That Media – That One Over There!

Coorey in full “That Media, That One Over There” mode:

Even had {Gillard} announced the introduction of a policy that began immediately as a floating-price emissions trading scheme, Tony Abbott would still have labelled it a carbon tax and nailed her to the wall over it. After all, the vast majority of voters either wouldn’t have known the difference or cared.

To “the vast majority of voters” we can add the Media. How else could Abbott have nailed Gillard except with the Media’s help?

What Coorey is essentially saying is that, if Abbott had so decided to “nail Gillard to the wall”, the Media would have gone along with it. There is no way Abbott could have “nailed her to the wall” without a compliant and hostile media, more interested in sparks flying than in accurate reportage and comment.

The Media knew the difference – the distinction between fixed and floating prices – as Coorey points out, but did little to make that distinction clear at the time, or since … other than the odd parenthetic mention to cover their arses. The Media went along with their own Group Think, and the public’s “perception” of “The Carbon Tax” being defined as “any action at all on carbon emissions”. They gave up telling the truth, insisting that truth should be part of the debate, and instead went with common wisdom, the “front bar” scuttlebutt, the “barbeque stoppers”, wrong though they were. It was far too easy to just slag off the Prime Minister and have a laugh between themselves at her predicament on Insiders.

How many times did we hear them say, “She just can’t take a trick”? It became almost a national journalistic pastime to queue up to say it. Har-Har.

Even as recently as last week, polls sampled the public’s attitude towards repeal of the carbon tax, some without differentiating between the “tax” component and the “ETS” component. This allowed journalists to write stories saying – in my view without sufficient evidence, and in defiance of some of it – that the public wanted the whole lot thrown out, baby and bathwater.

I would suggest that Coorey himself would have gone along with the blurring of distinction between and ETS and tax components. I didn’t see him writing J’Accuse! type columns tut-tutting at “the Media” missing the very real difference between a fixed price and an ETS … until today, of course.

It’s all so easy now that Abbott has been elected to write obscure columns in the AFR (circulation 75,000) lamenting how Abbott, inevitably through “the media”, treats things, while being one of the chief guilty parties yourself.

Whether they were hostile to Gillard because they are like The Alien – simple xenomorphs, their purity being in their hostility – we are yet to see.

I suspect not. But I also suspect that, with Murdoch calling the shots in the Liberal Party, there will be a few non-Murdoch media organizations that may turn nasty against this government, and for good, solid, self-interested reasons.

 @latikambourke: PM Abbott ‘there has been no broken promise and there will be no broken promises under this Government.’

Abbott has today made a blanket “Promise of Promises”: he has said will never break a promise.

There’s the gauntlet, thrown down.

Is that “Never, ever”?

Who wants to be the first to accuse him of breaking promises now? Who wants to accuse him of lying, breaking a promise about the very act of breaking promises?

Perhaps a television network that wants to keep free-to-air sport away from Foxtel – say Nine with the cricket, or 7 with the golf – may see that it’s better to go along with Abbott.

Perhaps a newspaper, like a Fairfax masthead, that needs all the government advertising it can get?

All of these can be kept sweet if Abbott dangles a carrot, by daring them to call him a liar now, that he’s confirmed he not only has not lied, but will never lie.

@latikambourke: PM Abbott ‘there has been no broken promise and there will be no broken promises under this Government.’

(Worth repetition for its utter hubris … and we were never at war with East Asia. There is no Indonesia crisis. The relationship is good, and getting better. They are our best friends, you know.)

This is aimed at shutting up at least the ABC.

Once Abbott declares that the difference between “black” and “white” is a political issue, in fact declaring black to be white, the ABC are obliged to provide “a balanced view”.

The best they can now say about it is that Pyne’s and Abbott’s statements have “appeared to contradict” their pre-election policies, or that “the Opposition says …” there is “some inconsistency in the government’s adjustments to Education policy.”

It all depends when the “trust” penny drops – a double-sided penny, with two heads, each making different promises – before it becomes apparent that trusting Abbott never got anyone anywhere – from Abbott’s (now dead) girlfriend who was abandoned by him, to Barry O’Farrell years ago when he and Abbott both went for NSW state President of the Liberal Party, to Malcolm Turnbull who was “fully supported by Abbott”, to Peter Reith and the National Presidency (ditto on “full support”), right up to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (who, to be fair, does seem to have caught on).

Once Abbott starts favouring Murdoch the other media organizations will begin to scream.

Alternatively, if he makes it clear to Murdoch that he won’t be helping him as much as Murdoch thought – that what was in Abbott’s mind was different to what was in Murdoch’s – then screaming will only be the half of it. Rending of garments will be the order of the day.

The basic thing you need to understand about Abbott is that he is the encapsulation of the short-term politician. He does or says whatever is required to get him to the next base. There are few grand, sweeping gestures in Abbott’s political make-up. It’s not how he operates.

But when you do a deal with the Devil, as Abbott seems to have done with either Murdoch, the rest of the media, or both, then you’d better make sure your back is covered.

726 thoughts on “That Media – That One Over There!

  1. Well after 4 turgid days in court dutifully noting key points I was so bogged down in detail that I failed to see the wood for the trees. After 2 days of delay and wrangling at $35,000 per day the prosecution detailed its case in salacious detail on Wednesday morning, ie 32 uses of hotel movies and 8 uses of escort services, 18 cases of spouse travel and post resignation expenses totalling $28,000. The witnesses were called on day 4

    When chief prosecution witness said there was no written guidelines precluding spouse travel, the whole case fell apart, so the journalists looking for titilation went down the pub. They missed details like the union paid a lower remuneration expecting officials would use their credit cards to claim expenses. The witness also thought his spending was frugal giving the court a laugh at the humble “fish and chip shop” being named as Muirs on Constitution Dock in Hobart, they also missed the gift of Grange to Hawke.

    The journalists didn’t report that 3 months after Thomson resigned the union still owed him a great deal more than $100,000 in statutory entitlements which they agreed to pay in a series of installments after some “civil cases where costs were awarded and both parties agreed to no further action”.

    I had spent 4 days wondering why Thomson wouldn’t settle but when faced with opponents that won’t give up, every time you walk away or make a tiny concession they will come back again.

    In law its immaterial whether the $28,000 was spent on whores, horses or school fees

  2. Interesting Abbott has decided no more funding for the car industry even before the Productivity Commission releases its report.

    I do not care what certain economists and commentators say, Australia needs a car industry as a major plank of the manufacturing industry in this country.

    It makes sense from so many angles.

    Skills, innovation etc etc and what is just as important, if not more so, is the social implications of the collapse of the car industry. Whole communities gutted with the flow on of unemployment, physical and mental health issues etc etc.

    For those out there who may cheer the demise of the industry and brush aside the human factor with simplistic calls of ” retraining will do the trick ” and “stop whinging and move somewhere else ” well all I can say to them is get off your own fat arse, quit your own job, uproot yourself and your family and move somewhere else and get and get a job at 50 – 55 or enroll in some course that will spit you out at the end into some non existent job in the non existent manufacturing industry in your area.

    Otherwise, there is always Mc Donalds as a last resort.

    That is my rant for the day.

    Cheers to you all.

  3. Bewitched and Bedazzled- a collection of essay on the Gillard years- published by Anne Summers.
    On another topic the govt dispenses with its role on the animal welfare front according to the RSPCA-

  4. I’ve stolen ‘Scrot Moribund’, the new version of TIBM’s name, from a comment made today by the wonderful klewso over at Crikey and First Dog on the Moon today. I think it’s very apt. Here’s it’s first outing here-

    Someone has stolen The Grinch from a boat in a Christmas lights display at Kurnell. I think Scrot Moribund might be to blame. No doubt he saw that boat, thought it was full of asylum seekers and had The Grinch put into detention.

  5. “‘Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia will continue to spy on Indonesia despite a new plan to repair relations following the phone-tapping scandal.’”

    The man’s insane.

  6. Just going past Xmas Is at the moment heading north is a famous name in cargo shipping – Danish ship (the current of many of her name) ‘Laura Maersk’.

    Moving at better than 16 knots.

  7. But he is consistently insane, Ducky. He seemed to have the same strategy in parliament when he was forced to withdraw from calling Gillard a liar or some such. He’d be warned that it would have to be unconditionally but, like Sophie – perhaps a hangover from student politics, he could never resist adding a “but…” which forced Anna to boot him out at least once.

    He is pretty well doing the same now. He was already in the bad books over his Boats idiocy and the spy thing was used by SBY to turn up the heat. Instead of learning from Obama’s example, he insisted on his “shit happens” approach. When SBY got more seriously annoyed he sends Mesma to the rescue – a high-risk strategy in itself. Miraculously, presumably because she had a very large diplomatic team in tow, Mesma emerged fairly well.

    Now he risks throwing that all away because he just can’t shut up.

  8. leonetwo

    “‘Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia will continue to spy on Indonesia ”

    While you bang you head on the desk I’ll be Victor Meldrew for the rest of the day.

  9. Here’s a good run-down of the Thomson case on Independent Australia followed by some very good comments.

    On Wednesday we saw the mainstream media embrace the prosecution tactics of trashing Thomson’s name and reputation. On Thursday, when real evidence began to be heard, they disappeared. Peter Wicks reports.

    ON WEDNESDAY we saw the mainstream media embrace the tactics of the prosecution in the criminal trial of Craig Thomson and seek to further trash Thomson’s name and reputation.

    In what is often described as “trash” or “gutter journalism” we saw pictures of prostitutes and brothel interiors and ridiculous tales of alias names and prostitutes with fake names.

    What did any of this prove?


    What relevance did it have to the case?


    The charges that relate to allegations of brothels have been previously investigated in NSW by the fraud squad and found to be deficient in evidence and reliant on the word of what can best be described as shady witnesses. It was determined by NSW Police that there was no criminality in any of these matters, including fraud. Not only this, but these charges were dismissed by the court in Victoria this week and, as yet, the prosecution has still yet to appeal the Magistrates decision, being allowed time to do it.

    These wild accusations were made in court by a desperate prosecution who knew that any evidence on these matters was not going to be contested as there are no charges relating to them.

    Once again, the prosecution has used the Magistrates Court as a stage from which to broadcast their smears in order to feed into the ongoing trial by media suffered by Craig Thomson.,5962

  10. My mother and I were wondering why all the flags in Canberra are at half-mast.

    Vale Nelson Mandela.

    Brian, I hope he and Ghandi are the people to be remembered and revered from this era.

  11. I am sure that Mandela will join Ghandi in the pantheon of civil rights greats.
    NB Ghandi spent a decade in South Africa fighting for Indian workers rights.

  12. Scorpio I was in court on day 3 when the prosecution spent the morning describing in gory detail how Thomson’s credit card had been used to pay for in-house movies and escort services for “Jeff” and I had no idea how to describe it without sounding salacious. The argument is about $28,000, it has taken 4 days so far and the Magistrate’s Court operating costs are $7,000 per day. The prosecution delayed on Monday, Tuesday – threatening Supreme Court challenge, Wednesday – prosecutor was crook. The witnesses were called for Thursday. Not sure its worth the costs.

  13. Talking about South African Indians, I was sitting amongst about a dozen SA Indians directly opposite the Bowlers end stumps when the following, amazing run-out occurred.

    The guys around me were truly patriotic South Africans, even though it was in 1992 and they absolutely astounded me with their encyclopaedic knowledge of cricket. They knew Wisdom back to front and a heap more besides.

    A truly unforgettable moment for me.

  14. I believe there is more than one whistle blower in the Timor matter.

    We now have the ABC saying, minister in the government are saying…………..

    We had a complete replay of what occurred in this weeks party room meeting.

    Seems Peta’s bucket has indeed got hole dear….

    Abbott has been let off the hook, thanks to the death of a truly great man. Will nt be enough to save him, I fear.

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