Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The trolling season starts early this year ...

(Above: Alan Moir provides the theme for the day. More Moir here).

Lately the lizard Oz has taken to boasting how it's the PANPA newspaper of the year.

It's a bit like the pond reminding the world that it currently holds the crown of "most loonish blog of the year".

Never mind, what sort of high quality journalism has the rag been up to lately?

Why here's a fine piece from James Delingpole, aka Jimbo the derelict sole, scribbling Guinness record in pseudo-science (behind the paywall so you can thank your lucky stars you didn't pay for drivel).

And what does the prattling Pom have to offer us?

 I'm not saying things were perfect in my Guinness-reading childhood back in the 1970s. But we definitely had at least one massive advantage over my children's generation: we didn't have to put up with gangs of dreary, sermonising, gag-inducingly right-on adults trying to fill our innocent little heads with breast-beating, guilt-making bilge about how we were destroying the planet. Which left us plenty of time spare to worry about the kind of things children really should be scared of - crocs, snakes and killer sharks, for example.

Indeed, these days we have to put up with breast-beating, guilt-inducing bilge about James Delingpole being right about everything.

Yes, The Australian achieves its eminent status as a solid reporter of science ... by publishing a blogging troll, and a particularly obvious and inept one at that, who starts out by blathering how he's met Gina Rinehart, glimpsed a man-eating reptile and survived a visit to the home of the world's ten deadliest snakes.

What a bee hive of brain-dead cliches. What, no prawns? He didn't meet Hoges? No 'roo or wombat?

Enough already. You can bet when it gets down to climate science, it shows all the insight of a troll of the worst kind as he berates hysterical drivel, the Guinness Book of Records (for daring to mention climate science and changes in the world), Greg Combet, Tim Flannery, ABC documentaries, and settles it all with this:

Isn't this exactly why Ian Plimer wrote How To Get Expelled From School as a desperate attempt to counteract all the environmental brainwashing to which our kids are now constantly subjected?

Just another troll indulging in his own peculiar brand of brainwashing, and if you haven't caught on already, take a look at the credits the lizard Oz provides:

James Delingpole is the author of How to be Right: The Essential Guide to Making Lefty Liberals History, Welcome to Obamaland: I Have Seen Your Future and It Doesn't Work and 365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy.

Ah well, the rag did explain in its editorial that it felt the urgent need to be the home for enthusiasts, cranks and unreasonable, irrational people, and 365 ways to drive readers (at least those indulging for free) to laughter.

Job done, award won, and so we can turn to our very own prattling Polonius, the aging and irritable Gerard Henderson.

Truth to tell, the pond hasn't thought of Hendo for yonks, though - obsessive-compulsive chip on the shoulder chap that he is - he's been hard at work through the holiday break, settling scores and providing payback.

Here you go, easy access to him giving Malcolm Fraser another dust up - head prefect and Mal, where's your troosers, and Margaret Symons are right up there with the ABC on the Polonius hit list, and you can also see Hendo ravaging all the Mayans who missed the point, though surprisingly you won't find all the bloopers and howlers delivered by Hendo anywhere on the list (well there's no point in a mea culpa, nor even a mea maxima culpa, when Hendo thinks im semper recta. (we only do pidgin Latin here at the pond, but you might get the idea from recta).

Anyhoo, today's offering confirms that once predictable, always predictable, as Hendo hoes into the ABC for the umpteeth time, with a header that makes reading the actual text sublimely redundant.

After your eyes have wandered across Abbott wants ABC to flush out bias but Turnbull does not see its stacked deck, what more is to be said?

If you note that Hendo has a bizarre obsessive-compulsive fixation on the ABC, and rooting out bias and leftists and feminists and socialists and pinkos and perverts and greenies and anyone who disagrees with him in any way at all, you're merely stating the bleeding obvious.

If you note that Tony Abbott will likely enough run through the ABC like a rampaging bull in a cardigan-wearing shop, or like a dose of epsom salts, ditto.

So let's just celebrate this wondrous Hendo line for starters:

The fact is that there is more real debate on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News than on some ABC programs.

Yep, Hendo is also a troll, at least if you define trolling as posting an inflammatory message with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response. The fact is that comparing an entire network to "some" selected programs is a really stupid argument ...

Hendo seems to have been set off on his new year vendetta by Tony Abbott telling the AFR that there was still a left-of-centre ethos at the ABC, and in particular bias in the news and current affairs section, only to be contradicted by big Mal daring to address a left-leaning audience at the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland ...

Left-leaning? Well they looked like hippies, you know, unkempt, uncivilised, not in suits, rolling in mud and such like Woodstock style activities, and perhaps eating vegan, and so by definition, left-leaning.

No need for a survey when you can have Hendo to hand to provide a snap judgement. If you attend a folk festival, by definition you must be a leftie. Besides, death metal was conspicuously absent and the entire 438 artists were clearly folkies, which is one step worse than lefties - yes, that includes you, Emmanuel College, University of Queensland Pipe Band (here's what you missed).

But back to big Mal getting Hendo off-side:

Turnbull went on to suggest that this ''could be perhaps a good role [for] the ABC''. So there you have it. According to Abbott, a left-of-centre ethos prevails at the ABC, which distorts some of its coverage of news and current affairs. However, according to Turnbull, the ABC is fit to assume the role of an independent fact checker, analysing the comments of politicians and columnists alike.

Oh big Mal, wouldn't it have been easier to step on a Hendo bunion and send him reeling into a corner where he could sob in private? Instead you've sent him into a public fury.

You see, Hendo sends umpteen letters a day pointing out umpteen errors a minute on the ABC, unless he's scribbling about said umpteen errors in his Media Watch Dog, and really big Mal, if you want someone who's always right and always willing to correct others, why Hendo is your man ...

Of course he's much too modest to step forward and make the point. You see he's ever so fair:

In December, the letters and opinion pages of The Australian contained substantial criticism of a perceived lack of balance on such ABC 1 programs as Insiders and Q&A. This is unfair. At least Insiders and Q&A give political conservatives a chance to state their case and, as such, provide diversity to the taxpayer-funded public broadcaster. In any event, guests on Insiders and Q&A are just that - guests. They are not employed by, or contracted to, the ABC. 

Yes, and the presence of Janet 'Dame Slap' Albrechtsen or Akker Dakker or such like is guaranteed to ensure the pond will never watch the shows. It's a win-win situation.

But there's a deeper, darker issue:

The essential criticism of the ABC is that it does not engage even one political conservative as a presenter or producer or editor on any of its prominent television or radio or online outlets. This despite Scott's pledge, made over six years ago, that, under his management, a ''further diversity of voices'' would be carried on the public broadcaster. It has not happened. 

And there you have it. Need it be noted that the ABC has singularly failed to employ Hendo, or sub-contracted some of its programming duties to the Sydney Institute, and instead has trotted out the likes of Amanda Vanstone, gadfly Brendan O'Neill and wimpish David Burchell on its token alternative radio program Counterpoint. Shocking and outrageous.

The ABC is replete with leftists or left-of-centre presenters/producers/editors. But it remains virtually a conservative-free zone. If ABC management is aware of conservatives to match the likes of Phillip Adams, Jonathan Holmes, Fran Kelly and others - then it should name names. Otherwise, it should cut the pretence. 

Yes! The mere fact that the major crime of Phillip Adams isn't being a pretend lefty who poses as such for the Murdoch press, it's his being a major source of radio tedium, is left unmentioned by Hendo.

As for Fran Kelly, presumably there's something about her that immediately skews listeners' minds. Who knows what it might be, who knows what her thought crimes are? Hendo has pronounced her guilty, and so guilty she must be ...

As for Jonathan Holmes, willing to tackle prattling Polonius's pompous platitudes, it's easy to see why he's been judged and found wanting.

Not that Hendo is in any way prejudiced. He simply can't stand certain people, he doesn't like the cut of their jib, they wind him up like a Shanghai alarm clock, and he feels compelled to hurl rocks at them while chanting "leftist, leftist, leftist" in best Joe McCarthy fashion.

But don't imagine it's a conspiracy:

There is no conspiracy at play here. It is a natural phenomenon that like-minded people tend to mix with, and engage, their own. Arthur S. Brisbane reflected on this reality after he stepped down from his two-year appointment as the public (or reader's) editor of The New York Times. 
Writing in that paper's Sunday Review on August 25 last year, Brisbane referred to a left-liberal world view, which ''virtually bleeds through the fabric of the Times''. As a result, according to Brisbane, ''developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in the Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects''. (go here if you want the original undiluted by Hendo)

Brisbane was terribly disturbed that the Times had fallen in the esteem of Republicans, and Tea Partiers and people who believe the moon is made of green cheese, but truth to tell he did much on his own initiative to lower the reputation of the Times by scribbling silliness (wondering, for example, whether the Times should run a fact check on politicians making claims about things, when everyone knows the press should allow politicians to lie as freely as they like).

Anyhoo, needless to say, the Times is completely unlike the Sydney Institute which never mixes and engages with its own, but routinely invites those with a different world view through its doors ...

Not to worry, Brisbane's words, designed for his own jaundiced view of an institution he was about to leave can be applied to any institution you like, anywhere you like. Like the ABC.

Now be careful. Don't use the words 'group think', or a herd mentality, or sheep because that might establish you as a Murdochian. How about world view?

A similar world view pervades the public broadcaster in Australia. This leads ABC staff to embrace left-liberal causes and to defend one another from criticism about lack of balance, unprofessional behaviour or factual error. 

Put it another way. No one listens to Hendo any more, and they keep on running shows by those Chaser lads, and worse still, they keep calling them lads when they're grown, offensive adults, and now they pop up everywhere on Aunty, and it's enough to make a Hendo expire with indignation. Or at least deliver that trolling line ...

The fact is that there is more real debate on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News than on some ABC programs.

How so?

The final Fox News Watch program last year consisted of a real political debate between Jim Pinkerton, Juan Williams, Richard Grenell and Judy Miller. Meanwhile, ABC 1's Media Watch program has only had leftist commentators in over two decades. Turnbull, please note. 

Yes, big Mal, please note that Hendo is barking mad, especially if he thinks that Jim Pinkerton, Juan Williams, Richard Grenell, and Judith Miller - how did she overcome her shame and come out of hiding - could produce a real, fair and balanced political debate.

But don't trust the pond, check out Fox News Watch yourself here. (nausea pills not supplied by the pond as you immediately hear how the media goes after Republican candidates, along with endless jibber jabber about media bias and how the NRA is right on the money and how wondrous Fox news coverage is, and all the other usual Fox talking points).

That's some sort of powerful hallucinatory that seems to be on the market, and the pond wants some of it.

And so in turn could the pond make a point.

What with all this relentless, incessant jibber jabber by Hendo about leftists over the decades, lord help us, the ABC and its viewers if Tony Abbott gets the reins and turns the place into a clone of The Australian - given that its news room already regurgitates most of the talking points of that rag - or that even worse, its other source of its talking points, the Fairfax press, is made over in the image of Andrew Bolt by Gina Rinehart and her cronies.

Or even worse that somehow Abbott allows Henderson or Christopher Pearson to get their paws on the ABC, for all its flaws or for all the suffering Phillip Adams inflicts on his listeners.

Turnbull, please note.

(Below: and now for some shocking scenes from Woodford. And oh dear, what is that poor child wearing? And who is that redhead? Is there talk of peace and love and such nauseating guff, when we should be admiring Fox News? Oh there's the smell of lefties in the air)


  1. Here's a massive troll, DP.
    "While I have never said ..." has a truly regal ring, don't you think? Though, it does raise a question or two.

  2. I'm beginning to regret that previous note, DP, on the grounds that it portrays The Hon Member for Rose Bay as an opportunist air-head with an eye for the quick buck.
    It's common knowledge that Mal is a man-of-the-land with (prior) interest in the workings of technical gizmos, like the Dethridge wheel.
    Now, imagine computerisation of the water distribution to irrigators. How would that be capitalised? The mind wanders to hedge funds, merchant bankers, consultants paid by Govt and the inside running.
    Never mind that, let's look at Oz as the food-bowl for East & South Asia, and how the burgeoning middle classes of India, Indonesia & China will be paying top dollar for soy & steaks, not to mention the existing market in Japan for Wagyu. Someone may be thinking about long-term investment in Oz agriculture for the future. They may be taking into their calculations the availability of water, and the trends in climate.
    May I suggest that Mr Turnbull could do us a favour by opining on the viability of long-term investment in the "food bowl", taking into account the changing weather patterns (OK, call that 'climate')? He may be able to throw some light on the application of the NBN to the managed operation of "a computerised flume gate" way out in the sticks.
    When it cools down, though, I won't wait for Mal's deliberations on that, instead putting some money into pork futures.

  3. Sorry about this, DP, must be too early.
    There's this cracker at The New Yorker with it's "it’s up to editors to self-censor".
    Going on the record of Murdoch's tools during the Iraq war, I wonder how they are dealing with the new information from Bureau of Meteorology?
    Could you, please, survey the front pages of the nation's dailies and report the occurrence of that deadly phrase "climate change"? Without scaring the cockies and Mal Turnbull, of course.

  4. Oh dear Trev, great link, but I read your comment a tad too late, and now people will suspect us of being either one and the same, or somehow involved in a conspiracy.

    Sadly I feel I must report you for a breach of the Devine injunction not to mention climate change, because it does scare the cockies so, and they go fluttering and squawking all over the place.

    You might be referring to, or interested in this special climate statement by the Bureau of Meteorology

    You'll find it in the Fairfax press, but you'll have a hard time finding it referenced by the Murdochians.

    And you can find coverage of Chairman Rupert's latest astonishing fatuous tweets. Just not in the Murdoch press, but here, sadly behind the Crikey paywall:



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