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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Economic bias and hyperbole in overdrive in NSW press today?
Mood:  lazy
Topic: big media

Picture:  Who are the 'green nazis' referred to by Tim Blair in his column today? Surely not innocent idealists like this? The editor of SAM at age 11 or so, in school uniform Christian Brothers College Warrnambool, before getting a front tooth punched out by the school bully for being conspicuously too clever. Daryl later descended into drug use and cooked his brains on magic mushrooms. We became a drop out so maybe he got his wish in the end?

Last Wednesday we gave a speech at University of Technology Sydney which seems to have left us physically exhausted even if it was only 5 minutes long. Could this really be true? It's not that we are scared of public speaking, rather we are scared of the Big Media, even the ABC also in Harris St, and possibly scared for the future.

But we gave our serious considered speech and survived the experience thankfully. Indeed our page view numbers doubled for the next two days no doubt due to New Matilda's 7,000 odd email list notification of the event.

Which is all a long way around of introduing this part of the full talk:

In terms of trust why has humble SAM been growing in readers?


Firstly, The public interest mission is worthy


Secondly  SAM promotes ecological sustainability as a political economic subtext. This is 21C thinking. By contrast we recall the disgraceful axing of Earthbeat on Radio National late 2004. That was under a previous regime. [and so on]



Political economic subtext is indeed the point of this post about peers in the Big Media who would, like muscle bound and brain damaged Daryl, surely punch out our other teeth if they could land a fist (as per bottom left of the collage shown). Not because we are bad but just because of who we are - annoyingly real.

Actually most supporters of green economics are women say 65-70% by demographic which we tend to think is about the nurturing quality of mothers, or potentially so. Not an exclusively female quality but probably a fair generalisation. So attacking greens as nazis is akin to parental abuse in some ways which is sad actually.

Enough of personal sustainability, where is the political economic hyperbole serious readers of SAM might want to know about? Here follows a list:


1. According to Costanomics front of the Herald yesterday 

$430b: how much greenhouse gas cuts will cost, says Costa 4 April 2008 

there is a cost of ecological reform of the fossil fuel industry in the hundreds of billions of dollars. When you read really big claims like this time for a reality check. This reads like an actuarial trick projecting some 40 years hence to 2050. Indeed formerly Victorian Treasurer now Premier Brumby was on ABC AM this morning (in their archive in due course 5th April 2008) pointing out that this is the difference between a 62% and 66% growth in the economy over the same period. Ross Garnaut, who is the economist being targetted was also scathing in his understated reference on same ABC AM show of modelling that is both "very fast" and that 'no one else is aware of'. These are hallmarks of dubious Costanomics we are accustomed to here in Sydney. On balance the economic restructure looks quite manageable, responsible, reasonable, except for hysterical special interests. Garnaut whose global warming economic reform interim report in February 2008 got this ball rolling reads as credible, NSW Treasurer Costa discreditable (hence the colloquialism lately of "Costanamics" - another guy who would punch out teeth if he could?).


2. Not surprisingly the Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens is acknowledging the realistic and valid Garnaut approach as per the front page headline above "Get used to being greener and poorer" (centre of collage).


3. But Stevens is getting beaten up in the News Ltd press on their front page for his advice without fear or favour, with cheap shots for banks operating in a free market to put their rates up as they like (top right of collage). The real target should be those hegemonic banks. One can't help thinking this is indirect punishment for Stevens essentially endorsing Garnaut, which leads to many implications like possibly no selloff of publicly owned NSW power assets, major write down of fossil fuel assets which are all big sponsors of News Ltd advertising revenues - especially at The Australian - happy to spruik for industry special interests here:


Should we flog the family jewels of state electricity? | 29th March 2008


(notable for totally airbrushing public finance experts Bob Walker of Uni of Sydney and ex Treasury official spouse Betty Con Walker, preferring to quote another academic at UNSW - talk about spin!)

The Telegraph editorial 5th April over eggs the pudding with a literary device about Stevens examining his own business card, which reminded us of making our own business card earlier this week saving on printing costs (liberal coat of glue stick, print on A4 sheet, stick to manilla folder card, actually works).  


4. Which brings us to the other big beat up lately, of Mayor Clover Moore who stole a huge green economics march on her rivals in the Sydney Morning Herald in the last 2 weeks with a widely acclaimed sustainability vision for the CBD and neighbouring "villages" in her domain.


Extreme makeover for Quay, Darling Harbour and beyond - National ... 26 March 2008 


Her rivals being such as Meredith Burgmann on the ALP Left and pro development lobby on the ALP Right who will contest the September 08 local council elections. So what do they use as a pretext to attack her with via jealous rival of the Herald? Dog free unleashed parks policy page 1 earlier this week, and following days. Only like Costa they are having trouble counting. Out of 350 parks in their control only some 30 or so will be unleashed. Or about 10%.  Sure it might or might not be a safety issue. Sure it might be controversial (as well as popular with voters?). But front page blowtorch? Obligatory cartoon and letters page blowback from dummies? That's hyperbole. Or revenge on both Clover and the Herald both for scooping them back on 26th March?


5. Then there is the "18 ha" reserve at Tempe impacted by a wretched desalination plant pipeline construction in the Telegraph today: 

 Doomed park: Kids lose park to desal plant 5th April 2008

A whole playground and maybe some sporting fields will be disrupted. But how much proportionately? Is it 5%? Is it more? We are just asking. The article copied above at bottom left leaves this rather critical detail out preferring a sad picture of one smallish playground. We don't agree with the desal plant as way premature to the instrastructure needs of Sydney but does this hyperbole really help? Notice the sledge of Marrickville Council who have coverage of Tempe reserve, presumably for daring to have 4 Green Councillors and some ALP Lefties too which opposed the desal plant themselves anyway. That's the trouble with hyperbole - it's simply confusing. The council would be the first to complain about their reserve being disrupted if the Telegraph had asked them. Not least all the bush regen they sponsor there








As a "news" paper The Tele is a great cartoon book, and our first read every day not least because it is the quickest.

Posted by editor at 10:05 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 5 April 2008 12:53 PM NZT

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