Topic: big media
Strewth column in The Australian today correctly notes that Alex Mitchell in Crikey.com.au, as entertaining as he is, got it wrong to say factional organisers Obeid and Tripodi have no influence anymore. To be so categorical was indeed immature for a veteran like Mitchell (or deliberately tendentious which is not quite journalism Alex, as participation). We suggested as much on his comment string.
But then The Australian's serious reportage elsewhere same edition has some real flaws: Imre Salusinszky has been infected with a bout of the cliches, possibly reading too many hyperbolic Lisa Carty articles, referring to "firebrand" John Robertson getting his promotion.
Strange too to see their editorial caterwauling about the lost debate over privatisation of state energy assets: A famous victory of the left wing in society - sparing jobs and the public balance sheet in reality which are both national goals. This has bent all the commentary out of objective shape today. None of the market fundamentalists have the grace to note the Global Financial Crisis means a sale decision then would mean an absolute slaughter of the public revenue in a fire sale of energy assets now or later. This is a real giveaway of their hopeless economic rationalist bias.
The Oz is not alone for laughably referring to Robertson's mere '3 or 4 months in Parliament'. Give us a break. He led the NSW union movement in a tough decisive federal election victory in late 2007 for his side of politics playing both the industrial relations and climate change issue like a virtuoso violinist. He's hardly a political neophyte by any measure - age, experience, skills, demonstrated ability to win. To be off the front bench would be a joke. Is that why the big press are really annoyed? Because it empowers Labor?
Then the speculative intrigue by Clennell (Sydney Morning Herald), and Benson (Sydney Daily Telegraph) today, pursuing alleged internal power games. What it all presents like is a case of Big Press projection of their own power mongering aspirations: We decide whose going up and down; We decide the government in fact. And the hope rather than the reality of splitting the ALP government with their Big Press power. Not since web 2.0 would be our view.
None of them make the Politics AO1 observation that Steve Whan MP, whether he is left, right, green, red, yellow or brindle, is in an extremely marginal seat of Eden Monaro wrenched off the National Party; That green issues will play large in the marginal politics of that forested and coastal seat and he will need every opportunity to build a margin via a complementary ministerial profile. His promotion again is a sign of real preparation to fight a 2011 election to win. It's sound logic whether via Tripodi, Obeid, or manager of the Wiggles.
As we say in the headline, the media commentary today is immature which is surprising (and ironic) given this is the implicit criticism of a youthful 40 year old premier Nathan Rees. Oh, and Rees and big union man Robertson are both lefties. Of course the former wants the latter within Cabinet for future stoushes there.
What the conservative Big Press in Sydney don't seem to understand is that they lost the last federal election, their PM was dumped out of his seat - over IR, climate and civil liberties amongst other issues and the electorate have moved to the left, and to the green. And they wonder why their circulation is going down?