Category Archives: ABC

NEWS: Opposition politician encourages government Minister to challenge PM and destabilise government

Seriously, ABC? This is some kind of news?

Wow I cannot believe he said that except that of course he did.

This is why reporting “politician said” stories requires more than just repeating what they’ve said. It requires the journalist to perform some kind of basic analysis on whether that statement is actually meaningful for his or her readers, in what way, and in what context.

So – “Both MPs criticised the opposing leader while encouraging each other to challenge for the leadership themselves, clearly hoping for the other side to experience leadership instability before the next election. The Opposition shadow minister complimented the Prime Minister’s one-time rival at her expense, whilst the government Minister suggested that the Opposition leader was the government’s “greatest asset”.”

Admittedly, as soon as you do that it becomes immediately apparent how pointless the story is. POLITICIANS PAY INSINCERE COMPLIMENTS TO PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE THEY HOPE ARE DUMB ENOUGH TO ATTACK THEIR LEADER.

Simply repeating Turnbull’s bullshit for seven paragraphs – particularly the vacuous “faceless men and factions” thing as if there’s a non-faction faction in the ALP and there aren’t factions and schemers in the Liberal Party – wastes the time of politically-savvy readers and utterly misleads everyone else.

You know, ABC, just because politicians appear on a TV show on your network doesn’t make it news. If providing even basic analysis makes it obvious how much it isn’t news, then please use that space to report something that is.

A good Greens joke

Gerard Henderson is annoyed [What a surprise – Ed] that At Home With Julia is not making enough fun of the Greens. That despite there being HEAPS of good jokes out there about them, SIDE-SPLITTINGLY HILARIOUS ones, that lefties, the people in POWER in the media, won’t share because they don’t dare criticise their holy party of principle.

Gerard makes a few suggestions, but sadly they’re embarrassingly lame or stupid.

Still, I know readers of this blog are much funnier than the “Sydney Institute” [now there’s a comic creation – Ed] crankypants. So let’s see what you can come up with. Make us laugh about the Greens. Satire, straight jokes, comic situations – we just want to be amused. Show us the comedy that the POLITICAL CORRECTNESS CONSTRAINED producers of At Home With Julia are denying us.


This morning Andrew Bolt revealed that the entire point of the ABC inviting him on to Insiders is to troll lefties:

I should thank [Greg] Jericho. He proves a theory the ABC has explained to me: that the sanctimonious critics of the Left who send Insiders outraged missives demanding the purging of conservatives like me from the show are among the first to switch on when we’re on.

Ooh! Ooh! Right. Right, well, I’m not watching next time! I’m not! I’m… oh. Bolt’s leaving Insiders, possibly to have his own show on another network? Really?

Well, I’m disappointed that I can’t actually prove my ability to resist his trolling by boycotting his next appearance on Insiders, but… well, Bolt with his own show? That should be comedy gold.

Twitter certainly thinks so, with the #BoltsNewShow tag going completely insane this afternoon. Here are a few of the suggestions:

  • The Inciters
  • Packed to the Ranters
  • Andrew Bolt’s War On Everything
  • Thank God I’m Here
  • Top Git Australia
  • Meet the pricks
  • Border Insecurity
  • Snide and Prejudice
  • Are You Being Sued?

And many, many more. Your suggestions welcome in the comments, particularly if you’re not on Twitter and are sick of missing out.

ELSEWHERE: Richard Ackland last week on Bolt’s trial:

But, is my right to free speech indelibly tied to Bolt’s right to free speech? Not if he makes grievous errors, it isn’t. Is it acceptable to whip up vilification on a newspaper’s website? What is the responsibility of journalists and publishers in this situation? Where is the ground for honest argument?

The difficulty is we do not have a right to free speech, beyond the vagaries of the common law. If we had a charter of rights, Justice Mordecai Bromberg would be required in this case to balance Bolt’s right of free speech with the rights of the applicants not to be racially picked upon and we’d have a better idea of where the line lies. But of course, Bolt campaigned furiously against a charter of rights.


Stupid other countries that didn’t think of celebrating New Year’s with fireworks

UPDATE: The ABC now reports that those dastardly foreigners have copied our idea.

And leads with the equally startling “Australia marks 2011 with fireworks extravaganza“:

In other “news”, the sun rose this morning…

Pay TV locks Stewart & Colbert back behind paywall

If “pay TV” was such a plus for Australians, it would be adding programming we couldn’t receive on free to air – not taking it away:

Colvinius @abcmarkscott Is it true we were outbid for Colbert & JonStewart for next year after creating an Australian audience for them? #sayitaintso

Replies the ABC Managing Director:

abcmarkscott @Colvinius Sad but true. Deep pockets of pay-tv purchased all Australian rights for many times what we were paying #sorrytosayitisso

So two of the most dynamic, persuasive progressive voices on our televisions are locked back behind the paywall, where they can do so much less damage – particularly, as it happens, to companies like, say, News Corporation. (You have to love the irony that from next year we’ll only be allowed to watch Stewart and Colbert on TV by paying money to a sister company of one of their biggest targets, Fox News.)

People who subscribe to ripoff TV via that gouging behemoth Foxtel? Thanks for giving them the money to do this…

Fortunately, for now, the shows are still streamable on their respective websites – but I wouldn’t bet too much on that continuing in the long-term.

“Keep a shot in your locker”

Some helpful advice for those speaking truth to power, from former investigative journalist and Media Watch host Paul Barry:

And one of the things that I have learned over the years is very useful, is that you keep a shot in your locker, so there’s something not in the program, or not in the book that you have in reserve that they know you’ve got, and if they go to court, they know that’ll come out. And that’s very good insurance because that then changes the balance of incentive for them. They know if they go to court, a whole bunch of stuff that hasn’t yet been said about them, will be said about them, with a very public audience.

In a country where the rich and powerful appear to be able to use the courts to make life very difficult for anyone who would dare publish something critical, it’s something to keep in mind.

Shoes and flippant insults, where serious questions were available

I didn’t think there was anything I’d actually like to ask the Prime Minister we finally kicked out in 2007 – after all, there was never any realistic prospect of him answering a question directly and honestly, or admitting fault, or expressing regret for any of the damage he did in his eleven years in office.

But as last night’s Q&A approached, suddenly a few occurred to me – as did a number of comments, as the program progressed:

  • Mr Howard, are you sorry that your CGT cut and FHOG caused housing inflation so that now young people have no hope of buying a house? #qanda

  • Mr Howard, do you have an actual argument against gay marriage yet? Or are you still relying on “it just is”? #qanda
  • Howard: good economic results under ALP are because of mining boom. But we’ll take full credit for any positives in our term. #qanda
  • Howard, Hicks pleaded guilty to an offence that didn’t exist when he “committed” it, in the context where there’d be no fair trial. #qanda
  • Howard, no-one said Hicks was a “hero”. Total disingenuous strawman. #qanda
  • Actually, that *isn’t* all the critics of the Iraq War have to throw at you, Mr Howard. The facts should hurt you a lot more. #qanda
  • Howard, your policy was racist because it attacked refugees of particular ethnicities on boats and ignored those arriving by plane. #qanda
  • Howard, it’s just not true to say we’ve reached the limit of our capacity to take refugees. The rest of your argument fails there. #qanda
  • John Howard: it’s everybody’s fault but mine. #qanda

Naturally, none of those questions or comments made it to the TV screen. But this one did:

Wasn't Howard's rejection by the ICC because they saw that footage of him bowling? #qanda

Well, if I can’t get any questions or comments about things that actually matter up there, I suppose I’ll have to be satisfied with the image of Howard’s mouthing off to the nation overlaid with my insult. Better than nothing, I suppose.

UPDATE: Some spectacular comments on the News Ltd online story about the shoe-throwing incident:

titch of sydney Posted at 2:40AM Today

to the critic open your eyes alot more iraquis would have died at the hands of the taliban regime if we did not intervene

What can you say to incisive reasoning like that?