Monday, November 09, 2015

In which tanks on the dog botherer's lawn leads to a hearty feast of paranoia ... and shameless imitation ...


It's always best to start Monday with a joke - it being dog botherer bothering the ABC day - and what better way than a Rowe cartoon about press releases in dead of Friday night, and please follow the links below and give the impressive Rowe an impression ...

Meanwhile, the pond continues to be entranced by the dog botherer's raging at the moon, and shouting at the clouds, especially when the dog botherer unabashedly confesses to being a rightwing nut job.

Now the pond couldn't have put it better itself.

In today's episode, the dog botherer envisions a future for the ABC where it sticks to its original purpose, using the valve-powerered wireless - such a sweet, soft AM sound, so much better than harsh digital - and forsakes its unwise step into television, or any of these other new-fangled digital thingies.

Here no innovation, agility or mobility.

What it reveals is a deep paranoia, and a deep insecurity, and a profound fear of competition, as if heroic private enterprise couldn't easily take on and defeat the outpourings of the dullard leftist cardigan wearers:


Tanks on the lawn! Embattled News Corp forms an alliance with the gay press to fight off the wicked cardigan wearers of the ABC and SBS.

Is there any irony here? Well yes, it's that the dog botherer is quoting mUmBRELLA, and doesn't even do Nic Christensen the courtesy of a link to his story Should SBS be launching a competitor to existing cash strapped gay press?, which happens to be much more ambivalent and open handed than the dog botherer's 'tanks on the lawn' routine.

But that's the way, as the elephant in the room, that News Corp has always behaved.

There is a reason for all this resentment and bitterness and paranoia of course.

A few days ago came the announcement of News Corp's quarterly profit. It was, according to sundry News Corp beat ups, a grand surge of 31%, but sadly that was driven by tax breaks arising from the disposal of education business Amplify, and strong revenue gains in book publishing and the digital real-estate business.

Or so Business Spectator said here (paywall, requires googling), before noting a 15% drop in earnings, partially driven by currency fluctuations, but also ...

Revenue at the News and Information Services segment, which comprises the newspaper holdings in Australia, the UK and America, fell 11 per cent to $US1.2 billion. Adjusted revenue, however, went down 3 per cent. 
Advertising revenue reduced 13 per cent primarily due to currency issues, and weakness in the print advertising market, most notably in Australia, and lower revenues at News America Marketing, the company said. 
Circulation and subscription revenues lessened 6 per cent. Removing the impact of a resurgent US dollar, which yesterday hit its highest point since August, advertising revenue in the News and Information Services segment fell by a more moderate 5 per cent, and circulation and subscription revenue gained 2 per cent. 
The best-performing division was Digital Real Estate Services, which now accounts for a greater proportion of earnings as the company’s builds a global network of property listing businesses linked to REA Group, operator of realestate.com.au. 
Revenue in the quarter jumped by 71 per cent to $US79m, boosted by the inclusion of the results of Move Inc, an American online property company bought last November.

The pond particularly loved the way in that report that revenues 'lessened', rather than fell or dropped. Weasel words and undertaker language is all the go these days in corporate land, unless it's straight out leveraging of gibberish:

“News Corp is on track in its transition to a more digital and global future, having successfully integrated several recent acquisitions and built a powerful platform for future growth,” News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said. 
“We are focused on driving sustainable expansion of revenue and profit, and leveraging the potency of our brands, while diligently controlling costs to maximise long-term returns for all investors. Foreign exchange fluctuations negatively impacted reported results, but this should not obscure the progress at many of our businesses.”

An ABC bureaucrat at a Senate hearing couldn't have put it better, but the nub at the heart of the matter is the way print revenue continues to decline, as readers get their news online from a diversity of sources.

Bloomberg wasn't afraid of the 'dropped' and 'fell' words - here no 'lessening', no 'lessening' here:

Sales at the news unit, which contributes about two-thirds of revenue, dropped 11 percent to $1.29 billion. Advertising revenue fell 13 percent while circulation and subscription sales declined 6 percent.

And what about Foxtel, overlooked by many, but home to the dog botherer and Sky?

Well SBS had the word on that here:

The media company also said pay TV subsidiary Foxtel, which it owns in partnership with Telstra, suffered a 37 per cent slide in US-reported earnings to $US140 million, due to higher programming and marketing costs and a lower Australian dollar.

The future, according to that report, lay with digital property listings, which were expected to drive growth, with advertising revenue in the antipodes continuing to slide.

"We have aggressively shifted focus to the digital real estate business and believe REA Group will be the core pillar of future earnings," chief financial officer Bedi Singh told analysts.

Which is a variation on that advice offered to Dustin Hoffmann to get into plastic.

Singh's telling the dog botherer to get into real estate. There's your real tanks on the lawn, Mr Dog Botherer.

Real estate.

And here's the thing. The pond could get that basic information from a dozen sources online, and if not free, then able to be googled free as a result of porous paywalls and the need, driven by advertising revenue, to stay a part of the conversation, and keep some kind of profile in the digital space.

Ah well, duty demands that we return for a final flourish of tanks on the lawn, and paranoia and fortifications and moats and take up that draw bridge now, and how unfair is competition, especially if you're selling a half-arsed bunch of commentariat opinion-makers:


That final flourish is the dog botherer attempting a bit of humour, but it just underlines what's missing in the paranoid commentariat, and that's a decent sensa huma.

It also underlines the rampant intolerance that marks News Corp's discourse in general.

No alternative views are to be allowed, discussion of climate science is verboten, and even observable tales of soaring electricity prices - the pond has the bills to prove it - are to be indignantly swept aside, and, in a typically graceless note, there's to be no linking outside the castle to Paul Barclay's actual program, available for downloading as What's shaping Queensland.

Now the pond will confess to not having listened to Richard Bell, John Birmingham, Dr Jenny Ostini and Robert Hoge talk on their program, but it's the pond's duty to point to another aspect of the ABC's operations, its fact checker, another sore point which routinely sends private sector hacks into a frenzy, which back in August this year discussed the way that Joe Hockey mangled the truth in relation to the carbon tax, and electricity prices.

You won't get any of that in reptile la la land, as the reptiles supported the wild-eyed mendacity of the Abbott government through thick and thin, or at least until there were tanks on the lawn ...

Sadly, the real problem for commentators of the dog bothering, mouth-breathing idiot kind is that they'd be unlikely to earn a gig on the ABC ... because, let's face it, Media Watch Watch is a feeble and pathetic imitation of an already established program, with Kenny doing exactly what he accuses the ABC of doing ...

Jumping into a pre-existing space without the first hint of an intelligent capacity for agile imitation ...

What a silly man he is ...

Meanwhile, there's just time for a cartoon, and isn't Rowe in good form of late?

Five minutes perusing Rowe will remove any cataracts induced by reading the dog botherer, scientifically guaranteed, and there's more Rowe at his twittering here, and at the AFR here, essential viewing for anyone who wants to understand how Malware might be mistaken for a member of a Burke and Hare comedy duo, or perhaps Gregory Peck:







4 comments:

  1. Rover's argument that the free market pioneered 'rock and roll radio' only to have the socialists at the ABC 'slide in' is particularly laughable. I assume he's referring to Triple J. This began as 2JJ in Sydney and was successful because it filled a niche left vacant by the existing radio stations (who played nothing but the top 40 and, in the mid-1970s, had a number of puerile novelty hits on high rotation). The commercial FM rock stations were subsequently successful because they adopted the sort of playlists pioneered by 2JJ (albeit less experimental, and they dropped the news or documentary programs).

    '24 hours news' is of course a different story. ABC News24 is actually servicing a market that Sky News can't or won't fill: viewers who prefer news to right-wing diatribes. And speaking of a market that private enterprise won't fill, it's interesting that News Limited boosted its profitability by selling an educational service.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Look, DP, we know Kenny is Roop's chief shill and should be respected as a serious person and independent commentator. But, look at Bad lipreadings. I guarantee Turnbull can make the words "Tax Cuts!!!" come out of ScoMo's orifice without either of them moving their lips. Job done!

    ReplyDelete
  3. For further proof of the righteousness of the Botherer's cause -as if it's needed - look no further than this article: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/nov/09/why-legendary-science-broadcaster-robyn-williams-wont-broadcast-shameless-climate-science-deniers-any-more

    For over 40 years now "The Science Show" has been fostering Leftie concepts like "rational discussion" and "evidence-based debate", presented by propagandists whose only flimsy claims to expertise are things like extensive relevant qualifications and lifetimes of peer-reviewed, published research. What's "Science" got to do with the ABC's remit anyway, other than the occasional rural report on new sheep drenches or cattle-breeding programs? It's time shows like this were exposed to the purity of market forces, sponsored by pillars of the business community such as the coal, tobacco and petroleum industries and showcasing some _real_ experts, such as Jonesy, the Bolter and "Australian" columnists. Dull-as-ditchwater topics like vaccination could be enlivened by the considered views of various batshit Hollywood has-beens. Probably the first move would be to ditch that Pommy presenter; I'd suggest he be replaced by a duo of Chris Kenny himself and somebody really authoritative, like Bjorn Lomborg. I'm sure that "Science Stuff, with Bjorn and the Botherer" would rate its socks off on 2GB and its regional and interstate affiliates.

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