VexNews writes today
of something that has occurred to more than one person: the Slipper ‘scandal’ looks like a stitch-up. The Murdoch press and the Liberal Party have form.
article distilled the suspicions of a lot here, and I'm sure a lot out in the community. Even a nominally right-wing web site can see what might be happening here. A conservative blogger elsewhere
wrote that anyone who dares to contemplate that this scandal has the smell of rotting fish about it is "blasting off the reservation".
This mocking condemnation would have a little more weight if Utegate hadn't happened.
Utegate was a rolled-gold, 100%, stitch-up.
Utegate proved that conspiracies do
happen. It is chapter and verse on how to run a phoney scam.
Let's look at the connections:
1. Same journalist.
2. Same newspapers (Murdoch).
3. Same response from the Opposition.
Where is James Ashby, the plaintiff in this mess? No one, but no one
has printed anything from him on the allegations. He's gone to ground, it seems, hiding behind the media's reluctance to be seen as "blaming the victim". He doesn't want to comment, his lawyers tell us. He must be a sensitive soul. So hurt, so traumatized: a 33 year old gay man shocked by someone he alleges sent him a text message with "xxx" at the end of it.
This is not me "blaming the victim". This is asking whether the allegations are true or not, which no one in the media has yet done. They prefer to pontificate in their op eds
and to interview each other
over how "dire" this is for the government.
They confidently predict that this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future. One by one they promise their readers that it will destroy even the Budget
, the announcement of the nation's balance sheet, in tight economic times.
They don't seem to care that they have publicly, even proudly assured us they will abandon their real responsibilities to achieve coverage of what amounts to unproven, untested, bedroom titillation, with a gay twist.
Yet Ashby was prepared to give his court documents to the cockroach, Steve Lewis, or to advise him of their existence, for publication nation-wide before he went into hiding.
A few Cabcharge dockets are involved. VexNews tells us that the way these dockets were used is standard practice among MPs, not gaming the system, but trying to make it work better
for them and the taxpayer dollar.
The speed with which the Opposition has called for resignations and new elections (how long until someone says Slipper should be shot at dawn?) smacks of an attempt to get a bandwagon rolling before too much more extra information that might prove embarrassing to them
Unfortunately for them we don't sack senior, constitutional officers of the parliament and terminate governments based on what Steve Lewis writes in the Murdoch papers on a lazy Saturday.
Unfortunately for them the same organization, the same personnel
as perpetrated Utegate are involved. The organization they work for is under heavy investigation for running scams just like this in the UK, involving corruption of police, intimidation, bribery, perversion of the course of justice, destruction of evidence, illegal access to documents and private telephony, and disgracefully manufacturing evidence and stories based on those lies.
Many of these same techniques are on record as being used by the local offshoot of News: forged emails and their purveying by the same journalist, Steve Lewis, who became a player in Utegate, not just its reporter
; premature calls for resignations of all and sundry, parliamentary scandals, fake photographs of political figures, and so on... all of which came to nothing within days, to the shame of those promoting the scam.
The Murdoch press has made no secret, in fact has boasted
about their intention to get the goods on Slipper. They have bragged they would bring him down. And now the first "evidence" has come out: a few hundred dollars worth of Cabcharge dockets, and some ambiguous text messages, cobbled together in "court documents" that have been "obtained" by Lewis under suspicious circumstances, resulting in frantic calls for the fall of governments, laid on thicker than Golden Syrup straight after.
In any other world except MurdochWorld, right-wing hacks and trolls might
have a case to mock conspiracy theorists in this matter as desperate, or "off the reservation".
But in this case it should really be the ones promoting
the charges, the ones trying to get the scam off the ground, who should be trying to re-establish their bona fides
after their disgraceful, shameful conduct in the past on similar phoneyed-up "scandals".
It's all too quick, too pat. What we are seeing unfolding before our eyes appears to be, judged on precedent, a mass media groupthink exercise in bamboozlement, trying to obtain a quick result before the allegations are tested and the principals ferreted out and interrogated.
Many journalists and editorial writers are telling their readers and viewers that the truth no longer matters. They are telling them that the stories and op eds they are writing themselves are the only "truths" that need to be considered before judgement is passed and execution carried out.
The conservatives themselves, supposed guardians and preservers of our institutions, are urging the abandonment of the rule of law and the principles of justice. They are saying, loud and proud, that even if Slipper isn't
guilty of anything, he should still resign. That's what they said about Rudd and Swan too over Utegate. Yet they remained silent about their own Senator Fisher, to name one, when she was up before the Courts and was actually convicted.
They, the self-professed bastions of the establishment, are seriously (and I'm sure they would claim, "responsibly") proposing that the nation's government should be strangled at Budget time. The nation itself - pride of the IMF and the G20, just about the best-performing sophisticated economy in the world - should be put into economic chaos with no Budget and no governance.
A few hundred dollars worth of taxi vouchers, and an un-investigated, untested, unchallenged set of allegations made by a man who has disappeared from sight, publicised by the same organization that has wrecked governance in the UK, and which nearly wrecked it here with Utegate.
No due process, just perpetual chaos is what they seem to want. Their scoreboard is "The Polls" - meaningless numbers this far out from an election. Their cheer squad is "The Shock Jocks", rabid demagogues who rake dirt and slime for a living, yet retreat to the Coward's Castle of being "mere entertainers" when caught out, as they are so often.
The dumber than dumb, to the point of being brain-dead media are herded like sheep. Dennis Atkins yesterday on Insiders
let the cat out of the bag: ”What happens is that most media outlets will start reassessing the strategy for covering the Budget. Do we send our senior political journalists into the Budget lockup, or do we keep them out to watch a potential political and Constitutional crisis on the floor of the parliament? It's going to be a juggling act in terms of how we cover those two competing stories, and I think the public should be in no doubt that these are two stories of equal gravity.
"This is a huge political story that could have enormous political ramifications for the government whose future depends on which way it goes and how it plays out. So it's going to completely overshadow Wayne Swan's Budget.
"The government this week was sort-of putting together all the blocks for its Budget selling, and the message it wanted with the Budget. Speeches and interviews carefully placed here and there. Key lines and themes were going really well. The government was singing from one song-sheet. And I think they all got up Friday morning and thought: 'This is all going well. We know where we're headed and we seem to be putting one foot in front of the other', which for this government is quite a feat.
"Then suddenly, Saturday morning: WHACKO! The whole thing is blown asunder.
This is Atkins telling us
how the scam works. He is an employee of one of the tabloids in question, its senior political commentator, and it's inconceivable that he didn't know about this Lewis story in advance.
Atkins was indiscreet on Insiders
. He was telling the audience that the Murdoch press is so confident of its cards in this game that it can still win the pot, even if those cards are laid down face up on the table for all other players to see.
He told us what to expect: the Budget will be ignored because of a convenient sex scandal, sprinkled with confetti made from a couple of hundred bucks worth of Cabcharge dockets. This is now parrotted by Fairfax and the ABC, as night follows day.
The Murdoch-Coalition strategy was there for all to see, laid out by one of its chief perpetrators: "Government has good week. Release next scandal."
Atkins doesn't countenance the possibility that both the Speaker's woes AND the Budget could be covered simultaneously. He knows what has been decided.
He knows the game plan: it is all the Government's fault for its own Budget being ignored.
Atkins has seen it all before... and so have we.
Why do so many fall for this classic Murdoch smear? Why have so many forgotten the very poor form of the story's author, Steve Lewis, and the shameful record of his employer in matters of this type? Why do so many continue to forgive the Murdoch media for continual, egregious, multiple transgressions against laws, standards of decency, conventions and even their own code of basic journalistic ethics
They have been shown to be habitual liars and manufacturers of stories, yet they are still believed automatically. Journalists, all now parroting talk of resignation and the fall of governments, follow them like sheep to a slaughterhouse killing room.
Not one has bothered to try to interview Ashby, the originator of the allegations. Not one has questioned the timing, or the legal issues involved. They are too busy "reacting", interviewing each other, war-gaming strategies, juggling poll numbers, passing judgement and tut-tutting about the peccadilloes of others to think clearly about just which cesspit this story came from, what's in it for whom and why it's been put out now.
The greater, more urgent scandal is how the media in this pathetically small village called "Australia" is suckered time and time again by the likes of Murdoch and his corrupt organization into abandoning their ethics and their curiosity for the cheapest of scams, promoted for the basest of reasons, spread by the lowest of the low among them.
These caricatures of ethical journalism are lazy, cliché-ridden, group-thinking, single-minded nihilists, without an ounce of creativity, imagination or even professional curiosity, peddling dodgy gay sex "scandals" and taxi rorts as more important than the welfare of the nation and its governance in testing times.
The media in Australia are an absolute disgrace.