Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mark Latham, Chris Kenny, the wretched Bolter and a dose of cricketing metaphors ...

(Above: the pond continues its infatuation with David Pope, here, and develops a taste for cricketing metaphors, apparently the best way to explain that the Australian media and the political class is full of losers and dropkicks).

And another thing.

It took the pond most of the day to remember that the free copy of the AFR would have landed on the front verandah, and sure enough it was there, and inside was the irrepressible Mark Latham.

The pond has developed a soft spot for Latham, ever since his immortal trashing of Gra Gra Richardson, which Mike Carlton also felt the need to pay homage to this weekend. (Labor gets some good advice far too late - being a fat cat Carlton also squealed about super).

There needs to be balance in all things, and a trashing of Gra Gra is just as useful as Paul McGeough trashing that pompous stockinged prat Alexander Downer in Alexander leaves us on a downer.

What a despicable wretched twit he is, but what luck the story is accompanied by a great cartoon by a great cartoonist:

What a fine Lady Macbeth Downer would make ... oh wait, he's already played the part for years ...

Has anyone learned anything? Well if you want the surest sign that Peter Hartcher, the journalist who single-handedly has driven Fairfax down a Rudd back alley, is now completely delusional, cop the wrap up to his own piece on the Downer follies, headed Blind allies of mass destruction:

If this means a future Liberal government is more rigorous and more independent-minded than the last one in making life and death decisions of war, then perhaps a central lesson has been learnt after all.

Oh go jerk the other chain, and jerk it bloody hard, you concocter of corn for geese.

Do you think any of the squawking geese, including Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott, right there at the head of the pack of the free and willing, deputy sheriff badges in hand, have learnt anything, anything at all from their decade long folly, which included the decade of denialism that subsequently followed, and the stupidity of elder party statesmen like "Downer bummer dude" Downer saying everything was for the best in the best of all worlds ...

Go back to writing about how the Labor party needs Rudd, and needs him now ...

Anyhoo, back to Mark Latham. The breaking of a taxi driver arm always made the pond wonder, that is until a recent encounter with a Sydney taxi driver made the breaking of an arm seem like an extremely mild, even fond, form of remonstration (yes, you, you crazed demonic speeding cabbie from hell).

And happily this week, he's writing about the political media, a generic brand which includes delusional axe-grinders like Hartcher and co and kith and kin.

Happily for the moment, Real joke is the political media, is outside the paywall, presumably because it's the only way known the AFR can attract a few hits.

Talk about a few hits and hoicks to the boundary:

David Speers, Kieran Gilbert, Chris Kenny, Peter van Onselen and Graham Richardson made more mistakes than the Australian batting line-up in India. Sky’s viewers would have been more accurately informed if the station had simply broadcast a test pattern. 
By Sunday, Richardson was in excuse mode, saying he didn’t know what was going on because, “I had a few personal issues, some family health things and I wasn’t on the phones.” 
If these problems distracted him from proper research, why did he repeatedly appear on radio and television claiming Rudd would run and win? 
In truth, Richardson couldn’t help himself, vaingloriously posing as a Labor insider and numbers man. This says a lot about media culture: the importance of ego ahead of accuracy.

Viewers would have been more accurately informed if the station had simply broadcast a test pattern. Oh dear ... and as for that cricketing metaphor ...

Too true, in the way that people catching trains in Sydney are more reliably informed by coming to understand that there is no timetable, there never was, and there never will be, and staring transfixed at the screens blinking the news that the train is only four minutes away can lead to a happy forty minutes of hypnotised bliss.

Thanks Bazza ... by golly that second Sydney airport in Canberra connected by NSW government very fast pigeon is going to be a real work of art ...

Now you can read the rest of the Latham piece at your leisure, but the pond was titillated at the way the ugly noggin of Chris Kenny appears in it.

The pond had wanted to knock the useless coconut, or the four piece six stitcher, or whatever the cricketing metaphor is, right out of the Easter show stall.

Oh let's just settle for knocking the Kenny block off in the Tamworth way.

Sadly the pond didn't do a good job, so it's handy that Latham steps up to the plate, or the crease or whatever the useless cricket metaphor would be:

Chris Kenny represents a different kind of ethical problem, involving questions of transparency and the public’s right to know. As a former chief of staff to Liberal foreign minister Alexander Downer and Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, plus an unsuccessful Liberal preselection candidate in South Australia, Kenny is a rusted-on barracker for the conservative side of politics. 
Yet in his role as a Sky News presenter and editorial writer and columnist at The Australian, he has failed to declare his political background in the usual manner – that is, on his employers’ websites and at the end of his columns. 
Indeed, on The Australian’s website, Kenny’s Liberal links have been airbrushed from history. He is described as “a writer and columnist . . . who has worked in newspaper, television and radio journalism, as well as politics and media management, for three decades”. The blurb depicts him as an independent commentator when, in reality, he is a Liberal propagandist. 
This is the equivalent of Target advertising its clothes as Prada – a false and misleading practice. 

Or perhaps an aluminium bat promoting itself as solid willow, or a cricket groin protector box as a face guard, or whatever the cricket metaphor might be ...

On February 1 in The Australian, for instance, Kenny wrote a detailed piece on the South Australian Liberal Party, promoting Downer’s credentials as a state leader. 
At no stage did he reveal his close ties to his former boss – a sharp conflict of interest. This is the type of unethical behaviour for which a PIMA is required.

Indeed. What's even more remarkable is that Kenny found any credentials at all to promote. At least he deserves kudos for being a tireless worker in the Augean stables ... or whatever the cricketing metaphor might be as he trundles in from the Paddington end against a stiff Downer breeze ...

Latham also does over van Onselen, another fellow travelling kool aid drinking hack who pretends to be fair and balanced, but always ends up spitting on the ball and gouging the seam with his fingernails and covering the ball in Brylcreem, so it swings like a dunny door in the gale, or whatever the cricketing metaphor might be ...

Then Latham delivers another splendid cricketing metaphor, cunning, slow, even a little underarm, as if tempting a New Zealander to score a six off a molly grubber, or whatever the cricketing metaphor might be.

Of course you have to go that low when contemplating the Bolter, and his way of handling the truth, because he can't handle the truth, can he ...

So that's why Latham bowls a bouncer straight at the Bolter's useless head as he reveals the way the Australian Press Council is treated with contempt by News Limited:

While the Australian Press Council has received extra resources in recent times, major newspaper group News Limited treats its findings with contempt. To give one example: in December the high-profile News columnist Andrew Bolt was caught out providing a misleading interpretation of climate change data from Britain’s Met Office. Bolt’s response was to attack the Press Council, accusing it of “abusing its power” and “punish(ing) conservatives”. He believes the council is “staffed by warmists” – an outrageous slur on the integrity of the organisation’s employees. 
Bolt is the W. G. Grace of public life. When he is given out, he refuses to walk – in this case, throwing his bat at the independent umpire.

The piece put the pond in a serious quandry.

Really if we're serious about proper and full disclosure, what should the masthead for a rag like The Australian say?

The Liberal newspaper of the year ...
The heart of the Liberal party ...
Der Stürmer for Australia and the Liberal party ... (it's okay, News Ltd broke Godwin's Law and it's never coming back, no more fines for the swear jar)
The Australian, a paper for all Australians, provided they're Liberal ... and maybe National party, provided they're not protectionists or slightly mad like Barners ...
The underarm mollygrubber paper of the year ...
The go for the groin or the temple heart of the nation ...

Of course there are the old favourites like Is that the truth? Or was your News Limited?

Remember when you say a line like that it's all in the delivery:

And there are other contradictions and hypocrisies to savour:

Sadly however, News Limited continues to contribute to global bullshit at an astonishing rate.

So it's good that Mark Latham is now pounding away in the AFR. 

Why if he keeps going, the pond might forget all the other dire ponces that write for the rag, and remember that a copy lands on the porch each week ...

The pond was trained by The Australian and other News Ltd publications on the art of hate and class warfare - listening to ABC FM can leave you bathed in a warm glow of fuzzy classical music - and by golly, it's good to see it given back in kind, or by way of an upper deck clearing of the table or by being despatched to the boundary or whatever the cricketing metaphor is ...

Now here's a question for Latham? Is Gerard Henderson the Bill "the corpse with pads on" Lawry or the Trevor "Barnacle" Bailey of the commentariat?

"His stubborn refusal to be out normally brought more pleasure to the team than to the spectators."

Or is there an even more boring cricketing metaphor to hand? Apart from the game itself, or reading Chris Kenny in The Australian? Or listening to Gra Gra? Or wallowing with van Onselen? Or suffering from the delusions of the Bolter? As they scratch away at the crease in search of a run or a handy dissembling distorting bit of propaganda ...

Remember lads, it's personal:

The word "Dorothy" came about from the first class cricket scene , or at least it was the first time I had come across it, it is a slang term for "a Six". So if you get hit for a six or you have hit the ball for a six someone may say to you, "geez that was a big dorothy you hit today". Justin Langer says that it may have come out of "dorothy dix- six"? (here you go, cricket coaches).

(And a big thanks to the pond's grandmother, without whose tedious prattle about cricket, the pond would know nothing of cricketing metaphors).


  1. Any Latham piece is worth the $3.30.
    For your amusement, DP, I've slapped up a couple of pages from Evgeny Morozov's 'The Net Delusion'.
    I presume A.Downer will be pumping out a book, soon, but, if we are to be without the whitewash, perhaps you can direct us to his blog, please.
    In the meantime, Morozov's latest is in the mail from Book Depository.

  2. Thanks Trevor, the pond conforms to Morozov's analysis by being deep in the Bolshoi Ballet saga at the moment

    As for the Downer bummer dude, he does have a blog, provided by thoughtful, considerate Chairman Rupert. Once upon a time it was known as Adelaide's The Advertiser, but now it's known as Alex's AdelaideNow Blog ...


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.