Friday, July 27, 2012

As usual, the truth and the insights are limited ...

(Above: is that your bumper bar? Watch out for Mad Max Murdochians).

So the Daily Terror finally got around to reporting on the recent breaking developments in the Slipper matter by running an AAP report at 5.40 PM yesterday, under the header Govt attacks Abbott over Slipper, comically slipped into the "breaking news" section.

Long after the news actually broke ...

This is the graveyard time slot, beloved of politicians as the perfect time to put out a bad news story. Though perhaps not as ideal as Christmas and New Year's Eve, the Terror's readers would already be on their way to their thugby league game of choice, and not giving the first thought as to why the Terror buried the story. By today, even that note about Slipper had slipped off the digital front page.

The Terror going missing in action was noted in Crikey, under the header 'I think Steve Lewis would agree': Tele silent on Ashby case (may be paywall affected).

Naturally in the manner you'd expect of a free press, the editor of the Terror freely declined to comment on the matter.

Back in April of course the Terror was chomping at the bit and snorting like a thoroughbred, and you'd think - if a newspaper had guts, integrity or just a downright love of basic reporting and the telling of a story - that they'd be following the twisting winding road of a scandal, wherever it might lead, to a crooked sixpence or a crooked house or a crooked cat.

You'd think a tabloid with the class to print fraudulent naked photos of Pauline Hanson would be first at the feeding trough to keep the home fires and the scandal burning.

It makes all the guff about News Ltd being a beacon of fearless reporting sound like indulgent tripe, and gives that old saw "Is that the truth, or did you read it in the Daily Telegraph" fresh life. As well as a bit more life for that other old dog, "is that the truth or was your News Limited" (still available as T-shirt, bumper sticker and shopping bag).

Naturally the fearless Punch, punching on, maintained a strict and stoic silence too, perhaps wanting the world to achieve a Buddhist state of mind by meditating on ... the sound of crickets.

If you want a cackle, why not read the sanctimonious righteous letter to Julia Gillard by an assorted bunch of self-interested media proprietors, available on Crikey here:

Since the time of Magna Carta there has been a progressive empowerment of the citizenry in making those in power accountable, accessible and addressable. Central to that process over the last three centuries has been the operation of the media. Where societies have severe corruption, maladministration and distanced public policy determination and enforcement from the people it usually reflects heavy handed state intervention in the media. We implore you and your government not to let this happen in Australia.

Magna Carta! Are they up themselves or what?

The Terror couldn't summon up the courage to do a little forensic reporting on an abundance of material in relation to a matter, which - on its original slippery outing - was deemed worthy of shrieking front page headlines because it was such a grave scandal.

Sure back then the basic line between journalism, fair reporting, and conducting a raging crusade was blurred, but when's that sort of sandal-wearing delicacy ever stopped the neck-stomping, eye-gouging, back-stabbing Black Knights of Murdoch?

Who will guard the guardians? What happens if the guardians compromise themselves?

Who will present an alternative to the robber barons who forced King John to sign the Magna Carta?

Not Kim Williams, that's for sure ...

Bernard Keane got the tone right when scribbling about these pompous asses in A letter in the grand tradition of Australian media policy. Read it and weep, while remembering this and other front pages at the time:


Luckily there are still alternative sources for tabloid news - apart from Murdoch tabloid newspapers - still going around, so hey nonny no, it's on to other things, and what better other thing than that indefatigable pompous blimp Christopher Pearson beavering away in The Australian.

Does anyone who has moved beyond kindergarten think that Pearson has the best interests of the ALP at heart?

Yet there he is in today's Australian opening up Rudd's return is ALP's best bet (paywall blocked, consider yourself lucky) with this:

On Wednesday The Australian published a clarion call to the ALP's federal caucus by editor-at-large Paul Kelly. His theme was neatly encapsulated in the heading : "Labor's choice is Rudd or oblivion".

Actually that's what in the old days would be seen as Sophie's Choice, since Rudd will guarantee oblivion as well as anyone else. This is, after all, the man who has been consistently reviled by his colleagues, and now seeks the comfort and support of right wing commentariat hacks, women's magazines, his wife's gnomic utterances, and any other wretched bit back-stabbing from low renters like Joel Fitzgibbon as a way back to the throne.

Throw in the support of a no talent like Robert McClelland and you're well on your way to oblivion.

It's typical commentariat FUD, of the kind that worked so well with climate science and with talk that smoking might be bad for you.

Let the hares loose and watch them run. Was it only in August last year that Pearson was touting Crean as the safest pair of hands? Along with Ross Cameron ...

Others picked it up - you can find Mumble mumbling away in October 2011 about the chance of Simon Crean as nightwatchman?

The point of course is not who should become PM, the point is idle speculation and relentless destabilisation, which is why only a day ago, Crikey ran an approving lightweight piece by Rob Burgess suggesting Swan for PM? Bolt is onto something.

Bolt as an astute observer of what's best for the Labor party? Pinch the pond, it's dreaming.

What Bolt's on to, and so is Rob Burgess, is the blithe art of throwing out the names, and seeing if anything sticks. It doesn't matter who, it's more a matter of who have you got.

Burgess is also in the grip of nightwatchman cricket metaphors, seemingly oblivious to the notion that when you have to send in a nightwatchman, your team is playing like a bunch of Michael Clarke-led Australians who couldn't score off a lightly tossed lettuce salad (hat tip to partner, apparently this means something).

Naturally that Parramatta tosser, loser and conductor of affairs while married Ross Cameron is also on hand in Fairfax, rubbing his hands gleefully, in Rudd ambitions undimmed: just follow the dots.

At the same time fellow travellers like Robert Manne and Mike Carlton have done their best to amplify the FUD, with Carlton pronouncing last week PM must go or the party will be over.

He decided that Rudd would be a safe pair of hands to take the ball up the middle and do the hard yards (I'm told this means something), at the same time delivering a homily to Rudd:

If Rudd were to return bent on vengeance the whole exercise would be futile. If he has learned from his experience, as no doubt he would like us to believe, he must demonstrate that. Caucus must again be allowed to choose the ministry. Rudd would have to let those ministers get on with their jobs in the collegiate way that Bob Hawke managed his cabinet. He must forget, too, that mad urge to dominate the daily news cycle.

Former Chairman Rudd will suddenly turn into a swaggering matey Bob Hawke? Waiter, I want some of whatever that man is on ...

He'll forget the mad urge to dominate the daily news cycle, even though right now he's intent on dominating the daily news cycle with cries for his return? He must show he's changed? That's a bit like giving the scorpion a lecture on how to behave towards the frog.

This week Carlton has recanted, and has a new candidate. Guess who? Bob Carr ...

Yep, the man who spent a decade fucking over NSW, should be given the opportunity to perform the final ritual fucking over of the federal Labor party.

But why did Carlton reach this conclusion?

As well as having to endure the sneers of Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen, and sundry Tories for his conversion to the Kevin cause, Carlton apparently received lots of responses:

The striking thing: in the hundreds of emails there was zero rank and file enthusiasm for the return of Kevin Rudd. None at all. Some thought a Rudd second coming inevitable - another shot of the good ol' detailed programmatic specificity, gotta zip etc - but they feared the explosive effect on cabinet and caucus, with Wayne Swan and other senior ministers heading for the exits.

Uh huh. Not only would Labor be saddled with a proven incompetent, incapable of handling relationships at the level required, but there'd be an internal civil war that would rage right up to the next election.

No wonder there's no bloody enthusiasm. Rudd is a gleam in the eye of himself, Christopher Pearson, and the hacks at The Australian, who just want the Labor party to go away, so the Daily Terror can keep on being an appalling tabloid without talk of government intervention or regulation, and there'll be no more idle chatter about climate science, and we can all forget actual benefit to nation of the running out of a well designed NBN - which is a serious threat to the likes of Foxtel, and why Foxtel wants private ports for its own whims and devices.

That's the current NBN they want as their private domain, as opposed to the half-arsed one being peddled by luddite Tony Abbott.

So we come to Carlton's ultimate solution:

The real eye-opener was a groundswell of support for Bob Carr as leader. Here was Labor's most successful campaigner, they said, a consummate media performer and an elder statesman respected on all sides.

Uh huh. Amazingly Carlton lives in Sydney, and so can see what Carr achieved. No doubt he's already booked his ticket to the rugger bugger match between the Wallabies and the Lions in 2013 (hat tip partner, who'd have known), and so thinks the ANZ Stadium is a triumph of planning.

Lesser lights, poor sods given the pain of a daily commute, know exactly what Carr did for NSW and its infrastructure. Yes, it's that Buddha thing again ... the sound of crickets.

Carr's already proven he's something of a Mittster by putting his foreign affairs foot in his mouth from time to time, but never mind, it's all academic in the end for the pond, since voting for either federal Labor or the luddite Abbott aren't viable alternatives.

But it's truly amazing how the sheep can be panicked and herded so easily, and even more amazing that Mike Carlton and Robert Manne can be counted amongst the sheep ready to be rounded up and shorn by the FUD Murdoch commentariat.

So now for your comedy item, though you can get it directly from the horse's mouth or the ass's arse:

So I thought this through. With an eye to history, Carr would be reluctant to climb a last political Everest. It would also be beneath his dignity and abhorrent to his principles to do the numbers and mount a challenge to Gillard. But if the party chieftains were to approach him on their knees, teary-eyed and imploring him to lead them from the abyss, he might be drafted.
Next problem: would the cross-benchers who back Gillard support him ? If no, bets are off. If yes, which I think possible, Carr would have to descend from the Senate to a winnable seat in the House of Representatives. That would be Kingsford Smith, his lifelong home and his power base as the state MP for Maroubra for 23 years. Peter Garrett holds that now on a slender-ish margin of 5.2 per cent, and he would have to graciously stand aside. The byelection would be furious and the risk would be huge with the Tories throwing the kitchen sink at it, but I suspect Carr could pull it off. Triumphantly. Think Honest Abe's second inaugural.
So there you have it, bingo, easy as that. Bob's yer uncle, our next prime minister, and the saviour of party and nation. Who dares wins.

He thought it through?

The tenacious Garrett steps aside - you can tear that ministry of doing nothing - except soak up the adulation - from my cold dead hands, the ALP bungs on a do and a by-election, the forces of evil fight hard but are vanquished, Carr picks up the seat, takes over the leadership, and becomes PM, all in time for the next election.

Iambics march from short to long.
With a leap and a bound the swift Anapests throng. (thanks Samuel, here)

Will someone, anyone, tell him Carlton he's dreaming, or wanking, right up there with Pearson wanking on about how former Chairman Rudd - a proven dislikable and incompetent leader - is going to be the best bet for the Labor party ...

Okay, okay, so now you're asking for the pond's solution to the leadership woes.

So here it is. Pay less attention to the thoughts of myrmidon Murdochians and make sure there's plenty of action in your figures. Stiff, awkward figures like the intensely disliked former chairman Rudd, though easy to draw, especially if you're a member of the commentariat, are best avoided.

And if you're going to draw an alternative action figure, for the love of the absent lord, at least make sure it's a reasonably feasible alternative, instead of constructing a cartoon full of FUD!


  1. Thanks for reminding about the NBN, DP.
    Here's One gig broadband in Chattanooga with some pertinent comments. Let the mugs pay for it, at Roop's prices!

  2. Three hundred bucks a month Earl!? That's not futurism, that's real piracy. Bet no one can talk about how they can hoover up Twentieth Century Fox's entire back catalogue in a nano second.

  3. DP, you may despise Twitter (the cheap-jack's broadband) but cop a gander at these two from @Roop.
    UK and US press cooperated to exaggerate Romney off- tune gaffe, but no denying Mrs Obama proved great ambassador, even with broccoli talk!
    London Olympic opening surprisingly great, even if a little too politically correct.
    That reminds me, I must remember to take the little red pills tonight.

  4. Great tweets Earl. What a master he is. Who could despise Twitter when an artist proves its potential in this way.

    How joyous that a robber press baron could accuse the press on both sides of the Atlantic of entering into a conspiracy, or at least a perverted bout of cooperation to undermine the Mittster. As if the Mittster couldn't manage it all on his own.

    Clearly the little red pills help Rupert see clearly. Should he try some broccoli?

  5. Dorothy, there were a couple of tweets from P.Adams at the time of the Planet Janet and Kelly articles. What a sad old fart, just like Rupert.

    "Also great attack on Woodside thuggery by Geoff Cousins. Today's Oz reads like a left wing paper."

    24 Jul Phillip Adams ‏@PhillipAdamsABC
    "For first & prob last time in career Janet Albrechtsen gets it 99.9% right in today's Oz. It's time Julia.It's time.Good piece by Kelly too"


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