Friday, November 18, 2011

Another day outside the paywall, and all the news that's fit to print about Tony Abbott ...

(Above: could this be the theme for the day?)

Today the pond is in a kind of existential crisis.

Should it fork out for the wise words of Gra Gra on the China syndrome currently running riot through the commentariat, and on view behind The Australian's gold-barred paywall?

After all, the pond is desperate for The Australian's paywall to succeed.

How else to shield John Birmingham, unsuspecting citizens, the pond, nay the entire world from the concentrated, uranium-like thoughts of Janet Albrechtsen, which can be delivered over the intertubes not just to Indians, but to anyone with cash and a connection.

Oh sure, it's only an email address at the moment, but soon will come the demand for money, with menaces ...

And Graham 'Gra Gra' Richardson is an internationally recognised member of the commentariat, currently featured weekly as an expert adviser on The Hamster Wheel:

(Above: artist's impression only, LOLcat reserves the right to sue Graham Richardson for impersonating a LOLcat).

Alternatively, the pond could simply rush off to the perennially pear liquered The Punch to witness the bizarre sight of Mark Kenny giving Tony Abbott a severe dressing down in Churlish Abbott not ready to play with the big kids ... for free.

That's right, the very same Mark Kenny who infests the Adelaide Advertiser with routine findings against the Gillard government, scribbling such epic bouts of nattering negativity as "It's all going awry for the PM", and "Dr No waits as PM evaporates" and "Gillard's left floundering" and ... well, there's too many to list, why not spend hours and hours luxuriating in political correspondent trolling by going here.

A solid, paid-up member of the Murdoch team of neigh sayers.

Yet the remarkable Kenny seems to have had some sort of brain snap, and already there are signs that the readership of The Punch might go into meltdown.

Kenny, you see, really went to town on the churlish Abbott:

... Tony Abbott cannot help himself and the result is grating.

Welcoming Mr Obama in what otherwise would have been a superior speech to Ms Gillard’s, he chided her for not having shared the good sense of the American to continue the conservative policy of selling uranium to India.

It was gratuitous and unnecessary. It will not have endeared him to the President, but neither will it have shown him in a good light with his own electorate.

Rather it shows the punchy leader struggles for polite conversation when invited to the top table.

Punching the punchy, always self-promoting, look at me, look at me, I know he's the president of the United States, but look at me Abbott in The Punch!

Well the pond merely reports, and you decide, as Kenny trawls back to other occasions, including the visit of New Zealand PM John Key, and that of Indonesian President Yudhoyono, and ends up deploring Abbott's gratuitous suggestion that there should be even more US military assets and a joint facility set up in Australia:

It was over-reach, plain and simple. Oppositions do not set policy. That is for governments.

By suggesting the Coalition would be even more accommodating to Washington, Mr Abbott was deliberately eroding confidence in the current policy and trying to curry favour.

If it were merely rude that would be bad enough.

But it suggests the would-be PM has not yet come to grips with the job he so keenly aspires to hold.

Lordy, lordy, it was like reading a talking point note from a Labor apparatchik. Come on down our local rep Albo:

''There's no event too big in which he doesn't show himself to be too small,'' the manager of government business, Anthony Albanese, said. ''He always goes a step too far.''

Sock it to us meat guru Kev Kavanagh:

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, said Mr Abbott's words were unbecoming of somebody aspiring to be prime minister.

''We saw a man trying to inject crude, crass domestic politics into an occasion which should be beyond all that but about our uniform interest in the US alliance.'' (Abbott earns reprimand for speaking out of school).

Dear sweet absent lord, how to balance this abuse of the hapless Abbott? Since we like to be fair and balanced at the pond ...

Well how about Daniel Flitton, political correspondent at that Pravda by the murky mud brown Yarra, The Age, scribbling Hard hat, hard talk, hard sell?

Tony Abbott chose the garb of the scholar, was philosophical and more overtly political - even venturing mild criticism of America - yet better anticipated the ideological drive behind Obama's pledge to return the US focus to the region.

Yes, it's kind and soothing words from Daniel:

Abbott did betray his enthusiasms, niggling Labor over uranium sales to India and taxes, and with an unprompted offer for a new American base on Australian soil, describing the US as ''the most benign, the least self-interested superpower the world has ever seen''.

You see, Mr. Kenny, he wasn't being rude, or offensive, but merely betraying his enthusiasms, exuberant as they are. All this talk of Liberals squirming in their seats, and their ears going red ... why it's outrageous ...

Ye goddam 'gra gra' cats and dogs, wait a doggone minute, has the world gone mad?

Minions of Murdoch ravaging Abbott while Pravda by the Yarra merely celebrates his enthusiasms?

Then it struck the pond that there was a cunning ploy in play here. With The Punch struggling for survival, and swerving off into the thickets to troll its resident trolls with Mark Kenny, and the loons at the lizard Oz locked up behind a paywall, if Fairfax takes a swerve towards Mr. Abbott's enthusiasms, why it's game, set and match for free digital media ... with Phillip Coorey free to excoriate the mad monk, and Daniel Flitton on hand to enthuse about Mr. Abbott's enthusiams, so the world balances itself, and all within the one organisation.

Who needs The Australian when there's such a perfect harmony of discord in the world?

What's that you say? Even Penbo has joined in at The Advertiser?

Mr Abbott decided to give a speech not about Mr Obama but about himself, about how he had gone to Oxford, how he had fought as a boxer, how he had got himself into a scrape in Afghanistan.

He then made the weird point that, just as Mr Obama was the first black US President, the Coalition had at the last election returned the first Aboriginal Australian MP to the Lower House.

It was a clunky observation that suggested that the wholly different stories of black America and indigenous Australia are somehow interchangeable.

Oh dear. It seems there's some kind of horse fever within the Murdoch stables, and it's catching:

Mr Obama might have seemed kind of touched by it but he would obviously feel an enduring level of suspicion, if not disdain, for Mr Abbott and the Coalition, given John Howard's memorable declaration that Mr Obama was al-Qaida's preferred candidate for the US presidency four years ago.

Ah, at last an explanation for why Janet Howard was snubbed and not invited to the dinner!

And lordy lordy, Penbo called the day for Gillard looking prime ministerial:

It was a tough crowd for Mr Abbott, but he made it tougher by giving a speech that managed to be both oddly vain and uncharacteristically inane.

That's as opposed to characteristically inane.

Thanks to Penbo and Kenny, the pond calls the coverage in favour of that Adelaide institution, the Adelaide Advertiser.

As a special bonus, as canny News Ltd. recycles Penbo's pabulum through the stables, you can also find his piece The Punch under the header Bob and Tony's awkward night with Obama, but sadly they run a presidential shot of Obmama and Gillard lurking beneath a landscape. You won't find Mark Knight's cartoon that features in the Adelaide run.

I wonder why, since it's full of surging wit and clever sexist stereotypes, so here it is for your delight:

Oh Adelaide, what a heartbreak town you are ...

And now the pond proudly presents the thoughts of Tony Abbott, direct and undiluted, in his address to parliament in honour of the visit by Barack Obama, President of the United States:

Now, not for nothing, Mr Speaker, did Graham Greene say of his Quiet American that he had never met a man with such good intentions for all the trouble he caused.


  1. Whoa, sexism and homophobia in the one inane cartoon! That's quite hard to manage, actually.

  2. To read articles behind the Oz paywall,click on article,article headline with a couple of sentences appears,then copy headline, right click and hit search with google.Article appears at top of google page,click on and read.I don't know how long this will be allowed (presumably they know) but that's how it is at the moment.You might have to clear cookies at some stage if this stalls.

  3. Time to revise that 1st edition on Adelaide Kerryn! How could any portrait of a city leave this fine cartoon out?

    By the way, there's a strong argument that Don Dunstan's safari suits are even more emblematic than his pink shorts. Just suggesting ....

    And for Kerryn podders:


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