The Great Manipulators

Another great post from The Pub’s very own Janice!

(Credit: Democratic Underground)

The kingmakers

Power hungry controllers of society – The Media


The Fourth Estate is a societal and political force or institution, whose influence is not consistently or officially recognised.

Supposedly, the Fourth Estate consists of professional men and women who are trained in the art of journalism, whereby they gather information, without fear or favour, and disperse same to the people.

Supposedly, these journalists abide by a Code of Ethics (regulated by themselves)

When media hyenas gather, someone is torn to pieces. The carcass is fought over so that every morsel is consumed in a feeding frenzy that serves only to quiet the hunger pangs for a short time.

In this country, journalists have always been rated below the used car salesman in the trustworthy stakes. I suspect this is because truth is never allowed to get in the way of a story. Journalists are therefore looked upon as people who eagerly spread gossip and innuendo without any regard to the consequences that might be caused to the victim’s life, reputation and innocent family members.

When one powerful sector in society is allowed/trusted to exercise power without regulation, that power become absolute. Absolute power hides behind the freedoms we all hold dear – i.e. freedom of the press and freedom of speech. When challenged by people who have been hurt, or are concerned that media self-regulation is not working and who call for an independent watchdog to ensure it works, we see those wielding the hammers of absolute power respond by retreating behind the placards of “Freedom” in order to oppose any independent regulation.

(Credit: Andrew Dyson)

The people exercise their democratic right to vote in the government they consider is best for them and the country. So it is a disgrace to our democracy to see the media wield their absolute power by siding with the Opposition parties to overthrow that democratically elected government and install another.

Since the people voted in a hung parliament in 2010 and the Labor Party under the leadership of Julia Gillard negotiated with elected independent MPs and won the right to form government, the media have been complicit in schemes to undermine the government, to trash the reputation of PM Julia Gillard, and to ruin Australia’s economic reputation even though this country’s economy is recognised as “world’s best”. Their complicity, and the actions taken to influence the voting public by spurious reporting, misrepresentation and distortion of policy announcements and pressers by the PM and government ministers, are nothing less than an absolute abuse of the “absolute” power they hold.

There have always been those who rise to the heights of powerful sections of society who will abuse the power they attain, but because of regulations, however weak, they are usually found out and neutralised before too much damage is done, or they are exposed, prosecuted and punished. The self-regulated media which answers to no-one but themselves and which allows deviation from their own code of ethics has embarked on a road that can only end in tears for themselves, for the people and democracy itself.

When we see our own national broadcaster indulging in king-making tactics and offering up partisan political reporting 24/7, mirroring the panel shows of Murdoch/Fairfax journalists interviewing journalists, instead of giving the nation straight factual reporting of the events occurring within the nation, we know we have a feral media abusing ‘absolute’ power in order to influence the people. It is in effect a matter of the people being told – “We will tell you what to think, and when to think it.”

Is it any wonder that the 5th Estate has expanded and taken on the task of questioning and endeavouring to sort out the gossip, fiction and partisan propaganda from the actual facts that are happening in front of our own eyes? It is the 5th Estate which is filling in the blanks of information the mainstream media conveniently leave out of reports. It is the 5th Estate which is calling for the journalists of the 4th Estate to do their jobs and question the Opposition (the alternative government) forcefully and insistently, demanding that they come up with more than slogans so that people can compare genuine policies and decide where to place their votes at the election.

The con merchants, the deceivers and the traitors

These are the people who have perfected the art of scattering word flowers and flattery to gain support for dubious schemes and plots. It matters not whether they are endeavouring to enrich their own pockets or to take the next step up towards the platform of power, the recipe is the same:

1. Look professional.
2. Use simple, easily understood language
3. Offer as little real information as possible
4. Hand out glossy leaflets
5. Be sympathetic and understanding
6. Slip in the occasional pointed criticism of your opposition
7. Point to your superior credentials (which may or may not exist)
8. Relate a couple of short happy stories from those you’ve already conned
9. Praise the house, the street, the district, the dog.
10. Promise to fix all problems

Politicians come in all sizes and suits:

Some put their hands up for election because they have a passion to be useful to society.

Some stand for election because they want to be part of the process of creating a better future for those who come after us.

Some choose politics as a career to better themselves and their pockets. Many of these settle into their electorates doing the minimum required to keep their constituents happy enough to give them their vote next time around. These are the whingeing back-benchers who blame the party leader when things get tough and do nothing to shore up support for the party in their electorates. Occasionally, from within this group, come the few who have managed to inveigle themselves to be noticed and put up as being potentially smart enough to be promoted to at least the outer cabinet, if not cabinet itself.

It is not often that large scale treachery emerges within the governing party, but when it does the consequences are dire. It is not unusual for a party leader to be rolled whether in or out of government, but usually, after the initial turmoil surrounding such an event, calm is restored, the party moves on and the deposed leader slinks off to lick his wounds and find another path to fulfilment.

When PM Rudd lost the confidence of his caucus after months of running a dysfunctional government, his colleagues demanded he put his leadership to a vote. After hours of negotiations he agreed to step down in favour of his Deputy, Julia Gillard. He was advised by his friend and colleague not to go to a vote because the low numbers resulting would be embarrassing for him. His emotional press conference after stepping down sent far-reaching shock waves throughout the nation that continued for months because no explanation was given why he was removed from office.

Kevin Rudd was well-liked in the electorates. He always presented with an engaging smile and he could talk the sweet talk. He is an egotist and underneath that smiling veneer lies a bitter, vindictive and vengeful creature who will snipe, undermine, scheme and plan to destroy those in the government he led and, if necessary, the party itself.

The Prime Minister was a gracious victor and showed compassion for the feelings of the man she replaced as leader. She gave him the very senior portfolio of Foreign Minister. This job gave Rudd the chance to use his talents for the good of his country as well as an opportunity to shine on the world stage. It wasn’t enough. The man continued with his underground vendetta which he began halfway through the election campaign, derailing it enough to give Australia its first hung parliament in nearly 70 years.

Kevin Rudd turned out to be a con merchant, a deceiver and a traitor to his Party, to the supporters of the Labor Party, and to his merry band of deluded spear carriers within caucus. He used them all in his bid to seek revenge and – as is common for cowards – he left them to swing in the breeze while he stepped back, fronted the media pleading innocence and declared his dedication and loyalty to a Party he spent more than three years trashing.

In the process, Kevin Rudd trashed his own credibility. So much so that even those in the media who were using his bitterness, his white-anting tactics to overthrow a democratically-elected government and discredit its leader, can no longer trust him.

In an editorial last week, the Daily Telegraph opined:

It is possible in a utopian world that, had Stephen Conroy’s proposed media reforms passed, life would have continued as normal for press and public alike.

It is also possible that in the hands of a spiteful or autocratic government they could have been easily exploited to straitjacket journalism and curtail a meek and hobbled media that would have allowed government irresponsibility, spin and possibly even corruption to flourish.

Self-delusion? Or unadulterated cynicism?

From one of Murdoch’s most strident organs, the answer is obvious.

We in Australia endure a media with the least diversity of ownership of any country other than totalitarian regimes. Self-regulation cannot even be described as a sick joke: it is a fraud through which media proprietors and their willing tools, the journalists, exercise unfettered power without responsibility.

Media reform – including enforceable regulation – is long overdue. The current government still has time to enact the necessary laws. And, just maybe, re-opening the punishment cells at Parliament House could be a pointed reminder to journalists and proprietors of how we expect them to behave.

(Credit: @Schtang)


874 thoughts on “The Great Manipulators

  1. Woolworths…Thanks ya askeholas.

    Queensland fruit fly larvae have been found in yellow fleshed peaches bought at two supermarkets in South Australia.

    The peaches were grown in northern Victoria and sold at Woolworths stores in Northgate and Victor Harbor.

    Geoff Raven from Biosecurity SA says members of the public spotted the larvae which were then collected and analysed.

  2. BB, Can’t go to bed without questioning this latest back handed compliment from Mark Kenny. I had feared that PMJG’s apparent indestructibility might soon be used as yet another negative against her, because it implies a lack of warmth and femininity. When the truth is that she is in fact a staunch ally and loyal leader, much loved by many in her team. And by many writing to opinion columns in the MSM and out here in the blogosphere.

    I think the broader public are becoming increasingly aware of that. No one seems to have picked up on the warmth of the response to Christine Nixon last Monday on Q&A saying that Julia Gillard had been a good PM whom she hoped would survive and go on to prevail in September. That applause was widespread through the audience and heart-felt too.

    What do you think?

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Peter FitzSimons with a collection of small thoughts.
    They created it (as an organisation) and now they don’t like it because it is coming back at them. Stiff!
    The populist “lock ’em up” philosophy just makes things worse. The same could be said for the conservatives’ “austerity” pushes.
    And that’s all I can muster on this barren Easter Sunday.

  4. And from the Land of the Free –

    Alan Grayson is good value. I’m glad he’s back.
    Rachael Maddow flips FoxNews.
    This moderately talented kid is turning out to be a real little shit.
    And that’s all I can dig up over in the US.

  5. happy day,,,,,, lets try and keep good thoughts and not worry at least today
    about our future

    i try to look for omens of goodness where i can.

    and leftrightout new grandson,,,,, is a big one for me , just this one little child , born near easter sunday, is the symbol of new begininings,

    may we. see the end of the darkeness and the antichrist one,

    bring light for all us .

    i really hope all that is wrong with the liberals is shown with the new easter candle of light,

  6. myy dear husband tells me that mr pascoe on ch, 7 gave a glowing report about the gove, re the state of our country

    wtte dont quote me or us but it was mentioned how it s just not being reported
    wow i said why didnt you call me,,, he said
    becauce if it had been negative it would of ruined your day

    did any one else see
    it that the first time we have turned on a morning show in may be 2 years

    its colder today i think dh in his summer pjs was looking for a bit of warmth
    usually sits near the verandah window but no sun this morning,

    but then i have alwasy been a fan of andrew okeefe as well,

    liked his rocking rolling uncle also,


    Well I’m back on deck, finally, after a massive Easter Saturday around and about the local area.

    First cab off the rank was the Annual Easter Sale. Wow! The closest thing you could approximate it to was that it was like a horde of human locusts devouring the bargains in the hall over 4 hours and then leaving it with a few bits of detritus at the end, skived off into the skip outside by the uber locusts who run the show(our local Community Group volunteers), cleaning up afterwards to leave the hall looking like nothing ever happened. 🙂

    Of course, as per family tradition, moi & #2 Son were first in line. Which gave us plenty of time(because the next people to turn up didn’t arrive for about another 1/2 an hour or so 😳 ), to look at the items for sale through the windows to the hall and by going around the side to the yard out back where they placed all the furniture, boats! and tools and bikes.

    #2 Son being a wrecker of bikes 😦 espied a new target for his tender mercies, and so it was that when they opened the doors at 9am we walked very, very quickly through the hall and out the back door to the yard where we lay claim to said bike, then succeeded in getting a 50% discount, from $20 down to $10, because we just happened to know well the guy in charge of outdoor sales. 😉

    It’s not a bad unit either. Red (for Labor!) and one of those new types of bikes which are independently suspended through the shaft connected to the seat. No more than a year or so old but some kid had broken the seat and one of the peddles, so parents must have decided that it was going to take too much time and effort to get it fixed (so typical of our profligate ways these days, time poor, cash rich) and thus donated it to the Easter Sale. I thank them heartily for their lack of motivation to get it fixed, but motivation enough to donate it to the sale= Happy #2 Son.

    Then I gave him his own bit of money to go and buy whatever he wanted, and, as 17 year old males do, he found an Oktoberfest Beer Stein and one of those pretend books titled ‘How To Improve Your Sex Life’ :sigh: , which, when you opened it contained a hip flask and a couple of glasses. 😀

    So he was happy. 🙂

    Me? Well, I found a lovely tooled leather wallet, with a traditional, olde worlde map on the outside, for #1 Son, who loved it, thank goodness!
    Also a lovely sideways egg-shaped vase in matte chocolate brown glaze, which I’ll fill it’s 3 slots with some dried native flowers when I get around to it and then place artfully on my verandah. Like a real poser. Just so I can fit in a bit better around here. 😉

    What I was most excited about though was the 18 piece, square Italian Dinner Set, worth about $200, in new condition, and all for the princely sum of $5! Plus an orange heavy art glass fruit bowl, for $2 and 3 beautiful brooches for $5(I’ve decided to go big on brooches with polo necks this winter). 🙂

    Then, after we packed the car and did a couple of trips ferrying my son’s friend’s stuff which he bought back to his house, we then took ourselves and the bike back to his friend’s house because his dad is a former road bike racer and he fixed up the things that were wrong with the bike, so now it’s schmick! Except for the broken seat, which even he can’t magic back to normal again, so I’ll have to buy a new one of them. Which is a small price to pay for having such an amazing new bike for my son.

    Phew! Then when I finally got home after all that I tried to stay awake but just couldn’t. So I had a big Nanna Nap. Then woke up, made dinner, caught up with yesterday’s posts, but my brain was too frazzled to say anything remotely sensible, so I decided to call it a day until today.

    Anyway, as I said up top, Happy Easter! everyone, and I hope your day is filled with chocolate and good times. 🙂

  8. patrcia
    what do i think

    i see julia as one of the most compassionate faces in our country

    chrstine nixon also,,, i could not beleive how she was treated.

    how do we promote the pm to the people as the person who cares
    this site is wonderful becauce you can put photos here

    i think other one has its readons onlyl known to themselves for not being prgressive re photos,, may be a good thinh though.

    put pictures of julia on face book, i loved the one with the children
    knitting in brisbane the one, also where she is hugging a big bear [ a costume of course] walking through chidlrens hospital wards and elderlly wards.

    she is the most genuine lady i know, of out there in the wider world
    you can see it in her face, not every one believes in a soul, but for me face magnifies the soul,
    just look elsewhere at the dorian grey figuresl if no one has seen that movie watch it, is has a great message ————————————————————————————————–
    yes patricia the warmth in her face,,, you can see it in her mother and her late father also, some times we are what we are through the life we have lived also,

  9. t comma
    thats one of the best described pieces i have seen, but then u and i are on the same page, with that, love old things. love antique shops
    found a lovely tooled leather wallet] wow

    what a great find,

    and the italian dinner set, turn overr the back and lets know the brand

    i had to laugh re your 17 year old,,,, i was mortified when i first saw something like that , in his [ our sons room,] he also was in to athletics and the sports magazine with ladies , seemed to be open in the book
    more than that article
    but then i remembered my paul mccartney posters, so all is well,

    your verandah sound s magic take a photo i love those old country magazines that where around a few years ago, i went through the cluttered look, then the unclutterd country lookl.

    i love china,

    you made my day,,,,,,,

    after the ch, 7 trip in to the brave real world, may this be the start of new things,

  10. billlie hope that is down loaded

    the snake idea makes my day

    in more ways than one another omen

  11. Good morning everyone.


    You do realise that number one grandson will be a teenager before you know it, don’t you. They just grow so quickly, more quickly than your own kids. Have a wonderful time spoiling him and helping him get back at his parents like they got back at you. 🙂


    What a wonderful day you had. I didn’t pick you for a brooch woman, but then we all have our little quirks.

    Lunch today with family, catch you all later.

  12. Nope, well here is the link

    Fiona: And very nice too – C@tmomma, thank you for scattering the woofle dust …

  13. denese,
    It’s Casa Domani in this style:

    Except the person who put my set together(I understand you can compile your own), has 4 different colours:bone, coffee, chocolate and red-brown. 🙂

  14. Goodness gracious – an Easter Sunday miracle. Tony Wright has finally woken up to Abbott’s lack of policies and rips into his LittLe Blue Book, even mentioning the goverment’s economic triumphs. Who would have thought?

    ‘There is not a single word in its 50 pages conceding that Australia under the unmentionable Rudd and Gillard escaped the ravages of the global economic crisis and emerged in better shape than virtually every other developed nation.

    Instead, it focuses on the government’s net debt of about $150 billion, complete with confronting graphics. It looks and sounds frightening – but it very carefully doesn’t mention that as a percentage of gross domestic product, government debt is vastly less than that of virtually every other developed nation.’

  15. denese,
    My favourite era for collecting is the Art Nouveau/Art Deco period. I have a few things from there around the house,primo inter pares is the Art Deco lamp I have on my desk of Mercury questing forward holding a globe of light. And it still works! It’s my ‘Light On the Desk’ 🙂

  16. Good morning Pubketeers.

    Belated but sincere. Congratulations Leftrightout on the birth of your new grandson.


    What a lovely shopping day you had! I’ve always loved such things as car boot/garage sales and op shops because of the treasures to be had.

  17. leonetwo,
    It’s funny what a day or two off the treadmill of the Canberra Press Gallery and given a little time to pause for reflection, can do for a journalist’s perspective? 🙂

  18. Actually, what the government should do is pull a Crocodile Dundee on Tony Abbott. Bring out their own booklet and say to him, “You call that a Plan? THIS is a Plan! ” And it should be chock full of all their plans for the future of the nation. Real plans! 😀

  19. Esteemed Patrons and Lurkers,

    The Pub’s inaugural Easter Egg Hunt will commence after luncheon (BYO cucumber sandwiches) at approximately 1pm Pub Time.

    Or thereabouts.

    Please accept this, the only intimation …

  20. C@tmomm
    And Emmo would be the bloke to pull it. He tore into PvO this morning on Agenda. PvO said something about university styandards dropping, implying that it was because Labor was letting the riff-raff in. PvO knew it was happening, because, like, you know, he works in a university. The known fact that he lectures journalism students would explain why he sees falling ability, but Emmo tactfully avoided saying that. Instead he launched into a rant about uni not being just for the rich or for those who got top marks in theior exams, he was very proud that Labor was seeing Whitlam’s dream of universities being open to all who wanted an education coming true. And lots more. PvO ended up looking like a stunned mullet. I’m going to watch it all again later today, I wasn’t really awake enough to take it all in this morning.

    About Abbott’s bleeding blue book – I’d like to see someone photoshop a picture of Abbott using that damed book not as a shield but as a figleaf covering his ‘policy vacuum’.

  21. leonetwo & c@tmomma

    When BB & I confronted Tony Wright just after PMJG’s Western Sydney address, I asked him when he was going to put Abbott under some scrutiny, he replied soon, very soon. To be fair, today’s article is a good start. I hope that this is one of many in a series with increasing blow torch intensity. Maybe when the polls tighten later in April / May (as BB predicts) the rest of CPG will join in.

  22. leonetwo

    Good morning all. I am at the saltmine so can’t watch Sky and can pretty much only lurk. I had a brief Twitter interaction yesterday with PVO – he saying that he was going to call TA out for not coming on his show. Did he?

  23. Morning everyone and happy easter! Congrats to LRO for the family addition.

    Good to hear Emmo going off at PvO. And I too would love to know whether PvO has ripped Abbott for refusing to appear on his program.

  24. This was broadcast on Today Tonight (in Melbourne, and presumably in other cities) on Wednesday night, on 457 Visas, mainly from the Unions point of view. Have a look.

    Skilled migrant visa rort?
    The 457 Migration Scheme is designed to fill a skill shortage when local workers are hard to come by, but some claim they’ve been abused by local bosses.
    Published: March 27 2013, 7:04pm

  25. Bolt now has Andrew Murray on explaining why Australia is the new Greece.

    “Our AAA credit rating is ‘under threat’.”

    Everything’s wrong: superannuation, surplus, boats, debt… you name it, it’s wrong and we’re all doomed.

    Greece, Spain, Cyprus move over… the new economic basket case is gonna be Australia.

    Bolt has a smile on his face like a Cheshire Cat, and does a lot of shouting, very much like the Tea Party types on Fox News (on which this show is modelled, of course), as if Murray is on the other side of a very large room,

  26. So, who is Andrew Murray when he’s at home? Another self-aggrandising no-mark with pretensions to lick the feet of the new Catholic Conservative Messiah, Tony Abbott?

  27. My experiences with 457 visas started when I worked for Coles Myer when a small portion of software maintenance was taken over by a team of Indian programmers who kept to themselves. We were under no illusion that they were the beachhead and that more back office functions were earmarked for off-shoring to Bangalore, India. About 18 months later Monash University retrenched a third of their lecturers, 70+ lecturers, from the institution that had been training programmers for industry longest. People with industrial skills rather than PhDs.

    My next experience was as a volunteer driver at the Commonwealth Games where security was provided by teams of young Indians who couldn’t speak English, couldn’t conduct a bag search and couldn’t stop a determined pensioner. Apparently the organisers couldn’t get Australians because they wanted licensed security personnel who had completed a 6 month TAFE course conducted by a Victoria Police instructor for 6 weeks work. Which licensed bouncer would give up their normal gig for 6 weeks? Naturally the organisers were paid for providing licensed security personnel, piad the young Indians peanuts and pocketed the difference. I drove an Indian VIP around as he explained the system to his acquaintance.

    I have been told the Philipino linesman employed by Victorian electricity companies do not follow Australian safety standards

  28. halloweenjack
    I don’t know, I slept in and missed the start of Agenda. PvO tweeted something the other day about Abbott though. He said that if did not agree to appear on his show after 500 days of being invited he’d interview an empty chair. I’d like to see that. An empty chair would have more policies than Abbott.

  29. Leone,

    And what a great campaign ‘cartoon’ that last paragraph of yours conjures up. Anyone good at cartooning – perhaps Abbott in the garden of eden with his fig leaf blue book covering his policy vacuum?

  30. OK you lot – I have the TV on the Sky Agenda replay loop. I have an alarm set to go off around the start of the next replay because i’m in another room. I’ll get back to you if PvO does rip into Abbott. BUT – if that happens in the second half of the show I won’t know, because there is no way I’m sitting through a panel discussion with Pies and Troy Bramston. No way on earth.

    A bit more about the Emmo interview. PvO said that uni standards were dropping because entry levels were set too low, he asked if there should be higher marks needed to get into uni. Emmo leapt onto that with a huge grin. Of course higher entry marks would be a great idea and that was why Labor is focusing on improving school education – so all kids can get better marks and get into uni. Abbott, he said, wants to make sure only the elite can have a university education. Then Paul Kelly changed the subject to that shonky Queensland poll.

  31. The catholic church can sod off. Not content with failing to deal with its own transgressions and abuses it thinks it’s perfectly okay to meddle in the laws of democratically elected governments.

    Generations of poor Philippine women esp those living in provincial areas are entrenched in poverty, giving birth to children every year because of the absence of affordable birth control.

    The petitions filed in the Supreme Court argue that the measure violates a clause in the Philippine Constitution that states that “no person shall be deprived of life” without due process of law.

    Seriously? FFS!

    Just think how much better off the human race would be without institutionalised religion.

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