Monday, February 04, 2013

Your choice. Gun nuts or Maoist Murdochians off on the long march ...

So here we are on a Monday on the fourth of February, and what to the mug punters who actually pay for the continued existence of The Australian cop for their pains?

A story heralding the start of the federal election campaign for an election to be held on the 14th September.

Andrew Bolt notoriously wrote a headline Our life of Pi: 227 days trapped with an angry redhead back on the 31st January 2013, which was not only a slur on redheads, but in its usual outrageous Bolter way, an outright lie.

What it should have said was Our life of dire: 227 days trapped with angry Murdochians, angry buzzing bees who only know how to navel gaze.

Yes, it's left to the pond to bring you this exclusive insight, because the Murdochians are bringing you an exclusive about everything else in the known universe:

Click to enlarge, if you want an exclusive insight into how abuse of the word "exclusive" continues to be an exclusive form of stupidity at the lizard Oz.

It is, of course, journalism as a kind of marketing blitz, a tupperware party, a Mary Kay cosmetics scheme, ponzi journalism or a pyramid racket.

Here's the "exclusive" pitch:

Naturally when this is your pitch, everything has to be exclusive. It's like the old saw about a hammer seeing everything as a nail ... or perhaps a nail worrying about everything being a hammer.

The ponzi part of the pitch comes with the idea of picking up a digital pass for $1 for the first 28 days (then $2.95 per week).

The problem for the pond is that if the rag is relying on such a moronic pitch to pick up mug punters, what guarantee is there that the "exclusive access" to the "exclusive content" won't result in exclusively moronic content designed to get ongoing exclusive access to the pond's credit card?

Sadly there's none, and so the revolving splash at the top of the page is full of stuff like Troy Bramston's wild-eyed apocalyptic carry-on:

A Day of Judgment! Judgment Day!

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord and Tony Abbott cometh, for it is nigh at hand, or only a mere 220 sleeps or so away!

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, because Tony Abbott of the right hand cometh and smiteth mightily and the rich shall dwell in heaven ...

Halleluujah brother, and pass the carrot juice, and we'll all join you in a verse of a Leonard Cohen song.

And so on and so forth, trumpets and alarums, and much tinkling of empty brass in search of brass in pocket.

Can they keep it up? Covering the longest election campaign in history?

Of course they can, because it's what they do, it's all they've got to offer, and all for a dollar down for a month. Sucker!

Which is why the Bolter headline was such a bald-faced, shameless lie. Trapped with an angry redhead? Trapped with blather about Days of Judgment more likely, delivered by inconsequential pups ...

Poor Julia Gillard. Did she honestly think that the fish and chips wrappers would provide an intelligent, adult response to her long march? As opposed to getting down and dirty from day one so that angry white men like the Bolter can rage and foam and fleck and spittle and froth ...

Meanwhile, over at Fairfax, the fine compilation of gutter-trawling conspiracy docs assembled for tin foil hat wearers (thanks Ricky Stewart, good job, well done) and streamed to the world - get your twin towers conspiracy here -  has disappeared from the masthead, and instead we're left with the thoughts of generally grumpy Paul Sheehan.

And what do you know, he's gone into election mode too, with Thomson caught in the political spin cycle.

What's even more astonishing is that Sheehan's column has been deemed to be worthy of a forced video.

What an extraordinary conflation. 

You click on Sheehan expecting a dose of the usual turgid pomposity and Labor bashing, mixed in magic water, and stirred with climate science, and instead you cop forced tabloidism LIVE!

Perhaps it's just as well, because Sheehan spends his entire column using Craig Thomson to bash the Gillard government.

He rabbits on about how it's a way of assessing its moral foundation, without seeming to understand the notion of "innocent until found guilty" or pausing to consider what using the Thomson matter in the way he does reveals about his own moral foundation. 

Or the shifting sands used for the foundation.

Now the pond has absolutely no way of knowing whether Thomson is guilty as charged, or innocent. Neither has Sheehan, which results in much innuendo and speculation, and a trial by newspaper columnist.

It might well be that Thomson is guilty, it might well be that he can persuade a court of his innocence. One thing's certain. Sheehan is not a judge, nor yet a member of a jury, and yet he writes as judge and jury, for political reasons and political intent.

This is gotcha journalism of the yellow press kind. It's not the pond's business to defend Thomson against Sheehan. Who knows what he might have done, and if it's shown he did it, then throw the book at him. But what if the charges don't stick? What if we've been given yet another dose of 'magic water' journalism from that magic water man Paul Sheehan?

 Truth to tell, with Sheehan already down in the gutter with Thomson, and the entire Murdoch press off on a long march with the political pixies - which makes Mao's long march look like a doddle or a short walk in the park - the pond is thinking of abandoning Australian loons for American loons.

There's rich pickings over the Pacific. Every day Wayne LaPierre from the NRA comes out with astonishing nonsense - like suggesting government is in the business of passing laws which only criminals will follow - which turns into rich pickings for the likes of Jon Stewart - and Fox News ratings are suddenly in the war zone, and the country more and more resembles an armed compound full of paranoids toting military gear (quick, Walmart is running short of ammo), and a Tennessee Senator can come out with this:

I think video games is a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people.

Thanks Lamar Alexander, but surely you remember the line, video games don't kill people, people kill people.

Doonesbury is currently in flashback mode, but deep thinkers like Lamar make his old stuff seem positively inspired and relevant, like his offering over the weekend.

Old Doonesbury and a mad paranoid country in the grip of military weapons, imagining it's still living in the old west or perhaps in a Tarantino western with Django? This is better?

Yep, anything's more interesting than Paul Sheehan in the gutter, and Maoist Murdochians off on their long march ...

(Below: click to enlarge, more Doonesbury here, including the full version which introduces the illegal alien in the first two panels)


  1. When Prof Peter Van Onselen is saying Labor have a leadership problem, I'd say that chances are that they are doing it right. It was Rudd's inability to take on Abbott that lost him the job (I guess that's why PVO, Michelle Grattan, et al want him back)

  2. What? 3.57 cents a day!!! Tell 'em their dreamin'!
    Sheehan assessing moral foundation:Will the price of ink never stop falling?


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