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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 10 February 2008
TV political talkies 2008: Sunday 9 swinging hard, Rudd in the Summer of his life, reptiles poised
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: aust govt

Picture: To fit the scheduled sorry day event this week at the national Parliament, Grass Seed Dreaming - like Van Gogh's Sunflowers (series of paintings)  raft of themed works - based on the artist Barbara Weir's experience of hours spent as a child sent to hide in the long grass from the govt man whose job was to take her from her Indigenous family in Utopia, Northern Territory. These artworks can sell for tens of thousands today. As explained here and here and here, and here:

Author’s general introductory note (skip this bit if you know this regular weekly column): This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.



Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208



“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”



Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.




For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.



Specific introduction for today


There have been some usual sly subtexts and gambits in the weekend and recent press, balanced up with some good old fashioned skeptical bollocking of the 2020 Rudd Summit spin vehicle. In short democracy working sort of:


Well the tv scheduling has changed to a much more contested furious remote control button changing situation, but the same shows are back. We don’t have pay tv so the Sky 9am show today is not covered as usual.


We say extra use of the remote but actually good old pen and paper too as we can't type our brainstorms direct when such as Laurie Oakes is in Q&A with PM Rudd on 9, while Barry Cassidy is grilling Mal Turnbull as Opposition Treasurer on 2 at 9.05 am. Or similarly Van Onselen on 9 is dishing the dirt on macabre face tilt, koala eyed ex MP WA lobbyist Grill, while Mark Riliey goes through his amusing insightful paces at 7 at 8.35 am.



The last Sunday Talkies here on SAM micro news website was literally 2 months ago Dec 2nd 2007 here




and notice this late last year too Nov 25th 2007:


Sunday TV political talkies: (delay in transmission) it’s a new same ol’, same ol’

Yet in truth its been a busy busy 8 weeks plus for the new federal govt as most political watchers know, and in this respect see our Sunday 9 comments re interview with Mr Oakes who is definitely baaack.



Media backgrounder


- First praise where it's due: Garrett has identified $16M for a joint World Heritage bid and management authority with PNG government of the magnificent Kokoda Track environs. We visited the Lae cemetry in 1990 and there's no forgetting those headstones of 18-25 year olds, loved brother, son, husband. Conservative MP Charlie Lynn MP makes the same point about this values expanding journey and he's spot on. No forgetting:

Rudd to fast-track Kokoda listing | The Australian

We find this impressive because, rather than a few 'big men' in the village(s) getting some action, as claimed by a local guy who put me up all those years back, and those few sending their kids to private school in Australia, maybe they can all get a school on location? We said as much on abc 702 morning radio last week and got sledged later in the morning for nonsense by the ex PM Howard aligned spinner Bob Lawrence, but listen up BL, winners are grinners, losers weepers:

Kokoda Track protest stage-managed | The Australian

- so it is with a heavy heart (well not really) we bring this blast from the past 1998 when Shane Stone was Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and Peter Garrett was busy organising his career as the ALP Minister for the Environment (in the guise of green group ACF President), only we activists targetting Jabiluka uranium mine in solidarity with traditional owner Yvonne Margarula just didn't know it: As crime writer Malcolm Brown notes June 8th 2004 in the SMH:

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, warned Labor politics would "stymie" the enormous contribution Mr Garrett had yet to make to Australia's future.

"The prospect of Peter being inside the party that, for example, is woodchipping Tasmania's ancient forests at the greatest rate in history, concerns me for Peter's sake," Senator Brown said.

The executive director of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Don Henry, said he was "grateful for the work" of Peter Garrett as ACF president, a position he has held since 1998.

Holding the office of president of one of the peak environment groups puts Mr Garrett at odds with the Labor Party on the issue of Tasmania's old-growth forests.

The ACF wants immediate protection for 240,000 hectares of Tasmania including all high conservation old growth forests and wilderness areas. But the Labor Party has said it will not jeopardise timber industry jobs by abandoning the existing Regional Forests Agreement.



Speed and ambition. But truth to tell we also find this picture impressive because who hasn't been just a little confronted by the dress wearing man, sometimes a Sydney experience, and here we see Garrett when he was on the side of the angels if not fairies, in the lead up to Mardi Gras season (!), in sympathetic non judgemental mode. That actually takes guts and a moral centre so for this we give respect. While exploiting the NT editor's cynicism 10 years later (!). PG sort of lost that centre in our view: Those wicked ALP carpet baggers like Bob Carr, and all those years of ego bending cheering crowds.
Here is a picture of Garrett same issue of the NT News which did not lead under the heel of CLP Stone's regime, tucked away at p6:

and in modern times

"Bininj culture really strong. You have to look after country. For your grandfather country, like mother country, take care." Yvonne Margarula, Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner.

- the proposed sale of the profitable $15B public energy assets in NSW took a weird turn in the big business friendly Sunday Telegraph: The editorial blathers on trivialising the huge issues of principle and economic justice as mere personal power games. Indeed the cynicism of Costa jumping from Labor Council (now Unions NSW) to a ministerial career back in 2003 or so, and widely held view he will jump in typical ammoral style to big business asap, is somehow reversed (in typical ALP mind f*ck style) as a smear on Bernie Riordan as prominent opponent of the sale. It's all about sewing dissension and disaggregating solidarity in the union movement.

The stories appear offline including the editorial:

- The power struggle over energy sell-off at p89 10 Feb 08 complete with soft PR pics of otherwise reviled Iemma/Costa, and grey haired Riordan under. There's nothing new in the story by Linds Silmalis suggesting she is on the Premier's office drip. It's woeful coverage with 85% of the public against the sale;

- The lights are on but no one's home at p83 which is little more than a union bash, echoing the same anti union folks at Fairfax we covered here


Contrary to the spin in the Big Media we think removal of Iemma and Costa from NSW politics can only be progress for working people.

Mr Riordan's advocacy was quite convincing and credible on ABC Stateline last Friday and that would have hurt Iemma and Costa's agenda:

08/02/2008 Bring It On! The ALP versus Mr Iemma

 John Kaye MP, another vigorous and effective critic refers to "rumours of dealmaking" here 10 Feb 08 (media release)

"For the Greens, public ownership of the retailers is not negotiable.

"Reflecting widely-held sentiments in the environment movement, the party is deeply concerned that the electricity industry will need to change dramatically to slash emissions.

"Public ownership of the retailers is essential to protect consumers from what will be an increasingly volatile and dangerous wholesale market.

"Retailers driven by profit will not be willing or able to work with households to reduce total demand.

"Retailer privatisation would squander opportunities to create a low carbon industry that also makes sure electricity bills don't skyrocket.

"While there are rumours of a deal being brokered by the Labor leadership, we urge all unions and party members to stay firm on protecting public ownership of the retailers.

"Trading off the sale of the retail arms of Energy Australia, Integral and Country Energy to keep the generators in public hands would be a pyrrhic victory.

"We should see this rumoured deal for what it is: an attempt to divide the opposition to privatisation.

"If it goes ahead, there is no doubt that Treasurer Costa or one of his successors will come back and finish off the job," Dr Kaye said.

And Kaye jumped on this from amongst others News Ltd US abandons joint clean coal experiment | NEWS.com.au and ABC Clean coal loses funding in United States - 06/02/2008The World Today - Clean coal research hits tax hurdle: Here is Kaye's take on the situation:

Collapse of US clean coal facility another blow to NSW privatisation
Media Release: 5 February 2008
The decision by the US government to abandon the FutureGen carbon capture and storage project undermines yet another argument for privatisation of the NSW electricity industry, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "A major component of NSW Treasurer Costa's $15 billion privatisation was a massive private sector investment in carbon reduction technologies, which is increasingly looking like the impossible dream.
"The Iemma government justifies the environmental risks of long term leasing of the state-owned generators and the sale of the retailers by arguing that it would encourage investment in clean coal technologies to reduce carbon emissions.
"The collapse of the world's largest clean coal project makes a mockery of Treasurer Costa's attempted green washing of privatisation.
"The Iemma government's sell-off scheme relied on ensuring that the private sector would invest between $3 to $4 billion in retrofitting the state's existing power stations with carbon capture and storage and would pony up the additional money to build new base load generation with low carbon technologies.
"The Bush administration has just delivered a body blow to carbon capture and storage.
"By pulling their $2 billion investment out of the FutureGen project in Illinois, the US administration has delivered a massive vote of no confidence in clean coal and consequently in Michael Costa's electricity privatisation deal.
"The electricity industry in NSW is responsible for 57 million tonnes of CO2 each year.
"It makes no sense to hand over 35% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions to private owners when carbon reduction technologies are increasingly looking farcical," Dr Kaye said. 
 For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Minister Macdonald in the NSW Govt has rejected the interpretation but they do sound worried in this undated statement presumably on or about 5th Feb 08.

- big advert from anti Genetic Engineering food campaigners at p5, The Australian 7th Feb 2008. We will write on this in a new article having interviewed Bob Phelps by phone last Friday but more background is here:

GM ban bolsters state split | The Australian

- As explained in greater depth in the segments below the ALP have moved into spin mode defending their "talkfest" 2020 Rudd ideas summit: Queue forms for Ruddfest | The Daily Telegraph. At Insiders segment below:

Discussion of the 2020 summit at some stage: Correctly notes as we did on SAM the 7.30 Report riposte 'conflict of interest' of the media getting involved. Cassidy refers to 'skepticism around' about this talkfest (see media backgrounder above in due course like Nelson to replay public questions as rival claim on public opinion/participation.) Bolt gets in a second fix over what sounded like a revelation that his boss John Hartigan will be participating in the summit, but went on to say it's a conflict of interest being there and criticising later.

And notice our coverage back here:


Certainly is a level of scepticism (with thanks to SMH, link to one of their product adverts):


- We did write to Blair along greenie lines re cancer operation pending despite pointed colour coding of the tumour he had removed from his plumbing as green gremlin. We suggested that it would be hypocritical to offer false sympathy but still we offered the Maker might have a Saul/Paul Damascene conversion in store for him if he got through because the green sector does a good line in "redemption". He's running pictures of presumably himself post operation at his personal blog:



It's a matter of record he didn't but this headline does indeed suggest he's been thinking about it. And he does keep refering to correspondence from a greenie hater called Global Warming. Methinks the mountain is moving a bit despite this bravado, and no we don't approve of hate mail even to Tim Blair:

How I survived to fight the Greens another day

 - speaking of News Limited journos spinning off into Weird Joe Hilderbrand appears to be experiencing some existential angst with this dangerously risky flirtation with domestic violence as a suitable topic of satire. 'Things that batter' faux par by Alexander Downer comes to mind. Some things are just not funny: Domestic violence is one of them.

Which is sort of what his side column indulges in too. Attacking Deborah Cameron at the ABC, but why bother? Is Joe getting envious of thethe ABC gig of Telegraph cartoonist Warren, or what? Otherwise we can't explain it except to say Joe is a b*tch. Here he is:

Women aren't funny - am I right? | The Daily Telegraph with side bar offline Ode to the glorious delights of Deborah p87 Feb 9 2008.

To which we just now submit this:

Joe, Joe, Joe.

You seem to be losing your way a bit mate. Very talented writer but why the implied misogyny even under cover of satire? Take a breath mate and step back from yourself a bit. How many female comics literally have careers being funny? Your premise is indeed whacky.

And the flirting with domestic violence - which is oh so real and contemptible in our society - as a suitable topic for satire. I don't get it. You are so not that guy.

Is that writing on the public energy asset sales, a $15B gambit, making you question your place in this institutional world?

And why go at Deborah Cameron who is doing fine. Are you secretly envious of such as Warren with his own gig on ABC? Do you in fact need a change my friend?

- If you ever had any doubt about the broad social support for reaching out to Aboriginal Australians this week it's the matriarch of famous son Rupert Murdoch who controls the News Corp global media behemoth in surely an authorised picture. Any News Ltd journo who doesn't take the hint doesn't want to keep their job, run in rival Fairfax too:


- A variant on the 2020 ALP PR gambit to mind f*ck the public intellectual life of the nation via vain flattery, rather than focus on heavy issues like intractable economic troubles (inflation, skills deficit, reliance on hyper immigration to crank retail and building sectors): It's a "We feel your pain" puff piece on Tanya Plybersek's life work balance feature p78 9 Feb 2008 Saturday Daily Telegraph called Having it all comes at a price (offline)

- Those cynical "fresh food people". Macca ABC radion Sunday morning had a cracking talk back caller who said, dripping with cynicism, that 'the peanuts sold by the fresh food people are from China, not Kingaroy' and  'the oranges sold by the fresh food people are from California not Mildura'. Ouch. Now we see this rather brazen PR sticker inserted in to the Sunday press. It's another weird mind f*ck and cynics might say its easy to show solidarity after it rains:

- In the cynicism stakes what about this deal by western corporations who donate hand over fist to political parties who support bombing Iraq to bits and occupying forever, then offer to be paid in oil to help Iraq pump more oil:

Payment in kind suits oil giants fine, p12 Resources section in Careers of Weekend Australian 9-10 Feb 08.


- Meanwhile Glen Milne praises California's Republican Governor Schwarzenegger for his economic clout behind climate friendly economics, back on Jan 21 2008. This is the direct opposite of the oil sands in Canada which is hitting climate policy turbulence: Climate change, economic reality hit oil sands Wall Street Journal via The Australian p27 Thurs 7 Feb 08 (offline).

- That wacky environmentalist James Woodford, down on his south coast hobby farm with gaggle of children, has figured out in his inimitable way that kangaroo meat is better than domesticated bovines or sheep, not realising perhaps that mass production of meat without systemic parasite controls made possible by that very domestication could lead to a further escalation in hydatid to rural communities:

Landline - 23/10/2005: Tapeworm continues to thrive in wild dog ...

Hydatid can be lethal, especially to children and is found in the offal of kangaroos of interest to dogs then to you, and given millions of kangaroos are being gutted each year one does wonder the risk factor.

Wild dog in a cage
Hydatid tapeworm
Hydatid tapeworm eggs

The wild animal hunting industry don't like to talk about the natural evolutionary pressure always present from parasites (as we wrote here and here) which cannot be nearly as easily managed in a domestic situation. It's all under control they say, but being financially conflicted, they would wouldn't they?

The Herald continues it's Eating Skippy agenda without addressing this scary subtext.

- How green indeed: How green was my campus | The Australian of 30 January 08. A good question for anti green Fred Hilmer busy ruining the green credentials of the UNSW as all bean counters tend to do:


Monday, 19 March 2007






9 Sunday 7.30am- 9.30am

Rueful wincing smiles at the earlier start all round. [More sympathy for the ABC morning presenter shift now?]. Bait set from the get go of "bombshell" revelations about Brian Bourke still playing footsies with WA ALP ministers. Still, says smiling partner in palsied bluff Julian Grill held in a freeze frame like a smiling Kraken of developer corruption.

The other bait right off the mark is PM Rudd 'to appear in just over an hour with big Laurie Oakes'. You might call this the quid pro quo pre election of Nov 24, not to suggest any favouritism by LO but LO made a big difference to the credibility of brand Rudd on the way up for presumably sound journalistic reasons.

Long chunky adbreaks, sold at a lower rate?

Ross Greenwood back in Q& A with compere Ellen (presumably to soften departure of alpha male Ray Martin from the station) on consolidation of the resources boom 'for the next 20 years' [itself echoes Tim Blair poison blog yesterday Sydney Daily Telegraph] reference to $165 billion BHP/Rio Tinto takeover bid

All very upbeat but also noting two stroke economy of interest rate rises to home owners suffering inflationary effects of resources boom.

[Huge flaw in this analysis - dangerous climate change which all the narrow corporate analysts are sleep walking into based on ... tradition. More fool them and us. They won't believe it until they can like St Thomas see it, put their hand in the wound, in this case say 2 metre sea rise.]

 Underbelly gets predictably long promo just after 8am to cruel MTP kick off on 10. 

Next we see is political presenter youngish blade Van Onselen, tv friendly looks, bit beefcake like to be tough (?) accessing Julian Grill in WA spinning 'nothing to see here, move on', normal money politics (!) being the strong implication, while premier Carpenter is looking down the cameral barrel 'I'll sack yer' if ministers work with Grill/Bourke.

An eloquent portrayal of why the ALP and democracy itself is broken in WA and NSW via corporate and PR influence. Tough talking Carpenter now sporting a paunch riding his desk for all it's worth is contra mundum his own corrupt Party. No wonder Geof Gallup was depressed and left it to a younger man to tilt at the windmill of money politiks

As said above Grill is like a carpet bagging tilt faced wide koala eyed macabre palsied undertaker. Truisms about age and treachery over youth and talent come to mind.

Then Oakes interview with PM Rudd:

- The guy is in the summer of his life, blonde, fit, alert, clearly happy with his achievement and meaningful role. LO opens with a cracking good human interest question in a generally soft toned interview, which is also a deceptive volume because it can mean the unseen spider web, the trap wherein lies the hammer blow, the crescendo of pain. But the old lethal fangs were sheathed today, no fatal ambush by the 4th estate coppers, not least because history must be nurtured up to this Wednesday and most all want to share this moment 200 years coming:

Q.  Are you used to being called PM?

Seemingly innocent soft potentially lethal expose of hubris at the season opener: The answer was equally disarming: 'No, look over my shoulder to see where the other guy is'. Quips about having been Humphrey, Bernard and the PM in Yes Prime Minister.

It's all in the delivery. He's very much at ease. The guy has resolved something quite deep in the id. On the sorry day event he mentions an hour an a half with an 80 something victim of the stolen generation of the 1930ies. (It's like he's seen his beloved mother again who died in 2004. ) The guy is glowing like he's got a halo. Oakes is actually deferential which is quite a thing to see.

And it's true enough this is a holy moment coming up and Rudd is quietly rejoicing in it like a sincere Christian might.

100 Aboriginal representatives will have their expenses paid to attend said with a tiny quaver. Howard ex PM said not to be attending. Some ex ALP PMs not available also. Makes it sound like the door is open to Howard yet like some antipodean Lord Marchmain simply dragging his feet?

After the adbreak the second half of the interview kicks off on what should traditionally be more fraught and pressure filled topics but somehow are veiled with angel dust from the earlier topic: Inflation, education, skills, uni policy, no change to tax cuts, interviews himself on whaling. without denying for a moment 'big difficult complex problems' like State Govt dependance on pokies revenue which he's 'been looking at' which surely is ominous for shareholders in Aristocrat, including quite a few bruvvers on his side of the fence.

In summary it's easy to believe Rudd is doing a good job, and whether he is or not is buried under the fact he is definitely enjoying the job. We may be seeing the goofy Kevin Rudd in action as distinct from the grey man we've always known. These can be brilliantly inspired phases of one's life however short or long they last.










10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am

Hard to keep with with this and Ch9 in parallel. Treasurer Swan sounding earnest and a bit flat and embattled like he's running hard to stay in one place. Standard ALP boiler plate about financial discipline re rates rise, inflation, supply side reform of skills and infrastructure.

Fran Kelly abc RN, Mal Farr News Ltd SDT, on the panel which actually are heavyweights (ha ha) in the national press gallery fillip to MTP nervously up against 9.

All the elements of higher level contest yet still lacking spark somehow. Nicholson cartoon was mildly funny about ego of PM Rudd with Howard/Costello in soup line. 

Skip to US theatrical contest but I tuned out as over it, though other viewers probably like it (?).



Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress ,



Myspace web address: www.myspace.com/meetthepeople




7 Weekend Sunrise: 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -

Amusing and insightful at the standard we've come to expect conceptually and visually. First big clue is very healthy moustache of a punter, laced with spaghetti western audio track, and then grabs of both Rudd and Nelson referring to a mythical "silver bullet" to fix inflation or whatever other real politik is threatening. Entre to footage of squeaky clean Lone Ranger a la Hollywood invention segue to "Kevinator" tag (ie Terminator of ex PM Howard) - a bit of a stretch but hey it is satire. Cutting use of Tonto "not make sense". Which fits nicely with the bullshit detector sounding off over the Summit 2020 plan.

 Indeed in the Q&A post video Riley refers to this Govt needing a "Minister for the Banking Sector" which is actually very cutting because 1. It's likely true to control the rampant gougers 2. Opposition Turnbull implied as much earlier in the week and 3. Kevin Swan as Treasurer is supposed to be that minister, or maybe Lindsay Tanner as minister for Finance.

In other words Riley has not been bluffed by the Monday last Summit PR gambit to annexe his editorial on say the interest rate rise the next day. Nor have any of the other serious big media, and that's all to the good for a functioning 4th estate, let alone junior 5th estate here.

 Deputy Leader Bishop plugging away on AWAs for WA (!).

Seven makes likely sincere positive noises about the reconciliation sorry day event via compere Andrew OKeefe and Riley due acknowledgement.

MR brilled shorter hairstyle for the new season.








Insiders 2: 9-10am
We finally get back over to 2 from 9 barrelling along with film review to its 9.30 or so business segment.
Panel is Bolt in pink shirt like Elvis and his blue suede shoes, and somehow works for tv, if only as an implicit right wing gibe at 'socialist ABC'. Safe hands Lenore Taylor of AFR and Annabel Crabb of the at times breathtaking prose. Bolt gets snookered on ALP needing support of cross benches in the Senate effectively saying A=B=C, with C being Green Party are good, as the out take shows Bolt holding his head in dismay.
Mal Turnbull as Opposition Treasurer right at the opening reveals a haughty swagger with his big brain and references to Orwellian flexibility over economic data by the Rudd Swan team literally as Rudd is skating over the same on 9. These are the highlights in an avalanche of arguments and sidetracks. Bolt just before the final credits states 'he's not ready for prime time, needs coaching'. Ouch. True and discipline on a big dangerous talent.
Discussion of the 2020 summit at some stage: Correctly notes as we did on SAM the 7.30 Report riposte 'conflict of interest' of the media getting involved. Cassidy refers to 'skepticism around' about this talkfest (see media backgrounder above in due course like Nelson to replay public questions as rival claim on public opinion/participation.) Bolt gets in a second fix over what sounded like a revelation that his boss John Hartigan will be participating in the summit, but went on to say it's a conflict of interest being there and criticising later.
But Bolt got some revenge with challenging who was stolen in the stolen generation. Stay tuned came the response eventually.
All the bollocking of the 2020 summit still conceded the vain will climb over themselves including from their own media sector as per this report in the Sunday Telegraph.



Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/

Posted by editor at 8:59 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008 10:07 AM EADT

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