(Above: pick the prison. Clue: one is at Glen Innes. And if you'd like a survey of NSW prisons, go here).
Over the years the pond has been inside a number of working prisons in a number of states, from minimum to maximum security, and for all demographics, male, female and juvenile, though some of the latter were back in the day when they were given the quaint Orwellian name of "homes". (In the old days, Tamworth had the toughest "home" for boys doing the rounds and it's still a hell hole).
The pond hastens to add that the visits were generally for anthropological, cultural, social and professional reasons, though they also helped scare the pond straight, and conform to the rule to beware of any business involving "P's" - priests, psychiatrists, psychics, psychologists, prison guards and politicians for starters.
But it helps explain why the pond found Scott Morrison's political explanation of prisons and a comparison of Christmas Island detention centre to Long Bay so offensive and disingenuous.
Did he mean to compare Christmas Island with the minimum security facility of Long Bay or the maximum? Does he think that there is only one form of prison in Australia and it is the default, de rigueur hard core maximum kind?
The point of the detention centres run by Morrison is to deprive the inmates of their liberty, of the freedom to move around at will, in exactly the way a prison of any kind does - it might even be argued that some minimum security prisons offer more freedom than Australian detention centres, since a prisoner classified C3 in NSW qualifies for day leave programs, and there's not many inmates who go out and about on Christmas Island or Manus Island.
Now Morrison might squawk that detention centres aren't prisons, but if it looks, smells, clucks and struts like a prison, it's likely either to be a chook or a de facto prison.
Anybody - yes Morrison has supporters inclined to pedantry - who tries legalistic evasions and distinctions will get short shrift from the pond. That's not an emotive statement Mr Bowles, that's just the reality. Live with it.
Technically, the pond was informed on good authority last night watching this parade of dissembling, arrogance and lies, that there is a difference between a punch to the balls and a kick to the balls, but the effect can be remarkably similar.
Unfortunately in the interrogation, the smug Morrison felt hat he'd got the better of Triggs with his dissembling, disingenuous response, but thankfully and possibly for the first time, he had to contemplate and admit the notion that locking up and torturing children, in a bid to prevent children dying at sea, was so much pathetic humbug.
There will be a reckoning down the track on the human rights abuses both sides of the aisle have perpetrated on children.
Morrison is in the business of institutional child abuse, up there with Cardinal Pell's trucking institution - how much it says about Pell that he resorted to that metaphor. And how much does it say about Morrison that he pretends to be a tough guy, jailing refugees, when it suits him, only to turn around and squawk 'but it isn't a jail' when it suits him ...
Meanwhile, and for a complete change of pace away from the reprehensible, allegedly Christian "Tongues" Morrison, this is the day that the pond ritually avoids reading John Birmingham.
Sorry Mr Birmingham, it's nothing personal, it's just that someone who did read you selected this as a highlight: - Extract. "Coalfinger". Clive Palmer would make an excellent Bond villain, don't you think?
Oh dear, the pond still thinks it's a shame we'll no longer be reading patented references to Lord Downer of Baghdad, and the lords and ladies that have followed in his wake (go on take a walk, A journey into Downer's dark past, it'll be relevant down the page).
So instead the pond settled down to catch up with Crikey, and what fun it was to read Anon's advice to the reptiles, Chris Kenny, barista? How The Australian can become profitable (paywall affected):
Oh dear. The pond usually disapproves of Photoshop - it's the sort of cheap and easy device beloved of the reptilian Murdochian Molochians - and yet somehow it seemed just right, just so and thus, in this particular case.
The advice was simple enough. Confronted with a loss-making endeavour, what to do? And then applying all the usual economic advice of the dries that litter the free market pages of the lizard Oz like desiccated coconut.
The likes of The Australian’s Judith Sloan, Henry Ergas, Chris Kenny and Adam Creighton have been writing about how labour market flexibility, in its optimal form, should result in wages cut when firms are doing it tough and losing money. They advocate that in addition to a pay cut, workers should become more productive — that is, doing more for a given level of pay. These gurus of free-market labour markets would, when aiming to boost productivity, suggest an extra column per week from the insightful Christian Kerr or yet another two made-up exclusives each day from Hedley Thomas or another look at the Rudd/Gillard tensions from Troy Bramston. Maybe for Troy, they can print the same column every other Tuesday, just above the fee-free ad for the Car and Gadgets column in The Weekend Australian.
There is, as a reader noted, a flaw in this advice. A glut in stupidity just results in a glut and even lower prices for a failing, useless product nobody wants to buy now. All the same, the suggestion that Kenny go barista was great fun:
If the worst happens and everyone at The Australian were to lose their jobs, the current writers could try their hand in the high-wage, high-labour-cost food and catering industry. Sloan, Ergas, Creighton and Kenny have all bemoaned, at one time or another, the crippling nature of weekend penalty rates in the food sector and how cafes and restaurants have to shut on Sundays because of these wages and employment conditions. Well, if conditions are so wonderfully good in a cafe, we can look forward to stumping up to the funky local breakfast place one Sunday morning and see Henry Ergas raking in an excessive salary as he makes eggs florentine. Of course, Chris Kenny would be thrilled to be a barista making a carbon-free decaf soy latte while Judith Sloan beavers away on the home-made baked beans, poached eggs and cous cous infused with a hint of Atlantic salmon. Adam Creighton would be on the juicing machine — trying to get the market to determine the right mix of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries in the ideal smoothie. The end game, of course, is that The Australian is not practising what it preaches. It is bleeding money, and the wage rates appear ridiculous.
Indeed. The pond fell off a convenient log when it heard this tidbit:
...the average worker on the Oz is paid substantially more - $178,000 a year - than those on the more profitable metropolitan dailies. (here)
Knock the pond down with a feather. 178 clicks for writing drivel? And that's the average worker?
How soon can the pond get on board?
Sure enough, this very day the reptiles ran the usual guff which proved the rag was impervious to satire, irony and self-awareness.
Indeed, indeed Dame Groan. Yet still the handouts keep flowing to the reptiles. And point taken Grace, but who would want to buy the Oz, with its poor culture and its long road to reform?
As for the rest, it was entirely predictable. Instead of making a decent living as a barista, there was the predictable Chris Kenny banging the Islamic fundamentalist drum:
How much do they pay this twit to make a thin, bitter coffee from the dregs?
The bottom line is that Kenny attempts to defend the indefensible, the likes of Col Allan and the New York Post, and the Currish Snail and the Terror using the death of a human being to sell newspapers, and to what avail? To make the world aware of the barbarities of fundamentalism, terrorism and war?
In the old days, conservatives would have talked of proprieties and seemliness, and valuing sensitivity above nose in gutter behaviour, and treating victims and family survivors with some respect and dignity.
The sort of thing you'd expect of a man who took legal action about being shown fucking a dog ...
So now we know that dog fucking is beyond the pale. But everyone should have their noses rubbed in a brutal execution to teach us a lesson.
As for the rest, it's the usual bunch of jihads by the domestic jihadists. There's the bouffant one banging on yet again about Clive Palmer:
There's Chris Merritt banging on about Julian Disney and freedom, which presumably means the freedom to be nauseating, but not the freedom to take a look at Murdochian accounts.
Joined the other side?
Such a simplistic black and white, rabid ideological view of the world, and day after day, the reptiles want to be paid a fortune to trot out the bile and the juices of an acid spleen.
And instead of Troy Bramston sobbing over memories of the Ruddster, there's Paul Kelly, still back in the old days, reliving the past, because truth to tell, time spent with Tony Abbott and the gang is just a bridge too far for the reptiles at the Oz:
Next week, Paul Kelly reminisces about the two conscription referenda in the first world war, and Billy Hughes being expelled from the Labor party for his role in the campaign ... in an excitingly new and contemporary addition to Australian political analysis (go on, you can ADB Billy here).
Oh dear, where did all that talk of a double dissolution go? Is it lost, is it hiding? And now suddenly the psychic Tony Abbott has probed the pond's mind like a Martian and deduced the pond has no desire for an election?
Strange, the poll result accompanying that story heresaw 96% in favour of a double dissolution election.
Well you know what they say about psychics, psychiatrists, priests and politicians ...
Which brings us back to the over-paid reptiles regurgitating much that's already been proven a failure in the marketplace. A veritable flood of Edsel words, a Blockbuster video of new Coke crap:
Writers don’t seem to write all that much, so the cost per square centimetre of copy (productivity, in other words) is dismally low. The Australian needs to turn things around turn. If it is to follow its mantra to government and other industries, it must deliver massive cuts to the wages of its staff, getting them to write more.
It needs to show flexibility so Henry Ergas could be the culinary writer and Adam Creighton can prepare the crosswords and Judith Sloan on cartoons. Dennis Shanahan could have a satirical column on the Newspoll results each fortnight.
To the team at The Australian — you know what to do. It makes sense, so go to it. Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.
Wise words, except for that glut in the marketplace ... glut, glut, glut.
Maybe they could be turned into truffles and buried deep in the ground so that wandering pigs could sniff them out ...
(Below: meanwhile on another planet ... and more First Dog here, including a discussion of the cartoon. The pond would usually dissect the cartoon and run only a piece as a way of promoting the Dog, but this one needs to stay whole, and this is where that Downer reading comes in handy).
Yes and the pond doesn't need an Aboriginal skeleton or a head as a reminder of what happened, though if you happen to be Chris Kenny, no doubt you'd like to wander off to the J. L. Shellshear Museum at the University of Sydney ...
(Above: the pond learns it didn't make the cut, thanks to Alan Moir, and more Moir here. Now there's a relief. Any team that would have the pond in it is a team the pond wouldn't want to be in).
Yes, yes, of course it's a completely absurd headline.
The pond is never EXCLUSIVE nor is the pond directly a victim of censorship (though indirectly, covertly, and as the direct act of a bully bullying others might be another story)
But every so often, the pond experiences a deepy. heady, giddy desire to behave like a reptile working at the lizard Oz, and in this case, why not draw attention to the hypocrisy embedded in this Crikey story?
Of course anyone with half a brain or an interest would have already downloaded all the documents that Crikey briefly hosted, not that it matters, because the damage to Murdoch la la land has been compounded in one fell swoop.
All that blather about freedom of the press, and the public (or perhaps more to the point investor) right to know?
Just hot air of the hypocritical, righteous kind. And yet even with the lawyers, and the tub thumping and the paranoia and the hysteria, there's still fun to be had at Crikey, especially the answer to that headline to Paddy Mannings' piece Now we know News' losses - how do they compare with Fairfax's? (paywall affected).
In terms of percentage growth and/or declines, from year to year, the comparison shows Fairfax outperforming the News Corp papers on most measures, counting both revenues and earnings. What a cruel blow. What an odious upsetting comparison.
Manning provides lots of detail, but when the pond's in Murdoch la la land mode, there's no room for subtlety or nuance. Just sink the steel-capped slipper and sink it deep and hard ...
Meanwhile, there were some laughs to be had:
Media academic Associate Professor David McKnight, who has authored a book about Mr Murdoch, says News Corp is being "extraordinarily hypocritical". "Coming from a media company that frequently publishes leaks, you really only have to imagine what News Corp would do if they had their hands on an equivalent document on Fairfax's internal operations, it would have been spread all over the front page with half a dozen gloating articles inside," he said. "I can't imagine that News Corp would go ahead with the suggestion that there would be legal action, I mean it would just be the most extraordinary hypocrisy." (here)
Ah the innocence of academics. It seems McKnight hasn't noticed that the reptiles practice extraordinary hypocrisy on a daily basis ...
Remember when they were publishing a half a dozen gloating articles about ABC salaries? And so on and so forth ...
And the laughs kept coming:
News Corp's chief executive Julian Clarke has dismissed the revelations as "yesterday's news". "The Australian is our premium product, we love it dearly, it's doing very, very well and quite frankly, what [has been] published is 14 months old, ask me about what's happened in the last 12 months," he said. "Just have a look at our assets though ... if you didn't want to own The Australian, there would be something wrong with you. It is the absolutely the go-to newspaper in this country." (Ibid, just to keep the academics happy)
Own a brand that drops $30 million a year? That's doing very, every well?
Even $15 million a year is a little rich for the pond ... why the only reason the pond could embark on that sort of deep pocket exercise would be to emulate the scurrilous ratbaggery of a climate denialist brutally exploitative foreign owner seeking political influence by employing a pack of feral hacks to do his bidding ...
But enough already, let the reptiles keep bleeding from the toe while the pond marvels at the deeds of another epic toe-shooter:
Last night the pond happened to be innocently sitting watching the headline news on television when up popped Pell with a truly appalling metaphor:
Appearing at the commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday night, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church's responsibility for child abuse to that of a ''trucking company''. If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, he said, ''I don't think it appropriate for the … leadership of that company be held responsible.''
Apart from being profoundly offensive,it was also an epic fail on the legal level. If the leadership of a trucking company had known that a driver had been using its vehicles since 1958 to go about assaulting children, and done nothing about it, the trucking company would be heaped with contumely derision, invective, slander, and opprobrium ... as is happening with Pell's ongoing efforts, which do indeed routinely show a sociopathic lack of empathy ...
The pond picked it up in the heavily papered Qantas lounge and forget all about it. How deeply into digital hole of invisibility has the once mighty Polonius fallen. You need to pick up the tree killer edition of the lizard Oz to be reminded that Hendo exists.
Yes, there was Hendo amongst all the other mealy mouthed hypocritical efforts in the lizard Oz.
Bizarrely, in seeking to exonerate Pell, Henderson blamed Catholic archbishop Frank Little, as if that somehow made things better, and that in so doing, he'd proved that Pell was being given a hard time by the ABC because he was a conservative Catholic.
Or some such epic flourish of dissembling lack of logic.
No doubt the ABC is also responsible for Pell's latest outing, and his fumbling use of a trucking company as a suitable metaphor for a church allegedly going about Christ's work. It seems Christ forgot to check the oil, replace the bald tyres, and instead stuffed a banana in the diff to eke out a few thousand more kilometres ...
Well the pond started out by mocking the tendency of the reptiles to carry on with specious blather in the guise of an EXCLUSIVE.
It's not just in the digital edition, though that's painful enough:
Only in Murdoch la la land could a story revealing that the government keeps on intending to do what the government said it would do is some kind of EXCLUSIVE story.
By that logic, the pond could score an EXCLUSIVE by revealing that the Abbott government intends to keep on fucking up renewable energy, the Great Barrier Reef, climate science and the planet, and intends to keep on delivering all the elements of a budget long shown to be deeply unpopular with the electorate.
EXCLUSIVE: Tony Abbott still clutches his PPL scheme to his deformed heart ...
Just remember you read it here at the pond, always a step ahead of the reptiles when it comes to epic Evelyn Waugh scoops ... but no cigar to the brand that reveals Abbott has finally decided to abandon his PPL folly, and go with Labor's scheme ... now that would be news.
Amazingly the reptiles have wasted much energy trying to get help from the readership to improve the rag, yet still they keep coming at the eyeballs with these EXCLUSIVES ...
The onanistic habit of the editors now even turns up routinely in the tree-killer edition:
The pond suspects that once you start on a vice, it can prove to be terribly pleasant in a masturbatory way, and hard to stop.
And so to a final irony for the day, which involves, courtesy of the reptiles, a trip to Disney land:
Yes the jihadists are still at their latest jihad, and Disney remains the target.
Disney did his best to pour oil on troubled, vexing, vexatious reptiles, but the reality is that once the reptiles start on a jihad, any hint of moderation or subtlety or nuance sends them into an even wilder frenzy of agitation, fear and loathing, and Chris Merritt's turn at the jihad is a classic example:
It reminds the pond of a classic moment, which rather went against the pond, when the pond invited a number of German heavies and potential trading partners to a trendy restaurant specialising in Australian food, where else but in Adelaide. The Germans were shocked and appalled to discover kangaroo on the menu, and right there and then, the pond could sense future deals hopping out the door with the dead Skippy.
The Germans, one and all, settled for barramundi, except for a dedicated vegan, who managed to alienate the kitchen with her onerous demands, and thereafter the meal proceeded in fits and starts, with often gloomy and dark moments as the Germans brooded about dining amongst the down under barbarians, which perhaps might have been worse than eating with cannibals, as they watched with shock as the pond tucked into the national emblem.
The pond, just to relieve the gloom, occasionally felt like standing up and strutting about in John Cleese style, reminding everyone not to mention the war ...
None of this matters to Merritt, who is just carrying on the jihad.
Naturally it's not just Disney in the sights of the jihadists, and once again the reptiles have broken the rules:
This newspaper is knowingly breaking the rules on confidentiality by writing about this case before a formal adjudication. We do so not because we anticipate an adverse finding. The provisional adjudication is largely in our favour. We do so to expose the problems with the way the Press Council is handling complaints from third parties — those with no direct involvement in articles under challenge. Third-party matters make up the bulk of complaints defended by News Corp Australia publications. The Australian provided an outline of this case to journalism academic Margaret Simons through The Guardian Australia online, where she has criticised this newspaper’s scrutiny of the Press Council. Simons has not responded to an invitation to provide an assessment. (the rest here, thankfully locked behind the dog-proof fence, and about as useful as said fence in stopping the ferals).
Say what? How fucking weird and wonderful is that? They sent a matter to another victim of the Oz jihadists for a comment, and now feign a faux indignation at Simons' failure to respond to an invitation to provide an assessment ...
What's the juiciest part of that absurd surreal behaviour? Would it be Merritt whining and whinging and moping about third-party matters taking up a lot of the reptiles' time, and then sending a third-party matter off to a third party for a third party comment?
Salvador Dali is rolling in his grave and tweaking his moustache.
But the reptiles had already loaded and rolled the dice in the graphic accompanying the article, and the rest of Merritt's piece made it clear where the rag stood, and what it felt, and how it was hurt, and how it suffered under the wicked regime of the Disney:
And Julian Clarke tried to offload this dog of a paper on the pond as the jewel in the crown of the Murdoch empire down under?
Can it get any weirder?
Of course it can, thanks to Pope and more Pope here.
First a little reminder and something for the aged gentleman reader clutching to fading memories:
And so to Pope:
Disclaimer: the pond denies all liability and responsibility for any psychic shocks or damage to nervous systems. Please address all claims to David Pope.
Now the pond, by its very name, is dedicated to teh crazy.
After all, 'barking mad' and 'howling at the moon' are two favourites, and it's always a sure sign that someone's dropped the plot when it comes to having a rational discussion when they head off into the fields of personal abuse.
Come on down, Graham Burke, co-CEO of Village Roadshow, why not pen a helpful letter to big Mal?
Dear Malcolm. My company is not prepared to participate in the forum. As expressed to you previously these Q and A style formats are judged by the noise on the night and given the proposed venue I believe this will be weighted by the crazies.
What is at stake here is the very future of Australian film production itself and it is too crucially important to Australia's economy and the fabric of our society to put at risk with what will be a miniscule group whose hidden agenda is theft of movies. Sincerely. Graham.
Crazies? Teh crazies?
And the agenda of some to purloin movies is hidden?
Now in the real world, it's Islamic fundamentalists that are crazy, barking mad and howling at the moon, when not doing despicable things.
So who are some of the crazies attending big Mal's forum?
At the event will be iiNet CEO David Buckingham, Telstra executive director Jane Van Beelen, Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein, APRA CEO Brett Cottle, Choice CEO Alan Kirkland and writer/producer Peter Duncan.
Ah yes, no doubt as good a bunch of crazies as big Mal could round up.
In that, Lenore Taylor made a few of the more obvious points, recycling big Mal:
In a recent blog on the issue Turnbull explained the difficulties with Burke’s plan for ISPs to slow down internet speeds for repeal illegal downloaders. “The ISPs would … point out many practical issues – cutting off or slowing down someone’s account will certainly mean they won’t be as whippy at file sharing as they used to be, but it may also mean they won’t be able to put their kids’ pictures on Facebook, work from home, take a university course online, let alone videoconference with a doctor. Given the central importance of connectivity to all of our lives, cutting off or degrading an internet connection is a big deal – which of course is why the content owners believe it would be such an effective sanction and disincentive to infringing copyright. And then what about family or workplace accounts where one person is doing the wrong thing and others are not?,” he wrote. “The content owners have said they simply do not want to sue individuals. As Village Roadshow’s Graham Burke said in this SMH article recently. It costs money and results in bad publicity for the copyright owners. To which of course the ISPs respond ‘And you think throttling back our customers’ internet access won’t be bad publicity for us?’” And he again linked the issue of illegal downloading to the business decisions of the content owners.
And so on.
Burke wants others to do the dirty work, which isn't surprising, since Burke routinely lines up to pocket generous subsidies from the Australian taxpayer to manufacture crap for the US and international markets.
The pond would rather pirate a garbage bin liner than most of the crap the Warners Roadshow alliance produces ...
The shakedown has got so bad that the pond was entranced to read of the ongoing efforts of the Disney studio to leech cash from the federal government. That prime doofus, Tony Burke, back in April 2013, committed some $21.6 million to lure 20,000 Leagues under the Sea: Captain Nemo to Australia, with a likely total outcome, thanks to other rorting, of a $40 million government spend.
Now that outing has sunk somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, and it was IF, courtesy of Don Groves, that broke the story of the new project in Disney asks Oz government to dig deep: While that project is stalled, with no director since David Fincher departed, Disney is now asking for that money to be applied to another film and the funding to be topped up to 30%. IF understands the film is Pirates of the Caribbean 5, which Disney has dated for July 7 2017. Johnny Depp is set to return to the follow-up to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, entitled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, alongside Christoph Waltz, Geoffrey Rush, Jack Davenport and, rumour has it, Keith Richards. Disney’s pitch to the government surfaced last week when the MEAA wrote to Arts Minister Senator George Brandis in support of Disney’s request and to press for a permanent increase to the location offset from 16.5% to 30%.
The pond has absolutely no explanation as to why the federal government should be contemplating a generous 30% support of local spend on a heavily profitable franchise. It doesn't get a share of profits, it just gets the mumbo jumbo of the multiplier effect, and unions pleasing the grips and the gaffers and the rest of the services game ... to produce a piece of tired crap for the world market, and for benefit of a Hollywood franchise that was tired on its second outing ... thank the long absent lord nobody though of extending the Police Academy franchise by taking it down under.
Truly, at this level of shakedown - one that would astonish hard-working Mafia grafters - make work schemes have reached a Keynesian perfection:
“To dig holes in the ground or shoot Hollywood crap,” paid for out of savings, will increase, not only employment, but the real national dividend of useful goods and services. It is not reasonable, however, that a sensible community should be content to remain dependent on such fortuitous and often wasteful mitigations when once we understand the influences upon which effective demand depends, especially when the community can understand the astonishing benefits of laying down in front of the Hollywood graft machine and let it run over the community's representatives. (and some more Keynes here)
Oh okay, the pond changed that around a bit, but that's the problem with Burke talking about the crazies - it draws attention to other industry-related craziness.
And in all this, Australian films about matters Australian get lost, though this was the ostensible reason that the industry was given its tax breaks, and not so the likes of Baz Luhrmann could indulge in his fantasy of making the great American film based on the great American novel ... thanks to the Australian taxpayer.
Meanwhile, the pleading of that other foreign-owned entity, personned by reptiles at the lizard Oz, have moved beyond the poignant to the pathetic:
What? Still banging on, asking for help to improve? Debretts not enough for social skills and etiquette training? You know, don't soil the carpet, take off your dung-clad shoes and walk in your socks?
What is it with alleged professionals daily pleading for help to fix a product they single-handedly, with reptile skill, made toxic as a brand? Turned a quite decent product into a steaming pile of expendable Hollywood crap (yes Bulgaria, it's all your fault, and now Burkie wants to turn Oz into the new Bulgaria).
Well the pond has already explained how tedious and boring it is to read, day after day, rabid ideological rants from the usual suspects - the pond having obtained its daily dose of news, gruesome as it is these days, elsewhere.
This sort of stuff from Greg "bromance" Sheridan:
All the problems? As in without exception? Which is to say all?
Stop right there, the pond has absolutely no further interest in reading on.
The pond is absolutely not curious to know more, because it's certain just to be another piece of Greg Sheridan craven forelock tugging and knob polishing, of the hagiographic kind. Sure enough:
Right about that time, the pond has to weigh up a crucial issue. Can it be bothered getting around the paywall to read a column it could write in its sleep?
Yep, it's absolutely the wrong time to be running a pleading, begging pop-up, requesting cheap-arsed help - a hundred bucks to help fix a bottomless pit of rabid ideology and ratbaggery - as the truth about the state of News Corp down under breaks wide.
And then to do it not just one day, but to run the begging pop-up a couple of days in a row - is the rag so unloved that they couldn't turn up enough punters after a day of pop-ups on every click?
Never mind that the moment the newspaper business was hived off, it was likely that the reality of the business model would become more transparent, after years of hiding behind the skirts of the international business.
The accounts, for the year to June 2013 as News Corp was splitting into two, showed revenue at The Australian fell 20.2 per cent to $107.6 million. Operating income for the broadsheet fell to a loss of $27 million.
Melbourne's Herald Sun saw revenues fall 13.5 per cent to $249.6 million, while revenue at Sydney's Daily Telegraph dropped by 14.4 per cent to $160.4 million. The Herald Sun contributed operating income of $34.6 million to the group, down 40.5 per cent, while the Daily Telegraph's operating income fell 64.5 per cent to $8 million. Australian permanent staff numbers were slashed by 987 over the year to 8019. Kim Williams, who was chief executive at the time of the accounts, said: ''I've no doubt there will be a festival of vengeance against me. I have nothing to say.'' He added: ''What all print journalism companies are dealing with are completely immutable and unstoppable forces. And people who deny that is the case are clearly living in a different world than I am living in. ''I haven't seen the Crikey piece. Apparently there's some suggestion that this is all my fault.'' He added: ''Obviously, I beg to differ.'' Mr Williams defended his decision to pay $30 million for the media business of ABC presenter Alan Kohler, which the figures show cost News Corp Australia $2.5 million despite its $3.5 million revenue. ''Here's one thing about purchase prices: people always have 100 per cent hindsight.''
Mr Williams announced his departure from News Corp in August last year, just months after News Corp split in two, and the time of these accounts. His successor, Julian Clarke, described the figures on Wednesday as ''14 months out of date, have been illegally circulated and are not from our statutory accounts. They do not reflect the current performance of the business''. He told staff in an email: ''We have continually emphasised our confidence in the future of our print and digital assets, driven by an experienced management team which has developed robust plans for the future. ''We will be sharing details of these plans with you over the next few weeks and I look forward to working with you as we continue to build the business.'' The company declined to comment on whether its 2014 results were better, but veteran media analyst Mark McDonnell noted News Corp's recent results ''readily acknowledged that the Australian business continues to deteriorate''.
Well there's your problem right there - if the pond happened to be Graham Burke, we might even call it crazy.
Anybody still spruiking tree-killing print assets as a future business model is in dire trouble, even if it panders to the thinking of an old and out of touch foreigner ...
Sounds as if Holt street is in melt down mode. Or perhaps it's just the ongoing denialism. Twitter us some drivel:
More please (and quick, thanks to a reader check out the real Sharri Markson twitter feed at Sharri 2000, churs mitchal so angry with crackey he slam revolving doorhere. It might not last for long).
The pond can't get enough of the twittering and the denials:
Twitter on my pretties.
But if everything is so hunky dory, why the spending of money to help the reptiles at the Oz improve? The pond has already provided the link to Debretts ...
How about yet another article explaining that it's all the fault of the ABC, Fairfax, Labor, Julia Gillard, and the greenies ...
Frankly, it's been so much crazy fun the pond tends to forget there's a real world out there, which rarely shows up in News Corp publications but can be reliably found in the cartoons of David Rowe, here:
I don't think that anyone, none of us are robots. I'm not a robot, Joe Hockey is not a robot. We're human beings. Every now and then we don't get things quite right and the important thing is to just move on and re-focus on what actually is important and what matters....
If you prick us do we not bleed, if you give us petrol, do we not drive long distances, if you give us oil do you hear the gears change and the clutch crank as we wonder where the master salesman went?
It produced a response from Lenore Taylor at The Graudian:
That screeching sound is the government’s budget rhetoric doing a u-turn. Having spent the last three months insisting the budget emergency meant there would be dire consequences if the budget did not pass, it appears the government is now facing the reality that key budget policies may indeed not pass – despite its best negotiating efforts over the winter break. Lest anyone then try to assert that by the government’s own arguments we were facing some kind of emergency or crisis, the government has dramatically shifted its rhetoric, insisting there is in fact no crisis or emergency at all. (and the rest here).
Yes, there's humour to be found everywhere, but you won't find much of it in the wretchedly rabid News Corp papers.
This is the best the Currish Snail could come up with today:
But, but, but billy goats. He's just doing a Greg Hunt.
Now the pond won't steal all of Manning's thunder.
You'll have to read him to read just how dire the situation for The Courier-Mail has become, while that ideological feast of racist ratbaggery and zealotry, the Daily Terror, has been a singularly weak performer.
No, let's just quote Manning on the performance of the reptiles at the lizard Oz:
Within the division, The Australian stands out as the worst performer: revenues dropped 20% from $135 million to 108 million in 2012-13, while operating income fell 41% from a loss of $19 million to a loss of $27 million. After depreciation, the masthead’s operating loss fell to $30 million.
Remember when the reptiles were berating Media Watch and strutting about cock a hoop like cockerels on heat?
Without the HUN, the pack of cards would have taken even more of a beating, but what a beating it took anyway:
News reported that earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation from Australian newspapers fell by US $67 million in 2013-14, or $73 million — which by Crikey’s estimate represents roughly an 80% fall on the previous year, nearly wiping out the division’s entire operating income. The division dragged heavily on the news and information segment, which reported a 16% drop in EBITDA in 2013-14.
Naturally Manning couldn't resist linking to a tweet from the epic twitterer, and the pond simply can't resist running it. What with all the bonus feedback:
It seems the reptiles have even taken to talking about green shoots on the Nullabor.
Some shoots. Haters gunna hate, and fun-lovers gunna hate the haters hating ...
There you go Molochians, you can use that feedback to fix your rag, courtesy Mr Hilliger and Mr Richards ... hope it helps you improve things ...
And now for a bonus. The pond is finding it hard to keep up with all the mis-statements, retractions and confusions surrounding jolly Joe.
This was run yesterday:
Hint to reptiles - this was available for free on the news.com.au site, and what do you know, it didn't even have a gold brick attached to it.
Then there was the jihad by the reptiles around the subject of attending funerals - in which the reptiles broke the jihad on Fairfax to mount a jihad on Disney, the enemy of my enemy yadda yadda - which sees Simons link to the Oz's own guidelines here, and to point to item 9:
It's a nonsense of course. If the Murdoch press were to even think about following that sort of guideline, they'd shut up shop overnight.
But it is a wondrous example of piety mated to hypocrisy.
Simons spends some time examining the hypocrisy and the inconsistency of the reptiles, who loved Disney when he was a convenient stick with which to beat Conroy, Finkelstein et al, and have now turned the stick on Disney in a relentless jihad of a kind only the reptiles know how to do.
It's hard to disagree with Simons' conclusion, with Disney due to leave the Press Council in January:
Even if the News Corporation doesn’t leave the press council (and for a number of reasons I think it unlikely) those considering taking on the task of chair have been put on notice they can expect any non-compliance with The Australian’s view of the world to be greeted with front page attacks and an undermining of process.
So there's inconsistency and hypocrisy right up there with the buffoon, but you won't find any examination of it at jihad central. They're too busy with their jihads.
And so to racism.
Now the pond wasn't going to mention little Timmie Bleagh and his epic journey into the wilds of Lakemba.
The pond has always thought that Bleagh, as a jihadist, always came across as a bear with very little brain.
Indeed if you overlook the defamations introduced by Milne's Pooh, you might get to reading PBS's Nature on the subject of bears' intelligence, cunning and resourcefulness here.
Bleagh's outing in the wild was more Pooh than bear, but if it might be decoded, it seems that Bleagh favours fierce drinking, because Islamics don't drink, and is a wild-eyed feminist horrified by Islamic fundamentalism and misogyny, which helps explain why every second day he spends a column or a blog item attacking the angry Sydney Anglicans for their complementarian attitude to women.
Yes, at any other day of the week, the Terror would be in an uproar and in a rage about Sydney's drinking culture and king hit killings in the streets and young people out of control and pissed as parrots and making fools of themselves, but all Bleagh could see was tragedy and despair:
Back at the pub, a staffer mentions rare moments of cultural overlap. “Sometimes the young blokes will come in here to buy Scotch,” she says. “They try to hide themselves under hoodies.” But when the staffer sees them later in the street, they don’t return her greeting. The hotel is haram — sinful and forbidden. Those early closing hours will eventually become permanent.
Now you might just as easily do a nostalgic piece on the passing of the tiled vomitoriums once labelled public bars, done down by filthy, dirty yuppies, rather than Islamics - and before we go any further, yes the pond is aware of the real meaning of the word, which you can Greg Hunt here, but the pond has always loved the word "vomitorium", and always adopts Humpty Dumpty's rules when it comes to using a word.
It's hard to abuse Bleagh for racism, when it's really a burst of Dawkins' style Islamophobia:
Lakemba may be only 30 minutes from the centre of Sydney, yet it is remarkably distinct from the rest of the city. You can walk the length of crowded Haldon St and not hear a single phrase in English. On this main shopping strip the ethnic mix seems similar to what you’d find in any Arabic city. Australia may be multicultural, but Haldon St is a monoculture.
That's about the level of Bleagh's breath-taking stupidity. (And yes, while in Melbourne, the pond did head off to Richmond for a pho. What of it?)
So what's the point of Bleagh's piece? Well it's lazy cultural abuse, with ethnicity and religion and fear and loathing and paranoia as the keys, with signs in strange languages and much talk of Islam, and it produced the titillation, the anticipated, expected and hoped for fear and loathing in response.
Frightened people on Twitter reacted with a storm of furious denial to my article yesterday, which revealed an Islamic store is selling books praising Hitler, describing women as inferior and encouraging hostility towards Christians and other Australians.
Which is of course why Bleagh is famous for his regular, routine attacks on Angry Sydney Anglicans and their attitude to women and gays ...
It is of course an old and desperate meme - the pond could just as easily get profoundly disturbed by the anarchist shop in Newtown.
Blair seems most agitated about the absence of pork and alcohol. He'll need the long absent lord's help when he heads off to a Jewish wedding in the search for lashings of bacon ...
Never mind, there's the rub. You see, while the reptiles are conducting their jihads against Clive's racism, here's a reporter who heads out to the wilds of Lakemba to whip up fear and loathing, based on appearance (eek, Arabs in the street), and religion, and the presence of fundamentalists, offering fundamentalist literature.
And it just seems like a jolly good way to score a few easy hits.
In the good old days, it used to be the Chinatown, with communists everywhere, but these days it's Islamics, and the fear of the different and the others. Here's how it's done. You just need a photo to lather up the fear and loathing:
Uh huh. That's like the pond getting agitated and doing a chicken little flapdoodle and expecting instant paranoia and hysteria by running this sort of photo:
Shocking, disturbing, offensive, outrageous.
In the end of course there has to be another reason for reading Bleagh, and the best the pond could work out was the chance to read Overland editor Jeff Sparrow in Crikey.
Sparrow found other examples of the Bleagh genre, most notably National Review sending Kevin Williamson into East St. Louis, Illinois, a predominantly black area:
Behold the genre we might call “White Man on Safari”, where the story consists as much of the writer’s bravery in briefly mingling with brown people (he’s in the territory of the primates, don’t you know?!) as anything he actually reveals (hold the front page: “Child is rude!”). Yesterday, The Daily Telegraph ran its own ”Explorer in the Jungle” piece, when it sent right-wing provocateur Tim Blair to — gasp! — visit Lakemba. As expeditions go, it was a doozy. “We’re for Sydney,” boasts the Tele (and it is all for a “Fair Go For The West”) — but its sometime opinion editor seems to have never previously encountered a suburb just 30 minutes from the CBD.
When he makes the hazardous trek to (as the headline put it) “take a look inside Sydney’s Muslim Land”, our correspondent installs himself in the Lakemba Hotel, where unnamed locals and the pub staff voice the usual barroom complaints about Muslims, who — get this! — don’t drink enough to keep the place running. Earlier this year, the Tele was hyperventilating about alcohol-fuelled violence. In Lakemba, however, the absence of boozers signifies an Attack on Our Way of Life. Across the road from the pub, Blair finds an Islamic bookshop (possibly visible from the bar window), where he’s shocked — shocked! — to uncover some prejudiced and sexist religious tracts. Maybe for another scoop, he could check out the Bible — say, Deuteronomy 25:11-12, where the foundation text of Western culture explains: “When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand.” Christianity, you so crazy! And that’s it. A pub closing, a few nutty pamphlets and some photos of signs in Arabic: clearly, the caliphate’s upon us.
And so on. It's a great smackdown, which is available here, though subject to Crikey paywall.
And Sparrow draws the obvious conclusion, which reminds the pond of the themes for the day, - consistency, hypocrisy and racism, not so closet:
The bigotry of all this goes without saying. Every newspaper in Australia would quite rightfully run a mile rather than send some old white guy to take photos of shops and interview local barflies for a feature on the “Judeification” of, say, Melbourne’s St Kilda. Muslims, though, seem to be fair game.
At which point, the pond has to make yet another apology. Routinely the pond refers to Murdoch hacks as reptiles, but this is really shockingly unfair to reptiles at large, and reflects the presentation of serpents in the Old Testament.
In reality, in the bush, the pond always found that if you made enough noise, reptiles were always content to allow you to go your way, while they went theirs. Sadly, there's absolutely no chance of this happening with a Murdoch reptile ...
And so to the ultimate irony.
Yes, there it is again today, the plea for help to make the reptiles at the lizard Oz do better, smack bang up against their ongoing jihad against Clive.
It doesn't occur to them that maintaining the rage against a buffoon makes the rag look buffoonish and this day's makeover is a classic bit of jihadist buffoonery, of the basest tabloid kind:
Help them improve the rag?
It's the pond's experience that you can never get fundamentalist jihadists in the grip of hypocrisy and memory loss to improve their behaviour ...
Oh wait, it seems Dame Groan has at last had a reality check ...
And so to the humour of the day, if the sight of Dame Groan flip flopping like a trout out of water isn't humorous enough for you, and as always David Rowe is in top form, and puts the sadly lost Bill Leak in his place, on the front page of a buffoonish jihad tabloid growing more buffonish by the day (as always more Rowe here):
Rowe acknowledges a debt to Phil May, but of course the AFR display format for Rowe's cartoons don't allow for a direct comparison with May's The Mongolian Octopus - His Grip on Australia, published in The Bulletin on 21st August 1886. So here it is:
The pond found it for sale here, at a tidy price, with this commentary:
The octopus has been demonised in cartoon for as long as the threatening foreigner and I believe there is now a movement by 'cephalofans' objecting to this defamation and seeking to redeem the animal's reputation. Phil May's Mongolian Octopus is one of the most ferocious racist icons ever published but the Chinese immigrant in Australia probably had fewer champions then than the octopus does now. This is merely one of hundreds of drawings and tens of thousands of poisonously xenophobic words that appeared in that most Australian of Australian journals, The Bulletin ("Australia for the White Man" remained on their masthead until 1961), but it was and remains the most potent distillation of white Australia's racial fear, the summation of The Bulletin's rabid campaign and success with the legal entrenchment of a white Australia with Federation in 1901. It has been reprinted, copied and reworked countless times since this original appearance but it has not lost a speck of power; even if the object of the revulsion it provokes has shifted.
Is there an irony here, beyond the casual defamation of octopi, bears, reptiles and serpents?
Of course there is.
Just think Tim Bleagh and the Daily Terror still doing Australia for the white man all these years later ...
And now - with the note that the pond has never been a team player, generally dislikes team sports, and loathes all that rugger bugger boofhead behaviour loved by the team leader - go stick your finger up another clacker - please allow the pond to celebrate by closing with a David Pope cartoon, and more Pope here.
Team Australia? Not the game that the Murdochians and little Timmie Bleagh are playing ...
Oh and please, no correspondence about octopi ...you must take your octopuses as you find them ...