Archive for ‘media’

April 28, 2013

Give A Man A Newspaper, and he can Overthrow Governments – by Penny Carter

We have all seen this quote:

But now, there is this:

text of images: Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank.
Give a man a bank, he can rob the world.

Give a man a newspaper and he can overthrow governments.

While the rest of us wait 4 years to cast our ballots, to choose governments, to have our say in democracy; the rich and powerful play by different rules.

They print front page headlines and entire governments can change. One person – One vote is meaningless when a headline in a neo-conservative newspaper can have more influence over the way the government runs, than every single voter who casts their ballot on election day.

Right now, Murdoch wants Labor and the Greens out of power, and their grubby headlines and their grubby puppets (for example Abbott’s homophobic innuendo against Slipper based on nothing more concrete than allegations) will say anything to make that happen.

News Limited will not stop until Tony Abbott is Prime Minister. News Ltd writers say that democracy is not sustainable, and they prove that every day, when a foreign billionaire (R Murdoch) has more power than every voting Australian.

Further reading: Rupert Murdoch’s war on Democracy… it is ‘not sustainable’ and interferes with his ability to make money

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June 13, 2012

Media created ‘Guilty’ verdict – Lindy Chamberlain then, Craig Thomson now

When a young baby disappeared from Uluru 32 years ago, the media found the perfect scape goat. The grieving parents, it was a perfect storm of a media witchhunt. Azaria Chamberlain was taken by a dingo, but now, the death certificate rules, the dingo really did do it.

The cause of the Azaria’s death was as the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo,” Deputy NT Coroner Elizabeth Morris said before a packed Darwin courtroom.

The media had made up their collective minds, the story of the parents was better than One Rogue Dingo. The parents, Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, had a strange religion (Seventh-day Adventist Church, portrayed by media as strange), the name Azaria meant “sacrifice in the wilderness” – it means “blessed by God”. Why did the family took a 2month old out in to the desert?

It was a media driven feeding frenzy. The final piece of “evidence” the media dragged up as proof of guilt was that Lindy Chamberlain didn’t cry. The young mother hid behind huge dark glasses.

Interviewed this morning on ABC’s breakfast show, Lindy Chamberlain was asked if she understood why people thought she was guilty because of her lack of tears. Her response sums up so much of what is wrong with the media:

when we did cry it was edited out – Lindy Chamberlain.

The media can construct its own narrative, the story it wants to tell, regardless of truth, but what will sell newspapers, what headline is the most attention grabbing.

Let us think about how the media could manipulate a story when we think about the Member of Dobell, Craig Thomson. The media created a story, and then run more stories about his is judged guilty in the court of public opinion. People have already made up their minds, they don’t want to listen to the evidence.

Innocence before guilt does not apply to a newspaper.

June 10, 2012

The week that was: when the Australian Media began waking up to Tony Abbott

These 6 news articles show a subtle shift from unquestioning Cheerleader for everything Abbott to the beginning of not taking Abbott at face value. For a media that seems to think the balance for right-wing rhetoric is far-right this does not represent the Great Leap Left, but there is a change. Perhaps there will be a liberal leadership spill soon, and the media are switching their allegiance.

Merchants of doom, beware by Peter Hartcher in Fairfax
June 9, 2012

Tony Abbott and the opposition must be careful their wrecking-ball approach doesn’t rebound and hurt them.

It’s strike one against Tony Abbott’s scare campaign on the carbon tax and mining tax. “Australia reported its economy was the fastest-growing in the developed world in the first three months of 2012, sweeping aside growing gloom,” reported The Wall Street Journal this week.

With the new taxes due to take effect in three weeks, the facts on the health of the Australian economy show a very different country to the one that, if Abbott is right, should rightfully be cringing in fearful anticipation…

[Abbott] knows the risk. He knows that we’ll wake up on July 2 and the sky will not have fallen and we’ll still be eating T-bone steak. He’s already started to adjust his rhetoric accordingly, a pre-emptive exit from the trap of his own making.

Instead of the long-promised “wrecking ball”, Abbott has now begun to liken the carbon tax to a python. “It’s going to be a python squeeze rather than a cobra strike,” he said on Monday. So no sudden death, apparently.

“But it is going to hurt from day one and as time goes by it’s just going to get worse and worse and worse and the only way to fix it is to change the government.”…

The Abbott opposition needs to show that it can build, not just destroy. It needs an alternative to doomism, and it needs it soon. The first strike against the carbon tax scare story has been delivered, and it’s not even July 1 yet.

For the full article: Merchants of doom, beware

Joe Hockey and the template of doom by Katharine Murphy in Fairfax
June 6, 2012

POOR old Joe.
Forced to flick the default personality switch from “generally avuncular” to “prophet of doom”, Hockey flailed at a loss, sinking deeper the more he spun in his own rhetorical quicksand.
Good economic news was just that. Good.

For the full article: Joe Hockey and the template of doom

Undefended, climate policy will die Fairfax editorial
June 6, 2012

AS JULY 1 approaches, the government is becoming more assertive about its carbon tax, which comes into force that day. That is a good sign. The Herald published yesterday an interview that the Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, gave to Lenore Taylor, in which he criticised, quite rightly, the negative tactics of the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, on the issue, and committed Labor to continue to fight for the carbon tax even should it lose government.

…A carbon tax, operating through the billions of decisions, small and large, made daily in the marketplace, will make the path to that objective smooth and painless. The carbon tax prepares Australia’s economic future.
The implication, which in the right hands ought to be devastating, is a question: how, in the absence of a price on carbon, does the opposition propose to do this in the eight years that remain until the deadline? Where is Abbott’s plan?

For the full article: Undefended, climate policy will die

Haneef lessons must be heeded by Michelle Grattan in Fairfax
June 6, 2012

Naturally, the opposition has jumped on the story of fleeing alleged people smuggler ‘‘Captain Emad’’ like a big brown dog. But let’s not throw out all our normal respect for proper procedures.

…Those inclined to action at all costs might recall the salutary example of Mohamed Haneef, an Indian doctor arrested at Brisbane airport in mid-2007. Haneef was held for nearly a fortnight in connection with a failed London bombing and then charged with providing support to a terrorist organisation. His immigration visa was cancelled. But then it all turned into a fiasco. The charge had to be dropped; the cancellation of the visa was later found to be unlawful; substantial compensation had to be paid.
Being seen to be doing something doesn’t look so good if what you’ve done is later found to be the wrong thing.

For the full article: Haneef lessons must be heeded

Then there was Kathy Jackson, who Abbott had described as heroic, Miranda Devine described her as a feminist role model, and up til now, was described in the media as a “whistle blower”. Abbott had tied his future as PM and an early election to Jackson, in an attempt to destroy the member for Dobell. However, the media are stepping back from unanimous support for Jackson

Kathy Jackson faces action after allegedly attempting to contact judge outside court by Ean Higgins for The Australian
June 05, 2012

UNION leader Kathy Jackson faces possible court action for allegedly trying to make contact with a judge hearing the case to place the Health Services Union’s allegedly corrupt East branch into administration.

For the full article: link may not work, try copying and pasting into a search, like, say, google for example Kathy Jackson faces action after allegedly attempting to contact judge outside court

Continuing the one Doom-And-Gloom message for Australian audiences, and another for overseas audiences, Joe Hockey went on a little world tour
World hears Joe Hockey’s praise for economy by Ben Packham for The Australian
June 04, 2012

OPPOSITION treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has conceded Australia’s economy is in reasonable shape and endorsed Wayne Swan’s commitment to returning the budget to surplus.

Speaking to an international audience on Bloomberg TV, Mr Hockey said …“Australia is in a better position than most other western nations,” he told Bloomberg’s Asia Edge program.

…Labor pilloried the Opposition Leader last year when he talked up the Australian economy while in London after consistently attacking the government’s economic credentials.

“On the face of this comparative performance, Australia has serious bragging rights. Compared to most developed countries, our economic circumstances are enviable,” Mr Abbott said at the time.

For the full article: link may not work, try copying and pasting into a search, like, say, google for example World hears Joe Hockey’s praise for economy

June 7, 2012

Australia Media: It’s Toxic, and killing democracy: Guest Post

This is a guest post from Rx from comments left on this piece (Ross Gittins says – How mining companies campaigned for a ‘government’s defeat’ and brought down a Prime Minister). Thank you RX. Posted with permission.

Australia is a democracy in name only. Sure, we get to vote every few years. But the majority of the population are so brainwashed by the one-party propaganda of the mainstream media (on behalf of assorted billionaires) that they do as required in any case.

There is a lot to be said for teaching civics, history and economics in the school system. At least if people know the basics of what makes a society ‘tick’ they’re less likely to be duped by those with anti-social agendas.

An independent non-political public service broadcaster would be an invaluable asset to democracy, too, as a bulwark against the bias and agenda of the for-profit media. We used to have such in Australia, but the rodent Howard poisoned it from the top down, and the toxin is now expressed across its news and current affairs output.

The ABC may be the most baised public broadcaster in the world. I have certainly not encountered anything like it.

With one of the most concentrated media ownership regimes in the world under Murdoch, to then lose the independence of the public broadcaster defies description as an assault on democracy.

For another brilliant piece by Rx: Are the Media seeking regime change because a Car-Crash Abbott government would increase sales?
and, Who’s watching The Watchers? We are! (The Complete Failure of the Media To Hold Tony To Account)

June 7, 2012

Murdoch to English translation of their article: Tony Abbott says carbon tax like ‘python squeeze rather than cobra strike’

This story from the Murdoch press Tony Abbott says carbon tax like ‘python squeeze rather than cobra strike’, from 4 June, needs a translation our of Murdoch-ese and into Human-speak.

Do we even have any expectations from a Murdoch paper?

The url address lists has this story listed under news, generous at best. It is not news, it is propaganda. If there was some questioning or examination of Tony’s statement, or bringing in other side for balance or to compare and contrast, that would be news.

Tony Abbott says carbon tax like ‘python squeeze rather than cobra strike
Let’s start with the headline: “Tony Abbott says” disease is so ubiquitous that it now extends into actual headlines. Don’t they have anyone on staff who can think, who can examine an issue and explain it? or, Bring a deeper understanding of background issues to explain why Tony Says Things? Apparently not, Tony just has to Say Things and it gets reported as if it was gospel truth.

carbon tax
The headline also calls it a carbon tax. For months now, people on the left have been fighting the perception that carbon pricing a tax. Taxes are scary, evil things, while a pricing, puts a value on our environment and polluters have to pay if they want to destroy it. So here we have the scary TAX word in the headline, but it is only used one more time in the article. Meanwhile ‘carbon pricing’ is used 6times. Is the message really getting through to the media, or is the media themselves creating some distance between them and Tony Abbott’s Great Big New Slogan.

The Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet still calls it a “tax”, sorry ALP, but you need to lift your game, if even the Telegraph is doing your job of selling Carbon Pricing for you.

like ‘python squeeze rather than cobra strike’
The backtracking has begun, after telling us for months that on 1 July the sky will fall, Whyalla will be wiped off the map, Tony has had a rethink, or at least someone told him a new slogan. Rather than National Carbon Pollution Price Day bring Taxaggedon, Carbonclysmic, Apocarbonlypse Now, it will be a gentle slide into the End Of The World As We Know It.

Ease the Squeeze was also Mark Latham’s slogan that he took to the 2004 election, which the ALP lost to the Howard’s LNP. So, Abbott is now recycling symbolism from the man now wants to destroy the ALP because he couldn’t get elected? Talk about going backwards, Abbott is yesterdays man.

TONY Abbott has changed his attack on carbon pricing from warning of instant doom on July 1 to forecasting a long, slow strangulation of industry.
This is how Tony Abbott will get away with explaining why the sky didn’t fall in. By saying effects won’t be instant, he can extend his political life by a few more weeks, and in the meantime, do all he can to bring on a by-election. Tony is counting on the belief that he can outlive the lack of fury over carbon pricing, and outlive the government.

This is like the last gasp of the monster as it is going down. It thrashes about, making lots of noise, sound and fury in an attempt to prove he is still relevant and will take anyone down with him that he can grab hold off.

For the rest of the article, if anyone care what Murdoch is printing it’s here: Tony Abbott says carbon tax like ‘python squeeze rather than cobra strike’

June 6, 2012

Who’s watching The Watchers? We are! (The Complete Failure of the Media To Hold Tony To Account): Guest Post

This is a guest post from Rx. Thank you RX. Posted with permission.

It can be difficult to tell nowadays, but the fact is, journalists are covered by codes of ethics.

For example, there is the code of the International Federation of Journalists. It’s proclaimed as an “international … standard of professional conduct for journalists engaged in gathering, transmitting, disseminating and commenting on news and information in describing events.”

In its opening paragraph, the IFJ code declares:

Respect for truth and for the right of the public to truth is the first duty of the journalist.
Source: IFJ Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists

So, what is “Truth”? Journalists, to whom words are tools of the trade, would be advised to frequently ponder on the meaning of this critical word, and to always apply it to their own efforts.

In the context of reporting Australian politics, it is important to remember that “Truth” involves several aspects:

  • Tell both/all sides of the story
  • Subject both/all sides to scrutiny
  • Skewing coverage to favour one side or the other is fundamentally unTruthful
  • Do not conceal/whitewash details which may be inconvenient for any player/party

With these criteria in mind, biased reporting is not and can never be acceptable. Yet it is has become virtually the norm of the mainstream media in this country!

It is of increasing concern that Abbott and the Coalition receive a “free pass” from the media.

Fortunately, there does exist a small number of journalists/writers who are speaking about the free pass given to Abbott.

Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless blog, 01 February 2012:

Abbott has achieved what generations of politicians have only dreamed of: the media take him at his word. His speeches are reported verbatim and accorded a merit they do not deserve. Where his words differ from those of others (particularly the Prime Minister and members of the incumbent government), he is assumed to be right and they wrong. This veneration of Abbott by the press gallery (always “Mr Abbott” from the press gallery; he is rarely addressed as “Tony” while the Prime Minister is addressed regularly as “Julia”) is unprecedented in a democracy
Source: The National Pikers’ Club

Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 May 2011

…Our increasingly partisan media have failed to hold Abbott to account over his duplicity
Source: Stop crying poor and fix the mess

Misha Schubert, The Age, 18 September 2011

[Abbott] is not often held to sustained account to explain such anomalies.
Source: Teflon Tony tears up the rule book on opposition

George Megalogenis, The Australian, 31 December 2011:

The media’s error at the last election campaign is easy to acknowledge. Australia almost had a change of government without serious scrutiny of the coalition’s uncosted policies.
Source: Unprincipled politicians – and the press – shown the door by disillusioned public

Ben Eltham, The Drum Opinion, ABC, 21 July 2011

… almost no-one in the mainstream media has bothered to hold Tony Abbott to account.
Source: A close look at Abbott’s Direct Action plan

Stephen Long, Economics Correspondent, PM, ABC Radio, 18 July 2011:

… [Abbott has] been aided and abetted by journalists who’ve continued to report unchallenged claims that appear to contradict facts.
Source: Carbon price won’t stop the spin

Alister Drysdale, Business Spectator, 19 September 2011

… [Abbott] sits comfortably in his Opposition Leader’s chair, basking in constant and light-as-puff media attention and scrutiny
Source: Is Abbott a one sound-bite wonder?

While the media may be remiss in their duty to the public, we bloggers will take up the slack. We will scrutinise Abbott and the Coalition, even if the mainstream are reluctant or fearful to do so. We will scrutinise the mainstream media’s coverage of politics, and hold the media to account.

We will watch the journalists, and hold them to account when they fall down on the job of Truthfully informing the public.

We will watch The Watchers.

For another brilliant piece by Rx: Are the Media seeking regime change because a Car-Crash Abbott government would increase sales?

June 5, 2012

The Moment a political future as Prime Minister died (no, Not Abbott running away)

This 1993 interview, back when 630 shows meant something, was what killed Dr John Hewson’s chance of winning government and becoming PM.

This incident is so pivotal in Australian politics that it even has its own wikipedia entry Birthday cake interview.

Watch it, and weep for the current state of Australian media that there is No One that has the courage to ask a similar question to anyone in Opposition.

The question that killed Hewson’s dreams should have been simple:
Mike Willesee: “If I buy a birthday cake from a cake shop and GST is in place do I pay more or less for that birthday cake?”
but his inability to answer it simply was a set back that the LNP campaign could never recover from.

June 4, 2012

Amelia… Who? What? oh ABC, you make us a laugh

Airhart? AIRhart? for a pilot? ‘Divers will start looking for Airhart’s plane next month.‘ Oh hahaha. Tell me that was a typo and not bad humour.

Amelia Earhart, USAmerican pilot, awarded, record-setting, pioneering, role model for trail blazing feminists. Many people would have heard of Earhart at some point, maybe not the young kiddies born from the 80s onwards, who have no appreciation of history.

However, that is no excuse. Even if the person who wrote this is iGen, surely they know how to use The Google.

So, if the name Amelia Earhart was unfamiliar to the person who wrote, edited, sub-edited, formatted, or copy/pasted this story to the ABC news website, they must at least know she was a person and not a drug (the link calls her “national heroin”).

Maybe it’s time to outsource ABC website duties to New Zealand, Fairfax are already headed over there. Unless… unless ABC was already in New Zealand, how would we know?

image cut but not changed

May 10, 2012

Federal Budget 2012 – social media reactions

Tony Abbott’s and Joe Hockey’s failure to give a coherent answer to how the Howard Government’s Baby Bonus is different from the School Kids bonus was a focus of much talk on social media sites. Abbott’s “they just are” is yet one more three word slogan that conveys very little information, and Joe Hockey’s “you have to have a baby” implies that if you do have a baby, you don’t have to get the child an education.

“They just are” is an inadequate response to a question from the man who wishes to be the next Prime Minister of this country.

Murdoch’s ‘The Australian‘ of course, could barely restrain themselves, invoking images of Stalinist Russia on their front page. Although, if this really was a Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist nation, they wouldn’t be able to make front pages like that, or if they did, they would only do it the once.

Steve Gibbons, Labor Federal MP for Bendigo
tweeted: How is this different from Baby B @TonyAbbottMP is asked They just are he says Que: Believe what I say coz I’m a Liberal We’re born to rule

Laura Tingle, Political Editor, Australian Financial Review
tweeted: how is this different from the baby bonus? tony abbott is asked ‘they just are’ he says. #answeroftheday

Latika Bourke, Political and Social Media Reporter at Parliament House
tweeted: What’s the difference between the Baby Bonus and the Schoolkids bonus? Joe Hockey ‘you have to have a baby.’ #budget

Graham Perrett, Federal Labor MP for Moreton
tweeted: …I taught for 11 years and never met a parent who found a school student, just by chance.

Tanya Plibersek, Member for Sydney
tweeted: I want to make a bumper sticker: AAAustralia – thanks Wayne!


The Budget front section – 09 May 2012 from ‘The Australian’

added by 99.
Use of quotes does not imply Steve Gibbons MP, Laura Tingle, Latika Bourke, Graham Perrett, Tanya Plibersek, Twitter, the Federal Labor Party, Australian Financial Review, or The Australian would endorse the contents of this post or blog.
Quotes used without permission, but comes under Fair Use of any possible copyright material, attributed to the owner and makes not claim to ownership of their words, and added for education, information, historical, review or critique purposes under the Fair Use section of the copyright act.

May 9, 2012

Too Much Raunch Is Never Enough, Not If You’re Australian

Last night on the Gina-and-Lachlan station, a panel news show were discussing whether there has been too much porn-style images, raunchy (do people actually use that word outside of the media?) images that are available to children via music videos.

Apparently the mummy-bloggers children have discovered ‘Rage‘.

In order to show how outraged they were, they proceeded to show an array of music clips from recent videos and the more tame 80s.

Was this just a reason to show some interesting pictures on a day that was heavy with politics and budget speculation?

Or is the media just softening us up for a campaign to Save The Children and crack down on internet and bring in even more restrictions that are already in place. …If this is the case, there be will be a rash of other ‘won’t somebody think of the children?’ stories in all sections of the media.

One of the videos they montaged was Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies‘, but really how more raunchy is it, compared to John Farnhams 1967 ‘Sadie, The Cleaning Lady‘. Forty years later, and there is not much difference in the outfits, except the little apron is missing. Images like this didn’t corrupt the grandparents, it didn’t corrupt the parents, but now we are all outraged it may corrupt the children.

This was also one of the music videos mentioned, in my opinion, completely unwatchable. Not because of any images contained, but because it also involves listening to Rihanna. (may not be available due to age-restrictions on the video from Youtube)

Further reading about the faux war on porn from No Place For Sheep

The footballer & the anti porn campaigner: not cool as FCUK

Kids and pron not a typo

added by 99.
Use of images from the music videos from John Farnham and Beyonce does not suggest they, or their dancers would in anyway endorse the contents of this post or blog.
Mention of Rage, is neither an endorsement or indicate that Rage would endorse the contents of this post or blog.
Links to No Place For Sheep blog does not suggest that NPFS would in anyway endorse the contents of this post or blog.