When things are going well for the Government, or there is good news to report, one thing can be guaranteed – the Liberal party will find some way to distract the media with one of their favourite media beat-ups – boats, leadership crisis, class warfare, carbon “tax” or HSU and the Member for Dobell, or government debt or the very US-American obsession “debt ceiling”.
Like distracting a crying baby by waving your keys, all jangley and shiny in front of their eyes. These 5 topics are like shiny, pretty distracts for the media. After all, it is much easier to flash up a 20-second sound bite of “Tony Abbott says” than to provide any type of analysis and research.
PM Julia Gillard’s Economic Forum, in Queensland this past wednesday and tuesday, brought together politicians (except the Liberal state leaders who were boycotting), business leaders, union leaders and Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens.
What did the media choose to focus on instead? Lady Gaga who was staying at the same hotel. Shiny things. Shiny, pretty things.
The purpose of the forum was a meeting of stake-holders to try and bring confidence to Australians.
Of course, no good thing can be done by the ALP without shoving a camera in front of Tony Abbott’s face to hear what Tony Abbott Says.
What’s the point of going to a carefully stage-managed, choreographed event which is just about trying to conscript people into supporting policies they don’t agree with?
Stage managed? From the man who has worn more hard-hats and hi-vis safety vests than a construction worker. However, Tony Abbott was doing his usual strange pauses in awkward places thing. For the microphones and cameras Abbott pronounced the word as “con…script”, with the emphasis placed strongly on the “con”.
Yes, Tony, we know what you did there.
This Prime Minister isn’t conning anyone, Tony Abbott. She speaks the truth. It is you with your Doom-and-Gloom predictions that are talking down the consumer confidence. You have the nation conned that you care about them, when you only care about your grab for power.
And so, with all of these tried and true techniques failing to gain media attention as they have done in the past, out comes the Liberal party with their demand for an apology from ABC’s The Drum for a comment made to the Shadow Minister for White People, Scott Morrison.
ABC economics correspondent Stephen Long, said this about Morrison.
I think that it is a cynical manipulation of an underlying prejudice in the Australian community and that it has very little policy merit. It is fraught with problems and it is really awful actually and I think Scott Morrison in particular as a spokesman in this area has just pushed way beyond acceptability in a way that he is willing to pander and manipulate that level of prejudice in what is essentially a racist manner. He is my local member in the electorate for Cronulla, the scene of the Cronulla riots …
Morrison demanded an apology, and the ABC acquiesced. Despite everything that has been said about the Government, the Prime Minister, the ALP, the Greens, the Unions, and their supporters, no apologies have been sought or issued.
This apology was not about Morrison’s hurt feelings, as a politician, he would have heard worse, he would have said worse. This was a demonstration both a distraction and also about the power of the LNP to dictate to the ABC. The LNP said “jump!” and the ABC said “over which cliff?”. It was a show that the LNP can and do decide what goes to air on the ABC.
Oh well. That was wednesday’s little shiny, pretty distraction. Expect another faux scandal next time the Government has a new policy to announce or good polling figures due, one of those six topics. If the LNP or the media start beating the drums of boats! leadership crisis! class warfare! great big new carbon tax! or Thomson, we must wonder, what good news are they trying to distract us from.