tip off

Aunty, we have a problem.

One of the most difficult things that can happen in any friendship is when you find someone you care about harming themselves, inadvertently or otherwise, and realise that they need to be stopped before the damage is permanent. I think that it’s time for us to let Insiders know that it needs an intervention.

The way that Insiders was originally sold to Australia’s political junkies was that it would be a mixture of interviews and discussion that would allow more time for analysis of the political scene, what it’s turned into is just another venue for polemicists to spew their bile and repeat inaccuracies. Throw in the perpetual victimhood expressed by the conservative commentariat that they are ‘outnumbered’, and you end up with a show where accuracy is sacrificed in an effort to reduce the accusations of bias from the noise machine on the right. Worse still, every issue seems to be discussed not on its merits but through the prism of how it will be perceived by the political media, as if those conducting the discussion aren’t a big part of how the political debate is framed.

Yesterday morning’s episode of Insiders provided a text book example of the problems that the show has. Let’s start with Andrew Bolt’s very first contribution to the program, discussing the after effects of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Bolt dismissed the problems that have befallen Japan’s nuclear power plants as a “political symbol”, and warned that the green movement would attempt to “beat it up”. No mention of the fact that the need to shut the reactors down has left Japan without a significant portion of its electricity generation capacity, no mention of the fact that it may take months, or even years before some of these reactors are tested thoroughly and brought back online.

This was on the heels of his claim that the Chernobyl disaster was only responsible for 50 deaths. While Bolt is justified in shooting down some of the hyperbole about deaths linked to the Chernobyl disaster, he’s being disingenuous when he chooses to quote a UN panel that found Only 50 deaths – all among the reactor staff and emergency workers – can be directly attributed to acute radiation exposure but ignore the fact that the same report claims that “4,000 deaths will probably be attributable to the accident ultimately”. It’s cherry picking, pure and simple, and when fellow panellist Kerry-Anne Walsh tried to contradict him he dismissed her and repeated his claim that the result of the Chernobyl disaster was only 50 deaths.

By allowing Bolt to introduce misinformation this way Insiders is actually harming the quality of debate. As the saying goes, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. It’s hardly like this is a first for Bolt, for example at the end of the infamous “University of East Bumcrack” exchange Bolt trotted out one of his favourite lines claiming that “the world has not warmed since 2001“, which is demonstrably wrong, but which was left unchallenged. Despite this Bolt continues to characterise his own appearances as being one dissenting voice as though he’s being somehow persecuted on set.

Insiders yesterday turned from discussion to farce when they gave time to Bolt’s ridiculous Bono / Gillard comparison which was based on the fact that both of them had mentioned the moon landing in an attempt to sweet talk an American audience. The fact that two people who were in primary school when Armstrong walked on the moon are still struck by the event, or that they should recall this memory when speaking favourably of the US is hardly a surprise. That Insiders should spend time discussing a stupid right wing meme is an example of the show lacking a serious interest in the issues that are driving our politics.

This brings us to the way that Insiders manages to reduce every issue to a discussion of how it will play out in the media, rather than an examination of the issues themselves. This is the worst kind of self delusion as Barrie and the panel talk about how different events or policy may be viewed, while blithely ignoring the fact that they are a part of the group that defines how events will be portrayed to the public.

This may be Insiders greatest failing, and this weekend past we saw a perfect example of it in response to Kevin Rudd’s comments on Libya. Instead of discussing whether or not a No-Fly Zone is something that should be supported by Australia the discussion was focussed on what a difference between Gillard or Rudd meant to Gillard’s image. This followed a discussion about acrimonious advisers leaking to the press, and how that would affect Rudd’s standing and role.

Later in the program Kerry-Anne Walsh decried the fact that our politicians are being driven by Newspoll with Andrew Bolt chiming in, with a monumental lack of self awareness, to point out that this is the fault of journalists who are using Newspoll as a way to shape their coverage. Amongst the mutual agreement on set no-one seemed willing to accept that they may have a role in the failings of our political media.

When the issue moved on to the Government’s plan to introduce a carbon price we saw, again, that the main focus of the panel was the ‘atmospherics’ and the image problem being faced, rather than serious discussion about the positions being taken by our elected representatives. The only exception to this was Andrew Bolt, who took the opportunity to declare that reducing carbon emissions is futile.

Insiders is emblematic of everything that is wrong with political journalism in Australia today. Instead of substance, the discussion focusses on playing gotcha. Rather than contribute to informed discussion about issues, the panel talks about who has the best ‘narrative’ and ‘atmospherics’. At the end of the program the viewer is no better informed about the issues that are facing out government, and depending on who’s on the panel they may even be less informed than when they began. Sunday morning political television has always been a niche product, but who does the ABC think that Insiders appeals to in its current guise? Certainly not to the informed viewer with an interest in politics, as Andrew Bolt gleefully pointed out on his blog those viewers seem to be getting more and more fed up with the sub par performance of Insiders and some of its guests, you only need to have a look at the #insiders tag on twitter to see it.

The first step in helping Insiders lays with the program itself. Sure, we need to let it know that we care about it, that we want it to be great, that we want it to stop hurting the people who care about it, but before things can get better, Insiders needs to admit that it has a problem.

  • 1
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    “Insiders manages to reduce every issue to a discussion of how it will play out in the media, rather than an examination of the issues themselves.”

    “Instead of substance, the discussion focusses on playing gotch”

    Pure gold!

    Thank you.

  • 2
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I used to make a point of watching it, but the incessant whining and yelling over everyone Ackerman and Bolt indulge in literally makes it completely unwatchable.

    It’s a shame the right are happy to be represented by such intellectually weak performers who demean their side of debate , rather than elevate it.

    If Hockey and Turnbull can calmly put the Coalition case…why are their cheer squad such a rabble of gibbering fools?

  • 3
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I watched that until Bolt said his thing about Chernobyl, and I expleted, “No, I’m not listening to this c***”, so I switched it off, and put a DVD on instead.

    Much better.

  • 4
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Good post Dave. I’ve not watched Insiders for a while now, breaking only to watch last week’s, which I thought was alright. But generally, the program has degenerated to the point where it’s of no value as a vehicle for political commentary, much less any meaningful insight.

    As to achieving change, letters and emails to the ABC or Barrie Cassidy do nothing. Perhaps the best thing is to simply switch off and let Insiders compete for the MelanKochie crowd.

  • 5
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    The problem begins at the title itself – “Insiders.”
    How does a right wing hack, a left wing hack and an ABC employee, wrangled by a bloke who worked for Bob Hawke 25 years ago amount to “insiders”?

    Oh, and cut the music video montages. I’m sure it’s very clever editing but it’s not political analysis.

  • 6
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Insiders, QandA, even 730 last week with Sales interviewing Uhlmann.
    Circlejerk. The lot of ’em. Lateline’s not as bad, The Drum has more hits than misses but doesn’t pretend to be hardcore.
    Give me Landline or give me death.

  • 7
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t we have a program like Dispatches here? I know Britain is bigger and has more money but the closest we come to anything like examining who appalling this place can be is 4 Corners and that is hit and miss.

    Even Wilkinson couldn’t get her head around the water story and she is one of the best in the country.

    A private person, Josh Fox, made Gaslands on the smell of an oily (or gassy) rag, yet 4 Corners coverage of the coal seam gas mining in Queensland presented nothing new.

    The problem here is our media have forgotten how to report after a decade of spewing out Howard’s every word as if it was gospel.

    Like last week “Brandis says government slow to collect crime money from Hicks”, not a mention of the fact that the US supreme court found the charges against him to be retrospective and invalid way back in August 2009 when he beat the US government for the third time.

    Or that on the back of that McClelland rightly withdraw the procedes of “crime” law against Hicks in January last year.

    We have had almost no mention of the fact that most on Christmas island are refugees but jailed indefinitely because we feel like it.

    I have not watched Insiders for years because of the whining trivia.

  • 8
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Commenter, Darren Laver, Poll Bludger, Monday, March 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm:

    ABC Radio News today – sadly had to listen as I was in a taxi cab – after the latest on the Japanese quake/tsunami, what was their story?

    The Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott says…

    And detailed his reaction and explanation to the Nielsen poll!

    How many times did Beazley get to comment on polls when he led Howard on their ABC News??

    How many times did Latham?

    Aunty is a shameless disgrace. She doesn’t even pretend to be non-partisan now.

  • 9
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    It’s sad to see what this programme is reduced to. Bolt doesn’t appear on the show to provide insight, he’s there to spew right-wing memes and derail discussion in the ludicrous pursuit of “balance”.

    Bolt relishes the idea of being a paid ABC troll. He knows he isn’t there to be reasonable, he’s there to get a response. Once-upon-a-time Bolt would tone back his worst blog tenancies on television, but with the re-election of the Labor government that’s all gone now.

    He’s getting the exact reaction he wants. Like the Westboro Baptist Church, the worse the response the more it reinforces to himself that he’s right, that he’s somehow “persecuted”.

    It really is time for Insiders to reassess the idea of having right-wing ideologues to balance fact and reality.

  • 10
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    During and after last year’s Federal election commentators were complaining about the weasel words and scripting and lack of real policy, leadership and risk-taking. But then, if anyone did take a risk or even simply answer a question directly the same commentators jumped on them for failing the political game, criticising them for being so naive – doesn’t this politician know you don’t answer questions?!

    Insiders does the same, “the discussion focusses on playing gotcha.”

    My partner and I were asking last night, after watching Insiders, why isn’t there a left-wing political analysis program? There are no left-wing people on Insiders. There are centrists, right-wing and extreme right-wing.

    Or, how about a TV program that focuses on the substance, such as this article calls for? Crikey TV? There could be a program on Crikey TV released over the internet at the same time once a week. Needs a title…

  • 11
    Paul Ferraro
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Agree wholeheartedly with everything in the post, Dave. I think its worth emphasising that the problems with the show are more a reflection on the participating journalists’ mindsets than a balance of quality ideological combatants. This is worst in Barry’s 20 minute set pieces. Very, very rarely does he pressure interviewees to justify their statements or positions. Sunday it was Shouting Wayne Swan who got away with some real corkers while the weekend before it Was Nick Minchin and his unchallenged climate change dross. It really gets my goat.

  • 12
    Paul Ferraro
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    If I may digress, what state is the ABC in when it is rabidly disowned by conservatives and progressives alike? I’ve lost count of the number of people from both sides of the political divide who give the ABC an agressive whack in response to one blog post or another.

  • 13
    Ern Malleys cat
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    The PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer can do this sort of thing properly.
    Mark Shields and David Brookes actually give insight to the workings of the political system and parties, as well as examine the policies.
    The Drum can be better, I thought especially before the election when they often had Arthur Sinodinos and Stephen Loosley, who also had the actual inside knowledge of the parties and campaigns, and could make and accept good arguments.

  • 14
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Good post Dave. I think Bolt’s reporting of his Insiders appearance here shows an agenda also about being antagonistic.

    I must admit I was laughing out loud as walked (sic) from the studio to my car

  • 15
    William Hinton
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I, too, turned off Insiders on Sunday in disgust at the relentless ridicule , unchallenged misinformation and bile which seemed to be the favoured “comment” by the participants. I do not care who they are having a go at but I do want informed and intelligent background. Instead we receive a rehash of some of the worst ignorant bombast voiced by radio shock jocks through the previous week – slightly toned down for an imagined ABC viewer. The program now belittles me for it implies I must be very, very ignorant of what is going on in political life.

  • 16
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I used to watch it but gave up months ago.
    I am just itching for the new board at the ABC.
    If this minority government has any hope at all it must put the cleaners through the ABC and media laws in general. I do hope they start with the main missinformer regularly on onesiders and then next I hope they move on to the ABC’s drum climate change page moderator. He/she/it regularly clips perfectly reasonable posts that add to the debate and cuts off posts so that anti denier crap is at the top. Every single time you look at it eg.
    top post by janama : next by Billy Bob Hall : delusionists both.

  • 17
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, it’d be nice to have some intelligent and humorous debate like the Daily Show or Colbert Report in the US. Humour’s great for hosing down right-wing lies. (You might even get some non-political types watching it like a Chaser audience).

    I recall reading somewhere that it’d take a resurrected Karl Marx to balance out Bolt on Insiders.

  • 18
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    One thing that Barrie has been doing on all his yak-fest shows going back at least as far as The Last Shout on Channel 10, is asking panelists to make predictions for the coming week.

    I’d love to know why he doesn’t bring those predictions up the next week and ask why they didn’t happen.

  • 19
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Criticism from both sides is a handy excuse. The ABC gets to caim it isnt biased if both sides are criticisng. More and more the criticism now though is not about bias but a basic lack of professionalism.

  • 20
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post,Dave.We are looking at the media in crisis. Too many opinions,too small a research base. Seduced by the shiny front-ends that digital brings,journos are being asked to preen in display windows when they should be doing their work,and their homework. Insiders is utterly ignorable,any invitation to the over-exposed Bolt is an invitation wasted,and the media is racing the politicians to the bottom in superficiality and slavish on-message repetition.

  • 21
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Grog on Bolt’s post about Insiders and twitter reaction. Brilliant smackdown from Grog.

  • 22
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Rubber bullets reported used on Christmas Island along with tear gas and Bowen claims “it will slow down their applications” if they “riot”, they were on the side of the road being peaceful.

    I rang Aunty to point out

    1. 900 already have refugee status and should not be on Christmas Island.
    2. the system was deemed to be illegal last November yet it is only today they are sending out independent ‘reviewers”.
    3. Using rubber bullets and tear gas is not good and Bowen sounds just as vicious as Ruddock.

    What was the answer? The bitch hung up.

  • 23
    Damien Wise
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    The real question is:
    Why does Insiders (and the media in general) waste their time — the time of their readers/listeners/viewers — by giving oxygen to ****s and misanthropes such as Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman?
    Aunty, please ditch the hacks, and get back in touch with reality.

    {Edited to remove a word that causes hurt – Dave}

  • 24
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree. Whether it is Insiders, 7.30, the Drum, or News 24 in general, ABC coverage is far too preoccupied with looking at the politics of an issue, rather than engaging with the facts of the matter or whether something is good policy. Far too often ridiculous statements are made by politicians and not challenged and concerning issues in which the evidence points overwhelmingly in one direction, both sides are presented as if they are equally valid. Balance should be based on where the evidence is, not on some ridiculous presentation of Labor said this, the Liberals said that. I’m finding far too often these days that whenever politics is covered I just need to turn the TV off. It is one thing when politicians talk crap, but completely another when the journalists don’t challenge it and even play along with it. It is just too depressing to watch.

  • 25
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    An extraordinary piece of journalism, Dave. Well done. I used to watch Insiders but quit last year when Bolt made absolutely false quotations from our scientist australian of the year. He was never questioned on that one.

    I can never understand why Bolt never gets challenged by barrie. Bolt is a disgrace. Like another blogger, I watched it yesterday and was appalled by bolt, so turned it off and went for a swim at local pool instead – to calm my nerves. We have some excellent journalists: why not use them!!

  • 26
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink


    My partner and I were asking last night, after watching Insiders, why isn’t there a left-wing political analysis program? There are no left-wing people on Insiders. There are centrists, right-wing and extreme right-wing.

    Or, how about a TV program that focuses on the substance, such as this article calls for? Crikey TV? There could be a program on Crikey TV released over the internet at the same time once a week. Needs a title…

    What I’d like to see also is a left-wing/Progressive Talk station to shake the ABC and the commercial shock-stations out of their complacency. Since ABC Radio has walked away from the centre-field to lie in the ordure with the likes of 2GB and 2SM the time has never been more opportune for some progressive competition.

    Going by opinion polls over a many years, the number of progressives at least equals the right-wingers. And it’s an audience completely neglected. There is a market opportunity just waiting to be taken up. How about it, Crikey? An online Progressive Talk station wouldn’t be too difficult to start up, and not tol costly either, as licence fees are not necessary.

    So how about it, Mr Beecher? The Pure Poison guys already have a regular program/podcast up and running. Flesh out the schedule with some other talent (I can suggest names if you wish) – sell advertising to sponsors wanting to connect with a Progressive audience – and you’ll be on a winner I suggest.

  • 27
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    If I may digress, what state is the ABC in when it is rabidly disowned by conservatives and progressives alike?

    Superficially alike, but not in the important ways.

    1: The Right hate the ABC for existing, and denigrate it in the hope of getting it to the point where they can sell it to Murdoch and not have to worry about it any more.

    2: The Left are learning to hate it because it’s started pandering obsequiously to the Right in the desperate (and futile) hope of avoiding the fate of (1) thereby.

    3: everyone else hates it because the tepid pap left over after (2) is largely unentertaining drivel, or dry-as-dust talking heads, which leaves even wonks in the subject yawning after two minutes (often as not because the talking heads are saying things that experts in the subject already know, and non-experts won’t understand).

  • 28
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    If I may digress, what state is the ABC in when it is rabidly disowned by conservatives and progressives alike? I’ve lost count of the number of people from both sides of the political divide who give the ABC an agressive whack in response to one blog post or another.

    If any other public sector service attracted the ire and complaints of so many clients (in this case, audience) there would be calls for an inquiry and heads would be rolling all over the place.

    So let’s have an enquiry into the politicisation and editorial activities of the ABC, and let’s have those heads rolling! How about a petition calling for a spill of ABC management as a start.

  • 29
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I hadn’t watched Insiders for months until I switched on Sunday. What a mistake I made. Utter crap, all of it.

    Insiders only lives up to its name by getting lost up its fundament (and being indistinguishable from shit).

    I can’t believe Mark Scott and the rest of ABC management is proud of this show. It contributes nothing to factually accurate and robust policy analysis. It doesn’t contribute to ‘the debate’.

    All it contributes is 5 seconds worth of soundbites for the Sunday evening news – if that. Utterly forgettable. What a waste of airtime.

  • 30
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


    Hah! Andrew Bolt, the world’s worst speed/skim ‘reader’?

  • 31
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    One of your best pieces Dave, agree with every word.

    The challenge for Insiders to become relevant and balanced is that if the are going to have a right-wing attack dog as one of their three panelists, they need to counter it with the euivalent from the left. Whilst we all know the former are sadly plentiful (in addition to Bolt, the repugnant Akermann, Divine and Gerard Henderson all come to mind) there are a precious few of the latter in the mainstream media. Only David Marr or Mike Carlton come to mind as left-leaning opinionists that will leave the nicities at the door and call out the rubbish that currently goes unchallenged.

    The other challenge is for Barry Cassidy to grow some kahunas and moderate the debate better.

    As to the issue of viewing issues through a media prism, Insiders is not alone. For years under various hosts the 702 ABC morning program (sorry, Sydney local radio) has persisted in this banal ‘spin doctors’ segment where PR types discuss the issues of the day, not for issues but how to market them or how they are ‘resonating’. For the uninitiated, it is as unbearable as it sounds.

  • 32
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Well, one initial fix would be to have a “corrections” segment each week where egregious errors (eg 800 instead of 8,000; eg “about 50” instead of “about 4,000” etc) get remedied in the same forum in which they were originally aired, and (hopefully) to the embarrassment of the panelist who got them badly wrong.

  • 33
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I was preety dissappointed by Insiders on Sunday. They just spent the whole time trying to “out cynical” each other. About as informative as Good News Week, but no where near as funny.

  • 34
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    The other challenge is for Barry Cassidy to grow some kahunas and moderate the debate better.

    Point of order: “kahuna” is a Hawai’ian word meaning, variously, “head man, chief, sorcerer, expert”

    The word you were looking for was probably “cojones”.

  • 35
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy Sear @ 32

    I like the corrections idea, it sounds like an achievable goal and would be a definite improvement.

  • 36
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    The Political Sword also has a post up about yesterday’s Onesiders.

    The Day News Limited Took Over Our ABC

  • 37
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant article. Except that I would have added that every now and again – all too rarely – they actually come close to getting it right. When the real thinkers like Lenore Taylor, Goerge Megawhatsisname and one or two others are on the program and the shock jock bias of the Bolts and Ackermans is absent, the issues do get a bit of a run. That’s the way it should be ALL the time.

  • 38
    Danny Lewis
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been saying for ages that the ABC – if it is serious about avoiding accusations of bias – needs to remove itself from the area of political commentary entirely.

    Report the fact, nice and dry and boring. Leave the rhetoric to Murdoch and Packer and let the ABC regain its dignity, honesty and gravitas.

    Wow, a station that reports the news … just the news. That I’d like to see, especially if my tax dollars are paying for it.

  • 39
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I hope Bolt doesn’t come out and say that Dave or Jeremy are 3rd generation Canberra public servant. Also, wow, 800 people only turned up to the pro carbon tax rally, Bolt said so, must be right.

  • 40
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Goerge Megawhatsisname

    George Megalogenis

    μεγαλο- : large, big, great
    γένος : family, nation

    George BigFamily.

    It’s not that hard.

  • 41
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I stopped watching prior to last year’s election for the very reasons you stated above. There was a time when I looked to the media to inform me. Now I look to parliament and first-hand documents.

    I suspect I know more than the journalists these days, because I am not distracted by the constant idiocy that makes up ‘political commentary’ from the likes of Bolt.

  • 42
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Numerous comments dealing with Their ABC at Larvatus Prodeo:

    Spotlight the Spin

  • 43
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Interesting post at Poll Bludger by commenter, Mad Dog:

    Our group has been taking screen shots, and storing lots of good stuff in a large Lotus Notes/Domino database …

  • 44
    Captain Col
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I loved the latest episode of Insiders. But you knew that.

    It wasn’t just Bolt laughing at the stupidity of the Labor government. They all were, especially the lefties on panel. Now that’s a sign that Labor is starting to lose the fawning national press gallery. Must be more and better yet to come. Can’t wait.

    That one little-watched program can turn all you lefties to apoplexy is instructive. Bloody good too. Even Jeremy wants errors corrected by some means. We all do Jeremy. You regularly would be checking (and failing to mention) the errors raised here.

  • 45
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    quantize @ 30:

    Yes, either someone just flicked it onto him and he didn’t check the source, or he skimmed over the comments section without checking to see whether the commenter was Grog himself. Either way he didn’t bother to check before posting an assertion about Grog. Lazy, just lazy. Grog’s response was very well handled.

  • 46
    Alex M
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Cuppa @ 26:

    What I’d like to see also is a left-wing/Progressive Talk station to shake the ABC and the commercial shock-stations out of their complacency.

    Oh, if only this would happen. While the rabid right have a strong voice in the US, there’s also a fair share of lefties broadcasting their views as well. Unfortunately, many of these leftie media outlets in the States are funded by philanthropy and/or membership drives, and we in Australia don’t have that philanthropic tradition and are too bloody apathetic for something like that to get off the ground.

    So what do we do? Serious question. What can we do?

    I don’t have a problem with the Opposition doing what they’re meant do, i.e. opposing, but the way the media instantly bars up and reports their every utterance as if they were actually in government is very disturbing.

    Though not as much as people who work for the world’s largest media outlet painting themselves as a subjugated minority under the Worldwide Grand Communist Conspiracy™. That just makes me sick.

    “Left-wing bias in the ABC” my arse. Something has to be done to counter this perpetuation of lies and half-truths and misrepresentations. Thanks to constant repetition by the right-wing media, so many people believe that Julia Gillard is Bob Brown’s puppet that it’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.

    People even slightly left-of-centre need to grow a set and start loudly calling out those who deceive under the guide of ‘journalism’ at the behest of the right. And more importantly, the bloody government need to start doing this.

  • 47
    paul of albury
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I saw a little while channel surfing yesterday. All I heard was political gossip, no policy analysis, nothing substantial. Then I thought about the title and wondered why I ever expected more than gossip.

  • 48
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Exactly Col. Who cares if he can’t tell the difference between 800 and 8000 (even though he’d only just published 8000 on his blog) and mispresented a report on Chernobyl. Who cares if he’s wrong? What’s important is he got some people worked up.

  • 49
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    “They all were, especially the lefties on panel.” Malcolm Farr and Kerry-Ann Walsh “lefties”? Further evidence that you are judgmentally unhinged is unnecessary.

  • 50
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Excellent assessment, Dave. My own attitude to Insiders is that of a rubber-necker at a traffic accident: there is some sort of hideous fascination in watching frothy-lipped propagandists being allowed to spout hideous distortions without the slightest gainsay from anyone. At least Q&A and Insight allow some audience hissing and snorting at the blatant rubbish some lairs are allowed to propound. Insiders is just an Onanist’s Forum.