Monday, August 05, 2013

The pond discovers Elvis is alive and well and living in Paul Sheehan ...

So it's on, and with it, a barely endurable five weeks,

The pond has already been astonished by Fran Kelly's breathless announcement on RN this morning that 'this election will be contested in every seat', or similar words, of breathtaking banality ...

Mindful of various requirements of assorted acts, the pond will not be urging anyone to do anything during this fraught season.

In any case, some will think it's just a matter of Brisbane v Manly, or perhaps Collingwood v Carlton, or if you will, and you think it should be a three cornered contest, Mark Rothko v Jackson Pollock v Richard Serra ...

Even commenting on the commentariat will become an odious, tedious task.

But there are bright spots, if bizarre.

For some reason, Generally grumpy Paul Sheehan has decided to distract himself by taking a tilt at the News Corp windmill.

After yesterday's tabloid effort for the Sun-Herald, Murdoch's vicious attacks on Rudd: it's business, he's at it again today in A 21st Century Fox playing chicken.

This time it's Kim Williams in the Sheehan sights, and just as Col Pot's nickname got a run, so do assorted nicknames of the Kim kind:

Kim Williams, the chief executive of the largest media company in Australia, has become widely known within News Corp Australia by a variety of names involving ''Kim'' and ''il''. There is Kim Il-sung, the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic, or Kim Jong-il, the dictator's unstable son and successor, or Kim Jong-un, the present leader of North Korea who is just as erratic and autocratic as his grandfather and father - or, my favourite, Kim Il-will.

If nothing else, this makes the pond feel much better about routinely calling Sheehan Chicken Little Generally Grumpy ...

Sheehan takes as his golden tablet this tweet by the great Satan:

Indeed, and sic to the misplaced apostrophe too. No wonder News Corp reptiles are journo bums. 

But really hours of please can be had by perusing the tweets of RM (frolic here):

Yes, that'd be the MySpace News Corp fucked up.

Because weather is climate don't you know, and climate is weather, and hey ho, let's keep that climate science going gung ho at the lizard Oz.

Yes indeedy, because what's wrong with a woman showing her tits so I can make money off them? 

Damned elites, where's Nick Cater when we need him to stand up for tits and bums against the deviant puritans ...

Because, after all, what's wrong with resting and taking spiritual comfort, after giving a damn good lecture at the spiritual home of big tobacco, big mining and climate science denialism? 

Damned rich kids, just like me a pretentious, pompous, deluded, grasping, greedy power monger, and as poor as a powerless church mouse to boot ... So what's new?

And so on and so forth:

Yes, you can see where the reptiles at the lizard Oz get their feed lines from ... PC this, PC that, because the great Satan just loves to muck in ...

But back to Sheehan, who must have pondered a little about where he was heading, because he spends a good deal of time trashing Williams - He married Gough Whitlam's daughter Catherine and has had a long affinity with the Labor party - and eek, look, Kim il has run around with the classical music crowd and the film mob, the indecent filthy pervert ... and then he comes out with this ....

Where the interests of the newspapers and Foxtel have converged is in the company's trenchant opposition to Rudd's national broadband network, a multibillion national infrastructure that is a classic gold-plated, hastily-conceived, poorly-executed, over-budget example of Rudd grandiosity. The network is both an ambitious national infrastructure project and a juicy target - a target the News Corp newspapers have not missed, running hundreds of stories, which have included some very good reporting about the many obvious shortcomings of the network, and some hyperbole.

It makes for poignant reading. You see, Sheehan was supposed to have produced the splendid insight that News Corp had unfairly targeted the NBN's notion of fibre to the home, when everybody knows that copper or wireless will do, even if they won't do, and today he suddenly remembers that he's actually on the same side, that the NBN and its dream of fibre is a gold-plated example of grandiosity.

It's extraordinary, the inability of Sheehan to hold two thoughts in noggin at the same time.

How can he accuse News Corp of hyperbole after coming out with that line?

... a classic gold-plated, hastily-conceived, poorly-executed, over-budget example of Rudd grandiosity.

It's an entirely stupid remark that would be entirely at home at News Corp, allegedly and ostentatiously the subject of his spleen ...

And then he suddenly remembers his thesis, and heads back to the bleeding obvious:

As News Corp has borne down on the NBN, it has borne down on a project which presents a threat to the business model of the Foxtel monopoly. The Coalition is opposed to the NBN in its present form, offering a less costly but less ambitious national broadband strategy which would leave Foxtel, and Telstra's copper-wire network, in a stronger position in the current landscape. 

Uh huh. That's be the classic copper-plated, Victorian era conceived, poorly maintained, expensive and completely useless example of Abbott's ludditism ...

It is argued that Foxtel has nothing to fear from the NBN because the cost of content is expensive, and big media companies have a natural advantage of scale. This is true. But News Corp learned a lesson when it tried to compete with the emerging juggernaut of Facebook by buying MySpace. Instead, it saw new technology overwhelm old advantages. 

Actually it was greed that did in MySpace. At a time when users needed to be cultivated and given a good social experience, they were inundated with advertisements to repay the bizarre bubble price that Murdoch paid for the site (c. $580 million in 2005). Murdoch was always destined to take a bath in an area he doesn't have a clue about ...

Sadly Sheehan can't even tease out the lesson they should have learned ... and simple-mindedly blames it on technology overwhelming old advantages. New technology was the least of it, respecting your users and their experience much more of it ...

But back to Sheehan for a final word:

The problem for News Corp in waging a furious campaign against the NBN, and a campaign against Rudd, is that the company has a long record of blending journalistic campaigns with corporate self-interest.

Yes, but if their corporate self-interest coincides with incisive reporting, is there a problem with them reporting on ...

... a classic gold-plated, hastily-conceived, poorly-executed, over-budget example of Rudd grandiosity?

Truth to tell, the very last person that Fairfax should send in to do battle with News Corp and the Murdochians is the Generally Grumpy Sheehan, because he'd fit right at home with them.

He actually believes in the siren song of the Murdochians, and when he scribbles about the evils of a campaigning News Corp, he's revealed as riddled with contradictions, hypocrisy, and of course the standard amount of News Corp bile and liverish spleen ...

Well it's what passes for entertainment at the pond, and meanwhile the leaden finger of Col Pot can today be seen at work in the Daily Terror.

Except of course that the rabid ferals at the Terror have been producing this sort of hysteria for months:

What a pity that all Fairfax offers as an alternative is the likes of Sheehan ...

And why do you think that Sheehan might have bent a little today?

And started to talk of gold-plating?

Well the reptiles of the lizard Oz seized with glee big Mal's take-down on his blog yesterday, and celebrated with Darren Davidson's NBN piece 'misconceived' (behind the paywall because Murdoch wants you to pay for lies and deception) which concluded thusly:

"There are a lot of conspiracy theories whirling around the internet and most of them find their way on to Twitter. They don't usually find their way into mainstream newspapers," Mr Turnbull wrote. 
 A spokesman for News Corp Australia said the coverage of the NBN in its newspapers was "driven by our mastheads doing their job - scrutinising the expenditure of very large amounts of public money. "Articles in competitor publications that suggest otherwise are complete nonsense, up there with sightings of Elvis. Foxtel faces competition with or without the government's NBN," he said. "Foxtel . . . continues to invest and innovate, and launch new products offering consumers expanded choice and control over what they watch.

The anonymous spokesman's remarks are of course comical - Elvis and all that - and at the same time completely fraudulent, because the coverage of the NBN, much like the coverage of climate science, long ago went beyond the valley of the rabid in News Corp, completely out of control and completely hysterical, and there has been no worse offender than the ostensibly broadsheet Australian, which has been out of control in its campaigning and in its conflation of opinion and news ...

But is Sheehan the one to point this out?

Not really. He does in fact bear a startling resemblance to Elvis Presley ...

Oh yes, it's going to be a long five weeks ...

(Below: a couple of distractions)


  1. What's happening to poor Pauly-Wauly? Here I am thinking yesterday, he's finally found something worth writing about, something he can get his teeth into, as it were. Satan obviously got to him overnight, because he's suddenly gone all weak-kneed.

  2. I've got it, DP! Sheehan is a mole!

  3. DP, thanks to your impeccable daily twitching guide I was able to correctly spot most here:

    1. Excellent quiz Anon, but the pond has to admit failing the Cory Bernardi question and the three Fs needed to save western civilisation. We were certain Fuck Women, Fuck Gays and Fuck Islamics was the correct answer, and are now demanding a recount from New Matilda

  4. I note The Daily Terror is now gushing from the gutter into the sewer.

  5. This should have been The Daily Terror's front page today:

    1. thanks higgs boson, that's worth stealing


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