Make no mistake. This is the real agenda for the Murdochians.
It's dressed up in the guise of wise words from "media analyst" Steve Allen ... one of those totally useless titles for words from a totally useless git ...
No doubt Allen is also a futurist ... and he wouldn't be the first futurist to advise the world that the digital space has no future, and we should stick to 1980s music and Phillips head cassettes because they're certain to make a comeback in a Marvel movie, and what's wrong with LPs, and why it's guaranteed my man, that radio and TV are the wave of the future, and what this town needs is a monorail ... monorail ...
Well if the pond may don its own "media analyst" hat - we're as expert as Steve Allen - the reason why old media doesn't want the ABC using modern technology is that even now the Murdochians haven't worked out how to make money from it.
Could the pond make a suggestion? When a self-pitying Lara Sinclair lists the cuts made to jobs at Fairfax and Ten and puts numbers to them, how about putting numbers to the "significant reductions in staff numbers" made at News Corp?
You see, News Corp is run as a private family fiefdom, and it routinely distorts and and dissembles the truth about itself. It made hay about job losses at Fairfax, and only grudgingly admitted it was in the same sorry sacking business. As an organisation, it has the transparency of a lead apron in an X-ray room ...
Sinclair's story is just another part of the bewilderment, and the self-pity that old media continues to feel in the new digital world.
It's also a part of the endless futtocking that goes on in the pea brains it calls a commentariat, for which it expects punters to shell out good money to read when they can always manage to piss into the wind themselves (yes, women can manage this feat too).
Like this futtock:
Now is there any irony in this futtock's idle futtocking, emanating as it does from 2 Holt Street?
Why yes, because Surry Hill's is hipster central in Sydney:
Now the pond has family in Surry Hills, and its endlessly amusing to spot all the hipsters going about their business. Not News Corp types of course - they're chained to their desks and fed peanuts on the hour, which goes some way to explaining their endless rage and fear.
So why have the reptiles bunkered down and centralised in Holt street, providing homes for rags as diverse as the Daily Terror and the lizard Oz, and news.com.au?
Well it's simple really - see how close they are to Central, see the economies of scale, see the benefits of a well serviced, easily supplied work force. That sort of centralisation offsets the costs of running a multiplicity of offices in a variety of places. The private sector does it all the time, and so does government in all its forms - try finding a Centrelink outpost which hasn't retreated into one of several very large silos in the bigger cities ...
Whenever the pond reads someone like a Caterist, the pond is forcibly reminded that like many academics, those who end up in think tanks have never really had to tackle the actual business of running a business, whether in the private sector or in government.
Otherwise they wouldn't mouth such mindless fatuities about the latte belt, which if taken as a general direction would embrace central Sydney, but in Melbourne be far more wide-ranging, since who could leave out St Kilda?
How dumb can Caterists manage to sound? Well the opening lines give you a fair idea:
Buried in the appendix of the ABC’s 2013 annual report is a table that explains why the corporation seems oblivious to the concerns of the nation it is supposed to serve.
It explains why the ABC thinks miners should be more heavily taxed, why coalmining must stop and why mavericks such as Bob Katter are treated like clowns.
Actually, all that explains is that the Caterists are fuckwits, since right at this moment, Bob Katter is racing around, stopping anyone who will listen, and at least one in three, that he suspects the actual intent of the coalition government is to destroy the ABC.
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has said today he is absolutely appalled by the Government’s proposed $300 million cuts to the ABC and SBS.
“A vast amount of the cutbacks will be borne by regional and rural Australia, where the ABC has been the essential point of contact and point of communication for non-metropolitan Australia. “These cuts effectively hand control of Australia over to the supermarket duopoly, the banks and the oil companies.
“The Murdoch press are open advocates for the LNP, the boss of Woolworths went over to manage Fairfax, surely there should be some independent media out there? In the long term the interests of LNP members and their constituents will be very badly served by short term political advantage. (and the rest here).
Oh Bob, and they treat you like a clown ...
Now for its sins, the pond watched the ABC's direct broadcast of the Senate committee grilling hapless Mark Scott last night - the pond is usually busy watching paint dry - and what became clear, from the endless harping, is that in a Christopher Pyne way, the government is terrified at the push-back its going to get in regional areas and in states like South Australia, already doing it hard, arising from the cuts in general, and possible cuts to local radio in particular (oh enough with the local radio already).
Yet here's the reality (and we know it thanks to a government report here):
Apart from city states like Singapore and Monaco, Australia is the most urbanised nation. More than three in four of Australians live in one of 18 cities of 100,000 people or more. From 2011-2012, the larger capitals grew almost 50 per cent faster than the rest of the country.
So what's the Caterist solution?
The concentration is getting worse thanks in part to technology and in part to the commercial pressures that have led almost every media operation to streamline operations and reduce staff over the past 20 years.
Commercial radio stations in regional Australia are increasingly staffed by computers running syndicated programs from the cities. Country newspapers, never exactly flush with staff, now have fewer than before. Metropolitan newspapers in groups such as News Corp Australia and Fairfax increasingly share copy.
This is precisely why a taxpayer-funded body such as the ABC should be bucking the trend. The ABC’s relative strength in regional broadcasting is widely recognised as one of its greatest contributions to national life. Were the corporation run along business lines this would be termed a competitive advantage and it would play to its strengths.
A competitive advantage? Now there's a man who doesn't have the first clue about what competition actually means ...
So what's the Caterist solution?
Yet staff in regional posts complain of being starved of resources. Even in a sprawling, rural state such as SA, staff are placed disproportionately in the city.
Sometimes it seems management is deliberately drawing the blinds across anything that happens beyond easy reach of a good soy latte. Landline, an informative, well-produced and often inspiring program, is buried in the schedule.
Here’s a tip for the farming lobby: if you want your voice heard when the rain falls, call it climate change, not drought.
If the ABC wants to broaden its horizons and extend its narrow agenda beyond the familiar list of causes, it should be decentralised and broken into separately-funded units.
Yes, there it is, the sting in the tail.
And that's what the Murdochians really want. De-gutted, broken up, turned into harmless local radio services, decentralised, neuteured and neutralised, denialism rampant, no alternative voice to be heard in the wilderness ...
Sheesh, even Bob Katter gets it ...
The question arising is whether the Caterist is the most irritating, sneering, supercilious Joe six pack currently deployed. Here he is musing about the BBC:
In Britain, the BBC reacted to its lower market share in the north of England by building a large broadcasting facility in Salford, Greater Manchester. By last year 500 staff had moved there, largely from London, and 1000 or more may follow in phase two of the great transmigration.
Yet the evidence that the change of air has done anything to alter the prevailing cultural tone of the BBC’s coverage is so far unconvincing. Some critics say the precincts around the BBC’s Media City compound have become just another ghetto populated by sophisticates, a small island of the bien pensant that is reluctant to assimilate.
Perhaps being “inside the beltway”, as the Americans call it, inside la Peripherique in Paris or London Transport’s zone one, is less a physical location and more a state of mind. You can take the man out of Islington, perhaps, but you can’t take off his beret.
The concentration of public broadcasting in the hands of sections of an educated elite that looks at the world in a certain kind of way has been a long process that goes back to the 1960s.
Say what? Bien pensant, sophisticates, ghetto, beret, educated elite yadda yadda ...
There's only one sophisticated Tamworth style response to this sort of gibberish.
Why don't you just fuck off, you fuckwit, you small-minded braying simpleton ...
You know, in the old days, all sorts of people donned suits to work in radio - if you got a gig in radio you were part of an elite - and country folk looked towards getting an education. They didn't see it as a form of reverse snobbery, but they would have noted the mindless stupidity of a man running an institute mocking the benefits of education and knowledge.
And so to the Caterist wrap up:
Scott had the opportunity to take some sting out of the mounting criticism by strengthening the regions. Instead, if the cuts take their likely course, he will only make matters worse. Impossible as it may seem, Scott is likely to step down from a corporation more concentrated in the inner city than the one he inherited.
Put it another way:
Abbott had the opportunity to take some sting out of the mounting criticism by not so nakedly and baldly breaking a clear promise, and then sending out lap dog Malcolm Turnbull to speak gibberish on his behalf - never has so much gibberish been spoken in so little a time. Instead, if the cuts take their likely course, Abbott will only make matters worse, and comprehensively fuck over the ABC to the great indignation of many. Impossible as it may seem, Abbott is likely to step down from a government which presided over a country even more heavily urbanised than the one he inherited, and as a bonus, with a fucked ABC to boot...
Or something like that. What a tiresome tool Nick Cater is, such a resounding bore with such simple-minded language it's a wonder he doesn't nod off half way through a column ... has he ever thought of the benefits of drinking coffee?
But you ask, because you love to feed the pond rhetorical questions, do the Caterists matter? Who listens?
Yes, in the Murdoch echo chamber, the biggest gong resonates the loudest and that fatuous fop, the poodle Pyne, who still hasn't checked the actual quality and nature of the signatories of his petition, cites Caterists as suitable for linking and reading.
And so to answer the question previously posed by the pond.
No, according to the judges, the Caterist isn't the most tiresome member of the commentariat doing the rounds - that honour belongs to Brendan O'Neill, courtesy of ABC radio - and there perhaps lies the reason for the Caterist snarkiness. But even the ABC knows that if they gave a nonentity like Nick Cater a gig, the ratings would shift from ** to **** ...
And now, since the sun is shining and we've heard from the deluded Poodle yet again, here's the level of childishness to be expected from the government and from that wretched Sharri Markson:
Click to enlarge, if you like - the pond disclaims all responsibility for responses ranging from a heart murmur to a heart attack - but there's a simpler explanation, overlooked by the simpering Markson.
No, it's not that the government expected to be able to click its disorganised fingers and the ABC would drop everything and come running, at a time when it has to cope with difficult sackings and bereavements in the family. You'd expect a government of fascists to be completely unaware of the effects of the knife slicing through the helpless butter ...
No, it's that the awards have involved Gerard 'prattling Polonius' Henderson. Any award involving Hendo would see viewers either nod off or smash their tellies and how would that help either the ABC or the government...
The only excitement around Hendo this year involves another question. Who - the competition is exceptionally fierce between Hendo and Henry Ergas - will win the pond's 'desiccated coconut of the year' award?
Hopefully the ABC will, at short notice, broadcast proceedings, since the award features a year's supply of ...
(Below: images showing dangerous elites at work in radio found here, along with other OTR goodies).