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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Media briefs in lieu of Sunday Talkies - 27 Jan 08
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: big media

1. Paddy McGuinness has died. We chatted with him a few times actually in our street press delivery days, him sitted at the Unity Hall Hotel watching the street life, and given our domicile a year in Balmain in 2005-6. PP was a contrarian curmudgeon rascally taciturn figure, likeable for being so fierce. Never giving an inch, regardless of my deference and olive branch bonhomie to a veteran stager in the game of real politik. It's no wonder such an uncompromising character has died relatively young. It's not a sustainable philosophy and not wise, albeit entertaining.

Recently we wrote:

Thursday, 17 January 2008
..... Postscript#1 18 January 2007
P.P. McGuiness apparently relieved of command of the right wing Quadrant, kick started so rumour has it by CIA anti communist funds decades ago, has a patronising condescending piece of impertinence in The Australian today: 
It may well have been written from PP's perch there at the window seat of the Unity Hall Hotal in Balmain where he is often ensconced. And his opinion piece has about as much appeal as wet old carpet at closing time. 
Apparently an academy award and a shared Nobel Peace Prize for Al Gore regarding dangerous climate change "makes no sense". PP knows better, or is that noes better (!) than any other career contrarian? Give it up PP - the age of ecological denial was your time in the 20C, now it's our time so shove off by which I really do mean sincerely SHOVE OFF permanently.
God's time will do. It can't be long now. [bold added]
Prescient, and a bit spooky. We don't much like sledging the dead, and we swear we didn't know of his long illness.
Recently we took to counting the 'bodies of enemies floating down the river' as one of the few consolation of grovel endurance in a 16 year career so far as an exponent of activist media/environmental politics goes. Some were metaphorical bodies I suppose retired hurt so to speak still dog paddling with the current, others stone cold face down, no second wind there. Some sincere philosophical rivals as above, some superficial or accidental/random frictions of no real consequence.
Some of them heart attack, some cancer, some young, some old. Some famous, some of no account at all but with a cunning for disruption. It's a little worrying to get that feeling, a feeling of unexpected responsibility for one's psychological insights and advocacy. Hopefully it's just a Walter Mitty style egotistical fantasy or coincidence, certainly some of our allies have come a cropper too.


2. Speaking of death - Glenn Milne does his profession proud with sensitive coverage of Heath Ledger's death in the Sunday Telegraph today in two articles, covering the G'Day USA event there and a thinly veiled swipe at 'hard' New York's celebrity culture as the Sunscreen song goes: see YouTube for the catchy song
 'live once in New York but leave before it makes you hard, live once in Northern California but leave before it makes you soft'
Glenn who himself was quoted on Insiders once 'against the Iraq war' in highly qualified way about leaving it to the vote which Latham in 2004 lost, sails close to criticising his own News Corp use of the paparazzi grifters. In that he would be right. As if this second article is self criticism it may not actually be on their website and well worth extracting here because Milne is going beyond the brief, and you just know he means it. Good stuff: Moving and worrying:

Just noticed significant insights here if a little clinical by Sophie Gee last Friday SMH too how Ledger went "independent", manifested an "expatriate generation". We would add strived for class over safety.


3. The same Sunday Telegraph gives a tickle up to new compere Deborah Cameron there at 'tough gig' 702 mid morn show:
 It's flattering in a bitchy back handed sort of way: A quite friendly photo showing a calm mildly amused Cameron stalked (see above) getting into a car with a bit longer hair than her PR photo buzzcut. The story angle is so called lack of savvy with the radio technology and clunky reading vibe for lack of familiarity with the geeky panel, which apparently is a bit like controls of a Boeing 777 and fairly hard to do unassisted, at least until one learns .... how to drive a 777. 


The sledge is leavened by the recognition of deep journalistic credentials, the demonstrated loyalty and understated vote of confidence of the 'Kremlin' colleagues as Stephen Mayne amusingly refers to the head office of the ABC public broadcaster, and the embedded running dog capitalist bias of the organ (Sunday Tele) running the article. 


We predicted such a sledge soon enough in feedback corro expecting it from another source - actually Gerard Henderson in Fairfax - perhaps naive given the SMH is Cameron's "alma mater" and would be seen as quite bad form even for hard man Gerard, potentially weakening his hold on the space there. Best left alone in his case. It was Henderson who focused previously on the preceding presenter Trigger Trioli because it is real politik. 


A tickle up on Cameron adding some gratituitous pressure but she will be and has been fine, assuming as Trigger Trioli would say she concentrates on what's in her lane i.e. the task at hand including nuts and bolts, hold fast, steady as it goes. And we like her work which won't be any help of course  in the contested neutrality stakes.


4. Perhaps the balancer was the cover story the previous day of colourful ABC programme production managers Courtney Gisbon and Amanda Duthie  in colour The Australian Magazine where in the ABC since 2003 (ie the new regime under ex PM Howard Board members) are postured as the ratings meritocracy for various comedy shows. Gibson "It's always nice to give the commercials a smack now and then." Meow!


5. Racism is on the run. The Australia Day January 26th wrap around coverage in the Saturday Daily Telegraph yesterday corroborates that editor David Penberthy may (or may not!) be a smart arse, a running dog capitalist sellout, a bully and irresponsible flippant bastard, but one thing he is not is a racist. And thank heaven for that in terms of social fabric. The Ch7 Sunrise footage carries biffo scenes of alcohol affected pride games in Perth and somewhere else but Sydney is quiet and that's really where it counts. ABC news room advise there is no biffo to report here so far anyway.

Come on David, we know about your saving grace: Ever since you mentioned your 2nd family experience there in Mexico which implies you are no stranger to the Castellano either. A man for his times unlike some others.  The relevant front page is shown above. It's about the reverse of what The Bulletin became famous then infamous for before dying an arguably natural death this week.


6. The cute choice of Lee Kernoghan as Australian of the Year, as per Ch7 Sunrise coverage with poise and modest charm, not to mention communication skills, will reflect well on a federal ALP PR machine, with PM Rudd and Premier Iemma in attendance at Tamworth. The choice actually is a subtle blow at the heart of National Party and ultra right Liberal Party redneckery in Rural and Regional Australia (RARA) to annexe such a popular country figure to high profile PR role.
Lee looks to be quite a commercial friendly product too with his Toyota T-shirt on, and charity work for struggling farmers, and nationalistic loyalty. You can be pretty sure there won't be any ethnic intolerance in this cupboard. And you can be pretty sure the federal ALP will be working up a rural industry political-economic agenda too behind this symbolic choice of Kernoghan. Just like Bob Carr's country labor in NSW sought to appease Big Agri with wanton negligence over landclearing with tragic legacies and momentum reflected in reportage today:
Land-clearing cases stuck in log jam THE State Government is at loggerheads with a major union and the green movement over illegal land clearing, with claims that offenders have almost no chance of getting caught.
One hopes Rudd ALP don't go down that path for all our ecological sakes.


7. Ripping yarns of seafaring courage in the Herald yesterday regarding Paul Watson (and crew) who doesn't quite cut the figure of a young Horatio Hornblower but then Watson and the Sea Shepherd are for real and the CS Forester created fiction is an amalgam of Nelson, Cook etc then made into cracking tv series.

8. The NSW Govt machine is running a story that the $7 billion public private M4 East tunnel tollway with interchange "under Anandale in Sydney's Inner West will go ahead in a short number of weeks. It' said to be a joint announcement between the Federal and State ALP Govt's, and dependent on $3B in funds from electricity privatisation as well as predicted toll revenues:

$7bn missing link to be announced soon | The Australian

'Missing link' road will cost over $7bn | The Australian

Super ideal to provide funds for infrastructure | The Australian

If it is true, which we assume it is, it puts the lie to Kevin Rudd's main priority to tackle climate change because endless growth in container imports and export of empty ones which is driving the transport linkage to Port Botany, can only massively increase greenhouse gas embedded production. As well making health and amenity hell for at least 1 million citizens in dormitory suburbs. In other words Kevin Rudd is effectively shown to be liar on climate change action he claims to be the priority this Australia Day weekend:

We must prevail in year of challenges | The Australian

This looks very much like:

Strong-arm tacticians  THE meeting was in a room in the NSW Premier's Department. [The Australian 26th Jan 2008]

In particular

"The minister [Sartor] can declare a site to be "state-significant", giving developers the go-ahead on big projects. Under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, projects that are objectively of state significance can go to the minister. Brad Hazard, the Opposition's planning spokesman, says of the Government's planning actions: "The reality is that anything Frank wants to get his hands on to, he takes."

In other words planning is under control of a modern Mussolini, making the development approvals 'train run on time' with no democracy and precious little justice. More detail on the Port Botany intensification impacts across Sydney here:

Friday, 18 January 2008
It's a wholesale repudiation of the ALP's 1979 Planning Act checks and balances approach involving a political economic strategy of furious activity at any cost in any direction enriching a few and making the many miserable, in the blind hope that powerful vested interests in the Big Media and Business will like this NSW ALP Govt. It's as if the Govt has given up on the very concept of good governance, and that is quite tragic for us and them.



Posted by editor at 7:17 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008 6:21 PM EADT

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