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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 26 April 2009
Sunday political talkies: Australian recession politics fully underway now
Topic: aust govt
 Author’s general introductory note


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. 


For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


Other sources of pollie talkies on Sunday include SkyNews paytv Sunday Agenda, Radio National Monica Attard Sunday Profile show. And of course Sunday night shows SBS Dateline, Sixty Minutes and now Sunday Tonight on 7.  

 Media backgrounders


 Preface – been off the buzz this weeka again doing bushfire prevention work .


 10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am



Talent is Treasurer Swan – drowning in red ink? First humour out take is PJ O’Rourke, [also doing all the rounds of ABC here in Sydney eg Glover RN Philosopher Hour] Hockey footage makes debt point.


Panel is Jennifer Hewitt looking fat and nasty, and a ponderous Shane Wright of West Australian one newspaper town.


Swan rhetoric of responsibility re IMF says payments are not best use of money. Dead bat to probes on leaks.




Last 1/3 is Obama campaign worker on foreign affairs policy Dr Aronson. Clarifies and declines ‘adviser’ role for current Admin. Good speaking voice, presents as a Michelle Grattan type boffin, even handed, idealistic. Obama is optimistic about people making change,  admits Pollyanna but sticks to it.


Makes good point about over production underlying global recession.

 Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.


 Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am



 Still on break? Or clash with LO below.



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am Albanese is the talent as Minister for Infrastructure. Press story about pensions follow up. LO picks up the cudgels for youth unemployed $100 below pension per week. Press follow up boat people politics?  http://news.ninemsn.com.au/oakes



Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Budget, recession discussion at outset with cross media news footage. Panel is Lenore Taylor centrist News Corp The Australian, Mal Farr centrist News Corp Sydney, Bolt right of centre News Corp Melbourne.


Opposition Finance spokes Andrew Robb.


Boat people asylum seekers discussed.


Final observations – Graeme Wedderburn, most of Cabinet need media [policy?] training.




Inside Business with Alan Kohler


Timbercorp goes through the financial woodchipper in the global recession [Managed Investment Fund driven to some degree by tax minimization rather than resource economics].


Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/


Posted by editor at 12:09 PM NZT
Thursday, 23 April 2009
'Golden Gurus': Boomers feathering their nest ...again as govelling ABC grabs the $50M?
Mood:  hug me
Topic: big media

Sydney radio earlier today told the story, listening between the lines.

Early shift Adam Spencer jokingly referred to "the intelligence .... 'the raw sex appeal" of his overlord CEO Mark Scott. It was rich humour but many a true word said in jest. The grovel to the boss was indeed a grovel, more so for masking behind the humour. Spencer who sits on Sydney University Board from memory knows a thing or two about ALP duchessing. He was recently reported in Fairfax Naked Eye column paid off $12K to act as 'a facilitator' at a NSW Govt workshop. That's good money there.

And yes Scott is intelligent, he may well be sexy to his wife, and he's a power player straight out of the Northern Suburbs management stream.




Fact is Scott was there to grab $50M and praise the piper playing the tune, that is PM Rudd for granting ABC 3 digital tv children's channel. Arguably a luxury in the teeth of a biting recession. Or maybe a building block to the future. Others to judge.

But what became apparent second ABC Sydney radio shift (biggest metro audience in the country) with compere Deb Cameron is the glowing interview and praise for the so called Golden Gurus - give a boomer a soap box - policy.

This was a second idea out of the 2020 talkfest summit. The ABC radio were in full craven mode here suspending critical analysis by choice of topic and inteview subject - Catherine Harris mother of Lachlan Harris - PR operative for .... PM Rudd. Never declared either.

PM says adviser has his full trust
Has my full trust ... Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his chief media advisor Lachlan Harris. [Sydney Daily Telegraph]


Golden gurus aka mentors is clever politics pandering (again) to the grey vote, especially as ANZAC day long weekend kicks in and the national revelling in war glory proceeds with the veterans on the alter of gratittude. But arguably it ignores how the hell we got into this modern mess of deep recession, environmental collapse, massive inequality - the very same spoilt rotten boomers of retiring age now who refuse to shove off. After WW2 25 and 35 year olds were holding down major positions in society, but now a 35 year old is the office junior.

Arguably there is a golden guru in every internet connection - like how to repair a lawnmower we dipped into yesterday (the fuel line and carburettor needs cleaning). User discussion pages from everything from solar generators, to wireless internet availability, to bird song calls, to location of Windsor Waste Facility and fee structure and everything else besides.

Conclusion: The grey hairs will never let go of all institutions of power in our society including by adoption of 1960ies style advertising slogans like 'Golden Gurus'. How selfish can these people really be? Very very selfish.

And the ABC waved it all through until Sabra Lane of the Canberra Press gallery finally injected some objectivity. The other 900 good ideas people are very pissed off. And the odd caller too about old farts and national broadcaster bias toward government largesse. The ABC wouldn't tailor it's coverage to suit it's funding gratitude surely? You bet they would.

Never forget that as Dirt Game about the mining industry is playing on Sunday nights as a melodrama, that ABC flagship 4 Corners refused point blank to run a show on the nationwise upheaval over the Jabiluke Uranium mine in 1997-8. No doubt because the ABC at that time were under huge financial and governance pressure from the the then Howard Govt and a successful anti uranium, anti nuke campaign would have been petrol of the fire as far as pro nukes Howard was concerned. The ABC current affairs, who set the standard, squibbed it. The 'public square' was barren. Some of us noticed the tumbleweeds and shifted to community media ever after.

ABC corporate self interest won the day on Sydney radio this morning but democracy is bigger than the ABC as important as it is.

Image:Mr Burns.png


Posted by editor at 12:40 PM NZT
Monday, 20 April 2009
Dirty PR for a dangerous mining game?: Some reflections on the new ABC flagship drama
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: big media

Sun rises over the waters of Lake Cowal - the dawning of another day across this timeless and priceless jewel of nature.


Good actors, good production values, decent writing, kept me watching and justified it's time slot.

As you would expect the stereotypes are woven in there and yes they have resonance for the various audience segments.

Diversity of life at the mouth of Bland Creek, Lake Cowal's inflow.

Our perspective is the environment primarily: As pincipal of Ecology Action, and hard liner on dealing with industry because we come from industry and know their sleaze and dishonesty as a trained corporate lawyer. See for instance here

3/2004 Lake Cowal 'Environmental Trust' evidences select NSW green groups corrupt deal with NSW Govt

and more generally

    But also native title as per our honours law thesis in 1989 anticipating the Mabo decision late 1992:


    Sunday, 6 January 2008



    Neville 'Chappy' Williams, Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Lake Cowal, and Arinya Freeman (Wiradjuri Nation) listen to a webcast of Uncle Chappy's confrontation with Barrick Gold's founder and Chairman, Peter Munk at Barrisk's AGM on May 2nd, 2007 in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Allan Cedillo Lissner/GlobalAware.org
    For more photos from actions in Canada


    Note the use of the fictional Green + Action, which is almost an amalgam of Greenpeace and our moniker. We even fit physically the skinny fair haired rabble rouser at least as we looked in the 90ies. That's us above in the tie and white shirt in the top photo at a forest related protest in Macquarie St early 90ies.


    But not the drug (grass - commonly loosely referred to as 'green' by Labor types ) which was a cheap shot on the environment movement. This writer is teetotal and not even a caffeine drinker these days.


    Having said that a group around a prominent anti mining campaigner in NSW - Alan Oshlack, successful public interest litigant did talk like that greenie character and have a prediliction for weed and wild flourishes. So there is an isolated example from reality not generally. These days grass smokers are more likely to be working in the mine itself or popping pills of various kinds than greenocrats heading green groups (think John Connor of the Climate Institute - all trainer grey men).


    The mine is obviously Lake Cowal near West Wyalong and the company is Barrick Mining a Canadian monolith - which has it all

    - native title

    - dirty cyanide mine process ("come clean miners" protest in the story)

    - sell out greenies like Jeff Angel of TEC (not your typical blonde haired beauty, rather duchessed ALP go to man in the green movement in NSW, architect amongst other things of the extended life of the Eden woodchipper, who called Bob Carr in a set SMH piece the greenest premier in the history of NSW 6 months out from the 2003 election, cutting the ground from under ever other green group and political party). Bob Carr approved the Lake Cowal gold mine and destroyed an ephemeral wet land.

    As for the sharp corporate fixer, it's an obvious lift of Brian Gilbertson ex BHP- Billiton or some big mining house. The so called founder of Cockatoo Creek mining junior can't escape his role in Blue Murder as the infamous "Nipper" killed off by the Roger Rogerson character. The founder character ('Nipper') is probably based on the other infamous cyanide mine at Timbara NE NSW (Ross Mining, then Delta Gold then Placer Dome) which was closed down after multiple legal cases:

    Earthbeat - 11/09/99: Cyanide Uncertainties


    Good to see Lucy Bell to appear in the actors list - we have a fond memory of inspecting her flat with the rest of the reps mid 90ies in capacity as a local councillor official process in Bondi Ward and meeting her later husband at a gig at the Harkoah Club - James OLoughlin.

    But the overall gist of the show is a typical ABC 'balance' to fit the political times. It's Bastard Boys with a twist. This plays well to the ALP Govt, and the CFMEU and AWU etc union backers of PM Rudd. The workers will be rough diamonds. The work of mining which underpins the balance sheet of Australia up until October 2008 when the Global Financial Crisis kicked in.

    But that most likely was before this production was being put together. We will be watching for episode 2 with bells on.

    Posted by editor at 9:09 AM NZT
    Updated: Monday, 20 April 2009 9:18 AM NZT
    Sunday, 19 April 2009
    Sunday political talkies: Lazy Australian institutions squib worldwide refugee chore?
    Mood:  lazy




    Author’s general introductory note


    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.



    For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.



    Other sources of pollie talkies on Sunday include SkyNews paytv Sunday Agenda, Radio National Monica Attard Sunday Profile show. And of course Sunday night shows SBS Dateline, Sixty Minutes and now Sunday Tonight on 7.  

     Media backgrounders  

    Preface – been off the coal face relocating all week. Big job, hardly seen any press or crikey ezine. 

    * Amazing that in Australia the PR opportunity is being lost by treating Afghan refugees well here to wrongfoot the Taliban in Afghanistan/Pakistan over human rights, women doctors here and western standards of education and medicine. That's the main game, not appeasing redneck One Nation style voters, as US President ramps up commitment in that war torn country.

    * On the domestic front this SAM site only has about an hour a day on the web via petrol generator. Still negotiating with Integral Energy for mains supply at reasonable cost. On the upside we have worked out how to make toast on a gas flame, where to dig the composting toilet, how to get a broken pathetic 6 element tv aerial to work (no SBS so far).  

    * Super Obama seeks to make peace with the leadership of 250M Latin America. Given the atrocious history of the USA there over 50 years it’s a breath of fresh air and fascinating imagery of set piece speech about ‘the future’. Indeed.  

    * Briefing by Rural Fire Service on fire prevention issues in the district with plenty of reference to Victorian disaster. Moderate to poor turnout in area of serious risk. That’s a worry. Only 20K active members not 60K as per official PR of the RFS - a well informed source. Usual quiet sledging of parks and conservation zones but with no heart for a political debate. Fire in the area as early as Sept. That’s less than 4 months to clear asset protection zone, approved pile burns etc.


    10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


    Paul Bongiorno back in the chair. Intro re Senate inquiry on climate change. Guest is Penny Wong. Paul Howes another union automaton hiding behind immigration policy for ‘Labor’ moral values.


    Press roundup – Sunday Mail in Brisbane PM Rudd’s home town – big subsidy to Indonesia enforcement re people smuggling, other topics around the country.


    Minister Wong, childless union automaton, wheeled out on people smuggling atmospherics for soft left? Also selling a crock on climate change.


    Out take humour is Peter Dutton refers to Rudd as Dame Edna shape changer of some kind.


    Panel is Mal Farr News Corp Sydney Telegraph, also Marian Wilkinson SMH, good question on coal power stations only with ‘clean coal’? dodged the answer. Good value, smart.


    Footage of Ross Garnaut economic expert hedging on Govt climate change policy.


    Humour out take #2, Swan sleding Turnbull on something. But can’t beat the truly weird Hogsbreath Café pom pom girls.


    Howes, strong speaking voice, takes soft left line on refugees. Admits long time since official refugee lobbyist. Talks up perspective issue here which is strong. Immigration is a net positive for the country.


    Claims jobs will be the main concern of the next election. [A lot of jobs from climate change issues in megafire? In security? In national water infrastructure?] Argues steel critical to renewables energy sector. Water tanks from ethylene.


    Sledges Greens and says safe Labor seats like Throsby, one in Gladstone will be lost if Greens policy is implemented.


    Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.



    Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am


     No show at usual time, extended Easter break for his kids perhaps. Supplementing with story about Twitter ‘king’ (?)





    9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am 

    Deputy PM Gillard is the talent.


    Q. info on new boat? Answer being not commenting on operational matter.


    Oakes says he defended the govt on first boat explosion cause. 4 days later what is the cause of the explosion. Ans. Police forensics still underway.


    Q on defense and border control, sounding like an excuse and suppression of information.


    Gillard ‘surprised’ in quiet tones. Oakes true Howard rushed out with wrong information on children overboard, but Navy knew within hours. JG – disagrees with premise, plays dead bat. Police has carriage of this.


    2nd boat risk of repeat without conclusive information at Ashmore Reef. JG again dead bat.


    LO falls into ‘Ms Gillard’ increasingly chilly, “seen some politicians beat around the bush”. JG hitting the wall, the famous LO growl is barely contained but as female pollie knows it will be a bad look on him perhaps. Says scandal if Defence don’t know what caused the explosion after 3 days.


    End of the love affair for LO with Rudd Govt?


    JG sticks hard to dead bat, not beating up. Howard Coalition never trusted after kids overhoard affair so being responsible.


    Hard question on mistake to abolish temporary protection visas. About striking a balance and decency.


    Re press story today JG says increased funding to $40M for Indonesian re people smuggling. Already budgeted.


    Another press story re schools expenditure -





    Insiders 2: 9- 10am


    Lead in on people smugglers etc re PM Rudd demonizing people smugglers.


    Intro by Cassidy policy of Rudd govt closed mandatory detention,


    Sunday press KAWalsh Fairfax,


    David Marr theory from SMH security writers that threat if towed back to Indonesia will blow up, splashed petrol around, ignited accidentally.


    DM ‘Awful line about softening had not got through’


    Guest is Chris Evans Minister Immigration operational status on new boat. High alert.


    -         Not received AFP advice of extra boats likely, not received by him. Not aware of it.

    -         CE declines to say zero security risks from boat arrivals over the decades  but point made by BC very low as per ASIO assessments.

    -         Calls refugees “unlawful arrivals” [which is a bad mistake in terminology and false description with 90% found proven refugee]

    -         Puts in perspective of 15K into Italy etc etc. World wide issue due to conflicts.


    ‘Your shout’ section – JJJ compere about alcopops tax at Easter show, metaphor herding cats at cat pavilion. [Cat people are weird anyway, all probably carry toxoplasmosis?] Voices suggest revenue raiser. Not effective tax.


    NBN a good thing, too much expense says one.


    Panel on refugee policy –


    KAW says Evans not believable on denials of AFP advice.


    Akerman says there is a pull factor via abolish tpv, get more boats, more risk of accidents.


    Marr confronts many of the myths. BC asks critically was SIEV X deaths [300 or more deaths?] the fault of the Howard Coalition if this latest tragedy was caused by the Rudd Govt.


    Marr quotes UNHCR in Australia re Opposition strongest signal of soft policy actually misdescribing the actual policy. Footage of Turnbull says as much.


    [missed 3 minutes here]


    Continued – refer show website.




    Inside Business with Alan Kohler


    Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/


    Posted by editor at 11:54 AM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 19 April 2009 12:15 PM NZT
    Sunday, 12 April 2009
    No Sunday Political Talkies Easter Sunday
    Mood:  lyrical
    Topic: aust govt

     Tom McLoughlin's picture

    No posting today on Sunday political free to air talkie shows.

    We noted last week Insiders and Sunday Business begged off in favour of religious programming on our ABC govt funded channel.

    Oakes on 9, Riley on 7 were no show. Meet the Press on 10 ditto. All good we say. Can't speak for the pay tv shows etc or nightly fta fodder 60 Minutes, Sunday Night or Dateline.

    We can say the forum on quality journalism (another one) debating the death of newspapers seems to have been confirmed by this weekend edition offering from Fairfax. Newspaper it is not. Lifestyle rag maybe.

    The Australian from News Corp seems equally shaky leading with a 'farmers are good, greenies are liars' story while hiding the true news story about triazine herbicides including simazine and atrazine are persistant herbicides found to be more dangerous than ever in cooler Tasmanian climates, that's on page 4 down the bottom too. The story notes they are banned in Europe but not here.

    It's back to the packing boxes for us in our relocation project, and notice the change in email contact address which is now

    Not that we have any great love for Telstra but the other carriers don't do cable or wireless where we are going, and at least with the gorilla you can be fairly sure they are not owned in the case of Optus by Singtel aka Singapore which does money laundering for the organised crime generals of the Burmese dictatorship.

    Posted by editor at 12:29 PM NZT
    Sunday, 5 April 2009
    Sunday political talkies: G20 grip and greet, IMF grin, China grabs
    Mood:  lazy
    Topic: aust govt



    Author’s general introductory note


    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.  


    For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


    Other sources of pollie talkies on Sunday include SkyNews paytv Sunday Agenda, Radio National Monica Attard Sunday Profile show. And of course Sunday night shows SBS Dateline, Sixty Minutes and now Sunday Tonight on 7.  

     Media backgrounders Preface – been off the coal face latter this week doing farmhouse work at Cattai (just like last week). Quite a few papers, crikey ezines to catchup.  

    * Gavin Gatenby/Ecotransit in crikey reveals massive false (?) escalation of rail costings in NSW compared to similar project – apples with apples – in Perth. What  teeth grinding disgrace if it proves to be true. Source of comparison is ex ALP transport minister too. And see twist next two items in this list.  

    * We noticed late last week Gawenda sledge News Corp and we took the trouble to comment on the string (as we do) and ring with personal message to head of local News Corp affairs with moral support re Right To Know Coalition achievements making space for a range of intitiatives in democracy building. Which leads us to what happened next …  

    * Front page blowtorch on Sydney Daily Telegraph from Simon Benson about corruption in RTA blocking FoI with legal trickey – ostensibly a RTK agenda – but also a profound leverage by the Ombudsman via SDT of the Gatenby story of hyper escalations of rail costings. Which leads to what happened next … 

    * Roads minister ex NRMA lawyer road lobby Michael Daly, right winger seat of Maroubra (ex Bob Carr seat) oversight of Macquarie big road rollouts 1996-2007 said ‘pure coincidence that Les Wielinga quitting RTA chief job for new over priced Metro project … just a coincidence. NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ABC Local - 'Cover-up': NSW roads chiefs investigated for corruption


    * Peter Hartcher on ABC Glover political forum – “why we hate this state government”. Tell us what you really think Pete – not as interesting as Ramsey – Hartcher. Referring to bikie laws after the horse has bolted, lacking substance. But might have been also referring to RTA cover ups above, or power blackout x2 for the protected species of Sydney’s East.


    * Obama West Wing style re-run episode of shooting siege in New York State – this time ends badly unlike tv land – 13 dead. But no one much is reporting claim by Pakistani/Afghani militant leader (‘more dangerous than Osama Bin Laden’) claim that it was his instruction to commit the mass murder, heard on ABC RN Doogue yesterday morning. Goes by the name of Baituallah Mehsud . Rejected by FBI, but then they would say that? FBI rules out Taliban claim on New York killings - 10 hours ago


    * There is a streak (!) of the Melbourne Truth in every newspaper editors heart manifest by scanty colour page 3 girls as per today’s Sunday Telegraph (bras), as per The Australian (fashion), and Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald too. They are all harvesting the position of falling sales and circulation by which we mean harvesting their credibility. 

     * 200K renters facing eviction – we know 60 days notice no grounds. Echoes much bigger story front pagers today on mortgage freeze from deal with 4 big banks and federal govt for anyone losing their job.  

    * Quality journalism forum last week to be broadcast next Saturday abc RN in place of Doogue, probably on abc Fora too.   

    * China syndrome continues with strong Milne story today and Henry Tsang MP in NSW ALP loyalist sophistry in SunHerald Sydney Fairfax completely ignoring undemocratic ruthless dictatorship of China. Local Tibetan says every country is the same as here for Chinese influence peddling. What indeed happened to the Tank Man???? Milne supplements with piece today rejecting racism smokescreen to avoid transparency eg “smuggling” in the no.5 Chinese propaganda chief. Big Media journos today showing incapacity for perspective too close to the Govt drip.  


    10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


    Lead in images of G20 UK Brown, USA Obama, Rudd Australia. “Global statesman thing is working for him”.


    Press covers big story of day re mortgage freeze for a newly unemployed. Spin about red meat diet for PM Rudd


    Talent is Hockey as shadow treasurer. Claims ‘backslapping’ at G20 misconceived. G20 “Obama moment”. Hock uses “backslapping” echo of my thoughts!  “Rudd is no Obama, let’s get real about this”.


    Humour section about meal spat? No for real – Hock leverages to dishonesty of the office about whether it happened – Lachlan Harris [refer West Wing Josh Lyman in the news, not the flak’s role to get in the story].


    Humour section – grinding teeth moment footage next to femme fatale Chinese diplomat. [Suitable advert juxtaposition for Andre Reiu shmultz melodrama in local series Neighbours?]


    Panel is Steve Lewis/News Corp grey streaks sublimating his inner centrist at Fair & Balanced, Jessica Irvine makes her way for Fairfax brainy younger (?) woman, and a pear in sympathy with Therese Rein.


    Hock uses metaphor flash flood to solve a drought. Has some resonance. Simply a loan – have to pay in higher interest rates or increased taxes. [Ignores that rollback effect of GST regressive nature – sweet revenge of lower paid? Arguble as cash splash is also somewhat regressive? Think no.]


    Hock misses the chance to make constructive points about the May budget. Should have had some positives to grab the initiative after the effective sledging. Hock seems to suggest Coalition will block the money bill in budget? Lewis asks racism question. “Repugnant” smokescreen says Hock, really about transparency. [agree, it’s emotional violence by the ALP to avoid scrutiny].


    Hock claims its one single foreign govt in equity and debt side of the national economic equation. [implicit a dictatorship like China, not just any foreign govt].


    Humour out take is Moir on G20 cartoon but really its advert juxta Hogsbreath Café truly weird pink cheerleaders routine. At least 20 seconds too long but made me watch as truly truly weird.


    Irvine plays populist line on Peter Anderson proverbial grey man in part 2, from ACC&I. Anderson looks like an ideologue perhaps contact lenses, unblinking, but MTP poll shows tax relief is preferred massively supporting his line. Agrees 2 negative quarters of “recession”.


    Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.




    Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am


     - G20 images with London Calling soundtrack. Rudd asking self questions again. Grip and grin. Never mind the bollocks [Robertson says it was almost Never mind the Stones] of revolting (?) protesters. Albanese grovels to the royalty. Good show


    - No doubt due to time difference no Q&A with Riles, disappointing. But chatty compares news reader cracks it with ‘how can they rule the world if they can’t organize a group photo?’ Quite. Then Andrew O’Keefe oversteps the mark with a dodgy joke about being “out on the piss” referring to an Indian prime minister Hindu sect. Geddit? OKeefe neurotic about his binge drinking embarrassment telling jokes at the expense of a country of 1 billion people.


    Just give up the booze Andrew – it really is as simple as that. Give it up. Said with love.




    9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am 

    Talent is minister for hair loss with patented drone, with brain almost exploding out of his forehead to keep it altogether for his pretty political bosses. Greyish edges tell the story.


    Kicks off with Rudd’s diet tantrum, underlying neurosis about Howard’s fitness walks? Or pear like wifey? The politics of fat are oh so personal.


    Tanner refuses to confirm car loans included in mortgage freeze for 12 months in deal with the 4 big banks.


    Won’t confirm length of GFC – says small positive signs like USA sharemarket. [Small is right.]


    “Difficult choices …. must maintain stimulus as temporary.”


    One of the things we have learned over the last year [actually only 6 months] is that we shouldn’t rule anything in or out. [Which is exactly what Julie Bishop as shadow treasurer said  in terms of “wait and see” – how hypocritical to attack her in parliament then.]


    Tanner calls Turnbull to nationalism to stop using Senate to govern while in global financial storm, trying to grab the wheel held by captain Rudd.


    LO throws to compares who refer to “the fun part of the show” … but you have to say it was better interview than expected at the start, from Drone.





    Insiders 2: 9- 10am


    G20 backslapping imagery. Nothing contradicts Alan Kohler jibe as spectators.


    Barry Cassidy breaks story about links to bikie breach of security at The Lodge for an hour. Assuming it is true might be big or small embarrassment.


    Given the comments by Tanner, ironic that Julie Bishop as foreign minister shadow is talent.


    Panel is Taylor/Australian News Corp centre, Milne News Corp centre right, Toohey Fairfax AFR centre.


    Press round up Rudd in defence damage control in C/Times. Taylor on bank freeze, non bank lenders also shut out implies Hock.  Milne refers to Chinese Optus joint venture. Banned in USA for security reasons, sanction buster in Iraq. Not at arms length. Helps Telstra campaign to bust back into the NBN.


    Julie Bishop all white ‘honest’ symbolism. Argues not out of step with world – problems for Rudd didn’t get what he wanted on exec pay, lots of things also not following Rudd script at G20. Constructs a fair claim. China vote in IMF off to 2011.


    Leaders at g20 modest outcome – not failure. BC counters – G20 forum was a success as Rudd hoped.


    Come back interview for Bishop – goes hard and clear on range of topics with mastery of detail of her case  – Chinese duchessing of Govt, repudiates positioning by ALP of Coalition as dog whistling when a whole list of commentators have adopted the tag “Manchurian Candidate” around “lack of judgement” about China’s influence. Fitzgibbon not credible with lack of transparency of paid trips by China lobby.


    Spoils the hard line with exageration about hunger/hypoglycemia temper tantrum by PM Rudd in January 09. Yawn. Bullying of defence personnel?[– obviously all dainty flowers.] Agrees potential international consequences of security breach at the Lodge – earlier hyperbole makes perspective difficult.


    Out take shows a steely and ruthless Julie Bishop with fixed smile. Is she human?


    Everyperson segment abc reporter in Melbourne at some festival.


    Panel chats on May budget, Bradley report, trade figures unexpectedly good (‘green shoots’ jargon).



    ‘China Syndrome’ topic  – Abbott on AM [pushing our line (?) in crikey comment string about Olympic riots for Beijing, known network of informants, yes trade but show perspective]


    Very uncomfortable footage of Rudd almost certainly lying in diplomatese about mate from UK seating arrangement. [Those images are a template and a tell – the slight look away and back as the synapses very very fast construct a line that he believes will work.]


    Taylor says Coalition accusing Rudd of putting China first is “a very serious allegation”.


    China is NOT  a market economy, is undemocratic. [meaning dictatorship]. China is the pre eminent hackers Milne quoting Downer.


    Taylor sucked in about racism allegation. Toohey agrees Bishop hyperbole about Rudd behaving like a member of the Communist Party of China.


    Toohey says NSA head and shoulders above China but catching up.


    Lachlan Harris, PM press secretary “lied”. Press gallery won’t cop lying distinct from omissions or mistakes.


    Panel agree Opposition not helping with sandbags as per 74% man PM Rudd, compare with record of Hawke Nov 1984 at 75%. Need to be far more constructive about GFC to avoid stereotype of Oppositionism.


    Talking pics – solid. Profound image of Obama shaking policeman's hand at no.10 Downing St. Heart melting stuff.

    Tips - Taylor Jobs Services Australia story to go a lot further. Toohey says Howard has Chinese artist doing his portrait. Milne says inquiry into Fitzgibbon Defence snooping “should be made public”.


    Week’s break for religious programming.






    Inside Business with Alan Kohler


    Feature interview with Rob Ferguson IMF, former BT investment bank


    Bris Connections/Macquarie float farce – IMF litigation firm helping small shareholders facing financial ruin. PDS – up for another $2. “Installment warrants” different to partly paid shares, not up for the balance.


    Whose fault? Promoter of the scheme Macquarie. Shares worth minus $1.50.


    All the worst features of this cycle. Rediculous leverage.


    Ran BT in 70ies and 80ies. Agrees G20 is a talkfest won’t make much difference. Sharemarkets go up when people innured to bad news, not calling the bottom.


    Talking point quotes Obama re G20 – did OK. IMF is the biggest winner up US$250 to 750M.


    No one knows how long or when the bottom of the sharemarket.


    Day spa small business feature story. Week’s break religious programming.


    Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/


    Posted by editor at 1:00 PM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 5 April 2009 1:06 PM NZT
    SAM micro news pageview stats jump 40pc in March 09 off a low base - 34,255
    Mood:  special
    Topic: independent media


    Screen shot above taken on 5th April accurate to the 3rd of that month according to the host metrics, which is our usual time of the month for this post. 10K jump in reader figures this month, that's fully 40% increase - so might pay to analyse which stories took off (when we have the time). 

    Our guess Chinese Govt duchessing here which has global appeal, including USA where bloggers are more widely read (we have a USA host server too).

    Previous monthly reader pageview figures for 2007, 2008 verified by screen shot (web host provider monthly pageview account details) posted on or about 4th day of the month found in this thread:

    • March 2009 - 34,255
    • February 2009 - 23,208
    • January 2009 - 27,462
    • December 08 - 21,858
    • November 08 - unavailable, host breakdown
    • October 08 - 20,343
    • September 08 - 20,746
    • August 08 - 25,344
    • July 08 - 22,855
    • June 08 - 27,440
    • May 08 - 25,046
    • April 08 - 19,250
    • March 08 - 20,803 
    • February 08 - 13,109
    • January 2008 -  19, 898
    • December - 11,627
    • November - 10,220
    • October - 9, 100 
    • Sept -  8,100 roughly, no screenshot
    • August - 8,845
    • July - 7475
    • June - 9675
    • May  - 9, 059
    • April  - 12,087
    • March  - 6,684
    • February - 5,372
    • January 07 -  2800 3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07

    Posted by editor at 10:27 AM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 5 April 2009 1:03 PM NZT
    Sunday, 29 March 2009
    Sunday political talkies: Chinese Govt duchessing of Oz Govt as per defector Chen Yonglin caution, as per local ALP power games?
    Mood:  not sure
    Topic: aust govt




    Author’s general introductory note


    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. 




    For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.




    Other sources of pollie talkies on Sunday include SkyNews paytv Sunday Agenda, Radio National Monica Attard Sunday Profile show. And of course Sunday night shows SBS Dateline, Sixty Minutes and now Sunday Tonight on 7.  



     Media backgrounders 



    Preface – been off the coal face latter this week doing farmhouse work at Cattai. Not a comprehensive list probably




    * Anna Bligh ALP Qld premier famous win, potentially on the back of scandalous treatment by News Corp of conservative rival to Liberal-National Party of Pauline Hanson, who inspired previously 5 or 10 One Nation MPs who split the Coalition 7 years ago in Qld state politics.



     * Arbib takes a break from Sunday Telegraph gig today after Qld election result stuff up. 


    * Echoes of Petrov scandal mongering political strategy over the “affair” the ALP is having with China, at the expense ‘of Australian wealth’. On the other hand the lack of transparency in business dealings with dictator China is very worrying. Sunday Telegraph even quotes Green MP Lee Rhiannon over covert funding. Linda Simlamis fills for Arbib above on the same funding topic. 


    * Rudd as PM is cute talking down to Joel Fitzgibbon on Chinese contacts and declarations given no.5 propaganda chief secretive visit to Australia recently. 


    * Oz Minerals Chinese takeover blocked on national security grounds – Akerman calls it throwing bone to dog of public concern. [PA would know all about dog whistling too.] 


    *  Moral panic over bikie organized crime is a handy distraction from the GFC. Not illogical either because the increased poverty meaning competition is tougher for territory all round, as market forces take their course in recreational drug use too. 


    * Earthhour is a cute communication stunt that does help to spread a visible important message – significant reductions in carbon emissions from switch off conservation, also visible vote for deeper action.  


    * Another crime against fashion by Therese Rein but hey she’s pitching which is better than stewing. 


      * Lisa Carty reveals a flint heart not caring less if the bikies kill each other off. But also care for the public with a shocking backgrounder of a death by menacing.  



    10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


    Lead in footage of Obama face time with Rudd. G20 news with Paul Bongiorno in London. Bill th stand in compere is very workman like and tackling the media savvy pollies like Tony Abbott. Good stuff.


    Talent is Tony Abbott – issue of Defence Minister, puts it as “sloppy” minister. [Not very compelling argument, appearances, nuisance value]. Says it’s all about lack of disclosure.


    Strong line – can’t spend your way out of a recession. Not a single major project re infrascture gone ahead after a year or more of new regime.


    Panel is Glenn Milne/News Corp, and Fran Kelly/ABC RN.


    Job Network ‘scandal’ – 600K clients of job network large proportion job networks will be closing down, tender for a boom not a recession. Says very very big mistake. [Seems to referring to Salvos and Mission Australia being repudiated, and running emotional scaremonging.]


    Turnbull figures go down comparative to Rudd. 2nd out take is Rudd cartoons in USA. Lots of Microsoft adverts.




    Prof Clive Williams on security boffin. Lock step with USA in Afghanistan, alliance relationship why we are there. China has “a very large effort” intelligence effort but not illegal, here in Australia, Prof quoting Chen YongLin whistleblower. Politicians should “be wary”. “Any travel paid for by a third party is a worry”.


    Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.



    Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am


    Wild looking guy recognizes Rudd in Washington as Aussie PM.


    Very funny Rudd on “core” message, feeding the media chooks [which side of the microphone is the bigger joke?!].


    Nice inside journalism moment about the “cool photo” inside the Oval office for Riles which indeed is “the juice” [but only part thereof champ].


    West Wing theme comes through as Riles Let’s Bartlett be Bartlett [refer the wikipedia episodes first season.]


    Q&A dig at Riles re Kevin747, his jet actually 737. Getting to the core of it – ha ha from Michael O’Keefe stand in.






    9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am 


    8.42 start handshake with Riley Diary good scheduling in the national interest. Mick Kelty, the running man,  as Federal Police Commissioner -  LO refers to “panic” this week.  


    Softly spoken rough diamond looks image works in PR terms. Sounding very calm and competent. Will he come up trumps under pressure? Jargon Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs [OMC]. [refer David Rowe cartoon today – quite brilliant again of lawyer in the sidecar]. 


    Wharves infiltration? Crime on the wharves matter of focus. Overseas visas allies being blocked? Only within the law. Also chair of national crime commission. About 1,500 intelligence reports lodged in the last 12 months. [necessary but way insufficient answer?] Machine guns at airport? Security committees and agencies also.


      Machine guns would be an over reaction. “staffing optimal under the review” but subject to another review. 35% shortage in airports staff nationally. “Only as good as the intelligence you receive”.  






    Insiders 2: 9- 10am


    Uhlmann smiles at Fitzgibbon controversy. Front pager Sunday Telegraph is shown differently


    Panel is Crabb/Fairfax, Meglogenis/News Corp centrist, Bolt/News Corp Right.


    Ms Liu Chinese millionaire big donor to politics/ALP, Howard and Rudd connected and with Chinese Govt senior figures. Bolt argues symbolic influence of China.


    Gillard spin re lapse, denies character or deliberate, recollection poor. [We wonder about hard drinking beer swilling memory cells at the highest level, catches up with the best and worst every time, refer Latham Diary].


    Preface re Tony Abbott on Meet The Press 10 earlier today.


    Barry Cassidy goes hard in this interview. No soft touches here. Raises character, why is he still in his job, Rudd spoke to Belinda Neal while OS but not JF this time? Gillard answer sounds good she is dealing with it but spending her political capitals.


    Can’t recall meeting Ms Liu but possible in all the functions. Ex pats reporting back to Chinese Govt on any matters. Gillard stone walls about this. [Goes to the heart of the denial as per Chen Yonglin defector report – Senator Bob Brown had to work hard to get his asylum.]


    Biggest source of paying students, super power in our region. Opportunism by Opposition. Why give JF a suit and return it? Gillard plays dumb with a cute response. Was he having an affair with her, thus compromised even further as a politician.


    Talent is Paul Barrett ‘grey beard’ (not literally) former secretary defence [fell out with Howard Govt via google?] knows a lot about. Great choice of source.


    The World Today Archive - Defence Secretary and Government in court



    6 August 1999


    Says delegated authority of all staff via Secretary and issues go to him re their minister – Defence Secretary refer to PM and ASIO.  Not concede DSC be involved. Chief of Defence Force not really involved ??? missed this point.


    Goes on to pay system re IT efficiency, and these computer systems cost


    Every Person segment is ABC group in caffeine driven Left Right ‘youf think tank’ in Melbourne refugees from Xavier College perhaps (?) all about young views about “the big issues”.


    Bolt refers to Gillard as enforcer, unlike Brian Howe. She is showing she is the next PM says Bolt somewhat mischeviously but also with a Victoria feather in cap.


    Bolt refers to influence trading (he would know at News Corp), Crabb arguing where is the evidence versus innuendo, a word she wasn’t able to articulate.


    Footage Joe Hockey accused as dog whistling ringing the bell of the red hordes says Albanese.


    Panel: Howard just as keen to parade business links to Chinese President at APEC in 2007 when Rudd spoke mandarin there.


    LO with Rudd re IMF reform (Keating agenda for ALP aligned business interests?) greater role for China is result. Grab from Jim Lehrer PBS as well re opportunities with China  – keep meetings secret raises real problems says Barry Cassidy.


    Bolt says China is different authoritarian regime and strategic competitor.


    Meglo says double standards at play. Confusion in discussion symbolic of unusual juncture in politics for the nation.


    Talking Pictures good West Wing fodder.


    Fallout of Qld election result: Turnbull non committal.


    Wind up comments: AC (missed it), Meglo - Greens and ALP combined have polled over 50% since Dec 2006 (??) - Liberal Party should well consider this reality.


    Bolt says temperatures plateaued for a decade [ignores particulate pollution of global dimming offsetting global warming but both very dangerous, like car brake and accelerator to the floor … at the same time].  Bolt unintended flattering of success of Earth Hour numbers in force.


    BC notes Anna Bligh will likely be president of the ALP during the federal election




    Inside Business with Alan Kohler


    Considering Chinese taking over Oz Minerals blocked by treasurer Wayne Swan. Chinalco takeover of Rio Tinto is much bigger level.


    Ross Garnaut is the talent last half for a feature interview.


    Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/


    Posted by editor at 11:27 AM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 5 April 2009 9:39 AM NZT
    Wednesday, 25 March 2009
    Bad air in Sydney causing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and reflux?
    Mood:  don't ask
    Topic: health

    Picture: File image from 2008 taken from Arncliffe to the CBD, and to Kingsford Smith Airport

    At just after 6 am this morning the first international long haul flight over Marrickville (Heights) cleaves the dark air overhead. 20 minutes later editing a loosely written piece on this Slog the unmistakeable smell of diesel fumes wafts through the home office.

    That's not healthy. Thanks for nothing airport. 

    This echoes our vision last evening looking west from the Eastern Suburbs of a mist over the Sydney CBD. Was it natural mist? 10 years ago we recall holding up a sign outside the new Eastern Distributor tollway stating "400 premature deaths in Sydney per year from bad air" or something like that. We also got arrested on the picket line. Our view was that a cheap well organised southern railway should have made an Eastern Distributor redundant. Too many assumptions in there in hindsight.

    By coincidence and before we see the day's press the Greens MP Lee Rhiannon comments on an air pollution story running today via the big media:

    Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 6:26 AM
    Subject: [Greens-Media] Leaked DECC documents reveal extent of Government'sfailure to reduce pollution

    25 March 2009

    Leaked DECC documents reveal extent of Government's failure to reduce

    Greens MP and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has criticised the
    NSW Government for its failure to meet its own air quality targets,
    following the release of a leaked draft copy of the government's Action
    for Air 2009, which reports on measures to reduce emissions from
    transport, industrial, commercial and domestic sources.

    "The Action for Air report reveals the NSW government continues to miss
    its targets for reducing photochemical smog and particle pollution,"
    said Ms Rhiannon.

    "The report links the government*s failure to meet its targets to the
    lack of success in providing adequate public transport, integrating
    urban planning with transport and shifting more freight onto rail.

    "The top two objectives of the Action for Air plan are to integrate air
    quality goals and urban transport planning and provide more and better
    transport choices.

    "Yet the government refuses to introduce tough policy measures to
    reduce the overall number of vehicle kilometers traveled in NSW.

    "The leaked report indicates that some pollution types will most likely
    increase over the next decade due to climate change impacts and
    population increases.

    *If these trends are allowed to play out the future economic,
    environmental and health costs of air pollution will be enormous.

    "Vehicles and fuels might be getting cleaner, but the government has
    done nothing to reduce our reliance on vehicles.

    "Sydney*s population growth will see increased demand for housing,
    transport, energy and consumer goods, which will all drive up air

    "There is not one new pollution reduction initiative announced in this
    report, nor any time frames for turning the pollution problem around.

    "A host of rail and other public transport initiatives designed to
    reduce vehicle use have been dropped by the government in the past

    "It is crucial that the Government brings forward tough measures to get
    people out of their cars and improve air quality," said Ms Rhiannon.

    Which brings us to a personal anecdote. At 44 we have been suffering some heartburn around diet issues. Literally millions of people suffer heartburn and it's dangerous if not treated. This personal challenge seems to involve all kinds of changes like more exercise, more balanced diet, exclusion of certain foods, back up zantac tablets on the shelf at some supermarkets, caffeine free lifestyle (really, that hurts) etc etc. Such is mid life.

    But we wonder if the story is a bit more profound than that around city air quality: We are taking action to relocate an hour north west of Sydney on a rural block and this involves alot of preparation digging a trench for mains grid, bushfire prevention work, cleaning out the dead rats, etc etc It's turning these soft hands hard.

    But here's the thing. We don't get the gastric reflux out on the farm in the fresh air. We do get it in the city. It's not very scientific speaking as a biology science graduate because we are not exclusing limited diet there or exercise from the clean air or even the rainwater tank from the chlorine water supply but we wonder the association of reflux/heartburn/GERD with air pollution.

    A brief google reveals this about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and reflux - these things can travel together at least by association:

    Role of Gastroesophageal Reflux Symptoms in Exacerbations of COPD

    Whether there is a mechanism linking the two or coincidence is another question. But it raises the question in our mind.

    We do wonder. For 4 years 2001 to 2005 we lived just on the 400m boundary of the infamous M5 East freeway ventilation stack. Odourless, colourless and very unhealthy one assumes. Though we had an active delivery distribution job getting plenty of exercise you might think, during this time we seemed to go backwards in respiratory health. Invisible particulate pollution under 10 microns in size can do that. So can a lack of aerobic exercise as distinct from power work.

    For all those reasons we are now looking forward to getting out to the farm even with the bushfire threat and clearing work needed around the house. Luckily there are two dams near by and we are taking advice on a bushfire bunker ... but that's another story in due course.

    Posted by editor at 9:37 AM NZT
    Tuesday, 24 March 2009
    Marcus Einfeld take 2: Big Media ritual humiliation in the dock?
    Mood:  not sure
    Topic: big media


    We wrote last weekend speculating about pride and denial of encroaching age as somehow affecting the judgement of Marcus Einfeld's retired Federal Court judge and legal lion:

    Saturday, 21 March 2009
    Marcus Einfeld aging disgracefully?
    Mood:  incredulous
    Topic: legal

    After watching 4 Corners, hearing of a bashing murder major crime at Sydney airport by comparison, and Media Watch last night condemnation of a local News Corp fake story, we have another takeout. It involves a degree of synthesis about some big media predeliction for ritual humiliation. In short emotional violence rather than light.

    The News Corp Sydney Telegraph, in the manifestation of Sunday Telegraph got an extreme bollocking last night on Media Watch:

    Tabloid Trading 23 March 2009

    They are at risk of a major defamation payout to Pauline Hanson. But what we noticed was the pattern of ritual humiliation this time via fake nude pictures of candidate Hanson. No doubt the go big grovelling apology by the newspaper is to mitigate the damages payout. But what makes the fake story most egregious was the attempt to sully clean politics in the Queensland election 7 days later.

    In that State electoral corruption is treated with no mercy and several people have received serious gaol terms - including infamously Pauline Hanson herself - until cleared on appeal  resulting in some soul searching in broader political circles about victimisation of the woman. How ironic. Arguably one upshot of the Media Watch critique last night by implication is that the editor of the Sunday Telegraph ought to be prosecuted under Qld election laws (?).

    We can't help thinking the brazen objective was to destroy Hanson's ability to split the conservative vote as she did federally in 1998 - 2001 with 1 million votes as an ambitious right wing third force: The One Nation barrackers certainly think so as here back in 2001:

    We can't help thinking too that the dirty story against Hanson had 'a Karl Rove' style of impact: Karl Rove as tactician for GW Bush USA presidency perfected the 'false smear/exposed/voter backlash' manoeuvre. Usually at the expense of moderate centre left candidates. In this Hanson situation swinging (no pun intended) moderate centre right cvoters reading their usual News Corporation press fodder (The Courier Mail in Brisbane), might well have been annoyed by their nude photographs story being exposed as a fraud. In short News Corp almost certainly estranged their own readers. 

    Curiously these centre right folks didn't reward Hanson in droves, perhaps realising she was beyond the pale despite the unfair rap. Rather the official female in charge, ALP Premier Anna Bligh was rewarded with a less than expected swing against in the last week. And we can see their logic. Somehow we just know feminist Bligh would never have run a tactic like that against another female politician. Sisterhood. Moral values. Whatever the reason it's not the Bligh style. The swing voters punished the conservatives for a dirty story against a rival conservative in Hanson by rewarding the ALP. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

    It didn't hurt for PM Rudd to come in over the top and be quoted all over the electronic news, possibly focus group tested, that Bligh's rival Springborg to the effect that after watching 'Borg for 20 years he "is not up to the job". Does this translate as 'can't control their own side of politics to behave'? We wonder. Shades of Jackie Kelly going rogue and cruelling ex PM John Howard's election campaign in favour of now PM Rudd. 

    There are many examples of this ritual humiliation proces by News Corp media. But not many blowing up in News Corp's face. Pauline Hanson last weekend. Back around 2005 - significantly this was before Einfeld's speeding offence in 2006 -  it was leader of the NSW Opposition centre right premier in waiting John Brogden getting several front page blowtorches in a row leading to this:

    Shattered Brogden's suicide bid - National - smh.com.au 31 Aug 2005

    A long time before Brogden, Einfeld, Hanson, we heard of the famous example of then junior MP John Howard - later good buddy of GW Bush as PM of Australia - refusing to drive down a very short one way street near St Vincents hospital as his wife Janet was in painful labour. Why so scared? He obviously thought it would affect his politician's reputation. That's a weird sense of priorties, but on the other hand it also implies a healthy fear of a culture of big media gotcha reportage that twists humanity out of shape.

    For several months now it has been former Judge Marcus Einfeld in the News Corp cross hairs.  They have been revelling in Marcus Einfeld's "lie" as he admitted frankly seeking "forgiveness" broadcast last night on ABC flagship 4 Corners last night.

    The News Corp motive to go big is obvious: Einfeld is the very definition of a bleeding heart "activist judge" according to the stereotypes beloved of the News Corp harangue - Piers Akerman, Janet Albrechtsen, related as they are to the traditional US Republican loathing of "plaintiff lawyers" and their allies the "activist judges": These folks damage corporate profits big time, and arguably over reach as well sometimes. On the other hand these crusaders inspire academy award winning movies like Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich . And make shocking documentaries like Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room.

    Such 'judicial activists' confront comfortable establishment privilege at every turn. Einfeld was shown in this mode last night on 4 Corners freeing several wrongly accused as a QC and helping poverty stricken Aborigines with real infrastructure assistance.

    The centre left side of politics knows well to anticipate the bogus/ritual humiliations of the News Corp/Limited press front page as the local manifestation of Fox News so called 'fair and balanced'. Indeed many politicians are regarded as the proverbial jellyback for their pre emptive buckles. We prefer another approach. The day of the Brogden in distress news in 2005 (above) we thought to pursue some 'gotcha' pictures of their office known locally as the Holt St Harlot. Just to share the embarrassment around. They didn't like it at all:

    So now we ask rhetorically, does this history of misconceived and/or dangerous ritual humiliation by News Corporation in a cruel sport of emotional violence encourage public figures to lie about trivial matters? Surely it does. None of this excuses Einfeld's perjury or "mad" coverup of his speeding offence, not least a 20 page piece of legalistic sophistry to the police. A lie that strikes at the heart of the legal system's efficacy regarding honest evidence with which to do their work. 

    On the other hand hardly surprising that Einfeld didn't want to give the dogs of ideological war another meal. Regretably he only succeeded in serving up several exta courses.

    What this expose' of ritual humiliation masquerading as journalism does help with is explain the undue defensive pose that helped bring a big man down arguably in his vulnerable foolish old age. That's News Corp's speed these days in the democratic age of the internet corroding their monopoly on media power and fearsome emotional violence.

    Posted by editor at 10:25 AM NZT
    Updated: Wednesday, 25 March 2009 8:37 AM NZT

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