The media, the polls and the Labor brand

In recent times there has been a confluence of three interacting factors: the escalating influence of the media on political discourse, a plethora of opinion polls on politics, and more lately, diminution of the Labor ‘brand’. This piece attempts to dissect out these interactions.

Despite emphatic and indignant denials from News Limited executives and editors that they have no plan to drive PM Gillard and her Government from office through their stories, there seems no doubt in the minds of many in the media that this game plan does exist. Articles on the ABC website, and in the Fairfax press and in Crikey, insist that this is so, over and again. This push for ‘regime change’ is talked about at a governmental level and on dozens of blog sites in the Fifth Estate. The Herald Sun banner headline last week: Tick, Tick, Tick, could hardly be a clearer sign that this is News Limited’s intention. The thrust of this piece rests on the premise that this is the case. People who really believe that this is not the case will find nothing much to interest them here.

For years now News Limited media have published stories adverse to the Gillard Government. They defend their right to expose the true state of affairs in federal politics, which right of course they have. But that involves giving a true picture of all the relevant facts, set out fairly in a way that enables voters to examine and assess the facts for themselves. The media also has the right, and sometimes the responsibility in complex matters, to analyse and appraise the facts and draw conclusions, and at times it has the right to offer an opinion, so long as it is clear that it is only the journalist’s or the outlet’s opinion. Yet this is not what we see. New Limited tabloids, and even its much vaunted flagship, The Australian, have consistently distorted the facts by using only those that suit its case through cherry picking, by deliberate omission, by misinformation and sometimes by telling downright lies. We saw the latter flagrantly on display in the Milne article last week, an article that not only contained proven lies, but sought to smear our PM with innuendo about her long past personal life and connect this in people’s minds with the contemporary saga of Craig Thomson. Anyone who is prepared to whitewash all this malfeasance should read no further.

I could fill several paragraphs with evidence to support my view of News Limited, but that would bore readers who have heard it all before. Suffice is it to point out the way in which the BER was berated systematically by The Australian despite 97% satisfaction documented in the schools where improvements were installed; its consistent attacks on the NBN and personal attacks on Mike Quigley, CEO of NBN Co.; and its unremitting assault on putting a price on carbon, despite every reputable economist supporting the market based mechanism that will follow, and the lack of even one reputable economist who supports the alternative Direct Action Plan of the Opposition. Moreover, even when the Government achieves a legislative success, this is usually relegated to the back pages or the small columns of News Limited papers. The good news is blurred, diluted or buried while anything that can be turned into a bad news story takes precedence. Ugly, demeaning cartoons of the PM embellish these unpleasant stories.

Given that News Limited is hell-bent on discrediting the PM and the Gillard Government, how does that play into the opinion polls and the public’s view of Labor?

Clearly, such behaviour, together with Tony Abbott’s and the Coalition’s incessant damnation of everything the Government does or attempts, has led to a view among the public that the Government is incompetent and unworthy of support, evidenced week after week by its continued poor showing in the opinion polls. And these oft repeated polls feed into one another so that now the Labor ‘brand’ is damaged not just at a Federal level, but also in NSW, Queensland, WA and Tasmania and is now being damaged in Victoria, a strong Labor state, and SA.

Reflect on just last week – how many times did we hear Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison insist that the Government can’t get anything right, is incompetent, and according to Hockey simply doesn’t know how to govern. They incessantly paint a picture of Labor as bumbling, error-prone, inept and hopeless, in contrast to the Coalition, which does know how to govern and will always do it better than Labor.

Yet this flies in the face of the successful passage of 185 pieces of legislation with no failures in a ‘hung parliament’. It flies in the face of the progress the Government has made with crucial reforms on climate change, health, mental health and disability, education, IR, the NBN, amongst many, many others.

It also curiously flies in the face of opinions expressed in a poll carried out by Essential Research among 1,043 respondents on 29 August. The table below is so germane to this piece that it is reproduced in full for your examination.  

Those polled were asked:

“Thinking about what the Labor Government has done over the last few years, do you approve or disapprove of the following Government actions?"

The scale is at the top, the sub-questions below, and the percentage responses below them. The first two figures are the most important: ‘Total approve’ and ‘Total disapprove’.

Total approve Total disapprove Strongly approve Approve Disapprove Strongly disapprove Don’t know

"Increased funding of health services
89% 5% 42% 47% 3% 2% 6%

Increasing the age pension
78% 14% 34% 44% 8% 6% 8%

Increasing superannuation to 12%
75% 13% 28% 47% 9% 4% 12%

Managing the economy to keep unemployment and interest rates low
70% 21% 21% 49% 12% 9% 10%

Spending on new school buildings
68% 24% 19% 49% 15% 9% 8%

Introducing a national disability insurance scheme
63% 13% 18% 45% 9% 4% 24%

Stimulus spending to tackle the GFC
61% 28% 21% 40% 15% 13% 11%

Paid parental leave
60% 30% 19% 41% 17% 13% 10%

Introducing a tax on large profits of mining companies
58% 29% 27% 31% 16% 13% 13%

Building the NBN (National Broadband Network)
54% 34% 19% 35% 17% 17% 12%

Stopping live cattle exports until welfare concerns were addressed
53% 34% 24% 29% 17% 17% 12%

Abolished WorkChoices
51% 33% 23% 28% 21% 12% 16%

Sending asylum seekers to Malaysia
39% 45% 17% 22% 20% 25% 16%

Introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change
33% 53% 15% 18% 14% 39% 14%"

The Report noted that: “Government decisions and policies with highest approval were increased funding of health services (89% approve), increasing the age pension (78%) and increasing superannuation to 12% (75%).

“Only two of the actions listed received less than majority approval – sending asylum seekers to Malaysia was 39% approve/45% disapprove and introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change was 33% approve/53% disapprove.

“Labor voters showed majority approval of all decisions and policies, Greens voters showed majority approval for all except sending asylum seekers to Malaysia (21% approve/63% disapprove).

“Liberal/National voters approved of half the items listed – increased funding of health services (89% approve), increasing the age pension (79%), increasing superannuation to 12% (71%), managing the economy to keep unemployment and interest rates low (54%), spending on new school buildings (54%), introducing a national disability insurance scheme (60%) and paid parental leave (52%).”

These questions cover many of the important areas about which Government action has been taken. The responses point to enthusiastic approval by the majority of voters (over 70%) of the top four items, solid approval (60 - 69%) for the next four and majority approval (50 – 59%) for the next four. Only the last two of the fourteen items show an approval of less than 50%, and they relate to the Malaysian agreement (39% approval, 45% disapproval) and the carbon tax (33%, 53%).


Yet in the self same poll the Coalition was 12 points ahead of Labor in the Two Party Preferred voting intentions, 56/44. 


How can this be so? Have the two negatives for the Government over the Malaysian agreement and the carbon tax so overwhelmed the twelve positives that those polled have weighed them up carefully and given the Government a heavy negative mark of 44 against the Coalition’s 56? This might be so, but it is implausible that those polled have gone through a logical process of weighing the twelve positives against the two negatives and ending with an overall bad negative voting intention mark. A more plausible explanation is that the voting intentions were canvassed first and the questions afterwards. Perhaps some might have wished to change their voting intention after answering the questions, mostly affirmatively, if they had had the chance. 


But in my opinion the most plausible explanation is that there is a marked disconnect between their thoughtfully considered responses to the questions, which were mostly positive, even among Coalition voters, and their almost instinctive aversion to Labor, the Labor ‘brand’, which evoked a strong negative voting intention for that party. 


While this Essential Report provides the best objective evidence to date of this disconnect, we see it in everyday political commentary by journalists. In recent days, to name but two, Barrie Cassidy and Malcolm Farr have on the one hand commented on how much the Government has done, while in the same breath have pointed to its unpopularity, its poor showing in the polls, and the impression in the community of an incompetent Government that can’t get anything right. They also comment that distracting issues, such as the Thomson affair, are ‘sucking oxygen’ from Labor’s efforts to ‘sell its message’, without for a second acknowledging that is the media’s preoccupation with these issue to the exclusion of the crucially important ones, that produces this outcome. How many Government-initiated press conferences on vital matters have been overwhelmed by questions on unrelated but titillating subjects that just happen to interest the media? 


How has the impression of incompetence been generated? Some would say the Government itself generates this because it is incompetent. Yet the more thoughtful journalists, the respondents to the Essential poll, and Independents such as Tony Windsor, Robb Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie see the Government not only as competent but achieving, except in a few contentious areas. 


My thesis is that the Coalition and its media fellow travelers have generated the image of incompetence and has fostered this repeatedly with almost every utterance. 


Last Thursday 2GB’s Ray Hadley began his interview with Tony Abbott about the High Court ruling by asking: “Is there one thing they could possibly not stuff up”. Now we don’t expect anything else from Hadley or his shock jock mate Alan Jones who malevolently berates the Government and PM Gillard at every opportunity. But it does illustrate how easily this impression of incompetence can be promulgated. Of course Abbott quickly picked up on the incompetence theme, as did Joe Hockey on 774 ABC radio Melbourne the same day, something those two, with help from their Coalition mates, have done repeatedly, dating back to the early days of the Rudd Government. 


Moreover, a level of hatred and loathing towards Julia Gillard and her Government, which has reached pathological levels, has been generated not just by Tony Abbott and his Coalition confreres, but also with unparalleled vehemence and vitriol by the shock jocks. Will we ever forget the dressing down Alan Jones gave our PM for being ten minutes late to his infamous show where he called her ‘Ju-liar’? Can we ever erase the sight of him, and of Tony Abbott, with Sophie Mirabella and Bronwyn Bishop, standing in front of the ‘Ditch the Witch’ and ‘Bob Brown’s bitch’ placards at the Canberra rallies? Reflect on the endless images of Jones berating the PM that we have seen repeated on Media Watch. 


These venomous people, and lets add Ray Hadley and Chris Smith to the ugly list, are deliberately fostering a level of hatred, distrust and detestation directed at this nation’s PM, the like of which we have not seen in a long while. This is dangerous. It has led to talk of assassination among the extremists; even Jones on a public broadcast said Julia Gillard and Bob Brown should be put in a hessian bag and dropped out to sea. What sort of talk is this in a peace-loving society? 


We have seen through the ages how anger, hatred and loathing can be whipped up against minorities, against religious and ethnic groups through the continual repetition of disparaging remarks and lies. Joseph Goebbels infamously said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” He went on to say: “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Isn’t this just what we are seeing day after day: lie after lie, not maintained by ‘the State’ but directed at ‘the State’ by the Coalition, the shock jocks and a large chunk of the MSM? They are fomenting these ugly and dangerous emotions among our people, such that they gather at rallies, wave nasty placards and shout obscenities. 


This piece argues that there is a disconnect between what the people think and believe when they take a calm and considered view of what the Government has done, is doing and plans to do, where they largely give it a tick, and what they feel when subjected to a torrent of hate and condemnation from the Coalition, the shock jocks, and a large sector of the MSM, that leads to: 'They are doing quite a good job when you think about it, but I hate Ju-liar and her incompetent bunch of ministers that can’t seem to get anything right, and so I’m not going to vote for Labor'.

Because of this disconnect, the Labor brand has been severely tarnished and seems unlikely to return to its shiny state unless polished over and again with multiple accomplishments, acknowledged honestly through the media. That is the task ahead, but unless the largely hostile MSM changes it direction and attitude, it may prove to be impossible in the remaining two years. 


It’s curious and troubling that because of the unremitting negativity that has been directed at Labor for so long, emotion has over-ridden thought and factual evidence and reigns supreme when pollsters come around seeking voting intentions. The Labor brand lies so tarnished at present that fewer and fewer wish to embrace it. Can logic and truth overcome emotion and restore its lustre? 


What do you think? 


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Casablanca

5/09/2011Ad Astra. Another excellent essay [quote]Reflect on just last week – how many times did we hear Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison insist that the Government can’t get anything right, is incompetent, and according to Hockey simply doesn’t know how to govern. They incessantly paint a picture of Labor as bumbling, error-prone, inept and hopeless, in contrast to the Coalition, which does know how to govern and will always do it better than Labor. [/quote] I can't for the life of me remember who recently used the phrase [b]'the once great Liberal Party'[/b](may even have been the PM in QT) but I think that it could become an effective invective in the current atmosphere. It is pithy and targetted. What say all of you?

Casablanca

5/09/2011Gillard's a goner, Shorten's still bloody. Stand up, Simon Crean Amanda Vanstone September 5, 2011 Opinion Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/gillards-a-goner-shortens-still-bloody-stand-up-simon-crean-20110904-1js5s.html#ixzz1X31oUQIz

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Reb What a pity the best you can do is to reduce this piece simplistically to [i]“It’s all the media’s fault…”[/i]. The piece does not argue the case that the Government is blameless. Would you care to come back and argue the case that the media is blameless? We would value your considered opinion. Casablanca Thank you for your kind remarks and for your link to the Amanda Vanstone article. I think we will see a spate of such pieces as the media encourages destabilizing speculation about Julia Gillard’s prime ministership.

D Mick Weir

5/09/2011Ad, quick first take [i]It is not what you are doing, it is how you are doing it[/i]

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011Of course the media isn't blameless, but I think you credit the likes of Alan Jones with way more influence than he actually carries. The following is from Crikey: [i]We trust Laurie Oakes and George Negus to bring us the news. But not Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt. And the news is worse for Bolt, the nation's pre-eminent conservative crusader, with more than half of respondents to an Essential Research survey not knowing who he is. Essential put a number of journalists and commentators to its weekly online panel to ask who they most trusted. The results perhaps aren't surprising, and skewed with state-based stars, but show among the trustworthy and reviled that [u]some of the nation's hot-headed megaphones aren't as famous as they might think.[/u] Negus, the former 60 Minutes globetrotter turned host of Channel Ten's struggling 6.30 bulletin, shared the most-trusted title with Nine's veteran political reporter. Both scored 75% in the trust stakes, though Oakes polled slightly higher (33%) than Negus (27%) in the "a lot of trust" column. Radio rabble-rouser and chief government critic [u]Jones was the most disliked[/u], with [u]almost half saying they had little or no trust in the 2GB breakfast host.[/u] [u]A third said they had no trust in him as a commentator whatsoever.[/u] A trio of Victorian-based commentators had their figures dragged down by a lack of recognition. ABC Radio's Jon Faine and 3AW morning rival Neil Mitchell both scored 40% in having "no trust" or "not much trust", while The Age's political editor Michelle Grattan came in at 34%. Less than half of respondents to the survey could name the three, with Faine the least recognised at just 33%. Bolt's national TV profile -- after quitting the ABC's Insiders he now hosts a Sunday morning platform on Channel Ten -- hasn't done much to boost his fame: [u]almost half (48%) said they didn't know who he was.[/u]Despite Tony Jones' lower recognition factor, the ABC Q&A and Lateline host was third behind Oakes and Negus as the journalist or commentator most trusted. Grattan was fourth.[/i]

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011D Mick Weir As I don’t know what you mean by “[i]It is not what you are doing, it is how you are doing it”[/i]. I’m looking forward to your next take.

Patricia WA

5/09/2011I posted this on our earlier thread. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z3BV0CnMw9Q/TmDUaUNm2LI/AAAAAAAADfM/T9uflDfQ6Po/s1600/gillard.jpg It went unnoticed among the nasties, our unwelcome visitors, which is what happens on a wider scale to all the great and positive things Julia Gillard and her government are doing. This weekend amid all the sleaze, malice and leadership speculation in MSM our Prime Minister was doing her job and representing our country. http://www.daylife.com/photo/0gdZcEVbMacyP

nasking

5/09/2011Top piece Ad astra. [quote]This piece argues that there is a disconnect between what the people think and believe when they take a calm and considered view of what the Government has done, is doing and plans to do, where they largely give it a tick [/quote] Ad, I was talking to my parents on the weekend and tried to work out why they dislike the government so much. Regardless of the accomplishments I pointed out and the benefits they have received from this govt....and how much has been done for their daughter-in-law's school, most of the time they stubbornly held to the view that "Gillard has to go". The major reasons they brought up were "Labor governments privatised & made electricity too expensive"..."Gillard stabbed our QLDer Kevin"...and "The carbon tax will make things harder". The asylum seeker thing has just fed into their already biased views on the government & the PM. Obviously the government is not breaking thru communication-wise. It's why I reckon we need someone like Beattie in federal parliament. BTW, they get their news from shock jocks, ABC 24, ABC radio, and the various evening news. Says a great deal about the ABC reporting. Mum's a rabid conservative and luvs the ABC. She's getting her money's worth. Interestingly, when my wife told my Mum about Julia's warm, cheerful visit to the traumatised primary school across the road, mentioning specifically feedback from kids & staff, her view of the PM softened. Note: the school had just lost students in a fire. Also, my wife showed my mum & stepdad quite a number of pictures on her laptop related to the science lab refurbs & the school's vege & fruit garden partially funded by govt...providing details of how they were completed & run... both were highly impressed. I believe it was part of a presentation they/she give(s) to parents of students. My Mum said: "Why doesn't the government showoff these wonderful projects?...we never see them like that...you S' could show them a few things". My stepdad nodded & agreed. He was impressed. I said that I thought the government was shy about promoting such accomplishments because the BER had been bashed so much in the media. My Mum replied: "That's the problem with this government...it's too scared...it shouldn't let Murdoch push it around". I was surprised she mentioned Murdoch. And agreed the govt. needed to be more courageous, communicate accomplishments more effectively...and push the Murdoch media back. BTW, they're torn on whether the Libs should have Abbott or Turnbull as leader. My stepdad dislikes the religious aspect to Abbott's approach. N'

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011"the nasties, our unwelcome visitors?" I thought you wanted to talk about the issues...? You know, instead of just name-calling?

nasking

5/09/2011BTW, I reckon Gillard was breaking thru during that time she got on the road & down & dirty w/ the people. It was a mistake to stop. Abbott has out-peopled her. N'

Casablanca

5/09/2011Memo sent to staff by the Secretary of the Department of Immigration, Andrew Metcalfe, the day after the High Court decision: Colleagues Yesterday’s High Court decision (M70/2011 and M106/2011) has significant implications for aspects of government policy and the department’s work. I am sure that many of you have seen the extensive media reporting about the judgment. I thought that I should write to you to discuss the judgment and what is happening as a result. The High Court’s decision involved analysis of a number of sections of the Migration Act 1958 and the Immigration Guardianship of Children Act 1946 and of course related primarily to the government’s announced policy to transfer irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs) to Malaysia. The policy framework The Malaysia Arrangement was the first example of an arrangement made under the Regional Cooperation Framework agreed to by the Bali Process Ministerial meeting in March this year. It was intended to remove the ability of people smugglers to market and sell Australia as a destination for people travelling without visas – the vast majority of whom seek asylum when they arrive here. The policy was framed with a mind to lessons of the past and in the context of: • Australia’s universal visa requirements and our very successful migration, humanitarian and visa programs • our obligations under the Refugee Convention and a number of other international treaties • the large numbers of IMAs in recent years • the government’s determination to stop people attempting perilous voyages which can result in tragedy (such as SIEV X which sank in October 2001 with the loss of over 350 lives; SIEV 36 which exploded near Ashmore Reef in April 2009 and resulted in the loss of 5 lives and with many other people badly injured; and SIEV 221 which sank off Christmas Island last December with the loss of many lives) • the dramatic effect of past policies involving the very quick removal of people from Australia such as occurred in 1994 with the ethnic Chinese/Vietnamese groups; in the mid 1990s with a number of groups of Chinese nationals; and in late 2001 with the tow back of several boat loads of people to waters adjacent to Indonesia – in other words, to the place from which they had departed • it is indisputable that these actions sent a clear message to people smugglers that they could not guarantee what they are selling arrival and processing of claims in Australia • several other past policy and operational approaches, which have had mixed success over time • the preparedness of people smugglers to actively seek to counter Australia’s actions • our excellent working relationship on these issues with our regional partners • it being understood that Australia could give effect to its obligations under the Refugee Convention by virtue of arrangements made with other countries declared by the Minister to offer protection and access to asylum procedures • an arrangement with Malaysia that provided such protection and processing for persons transferred from Australia • our being advised that our legal case was sound, and • an expansion of our offshore refugee and humanitarian program. The proposed arrangements with Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, as well as the establishment of the Regional Cooperation Framework, have involved countless hours of work undertaken by the Minister, his advisers, and many officers from our department and other departments. We have seen these arrangements as a positive, creative way of addressing some of the most complex policy, human and legal issues our country faces. We have been focusing on all aspects of these issues – global and regional policy, international humanitarian law, Australian law, operational logistics, and our responsibility for people we detain under Australian law and whose immigration status we decide. As I often say, we have to operate in the real world, a world that is often complex. I said in my recent statement to a Parliamentary Committee: [i]“The driving factors of people movement are often positive – such as through economic and skill relocation factors, or family reunion programs. Sadly though, people movement is also driven by other factors such as war, conflict, and crisis. There are tens of millions of such displaced people globally. It is these often vulnerable people who sometimes are preyed upon by people smugglers and traffickers. But many people who travel in an irregular way to Australia are very determined. They have, or acquire, the thousands of dollars charged by people smugglers. They want to live in a developed country. They want a better life for themselves and for their children. Some of the travellers themselves are unaccompanied children. They are prepared to, or are forced to, take risks such as relying on shady middlemen and travelling on false documents and sometimes in dangerous vessels. Tragedies sometimes result.”[/i] The Minister stated in his media comments yesterday: [i]“I’m proud of the policy. I’m proud of the fact that we were able to achieve a regional agreement which many people said we wouldn’t be able to do. I’m proud of the fact that this government is determined to break the people smugglers’ business model. I’m proud of the fact that those 4000 people in Malaysia, who would never have the money or the inclination to risk their life on a boat, will no longer need to do so. I’m proud of that. I think it’s an elegant policy, which achieved those objectives.”[/i] The High Court decision I will leave it to lawyers and others to comment in detail on yesterday’s decision. Suffice to say the Court (with the exception of Justice Heydon) has taken a view of the relevant provisions that was not anticipated in earlier judgments by courts in this area. The statement released by the Court explaining the majority judgment indicated, among other things, that: [i]‘The Court held that, under s198A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), the Minister cannot validly declare a country (as a country to which asylum seekers can be taken for processing) unless that country is legally bound to meet three criteria. The country must be legally bound by international law or its own domestic law to: provide access for asylum seekers to effective procedures for assessing their need for protection; provide protection for asylum seekers pending determination of their refugee status; and provide protection for persons given refugee status pending their voluntary return to their country of origin or their resettlement in another country. In addition to these criteria, the Migration Act requires that the country meet certain human rights standards in providing that protection. The Court also held that the Minister has no other power under the Migration Act to remove from Australia asylum seekers whose claims for protection have not been determined. They can only be taken to a country validly declared under s198A to be a country that provides the access and the protections and meets the standards described above. The general powers of removal of ‘unlawful non-citizens’ given by the Migration Act (in particular s198) cannot be used when the Migration Act has made specific provision for the taking of asylum seekers who are offshore entry persons and whose claims have not been processed to another country, and has specified particular statutory criteria that the country of removal must meet’.[/i] The minister has indicated that the government is seeking urgent legal advice from the Solicitor General on the implications of the judgment. The government will doubtless make further announcements as to its approach to this most complex issue. I will keep you informed of these developments. The wider work of the department I know that many people are understandably disappointed given the substantial work that has been undertaken on this issue. As I have said, this does not however, diminish the substantial work of the department each and every day by our staff globally. I am very conscious of the fact that the issue of the management of irregular maritime arrivals is one part of our very large and diverse program of services. Our department makes a very substantial contribution to Australia and to nation building. For this you should be proud and be aware that the senior executive and I are very appreciative. Andrew Metcalfe Secretary — 31 August 2011

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Reb Thank you for responding so quickly. I haven’t had time to read this week’s [i]Essential Report[/i], but what you quote is interesting. Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt seem to have a lot of airplay and TV coverage, certainly on ABC outlets that I watch, so it is interesting to read that such a large proportion of those polled in the [i]Essential Report[/i] don’t know them. It would be reassuring if the [i]Report[/i] was representative of the whole electorate’s views. But what of the almost daily condemnatory headlines in [i]The Daily Telegraph[/i] and the [i]Herald Sun[/i], which are the most widely read papers in the country? Do they accurately reflect the truth? How many people do they influence?

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011Ad, The word on the street is that Bolt's TV show is about to get axed due to poor ratings.

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011[i]But what of the almost daily condemnatory headlines in The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, which are the most widely read papers in the country? Do they accurately reflect the truth? How many people do they influence?[/i] What of it? If you believe everything you read, regardless of where you read, then you're a fool..

Pat

5/09/2011Wow, I'm amazed and shocked. I thank the media for bringing all these lies, deception and back stabbing to our attention. Can you give any example of where our PM or any ALP member have not been critical or sarcastic towards the opposition as shown on TV or printed in the media?. Although the media certainly can amplify the appearance of any mistakes, I don't believe the current government can blame them for their current predicament, the government's mistakes are 'loud' enough. Our government would not survive in any other civilized country, infact, they should thank Tony A, as that is probably the only reason why they are still in power. Australians simply cannot afford to fund their agendas for personal power gain anymore. The forceful, autocratic management style has gone long time ago. Agree with Reb, "nothing to see here...move along..."

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Patricia WA That is the image of our PM that all the electorate should see instead of the negative image and carping criticism that is direct towards her daily. I looked at the photos, but I think it escaped comment because there were other distracting comments. Reb How about we draw a line in the sand now and get back the issues. Nasking What an interesting conversation you recount. I suspect that this reflects what is being said all over the country. Reversing such strongly held views is a big task; I only hope the Government supporters are up to it. Casablanca Thank you for posting Andrew Metcalfe’s memo to his staff. It reflects a substantial level of disappointment among those that have been doing a lot of work on the Malaysia deal. Reb It’s interesting what you say about Bolt’s show. Relegating to the status of ‘fool’ those that believe everything that they read in [i]The Daily Telegraph[/i] and the [i]Herald Sun[/i], the most widely read paper in Australia, ignores the fact that many do so believe and have a vote.

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Pat Welcome to [i]TPS[/i]; I think you haven’t been here before. Do come again. I see you assign ‘megaphone’ status to the media, which unquestionably is true. That is bad enough, but do you absolve it from disingenuousness, fabrication of stories, and at times downright lies? Whatever the faults and mistakes of the Government, or for that matter the Opposition, is the media entitled to exaggerate, misrepresent or deceive, when it proclaims to be a paragon of truth and accuracy?

lyn

5/09/2011Hi Ad Thankyou for yet another marvellous piece of writing. Your words are magnificent Ad, your writing is magnificent, Your blog is magnificent. See that means you are a magnificent marvellous person, values of gold. Ad there must have been 50 links posted last week in "Today's Links" about the Murdoch campaign to bring down the Government. This is not just a TPS opinion, the Murdoch campaign is a fact, the biggest demonstration being their unreserved apology to Julia Gillard for a printed article that was not true, Anyone that can't see what is happening in the media is not reading and not looking. I forgot not listening. Here is that polling that was mentioned: Essential: we trust Negus and Oakes, [b]but who’s Andrew Bolt[/b]?, Jason Whittaker, Crikey Bolt’s national TV profile — after quitting the ABC’s Insiders he now hosts a Sunday morning platform on Channel Ten — hasn’t done much to boost his fame: almost half (48%) said they didn’t know who he was http://www.crikey.com.au Cheers:):):):):):):):):)

Casablanca

5/09/2011Reb You said [quote]What of it? If you believe everything you read, regardless of where you read, then you're a fool..[/quote] There are a lot of fools out there and the unrelenting barrage of fear and doom from the shock jocks, the MSM and the once great Liberal Party is directed largely at them. Your argument Reb, is similar to that of the advertising industry which tries to argue that negative messages do not affect their target group. That the negativity and violence does not influence people. As if everyone receives only the most positive of messages and filters out the negative parts. If the industry's arguments held true, then why spend squillions of dollars on advertising if it has no appreciable impact. I have always been a strong supporter of the policy of compulsory voting but that support is being strongly tested with the ascendancy of shock jocks and B-grade journalism. I'm pleased that schools teach kids how to evaluate and assess the media messages at least there is some hope for the future.

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011[i]"Relegating to the status of ‘fool’ those that believe everything that they read in The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, the most widely read paper in Australia, ignores the fact that many do so believe and have a vote."[/i] I'm not sure what your point is. It's a well established fact that people will gravitate towards media that gives them the message they want to hear. It's also a well-established fact that News Limited is biased towards the Coalition. So I'm not exactly sure what it is that you find so new or different... What I do find interesting, is that the prevailing sentiment of your article is that the media is somehow to blame, and yet the latest research from Essential suggests that two of the government's most critical commentators Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt hardly rate a mention in terms of their influence. What I also find interesting, is that Labor supporters cannot seem to accept that the Gillard government is hugely unpopular in its own right, but instead seem to think that this is somehow someone else's fault.

Tom of Melbourne

5/09/2011Well, of course it is only the brainy types that are uninfluenced by the biased media. The rest of the voting public are mindless, and easily fooled. Though we now have exactly the same media structure that existed in 2007. Apparently the public were more independently minded, and less easily fooled a few years ago.

Pat

5/09/2011I agree 100% in that reporting should be correct and accurate, but when quoting our politicians one day, might make you a liar the next (sorry, I to make this tongue in cheek statement). I honestly think that the ALP over-played their hand early days with the media and the public saw right through it. What immediately comes to mind is during the Brisbane floods, the initial head-lines and NEWS of the day was that Anna B interrupted her holiday!! There were a few others, and the government now has to deal with what I think has back-fired.

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011[i]"Your argument Reb, is similar to that of the advertising industry which tries to argue that negative messages do not affect their target group."[/i] No, that's not my argument at all, and I'm not quite sure how you got that impression. I work in the advertisingh industry, and I think you'll find that negative advertising is actually more effective than positive advertising (generally speaking). Particularly when it comes to newspapers. Death and destruction, fear and negativity sell newspapers, not good news stories. That's why invariably newspapers are full of bad news stories. I think one difference between Labor and The Coalition is that Abbott and his colleagues are much more savvy than say Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard at handling the media. Abbott's constant repetition of "great big new tax" might've seemed idiotic to amny of us, but when it becomes a five second sound-bite in a news bulletin, it's got a pretty good chance of appearing if he repeats it ad nausem. Gillard made a big mistake with her sour grapes press conference following the High Court determination on asylum seekers. And that just added to the perception of incompetence... Heck, they didn't even have a contingency plan. Politics is not "a nice business" and managing the media just goes with the territory. The reality is that Gillard and Co are simply not as competent at managing the media as the Coalition are. Blaming the media for Gillard's poor polling is just a cop-out.

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011 [i]"Though we now have exactly the same media structure that existed in 2007. Apparently the public were more independently minded, and less easily fooled a few years ago."[/i] Exactly. LOL!!

Pat

5/09/2011Ad, I did forget to thank you for welcoming me in joining this discussion - thanks. I will however, be turning my attention to future policies and economical decisions (facts and figures) that I believe is in the interest of Australia and not focus so much on who's to blame for our current predicament or perception of government (opinionated). It is strange how one (talking for myself) gets involved in politics when things are obviously going wrong. Under a good government I just get on with my own business. I’m sure your ‘blog’ will spark some good debate.

Gravel

5/09/2011Ad Astra [i]It’s curious and troubling that because of the unremitting negativity that has been directed at Labor for so long, emotion has over-ridden thought and factual evidence and reigns supreme when pollsters come around seeking voting intentions. The Labor brand lies so tarnished at present that fewer and fewer wish to embrace it. Can logic and truth overcome emotion and restore its lustre? 
[/i] Another excellent article AA. I understand how emotions can over-ride thought and factual evidence, but how long can the media, in concert with the opposition, continue to play on our emotions so negatively for? Will Australians eventually get fed up with being played on their emotions, or is it too late? Will they have to suffer an Abbott government to be woken up to what is happening? Sir Liealot is telling people what he will do at official functions that barely get reported. He will be able to say that is what they voted for as he spoke about it before the elections. Oh, I give up trying to work out what will happen. I am just sitting back and watching.

jane

5/09/2011Great post, as usual Ad astra. reb appears to think that the meeja has been accurate, truthful, honest and unbiased in its reporting on both the government and the opposition. I happen to disagree vehemently. The media has never honestly scrutinised Liealot or the Liars Party. Why is he never called into account for his constant lies, brain farts, "policies" which the next day he denies announcing, and extremely dodgy costing on policies which actually survive more than 24 hours. He has now <a href=http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/tony-abbott-and-andrew-robb-differ-on-coalition-spending-cuts/story-fn7x8me2-1226129281582>denied saying he would cut $70bn in spending</a> to fund his absurd Direct Action policy, only to be contradicted by Andrew Robb. So is he just absent minded or a straight out liar? No prizes for guessing which. Any comments meeja? Deafening silence, broken only by the sound of the occasional cricket and tumbleweeds. If there was such a disagreement in government ranks, headlines would be screaming and shock jocks like Anal and Hadley would be spewing bile and talking heads would be pontificating. Unlike reb, I also think this state of affairs is solely due to the toxic influence of the Murdoch owned media. The sooner the geriatric foreigner is stripped of his stranglehold on Australian media, the better. Casablanca, thanks for the link and the pithy phrase. I also think the government should be hammering the contradiction angle as hard as they can lick.

Tom of Melbourne

5/09/2011[i]”reb appears to think that the meeja has been accurate, truthful, honest and unbiased in its reporting on both the government and the opposition.”/i] This is typical of the verbaling that opposing views get here, reb has said nothing of the sort. He has made an intelligent and articulate contribution, based on some experience. But rather than reply to the actual content, people here find it sooooo very much easier to verbal, misrepresent and delete factual comments. Just more proof that this is a site that distains alternative perspective. Kind regards “Bumchum”

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your generous remarks. You are right, there have been countless links that reinforce the view that the Murdoch media is trying to bring down the Government. Those who can’t see or acknowledge this seem blind to the obvious. Thank you for the [i]Crickey[/i] piece on the [i]Essential Research[/i] Report. It was fascinating reading. Of course the poll was conducted among only those that are on Essential’s list, so how representative it is cannot be known The way in which the results were displayed in the [i]Crikey[/i] piece was different to the way [i]Essential Research[/i] displayed it. The former used a heading ‘Don’t know them’ and the latter ‘Total know them’, which is perhaps an easier one to use. Clearly Laurie Oakes (85%) and George Negus (91%) were best known, but Alan Jones was not far behind (84%). Where the difference lies is that the level of trust as against distrust is high with Oakes (75%/17%) and (Negus 75%/16%), while with Jones it is low at 38%/49%. Bolt doesn’t fare too well - 52% know him, but 43% trust and 42% don’t. Neil Mitchell is around the same. However, the massive audience that Bolt attracts in his [i]Herald Sun[/i] columns and his blogs (millions of hits a month) means that even if only 43% trust him, that is a massive number. It would be unwise to discount the influence of Bolt. Reb Re-read the piece and you will see that it concedes that the Gillard Government is, to use your words, ‘hugely unpopular’, as evidenced by the opinion polls, but that is in contradistinction to the considered views of those polled, who when asked to evaluate some fourteen Government initiatives gave twelve a big tick. That was the whole point of the piece – the disconnect between the voting intentions of those polled and their considered views about Government actions. This disconnect is attributed to the way in which the media has painted the Government, which does not accord with its actual achievements. Nowhere is it asserted that the Government has made no mistakes that deserve adverse comment; rather that the good things they have done have received little recognition and positive publicity, and instead condemnation, for example, the BER.

Patricia WA

5/09/2011A [i]non-sequitur[/i]I know but what the hell does this mean? [quote]Only 19 per cent of Liberal voters want Turnbull, compared with 40 per cent for Abbott. And right now the Coalition is happier dishing out the lash than taking it, even if it means being led by a man who’s likely to eat the soap if he spends too long in the bath.[/quote] http://newmatilda.com/2011/09/05/were-all-squirming-and-suffering-together I've seen all sorts of analogies and metaphors in my time, but this one has me flummoxed. Why have I never come across it before?

Jason

5/09/2011Reb, To follow on, all the government has to do now is govern like they will be in opposition after the next election! forget the bleatings of "industry groups" with deep pockets that wish to run expensive add campaigns, revert to a position closer to "Labor Heartland" and to hell with it! Abbott for all his bullshit will have to explain how he hopes to undo any policy sooner or later, and even the "ABC's"Anthony Green http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2011/08/calls-for-a-double-dissolution-are-just-ridiculous.html says should Abbott win the 2013 election it will be 2015 before he can go to a DD election. Abbott has one small problem with what he says he will do and can do and that's the constitution,a small matter I know!but why would anyone want the facts to bother them.

2353

5/09/2011While the ALP will get the support from the Greens they need to: 1. Introduce on-shore processing of refugees 2. Have an enquiry into the media - looking specifically at bias, management/ownership and agendas 3. Introduce truth & anti-vilification in media laws - Bolt & Jones would last a week at best (which would be a warning to the rest of them). The also need to find some media managers that aren't afraid to call out falsehoods and exaggerations as and when they occur. The LNP's recent history is full of well documented contradictions and exaggerations - it should be like shooting fish in a barrel for a media manager to find the issue that gets traction and exploit it. Even advertising along the lines of "on [insert date] Hockey/Pyne/Abbott/Morrison said whatever, on [insert later date] Hockey/Pyne/Abbott/Morrison said exactly the exact opposite. And they want you to trust them to run the country???" The current Govt's record is good (see above for the stats - they have also achieved more in Parliament than any term of the Howard Govt. They should be shouting it from the rooftops - instead they are cowering. Why is that?

Catey

5/09/2011Very good article AA. I have long been concerned at the threat to democracy posed by Murdoch and his agenda driven press. News Ltd is in a very privileged position in this country, controlling 70% of our newspapers. No wonder Labor can't get its message out! It is said that as The Australian doesn't pay its way it is heavily subsidised by Rupert Murdoch. This tells me The Australian is his personal propaganda tool. It is relentlessly anti government (including Greens and Independents) and, tragically for democracy, the ABC (TV and radio) seem to constantly permit The Australian to set the agenda for the day. Thus rendering the regularly argued point "if you don't like it don't buy it" irrelevant.

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Patricia WA Adam Brereton’s piece in [i]New Matilda[/i] reflects the cynicism that afflicts many who observe politics today. But no matter how much contempt commentators elect to heap upon Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, there is no escaping the fact that Tony Abbott has contributed massively to the dysfunctional state of affairs in Federal politics. Yet how often is he called to account by the MSM for his negativity, destructiveness, pugilism and downright dishonesty? Reflect on how different it might have been with Malcolm Turnbull at the helm of the Coalition. There would have been antagonism, opposition and some nasty rhetoric, but does anyone, I mean anyone, believe he would have been as recklessly destructive as Abbott has been? Yet in the MSM we read of Abbott’s ‘clever politics’, his magnificent gains in the polls, his intelligent strategy of opposing everything the Government does as if this was the right thing to do. How much have we read of the craziness of his Direct Action Plan, his paucity of coherent policies, his ineptitude in economics, the massive black holes in his quasi-budgets, his weathervane ‘say anything to anybody anytime’ to catch a vote? There are the occasional pieces, but if this were PM Gillard behaving thus, the headlines would be blasting her into oblivion. Yet there are people who seem disinclined to lay at the media’s feet their contribution to this state of affairs. Amazing!

2353

5/09/2011And while we're crusading - someone needs to pull the CEO's of Myers, DJ's, Harvey Norman and so on aside and explain to the the reason why no one is spending money is they are s&*t scared of a USA style recession. The group that has made the consumer scared is the LNP. They probably have the opportunity and ability to tell the LNP to shove the doom and gloom up their collective orifice and explain that Australia really isn't travelling too badly. In short - the retailers can't support the LNP and at the same time decry the lack of spending in shops across the nation. (Oh - and ensuring prices reflect the current strength of the Aussie Dollar might help as well.)

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Jason It will be fascinating to see Tony Abbott’s dismantling strategy. He’s accomplished at destructiveness, but as you point out, destroying the constitution is another matter. 2353 The question you ask is one to which we would all like the answer? Where are Labor’s media managers that they cannot counter more aggressively the Coalition’s lies? We here have asked why Labor cannot get more competent people who can capitalize on accomplishments and counter Coalition deception. It should not be that difficult. But how much play would their efforts get in a largely hostile MSM? Catey If this is your first time here, welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. Thank you for your comments. You are right – [i]The Australian[/i] is Murdoch’s propaganda tool, and as he calls the shots as to who ought to form the next government, his sycophantic journalists do what Uncle Rupert wants, that is if they want to hold onto their jobs.

Ad astra reply

5/09/20112353 You are right. If the community is sacred, Tony Abbott’s unremitting scare campaigns must share some of the responsibility. Harvey Norman, Myer and David Jones should whisper in his ear to shut up.

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011[i]"reb appears to think that the meeja has been accurate, truthful, honest and unbiased in its reporting on both the government and the opposition. I happen to disagree vehemently"[/i] Excuse me, exactly where have I said that...? This is the second time I've had to you out on your bullshit accusations against me, and I supect like the first, you won't have any evidence to support your assertions. What a pathetic little love-in we have going on here.... *rolls eyes*

Jason

5/09/2011reb, "What a pathetic little love-in we have going on here...." And jesus wept!

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011You disagree Jason? It seems that anyone with a view that departs from the prevailing wisdom here is immediately attacked as having been "seduced by the Murdoch media" Or even having all your comments deleted from another thread altogether. All I can say is that you lot deserve each other. Rather than put "commentators to the sword" all you want to do is publish comments that adhere to the Gillard/Labor is great view, rather than publish anything that might question that view. Sad really. A perfect example of groupthink.

nasking

5/09/2011[quote]Very good article AA. I have long been concerned at the threat to democracy posed by Murdoch and his agenda driven press. News Ltd is in a very privileged position in this country, controlling 70% of our newspapers. No wonder Labor can't get its message out! [/quote] Catey, I agree that the inappropriate domination of the newspaper media by the murdoch empire, and the fact they have so much sway over SKY NEWS, does make it more difficult for the government to consistently get out the positive messages. The bias against the government and a number of its policies is evident...and the fact that it has been supported in its Coalition & think tank--originated anti-government campaigns on far too many occasions by the usual suspects in the ABC & Fairfax...and predictably the shock jocks...means the government needs more luck & communication skills than normally required. The problem is exacerbated by a number of other factors, including: (1) Special interest groups who disagree w/ the government on a number of its "righter than right" & less than green stances, including "The Malaysia Deal", perceived catering to Gunns in Tasmania, continuation of live exports, pursuance of free trade practices, promotion of a kinda performance pay & chaplins in school...and support for the gas/fracking industry...to name a few. It's positive the media provide them w/ an opportunity to air their views...so it should be in a democracy...but these special interest groups are also used by the Murdoch empire and other media outlets opportunistically to attack the government & give a sense of division...to help fulfill their "undermine the PM & Labor" agenda. The gay marriage issue has also led to vitriolic attacks on the PM & previously Rudd by a number of special interest groups...and certain bloggers...and high profile individuals...and protest groups. Part of democracy. But adds to the negative labelling. (2) Disatisfaction in the ALP w/ some of the policies (as outlined above). This ensures that negative views of the party are leaked out. As evidenced by the asylum seeker debate. (3) High profile critics that were members of previous ALP governments, under Hawke/Keating particularly. And former state ALP government ministers/leaders. Just adds to the uncertainty about the PMs "authority" and ability to deliver. (4) Own goals...and previous stuffups...and changes/backflips in policy/reform. The asylum seeker issue looks like an "own goal" coming off the back of "East Timor" claims...the previous abrupt shutting down of insulation program hurting the very workers they were supposedly out to help & protect another "own goal" off the back of a insulation scheme stuffup. The perception that Gillard shifted in her views on helping manufacturers & their unions looks like another "own goal"...particularly bad timing when Abbott was on the backfoot due to claims of bein' a "weathervane". Gillard gave him an "out". The media were able to claim "equivalency". The same can be said for Gillard's last minute "no carbon tax" statement...it helped nullify aspects of Abbott's flipflopping & lying. (5) The lie (see above re: carbon price). (6) The assassination of a PM, as in Rudd. Gillard unfortunately looks complicit. The ALP looked like they had no spine in the face of bad polls & media onslaughts. (7) NSW - powerbrokers, factions, corruption...I'll leave it there. (8) The Thomson affair. Looks sleazy. See NSW comments above. The media campaign has been professional, like an assassin at work. (9) Misogyny - this is an ocker country generally...Aussies are still havin' a hard time gettin' used to a female leader. Plenty of misogynists in media & sports here. Doesn't help. (10) Marriage - Gillard isn't. The media & others take the piss out of it. Plenty of older voters who have been married for yonks & Christians don't trust her judgement...some think she might be a closet lesbian. It's all gross & sad...and tells alot about how far our society in general has come. Olders voters vote. (11) Religion - Abbott's religious, Gillard's a self-proclaimed Atheist. During a crusade & war related to religion, the Christians etc. oft groupthink when an Atheist is in the picture...and no "more chaplains in schools" or quoting the bible or attending religious community meetings will change that I reckon. (12) Minority government...media message oft repeats Coalition assertion the government is "not legitimate". (13) Abbott & the people - Abbott gets out & about...the media are obsessed w/ this former journo & his antics. He's done it well, unfortunately. Gillard is still only 30 metres down the track...to Abbott's 90 metres. She needs to get out more & mingle w/ the cameras ON. (14) Communication of policies - do I really need to go there. (15) Anti-intellectualism - the dumbing down & "don't trust the elites" bit pushed by the Murdoch empire & shock jocks. By media linking Gillard to Greens they get the "knockers" and "non-university trained workers" going. This sees Gillard act more ocker to overcome this...only leading to "head shaking" on the part of anyone w/ half a brain who sees it as more "overreaching"....and askin' "who is the real Julia?". (16) Reviews - the government seems to have "forever reviews"...givin' perception that they prefer catering to consultants, public servants and others highly paid...whilst taking forever to pass bills & get the work on the ground, at the coalface done. A distortion by the media...but the government contribute to it. (17) Spending. Including waste. The media & Coalition have used the GFC 2 scare effectively. And the distortions re: BER. And insulation scheme repairs. And cost of NBN. (18) Under-spruiked accomplishments - Surviving the GFC & stimulus program was not promoted well enuff at the beginning...the public under pressure of work & family commitments have short memories. And can be manipulated by a "Goebbel's repetition" media & Abbott/Hockey/Turnbull etc. into believing the GFC response was over-stimulating & put up interest rates...whilst the real reason we survived well was China's demand re: resources...and the work of the previous Howard government. Distortions & lies again...but done effectively via media campaigns...unrelenting. (19) Electricity prices - the privatisation by ALP states that gave the impression they can't be trusted on controlling prices...and might be just board sitters making money in the long run. The media has run w/ this and distorted aspects. That's all I can think of for now. This is not an attack on the PM. I'm just bein' realistic & pointing out some of the reasons why the government & the PM are on the nose. And the role of the media. N'

Tom of Melbourne

5/09/2011reb, you have to understand that in 2007 the public was insightful and intelligent. They made the right choice. It was a courageous decision and because they were capable of independent thinking. Now, the public are incapable of thinking. They’ve been seduced by Murdoch and so have you! Can’t you see that???

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011Ad, Can I suggest that you simply change your slogan to "Critising anything that the Coalition does, as well as the Mainstream Media and Defending Anything that Labor Does" and then your blog might have a bit more authenticity.

lyn

5/09/2011Hi Nsking Brilliant post by you, thankyou so much. Very educational enjoyable read. Thankyou for your high quality genuine posts Nasking, you have me looking out for you everyday. [quote]That's all I can think of for now. [/quote] Pretty fantastic effort . Cheers :):):):):):):)

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011I'll have what Lyn's having.

nasking

5/09/2011Two more: (20) constant, well-funded ad campaigns by corporations & groups attacking govt policy. (21) Revolting protests. Media luvs 'em. All adds to the negative labelling of the govt. N'

lyn

5/09/2011Hi Ad Media watch should be good tonight: jonaholmesMWJonathan Holmes On #mediawatch tonight, Milne, Bolt, Michael Smith: 3 Amigos, [b]one story but only 2 were News Ltd[/b] Cheers:):):):):)

Jason

5/09/2011reb, "Can I suggest that you simply change your slogan to "Critising anything that the Coalition does, as well as the Mainstream Media and Defending Anything that Labor Does" and then your blog might have a bit more authenticity." blah blah blah! white noise if I ever heard it!

nasking

5/09/2011Cheers Lyn. N'

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011I think the most disappointing thing about The Political Sword is that they claim to occupy a space where they promise to hold politicians and commentators to account, but then fail to see their own inherent left wing bias. They focus purely on the right-wing media, which is all very well, but when anyone seeks to point this out to them, they are immediately targeted as being either victims of the right-wing media “conspiracy” and/or simply have those comments deleted from the site altogether. In that respect, and it’s an important one, they are simply guilty of the same crimes that they level against the right wing media, of censrorship and bias. The irony seems lost on them.

Sir Ian Crisp

5/09/2011I see that Lyn's apostrophe machine needs repairing....AGAIN. J guy, at last you have discovered the Australian Constitution. Anything in that blasted document that refers to the right of the elected government to deal with aliens as it sees fit? Please inform the debate. More calls for you to declare your bias AA. I told you last year to stop your pretense of even-handedness. Come on and 'fess up; you're in thrall to the ALP.

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011Sir Ian Crisp, I wouldn't mind the bias, it's the false pretence that somehow things here are free from bias here, while pointing out the (supposedly) bias that exists elsewhere that irks me. And yet the moderator chooses to delete comments that highlight this hypocrisy...

nasking

5/09/2011I recommend Political Sworders don't bite. As usual reb the touchy one is tarring all w/ the same brush and attempting to undermine the reputation of another blog in order to get attention for his own. Tom often plays the role of stirrer and then attack dog sidekick. Ignore them. They are acting like petty trolls...purposely adding little but criticism of the blog...w/ the odd so called rational comment to try and persuade readers they are bona fide. Ad astra, I hope the list I made helps w/ a future post. N'

Jason

5/09/2011reb, Your complaint is duly noted and if mr Ban Ki Moon is still here make an appointment and tell him!

Jason

5/09/2011Sir Ian, It probably doesn't! but then again a "Prime Minister" isn't mentioned either. Your point?

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011LOL! How predictable that anyone who holds a dissenting view here is labelled as a "troll". Enjoy the cool aid folks.. You lot deserve each other......

reb of Hobart

5/09/2011[i]"They are acting like petty trolls...purposely adding little but criticism of the blog...w/ the odd so called rational comment to try and persuade readers they are bona fide."[/i] Ah,No. Simply venturing an opinion that goes against theb "group think" mentality here that everything Julia does is marvellous and that the poor polls are all the fault of the media. I mean really Nasking, calling me a troll? Is that what you've been reduced to...?

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Nasking You have given us much solid food for thought. Thank you. To all who don’t like [i]TPS[/i] Try another blog site. If what we say here offends you, go elsewhere.

Ad astra reply

5/09/2011Folks I'm retiring to enjoy my favourite evening's ABC TV. I'll be watching [i]Media Watch[/i] especially Lyn.

nasking

5/09/2011[quote]You have given us much solid food for thought. Thank you.[/quote] Yer welcome Ad. Yer post motivated me. As did some of the more useful & relevant comments. Thnx. Have an enjoyable night Ad, Lyn & others. I'll be doin' the same as Ad. Watchin' the ABC. N'

Tom of Melbourne

5/09/2011It sad is that blog owners think they are entitled to publish their opinions in the public domain and they can be free of fact and beyond criticism. Factual comments can be deleted. History removed The insults from like-minded types though, go unnoticed. That’s really sad, and quite pathetic. But amusing.

Acerbic Conehead

5/09/2011Reb, [quote]The reality is that Gillard and Co are simply not as competent at managing the media as the Coalition are.[/quote] This reads to me as if there is an essential dimension missing, ie the nature of power. If only the media was a [i]tabula rasa[/i] upon which all sides could equally engrave their message. I see the media as being a bit like one of those dual-control cars you use when you are learning to drive. So, the instructor fronts up and demands the fee for the one-hour lesson up-front. No big deal, you think, and happily hand over the dosh. There’s no small talk on offer, so you soon learn to shut up and follow the instructions, as robotically delivered. You’re told to take the next left, but that’s the street where your ex- (who recently gave you the flick) lives and you don’t want him/her to see you, in case they think you’re a stalker. So, you miss that turn and take the next one. A mild bollocking is administered in your direction by the instructor. Then, you are caught behind a refugee from the Convoluted 2GB Convoy, doing 50 in their campervan in a 60 zone. You do the right thing and safely overtake. However, in so doing, you accelerate to just over 70. An even stronger rebuke issues from the instructor. Shortly afterwards, a few hundred metres down the road, and you have only been out with this person for about 15 minutes, you come to a red light. You do everything by the book, and stop in the inside lane. In the outside lane, however, one of your mates pulls up, so you wind down the window and start to have a good old chin-wag. The conversation, unfortunately, gets in the way of your concentration and you miss the green light. The instructor goes berko. He/she takes over the controls and drives you back to your place, ranting and raving all the way about “how irresponsible the youth of today are!” And, to add insult to injury, the fascist won’t even give you a discount for not being out for the whole hour. It’s the Golden Rule: he/she who has the gold, makes the rules. Sheesh!

Casablanca

5/09/2011Beware of Abbotts bearing gifts! Anthony Abbott has put a major wedge on the table not to mention a continuation of off-shoring of asylum seekers. Not good.

Casablanca

5/09/2011There was an outbreak of civility on both sides of the panel tonight on Q&A not least of all from Tony Jones. What a pleasant change. Let's hope that we see a continuation of this outbreak.

Casablanca

5/09/2011What is the voter voting for? Norman Abjorensen looks into the mind of the Australian voter Inside Story. 02 September 2011 http://inside.org.au/what-is-the-voter-voting-for/ [i]The surveys show that the great majority of voters “know relatively little about politics and possess minimal factual knowledge about the operation of the political system.” [/i] [i]The new political cynics – the so-called “disaffected democrats” or “critical citizens” – now represent a majority in most of the advanced democracies, a key symptom of what has been termed the “democratic deficit.” This phenomenon is also evident here in Australia, but McAllister finds that public trust in government exhibits more complex patterns than found in most other countries.[/i]

Feral Skeleton

5/09/2011Reb, and ToM, 1. Free Speech does not=Hate Speech and villification. You guys started it, as I understand it, and I just injudiciously replied in kind. For which I offered an apology. You have not. What you have done is gotten onto your high horse and acted the wounded party about what I said about you, whilst blithely ignoring the vile comments(or so it was conveyed to me) that you made about me FIRST. Double standards, bald-faced lying and hypocrisy just about covers it for mine. 2. I deleted both your comments and mine because I thought that they added nothing to the debate. That's my perogative as blog co-moderator. If you don't like it feel free to have a whinge about it on your own blog. 3. Casting negative aspersions about the blog and about the motivations of those who post here, every time you turn up, is frankly tiresome and essentially an irrelevant argument because you may as well go around the blogosphere making the same claim for 9/10 of all the other blogs in the world. See you when you get back(in a few years)! If you are to be consistent, that is. 4. Or, as you seem to have done above, when you finally let your attack dog off it's leash to run away, you can make thoughtful and on-topic comments here. Which will always be appreciated. On the other hand, feeble attempts at a bitchy one-liner dismissal of Ad Astra's deeply reflective work, is not welcome. The choice is yours guys.

Feral Skeleton

5/09/2011Except for Sophie Mirabella's duplicitous hypocrisy about the numbers of Asylum Seekers from Nauru who eventually were settled in Australia(not including, deliberately, the numbers from Manus Island and Christmas Island, which just shows what a schmuck she is), and the fact I nearly fell off my chair when Clive Palmer went into bat for Onshore Processing of Asylum Seekers(I still like the Regional Hub approach, though), made for a quiet enjoyable Q&A. I also think that Sophie Mirabella must have been warned not to butt in and talk over other panellists because she seemed strangely quiet. I also loved the woman who, after Sophie went off with her political rhetoric about how the Gillard government always want to fight and be nasty in parliament, said, "Why don't you tell Tony Abbott to stop it too?" Or wtte. :)

Feral Skeleton

5/09/2011Oh, and reb, don't count all your "They never criticise the Labor Government" chickens until they are hatched next time. ;-)

Casablanca

6/09/2011jane@September 5. 2011 04:15 PM [Abbott] has now denied saying he would cut $70bn in spending to fund his absurd Direct Action policy, only to be contradicted by Andrew Robb. <a href=www.heraldsun.com.au/.../story-fn7x8me2-1226129281582> Andrew Robb said, [i]"We are looking at even the cost of rental, of accommodation, we are going down to every level."[/i] Can someone remind Robb that it was John Fahey, Finance Minister in the Howard Government who sold off many many government premises to the private sector. This forced government departments to rent back premises that they have previously owned and occupied, in some cases for decades. Fahey also outsourced the whole function of the leasing and re-furbishment of properties.

jane

6/09/2011[quote]It sad is that blog owners think they are entitled to publish their opinions in the public domain and they can be free of fact and beyond criticism. Factual comments can be deleted. History removed[/quote] Blog owners [b]are[/b] entitled to publish their opinions on their own blogs, ToM: they own the blog and they don't have to tailor it to your opinions and prejudices. If you want a blog that only panders to you, start your own. FS, I also quite enjoyed QandA tonight. And seeing Mirabella with her nasty gob shut, instead of doing her usual Anal Jones impressions was excellent. I was gobsmacked too when Clive Palmer came out in favour of onshore processing. I don't buy all the phony concern for the boat arrivals, either; the places they have fled are equally or more dangerous than the boat journey here. AFAIC, the government should cut the crap and crank up onshore processing.

jane

6/09/2011But Casablanca, you mustn't criticise the Liars Party, they can do no wrong. And it isn't polite to draw attention to their lies, um non core truths and dodgy deals.

Casablanca

6/09/2011Activist judges give mixed signals. Gerard Henderson SMH September 6, 2011 Gerard Henderson has defended the PM against the criticism of her by Justice Philip McMurdo, on behalf of the Judicial Conference of Australia, in relation to the Malaysian High Court matter. [quote]'such criticism is over the top. Judges constantly comment on actions of the executive government as well as legislation passed by the Parliament. It is only reasonable to assume that, on other occasions, members of the executive and parliamentarians will see cause to comment on judicial decisions.[/quote] [quote]The problem with an activist High Court is no one can be sure where the action stops.[/quote] Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/activist-judges-give-mixed-signals-20110905-1ju51.html#ixzz1X67tJNB6

nasking

6/09/2011[quote] I also think that Sophie Mirabella must have been warned not to butt in and talk over other panellists because she seemed strangely quiet.[/quote] Feral, I noticed same. It was refreshing to see a government representative, Greg Combet in this instance, be offered a chance to put their case forward on some issues & push some of the accomplishments w/out bein' interrupted constantly by hosts & opposition figures. Kudos to Jones for that. Furhermore, I'm not sure the "more productivity" & "wind back fair work legislation" bit was goin' down all that well w/ the audience...which may have kept Mirabella & Palmer quieter. The Coalition may have overreached on these issues based on their ears being primarily tuned to the bosses' whinges. I was a wee bit suss of Palmer regardin' his "onshore detention" stance...bit of machiavellian stuff goin' on there methinks...but...I did get the feelin' there has been a shift in public perception of the asylum seeker issue. Kinda ironic tho that Palmer was bein' clapped for the stance The Greens, a couple of Laborites, and many a refugee advocate, and a few of us bloggers have taken for a good long time. However, if he really does have that view then good on him. BTW Feral, good onya...it takes a big person to acknowledge a mistake and apologise. Even Howard couldn't do it where necessary in his grandiose book. N'

nasking

6/09/2011BTW, found Jessica Irvine from SMH to be a highly rational commentator. She did a decent job on Q&A. Howes improved as the show went on. I really started listening to him on some manufacturing-related issues later in the show. N'

jj

6/09/2011Newspoll shows that she is winning in at least one race against Abbott... who can make the most unpopular leader of a major political party in history! Go Gillard go, go Gillard go, gooo Gilard!

Jaeger

6/09/2011So LimitedNewsPoll confirms that unhinging and conservative panic (mining tax, carbon pricing scheme, media inquiry?) are at an all time high; big whoop.

lyn

6/09/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]Bad News: Robert Manne on Murdoch's Australian, The Monthly[/i] Robert Manne investigates Murdoch’s lead political voice here, the Australian newspaper, and how it shapes and distorts the national debate. In this studio interview, Robert Manne speaks to Nick Feik about his provocative new essay. http://www.themonthly.com. [i]Australia’s media concentration bad for democracy, Jay Fletcher, Green left Weekly[/i] A poll commissioned by new online campaign NewsStand found 61% of Australian people agreed a “public inquiry into the Australian media is necessary so the public can better understand the relationship between politicians, corporations and media outlets”. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/48707 [i]Power without responsibility: Rupert Murdoch's Australian,Robert Manne, ABC[/i] he has discovered how to use the 70 per cent of the national and statewide press he owns to ensure that the values drawn from his right-wingpolitical philosophy remain dominant within the political mainstream. http://www.abc.net.au [i]The most important issue of the week, part one, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] The only thing that gets in the way of the traditions of journalism is the future of journalism, and as the latterdims you can only wonder at the sheer puffery that exists around the former http://andrewelder.blogspot.com [i]We're All Squirming And Suffering Together, Adam Brereton, New Matilda[/i] The nation’s political commentators, licking their lips, report the latest scuttlebutt and speculation from one anonymous twerp after another."Tell me your dirty secrets," they whisper. "Who will it be? Shorten? Smith? Swan? Who cares that they’re only on 5 per cent, we neeeeeed it! http://newmatilda.com [i]That’s not what anonymity is for, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] I’m not going to bother commenting on the nauseatingly credulous “reporting” today portraying the Liberals’ promise to vote for their own nasty, expensive, counterproductive offshore processing policy as some kind of generous offer to Labor http://blogs.crikey.com. [i]Doing a deal with Abbott? , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] Nauru and in Papua New Guinea---a Pacific solution Mark II.This policy is being used as part of the background scratching of the conservative noise machine with the Murdoch media setting the agenda for regime change. http://www.sauer-thompson.com [i]Government’s No. 1 legal adviser takes centre stage,Angela Priestley,The Power Index[/i] declaring he detested the phrase "judicial activism" and that "it's nonsense to say a judge doesn't make law". Common law , he argued at the time, must evolve as society evolves and consequently adapted via the decisions of judges. http://www.thepowerindex.com. [i]Opportunities sprout from the Malaysian Solution ashes, Mungo MacCallam, The Drum[/i] Tony Abbott would demand total capitulation and a return to the Pacific Solution as the price of his support. It is unlikely that Gillard and her colleagues could stomach that shit sandwich. So, where to from here? http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2870858.html [i]David Manne vows to fight the 'Nauru Solution' .. and the BBC's Nick Bryant: Why I'm belting the Australia I love ,Nicole Chvastek , ABC[/i] Tony Abbott is trying to lure Julia Gillard into another Pacific Solution but the lawyer who shut down the Malaysian option in the lHigh Court told Jon Faine he’s ready to do it all again if the government considers Nauru for offshore processing of asylum seekers. http://blogs.abc.net.au [i]Walking straight into it, The Piping Shrike[/i] Imagine if the High Court had handed down a similar decision to Howard in 2001 or 2002. There would have been accusations of being soft on terrorismand misguided laxness on the safety of Australia’ borders. From Gillard we have had little but a lawyer’s technical argument of re-writing the termsof the Migration Act, http://www.pipingshrike.com [i]Abbott offers what, Min, Café Whispers[/i] Politically there is very little chance that the government would side with Abbott against the Greens whose support they need for effective government http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/ [i]Essential: we trust Negus and Oakes, but who’s Andrew Bolt?, Jason Whittaker, Crikey[/i] Bolt’s national TV profile — after quitting the ABC’s Insiders he now hosts a Sunday morning platform on Channel Ten — hasn’t done much to boost his fame: almost half (48%) said they didn’t know who he was http://www.crikey.com.au [i]Asylum seekers … just two long-term options available, Jenny Norvick, Crikey[/i] Nauru was never a deterrent to boat arrivals and it had the same role in the scheme of things that ChristmasIsland does now. Whether it is a signatory to the UN Convention is irrelevant as the government of Nauru had no role, http://www.crikey.com.au ,[i] It's official, Rudd saved Australia, Alex Dunnin , Financial Standard Online[/i] In time we will return to constructive conversations like this, but not today for now Australia is gripped by partisan 'take no prisoners' politics that permeates almost every aspect of policy discussion http://www.financialstandard.com. [i]Is Glenn Milne in the News Ltd naughty corner?, Tom Cowie, The Power Index[/i] Bolt came to Milne's defence on Saturday, calling for an uprising from his blog's true believers: "This shutting downof debate is sinister and shameful. Had John Howard tried it, there would be a riot in the Left. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au [i]Treasury says Liberal-National carbon plan ‘to cost double’, David Twomey, Eco News[/i] The coalition has stated its direct action plan, funded entirely from the federal budget, would cost $10.5 billion to 2020 http://econews.com. [i]Speeding up the NBN roll out, Paul Budde, The Budde Blog[/i] We lost eleven years of progress during the time the Coalition was in government, as its priority was toprivatise Telstra at all costs, without taking into account competition, innovation and consumer prices. http://www.buddeblog.com. [i]Turnbull starts the long journey back for Coalition’s NBN alternative, Tony Brown, Informa[/i] by the time of the next election, set for late 2013, the NBN FTTH network will already cover 1.9 million homes – 16% of the planned total – and an estimated 1.1 million homes will be using the network. In other words, it will be a different beast than the embryonic entity it is right now. http://blogs.informatandm.com [i]Libyan rebels to start killing each other’, Oz House Alt News[/i] According to Rall, the divisions are fueled by the fact that many of the members of the National Transitional Council are former Gaddafi officials. Radical factions within the Libyan opposition are not going to accept them, Rall warned. http://ozhouse.orgh- [i]Gillard's support dives to new low,ABC[/i] As the Government searches for a solution to the dilemma thrown up by last week's High Court decision, Newspoll has Julia Gillard's personal support hitting a new low of just 23 per cent. http://www.abc.net.au

nasking

6/09/2011If Julia Gillard was sadly forced to stand down I would prefer Ruddy over Smith. I like Smith...but so do News Ltd & unknown gamblers. He's a polite, competent, careful in his approach, attractive to many a voter, an articulate character...but very softly spoken and prone to a certain nervousness under pressure. I fear that News Ltd if they didn't get the deal they wanted, would take him apart over time. However, he does have alot of positives...it would be helpful to get more WA votes. Not KNOWN by a huge amount of public. WHEREAS, Ruddy has a high profile. Took the right approach to Libya. Big on healthcare & education reform. Gets on w/ cow cockies...could bring in alot of QLD votes, particularly if the LNP win in QLD state-wise. Has had time to learn from mistakes. W/ the help of Ken Henry he moved quickly on the GFC & got us thru better than most countries. He's a great "on the ground" campaigner. Has a lovely, intelligent, hard working wife & family. He's digged by Christians...and trusted by many in the Muslim & other religious communities. Superb in relation to overseas aid. Has reached across the aisle on numerous occasions. Knows China, speaks Mandarin and is not just a China kowtower. Obama digs Rudd. Gets on well w/ many UN & EU diplomats. Pushes nuclear treaty. A maverick. Suspicious of factions & too much union power. Not from NSW. Was right to push the mining tax (Libs once again demonstrate their hypocrisy by raising royalties in NSW). Ruddy is KNOWN...has been thru the media grilling mill. Just a few points. N'

nasking

6/09/2011Thnx Lyn, great job. Look forward to goin' thru the links ya offer up. :) Yer the best. N'

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Nas, All I have to say wrt to the Kevin11 polling is 1. News Ltd built him up and then they knocked him and the ALP down. What's to say that they won't do it again? 2. All the Kevin vs Julia poll says to me is 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Familiarity breeds contempt.' 3. As Michael Rowland correctly pointed out in his interview with Newspoll CEO, Martin O'Shanessy, what real point is there in Newspoll conducting a beauty contest between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard when there is absolutely no possibility that the Labor Caucus will even consider bringing him back? It just seems mischievous by Newspoll to keep asking the question.

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Nas, Yes, I do know how to say 'Sorry' and move on. Unlike some. I think you call it behaving like an adult.

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011jj, Do you know how puerile you look when you make comments like the one above? If you don't, then you should.

Ad astra reply

6/09/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011PatriciaWA, Yes, with the right camera angle, the PM can be very photogenic. It's a pity the essentially sexist snappers out there always look to highlight the negatives. In comparison, I can't remember anyone either being allowed to, or choosing to, take a photo of John Howard which highlighted his hearing aid, or even casually and inadvertantly showing it. Might I also add about John Winston Howard, he should have foregone the Lasik eye surgery because, without his glasses he looks even more like a LOM(Little Old Man), and diminishes his air of authority. Wait I can hear the termagents already, "Well, she would say that wouldn't she?", and, "All you can ever be is mean to Liberal politicians", or, "Leave him alone, he's not in politics anymore". To which I will pre-emptively reply, "So what? It's my opinion, and like Big Bad John Hartigan says, everyone is entitled to one without reference to the feelings of the person whose feelings they may hurt." :D

Jaeger

6/09/2011I'm still having trouble with the links, unfortunately. I also tried Internet Explorer, so it doesn't appear to be a browser issue. Again, lots of truncated links - only two actually took me to the intended article! www.themonthly.com (should be www.themonthly.com.au) blogs.crikey.com (should be blogs.crikey.com.au) www.thepowerindex.com (should be www.thepowerindex.com.au) www.financialstandard.com (should be www.financialstandard.com.au) econews.com (should be econews.com.au) www.buddeblog.com (should be www.buddeblog.com.au)

Jaeger

6/09/2011One more (previewed by mistake): http://ozhouse.orgh-/ (should be http://ozhouse.org/)

nasking

6/09/2011Feral, you make some good points. I'm just throwing stuff up so it helps Ad put a post together...and gives visitors from the government, if we get any, ideas on how to deal w/ the media & fight the next election. As I said previously, I'm willing to support PM Gillard and generally think it's a good idea to stand & fight...show consistency, grit and backbone. I just worry occasionally that if Gillard's popularity continues to fall, yet the government is able to get certain important legislation thru, that legislation will have a negative aura that will be taken all the way to the next election...AND...it's kinda sad that so much important legislation that started under Rudd will not see him havin' the opportunity to get it thru. But such is life I guess. And as long as it gets thru, it will help the community...and be difficult for the Coalition to unwind. One thing that has always concerned about Rudd is the Chris Mitchell's baby godfather bit. And his visits to Murdoch in NY...and hangin' out w/ various News Ltd types. Will he have learnt that doin' a Blair, as in cosying up to those pseudo fascists, is just not on in the public's eye...and will cause him grief in the future. Not healthy for democracy either. At least we know Julia isn't a big fan of News Ltd. Anyway, let's wish the PM a strong Pacific Islands time eh? Feral, great speech by Obama in America eh? Labour Day...all fired up. First time in ages. Hope it's a sign of things to come and not just triangulation stuff. N'

nasking

6/09/2011Thnx Lyn, useful link: [quote]Australia’s media concentration bad for democracy A poll commissioned by new online campaign NewsStand found 61% of Australian people agreed a “public inquiry into the Australian media is necessary so the public can better understand the relationship between politicians, corporations and media outlets”. NewsStand, backed by GetUp, then launched an online petition on August 11 calling for parliament to “publicly scrutinise the media landscape as a whole”, which quickly gathered almost 30,000 signatures. Online petition site Avaaz.org also launched a similar petition demanding a “full inquiry into Australian media’s practices including far-reaching investigations of Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited.” Professor Wendy Bacon, an investigative journalist with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, told Green Left Weekly the proposal for an investigation of media practice in Australia had come at a crucial time. After the worldwide exposure of illegal and unethical practices in Rupert Murdoch’s news empire, particularly the phone-hacking scandal that led to the end of Britain’s News of the World, Australians could not assume its media were immune. Bacon said: “You’ve got computer hacking allegations in the US, and Italy, a phone hacking scandal that was correctly described by 4 Corners as a ‘criminal enterprise’ and people want to put their head in the sand in Australia and think it’s not like that here?” She said the growing concentration of media, as well as the powerful influence of who owns it, needed serious attention. “The problem with media concentration and ownership became obvious when the News Limited scandal happened. If the Murdochs decided to close down outlets in Australia to hold up their profits, smaller and regional areas could lose their primary source of information. “That is bad for democracy, but it makes this an important time to now push grassroots campaigns for a more diverse range of media."[/quote] more here: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/48707 Bring on that media inquiry. If it can happen under Tories in the UK, why not an ALP-led govt here? N'

lyn

6/09/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]Bad News: Robert Manne on Murdoch's Australian, The Monthly[/i] Robert Manne investigates Murdoch’s lead political voice here, the Australian newspaper, and how it shapes and distorts the national debate. In this studio interview, Robert Manne speaks to Nick Feik about his provocative new essay. http://www.themonthly.com.au/bad-news-robert-manne-murdochs-australian-3830 [i]Australia’s media concentration bad for democracy, Jay Fletcher, Green left Weekly[/i] A poll commissioned by new online campaign NewsStand found 61% of Australian people agreed a “public inquiry into the Australian media is necessary so the public can better understand the relationship between politicians, corporations and media outlets”. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/48707 [i]Power without responsibility: Rupert Murdoch's Australian,Robert Manne, ABC[/i] he has discovered how to use the 70 per cent of the national and statewide press he owns to ensure that the values drawn from his right-wing political philosophy remain dominant within the political mainstream. http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2011/09/05/3309666.htm [i]The most important issue of the week, part one, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] The only thing that gets in the way of the traditions of journalism is the future of journalism, and as the latter dims you can only wonder at the sheer puffery that exists around the former http://andrewelder.blogspot.com [i]We're All Squirming And Suffering Together, Adam Brereton, New Matilda[/i] The nation’s political commentators, licking their lips, report the latest scuttlebutt and speculation from one anonymous twerp after another."Tell me your dirty secrets," they whisper. "Who will it be? Shorten? Smith? Swan? Who cares that they’re only on 5 per cent, we neeeeeed it! http://newmatilda.com/2011/09/05/were-all-squirming-and-suffering-together [i]That’s not what anonymity is for, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] I’m not going to bother commenting on the nauseatingly credulous “reporting” today portraying the Liberals’ promise to vote for their own nasty, expensive, counterproductive offshore processing policy as some kind of generous offer to Labor http://blogs.crikey.com. [i]doing a deal with Abbott? , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] Nauru and in Papua New Guinea---a Pacific solution Mark II.This policy is being used as part of the background scratching of the conservative noise machine with the Murdoch media setting the agenda for regime change. http://www.sauer-thompson.com [i]Government’s No. 1 legal adviser takes centre stage,Angela Priestley,The Power Index[/i] declaring he detested the phrase "judicial activism" and that "it's nonsense to say a judge doesn't make law". Common law , he argued at the time, must evolve as society evolves and consequently adapted via the decisions of judges. http://www.thepowerindex.com. [i]Opportunities sprout from the Malaysian Solution ashes, Mungo MacCallam, The Drum[/i] Tony Abbott would demand total capitulation and a return to the Pacific Solution as the price of his support. It is unlikely that Gillard and her colleagues could stomach that shit sandwich. So, where to from here? http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2870858.html [i]David Manne vows to fight the 'Nauru Solution' .. and the BBC's Nick Bryant: Why I'm belting the Australia I love ,Nicole Chvastek , ABC[/i] Tony Abbott is trying to lure Julia Gillard into another Pacific Solution but the lawyer who shut down the Malaysian option in the lHigh Court told Jon Faine he’s ready to do it all again if the government considers Nauru for offshore processing of asylum seekers. http://blogs.abc.net.au/victoria/2011/09/david-manne-vows-to-fight-the-nauru-solution-and-the-bbcs-nick-bryant-why-im-belting-the-australia-i.html [i]Walking straight into it, The Piping Shrike[/i] Imagine if the High Court had handed down a similar decision to Howard in 2001 or 2002. There would have been accusations of being soft on terrorismand misguided laxness on the safety of Australia’ borders. From Gillard we have had little but a lawyer’s technical argument of re-writing the termsof the Migration Act, http://www.pipingshrike.com [i]Abbott offers what, Min, Café Whispers[/i] Politically there is very little chance that the government would side with Abbott against the Greens whose support they need for effective government http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/ [i]Essential: we trust Negus and Oakes, but who’s Andrew Bolt?, Jason Whittaker, Crikey[/i] Bolt’s national TV profile — after quitting the ABC’s Insiders he now hosts a Sunday morning platform on Channel Ten — hasn’t done much to boost his fame: almost half (48%) said they didn’t know who he was http://www.crikey.com.au [i]Asylum seekers … just two long-term options available, Jenny Norvick, Crikey[/i] Nauru was never a deterrent to boat arrivals and it had the same role in the scheme of things that Christmas Island does now. Whether it is a signatory to the UN Convention is irrelevant as the government of Nauru had no role, http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/09/02/asylum-seekers-just-two-long-term-options-available/ ,[i] It's official, Rudd saved Australia, Alex Dunnin , Financial Standard Online[/i] In time we will return to constructive conversations like this, but not today for now Australia is gripped by partisan 'take no prisoners' politics that permeates almost every aspect of policy discussion http://www.financialstandard.com.au/news/view/12313665/ [i]Is Glenn Milne in the News Ltd naughty corner?, Tom Cowie, The Power Index[/i] Bolt came to Milne's defence on Saturday, calling for an uprising from his blog's true believers: "This shutting down of debate is sinister and shameful. Had John Howard tried it, there would be a riot in the Left. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-fail/is-glenn-milne-in-the-news-ltd-naughty-corner/20110905364 [i]Treasury says Liberal-National carbon plan ‘to cost double’, David Twomey, Eco News[/i] The coalition has stated its direct action plan, funded entirely from the federal budget, would cost $10.5 billion to 2020 http://econews.com.au/news-to-sustain-our-world/treasury-says-liberal-national-carbon-plan-to-cost-double/ [i]Speeding up the NBN roll out, Paul Budde, The Budde Blog[/i] We lost eleven years of progress during the time the Coalition was in government, as its priority was to privatise Telstra at all costs, without taking into account competition, innovation and consumer prices. http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/speeding-up-the-nbn-roll-out/ [i]Turnbull starts the long journey back for Coalition’s NBN alternative, Tony Brown, Informa[/i] by the time of the next election, set for late 2013, the NBN FTTH network will already cover 1.9 million homes – 16% of the planned total – and an estimated 1.1 million homes will be using the network. In other words, it will be a different beast than the embryonic entity it is right now. http://blogs.informatandm.com [i]Libyan rebels to start killing each other’, Oz House Alt News[/i] According to Rall, the divisions are fueled by the fact that many of the members of the National Transitional Council are former Gaddafi officials. Radical factions within the Libyan opposition are not going to accept them, Rall warned. http://ozhouse.orgh-

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Nasking, Sometimes John Winston Howard lets his guard down, and so he did when he was interviewed byAndrew Bolt, I think it was, last weekend. Then again, knowing how Machiavellian Howard is, maybe it was a pre-emptive strike. Anyway, he said about the Asylum Seeker issue that he thought that Julia Gillard was just tidying up after the mess Kevin Rudd created and left for her. Now, I know he followed that by saying that, therefore, Kevin Rudd shouldn't have dismantled the Pacific Solution, which I don't agree with him about, however, in amongst the merde was that salient point which I think, in his quiter moments, when Hyacinth isn't acting like a flea in his ear, he acknowledges. That is, that Kevin Rudd left Julia Gillard one big mess to clean up. Therefore he has some sympathy for her because of that. I don't think that his opinion would be isolated to the Asylum Seeker issue either, just quietly. Which amazes me just how quickly how those polled for Newspoll have forgotten the chaos that reigned when Kevin was PM. The Opposition would thus get out their 'Kevin O'Lemon' lemons sooner than you could say, 'Lickety split!'.

lyn

6/09/2011Hi Ad I have checked every link, they were nearly all wrong. So far it looks like just Pure Poison and Oz House to change. Would you mind changing those 2 for me please, and deleting the firt lot of Today's Links. Thankyou so much Ad sorry this has happened this morning, don't ask me what it was,because gremlins got me, and they are still here. Pure Poison: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/09/05/thats-not-what-anonymity-is-for/ Oz House: http://ozhouse.org/2011/09/05/libyan-rebels-to-start-killing-each-other/ Cheers:):):):):):)

nasking

6/09/2011Memories: [quote]NAURU No to a Nauru sequel of hunger strikes, suicide attempts and deportations back to death As part of its election campaign, the Liberal Party championed the re–opening of the Nauru detention centre and stood proudly side by side with Nauru’s Foreign Minister Dr Keke, who proclaimed ‘there were a lot of negative perceptions created that were unfounded….the Asylum Seekers were treated very well [on Nauru]’ and goes on further to say Nauru does not even need to sign the Refugee Convention. All the community fears of returning asylum seekers to Nauru are in fact well founded and it is shameful that the Liberal Party would seek a sequel to the human suffering and despair that was created on Nauru. The reasons to disregard the consideration of reopening the Nauru detention centre are compelling. Lack of capacity Around 1,500 Asylum seekers were processed on Nauru. This stretched the small Nauru community of around 10,000 people far beyond its means, as Nauru faced its own economic and financial problems. Nauru lacked adequate medical infrastructure and failed to meet the often complex medical requirements of those seeking asylum. At least 40 people were airlifted to Australia from Nauru from medical treatment during the previous use of Nauru as a detention centre. In August 2002 a 26 year old asylum seeker without any known medical problems died on Nauru. Mental health impact Many of those previously detained on Nauru suffered serious mental health issues as a result of detention. A number were assessed at "grave risk" and were taken to Australia because of their deteriorating mental health while numerous incidents of self harm and detainees suffering from depression and psychological conditions were reported. . In 2003, 45 people took part in a serious hunger strike. 284 men, women and children remain imprisoned after 29 months on Nauru (fifteen of the 93 children are babies born on Nauru). Out of sheer desperation, 45 men went on a hunger strike for 22 days. An Australian Government delegation sent in the wake of the hunger strike recommended additional funding to the struggling Nauru Health Services but was specifically directed NOT to assess the health and mental health services of the detained population. The Health Alliance/AMA team of medical experts was refused visas to assist the Nauru Hospital during the hunger strike. Asylum Seekers were prevented from accessing adequate legal advice and information about their rights of appeal. Deported back to danger In 2006 the Edmund Rice Centre tracked 41 returned Afghan asylum seekers from Nauru and finds 39 were in perilous conditions. Their report ‘Deported Back to Danger II’’ detailed that the Australian Government secured the return of more than half the asylum seekers on Nauru in 2003 by a "mixture of inducements and threats". The report follows an earlier account by the centre that up to nine asylum seekers and several of their children were killed on return to Afghanistan from Nauru. In 2007, the average cost for maintaining facilities on Nauru was $2million per month. Let us learn from our past and have no sequel to this injustice.[/quote] http://www.asrc.org.au/media/documents/no-offshore-processing.pdf Australia making a good reputation for itself across the world. Abbott and his swaggering & posing...taking Australia into the black hole. Not unlike Bush & America. N'

TalkTurkey

6/09/2011Jane I really dig your feistiness! You don't happen to have hair that's an overmatch for Rebekah Brooks's do you? :) http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBgQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DF9_P-Sq5gPo&ei=ZVZlTujZKOnImAXhq9GGCg&usg=AFQjCNG2jVggxuSad_PdAlINASr8kpJ0jw [i]Jane and the Dragon[/i] from Weta Studios NZ is the BEST (children + adults) TV series EVER imo, artwork and animation and morality stories . . . Jane is noble Jane, Abbortt is lowlife Gunther! Girls can be Knights of the Sword OK! Sir Lyn has a big list of them!

nasking

6/09/2011Detention on Nauru according to Tony: [quote]Nauru 'a bit like boarding school' says Opposition Leader Tony Abbott Ben Packham From: Herald Sun August 11, 2010 TONY Abbott has compared the experiences of asylum seekers sent to Nauru to that of boarding school students. As the Coalition pressed its case to reopen Australia's detention centre on Nauru, the Opposition Leader defended conditions for detainees there under the Howard government. He said asylum seekers had enjoyed the "run of the island", and were required to return to the centre only in the evening. "I think the worst you could say about it is that it's a bit like school, boarding school," he told Nova FM. "It's certainly not like a jail."[/quote] http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-reports/nauru-a-bit-like-boarding-school-says-opposition-leader-tony-abbott/story-fn5ko0pw-1225903700498 Boarding school eh? Won't that go down well w/ the abused at boarding school? I had a gay mate who was harrassed continually there. He died depressed nr Dubbo in the late 90s. N'

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Nasking, Didn't Kevin Rudd get abused by the bullies at Boarding School, which he said coloured his opinion of the elites and their children for the rest of his life, forced him to beg his mother to take him away from the school, place him in the local Public School, and turn away from the family's natural inclination towards the National Party?

Sue

6/09/2011Last night on Q&A just before the end. tony Jones approximately said the newspoll is in and not good for julia Gillard, Greg combet your comments please. Combet responded by saying that as polls are frequent he was going to actually answer the question asked by the audience member as it was a much more important question. Which is the point, it is the journalists that insist that a poll result is of news value. Personally a poll for a Murdoch organisation run by a company that includes the name "News" dares the truth metre. On the otherhand I look forward to the revelations from tonights interviews by the UK parliamentary committee of News executives, executives that have been exposed as less than truthful.

Tom of Melbourne

6/09/2011Jane said – “[quote]Blog owners are entitled to publish their opinions on their own blogs, ToM: they own the blog and they don't have to tailor it to your opinions and prejudices.” [/quote] Indeed Jane, blog owners are entitled to publish their own opinions and prejudices. Nothing at all wrong with this. In my opinion, criticism is warranted when- • The slogan of the blog is intended to provide a facade of impartiality (such as the slogan used here) • Factual comments are deleted (such as occurs here) • Contributors have a history of homophobic labelling, which is ignored by the blog administrator (such as has occurred here on successive occasions) Blogs are an increasingly important part of the media, tehy are even more accessible then newspapers, the notion that any blog is beyond criticism is odd indeed. Certainly this one is entitled to plenty.

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Nas, Obama will have to give the speech of his life on Thursday, US time. I hope he has the fire in his belly again which saw him become the first African American man to become President of the United States. I note also that one of his main speechwriters, Jon Lovett, a comedy writer, has left his employ to return to Hollywood. I think that can only be a good thing because his speeches need less levity and more gravity, and hopefully, Jon Favreau will get more prominence as a result as I believe that those speeches that he helped write with the BPOTUS before he was elected were some of the best he has ever given.

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Sue, I also thought it was particularly sleazy of Tony Jones to give Sophie Mirabella the last and second to last comments on Q&A last night. The laughable diatribe before he read the Newspoll results out and then again after Greg Combet's comment. Poor form by Tony Jones to give the Opposition such an obvious free kick, but nothing more than I would have expected. What is heartening to see though is that the media have instead of running Sophie's verbal diarrhoea spray, they have instead gone with Minister Combet's supportive comment about the PM. I was also happy to see Paul Howes slap down Clive Palmer when he tried to get away with calling the Prime Minister, "Julia What'shername". :)

Sue

6/09/2011Agree Feral Skeleton Also on Sophie did you notice that the audience actually laughed at Sophie, she also got that response when the show was in Albury. For support she hangs about with the ranters, such as the yelling rabble outside albanese's office.

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Tom of Melbourne, Newspaper blogs moderate and edit comments all the time. They have every right to. We have every right to. If you don't like it, as Ad Astra said, there are a million other blogs you can go and comment on that may be more to your liking. However, I don't think you want to really because that is not your agenda. As for your precious comment that 'contributors have a history of homophobic labelling' here on TPS. Well, I'm sorry but I grew up in a fair dinkum Aussie household where political correctness gone crazy was not the order of the day, amongst our extended family and all the homosexual friends we have had over the decades, who have also had robust senses of humour, and who could dish it out about themselves and their sexuality, as well as take it in good humour. What I did apologise for, as Nasking has correctly pointed out, was not making my comment in good humour. However, after the villification I received from you and your fellow Guttersnipes, which still has not been retracted and apology proffered as far as I know, then I can justifiably say that I had a right to get hot under the collar at that time. Which, as I say again, I apologised for later on when I cooled down, and which, I will add again, you, or anyone else who made those nasty comments, have not. I won't hold my breath to get an apology from such an obviously humourless and po-faced slimeball as yourself, who can dish it out but can't take it, either. Now, let that be the last word of hypocritical criticism from you, or I will moderate you again because, unless you contribute to the on-topic debates here, as Reb has, then you are not going to be part of our converstation. Whether that upsets your delicate sensibilities, or not.

Ad astra reply

6/09/2011Hi Lyn I've corrected the two broken links on your special page: LYN'S DAILY LINKS. They all now work. Jaeger All the links now work, at least on Safari.

lyn

6/09/2011Hi Ad Thankyou very much. Cheers:):):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Nasking, It seems, wrt Asylum Seeker processing,, that the Cabinet decided overnight to reject Nauru as a destination for Irregular Boat Arriving Asylum Seekers, and instead press on with trying to make the Malysian deal legally work, in so far as it would be the first Regional Processing Centre, under the auspices of the UNHCR. I still agree that this is the best option because, as the European President said yesterday, a regional solution is what works best. It works for Europe with it's far greater number of Boat Arrivals, and it should work for us too, here in SE Asia.

Patricia WA

6/09/2011I think Q&A gave a better 'feel' for the real mood of the more informed section of our community last night, even on the right. They seemed conflicted, genuinely puzzled about what's happening to the country right now. There was a real willingness to listen to the efforts of Combet and others to outline the real achievements of Julia Gillard's government. True she was clearly unpopular, but there was much more derision directed at Mirabella's opinion that this was the worst government since federation. I don't think people understand that bringing down Julia Gillard is the priority of the right and its media mates because that will bring down the government, Kevin Rudd along with it, no matter how popular he is in the false leadership stakes that News Ltd. keeps publishing as Newspoll gospel. Thanks to Sue for raising that issue about the issue of Newspoll's credibility. Or relevance. Popularity/Approval ratings are hardly sound criteria for making decisions in a mature democracy.

Tom of Melbourne

6/09/2011Right, and as I pointed out - while the administrator of this site is willing to child contributors (such as me) for factual, but provocative comments, he is unwilling to show similar guidance to you, or to earlier contributors who immediately lapsed into homophobic labelling when I posted some comments in support of gay marriage. But the precious administrator and sensitive supporters here believe they are entitled to lapse into this disgraceful name calling without consequence. The fact is that this site goes nowhere near living up to the slogan it assigns itself.

Patricia WA

6/09/2011PS Looking at the last sentence of my comment above I should have said. [i]Personal popularity or approval ratings are hardly sound criteria for making leadership decisions in a recently elected government trying to achieve a major reform. Obviously they have some relevance during an election campaign.[/i]

Jean

6/09/2011Ah, it takes me back to simpler days, when the Coalition and its media mates were trying to throw out Whitlam (who can forget Billy Sneddon in 1972 saying the voters had made a terrible mistake, but all would be rectified as soon as possible?). The spin was simpler, but just as effective, Everything the Labor government did was called a scandal. Whitlam had a sandwich for lunch? Ah, the sandwich-for-lunch scandal. There were, of course, a few genuine scandals, but they almost got lost in the crowd.

Ad astra reply

6/09/2011Folks Have you heard the news? [i]Newspoll[/i] was not good for Labor or Julia Gillard today. Who would have predicted it after the great week they have had with everything going their way! Anyway, it’s good that jj has filled us in as there was scarcely a mention of it on ABC this morning. George Megalogenis said some time ago that the change of [i]Newspoll[/i] intervals from monthly to fortnightly had changed the dynamic of polls substantially. He believes fortnightly is too often. I agree. From being a reflection of public opinion when carried out at monthly intervals, it moves ever so subtly to a conditioning of public views when used fortnightly. One [i]Newspoll[/i] feeds into the next, and other polls feed into each other, so that each poll tends to habituate the public to the same view. It is not surprising that results are similar. There is no solution to this as there are so many polls, and media outlets value them so much as news generators, that they will continue trotting them out as often as they can reasonably get away with it. The other aspect to remember is that despite news outlets making dramatic stories out of what the electoral result would be if the poll results were replicated at an election, that is not what happens. The media creates a fanciful scenario that is not reflective of reality, certainly at a Federal level. You will recall in the latter days of the Howard Government some of the polls showed an even more extreme TPP situation than Labor faces now. I can remember several polls where Labor was over 60 in the TPP and the Coalition under 40. Yet we know that when it came to the 2007 election the results were quite close. Labor won, but the Coalition was not decimated. So journalists reporting that if the poll results were reflected at an election the Government would be all but wiped out, is disingenuous and misleading and serves only to make a dramatic news story and to feed into the next poll. On [i]Inside Story[/i] in Lyn's Links this morning there was an interesting piece [i]What is the voter voting for?[/i] by Norman Abjorensen He concluded: [i]"Much has changed, but in some ways much has remained the same. The voter remains as elusive, contrary and inscrutable as ever, lending further credence to the notion that politics is not a rational process."[/i] This is what this piece argues: that voters’ views of the Government when presented with a set of questions related to the actions that have been taken by the Government (as was the case in the [i]Essential[/i] poll), are different from their views when asked their voting preferences, and as Abjorensen suggests, when they actually cast their vote. Rationality is replaced by unbridled emotion, much of it generated by the Coalition and media hype.

2353

6/09/2011Another example of the failure of the current Governemtn to do anything. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-06/coag-report-shows-waiting-periods-reduced/2872554

lyn

6/09/2011Hi 2353 Thankyou for your link, I am keeping that story. The information will not be in the Murdoch papers. The voters need to know. Hospitals hitting waiting list targets Posted September 06, 2011 08:07:17 [quote]Under a national partnership, the Commonwealth offered reward payments for the states and territories that reduced the number of patients waiting longer than recommended times for elective surgery.[/quote] Cheers:):):)

Ad astra reply

6/09/2011Jean If this is your first visit to [i]TPS[/i], welcome to the family. Do come again. I see you remember that the hype we hear today is not new, but perhaps more extreme than in the Whitlam era. Patricia WA I am in accord with your assessment of Q&A last night, and with your comments about the invalidity of popularity ratings in making leadership decisions. Prediction is hazardous, but I predict that Julia Gillard’s strength and toughness in the face of poor polls, Coalition condemnation and unremitting media negativity, will stand her in good stead and eventually become an attribute that will attract admiration from the public, and even grudging admiration by her opponents. Folks Can anyone explain to me why Tom of Melbourne continues to return to this blogsite when it clearly is anathema to him?

nasking

6/09/2011Absolutely fascinating interview last nite by Lateline's Ali Moore w/ Crime author and screenwriter Lynda La Plante...I'm a fan of the murder mystery genre...and loved Plante's creation Jane Tennyson from Prime Suspect fame. The following stood out for me: [quote]ALI MOORE: Your most famous character is Jane Tennyson of course from the series Prime Suspect and she was originally played by Helen Mirren. And it's interesting because she was a very strong female character until the third series of Prime Suspect where she becomes an alcoholic. She basically falls apart. You didn't write that series. Would you have done that to Jane Tennyson? LYNDA LA PLANTE: No. Never. ALI MOORE: Why was that done, do you think? LYNDA LA PLANTE: Um, I don't honestly know. I mean, at that point, it's very difficult - when you're a writer for hire and you don't agree with them saying, "We want more domestic life of Jane Tennyson. We want this and that," and I refused to do it. And I most definitely would never have made her an alcoholic because she was based on a real-life policewoman. And that to me was an insult to the policewoman that had guided me through the original Prime Suspect script from the Day One. And I just - I think why create a character that is respected and broke a mould and then go, "Oh well, I'll smash it down, I'll make her an alcoholic." And so it's very difficult. I mean, Jane Tennyson was brilliantly played by Helen Mirren. And I have nothing in that aspect to say against it. But I did find that - and also, there was another episode, I think, that actually went into the first case to prove that she'd made a mistake and you think, "Well aren't there enough stories out there that you don't need to do that?"... ALI MOORE: Well of course you now have Anna Travis, who I guess is a very young Jane Tennyson. Young: is that the operative word? Was there pressure to create a younger character? LYNDA LA PLANTE: No, there was never any pressure from me to create a sort of young, nubile Jane Tennyson. And that - it only happened because I was at a murder site and met a very young - and they call them the fast-track officers. So unlike Jane Tennyson, Travis comes from university background, and so she would've been officer material very, very quickly. She'd have gone to officer training school. She would never have been in traffic, she would never have been in uniform and unlike Jane Tennyson, she would never have gone through Drug Squad, Flying Squad to Homicide. So Travis was completely - had no intention of creating her. When - I was at a murder site when I'd been called to say, "Did I want to have a look at it?" And she was a very young police officer who came reeling out of the forensic tent, knocked me sideways because she couldn't take it. And one of the hardened police officers looked at me and he gave me a big wink and he said, "She's not going to last long." ALI MOORE: Did she? LYNDA LA PLANTE: The next - it would be about six months later, and there she was, different, she was changed. And I went up to here and said, "Do you remember me?" She said, "Yes, I remember you." She said, "Very embarrassed by that." She'd changed, she'd grown up. And I thought how interesting to go that length to actually see a young policewoman grow into Jane Tennyson... ALI MOORE: Tell me about the sort of access you get and what you've seen. LYNDA LA PLANTE: Well, the access is given to me because I don't take constant dramatic licence. I mean, when you often see crime drama, you know, there's so many incongruities and falsehoods that you as the public are expected to accept. And I never could. And so I went with my problem and I said, "How do I get to this point?" So if it was forensic, or if it was pathologists, or an autopsy, I went through it with them and learnt exactly what happened. I mean, it was pretty gruesome at times, but I wanted it to be real. I mean, if you - there's so many detective series on - CSI, Miami, New York. You name it. There's so many CSIs now. So people are very familiar with terms for forensic science. But one of the most important things for forensic departments is that you don't shed, so therefore you have the paper suits and the masks and the boots to cover shoes. Because I – (indicates her jacket) this material will shed, even though it looks quite smooth. Small hairs. This sheds all the time, all the time. So when you see in CSI this going on over a body (flicks her own hair off her shoulder). "Oh, well, I think he was here the night before," you know that isn't real and I don't want to put that into any of my film work or my books... LYNDA LA PLANTE:...and classic recently is the possibility that if a rapist declares himself guilty, his sentence will be reduced. That to me can only be and have only come about because a man has done it. No woman would actually say, "Oh, well if he said he's guilty and he raped me, you can reduce his sentence." You have a life sentence from rape. And no matter what - how many people say, "No, that's not true." It is, it's a life sentence.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3310628.htm I'd luv to see a TV series w/ the character Anna Travis. Revealing, informative interview. I never watch CSI etc...my wife as a science teacher has told me a great deal about forensics...she reckons the American shows are generally unrealistic bunkum. La Plante confirms this. America seems to be riddled w/ scientific inaccuracies. N'

Merlin

6/09/2011I wonder how long before news limited self destructs.

Tom of Melbourne

6/09/2011[i]”Can anyone explain to me why Tom of Melbourne continues to return to this blogsite when it clearly is anathema to him?”[/i] Allow me to help! • You have allowed homophobic labeling to occur without any chiding, or specific administrative objection. This occurred on the first occasion I visited your site. This attitude among your contributors is quite shameful, and should not be overlooked – but you do. • You use a slogan that puts up a façade, which you neglect to observe. • Dissenting voices are routinely labeled as trolls, this is certainly not just limited to me. • The “blame the media” mindset so popular here ignores the significant errors of the government. I do hope this helps. This information is of course offered in a positive spirit, in the sincere hope that it will assist you to improve the quality of your site!

BSA Bob

6/09/2011The MSM & Coalition would prefer that any replacement for Julia Gillard be Kevin Rudd. This would save them the bother of creating a new hatchet job on whomever the new leader happened to be. Standard footage & talking points could be used. Why, after a week or so, the speculation as to when Gillard was about to re-roll Rudd could begin!

nasking

6/09/2011[quote]I was also happy to see Paul Howes slap down Clive Palmer when he tried to get away with calling the Prime Minister, "Julia What'shername". [/quote] Feral, I was pleased to see that to. Good on Howes. The audience warmth towards Palmer over his "onshore detention" comments turned more cooler after Howes pointed out his rude titling of the PM. I was waiting for "that sheila in the Lodge" to come out at some point. N'

Gravel

6/09/2011Feral Skeleton In your response to Nas: [i] All I have to say wrt to the Kevin11 polling is 1. News Ltd built him up and then they knocked him and the ALP down. What's to say that they won't do it again? 2. All the Kevin vs Julia poll says to me is 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Familiarity breeds contempt.' 3. As Michael Rowland correctly pointed out in his interview with Newspoll CEO, Martin O'Shanessy, what real point is there in Newspoll conducting a beauty contest between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard when there is absolutely no possibility that the Labor Caucus will even consider bringing him back? It just seems mischievous by Newspoll to keep asking the question.[/i] I agree with all the above. Nas, you do come up with some really great points. Maybe you could think about writing up a topic yourself, I'm sure AA would welcome other contributors. It seems we have been invaded by some people that feel uncomfortable with the civil discourse we have on The Political Sword. I do hope they do appreciate the many people can disagree here in a more agreeable way than they seem to be able to.

nasking

6/09/2011[quote] I think that can only be a good thing because his speeches need less levity and more gravity, and hopefully, Jon Favreau will get more prominence as a result as I believe that those speeches that he helped write with the BPOTUS before he was elected were some of the best he has ever given.[/quote] Good points Feral. I used to see Obama as The Natural. Hopefully, like the character in the film, he'll come back from injured polling & a sense of him goin' on a mental journey that saw him drift away from the people somewhat...to standing at that home plate and givin' it his all...puttin' the ball beyond reach. Grand slam!!! Trumanesque...w/ a touch of Roosevelt, Lincoln, Reagan, Clinton & Kennedy. Ahh hell...the natural Obama on fire in 08 will do. :) That speech needs to "knock 'em for six" as we say here. N'

lyn

6/09/2011Hi Ad I didn't post The Poll Bludger this morning. Can you work out the Polls Ad, because they bamboozle me, different questions asked in every poll, how do they really measure them anyway? We know some people have special measuring tapes, that are unavailable to the public. I feel like not taking any notice of any polls, at least not for 2 years. [i]Newspoll: 59-41 to Coalition[/i]William Bowe, The Poll Bludger [quote]Strong results for Laurie Oakes, George Negus and Tony Jones bear out a well-understood tendency of this kind of inquiry to favour those in the medium of television. It might thus be thought all the more remarkable that Alan Jones is rated the least trusted of the eight:[/quote] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ Cheers :):):):):)

nasking

6/09/2011Feral, Rudd boarded at a Marist Brothers College apparently. Glad I didn't: [quote]It's private - the school he wants to forget April 27, 2007 Kevin Rudd spent two years at a private Catholic boarding school, but clearly hated the experience, writes Cosima Marriner.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/04/26/1177459877747.html?page=fullpage Brrr... My mate David went to a boarding school back in the 50s I think it was...he was gay & terrified of coming out. Apparently he was beaten a few times...and once took a wee chook from his farm to the school to keep him company 'cause he was so sad...and kids crushed it in his case. David was a real tough fella...hard man on the land type...could do anything...not afraid to get his hands dirty...weather-beaten skin, rugged face...hard as nails...yet great sense of humour & compassion if ya got close to him. Tellin' those boarding school stories would make him shiver tho...and you could see both anger & fear in those wise eyes. He sadly died from a blood infection. And could never get rid of an underlyin' depression. I miss him. He was a great mate. N'

nasking

6/09/2011[quote]you do come up with some really great points. Maybe you could think about writing up a topic yourself, I'm sure AA would welcome other contributors.[/quote] Thnx Gravel, as do you & many others on here. I believe that if the government is gonna come back, which I believe it will, it needs to know its vulnerabilities broken down into points so they can address each expertly. It also helps us to know where exactly the media is exaggeratin' &/or usin' Coalition/think tank talkin' points...and how to counter them. Ad & others like Mr. Denmore are doin' a superb job in that respect. It's important tho to look beyond media influence & manipulation too...and see how the government can lift its game...make its communication more effective...and get down on the ground w/ the public...I really do believe Julia Gillard was making headway w/ the public when she got out there w/ them. Gotta beat Abbott at his own game. Get to those workers who don't trust Abbott & WorkChoices dead & buried claims... showoff the BER accomplishments...pushback against the lazy media balderdash. Get on the front foot. Like they did w/ Garrett mentionin' the Dad paid parental. But really push it...don't get distracted. Play an offensive game...not defensive. And get that bloody media inquiry goin'. :) N'

Patricia WA

6/09/2011This is for Talk Turkey, dog lovers, surfers, parents of skateboarders, or anyone who needs cheering up! http://www.zapiks.com/share/player.swf?autoStart=true&lang=en&file=52372

nasking

6/09/2011Anyone else think it's unbecoming of a leader to be sitting distracted & chuckling whilst his Treasurer gives a budget speech...and talks about helping the vulnerable in society? NSW premier Barry O'Farrell should be ashamed of his unprofessional & distracting behaviour today in parliament. The same for the other ministers in the background. Rude treatment of his Treasurer who took the speech seriously. Concerned, I am, about the privatisation of prisons. A big honeypot for the corporate & religious types in the USA who did same. N'

Mr Denmore

6/09/2011If Lyn's there, she might like to include my latest piece on The Failed Estate. It's called Anti-Social Media: http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/09/anti-social-media.html Mr D

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Nasking, The Liberals in NSW are also putting up Electricity and Water Rates, as well as knocking off the First Home Owners' Stamp Duty Concession for ouses under $500000, unless it's a newly-built one and part of the Urban sprawl that is O'Farrell's anti-environment, create new 'Aspirational' suburbs of McMansions, policy. Oh, and yes, the Liberals have introduced a 'Great Big New Tax', on the Mining Industry, but it's not a tax, it's a Royalty, and because it serves the dual purpose of kicking Labor in the financial goolies, the Miners aren't getting up an expensive ad campaign to whinge about it and try to destroy it at birth.

nasking

6/09/2011[b]There's no such thing as global warming!!!:[/b] [quote]Texas Wildfires Destroy 300 Homes Near Austin[/quote] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/05/wildfires-texas-austin-homes-destroyed_n_949181.html [b]I mean it, there's no such thing as global warming!!!:[/b] [quote]Hurricane Irene relief fund estimated at $1.5bn White House says cost to taxpayer comes on top of $5.2bn needed to deal with other recent disasters[/quote] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/06/hurricane-irene-reflief-cost [b]If there really was such a thing as global warming...hahaha...we'd know about it:[/b] April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak An extremely large and violent tornado outbreak, the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded, and popularly known as the 2011 Super Outbreak, occurred from April 25 to 28, 2011. The outbreak affected the Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States, leaving catastrophic destruction in its wake, especially across the state of Alabama. It produced destructive tornadoes in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, and affected several other areas throughout the Southern and Eastern United States. At least 336 tornadoes were confirmed as of August 4 by the National Weather Service in 21 states from Texas to New York and even isolated tornadoes in Canada. Widespread and destructive tornadoes occurred on each day of the outbreak, with April 27 being among the most prolific and destructive tornado days in United States history. Four of the tornadoes were destructive enough to be rated EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which is the highest ranking possible; typically these tornadoes are only recorded about once each year or less. In total, an estimated 346 people were killed as a result of the outbreak. (wikipedia) [b]Seriously, global warming is a socialist scam:[/b] [quote]US counts the cost of nine months of unprecedented weather extremes According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration, there have been 10 major disasters this year[/quote] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/05/us-unprecedented-weather-extremes [b]These are natural cycles...nothing to do with global warming:[/b] [quote]Dozens Dead, 4 Million Forced to Flee From Flooding in Pakistan Province[/quote] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-05/pakistan-floods-kill-dozens-force-millions-from-homes-as-rain-to-persist.html [b]Just natural cycles I'm telling you...global warming is a conspiracy. [/b] [quote]The 2010 Pakistan floods began in late July 2010, resulting from heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan and affected the Indus River basin. Approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was underwater, approximately 796,095 square kilometres (307,374 sq mi). According to Pakistani government data the floods directly affected about 20 million people, mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, with a death toll of close to 2,000 (Wikipedia) [/quote] [b]There's nothing to see here...same as it ever was...certainly NOT global warming[/b]: [quote]Queensland flood crisis reaches new heights - ABC News ... 12 Jan 2011 – Three-quarters of the Sunshine state is declared a disaster area as the flood focus turns to Brisbane and Ipswich, with mass power outages and ...[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-01-12/queensland-flood-crisis-reaches-new-heights/1901894 [b]Global warming? You need yer head checked. WHAT ME WORRY? I read The Australian. Hey! How come my house insurance bill has gone up?...GILLARD!!!![/b] N'

Ad astra reply

6/09/2011Mr Denmore Lyn will include you latest piece in tomorrow's Lyn's Links. Your work is always great reading. Thank you.

Feral Skeleton

6/09/2011Tom of Melbourne, OK, if you're going to ignore my perfectly reasonable explanation about my so-called by you, 'homophobia', and still not apologise for the equally grubby things said about me, hmm, why is that I wonder? Because I'm just a woman? Especially when, I am the last person in Australia that could be called 'homophobic', and you're the first who could be called 'hypocritical', then I guess I'll just have to ignore you. And no, we don't call everyone who comes here and criticises the government, or us personally, 'trolls', just the ones who behave that way and do not contribute anything other than sneering condescension toward us because we do support a good government that is struggling against the biggest wrecking ball that has come a government's way in Australia since Gough Whitlam, wielded by a feral Opposition Leader and hand-in-glove with the same oligarchical newspaperman and his lackeys that did such a successful job 35 years ago. Now, you might think that because that government haven't yet enacted one particular policy that you single-mindedly judge to be above all others in importance, well, that's your right. I prefer to be a bit more nuanced than that. And just because I disagree with you on that policy, does NOT make me 'Homophobic'. Also, if you persist in coming to this blog and still refuse to apologise for the personal comments made about me, then I have every right to call you the 'Misogynist' Tom of Melbourne. Or the Misogynist Troll. It's just my opinion and I have every right, you know. :D

lyn

6/09/2011Hi Mr Denmore Ad's got you, we never like to miss any of your articles. Thankyou for dropping in to alert us. Cheers:):):):):)

Ad astra reply

6/09/2011Tom of Melbourne How generous of you to once again point out the defects in [i]TPS[/i] and particularly mine as proprietor, so that I can ‘improve the quality of my site’. Having got that off your chest, for the umpteenth time, you might like now to make a positive contribution rather than offer your usual carping criticism. I can see now why you continue to return when [i]TPS[/i] is anathema to you – you are on a mission to improve the tenor of what transpires here. Such evangelism merits commendation. We look forward to your uplifting contribution to factually based, well reasoned discourse.