Monday, September 08, 2014

'Roo brains for Mark Day, emu fat for Greg Sheridan, and a magnum of Chris Mitchell kool aid to wash it down ...

(Above: First Dog providing an alternative to the uxorious Greg Sheridan, and the rest of that doggy here).

Well there was a damp squib, or at best a reliable disappointment.

Sixty Minutes did its best to dress it up, with deep probing questions like who are "Jackie" and "Trevor", and right at the minute, the James Ashby interview, along with supplementary interviews, can be found at its site here.

The pond found it more exciting to see the way Nine has labelled its site Jumpin, presumably in the spirit of "the joint is jivin' and jumpin'" ...


In fact, the pond found it easier to do a catch up with someone else doing the summary as in Fairfax's Christopher Pyne allegedly offered to help find James Ashby a laywer and a job.

According to Ashby, Pyne lied, but this is hardly news. The Abbott government routinely lied its way to power, made false promises it had no intention of keeping (the list of these now covers many pages), dissembled, distorted, betrayed and tricked, and in the process, set itself up for many of the griefs that have since beset it.

On that scale, Pyne offering a lawyer and a job and then promising to call Ashby a pathological liar if he talked about it, is just business as usual for the Abbott government.

The proposal that Pyne is now lying about alleged lies is like water off a duck's back, while the show failed to pin anything more on the rough Brough slouching towards Canberra than what was already known, and everyone has known for a long time that he was involved in a dirty tricks campaign.

On the weekend, the rough Brough was busy trying to consign the matter to history, and if you read the Graudian's version, James Ashby: Christopher Pyne knew about Peter Slipper allegations, that's where it's headed, it's a fair chance it will come to pass.

Here's hoping Ashby got a decent payment for the story, because News buried the story, and the ABC, always supine, followed in its footsteps.

If you listened to ABC Radio news last night, it was as if Ashby never existed ... which perhaps is just as well, because Ashby himself now has questions to answer about previous evidence he provided in the matter of Slipper.

Naturally, with Ashby judged a distraction, the reptiles this Monday had a vast array of work lined up for them, and the diligent Greg "bromance" Sheridan was hard at work this morning:

Nailed it?

You have to admire the diligence of the knob polishers and the hagiographers - in the case of Sheridan the bromance is for life - but to actually pay for the pleasure of reading the back scratching? Surely that's a shekel and a bridge too far ... The Australian went up to $2.20 in August 2013, and now they want $2.50 to help kill a tree?

Well it's cheaper than the 320% price rise for the Terror's digital byte to read about thugby league, News Corps Daily Telegraph raises price of eNewspaper app by 320 per cent. Poor dears, in a world of pain, and so News quietly removes Perth Now paywall.

So what else? Well that's as good a cue as any to take a look at the sensitive News Corp navel ...

Readers with a long memory will remember that yesterday Miranda the Devine celebrated the Abbott government's potential because it was full of academically inclined higher education types and activist lawyers.

That was only yesterday, though the pond acknowledges, it's hard to hold the Devine's insights in mind for longer than twenty four hours, because that way lies Jack Bauer madness.

Today the reptiles are back to form, and maintaining the rage and the war:

What's interesting about this isn't the actual subject matter - Day's effort today is, in mathematical terms, the nth assault by the reptiles on Julian Disney and the APC.

It's more the way it's evidence that everyone at reptile central have to drink the Chris Mitchell kool aid and join in the jihad of the day, the week, the month and the year.

Look right there in the first par, Day is clearly playing the man and not the ball. It's pathetic. The pond would rather link to a cesspit than this repetition of the already much repeated assassination of the hapless Disney.

Day used to present himself as being an elder statesman of journalism, but this is petulant and childish.

Thanks to Day we're reminded yet again that Disney is a dangerous activist academic of entirely the wrong stripe - which is to say not a member of the Liberal government, and therefore not suitable for Devine worship.

One of the reptiles sticking points can be seen in their reluctant printing of a Press Council adjudication a couple of days ago.

The complaint and the argument was a simple enough one:

The complainant is the President of the Australian Society for Kangaroos. She said the article was inaccurate and unfair in saying that kangaroo harvesting involved “world’s best practice”, is “tightly regulated”, and “the most humane harvest in the world”. She said it misleadingly presented the kangaroo shoot in which the writer participated as if it represented general standards of harvesting. She said Russia had banned import of kangaroo meat (except from one producer, Macro Meats) due to concerns about contamination and a number of organisations had provided evidence that the meat breaches food hygiene standards and the harvesting is not “the most humane”. 
The complainant also said that, although the article disclosed that the author “travelled courtesy of Liquid Ideas” it did not explain that Liquid Ideas was a promotional company for Macro Meats, which had proposed and paid for the trip. 
The publication said the article was clearly a subjective portrayal of the journalist’s experiences and impressions from tracing the harvest of kangaroo meat by Macro Meats from the paddock to the plate. The print version was prefaced by a reference to the author’s “passionate argument for eating kangaroo” and described him as “an advocate for eating kangaroo”. It said the Russian ban had been lifted in 2012 and that the author saw convincing evidence of the industry being tightly regulated. He was shown what the shooters said was world’s best practice and he was not seeking to assess the conduct of a particular producer or the industry. (here)

Uh huh. It turned out that the judgment was up there with Solomon:

The Council’s Standards of Practice state that publications must ensure readers can recognise what is fact and what is opinion and that relevant facts are not be misrepresented or suppressed. They also state that readers must be advised of any potential conflict of interest. 
The Council considers that the statements about kangaroo harvesting in the article were likely to be read as subjective assessments by the journalist rather than verified statements of fact. The journalist is a well-known food writer and readers would recognise it was not an investigation into the kangaroo industry, but part of a paddock to plate series in a weekend section on food and wine. There was no basis for concluding that any evidence of Macro Meats’ processes being inhumane or unhygienic had been omitted. Accordingly the complaint relating to inaccuracy and unfairness is not upheld. 
The Council has concluded that the involvement of Macro Meats in proposing and sponsoring the trip amounted to a potential conflict of interest and should have been disclosed explicitly to readers. Accordingly, that aspect of the complaint is upheld. The publication’s subsequent disclosure in the online archived version of the article is welcome but does not eliminate the breach.

Well yes, indeed. That seems fair enough. You should disclose the cash in the paw.

So why did the pond find the finding cosmically funny?

Well right at the moment the reptiles are breathlessly running this shock horror EXCLUSIVE:

Shocking. PR influencing ABC journalism, which is, it goes without saying, incredibly different to the reptiles accepting sponsorship from Macro Meats and failing to disclose it ...

Now Jonathan Holmes called this some time ago in Freedom of the press or bullying the critics:

Sources at the Oz tell me that they've already admitted to the press council that this disclosure was inadequate. And I'm ready to bet that that lack of transparency will be the only element of the original complaint that the council's ruling upholds.

Uh huh. And what else did Holmes have to say?

Yet it's an aspect of the complaint that both Fray and Merritt, while fulminating about how the press council is censoring opinion, simply fail to mention. 
"The Australian Press Council was once a respected body, dedicated to maintaining high standards for the benefit of newspaper readers," The Australian solemnly intoned two weeks ago. 
Oh really? When was that? Ever since I can remember, the Australian Press Council has been regarded, by those few newspaper readers who have ever heard of it, as a patsy of the publishers, a tame pussycat frightened to raise its voice above a purr. 
Disney has done more than any previous chairman to give it a voice, and even some teeth. But Australian newspapers, which so boldly hold to account every other powerful institution in the land, don't take kindly to accountability for themselves. 
When Disney stands down in a few months' time, expect to see his place taken by that well-known academic stooge, Professor Patsy Yesrupert - and the press council become, once again, a body respected by its publisher funders, and by hardly anyone else.

And there, today, is Mark Day, joining in the chorus yet again, singing the lizard song, deep in the cups of the Chris Mitchell kool aid, and no one at the rag with the slightest sense of shame or self-awareness, and certainly not inclined to run a story entitled PR influencing Murdoch journalism, and failing to disclose it ...

As for kangaroos? Well the reptiles are on hand today with ripper advice on how to treat the creatures standing guard over the Australian coat of arms:

Waiter, some kangaroo brains for the reptile table.

It might help them work out why disclosure is a simple, straightforward way to avoid being tapped on the knuckles with a feather, lightly ...

And another serve of kool aid for Mark Day. Such diligence deserves a reward ... oh and a magnum o of the bubbly kool aid for Greg Sheridan. If ever there was a man who knew how to make buying a tree killer paper seem like a useless extravagance, as rich as smearing 'roo brains in emu fat, Sheridan's the man ...

Meanwhile, the pond is in the grip of a hangover, which most likely will require getting off the wagon to cure, and it seems that David Rowe is in the same mood, and as always, more Rowe here:

(Below: so many details to cherish, but the pond particularly loves the golden chook of promises, the toilet doors labelled knights and dames, the poodle rampant on the bookcase, and that strange red object dangling from the light fitting ...)


  1. Wow. New Zealand had a close shave this morning. What if all the subbies had been vapourised?

  2. Mark Day ,owner/editor of the "truth" I guess he always was just a jolly joker.The thing with certain types of jokers is that they eventually succumb to the kool aid. It must be the loving commradery of the like minded sipping from that brotherly cup. No one has to shout.It's just there,free for the taking:Just leave your brain and your conscience at the door before you enter.
    We could talk about Day,the property dabbler in the 70's.
    Once a bully,always a bully.

    Just listening to the prime slime talking on the Ashby matter.'What this was is a tawdry,horrible,despicable,yadda yadda matter and its over" Gotta love the way Abbott shleps his way in to Ashby's shoe's,all sympathy and concern about the poor hapless guy who was just trying to do the right thing about that terrible Slipper.
    This guy is more slippery and tricky than a bag full of brown snakes.He makes Kerr look like a choir boy. Grrr!

  3. Today's Tele had "Hate for sale" as its front page. Perhaps this could be the new masthead?

  4. A song for all the corrupt bastards (both Lib and Lab) exposed by ICAC.

  5. Rowe's grotesques quicken my heart. That man is a genius. Thanks Dot for bringing him to me as I would rarely see him otherwise. He has the acute and unsparing eye of Charles Dickens. As do you, dear Dot. You make me titter nervously and gasp aloud.

    I no longer recognise this place. Has it always been like this? Carpet-baggers everywhere and politicians ready to feather nests. We are Frontierland after all. Main chancers everywhere all looking like Bill Hunter made up for a lurid, technicoloured role.

    And the ABC has lost its sense of self. I feel I could come to a time when I would not care if it disappears altogether. No I do not mean that. Yet.

    I am in full retreat, an armored slater under a rock. I fear today is The Future and I do not like it. No, not one bit.

  6. Anon - there's nothing new under the sun. Our pollies' traditions of corruption, lying and hypocrisy can be traced back to King O'Malley and much further back. At least he had some character.

  7. Hello Anon above - I agree with you up to a point. Opportunists have always been with us but I think the economic and social changes of the past few decades have favoured a few to become so powerful that their wants are being addressed before the public good.

  8. " jihad of the day, the week, the month and the year." NOT jihad. (a) They're not Muslims. (b) Jihad doesn't mean an unjust campaign. In Muslim terminology it most often means a spiritual striving, not against anybody. Yes it can also take the form of a campaign, sometimes military but more often not, but against injustice, not for it. (Sorry can't find a way to show my ID above the comment, I'm Rais.)


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