The Australian pretends Greens have “failed” if they don’t run the parliament with their one lower house seat

The campaigners at News Ltd aren’t unaware that their general smears about the Greens are of limited effect in deterring Greens voters – voters who obviously simply don’t believe them. That’s no reason not to run those smears – it’s important to make sure that potential Greens voters are deterred from learning anything about the party beyond the half-truths and outright lies that make them sound like “extremists” – but it’s obviously not going to be enough to see them “destroyed at the ballot box”.

So there’s the second approach: make unrealistic, strawman claims about them that their voters might like to believe – the regular “moral superiority” sledge, in particular – and then when they fail (with their limited parliamentary representation) to achieve all those impossible “goals”, portrary it as some kind of a failure. So, for example:

Greens backtrack on carbon tax, saying they’ll accept a compromise price

THE GREENS have backed away from their hardline position on a high starting price for the carbon tax, conceding they won’t get the price they want in negotiations with Labor.

THEY’VE FAILED! They’re “backtracking”! “Conceding”!

And they’re INCONSISTENT!

The Greens’ stance is at odds with its decision to vote down Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme in 2009 because it was too weak

Well, no, it was because it was worse than nothing, giving public money to the biggest polluters at the Liberals’ insistence, but anyway, don’t let reality interfere with your cunning little bit of Greens-bashing.

When Greens deputy Leader Christine Milne said last week a carbon price of more than $40 a tonne would be needed to shift Australia’s reliance on coal-fired power to cleaner energy, the Gillard government responded that the starting price would be `well south” of that.

So she didn’t say that the Greens would accept nothing less than $40/tonne – just that it was the necessary price to achieve the sought-for aim of an effective shift away from coal. That doesn’t mean that they’d prefer no deal to $40. That doesn’t mean that they’re unwilling to negotiate.

So where’s this failure? As Brown points out:

I’ve always said this is not going to be a Greens package,” he said in Canberra.

“I’ve had talks with big fossil fuel-involved corporations and they think about $40 is about the price that’s required if you’re going to get a transition from coal to gas and onwards towards renewables. But we’re looking at a package here of measures to get us in that direction. It isn’t just a price that counts,” Senator Brown said.

“All I can tell you is that whatever price comes out of this process is going to be the more active, the better because we’re there. It won’t be a Greens price, but it will be greener because we’re there.

Let’s hope that Greens voters got that far into the article. Well, if they were reading The Australian in the first place.

ELSEWHERE:
It’s no surprise that the biggest Greens haters at News Ltd are trying to portray this as a betrayal of principle:

This compromise may possibly hurt the Greens, who may be blamed by conservative voters for giving us an unpopular tax, and blamed by the Left for agreeing to make it ineffectual, too – while Labor voters may conclude there’s no product differentiation now to tempt them into voting Green instead. The fate of the Democrats after compromising on John Howard’s GST is a warning.

Fortunately, Greens voters are smart enough to see the difference. The Democrats promised no GST, and their then voters (like me) believed them. And after they betrayed us, and voted for the GST Howard would otherwise not have been able to pass, we never voted for them again. In contrast, I suspect most Greens voters are happy for the party to be achieving whatever it can with the power it has won in Canberra – and any effective carbon tax at all is entirely due to their influence. So we’re hardly likely to give up on them.

The thing that would make us give up on them is seriously selling out. The relentless hatred of them by the Murdoch press reassures us that they haven’t. The minute News Ltd starts writing positive stories about the Greens, that’s when we’ll start worrying.

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25 responses to “The Australian pretends Greens have “failed” if they don’t run the parliament with their one lower house seat

  1. Pingback: Late-to-the-party Janet wants to express her outrage, too | Pure Poison

  2. Splatterbottom

    Don’t worry old son. Everyone knows this game. To boil the frog you need to start with the water only slightly warm.

    When the framework is legislated the rate will be so low we won’t feel a thing. For a little while. Then the doomsday climate clergy will preach that the apocalypse is nigh and a scared and grateful populace will rush to pay tax-tribute to Gaia even as they are reduced to an existence of starving shivering penury. Still the ordinary people bereft all material goods will have heroes to worship – those brave scientists and commissars resplendent in their finery as they strut about, demanding ever higher taxes to fund their research, higher and higher salaries to reward their selfless brilliance and a personal Lear jet each to transport them to their synods.

    The Australian is wrong to criticise the Greens. It is a brilliant strategy.

  3. Oh, SB, you are hilarious. I don’t think you left an asinine News Ltd trope out. (“those brave scientists and commissars resplendent in their finery as they strut about, demanding ever higher taxes to fund their research, higher and higher salaries to reward their selfless brilliance and a personal Lear jet each to transport them to their synods”, lol.)

  4. Splatterbottom

    The current jihad on News Ltd is merely the Australian version of Obama’s failed attack on Fox in the US. It did him more harm than good. People are not stupid. They can tell that News leans one way just as well as they know that the ABC and Fairfax lean the other. When politicians and their lackeys start a witch-hunt they come off as thin-skinned losers. When they can’t even get their facts straight they look downright stupid, as Bob Brown did with the Uhlmann interview.

    There is nothing wrong with journalists pointing out the policy disaster that flows from having a PM behaving like an asinine canine winking at Bob Brown.

  5. mondo rock

    At the end of the day, all the whingeing we’re now hearing about News limited is entirely equivalent to the whingeing we’ve heard about Fairfax and the ABC for years. Each side of politicis is furious that a news organisation would dare present issues to the public with an ideological bias that conflicts with their own.

    I, for one, am completely sick of hearing lefties complain about bias at the Australian while they ignore the equally strong bias at the Fairfax papers, or who complain about ABC stories that prioritise Liberal opinion while willfully ignoring other stories that minimise it.

    We have a free press people – learn to deal with it. The News ltd papers deliberately cultivate a right-wing bias in order to sell papers to their right-wing audience, and vice-versa with Fairfax. The ABC tries to play a bit each way by balancing left-wing bias with right-wing bias.

    That’s just how it has to be in a free-market democracy. Anyone who believe that the newspapers should be forced to report news more in line with their personal worldview, or should be prevented from reporting news that conflicts with it, needs to work harder at suppressing their inner authoritarian.

  6. “I, for one, am completely sick of hearing lefties complain about bias at the Australian while they ignore the equally strong bias at the Fairfax papers, or who complain about ABC stories that prioritise Liberal opinion while willfully ignoring other stories that minimise it. “

    There’s no equivalent at Fairfax to Bolt, Blair, Devine, Albrechtsen, Overington and so on.

    Seriously, I’ve been trying to find one to critique at Pure Poison for years.

    Where are their outright liars like David Penberthy?

    “That’s just how it has to be in a free-market democracy. Anyone who believe that the newspapers should be forced to report news more in line with their personal worldview, or should be prevented from reporting news that conflicts with it, needs to work harder at suppressing their inner authoritarian.”

    Outright lies are a bit much. Also, you have no problem with a media organisation like Rupert’s that has the power to get what it wants out of governments because they’re absolutely terrified of him?

  7. …and, by the way, I’m not calling for them to be crushed, either. (Nor, of course, did Brown.) I’m exercising my right to call them on their bullshit.

  8. jordanrastrick

    There’s no equivalent at Fairfax to Bolt, Blair, Devine, Albrechtsen, Overington and so on.

    Its worrying you put all of these people in the same category.

    Where are their outright liars like David Penberthy?

    Penbo screwed up in that instance, and we should have seen a mea culpa. Journalists – definitely not perfect.

    But there’s plenty of bullcrap coming from Fairfax (and the ABC) of a broadly left wing bent.

    One of my favourites was Elizabeth Farrely:

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/its-hard-to-swallow-food-rules-that-treat-us-like-mushrooms-20110202-1adoi.html

    You’d think it would be impossible for any published columnist to be more scientifically and economically illiterate that the likes of Bolt on climate change, but she managed it.

  9. “Its worrying you put all of these people in the same category.”

    Which one(s) don’t fit?

    “You’d think it would be impossible for any published columnist to be more scientifically and economically illiterate that the likes of Bolt on climate change, but she managed it.”

    You’ll have to be more specific as to what was so hideous to you.

  10. jordanrastrick

    Oh, wow. Re-reading it, they silently redacted one of the most outrageous and absurd paragraphs from that opinion piece. Breathtakingly dishonest.

  11. narcoticmusing

    I’m sick of people complaining about people complaining about bias in the media. It is a free press but I too have the same freedom to call them out on their mistakes and misrepresentations. If they represent themselves as fair and balanced and aren’t, then I can call them out, no matter which ‘side’ I think they are favouring.

  12. I think people who who complain about people complaining about people complaining about people in the media complaining MUST BE STOPPED.

    Jordan – what did it say?

    Look, I’m more than keen to call lefties out on bad behaviour. I just haven’t seen much that’s in any way equivalent to the behaviour of the people I listed above.

  13. I, for one, am completely sick of hearing lefties complain about bias at the Australian while they ignore the equally strong bias at the Fairfax papers

    I think you’ll have a valid point the day Fairfax papers or the ABC call for the destruction of a conservative political party, or tell outright lies about such a party’s policies.

  14. The current jihad on News Ltd is merely the Australian version of Obama’s failed attack on Fox in the US. It did him more harm than good.

    Did it? As evidenced by what exactly?

  15. jordanrastrick

    I think people who who complain about people complaining about people complaining about people in the media complaining MUST BE STOPPED.

    I demand an immediate act of Federal parliament compelling Jeremy to delete this particular comment!

    Jordan – what did it say?

    I have a response to the article that I wrote lying around somewhere that would have the text quoted in full…. It was more or less “only a terrible mother would trust food made by an evil Big Pharma company enough to feed it to their baby.” As opposed to you know, all those drugs they make, which I’m sure Ms Farrelley would have eschewed just as determinedly, if a newborn child of hers had ever suffered an acute infection, for example. Because she’d definitely be consistent in that way.

    The comments still contain the evidence of why they pulled it; even for her audience, that line was overreaching in its disgusting arrogance and willful stupidity. E.g. the third comment starts:

    So I was with you, and wholeheartedely agree with comments on the necessity of thorough food labelling reform to place real choice back in the hands of the consumer…UNTIL the judgemental comment about women ‘letting’ pharmaceutical companies feed their babies.

    Even someone who has drunk the “big pharma and agra are evil, pestitcides are a conspiracy to kill us” Kool Aid has enough sense to get offended when they are attacked for endangering their kids lives by vaccinating them, I mean giving them anti-biotics, I mean assuming food from the supermarket isn’t very likely to be poisonous, no wait what was she actually railing against? I’m not even really sure. And I don’t think Ms Farrelley is either, judging by the sheer volume of non sequiturs and meaningless waffle. Its hard to point to many outright falsehoods in the article, because largely, “[it's] not right – it’s not even wrong.”

    But you know, she’s an architect and thus naturally an expert on these matters; and she also thinks the electorate is too dumb to be trusted with the vote – bring on a mandatory pre-poll IQ test and we’d get everyone voting Greens like they’re supposed to, right?

    Personally I’m more than happy for society to be governed by an unelected elite provided the cutoff is much too stringent for people like her to get a see in.

  16. narcoticmusing

    In light of the complaining about complaining about complaining, I demand this entire thread be removed.
    ;)

  17. mondo rock

    think you’ll have a valid point the day Fairfax papers or the ABC call for the destruction of a conservative political party, or tell outright lies about such a party’s policies.

    It’s always “different” when they do it, isn’t it? There’s always a reason why our complaints about bias are valid while theirs are invalid, right?

    Stop deceiving yourself guys. The only real difference is that we agree with one type of bias but disagree with the other.

    Although I completely agree that you are entirely free to “exercise my right to call them on their bullshit” as Lefty so eloquently put it.

  18. “Even someone who has drunk the “big pharma and agra are evil, pestitcides are a conspiracy to kill us” Kool Aid”

    It tastes good Jordie, you should have some.

  19. jordanrastrick

    I notice left wing bias less often. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be left leaning; I mean clearly some statements I consider to be simply true, right wing types might take to be evidence of bias – “Anthropogenic climate change is real” is the example which springs most readily to mind.

    Nonetheless, the Herald and the ABC often bother me with what strikes me as a very biased slant even in areas where I agree more or less with the agenda they are pushing. I’ll be sure to note instances I come across in the near future here – its a bit hard to google for such things….

  20. jordanrastrick

    Jules – the pesticides, or the Kool Aid? :p

  21. It’s always “different” when they do it, isn’t it? There’s always a reason why our complaints about bias are valid while theirs are invalid, right?

    Bias is one thing, while telling lies about and deliberately calling for the destruction of one’s political opponents is something else. So yes, it is different.

  22. “I’ll be sure to note instances I come across in the near future here”

    Please do – I’ll be interested to see it.

  23. narcoticmusing

    The only real difference is that we agree with one type of bias but disagree with the other.

    Of course, Mondo, you forget the key point here is that we* are right and they* are wrong.

    *Note: ‘We’ and ‘they’ are subject to change without notice.
    ;)

  24. jordanrastrick

    Please do – I’ll be interested to see it.

    I’ll note the Herald’s frontpage splash today is running with an ongoing half factual, half speculative story on internal Liberal party bickering. I personally think its entirely legitimate journalism, but when the Greens (deputy leader vote) or the ALP (cabinet leaks during the campaign) had similar degrees of internal argument reported, that was taken around these parts to be solid evidence of media bias, a News Ltd right wing agenda, focusing on irrelevant details instead of the substance of the policy, etc. To my mind, if you are consistent, either most of that reporting was fair, or most of this reporting is biased.

    Well, no, it was because it was worse than nothing, giving public money to the biggest polluters at the Liberals’ insistence, but anyway, don’t let reality interfere with your cunning little bit of Greens-bashing.

    Do you count for the purposes of left wing media bias, Jeremy?:P

    What about the original CPRS put to the Senate prior to negotiations with Turnbull, which was significantly more stringent and still rejected by the Greens?

    Anyway, the notion that either of the bills presented to parliament was worse than nothing is wrong, false, incorrect, a lie, a mistake, a delusion, propaganda, spin, bullshit. These days I’m more or less prepared to forgive the Greens for their political miscalculation in the “double or nothing, our way or the highway” bluff they made over the issue, to the point I can consider voting for them federally again; but if you or anyone else wants to keep bringing it up, I will keep calling it out.

    If Bob Brown held a “mea culpa” press conference tomorrow admitting they’d screwed up the first time on Carbon pricing and apologising for it, I’d be down at the booths handing out how to vote cards for him. Sadly, it seems almost impossible for modern politicians to ever confess making an error of judgement.

  25. Pingback: I’m one of you! Really I am! | Pure Poison

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