Sunday, March 02, 2014
Remember, all the best journalists get gamed on Trip Advisor ...
(Above: Nicholson on the good old days. More Nicholson here. How the Murdochians loved them)
The pond is always delighted by comedy routines, and it has to be said that the comedy stylings by Miranda the Devine in the Terror - the least trusted newspaper in Australia - are routinely a tabloid delight.
Today she picks up the baton which is usually reserved by the reptiles at the lizard Oz who at least once a day rage at Clive Palmer, and with the new senate election in Western Australia, will now shortly embark with renewed vigour on an escalating bout of Palmerbashingmania.
The Devine opens her routine this way, with a cascading gag:
Clive Palmer, the unlikely darling of the ABC, had two Tony Jones outings last week, most recently on Lateline, where he expounded on aviation matters while snuffling and snorting like Darth Vader in an iron lung.
When Palmer supported the LNP, the ABC treated him like a fat buffoon.
Now, of course, he is a sage. Palmer is licking his rosebud lips in anticipation of power to come. But first he has to get through a re-run of the WA Senate poll, and there is every chance that voters might wise up to the gimlet-eyed opportunist beneath the fleshy jocularity.
He’s been on the ABC’s flagship shows, Lateline or QandA, on average once a fortnight since the election, and is treated like royalty.
Once a fortnight? He's held up as Satan in Murdoch rags once a day at least. Satan couldn't buy the sort of publicity the Murdochians offer him ...
Of course when Palmer supported the LNP, the Murdochians treated him like a sage.
Was it only in March 2012 that the Devine was shrieking this?
Wayne Swan is carrying on more like Hugo Chavez than the Treasurer of Australia with his extraordinary attacks on “greedy” billionaires.
His complaint against miners Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart and any other wealthy “vested interests” who don’t agree with him is that they are “poison” to Australia, as he wrote in an essay in The Monthly magazine.
“The combination of deep pockets, conservative political support and, of course, the ranting of shock jocks more and more brazenly has sought to defend promote the interests of a very narrow section of our economy,” he told the National Press Club yesterday. (here)
Oh those hapless, defenceless billionaires. Pluck that chook Swanee's feathers good, pluck that duck hard ...
Brave Miranda, fighting for truth and justice and the rights of billionaires...
Of course Clive was right on the same page, and turned up on Lateline to say it, and get quoted in Australian Conservative:
...what we have got to consider for the future is what works for our country. We know the resource sector has been working.
If it ain’t broken, leave it alone. Don’t try to tinker with it. Don’t try to destroy it. You know, don’t try to bring it back to some… Just because you happen to be a socialist or a communist like we know Mr-Mr Swan is, as he wants equal distribution.
Those ideas have been tossed out in Eastern Europe. They’ve been tossed out in Communist China. But comrade Rudd and his team are going to bring them back to Australia.
“Let’s have fair distribution across the board and no productivity! Let’s shrink the pie completely till it’s the size of a lamington.”
My god! What’s going to happen to this country if we let people do that? Let’s say -- let’s make a firm stand against the ALP and send them into the Opposition where they belong.
Yes, take that you socialist pinko pervert commie lamington, comrade chook Swannee ...
Back in the day, everyone on the right loved Clive. He was a generous donor to the Liberals, he made the right noises about climate change, he was opposed to the mining tax, he was opposed to the carbon tax, he was on side with a federal Liberal government, and no one in Murdoch la la land worried about him or what he might have got up to as a wheeler dealer.
Lordy how the wheels do turn:
A turncoat conservative is a rare prize to be carefully cultivated. Especially one full of colourful bile who, by an accident of electoral history and lots of cash, has found himself in a position to wield enormous power.
Palmer is a loose cannon who deserves scrutiny.
Ah that old gag:
But the ABC’s interest is not the investigative probing of The Australian’s estimable reporter Hedley Thomas, who has dug out facts on Palmer’s wealth, business dealings and numerable legal stoushes so that the Australian people can judge whether they have themselves a pig in a poke or a pearl in the parliament.
Is Palmer an altruistic self-made man under siege from a media controlled by a Chinese Mata Hari? Or is he a tyrant who inflates his wealth and achievements?
But what the ABC seems most interested in is what Palmer will do to foil the Abbott government in the Senate.
Poetic comedy gold. Of course if you re-wrote it, you could turn it into dull as dishwater prose:
A turncoat conservative is a rare prize to be richly loathed. Especially one full of colourful bile who, by an accident of electoral history and lots of cash, has found himself in a position to turn that bile on Tony Abbott.
Palmer is a loose cannon who deserves scrutiny. Not when he was a loose cannon aimed the right way. Now when he's a loose cannon who takes pot shots at Tony Abbott and The Australian.
But Murdoch la la land's not interested in how the conservative media turned Palmer and Gina Rinehart into valiant billionaire warriors batting the heathen socialist commie pervert Swannee, the carbon tax, climate science, Queensland and Federal Labor, and all the rest of the bleeding heart greenie leftie alliance ...
Now they're changed their collective hive minds, and have decided that the Australian people, rather than getting a pearl in parliament, have scored a pig in the poke who won't follow the party line, and so must be exposed on a daily basis, and no matter how absurd the trivia dug up by one time estimable reporter turned tragic attack dog, Hedley Thomas... and speaking of trivia, you haven't seen trivia until you've seen it done by Miranda the Devine ...
Is Palmer an altruistic self-made man under siege from a media controlled by a Chairman Rupert, who recently divorced his Chinese Mata Hari? Or is he a tyrant who inflates his wealth and achievements? And is he helping fuck the planet? And is that Clive Palmer or Chairman Rupert?
Well what Miranda the Devine and the rest of the Murdochians seems most interested in, and direly concerned about, and so will do anything to run him down, is what Palmer will do to foil the Abbott government in the Senate.
What's most wondrous and marvellous is the way that the revised history, worthy of Orwell, except for the cost to the Godwin's swear jar, is written.
It seems it's all the fault of the ABC that these scenes appeared:
There was a time when the national broadcaster delighted in mocking Palmer, always running footage of him waddling onto his private jet, collapsing onto a kingsize seat and promptly falling asleep with his mouth open. ABC cameramen have lost count of the apnoea snorts they’ve captured for posterity. Those were the days when Clive and his juicy rolls of filthy lucre were valued members of the LNP family.
Like the night of the hung election in 2010, when he squeezed onto a couch at the Four Seasons Hotel alongside party grandees, crunching numbers himself on a little silver laptop perched on his lap, loudly proclaiming results to all and sundry.
He was incorrect, as it turned out, but, hey, it was a tough election to call. He soon felt scorned by Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott, who failed to recognise his unique political acumen, so he started his own party and tweaked into parliament with two senators.
Filthy lucre? Alongside party grandees? A loud number cruncher? What, like a billionaire Bob Ellis?
What's the ABC got to do with a bunch of phoney right wing politicians fawning over a rich man?
Never mind, the pond will bite because Miranda the Devine must have some really good stuff to roll out on Clive. What grubby dirt, what shocking revelations has she got?
Well she's really down on Palmer's Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast ...
The fearless, dedicated, intrepid, 'turn up all the stone's investigative reporter has hied herself off to Trip Advisor and selectively quoted feedback on the site, including the thoughts of Natasha, shouting "WE WOULD NEVER GO THERE AGAIN EVEN IF IT WAS FREE!
Look, you can do the same by heading off to Trip Advisor to read about Palmer Coolum Resort.
Oh sure you might say that Trip Advisor regularly gets gamed, that there are positive as well as negative comments, but you clearly don't know how to do it.
You should only pluck out a few negative comments and just like that, lickety split, the hatchet job is done.
And there you go, you're now a senior investigative reporter, and should forthwith report to duty at one of Chairman Rupert's tabloids.
But don't stop there, a genuine investigative reporter would also take in wotif.com, here, and so on.
Then it suddenly occurred to the pond, with a deep sadness, the depth of the decline in Australian reporting and commentating.
Trip Advisor?! With the capper, the punchline, That is good advice for WA voters, too.
It's beyond the valley of the pathetic and the weird. It's Fawlty Towers journalism at work ...
Of course there's plenty of genuine scandals surrounding Clive.
For example, the way Waratah Coal was given environmental approval to develop the Galilee Basin by the Federal Government during the Xmas silly season, which will involve creating an expanded Abbott Point terminal, and dredging 3 million cubic metres and disposing of the contents within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Along with it, the 8,000 hectare Bimblebox Nature Refuge is likely to be destroyed by the project (here). Given the nod by Tony "climate science is crap" Abbott and henchman Hunt ...
And for what? So we can ship even more coal overseas and do our best to add to the dangers the planet faces ...
And to its undying shame the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approved the 'dumping of dredged gunk' proposal, here, thereby supporting big business at the expense of all the small businesses who make money out of tourism.
And there are other matters, like Clive Palmer's company Queensland Nickel not prosecuted over toxin discharge in Barrier Reef marine park.
And yet all that Miranda the Devine can offer is a few comments on Trip Advisor ...
It's understandable of course.
The Devine shares all Clive Palmer's views on coal, climate science, digging up Australia and shipping it to China, comrade Swannee, the filthy greenies, throwing the rubbish into the Great Barrier Reef, destroying the environment, and so on and so forth ...
In fact if you put the two ideological peas in a pod, you couldn't pick them apart. Except that now Clive has gone feral and native, and somehow it's all the fault of the ABC ...
Pig in a poke crappy journalism? Or pearls of tabloid wisdom? Or pure comedy gold?
The pond merely reports and you decide, but does suggest that if you rely on Trip Advisor for genuine insights for your travel arrangements, you also should learn how to put chlorine in your pool and how to set a Kreepy Krawly in motion ... but don't expect it to work for the Great Barrier Reef ...
(Below: Clive Palmer, with Miranda the Devine in those days guest starring in the role of the cat. An old David Rowe, with new David Rowe here)
Posted by dorothy parker at 3/02/2014 10:03:00 AM