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131 responses to “So how about that media narrative now?”

  1. Johnson

    I agree that very few read the Australian (125,000 is low readership) – and that most people gain their views from the television or internet news. I also think most people with half a brain recognise the Murdoch press has an agenda re: Rudd.

    I am also sick of reading about ‘what’s wrong with Kevin Rudd’ and what ‘Rudd needs to do to turn it round’. I sat through 11 years of John Howard hearing the same thing – but he still won 4 elections before being chucked out. I think people are over the Rudd style which we have seen for almost 4 years now (opposition leader and prime minister) – but is it enough to chuck someone out of Government? Australians are not really into ‘change for the sake of change’ – they need a reason.

  2. Johnson

    I agree that very few read the Australian (125,000 is low readership) – and that most people gain their views from the television or internet news. I also think most people with half a brain recognise the Murdoch press has an agenda re: Rudd.

    I am also sick of reading about ‘what’s wrong with Kevin Rudd’ and what ‘Rudd needs to do to turn it round’. I sat through 11 years of John Howard hearing the same thing – but he still won 4 elections before being chucked out. I think people are over the Rudd style which we have seen for almost 4 years now (opposition leader and prime minister) – but is it enough to chuck someone out of Government? Australians are not really into ‘change for the sake of change’ – they need a reason.

  3. Agnes

    A poll from the West Australian last week suggesting a huge swing to the Coalition only asked the question of 400 people, and Galaxy and Newspoll usually only poll about 1000. There are 22,000,000 people in this country. Why is anyone taking any of these polls seriously???

  4. Agnes

    A poll from the West Australian last week suggesting a huge swing to the Coalition only asked the question of 400 people, and Galaxy and Newspoll usually only poll about 1000. There are 22,000,000 people in this country. Why is anyone taking any of these polls seriously???

  5. Fran Barlow

    The more that this campaign persists, the more the coming election will look like a plebiscite not on which party should run the country, but whether the country’s policy options ought to be at the whim of the mining bosses and their mouths-for-hire in the commercial media and the ABC.

    In a sense, it no longer matters whether one believes the ALP is a better government than the Coalition or whether RSPT is a good idea. If they do not score a thumping win over the media and those who stand behind their cant, then we may be sure that government will be worse for this failure.

    The ALP can’t say that of course, but that is what is at stake here. Much as I hate the idea, I am being moved to a position where I can see little alternative to holding my nose and voting for the government.

  6. Fran Barlow

    The more that this campaign persists, the more the coming election will look like a plebiscite not on which party should run the country, but whether the country’s policy options ought to be at the whim of the mining bosses and their mouths-for-hire in the commercial media and the ABC.

    In a sense, it no longer matters whether one believes the ALP is a better government than the Coalition or whether RSPT is a good idea. If they do not score a thumping win over the media and those who stand behind their cant, then we may be sure that government will be worse for this failure.

    The ALP can’t say that of course, but that is what is at stake here. Much as I hate the idea, I am being moved to a position where I can see little alternative to holding my nose and voting for the government.

  7. adrian

    But the ABC keeps on pushing the line that Rudd simply has to bring this to an end and promptly. Why? Because anonymous backbenchers have apparently told them.

    It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t even matter what the issue is. It’s all used as fodder for the myth of a government in crisis, teetering on the edge of a leadership spill, or a Rudd implosion or some other confected event.

    Now I can understand the commercial interests of NewsCorp promoting this narrative, but why oh why does the ABC join in so gleefully?

  8. adrian

    But the ABC keeps on pushing the line that Rudd simply has to bring this to an end and promptly. Why? Because anonymous backbenchers have apparently told them.

    It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t even matter what the issue is. It’s all used as fodder for the myth of a government in crisis, teetering on the edge of a leadership spill, or a Rudd implosion or some other confected event.

    Now I can understand the commercial interests of NewsCorp promoting this narrative, but why oh why does the ABC join in so gleefully?

  9. Patricia WA

    I thought Anthony Albanese did a good job last night on Lateline in keeping his cool with Leigh Sales as she persisted with the usual ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ line of questioning on the collapse of support for the government and the impasse with the mining sector. It’s clear the ALP leadership have thought through how best to deal with the MSM – getting angry and making accusations isn’t going to work. Persistently cheerful demeanour and polite responses which sidestep those loaded questions is effective because the more insistent the interviewers become in pushing for an answer meeting their agenda the more obviously slanted they appear. Sales’s body language, sulky facial expression and her questions which became increasingly shrill and rude said it all. She was not getting anywhere and she finally gave up with reasonable grace at the end of the interview!

    Rudd’s observation in Perth about not adding fuel to a fire by reacting strongly to the mining magnates seems to be the way they have decided to deal with the Opposition and MSM generally. I suspect too, and sincerely hope, that some of them are being privately coached on how to respond effectively to this onslaught of maliciously loaded questioning. Perhaps that answers my query elsewhere about how he’s keeping keeping them all calm, united and on message. If that’s the line they’ve all accepted they’ll all certainly be in better health after the election, win or lose!

  10. Patricia WA

    I thought Anthony Albanese did a good job last night on Lateline in keeping his cool with Leigh Sales as she persisted with the usual ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ line of questioning on the collapse of support for the government and the impasse with the mining sector. It’s clear the ALP leadership have thought through how best to deal with the MSM – getting angry and making accusations isn’t going to work. Persistently cheerful demeanour and polite responses which sidestep those loaded questions is effective because the more insistent the interviewers become in pushing for an answer meeting their agenda the more obviously slanted they appear. Sales’s body language, sulky facial expression and her questions which became increasingly shrill and rude said it all. She was not getting anywhere and she finally gave up with reasonable grace at the end of the interview!

    Rudd’s observation in Perth about not adding fuel to a fire by reacting strongly to the mining magnates seems to be the way they have decided to deal with the Opposition and MSM generally. I suspect too, and sincerely hope, that some of them are being privately coached on how to respond effectively to this onslaught of maliciously loaded questioning. Perhaps that answers my query elsewhere about how he’s keeping keeping them all calm, united and on message. If that’s the line they’ve all accepted they’ll all certainly be in better health after the election, win or lose!

  11. Lefty E

    “It’s certainly not out of the question that the ‘media narrative’ will still collapse in the face of reality.”

    Not out of the question? Certainly not. In fact, how long is it exactly since these guys were right about anything?

    Serious question: it could be as long ago as 2004.

  12. Lefty E

    “It’s certainly not out of the question that the ‘media narrative’ will still collapse in the face of reality.”

    Not out of the question? Certainly not. In fact, how long is it exactly since these guys were right about anything?

    Serious question: it could be as long ago as 2004.

  13. Tyro Rex

    “why oh why does the ABC join in so gleefully”

    Lazy journalists.

  14. Tyro Rex

    “why oh why does the ABC join in so gleefully”

    Lazy journalists.

  15. Mark

    @1 –

    There are 22,000,000 people in this country. Why is anyone taking any of these polls seriously???

    Because they’re samples, obtained according to recognised public opinion research methodology, Agnes. 1000 is a good sample of any population, with about a margin of error around 2.5 to 3%. There are some issues with the sample size of Westpoll, but I considered those here:

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/06/13/why-labor-may-lose-the-2010-federal-election/

    The fact that all the pollsters are finding movement in the same direction nationally, using different samples, effectively increases the sample and decreases the margin of error, and thus gives more confidence that they are accurately measuring voting intention.

    What voting intention is, and the relationship between polls and election outcomes (which, to my mind, is only through how their use shapes the decisions of political actors and the way events are interpreted), are of course, other questions.

  16. Mark

    @1 –

    There are 22,000,000 people in this country. Why is anyone taking any of these polls seriously???

    Because they’re samples, obtained according to recognised public opinion research methodology, Agnes. 1000 is a good sample of any population, with about a margin of error around 2.5 to 3%. There are some issues with the sample size of Westpoll, but I considered those here:

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/06/13/why-labor-may-lose-the-2010-federal-election/

    The fact that all the pollsters are finding movement in the same direction nationally, using different samples, effectively increases the sample and decreases the margin of error, and thus gives more confidence that they are accurately measuring voting intention.

    What voting intention is, and the relationship between polls and election outcomes (which, to my mind, is only through how their use shapes the decisions of political actors and the way events are interpreted), are of course, other questions.

  17. Mark

    @3 –

    Because anonymous backbenchers have apparently told them.

    The question, for me, adrian, is who those anonymous backbenchers are (leaving aside the possibility that it’s just made up). It’s also important how many there are, and I suspect it’s a very small minority, with grudges, who are being quoted again and again as “unnamed MPs” by stacks of reporters. It was significant that the caucus applauded backbencher Jim Turnour’s call for unity and discipline yesterday.

  18. Mark

    @3 –

    Because anonymous backbenchers have apparently told them.

    The question, for me, adrian, is who those anonymous backbenchers are (leaving aside the possibility that it’s just made up). It’s also important how many there are, and I suspect it’s a very small minority, with grudges, who are being quoted again and again as “unnamed MPs” by stacks of reporters. It was significant that the caucus applauded backbencher Jim Turnour’s call for unity and discipline yesterday.

  19. Mark

    @6 –

    Lazy journalists.

    And apparently there’s nothing journos love better than a leadership instability story, hoping it might actually provoke a challenge. Lots of speculation, colour and movement, all the stuff that the hard grind of actually reporting what’s going on lacks.

  20. Mark

    @6 –

    Lazy journalists.

    And apparently there’s nothing journos love better than a leadership instability story, hoping it might actually provoke a challenge. Lots of speculation, colour and movement, all the stuff that the hard grind of actually reporting what’s going on lacks.

  21. Mr Denmore

    Now I can understand the commercial interests of NewsCorp promoting this narrative, but why oh why does the ABC join in so gleefully?

    Chatter, noise, filling airtime, occupying white space, trying to be “commercial” – the ABC’s headless chook behaviour is another manifestation of the existential crisis in journalism.

    The sausage machine is getting ever more voracious thanks to the growing multiplicity of outlets and capacity for real-time online publishing and continuous broadcasting. The resources to fill this growing space are growing thinner. At the same time, the pressure is on public broadcasters to sound more commercial, which means chasing ratings and confecting cheap sensation.

    In this mismatch between supply and demand, the barriers to what can be defined as “news” have been progressively lowered. The sluicegate which once stood between the public and the public relations and paid communications industry is now fully open. And the shit poureth forth upon us all.

    In this race for the bottom, the media strategy becomes to adopt an over-arching narrative and then interpret every micro event in terms of that story line. Hence, sections of the media, including (in what was once unthinkable) the formerly sober ABC, jump all over a throwaway comment from Kevin Rudd to a celebrity press gallery journalist about their attire as another symbol of the government losing it.

    This is what happens when the media stops being able to distinguish noise from signal. In other words, it stops doing its fundamental job. News Ltd, of course, goes one better and starts manufacturing the noise itself, as I described in my last Failed Estate posting.

    My considered professional opinion is journalism is f**cked.

  22. Mr Denmore

    Now I can understand the commercial interests of NewsCorp promoting this narrative, but why oh why does the ABC join in so gleefully?

    Chatter, noise, filling airtime, occupying white space, trying to be “commercial” – the ABC’s headless chook behaviour is another manifestation of the existential crisis in journalism.

    The sausage machine is getting ever more voracious thanks to the growing multiplicity of outlets and capacity for real-time online publishing and continuous broadcasting. The resources to fill this growing space are growing thinner. At the same time, the pressure is on public broadcasters to sound more commercial, which means chasing ratings and confecting cheap sensation.

    In this mismatch between supply and demand, the barriers to what can be defined as “news” have been progressively lowered. The sluicegate which once stood between the public and the public relations and paid communications industry is now fully open. And the shit poureth forth upon us all.

    In this race for the bottom, the media strategy becomes to adopt an over-arching narrative and then interpret every micro event in terms of that story line. Hence, sections of the media, including (in what was once unthinkable) the formerly sober ABC, jump all over a throwaway comment from Kevin Rudd to a celebrity press gallery journalist about their attire as another symbol of the government losing it.

    This is what happens when the media stops being able to distinguish noise from signal. In other words, it stops doing its fundamental job. News Ltd, of course, goes one better and starts manufacturing the noise itself, as I described in my last Failed Estate posting.

    My considered professional opinion is journalism is f**cked.

  23. Roger Jones

    I though Albanese on Lateline was too prolix. He could have used shorter words make the government’s case and confronted Sales’ questions head on by putting the government’s case and not reponding to this whisper and shout campaign. He started to do this towards the close of the interview.

    These guys need to ge on TV and talk to the voters, not try and make ’em comfy by wrapping up “safe” messages in verbal cotton wool.

  24. Roger Jones

    Responding – sorry, my copy of referencing software stuffs up the keystrokes in Explorer. I should dump the evil empire’s software and migrate to a firey fox.

  25. Tim Macknay

    Mr Denmore, it makes the ABC’s plans for a 24 hour news channel all the more extraordinary. What the hell are they going to fill it with?

  26. Tim Macknay

    Mr Denmore, it makes the ABC’s plans for a 24 hour news channel all the more extraordinary. What the hell are they going to fill it with?

  27. Roger Jones

    Tim,

    the Chaser crew do good tickertape – that could be entertaining

  28. Ron

    Fran Barlow

    “Much as I hate the idea, I am being moved to a position where I can see little alternative to holding my nose and voting for the government.”

    So on a polisy only basis you think Tony Abbott’s is better than Labor’s

    How about listing 10 best Abbott polisys polisys vs Labors that sway you & why

  29. Ron

    Fran Barlow

    “Much as I hate the idea, I am being moved to a position where I can see little alternative to holding my nose and voting for the government.”

    So on a polisy only basis you think Tony Abbott’s is better than Labor’s

    How about listing 10 best Abbott polisys polisys vs Labors that sway you & why

  30. Jacques de Molay

    Personally I think the ABC’s current MO of aping whatever News Ltd says is more about their budget, “increase our funding and you’ll get better journalism out of us so until then…”

    I knew no one read The Australian but even less people read that paper than The Advertiser.

  31. Jacques de Molay

    Personally I think the ABC’s current MO of aping whatever News Ltd says is more about their budget, “increase our funding and you’ll get better journalism out of us so until then…”

    I knew no one read The Australian but even less people read that paper than The Advertiser.

  32. adrian

    “why oh why does the ABC join in so gleefully”

    Lazy journalists.

    No, no, no! I just don’t accept this ‘lazy journalists’ or even ‘headless chook behaviour’ explanations, because of the simple fact that for the past 5 years the ABC has been relentlessly anti-government. If it was down to laziness the laziness would manifest itself in attacks on both sides of politics, but generally it doesn’t.
    Similarly the need to fill airtime doesn’t seem to extend to filling it with points of view from the government or positive messages about the government.

    Surely it is a bit more than coincidence that the constant chatter is all so one-sided.

    Mr Denmore is right about journalism, or what’s left of it being f**cked, however.

  33. adrian

    “why oh why does the ABC join in so gleefully”

    Lazy journalists.

    No, no, no! I just don’t accept this ‘lazy journalists’ or even ‘headless chook behaviour’ explanations, because of the simple fact that for the past 5 years the ABC has been relentlessly anti-government. If it was down to laziness the laziness would manifest itself in attacks on both sides of politics, but generally it doesn’t.
    Similarly the need to fill airtime doesn’t seem to extend to filling it with points of view from the government or positive messages about the government.

    Surely it is a bit more than coincidence that the constant chatter is all so one-sided.

    Mr Denmore is right about journalism, or what’s left of it being f**cked, however.

  34. adrian

    What I meant to say was anti-government for the past 3 years. Prior to that it was most definitely pro government with some notable exceptions.

  35. adrian

    What I meant to say was anti-government for the past 3 years. Prior to that it was most definitely pro government with some notable exceptions.

  36. Lefty E

    “My considered professional opinion is journalism is f**cked.”

    Add “in Australia” to that sentence and its seconded. Seriously, Britain has its yellow press, but so much more to offer than the miserable fare we get.

  37. Lefty E

    “My considered professional opinion is journalism is f**cked.”

    Add “in Australia” to that sentence and its seconded. Seriously, Britain has its yellow press, but so much more to offer than the miserable fare we get.

  38. Cuppa

    Mr Denmore,

    News and current affairs ‘coverage’ on the ABC prioritises talking points from the Opposition and sectional interests. There is a constant stream of anti-Rudd/anti-Labor ‘narrative’ to a degree that I believe we’ve not seen the likes of before against any previous government or Prime Minister.

    How much of this phenomenon do you ascribe to Howard’s political interference? The Liberals always wanted to “change the culture” of the ABC. Do you agree with me that they have achieved that, and that we (the audience) are now being force-fed the noxious fruits of systemic, agenda-driven, pro-Liberal bias?

  39. Cuppa

    Mr Denmore,

    News and current affairs ‘coverage’ on the ABC prioritises talking points from the Opposition and sectional interests. There is a constant stream of anti-Rudd/anti-Labor ‘narrative’ to a degree that I believe we’ve not seen the likes of before against any previous government or Prime Minister.

    How much of this phenomenon do you ascribe to Howard’s political interference? The Liberals always wanted to “change the culture” of the ABC. Do you agree with me that they have achieved that, and that we (the audience) are now being force-fed the noxious fruits of systemic, agenda-driven, pro-Liberal bias?

  40. john

    Just wait till Murdoch dies. The Australian will be shut down by his successor, and the other journalists will have to think for themselves.

  41. john

    Just wait till Murdoch dies. The Australian will be shut down by his successor, and the other journalists will have to think for themselves.

  42. Zorronsky

    PM tonight is absolutely disgraceful. After leading in with “the Governments message is not getting through” they swung straight into an unbalanced attack once again defending the mining billionaires then went straight to a defense of the Opposition leader not being available and ending with a snide aside in support of Abbott “keeping quiet”. I have decided to alert my facebook group to as much information as I can find that highlights what is going down with this concerted and malicious attack on governance by the media in general.

  43. Zorronsky

    PM tonight is absolutely disgraceful. After leading in with “the Governments message is not getting through” they swung straight into an unbalanced attack once again defending the mining billionaires then went straight to a defense of the Opposition leader not being available and ending with a snide aside in support of Abbott “keeping quiet”. I have decided to alert my facebook group to as much information as I can find that highlights what is going down with this concerted and malicious attack on governance by the media in general.

  44. Cuppa

    Zorronsky,

    Ad Astra’s blog, The Political Sword, has a new section called ABC Watch, which is assembling a repository of evidence of ABC bias and poor behaviour. Ad Astra writes:

    Your collaboration in keeping track of what OUR ABC is doing may contribute to a change of its policies and improvement in its performance as a national broadcaster.

    I urge all concerned ABC audience members to contribute to this important project.

    http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

  45. Cuppa

    Zorronsky,

    Ad Astra’s blog, The Political Sword, has a new section called ABC Watch, which is assembling a repository of evidence of ABC bias and poor behaviour. Ad Astra writes:

    Your collaboration in keeping track of what OUR ABC is doing may contribute to a change of its policies and improvement in its performance as a national broadcaster.

    I urge all concerned ABC audience members to contribute to this important project.

    http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

  46. Zorronsky

    Thanks Cuppa, will do.

  47. Zorronsky

    Thanks Cuppa, will do.

  48. Jack Strocchi

    john @ #22 said:

    Just wait till Murdoch dies. The Australian will be shut down by his successor, and the other journalists will have to think for themselves.

    I think that Murdoch plans to shut down the Australian when Dame Elizabeth Murdoch dies. On balance I believe the world would be better off with a live Dame Murdoch and a more balanced Australian.

    Sadly we are not likely to see either.

  49. Jack Strocchi

    john @ #22 said:

    Just wait till Murdoch dies. The Australian will be shut down by his successor, and the other journalists will have to think for themselves.

    I think that Murdoch plans to shut down the Australian when Dame Elizabeth Murdoch dies. On balance I believe the world would be better off with a live Dame Murdoch and a more balanced Australian.

    Sadly we are not likely to see either.

  50. Cuppa

    Thanks Zorronsky, keep fighting the good fight.

  51. Cuppa

    Thanks Zorronsky, keep fighting the good fight.

  52. Jack Strocchi

    Fran Barlow @ #3 said:

    In a sense, it no longer matters whether one believes the ALP is a better government than the Coalition or whether RSPT is a good idea. If they do not score a thumping win over the media and those who stand behind their cant, then we may be sure that government will be worse for this failure.

    The only danger for Rudd is if the electorate rejects him for being too hopey-changey. The AUS polity is almost eerily conservative these days. It has a hung a gigantic “Do Not Disturb’ sign outside the white-picket fence for more than two decades.

    Both Hewson and Keating were rejected by the electorate when their financial and cultural radicalism got too far-fetched. One reason Howard went on and on for so long is that he generally left well enough alone. The only time he came close to losing was the GST (change) and Work Choices (change).

    So Rudd’s general political strategy – lofty rhetoric on legislation, worthy-but-dull regulations – is probably the right one. He really does not need to show that he can face up to “the greatest moral challenge of a generation”. Just give the appearance of doing something worthwhile now and again – and actually deliver.

    Australians are really not in to “great moral challenges” anymore. Permit me a spot of self-referential linking [Alter Ego: Be my guest you pompous git]

    Great followers make great leaders,

    Does anyone here think that the somnolent AUS polity – reluctantly aging, sitting on its half-million dollar property and six-figure super – is all fired up to follow their King in a death-or-glory charge, whether against global warming or mining barons? Me neither.

  53. Jack Strocchi

    Fran Barlow @ #3 said:

    In a sense, it no longer matters whether one believes the ALP is a better government than the Coalition or whether RSPT is a good idea. If they do not score a thumping win over the media and those who stand behind their cant, then we may be sure that government will be worse for this failure.

    The only danger for Rudd is if the electorate rejects him for being too hopey-changey. The AUS polity is almost eerily conservative these days. It has a hung a gigantic “Do Not Disturb’ sign outside the white-picket fence for more than two decades.

    Both Hewson and Keating were rejected by the electorate when their financial and cultural radicalism got too far-fetched. One reason Howard went on and on for so long is that he generally left well enough alone. The only time he came close to losing was the GST (change) and Work Choices (change).

    So Rudd’s general political strategy – lofty rhetoric on legislation, worthy-but-dull regulations – is probably the right one. He really does not need to show that he can face up to “the greatest moral challenge of a generation”. Just give the appearance of doing something worthwhile now and again – and actually deliver.

    Australians are really not in to “great moral challenges” anymore. Permit me a spot of self-referential linking [Alter Ego: Be my guest you pompous git]

    Great followers make great leaders,

    Does anyone here think that the somnolent AUS polity – reluctantly aging, sitting on its half-million dollar property and six-figure super – is all fired up to follow their King in a death-or-glory charge, whether against global warming or mining barons? Me neither.

  54. Tyro Rex

    Mr Denmore, it makes the ABC’s plans for a 24 hour news channel all the more extraordinary. What the hell are they going to fill it with?

    See Zorronsky @ 23

  55. Tyro Rex

    Mr Denmore, it makes the ABC’s plans for a 24 hour news channel all the more extraordinary. What the hell are they going to fill it with?

    See Zorronsky @ 23

  56. Bingo Bango Boingo

    The “mining tax deal as downside for the Coalition” idea doesn’t seem very plausible. The primary message to the electorate will be that Rudd/Swan called the mining companies liars but then backed down (it doesn’t really work the other way around, because the electorate knows that the mining companies do not decide what the tax laws wil be). A sizeable portion of Teh Left will accuse Rudd/Swan of betraying the national interest and then fret about the ability of capital to influence policy (shock, horror!); the Right will claim a victory for common sense (and for the future of the so-called Golden Goose); and the creamy middle will be left with the sense that the whole process was, at the very least, very poorly handled and that Rudd can be a bit of a dill sometimes.

    I’m intrigued by Fran Barlow’s allegation that the ABC is being paid by the mining companies to run an anti-RSPT line. What is the evidence for this?

    “No, no, no! I just don’t accept this ‘lazy journalists’ or even ‘headless chook behaviour’ explanations, because of the simple fact that for the past 5 years the ABC has been relentlessly anti-government.”

    Two of those years being the tail-end of the previous Coalition government…

    BBB

  57. Bingo Bango Boingo

    The “mining tax deal as downside for the Coalition” idea doesn’t seem very plausible. The primary message to the electorate will be that Rudd/Swan called the mining companies liars but then backed down (it doesn’t really work the other way around, because the electorate knows that the mining companies do not decide what the tax laws wil be). A sizeable portion of Teh Left will accuse Rudd/Swan of betraying the national interest and then fret about the ability of capital to influence policy (shock, horror!); the Right will claim a victory for common sense (and for the future of the so-called Golden Goose); and the creamy middle will be left with the sense that the whole process was, at the very least, very poorly handled and that Rudd can be a bit of a dill sometimes.

    I’m intrigued by Fran Barlow’s allegation that the ABC is being paid by the mining companies to run an anti-RSPT line. What is the evidence for this?

    “No, no, no! I just don’t accept this ‘lazy journalists’ or even ‘headless chook behaviour’ explanations, because of the simple fact that for the past 5 years the ABC has been relentlessly anti-government.”

    Two of those years being the tail-end of the previous Coalition government…

    BBB

  58. Fran Barlow

    BBB

    Where did I say that the ABC was being paid by the mining companies? Sure they are acting like a ventriloquist’s dummy with the hands of Murdoch and his fellow ghouls up their backs, but nobody pays a dummy to do its lines. You just move the mouth and pretend the dummy is doing the talking.

  59. Fran Barlow

    BBB

    Where did I say that the ABC was being paid by the mining companies? Sure they are acting like a ventriloquist’s dummy with the hands of Murdoch and his fellow ghouls up their backs, but nobody pays a dummy to do its lines. You just move the mouth and pretend the dummy is doing the talking.

  60. Bingo Bango Boingo

    “…whether the country’s policy options ought to be at the whim of the mining bosses and their mouths-for-hire in the commercial media and the ABC.”

    Perhaps you are using the term “mouth-for-hire” a little loosely?

    BBB

  61. Bingo Bango Boingo

    “…whether the country’s policy options ought to be at the whim of the mining bosses and their mouths-for-hire in the commercial media and the ABC.”

    Perhaps you are using the term “mouth-for-hire” a little loosely?

    BBB

  62. CMMC

    Culture jamming the media narrative! GetUp! has won the bid for The Mad Monk’s surfing lesson and will give the prize to an Afghan refugee.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/melbourne-life/surfs-up-for-abbott-in-getup-bid-20100616-yggn.html

  63. CMMC

    Culture jamming the media narrative! GetUp! has won the bid for The Mad Monk’s surfing lesson and will give the prize to an Afghan refugee.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/melbourne-life/surfs-up-for-abbott-in-getup-bid-20100616-yggn.html

  64. Bingo Bango Boingo

    “In what nervous Labor backbenchers may take as further evidence of the decline of the government’s political fortunes, Mr Abbott went for a higher price than Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his deputy Julia Gillard.”

    The media narrative parries GetUp!’s attack effortlessly!

    BBB

  65. Bingo Bango Boingo

    “In what nervous Labor backbenchers may take as further evidence of the decline of the government’s political fortunes, Mr Abbott went for a higher price than Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his deputy Julia Gillard.”

    The media narrative parries GetUp!’s attack effortlessly!

    BBB

  66. Fran Barlow

    BBB

    Well the placement of the conjunction “and” could have been better considered. The commercial media are mining company “mouths-for-hire” and the ABC are like their groupies.

  67. Fran Barlow

    BBB

    Well the placement of the conjunction “and” could have been better considered. The commercial media are mining company “mouths-for-hire” and the ABC are like their groupies.

  68. Mr Denmore

    The ABC’s 24-hour television news channel makes no sense at all. It’s a very ’90s idea. Back then, everyone was setting up around-the-clock always-on news channels – starting with CNN, then BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, Sky, Fox etc; but how many people actually watch this stuff?

    Ratings figures for Foxtel’s multipliticy of news/business channels are miniscule. More people watch endless re-runs of Seinfeld, Frasier and Bewitched. Why the country needs yet another layer of revolving wallpaper is beyond me, other than that the ABC feels that it’s their turn.

    Television news is always expensive and clunky. On 24-hour channels, it gets even more expensive and clunky. The news bosses deal with this by turning it into radio with pictures – lots of cheap talking head panels and people commenting on the action that is happening elsewhere. Aside from the endlessly recycled 2-minute bulletins on the top and bottom of the hour, it is not about news so much but about commentary on the news. There simply isn’t enough “news” to fill the airtime.

    So what you will end up seeing on ABC 24 is a sort of expanded Insiders with the same old suspects arguing over the significance of every micro-development in the “eternal present” (hat tip: Bernard Keane) that these shallow people occupy. This blather will be broken up by people plugging new books, movies and other television shows. Business coverage will consist of the same power point slides showing the All Ords, the $A and gold that you see on every other channel. The “world” coverage will be made up of the leftover agency pictures (Reuters, AP) that are left on the cutting room floor in the tighter nightly bulletins. These inevitably are timeless “colour” pieces about polar bears or lifeless shots of trade delegations and people shaking hands.

    None of this will add to the depth or breadth of our media. There will be no insightful commentary or analysis, no scoops, no investigative or public advocacy journalism. It will be the same old trite, recycled garbage we get now but layered even more thinly.

    The biggest mystery is why anyone would think we need this at a time when we have so much information already coming at us through the internet in real time. The ABC, of course, will reply that it is bringing its astute editorial judgement to the process and filtering the information deluge for its audience in a judicious way, which will be an interesting claim given they are so patently unable to do it now with the existing programming.

  69. Mr Denmore

    The ABC’s 24-hour television news channel makes no sense at all. It’s a very ’90s idea. Back then, everyone was setting up around-the-clock always-on news channels – starting with CNN, then BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, Sky, Fox etc; but how many people actually watch this stuff?

    Ratings figures for Foxtel’s multipliticy of news/business channels are miniscule. More people watch endless re-runs of Seinfeld, Frasier and Bewitched. Why the country needs yet another layer of revolving wallpaper is beyond me, other than that the ABC feels that it’s their turn.

    Television news is always expensive and clunky. On 24-hour channels, it gets even more expensive and clunky. The news bosses deal with this by turning it into radio with pictures – lots of cheap talking head panels and people commenting on the action that is happening elsewhere. Aside from the endlessly recycled 2-minute bulletins on the top and bottom of the hour, it is not about news so much but about commentary on the news. There simply isn’t enough “news” to fill the airtime.

    So what you will end up seeing on ABC 24 is a sort of expanded Insiders with the same old suspects arguing over the significance of every micro-development in the “eternal present” (hat tip: Bernard Keane) that these shallow people occupy. This blather will be broken up by people plugging new books, movies and other television shows. Business coverage will consist of the same power point slides showing the All Ords, the $A and gold that you see on every other channel. The “world” coverage will be made up of the leftover agency pictures (Reuters, AP) that are left on the cutting room floor in the tighter nightly bulletins. These inevitably are timeless “colour” pieces about polar bears or lifeless shots of trade delegations and people shaking hands.

    None of this will add to the depth or breadth of our media. There will be no insightful commentary or analysis, no scoops, no investigative or public advocacy journalism. It will be the same old trite, recycled garbage we get now but layered even more thinly.

    The biggest mystery is why anyone would think we need this at a time when we have so much information already coming at us through the internet in real time. The ABC, of course, will reply that it is bringing its astute editorial judgement to the process and filtering the information deluge for its audience in a judicious way, which will be an interesting claim given they are so patently unable to do it now with the existing programming.

  70. Paul Burns

    I wouldn’t exactly see Abbott being forced to talk to an Afghan refugee, especially one who is very eloquent and very bright as a win. After this surfing lesson, at which said refugee will no doubt tell the MSM exactly what does happen to regugees seeking asylum after a sea voyage, something they’d rather not listen to, Abbott will have no excuse. He will not be able to say he does not know about the suffering of refugees and he will not be able to brush it unde

    r the

  71. Paul Burns

    I wouldn’t exactly see Abbott being forced to talk to an Afghan refugee, especially one who is very eloquent and very bright as a win. After this surfing lesson, at which said refugee will no doubt tell the MSM exactly what does happen to regugees seeking asylum after a sea voyage, something they’d rather not listen to, Abbott will have no excuse. He will not be able to say he does not know about the suffering of refugees and he will not be able to brush it unde

    r the

  72. adrian

    Very well said Mr Denmore.

  73. adrian

    Very well said Mr Denmore.

  74. Paul Burns

    Gremlins on my computer.
    To continue. Abbott will not be able to brush the tragedy of boat refugees under the carpet.
    Declaration of interest : I’m a Get Up! supporter. But that’s not going to surprise any one, is it?

  75. Paul Burns

    Gremlins on my computer.
    To continue. Abbott will not be able to brush the tragedy of boat refugees under the carpet.
    Declaration of interest : I’m a Get Up! supporter. But that’s not going to surprise any one, is it?

  76. Tyro Rex

    Mr Denmore, the “hat tip” for “eternal present” shouldn’t go to Keane, it should go to Guy Debord, author of the Society Of the Spectacle in 1967:

    The society whose modernisation has reached the stage of integrated spectacle is characterised by the combined effect of five principal factors: incessant technological renewal, integration of state and economy, generalised secrecy, unanswerable lies, and eternal present … Guy Debord, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, 1988.

  77. Tyro Rex

    Mr Denmore, the “hat tip” for “eternal present” shouldn’t go to Keane, it should go to Guy Debord, author of the Society Of the Spectacle in 1967:

    The society whose modernisation has reached the stage of integrated spectacle is characterised by the combined effect of five principal factors: incessant technological renewal, integration of state and economy, generalised secrecy, unanswerable lies, and eternal present … Guy Debord, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, 1988.

  78. Mr Denmore

    Thanks Tyro, I should have known that. Sounds an interesting piece

  79. Mr Denmore

    Thanks Tyro, I should have known that. Sounds an interesting piece

  80. Tyro Rex

    History’s domain was the memorable, the totality of events whose consequences would be lastingly apparent. And thus, inseparably, history was knowledge that should endure and aid in understanding, at least in part, what was to come: “an everlasting possession,” according to Thucydides. In this way history was the measure of genuine novelty. It is in the interests of those who sell novelty at any price to eradicate the means of measuring it. When social significance is attributed only to what is immediate, and to what will be immediate immediately afterwards, always replacing another, identical, immediacy, it can be seen that the uses of the media guarantee a kind of eternity of noisy insignificance.

    The precious advantage which the spectacle has acquired through the outlawing of history, from having driven the recent past into hiding, and from having made everyone forget the spirit of history within society, is above all the ability to cover its own tracks — to conceal the very progress of its recent world conquest. Its power already seems familiar, as if it had always been there. All usurpers have shared this aim: to make us forget that they have only just arrived.

  81. Tyro Rex

    History’s domain was the memorable, the totality of events whose consequences would be lastingly apparent. And thus, inseparably, history was knowledge that should endure and aid in understanding, at least in part, what was to come: “an everlasting possession,” according to Thucydides. In this way history was the measure of genuine novelty. It is in the interests of those who sell novelty at any price to eradicate the means of measuring it. When social significance is attributed only to what is immediate, and to what will be immediate immediately afterwards, always replacing another, identical, immediacy, it can be seen that the uses of the media guarantee a kind of eternity of noisy insignificance.

    The precious advantage which the spectacle has acquired through the outlawing of history, from having driven the recent past into hiding, and from having made everyone forget the spirit of history within society, is above all the ability to cover its own tracks — to conceal the very progress of its recent world conquest. Its power already seems familiar, as if it had always been there. All usurpers have shared this aim: to make us forget that they have only just arrived.

  82. Liam

    Mr Denmore, I recommend Ken Knabb’s translation.

  83. Liam

    Mr Denmore, I recommend Ken Knabb’s translation.

  84. Liam

    And don’t bring it up with anyone with who you don’t care to argue about the labour theory of value. I’m agnostic about the nature of commodities, but economists I’ve known have had some… strong views on the matter.

  85. Liam

    And don’t bring it up with anyone with who you don’t care to argue about the labour theory of value. I’m agnostic about the nature of commodities, but economists I’ve known have had some… strong views on the matter.

  86. Tyro Rex

    And here is a copy of a translation of the Comments on the Society of the Spectacle from 1988, which I’ve been quoting.

    http://awayward.com/library/Philosophy/Situationists/Guy%20Debord%20-%20Comments%20On%20The%20Society%20Of%20The%20Spectacle.pdf

    Although, I suppose, you have to read the rather dense & Hegelian original work before the Comments, I think the comments are even more more useful in terms of their explanatory power.

  87. Tyro Rex

    And here is a copy of a translation of the Comments on the Society of the Spectacle from 1988, which I’ve been quoting.

    http://awayward.com/library/Philosophy/Situationists/Guy%20Debord%20-%20Comments%20On%20The%20Society%20Of%20The%20Spectacle.pdf

    Although, I suppose, you have to read the rather dense & Hegelian original work before the Comments, I think the comments are even more more useful in terms of their explanatory power.

  88. Mark

    Worth clarifying, Tyro Rex, that Society of the Spectacle was first published in 1967:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Society_of_the_Spectacle

    However, I think the phrase “eternal present” originated with Nietzsche.

  89. Mark

    Worth clarifying, Tyro Rex, that Society of the Spectacle was first published in 1967:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Society_of_the_Spectacle

    However, I think the phrase “eternal present” originated with Nietzsche.

  90. Tyro Rex

    Oh Mark, I did say that, but I was quoting from the Comments, which is 1988, which is what Google turned up when I … ahhh … Googled it. In fact looking at the online Ken Knabb translation that Liam provided a link to (my ‘Bureau of Public Secrets’ published book copy is falling apart, and is not searchable with my computer anyway) … the phrase doesn’t appear in it! However the concept of the ‘end of history’ / ‘eternal present’ was/is central to the way Debord conceives the spectacle in operation (yeah, and fuck Fukuyama’s actual celebration of the fact too).

    It is interesting that you say it originated with Neitzsche, do you know which work? Is it Twilight Of the Idols?

    Here’s some more from the Comments that might be relevant to this thread:

    One aspect of the disappearance of all objective historical knowledge can be seen in the way that individual reputations have become malleable and alterable at will by those who control all information: information which is gathered and also — an entirely different matter — information which is broadcast. Their ability to falsify is thus unlimited. Historical evidence which the spectacle does not need to know ceases to be evidence.

    […]

    Thus it is no longer possible to believe anything about anyone that you have not learned for yourself, directly. But in fact false accusations are rarely necessary. Once one controls the mechanism which operates the only form of social verification to be fully and universally recognized, one can say what one likes. The spectacle proves its arguments simply by going round in circles: by coming back to the start, by repetition, by constant reaffirmation in the only space left where anything can be publicly affirmed, and believed, precisely because that is the only thing to which everyone is witness. Spectacular power can similarly deny whatever it likes, once, or three times over, and change the subject, knowing full well there is no danger of any riposte, in its own space or any other.

  91. Tyro Rex

    Oh Mark, I did say that, but I was quoting from the Comments, which is 1988, which is what Google turned up when I … ahhh … Googled it. In fact looking at the online Ken Knabb translation that Liam provided a link to (my ‘Bureau of Public Secrets’ published book copy is falling apart, and is not searchable with my computer anyway) … the phrase doesn’t appear in it! However the concept of the ‘end of history’ / ‘eternal present’ was/is central to the way Debord conceives the spectacle in operation (yeah, and fuck Fukuyama’s actual celebration of the fact too).

    It is interesting that you say it originated with Neitzsche, do you know which work? Is it Twilight Of the Idols?

    Here’s some more from the Comments that might be relevant to this thread:

    One aspect of the disappearance of all objective historical knowledge can be seen in the way that individual reputations have become malleable and alterable at will by those who control all information: information which is gathered and also — an entirely different matter — information which is broadcast. Their ability to falsify is thus unlimited. Historical evidence which the spectacle does not need to know ceases to be evidence.

    […]

    Thus it is no longer possible to believe anything about anyone that you have not learned for yourself, directly. But in fact false accusations are rarely necessary. Once one controls the mechanism which operates the only form of social verification to be fully and universally recognized, one can say what one likes. The spectacle proves its arguments simply by going round in circles: by coming back to the start, by repetition, by constant reaffirmation in the only space left where anything can be publicly affirmed, and believed, precisely because that is the only thing to which everyone is witness. Spectacular power can similarly deny whatever it likes, once, or three times over, and change the subject, knowing full well there is no danger of any riposte, in its own space or any other.

  92. Mark

    I’m not sure, Tyro Rex, and I may be wrong – it’s been a long time since I read Nietzsche – but I think it’s part of the ‘eternal recurrence’ thing, so I suspect Zarathustra.

  93. Mark

    I’m not sure, Tyro Rex, and I may be wrong – it’s been a long time since I read Nietzsche – but I think it’s part of the ‘eternal recurrence’ thing, so I suspect Zarathustra.

  94. sg

    hey, wasn’t that movement under Debord the prime influence on the Chaser team (Situationist comedy)?

  95. sg

    hey, wasn’t that movement under Debord the prime influence on the Chaser team (Situationist comedy)?

  96. Tim Macknay

    Mr Denmore @36: Agreed. The last time I watched a 24 hour news channel was when I was in Paris last year, and I was struck by the sheer vacuity and repetitiveness of it. It’s

  97. Tim Macknay

    Mr Denmore @36: Agreed. The last time I watched a 24 hour news channel was when I was in Paris last year, and I was struck by the sheer vacuity and repetitiveness of it. It’s

  98. Tim Macknay

    Computer glitch, darnit.

    …It’s quite clear that, even when it’s as padded with pap as it is today, the news cycle can’t generate enough material to fill one 24 hour channel, let alone several.

  99. Tim Macknay

    Computer glitch, darnit.

    …It’s quite clear that, even when it’s as padded with pap as it is today, the news cycle can’t generate enough material to fill one 24 hour channel, let alone several.

  100. Tyro Rex

    My God, right now on Lateline you’ve got Leigh Sales, Annabel Crabb and Dennis Shanahan still carrying on about the government’s “clear air” and speculating on the leadership of Rudd. These clowns have no shame or any type of insight into themselves. Uncritical thinking at every level.

  101. Tyro Rex

    My God, right now on Lateline you’ve got Leigh Sales, Annabel Crabb and Dennis Shanahan still carrying on about the government’s “clear air” and speculating on the leadership of Rudd. These clowns have no shame or any type of insight into themselves. Uncritical thinking at every level.

  102. Mark

    @52 – yep, saw it. 50-50 chance Julia will be PM next week, or something, according to Shanahan.

  103. Mark

    @52 – yep, saw it. 50-50 chance Julia will be PM next week, or something, according to Shanahan.

  104. Tyro Rex

    @53, glad to see he’s given himself an out just in case it doesn’t play out the way he demands it.

  105. Tyro Rex

    @53, glad to see he’s given himself an out just in case it doesn’t play out the way he demands it.

  106. Mark

    @54 – Indeed. But apparently, according to Annabel Crabb, his comments are themselves some sort of indicator of the government’s plight. Self-referential much?

    Then we’ve got Leigh Sales – “what sort of narrative does Rudd need?”…

    Apparently governments only exist to provide same, not to govern…

  107. Mark

    @54 – Indeed. But apparently, according to Annabel Crabb, his comments are themselves some sort of indicator of the government’s plight. Self-referential much?

    Then we’ve got Leigh Sales – “what sort of narrative does Rudd need?”…

    Apparently governments only exist to provide same, not to govern…

  108. Lefty E

    Eat my narrative!

  109. Lefty E

    Eat my narrative!

  110. Patricia WA

    Wouldn’t it be easier to read live entrails? Not of sheep but of journalists. It would be great for ratings too.

  111. Patricia WA

    Wouldn’t it be easier to read live entrails? Not of sheep but of journalists. It would be great for ratings too.

  112. Paul Burns

    We’d be better off, Patricia WA, predicting the election outcome by observing the fight of birds. If the vulture wins, Abbott will be our next PM.

  113. Paul Burns

    We’d be better off, Patricia WA, predicting the election outcome by observing the fight of birds. If the vulture wins, Abbott will be our next PM.

  114. Tyro Rex

    AAP still shilling that media narrative which Shanahan was pushing last night – http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/labor-mps-in-revolt-20100619-yne8.html
    – unattributed writer, unattributed “key” Labour MPs.

  115. Tyro Rex

    AAP still shilling that media narrative which Shanahan was pushing last night – http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/labor-mps-in-revolt-20100619-yne8.html
    – unattributed writer, unattributed “key” Labour MPs.

  116. Tim Macknay

    Despite Shanahan’s Wedenesday retraction, as of this morning the The Australian appears to have revived the “Rudd’s future will be determined by the next newspoll” narrative.

  117. Tim Macknay

    Despite Shanahan’s Wedenesday retraction, as of this morning the The Australian appears to have revived the “Rudd’s future will be determined by the next newspoll” narrative.

  118. tssk

    Unattributed sources. Reminds me of that old journalistic trick. “Some people say…”

    or even “some people might say…”

  119. tssk

    Unattributed sources. Reminds me of that old journalistic trick. “Some people say…”

    or even “some people might say…”

  120. Mark
  121. Mark
  122. Tyro Rex

    I can’t wait until they put this crap behind a paywall. C’mon Murdoch, where’s your cojones, you penisless old man, paywall it if you think it’s that shit-hot.

  123. Tyro Rex

    I can’t wait until they put this crap behind a paywall. C’mon Murdoch, where’s your cojones, you penisless old man, paywall it if you think it’s that shit-hot.

  124. Zorronsky

    But if the injuns circling the wagons are going to attack next week, how can the resolution of the mining dispute be the [or one of the] deciding factors?

  125. Zorronsky

    But if the injuns circling the wagons are going to attack next week, how can the resolution of the mining dispute be the [or one of the] deciding factors?

  126. Fran Barlow

    Tyro conjured:

    C’mon Murdoch, where’s your cojones, you penisless old man …?

    That’s not an image I want in my head … and in terms of the image … it is borderline perverse too …

  127. Fran Barlow

    Tyro conjured:

    C’mon Murdoch, where’s your cojones, you penisless old man …?

    That’s not an image I want in my head … and in terms of the image … it is borderline perverse too …

  128. Tyro Rex

    Fran, I am sure it comes in all sorts of chromium-studded leather and smooth-to-the-touch rubber vinyl versions of penislessness too. That’s the sort of thing I imagine Shanahan is channelling anyway!

  129. Tyro Rex

    Fran, I am sure it comes in all sorts of chromium-studded leather and smooth-to-the-touch rubber vinyl versions of penislessness too. That’s the sort of thing I imagine Shanahan is channelling anyway!

  130. Tyro Rex

    Mike Carlton pretty effectively takes the piss out of the media narrative today:

    Kevin Rudd is facing another firestorm of criticism after Australia’s humiliating 4-0 loss to Germany at the World Cup in South Africa.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/politics/rudd-fumbles-ball-and-couldnt-even-save-sharnee-and-skye-20100618-ymmq.html

  131. Tyro Rex

    Mike Carlton pretty effectively takes the piss out of the media narrative today:

    Kevin Rudd is facing another firestorm of criticism after Australia’s humiliating 4-0 loss to Germany at the World Cup in South Africa.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/politics/rudd-fumbles-ball-and-couldnt-even-save-sharnee-and-skye-20100618-ymmq.html