Friday, March 30, 2012

Take that partisan sooks, or the Bart Simpson defence part two ...

The war of the rags continues apace, with the AFR maintaining the rage today by placing Rupert Murdoch at the top of the mast.

Naturally the lizard Oz felt the need to strike back, but why would anyone feel the need to pay to circumvent the fickle gold bar of fate? Pay to hear tales of how the molochs of Murdoch are innocent?
No wonder they've proven so adept at climate denialism.

It reminds the pond of that old joke sometimes attributed to Churchill - falsely of course - wherein the cigar-smoker proposes a fuck for a million ponds, and when the socialite is tempted, makes a counter-proposal of five pounds, and then when she indignantly wonders what kind of woman he thinks she is, Churchill notes that's already been established, and now they're just haggling about the price.

In the same way, News Corp. has long been established as a corrupt organisation, and now everybody's just haggling about the extent of the corruption.

The current fracas reminded the pond of other great unsavoury scandals where News Corp bought its way out of trouble - as outlined in Troubles That Money Can't Dispel and dozens of other venues.

The actions outlined therein ranged from the Floorgraphics matter - illegal computer hacking - which led to a US$29.5 million settlement (and the acquisition of the company to bring things in house), to a US$125 million payout to Insignia Systems to a half billion dollar deal to keep plaintiff Valassis Communications happy. And that's before you get anywhere near the News of the World and corrupting cops and phone hacking.

Along the way in the NY Times piece, this little detail pops out:

News America was led by Paul V. Carlucci, who, according to Forbes, used to show the sales staff the scene in “The Untouchables” in which Al Capone beats a man to death with a baseball bat. Mr. Emmel testified that Mr. Carlucci was clear about the guiding corporate philosophy.

According to Mr. Emmel’s testimony, Mr. Carlucci said that if there were employees uncomfortable with the company’s philosophy — “bed-wetting liberals in particular was the description he used” Mr. Emmel testified — then he could arrange to have those employees “outplaced from the company.

What to do with a rogue like Carlucci? Why naturally, make him the publisher of The New York Post in 2005, and allow him to continue on as head of News America ...

And bully boy tactics aren't just the turf of US players fantasising that they're living the life of Robert de Niro channeling Al Capone in a Brian de Palma movie.

Whatever happened to Chris Mitchell's proposal that he was going to sue the socks off Robert Manne? (Chris Mitchell v Robert Manne: The Australian editor to sue).

Meanwhile, Rupe himself has come out with guns blazing, or at least tweets amazing:

Indeed. And speaking of monoplies, let's hope that the old toffs and right wingers who want to have complete control of pay television in Australia get their just desserts (oh it's a dream, I know, but what a la Mancha dream. Bring on the windmills).

Well if you want to follow the tweets of Rupe, you can join the other couple of hundred thousand here, who watch him with the same fascination as watching a man on a high wire walk between the twin towers.

Richard Ackland has derived some consolation from all this with Note: it takes a scrupulous media to uncover a flawed one, but the reality in Australia is that News Ltd. has the power of market share, and isn't afraid to use it. And wherever it goes and whatever it does and whomever it does business with, a cloud of lawyers follows:

The global law shop Allen & Overy, acting for NDS, is now demanding the AFR remove thousands of emails from its website.

Too late, valiant legal lads, the news is out there, and somewhere they'll have found new homes.

Naturally the fortifications are being flung up by all and sundry at who work within Sauron's vast fortress of doom, and in best pond fashion, old-fashioned abuse is the weapon of choice.

Come on down valiant David Penberthy, give us a good rollicking example of the party line. Show us how denialism works in Tharr be pirates: a media fantasy, cheered on by sooks.

Cheered on by sooks!? What's the bet Penberthy has a baseball bat in the cupboard, and leads a rich fantasy life, and every so often gets out the baseball bat to flay away at the Fairfax hacks. But stay, we've got some denialism to get through:

There is a massive story going on in Australia at the moment. By massive, I mean massive in terms of the amount of space thrown at it. Massive in the level of journalistic indulgence it displays. Massively packed with distortions and sleights of hand. A massive pile of rubbish.

Well that's how to deal with the matter in a level headed way.

Now let's get on with the head-kicking, unless you prefer bat-bashing:

You would have missed the story, as it first appeared in an obscure trade journal read by rich people who collect cufflinks, and was rehashed in a marginally more digestible form by a couple of newspapers which have decided to put media game-playing ahead of their core business of providing readers with facts.

How did it go in The Untouchables? Bash those cufflink collectors ...

But you just have to admire a Murdoch journalist talking about the core business of providing readers with facts. Is he saying News Ltd got out of the core business decades ago?

Ah yes, it's all coming back now:

A man becomes preeminent, he's expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms... What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? Baseball! A man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field, what? Part of a team. Teamwork... Looks, throws, catches, hustles. Part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on. If his team don't field... what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? I'm goin' out there for myself. But... I get nowhere unless the team wins.
Hoods: Team!
[Capone beats one of the men to death with a baseball bat]

There is of course a profound irony in all this. It was only back in September 2011 that the AFR filched Michael Stutchbury from The Australian. There he was an exemplar, the economics editor, and now it seems he just prints rubbish. (Michael Stutchbury to edit the AFR) Oh et tu Brute. No longer one of the team ...

Penberthy has always fancied himself as a satirist, and this time his satirical skills take on the full flight of an Icarus:

Despite all this Chenoweth’s piece is probably a walk-up start for a Walkley Award as he has assembled the following words in random order to produce something irresistible – MURDOCH POLICE ISRAEL TV PIRATES PROBE NEWS INTERNATIONAL HACKING.

Oh it's so witty, so elegant, such a Shakespearean rag.

For the rest of the piece, as usual, Penberthy resorts to the standard Bart Simpson defence. We didn't do it, nobody saw us do it, you can't prove anything, and even if you could, it doesn't matter anymore because it's ancient dried dung.

But no doubt you're wondering who's the sook in the headlines? Come on down, Stephen Conroy, sook and Kerry Stokes' personal ski bunny.

Oh Penberthy wields a fine baseball bat, but ain't it strange how he selectively targets Conroy for being the bumbling advocate of a net filter (yes the pond has waived Godwin's Law to call him a North Korean), while failing to mention the ongoing, relentless fury of the war waged by News Ltd against the NBN because either (a) they're luddites (b) it undermines their business models or (c) they're just perverse anti-futurist fuckwits.

You see there's a problem when you turn a newspaper into a series of agitprop articles and columns of the nattering negative kind and then whinge when the blow torch gets turned in your general direction:

Conroy and Cameron have as much evidence of any wrongdoing as Chenoweth and Stutchbury. Zero. This has nothing to do with actual journalism and everything to do with partisan media pot-shots, cheered on by a couple of glass-jawed politicians.

Uh huh. Which somehow implies that News Ltd has something to do with actual journalism, as opposed to a parade of prejudices and diatribes, amongst which Penberthy's piece can stand tall and proud.

Well by the end of the rant, there was a clear idea of who had the glass jaw, and yet another chortle at the profound irony of the sight of the dear lad getting indignant about partisan media pot-shots.

This from the house of Blair, the Bolter, Miranda the Devine, Janet Albrechtsen, Dennis Shanahan, Greg Sheridan, Piers 'Akker Dakker' Akerman, and too many other loons and hoons to list here individually without trying the patience of the world.

And yes, he who talks about sooks ends up sounding like a sook. As one of the comments asked, Sook? Who wrote this, a twelve year old?

The funny thing is, Penberthy probably thinks he's helping out the team by wielding the baseball bat in this way, but all he's doing is showing how bully boy tactics work, and are applied to cry baby blubbering sooks in the playground.

Yep, if you don't like what someone is saying, smear them in excrement, steal their shoes, tie the laces together, and hoist those pesky sneakers over the nearest power line ...

It's the News Limited way ...

As for the pond, the only question remaining is whether we might be talking about five pounds ... or five hundred million pounds ...

(Below: a News Ltd journalist at work?)

Yep, take that, climate science, take that NBN, take that sooks, take that partisan media. Spill your blood in the soup, and see if we care ...

Finally a sad note. Earl Scruggs has died. The pond saw him play at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and it's always sad when a finger picker passes on ...

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