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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
'Taking out the trash' in the wake of unprecedented bushfire tragedy
Topic: aust govt

Australian politics and maybe even business are noticing the vacuum for broad media coverage of diverse subjects in the wake of an unprecedented megafire mass fatality in Victoria.

We have made a mental note of various items that look to be what the West Wing tv series refers to as Taking out the Trash - negative stories power players prefer don't have too much coverage. Not a cover up as such but a deliberate playing down via juxtaposition with a much bigger problem:

* NT Minister Marion Scrygmour (forgive the spelling) has chucked in the towel up there.

* PM Rudd officially admitted the delay in Sorry Day annual reportage meant to be on "the first day of parliament" which didn't happen. But no worries Kev, $42 billion stimulus and a global recession sort of explains the distraction which applies to our Black brothers and sisters as much as anyone.

* Today we have Brendan Nelson and Julie Bishop, the former bailing, and latter shifting sideways perhaps to have a sisterly natter with Hils (US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, for whom pioneering blogger Matt Drudge held a symbiotic relationship). To our eye Julie Bishop not only resigned in a classy presentation but actually manifested relief from the shackle of recession style economics grind. Horses for courses has resonance provided it can be done with dignity.

No doubt we will gather more of a list for the 'taking out the trash' decisions in the backplay of this horror fire tragedy. To illustrate the media effect - 50 people die in a spectacular plane crash in a suburb in the USA - one story on the nightly news and gone. Potentially a story for every airport here. Compare with days of skillful, maybe lucky, landing on the Hudson river which got days of coverage. At the risk of grim cliche the megafire through Victoria killing 200-300 is sucking the oxygen out of other news stories and expert pollies and their media minders are working off that reality.

Not so much cynical as realistic. They might even allow a bit restructuring without needless shallow gotcha or undue humiliation. And if have been under done unlike the 90ies these less newsworthy events are still searchable via google - that great cyber archive in the ether for when things settle back to a semblance of normality.

Except in the age of climate change that's a semblance only of a changed reality with mega fire every 5 to 10 years now. God have mercy.

Posted by editor at 9:39 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 17 February 2009 11:18 AM EADT

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