Friday, September 19, 2014

And so to the daily vendre des canard à moitié ...

Setting aside the current hysteria about Islamic fundies, the pond was astonished to discover, courtesy of Crikey, that Pravda by the harbour and Pravda by the Yarra had in fact and in reality transformed themselves into Pravda by the harbour and the river.

Now the pond could have found out simply by buying the tree killer edition, but that's an investigative journalist step too far ...

Simpler to click on:

Now Some propaganda with your morning paper? is behind the Crikey paywall.

Amongst the stories: "We want peace in Ukraine", written by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

At heart it seems it's a simple commercial arrangement, of the kind that exists between prostitutes and johns.

Now the pond doesn't mean to demean sex workers - any entrepreneurial way anyone wants to make a living is fine by the pond - but it was around this point in the story that the pond choked on its afternoon cordial:

Asked this morning whether he believed the inclusion of the supplement impacted the credibility of his paper, Goodsir said he didn’t. “And if I thought I did, I wouldn’t be allowing it to appear in the paper.” 
 “We’ve taken a very robust line in our news and opinion pages on the actions of the Russian government … We’re distributing a publication produced by Russian organisations about Russia, that in no way affects or influences the editorial independence of The Age or the Sydney Morning Herald. And I think our readers know that, and the publication is adequately labeled so that the reader is in no doubt as to the distinction of this advertising supplement."

This is roughly equivalent to said sex worker saying sure I did a trick, but I reserved the right elsewhere to say that the John was a lousy fuck with a small dick, for all that he roamed around bare-chested on horseback.

There were a number of indignant Crikey readers who spluttered and carried on about the story, amongst them conspiracy theorists in the matter of MH17 - it was Ukraine wot did it, and presumably Ukraine which organised the takeover of Crimea and the presence of Russian soldiers on its soil ...

Who'd have guessed that Crikey's readership was now full of paranoid conspiracy theorists?

 Paul was an early example out of the gate:

Are you suggesting we should not have access to the Russian version of events, only those that the “West” wants us to have? 
If so why are people criticizing Russia for having no press freedom, when that is what appears to be advocated in this article? Pretty pathetic effort if I am correct.

Which, if the pond might re-interpret, and keep that hooker metaphor going, is roughly equivalent to saying what's wrong with taking money for a fuck? Isn't that what freedom's all about?

Well pardon the pond if the pond flips it a little, but how would the conspiracy theorists feel if the Australian government took out a sixteen page supplement explaining its various policies, victories and triumphs.

Oh okay, there's no need for that, the Australian government has hookers who give it away for free:

But let's flip it another way.

How about a sixteen page supplement from the Indian government explaining and justifying coal, and explaining how the jury was still out on climate science?

Perhaps we could get a full page effort from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, full of tasty insights like this:

“Climate change? Is this terminology correct? The reality is this that in our family, some people are old … They say this time the weather is colder. And, people’s ability to bear cold becomes less,” he said. 
“We should also ask is this climate change or have we changed. We have battled against nature. That is why we should live with nature rather than battle it,” he said. (here, with handy links, including one to John Oliver on India - like bran, John Oliver is an essential part of any daily diet).

It could be a joint supplement - Australia, China, Canada and denialist in chief Tony Abbott ...

The pond could go on with other examples - sixteen pages from the United States explaining the virtues of its imperium, sixteen pages from Saudi Arabia explaining the joys of rabid Wahhabist fundamentalism, sixteen pages from China denouncing agitators and provocateurs and remembering the good old days of Tiananmen Square when soldiers fought the good fight against destabilising, insolent, decadent students ...

Presumably in each case, in another section of the rag, the Fairfaxians could explain how all these thoughts were the limp dick efforts of pathetic fucks, while keeping hold of the loose change.

The point of course is that propaganda is propaganda and it demeans the Fairfaxians for taking the cash in the paw, and not worrying too much about the source of the cash.

This is not to demand that the Fairfaxians join the economic boycott rolled out regarding Ukraine, and toe the line of western governments, but cash for comment is always a bad look, especially when government propaganda is dressed up as a "commercial arrangement" and an "advertising supplement".

The Fairfaxians will look pretty silly when it comes to Putin turning up to the G20, having sold their integrity for a mess of pottage (or should that be potash?)

The bottom line for the Fairfax "arrangement" is that any government should be able to splash the cash to gain positive coverage with copy designed to imitate real journalism.

And look, the pond didn't have to break Godwin's Law and wonder how it would have been in the old days with Fairfax accepting copy from Goebbels explaining how it wanted peace with the Jews ...

Never mind, it's just that it's suspiciously like - to really run that hooker metaphor into the ground - that old joke about "haggling about the price" (plenty on that at Quote Investigator).

Well now we know what the Fairfaxians are - decent solid sex workers - and we're just argue about the price and the sort of content they'll allow to turn up in a "commercial arrangement" and "an advertising supplement" ...

So is it worth it? Will it be worth it when the Fairfaxians run the next supplement?

What it does establish is that it's desperate times for sex workers. They'll turn any old trick to stay in the game ... no matter how pathetic or sordid or grasping it might make them seem.

But the pond is reminded of the taint that surrounded Quadrant as it became more widely known that it was a creation of the CIA.

There was an irony in that too:

Even as they continued to shell out the money, the CIA paymasters remained unhappy with the Quadrant’s refusal to court left-liberal intellectuals. The whole point of the covert operation was subtlety; to win over the left-leaning intellectuals to the American position, not further alienate them. The fierce prosecution of the US position in Vietnam was disturbing to both Josselson and Hunt. Like many in the CIA, they were appalled by the US engagement in Vietnam and wished to keep the Congress for Cultural Freedom clear of this political minefield. A difference of opinion between the Paris office and the Krygier about Vietnam was a complication in getting the funding to establish a South East Asian Institute. The greater complication was an exposé in the New York Times in April 1966 which pinpointed a funding link between the CIA and the Congress for Cultural Freedom. 

After a series of exposes and repudiations of the CIA connection, in 1967 McAuley published a careful response in Quadrant admitting the funding from the CIA was ‘deplorable’, but no more than ‘a well-intentioned blunder’. His defence that he had been an unwitting recipient of CIA largesse has been restated by the new editor of Quadrant and by its previous editors. Yet how was McAuley so unaware when Clem Christesen knew the money came from the CIA as far back as 1956? How was it that the editor of Quadrant had shown so little curiosity as to the source of money being so liberally handed out? A quick perusal of McAuley’s editorials give the flavour of the invective he would employ should the editor of a left-wing magazine discover he had ‘unwittingly’ been receiving 40% of his income from the KGB.

Indeed, indeed, and there's much more by Cassandra Pybus on the matter, here under the header CIA as Culture Vultures. What a fun stroll down the memory lane of other "commercial arrangements" ...

Well now the Fairfaxians are taking Russian money, and it may as well have come from the KGB, since the state of affairs in Russia in terms of Putin's control of media is truly dire.

But then the pond happens to accept the pinko pervert cardigan wearing socialist ABC's reporting on these events, as recently outlined by Mary Gearin in Vladimir Putin accused of using Soviet-style propaganda strategy to control Russian media:

Rain TV's problems started in January with a debate broadcast on the 70th anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad. 
The question: should Leningrad have been surrendered to save millions of lives? 
The siege of Leningrad is a cornerstone of Soviet victory in World War II and in today's Russia there is no room for unpatriotic mistakes. Mikhail Zygar works for TV Rain in Russia Photo: TV Rain producer Mikhail Zygar says powerful figures want the station silenced. 
The broadcast caused outrage and the channel was condemned by politicians. Despite an apology from TV Rain, major cable and satellite TV operators began to pull the plug. 
The station's audience fell from 20 million to just 2 million, as broadcasters abandoned the channel. "The owners of all those companies, operators, told us privately that that's not their wish," Mr Zygar said. "They were asked to do it by phone call, by someone from the Kremlin." 
TV Rain was once a fresh, and popular, voice in the Russian media. But powerful figures wanted it silenced.

And so on.

Next week, Fairfax explains how Gallipoli should have been avoided and thousands of dinkum Aussie lives saved.

Meanwhile, the Fairfax sex workers go about their other business, and depending on your viewpoint, it's just honest toil, or truly desperate and pathetic ...

So does it matter if we have a media that's supine, ready to do a roll in the hay with any government with a bit of cash in its paw?

Well yes, because the next thing you know, you end up with the likes of Greg "bromance" Sheridan, ready to use the current fuss to press for a full scale war.

There's Greg Sheridan galloping wildly on a horse towards mission creep, beard blowing in the breeze, the pectoral muscles on the bronzed chest glowing in the Anzac sun ...

You can get around the paywall to read Stopping local extremists needs action in Syria as well as Iraq if you like, but the pond can assure you, it's not worth the effort, unless you like a dose of alarm and panic with your porritch:

Abbott made a mistake this week when distinguishing Syria from Iraq. Although the distinctions are abundant, Abbott nonetheless drew the contrast between Iraq, where the government has invited Australia in, and Syria “where we don’t even recognise the government”. In fact we do recognise the Syrian government. The Australian ambassador to Egypt is accredited in Syria, where we have non-resident diplomatic relations, but for obvious reasons has been physically unable to present his credentials. 

Nonetheless, Syria and Iraq are obviously very different situations. 
But the threat comes from ­Islamic State commanding territory, whether in Syria or Iraq, and promulgating its terrorist message internationally, establishing global networks of supporters, attracting foreign fighters, blooding them and training them and sending them home. 
All this it can do from a base of big territory in Syria as much as in Iraq. And if our mission is humanitarian, then the humanitarian situation in Syria is more compelling than the situation in Iraq.

A humanitarian mission? Bombing the shit out of people is a humanitarian mission? War is a humanitarian mission?

Organise the crusades as you wish, but at least call a war a war, and what Sheridan is proposing is taking the war into Syria ...

And so it goes ...

Does it get any worse? Well the pond was appalled to see that Cory Bernardi was campaigning to ensure that nuns never revert to their penguin gear on Australian streets.

Oops, sorry, the pond got that wrong. Different religion. But there's a reliably stupid man ...

Memo to Cardinal Pell's new man. This shroud of oppression and penguin flag of fundamentalism is not right in Aust,

Up against this can of worms and canards, this daily vendre des canard à moitié by governments and their lickspittle, forelock tugging servile servants in the media, it's hard to maintain a smile, but Pope as usual does his best (and more Pope here, one of the few reasons that the pond thinks Fairfax still has some use, apart from a place for the tree killer Russian supplement in the outdoor dunny we still have in the backyard, should anyone offer a copy to the pond for free, which is actually valuing the supplement at much more than its worth):

What's that you say?

The pond has ducked the major issues of the day. Not true, there are plenty of canards here, this just breaking:


  1. The pond has ducked the major issues of the day ...but Terra Caledonii?

    The Major General Morrison issue of Operation Big Australia contributing to Operation Divide and Rule has allegedly sent back 1673 boat people ...but intends to allow 13750 humanitarian entrants plus 190,000 others in the same period. The actual numbers will be?

  2. Jensen's at it again.

    "Islam is false"

    1. Oh dear. There should be a law. Crazed fundamentalists can only pronounce other crazed fundamentalists false by admitting that they can pick falsity because of their own wondrous, astonishing falsity ...


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