How to beat up a story - ABC style

In her address to the Lowy Institute last week, when addressing the issue of asylum seekers, Julia Gillard talked about: “...building a regional approach to the processing of asylum seekers, with the involvement of the UNHCR, which effectively eliminates the on shore processing of unauthorised arrivals and ensures that anyone seeking asylum is subject to a consistent process of assessment in the same place.”  Later in that address she referred to how much effort had been put into regional cooperation in recent years via the Bali Process and then went on to say: “Building on the work already underway through the Bali Process, today I announce that we will begin a new initiative. In recent days I have discussed with President Ramos Horta of East Timor the possibility of establishing a regional processing centre for the purpose of receiving and processing of the irregular entrants to the region.”  Note the words ‘begin a new initiative’ and ‘the possibility of establishing’. 

The media jumped to the conclusion that the centre WOULD be in East Timor and immediately began talking about ‘The East Timor Solution’, likening it to John Howard’s ‘Pacific Solution’; the Greens said ‘same Pacific Solution, new postcode’.  This was slipshod thinking, sloppy talk.  Every sceptic and knocker soon had their criticisms aired in all forms of the media with typical journalistic relish.  

An additional object of criticism was Gillard’s approach to the East Timorese President rather than the PM.  Just about every journalist leapt on what they saw as the inappropriateness of that move, likening President Ramos Horta to our Governor General, apparently not knowing that the comparison is invalid.  On Lateline Tony Jones was at his arrogant schoolmasterly worst, dressing down schoolgirl Julia for making such an elementary error.  As Stephen Smith has since twice explained, this criticism was not justified; Gillard’s actions were entirely appropriate.  Smith’s assertion is backed up by the fact that the East Timorese PM has assigned the President the task of carrying this matter forward, something our GG would never be asked to do.  Despite the media’s mistake, has anyone heard any retraction?  And we know we never will.

After a couple of days, with the media going feral over the ‘East Timor Solution’, sending journalists to that country to solicit reaction and seek out contrary views, always there if you look for them, Gillard sought to correct the media’s assumption that East Timor WOULD BE the place for the processing centre, by pointing out that this proposition was only at an exploratory stage, that much discussion was needed, and that East Timor was not the only possible venue.  The media leapt on this as a Gillard ‘retreat’, a headline used in both The Age and The Australian.  But when journalists were confronted with Gillard’s actual words and presumably recognized that they had got their stories wrong, to a person they resorted to: ‘she gave the impression the centre would be in East Timor, and over the next couple of days neither she nor her office sought to correct that impression.’  In other words, don’t blame us for getting it wrong or for jumping to conclusions – presumably they expected Gillard to put them straight sooner.

More recently some journalists, and certainly Tony Abbott, have declared the East Timor initiative dead as the East Timor parliament had voted unanimously against the idea.  But as only about a half of the 65 parliamentarians were present and none of the government ministers, and since, unlike Australia, the government is different from the parliament in that country, this unanimous vote has little significance and has not affected the ongoing discussions between Australian Government officials and the East Timor Government, which continue satisfactorily despite Julie Bishop declaring today that Gillard’s plan was an example of incompetence.  Today the media is focussed on Nauru since it has offered its facilities and a newfound willingness to sign the UN Refugee Convention.  Journalists, such as the ABC’s Fran Kelly, are hammering Government ministers with ‘why not Nauru?’  It seems to have escaped them that the Government is already in discussions with East Timor, and that an entrepreneur there spoke today of benefits for East Timor in the plan. 

Another furphy is the media line that rich Australia should not expect poor East Timor to carry Australia’s asylum-seeker burden.  It isn’t and it won’t.  Do journalists really believe Australia would not cover the financial burden?

Yet again we see poor journalism obscuring reality and commonsense.

This episode shows how incompetent and arrogant our MSM has become.  It decides what the real story is, never mind the facts, pursues it relentlessly even if it has got the story wrong, and even when that becomes apparent, set out, in chorus, to lay the blame elsewhere, anywhere but where it belongs.  And since the pen is mightier than the sword they can say what they like, make it up if necessary, and use language that slants the story towards their point of view or their preferred position. 

Blog site after blog site records comments about the perpetual bias exhibited by the ABC, nowhere more flagrantly illustrated than by the ABC’s coverage of the asylum seeker issue. Some recent news items on ABC radio illustrate this. Let’s take just a couple of stories to argue this point.  To demonstrate how different the story might have been, I have suggested alternatives to some of the words used.  In the original transcript, the pejorative words that I believe portray bias are in bold italics in brackets; the alternative more neutral wording is in bold.  What follows is rather lengthy, but is easy reading.  It is reproduced in full to illustrate my point.

First, let’s examine Emily Bourke’s report on Saturday, July 10 on the ABC’s AM, headed Gillard's approach to asylum seekers (attacked) questioned. 

ELIZABETH JACKSON: After (much confusion) the uncertainty over Prime Minister Julia Gillard's (on again/off again) plan for an East Timor processing centre for asylum seekers the chief executive of the Australian Industry Group Heather Ridout has (warned) advised Julia Gillard to slow down her plans to roll out her new climate change policy.

Ms Ridout has told The Australian newspaper it would be "over-reaching" for the Government to roll out a replacement for the emissions trading scheme ahead of the election.

The Prime Minister (has come under sustained attack) has been criticized in some quarters this week over her handling of the asylum seeker issue and her plans for a regional processing centre.

Julia Gillard's consultations with East Timor have been (fiercely) criticised with the Opposition claiming that amateurs are running the Australian government.

While the Prime Minister and her ministers have denied they've (bungled) mismanaged the deal, the policy has also attracted (scorn) criticism from the union movement. 

Emily Bourke reports. 

EMILY BOURKE: While Kevin Rudd was expert in international diplomacy, Julia Gillard's foray into foreign affairs hasn't been a smooth one. 

The Opposition has accused the Government of incompetence and deception over plans for a regional processing centre for asylum seekers. 

But the Government has also drawn criticism from an unlikely source - Paul Howes from the Australian Workers Union on Sky News. (No mention that Howes also criticized the Opposition’s approach)

PAUL HOWES: I am not happy with the Government's response to this. I'm not happy with what the Coalition's doing on this. I accept that you know, we have largely lost the debate.

EMILY BOURKE: Michael Wesley is an expert in international affairs and the executive director of the Lowy Institute. 

MICHAEL WESLEY: The concentration on East Timor has really overshadowed other parts of the Prime Minister's speech and I think probably in retrospect it may not have been such a good idea to name specific countries' leaders that she had talked to.

EMILY BOURKE: In that sense has she (faulted) made an error? Has she (bungled) slipped up in making this announcement?

MICHAEL WESLEY: I don't think she's bungled it but in some ways it would have been more useful to have been closer to agreement than she was if she was to name the country itself. 

I have no doubt that there has been more than a conversation between the Prime Minister and Jose Ramos-Horta. I am sure there have been all sorts of back channel conversations between Australia and East Timor.

EMILY BOURKE: While the Government has stressed that it is in dialogue with East Timor, (Dr Wesley says it's clear the Government hasn't done crucial groundwork) Dr Wesley says that the Prime Minister didn’t have the time needed for the careful negotiations required for this diplomacy.

MICHAEL WESLEY: Diplomacy of this sort works when it’s preceded by months and months and months of careful negotiation. Now obviously the Prime Minister didn't have that sort of time. She wanted to come out and make a statement on this issue that seems to be showing up in the polls as fairly damaging to the Government. 

So she wanted to come out and say something strong on this. She'd only been in the job a few weeks and obviously there hadn't been the chance to do that sort of careful preparation. 

EMILY BOURKE: Dr Wesley says this week's events are unlikely to be a sign of things to come. 

MICHAEL WESLEY: I don't think we can judge Prime Minister Gillard on this particular episode. I think Julia Gillard is in kind with a very long line of Prime Ministers. People like Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and John Howard really had no experience of foreign affairs when they became Prime Minister. 

I think in a lot of ways Kevin Rudd was a rarity. He will stand out as a rarity in Australian political history, in a Prime Minister with significant diplomatic experience and background on coming to office. 

I think Julia Gillard is much more in the mould of Prime Ministers who haven't really focused on foreign affairs before they've reached office but then become quite adept at it once they get a feel for it in office. 

EMILY BOURKE: With the emissions trading scheme on ice, next week the Prime Minister is expected to announce more detail on the government's climate change policy. Renewable energy schemes on the domestic front (might prove safer and familiar turf) will be familiar territory for the new Prime Minister.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Emily Bourke with that report.

To access the story click here 

Now Lyndal Curtis

Here’s another example of ABC hype: Mark Colvin introduced a Lyndal Curtis’ segment on PM on Friday 9 July that was headed:  Asylum seeker policy (confusion leaves egg on PM's face) continues to cause concern.  (Of course Mark was trying to be clever with the egg reference) 

MARK COLVIN: It appears you can’t become Prime Minister without breaking eggs. Something about Julia Gillard had annoyed one middle aged man in Perth today enough to provoke him into throwing an egg at her.

The egg missed but it was another indication that the new Prime Minister wasn’t getting the continuing dream run that her backers had hoped for.  (What a gratuitous backhander.)

Her plan for a regional processing centre for asylum seekers is struggling for traction and (credibility) acceptability.

And while East Timorese politicians have had at best a lukewarm response to the idea of hosting the centre, the Prime Minister’s real trouble has come from her own words.

Chief political correspondent Lyndal Curtis reports. 

LYNDAL CURTIS: On Tuesday Julia Gillard announced she’d be pursuing a regional processing centre, leaving the clear impression she wanted it to be in East Timor.   (Here we go again ‘leaving the clear impression’)

JULIA GILLARD: In recent days I have discussed with president Ramos-Horta of East Timor the possibility of establishing a regional processing centre for the purpose of receiving and processing irregular entrants to the region.

LYNDAL CURTIS: It was an impression the Immigration Minister Chris Evans got as well that night he spoke to the 7:30 Report

HEATHER EWART: How are you going to be divert boats to East Timor? 

CHRIS EVANS: Well it’s not about diverting boats. People, if they arrive in Australia, as unauthorised boat arrivals will be returned to East Timor, will be taken to the centre.  (What else did she expect him to say?)

LYNDAL CURTIS: Although by the next morning he was canvassing the possibility of other locations.

CHRIS EVANS: It’s certainly the starting point for a discussion, East Timor. But obviously it’s about a regional solution and there may well be other alternatives. 

LYNDAL CURTIS: The Government did nothing in the days between the announcement and yesterday to dissuade people from thinking that East Timor was the Government’s preferred location for the regional processing centre. Although by yesterday, with the reception in East Timor to her idea looking less than overwhelmingly supportive, Julia Gillard seemed to be backtracking.  (Here’s the same media theme ‘…did nothing…to dissuade…’, ‘backtracking’)

JULIA GILLARD: I’m not, I’m not going to leave undisturbed the impression that I made an announcement about a specific location… 

MICHAEL SMITH: Where will it be then? 

JULIA GILLARD: … which is how you’ve phrased your question. 

MICHAEL SMITH: Where will it be? 

JULIA GILLARD: Well, we will have the discussions I’ve just outlined and they have started already. In addition in that …

MICHAEL SMITH: Yeah, yeah but where will it be? 

JULIA GILLARD: Well this will have to emerge from the work with our regional neighbours.

MICHAEL SMITH: Do you know where your regional processing centre will be?   (How many times does Julia have to put up with this persistent rudeness?)

JULIA GILLARD: What I’ve said, no, what I’ve said is this, a consensus about a regional processing centre, where it would be, how it would work, all of those things would need to come out of the regional dialogue. 

LYNDAL CURTIS: She didn’t mention the possibility of East Timor being the location for the centre during that exchange. 

This morning the Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor was on board.

BRENDAN O’CONNER: It was on Tuesday the Prime Minister made clear she would be discussing this matter and had discussed the matter with the president of East Timor about the possibility of a regional processing centre. There’d been no reference to where and indeed there was certainly no, there was no point made about exactly how this was to be done.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And Chris Evans was again canvassing alternatives.

CHRIS EVANS: There seems to be some surprise that alternatives were possible and as I say both Stephen Smith and I have in numerous interviews made it clear that there are alternatives but that discussions had started with East Timor. 

LYNDAL CURTIS: But by morning in Perth today, Julia Gillard was addressing a business breakfast where she was back to talking about East Timor.

JULIA GILLARD: Earlier this week I made the case that regional processing needs to be part of our long term solution to unauthorised arrivals. I said in my speech that one possibility was a centre in East Timor.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And at a later doorstop she wasn’t willing to canvas any other alternatives.

JOURNALIST: And Manus Island and PNG (Papua New Guinea) are they in the offshore mix? 

JULIA GILLARD: Well our focus here is on the dialogue with East Timor. I couldn’t be clearer about that.

LYNDAL CURTIS: The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says Julia Gillard has bungled.

TONY ABBOTT: What we’re seeing from this Prime Minister, as from her predecessor, is incompetence, deception and ideology. It’s just not good enough.

LYNDAL CURTIS: The Prime Minister’s office is explaining the confusion by saying that nothing has changed. And when her wording is looked at closely it’s all been consistent. A spokesman says all Ms Gillard was pointing out yesterday was that there had been no announcement, that she can’t make a decision on behalf of another country.

A point Senator Evans was making this morning.

CHRIS EVANS: Well, what the Prime Minister did is she indicated who she’d spoken to but she also made it clear it was a decision for their national government. You can’t go around speaking on behalf of other national governments.

LYNDAL CURTIS: The need for diplomatic niceties does seem to have driven Ms Gillard yesterday pointing out that she hadn’t announced a centre would be in East Timor. And while her offer says her language has been consistent, the problem is that she looked like she was backing away from the idea of having the processing centre in East Timor at a time when the East Timorese were sending lukewarm signals and she was under fire for having bungled the diplomacy. 

And it looks like Ms Gillard, who narrowly missed being hit with an egg thrown at her in Perth today, had scrambled the message and has been rapidly trying to unscramble it today. The perception that’s left is one of confusion from a Prime Minister and a ministry rapidly trying to keep up with a changing situation - all in a policy Labor was trying to neutralise and get off the agenda as a potential electoral disadvantage.   (That might be the media’s impression Lyndal, but that doesn’t mean the media is correct.)

Australia’s seventh prime minister, Billy Hughes, established the Commonwealth police after being struck with an egg in 1917. If he was around he might have some advice for Australia’s 27th PM.  (That, I suppose, is meant to be funny!)

MARK COLVIN: Lyndal Curtis.

To access the segment click here 

Lyndal Curtis again, this time with Stephen Smith

On PM Friday 9 July Mark Colvin introduced: Australia's Government defends asking Horta about asylum centre 

MARK COLVIN: So first the Prime Minister mentioned East Timor as a possible site and said she’d begun talking to the Government in Dili. Then she rowed back on that and said she’d never said it would be in East Timor.

So is anything about the Government’s regional processing centre plan getting any clearer? The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Stephen Smith, is speaking to Lyndal Curtis. 

LYNDAL CURTIS: Stephen Smith if we could just clear up any remaining confusion, is it the Government’s preferred position or starting point to have the regional processing centre in East Timor if East Timor says yes? 

STEPHEN SMITH: Well we started a dialogue with East Timor. I think people should frankly, you know, just take a cold shower and calmly go through where we’re at. The Prime Minister, the first leader in our region to do so, has indicated that we should have, for very good policy reasons, a regional processing centre.

She approached president Ramos-Horta and despite some commentary to the contrary that was an entirely appropriate response as has been indicated by the prime minister of East Timor saying that he wants the president, president Horta to be responsible for discussions from East Timor’s point of view. 

We’ve made it clear we’re in dialogue and discussion with East Timor. But at the same time we are taking our suggestion to the region because we need this suggestion, if is to go anywhere, to have regional support and also to have United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee support. 

So, we’re pursuing this with East Timor and we’re pursuing it seriously. Now other countries in the region may indicate an interest, may indicate that they want to be considered for a possible regional processing centre as part of a regional framework, you know, as Chris Evans has made clear, as I’ve made clear. That would be entirely a matter for them.

But so far as we’re concerned, we are in a dialogue with East Timor and we’re proposing to pursue that.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Did you advise the Prime Minister that it was okay to speak to the president? 

STEPHEN SMITH: Look, I see Tony Abbott is out there making, you know, a range of outrageous comments about, you know, a quiet invasion of Australia by asylum seekers. Also asserting, without any evidence whatsoever or any basis whatsoever that the Prime Minster and I hadn’t had a conversation about this matter.

There was a full Cabinet discussion about all of the aspects of this matter that are now out there in the public arena. There was also a conversation amongst national security committee reasons. So I’ve previously made the point that in national security and national interest areas you have to be very careful about how you proceed and Tony Abbott making outrageous comments with no basis, no evidence, no foundation, doesn’t do anything other than add to the risk which he poses to these sorts of issues. 

LYNDAL CURTIS: But aren’t the usual protocols when a matter’s being raised with a foreign government to speak to the head of that government? Did you advise the Prime Minister it was okay to speak to president Ramos-Horta? 

STEPHEN SMITH: Anyone in Australia who has taken a passing interest in East Timorese matters; in its independence, in its close relationship with Australia, knows that president Ramos Horta is more than just a head of state.

That’s reflected by the fact that the Prime Minister has asked him to be responsible for the discussions with Australia on this matter. He’s not just a titular head of state. He is a person who is integral to East Timorese life, East Timorese society and anyone with a passing interest in Australia’s relationship with East Timor knows that. 

It was entirely appropriate for Prime Minister Gillard to start a conversation with East Timor by having a conversation with the president. 

LYNDAL CURTIS: Why not start with the prime minister?   (Lyndal is not going to be satisfied because she didn’t get the answer she wanted.)

STEPHEN SMITH: Also crystal clear from president Horta’s remark that the starting point of president Horta’s deliberations would be a conversation with prime minister Gusmao which they both regarded as entirely appropriate.

It is a complete furphy. Where have we ended up? We’ve ended up with Australia and East Timor in a serious dialogue for the first occasion about trying to find a long-term sustainable regional solution to a significant problem of people movement, people smuggling and human trafficking.

The interview is too long for this piece, but if you want to read the full transcript or listen to it, click here. 

A beat-up ABC style

This has been one of the more flagrant examples of journalistic ignorance and incompetence, and it’s OUR ABC that is as guilty as the rest of the MSM for this beat-up.  If only journalists, especially very experienced ones like Tony Jones, had taken the trouble to research the subject even superficially, they would have read Gillard’ speech more carefully and avoided jumping to unwarranted conclusions; would have known that East Timor has different arrangements for governance from Australia and thereby avoid making fundamental mistakes about who should have been contacted first; would have understood better the past negotiations that have taken place under the Bali Process; would have seen clearly the difference between the proposed regional processing centre and John Howard’s Pacific Solution which Australia alone controlled and which used countries not signatory to the UNHCR Convention on Refugees.  But no, sloppy journalism dictated that such investigative probing was too difficult and what’s more might get in the way of the ‘good story’ they already had in the can.  Finally having stuffed up badly they sought to lay the blame for their incompetence and laziness at Julia Gillard’s and the Government’s door.  And to this day they continue the beat-up with Fran Kelly jumping on the Nauru option and pushing the line ‘why not?’

We are entitled to have better than this from OUR ABC.

What do you think?


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Lyn

14/07/2010 Hi Ad Thankyou for another brilliant piece,just as you have pointed out, with links, facts and solid proof, the ABC's and the MSM's behaviour is despicable [quote][i]Yet again we see poor journalism obscuring reality and commonsense[/i][/quote] You are so right Ad, the reporting defies commonsense. One of our bloggers reported,the original transcript of Julia's speech was nowhere to be found, when all the accusations by the media, against Julie Gillard were occurring. Thankyou so much Ad, for providing "The Political Sword" for all of us all to enjoy.

George Pike

14/07/2010I agree with Lynn entirely...it is great to see that there is a site where the truth is told plainly and concisely for all to see. What a shame it is that we can't run it past the entire population to show the masses just how badly the media are deceiving us all, in their quest to instal the government of THEIR masters' choice. How anyone with half a conscience could prefer the Liberal tyrants and despots over Labor is beyond belief anyway! Are Australian journalists REALLY so immature and amatuerish...or are they being financially or otherwise co-erced? I think People like Seven's Mark Riley are just pure evil right through to the bone and would sell their mothers for a few dollars more..

FFreddy

14/07/2010Mark Riley..."Son of Poison Dwarf"!!

Lyn

14/07/2010Hi George Pike A very big welcome to you, and thankyou for your very interesting comment. We would be delighted if you will keep coming back to "The Political Sword' [quote][i]Mark Riley are just pure evil right through to the bone and would sell their mothers for a few dollars more..[/i][/quote] Couldn't be better said George.

monica

14/07/2010Well put, Ad. This has had my teeth on edge for some time, and I've no idea what they hope to achieve by using these strategies. Preserving their jobs? At what cost? I can hardly bear to listen to AM and PM anymore.

Ad astra reply

14/07/2010George Pike Welcome to the [i[TPS[/i} family. Please come again. I enjoyed reading your comments. Lyn Thank you for your kind remarks - always so supportive. FFreddy You're right - it's a pity Mark Riley has turned out to be such a second rate journalist. He seems to playing to his audience or possibly his proprietor instead of making an objective political analysis. Pity, he seems to be a nice bloke, but such a lightweight.

NK

14/07/2010Ad astra A scholarly contribution which points squarely at the shortcomings of the MSM and our ABC in particular. It is a sad condemnation of the current ABC that on any given day, this analysis could be applied and they would be found wanting. They do have their own template for Quality Assurance - Impartiality but I don't know the circumstances under which it is applied. The examples you cite above would not get a very favourable result if this template was applied. However we have also seen on another thread that journalists can be cunning in circumventing tests such as this. The story of Gillard's alleged waste of taxpayer money by using a jet to fly to Brisbane for a fund raiser is the one I mean. The ABC report listed (a) headline - the allegation (b) the Opposition opinion (c) the reality (no rules broken) (d) chastisement of Opposition. This could so easily have been (a) the reality (b) allegation (c) opinion (d) chastisement - in which case it would have left a different impression. In fact any other sequence which began with (a) the reality would have been what we might expect from an objective public broadcaster. Under the template this article would be considered fair because all facets of the story have been covered. The question being asked all over Australia and which goes unanswered is why - why are they behaving in such an obvious way to support one side of politics in favour of another.

Ad astra reply

14/07/2010monica, NK Thank you for your kind comments. For the commercial journos, I can accept that preserving their jobs is part of the reason for their behaviour, especially those working for Murdoch, but why ABC journalists have to ape them is a mystery. Maybe because the ABC is about to embark upon its 24 hour news service where it will compete with similar commercial services, it feels the need to embrace sensationalism, to provoke politicians, to foster conflict, and to encourage a close fight to the death - like the proverbial cock-fight where one of the participants dies. With those aims, objectivity, balance and fairness evaporate. It's sad for our democracy. If the media succeeds in killing off our elected Government to replace it with an Abbott Government with all its negativity, extreme conservatism and anti-worker attitudes, heaven help us.

simon

14/07/2010Thanks for the article Ad astra, I'm glad someone is holding these journo's to account.I have lost count of how many times I have heard the word 'BUNGLED' in reference to the ALP in the media this year.It really is a joke.The subliminal message being pushed here is that every single program the government has implemented has been a total disaster and no one in their right mind should vote for them.Fortunately the government is not exactly up against a team of intellectual titans.With the sort of unfair advantage the Liberals are receiving from the media they should be light years ahead in the polls.The fact they are not says something about the ability of Abott and Co dont you think?

Rx

14/07/2010One for [b]ABC WATCH[/b] please, Ad Astra. Poster, adam abdool, The Poll Bludger, Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 8:18 pm http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/11/galaxy-52-48-to-labor-2/comment-page-48/#comment-520533 Quote: "Bernie Fraser on 7.30 report was critical of both Labor and Libs – fair ctiricsm. However rebuttal was only from Sloppy Joe. I was wondering if Labor was given a chance to challenge what Bernie said."

Rx

14/07/2010One for [b]ABC WATCH[/b] please, Ad Astra. Poster, The Big Ship, The Poll Bludger, Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/11/galaxy-52-48-to-labor-2/comment-page-46/#comment-520421 Quote: "The first report on ABC 5.30pm news as I was driving home this afternoon? You guessed it – the Opposition says that the Budget figures are wrong! This is even before they have bothered to state what the Budget information provided by the Treasurer actually was. What sort of an inverted world do these ABC news radio cretins live in where you can run as your lead news item a denunciation of a set of facts before you have reported the facts being referred to? Putting aside the utter illogic of such an approach to news, who is making these editorial decisions? I can accept this ingrained bias from News Ltd without being happy about it because they are a private organisation with a political agenda to defeat the elected Labor Government by any means necessary, but why are my taxes being used to serve an obvious political bias driven by the shadowy members of the ABC senior management and an ABC Board stacked with Coalition stooges? The facts, ABC, just the facts, to quote Joe Friday …. is that too much to ask for 8 my cents a day?"

Rx

14/07/2010 One for [b]ABC WATCH[/b] please, Ad Astra. Poster, Tom Hawkins, The Poll Bludger, Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/11/galaxy-52-48-to-labor-2/comment-page-46/#comment-520426 Quote: "Two headlines from this afternoon – just one hour apart: First the OO: Prices boom hides mining tax shortfall then the ABC: Price rises slash mining tax shortfall Pretty similar? It’s their ABC."

Jason

14/07/2010AA, Thanks mate a great read as usual. Next week could be interesting with ABC24 starting,but thats if we survive Piers Akerman on Q&A. pure poison also had an article today in a similar vein, but with the media in general. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/07/14/a-little-bit-of-inaccuracy/

Miglo

14/07/2010Thanks Aa for another quality piece. If I hear one more time (via the MSM) that this has been a backflip I'll scream.

Ad astra reply

14/07/2010simon, Rx, Jason, Miglo Thank you for your kind comments. I'll catch up with your ABC WATCH tomorrow Rx - I'm off to see [i]Lateline[/i] now. ABC24 will be most interesting Jason - it may be the reason why OUR ABC seems set on a new course - the danger is that it will become tabloid. The fact that Akerman is to be on Q&A suggests that this where the ABC is headed. Sad.

HS

14/07/2010ABC=ArrogantBelligerantChurlish

NormanK

14/07/2010Ad astra I'm jumping the gun a bit here but Ms Gillard's speech tomorrow will probably take us on a different tack. I hope the following reinforces rather than undermines your serious arguments. Gee I'd love to be able to spend time each day pulling ABC News and Current Affairs apart and publishing it - back to them preferably. The PM’s New Style Under Question Jonathan : Hello and welcome to Media Watch. I’m Jonathan Holmes. With the buzz of controversy surrounding Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s comments in recent days, we thought it might be appropriate to separate the wheat from the chaff. After days of speculation in the Mainstream Media and on blogsites of all political colours, Ms Gillard was due to give a keynote address on July 6th which was expected to clear the air on the subject. Conjecture had ranged across a wide spectrum of opinion with some of the more notable being : - she was going to have her eyebrow triple pierced to appeal to the younger demographic. - a plastic surgeon had been approached to add a “ski-jump’ to the end of her nose because internal polling had indicated that people found that cute. - she was planning on shaving her head and joining a nunnery. - she intended to burn her bra, get dreadlocks and join a hippy commune. The Leader of the Opposition seemed torn between the last two scenarios. In the end most commentators were wide of the mark as she presented the little-known Timor Leste solution. Here, in part, is what she had to say in a speech to the highly-regarded independent think-tank, The Schwarzkopf Institute. Julia Gillard : “Building on the work already underway through the Bali Process instigated by my partner Tim Mathieson, today I announce that we will begin a new initiative. In recent days I have discussed with Senior Partner Ramos Horta of Timor Leste Designs For Today Hairdressing Salon the possibility of a makeover to bring my hairstyle into keeping with what ordinary working Australians expect from their Prime Minister. “Mr Ramos Horta told me that he welcomed the conversation about this possibility and I look forward to further consultation and dialogue on developing this initiative into a proposal that would advance the proper and consistent treatment of my hair.” Jonathan : Seems straight forward enough doesn’t it? Within minutes of the address, the Abbott Opposition was denegrating it as “me too-ism”, an approach to policy formulation which means that bi-partisan agreement on any issue will die a quick death moments after conception. But is this a “me too”? Only an hour earlier Tony Abbott, in a press conference meant to scoop the PM, had been advising the Prime Minister that a solution was already at hand and that all she needed to do was crop her hair and adopt a nylon Pauline Hanson wig. He said he had one which she could borrow until such time as she could get her own from Nauru. Hardly the same as a full make-over of her natural hair, one would have thought. As quickly as they could get their fingers to a keyboard, the Murdoch Press and others, most notably the ABC, were condemning the move as a much-anticipated and prescienced “lurch”. How they reached this conclusion was something of a mystery until it was pointed out that it was probably a nostalgic reference to The Adamms Family butler. A show which, incidentally, still enjoys a wide cult following in this country. Any suggestions that Ms Gillard’s bone structure would lend itself readily to Lurch’s monk-like hairstyle are spurious at best. Several hours after the Schwarzkopf Institute speech, a floor-sweeper from the Timor Salon dismissed out-of-hand any suggestion that he and his co-workers would take part in such a controversial make-over. Most media houses tried to make much of the idea that Mr Ramos Horta had very little influence at Timor Leste Designs For Today Hairdressing Salon and that she should instead have been holding talks with Senior Stylist Xanana Gusmão. Informed experts were called upon to give testimony that Mr Horta was in fact a 40% stakeholder and held considerable sway within the company. That didn’t stop most outlets from ignoring this fact and condemning the plan as ill-conceived and hasty. Policy on the run, they said. Although whether this was a reference to the colourfastness of the dye to be used is unclear. Ms Gillard has repeatedly said that she is prepared to put in the time - pick up a copy of Woman’s Day and wait patiently for the dye to set. She knows there is no merit in a quick fix. Due to the ravenous appetite of the hungry beast however, a great number of journalists were crying out for a “wash in - rinse out” one hour solution. Meanwhile, poor old Lurch spent the next 48 hours answering doorbells to admit any commentator who wanted to run the anti-government line. The Opposition Leader found himself knee-deep in his own “peaceful invasion” rhetoric and it was refreshing to see that dictionaries had been opened by reporters so that they could remind themselves of the meaning of “armada”, “invasion” and “tsunami”. Yet The Australian newspaper continued to run headlines of “a tsunami of invading amardas” washing peacefully up on to our beaches daily. Two days later, the Prime Minister attempted to spell out on radio that the Timor Salon was not the only one being consulted and nor was it necessarily the only company capable of carrying out the job. She also stressed that one of the key differences between her solution and the so-called Nauru Wigmakers’ Solution was that any business wishing to be considered for the contract would have to be a signatory to the United Natural Hair Colourists’ Regulations. Since the economy of Nauru relies heavily on exports of artificial wigs, this presents them with a problem. She was then accused of a backflip which would, of course, look ridiculous on her, throwing her persona back to the big-hair days of the eighties. On day four, in what was deemed a further altering of her stance (one suspects she was just maintaining her balance), Ms Gillard went on the record as saying that the Timor Leste Salon was still her preferred salon of choice but that further negotiations would need to be conducted. A hasty meeting of 55% of the hair sweepers and shampooers at the salon voted unanimously that they would not participate in the re-do. Much was made of this in the media but the Australian Government was at pains to point out that the actual hairdressers themselves were still interested. Consultations are going on as we speak. I for one hope the resultant agreement is not poll-driven or overly influenced by hostile media reports. A little more off the left, a little more (hi Stuart) off the right, redder, blonder, two-toned, streaked or blue-rinsed. Women everywhere, and redheads in particular, are waiting with bated breath to see the outcome. Look out Kerry O’Brien, the buzz-cut might soon be all the rage. So where does this leave Tony Abbott? It would seem he is out in the cold holding a damp Nauru-made synthetic Hanson wig and making calls for sturdier Indonesian fishing vessels and less skilled migration. Too many hairdressers it seems. That’s it for this week. We hope you’ll join us again next week when in all probability we will be looking closely at the Start of Financial Year Carbon Sales. Goodnight.

HS

14/07/2010You are a wag, NormanK. I hope you don't mind but I have just bigupped you to the folk at the Jack the Insider blog. It's about time more people knew about someone prepared to take the piss out of the stuffed shirts in the media, and in the Opposition. I guess you'd also give the Gillard government a serve too, if they deserved it. Which is as it should be.

HS

14/07/2010Here's an interesting conversation for us to have a squizz at: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/saturdayextra/stories/2010/2949479.htm

NormanK

14/07/2010HS An early bird and a night owl? Busy bones. Of course I don't mind being bigupped (whatever that is) as long as it doesn't hurt. I don't think I could do Julia pre-election but post - she's fair game. I'll follow your link in the morning. Time for a bit of Ian Rankin.

Lyn

15/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Rudd’s fiscal rules are more important than ever, Crikey[/i] all the anguish over the Government’s efforts at tax reform, in [b]truth this has been an economically competent government[/b], http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/14/crikey-says-rudds-fiscal-rules-are-more-important-than-ever/ [i]ABC around-the-clock news sets launch, under intense scrutiny, Margaret Simons,Crikey[/i] News Limited, which is increasingly spruiking for its corporate affiliate Sky News in The Australian, has given the new service a kicking even before its launch on two contradictory grounds. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/14/abc-around-the-clock-news-sets-launch-under-intense-scrutiny/ [i]Joe Hockey: “Australia is being “Invaded” by Asylum Seekers, Reb, Gutter trash[/i] On one hand protesting that he was not using “inflammatory” language Mr Hockey described the current situation as an “invasion” of asylum seekers http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/14/joe-hockey-australia-is-being-invaded-by-asylum-seekers/ [i]Labor's chances in Queensland, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] South East Queensland marginal seat without tripping over Julie Bishop or Christopher Pyne. The Liberals have been blitzing Queensland seats, many of which would not be in a lot of people’s list of possible Labor losses. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/14/labors-chances-in-queensland-tell-us-whats-happening-on-the-ground/ [i]Moving forward or going forward? Crikey[/i] I thought you said we are moving but then I heard we are going. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/14/moving-forward-or-going-forward/ [i]My kingdom for a bellwether, Peter Brent, The Australian.[/i] Tony Abbott went to the NSW electorate yesterday and said “we cannot win the election unless we win Eden-Monaro http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/my_kingdom_for_a_bellwether/ [i]Revised economic statements at a glance, Bernard Keane, The Stump.[/i] There’ll also be a more substantial return to to surplus in 2012/13, up from $1 billion to $3 billion. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]Pulling apart Andrew Bolt’s anti-Islam crusade, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Bolt launched into a bunch of other criticisms as well, typically relying on selective quotations or no quotation at all http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/07/14/pulling-apart-andrew-bolts-anti-islam-crusade/ [i]A little bit of inaccuracy, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] I’d argue that journalists need to make more of an effort to get small details right if we’re to put much faith in their reporting of larger issues http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/07/14/a-little-bit-of-inaccuracy/

HS

15/07/2010NormanK, 'Bigupped'=Praised. :)

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Rx ABC WATCH updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

HS

15/07/2010This needs to be spread far and wide: http://twitpic.com/25b9bk

Michael

15/07/2010The core problem is that, whoever they work for, contemporary journalists have assumed for themselves the role of kingmakers. It's not entirely their fault, they have simply donned a robe that the public tailored for 'beloved' newsreaders such as Walter Cronkite in the USA and Eric Pearce in Australia. How did this happen? Television created a sense of immediacy, and that suddenly rapid rush of news and information had to be filtered for an audience which was for the first time in history able to see and hear events worldwide within hours (and today, minutes) of their unfolding. The first response was the appointment of shamanic newsreaders, men who looked like they knew what they were talking about, and did so calmly. To give them their due, the earliest newsreaders were often very seasoned reporters, who had long careers in print and radio to back their 'news' credentials up. And some of those careers, as with Cronkite and Pearce, continued much longer on television, until the gentlemen began to actually look like rocks of credibility - white-haired, faces carved by the years into absolute Old Testament veracity, and once again, because of their past careers as professionally experienced journalists, they were what they looked like. They knew what they were talking about, and people looked to them because we, as an audience, knew this to be true. So, not only what they were reading as news, but the fact that these verifiably credible individuals were saying it, took on a veracity much more weighty than the simple conveying of information. These early newsreaders became the models for today's ideal journalist. But the problem is, that model quickly became a 'look' and a verbal 'style' based on the real people models without any of the weight of career experience of the individuals who had become (without any intention on their own parts) that ideal model. A sort of Identikit newsreader/journalist/columnist, that was more about ticking off telegenic assets and presentation styles, developed. In a way this would still be OK if the world was being informed by one Cronkite-clone, or one Pearce-clone, but because we live in a world of competing media outlets, every one of them has to assert that its 'Cronkite' for today, its 'Pearce' for you, is the only one we should be listening to and watching. A sort of competitive 'search for a Shaman'. Now, if these guys were just clones that could be boiled up in a vat, that also might not be such a problem, because the process of 'making them up' would be relatively controlled. A media boss would whistle up his clone, and everyone else in the newsroom would just have to stick to keeping their heads down and answering the phones. Well, that ain't the way it plays out, is it? Law of the jungle, folks, everyone in every newsroom thinks he/she deserves to be at the top of the totem pole, and the only way to get there is to step forward, grab that spotlight, and keep it trained on... 'me!!'. How does a journalist do that? By taking scalps. By spending an entire career devoted to showing the audience, and more importantly, the boss, that he/she is worthy of chief-shaman status by taking on anyone they meet and reducing them to 'beaten' status, interviewed to irrelevancy. Elected by the people to run a country? Just some bum who got lucky. See the attacks on Obama and Rudd. Claims to have a program of plans and policies to restore a nation to solvency and confidence? Just some pretentious wally writing speeches and essays no-one can follow. See the attacks on Obama and Rudd. Interested in opening debate on social and political issues that have been swept under the national 'carpet' for decades? Just some wide-eyed idealist who somehow got the keys to the Oval Office or The Lodge through flim-flam or previous government fatigue. The examples can go forever, because the examples are carved out of the minds of ambitious journalists who have nothing else in mind but how to get a march on some public figure, the more important the better, to display how important he/she, the journalist, is. 'See, I tripped up the Prime Minister'. 'Didn't I trap the Treasurer with that question?'. 'A simple "yes" or "no", why was it so difficult for the PM to give the answer?'. And so on and so on. We live in the age of celebrity, with actresses and rock-stars 'saying' "look at me, look at me", and that urge for grabbing the primary limelight has spread out into all levels of society. Journalists and columnists are now involved in exactly the same exercise of spotlight-hogging self-aggrandisement. The only way to look great in a spotlight is by some of the less brilliant illumination falling away onto the competitors you have left behind, and the targets you have reduced. Whilever we as a society are prepared to accept that the sizzle is more important than the steak, that immediate excitement is of greater value than long term development towards embedding beneficial results, then we will live in a world of cheap sensation and hollow one-upmanship. Journalists who seek to up-end, to ridicule, to reduce, as if this was the be-all and end-all of the playing out of events that have real impact on people's lives, a nation's being and social health, are contributing ultimately to the trivialisation of what it is to be a human being. Human beings exist to be more than ugly competitors with one another. But so long as we allow exaggerated fears and quick-grab moments of triumph to fashion us, there is nothing but ugly competitiveness left to define us.

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi Hillbilly [quote]This needs to be spread far and wide:[/quote] http://twitpic.com/25b9bk I think it is getting spread, seems the tweet has been deleated but, had already been re-tweeted. [i]O'Farrell in 'deeply off the record' Twitter gaffe, Emma Rodgers, ABC[/i] Believing he was sending a private message to journalist Latika Bourke's Twitter account http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/15/2954195.htm

Rx

15/07/2010[i]Rx ABC WATCH updated[/i] Thanks Ad Astra.

Lyn

15/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]It’s the Gillardonomy, stupid, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i Why weren’t the media unanimously singing the government’s praises? http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/15/its-the-gillardonomy-stupid/ A failure of governance, not racism, TIM DUNLOP, Unleashed. the media treat the issue as they do all others, reducing it to a sports contest and installing themselves as game callers. They keep score, daily tallying the number of boats arriving and egging on the contestants to bat them back. http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/stories/s2953650.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Asylum seekers: panic of the Political Class, The Piping Shrike[/i]. The real source of Labor’s eroding social base of course, is not race, but the declining power of the unions. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/07/asylum-seekers-a-panic-of-the-political-class.html [b][u]Excellent report on why Nauru is not suitable[/u]:[/b] [i]Nauru solution a dodgy deal, Susan Metcalfe, Eureka Street[/i]. Australia should never again be engaged in dodgy deals with this Pacific neighbour. For Nauru, it's all about the money. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=22399 [b][u]The Australian's Chief Cheerleader for the COALITION:[/u] [/b] [i]Gillard ain’t no Hawke, Mumble, The Australian[/i] the opposition looks less desperate, less grubby; [b]note the opinion poll improvement in Tony Abbott’s net approval since Gillard replaced Rudd[/b]. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/gillard_is_no_hawke/

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi Ad I will put link to Tim Dunlop up again, but if you just scroll down the page story is bottom left: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2953650.htm

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi Ad Wow! it worked the second time.

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010NormanK Satire is often more incisive than simply relating the facts, even if they portray grotesque bias and ineptitude. Your account of Julia’s address to The Schwarzkopf Institute and its sequelae is brilliant, pointing as it does to the lamentable contemporary state of the media. But it also invites a sense of foreboding. How can we ordinary mortals counter the distortions, deceptions, downright lies and journalistic incompetence we see every day. In more sinister vein, how do we counter the media’s deliberate malevolence and strategic intent to demean our Government, possibly to the extent of bringing it down? I suppose we just plug along with our blogs hoping to influence those who read what we write, and hope that once the election campaign begins the electorate will see clearly the alternatives, give credit where it is due and turn its back on the alarming prospect of an Abbott Government.

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010Michael What a thoughtful and insightful comment you have made. Your final comments are salutary: [i]” Journalists who seek to up-end, to ridicule, to reduce, as if this was the be-all and end-all of the playing out of events that have real impact on people's lives, a nation's being and social health, are contributing ultimately to the trivialisation of what it is to be a human being.

 “Human beings exist to be more than ugly competitors with one another. But so long as we allow exaggerated fears and quick-grab moments of triumph to fashion us, there is nothing but ugly competitiveness left to define us.”[/i] Is ugly competitiveness our destination? If it is, what will become of balanced discourse, reasoned conclusions, decisions made for the greater good, concern for the less privileged, and the good old Aussie ‘fair go’? Your sombre assessment is at the one time alarming yet challenging for those who hold values that rise above the ‘ugly competitiveness’ of contemporary political life. Thank you for your comment. You have joined our growing list of authors.

George Pike

15/07/2010‎"MINERS won $7.5bn in concessions under Julia Gillard's "breakthrough" deal with the industry - five times more than the government has admitted." The Australian (yeah, right!) 15/07/10 Incredible hypocrisy! Even from the Murdoch scribblers...so that obviously means Tony Abbott would have given the miners $18 billion then, with his "no RSPT or ... See MoreMRRT whatsoever" policy. Murdoch's fiction writers must be psychopaths to be able to sit there and lie so blatantly without blinking and eye...truly evil fiends for certain... More to the point, this obviously points out how disgustingly deceitful both the mining elites and their grubby little media mates have been during the entire RSPT, MRRT discussion. Their cries of massive losses etc were based on blatant lies that were constructed to undervalue the returns of the industry to falsely and treacherously manipulate public opinion in their favour.

George Pike

15/07/2010Thank you for your warm welcome people...I have been looking for a site dedicated to the exposure of this country's media as nothing more than a riprap of neo-liberal ideologues. It is an excellent site for fighting the good fight against what I see as the systematic destruction of our democratic right to access a totally unbiased coverage of political issues by a free and independent media. The sad truth is that the current media are utterly and completely corrupted by their employers'ideological and personal links to the conservative side of politics and the selfish intentions of the industrialist elites. I hope I can add to your content in a wholly beneficial way, in order to assist you in bringing about the changes required to return our country's media and political environment to one that can be looked on with pride instead of anguish.

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi George Pike [quote]I hope I can add to your content in a wholly beneficial way, in order to assist you in bringing about the changes required to return our country's media and political environment to one that can be looked on with pride instead of anguish.[/quote] George what wonderful comments you have posted for us, thankyou so much. You are a very valuable commenter on "The Political Sword" Soon we won't need to provide any links to other bloggers, we have a collection of our very own. Cheers

George Pike

15/07/2010Thank you Lyn...I loved Julia's speech at the press club just now...she even put poor old Laurie Oakes to the sword! Riley was swept aside like a smelly rag as well...great to see a true stateswoman tearing the detractors apart hey! We have our own Joan of Arc at last...I am pretty sure she will avoid the same fate however...

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi Michael I have enjoyed you piece immensly, what a wonderful, genuine, thoughtful, outlook you have. [quote]Human beings exist to be more than ugly competitors with one another. But so long as we allow exaggerated fears and quick-grab moments of triumph to fashion us, there is nothing but ugly competitiveness left to define us.[/quote] How sad, if this happens to us and we have nothing, but ugly competitiveness left to define us. I repeat Ad's sincere words, "Thank you for your comment. You have joined our growing list of authors".

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010George Pike Thank you for your comments and for joining us in the unequal battle against a rampant media. I agree with your statement: “[i] The sad truth is that the current media are utterly and completely corrupted by their employers' ideological and personal links to the conservative side of politics and the selfish intentions of the industrialist elites.”[/i] That is what we are up against. ABC journalists too seem to be subject to their employers' ideological and personal links to the conservative side of politics, and also seem to derive much of their content from the MSM, particularly the Murdoch outlets. We have further examples this morning of ABC bias or maybe it’s just ineptitude. I wonder who writes ABC news? Early news on ABC 774 Melbourne this morning began with the Coalition’s rubbishing of yesterday’s Budget revision, before the details of the revised forecasts were even mentioned. This was reversed in later bulletins. Others have mentioned that what the Opposition has to say about an issue often precedes mention of the issue itself. Apart from being illogical, it gives the Opposition’s consistent negativity about the Government airplay it does not deserve. Its effect is to build an impression in the public consciousness that everything our Government does is inept, that every figure it quotes is shonky, that its every endeavour is suspect, that any new initiative is an example of cynical exploitation of contemporary political opportunities. The announcement of the revision of the Budget was categorized in this way. In today’s [i]The World Today[/i] we heard the ABC asserting that the Hawke-Keating spat was drowning out the Government’s agenda, but that was only the case because the media had itself decided to publicize the Hawke-Keating disagreement. The media creates the agenda then portrays it in a way that suggests they are simply reporting it. Another example. Did anyone hear an ABC reporter yesterday stating that the revised surplus in three years’ time would be $3 billion, not a measly $1 billion? Since when was $1 billion measly, and what authority does the reporter or the segment writer have to indicate it is so? In the face of the Coalition’s insistence that the Government would never return a surplus, even a ‘measly’ $1 billion is pretty impressive. It goes on and on. We’re glad you have joined us in the battle for a half-decent MSM.

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi George I thought Julia was wonderful, very clear, confident and sure of herself. Julia handled Laurie Oakes, much better than he ever would have expected. So Oakes is insinuating that he has inside information, David Speers and Keirin Gillbert have decided to persue the issue already, (there was a deal made with Kevin Rudd), Malcolm Farr said it will have to be cleared up quickly. They act like a bunch of blood sucking parasites.

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi George Here it is, as expected, as predicted, on cue, took less than 1 hour: Prime Minister Julia Gillard dodges bombshell question by Laurie Oakes , Shannon Dery, Herald Sun [b]In a bombshell question at the National Press Club, Nine Network political chief Laurie Oakes put it to the prime minister that on the night before the leadership change, Mr Rudd had made the offer to Ms Gillard.[/b]http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/julia-gillard-makes-first-address-to-national-press-club-to-press-credentials/story-e6frf7l6-1225892155921

George Pike

15/07/2010Here is a reply I posted to the SMH's Katherine Murphy's pice on the speech: I wonder who paid Oakes his $10k plus for this little outing! A question was asked by Oakes that he knows cannot ever be answered due to mutual obligation among the three people present in the room during the events referred to by Oakes...and he knows it. How better way to embarass a totally honest and loyal person than to ask them something they would have to betray the trust of associates to answer and which would look shady if not answered. (edited by moderator) George | Tassie - July 15, 2010, 2:27PM They excluded half of the reply..where I went on to say something along the lines of: Channel Nine would have been the organisation that paid Oakes to front up and ask his impossible question..an organisation that is owned and operated in the main by a shady group of foreigners whose allegiance to the people of this country would be right up there with Rupert Murdochs!

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010Folks Did you see Julia Gillard’s address to the National Press Conference? I thought her content was sound and that she delivered it well. What annoyed me was some of the questions. The first was from an impertinent young reporter who asked how anyone could trust the PM after her repeated assurances that she had no intention of challenging Kevin Rudd yet did so that Wednesday evening. The question completely ignored the rapidly moving events that evening, and insinuated that she had always intended to challenge Rudd and that her statements denying this were lies. Then Laurie Oakes, who rarely turns up to these events, came along questioning whether she had broken a deal with Kevin Rudd to allow him to stay on that was supposedly cooked up that afternoon. As only Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and John Faulkner were privy to that conversation, where did he get this story, and why did he bring it along? I suspect he wanted to be seen once more as the wise old doyen of the press corps who gets information no one else can, and derive some kudos? Some of you have other ideas. She handled it well by declining to comment on what was a private conversation. But it’s already been the one item on ABC news crowding out much more important issues, and this will likely continue throughout the day. Matthew Franklin also asked a nasty question about Julia’s involvement in the many Government ‘debacles’, the BER being specifically mentioned, which News Limited would like to pin on her to justify its prolonged attack on the ‘waste and mismanagement’ of this programme. She assured the audience that the Orgill report would be made public before the election. Fortunately some of the questions were reasonable, but if one can judge from the facial expressions of those asking the nasty ones, they were intent on nailing her, and annoyed when they didn’t.

George Pike

15/07/2010I agree with you on everything...especially the propaganda campaign on ABC radio. Every news program starts with "the opposition says, yappity yappitty yap"....makes you wonder how deeply the News Ltd disease has spread across the entire Australian media really. I truly think Rupert Murdoch is the most evil and dangerous threat to true democracy since Adolf left the scene! He is rapidly destroying all trace of the "Australian Way"...any sense of fairness within the media's political coverage has long gone. I hope the Australian people wake up to this blight on our democracy before it is too late and we wake up under the cast iron rule of a corporate puppet government.

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

15/07/2010Here's the audio of Laurie Oakes' grubby NPC question to the PM: http://twaud.io/jJP

Rx

15/07/2010George Pike wrote: [i]... especially the propaganda campaign on ABC radio. Every news program starts with "the opposition says, yappity yappitty yap"[/i] Yes, that is SO noticeable. Whether it be bulletins on NewsRadio, Local Radio, Radio National, PM, AM, The World Today, ABC Online ... the most overworked phrase is: [b][i]"THE FEDERAL OPPOSITION SAYS..."[/b][/i] On the hour, every hour, (and in some dayparts the half-hour also), there's the Liberal Bulletin, passed off to the audience as "News". Drives me bloody mad. I used to love the ABC and would have gone to the ends of the Earth to defend it, but can barely stand to listen now. It's time they changed the name to reflect what it's really about. I suggest The [b]Abbott Broadcasting Corporation[/b]. Let's have some honesty in branding here.

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010Rx That is brilliant - the Abbott Broadcasting Corporation - what an apt description.

HS

15/07/2010Rx, The Abbott Broadcasting Corporation. ROFL.

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi Ad What the bloggers are saying about Laurie Oakes's National Press Club question: [i]Gillard reneges on “Kirribilli-style” deal with Rudd, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] Ms Gillard refused to be drawn on the sensational claims that she entered into a “Kirribilli-style” agreement with Kevin Rudd the night before the leadership challenge. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/15/gillard-reneges-on-kirribilli-deal-with-rudd/ [i]Gillard at the NPC: watch out – Laurie’s about, Bernard Keane, The Stump[/i] the Canberra adage that if Oakes shows up at an event he has a bombshell to drop, the Gallery doyen stunned the gathering by asking her a series of questions about the meeting between Gillard, Kevin Rudd and John Faulkner on the night of 23 June. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/07/15/gillard-at-the-npc-watch-out-lauries-about/ [i]Laurie Oakes claims Kevin Rudd proposed a Kirribilli style deal to Julia Gillard on 24th June, Mark, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] [b]The media, as is their wont, find this sort of thing more interesting to write about than policy questions. And no doubt it will lead the tv news bulletins tonight. http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [/b] [i]How did Gillard become Prime Minister anyway? Jeremy Sear, Anymous Lefty[/i] one that doesn’t require us to get all excited about Laurie Oakes’ vacuous Canberra gossip http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]PM's forward motion hits a speed hump,Katharine Murphy Moree Champion[/i] If Oakes pops in on the NPC he wants an answer to a question, and it is a brave politician that fails to provide an answer. http://www.moreechampion.com.au/blogs/national-comment/pms-forward-motion-hits-a-speed-hump/1886594.aspx [i]Can Gillard stay mute on the night she rolled Rudd?,Leo Shanahan,The Punch[/i] Why does a Prime Minister who has not been elected have the right to withhold information on the basis of a professional confidence? http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/can-gillard-stay-mute-on-the-night-she-rolled-rudd/

George Pike

15/07/2010Spot on! Beamed straight from the Liberal Party PR (ABC) headquarters in a city near you! Julia's in Launnie tonight, so we might get a bit of "neutral" journalism down this end of the world for a few hours!

HS

15/07/2010What I want to know s will TAbbott explain his behind closed doors conversations and role in Malcolm Turnbull's knifing? If not, then why should the PM?

HS

15/07/2010Here's an outsiders view of recent events in Australian politics: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/nickbryant/2010/07/the_australian_ugliness_2.html

Jason

15/07/2010AA, This whole thing with"Jabba the Hut" Lorrie oakes who really cares let the media beat it up. Maybe when Abbott is at the press club next the media can ask do you still beat your wife, that's all Oakes done today. What did the PM talk about? no one cares now. Even if there is a whiff of truth to what Oakes said even on this blog we (I) were saying Rudd wasn't getting the message across as well as he should, but he's still got a job,I wish I had a back bench to go to.

Lyn

15/07/2010Hi Ad [i]Our friend Grog's column on the Oakes question:[/i] [i]Kev's no Howard, Julia's no Costello, and Faulkner doesn't keep notes in his wallet, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] a lot of hyperventilating by some journos that this shows that Julia reneged on a deal and thus can’t be trusted (this is also the Tony Abbott line). Interestingly not even Laurie Oakes was giving this aspect much credence in his report in Nine News. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/07/kevs-no-howard-julias-no-costello-and.html

George Pike

15/07/2010I think Jabba and the rest of them would change their view of world pretty quickly if we all got together and lobbied hard for a judicial inquiry into the media's behaviour over the past few years. The threat of a jail term for subversion and the hefty law suits for unconscionable conduct that would stem from such an inquiry would bring the media back into line with democratic expectations very rapidly methinks! We should run the idea past the legal eagles who favour the Labor ideologies to see how we would fare...

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010Lyn, Jason I think Grog has the best take on the Oakes question: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/07/kevs-no-howard-julias-no-costello-and.html It’s an inconsequential matter, and much to my surprise got no more attention than it deserved on ABC tonight. Let’s not get exercised about it – it will be forgotton in a day or two. It’s an example of the old bull trying to show he’s still got life in his journalistic body yet. He’s done this before – Cheryl Curnow remembers, but few others do. George Pike If only we could lay a defamation claim against some in the media. David Davis, Coalition Upper House leader in Victoria was required to issue an apology today and shell out an undisclosed sum to a Labor Party official he had defamed. Maybe that will shut down some of the more outrageous comments people feel free to bandy around.

Ad astra reply

15/07/2010Folks Packing it in for the night.

HS

15/07/2010lyn, Grog's being a busy little Beaver tonight: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/07/pjk-lets-bob-know-he-aint-building.html

HS

15/07/2010I'd say it's odd on that Lateline will keep on trying to fan the flames of the Rudd/Gillard conversation non-event. SBS News at 9.30pm had turned the incident inside out and come up with,"Julia Gillard refuses to disclose what was said in the conversation between herself and Kevin Rudd, and whether she reneged on a deal for him to hand the Prime Ministership over to her near an October election." No mention is made about how desperate it would have made the government look, or how far the Primary vote would have fallen by then, just carp about the broken agreement, which, if I have my facts straight and if there was a deal at all, existed for about half an hour. There can be no doubt, the media in this country have as their sole aim to bring this government down, by hook or by crook, by fair means and foul.

Patricia WA

16/07/2010Great stuff, and yes follow up that suggestion about Media Watch. Ironic, isn't it, that these so called reporters are incapable of objective self- observation. Lyndal Curtis showed a glimmer of it when she noted on the so called confusion caused by the Gillard and the government over the East Timor proposal - [quote]And when her wording is looked at closely it’s all been consistent.[/quote]

Glorfindel

16/07/2010Hi Ad, A few of the versions of the story I have read state: "Oakes went on to suggest that the meeting then temporarily broke, with Mr Rudd briefing some colleagues on the ‘‘deal’’ and Ms Gillard speaking to factional leaders who were pushing her to bring on a leadership spill." If that is correct then a few more people than Gillard, Rudd and Faulkner knew about the "deal". The question from Oakes seemed crafted to place Gillard in a bad light regardless of her answer. Grubby deals, puppet to the factions it's all there. The question is more of a story than the answer. Regards the media generally I think part of the problem is the general "dumbing down" of content and the pressure to land the most sensational story - ratings / sales are king. Lastly regards your article, if you ever spend 4000 odd words arguing that black is white I'm sure that will be an excellent read too.

Sir Ian Crisp

16/07/2010Laurie Oakes seems well informed so that means someone – who could that be? – has breached ALP omerta. Laurie says that a deal between the Bird of Paradox and the PM was agreed to but that deal died aborning. The deal captures the essence of that romantic period in our history when Hawke and Keating had a deal about a handing over of power. And spare a thought for Paul who we now learn was not only ‘Treasurer’ but carried Hawke for four years. What a champion. We also recall the deal between Howard and the Smirker. It’s nice to know that the office of Prime Minister is respected by our alleged politicians. Just why won’t the ABC and other horrible journos write nothing but valentines to the Bird of Paradox and other ALP luminaries? Why can’t we all ‘move forward’ and just propel ourselves ‘forward’ and keep up with the PM who is ‘moving the country forward’ in a ‘forward’ direction? Comedy seems to be in vogue here at TPS so I would appeal to any very loyal ALP supporter to aid our barren Bird of Paradox. Would a loyal ALP supporter with a few extra children consider offering for adoption two of those children? A boy named Jack and a girl named Maddison would be ideal. They must be redheaded and attending a trendy private school. The ideal age of Jack and Maddison would be about 9 or 10 years old and they must be photogenic. Both should be academically brilliant and they should excel on the sporting field. Maddison should display the characteristics of a confident young girl who leads the school’s debating team: she is Promethean to put it bluntly. Jack is a bit awkward when speaking and this is judged to be a trait he inherited from his mum, the Bird of Paradox. We all know the problems she has with the English language.

George Pike

16/07/2010Crisp in name, crisp in nature...like a frosty morning hey SIR Ian...wouldn't you prefer to go and play in your own backyard...with all the other wealthy elites who prefer to keep the nation's riches in the pockets of the top 10%, while the rest of us keep wondering why it's a struggle when those billions keep pouring into the nation via a seemingly endless river of gold? Your lot must have despised the government for doling out all that lovely cash to the workers with the stimulus payments...and now you're out to get your own back via your control over the media. The pompous arrogant elites casting aspersions over the government for the people to try and reimpose the government for the rich..pretty ugly to watch really..

Lyn

16/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Kev's no Howard, Julia's no Costello, and Faulkner doesn't keep notes in his wallet, Grog, Grog's Gamut[/i] a lot of hyperventilating by some journos that this shows that Julia reneged on a deal and thus can’t be trusted (this is also the Tony Abbott line). Interestingly not even Laurie Oakes was giving this aspect much credence in his report in Nine News. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/07/kevs-no-howard-julias-no-costello-and.html [i]It was with much disappointment that I opened the weekend Australian, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] everything and everyone that came out of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery in the 1980s is completely discredited at having missed that story. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/07/it-was-with-much-disappointment-that-i.html [i]Betting Market Friday, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] Centrebet moving towards Labor, while Sportsbet and IASbet twiddled their thumbs. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/ [i]Tunnel vision over traffic,Crikey[/i] or Tony Abbott’s “…but but but but…” http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/15/tunnel-vision-over-traffic/ [i]Boats and votes: more evidence on the opinion gap, Peter Browne, Inside Story[/i]Over the next couple of weeks Mr Abbott and his advisers no doubt turned eagerly to the polls for confirmation that the tactic had worked. http://inside.org.au/boats-and-votes-more-evidence-on-the-opinion-gap/ [i]Going off topic: Lindsay Liberal candidate Fiona Scott struggles, Penrith Press[/i]When asked if asylum seekers were an issue for the people of Lindsay, she replied: “I think there’s a lot of issues out here in Lindsay. http://penrith-press.whereilive.com.au/news/story/going-off-topic-lindsay-liberal-candidate-fiona-scott-struggles/ [i]Statement fro Press Gallery President Phillip Hudson on election debates, Bernard Keane, The Stump[/i] We believe the debates must be designed for television, internet and radio broadcast and there must be no restrictions on the use of audience response meters or other devices http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]The ongoing saga of Bob, Blanche & Paul, Reb Gutter Trash[/i] “The fact is, Bob, I was exceedingly kind to you for a very long time. I knew the state you were in in 1984 http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/15/the-ongoing-saga-of-bob-blanche-paul/ [i]When old men fall out: Hawke and Keating can both feel proud, Richard farmer, Crikey[/i] His achievements are clear and substantial enough not to be tarnished by what a biographer-turned-lover-turned-wife has written about her aging flame. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/15/when-old-men-fall-out-hawke-and-keating-can-both-feel-proud/ [i]The Hawke - Keating wars redux, Kim,Larvatus Prodeo[/i] But the Hawke-fest has produced an angry response from Paul Keating, reported in today’s media. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/15/the-hawke-keating-wars-redux/

Sir Ian Crisp

16/07/2010Georgie Boy, why can't I hate ALL politicians, both ALP and Lib-NP? Checked out the address of destitute Paul and Bob? The boy from Bankstown now has a very luxurious bolthole in the city. And Bob...can the ordinary slob get a Sky dish on his roof or do you have to be well connected? Have you been able to declare your suburb the state's capital and claim $45,000 of taxpayers' money like some ALP destitute pollie did?

George Pike

16/07/2010"LABOR figures are blaming Kevin Rudd for leaking claims that Julia Gillard welshed on a deal that would have allowed him to remain prime minister." The Australian, 16/07/10. Which is exactly what the people who thought up the whole Laurie Oakes affair wanted to happen. This has come straight from the back rooms of News Ltd..not some shady labor backstabber as the conservatives would have us believe... These guys are the lowest of the low...and they will do ANYTHING to get Labor defeated...it is as simple as that...

HS

16/07/2010I hope we've all seen this today: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/phone-message-reveals-tony-abbotts-vow-to-fix-michael-johnsons-legal-woes/story-e6freon6-1225892386067

HS

16/07/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Honi soit qui mal y pense. IF there was a deal between Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd, it was one-sided, and lasted as long as it took Ms Gillard to go out of the room and tell her confidants about it and for them to tell her it was a load of hogwash if she would be silly enough to enter into it. Kevin Rudd's position was terminal by then, and if allowed to go onto October who knows what state the government would have been in? To have changed then would have looked desperate in the extreme. Far better to have done it now in an orderly way. Kevin Rudd, as was his right, was desperately trying to hang onto his job, by hook or by crook and so came up with 'the deal'. It wasn't a good deal. Ms Gillard easily recognised that.

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Sir Ian Crisp

16/07/2010HS, I was one of the many who witnessed the ALP luminaries assemble by the side of the road as that very large bus approached. They all looked at Kevin with the unspoken words 'do you want us to push you or are you going to do the right thing and jump under the bus'? All very orderly, honest and admirable indeed.

Sir Ian Crisp

16/07/2010Georgie Boy, something for you: The Accord - lower wages, higher profits The rot began in 1983 when Hawke and the ACTU signed the Prices and Incomes Accord. Workers were told that the Accord would increase workers' wages while it reformed the economy. In reality the Accord slashed wages and working conditions and transformed the union movement into the enforcers of wage restraint. Union militancy was hobbled, delegate structures crumbled and union density plummeted. Unions who refused to abide by the Accord and continued to fight for better wages and conditions were attacked and ultimately smashed. Hawke smashes the Pilots' Union In 1989 the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) attempted to break out of the Accord straightjacket and pushed for a 30% wage increase. The response from the Hawke Labor government was to use the military to break the strike. Labor isolated and attacked the pilots. Hawke once famously described them as “glorified bus drivers”. ACTU leaders threw their weight behind strike breaking efforts and the use of air force pilots. It is no coincidence that Sir Peter Abeles, part-owner of TNT transport and Ansett airlines, was also a close personal friend of Bob Hawke. http://www.vigilancebulletin.org/Bulletins/V0037-0711.htm Georgie Boy, it gives me little pleasure to say that I have uncovered another hypocrite here at TPS. How many is it now…6…7…8? Georgie Boy, where do you think Sir Peter Abeles would likely spend his time? At a soup kitchen perhaps? Searching through bins looking for aluminium cans? No. He was the head of TNT and at the height of his powers he had the lion’s share of the estimated $12 billion transport business. He had interests in 80 countries via his company TNT. Bob Hawke and Sir Peter Abeles were great mates with stories circulating that Hawke was on the phone to Abeles every other day when he was PM. And we also have that embarrassing photo of the fishing buddies in WA. On deck was Hawke and his other mate Alan Bond, a struggling multi-millionaire. Georgie Boy, the big end of town doesn’t need any special treatment by the Lib-NP camorra because it gets special treatment from the ALP camorra.

HS

16/07/2010Sir Ian, As an acknowledged Palace Courtier, were you also there when Malcolm Turnbull was thrown under the Liberal Party bus by Tony Abbott,Kevin Andrews,Andrew Robb and Nick Minchin? I'd also appreciate your 'Insider' take on what exactly Tony Abbott meant when he pacified Michael Johnstone with his offer of a legal fix?

Rx

16/07/2010Good find re the story about the secret Abbott phone conversation, Hillbilly Skeleton. What's the bet their ABC steers a wide berth around that story? We should put some pressure on them to run it. I suggest [i]Swordians[/i] contact their ABC. The link is below. Being that the story comes from the Courier Mail, a News Ltd source, how can they refuse! http://www.abc.net.au/news/investigations/contact.htm

janice

16/07/2010 [quote]victoria Posted Friday, July 16, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink Laurie Oakes was just interviewed on ABC radio. He said that Rudd told his advisors of discussions he had with JG, regarding going to Oct elections, and standing down prior if polls showed they would lose election. JG said it was sensible and reasonable, went to consult and came back and said it would not work. Oakes said that it was not an agreement, but obviously Rudd was hoping she would agree. Oakes also said that JG was right to challenge, as Rudd was finished and she did the right thing. So now I ask what is all the fuss about? [/quote] If the above post from Poll Bludger is an accurate precise of the Oakes interview on ABC radio, what did Oakes seek to achieve by his questions to Julia at the NPC? I also ask what all the fuss is about but then when you listen to the interpretations put on the issue by individual journalists who add the words "deal" and "renege" etc, the whole thing has become a stream of the sort of gossip passed across the backyard fences with each galah providing embellishments to add to the juicy morsel.

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010HS Your comment reinforces what this piece is maintaining, that words do count in news items. It takes some effort to write in a neutral way; your SBS example is telling: “[i] "Julia Gillard refuses to disclose what was said in the conversation between herself and Kevin Rudd, and whether she reneged on a deal for him to hand the Prime Ministership over to her near an October election."[/i] could have been written: “[i]In answer to a question by Laurie Oakes about whether she had gone back on an agreement with Kevin Rudd that would allow him to continue for a time to see if the polls turned around, Ms Gillard said that as the meeting was confidential she would not be revealing its content.[/i]. The media love to use ‘refuses to disclose’, ‘is defending her position’, ‘was forced to defend’, ‘was put on the back foot’, all of which superimpose a value judgement on the subject. Whether journalists realize the bias they inject, or do so and find that acceptable is the moot question.

NormanK

16/07/2010Lyn Thanks for the links. Your energetic efforts are greatly appreciated. Michael Excellent post. Enjoyed it a lot. It may go some way to explaining the characters we see on Fox who seem to be going to great pains to be "distinctive". janice "Gossip" - yes. Woman's Day journalism.

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010Patricia WA To me, Lyndal Curtis is usually acerbic and uses words that are pejorative, often aimed at Labor. We all have our biases and I may be judging her unfairly, but having listened to her over several years, she repeatedly comes across as anti-Labor simply by her use of words and the tone of her voice.

HS

16/07/2010Another perspicacious bit of interpretation of today's Joe Hockey interview by Reb at Gutter Trash: http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/joe-hockey-hints-at-election-defeat/ Put together with Barry O'Farrell's 'deeply off the record' Tweet about Liberal Party polling, 'pre and post the ranga', it tells a different story to the one TAbbott puts about.

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010Glorfindel No doubt Oakes’ question was designed to embarrass Julia Gillard. Was the motivation just self-aggrandisement of an aging journalistic bull, or was there News Limited urging behind it? Possibly both – we’ll never know. I’m not sure whether your comment” “[i] Lastly, regards your article, if you ever spend 4000 odd words arguing that black is white I'm sure that will be an excellent read too.”[/i], is a compliment or a backhander. Anyway if you disagree with the thesis of this piece, please pen a rebuttal.

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010Sir Ian I was wondering where you’d gone. But you’re back with a flourish, heavy with sarcasm. If you think that my assessment of ABC journalists is unfair, please write a refutation. No one expects journalists to gratuitously praise Labor, or for that matter the Coalition; what we yearn for is neutral, unemotional, factual reporting, free from blatant bias, and when they offer an opinion, that they identify it as such and argue their position logically from the available facts. They seldom do that. Perhaps you might also like to explain to those who visit here why you use words like ‘barren’ to characterize Julia Gllard. If she has chosen not to have children, which is what she has stated, she is not barren, but childless. I’m surprised that such a stickler for using the English language well would be so imprecise. In any case does being childless make her less suitable for her job? Or as you imply, disqualify her, whereas adopted children would remedy that deficiency. From where do these attitudes arise?

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010janice I too heard the Oakes interview on ABC 774 Melbourne radio, and the PB account seems an accurate record. I fact Oakes spoke in a somewhat supportive way about Julia’s actions and definitely said she had done the right thing. So why did he deliberately set out to embarrass her at the National Press Club – to feed his ego, to prove he is still a formidable journalist despite his age, to ingratiate himself with News Limited? We will never know. But the question I would like to ask all journalists who put down Julia Gillard or her Government, is whether they really want an Abbott Government, or just a bloody election fight that will make good copy. While some may wish for the former, I suspect most want the latter, but if they go too far in demonizing the Government, they may live to regret the unintended outcomes of their efforts.

Lyn

16/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2 [/b] Harnessing the power of the press,Andrew Dodd, The Drum Andrew Dodd has been a journalist and broadcaster for over twenty years, working for The Australian, Crikey and the ABC amongst others The Australian under Mitchell is a "right wing vindictive boy's club which operates like a bully in a curiously tabloid way". http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/stories/s2955083.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail Gillard 'raving mad' to give Rudd a job, ABC Given the way that Julia Gillard took the job off Kevin Rudd we are going to have instability in the Lodge until the day that Labor is thrown out of government." http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/16/2955336.htm An unpleasant political passage,Barrie Cassidy, The Drum There is a world of difference between leadership challenges in opposition and those that depose a prime minister. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/16/2955223.htm?site=thedrum Can Media Proprietors as Rupert Murdoch swing elections, Peter Martin April 24, 2007 it is widely believed that Rupert Murdoch only switches sides after the weight of public opinion has already shifted – that a Murdoch endorsement is more of an electoral weathervane than a election mover. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2007/04/tuesday-column-can-media-proprietors.html

Lyn

16/07/2010Hi Ad Here is Crikey Media Wrap, I missed the link fist up. PM hit by Oakes ambush, Media Wrap , Crikey As can be expected, the media went into a bit of a frenzy. Here’s what the pundits said: http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/16/pm-hit-by-oakes-ambush/

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010Folks Many of you have commented on the flagrant anti-Government bias of [i]The Australian[/i]. We are not alone in our views. Lyn has provided us with Andrew Dodd piece on [i]The Drum: Harnessing the power of the press[/i]. The comments too make interesting reading. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2955083.htm

HS

16/07/2010Fresh from Mike Bower's Tweet feed: Insiders ABC 1 9am Sunday On the Panel SMH’s Lenore Taylor, Courier Mail’s Dennis Atkins and the Australian’s Michael Stutchbury.

Gravel

16/07/2010George, I will join the chorus and welcome you to this site. I have been reading Ad Astra since he first started blogging. Ad Astra has found a wonderful group of people here, and got a non commenter (me) to start commenting here, because what he and the other great contributors write express almost word for word what I would like to be able to say. I too heard Laurie Oakes this morning, and he stunned me when he said he knew he would not get an answer to his question. I screamed at the radio wanting to ask him why he asked it if he knew that is the response he would get. I totally agree it was just a bit of self aggrandizing. Then Waleed read texts and took phone calls, and the majority were saying "who cares", which was a pleasant surprise. The ones that didn't agree spruked all the Liberal and media lies, and they were the only ones who seemed perturbed about the issue.

HS

16/07/2010More backing and filling by TAbbott in Qld. today: http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=485748&articleID=

janice

16/07/2010Ad astra and Gravel, I didn't hear the Oakes interview so thank you both for confirming the content of it. As it appears Oakes was supportive of Julia, I wonder if, perhaps, his question to her was some sort of test to satisfy himself that Julia isn't to be goaded into breaking her word? Looking at it in this light it makes sense and to Oakes, at least, puts paid to the meme that Julia was not disloyal to Rudd and was a reluctant player in his ousting. Could this then mean that Julia has found one 'friend' among the hyenas of the press?

janice

16/07/2010Gosh, I should have used the Preview button for the post above - [quote]puts paid to the meme that Julia was not disloyal to Rudd and was a reluctant player in his ousting.[/quote] should read: puts paid to the meme that Julia was disloyal to Rudd and was not a reluctant player in his ousting.

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010Gravel I too was surprised at how many of Waleed Aly’s text messages said ‘who cares’? Despite the media making a feature of the Oakes question rather than what Julia Gillard said in her speech, it looks like being a passing phase that will soon be swamped by the calling of the election. I do hope the media finally gets round to focusing on policies rather than trivia. HS I wonder how much airplay the Abbott telephone conversation will get, and how hard they will go after him about it?

Sir Ian Crisp

16/07/2010Ad Astra, the use of the word barren was inspired by a chapter in the ALP playbook. In 2003, Lib MP Sophie Panopoulos (Indi electorate) was up against ALP candidate John Williams. Chivalrous Mr Williams suggested that Ms Panopoulos was a bad choice to represent the people of Indi because she had no children. Ms Panopoulos raised the issue with the ALP sisterhood but the usual stentorian voices of the sisterhood became sotto voce. Even alleged clean campaigner Julia Gillard who campaigned with Mr Williams in Indi in the hope of getting him over the line didn’t bother to correct Mr Williams nor did she distance herself from his remarks. I’m just playing by the ALP rules.

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010Sir Ian It's so refreshing to see that you're playing by the ALP rules. But does that mean that you do believe being childless renders females unsuitable for political office? What about childless men?

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010janice That is a novel idea - but is congruent with Oakes' rather benign take on Julia's response this morning on ABC radio. It will be interesting to see what he writes about this. I can't see anything he's written today.

HS

16/07/2010Here's a good one for ABC Watch: http://www.vexnews.com/news/9909/vox-politico-abc-vox-pop-comprises-political-staff/

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010HS ABC WATCH updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

vote1maxine

16/07/2010Hi AA Another excellent post, imho your best."How to beat up a story - ABC style" I believe is a legacy of the Howard regime poisoning of the ABC Board with appointments such as Keith Windschuttle, Janet Albrechtsen, Maurice Newman and Mark Scott. I have no direct evidence but I believe that ever since these Howard stooges appointment there has been a change of culture within the ABC to a ultra conservative right wing bias.Howard's poison has filtered down and infected the whole organisation. Your post is evidence manifestation of this process. I hope some of the power brokers within the ALP have taken note and there will be a "night of the long knives" post a Gillard Govt.re-election. None of the current board should be re-appointed when their current term expires and if possible be removed earlier. (The same applies to management appointments made by these board members.) Rudd's bipartisanship approach in leaving the ABC as he found it post 2007 election was a fundamental mistake (in hindsight). Gillard needs to learn from this. AA you should pass on a copy of your post to the Federal ALP organisation. The ABC is too important to be allow to become another division of the ultra conservative media in this country. An unbiased ABC is is a necessary counter to the hysterical anti Labor MSM in Australia. An excellent letter in today's SMH "Hope can't survive media's bias for bashing Labor" by Don Brown Narrabeen is of a similar vein http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/conformity-is-not-essential-for-good-education-20100715-10ck3.html Btw AA did you receive my email I sent you recently?

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010vote1maxine Thank you for your kind comments. I will forward the link to this piece to the ALP. It seems as if you are right - leaving in place those appointed by a conservative Government has not yielded good outcomes. It was too much to hope that they would not revert to type. They have continued to support their masters. I've checked my email but can't find any from you. Perhaps you could send it again - just click the 'contact me' tab at the top of the page.

macca

16/07/2010Crisp in name, crisp in nature...like a frosty morning hey SIR Ian George..a gentle word in your ear. Sir Ian Crisp, or, SIC, is TPS' very own troll. We encourage feeding him, however under no circumstances must he be pampered. We believe the consequences will be dire should someone do so.

janice

16/07/2010Ad astra, I agree with Vote1Maxine and note you will be sending a link to the ALP. It might be a good idea to also send them the link to TPS ABC Watch. A Poll Bludger (can't remember who) sent a complaint to the ABC as well as to the ALP. This person received a reply from the ALP advising that the complaint was passed on to Minister Conroy for attention. Therefore, perhaps you should direct your correspondence to Minister Conroy.

Lyn

16/07/2010Hi Ad Looks like the bootstappers are sure, the election is going to be called tomorrow. Even the UK thinks so. David Speers is reporting Julia Gillard's hairdresser has been called to Canberra, wonder if Julia only has a hairdresser when she calls an election. Gillard tipped to call election tomorrow, ABC According to Labor sources, Ms Gillard is expected to visit Quentin Bryce in Canberra tomorrow morning. http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/07/16/2955610.htm Australian PM expected to call election,Guardian UK I'm not engaging in election speculation," she told reporters earlier today, as media reports suggested she would call a late August poll on Saturday or next weekend. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/16/australia-set-early-election-gillard

Lyn

16/07/2010Hi Ad Sunday's TV, with compliments of Tobias Ziegler Pure Poison: Sunday’s Insiders (courtesy of Mike Bowers) has Barrie Cassidy interviewing Barnaby Joyce (NB: Mike Bowers confirms that this has been changed to Tony Burke), the panel consists of Lenore Taylor, Dennis Atkins and Micael Stutchbury, and Talking Pictures will have Chris Taylor talking about the Chaser’s new show for this campaign season, “Yes We Canberra”. Thanks to Mark Croxford, we have full line-ups for the other Sunday shows on free and pay TV. Meet the Press has Hugh Riminton, Fran Kelly and John Stanley with Nicola Roxon and Galaxy Research’s David Briggs. The Oakes interview is with Wayne Swan, or if you have Sky News you could check out the new Australian Agenda show at 8:30, which doesn’t appear to have guest information yet but will involve a panel of The Australian’s best and brightest — do yourself a favour and get some Sunday morning Shanahahas into you. Have at it. UPDATE: Tonight’s Lateline (at 10:35) has Tony Burke and Christopher Pyne Weekend talk thread July 16-18 July 16, 2010 – 2:50 pm, by Tobias Ziegler speculation all over the place that tomorrow Julia Gillard will call the election for August 28. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/07/16/weekend-talk-thread-july-16-18/#more-6608

George Pike

16/07/2010It is astounding just how bitter and twisted many people within the elitist core of this country become when an outsider rises to the supreme level of holding the highest office in the land. Our PM has so badly slashed the gargantuan egos of the aristocratic elites with her rise to the throne that they have to defer to underhanded childish personal attacks to try and numb their pain. The boorish thugs in silk prattle and rattle their cantankerous diatribe in vain however…as we have a truly dauntless heroine in our new leader…one who will make light work of those ratbag toffs and their yaffler, scribbler media mates. She ran the sword through both the mining monster and the boat people beast with surprising alacrity…not one person would have thought either blow achievable by anyone at all, net alone from a brand new combatant. The simple truth is that the conservative cowards and their media co-conspirators are living in fear…because they can see a true leader rising, one who will keep them forever in the rear…

Jason

16/07/2010George, From another page of the labor play book anything that S I C writes even the words "if,but,and,the" shouldn't be believed.

BH

16/07/2010AA - that piece is so explicit. You have put so succinctly set out what is happening so I've emailed it around. It's too good for anyone to miss.

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010janice I will send the link to Stephen Conroy as well as the link to ABC WATCH. Lyn Thank you for the additional links which I have added to LYN’S DAILY LINKS: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Thanks for the weekend TV interviewees. Morgan today TPP 54.5/45.5 George Pike When the election campaign proper starts we will see leader pitted against leader, policy against policy, or lack of it. That will be the real test for Tony Abbott. BH Thanks for your kind remarks – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece.

Lyn

16/07/2010Hi Ad [b]This has made me feel very, very, sad:[/b] [b]Thank you and Goodbye, Reb, Gutter Trash[/b] http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/thank-you-and-goodbye/#comment-33059

Ad astra reply

16/07/2010Lyn I don't understand what's happened to Reb and Gutter Trash, but we will miss his posts. All the best Reb, and thanks.

Lyn

16/07/2010Hi Ad Here is our friend Grog, excellent post, on election date speculation: [i]Election 2010: Beware the early word, GROG, GROGS GAMUT[/i] Emma Rodgers of the ABC was first in with the news that the election would definitely be called tomorrow, and also that it would definitely be the 28th: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Lyn

17/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Election 2010: Beware the early word, GROG, GROGS GAMUT[/i] Emma Rodgers of the ABC was first in with the news that the election would definitely be called tomorrow, and also that it would definitely be the 28th: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Why the Liberals will collapse in the Federal election campaign, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] The idea that an election campaign is a continuation of recent events but with more picfacs is a journosphere conceit, and shows no real understanding of how pivotal campaigns are (usually in unforced errors rather than any deft strategy http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-liberals-will-collapse-in-federal.html [i]Election mania reaches climax, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] Up in Queensland, where Tony Abbott’s offer to Michael Johnson to “fix” his legal problems is getting a good airing, http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/16/canberra-in-a-froth-as-election-speculation-reaches-crescendo/ [i]Bob & Julia V Paul & Kevin, The Piping Shrike[/i] In Gillard’s case the power brokers were using dodgy ‘internal polling’ and media reports over-stating Rudd’s electoral problems as an opportunity to regain power http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/07/bob-and-julia-v-paul-and-kevin.html [i]Polling Trend Updates, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] It’s been an interesting little fall and recovery for the Greens over the last month http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/07/16/polling-trend-updates/#more-8334 [i]Whatever it takes , Leon Delaney[/i] That’s a pretty powerful promise. Not just “we’ll help you fight it”, but “we’ll fix it”. http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/2010/07/whatever-it-takes.html [i]Laurie Oakes: Please confirm or Deny, Kevin Rennie ,Labor View from Bayside[/i] My passenger, a very young Laurie Oakes told me that he had threatened to make the police frontpage news on the Sun newspaper if they didn’t release the protesters. http://laborview.blogspot.com/2010/07/laurie-oakes-please-confirm-or-deny.html [i]Weekend Gab Fest!, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] Blanche D'alpuget arrives at a charity fundraiser dressed as a toilet brush http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/16/weekend-gab-fest-41/ [i]Long day of the short knife to haunt Gillard ,Laurie Oakes, Daily Telegraph[/i] Labor goes into the election with disappointing opinion poll ratings - largely because of the new Prime Minister's inept handling of the proposal for an East Timor asylum seeker processing centre. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/long-day-of-the-short-knife-to-haunt-gillard/story-fn5zmod2-1225892889190 The ethics of journalism, Leslie Cannold, Unleashed there was another journalist in the audience ,missed the announcement that the conference status had been changed from open to closed. She was from SBS. http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/stories/s2955460.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

Lyn

17/07/2010HI AD I am still in trouble with the ABC, trying again the link to "The ethics of journalism" The ethics of journalism http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2955460.htm

macca

17/07/2010I know this is off topic,but I have just been reading the current arguments going on at Cafe Whispers and Gutter Trash. Please everyone lets not go down that road. It's sad to see.

Ad astra reply

17/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Folks When you read Laurie Oakes' piece you will see that his intent is not benign. To use his phrase, he has deliberately 'thrown a spanner in the works' to upset Labor. He has declared himself an Abbott advocate. Lyn Don't worry about those pesky ABC links - I can fix them at this end.

Lyn

17/07/2010Hi Macca I too have read those comments on both Gutter Trash and Cafe Whispers. Last night I got an awful shock to read "Thank you and Goodbye, by Reb, at Gutter Trash", but now I see a bitter feud, and yes it is very sad. "The Political Sword" is a quality blog, with genuine, interesting, well mannered, dignified, commenters. I have every confidence our standard of behaviour on TPS is here to stay. Ad Astra is our very well respected minder, who will, with his wonderful measured, calm approach, maintain our blog at the standard our community at "The Political Sword' have all set in concrete, for ourselves.

Lyn

17/07/2010Hi Ad Well Julia Gillard is in Government house now. David Speers is reporting: [i]Tony Abbott has been a very effective Opposition Leader, destroying Kevin Rudd, can he do it again[/i] Well at least the election will now be called, so all will see next month. [b]The Election. It’s On!, Reb, Gutter Trash [/b]Hi it’s me. I’m back. Tony Abbott has reacted to this morning’s events by saying “This is a bad government and it deserves to lose.” I wasn’t prepared for that! http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/17/the-election-its-on/

George Pike

17/07/2010It was quite revealing to watch Christopher whinging whining Pyne go about the business of waffle last night on Lateline. The little Chihuahua attack dog rambled on aimlessly with the same old Liberal diatribe…lies ad nauseum supported by baseless assumptions and misleading assertions. Tony Bourke and Leigh Sales were both left spellbound by the incredible dishonesty and blatant deceit being spewed forth with such gay abandon. The people of this country have never before seen such a display of base political manipulation via the mass-media, by someone who can now only be described as nothing less than a neo mini-Goebbels. The true depth of the rhetorical miasma was sounded out by the idiocy of the statement deriding Labor as being sure to run a negative campaign, immediately following his own long delusory rampage against anything and everything that even smelt like Labor! Incredible breathtaking hypocrisy, right there in front of eyes! Leigh was trying to control the debate to sound out the political imperatives of each camp, only to be constantly and completely drowned out by the yippity yappity droning grating monotonous invective...not even the ABC can be blamed for one skerrick of that shambles I'm afraid!...not that we can see from a distance at any rate...

Lyn

17/07/2010Good Morning George I agree, I polished my fridge while Christopher was talking, you should see my fridge now. [quote]described as nothing less than a neo mini-Goebbels. [/quote] Apt description, isn't Christopher Pyne's mannerisms annoying, as far as negative is concerned, deceit, whinging, idiocy, hypocrisy, political manipulation, awful, dreadful, line up of attributes, he really is skilled.

George Pike

17/07/2010Thanks Lyn...I'm glad I've found a place where progressives can freely voice their opinions without being beaten to pulp by the conservatives very own SS! Here is a letter I've penned for the facebook pages; If people are beginning to think that I am a rusted on Laborite, with tunnel vision derived through narrow-minded ideological constraints…they may be surprised to learn that I actually followed the Liberal Party for thirty odd years. I actually voted for John Howard when he first came to power, and stated that he would become the greatest leader this country has ever seen shortly after he took office. Then along came Iraq! The way Howard glued himself and this country to any and all forthcoming action against Iraq, when he knew full well that it was going to be carried out based on dubious advice to say the least, turned me off the Liberals in a flash. Howard made the people of this country complicit in the invasion of a country that had done us no harm what so ever, and he did so under completely false pretences. That action led to the current state of affairs in Afghanistan, a war that would have been over years ago if the action against the Taliban had been continued until they had been utterly destroyed instead of turning attention to the false war in Iraq. Then came the ugly act of the Howard-Liberal government’s inhuman dismissal of heavy civilian causalities in the Iraq conflict. To describe the destruction of hundreds of thousands of totally innocent people as “necessary acceptable attrition” was so utterly un-Australia that it was sickening to hear. Now we see the Liberals and their media mates applying that exact same level of deceit right across the spectrum of political information projection. This abuse of power by both the media and the Liberal hierarchy has some very serious consequences for this country as a whole. Every single effective and positive initiative that has brought into play by the Labor government has been vanquished by an endless ruthless propaganda campaign based on a litany of lies and deceit ad nauseum from people with vested interests in seeing the Liberals come to power. The ultimate affect of that strategy, undermining national success in such a manic systemic way, will be to see the entire population become apathetic and utterly despondent at the negativity, when most people thought that they were all doing pretty well considering the circumstances. All the sacrifices that the bulk of the population made during the GFC appear to have been in vain. The Liberals are saying that the country’s score card throughout the entire duration of the Labor government has been one of massive failure…so all the time and effort that people put into maintaining the economic spirit of the country, whether it was by willingly moving from fulltime to casual employment in order to maintain workforce levels or spending their hard earned cash to keep the economy flowing and jobs secure, the public’s selfless actions have been deemed as worthless by the Liberal spin doctors. What incentive does that denial of success provide for people to act in the same positive way should future action from the wider population be required to keep the nation’s head above water? Absolutely none!

Lyn

17/07/2010Hi Ad It’s on: August 21,William Bowe, The Poll Bludger Appropriately, Antony Green’s election guide has opened for business this morning, and an impressive effort from Ben Raue at The Tally Room has been going for a while. My own effort will follow over the coming week.http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/17/its-on-august-21/ Election Live, Anthony Green. ABC http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2010/ 2010 Federal Election, The Tally Room http://www.tallyroom.com.au/election-2010 Game on for winter election, Emma Rodgers, ABC ABC election analyst Antony Green says the leaders will be spending a lot of time campaigning in outer-surburban seats of capital cities. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/17/2956476.htm

George Pike

17/07/2010Anyone notice how the media guys at Tony Abbott's reply to Julia Gillards election speech muted the journalists questions to an almost inaudible level, while maintaining Abbott's replies at above normal volume? There he was, unashamedly telling us how the Labor guys were going to run a dirty filthy campaign, while he and the Liberals would run a squeaky clean spotless campaign...and the backroom boys were already manipulating the very first speeches to suit the Liberals right down to the ground. Unbelievable!

Lyn

17/07/2010Hi George Most of what I heard Abbott say was: I am gunna, we are gunna, but, but, uh, uh, um, um. When the transcript comes out, I suppose they will edit the but, buts and um, um's and more importantly the gunna's We would say to people that used the word gunna, "well the gunner got shot". There were no policies announced from Abbott. Yes I did notice the journalists were inaudible, during Abbott's press conference. George I enjoyed your interesting, infomative, comment at 01:06 PM, wonderful.

George Pike

17/07/2010Thanks Lyn, I'm enjoying the content from all your contributors...fabulous stuff hey! Even Sir Ian provides us with a smidgeon of amusement hey!

Hillbilly Skeleton

17/07/2010George Pike, May I add my heartiest appeciation for the comments you have made here. :) Please keep coming back during the election campaign. Even if this blogging business is not as rapid-fire as Twitter or facebook. We like to conduct a reasonable conversation and your views add to the quality of our debates.

Hillbilly Skeleton

17/07/2010George Pike, Do you want to pick a Gravatar? Just follow the instructions in the link next to your e-mail address box. They are so much fun to have. :)

Lyn

17/07/2010Hi Ad Gillard Announces August 21 Federal Election, Audio The ALP’s election slogan, as expected, will be “Moving Forward”, Audio http://australianpolitics.com/2010/07/17/gillard-announces-august-21-federal-election.htm Tony Abbott Says Gillard Cannot Be Trusted,Australian Politics,Audio Abbott says it will be a filthy campaign http://australianpolitics.com/2010/07/17/tony-abbott-says-gillard-cannot-be-trusted.html

Lyn

17/07/2010Hi Ad 15 reasons not to vote for Tony Abbott http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVt4-BLFBJU&feature=player_embedded#!

George Pike

17/07/2010“…So why the rush? Self-evidently, Gillard has decided that if she does give us a chance to judge her on how she does the job, her electoral support will fall. What does she think will happen? More boats? Higher interest rates? Scrutiny her government cannot withstand? We cannot know precisely, but we know from her behaviour that she doesn’t want to wait to find out. The opinion polls have Labor in a winning position. And so she is rushing us to the polls to take advantage of her electoral honeymoon, that wonderful suspension of disbelief that electors, in their endlessly hopeful open-mindedness about new leaders, is extending to her. It’s pure opportunism. And Gillard is counting on it.” Peter Hartcher, SMH, 17/07/10. Peter is missing one small critical detail from his rendition of affairs circa Gillard’s run to the polls…the PM made it quite plain from day one that she would NOT consider herself as the rightful holder of the position until she had the people’s consent. That SHOULD have quelled all arguments against an immediate election…but the detractors and poo-flingers simply have to run their spiel to muddy the waters in a vain attempt at self glorification at the expense of others. To say that someone who has held the position of deputy PM for two and half years and who has been very clearly in the public eye for many more years before that, has not had sufficient public exposure to allow for adequate scrutiny by the people, is utterly ludicrous. Hartcher’s piece comes straight from the heart of the eternal pragmatist! It is nothing less than an example of a journalist trying to straddle both sides of the political fence...just in case the Opposition takes the prize.

George Pike

17/07/2010Thanks HS...I hope people can the light...a handy thing in stormy waters!

Ad astra reply

17/07/2010George Pike Thank you again for your thoughtful contributions. Christopher Pyne really is all that you describe. I find him even more irritating than Tony Abbott. Like Joe Hockey, he seems to come with his automatic slogan gun fully loaded, and no matter what the question he pulls the trigger and empties his magazine, takes a quick breath, and loads another magazine and blasts away until that’s empty too. He’s almost impossible to stop. Interviewers try to pull him up because his tirade is usually irrelevant to the question, but rarely succeed. Why does the ABC bother with such people? I fear this is now an established Coalition strategy – blast away with savage invective about Labor’s incompetence, debt and deficit, and other misdemeanours; never give even grudging credit for all the good things Labor has done; and as you indicate, lie Goebbels-style continually in the belief that eventually the people will believe what they say. Scarily there is anecdotal evidence that this is so. But if can succeed only if the media permits it, only if the Pynes of this world are not challenged, in a hostile way if necessary, to support their wild assertions with verifiable facts and figures. Will we ever see that? The only good thing to come out of last night’s diatribe is a beautifully polished refrigerator in Lyn’s kitchen. I noted that true to form, Lyndal Curtis has already lost count of how many times Julia Gillard used ‘moving forwards’, but made no mention of how many times Tony Abbott used ‘trust’. Looks like a case of perceptual blindness as well as an infantile obsession with counting slogans. Oh dear! Finally, I think we will see many journalists, like Peter Hartcher (who I respect), backing the horse both ways, or worse still sitting on the fence, so that no matter who wins they will still have a conduit to 'sources' for their columns. It's self-preservation, yet when politicians act similarly, they are accused of gutlessness and urged 'to use up some of their political capital' through strong leadership. A case of 'Do what I say, not what I do.' You've chosen a suitably symbolic Gravatar.

Ad astra reply

17/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Thanks again Lyn - you are so on the ball.

janice

17/07/2010Yes, Ad astra, Oakes has his feet firmly planted in the Abbott camp. I think Labor needs to point out to Australians, loudly and clearly, that if that miserable excuse for a christian and his team of dunderheads happens to win on August 21st they will have open slather in the senate for some 9 months, time enough to undo all of Labor's reforms and take us back to the Howard era with a vengeance.

Ad astra reply

17/07/2010Lyn Great You Tube video - where do you find such gems?

George Pike

17/07/2010Thank you for that...do I call you AD? The lighthouse is very appropriate for my particular history...I was a crayfisherman, working the wild waters of Tasmania, for nigh on thirty five years...forty if you count the years I rowed or motored my dinghy to school, pulling my nets on the way! Believe you me, glimpsing the blinking light through the howling gales and sheets of spray on dark cold nights was one of the warmest feelings one could imagine...I hope Labor keep on shining their light signifying equity and power for the battlers of this country, to allow them to experience that same sense of security and comfort as well...

Hillbilly Skeleton

17/07/2010George Pike, What an eloquent Crayfisherman you are, and your Gravatar is entirely appropriate. :) I have a very close friend who was a Crayfisherman. However he fished the Abrolhos Islands off the WA Mid North Coast. It was a lot warmer than your waters in Tassie!

Ad astra reply

17/07/2010George Some call me Ad, some AA. 'Ad astra' - literally 'to the stars' - is taken from what I found to be an inspirational school motto: [i]sic itur ad astra[/i] - "thus you shall go to the stars". I can see why you chose the lighthouse for your Gravatar - I hope the people of Australia will see Julia Gillard as their lighthouse in troubled times, and not allow this nation to founder on the sharp unyielding rocks of Tony Abbott's extremism.

Ad astra reply

17/07/2010Folks Later this afternoon a piece by HillbillySkeleton titled [i]So many questions, so few answers[/i] will be posted.

Hillbilly Skeleton

17/07/2010lyn, That is a fantastic You Tube video. :) I have posted it to Twitter #ausvotes and the Jack the Insider blog already!

George Pike

17/07/2010Thanks HS, I reckon the Abrolohos lifestyle would be very hard to beat. I love the Furneaux Group here in Tassie too...absolutely fabulous place where you can still roam endless miles of brilliant white beaches and coastal-bush walking trails and not see a soul! Then there are the crays and fish and abalone etc etc...nature at her best for sure...and the people are amazing as well...and why wouldn't you be when you live in paradise!

Hillbilly Skeleton

17/07/2010George Pike, Well, that's where you'll get an argument from me. I live in paradise on the Central Coast of NSW. I have a beach, largely unspoilt, down the road, a bay down the road in the other direction, and a National Park across the road from my house, where I can go bushwalking any day of the week. Not only that, but I am about an hour and a half away from the bright lights of Sydney should I feel like a dose of culture or excitement. Actually, there's plenty of little paradises in Australia. :)

George Pike

17/07/2010no arguments here...sailed the length of the east coast a couple of times and driven from Melb to Cairns and back a few times as well (much better than flying over it all)...tons of great spots....that's why the grey nomads disappear for years at a time hey!

Lyn

17/07/2010Hi Hillbilly Well I live in paradise too, Hervey Bay. There is a bush somewhere too. There is a resort across the road with ducks in the water. The backpackers sleep on the beach, so I suppose I could too (not). I can see Fraser Island. There are plenty of disco's and night clubs here, no I don't go there. The National Park is up the road, with ducks swimming. Plenty of ducks in Hervey bay, I am one too.

Lyn

17/07/2010Hi George Love your Gravatar. I have been touring around Tasmania, my sister owns a vineyard near Launceston. George you are very lucky, Tasmania is a beautiful place to live, I love all the little rose covered cottage type houses, especially in Hobart Circ Circ. Trouble is I can't stand the cold weather, it gives me a bad rash.

Ad astra reply

17/07/2010Hillbilly Skeleton's piece: [i]So many questions, so few answers[/i] posted: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/07/17/So-many-questions-so-few-answers.aspx

Miglo

17/07/2010<blockquote>Plenty of ducks in Hervey bay, I am one too.</blockquote> Me too.

macca

18/07/2010George Pike, loved your piece. So very true. However, you are all wrong on the best place to live. " if it hasn't got red dirt and spinifex. It ain't worth livin' there."......maccas law.
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?