver Rudd, the control-freak Rudd, the fight-with-friends Rudd, the unpopular Rudd, the use-religion-for-political-purposes Rudd, the Jekyll and Hyde Rudd, the policy-on-the-run Rudd, the all-spin-no-substance Rudd, the all-promise-no-delivery Rudd, the petulant Rudd, the bullying-the-premiers Rudd, the fake pseudo-ocker Rudd, the he-uses-funny-talk Rudd, the fair-shake-of-the-sauce-bottle Rudd, the sham hollow Rudd.  Even the nerdish Rudd, the hardworking Rudd, the policy wonk Rudd, the reviewing Rudd, far from attracting a modicum of admiration, are all held up for scorn.  Examples are catalogued – Scores, Burke, RAAF hostie, hairdryer story, overworked staff that never see their kids, excessive staff turnover, bullying colleagues stories, murmurings about a successor and talk about Julia Gillard as the next PM.  These bits of boilerplate are trotted out monotonously to make the case that Rudd is no good, no good at all, and very temporary.

Second, they paint everything he does as cynically opportunistic.  They foster a high level of suspicion.  Why did he announce that today?  What was he trying to hide or obscure?  What’s the reason for this or that action?  Whatever it is, it must be sinister, devious, insincere, because you know that’s the way Rudd is.  They castigate him when he seems to them to discard what they consider to be lofty principle in favour of pragmatic solutions, although his predecessor did this repeatedly without the disapproval they reserve for Rudd.  They set up straw men of high principle to which they pay allegiance so they can lament Rudd’s lack of adherence to them.  They fume with righteous indignation, insist that he must use up his ‘political capital’ to stand by the principle, yet by their very words furtively hope that he will use all of it up and stand exposed as a target for their venom and for untimely defeat. 

The media, by and large, is mad with Rudd, and they intend to punish him.  So they have embarked on the most intense and unremitting attack on almost everything he does.  Even the announcement of an increase in the tobacco levy and the changes to cigarette packaging are greeted, not with praise for an important health initiative, but with suspicion regarding the timing of the announcement, with cynicism about his intent.  They do not accept that the move is to improve health, reduce deaths, lower health costs and fund prevention – no, it’s to fill a budget void brought about by the ‘bribes’ he offered the premiers to get his health reform deal accepted.  His motivations are always suspect, never pure.

The uncomfortable fact for them is that Rudd keeps them guessing.  He runs his own agenda.  He refuses to comply with what the media thinks a PM should be, should think, and should say.  Why can’t he be predictable like Howard was?  Why can’t he be the sort of politician they want him to be?  Why can’t he go along with their expectations?  Why does he despise some media outlets and refuse to use them?  They rail against what they see as the arrogance of the man in not complying with what they have come to expect as their right.

Instead of trying to placate them, to go along with their self-centred demand for recognition, their self-seeking insistence on compliance with their requirements, he thumbs his nose at many of them and goes his own sweet way.  They long for the good-old-days, oblivious of the reality that they are long gone and will not return.  They have lost control of the media flow.  There are too many others involved, too many other modes of communication, too many listening to others outside the MSM.  Their power and influence is fading and they hate it.  The Fifth Estate calls them to account, and they resent it.  After all they have always called the shots; they have been the king-makers and the king-dethroners.  How dare the people ignore them, how dare they no longer buy their papers as before, how dare they ignore their privileged position?

Their journalistic sclerosis, complicated by recurrent bouts of Coalitiococcal partisanitis, has rendered many MSM journalists redundant and ineffective, ignored by more and more of the people.  Have they ever asked why it is that despite their malignant attacks on Rudd over many, many months, he still comes out smelling like roses in most opinion polls?  Have they queried why their perpetual condemnation, their endless venomous stories, their unwillingness to give more than perfunctory credit when it’s due, is having so little effect on Rudd’s ratings?  While they are down somewhat from their stratospheric highs, for all the vitriol poured on him, Rudd should now be well into in negative territory if the people were taking notice.  Do journalists ask themselves why that is not so?

The simple answer is that all except the rusted-on voters have stopped listening, have stopped believing what groupthink-afflicted journalists are feeding them day after day.  The Rudd they see and know from TV clips on news and current affairs programmes, talkback radio and personal contact during community visits does not correspond with the Rudd the media paints.  And they prefer to believe what they see and hear.

This piece offers the view that much of the MSM is antediluvian – a pitiable state of being sadly out of touch with contemporary political reality, alas unrecognized by so many of the journalists who inhabit that space.  Recovery is unlikely.

What do you think?

 

Comments (148) -

April 30. 2010 12:24 PM

You must be kidding

Andrew Bolt ... dare I mention his name ... writes an interesting piece today about the bushfires in Victoria last year and his second piece juxtposes (is that word spelt right)with a piece on Master Chef and what happened on Wednesday.
He talks about the importance of leadership and how we have come to diminish it and its importance to the community to have people who ae prepared to lead ... he quotes a forgotten writer who quoted... cometh the hour, cometh the man ... leadership is something we all admire and its very definatition means that to be a leader you must have followers.
I wonder given AA's piece and his willingness to write about journalists and their crticisms of our leaders ... I wonder whether our partisan thinking clouds our intellect when it comes to things like politics and picking our favourite team to win this weak even knowing they will be smashed ... we are if nothing victims of misplaced loyalty at times.
But if we as a people do want leadership and we are willing to follow someone who is prepared to lead ... that is prepared to make the hard decisions then I for one would get on board. I did for Hawke and Howard and didn't for Fraser and Keating.
Leaders stand out in the crowd ... they lead when it gets tough, no matter the consequences.
Contrast this with the behaviour and statements of our current leader. Fairly soon he won't have any followers. Sure he may win the next election, as history says he will, but this faux politician should begin to count the days he retires from politics for his party built on strong traditions, values and decisions will not allow him the opportunity to parade in the media for much longer after the election.
I would humbly suggest the previous leaders of the Labor Party would squirm with regret to have such a fake as leader of the workers party.
So it matters not what the press say about him ... the message is getting out into the broader community but more glaringly his own Party know what they must do after the next election.
We just have to wait for a true leader to step up when the hour to do so comes.

You must be kidding

April 30. 2010 12:57 PM

Canbra Dave

Ad Astra,

You say they are antediluvian, out of touch with contemporary political reality. I say they (meaning News Ltd) are writing to satisfy their higher ups. One of the most important parts of journalism is writing for your audience. If the audience doesn't care about what you are writing about then they won't read it. Similarly if it challenges what they think then they are less likely to read it. But almost as importantly as that they have to write for their bosses. It is the upper management of News Ltd that has decided its coverage should be negative. The journalists, those who report the news, are just reporting what they are told to report. The editors decide what to put in the paper, and they are selected by the managers. The columnists write what they write because they have a bias. Their readers also have a bias. If Andrew Bolt suddenly turned around and started writing about the virtues of the Greens and social progressivism then his audience of rightwingers and conservatives would start finding his blog a less desirable place to be (except to complain about how he should go back to how he used to write).

As for questioning Rudd's media management cycle, how can you look at the past few months and not cynically see the PR management that his administration is centred around. Back last year he must have already been drawing up plans for some sort of 'health reform' to keep as a backup election campaign issue if the ETS didn't succeed. Then after two weeks of opposition attacks over the insulation program and calling for Garrett's head, he waits until an hour before the evening bulletins on Friday afternoon to announce that Peter Garrett (the first class minister) was being stripped of responsibilty for the scheme. Then before the media can turn it into an issue again BAM! Health reform is the new issue of the day. He spends the next few weeks in a faux campaign mode running up and down the coast promising extra hospital benefits before heading in the COAG meeting. Once COAG is finished and health is done he airs the dirty laundry. Or rather he lets others do it for him. Greg Combet announces there will be no replacement insulation scheme. Kate Ellis announces they are going to stop the 270 odd childcare centres short a couple hundred. I'm not going to pretend they had prior knowledge of the Melbourne Storm story, but it was certainly a fortuitous little happenstance. Then once that blows over one day he is announcing the ETS, the biggest issue of last year is shelved for another three. Cue reaction and then hey presto! Someone in the government 'leaks' the story of the cigarette taxes and packaging and health is back on the menu. The last few months stink of playing the media, and as the media it is their own role to point out that they have been played. I wonder whether the blogosphere would have been criticising the media for not pointing that out if they hadn't?

Canbra Dave

April 30. 2010 01:12 PM

Ad astra reply

YMBK
You talk about ‘leadership’, but like most who use the word, you don’t explain what you understand by the term.  I know that is difficult, as evidenced by the convoluted discussion of ‘leadership’ on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership  If you take a look at that dissertation, you will see how problematic it is to define the word.

But if you are going to use the word, and castigate Rudd for ‘lack of leadership’, you need to explain exactly what he lacks that leads you to that assessment.  Was the Earl of Cardigan’s leadership of the British cavalry in ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ the sort of leadership you expect of Rudd – charging headlong to slaughter on the basis of poor intelligence?  Well over half his horsemen were killed or wounded. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade

It is all very well to laud ‘principle’, ‘bravery’, and ‘courage’, but if pursuit of these desirable attributes leads to slaughter, is that great leadership?  None of us are privy to the decision making process behind the deferral of the ETS until the end of 2012, but knowing Rudd’s reliance on evidence in making decisions, one can be pretty certain that it was based on well-researched data, not on hunch or hearsay.  So would those who hope for a return of the Rudd Government want its leader to have his troops rush headlong into a situation that his intelligence sources warned could be hazardous, mainly because the Coalition’s disingenuous ‘Great Big New Tax on Everything’ slogan was beginning to bite and staring to dissuade the people from the reality of global warming, something Tony Abbott regards as ‘complete crap’.

We all want strong leaders, but not leaders that recklessly ignore well-researched intelligence that cautions against actions that are likely to lead to disaster.  A principled leader who foolishly charges in and ends up lying dead in the ditch with many of his troops, is not the sort of leader I want to follow.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 01:27 PM

Ad astra reply

Canbra Dave
You may be right.  Journalists may write what their editors and the proprietor want, but they would vigorously deny that, insisting as they always do that they are independent and never told what to write.  Of course as children know what their parents think and want, so do journalists know what their ‘parents’ want.  How much that influences their writing nobody knows.  But I find it hard to believe that they do not have their heart in what they write.  How could they simulate the anger and venom they pour out day after day if they were the innocent victims of instruction and oppression from above and did not believe in their own writings?

You second paragraph focuses on Rudd’s ‘media manipulation’.  Please tell us all what actions you believe he should have taken, in what sequence, with what emphasis, and by whom.  It is easy to criticise the timing, suggest a cynical motive, and castigate Rudd for delegating the announcements to the relevant ministers, and of course the ‘back-flips, but tell us how you would have managed the several situations that occurred this last week or two.  Criticism is dead easy, suggesting alternatives is not.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 01:46 PM

Canbra Dave

Ad Astra,

As I said, the journalists and columnists have their biases too. I think that you are able to tell the difference between the two. Yes columinsts are also journalists, but when they write their column they are presenting an opinion (or an 'analysis' in the ABC's case). A news ltd journalist writes the story that the editor tells them to write. They collect the facts and present them to their readers. They don't fill it with subjective opinions, although they may present the opinions of people who suppor their own opinions, which are also likely to be the opinions of their readers. Again, writing to the audience.

As for columnists they are much more open in the bias. Anyone who reads even a few of the columns of Bolt or Ackerman can see that. Is the problem you see that there are not enough pro-labor anti-coalition columnists to counter out the noise of the rightwingers? Or is it that these journalists should be putting aside their opinions and lambasting both sides of politics?

Suggesting alternatives for what media strategy he should have used? I'm not, or rather I can't as his media advisors are far more up to the task than I am. In fact if I had to say what they should have done in what sequence, with  what emphasis, and by who I would have say that exactly what they have done is the correct way. They've dumped the platforms that would open to opposition criticism, they've minimised the impact by turning the media attention back onto health every time, in terms of media management they've done a splendid job. That's why its so slimy. Suggesting that they should just have allowed the media to harp on about backflips for several weeks is silly.

Canbra Dave

April 30. 2010 03:13 PM

Ad astra reply

Canbra Dave
You say Rudd's media strategy is 'slimy'.  Others might say it's smart.  I guess you're saying it's both.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 03:18 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Over at The Poll Bludger this is what a regular there, 'OzPol Tragic' had to say this afternoon about Rudd's communication strategy.  It gives another slant on the New Media vs Old Media debate. blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#comment-458163

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 03:29 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Today's Morgan 54.5/45.5.

"In late April support for the ALP is 54.5% (down 1.5%), leading the L-NP (45.5%, up 1.5%) according to the latest Face-to-Face Morgan Poll conducted last weekend, of April 24/25.

"If a Federal Election were held today the ALP would be returned comfortably, according to the Morgan Poll.

"The ALP primary vote is 44% (up 1%), ahead of the L-NP (40.5%, up 3%), while looking at the minor parties shows support for the Greens (8%, down 4%), Family First (2.5%, up 0.5%) and Independents/ Others (5%, down 0.5%)."


Gary Morgan says:

“Today’s Morgan Poll shows the closest Face-to-Face Two-Party preferred support between the ALP (54.5%, down 1.5%) and L-NP (45.5%, up 1.5%) since the 2007 Federal Election.

“Despite this week’s rise in Consumer Confidence (127.0, up 4.0pts) being matched by an increase in the ALP primary vote (44%, up 1%), the strong gains by the L-NP (40.5%, up 3%) at the expense of the Greens (8%, down 4%) meant the L-NP closed the gap between the two major parties overall.

“Today’s Morgan Poll came before the Rudd Government’s decision this week to backtrack on its pre-election climate commitments and delay the introduction of the CPRS until 2013 at the earliest and also before yesterday’s decision to hit smokers with a punitive excise tax increase.”


http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4487/

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 03:31 PM

janice

Msm, in particular the Murdoch media, are so anti-Rudd because they have failed to get a handle on him; Rudd does not fit into any of their boxes and he refuses to allow them to run the Government agenda.

The media are consumed with hate for Rudd because they blame him for taking away their power of influence over the voting public.  PM Rudd has been quick to connect with voters by using Twitter and Facebook and inviting input from ordinary voting citizens who want to put forward an idea or even a complaint about something that affects them personally.  It doesn't matter too much whether this 'input' is used or not but it does matter that the PM (or the Minister concerned) acknowledges that input.  Little is reported about the Government's Community Cabinets, yet people are appreciative of them and feel they're not excluded nor are they irrelevant to the government they elected.

The rise of the Fifth Estate has put a dampener on the media as well.  Journalists are now challenged by bloggers, twitterers and on facebook whereas it was only a few years ago that we could only write to the Letters to the Editor column in the vain hope it might be read and published.  Of course the media resent being challenged by anyone, let alone by the lowly masses they once were able to keep in the dark like mushrooms to be fed composted bullshit.

So it all boils down to one word POWER.  It is modern technology that has armed the teeming masses with the weapon to seek out differing opinions/analysis and thereby enabling them to form considered opinions of their own.  The power of the kingmakers has diminished and will soon disappear altogether - is it any wonder they scream with the pain of it all?

janice

April 30. 2010 03:38 PM

gusface

Its all over

the rudd hegemony has faltered and toppled to 54.5

the end is nigh i tells ya

;)

gusface

April 30. 2010 03:52 PM

Ad astra reply

janice
You're right, it's all about POWER.  The MSM is losing it in circulation, in advertising revenue, and most importantly in its influence over the masses.  Its capacity to impose its opinion on the people is steadily diminishing, and the proprietors hate it.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 03:52 PM

Ad astra reply

gusface
It’s odd that the Greens are down four points – that seems aberrant to me.  My guess is that the next poll will see the Greens back between 10 and 12 points, especially after the deferment of the ETS legislation, and as a result of preference flows the TPP for Labor will rise.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 03:59 PM

gusface

Ad

The greens vote is the yo-yo of polling games

"you see it here you see it there"

gusface

April 30. 2010 04:25 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
Possum is back at Pollytics with an interesting piece The Big Catch Up blogs.crikey.com.au/.../

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 05:09 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Excellent link by Chris

ETS Backflip with triple twist and pike, but what else is a poor Government to do?,By Chris, Sportolotics.

Chris has a link  to the Political Sword on his blogg, and is also a commenter on here

The Labor Party had no hope of getting an ETS through once Tony Abbott toppled Turnbull. All it can do is wait for the next election and hope for a better Senate

sportowens.wordpress.com/.../


lyn

April 30. 2010 05:36 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Thankyou for writing another wonderful piece for us "The Antediluvian Media".

The link you put up to 'OzPol Tragic'  at The Poll Bludger very interesting, supports your piece today.

Love the names of your diagnosed diseases, very applicable, especially, Coalitiococcus which leads to Partisantis.

If David Speers, Sky News, continues to torment himself, by trying to extract anything nasty at all,  out of anyone on his  panel, about Kevin Rudd.

Well he will just have to present to emergency or call 000

lyn

April 30. 2010 06:40 PM

HS

  It's the small things that say a lot to me. I had cause to go to the Dr in the next suburb today for a prescription for my sick child. When I was at the Chemist getting the script filled, I decided to wander over to the Newsagent for a copy of the Fin Review, because, as we politics tragics know, you can't access it online, and it does have some pretty good commentary on occasion from Laura Tingle(tho' not today as she seems to have caught the same disease you are describing today, AA, and used her column to call the PM and his Ministers 'a bunch of girls' for not having the courage of their convictions, sigh). So I walked into the shop, and what did I see? Where once 'The Australian' had been sat beside 'The Telegraph' and 'The Sydney Morning Herald', it was no longer there! It had been consigned to the same dark and dingy corner of the shop where you had to go to find copies of 'The Land' and 'The International Herald Tribune', and the like, and, yes, 'The Australian Financial Review'.
  Which gives credence to the theory, espoused by others, that the writers at 'The Australian' write for their audience, in the main, a bunch of cranky old white guys. An ever-diminishing audience, according to the Newsagent's actions, it would seem.
  Another interesting facet of this debate, which might go some way to explain the vitriol emanating from News Ltd., and increasingly from other Canberra Press Gallery journalists from the ABC, like Fran Kelly, and like Michelle Grattan from Fairfax, is that they have taken it upon themselves to prove to each other that, with a concentrated effort, they are still capable of routing a government. They'll show that upstart Rudd, who keeps trying to bypass them and talk directly with the electorate!
  Which is why I am committed to showing them that they are wrong, by spending every spare moment between now and the election blogging away!

HS

April 30. 2010 06:59 PM

HS

  Might I also add that I am finding it increasingly irksome to constantly hear the MSM begin commentary on stories about Rudd government initiatives with the phrase, "The Opposition says...", as if what they have to say is gospel, or has any basis in fact, as opposed to just being their daily anti-Rudd government spin line. Not only that, but yesterday, I was aghast to hear the diatribe which Peter Dutton had just spewed all over AM being grabbed, hook, line and sinker, and immediately put to the head of the queue of stories on the 9am News Bulletin. It wasn't 'News', it was pure spin, and unadulterated character assassination and smear of the Rudd government Tobacco intiative. I thought the ABC were not to be concerned about ratings, but it seems to me that they are going increasingly tabloid, in order to out Murdoch the Murdoch media outlets. Why? Is it just a journalistic herd mentality kicking in, as they see the 'success' that the Murdoch media strategy is having, or have they been directed, from higher up in the organisation, to get down and dirty? If only we knew what goes on behind closed ABC doors these days.

HS

April 30. 2010 07:00 PM

HS

Gusface,
        I am so glad you are contributing to TPS, because I can finally see your Avatar clearly! Smile

HS

April 30. 2010 07:28 PM

gusface

HS

These personal photos do me no justice at all.

ps,I forgot to shave as well

gusface

April 30. 2010 07:28 PM

vote1maxine

Hi AA

Love the "disease analogy" but I think you are being soft on these "pathogens". They are simply the propaganda arm of the "born to rule" conservative class which has successfully purged itself of it's wets and liberals. (Mind you, portraying the bolts, ackermans and milnes as bacteria is in keeping with their descent into the political gutter Smile ) This conservative class has no vision for the future, hence their policy free zone. They believe the 2007 election was an aberration. They are dreaming. The 2010 election is going to be their nightmare and if they are going to be a viable alternate government - their wake up call.

Where are the journos today in the MSM who have the calibre of the Peter Smarks, Alan Ramsey or Mungo McCullum?

vote1maxine

April 30. 2010 07:44 PM

gusface

As an aside a few Q's

1.Why isnt there a "left media outlet"
2.Why also no left radio network

I distinguish radio as a seperate medium as it seems to be more or less a targetted medium.

The following on Q seems to be are there any philanthropist left or has our wealthy citizens cast their lot with mammon.

gusface

April 30. 2010 08:05 PM

bilgedigger

I'm impressed with the diagnostic skills exhibited in your piece at the top. You and others on this blog are not the only ones who bemoan the lack of integrity of a large section of the media.  Yesterday I noted the attempt in W.A. to start a new political party, the Stop Population Growth Party being promoted by someone called Crouch I think. I'm not at all surprised today by the announcement from the Liberal Party of their new policy promising to stem population growth and the careful language in which the announcement was couched, nor does it hold any surprise for me that it is the Senator from Western Australia, Cory Bernardt, who is to take a leading role in this policy (ironically I think he is also a migrant).  But I think it would be futile of me to hope that any journalist would investigate, or worse still even care enough to investigate the circumstances around these two seemingly disparate items of news, to see if there are any links between the attempts to create a new party (with distant echoes to One Nation) and the current position of the Liberals.  

bilgedigger

April 30. 2010 08:34 PM

lyn

Hi Bilgedigger

Here are 2 links to the Stop Population Growth Party I agree with you, been thinking the same.

Aspiring Australian political party wants two child per family limit , By lauren Novak, Adelaide Now

This is not being done for any racist, redneck reason.

www.adelaidenow.com.au/.../story-e6frea8c-1225859631610

Population surge prompts new political party ,By Angela Harper , news com

Mr Couch says recruitment is a race against time with the federal election expected in Spring.

www.news.com.au/.../story-e6frfkvr-1225858947507

lyn

April 30. 2010 09:16 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn
I’ve added the Chris Owens' link to LYN’S DAILY LINKS.  It was a well-argued piece.

HillbillySkeleton
I does seem as if most of the MSM has taken up the cudgels to beat Kevin Rudd.  When someone as balanced as Laura Tingle writes this way, it makes one ask why?  I wonder whether journalists like Laura, who are not inherently antagonistic to Rudd, when they write so antagonistically are expressing disappointment with someone whom they saw somewhat as ‘a white knight in shining armour’, and now realize that he is not about to go to his political death for a principle that he has no hope of upholding.  I see Labor supporters expressing similar sentiments.  But if they were asked whether they would have preferred Rudd to pursue an ETS even if that brought about his defeat and that of his party at the election, I imagine they would say no.  The simple fact is that Rudd is in a dirty no-holds-barred fight with Tony Abbott who will say anything, do anything, perpetuate any lie to gain an advantage.  Rudd has to meet fire with fire, or else be the white knight slaughtered by the dragon.  Death while upholding a principle is for martyrs, not for successful politicians.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 09:29 PM

Ad astra reply

vote1maxine
If only there was a vaccine against these pathogens.  That might at least avoid the partisanitis, but I fear the sclerosis, the result of too rich a diet of Old Media and disinterest in New Media, is incurable.  So the disconnect the afflicted journalists have with today’s communication tools will continue.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 09:50 PM

Ad astra reply

bilgedigger, Lyn
Thank you for your reference to the ‘new party’.  It sounds like another ‘One Nation’.  Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and Cory Bernardi believe that they are on a winner with their recently stated population policy, another Abbott back-of-the-envelope creation.  

Already it has been given the thumbs down by industry groups and Bernard Keane gave it a caning on Crikey today in Abbott’s population target will cost us  He concluded "On this basis, Tony Abbott’s ‘consensus target of 140,000 would slash GDP by around 8.5% - or around $290b, based on projections of current GDP figures.”  www.crikey.com.au/.../

There’s a ‘directions paper’ if you’re interested at www.liberal.org.au/.../...0Directions%20Paper.ashx

It’s likely to suffer the same fate as his PPL, but I suppose he hopes that until it dies, the dog-whistling this scheme entails will yield a dividend among the ‘One Nation rednecks’.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 09:55 PM

Ad astra reply

The link to the Coalition's 'directions paper' was taken from the Keane article but is not working in my last comment.  Here goes again.

www.liberal.org.au/.../...0Directions%20Paper.ashx

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 09:58 PM

Ad astra reply

The 'directions paper' is still not working - takes me to a 404 error page.  If you want to see it, go via the link in the Keane article.

Ad astra reply

April 30. 2010 10:07 PM

HS

biledigger,
            I'm up on the grassy knoll here with my conspiracy theory, but didn't Tony Abbott spend an extended period of time in WA recently? Then, hey presto! up pops this new party? He has form as well, setting up the 'Australians for a Constitutional Democracy' group to do over Pauline Hanson.
   All we can hope is that Australians don't get sucked in by this evil man again. The more I see of him, and read stories in the Murdoch press by his henchmen, the more I am convinced that, to use a Catholic metaphor, he is the Archangel Abbott.

HS

April 30. 2010 10:13 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Don't worry about the link to  The 'directions paper' form Crikey, we can find it.

This happened to me a few times remember, and I worked out, that there is something

built into the system at Crikey to stop any copying of links from their articles.

Go to the link and then send the link, that's what I worked out

Cheers lyn

lyn

April 30. 2010 10:18 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

This link is to Mungo Mccullum, really worth reading by everyone.

Lucky Country: QE 36 by Mungo MacCallum, by danielle, Reviews

Rudd’s success is baffling at times until the reader understands that his strategy in emphasising and reinforcing fallacies resulted in Howard’s overthrow.

www.reviews.media-culture.org.au/modules.php


lyn

April 30. 2010 10:35 PM

Chris

Hi Ad,

You're certainly right to say the MSM seem to have taken against Rudd beyond all reason. Two issues that I think really highlight this. One is the ETS and I have a sense some of those journalists, who a year ago would have been saying that the Libs were dead if they didn't support an ETS, feel a little embarrassed now. Yet none of them can present a reasonable argument for Rudd doing anything other than shelving the ETS. The other is the Insulation Scheme. The MSM have been intent on ignoring facts, such as how this industry was largely unregulated before the scheme was introduced, that the scheme brought some semblance of regulation and training to the industry, and that there have been fewer deaths per per insulated house since the scheme started. That is not to say there are not issues with the scheme, but it is not the unmitigated disaster that the MSM makes it out to be. We are used to this sort of behaviour from Bolt, Akerman and the like, but the real journalists should know better.

And know they criticise Rudd for introducing some good policies regarding tobacco because of the timing. Do they really expect a politician not to act politically?

Chris

April 30. 2010 10:37 PM

Augustus

Oh dear, thanks for the links lyn, since the boat people scurge is past us its now population, more Hansonites in a new disguise, but wasn't it Costello who said "go forth and populate" when he introduced the baby bonus, and now the coalition are against population growth, so what happens to the baby bonus?, not that I am going to be a recipient but it does beg the question for those who are planning on a family.

Ad Astra, have been a long time lurker and until now a contributor the disease of negativity is all pervasive not just within the MSM but society in general we feed off it it is easier to be negative than fight to be positive, I must admit I had to look up the definition of antideluvian and yes in one meaning (before the flood) the flood of an alternative source of information, the MSM can't be trusted anymore "shock jocks" in print to sell a rag, Tony Abbott is a novelty nothing more and they love it, Kevin Rudd is a manager not a politian and they can't understand it so when you can't understand something critcise it.    

Augustus

April 30. 2010 11:18 PM

Michael Cusack

One of the symptoms of the problems facing journalists in their quest for relevance and certainty of employment is the increasing employment of bloggers in mainstream publications, and the increasing frequency of bloggers being quoted as authoritive sources in the mainstream media. Many of the current "up-and-comers" of journalism face a career writing advertisments for pet food. They are poisoning their own water!

Michael Cusack

April 30. 2010 11:33 PM

lyn

Hi Augustus

have been a long time lurker and until now a contributor .

Thankyou for coming here, you are so welcome, Ad Astra will be pleased.

It is Oh! dear, I had to look up the definition of antideluvian too, and I come up with antique.

They are an old lazy antique media, think about it.

Paul Kelly on Sky News tonight, a new 1 hour show, called the nation.

Paul Kelly is so antique he needs to be put in the Political museaum

lyn

May 1. 2010 06:54 AM

janice

I found this post over at Poll Bludger very interesting:

Mr Denmore
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink
I’ve been following ShowsOn’s defence of the ABC’s reporting with interest.

I was a journalist for 25 years, including a stint with the ABC. From a professional perspective, I think it is fairly clear that the national broadcaster has been nobbled by conservatives and now spends an inordinate time running stuff that is not news.

I must emphasise that there is absolutely nothing wrong with reporting the opinions of those who oppose government policy. You wouldn’t be doing your job as a journalist if you failed to offer a REPRESENTATIVE sample of opinion. But the ABC goes further than that. Firstly, it presents fringe opinion as mainstream. Secondly, it presents politicised opinion as expert opinion. Thirdly, it has sped up the news process so that now it ritually presents an Opposition line on any government announcement BEFORE people have had a chance to fairly hear the government view. Fourthly, it fails to place clearly contestable claims in context by pointing out FACTS.

But most of all, the ABC has developed the unfortunate habit of treating as “news” the non-surprising opinions of those with a vested interest. Every day now, I hear “news” items – usually leading the bulletin – that would never have got past me as an editor. They fail the “Well, they would say that wouldn’t they?” test of news value.

The fact is the ABC news editors have been got to. They have allowed specious ideas about “balance” to affect their news judgement, so that they blithely echo talking points that bear no resemblance to reality or which do not put claims in context or do not offer listeners and viewers the actual facts. Their journalists, usually too busy and under-resourced to check, blithely let through to the keeper the most challengeable contentions (viz: Barnaby’s nonsensical claims about government debt).

Case in point was their blanket reporting of the IPA’s claim that the government’s new requirement for unbraded cigarette packaging would result in High Court appeals. Nowhere did I hear an ABC journalist point out that the IPA is funded by the tobacco industry and its spokespeople are almost uniformly Liberal Party propagandists. The ABC used the same nonsensical ideas about “balance” to pass off as scientific the claims of the lunatic fringe in the climate change debate.

The fact is that ABC editorial has surrendered its integrity to nasty, right-wing and unrepresentative forces. Their CEO Mark Scott is a former Liberal Party hack and undistinguished journalist whose star has risen purely on his political connections.
While that also happened under Labor governments (David Hill), the pollution of news judgement is something new.

My conclusion as a consumer is that ABC news is no longer reliable, no longer authoritative and no longer driven purely by NEWS values. Something else is happening here and we don’t know what it is, do we Mr Jones?

....

I agree with Mr. Denmore's conclusion.

janice

May 1. 2010 07:33 AM

Rx

Great piece of writing, Ad astra. Quite punchy and to the point.

They accuse Kevin Rudd of manipulating the media, but have they listened to any news bulletins lately? The news is full of grabs from the Opposition: from Abbott to Hunt to Abetz to that Immigration spokesman always dogwhistling about 'boatpeople'. And 'Four Corners' the other night: virtually a non-stop Liberal talking point with the Liberal shadow Minister in starring role. Hillbilly described it well, with just about every political story on the ABC being led in with the words:

The Federal Opposition says ...

It is they who are manipulating the media, thank you very much, and the media who are attempting to manipulate the population. A cooperative chorus line of manipulation. Together arm-in-arm the Opposition works with the media on an agenda motivated by hatred and revenge. The fact that they're motivated by negativity, character assassination, and a naked lust for power, and are prepared to paint black as white on so many issues, engenders deep suspicion about the so-called Right in this country. So shifty are they that they couldn't even be trusted to run a street stall, let alone a national government of a tolerant democracy.

Rx

May 1. 2010 08:17 AM

Rx

You might have heard about the new talkback radio station opened in Melbourne recently. Yet another outlet joining the chorus of 24-hour right wing bile and acrimony.

Talk radio in Australia is dominated by the angry old men of raving right-wing redneck land, and the increasingly compromised ABC. There is virtually no progressive talk radio in this country, so may I commend to Political Swordsters the following online radio station from the United States - the Head On Radio Network, the HORN.

It's a shame that there is so little media diversity in this country that the only place we can hear political commentary in tune with our side of politics is via radio from the other side of the world. But that's what it's come down to in our stultifying media wasteland.

Enjoy the broadcast! and think about sending the HORN an email (and/or donation) to show your appreciation.

radiotime.com/WebTuner.aspx?StationId=55460&;

Rx

May 1. 2010 08:46 AM

wayne

Once again a great article. I read your pieces regularly but rarely comment. Not for any other reason than I have little to add. I am writing today to voice my concern at how the anti Rudd media has ramped up so that it's volume is now an ugly howl that is inescapable on am radio and in newspapers. Sadly I am unable to listen to am or buy papers because there are no balanced reporting much less left leaning views allowed thru. Why is it so? Money and Power is my guess. The media ownership laws must be tightened again. It is intolerable that the people should be subjected to what amounts to propaganda designed to benefit the rich minority. That the ABC now uses it's quest for "balance" as viewed by a liberal party hack to pursue the Murdoch agenda makes me incandescent.
But the only good news is that some can see through the charade I guess.

wayne

May 1. 2010 09:30 AM

lyn

Hi Wayne

Thankyou for commenting on the Political Sword, Ad Astra will be pleased.

Greg Hunt is reporting on Sky News this morning, the Government has collapsed, I suppose

they have called Kevin Rudd all the names in the book, collapse is the last word left.

Does collapse mean they the Government, have all fallen down, oh! dear.

lyn

May 1. 2010 09:47 AM

gusface

lyn

without going into detail,i literally deal with heaps of mid level types people everyday.

some unburden on how bad rudd is,but when gently guided for detail their gripe disappears.

Funnily most people are happy with the direction we are heading.

I feel the media "fight club" is soon going to contain only ramblers ruminating on how they once were the pulse of the nation but now are but a tedious trickle of tenditious tripe.

Bring on the election and hopefully changed media laws
Smile

gusface

May 1. 2010 10:01 AM

lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

Turnbull set to stay on, By Political correspondent Louise Yaxley, ABC News

Mr Turnbull's backflip is seen by some of his colleagues as a big risk, but others welcome his change of mind

http://www.abc.net.au/news/

Turnbull may contest seat at election: Business Spectator

Malcolm Turnbull may contest the next election after withdrawing his resignation from federal parliament, The Australian reports.

www.businessspectator.com.au/.../Turnbull-may-context-seat-at-election-report-pd20100501-4ZQV3

Rudd digs deep to bury his ETS  by Laurie Oakes, Herald Sun

His credibility has been seriously undermined and the label of political coward has started to stick

www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frfhqf-1225860806594

Time to Shout "I'm Tony Abbott, by Dorothy Parker, THE LOON POND

Malcolm Turnbull decides to stay on, first of all to maintain the Liberal grip on Wentworth, but also in recognition that this Spartacus might be heading for defeat, and down the track, the chalice, the preciousss ring, might still be within his grasp ...,

loonpond.blogspot.com/.../...n-and-after-post.html

The Big Catch Up, by Possum Comitatus, Crikey

Having returned from holidays (it was very relaxing, thanks for asking!), a rather large chunk of polling and betting data needs to be updated.

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../

Apocalypse BOLT,BY Ross Sharp, Groupthink

How would it have played out in the media had George Bush appealed to "whites to stand togetheronce again in the next election

http://www.groupthink.com.au/

Conviction? Clever Kevin is no Pig Iron Bob,By Chris Uhlmann, The Drum

Testing the waters inside Labor on two recent policy reversals reveals two camps: cheerleaders and the vaguely appalled.

www.abc.net.au/.../2886680.htm?site=thedrum

The Hollowmen of Australian politics, By Fran Kelly, ABC

So how then can the Opposition Leader lambast Kevin Rudd for abandoning his ETS when Tony Abbott himself is against any scheme

learningtoflirt.com/.../

Tear up the shopping list, Mr Rudd,Karen Maley, Business Spectator,

introduction of a congestion tax that would charge drivers for using clogged roads

www.businessspectator.com.au/.../Kevin-Rudd-Henry-Review-tax-super-pd20100430-4YSUF

Rego per kilometre idea hits poor hardest, By Jeremy Sear, Anymous Lefty

Problem with that idea is that richer people tend to live in inner suburbs and have much better public transport  options.

http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/

lyn

May 1. 2010 10:08 AM

lyn

Hi Gusface

[quote]Funnily most people are happy with the direction we are heading. [/quot

Yes it is funny isn't it, makes me wonder, when The Government gets re-elected this year,

will we have to suffer this ridiculous reporting for another 3 years. I suppose it will

be this: instead of Tony Abbott, Tony Abbott, Tony Abbott, it will be Malcolm Turnbull,

Malcolm Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull.

lyn

May 1. 2010 10:20 AM

lyn

Hi Ad

Sky News is is introducing their News, every 15 minutes with this:

Good Morning: "Our top story this morning is Malcolm Turnbull will be re-contesting his

seat of Wentworth"

Can anyone please tell me why is this a TOP STORY.

lyn

May 1. 2010 10:35 AM

Bushfire Bill

Today's optimistic Shanahandles, snipped out from his latest article.

You can tell Dennis is a secret admirer of Kevin Rudd and just wants him to do well, so he's offering him some constructive criticism before it's too late:


Rudd's reform push ends in political nightmare
* hostile, difficult political and economic environment.
* an atmosphere focused on short-term politics
* desperate attempt to grab at revenue
* policy and political nightmare
* danger of appearing to set up a stereotypical fight with "big mining and big tobacco"
* tax grab
* being seen as weak and gutless
* pitched everything overboard
* policy reversals
* breaking promises
* botched programs
* government in political retreat
* Prime Minister seen to lack conviction and courage
* perhaps even threatening long-term economic recovery
* quick tax grab
* Under siege for failed programs
* dumping key promises
* Rudd's capitulation to Tony Abbott
* long list of abandoned policies
* short-term tactical decisions of recent weeks
* adversely affecting the long-term strategic outlook
* is seen as weak on reform
* broken promises by the truckload
* incompetently managed billions of taxpayer funds
* a challenge that is dividing the government
* flashpoint disagreement
* ill-founded concept of slowing down the fast lane
* a Treasurer's dilemma
* on the back foot
* Prime Minister in short-term political strife


www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6zo-1225860803839

It seems Dennis' favourites, like fiasco, inept, debacle and catastrophe a having a break on the reserves bench while some new candidates like nightmare, flashpoint disagreement, capitulation and dilemma get a run around the park. Never mind, as long as the core of the team - Shanahandles like botched, incompetent, billions of taxpayer funds and tax grab - are still there to provide the basic work unit, the new boys can't get Dennis into too much trouble as he sees how they stand up to match pressure. The recently promoted duo of weak and gutless seem to be settling into their new positions as words of the day, but it is still to be seen whether they have the stamina to survive a sure-to-be gruelling season.    

If Kevin doesn't take Dennis' advice the public may have to reluctantly elect Tony Abbott, who of course has no policies (or perhaps "too many" might be a better way of putting it), prefers riding bikes and surfing the breakers to hard work, and employs intellectual pipsqueaks like Peter Dutton to look after his shadow portfolios... but at least you know where Tony stands. That's where he has it all over the weak, cowardly, inept, gutless, incompetent, hypocritical, dishonest, populist, cynical, short-sighted, capitulating, broken, unpopular and utterly incompetent Kevin Rudd who will send us broke unless he is stopped.

According to Dennis all Rudd has to go on is how he saved the economy, and his historic Health reforms... a mere bagatelle, apparently. Things like getting rid of WorkChoices don't seem to count, nor does our economic position in the highest echelon of OECD nations matter a damn. Rudd has a list of "broken" promises and Tony Abbott has his book, a rich goldmine of thought bubbles and potential thought bubbles just waiting to be mined.

Mining... that's what we do best, isn't it?

Bushfire Bill

May 1. 2010 10:59 AM

lyn

Hi Ad and Everybody

DON'T MISS GROG, FANTASTIC, BRILLIANT PIECE THIS MORNING, THANKYOU GROG

TURNBULL: HELLO GOODBYE, "You say goodbye, and I say Hello,By Grog, Grog's Gamut

he believes he should be PM. Who know maybe he would be a good one – Turnbull himself would have no doubts that he would be the best PM ever. ,

grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../...-hello-goodbye.html

lyn

May 1. 2010 11:10 AM

Bilko

Last night on Lateline Michael Kroger put the blame for everything on Kevin Rudd, mind you he did omit the Greek tragedy and basically called on the labor caucus to dump Kevin.

The ABC anchorperson did not correct him but at least the union chap Howe responded well. However it does feed into the general media malaise indicated in this article.

After the Federal Election, my prediction is still October, the libs and the msm will have their hands full sorting out a new leader and wondering where it all went wrong.

The one disease not diagnose above is acutusdenilism (AD), which can lead to a total withdrawal from current reality and eventually disorientation and a place in the funny farm something all the opposition and some journalists seam to exhibit in spades.

Bilko

May 1. 2010 11:18 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Your bylines Lyn are a great innovation.  Thanks.

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 11:27 AM

gusface

Bushfire

I bet shamamamammamaham wrote that in one sitting using only one thesaurus

;)

gusface

May 1. 2010 11:32 AM

lyn

HI AD

JUST IN ANOTHER MUST READ FOR EVERYBODY

The Week That Was, by Chris Owens, Sportolotics

Malcolm Turnbull performed the greatest turn around since Melbourne Storm’s position on the ladder last week, reigniting hope everywhere in latte sipping left but not too left small l liberals by allowing a rumour to spread about his decision to run again for Wentworth (the seat, not the unstable compulsive litigator), there was only one theme that bound all these events together – yep, Masterchef

sportowens.wordpress.com/.../

lyn

May 1. 2010 12:13 PM

gusface

I just realised that malcolms announcement is on Mayday

tres chic or just an accident of timing?

gusface

May 1. 2010 12:28 PM

Bushfire Bill

As Rupert Murdoch gets older, nastier and more isolated, so does his empire and the hacks that inhabit it.

They must be really feeling the pinch over at News. Take some recent hits from across the world... Declining readership, a persistent Labor lead in the polls, Obama having his Health bill passed, two state elections that went wrong, the Storm fiasco (yet to fully play out), the ABC getting the gig for the government's 24/7 news project, politics going belly-up in the UK... these have led to such things as the invasion of the Guardian's offices by a scion of the Murdoch clan, ever-increasing tabloidization, shriller and shriller vocabulary used by normally fairly professional columnists, negativism, invective, fake news reports and hyperbole.

It's as if the malignant Old Man, knowing his useful time at the top is almost up, is having one last push to restore the old days where he made and broke governments, set the agenda of nations and was depicted as one of America's (and hence the World's) most powerful men. As he descends into irrelevance and impotence, so does his "news" organization, which has never really been about news as such, but more about news as a pathway to naked power.

As Rudd is seen to be clearing the decks, so to is the local outpost of the Murdoch franchise. Murdoch was spawned in Australia and his final demise may well originate here too, despite his sloughing off of domestic citizenship to aid the growth of the tumour on a truly international scale.

As a result we have seen, in just the last week, the first screams of the tortured being manifested, as the cauldron of Rudd's unpredictability begins to boil. The Murdoch hacks supplied the fire, provided the cleared ground for the cooking pot, but rather than step back and watch, they made the mistake of jumping in themselves, betting that Rudd would cry mercy before they did. They don't know what's coming next, hence the attempt, starting now, to so belittle Rudd and his government with epithets, slurs and insults that by the time the Henry Review and the Budget are produced his government will have such little credibility left that they will be laughed off the stage, unheard and unappreciated.

The contagion is not confined to News, of course, but it has spread from there. Turn on a radio shock-jock station and all you can hear (between ads) is Rudd-this, Rudd-that, Rudd stuffed it up. A tag team of two spivs I listened to on Sydney's 2UE the other afternoon patiently told their audience that anyone disagreeing with Rudd must be right, as Rudd is always wrong.

But back at News we have Rudd wrecking the mining industry, the electricity industry, utterly to blame for failure in parliament, as if Abbott and the Coalition hyenas had nothing to do with voting down bill after bill. We have the language, as outlined by my post a few above, from just one Shanahan article: an egregious mixture of meaningless phrases such as "people say", "is being seen as" and "the increasing perception of" mixed with as schoolyard a collection of negatives and slanders as you're ever likely to see in any thousand words printed on the same page at the same time.

I can't remember a week where The Australian's political editor has written a major article every day, but this week was it. Full of scorn and invective, Dennis Shanahan tries to give the inmpression of a failed government, chaos at the top, internal dissention, but rather more gives equally the impression of fear: fear of what the government is going to come up with next. I don't think Dennis has a clue what's in store. Something's happening, it looks like a backdown, a clearing of the decks, but for what purpose? The water in the cooking pot is starting to boil, but who's screaming?

I think we're seeing a fight to the death. I think it's going to get a lot nastier before it gets nicer. Murdoch's drones are using much more ammunition, at a much earlier stage than they budgeted for. The barrels are running red hot. The big guns are out sooner than they were expected to be. All hands man the pumps. The object? To destroy the Budget and, through it, the government, before it becomes too obvious that the Coalition has no policies, not even a discernable, stable policy platform, with only months to go until the election.

You can only go so far with negatives. Eventually you have to show why an Opposition - one that was turfed out along with its top leadership a mere two and a half years ago - should be returned to office without any indication as to what it would do with power, or how it could possibly implement policy when none exists in any recognizable form, other than thought bubbles dreamed up by Tony Abbott when writing his book in a lonely room. The Coalition spends so much energy reacting to Rudd, wasting time trying to belittle him and his government, that they have abandoned the policy making process in favour of the siren song of the sound bite.

Relying on their mates at Murdoch outlets and Singo's grubby crew of shock jocks to make the news for them so they can whinge about it (and then have their whingeing laundered and reverse-bootstrapped into "people say") is no substitute for thinking about the issues and doing something about them in a constructive, positive manner. If the voters didn't want the relatively sane John Howard even as a member of parliament there's no way that a rational citizen, or at least a majority of them, could ever stomach the unhinged, almost demented Abbott and his pop-up, half-thought through policy brainstorms.

Just as Robert E. Lee hoped against hope for a miracle at Gettysburg, giving in to the temptation of a frontal attack against an impregnable Union centre, praying that he'd spook the enemy into surrendering, panicked by ferocity alone, so the Murdoch conserrvative forces (who else would they be working for?) are making their last goodbyes, writing letters to their loved ones and psyching themselves up for the final charge in the morning. As was Gallipoli, Pickett's Charge was a failure, a useless exercise that showed just how badly wrong a futile assault upon a wounded but clear thinking and still well functioning enemy could be.

The Coalition has little room for manoeuvre. The day is approaching. Time is running out. Their shouting and taunting is there to bolster their own courage. Some on the Labor side are shaking and nervous but, to either side of them, the government line is holding firm. A strategic withdrawl has been accomplished. The lines have been tightened, the gaps filled. Tomorrow, and into the next week, the battle will begin in earnest. The Coalition will need more than shouting and threats to win. They will need a plan, but in the heat of battle the best laid plans... and that assumes there is a plan, which there is not. There is only a hope, a wish, a fantasy of a miracle, and that's not good enough to win the coming battle, much less the war.

Bushfire Bill

May 1. 2010 12:48 PM

HS

janice,
       Thank you for including Mr Denmore's opinion from Poll Bludger, it echoes what I said above(so now I know I'm not just being paranoid!).

HS

May 1. 2010 01:06 PM

HS

  So Malcolm Turnbull has proven today, without a shadow of a doubt, that he is Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party's bitch? He has thrown out any pretension to being a moderate Liberal, and has signed onto Tony's agenda. Like a sad little junkie up in Kings Cross(that's in Wentworth, isn't it?), who makes the same sort of sad, fateful decision, upon the realisation that they are so addicted(in his case to politics and the pursuit of power), that they must now sell their soul daily out on the streets.
   Knowing what we do about this man's Achilles Heels, one for not being able to manage himself or his troops effectively, and the other for an arrogance and a hubris that seemed to know no bounds in the Godwin Grech affair, we can now add spinelessness, and lacking the courage of his convictions. Pathetic. He's not a man, he's a mouse.

HS

May 1. 2010 01:15 PM

lyn

Hi Ad and Hillbilly,

Excellent comment, pathetic, is too nice for Malcolm Turnbull.

As Grog said in his column this morning:

But we all know the reason why Turnbull is coming back – he could not stomach his picture hanging in the losers’ gallery in Old Parliament house – the corridor reserved for leaders of the opposition who never became PM. Such a circumstance would absolutely tear at him day and night.

lyn

May 1. 2010 01:25 PM

HS

lyn,
     I did not know about the 'Losers Gallery'. I would think that it is a most appropriate place for Mr Turnbull.

HS

May 1. 2010 01:29 PM

lyn

Hi Bilko

I watched Lateline last night, I thought Michael Kroger was extremely nasty.

Love your diagnose acutusdenilism.

Here is a link speaking about Lateline from Bolt on Michael Kroger's performance,

This man believes in nothing. Absolutely nothing. He’s a fraud as a prime minister

Worse than Whitlam, Michael Kroger got it said on Lateline and magnificently

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/

lyn

May 1. 2010 01:44 PM

HS

   It seems to me as though the Right Wing commentariat and the party of Tony have just decided to go all out to character assassinate the PM. If they can't win honestly then they will go about the job of getting back into power dishonestly. It would be a sad day indeed for the country were they to succeed in changing the government at the upcoming election. The nation would be forced to become as conservative and religious as America is at the moment. That would be a disaster for the country to be sent back to the Dark Ages again.

HS

May 1. 2010 01:49 PM

janice

Bushfire Bill,

They do have a plan - they're resurrecting Turnbull to stand in line for the leadership when Abbott topples Rudd.  Turnbull has come out swinging - says he withdrew his resignation because Rudd was gutless over the ETS.  No doubt the Member for Wentworth thinks enough time has elapsed for the electorate to forget about the Ute, the email and Grech.  Anyway, in sucking up to Turnbull the Libs are probably eyeing off his bankroll.

Hillbilly,

I thought you might appreciate Mr. Denmore's blog piece.  So far as Turnbull is concerned, he will do anything to get the Primeministership.  I don't think he has a hope in hell of accomplishing it, especially with the calibre of the present Liberal MPs and despite the efforts of Murdoch and the rest of the Rudd hating media.

janice

May 1. 2010 02:08 PM

Acerbic Conehead

AA, your mention of the term, ‘antediluvian’, reminded me that the drought has broken and it has been raining now for 40 days and 40 nights.  600-year-old Narky Noah Shanahan is fed up with the opinion polls consistently not going his way, so he’s built a rickety ark, so that he and his mates can, two-by-two, be saved from the deluge.  Noah is directing operations at the top of the gangplank.  The first male and female pair ready to board are Tony and Margie Abbott.
Noah: Hurry up there, Tones ffs...pulled a hammy on our last bike-ride, have we...But I like the way you’re dressed for the occasion in your speedos and surf-cap...If anyone falls overboard, we’ll know who to turn to...
[next up the gangplank are the VIP passengers, Lord and Lady Howard of Ararat, closely followed by Rupert and Wendi.  Noah welcomes them on board so obsequiously, he makes Basil Fawlty, registering a posh guest, look like Gordon Ramsay.  Then Phil Ruddock and his missus make an appearance at the bottom of the plank.  Phil, however, isn’t going any further.  With the missus trying to push him from behind, it looks like he’ll be even older than Noah by the time he makes it to the top.  Then Bob Brown and his partner show up, but the bouncers – Noah’s sons, ‘Shem’ Tuckey, ‘Ham’ Heffernan, and ‘Japheth’ Dutton – are dispatched to inform them that their presence on board would only ‘threaten’ the other guests.  Another one who didn’t make it on board, but in this case due to his own stupidity, is Glenn Milne.  He staggered up the gangplank, lost his balance, and unfortunately ended up in the drink.  So, a while later, when all the two-by-two’s are loaded aboard, Noah, after the 40 days and 40 nights of being out in the elements, is understandably getting even more narky.  He barks out orders for the gangplank to be raised.  However, a voice calling from the quayside beckons him.  It is Kev, arm-in-arm with Therese]
Kev: Hey...I say there...I’ve been observing your operation for a while now and, if you ask me, you have so many couples on board, they won’t be able to swing a sauce bottle in there...Do you want me to send Peter Garrett over to fit out your loft, so some of your passengers can attain a bit more living space?
Noah: Garrett!!  That HIS-bean!!  No way, jose...And don’t think you and your much-better-half are getting on board, four-eyes – we don’t want riff-raff like you around here...
Therese: ‘scuse me!!  I’m a very successful millionaire businesswoman, I’ll have you know...
Kev: Yeah...and with your motley crew of Barnaby the Bursar, Grechie the Communications Officer, and ‘Ay, ay, Captain’ Bosun Bishop, your banana-boat stands as much chance of staying afloat as the Titanic circumnavigating the North Pole at full speed...heh...heh...
[then, at that moment, the rain stops and, as the sun breaks through the 40-day-and-40-night-old clouds, a rainbow appears]
Kev: I don’t think that rainbow holds out much hope for you and your scurvy crew, Noah...
Noah: B...b...but, what do you mean?
Kev: Well, just direct your spy-glass at the other end of the rainbow...you won’t fail to notice my newly-completed Julia Gillard Memorial Merchant Ship...
Noah: Huh...that’s nothing to boast about, Specky...everybody knows that anything that came out of your Stimpac spin-rort-debacle-fiasco is as useful as tits on a bull...
Kev: Maybe...but at least their construction kept a lot of punters in their jobs...So it might be a while before any of them come flooding back to you...heh...heh...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0KHt8xrQkk

Acerbic Conehead

May 1. 2010 02:35 PM

lyn

Hi Ad and everybody

READ POSSUM'S TWEETS

And it was my bloody day off too

  about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

http://twitter.com/Pollytics

lyn

May 1. 2010 02:51 PM

HS

AC,
   If Glenn Milne ended up in the drink he'd be happy about that wouldn't he? Smile

HS

May 1. 2010 03:15 PM

molly

i get more surprised every day,  do they think we live on another planet and need them to let us know whats happening in our country. why dont they see that  we like Mr.. Rudd why on earth would be go running back to the lot that where there for 11 long years and did nothing. The polls tell them that any way. I just dont get it.

do  some people suffer from the tall poppy syndrome i wonder.

molly

May 1. 2010 03:19 PM

Acerbic Conehead

HS, I thought someone who pick up on the pun, lol.

Acerbic Conehead

May 1. 2010 03:30 PM

Acerbic Conehead

who = would

Acerbic Conehead

May 1. 2010 03:57 PM

lyn

Hi Molly

I think you are a new commenter on The Political Sword, Ad Astra will be pleased. We all hope you keep coming back.

why dont they see that we like Mr.. Rudd Molly well! was it 14 or million

people voted for Labor the way Tony Abbott carries on, he thinks he is going to gain all

those votes, because you see Kevin Rudd and the Government collapsed yesterday, Greg

Hunt said so.

Now Malcolm Turnbull has withdrawn his resignation today, so he can snatch the

Leadership of Abbott.  

lyn

May 1. 2010 04:05 PM

HS

I couldn't have put it better myself, and as it directly pertains to the nub of what we are discussing here now, it would probably be a good idea if we could all share in this article's wisdom:
blogs.alternet.org/.../

HS

May 1. 2010 04:09 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
What a marvellous collection of comments have arrived since last night.  The theme is clear – the MSM, particularly the Murdoch outfit, is in full assault mode against Kevin Rudd particularly, and his Government.  It is making a pre-emptive strike to render him impotent before the election campaign begins, and thereby make him ‘a oncer’, the Coalition’s ultimate objective, its holy grail.  All the signs are there.

BB’s two pieces spell out the strategy.  His dismantling of Dennis Shanahan’s latest diatribe shows the desperation in the anti-Rudd camp.  Dear old Dennis has finally cracked.  We could see it coming.  Right from when he saw John Howard about to exit, an event he Canute-like tried to deny with his desperate efforts to squeeze something positive from successive poor polls, through the agony of the Coalition defeat, through the pain of Rudd’s stratospheric popularity that defied countless predictions of ‘the end of the honeymoon’ until he finally abandoned that cliché, through Rudd’s successful negotiation of the GFC, all the time rent with anger that this upstart continued to be so popular with the people and his party so high in the polls.  Then came some heartening signs – among the thousands of projects in the BER some problems arose, as they did with the insulation programme.  A chink in Rudd’s armour appeared into which Shanas thought he might be able to drive a wedge, so he seized that opportunity with all his strength, aided by his buddies at The Oz who ran an anti-BER, anti-insulation campaign daily in its pages.  Excited by the prospect of denting Rudd’s popularity he used every mishap, every poll to show that Rudd was sliding.  If only he could accelerate that downward spiral.  

He put aside any pretence of balance and decided to go-for-broke to bring Rudd down.  His writings became more fevered.  Then along came the health reform plan that Rudd proposed to the state premiers.  If only that was a failure, Shanas could add that to his list.  But somehow if was accepted by all except one premier, and although not as originally designed, was a plan Rudd could put to the people at the election, and the polls showed the people liked it.  What a setback for Shanas, a scalp he couldn’t put on his belt.  Then he saw Rudd ‘clearing the decks’ of issues that might prove troublesome at election time – the ETS that the Coalition killed in the Senate, not helped by an inconclusive Copenhagen, the cancelled insulation programme and the pre-school centre building, and the suspension of boat people processing.  He saw several wedges he hoped the Coalition might drive between Rudd and the electorate, relegated to the back shed.  He saw the prospect of a positive boost for Rudd and the Government arising out of the Henry tax review.  His simmering anger became incandescent.  So this morning he launched into one of the most vitriolic, venomous attacks on Rudd that we have ever seen from his pen.  In a little over 1200 words, as BB has demonstrated, he packed almost 200 words into condemnatory phrases and used no less than thirty pejorative words.  That must challenge records set by Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt for unadulterated bile.

Why is his doing this?  Of course we can only surmise – only he knows, or we presume he knows what he’s doing.  In my opinion Shanahan, although blind with anger, can still see well enough that Rudd is preparing the ground for an election during which he will call most of the shots, as any incumbent usually does, one where the troublesome elements have been either neutralized or ‘put on the back burner’, where he has relatively clear air to demonstrate to the electorate what his Government has done, and contrary to the Coalition hype it has done a lot, and to unfold his plans for the economy via the Henry review, for health, for education, for industrial relations, and of course for the aged.

Just when Shanas imagined Rudd being submerged in a sea of public discontent, Rudd appears at the helm of his ship of state, adorned with his captain’s hat, going full steam ahead having jettisoned the dead weight that the Coalition had hoped desperately would slow him up.  Can you imagine Shanas rage?  The goal of sinking Rudd seemed to be tantalizingly close, only to see his ship recede over the horizon.  So like a predator seeing its prey escaping, he decides to go for broke and launch every missile he has, all at once, at the Rudd warship.  After all, what has he got to lose, except his credibility as a journalist?  If he fails, and Rudd is convincingly re-elected, as seems highly likely, what becomes of him?  How can he claw back respectability?  No doubt he will consult with Steve Lewis, who still writes his columns despite his shameful association if not complicity with the Grech affair.  He may have to accept the reality that trust and credibility are hard won but easily lost, and seldom retrieved.

BB’s take (above at 12.28 pm today) on the events of recent days in right on the mark. If you haven’t read it, please do.

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 04:23 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

another excellent must read BY POSSUM

I'll see you a coward and raise you an idiot, By Possum,Pollytics


Honest to god, the commentary around the ETS and the DD is being written by idiots

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/

lyn

May 1. 2010 04:54 PM

Ad astra reply

Bilko
That Lateline performance is one of the worst I have ever seen from Michael Kroger.  ‘Worse than Whitlam’ seems an inappropriate descriptor for it; what about ‘Worse than Wilson Tuckey’?

Whether he intended to or not, he exposed the Coalition strategy – target Rudd relentlessly.  Kill his Government by killing him.  His words were extreme.  Here’s a small dose of Kroger-bile:

Referring to the deferral of the ETS, Kroger spluttered: ”This is just another backflip from this disastrous Prime Minister who is the worst prime minister I've ever seen in this country in my lifetime - the worst and getting worse. And if he had ...

“LEIGH SALES: So you think, in your view, worse than Gough Whitlam?

“MICHAEL KROGER: Worse than Whitlam? Oh, God, much worse than Whitlam. Much worse than Whitlam. I mean, Gough Whitlam had - compared to this man, he had beliefs. I mean, he had - he opened Australia's relations with China, he had the Trade Practices Act, the Family Law Act.

“OK, he was a disaster in terms of managing the economy, but Whitlam had beliefs. There were things that he came into Parliament to do when he became Prime Minister in 1972. He was a grand figure on the Australian stage. He ended up as a disastrous Prime Minister, but at least he believed in something.

“This man believes in nothing. Absolutely nothing. He's a fraud as a prime minister. And, I'll tell you what staggers me: it staggers me that people in the Labor Party are still prepared to work with him as leader. He changes policies every day. As Paul Kelly said, this is a man without beliefs, without a narrative. What does he stand for? Nothing. Nothing.”


Later Kroger said: "Everything Kevin Rudd touches turns to disaster. This man should stop releasing policies.”

I won’t assault you with any more, but if you feel inclined to read it, here’s the transcript: www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s2887625.htm

I reproduce these excerpts here only to reinforce the proposition that I advanced above, namely that the Coalition has decided to go full-bore for Rudd before the election campaign begins, hoping to neutralize the positive moves he will undoubtedly make at that time, by killing his credibility and thereby his Government’s.  They have to do something desperate as the Coalition has virtually no policies that make any sense unless they’re are hiding them somewhere or hoping they will explode from Tony Abbott’s multiple thought bubbles; they are burdened by a lame-duck accidental leader whose ‘foot-in-mouth’ problems continue by the day; and they have a lamentably thin front bench, the luminaries of which include Joe Hockey, Peter Dutton, Christopher Pyne, and the almost invisible Julie Bishop and Andrew Robb.  What else could they do except attack Rudd and hope that will be enough?

Watch for more of this behaviour from Coalition members and the Murdoch press; listen for the actual words that Kroger uttered, words that someone as intelligent as Kroger cannot possibly believe, but ones designed in Liberal HQ for all members to spew out as often as they get the chance.  Get ready for a very dirty vicious period ahead.

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 05:45 PM

Ad astra reply

HillbillySkeleton
The immigration issue is sure to come up in the Coalition’s election armamentarium, along with population issues.  They will dog-whistle as loudly as they can, looking for the redneck vote.  A piece on that subject would be germane.

Chris
Facts are irrelevant to the Coalition if they get in the way of a damaging story.  Those who have taken any notice know that the ceiling fires per thousand homes insulated have been less under the Government insulation programme, the regulation has been better and a million homes have been insulated.  But all we hear about are the problems, of course significant but not the whole story.

With the ETS, the fact that the legislation has been blocked repeatedly in the Senate and thereby impossible to enact, is overshadowed in the media by stories of the ‘back-flip’ and ‘Rudd’s cowardice’.  Responsibility is seldom sheeted home to the obstructionist, Abbott.  Again, facts seem irrelevant.

Augustus
Welcome to the TPS family.  Please come again.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts today, the Coalition is hell-bent on a dirty, negative attack on Rudd with the purpose of discrediting him completely.  Journalists and the Coalition have never understood his modus operandi and because they can’t predict his moves they are left trying to interpret them in retrospect, and therefore inevitably put as bad an interpretation on them as they can.  As you say, he is a manager and does not act like the archetypical politician,  But he does have a very astute political brain, which is what frustrates the hell out of his opponents.

Michael
It must be disconcerting for junior journalists contemplating their careers to see the traditional MSM in such decline.  If they are smart they will connect with the New Media, where the views of the public are laid bare.

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 05:52 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

A few newspaper links, the Murdoch press are having a great time repeating, The Liberal,

Abbott, Turnbull's foul words they are using on Kevin Rudd and the Labor party.

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

government’s emissions trading scheme was ‘‘the greatest act of political gutlessness anyone has ever seen’’, Mr Turnbull added.

www.smh.com.au/.../...n-to-quit-20100501-tzqf.html

The Age, by Michael Gordon

Deconstructing Kevin: politics versus policy

another Rudd problem: his addiction to superlatives

www.theage.com.au/.../...policy-20100430-tzfy.html

Turnbull confirms he won't quit politics, attacks Rudd over ETS withdrawl ,Isabel
Hayes

I believe political leaders have to have guts and have to have courage and that is the reason I am stepping back into the fray and running again here in Wentworth

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frgczf-1225860920311

HERALD SUN, ANDREW BOLT

This man believes in nothing. Absolutely nothing. He’s a fraud as a prime minister. And, I’ll tell you what staggers me: it staggers me that people in the Labor Party are still prepared to work with him as leader. He changes policies every day. As Paul Kelly said, this is a man without beliefs, without a narrative. What does he stand for? Nothing. Nothing.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/

Bloomberg
Ex-Goldman’s Turnbull Reverses Plan to Quit Politics (Update1)  
Turnbull, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive

“without any bitterness or resentment,” Turnbull, who represents the country’s wealthiest electorate, said on April 6 when he announced his resignation.

www.bloomberg.com/.../news

THE AUSTRALIAN, DENNIS SHANAHAN
Malcolm Turnbull does a backflip on going

It is understood there is no prospect of Mr Turnbull returning to the front bench before the election, expected later this year.


It’s back to the future with Malcolm,
by Leo Shanahan

The Punch

Although Hunt’s analysis is unsurprisingly exaggerated, the Opposition can sense that they now might, just might, have a chance of throwing the Rudd Government out - and Turnbull wants in on that.

www.thepunch.com.au/.../

Bigpond News, Malcolm Turnbull welcomed

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has declined to comment on the issue so far on Saturday

bigpondnews.com/.../...med_by_OFarrell_457157.html

The Australian

Turnbull confirms he won't quit politics, attacks Rudd over ETS withdrawl ,Isabel Hayes

He is a very serious and substantial person,'' Mr Abbott told reporters in Sydney today. "I am very pleased he is going to stay in the parliament after the next election.

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frgczf-1225860920311

Herald Sun 4.22pm
the former Liberal leader has "star power" and will be offered a senior role in the party after the election

www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-e6frf7jx-1225860964152

Sydney Morning Herald
Turnbull reverses decision to quit
May 1, 2010 - 4:07PM

Mr Turnbull said, describing Mr Rudd’s decision as ‘‘the greatest act of political gutlessness anyone has ever seen’’

www.smh.com.au/.../...n-to-quit-20100501-tzqf.html




lyn

May 1. 2010 05:56 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

One dud link up there, as soon as I see that "rel do not follow" go up

I know it is broken

Never mind here it is again.

The Australian

Turnbull confirms he won't quit politics, attacks Rudd over ETS withdrawl ,Isabel Hayes

He is a very serious and substantial person,'' Mr Abbott told reporters in Sydney today. "I am very pleased he is going to stay in the parliament after the next election.

www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frgczf-1225860920311

lyn

May 1. 2010 06:03 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Sorry missed the other no follow up the top.


Sydney Morning Herald
Turnbull reverses decision to quit
May 1, 2010 - 4:07PM
government’s emissions trading scheme was ‘‘the greatest act of political gutlessness anyone has ever seen’’, Mr Turnbull added.

www.smh.com.au/.../...n-to-quit-20100501-tzqf.html



lyn

May 1. 2010 06:12 PM

Ad astra reply

HillbillySkeleton
The piece to which you referred us is so penetratingly valid that I’ve reproduced it below for all to see:

” The Unfair Fight – Truth v Opinion, by Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney, AlterNet 30 April 2010 blogs.alternet.org/.../

[i]“Truth and opinion are constantly battling each other for acceptance and the battle is often fought within the context of a zero-sum game. The problem is most humans confuse the one for the other. In fact it is that phenomenon that is the source of much of human misery. Voltaire, the French philosopher once stated, “Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes” (Brainy Quote).

“Truth moves in tandem with fact, but opinion is the one that often masquerades as either. Truth and fact can be elusive, even evasive. Thus, the valid is often difficult to identify or acknowledge and so when presented with an issue, one must sort out, collate and present as is – in all its naked glory – what is fact or truth and what is opinion. Humans often find this task to be daunting and demanding.

“As a matter of course, humans prefer opinion over fact or truth because opinion often does not tax the mind but rather sedates it. Fact and truth are exacting taskmasters whereas opinion often requires mindless compliance, which is the course of least resistance. Once opinion is introduced into the equation, the answers are often the same: Wrong! This is starkly evident in science, religion, politics and all the other realms of the human experience. Opinion has the advantage over truth because humans, as a matter of course, have demonstrated a proclivity for choosing the shiny rock rather than the diamond in the rough.

“Truth and fact are worthy of relentless pursuit, and sometimes they may even take on a fugitive-like stature, but opinion should be slaughtered at every turn – except where it is openly acknowledged that opinion and not fact or truth is at play. When the man called Jesus spoke of truth to Pontius Pilate, Pilate quipped, “What is truth?” He was never given an answer. The philosopher, Diogenes is said to have walked the streets in broad daylight while holding a lantern. When asked why, he is reported to have said he was searching for an honest man. May we all do likewise – searching for facts or truth, and along the way, give no more power to opinion than what it deserves so as to ensure that the fight between the two is fair”

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 06:20 PM

Ad astra reply

Molly
Welcome to the TPS family. We hope you will return.

It won’t be long before the electorate will decide if it wants to go back to the Howard era or further back, because that’s what they will get with Tony Abbott and his paper-thin frontbench.  Despite all the MSM hype the people have more sense than to go back that far.

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 07:38 PM

Ad astra reply

LYN's DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 08:17 PM

Daisey May

As the phoenix rises from the ashes to have another bash at being the clown prince of the Liberal Party, I allowed myself a little smile. Truffles claims to be running for Wentworth again because of the encouragement and support he has recieved from members of the Libs, constituents and business leaders. This is probably true but this little troika of hypnotic suggestion is not the main reason for Mal to run again, heaven forfend. It's big bad Kev and his 'cowardly' backflip over the ETS that forced him to hurl the foi gras to the floor and take up manly arms against him. Friends in low places reliably inform me however that internal Liberal party polling has shown that Mr Abbott is a total disaster not just with the swingers but with the big end of town and moves are afoot to oust him. The story doing the rounds is that Turnbull is being prepared to take the reins after Abbott loses the election and fulfills his deathwish to become "political roadkill". Apparently Abbott knew all along he was going to lose and only put his hand up after a big carrot was dangled. Hockey has 3 young kids and has no support. Dutton, Andrews, Robb and all the other has beens have no chance so they are stuck with Truffles. People close to Turnbull have said "hang in till Abbott loses and then finish him off". We indeed live in interesting times.

Daisey May

May 1. 2010 08:23 PM

HS

Lib source on Turnbull: 'After remission, the cancer is back.'
from LatikaMBourke's Twitter feed. Smile

HS

May 1. 2010 08:38 PM

gusface

HS

my bet is BEFORE the election

gusface

May 1. 2010 08:49 PM

lyn

Hi Hillbilly and Gusface

Me too

lyn

May 1. 2010 08:53 PM

Ad astra reply

Daisey May
Your friends in high places are spot on.  How could Abbott be regarded as anything other than a disaster; only by his pathetic front bench could come close to equalling him.

gusface
Now that would be interesting.

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 08:53 PM

gusface

ps BB lyn Ad HS

it might be a good idea to add this website to your tag

ie the same as clicking on gusface links to my twitter site

It would help people to get to this site easier

kthnxbai

gusface

May 1. 2010 08:56 PM

gusface

pps

Sorry i see clicking on Ad's does take you back to this site.

gusface

May 1. 2010 09:00 PM

Ad astra reply

HS
What an interesting turn of events.  If the Liberals think Turnbull is a recurrent cancer, will he metastasize into Abbott's domain?  How long before he strikes?

Folks
Off for the rest of the evening.

Ad astra reply

May 1. 2010 09:42 PM

Daisey May

Having just read Chris Uhlmanns' latest article and the comments that followed I'm keen to cuddle up to a theory I have been nursing for a while. The people who comment about politics in this country are 30 plus (generally and I'm being kind here)and none of the big media outlets seem to be blooding anyone with any talent or acumen when It comes to political coverage. I love Annabell Crabb even though she is probably age group borderline(sorry AC) and is currently laid up with a rug-rat but who else is there?? Ari Sharp writes well but Virginia Trioli treats him like a rubberless virgin on their chats on ABC2. Mellissa Clarke has great potential but has the most annoying habit of not saying thank you after an interview with Joe and Virg (does anyone else find this annoying?) Can other posters think of younger and sharper posters coming through?? The journos that are hanging around like bad smells need to go and the sooner Unkie Rupes introduces paywalls the better. The older ones hate Rudd because he robs them of sleep and makes them work. They are lazy and they file slop instead of informed debate. This is why we get anger and pure hatred masquerading as reporting. It's not Rudd that needs to hang his head but the lard arsed journos' who have grown fat on their own illusory reputations. More fool them.

Daisey May

May 1. 2010 10:20 PM

HS

Daisey May,
           Misha Shubert, Leo Shanahan, David Penberthy, David Speers, LatikaMBourke, ...
I'm not saying they're quality young journalists, just that they're young.

HS

May 1. 2010 10:39 PM

lyn

Hi Daisey May and Hillbilly Skeleton

Lenore Taylor, Peter van Onselen, Fran Kelly, Leigh Sales, Chris Uhlmann,Kerrin Gilbert,

Karen Middleton, Helen McCabe,

As you say Hillbilly, just young.  

lyn

May 1. 2010 10:50 PM

Canbra Dave

After reading through this article,

www.thepunch.com.au/.../

I can't help but think that it it illustrates Ad Astra's article perfectly. The saddest thing about it though are the comments. In the whole column attacking Rudd Penberthy only notes once that Abbott calling Rudd a coward for dumping the ETS is opportunism since he was the one that prevented Rudd getting the ETS through in the first place. Some of the readers then attack him for calling Abbott an opportunist. Imagine the outroar there would be if they wrote a piece supporting Rudd and attacking Abbott.

Canbra Dave

May 1. 2010 11:16 PM

lyn

Hi Canbra Dave

David Penberthy on the Punch is a Murdoch writer.

The Punch belongs to the Murdoch, The Australian, Tony Abbott voters.

Under Abbott there is obviously no way that the Opposition would ever vote for Rudd’s ETS. And without the support of independents in the Senate, I am not sure what Kevin Rudd is meant to do to implement the policy – perhaps turn up every day Parliament sits calling a fresh vote on a bill that he knows is doomed to fail?

David Penberthy has only written his piece to invite contradiction, the commenters know the site is set up by Murdoch.

Don't get sad it's a set up

lyn

May 1. 2010 11:28 PM

HS

Lyn,
    You're correct in your parsing of the Penbo demographic. You'd only go there to read his tripe because you could guarantee what you were going to be served up. Why bother otherwise?
   You know what I find funny about the Murdoch made men? They think that if they drown out all other voices then the 'weight' of their opinions will prevail.
  Actually, what would be information gold would be the number of hits that each Murdoch journalistic lackey gets on the Internet. News Ltd. would have the data, but you can be sure that it is under lock and key, and harder to get access to than Fort Knox. As we all know, if the numbers were low these journalists' legitimacy and authoritative voice would be diminished.

HS

May 1. 2010 11:31 PM

HS

Henry Tax Review Day tomorrow!
Yeah, Kevin Rudd is just a 'do nothing Prime Minister', huh?

HS

May 1. 2010 11:45 PM

Canbra Dave

It will be interesting to see which angle the Murdoch press try to spin the government response to the Henry Review. Early reports say that it will lead to improvements for small businesses and increased taxes for mining companies. Somehow I find it hard how anyone could spin increased taxes on mining companies that are taking the very wealth from our soil and walking off with tens of billions of dollars as a bad thing, but I'm sure some enterprising Oz columnist will give it a good shot.

Canbra Dave

May 1. 2010 11:49 PM

lyn

Hi Hillbilly

Actually, what would be information gold would be the number of hits that each Murdoch journalistic lackey gets on the Internet. News Ltd. would have the data, but you can be sure that it is under lock and key

They would be watching us on , The political Sword, just like the Obama admistration is'

watching, collecting all comments from , Facebook, twitter, you tube, my space.

Henry Tax review , just watch what the silly Liberals say and write, along with the MSM,

meaning Murdoch Writers and speakers, David Speers, Dennis Shanahan in particular, what

a hoot.

They think we are stupid.

lyn

May 2. 2010 07:58 AM

HS

'They think we are stupid.'
lyn, they also think we don't have a mind of our own.

HS

May 2. 2010 08:03 AM

HS

I see Channel 9 has given Tony Abbott a free kick already wrt the Henry Tax Review, putting a grab of him saying, "Henry is cover for Tax increases", on their high rotation ad for their analysis today.
  Might I just make the not to subtle point that neither Channel 9 promo editors who made the ad up, nor Mr Abbott, have yet seen it, so how would they know with that amount of certainty what the consequences of the Henry Review will be?

HS

May 2. 2010 10:16 AM

jayne

Hi folks,you are doing such a good job with this site rarely do I feel the need to add anything extra.Some of you really do have a way with words. I unfortunately do not have that gift.I have been thinking now for some time how different the ABC would be if lateline , 7.30 report etc had a facts checking section like on The Rachael Maddows Show.Guests knowing that what ever bs they are spouting will be put under the microscope and exposed the following night may be more inclined to be factual. With that, maybe the level of political discourse from the msm in this country might be elevated from the very low level it is operating at now.  

jayne

May 2. 2010 10:40 AM

lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

As useful as tits on a (Turn)bull?, Chris Owens, Sportolotics

lets not forget that as leader of the Opposition, he was mostly a train wreck. Sure, the left loved it when he stuck it up
Alan Jones Alan Jones  

sportowens.wordpress.com/.../

Turnbull to stay in Parliament, by Mark, Larvatus Prodeo

Responses to “Turnbull to stay in Parliament”

larvatusprodeo.net/.../

Malcolm's Back!....Joy,by Matthew Hatton,The Rant-O=Matic

can you really see Malcolm returning to the fold and not wanting the top job

http://matthewhatton.id.au/?p=561

Kings Cross View, Malcolm in the middle

Malcolm a rush of blood to the head?

kingscrossdoc.blogspot.com/.../...m-in-middle.html


The failure of Rudd's ETS strangely - does not vindicate the deniers, Watchingthe Deniers

Murdoch papers such as the Herald Sun and The Australian have swiftly denounced the “fat cats” in government

watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/.../

Malcolm Turnbull to recontest Wentworth, BY MALCOLM TURNBULL

The Rudd Government has shown itself to lack both competence and commitment. Its financial mismanagement surpasses even the recklessness of the Whitlam years

www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/.../

Christopher Joye's concrete detail blog

He's Back Some thoughts on Malcolm Turnbull staying.

I think we are currently well served by a government that is committed to making solid policy subject to the profound constraints imposed by a democratic system ,,

christopherjoye.blogspot.com/.../...n-malcolm.html

Australian Conservative,Trouble with a capital “T”: Turnbull to stay

As John Stone wrote, ‘He who wins Wentworth does not win Australia’

australianconservative.com/.../trouble-with-a-capital-“t”-turnbull-to-stay/

Oh, God, please, stop him, someone stop him – Michael Kroger on Rudd

australianconservative.com/.../oh-god-please-stop-him-someone-stop-him-–-kroger-on-rudd/

The CPRS is dead, by Matthew Lee,The thewetmale Institute,

Realistically, without the support of the Liberal party, there is no way for the government to pass it’s legislation through the current Senate.

thewetmale.wordpress.com/.../#comment-74

There are lessons for Rudd in our forgotten , by Richard Ackland, National Times

But don't you just wish Rudd had the balls to call the bluff of Abbott and his wreckers?

www.nationaltimes.com.au/.../...20100429-twcf.html

Henry Tax Review Review, by Reb, Gutter trash

The much anticipated Ken Henry Tax Review is due to be released today, and in tradtional form, much of it has already been leaked to the media

guttertrash.wordpress.com/.../

Piers Akerman, the perfidious Chairman Rudd, and the pleasure of hypnotised chookes, by Dorothy Parker, Loon Pond.

if Tony Abbott's sullen response on camera to the news is any guide, things might turn a little ugly down the track.,,

loonpond.blogspot.com/.../...us-chairman-rudd.html




lyn

May 2. 2010 12:02 PM

Rewi

Hi folks,

Sorry to backtrack a little, but the comments on Hillbilly Skeleton's piece are closed.

I'm just wondering, given his reflections on the international conservative movement to devolve government, what he makes/made of the opinion piece in yesterday's Weekend Australian regarding online community policing? It was apparently awarded some sort of honour by the Australian Fabians. I don't have the paper with me at the moment, but it was by Andrew somebody. Sorry, can't be much more help than that immediately.

And, in acknowledgement that I don't hand them out often enough, a bouquet to Political Sword contributors for yet more great critique of our political commentators and journalists. Today's selection features Chinese lilies, I fancy.

Thanks,

Rewi

Rewi

May 2. 2010 12:06 PM

HS

Rewi,
      Thank you for your comment. Smile
I'm sure our super sleuth, lyn, will track down that article you spoke about.
Btw, it's a pity we don't have Smell-O-Vision, those Chinese lilies sound magnificent!

HS

May 2. 2010 12:23 PM

vote1maxine

BB @ May 1. 2010 12:28 PM

Another great post, one of your best imho. I particularly liked the the Gettysburg analogy which I like to take further to illustrate what I believe/hope may occur after the election.(Assuming the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate and there is a consensus for action at the Mexico City Climate Conference in November)
I see Kevin Rudd as Major Gen. Joshua Chamberlain (the nerdy college professor),Little Round Top representing the issue of the ETS, Abbott as the confederate Col. William Oates and 15th Alabama Infantry regiment as Murdoch's News Ltd.

Far from  burying the ETS, the "back flipping" Rudd will use the ETS to bayonet Abbott and the coalition once and for all. The ETS will be revived, stronger than before with the Greens input and the denalists will rue the day that they rejected the compromised ETS as agreed with Turnbull. I believe that Rudd is a man of moral integrity and that when he CC said the greatest moral issue of our time he will act on it. He has only made a temporary strategic withdrawal.

For those not familiar with  Chamberlains role in Gettysburg:

[On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Union forces were recovering from initial defeats and hastily regrouping into defensive positions on a line of hills south of the town. Sensing the momentary vulnerability of the Union forces, the Confederates began an attack against the Union left flank. Sent to defend the southern slope of Little Round Top by Col. Strong Vincent, Chamberlain found himself and the 20th Maine at the far left end of the entire Union line. He quickly understood the strategic significance of the small hill, and the need for the 20th Maine to hold the Union left at all costs. The men from Maine waited until troops from the 15th Alabama Infantry regiment, under Col. William C. Oates, charged up the hill, attempting to flank the Union position. Time and time again the Confederates struck, until the 20th Maine was almost doubled back upon itself. With many casualties and ammunition running low, Col. Chamberlain recognized the dire circumstances and ordered his left wing (which was now looking southeast, compared to the rest of the regiment, which was facing west) to initiate a bayonet charge. From his report of the day: "At that crisis, I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough."

The 20th Maine charged down the hill, with the left wing wheeling continually to make the charging line swing like a hinge, thus creating a simultaneous frontal assault and flanking maneuver, capturing many of the Confederate soldiers and successfully saving the flank. Chamberlain sustained two slight wounds in the battle...]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Chamberlain

vote1maxine

May 2. 2010 12:26 PM

BH

Jayne.   What is the Rachel Maddox Show.  Sounds like a top idea to me to have this done on the ABC.

Thanks AA for your insights on old media.  They will fast have to rethink their attitudes to survive.   Apart from Lyn's links and those on PB which sound interesting I rarely look at their sites.  

BH

May 2. 2010 12:50 PM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Since Lyn is now adding short excerpts from most articles, I am now placing these in italics under the article title and author and above the link.  Thanks Lyn for this additional pointer to the substance of the article.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 01:20 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

I am pleased excerpts help Ad, it helps me with filing and checking back, so avoiding

duplication.

Would help our commenters as well, because then they can, say Oh I'm not reading  that

or vise versa.

If you think some of the excerpts are to long let me know

Ad Check your inbox I just sent you an email.

lyn

May 2. 2010 01:54 PM

bilgedigger

An interesting article on journalism depicting journalists as either cold or warm can be found on http://inside.org.au/ which is a great site for solid stories.   The article referred to relates to the Russion journalist Anna Politkovskaya who was assassinated a few years ago, it was alleged as a result of her pursuit of truth in journalism.  There is also a reference on there to the Dart Centre of Journalism which is in the United States and one that frequently displays what we would hope journalists would aspire to.

On the home front there is apparently news today that Nick Minchin will step down as Leader of the Liberals in the Senate on Monday.  If this is true this is really good news as far as I am concerned.  My concern of course would be in who is to replace him.  Eric Abetz or George Brandis?  It may be some indication of current swings within the Liberals after the return of the prodigal son.

bilgedigger

May 2. 2010 01:55 PM

Michael

Peter van Onselen may be young, but that's no excuse for the sort of tosh he was 'on-selling' for the Libs in The Australian yesterday. (He was also channeling Michael Kroger I have since discovered. Quelle surprise.) www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6zo-1225860818596

I could only respond to the PvO folderol with this (unpublished as yet in the Australian - quelle surprise deux):

What a ridiculous fellow you are? There are "only two explanations"? The only two you could come with up, maybe. But from reading the rest of this nonsense, I'm surprised you could even fashion one. When intellectually short-changed media commentators quit falling for the easy pick-up of the Opposition's pejorative and hypocritical vocabulary, we might get some political realism in this country. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, 'political' journalists all too easily disparage what they would never step up to do. Rather cowardly so, too.

Michael

May 2. 2010 02:03 PM

Bushfire Bill

V1Mx... I hadn't thought of Rudd as Chamberlain, but it's a suitable analogy.

For Rudd to take Coalition and media advice and die in a ditch over the ETS would only equalize the forces, in effect giving the Coalition a boost.

To return to the Pickett's Charge analogy, it's as if the South was expecting the Union forces to abandon their stone wall defences, leave their artillery unused, come down from their higher ground and rush forward, man-to-man style, there to do battle against the Southerners with small arms, bayonets and even bare knuckles in the middle of the Gettysburg field.

Wisely, the Union forces stayed in their defensive positions and laid into the advancing Southerners with everything they had - grapeshot, heavy artillery, muskets. It was only the very few Southerners who made it alive across the one mile of open ground that had to be engaged hand-to-hand.

Abbott's Army has only crazy-brave courage and pugnaciousness, plus very little ammunition and limited artillery to back them up. They have wasted a lot of time trying for the quick kill, to no success. As for strategy, well, charging front-on ain't much of one. If Rudd played their game he would be foolish. Better to sit back, wait for the Coalition to come to him and spend their energy with rebel yells and a'whoopin' and a'hollerin, only to be mown down when in range. It's not pretty, but it wins wars.

Bushfire Bill

May 2. 2010 02:05 PM

lyn

Hi Bilgedigger,

Thankyou for the information Nick Minchin, you are absolutely correct.

Let the in-fighting beginLiberals' Nick Minchin to exit politics
May 2, 2010 - 12:44PM

speculation his conservative ally Eric Abetz - currently the opposition's deputy Senate leader - will succeed him.

news.smh.com.au/.../...politics-20100502-u0ty.html

lyn

May 2. 2010 02:14 PM

Bushfire Bill

Michael, from that PvO article:

It is easy to forget just how contentious the universal healthcare policy Whitlam proposed was at the time. It was radical, far more so than the idea of a cap-and-trade system to deal with carbon emissions. Liberals opposed Medicare in one form or another right up until 1995, when John Howard guaranteed not to wind it back. It is only since then that it has received bipartisan support.

Especially easy to forget for PvO, Lib tosser with delusions of possessing grand political wisdom... van Onselen wasn't born until 1976, 2 years after the Medicare legislation was passed, so he couldn't forget it, because he wasn't alive to remember it in the first place!

Bushfire Bill

May 2. 2010 02:31 PM

lyn

Hi Ad and Bilgedigger

The Minchin fighting has been on since Thursday it seems.

Tony Abbott is backing Brandis, there are 3 or 4 others wanting Minchins job.

Here it is

National Times, LATIKA BOURKE
Machiavellian manoeuvres in Senate battle

there is a real fight for the deputy position, which is being contested by up to four senators.

www.smh.com.au/.../...te-battle-20100429-tu1j.html


lyn

May 2. 2010 02:43 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn
Reply to your email sent.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 02:48 PM

lyn

On Ya Ad

lyn

May 2. 2010 03:04 PM

Ad astra reply

Daisey May
I guess most of the younger well-known journalists would be approaching middle age.  Maybe that level of maturity is needed for sound journalism.  My favourites are George Megalogenis, Laura Tingle, Lenore Taylor, Misha Schubert, Karen Middleton, Leigh Sales and Mike Steketee.  They exhibit laudable balance in their comments.  I don’t get the feeling listening to/reading them that they lean much to one side or the other.

My gripe with many journalists is their incapacity or unwillingness to separate fact and opinion, so that readers/listeners are never quite certain which is which.  HillbillySkeleton’s link to the article on AlterNet yesterday succinctly explores this issue; it’s worth reading again and again: The Unfair Fight – Truth vs Opinion blogs.alternet.org/.../

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 03:14 PM

Ad astra reply

jayne
Thank you for your kind comments, and if this is your first visit to the TPS family, welcome.  Please come again.

The idea behind the Rachael Maddox Show sounds great.  On what outlet does this show feature?

Journalists are very fond of ‘calling others to account’ in their arrogantly judgemental way, but resent being called to account themselves.  I would like to set up a regular dissection of outrageous articles such as BB did so forensically to Dennis Shanahan’s article yesterday.

Any suggestions about how we could go about that?


Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 03:38 PM

Ad astra reply

BH
Thank you for you kind comments.  I too enjoy reading PB which addresses such a variety of topics.  Like you, I like the Rachael Maddox concept.

bilgedigger
The article on Inside Story: What it means to be a real journalist give an interesting contrast between hot head and cold head journalism. inside.org.au/.../

The following paragraph particularly caught my attention: "When we talk about the importance of cold heads in journalism it might look like we are taking journalism seriously, with cold heads standing in for impartiality, ethics and all the crucial checks and balances. Yet journalists are not diplomats and neither are they bureaucrats, they have (or should have) an altogether different function. Taking the job of a journalist seriously means that we recognise that sometimes journalists...have to do everything – whisper, shout, analyse, throw hand grenades at their readers, whatever it takes to make something invisible visible, to push the weight of their stories through the walls of apathy and cynicism. Politkovskaya [assassinated in Russia four years ago] took her job seriously – in fact, as seriously as it could ever be taken. She left us with some of the true jewels of hot-headed journalism, works that for a moment seem to suspend all boundaries between people in her stories and us, her readers."

Whether the journalist is hot headed or cold headed, what I look for is verifiable fact clearly separated from the journalist’s opinion, as spelt out so clearly in HS’s AlterNet link The Unfair Fight – Truth vs Opinion. blogs.alternet.org/.../

It is the blurring of the boundaries between the two that I find so pernicious.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 03:55 PM

Ad astra reply

Michael
Among some balanced articles, Peter van Onselen occasionally succumbs to the bootstrapping to which News Limited journalists are so prone.  That was a particularly nasty piece in which so junior a journalist set himself up as judge and jury to give his verdict on Kevin Rudd.  As you say he was channelling Michael Kroger’s outburst on Lateline on Friday.  This is straight out of Liberal Party HQ media briefs. As I mentioned yesterday we will see this tirade repeated endlessly, substituting as it does for Coalition policy with which Government policy could be compared.  Living in a policy-free zone means that all you have in your armoury is to attack the man, his personality, his motives, his record (in the most disingenuous way), and hope the people will believe.  The people are not so easily deceived.

Expect that even after the Henry Tax Review changes are explained, no matter how good they are, no matter how substantial and laudable the reform, the Coalition will label Rudd as ‘gutless’, ‘lacking in courage’ and ‘fearful of making big decisions’, and the reforms as another ‘Great Big Tax Grab’.  To them facts are irrelevant – slogans are all that count.  Check it out.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 04:09 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn
Your link to the SMH article Liberals' Nick Minchin to exit politics news.smh.com.au/.../...politics-20100502-u0ty.html points to just the beginning of the infighting and the struggle between liberal and conservative elements in the Liberal Party.  With Malcolm now back in the middle, we can expect tension there too.  Already Tony Abbott has said he won’t give him a front bench position, which will not please someone as ambitious as Turnbull, and Kevin Rudd propelled the cat towards the pigeons when he welcomed Malcolm back and said: ‘If and when he resumes leadership of the Liberal Party there would be a chance to revisit the ETS to get bipartisan support for it’.  That statement alone will send angry and perhaps apprehensive tremors through the Coalition.   Clever politics!

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 04:15 PM

lyn

Hi Rewi

Thankyou for posting a link to The Political Sword on your Blogg site, Ad Astra wi8ll be pleased.

Somehow I have missed your comment at 12.02pm and Hillbilly's reply.

I have found this piece in The Australian for you

Snare villains in local networks , Tim Watts, The Australian

Despite the media's simplistic crime-and-punishment approach to criminology, recent gains in crime prevention have been achieved through community policing
www.theaustralian.com.au/.../story-e6frg6zo-1225860815866

Rewi I have been checking your blogg fairly frequently, to include in today's links,

depending on your topic, the latest article you have written is excellent

Australian Realism and the ANGLOSPERE, BY REWI lYALL

A couple of writers who go by the names of Ad Astra and Bushfire Bill, who I find altogether enjoyable to read, have very good lines going in critical analysis of the editorial slant of the Australian pertaining to the domestic political scene. Often I don’t much feel like writing about current Australian political issues simply because there’s such a lot of commentary about that I think’s pretty good. Check out these guys in particular on The Political Sword.

http://oqurum.com/

lyn

May 2. 2010 04:16 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
For those who might have missed the Henry Tax Review changes, ABC News has them summarized at www.abc.net.au/.../2888088.htm?site=news and updated regularly.  You will see that already, predictably, the comments are knocking the changes.  ABC Radio's PM team will bring a full analysis of the tax review in a special presentation streamed live from 5:00pm AEST. You can also listen in on News Radio.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 04:19 PM

gusface

Ad

nice way to clear the way for the budget sweeteners.I think we will see a 'rolling review" process from now on

i think today is the beginning as opposed to the end as regards tax reform

gusface

May 2. 2010 04:22 PM

Rewi

Thanks Lyn, yes that's the article I mean.

Rewi

May 2. 2010 04:26 PM

Ad astra reply

Canbra Dave
Another News Limited article, what else should we expect.  Again, channelling Michael Kroger and Liberal Party HQ lines.  The paragraph: ” The importance of climate change in defining Rudd’s Kevin07 persona cannot be overstated. Along with broadband – which itself looks distant and almost illusory through its handling by Rudd in government - climate change was central to Kevin Rudd’s very being in the lead-up to the 2007 poll. And now it is as good as gone.” shows how arrogantly David Penberthy extrapolates.  In one paragraph he has contemptuously wiped off the political map the NBN and the ETS.  Would he have a clue about these two matters?  No, so he just makes it up in typical News Limited bootstrapping style.  No evidence, no facts, just Penberthy’s expert opinion born of countless years of journalism.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 04:35 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Can you go back up to my comment at 4.15pm, tell me what you think

lyn

May 2. 2010 06:18 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn
Sorry I missed your 4.15 comment.  It's a great compliment that Rewi Lyall is so complimentry about TPS and BB and myself.  I will add his blog site to Blog watcg on TPS.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 06:26 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Thankyou for your reply, don't worry I miss them too, it depends on the refreshing, or where we are up too.

Rewi gave the Political Sword a wonderful compliment.

Ad excellent, Riwi is on the Political Sword's blog watch Blog watch.

lyn

May 2. 2010 06:41 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

GROGS WONDERFUL PIECE, AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN,  THE HENRY TAX REVIEW

Thankyou Grog, wonder why, you don't ask Ad if you could write a piece for us on The Political Sword.

Oh Henry! The Tax Review that's a bit chewy, by Grog GROG'S GAMUT

What I’m interested in is that these journalists have had four hours to go through a 1000 odd pages (or at least the executive summary if they are lazy!) and then write a story to be filed as soon as possible.


http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/


lyn

May 2. 2010 07:28 PM

Ad astra reply

Lyn
Another timely summary by Grog.  He's a great asset to the political blogosphere.  He seems always to ahead of the pack.

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 07:38 PM

Ad astra reply

Rewi
Many thanks for your kind comments about The Political Sword and your complimentary words about BB and myself on your website.

I have added your website Rewi Lyall at the foot of Blog Watch on TPS under Social and economics blogspots www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Blog-Watch.aspx

Ad astra reply

May 2. 2010 09:33 PM

HS

...And I appear to be constantly running to stand still!
  Sorry I haven't been able to contribute to this lively discussion. My day was spent, in the morning on someone's sunny balcony, then the afternoon up to my arms in children's assignments, and working on my next thought bubble. Smile

HS

May 2. 2010 10:06 PM

lyn

Hi Hillbilly

You're a marvel, to even make time to write such informative pieces and comments

You are very much appreciated here.

It is hard  with children, I had three under three, first a little girl, then three years later twins a boy and a girl.

I worked part time when they were little, relying on my Mum, there were no child care centres, no baby bonuses, no maternity leave. Later Corporate for Telecom, turned Telstra 10 years before I resigned.

But you know the hardest years were when they were all teenagers at once.

Never mind there is light at the end of tunnel, the three of my babies  are all very successful in their chosen paths, they did not qualify for the Governments $900.00
I get pleasure out of that.

Keep up your good work.

Cheers





lyn

May 2. 2010 10:21 PM

Grog

[Thankyou Grog, wonder why, you don't ask Ad if you could write a piece for us on The Political Sword. ]

Cheers, but I'll leave TPS to the wonderful hands and minds of Ad A, BB and Hillbilly. Were I to write a post on someone else's blog I would feel far too much pressure to write something worthy! And after all if I wrote a post here you couldn't link it! Smile

And to shill my blog a bit more - I wrote another quick one tonight on Liberal Party Logic:
grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../...al-party-logic.html

Grog

May 2. 2010 10:36 PM

lyn

Hi Grog

That is so true, I do get so much pleasure out of linking your blog,It is SO obvious to everyone, even Bushfire Bill knows, he beat me TO YOUR PIECE once remember,  I ENJOY HIS PIECES TOO.

I have reading your tweets. http://twitter.com/GrogsGamut

Henry Review and Liberal Paty Logic, by Grog, GROG'S GAMUT

In effect Abbott is complaining that Rudd is not implementing recommendations that Abbott opposes, because Abbott wants to be able to oppose Rudd for implementing the recommendations.

http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

lyn

May 2. 2010 11:00 PM

Daisey May

A curious exhortation from George Megalogenis online in Saturdays' OZ to buy the printed version to a blogger has been echoed today by Dennis Atkins in the Courier Mail. I love GM but the comments that followed his online suggestion were met with the sort of scorn and derision that give me goosebumps. The CM invites those who are interested in what DA has to say to buy Mondays' print version. Call me cynical but is this the paywall toe in the water from Murdoch? Getting the actual journos to beg for their supper?? If I'm correct then this is both good and bad. Bad for the more balanced and intelligent journos and sadly good for the rabid nutjobs who think it is quite OK to inflame the unhinged and hateful amoung us who nearly always prefer a bloody fight to a peaceful outcome. In a Simpsons episode (ironically owned by Nosferatu) where Monty Burns is having his portrait displayed in a gallery a patron says "I like this. It says "He is evil but he will die". No guessing as to who the creators were really refering to. I was hoping that the paywalls would destroy the really pathetic hacks in this country but I'm beginning to realise that it will be bad for those few left in the Murdoch gulag who are actually good at what they do. The yapping poodles who have always harkened to his masters voice will not only keep pumping out the bile but will redouble their efforts in order to hang on to their jobs. I think the latest round of over the top reporting is evidence enough of the panic running through the Murdoch camp. The sun is setting on the empire and the fading light being thrown is like one of those paintings by Goya. Lots of gnashing and gnarling of teeth with hellish screams and squealing. I wish they hadn't chosen to go down swinging as it just adds to the vulgar poignancy of the situation. Perhaps the better journos will find employment somewhere more sympathetic to their outpourings. The Blogosphere perhaps??

Daisey May

May 2. 2010 11:08 PM

gusface

Daisey

i imagine rupe has dreams of guernican proportions evrytime he thinks of the paywall

The key to paid content is so simple but I aint divulging it for all the tea in china

gusface

May 2. 2010 11:30 PM

lyn

Hi Gusface

I have been reading your tweets too, I notice you have 209 followers, good work, good on you.  Get the message out.

I know You would have read Grog's blogg,

  http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

In effect Abbott is complaining that Rudd is not implementing recommendations that Abbott opposes, because Abbott wants to be able to oppose Rudd for implementing the recommendations.

Love your Gravatar.

What would anyone sane person, say about Tony Abbott: go figure





lyn

May 2. 2010 11:43 PM

Daisey May

Lol. I wish you would Gus as I need a bit of a giggle. All the bile is being curiously heaped on Rudds' head but not the broader target of the ALP. The MSN despite all the evidence to the contrary are determined to show the ALP just who is in control and have no compunction in avoiding the truth to prosecute their case. What to do?? Not much can be done to stop the farce but the spineless hacks who pump out endless shit should be properly warned that post Murdoch paywalls and the resultant job losses will be applauded by all and sundry and will probably not end up with them having a future in journalism period.

Daisey May

May 3. 2010 09:50 AM

lyn

TODAY'S LINKS

HENRY TAX REVIEW: Rudd's election rebate, by Bernard keane Business Spectator

The government has even tried to undercut a looming coalition campaign to win support from small business, by giving them a company tax cut earlier than everyone else and providing a handout of a $5000 instant depreciation.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au:80/bs.nsf/Article/HENRY-TAX-REVIEW-Rudds-election-rebate-pd20100502-5398Y?OpenDocument&src=kgbse

Tax reform blunted by hollow men tactics,by stephen Long, ABC

The Government has run a mile from changes that would make the tax system both fairer and more efficient -

http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/05/02/2888096.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

Is Kevin Rudd a coward,by Peter Brent, Mumble

Possum also reckons it’s “stupid”, “idiotic”, “lazy” etc to call Kevin Rudd a coward for dropping his beloved “greatest moral challenge of our time”.

http://mumble.com.au/?p=2152

Even his readers didn’t get it, by Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison

Even Bolt’s readers thought he was drawing a long bow with this one

blogs.crikey.com.au/.../#more-5913

Turnbull's change of mind a poser for Liberals, Canberra Times

While his supporters may be cheering, his decision reveals more about his ego than his concern for the Liberal Party.

www.canberratimes.com.au/.../1818317.aspx

*Forexpros.com, SNAP ANALYSIS-Australia tax on miners easier said than done, by reuters

The biggest threat to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's mining tax lies in the upper house of parliament, not in the mines that dot the outback. The reforms will face powerful opponents in the Senate, from conservatives, independents and greens

www.forexpros.com/.../snap-analysis-australia-tax-on-miners-easier-said-than-done-134422

Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott response to Henry Tax Review, channel Seven, by Neil Ennis,Kevin Rudd blog

The Rudd Government has proven that it can’t protect our borders and can’t safely insulate roofs or build school halls without rip-off after rip-off.  Why should people trust Mr Rudd with more revenue when he has taken the Howard Government surplus of $20 billion and turned it into a $50 billion debt?

kevin-rudd.blogspot.com/.../...e-to-henry-tax.html

Past Tense, Future Imperfect,

Since when does the Senate run the government? Does Abbott not understand that we voted for the other guy to make the decisions?

pasttensefutureimperfect.blogspot.com/.../mad-monk-steals-our-democracy.html

Joe Hockey's web page, Video of Joe Hockey's response to the Henry Review

Kevin Rudds response to the Henry Review is more spin than substance. Hes accepted just two and a half of 138 recommendations so, yet again, theres more talk than action

www.liberal.org.au/Liberal-TV.aspx

Laurie Oakes,ANDREW ROBB, SHADOW MINISTER , Channel 9

They've created a massive debt, which is a subject they never talk about. It's the dead cat sitting on the table, this massive debt that's going to hold back this country for many decades. They've monumentally mismanaged programs. They've wasted billions of dollars.

today.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=1047245

lyn

May 3. 2010 10:44 AM

gusface

Ad Lyn Daisey BB et al

you should have a go at twitter.Its a good way to communicate with the MSM and also to monitor their outpourings.

Also fun to play silly buggers with the fibs.and as a bonus you normally get the info before other mediums like radio TV etc

ps you should set up a TPS twitter to link to posts at this site etc



gusface

May 3. 2010 11:01 AM

lyn

Hi Gusface

Good idea Gusface, we will have to ask Ad.

lyn

May 3. 2010 11:04 AM

bilgedigger

lyn
Thanks for the links re the Libs Senate leadership machinations. You've been exceptionally busy. I'm amazed at your diligence in digging to get these fabulous links for us.  If Mathias Cormann gets more presence in the public eye it will be a sad day for politics as far as I am concerned. From his comments in the public arena to date he has some pretty nasty views.

bilgedigger

May 3. 2010 11:08 AM

Ad astra reply

LYN'S Daily LINKS updated: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-Daily-Links.aspx

Grog's great piece added at the top of yesterday's links: The Henry Review and Liberal Party Logic grogsgamut.blogspot.com/.../...al-party-logic.html

Ad astra reply

May 3. 2010 11:24 AM

lyn

Hi Ad

Gusface has a good idea about twitter.

I have just posted a few tweets from this morning

Tim Dunlop's tweet 21  minutes ago.

How craven is Minchin?Incites frontebnch revolt over climate then says returning Turnbull must support party policy!

http://twitter.com/timdunlop

Bernard Kean 1 hour ago

Do you support compulsory super of any kind? Or is it all just a "great big tax" to you? @JoeHockey

http://twitter.com/BernardKeane


Peter Martin

Sharing... I’ll see you a coward and raise you an idiot.

http://twitter.com/1petermartin

Tony Abbott

Here are some photos from Pollie Pedal 2010:

http://twitter.com/TonyAbbottMHR

lyn

May 3. 2010 01:30 PM

lyn

Hi bilgedigger

Thankyou for your nice compliment. I am pleased you enjoy the links, that gives me inspiration.  There certainly is some wonderful writers out there.

The links do keep me busy, The Liberal's irrational behaviour, sends the blogosphere
wild, I love it.

You said about Mathias Cormann , my concern is George Brandis and Eric Abetz, both incredibly cynical. The Liberal's were holding a meeting today in which Senator Mitchin is supposed to resign, bet there are some hair raising stuff going on behind closed doors, be funny if they all resign.

BLOOD ON THE RED CARPET: Libs to stoush it out over Senate deputy leadership today, Vex News

www.vexnews.com/.../

cheers

BIG SHOES TO FILL
Legend has it that Minchin shrewdly directed at least a dozen votes to vote for Malcolm Turnbull rather than his candidate Abbott in the first-round of last year’s leadership contest ensuring that Hockey was eliminated and that Abbott would go head-to-head against Turnbull. Hockey would have beaten Abbott, the theory goes.





lyn

May 3. 2010 05:22 PM

lyn

Hi Ad

Everbody would be interested:

Abetz, Brandis win Senate leadership roles, ABC NEWS
Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz has been elected unopposed as Senate Leader to take over from Nick Minchin who is retiring.

http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/05/03/2889046.htm

lyn

May 3. 2010 07:00 PM

Bilko

It's bad enough having a tweedle dumb leading the Libs in the reps now we have tweedledummer in the senate.

They are shaping up to be totally unelectable with no acceptable back up for either.
They will need to get into a "dolly the sheep scenario" and clone Turnbull and place the newby in the senate.

Bilko

May 3. 2010 07:16 PM

lyn

Hi Bilko

Like the term tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber, good one.

Seems Gary Burns gay activsit in Wentworth is considering running, he would give his preference to Labor.

Would be interesting, here it is:

  Gay activist may challenge Turnbull , Sydney morning Herald

Mr Burns said preferences would determine the victor and if he ran he would let his preferences flow to Labor.

news.smh.com.au/.../...turnbull-20100503-u3lo.html

lyn

May 3. 2010 07:53 PM

Ad astra reply

Folks
I've just posted a piece on the Henry Tax Review Do economics commentators live in fantasy land? www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...fantasy-land.aspx

Ad astra reply

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