Who cares about the next Newspoll?

Certainly those at The Australian newspaper do.  After all, they own Newspoll, and say they understand it better than anyone.  But there’s more – they value it as a heavy political weapon with which they flail this nation’s Prime Minister even when the poll shows only a modest decline in his popularity or his party’s polling, or even if his opponent has gained some ground, or even if the poll figures haven’t changed – then he is not making headway.

Does anyone else care?  Yes, political journalists, and not just those at News Limited, find excitement at any hint of an adverse movement.  It gives them an eagerly seized opportunity to critically analyse the meaning of the movements and the reasons behind them.  For this it seems they require little knowledge of statistics as evidenced by some of their innumerate and illogical conclusions.  Fortunately we have competent statisticians such as Possum on Pollytics who can put us straight.  Apart from their statistical analysis though, it’s their notion of what the stats mean that gives them free rein to put whatever interpretation on them they wish – in Alice in Wonderland style, ‘stats can mean whatever they want them to mean’.  Dennis Shanahan, The Australian’s commentator-in-chief on Newspoll, has a well earned a reputation for that.

Of course, as far as News Limited is concerned, no other poll can hold a candle to Newspoll.  Although their outlets will publish Nielsen poll results and its other favoured pollsters – Galaxy and Westpoll – so long as the results are adverse to the Government, it is rare for any News Limited outlet to mention Morgan polls, which have been around for much longer than the others, and the newer poll, Essential Media.  They get a guernsey only when their results are bad for Kevin Rudd and the Government.

But Newspoll is now being used in another way – as an anti-Rudd warhead to prospectively strike at him.  Take a look at what Peter van Onselen had to say in The Australian on June 14 in Rudd has a week to shape up: “Next week opens with another Newspoll and its findings - Labor's primary vote as well as the Prime Minister's personal ratings - will determine whether passive concern about Rudd's performance turns into active lobbying for Gillard to take over. So far, the powerbrokers are unmoved, but they will closely watch Newspoll before re-evaluating their positions.”  He concludes confidently: “Although Rudd does have options to remain master of his own destiny, he must face up to the disempowering reality that his survival until the next election is largely out of his hands.  Rudd's future is beholden to the decision his deputy makes, and the way the polls fall. That is a far cry from the all-conquering hero who beat Australia's second-longest-serving prime minister less than three years ago.”  Note the phrase ‘the way the polls fall’.  Don’t be taken in though, Vex News puts paid to van Onselen’s predictive brilliance in Peter van Onselen: political scientist or quack Read it for a sobering laugh.

Dennis Shanahan makes this comment on June 12 in The Australian in Change in the air as Labor thinks defeat“Rudd is not the only Labor MP contemplating a first-term loss. The polling universally has Labor's primary vote in the 30s and desperately relying on an unrealistically high Greens vote of 16 per cent to deliver enough second preferences to ward off defeat. There is ample polling to suggest Labor could lose enough marginal seats in Queensland alone to lose the election.” and “Another Labor MP summed up the Newspoll surveys in nine Labor-held marginal seats in the resources states of Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia, showing a 26 per cent shift in the way people were likely to vote at the next election: ‘Those numbers give Rudd about a month as leader…before he's replaced’." 

In both these instances Newspoll is quite extravagantly being given stature it cannot deserve.

The problem Labor has is that News Limited, and indeed journalists generally, have elevated opinion polls, and particularly Newspoll, to the status of reliable predictors of political outcomes, despite the fact that their predictive consistency is questionable.  So they dwell breathlessly on each new Newspoll and immediately make judgements about what it means for the Government.  All other factors, such as past accomplishments, current policy initiatives and plans for the nation, have been relegated to insignificance against the power of Newspoll.

So what should we, who have no vested interest in Newspoll, react when it arrives?  How much credence should we give it?  How much predictive power should we attribute to it?  In my opinion, we should ignore it.  It's just another opinion poll.  That is easier said than done, as we know those who have a vested interest in it will ascribe great significance to it. 

What should we expect it to say?  Given the Nielsen poll of last week where Labor was well behind, and the modest leads Labor has in the latest Morgan and Essential Media polls, can we expect the next Newspoll to be significantly different?  No.  So let’s not get exercised if it looks much like the current run of polls.  Don’t be put off by the van Onselen assertion that the next Newspoll will have profound implications for Rudd’s future.  Knowing that there is unlikely to be any great improvement in Rudd’s or Labor’s ratings by next week, he is setting the scene for another article – ‘Rudd makes no headway’ ‘Labor bogged down with record low primary vote’, or ‘Rudd continues to slide’; certainly not ‘Rudd rebounds’.  We can see it coming Peter and know you will use it to polish your guru status.  Remember though that you’ll have plenty of competition for top guru position from Dennis Shanahan, Glenn Milne, Andrew Bolt and a bevy of like-minded writers.

It is plain as a pikestaff that there is in progress a slow but unremitting political assassination of this nation’s leader by large sections of the media – the Murdoch media, the Murdoch influenced ABC, by some independent journalists, and by a horde of venomous anti-Rudd bloggers who inhabit sites such as those run by Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Glenn Milne and the like.  Even moderate journalists attract the same vitriol to their own sites.  The level of antagonism, hatred and malevolence is frightening.  They are determined that Rudd must be defeated, and Labor defeated with him and exiled to the opposition benches for a decade.  One has only to look at the daily media to see this in abundance. On Gutter Trash, reb asks: Is The Australian running The Country? and cites some evidence that it thinks it is or believes it ought to be.

For a man who has enjoyed record levels of popularity ever since he became Opposition Leader, why has there been this dramatic turn around?  Most observers attribute this largely to Rudd’s deferral of the ETS until the end of the current Kyoto agreement that expires at the end of 2012.  Others believe his suspension of processing of Afghan and Sri Lankan refugees has been a factor.  Those are plausible explanations for the loss of support of a group of Labor voters who hold those actions as reprehensible and who have fled to the Greens.  In a May 10 piece: The folly of putting a politician on a pedestal I suggested that high, sometimes unrealistic expectations have been placed on our leader and that when circumstances result in these expectations not being fulfilled, understandably there is bitter disappointment.  But this doesn’t explain the extreme venom, hatred and ridicule that is being heaped on Rudd’s head.  Disappointment, even disillusionment is understandable, not hatred and loathing.  I believe there is an entirely different reason for this.

Those who exhibit these unpleasant attributes will quote as justification for their position what they see as Labor’s many failings – insulation and BER problems plus a long list of misdemeanours that they have collected as boilerplate to trot out on every occasion.  But there’s more to it than that.  Misdemeanours, even incompetence, do not warrant hatred and loathing.  These wholly unworthy attitudes do not result from mistakes no matter how grievous they are painted to be. 

I believe they result from Kevin Rudd’s refusal to comply with the media’s narrative that a leader, while entitled to a brief honeymoon, is definitely not entitled to a prolonged one, one that goes on at near stratospheric levels for almost three years.  Repeated predictions from the likes of Dennis Shanahan, Glenn Milne, Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt that the Rudd honeymoon was over, or almost over, or about soon to be over came to nothing for three long years.   Rudd orbited high above them, defying their predictions and showing scant respect for their judgements, for them as journalists, and for their media outlets.  He incurred their intense wrath for showing them to be repeatedly wrong, and for showing well-earned disdain for them, their editors and their papers.  There are few situations that evoke as much anger, even loathing, as being shown to be wrong again and again, and being treated with contempt in the process.  Now that the honeymoon has at long last come to an end, revenge is what they want.  They want to rub the nose of this loathsome Rudd in the dirt and keep doing so until they smother him politically or until their desire for retribution is satiated, whichever is sooner.  They show no sign of relenting.  They are going in for the kill – they must, for should Rudd rise phoenix-like once more, should he defy their predictions of and desire for his political annihilation, that would be a supreme affront to them.  It would heighten their anger and frustration and intensify their loathing.  Life would be intolerable.  So it is a fight to the death.  Someone has to lose.  Fearful it may be them, they are determined it will be Rudd and Labor.

To return to “Who cares about the next Newspoll?”, we know who does, who desperately want it to be poor for Rudd and Labor, who want it to confirm the narrative they are creating of a decaying, incompetent, useless, do nothing Government with a hopeless leader that must be removed for the sake of the country; but most of all they want at long last to enjoy the retaliation and the vengeance they have for so long waited.  

Let’s not be sucked into the vortex they are creating.  Let’s not expect much from the next Newspoll, and let’s anticipate a continuation of trenchant criticism and prophesies of doom and gloom for Rudd and Labor from the usual suspects. 

But let’s rise above the clamour and look to the future when the RSPT is settled, the election campaign is under way, the Government’s achievements and plans are there for all to see, Tony Abbott’s policies are on display and his extreme views exposed, and well prepared ads are appearing to inform the electorate.  To use expressions journalists so enjoy, let’s wait for that ‘circuit breaker’ which will change the ambience, give some ‘clear air’, provide some ‘oxygen’ and set a path for the re-election of the Rudd Government that has still much to accomplish in reforming and rejuvenating our nation that was let down during the Howard years when the reforms in health, education, industrial relations, infrastructure and tax that were needed for the growth and prosperity of our country, were ignored.

What do you think?

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Sally

17/06/2010AA, Splendid analysis and all the more reason to stay glued to this site. I too have latterly started to think FEAR has a lot to do with the onslaught from the other lot. If the government is returned, how much of nasking’s ‘sewer’ and how much mud will stick to those so keen on opining now? Will the public remember what was said and by whom? Will the voters remember what the polls predicted (or at least what the Murdoch empire broadcast)? Is anyone keeping a journal (e-based or otherwise) on what is being said? It would make a great book. I’m still searching for a way to be more proactive about all of this. The blogging on kindred sites is great and comforting but I have a sense we need to do something bigger to expose what is going on. I’m just at a loss to know how/where/what. I agree with you it’s easy to ignore the polls. It isn’t quite so easy to ignore the evil out there. I agree with you that we should not be ‘sucked into the vortex’. But what if the government is re-elected and this continues into the next term? What strategic weapons do we have available to counter such forces of evil? Thinking on the chain email Nasking wrote about today, I wondered about something as simple as a chain email? One that actually lists (as I think Janice did via another site) all the achievements of our government? Send that to 10 people, ask them to send it to another ten and tell them there is a free coffee courtesy of Cafewhispers if they do, or a warm welcome from Lyn if that’s what they prefer. Just a silly thought. Well done yet again.

molly

17/06/2010what a breath of fresh, but how can we get this out there, how can we , but i do wonder if every one notices the polls. As a blogger i am wondering should we emphasis the fact and say O its only news poll is that all that australian newspaper poll is that all, well etc. I am so dismayed that our elected gov is not being given the respect it deserves. The abc seems to me to have followed.Can i suggest that sally you ask all your readers if they have face book this is one way they can contribute to the good of the country by saying o its only newspoll is that all.

nasking

17/06/2010Wonderful piece Ad astra! [quote]so long as the results are adverse to the Government, it is rare for any News Limited outlet to mention Morgan polls, which have been around for much longer than the others, and the newer poll, Essential Media. They get a guernsey only when their results are bad for Kevin Rudd and the Government.[/quote] My wife & I literally yell at the TV going "what about Morgan & Essential Polls!!!?" when we see the ABC pushing the latest Newspoll like it's the Queen's speech. The holy grail. So frustrating. And extremely devious on the part of so many in the ABC & News Ltd. The use of Newspoll to push their BASH RUDD agenda is quite sickening...and has become more apparent by the day. You can't imagine how many people think that Newspoll is "independent" when in fact it's another Murdoch empire tentacle. [quote]To use expressions journalists so enjoy, let’s wait for that ‘circuit breaker’ which will change the ambience, give some ‘clear air’, provide some ‘oxygen’ and set a path for the re-election of the Rudd Government that has still much to accomplish in reforming and rejuvenating our nation that was let down during the Howard years when the reforms in health, education, industrial relations, infrastructure and tax that were needed for the growth and prosperity of our country, were ignored. [/quote] Well said. Thankyou for the enlightening piece. I'll be linking it over at 'Cafe Whispers'. N'

Miglo

17/06/2010What can I say? It's just another brilliant piece Aa. You get a free bottle of wine next time you're over at the Cafe. Check out our cellar while you're there too. Don't tell Sally but we've been spiking her coffee with some fine brandy.

Miglo

17/06/2010<blockquote> I am so dismayed that our elected gov is not being given the respect it deserves.</blockquote> Was talking with some fellow Public Servants the other day and we wondering what Rudd has done wrong. The universal answer was 'nothing wrong'. It seems that the expectations placed on him were too high, which after rolling Howard, were extremely high. Nobody could have lived up to those expectations.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010molly Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come again. Sally, molly, nasking Thank you for your kind comments. Following up on your query about how we can publicize the achievements of the Rudd Government, there are two steps - first compile a list of achievements, second distribute it to as many as possible. [i]TPS[/i] can help with the first. I've just now created a [i]Government Score Card[/i] that you will find at the foot of the list under 'site pages' in the right panel. I've used the list compiled by Zoomster and posted on [i]The Poll Bludger[/i] on June 14. Anyone can send in other lists for me to post to that page. To see it click [i]Government Score Card[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Government-Score-Card.aspx

Min

17/06/2010Agreed Nas'. It should be that all polls and commentators on the polls should be obliged to make a disclaimer: On a poll commissioned by.... The prime recent example was the WA poll which was commissioned by the big miners yet put forward as 'a poll' taken in WA. Hehe, Ad Astra..Rudd apparently had a week to shape up and he's still here. Sadly for the shock jocks the wonderful Ms Gillard refuses to cooperate, try as they might to turn into another Howard/Costello scenario. Disclaimer of my own, I used to work for Australian Gypsum, later taken over by Boral (for we oldies, There ain't a better batt and That's That via Gus Mercurio..if you hated the advert, blame me). Ever tried setting fire to fibreglass? Such is the misinformation.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010Miglo Thank you. I look forward to the coffee. You and nasking have a great piece on the same theme at [i]Cafe Whispers[/i]: [i] Sewer politics - the Assassination of our PM's Reputation[/i] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/sewer-politicsthe-assassination-of-our-pms-reputation/ Everyone should read it. The email circulating that appears to have emanated from the Rudd-loathing Andrew Bolt is frightening. Looks like a replica of the Republican tactics in the US, which we don't want here, or worse still The Tea Party that seems to thrive on hatred and loathing.

Rx

17/06/2010Ad Astra, Please feel free to include the following in the [b]Government Score Card[/b] ... ____ ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR OF THE RUDD GOVERNMENT . Subsidised the ceiling insulation of more than one million homes, enhancing the living comfort of millions of Australians, and the greenhouse benefit equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road . Restored workplace rights and conditions that the Liberals had removed with WorkChoices (a policy the Liberals would reimpose with merely the name changed) . Kept the economy out of recession . Created 250,000 jobs . Kept unemployment below 5.5% . 6,400 apprentices so far signed up through the Apprentice Kickstart initiative . Ratified Kyoto Protocol . Apology to stolen generations (supported by 2/3 of the populace) . Allowed contraceptive counseling for overseas charities . Provided the first permanent increase to the aged and disability pension since 1991 . Means tested the baby bonus so it isn’t given to millionaires . Started the National Broadband Network (which the Liberals have vowed to cancel) . Subsidisation of digital television in the bush . Appointed the first ever female Governor General . Created Infrastructure Australia . Appointed the first Western Australian High Court Chief Justice . Invested $3 billion more in rail . Increased funding for ports and highways . The Building the Education Revolution - the biggest investment in school infrastructure in Australia’s history . Set up the MySchool website . Released a draft national education curriculum (something the Howard government promised for a decade) . Dropped HECS contributions by $3000 for students embarking on maths and science degrees . Changed the rules for credit contracts to make it easier for consumers to ask for changes if they are in financial difficulty . Mortgage relief for the jobless . Conducted the first ever study into human right protections in Australia . Increase health funding by $50 billion . Started the clean coal institute . $4.5 billion Clean Energy Initiative It includes: •$1.5 billion for Solar Flagships; •$2.4 billion for CCS Flagships; •the $100 million a year Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute; •the $100 million Australian Solar Institute; •the $235 million Renewable Energy Demonstration Program; •the $50 million Geothermal Drilling Program; •the $15 million Second Generation Biofuels Program; and •nearly $570 million for the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy. . Agreed with states to increase federal health funding share to 60%. The biggest reform to health funding since the introduction of Medicare . Attempted to means test the ‘private’ health insurance industry hand out (twice) . Injected $430 million into diabetic care . $1.9m boost for rural health . Funding for mental health care to double over the next four years . Introduced the first ever federal renewable energy target of 20% by 2020 . Funded 225,000 new computers for schools (a program the Liberals have vowed to cancel) . In conjunction with Japan, set up a commission on nuclear non-proliferation . Funded more water buybacks for the Murray-Darling (this never happened under the Howard government) . Increase tax on tobacco . Closed alcopops tax loophole, which has reduced alcohol consumption by about 2.5%. . Ended the uncompetitive single desk for wheat . The biggest changes to the FOI Act since it was passed in 1982 are designed to make it far easier for people to get hold of government information and to force government departments routinely to publish information now kept secret. . Social Inclusion Agenda Disability and Carers policy Boost Aged Care Workforce Specialised Early Childhood Centres Ambassador for Aging Transition from Hospital to Aged Care policy Enquiry into living pressures for older Australians Address the Hospital-Nursing Home problem (thanks for that one Howard) Arts Policy Investment in Greens Precincts Early Childhood policy High Quality Child Care policy Work and Family policy Coast Care plan Future of coal plan Renewable energy target Great Barrier Reef rescue plan Volunteer Grants Program Revamp of the ACCC powers Petrol Commissioner Skills Shortage plan Future Fellowships Plan to lift School Standards 9.250 Extra Nurses Trade policy National Security policy GP Super Clinics Defence Families support policy Low Tax First Home Saver Accounts OH&S;policy Innovation Future for Australian Industry Sustainable Fisheries policy Primary Industries plan FOI and Whistleblower policy Federal/State relations plan Resource and Energy policies Veteran affairs policy National Water policy Violence against Women and Women’s protection policy

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010Min Virtually every critique of Rudd Government initiatives has been characterized by misinformation, which the perpetrators know will be swallowed by most people because they have neither the time or the inclination to seek out the truth. It seems the fires have arisen from using paper waste instead of fibreglass, which if allowed to come in contact with very hot down-lights can result in combustion. Although the Government has copped all the blame for ceiling fires, it is largely the result of shonky frauds getting into what they saw as a lucrative industry where they could rip-off the Government. Unfortunately the Government department involved did not have the capacity to properly oversee these crooks.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010Rx Thank you. What a great list - I've added it to the [i]Government Score Card[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Government-Score-Card.aspx

Sally

17/06/2010I felt so good today after my morning coffee. Really good. So good I contributed to this site and another. Don't know why though. May have been the very pretty duck on the dam.

Sally

17/06/2010Molly, In my dreams I would have 'readers'. AA, Nasking, Miglo, Hillbilly, etc have the readers. They should follow your advice and tell people 'if they have Facebook...'. Great advice and well worth taking. I think AA is starting to act on that idea given his posting above. cheers

NormanK

17/06/2010Ad astra I envy your eloquence. I imagine you could draft my response. Gold star. I could not agree more or disagree less. One unanswered question for me is the source of the apparent, highly emotional contempt for Mr Rudd as an individual. I take your word for it that the journalists have their own agenda but what is going on with the swarms of contributors waiting to swoop in the comments sections? "Misdemeanours, even incompetence, do not warrant hatred and loathing. These wholly unworthy attitudes do not result from mistakes no matter how grievous they are painted to be." Exactly. Two pertinent points - paid assassins would explain a great deal of this vitriol especially if they are re-enforced by 'filters' which discourage or delete contrary views. - the number of contributors (if they are genuine) could be as low as 100 or, if we were generous, perhaps as high as 1000. Be extremely generous and say 2000. This is a miniscule proportion of the population and their views should rate even lower than opinion polls. Personally, I reckon we should ignore them. No battles will be won on that field and they won't influence the war. For anyone who is feeling nervous, may I recommend Question Time replays. Grog provides brilliant analysis of content but if you want cheering up have a look at the body language on the Opposition benches during Wednesday's QT. If they were a sporting team, their coach would be despairing over how to lift them. I'm not writing them off as uncompetitive but the Iron Man hasn't got the stamina for a long campaign and their silly one-liners are wearing thin.

BH

17/06/2010AA - I appreciate this piece. Thanks. How about a list of all the things blocked in the Senate. I heard Senator Feeney this afternoon and his speech was very good at pointing out the obstructions encountered by the Govt. in the Senate. FuelWatch is a good idea lost. Family in WA love using it but the rest of us were denied the chance because of the obstructionist Senate. Feeney pointed out that altho it was blocked the Coalition has been out in the electorate saying that it is 'another broken promise'. Of course, this is not reported accurately by the media so the voters believe the broken promise mantra. Perhaps Labor needs to continuously point these things out as well.

jimbo

17/06/2010hi guys how gors the battle,lynn i need you to help with a few links.1.news com au,broadband plan leads the world expert.also down the bottom of the page the australian I.T.has a story about this subject as well,i dont know if it says the same though.also on news com au the paid parental scheme has passed the senate. then on punch i think emerson does a very knowledgeable piece on the rspt ENJOY.lynn could u please source out the links for these stories much appreciated we all could do with a break in the rubbishy reporting of late.thankyou

Mobius Ecko

17/06/2010There's still hope, don't sell the Australian public and voters short: <a href="http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/17/public-perceptions-of-media-bias-and-accuracy/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrikeyBlogs%2Fpollytics+%28Pollytics%29&utm_content=Google+Reader">Public perceptions of media, bias and accuracy</a>

Mobius Ecko

17/06/2010Link won't work, go to Possum at Crikey.

jimbo

17/06/2010LYNN another couple of stories on the rspt at the drum by stephen long and another by michael janda in the business section under unleashed could you do links for these as well would be much appreciated AGAIN i thank you.

Lyn

17/06/2010Hi Jimbo Here they are for you, 4 very interesting pieces you found. You're so right it is so gooe to read positive stuff Gee I wish upon a falling star, Kevin Rudd could get the optic fibre Broadband up and running. Would be amazing for our country. [i]Broadband plan leads the world - expert , News Com.[/i] "This is the first time that Australia leads the international telecoms world in relation to Government policies and business strategies for the deployment of national infrastructure." http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/broadband-plan-leads-the-world-expert/story-e6frfku0-1225880969496 [i]NBN leads the world, says expert , Australian IT[/i] It is also expected to thrust Australia to the forefront of the international telecommunications world in terms of the rollout of national infrastructure. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/nbn-leads-the-world-says-expert/story-e6frgakx-1225880980525 [i]Federal Government's paid parental leave scheme passes Senate June17, 201012:54PM News Com[/i] However, because the draft laws were amended in the Senate, they now have to go back to the Lower House to be formally ticked off there as well. http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/federal-giovernments-paid-parental-leave-scheme-passes-senate/story-e6frfku0-1225880887267 [i]Going boom: the economic case for the mining tax, Craig Emerson[/i] As it happens, I did a PhD in economics on these very questions, under the supervision of Professor Ross Garnaut. And as an economic adviser to Resources and Energy Minister, Senator Peter Walsh in the Hawke Government, I had the opportunity to implement my PhD findings by helping design the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax in 1984. http://www.thepunch.com.au/

Lyn

17/06/2010Hi Mobius Ecko Thankyou so much for your information on Public perceptions, link to Possum, excellent Here is the link: [i]Public perceptions of media, bias and accuracy, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] 85% of the population thought that Newspaper journalists were often biased – compared to 74% for TV reporters, 69% for talk-back announcers, while us internet folks …. well, we rock Behold our non-biased, factual accuracy! http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/17/public-perceptions-of-media-bias-and-accuracy/comment-page-1/#comment-20902

Macca

17/06/2010Great column AA Every evening at 7pm sharp, the lights at my local RSL dim, everyone stands, with heads bowed, as we listen to the ode. This marvellous tribute to brave men and women ends with the very powerful words; "LEST WE FORGET" I find it inconceivable that they died so that the likes of Murdoch, Palmer and international cartels can, by fair means or foul...generally foul, can subvert the political process they way they have in this country. A greater shame is that the general populace don't seem to care. So, how can we turn it around? How can we show up these liars, spivs and BB's favourites, bootstrappers and rentseekers for what they are, what they stand for and what they stand to gain? Remember the workchoices campaign? It has to be something of that order. It doesn't have to be political, just irrefutable truth. Truth that the most dogmatic, blinded by Rudd hatred...yes I'm looking at you Bolt, Murdoch moron would look foolish trying to refute. We have to get people questioning the media. According to todays Possum they already have a scepticism of print and television journalists. Perhaps they need a nudge to start verballising that scepticism! IMO the only organisation that could pull this off would be the union movement. As it would be unfair to expect them to plough the row alone they would need financial donations from the public if they were willing to do it. Just some thoughts I wanted to float by you all.

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010Folks It's relevant to this piece - Do read [i]Public perceptions of media, bias and accuracy[/i] by Possum Comitatus on [i]Pollytics[/i] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/17/public-perceptions-of-media-bias-and-

Lyn

17/06/2010Hi Ad Tom R over at Cafe Whispers said yesterday ["quote]while I was busy banging my head against some mad buggers wall"[/quote] While I was watching the 730pm reportland just now, nasty Kerry O'Brien made me go and bang my head on some mad buggers wall. Don't miss Kerry, get in amongst them all, go, go, bash Kevin Rudd again, again, and again, "what did Kevin say at the ball" Kevin Rudd said the election doesn't have to be held until next April, watch the strappers run with that wonderful, piece of information Kevin Rudd said next April,

Snoozer289

17/06/2010Hi Lyn, I also have a bloody forehead, K O'Brien was trying for another headline Gotcha moment. I thought the The PM handle himself really well despite the niggling from O'Brien. It seems that the MSM are more concerned about discrediting the Government than give it credit for it achievements. They seem to think that the PM and Government are going to crack, and are getting so frustrated because the Government is not repsonding they way they expected. This shows that the PM and Government are in a lot more control of their agenda than the MSM would like to believe, and in the end will be able to stand up and show the community that despite the controversative and obstruction form the MSM and Opposition it has been able to achieve a large number of major reforms that will benefit the country. As the Possums Pollytics report today show the MSM have very little creditability when it comes to the genrral public http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/17/public-perceptions-of-media-bias-and-accuracy/ It is now time I took a few Panadols and an Icepack to my forehead ( I must ware a helmet in the future when watching such programs)

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010NormanK Thank you for your kind remarks. You may be right - there may be an organized clique out there bombarding the blogs with anti-Rudd rhetoric, likely not large in numbers, but making a big noise. We on the other side may have do the same. BH That's a good idea - if you have a list of Government initiatives that have been blocked we could create a page on [i]TPS[/i] to accommodate them. jimbo Lyn has provided the first set of links and they are now on LYN'S DAILY LINKS: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx I'm sure she'll get the others. Mobius Ecko The link to the Possum piece is working on LYN'S DAILY LINKS macca There does need to be an organized campaign, maybe the Labor party machine needs to gear up, perhaps with the help of the union movement. Lyn That was another shocker from Judgemental Kerry. His arrogance and impertinence knows no bounds. He was totally disinterested in the positive things the Government is doing, only the negative things he wants to hang on Rudd - a throw-away line at the Mui-Winter Ball, the 'Gang of Four', the 'Kitchen Cabinet', decision making in Government, the opinion polls, the 'hole' Rudd is in, the process of introducing the RSPT, and so on it went. In every instance O'Brien indicated that he disapporoved of the arrangements or the process. Now what he should ask himself is - does anyone really care what HE thinks?' Who does he think he is to sit in judgement of the processes Rudd uses? What the people want is good outcomes - I doubt if they are remotely interested in what processes are used to achieve them. We should all write in protest to O'Brien and the ABc at the disrespect and arrogance exhibited on the 7.30 Report tonight. I too noted his mention of April - I suspect that was a line to set journalistic pens trembling and keep the journos all guessing. Although in one sense it would be good to get the agony of an election over, if I were Rudd, I'd leave it until well into next year.

nasking

17/06/2010[quote]While I was watching the 730pm reportland just now, nasty Kerry O'Brien made me go and bang my head on some mad buggers wall. [/quote] Lyn, I've posted on it: [quote]The virus that killed the paid parental leave scheme news[/quote] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/the-virus-that-killed-the-paid-parental-leave-scheme-news/ [quote]Has Kerry O’Brien been INFECTED with the BASH RUDD virus? Tonite on the 7:30 Report Kerry wasn’t interested in the historic passage of the first national paid parental leave scheme by the Senate…no matter how many times PM Rudd valiantly brought it up. No, Kerry was too busy being preachy & condescending, giving his negative opinion of Labor under Rudd. And providing advice.[/quote] I felt the same Lyn. So I wrote about it. N'

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010Snoozer 289 I'm with you - my impression was that Rudd knows exactly what he's doing despite all the gratituous advice he has thrust at him from a little-respected profession, as documented by Possum. He was almost toying with O'Brien tonight, getting him agitated while he remained calm, and then throwing in mention that the election could be as late a April - can you see the media getting into a frenzy if they think they will need to keep up their anti-Rudd rhetoric for another nine months! I hope he does keep them sweating and in a lather of angst until they exhaust themselves.

Lyn

17/06/2010Hi Nasking You are wonderful, thankyou for telling me, I will be straight over, just going to do a couple of links for my friend Jimbo. Cheers

Augustus

17/06/2010Hi All I saw the great red Macaque of 7:30 land trying to goad Kevin Rudd into another outburst but correct me if I interpreted this wrong, was Kerry getting a little rattled especially when Kevin Rudd pointed out that he hadn't mentioned the PPL passing the senate today and only focused on what was said last night at the ball, everything negative and nothing positive that the Government has achieved, or the polling of which I don't pay any notice, (it just seems too easy to poll the right area to get the right answers), I thought Kevin was on top of the game tonight. Rx great list might have to fax it off to Kerry O'Brien to remind him "short memories" prevail in MSM land.

Lyn

17/06/2010Hi Jimbo Another 2 interesting links you have picked out, I enjoyed reading them. Truth, Lies and Mineral tax: the RSPY debate deciphered, Stephen Long, Unleashed. the profits that mining companies make from extracting Australia's natural resources have soared, and the return going to the public hasn't kept pace. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/03/2917521.htm?site=thedrum All this tax talk is sapping our confidence, Michael Janda, Unleashed But he says it's not the tax itself that's doing the damage."I think it's mainly a function of the controversy about it rather than the tax itself," he added. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/10/2923393.htm?site=thedrum

Lyn

17/06/2010Hi Augustus You are right, Kerry O'Brien was rattled, not happy at all, Kevin Rudd definately did a gotcha on him. The way Kerry O'Brien kept whipping in the polls was disgusting, like Ad said "who does he think he is" I say CEO of bugger all.

Lyn

17/06/2010Hi again Augustus You will be interested in this piece by Nasking at Cafe Whispers. The virus that killed the paid parental leave scheme news, Nasking, Cafe Whispers No, Kerry was too busy being preachy & condescending, giving his negative opinion of Labor under Rudd. And providing advice. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/the-virus-that-killed-the-paid-parental-leave-scheme-news/

Augustus

17/06/2010Hi lyn thanks for the link will have to slip over for an espresso and pay my regards, it seems that the TPS is collecting a large contingent of like minded people from quite a few blogs hats of to Ad Astra and the crew. We'll beat these buggers yet cheers mate

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010nasking, Augustus Looks like we all have a similar view of Kerry O'Brien's performance tonight. I enjoyed your piece nasking. Why don't we all write to the ABC tomorrow in protest. The URL is http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/letters.htm LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated with the two pieces on the RSPT: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

17/06/2010Folks If you haven't already read them, I recommend reading the pieces by Stephen Long and Michael Janda on the RSPT in LYN'S DAILY LINKS. At last some clarity and commonsense free from miners' spin. Off to bed now to see what [i]Lateline[/i] has to say - Tony Jones will be banging on about the Auditor General's SCATHING report on Government advertising - aren't all such reports SCATHING by jouralistic definition?

Lyn

17/06/2010Hi Everybody Our very good friend, Grog with Question Time today, brilliant Grog thankyou. [i]ON THE QT: SUBSTITUTE TEACHER EDITION, GROG, GROG'S GAMUT[/i] it was all a bit of a snooze. Peter Dutton got booted (nobody cared). Perhaps I too was affected by the substitute teacher aspect, http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

sawdustmick

17/06/2010I watched O’Brien on the 7.30 report and his assertion that Hawke and Keating negotiations with oil companies for a petroleum rent resource tax on offshore mining was conducted over a 12 months period. On the other hand Rudd had just sprung RSPT on the mining sector without consultation. O’Brien implied that this was not the approved method of negotiation and Rudd should have followed the Hawke and Keating strategy. Rudd pointed out to O’Brien that the logic of this argument does not stand up to scrutiny when Rudd stated that so are you seriously asserting that after having lengthy discussions with the miners they were just going say thanks Mr Prime Minister you can now go ahead with your RSPT. Maybe O’Brien should cast his mind back to the time when Hawke and Keating negotiated with the Oil companies for some twelve months and at the end of the day both the drillers and the then Coalition ran hard campaigned to stop the tax. One could argue to the cows come home that Rudd should have started negotiations with the miners before announcing there intention to implement and RSPT it would matter not a jot. The simple fact is the miners appose paying more tax and therefore their hostile opposition to this tax would have been exactly the same as would be the case if Rudd has started twelve months ago.

Hillbilly Skeleton

17/06/2010'The 7.30 Report', what's that? (he, he) :) Actually, I have been truly liberated! Since MasterChef came back on TV I have given 7.30ReportLand the flick, and you don't know how much my outlook has improved and my thinking has become clearer because of it. It is for this reason that I feel that I might boldly venture a cause for the imperiousness of Kerry O'Brien. Tenure. Anyone who has studied at University under tenured academics would be familiar with the high-handed arrogance of the tenured lecturer. Being granted tenure becomes the gift that keeps on giving for the rest of their career. As they know that, absent any outrageous scandal, they have a job for life. A job at the highest echelons what's more, whose concomitant power they wield with a passion. There is nothing so boring as wheeling out lectures to the pimply youth day after day, but, on the other hand, what keeps them coming into work regularly and keeps their juices flowing, is the power that their position gives them to wield over all others that come into their orbit. They are only answerable to those above them, but generally get away with a lot because they know how much notice gets taken of what sort of behaviour and to whom, and so they work their politics and power plays within that paradigm. They also have an over-inflated opinion of their worth in the great scheme of things. Exactly the same scenario applies to Kerry O'Brien. He has a job that he can't be sacked from unless he carries out an egregious misdeameanour. And maybe not even then, as a result of the sophisticated issues management techniques that have been developed by spin doctors to get the 'talent' out of hot water and back into the game after their faux pas. No, like the Queen, K O'B will either die in the job, or retire/abdicate his position, on the ABC journalistic throne that is hosting the 7.30 Report. Well, that is what they say, it is the No.1 job at ABC TV. So, secure in the knowledge that he is firmly Araldited to his seat, and has been there longer than any of these upstart MPs or PMs, he assumes the haughty arrogance of a know-it-all, predisposed to give them the 'benefit' of his many years of 'experience'. It really is the height of hubris, and it's just such a pity that the ABC roster of tenured journalists, like Kerry O'Brien, aren't slaves to the ratings, which are just another form of poll, because then there would be the possibility of some sort of equivalent comeuppance to come their way, like that which they dish out to beleagured politicians, and which could be wielded like a big stick to beat up on them with, the way Kerry O'Brien does to good leaders when they are down in the polls, as I'm sure his figures wouldn't be that flash either.

john

17/06/2010In regards to the federal polls, last election the trend was for a massive, unprecedented swing to Labor, at least 20%. Labor won by 51%, much lower than the trend suggested. Polls are not accurate. The only people they matter to are journalists. Another thing that has been annoying me about a disconnect of reporters from rea;ity is how little they know about anywhere outside Sydney or Melbourne. I'm from Queensland, and it shits me to tars every time people say we're swinging to the liberals this election. Political commentators don't seem to realise that Queensland has never had a Liberal government, and every time Tony Abbott slags off public servants, or threatens to cut jobs, he makes himself less electable. Queenslanders are all about the big government. After all, our government is the biggest employer in the country outside Woolworths and Coles. I read an editorial in the Australian that was talking about how Arch Bevis's seat of Brisbane was under threat from the Greens, which is nonsense. Brisbane is the safest seat in the country. Arch Bevis has never got a primary vote under 40%, and the Greens never more than 11%. I don't mind them being ignorant, just that they pontificate based on their own status as 'gurus' rather than the facts.

Augustus

17/06/2010HS, having worked under tenured academics I know what you are talking about, they do become arrogant and have a sense of self importance because they can't be removed and know they don't have to perform. Even when they do commit a egregious misdeameanour they can still retain their tenure. I worked at a research school not a teaching school, they seem to be worse, self importance, maybe the ABC should be commericalised then we wouldn't be led to believe that they were unbiased or as you say araldited to there seats.

Acerbic Conehead

17/06/2010AA, Glenn Milne cares about the next Newspoll. You see, as the work opportunities have dwindled and the reddies become a bit more scarce, he’s got a part-time job at the call centre, phoning up people. Sing along with him as he delivers his sales pitch to the unsuspecting punters. It’s to the melodies of that classic Clash number, “London Calling”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqO1b-5RsAs&feature=related :- ) Hi, it’s Newspoll calling to you Joe Bloggs Now that the country under Rudd’s gone to the dogs Newspoll calling from another world Where we aren’t afraid to give our spin a burl :- ) Newspoll calling, now just look at us Thanks to the Oz, Rudd’s bitten the dust Newspoll calling, let’s engineer a swing Should be easy with Tones’ weathervane thing :- ) Kev’s nemesis is coming, Julia’s zooming in Might be tripe, but with us the truth’s pretty thin The gallery’s stopped listenin’, so why does Kev bother Cos Labor is drownin’ and goin’ to water :- ) Newspoll calling, we’re not the gospel truth Only when it’s written, is it 100% proof Newspoll calling from the zombies of death Phil n’ Bronny can hardly draw another breath :- ) Newspoll calling and Kev’s got a great big pout Serves him right for boycottin’ Insiders-out Newspoll calling, Kev’s no longer got any highs With my push-polling, time for his bye-byes :- ) Tones’ age is coming, he’ll soon be makin’ hay Runnin’ hot, just like the climate in Jesus’ day Tones’ goin’ nowhere, but I have no fear Cos any adverse movement’ll be spun by Auntie dear :- ) Newspoll calling, I’m pleadin’ with you Like core and non-core promises, what I’m sayin’ is true Newspoll calling from the bottom of the pile An' after all this, don’t you run from us a mile

Lynchpin

18/06/2010Sorry guys, but for the first time last night on 7:30 Report I seriously thought Kevin is gone. However, he recovered by the end of the interview. Not sure what will happen. They have to settle this thing with the miners, call the election for October and run long campaign to expose Abbott. I don't sense anger at Rudd; I sense frustration in the community. I think a lot of people are willing him to do better, but I am not sure he can. There are many obstacles, not least the media coverage. I am wary, because in my experience, frustration left to burn slowly, turns into anger.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010sawdustmick, You're exactly right when you say that it would not have mattered a jot when the Rudd government would have started their negotiations with the Mining Industry. All it would have meant would have been that the anti-RSPT ads from the Mining Industry would have started sooner.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Lynchpin, Going on the reports this morning in the media, it looks like it was a smart move by the PM to hose down expectations about an imminent election last night on the 7.30 Report. He's even been compared to Howard today! Wonders will never cease it seems, especially when it comes to Australian federal politics. So I think that, rather than exasperation turning to anger in the electorate, this interview by the PM might just show to the electorate that he is serious about reform wrt the RSPT, will hold his nerve against the Mining Industry Disinformation Campaign, and dispel all those perceptions that he is a jellyback. THEN he will go to an election.

Lyn

18/06/2010[i]TODAY'S LINKS[/i] [i]ON THE QT: SUBSTITUTE TEACHER EDITION, GROG, GROG'S GAMUT[/i] it was all a bit of a snooze. Peter Dutton got booted (nobody cared). Perhaps I too was affected by the substitute teacher aspect, because I can’t really be bothered doing a proper report. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]The sum is greater than the parts, Peter Brent, Inside Story[/i] No matter what today’s opinion polls say, in 2010 it is difficult to see these elements combining to produce anything other than an easy Labor victory http://inside.org.au/the-sum-is-greater-than-the-parts/ [i]Public perceptions of media, bias and accuracy, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] 85% of the population thought that Newspaper journalists were often biased – compared to 74% for TV reporters, 69% for talk-back announcers, while us internet folks …. well, we rock Behold our non-biased, factual accuracy! http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/17/public-perceptions-of-media-bias-and-accuracy/comment-page-1/#comment-20902 [i]Time to take a deep breath, Rodney Tiffen, Inside Story.[/i] This is the man who a year ago was still enjoying record approval ratings, having won a sweeping election victory eighteen months earlier. His prolonged honeymoon was accompanied by extravagant flattery, http://inside.org.au/time-to-take-a-deep-breath/ [i]We want our billions left alone , Mungo MacCullum, The Northern Rivers Echo[/i] their rent-a-crowds equally well-disciplined and, for the moment at least, it appears that a decisive section of the voters are persuaded that they, rather than the elected government, are the ones acting in the public interest.http://www.echonews.com.au/story/2010/06/17/what-do-we-want-our-billions-left-alone/ More to journalism than he said, she said. I think., Jonathan Holmes, Abc You could have read any number of 'he said, she said' articles about the Resource Super Profits Tax, at any time in the past six weeks. http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/06/17/2929131.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Early election boat sails, Media Wrap Crikey[/i] Pundits like Barrie Cassidy are also using the wisdom of hindsight to wag their finger at the Prime Minister, http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/17/rudd-missed-the-early-election-boat/ [i]Your say Readers Feed back, Crikey[/i] Abbott, like Menzies before him, will ruin us. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/17/abbott-like-menzies-before-him-will-ruin-us/ [i]GetUp should’ve shelled out for Rudd, not Abbott, Crikey[/i] Since when do you need to buy time with an opposition leader? http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/17/crikey-says-getup-shouldve-shelled-out-for-rudd-not-abbott/ i]You Shall Go to The Ball!,Reb. Gutter Trash[/i] Julie Bishop thought she’d suck on a lemon… http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/you-shall-go-to-the-ball

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010john, I agree with you 100%. Who do the political commentators think they are? You can pick out 2 obvious biases in their polling methods for a start. Firstly, and correct me someone if I am wrong, but the pollsters still only contacgt pollees by landline. That eliminates much of the youth demographic, as well as families in the electorate who have canned their landline and only use mobiles or Skype. Secondly, and I know this for a fact as I have been polled by Newspoll before the 2007 election, the first question they ask you is, "Do you have 20 minutes spare to answer our questions?" So how many busy electors(I was rung at 5PM) just say, "No"? Possum could probably do some sort of regression analysis based around these factors, but I bet that the polling numbers aren't all that they seem as a result.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

janice

18/06/2010Excellent analysis Ad astra. I wonder if you might be willing to publish our Government Score Card as a piece on The Drum, or would it not be accepted? I really do think that it is time that the Government's achievements got an airing - a sort of 'Lest we Forget' the positives and dwell only on the negatives. There were a few replies to my post on JTI's blog setting out Zoomster's list. Unfortunately I got in a bit late as JTI closed that blog shortly afterwards. However, one of his bloggers who is continually posting anti-Rudd missives, said "Janice, it is not that the Government has done nothing, it is just that it has done nothing right." I would have loved to respond to that one but alas I missed the bus and it went through to the keeper. Nasking and Miglo, I love visiting Cafe whispers. Miglo, it seems to me that the only thing Rudd has done wrong is that he doesn't conform to the stereotype the media wants, hence the personal attacks of what I call personal idiosyncrasies we all have. Murdoch, of course, is pissed off because Labor haven't continued with the advertising gravy train to which he had become accustomed and he sees his kingmaker influence diminishing more and more the longer Labor stay in office.

Rx

18/06/2010I second Janice's suggestion that Ad Astra, Hillbilly Skeleton or Bushfire Bill (where is he, by the way?) submit some pieces for [i]The Drum[/i]. That blog has run the most malicious campaign of personal destruction against Kevin Rudd, so it would be revealing indeed to see whether or not they publish anything that goes against that grain. It could be considered as a practical, demonstrable test of their 'impartiality'...

Rx

18/06/2010I'm a bit annoyed with GetUp! Fancy bidding for a refugee to have a surfing lesson with [b]abbott[/b]. What are they hoping to achieve? Embarrass him? Unlikely. A person like that surely is impervious to shame. And given how the media are covering for him all they can, even if there were any "difficult moments" they'd whitewash them away in any case. And therein is the source of my disappointment in this stunt. It'll be a Great Big Publicity Boost for him, all positive. And who will pay the money for this? Not the Liberal Party, but those they despise and seek to destroy - progressives!

Lyn

18/06/2010Hi Lynchpin Thankyou for commenting on "The Political Sword" and a big welcome to you. We hope you keep coming back I agree with you, [i][quote]There are many obstacles, not least the media coverage[/quote][/i] but we need to have faith and hang in there.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Does anyone out there have an Australian Fionancial review. com subscription? I'd love us to have links to their stories, they are some of the best political analysis going around at the moment. Laura Tingle, David Crowe and geoff Kitney tell it straight, and I wish that their thoughts couls get out there more. I know there may be some copyright issues, but I am hopeful we can find a way around that.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Wow! A balanced piece of political journalism from Lyndall Curtis over at ABC.com. Wonders will never cease, and maybe the big ship Rudd is starting to turn around at last in the commentators eyes. We can only hope. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/18/2930264.htm

Lyn

18/06/2010Hi Ad Kinda interesting: Turnbull's wife joins government panel, ABC "Lucy Turnbull will be the deputy chair, bringing tremendous real world experience as the former lord mayor of Sydney," he said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/18/2930199.htm

Lynchpin

18/06/2010Hillbilly, I read Laura Tingle's piece today. It is very good - all about Rudd boring them to death. She is generally spot on, calls it like it is. Lyn, thanks for the pep talk, I need it.

Lyn

18/06/2010Hi Ad I just put up a link to the ABC, the link was working fine, but guess what the page has been removed, wonder why. Turnbull's wife joins government panel ABC Online - ‎11 hours ago‎ Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced Malcolm Turnbull's wife, Lucy, will help lead a government advisory panel on capital city infrastructure. ...

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Re Lucy Turnbull: Kevin Rudd doesn't triangulate politics, he discombobulates it!

Lyn

18/06/2010Hi Hillbilly I can't be bothered getting out my Oxford. Can you please tell me that sentense in my talk.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Lynchpin Welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Please come again. The [i]7.30 Report[/i] had an unusual dynamic last night. Kerry O'Brien started off as usual setting the scene with negative words, talking about [i]"...a fairly spectacular display of attempted self-destruction"[/i], then the put-down: [i]"Whatever good news stories Labor has felt it has to tell, have been largely swamped by negative stories about..."[/i]. Note the words: [i]"...good news stories Labor has FELT it has..[/i]. Why not simply say: "Labor's good news stories have been drowned out by...". Words are critically important - last night O'Brien was setting Rudd up for a fall before Rudd even opened his mouth. This is shoddy journalism that portrays bias from the outset. Then he led off asking what Rudd meant when he said "We've got a long memory." at the Mid-Winter Ball. Despite Rudd insisting it was a 'throw-away line' O'Brien pressed on, wanting somehow to get Rudd to say he was threatening the miners. That O'Brien was prepared to spend so much of the interview over such an inconsequential issue points to his intention - to nail Rudd on this early in the interview to make it easier for him to do so later. What O'Brien didn't anticipate was that Rudd would turn the tables on him through light-hearted responses to trivial questions and serious responses to important ones. By the end Rudd was on top and O'Brien uncharacteristically floundering. Then near the end Rudd threw in his comment about election timing, which as predicted has sent journalistic pens trembling - there's lots about it on the air this morning. Now there is great uncertainty about when it will be – anathema to journalists who love to believe they have inside information about election timing. So like you I saw Rudd recovering after O'Brien's early assault, leaving O'Brien looking less than professional. For any who missed it the transcript is here: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2010/s2930100.htm

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010sawdustmick I agree with you and others here that no matter when negotiation was begun with the miners, there was always going to be a battle with them as they don’t want to pay more tax. They say they are in favour of a profits-based tax, but so long as it doesn’t cost them. So the comment about what Rudd should have done is gratuitous, condescending and spurious. How on earth would journalists have a superior understanding of how to manage negotiation with self-interested miners? That is ridiculous.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010janice, Rx Offering [i]The Drum[/i] a list of achievements is a good idea. What I would like to do is to refine the list from what we have, perhaps with the addition of others, before submitting it. So I invite anyone who has a list to post it on [i]TPS[/i] so that I have as complete a list as possible. I will then transfer it to the [i]Government Score Card[/i].

NormanK

18/06/2010Hello all It truly is best to keep an open mind,isn't it? I sat down at my keyboard this morning to draft a critique of last night's 7.30 Report interview, fully expecting to mark it as 5 out of 10 thereby incurring your wrath but prepared to defend my viewpoint. That score was based on my response to the interview at face value - watched live. Reading the transcript this morning, I had to conclude that a score of 1 out of 10 was more appropriate and it only got one point because it uncovered or elucidated a couple of things that I wasn’t aware of prior. I’ll try to be brief. -1 Selective use of the Neilson poll and no other and continued use of gossip in the introduction. -1 Breaking of the Chatham House Rules which traditionally cover the Mid-Winter Ball. “The rule allows people to speak as individuals and to express views that may not be those of their organisations, and therefore, encourages free discussion. Speakers are free to voice their own opinions, without concern for their personal reputation or their official duties and affiliations.” In other words, off the record. -1 Using the schoolyard excuse of “he did it first” to justify this breech of trust. “Well, it was reported this afternoon, it's already been reported in the media, yes, I know it was Chattam (sic) House rules.” -1 Attempting to extract government tactics during a tense negotiation period. As if he is going to tell you! “Are you embarked on a strategy where you gradually whittle away opposition from various elements within the industry leaving the big guys like BHP, Rio and Xstrata exposed?” Yes, Kerry that’s the plan. +1 Fair question. “So what's the incentive for them to settle this now when they can see the prospect of a Liberal Government that would actually dump the tax idea?” -1 Diminishing the debate, making assumptions and continuing gossip journalism. “Why couldn't you have consulted directly with the mining industry about the prospect of this mining tax before you hit them with a finely detailed, crafted policy and then said, here it is, now let's talk about it?” -1 As above. “You're the ones who have put the policy together and you've done that in secret, behind closed doors and then gone to the mining industry and said here it is?” -1 As above. “What you did instead was to sit on the Henry report for months while you determined the policy. Then you sprang it on the industry and the public, enshrined it in the Budget and then invited them in for consultation about the transition costs. That's not a policy negotiation, is it?” -1 As above. “There's been a lot of criticism of the way you have centralised power within the Government. That since the global financial crisis cabinet has become not much more than a rubber stamp, the big issues decided by the so called gang of four........” -1 Following MSM down garden path. “And (the PPL scheme is) missing a lot of space in the media because it's taken up with all these negative issues, some of which even your own colleagues believe you've brought on yourself.” +1 Fair question with brought a response which told me things that I was unaware of previously. “Okay, and to some degree I imagine the media will be fixated over the next 24 hours with what the Auditor- General acceded to a Parliamentary Committee today that your advertising, Government advertising guidelines had been softened (and so on)”. -2 There can be no response to this question which justifies the asking of it. “If the trend in those polls is not reversed in coming weeks, or at least arrested, will you consider putting your party ahead of your own personal ambitions and resign?” Either - ‘Yes I’m a complete dickhead and will resign at the next bad Newspoll result’ Or - obfuscation to deflect an inane question. -1 Assumimg the public don’t want positive news. “Okay, I won't ask you to go through the list (of positive policy outcomes) again. “ I am a big fan of Kerry and will continue to defend his interviewing style because it draws out responses which others can’t achieve. If he rips into an Opposition politician in the near future, he will partially justify my faith. However, based on this interview alone, 1 out of 10 is a very poor score. Try harder. Ad astra I wrote this before reading your post above. I completely agree, especially about the dynamic. With Kerry you would normally expect something positive on (say) the PPL outcome and then work through to tougher topics. Last night was very odd.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010AC Thanks again – I wish we could hear you singing ‘Newspoll Calling’. I think whatever shows up in next week’s poll, it’s already been largely defused by the comments of Kevin Rudd on last night’s [i]7.30 Report[/i] that he expects to continue to ‘be whacked in the polls’. What will Glenn Milne and Dennis Shanahan have to say in the light of that, especially after Rudd hinted the election might not be until next year.

Rx

18/06/2010Ad Astra, Thank you very much for agreeing to submit a list of achievements to 'The Drum'. You certainly are putting in an active effort for the forces of good. As are others on this blog also. I thank you all! A helpful side-benefit of being published on there would be that you could include a link to [i]TPS[/i] in your article header.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010NormanK What a sound analysis. Thank you for taking the time to prepare it and post it here for all of us to digest. I agree with your assessment and your rating of Kerry O’Brien. Like you, I have followed him for years and have generally admired his approach, but last night he was badly off his game. He seems to be irritated with Kevin Rudd, especially after Rudd’s labelling of his show as ‘7.30 Report Land’, a term he used again last night, and determined to put Rudd in his place, namely answering his silly and impertinent questions like a good boy. He’s angry with Rudd and it shows in his interviews. O’Brien needs to settle down.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Lyn I've added the Lucy Turnbull story to your links.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010lyn, Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but referring to triangulated politics is to allude to 'Third Way' politics such as Tony Blair practiced. To discombobulate: verb To cause to be unclear in mind or intent: addle, befuddle, bewilder, confound, confuse, dizzy, fuddle, jumble, mix up, muddle, mystify, perplex, puzzle. Informal throw. Idioms: make one's headreelswimwhirl. See clear/unclear, feelings. Hope that helped. :)

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010HS Thank you for your several comments. I didn’t know Kerry O’Brien was tenured, but that could explain his arrogance. Augustus agrees with you. As mentioned in my reply to NormanK, I believe there is now a level of angst between O’Brien and Rudd that is likely to contaminate their interviews unless O’Brien takes a more conciliatory and less aggressive approach. But if he’s tenured, he doesn’t have to. Like John, you query how opinion polls are carried out. Possum generally has defended their methodologies, but it would be nice for us to know how those polled are selected, is the sample representative (and not skewed by polling only one segment, for example only those who use land lines), in what sequence are the questions asked, is any preamble used that might introduce bias, what method is used to distribute preferences? Morgan uses two methods for the latter; Essential Media does give an account if its methodology. The Lyndal Curtis piece is almost identical with what she said on [i]ABC’s AM[/i] this morning. It is not as acerbic as Lyndal can be. By the way, David Marr on ABC radio 774 Melbourne this morning on ‘The Conversation Hour’ was less critical of Rudd than he was on Q&A and in his Quarterly Essay. He strongly asserted that Rudd is a very decent man, but repeated his view that he is driven by anger, a determination to succeed and a need to be in control. I would not rate all of those as negatives – I want a driven PM, determined to succeed in governing the country, and I don’t mind much how he achieves success for this nation. It may not be the preferred modus operandi for all of us, but good outcomes are what we want rather than preoccupation with process. While process is important, it’s outcomes that really count.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Folks I've just posted the following comment in the 'Letters' section of the [i]7.30 Report[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/letters.htm To Kerry O'Brien I have watched you on the 7.30 Report for years and have generally admired your professionalism. After your last two interviews with Kevin Rudd though I have come away disappointed and annoyed with the way you have conducted your interviews with him. As your opening gambits on these two occasions set the scene for confrontation, it is not surprising that this resulted. I ask you to consider whether this confrontational approach is serving your viewers well. Since there are not all than many interviews with the PM, when they do occur, we look to be informed about the Government’s plans and achievements, and resent having interview time wasted with trivial matters and the inquisitorial approach you have adopted. Nor do we wish you to offer, as implied by your questions, your own gratuitous advice about how Kevin Rudd should run his government – we are not interested in how Kerry O’Brien thinks things should have been done. Perhaps you believe you are speaking on behalf of your audience who itself is not able to question the PM. Please do not assume that we wish you to be our advocate – there are too many views out there for you to represent them all. In particular, I find your disrespectful attitude, your assertive questioning of our nation’s leader, and your repeated interruptions to be discourteous and unbecoming. Last night you seemed uninterested in hearing about positive things, such as the PPL scheme; concerned only with the negative and the contentious. I won’t repeat what transpired during these interviews but invite you to view them yet again and re-read the transcripts, and ask yourself were they really up to the standards of professionalism you expect of yourself. Ask yourself if you are contributing to the media-initiated clamour to demean and diminish this country’s leader. Nor will I seek to offer you gratuitous advice about how to interview politicians – that would be presumptuous. I simply ask you to look at yourself in the mirror and review that yourself. In the first interview I expect you came away pleased with yourself and received pats on the back from colleagues who applauded you giving Rudd a hard time. You may not feel so warmly about last night’s interview, from which you emerged looking less than professional. Finally, I will not presume to diagnose the problem that seems to me to exist between you and Rudd. All I wish to reflect is that you seem to be angry with him and that seems to govern your approach to your interviews. If that is so, for all our sakes, please resolve that before you interview him again and give us what we are seeking – a chance to learn the facts, the achievements, the intentions and the plans the Rudd Government has in train to make this country even more magnificent than it is. Of the nine comments on this subject so far, seven were critical of O'Brien, one applauded him, and one was neutral. As my 'letter' was over the statutary 100 words, it may be truncated.

Augustus

18/06/2010So!, Lucy Turnbull has been appointed to a government position, that's going to bring out the cynics for sure, Shanahan's already sharpening his pencil. I wonder how Malcolm's going to read it.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Ad Astra, Thank you for your reply. I just wish to clarify with respect to Kerry O'Brien, that I didn't mean specifically that his job was 'tenured' in the Academic sense of the word, but that his job, unlike so many these days, is one which is his for as long as he wants it and he keeps delivering the goods for the ABC. In other words, he's not on a Short Term Contract as so many are these days, so has assumed the characterisitics and traits of a tenured academic.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Yet another great blog about the Mining Industry by Peter Martin: http://petermartin.blogspot.com/

NormanK

18/06/2010AA Have a quick look at the bottom of the letters page at the 7.30 Report. Recommended length 100 words. My letter of a couple of days ago didn't get through. Too long methinks.

NormanK

18/06/2010AA Sorry, I see you are aware. But you probably won't get posted. Delete these posts if you wish.

nasking

18/06/2010[quote]Finally, I will not presume to diagnose the problem that seems to me to exist between you and Rudd. All I wish to reflect is that you seem to be angry with him and that seems to govern your approach to your interviews. If that is so, for all our sakes, please resolve that before you interview him again and give us what we are seeking – a chance to learn the facts, the achievements, the intentions and the plans the Rudd Government has in train to make this country even more magnificent than it is. [/quote] Hi Ad astra...ya know, I get the feeling that Kerry O'brien is pissed w/ Rudd too. Really showed up last night. I think these interviewers need to be a bit more objective. I do like Kerry's style usually...but he seems to be showing a wee bit too much emotion of late...wearing his heart on his sleeve. Good stuff. N'

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Folks Still no sign of my 'letter' to the ABC about Kerry O'Brien - perhaps it was too long. So far the first 40 comments are running about two against O'Brien to one for.

nasking

18/06/2010Hi Lyn, thnx for the valuable link. I haven't had much time to watch or read the news today...yer a treasure: [quote]In announcing the panel members, the Prime Minister said the appointments were above politics. "Lucy Turnbull will be the deputy chair, bringing tremendous real world experience as the former lord mayor of Sydney," he said. "It's important that these exercises are kept beyond the realm of partisan politics."[/quote] That's what I like about Rudd, he's a real MAVERICK. Not unlike Bill Clinton & Barack Obama in some ways. Even tho Malcolm blew off at him over the ETS delay the other day in a bellowing speech...Ruddy reaches across the political aisle and chooses an effective lady, Malcolm's wife Lucy, to work for a govt. panel. Top stuff. N'

nasking

18/06/2010"I second Janice's suggestion that Ad Astra, Hillbilly Skeleton or Bushfire Bill (where is he, by the way?) submit some pieces for The Drum." Yes, that's a great idea Rx. N'

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010[i]Morgan[/i] Face to Face today TPP 51.5/48.5 http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4514/ In mid June support for the ALP is 51.5% (down 0.5%) since the last Face-to-Face Morgan Poll conducted on June 5/6, 2010), just ahead of the L-NP 48.5%, (up 0.5%) according to this week’s Face-to-Face Morgan Poll conducted last weekend, June 12/13, 2010. If a Federal Election were held today the result would be close, but the ALP would be returned with the aid of preferences with a reduced majority.

nasking

18/06/2010"it seems to me that the only thing Rudd has done wrong is that he doesn't conform to the stereotype the media wants, hence the personal attacks of what I call personal idiosyncrasies we all have. Murdoch, of course, is pissed off because Labor haven't continued with the advertising gravy train to which he had become accustomed and he sees his kingmaker influence diminishing more and more the longer Labor stay in office." janice, I'm wondering if Rupert "the Kingmaker" was told to go jump last time Rudd was in America. His lot certainly are giving Rudd & this govt. a hard time. I see it as BULLYING. I don't think they were too happy w/ the growth of the ABC (as tho they don't have enuff influence)...and money goin' to FREE-TO-AIR networks either. And a few other goals haven't come to fruition. Rupert Murdoch needs to realise that he was handed the reigns of power by his family & a few shareholders...not by the PEOPLE of Australia. Thnx for yer kind comments above janice. I've put up some music at Cafe Whispers if any are interested...just to make the day easier...more interesting...more fun (?) :) I put up 2 or 3 political blog sites at once and then listen to the music at the same time. At present I'm listening whilst reading the cool comments on here. :) TGIF: Is That Music In My Head? http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/tgif-is-that-music-in-my-head/ N'

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Nasking, I listen to music too when I am blogging! Today I was listening to 'The Happy Mondays' Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches while I typed up my next blog. I must go and see where your musical tastes lie. :)

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Folks As my original rather long letter to the ABC about Kerry O'Brien has not made it, I've just now submitted a shorter version as follows: Although I have admired your professionalism in the past, after your last two interviews with Kevin Rudd I have come away disappointed and annoyed. There are too few interviews with the PM; when they do occur we look to be informed about the Government’s plans and achievements, and resent having interview time wasted with trivial matters and the inquisitorial approach you have adopted. Last night you were disinterested in hearing about positive things, such as the PPL scheme; you seemed concerned only with the negative and the contentious. And please don’t offer gratuitous advice about how Kevin Rudd should run his government – we are not interested in how you think things should have been done. I do not presume to diagnose the problem that seems to exist between you and Rudd. All I wish to reflect is that you seem to be angry with him and that seems to govern your approach to your interviews. If that is so, for all our sakes, please resolve that before you interview him again and give us what we are seeking – a chance to learn the facts, the achievements, the intentions and the plans the Rudd Government has in train for our nation.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010nasking I hope Kerry O’Brien reads the comments about his performance on the [i]7.30 Report[/i] last night. With two thirds running against him, he may think again. Like you, I think he’s angry with Rudd and until he gets that out of his system I suspect the unpleasant interviews will continue. I agree that since Rudd refuses to conform to the expected media stereotype he will continue to be ostracized and lampooned. Who does he think he is not going along with what the media wants and insists on? After all, he’s only the PM!

nasking

18/06/2010Hi Hillbilly Skeleton, thnx for popping over. I separated the two links so at least one could be played on the blog...the other I left as a link to YouTube because I can’t find a version that isn’t “imbedded”. I've found that very popular songs are often "imbedded" so have to be played at YouTube rather than coming up as a vid on the blog. So just links are fine for them because it takes ya straight to YT. My taste various, dependin' on moods. I have access to about 4000 cds. It runs from Miles Davis to Beethoven to electro to folk to shoegaze to prog to Zeppelin to soul and so on. Cheers N'

nasking

18/06/2010Good editing Ad astra. Hopefully yer new letter/email makes its way onto the ABC site. Keep up the great work. N'

Lyn

18/06/2010Hi Ad Weekend TV Politics for you: Weekend talk thread, Jeremy Sear Pure poison We also have Sunday’s Insiders line-up, courtesy of Mike Bowers: Barrie will interview Warren Truss, leader of the National Party. There will be Penrith by-election coverage, including an interview with Barry O’Farrell. The panel is Laura Tingle, MegaGeorge and Andrew Bolt. Talking Pictures will have Jack the Insider. We’ll add more info as it comes to hand. Have at it. UPDATE: Full Sunday morning line-ups from Mark Croxford. Meet the Press has Hugh Riminton, Louise Dodson and Peter Hartcher interviewing Wayne Swan, as well as the US ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich. There’s no Laurie Oakes interview again this week. And courtesy of Leigh Sales, tonight’s Lateline (on at 10:35) has Annabel Crabb and Dennis http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/06/18/weekend-talk-thread-june-18-20/#more-6405

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Folks Jonathan Holmes of [i]Media Watch[/i] is one of the most balanced commentators in our MSM. Read what he says in [i]More to journalism than he said, she said. I think.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/17/2929131.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Lyn Thanks for the information about the weekend political programmes - so we have to endure Andrew Bolt again. It seems that Barrie has dug in his heels and will insist of having Bolt on board, or has he some contract with the ABC? Thank God Laura anf Mega George will be there to counter him.

nasking

18/06/2010"Barrie will interview Warren Truss, leader of the National Party." How boring. :) Don't know why they call them the National Party these days. The National Liberal Clones Party might be a better name. Can't believe Andrew Bolt gets on again so soon. Talk about getting a helping hand by way of taxpayer funds. Where's Tim Dunlop? Laura Tingle is usually pretty balanced. Hope George is. I wonder if he ever sees wraiths in his dreams...working for the Murdoch empire. :) It's become pretty obvious to me that the ABC has been INFECTED by the BASH RUDD & RUPIE viruses. Brrr... Thnx Lyn for the info by way of Jeremy Sear at the ever-worth reading Pure Poison blog at Crikey. N'

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010I reckon 'Meet the Press' will be the show to watch this weekend. 'Inciters' will be more of the same Bolt/Cassidy Blah, Blah, Blah. Interviewing Warren Truss? What's that going to achieve? More information about which bridges he wants to repair? Plus a 'Liberal' opportunity to sledge the Rudd government no doubt. Bolt will predictably rant against the government. Cassidy will let him. Laura and Big George will be too polite to butt in and put him back in his box. Sigh. All too predictable.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Bernard Keane from Crikey slices and dices the misleading 4 Corners program about the Home Insulation Scheme deaths: http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/18/what-did-four-corners-know-and-when-did-they-know-it/?source=cmailer If you can't get it because you are not a subscriber, let me know, and I will Cut and Paste the whole thing here.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Hi Ad, Could you please let me know whether you received my e-mail? My WiFi connection to my Modem's been playing up all day today and I just don't know what went through to who.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010HS I have your email and have replied.

Lyn

18/06/2010Hi Hillbilly [quote]misleading 4 Corners program about the Home Insulation Scheme deaths: www.crikey.com.au/.../?source=cmailer[/quote] Yes subsciber only, can't get in there. cheers

NormanK

18/06/2010HS With Ad's approval could you post the insulation story from crikey, please? Also if anyone else has useful links on the subject, they would be appreciated. The government website is a maze for me.

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Here's Bernard Keane's piece on [i]Crikey: What did Four Corners know and when did they know it? "On 26 April Four Corners put to air a program “A Lethal Miscalculation”, about the Government’s insulation program. The program concentrated on the death of Matthew Fuller, who died from electrocution in October 2009. His girlfriend, Monique Pridmore, was seriously injured as well. The program purported to reveal that the Government had wilfully ignored multiple warnings about safety in the administration of the program, in favour of rapid rollout to support jobs during the GFC-induced economic slowdown. "Many of the claims centred on allegations made by a Departmental whistleblower. This was probably — given how rare APS leakers are — the same whistleblower who sold the Herald-Sun a load of garbage back in February. In that story, it was claimed Garrett had ignored “hundreds” of emails about safety issues — although this then turned out to be that a senior bureaucrat “who answered directly to the Minister” had received the emails, not the Minister himself. "As any public servant worth their shiny backside knows, no bureaucrats answer directly to Ministers. They answer indirectly, through their own Public Service superiors and the minister’s own advisers and chief of staff. "The confused Herald-Sun story might have alerted 4 Corners that their whistleblower was either so junior or new to the APS as to not understand the simplest management concepts, or knew less about the insulation saga than they claimed. "Four Corners also relied extensively shadow minister Greg Hunt and on the grieving family of Mr Fuller, who blamed the Government for their son’s death. “The cost of the government’s home insulation program has been great,” reporter Wendy Carlisle said at the end of the program. “Lives lost. Houses razed. A massive clean up. And for the Fullers, there is only the government to blame.” "Less than two weeks after the program aired, Fuller’s employer, QHI and its directors, father and son Christopher John and Christopher William McKay, were charged by Queensland authorities in relation to the incident in which Fuller and Pridmore were electrocuted. 4 Corners interviewed the older McKay for the program about the events leading up to Mr Fuller’s death, but McKay’s comments only served as a prelude to an extensive attack on the Government’s oversight of the program. "Four days before the program aired, the report by former bureaucrat Allan Hawke into the program was released. The report received widespread coverage. 4 Corners ignored the report entirely, whilst complaining that Peter Garrett and Greg Combet had declined to be interviewed for the program. "Crikey asked Four Corners whether the production team for “A Lethal Miscalculation” had read the report, and if so why it wasn’t mentioned. Executive producer Sue Spencer replied “the report was carefully read and its findings checked against the script of the program. Minister Combet refused to be interviewed by the program. The full Hawke report was provided on the Four Corners website.” "Spencer also pointed to the report’s conclusion that any replacement program should not proceed without a proper regulatory and compliance regime in place to ensure safety, and that given the priority of the rectification scheme the Government had put in place, consideration should be given to not proceeding with a replacement scheme. "That seems to be Four Corners’ single take from the Hawke Report Crikey reader John Kotsopoulos complained about the program via the ABC’s laborious complaints assessment process (laborious chiefly because it was made that way to fend off persistent Coalition criticisms of bias). Kotsopoulos was also told that the Four Corners regarded those conclusions as, in the words of ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs’ Kieran Doyle, the “bottom line” of Hawke’s report. "Four Corners appears guilty of cherry-picking. Hawke said in his report “any objective assessment of the HIP will conclude that, despite the safety, quality and compliance concerns, there were solid achievements against the program objectives” and, in relation to claims the program was “bungled”, “bungle is actually a furphy because the many positive outcomes (already and potentially) flowing from the [program] serve to address long standing problems besetting the industry. "This is because the industry was remarkably unsafe before the HIP program, with 20% of Queensland homes found to have pre-existing electrical faults, and at least 80 and probably more fires a year due to faulty installation of insulation. Far from neglecting to address safety issues in favour of rapid roll-out, Hawke says the relevant Department, DEWHA tried hard to address them through training and accreditation programs, but was let down by taking too long to undertake a by-the-book procurement process for a proper auditing and compliance system to vet installers, and by underestimating demand and the bureaucratic resources needed to oversee the program. "As for the specific role of Garrett, “the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts was briefed on these issues and responses by both Mr Garrett and DEWHA were appropriate and timely.” Hawke went on to say “when issues arose, DEWHA and the Minister worked quickly to address them. DEWHA engaged with industry, listened to their concerns and briefed the Minister on necessary changes to the program. Warnings were heeded; however, this was largely reactive.” "None of this is addressed in Four Corners, which made what in hindsight is a remarkable decision to ignore a key report on the exact issues it was making allegations about. 4 Corners preferred the unevidenced claims of a whistleblower over the independent review of an experienced ex-department head from the Howard era. One got an extensive interview, the other got stuck on the website. "Asked why they cherry-picked the report in their justification, the ABC told Kotsopoulos “the ABC has noted the section of the Hawke report that you have highlighted [which I have quoted above]. However, it cannot agree that by not including that statement or focussing on that particular aspect of the report, that the broadcast lacked balance or unduly favoured any one view over another… balance was achieved in keeping with the Corporation’s editorial standards, through the presentation of a range of principal relevant perspectives. Audience and Consumer Affairs believes the broadcast is in keeping with section 5 of the ABC Editorial Policies.” "At worst, Four Corners is guilty of selectively using evidence in a manner that is downright deceptive. I don’t think that was the case. More likely, I’d suggest, is that the Hawke Report didn’t fit the simple narrative Four Corners wanted to run — not so much because it found no evidence that either Garrett or DEWHA had failed to act on warnings (thereby entirely contradicting the claims of their “whistleblower”), but because it offered a complex story of what happened. "The reasons why the program led to so many shonks badly installing insulation across the country lay not in simplistic stereotypes of bumbling bureaucrats or incompetent ministers, but in more complex issues: the designers of the program were worried about low take-up, and wanted to stimulate demand. "A proper Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines-based tender process for a compliance and auditing mechanism took too long, because DEWHA didn’t want to cut corners (when, of course, corner-cutting is one of the things they’ve since been accused of). No one expected householders to so readily abrogate responsibility for what was going on in their ceilings because they had no money at risk. And senior officials didn’t swing extra resources into the relevant area quickly enough. "None of that came through in Four Corners. It might have made for a less emotive and interesting program, but it would have done a better job of informing viewers of what really happened."[/i]

NormanK

18/06/2010Of interest. CANBERRA (MarketWatch) -- Elements of a campaign by Australia's mining industry against a proposed tax increase on mining super profits were criticised Friday by the Greens political party and a national pension fund lobby. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/australias-greens-slam-miners-anti-tax-campaign-2010-06-18

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010NormanK Thanks for the link. Sooner and later the publis will wake up to the disingenuousness of the miners' campaign. Truth will out!

Ad astra reply

18/06/2010Folks Off for the evening now.

Lyn

18/06/2010Hi Ad [quote]Who Cares about the next Newspoll[/quote] Ad, "we don't care about the next Newspoll", but Laurie Oakes, Kevin Rudd's one time friend cares a Great Big lot. Laurie doesn't say future polls, he says Tuesday's poll is the deciding death. Another poll in 6 months will not count, you see. He tells us our Prime Ministers whole life depends on Tuesday's newspoll, so did Karen Middleton on SBS news. You see how important the polls are, they Govern the country, and Mr Murdoch owns Newspoll. I am astounded, as I never realised how important the polls are (NOT) [i]If Labor continues to poll badly, history is not on Rudd's side,Laurie Oakes, Courier Mail[/i] If next week's Newspoll confirms the depth of Labor's slump, the brutal truth is the Rudd Government is probably gone. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/if-labor-continues-to-poll-badly-history-is-not-on-rudds-side/story-e6frerdf-1225881518244

nasking

18/06/2010[quote]Laurie doesn't say future polls, he says Tuesday's poll is the deciding death. Another poll in 6 months will not count, you see. He tells us our Prime Ministers whole life depends on Tuesday's newspoll, so did Karen Middleton on SBS news. [/quote] Lyn, what a load of claptrap they speak. There's no way they should be focusing on one lousy poll. This is manipulating pur democracy as far as I'm concerned. They should remember that the Essential Poll as analysed by Possum revealed that a majority of people think that the media has too much influence on politics. If I were Labor I would hold steady regardless of the outcome. It's only one poll. Not a DECIDER. N'

Lyn

18/06/2010Hi Nasking [quote]If I were Labor I would hold steady regardless of the outcome.[/quote] I agree with you, David Speers has just told viewers, there is only one solution for Kevin Rudd, that is to hold an election. Julia's leadership hasn't worked for them, so now the harping will be, to hold an election right now.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010What did Four Corners know and when did they know it? by Bernard Keane On 26 April Four Corners put to air a program “A Lethal Miscalculation”, about the Government’s insulation program. The program concentrated on the death of Matthew Fuller, who died from electrocution in October 2009. His girlfriend, Monique Pridmore, was seriously injured as well. The program purported to reveal that the Government had wilfully ignored multiple warnings about safety in the administration of the program, in favour of rapid rollout to support jobs during the GFC-induced economic slowdown. Many of the claims centred on allegations made by a Departmental whistleblower. This was probably — given how rare APS leakers are — the same whistleblower who sold the Herald-Sun a load of garbage back in February. In that story, it was claimed Garrett had ignored “hundreds” of emails about safety issues — although this then turned out to be that a senior bureaucrat “who answered directly to the Minister” had received the emails, not the Minister himself. As any public servant worth their shiny backside knows, no bureaucrats answer directly to Ministers. They answer indirectly, through their own Public Service superiors and the minister’s own advisers and chief of staff. The confused Herald-Sun story might have alerted 4 Corners that their whistleblower was either so junior or new to the APS as to not understand the simplest management concepts, or knew less about the insulation saga than they claimed. Four Corners also relied extensively shadow minister Greg Hunt and on the grieving family of Mr Fuller, who blamed the Government for their son’s death. “The cost of the government’s home insulation program has been great,” reporter Wendy Carlisle said at the end of the program. “Lives lost. Houses razed. A massive clean up. And for the Fullers, there is only the government to blame.” Less than two weeks after the program aired, Fuller’s employer, QHI and its directors, father and son Christopher John and Christopher William McKay, were charged by Queensland authorities in relation to the incident in which Fuller and Pridmore were electrocuted. 4 Corners interviewed the older McKay for the program about the events leading up to Mr Fuller’s death, but McKay’s comments only served as a prelude to an extensive attack on the Government’s oversight of the program. Four days before the program aired, the report by former bureaucrat Allan Hawke into the program was released. The report received widespread coverage. 4 Corners ignored the report entirely, whilst complaining that Peter Garrett and Greg Combet had declined to be interviewed for the program. Crikey asked Four Corners whether the production team for “A Lethal Miscalculation” had read the report, and if so why it wasn’t mentioned. Executive producer Sue Spencer replied “the report was carefully read and its findings checked against the script of the program. Minister Combet refused to be interviewed by the program. The full Hawke report was provided on the Four Corners website.” Spencer also pointed to the report’s conclusion that any replacement program should not proceed without a proper regulatory and compliance regime in place to ensure safety, and that given the priority of the rectification scheme the Government had put in place, consideration should be given to not proceeding with a replacement scheme. That seems to be Four Corners’ single take from the Hawke Report Crikey reader John Kotsopoulos complained about the program via the ABC’s laborious complaints assessment process (laborious chiefly because it was made that way to fend off persistent Coalition criticisms of bias). Kotsopoulos was also told that the Four Corners regarded those conclusions as, in the words of ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs’ Kieran Doyle, the “bottom line” of Hawke’s report. Four Corners appears guilty of cherry-picking. Hawke said in his report “any objective assessment of the HIP will conclude that, despite the safety, quality and compliance concerns, there were solid achievements against the program objectives” and, in relation to claims the program was “bungled”, “bungle is actually a furphy because the many positive outcomes (already and potentially) flowing from the [program] serve to address long standing problems besetting the industry.” This is because the industry was remarkably unsafe before the HIP program, with 20% of Queensland homes found to have pre-existing electrical faults, and at least 80 and probably more fires a year due to faulty installation of insulation. Far from neglecting to address safety issues in favour of rapid roll-out, Hawke says the relevant Department, DEWHA tried hard to address them through training and accreditation programs, but was let down by taking too long to undertake a by-the-book procurement process for a proper auditing and compliance system to vet installers, and by underestimating demand and the bureaucratic resources needed to oversee the program. As for the specific role of Garrett, “the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts was briefed on these issues and responses by both Mr Garrett and DEWHA were appropriate and timely.” Hawke went on to say “when issues arose, DEWHA and the Minister worked quickly to address them. DEWHA engaged with industry, listened to their concerns and briefed the Minister on necessary changes to the program. Warnings were heeded; however, this was largely reactive.” None of this is addressed in Four Corners, which made what in hindsight is a remarkable decision to ignore a key report on the exact issues it was making allegations about. 4 Corners preferred the unevidenced claims of a whistleblower over the independent review of an experienced ex-department head from the Howard era. One got an extensive interview, the other got stuck on the website. Asked why they cherry-picked the report in their justification, the ABC told Kotsopoulos “the ABC has noted the section of the Hawke report that you have highlighted [which I have quoted above]. However, it cannot agree that by not including that statement or focussing on that particular aspect of the report, that the broadcast lacked balance or unduly favoured any one view over another… balance was achieved in keeping with the Corporation’s editorial standards, through the presentation of a range of principal relevant perspectives. Audience and Consumer Affairs believes the broadcast is in keeping with section 5 of the ABC Editorial Policies.” At worst, Four Corners is guilty of selectively using evidence in a manner that is downright deceptive. I don’t think that was the case. More likely, I’d suggest, is that the Hawke Report didn’t fit the simple narrative Four Corners wanted to run — not so much because it found no evidence that either Garrett or DEWHA had failed to act on warnings (thereby entirely contradicting the claims of their “whistleblower”), but because it offered a complex story of what happened. The reasons why the program led to so many shonks badly installing insulation across the country lay not in simplistic stereotypes of bumbling bureaucrats or incompetent ministers, but in more complex issues: the designers of the program were worried about low take-up, and wanted to stimulate demand. A proper Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines-based tender process for a compliance and auditing mechanism took too long, because DEWHA didn’t want to cut corners (when, of course, corner-cutting is one of the things they’ve since been accused of). No one expected householders to so readily abrogate responsibility for what was going on in their ceilings because they had no money at risk. And senior officials didn’t swing extra resources into the relevant area quickly enough. None of that came through in Four Corners. It might have made for a less emotive and interesting program, but it would have done a better job of informing viewers of what really happened.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Watching Lateline, Dennis Shanahan is trying his hardest to create mischief about Kevin Rudd. Annabel Crabb feels compelled to outdo him. They are accentuating the negatives and minimising the positives. However when it comes to Tony Abbott they are minimising the negatives and accentuating the positives. It almost sounds like a paid advertisement for Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party. As if learning how to control his aggression is a positive. Doesn't it mean that the aggression is still there but merely now remains hidden? How is that good? Talk about Shanahan making a Silk purse out of a Sow's ear. Also, how can Dennis Shanahan know what Greens preferences will be at the next election? To allude to the fact that they will be < the 80% that they were at the last election is pure fantasy and wishful thinking on his part. Leigh Sales just keeps using negative characterisations, such as 'another backflip', and the latest one that they all seem to have latched onto, 'delay and delay'. Also, she seemed quite gleeful about the prospect that this trio will be getting together again 'many times' in the next few months for more of these anti-Kevin Rudd bitch sessions. I'm sorry, but that's not analysis, and that's not what I want from MY ABC. But what can we do? The Complaints process is a toothless Tiger, by design, it seems to me, and these so-called expert political commentators are immune from being called to account in any way for their behaviour. Anyway, from tonight's indications, it appears the makeover of Tony Abbott, with a SNAG facade, in order to hoodwink the female voters who find him repellant, has begun in earnest, with the usual suspects, News Ltd. and the ABC in cahoots yet again.

NormanK

18/06/2010HS Got to say I'm pretty livid. A journalist interviewing journalists is news? Tomorrow is another day. We really must find a way to stop this rot. I should point out, that is not the language roaring around my head at present - unbecoming in mixed company.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010lyn, The same meme came out of Crabbe & Shanahan's mouths tonight, an election must be held in July or August, or the Labor Caucus will overthrow Kevin Rudd as he drags them further down as time passes this year. Nice to know they know which way the polls will go. Anyway, it's my belief that the Press Gallery journalists want to keep piling on the pressure for an election because they've put so much effort into building the momentum for Tony Abbott and the Coalition and they don't want it to dissipate. So I imagine they'll just keep banging the drums. Don't forget, these are the same journalists who banged the drums for Howard and convinced the country that we had to go to War in Iraq due to the Weapons of Mass Destruction that Saddam Hussein definitely had.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010NormanK, I just feel helpless. There doesn't seem to be anything we little guys can do about these journalistic Circle jerks on Lateline and other ABC political shows. They can't be cancelled due to bad ratings, and the journalists can't seem to be sacked for showing obvious bias. They are immune from prosecution, to use some legal parlance. What to do?

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010'If Labor continues to poll badly, history is not on Rudd's side,Laurie Oakes, Courier Mail If next week's Newspoll confirms the depth of Labor's slump, the brutal truth is the Rudd Government is probably gone.' Why weren't these same political know-it-alls saying similar things when the Coalition were polling as badly 3 months ago? Which gives the lie to what they are saying anyway. If the Coalition can turn around disastrous polling in a few months, why can't the Labor Party?

NormanK

18/06/2010HS They can be brought to account just like anyone else. As I said the other day, now I am radicalised - see thoroughly pissed off. I have time, a modicum of intelligence and a computer - its time to do battle. There are watchdogs who must act if we bombard them. Talk more tomorrow.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010Did you hear that the company that the Mining Industry has contracted to put their Ad Campaign together has been busted offering to pay people, with no prior animus towards the Super Profits Tax, to write declamatory e-mails criticising the government for wanting to introduce the RSPT? You can guarantee THAT won't be on the front page of The Australian tomorrow.

Hillbilly Skeleton

18/06/2010A very interesting pov from Brud over at Jack the Insider's blog: 'I believe that the election will be won or lost during the campaign.Whoever wins the campaign will win the election.I kn ow this is a truism/cliche but more than ever it stands for something this time.The problem with Rudd is that he has achieved a lot but has failed miserably in alerting these achievements to the electorate.Abbott will not have much to crow about during the campaign-just all of the things he has objected to!Abbott will run a “Howard 1996 Campaign”. If you recall Howard could not be found on the campaign-he did not want to be tied down with questions and his whereabouts were not given to journalists until he was there first so it was all rush and no scrutiny.Howard’s small-target/no policy but tonnes of negative campaigning saw him through.Expect to see lots of this from Abbott.Keep in mind,Abbott has brought the Liberal party to within an inch of govt with virtually no policies at all...by just opposing and exaggerating everything.'

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010The battle for the RSPT is getting interesting: http://www.theage.com.au/national/we-are-talking-with-miners-says-swan-20100618-ymxv.html The part of this article that interests me the most is at the end where the Super Industry, on side with the government, have referred the new Mining Industry ads to the regulator because of the Superannuants who state that the RSPT will affect their retirement income. I think, and I hope and pray, that the ground is starting to collapse under the Miners' feet.

Lyn

19/06/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Morgan: 51-48.5 to Labor, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/06/18/morgan-51-5-48-5-to-labor/ [i]If you love the biggest mining companie, dont look at these numbers. Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] Fairfax points out something the mining industry would rather Australians didn’t realise http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/if-you-love-mining-companies-dont-look-at-these-numbers [i]RSPT DEBATE rolls on, Mark, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] there’s only a limited amount of stuff the mining industry can say before people get bored to death. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]With gritted teeth, a parental leave scheme, Guy Beres[/i] With little doubt, Abbott would prefer to deny the government its scheme, leaving Federal Labor with one less policy hook to hang its hat on heading into an election campaign. http://guyberes.com/2010/06/17/with-gritted-teeth-a-parental-leave-scheme/ [i]Struggling to make sense of health/aged care reform? Help is here…, Croakey[/i] The Parliamentary Library has produced its annual Budget Review, and it gives a very useful analysis of health and aged care reforms http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2010/06/17/struggling-to-make-sense-of-healthaged-care-reform-help-is-here/ [i]Do you realy think Murdoch wants to save the whales? The Daily Bludge[/i] ethically corrupt behaviour, universally common across the Murdoch empire. , http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/06/do-you-really-think-murdoch-wants-to-save-the-whales [i]Rudd’s nervous weekend awaiting poll position, Mark Kenny, The Punch[/i] The coming week will be crucial - perhaps the most crucial single week of Kevin Rudd’s first (and maybe only) term as prime minister. http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/rudds-nervous-weekend-awaiting-poll-position/

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19/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Rx

19/06/2010[i]It almost sounds like a paid advertisement for Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party. [/i] That's practically all that the political element of ABC "news and current affairs coverage" boils down to these days - advertising for the Liberal Party. Paid for alirght, but no BY the Liberals, by the Australian taxpayer. [i]Abbott has brought the Liberal party to within an inch of govt with virtually no policies at all...by just opposing and exaggerating everything[/i] I'd agree with that point but also add the elephant in the room: a partisan News Ltd and ABC, which, between them, dominate the "news" narrative. Where would a fruitcake like abbott be without a media complicitly boosting his malignant cause? Where he deserves to be: on the nose with the public and a good 10 points or more behind in the polls. There's no way to overstate it, the media in this country are doing democracy a grave disservice. They owe it to every citizen (and also to the standards of their own profession itself) to do full, impartial scrutiny of Abbott and his gang. If they are intent on shirking this professional obligation and foisting the unworthy Abbott into a position of power then it's 'The Media versus The People' as far as I'm concerned. I'm so sad and angry at what's become of the ABC. For all intents and purposes, we've lost our national broadcaster. No longer does this place have the benefit of a credible, impartial, fair and balanced public broadcaster. Instead, what we've got is a sham: a massive propaganda apparatus for spivs, ideological extremists and anti-democratic kooks who'd rape this country's wealth, living standards and future prosperity for the short-term gain of greedy robber barons and reverse Robin Hoods. As far as I can see, there's a few ways we could go with the ABC. 1) Concede that the principle of public broadcasting has been trashed to the point of abomination. Wash our hands of the thing and allow it to be sold off. Thanks, Rodent, for trashing Australia's most important cultural institution. 1a) Use the money raised from privatision to start over with a new public broadcaster designed from the ground-up to be resistant to political and sectional takeover. Legislate against political stacking by government. Put in place legal penalties for staff who make political appointments, broadcast in a partisan fashion, or otherwise behave contrary to legislated standards of impartiality and fairness. 1b) Plough the money raised from privatision into SBS, making it the pre-eminent public broadcaster. Beef up its standards and protections as suggested in 1a). 2) Make calls for a Senate Inquiry into bias and political/secitonal takeover of the ABC. [i]"A Senate Inquiry occurs when the Commonwealth Senate refers an issue of public importance to a Senate Committee for investigation. These committees do not have legislative powers, but are able to engage directly with the public, and seek submissions and evidence from the general population, as well as industry and interest groups. Following the provision of submissions, public or private hearings are held with witnesses, who are protected by parliamentary privilege. This means people can speak honestly and openly without fear of recrimination. Following this process, the Committee will produce a report with recommendations for the Commonwealth Government to consider."[/i] http://suicidepreventionaust.org/SenateInquiry.aspx 3) Complain, complain, complain. Never stop complaining, and never get off their backs. Complain to: The ABC itself - Consumer and Audience Affairs, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Australian Communications and Media Authority, Your local Federal Member, Political party federal candidates, State Senators. 4) Join the 'Friends of the ABC' and work for change/improvement. http://fabc.org.au/fabc/index.php 5) "Reward" ABC News and Current Affairs with the massive funding cut it deserves. 6) Just ignore the ABC. Switch off and tell everyone you know to do the same. Listen to and become involved with COMMUNITY BROADCASTING, for example 3CR in Melbourne. Donate to community radio, help with fundraising, letterbox pamphlets and car stickers. Heck, even host your own program on a community radio station! Look at some of the program titles from the community station 3CR in Melbourne, for example: [i]Alternative News Anarchist World This Week Armenian News Asia Pacific Currents Beyond the 1/4 Acre Block Beyond the Bars Beyond Zero Blazing Textbooks Buoyancy Radio Class Actions Earth Matters Food Fight Footprints Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) Keep Left Koori Survival Show Left After Breakfast Living Free Lost in Science Published or Not Renegade Economists Right Now Radio [/i] http://3cr.org.au/program_list

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010Rx, Noble sentiments. Alas the behemoth that is the ABC is not going to go anywhere soon. In fact, if Abbott wins, just kiss it goodbye wrt freedom from bias. What can we do? Hope that the new ABC 24/7 News Channel has recruited good journalists and does not simply become a pale imitation of Faux News Australia over at Sky. It's got a hope of being fairly impartial as Chris Uhlmann is going to be its figurehead and he is a good egg(his wife will be standing for the ALP in Canberra in the upcoming election). So, the way I see it is, if this new ABC channel delivers, the Kerry O'Briens, Heather Ewarts, Tony Jones, Barrie Cassidys and Leigh Sales of this world will wither and die on the vine of the 'old' ABC. However, as they are probably short of 'talent' at the new channel we'll no doubt see them pop up, just hope that they will be controlled better by Uhlmann and the new producers.

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010The Australian federal Press Gallery are a vile and contemptible lot. I don't know how they sleep at night.

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010I heart Lenore: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/fielding-hits-pay-dirt-in-the-gutter-20100618-ymmm.html

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19/06/2010Rx, HS I share your contempt for the ABC as it now operates and for the MSM. Today two themes seem to be about – the next [i]Newspoll[/i] is do or die for Kevin Rudd, which is nonsense, and the election MUST be this year, although no evidence is advanced as to why. It seems that the media is salivating for a fight, like the mob at a cockfight, and are baying for blood, Rudd’s blood. When do they want it? They want it now! What we are seeing is a media-initiated construct which has everything revolving around [i]Newspoll[/i], and more than that, next week’s [i]Newspoll[/i] which they have elevated to being the be all and end all of polls – forget [i]Morgan, Essential[/i] it’s [i]Newspoll[/i] that counts. That elevates the News Limited poll above all others and assigns to it predictive powers it does not have. By doing so News Limited is manipulating public opinion so that [i]Newspoll[/i] results become a self-fulfilling prophesy. It is a malignant process that will metastasise throughout our society if it is not arrested. It is an attempted takeover of public opinion by the media for its own ends. What can we small voices do? We can use the power of the pen to protest via every avenue we can find. Even when the forces are so powerful and all pervasive, we can still voice our views and be confident some will listen.

john

19/06/2010No wonder the press have no grasp on reality. On Lateline on Friday, Leigh Sales talked to two other journalists, Annabelle Crab and Dennis Shanahan, to get an analysis of the week, and the inner workings of the Labor party, as if either of them would know. Their opinions are just reflected back at them. Political reporting is one great big echo chamber.

NormanK

19/06/2010Ad astra We need to coordinate a response to the theft of Our ABC. Is it appropriate to use this forum to conduct a campaign? If so, I am willing to begin pulling together a strategy but it will require a large number of disciplined participants such as might be accessed here and on related sites. Rx has pointed out some of our options, a few of which are immediately practicable. Before I spell out more, I would need your permission to continue and be reassured that I'm not stepping on someone else's toes. HS I have not forgotten last night's musings. I really don't think we can do much to assist the ALP and seriously doubt that they need it. The ABC question is an all together different kettle of fish. We can and must do something. There are bodies which are obliged to listen and act. Numbers will be the key though.

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19/06/2010NormanK If you consider [i]TPS[/i] a suitable vehicle for mounting a campaign to drag our ABC back from where it’s heading towards the neutral, balanced ABC we always thought the public was entitled to expect, by all means let’s use it. We already have ABC WATCH, to which we could add what it is you have in mind. Or I could create a new page under ‘site pages’ specifically to promote the strategy, such as ‘SAVE OUR ABC’. Unfortunately this off-the=shelf blog engine does not allow visitors to post to ‘pages’ under ‘site pages’, but I can copy anything posted in the usual way to the designated page. Let us know what you have in mind. Incidentally, my two ‘letters’ to Kerry O’Brien never made it, the last letter posted in their so-called ‘Guestbook Entries’ was at 2.56 pm yesterday. Mine were sent after that! How much feedback do they really want?

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19/06/2010Rx Like john and HS, I see you are as appalled as I am at last night’s [i]Lateline’s[/i] pretence at balanced political journalism. We will not see balance from Dennis Shanahan now that he can smell Kevin Rudd’s blood, and as for Annabelle Crabb, or for that matter Leigh Sales, I doubt if they have the strength of character that would enable then to buck the media groupthink. So if that ‘team’ is inflicted on us every Friday night for the next eight weeks until the parliament resumes, I hope there is some more palatable alternative to view. The extensive advice you have advanced suggests you may be interested in NormanK’s idea of mounting a campaign to support OUR ABC.

NormanK

19/06/2010Ad astra I posted at 7.30 Report not long after you so I'm following their updates as well. "Unfortunately this off-the=shelf blog engine does not allow visitors to post to ‘pages’ under ‘site pages’, but I can copy anything posted in the usual way to the designated page." I'm not sure I understand this. If I post a webpage here it would be as a 'signpost' for where to go. This is not properly thought through yet but something along the lines of : Immediate: - bombard the letters' section of each individual programme, bearing in mind - “Comments made in online guest books and other interactive forums are program contributions and will not be treated as complaints”. This does not mean they would be ineffectual - there must be editors and producers who object to the current trend and this would provide them with ammunition. We could each do this as often as a programme goes to air and we are annoyed and we would not need to cite breaches of Code of Conduct etc. - fill the in-box of the ABC's main contact point so that we become a statistic. This could be once a week citing different instances each time. - contact Media Watch with multiple 'tips' because I'm sure they keep stats on who's saying what. Medium Term: - Each of us draft a generic letter outlining our individual dismay and send it to our sitting Lower House Member regardless of political stripe so that we generate noise. Send this same letter to our individual Labor Senate Reps because they do have the capacity to launch an inquiry. I'm still looking to see if we can contact each of the members of the ABC Advisory Council - they may be behind a wall but I hope not. They too can instigate action. It may even be possible to contact Board Members directly. Longer Term: Pull together 20 examples of breaches of editorial guidelines/policy and/or Codes of Practice and/or Quality Assurance - Impartiality and launch a formal complaint with the ABC. There are three or four more steps beyond this which can be pursued if we get no response or are unhappy with the response. ABC Watch on TPS will be a valuable source from which to extract such samples. This could be done either as multiple complaints citing one or two breaches or as a single document or both. Finding solid examples may be tricky because although the guidelines read well, they are broad and allow for a great deal of interpretation. That's why I figure 20 minimum so that even if half are dismissed, there should still be a case to answer. What do you think?

Miglo

19/06/2010Sally, re your suggestion (first comment in this thread), what I tend to do if I receive an email which is a Rudd joke, is to change the name to Abbott. But people really do have short memories; most of the Rudd jokes are just recycled Howard jokes.

Ann

19/06/2010As a reader of this site, I would be prepared to join the campaign regarding the ABC bias

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19/06/2010NormanK On the standard page on [i]TPS[/i] anyone can post a comment, unfortunately including spammers, but on the pages listed under ‘site pages’ in the right panel, only I can post material. This is what I do every day with Lyn’s links. Other visitors cannot post there. So to work this campaign by you and anyone else so inclined to post material for SAVE OUR ABC (or whatever we call it), by posting it on whatever piece on [i]TPS[/i] is current, labelled for inclusion in SAVE OUR ABC, and I will copy it there. Or are you saying you would create a webpage elsewhere for this material to which [i]TPS[/i] would link? What you are suggesting as a strategy is a good start. Tell me how you would wish this information to be accessible, and if you want a page on [i]TPS[/i] for SAVE OUR ABC, I can set it up this evening.

Sally

19/06/2010AA, NormanK, HS, AC, Nasking and other sublime contributors, I’ve been away from my internet connection. Got back last night but too tired to read. So, we decided to watch the box. But what? Got through the news (ABC), then thought what now? I had heard of but never watched the Colbert Report. For both of us it was an eye opener on what one can get away with in political satire in the US. This led to a long discussion this morning over breakfast of Aus political satire on the box, that is, its demise. I persuaded he who thinks he knows everything to read NormanK’s piece on the ‘off the record’ taping. We both fell about laughing (again, for me). But where is this kind of satire now? Answer: only on the blogs. Seems to me that clever, researched, insightful and very funny political satire is a great barometer of political mood at the ABC, ergo those who control it (the ABC) and its programming. It is not a simple reflection of who is in political power at the time, more about who was in political power when the Board was appointed. What value these comments to the current discussion thread? I’m in pretty close agreement with NormanK’s views on what to do and have suggested same in various posts (little response from you lot but maybe I’m a bit too radical/outspoken). However, I also wonder whether humour has a role – especially when penned by either of our two brilliant satirists (NK and AC). Whether you two could get your hilarious, outrageous, provocative, and insightful offerings posted here onto YouTube/Facebook? It’s a powerful weapon and one that’s hard to combat. Just a thought.

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19/06/2010Ann You are very welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family and to our 'save the ABC' campaign. Please come again.

NormanK

19/06/2010Sally You're too kind. As for little response to your previous suggestions, I can only apologise. I responded in my head but that doesn't count really. (Warm words, warm words, warm words) In no way is this proposal "my idea" but rather an amalgam of what's been floating around. Circumstances permitting, I should be able to devote some time to this and I now have a willingness to do so. Really that's the only difference. I would still rely on wiser heads than mine to bring anything to fruition and more importantly it would require participation by as many individuals as we can muster. Ad astra Now I understand. Creation of a 'site page' Save Our ABC would be best methinks but let me do some more homework and also gauge the willingness of fellow Swordians to contribute and participate. I may go down the path of a formal complaint regardless but it would be a waste of time and emotional energy to start something which dies during birth.

Gravel

19/06/2010Hi everyone, I've been out of the loop since Thursday week ago. Catching up now with all the topics. I was visiting family, not one word was spoken about politics (it was actually a nice break) but also saw no news on tv, only paper was bought on the Sunday, specifically for the tv guide. Average self employed family two kids, heaps of visitors coming and going and none of them mentioned a thing about politics. Maybe as some have suggested, it is only us die hard political tragic's that are taking things in properly. Okay after watching the ABC news and 7.30 report these last few days our household here has decided no more ABC tv. Will give 10 news ago starting tonight. We live in the country and ABC radio is all we get and after Jon Faine's disgraceful effort after some interview the Prime Minister had, and had complemented some reporter on her outfit that she was wearing, he carried on disgracefully. Thankfully most of the people that texted (?) in told him how silly he was carrying on. I don't know where to go now to just get background noise, if any one can help we live south west of Melbourne, and can suggest a radio station to listen to through the week I would be most grateful. NormanK I don't have a lot of time to spare but I like your and others idea's about what to do about the ABC. I'll help if something simple and practical can be done.

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010Update: Peter Dutton is still ahead on his BHP shares Coalition frontbencher Peter Dutton bought BHP on Tuesday May 4 - two days after his leader said the RSPT would kill the mining industry "stone dead". It closed that day $38.59 Tonight it closed $39.24 That's annualised growth of 14% Earlier story here. Pity the investors that took note of what Coalition frontbenchers said rather than what they did.

molly

19/06/2010i decided to do this end emails of policy a couple of weeks ago you know how people send you those silly things, they do it all the time i said well you send me thing and expect me to pass things on now its your turn i dont care if i make enemies for life i am to the age where i dont care i care more about country and family to care what others think so yes perhaps pick out what you think may effect that person, the PPl is good for mothers grandmothers ( they are sick of looking after their children's off spring) etc work choices to younger people etc. health to all in sundry. but do it of a good alp web site so you have copied the facts. AND THE GREAT THING WILL BE WHEN YOU ACTULLY GET ONE BACK

Miglo

19/06/2010Some may recall that I've formed a Facebook group called 'Australians for an honest media'. It's not doing much at the moment as I'm focusing on blogs, but it might be a good place where we can collate some ideas. Blogging, at times, can seem like a thankless task. If our political agenda doesn't change the world this election year, we know that we have another 3 years of hard work ahead of us. Our work is never done. My short piece on the Power of Blogs at Cafe Whispers is aimed at alerting the blogosphere that their messages are important. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/the-power-of-blogs-3/

Rx

19/06/2010How about a page or section where we acknowledge the great work that journalists [i]do[/i] do? People thrive on encouragement and positive feedback. When we see journalists who are doing the right thing, let's recognise them, congratulate them and cultivate their best performance. Could we print out prestigious-looking certificates and mail or deliver them to worthy recipients? Something they can display proudly on their wall or in their CV to vouch for good work?

Patricia Lorimer

19/06/2010You're a great family. So pleased to be a member. A couple of quick comments. I found the Opinion piece by emeritus professor, Rodd Tiffin in today's smh interesting and would love your feedback. The profile of Simon Sheikh from GetUp also in the smh suggests that he will target the Minerals Council re the RSPT. I note, he has previously taken up Save the ABC. Perhaps he could look at this beloved organisation again and save it from itself. I declare that as a grey haired lady almost of the 3rd Age I know nothing about GetUp, but would respect your comments. Cheers.

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010Grog's got a new blog up! http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/06/bhp-writes-me-letter.html

Lyn

19/06/2010Hi Hillbilly Thankyou for posting Grog's link, amazing he doesn't usually write this early. Grog is going to have to tell us when he posts a new Piece I think. [i]BHP writes me a letter, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] This is essentially the world’s biggest mining company stamping its foot like a 5 year old and saying “it’s not fair!!!!” http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/06/bhp-writes-me-letter.html

Lyn

19/06/2010Hi Ad This is Shaun Carney's piece on the 7.30pm reportland. [quote]This is what Rudd had said at the ball: ''The mining industry are here tonight. I extend my greeting to each and every one of them. I notice there's a small fire which has been erected down the back. I understand that myself and Wayne Swan and Martin Ferguson will soon be erected above that fire. Can I say, guys, we've got a very long memory.''[/quote] [[b]i]Verbal sludge-fest , Shaun Carney, National Times[/i] On Thursday night, about 712,000 people tuned in to the ABC's 7.30 Report to see Kerry O'Brien interview the Prime Minister.[/b] http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/verbal-sludgefest-20100618-ymoz.html

Grog

19/06/2010Oh Lyn, you guys seem to find out soon enough! Actually follow me on twitter - I always tweet when I have posted a new blog.

john

19/06/2010@NormanK, I would happily send letters and ring the ABC to complain, as well as my local member and senator. I agree that probably they will just ignore e-mail and electronic contact, though. Maybe a separate blog or forum moderated by whoever wants to really run a campaign like this?

Lyn

19/06/2010Hi Patricia Nice to see you today. Love your comment. Thankyou for telling me and all of us about Rod Tiffen's piece, seems on a par with Shaun Carney's piece, link just above. Rod's piece makes me sad, the media are so nasty to Kevin Rudd. [b]The story about Simon Sheikh is worth a read for everybody[/b], He is a great young bloke isn't he Patricia, to be greatly admired, especially how he looked after his parents at such a young age [i]It is another example that the media are either at someone's feet or at their throat[/i]. [i]Last year's champ has become this year's chump , Rod Tiffen, SMH[/i] it is clearly open season on Kevin Rudd. Anyone with something disparaging to say about Rudd, your time is now. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/last-years-champ-has-become-this-years-chump-20100618-ymnk.html [i]So loudly they cannot be ignored , SMH[/i] At 24, he runs a national organisation with more than 350,000 members, and has a brief that requires him to tell the nation's political leaders where they are getting it wrong. http://www.smh.com.au/national/so-loudly-they-cannot-be-ignored-20100618-ymu5.html

Lyn

19/06/2010Hi Ann A big welcome to you, thankyou for your comment, we all hope you keep commenting. [quote]As a reader of this site, I would be prepared to join the campaign regarding the ABC bias [/quote] How nice of you to join in with everyone here at The Political Sword

Lyn

19/06/2010Hi Ad [b]Just in 5.49pm[/b] The Australian newspaper reports party revolt, the Sydney Morning Herald reports the facts : 'No leadership revolt' against Rudd, Sydney Morning Herald June 19, 2010 - 5:49PM The claims of an impending backbench revolt appeared in Saturday's Australian newspaper which said key Labor MPs were prepared to move against Mr Rudd to make way for Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The newspaper said it had contacted a number of MPs who said Labor's support had plummeted and a change in leadership was needed to avoid the risk of losing the upcoming election. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/no-leadership-revolt-against-rudd-20100619-ynqw.html

gusface

19/06/2010http://www.abc.net.au/elections/nsw/2010/penrith/commentary.htm Seems Antony is upset at some silly conspiracy thoeists on PB :(

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19/06/2010Folks I've updated my Gravatar icon.

Lyn

19/06/2010Hi Ad I love your new Gravatar.

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19/06/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Sir Ian Crisp

19/06/2010Molly, I think that you haven't put the lid back on the liquid paper bottle. Nice gravatar AA. Are you sure you aren't K Rudd senior.

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19/06/2010Lyn I'm glad you like it - it's very recent - the previous one was taken a long while ago.

Lyn

19/06/2010Hi Sir Ian Crisp I've been missing you, glad to see you. cheers

Lynchpin

19/06/2010Well, it just seems to get worse and worse. Even Shaun Carney and Peter Hartcher are now in on the political assassination of Rudd. One carried an article criticising in forensic detail the way Rudd speaks. Unbelievable. The other was singing Abbott's praises and saying he has the experience to be PM. What is the world coming to. Sadly this seems to me to have an enormous momentum now. Rudd is being pummelled by almost every part of the media. I think Rudd is gone, sadly.

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010My Gravatar is of me recently too! :)

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010From the smh article: 'The claims of an impending backbench revolt appeared in Saturday's Australian newspaper which said key Labor MPs were prepared to move against Mr Rudd to make way for Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.' Let me just say that there is at least one, if not more(and from what I saw at the Caucus meeting last Tuesday in the grab on TV they are sitting together), Labor MPs, and I would not call them 'key', who have gone rogue and become mischief makers. As a result of not being preferred for the Ministry(Kelvin Thomson, who has contradicted Rudd govt. policy previously), or being disendorsed after flagrant public misbehaviour(Belinda Neal), I think you'll find if you check out their phone records that they were the sources of the Australian newspaper article.

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19/06/2010Folks A new piece from HillbillySkeleton: [i]Gotcha![/i] has just been posted.

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010Brilliant commentary from Antony Green, reading the political tea leaves as he waits for Penrith By-Election results to come in: http://www.abc.net.au/elections/nsw/2010/penrith/commentary.htm I especially liked this bit: 'Which does bring me to this morning's Australian. Page 4, sub-heading above a map of outer Sydney. The text says "The outcome for state Labor in Pernith today is likely to be heavily influenced by the issues of asylum-seekers, the mining tax and the Rudd 'brand'.". Oh come off it! Who wrote that piece of nonsense. 'Heavily influenced'? Is that reporting or wish-fulfillment? Has the person who wrote that line actually visited the electorate in the campaign? It is possible that every parrot on their perch will be screeching this nonsense on Monday morning, but that's what it is, nonsense. The sort of inside National Circuit mentality that nothing happens in Australia which isn't about Canberra. A quote in column eight on the same page reports Barry O'Farrell stating that local issues have loomed largest with voters. Anyone who's had to sit in the carpark called the M4 twice a day, or squeezed on trains in peak hour, will know the issues in the minds of Pernith voters. This by-election was called before the Rudd government's poll dive and before the mining tax was announced. The state government has lost three ministers during the campaign. The Labor Party has kept the Premier away from Penrith as much as possible ever since the by-election was announced. Barry O'Farrell has been there so often, you'd think he's moved in. Labor was heading for a bath in Penrith before all the current Canberra angst got going. Assuming Labor receives its bath tonight, it is a bit silly to turn around now and say it's all Kevin Rudd's fault.'

Lyn

19/06/2010Hi Hillbilly You have gone to Blogotariat already. GOTCHA! The Poitical Sword, 9.57pm Greetings fellow Swordians. Today I'd like to report on a worrying trend which I have noticed creeping into political reportage of late in this country. http://www.blogotariat.com/

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010Why am I not surprised that a News Ltd. journalist said this on Twitter re the Penrith By-Election? http://twitpic.com/1y38en

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19/06/2010Sir Ian Welcome back. No you haven't cracked the K Rudd code - I'm certainly more senior that our Kevin, and we both have white hair, but that's where the connection finishes.

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19/06/2010Lynchpin Let's not get ahead of the game. Reflect on the mindset of the Canberra Press Gallery. Although some will write without fear or favour, such as George Megalogenis and Jack the Insider, others may now be considering which way to jump. Do they go along with the anti-Rudd groupthink, do they stay balanced, or do they back the horse both ways so as to not cut off sources post-election they may need? If they sniff the possibility of an Abbott victory, they might think it wise to say a few nice things about him. So what they say might have an element of self-preservation about it. I doubt if the election will be held before October, which leaves four months to get policies out, publicize achievements, settle the mining issue, and get some biting ads running. We'll all soon be exahausted if we start thinking the worst now.

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19/06/2010HS As your new piece [i]Gotcha[/i] illustrates so well, the media is now making up stories - mind you, they always have. But now they have set out to assassinate our PM politically, and if that means making stories up, such as Fordham did, so be it - whatever it takes! Antony Green is not part of that conspiracy, so can say it the way it is. We can only hope the fair and balanced will speak loudly. For example, Paul Kelly was more balanced today than I expected. The tabloid journalists though will not feel constrained by journalistic ethics and standards - the are in for the kill by fair means or foul.

Hillbilly Skeleton

19/06/2010Ad, I noticed that Paul Kelly was more balanced today as well. Pangs of conscience? Feelings of embarassment after watching Lateline with Dennis Shanhan? Or had Ros Kelly been on the phone? :)

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19/06/2010Grog Your pieces are always incisive and entertaining. Your forensic analysis of Jac Nasser's letter is brilliant - I do hope you send it to him. If this is as far as his honesty with facts and his ability to reason extend, BHP should be concerned. But in all likelihood his PR department or maybe the MCA PR depatrment dreamed this up and he meekly signed it. Pathetic. Folks, you'll enjoy reading Grog's [i]BHP writes me a letter[/i] http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/06/bhp-writes-me-letter.html

molly

20/06/2010would think MR rudd firmly in charge re the news conf re broadband and telstra news conf on the this afternoon, me think red faces at the msm

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21/06/2010Folks As mentioned above, [i]“...in Alice in Wonderland style, ‘stats can mean whatever you want them to mean’. Dennis Shanahan, The Australian’s commentator-in-chief on Newspoll, has a well earned a reputation for that.”[/i]. Well Dennis never disappoints. Here he is at his old games again, analysing today’s [i]Newspoll[/i]. I wrote about this Shanahanian habit as far back as December in [i]Dennis Shanahan is at it again[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2009/12/08/Dennis-Shanahan-is-at-it-again.aspx shortly after Tony Abbott became Opposition Leader. Then he had resumed his habit of interpreting [i]Newspoll[/i] stats according to the meme he was currently running, as he did during the final year of the Howard Government. Today the [i]Newspoll[/i] ‘news’, in the order presented in the [i]Mumble[/i] table, was: Primary votes virtually unchanged; Labor still on 35, Coalition 40, Greens 15 TPP 52/48 based on preference distribution at the last election The last four TPP’s back to the end of April, have been Labor 49/51, 50/50, 51/49 and today 52/48 Approval ratings for Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott virtually unchanged PPM rating Rudd 46 Abbott 37 as against Rudd 49 Abbott 33 three weeks ago. Given those facts, what does Dennis write in [i]The Oz[/i]. No prizes for getting it right. [i] Tony Abbott narrows gap on Kevin Rudd[/i]. His first three paragraphs read: [i]“Tony Abbott has narrowed the gap on Kevin Rudd as the preferred national leader. “Labor has failed to lift its primary support and the Prime Minister has reached a new high in voter dissatisfaction. “Although the Opposition Leader continues to maintain record high levels of personal dissatisfaction with voters, he has halved Mr Rudd's lead as the preferred prime minister in the past three weeks.”[/i] It is not until he gets to his seventh paragraph that he says: [i]” Based on preference flows at the last election, calculated on an 80 per cent flow of Greens preferences to Labor, the government is ahead on the two-party-preferred figure of 52 to 48 per cent. This is based on a Greens primary vote of 15 per cent, down one point in three weeks.”[/i] No mention of this being an election-winning lead, no comparison with the TPP at the last election of 52.7/47.3, no mention of the three point improvement in the Labor TPP number since late April. In other words, Dennis has a meme that Rudd is slipping, Labor is bogged down in its primary vote, Abbott is catching up to Rudd as PPM, and the stats are used to support that. The fact that if these results were repeated at an election and the preference flows were similar to last time, Labor would win comfortably, is not mentioned at all. This is in marked contrast to the recent [i]Nielsen[/i] poll where the TPP was Labor 47.2 Coalition 52.8 which would have given a very convincing win to the Coalition and installed Abbott as PM. But there is no mention by Dennis that today’s [i]Newspoll[/i] is almost a mirror image of the [i]Nielsen[/i] poll. Now there’s no value in us huffing and puffing about Shanahan’s disingenuousness in presenting the [i]Newspoll[/i] stats. That’s just the way he is – if we’re not already used to his journalistic deceitfulness and misrepresentation through cherry-picking the data that suits his meme, we had better get used to it, because he will continue in this way until the election. I’ve awarded him a THUMBS DOWN, DOWN, DOWN for his efforts on [i]Media Alerts[/i].
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?