The Cheerleader and the MP, 80s Karma, ACA’s Asian Century, and Celebrity Journalists

by 99, editor of TurnLeft

image of Redskins cheerleader, possibly Jamilla Keene, used to illustrate what a cheerleader is, and is definitely in no way intended to imply that the Redskins cheerleader is anyway connected with this blog post

Oh Tony, you’re so fine, you’re so fine, you blow my mind, oh Tony*

The Australian media has turned into Tony Abbott’s biggest supporters, balance and fairness replaced with desire to promote the Liberal Party.

It seems these days that reporters apparently think that because they report the news that they also make the news. When they should be just a catalyst.

Journalists interview other journalists about stories from other journalists, opinions pieces replace investigation and research, facts disappear and feelings take their place.

Latika Bourke, ABC’s social network reporter, is according to some, a cheerleader for Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party.

Yesterday, witness an unusual exchange between this (some say) Cheerleader for the Right and a Government MP, Craig Emerson.

Must be a slow news day – so slow it was travelling at the speed of dark. Something would have to explain why this took on so much importance for users of Twitter.

In a twitter exchanged that seemed to go on for most of the day, or perhaps it was just the RT (retweets) from various participants that did:

Later Ms Bourke retweeted someone who accused Dr Emerson of having “tried to intimidate“. So what, RTs don’t imply an endorsement. However, if the wife an MP can be accused of attacking Alan Jones on the basis of a RT, then how is this situation different.

Following this exchange (of which these images are a small number of tweets) with a government MP, Ms Bourke then wrote a 2-page non-blog post – Scribd “Blog On Craig Emerson (don’t ever call a reporter a ‘blogger’, that kind of language is horrifying to a professional) about it.

However, Ms Bourke does do a difficult job, and she is asking questions, and too often it seems we complain that reporters aren’t asking any questions.

Meanwhile, when we were distracted by reporters talking about themselves, celebrities were talking about the state of the world.

Holland Taylor (the mother from Two and Half Men): To Bill O’Reilly, THIS member of the white establishment voted for Obama cause I want to SHARE stuff, am happy to pay a higher more fair Tax

Stephen Fry, (polymath): Obama’s election marks the 899th day of detention without trial of #BradleyManning – find out more

Boy George (80s singer): We need a universal & fair minimum wage and companies should have to legally pay it! Especially those avoiding tax!

Joanna Krupa (superdooper-model): I encourage everyone to watch the inside job by matt damon…documentary on the bank system. Interesting no one is in jail.

Daryl Hannah (Blade Runner star): With 7 BILLION people & a Rapidly Changing Climate & Depleting -Compromised Resources – We Can’t Afford To Be So Cavalier #CleanEnergy NOW!

Daryl Hannah arrested in 2011 protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline

I could go on.

Sure, until Boy George (famous for songs about Karma Chameleons) and his friends performed in Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ 1984, most people could pretend a famine in Africa wasn’t happening, but what does it say about the state of Australian media when celebrities make more sense on issues of social justice, environment, the banking system, and human rights.

The Australian political media has turned politics into celebrity gossip – Ruddstoration with Kevin Rudd, will he / won’t he, PM Julia Gillard’s shoes, what politicians are in bed with who (not always politically speaking), who has been selling their arse.

Then there are those political reporters, from Michelle Grattan to Chris Uhlmann who are fan-girling over Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party as if they were One Direction and Justin Bieber and Demi all rolled into one Opposition.

The media are making themselves irrelevant. Stop giving us opinions, give us facts and let us decide our own opinions.

Here is a clip from that movie that Joanna Krupa mentioned, from Matt Damon

Inside Job: It’s A Wall Street Government

Maybe the media cannot tell us about the state of the world, because they are too busy inciting racial hatred.

ACA did a story about a mall in Castle Hill (upper middle class suburb, north west of Sydney) that was – oh my god – turning Asian. The fact they got Pauline Hansen to talk about is a good indicator of the type of story it would be.

Has someone’s watch stopped? Isn’t Pauline’s 15-minutes of fame up?

However, The Hills Shire Times, the Castle Hill local newspaper, went and spoke to the shop owner in that mall, to get their opinion on the story.

Castle Mall retailers hit back at A Current Affair‘, the entire premise of the ACA story was refuted. No one was kicked out, Asians weren’t taking over, and no one from ACA has spoken to any of the shop owners.

“People don’t care what nationality the shopkeepers are as long as they run a good shop,” the pharmacist, John Pham said. (Source here)

So much for the “Asian Century”, are we going to back to 50s, scared of the Red Under The Beds. It plays right into the hands of the xenophobic Liberal party, and their whole “the foreigners are taking over” scare the voters policy.

If it was a mall full of McDonalds, KFC, Wendys, Top Shop, Zara, Gap, would anyone even notice enough to make a story?

This is beneath Tracy Grimshaw.

Perhaps Australia will grow up and be ready for the Asian Century in 2100.

text of image:Many people would no more think of entering journalism than the sewage business – which at least does us all some good. Stephen Fry

*Parody of lyrics from 80s pop song “Mickey”


8 Comments to “The Cheerleader and the MP, 80s Karma, ACA’s Asian Century, and Celebrity Journalists”

  1. Most of Australia’s so-called journalists would be readily employed in the junk sensationalist pop culture media — they are so damned good at writing fluffery and puffery based on not much evidence at all. One reason why the ABC and SMH are now the only Oz media I use, relying more heavily on media outside Australia for real news.
    Why ABC and SMH? Once you fly out of Oz very little news about us is in the foreign media (and you have to get it from somewhere). You also quickly realise just how inconsequential we 20 odd million really are to the rest of the world.
    The comment; ‘always remember that no matter how important you think the issue is, 1.4 billion Chinese (and most of the rest of the world) couldn’t care less, is a real truism!

    • The Guardian, UK paper, is now posting stories from Australian journalists based in Australia, on Australian politics.

      Walter Cronkite supposed said of the media in Australia: “too many reporters, not enough news”.

  2. When people such as Piers Akerman, Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine are lauded by the Daily Telegraph as respected journalists my stomach turns. My first thought is always how much anger and venom their pieces contain and then, secondly, how long did it take them to turn a collection of positive facts that were good news for the Federal Goverment into an absolute litany of disasters that will damage “good Australians”.The name calling and stereotyping of anyone who has a different point of view is seen by their employers as enhancing their appeal, after all Joe Public needs to know you can have an opinion as long as it is the same as your betters ie. the Murdochs and senior Liberal figures otherwise you are fair game to be dismissed as the “loony Left”. The number of real journalists working and being heard seems to be diminishing and the hypocracy of those who dont reveal the true agenda of their work is growing, as opinion pieces continue to take the place of investigative journalism. I dont presume to know how older journalists such as Tracey Grimshaw feel but what a waste of her ability and intelligence to be used in such a way.

    • Tracy Grimshaw really gained a lot of credibility following the Beaconsfield mine disaster, but that has gone. Maybe it is difficult for someone who isn’t 15, skinny and blonde to get a job on tv, she can’t be happy with these stories.

      Akerman, Bolt and Devine are journalists? Shows what happens when you live in a Right wing bubble, and everything you read, see, hear, reaffirms your right-wing view. You get disconnected from reality.

  3. I had a response from Latika that RT’s where not an endorsement when I questioned her regarding journalism. Well I’m not a journalist and anything I RT supports my views or is funny and I do endorse them. How can she list her self as a reporter and RT any politician with a factual link? She should at least do that or stop presenting herself as a journalist.
    As for that disgraceful story on the Castle Mall just supports my claim that ACA should rename itself ACI A Current Infomercial. This show has very little of the integrity or truth of the origin of ACA. It was so easy for me a simple geriatric to get the true story from The Hills Shire Times within minutes of ACA’s advertising blurb about this racist “story”.
    None of the Main Stream Media that continues to treat the public as fools can complain that they are losing market share. You deserve to lose all of your market.
    Thank you for the work that is done by so many great bloggers, sites like this one.l The MSM should hang their heads in shame.

    • As the post pointed out – if Rebecca Mifsud, the wife of the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, if going to be vilified for RTing a joke that Alan Jones is old and will be dead soon – then you have to accept that an RT isn’t completely meaningless.

      Agree. The story on Castle Mall – shows the difference between being spoon fed what the media is shovelling and checking with another source, in this case the local paper, maybe The Hills Shire times is biased too, but with both sources it is easier to get a more accurate picture.

      Thanks for the comment, appreciate it.

  4. Well said all.

    I wonder if that’s what the MSM reporters think … that by reporting the news they are making the news. I think they definitely go for drama over facts.
I was following Latika’s tweets to Craig Emerson yesterday and was disappointed that she didn’t get to the bones of the matter. It’s important for Australians to hear the real facts about the economy and my impression is that the Liberal Party is making it up and not being shown for the distorters they are.

    I thought Barrie Cassidy did a good job of asking the right questions of Joe Hockey on Insiders last week but It must be hard to hold the line. Hockey and Abbott are bullies for mine. They talk around and around the point.

    • Barrie can be good when he wants, other times mediocre. Latika was still pursing the Emerson “scandal” 24 hours later, it was not a news story when it happened, not a news story the next day. But she is trying, just wish she was as thorough about questioning the Opposition.

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