Sunday, June 23, 2013

You can't look back, you can never look back, unless you're the backward-looking at Fairfax ...

(Above: verily the most excellent David Pope is a genius, and you can find more Pope here, and what better way to spend a Sunday than meditating on a Pope?)

And so to a song:

Out on the road today 
I saw a deadhead sticker on a cadillac 
A little voice inside my head said: 
"Don't look back, you can never look back" 
I thought I knew what love was 
What did I know? 
Those days are gone forever 
I should just let them go but, 
I can see you 
Your brown skin shining in the sun 
You got the top pulled down 
Radio on baby 
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong 
After the boys of summer have gone 
I can see you 
Your brown skin shining in the sun 
You got your hair slicked back and those 
Wayfarers on, baby 
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong 
After the boys of summer, have gone

Now if you move in the wrong crowd - which is to say actual loons who can remember the hits of  George Orwell's 1984 - you can get yourself into a fierce argument as to whether The Boys of Summer owes its success to Don Henley or to the guitar work of Mike Campbell.

You have to think that the editor of The Age would plump for Campbell, because clearly he doesn't have the first fucking clue as to what the lyrics might mean.

Yes, the pond is late arriving at the scene of yet another Fairfax accident:

Oh baby, don't look back, you can never look back, those days are gone forever.

What was most astonishing about The Age's ill-considered, pathetic intervention, by way of front page editorial For the sake of the nation, Ms Gillard should stand aside?

Well it wasn't the notion that Gillard should stand aside - that's a reasonable enough proposition.

No, it was the proposal that she should stand aside for the egomaniacal, verging on sociopathic, self-regarding, self-serving, white-anting, deviant, leaking, completely vengeful former Chairman Rudd, surrounded as he is by fearful second rate hacks fearful and clutching at straws in the hope of survival.

What's most astonishing is the logic embalmed in the thought processes of editor-in-chief Andrew Holden:

Our fear is that if there is no change in Labor leadership before the September 14 election, voters will be denied a proper contest of ideas and policies - and that would be a travesty for the democratic process.

The irony is of course that former Chairman Rudd is, and has been for some time, a vacuum-trapped policy free bit of bubble wrap, and completely free of policies, and utterly uninterested in the contest of ideas, except the one that he's fixated on: "regardez-moi, regardez-moi", and perhaps "Je suis le roi soleil, Je suis le roi soleil".

What's even more bizarre is The Age's optimistic, delusionary notion that the return of Rudd would ensure a vigorous period in opposition:

Outright control of both houses may be delivered to the Coalition and, more importantly for our democracy, the opportunity for Labor to present a vigorous opposition in Parliament would be diminished.

But if Rudd were to return, he would preside over a profoundly, bitterly divided group, aware that it was Rudd's white-anting and leaking that made the run up to 2010 so hard, and aware that in the past two years he has played the spoiler in a way that has given Tony Abbott a free kick every day of the week.

What's more, many of Rudd's policies have been over-turned over the past few years, and some of them will find it hard to make a come-back.  For example, we've seen Gillard turning John Howard on the matter of boat people -  but even this hasn't stopped Tony Abbott from running with the notion that he'll be able to turn the boats back to Indonesia, and Indonesia won't mind.

And Abbott hasn't done it alone. Don't look to Fairfax for a stern examination of Abbott's policies.

Instead the Fairfax media, and its poll-driven reporting - especially the likes of Peter Hartcher - have helped former Chairman Rudd smirk and smile his way into the public eye, with nary a thought of what he might actually want or manage to do when it comes to a re-invigoration of Labor party policies.

And this is why, in part, Gillard is in a such a precarious situation.

The Age's editorial, de-stabilsing front page all-out assault and all, is just another part of that process.

What's even more astonishing is this - yes the pond kept reading the editorial with an increasing sense of bemused astonishment:

As it stands, the Coalition is being given a free run by a Labor Party which is tormented by its own frailties; too many of the Coalition's proposed policies, some little more than slogans, are sliding through. 

Let's just re-word that a little:

As it stands, the Coalition is being given a free run by a Fairfax media pack which is fascinated by personalities and by Rudd v Gillard, and whose coverage is about as deep as a stagnant, mosquito-infested pool of swamp water; too many of the Coalition's proposed policies, some little more than slogans, are sliding through

Yes, there you have it, in black and white, a newspaper acknowledging that it is completely incapable of ruthlessly examining proposed policies, and instead is allowing mere slogans to slide on through.

As an example and proof, look no further than the evidence that David Pope is one of the few to have provided a trenchant critique of the stupidities inherent in Abbott's 'head north pilgrims' routine.

If the Labor party isn't up to the job, what on earth is preventing Fairfax from being up to the job? Doesn't Fairfax pride itself on its stern understanding of policies?

No, what the mug punter readers got instead was a pathetic defence of the editorial, in Age editor-in-chief defends editorial, which explained that it was in reality a knee-jerk reaction fo a recent Nielsen poll.

A bloody poll! And then came this:

Mr Holden said the editorial would have no bearing on how the paper's reporters would cover the election or the Prime Minister. 
"We will be fair and we'll be accurate," he said. 
"If Ms Gillard remains as prime minister up to the election campaign we'll give her the sort of coverage she's entitled to and we will continue to report the policy argument."

Now never mind Gillard, she might or might not be around, let's see how the rag reported the policy argument in relation to what Tony Abbott contended was a major policy statement in relation to the development of the northern parts of Australia.

Go on, scan the rag for its in-depth analysis and reporting of the policy argument.

What do do you find?

Well at the top of the digital page, there's a story about how Abbott's carbon tax mantra has been blunted ... by reference to another poll.

And Tim Colebatch produces It's north versus south in Abbott's vision for a food bowl, but it's remarkably short, and lacking in detail, considering there's already a number of significant and lengthy reports on the table that undermine Abbott's vision. (here you go, start with the northern Australian sustainable yields project).

And what do we get from Peter Hartcher, regularly given space in The Age as part of its shrinking heritage? Yep, yet another dose of Gillard v Rudd, heavily balanced towards Rudd, in Political vanity personal pride.

The sort of entrails-ferreting, runes-reading scribbling that Fairfax has indulged in for the past year, to the point where the pond has had no interest in reading or writing about what its pundits have to say.

Instead of this saturation coverage of the musings of a vengeful sociopathic sun king in exile, was it completely impossible for the Fairfax press to settle down, and give Abbott's northern policy a good going over?

Yes it was, and that's the tragedy of today's poll-driven, personality focussed, adolescent, spiteful, petty and gossipy Fairfax media.

Now the pond has no dog in this fight - neither major party will attract its vote - but it does have an interest in policy. Which is more than you can say for the hacks at Fairfax, who think it's okay to write an editorial about Labor's leadership, but can't drum up the internal fortitude or intelligence to tackle Abbott's wilful abuse of a northern dreaming head on. Instead the pilgrims are in their covered wagons and on their way ...

If only the pond still lived in Victoria, so we could refuse to buy the rag ...

What's that, fork out for a digital sub? In your dreams ...

Never mind, like most recent efforts by Fairfax, we could almost put its thoughts into a pop song, which is where we came in. Take it away Don:

Nobody on the road 
Nobody on the beach 
I feel it in the air 
The Ruddster's out of reach 
Empty pews, empty church door-stopper
The sun goes down alone 
I'm driving by your house 
Though I know you're not home 
But I can see you 
Your smirking smile shining in the sun 
You got your hair combed back and your 
Blue tie and suit on baby 
I can tell you Harcher's love for you will still be strong 
After Tony Abbott's boys of summer, have gone 
I never will forget those nights 
I wonder if it was a dream  
Remember how you made me crazy 
Remember how I made you scream 

(Oh chairman Rudd to it to me, do it,
Only 55 and he knows how to nasty)

Now I don't understand 
What happened to the caucus love 
But babe I'm gonna get it back for you  
I'm gonna show you what I'm made of 
I can see you 
Your blue tie and sharp suit shining in the sun 
I see you walking real slow 
Smiling at everyone 
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong 
After the boys of caucus have gone

(Below: take away cartoonists like Tandberg and there's sfa left at Fairfax worth a look)


  1. Dear Dorothy
    Thank you for your essay on those cretins at Fairfax but we also have to contend with other turd brained idiots reading from the same song sheet.
    So please write about the idiots so I am kept up to date with these pretend to be journalists if we could only have them sent north for re-education about tropical agriculture they may then come back down and tell all how easy it is to breed cane toads.
    I am having a go at blogging but did leave school at 14 because. So i do have and excuse for poor grammar and literacy.
    But these journalists have no excuse for their inability to inquire into complex and not so complex subjects so I put their lack of diligence down to straight out laziness.

  2. Surreal! It's no wonder Jeffrey Smart died of shame.


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