Wednesday, October 22, 2014
In which Eric helps keep the dream alive ... or is it a nightmare?
(Above: just to put the pond in a good mood, and more Wilcox here, if you want some gay images, you've probably already Gawkered The Gayest Images from Michaelangelo's Most Famous Painting, but never mind, the pond is trying to explain the intertubes to Eric Beecher).
The last thing the pond wants to contemplate, or hear, right at the moment, are the likes of Malcolm Fraser, Tony Abbott, John Howard, Greg Sheridan, Andrew Bolt, Gerard Henderson, or Malcolm Turnbull talking about the vision thing while displaying the vision of a gnat, or Bill Shorten simply talking ... that last one is just too depressing ...
And that way also lies madness, and so instead it's off to Crikey, and its joining forces with the Murdochian reptiles.
Naturally the reptiles were delighted to have the company:
Eric Beecher has been down this path before, but his recent effort, simply in terms of logical thinking, was pathetic, and the supplementary and complementary woeful forelock tugging supplied by Bernard Keane did the usually rational Keane a great disservice.
It was like Crikey had obtained its own special brand of kool aid, and Keane had swallowed a great gulp.
How Beecher imagines that attacking the ABC is going to fix the dismal position of Crikey in the marketplace boggles the imagination.
The financial pain must be getting deep.
The trouble is, Crikey is no longer at the centre of any conversation. Nor is it the home to any notable set of 'exclusives' to attract attention.
This can't be blamed on the ABC.
You don't find New Matilda whining and moping about the ABC, though it has lurched along precariously from fiscal crisis to crisis, not having funding from Gina Rinehart or a coal baron conveniently to hand.
It hasn't been easy for the indie rag - top of the digital page was a story about the sentencing of Freya Newman, and it looks like its about to have the depths of its pockets tested, with the mainstream media like the Graudian watching on as Barry Spurr takes legal action to compel New Matilda to reveal source of emails.
Or, if you like to upset Eric Beecher, at the ABC in Professor Barry Spurr mounts legal fight over publication of racist emails in New Matilda.
But they've just got on with the business of being an alternative independent source of news and opinion and doing their best to attract subscribers.
Meanwhile, Beecher has been moaning since the twelfth of never - and that's a long long time - about the ABC being responsible for dudding his business.
You can head back to October 2010 and cop Beecher in mUmBRELLA moaning about the competition in Crikey's Eric Beecher: ABC should not have launched The Drum.
And that's just one of dozens of examples that litter the full to overflowing intertubes.
It seems, if you pay a nanosecond's attention to Eric, the ABC shouldn't be much involved in the digital space or in experimentation in its attempts to engage with its customers, and somehow, by the ABC abstaining from such naughtiness, suddenly everyone will flock to Beecher's baby.
Now in the usual way of 'print the controversy', Crikey managed to get a little more out of the controversy - keeping the debate alive - by publishing David Salter mounting a defence of the ABC with The ABC debate: why Beecher and Crikey fear the ABC (inside the paywall).
The trouble was, all Salter could do was point to the naked self-interest that had sparked what he rightly called a puffed up rhetorical pose:
...Every one of the first six dot-point questions Beecher proposes in his quest for an answer to the ABC’s existence turns in some way on the assumption that the national broadcaster is a threat to existing commercial media, or should at least be prevented from becoming a threat.
He summarises his position thus: “Should the ABC use its formidable public resources to disrupt or compete with opportunities available to commercial media?” And in case you missed what this might mean for Beecher’s own Crikey-based online business, he asks: “Should the ABC have carte blanche to create whatever digital content it likes, even if similar or identical content is already being produced by commercial or other content creators?”
We get your point, but it’s nonsense. For decades, media commentators and editorialists have been seduced by the specious argument that taxpayers should not have to fund ABC services that, they assert, commercial rivals could deliver just as well, or more cheaply. Yet none of those pundits go on to nominate specific examples. If commercial outlets could produce the same programming or internet content as the ABC at the same level of quality but for less money and for larger audiences, then they would already be doing it.
Why don’t they? Because most of that content isn’t populist. It requires the investment of experienced staff and high production values, and will rarely attract enough viewers, listeners or internet eyeballs to be commercially viable.
What really sticks in the craw of Beecher and his ilk is that while traditional media markets have contracted, the ABC has managed to hold and even expand its audience. Aunty’s consumers clearly don’t need the “legislative direction from government” Keane thinks necessary to articulate the public broadcaster’s role. They’ve already voted with their remotes and browsers.
Now the pond isn't a big user of the ABC, and there are any number of moments - provided by the likes of Emma Alberici and Chris Uhlmann - when the pond is likely to run shrieking from the room.
But on the other hand, the pond can't imagine, in a month of pink fits, Eric Beecher funding RN and an FM music service, the two main points of contact the pond has with the ABC - yes, the pond usually goes elsewhere for its online content, because there's a mighty wide world online, and no thanks to Malcolm Turnbull's vision thing.
So here's the sort of company Beecher finds himself keeping with his ABC bashing:
By golly Eric couldn't get yourself much lower in the gutter, could you?
Well actually you could, as you yourself ironically noted by running this cover:
Now is there an irony in the Bolter, working for the monopolistic Murdochians, who control much of the media wasteland in Australia, berating the ABC for crowding out other voices, so that the Murdochians can complete their monopoly, maintain Foxtel, degut the NBN, and run their newspapers into the ground with a host of shrill right wing ratbag zealots and commentators?
You betcha, the irony is so thick on the ground, it glitters like iron pyrite ... or as it was known in Tamworth, fool's gold, but as always, the Bolter is an irony free, self-aware free zone ...
Well the pond has been getting begging letters from "the Crikey crew" for months now, offering trinkets and trivia and publications the pond doesn't want, to rejoin the subscription list.
But this latest effort, right when the ABC is in its hour of need, is the last straw, especially when - in terms of future proofing - any budget cuts shouldn't come at the expense of serving the ABC's diverse programming via the digital platform.
That's the way of the future, even allowing for big Mal's attempts to service the demands of the Murdochians by degutting broadband.
The notion that the ABC should restrict itself to radio and to television, and not play in the same space as Crikey is both pathetic and absurd.
Below: an artist's impressions of Eric Beecher's ABC:
And so the pond bids farewell to Eric Beecher and his crew.
If the pond wants the thoughts of Rupert, it's much easier to read the output of his minions.
Why this very day the pond could be reading the special insights of that person empowered to recommend ABC board positions:
Or maybe not. There has to a limit to the amount of hagiographic excess and rabid cheer-leading absorbed in any one day.
Maybe instead the pond might head off and watch John Oliver doing the Supreme Court as LOLdogs,
And you can find your fake paws at the same location, and you can find Rachel Maddow having an early crack at the new meme at Salon, here.
Sorry Eric, sorry Murdochians, there's more to life on the full to overflowing intertubes than brooding about the hypocrisy of Eric, or the follies of the Murdochian commentariat as they join forces to feather their nests ...
As usual, that dissident treacherous all Blacks loving Moir had a cartoon just for Eric and Dame Slap and the Bolter, and as usual, there's more Moir here:
Posted by dorothy parker at 10/22/2014 08:14:00 AM