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Dennis Shanahan

May 20, 2011

Why must Bob Brown be so mean to those honest, fair-minded gentlefolk at News Ltd?

What have they ever done to him? News Ltd responds to Bob Brown's criticisms of their relentlessly one-sided, dishonest "reporting" against the Greens with a coy, disingenuous,

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What have they ever done to him?

News Ltd responds to Bob Brown’s criticisms of their relentlessly one-sided, dishonest “reporting” against the Greens with a coy, disingenuous, “Why us? We’re just providing scrutiny”:

Brown’s contempt was misplaced, as the story was on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald. His mistaken naming of The Australian, which he describes as the “hate media”, was typical of his campaign to deride scrutiny of a carbon tax or Greens policies in The Australian.

It is an old politician’s trick to isolate and diminish a critic through misrepresentation.

Yes, that’s it. Because News Ltd has only been an honest media player, fairly but vigorously reporting on the Greens.

Like with outright lies.

And publicly demanding that they be destroyed.

Yup, the only explanation for Brown finally calling them on their continuing, shamelessly misleading campaign against his party is that he doesn’t like “scrutiny” and hates being asked “hard questions”.

PS If you believe the News Ltd hacks, the following answers to Uhlmann on “7.30” are supposed to be somehow contradictory – but I don’t see why:

Uhlmann: “Didn’t you say in 2007 that we had to kick the coal habit?

Brown: “No, I did not, you’re looking at the Murdoch press. What I said back in 2007 was that we should look at coal exports with a view to phasing them out down the line.”

Uhlmann: “It wasn’t the Murdoch press. It was a comment piece that you wrote.”

On February 12, 2007, in The Australian, Brown wrote an article that said: “The Greens believe that we need to move beyond Australia’s reliance on coal. Last week, I called on whoever wins office at this year’s election to commit to a plan to phase out coal exports. That plan must be in place by the end of the next term of government so that we can move beyond coal as a matter of urgency.

“It might take decades for the task to be completed, but the scientists are telling us that we must start immediately. The coal industry plays an important role in the Australian economy, but it is also a major threat to our economic future.”

Brown’s summary of that piece from four years ago looks pretty accurate to me – much more than Uhlmann’s version that makes it sound like Brown was calling for it to happen instantly.

UPDATE: Another typist, at News’ Southbank compound, suggests that Brown is “trying to whip up a Murdoch conspiracy theory”. It’s a “conspiracy theory” to suggest that a media organisation that publicly declared it wanted to destroy you isn’t providing fair coverage?

In unrelated news, here’s the same typist whinging childishly about anticipated mild criticism in advance.

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70 comments

70 thoughts on “Why must Bob Brown be so mean to those honest, fair-minded gentlefolk at News Ltd?

  1. Compare & Contrast, Meow edition | Pure Poison

    […] at being interrupted than than someone trying to avoid giving an answer. But maybe it’s another of those political Rorschach […]

  2. Liz A

    OK, proof positive about the Australian’s anti climate change bias.

    The report into climate science released today came to unsurprising (peer reviewed) conclusions. Earth warming as a result of anthropological factors etc etc. So how has it been headlined by the MSM? Here’s a little sample:

    The Age:
    Climate science audit slams sceptics

    The SMH:
    Climate jury finds dire need for action to slow warming

    The Hun:
    Climate change is now critical, says the Climate Commission
    (I was surprisingly impressed with this headline, wonder how Bolta will take it?)

    and… *drumroll*

    The Australian:
    Make carbon tax hurt, Julia Gillard advised

    ’nuff said really.

  3. SHV

    Al Gore takes a swing at poor old Rupe too:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/19/al-gore-rupert-mudoch-news-corp

    ‘He added that the decision reflected how News Corporation operated worldwide. “News Corporation is an international conglomerate with an ideological agenda. It seeks political power in every nation they operate. They wield that power to shut down voices that disagree with the agenda of Rupert Murdoch,” Gore said.’

    Who will stand up to this wicked attack on a defenceless old man? 2UE?

    At least the ABC had the decency to stay silent on this attack.

  4. philly

    My favourite line by Brown in that video.
    “Well the Greens’ vote is growing faster than News Ltd’s circulation”

    That had to hurt at a visceral level.

  5. silkworm

    That extraordinary Deltoid thread! I got halfway through it and was about to call Switzer a lying sack of sh but someone beat me to it.

  6. quantize

    I made that statement as a matter of fact…the fact Bis takes it as a slight only shows you think through a political funnel 24/7

  7. SHV

    “MINE!”

    Bis links a Bill Leak cartoon.
    Quantize says he doesn’t think much of Leak, even throws in the line about when Leak fell on his head – possibly offensive.
    Bis has a crack at Quantise for that – questions his morals.
    MoC says he also doesn’t think much of Leak.
    Bis thinks MoC is wrong about that.
    Bis argues that the right to offend is part of free speech.

    Rack ’em up and we’ll have another game.

  8. jules

    That Bob Brown press conference was a classic. Meltdown my fat foot. He was laughing at them. Just goes to show how up themselves some of those reporters are, and how used to determining the narrative they are.

    “In fact, the one thing sadly missing from that interview was a camera on the press pack itself. That would have been very illuminating, I think. The journalists were the ones melting down. How DARE he question their right to call the shots?”

    Matt @ 57, I wish I was in canberra with some time on my hands, I’d offer to video B Brown’s press conferences from behind him somewhere, focusing on the press pack.

    I’d love to have seen what he saw, cos it looks like he is enjoying himself immensely. He’s basically calling them a pack of sooks who can dish it out but can’t take it, and as if on cue they prove him right.

  9. Matthew of Canberra

    “All I saw was a satirist defending the right to offend, as any one who values free expression should.”

    That’s not how I recall it. From memory, another cartoonist there chipped in with some sort of comment to minimise it and take some heat off him, and when bill realised he was being thrown a line he grabbed it and started agreeing furiously. I’ll have to see if I can find some video. It was a while ago … probably around the time of the muhammed cartoons, I guess.

  10. Matthew of Canberra

    “Didn’t you see the bit where he killed and ate a News Ltd journo?”

    I missed that bit. I could see his head the whole time, so I assume he must have used some sort of tentacle to do it off-camera.

    Will there be a director’s cut?

    There really was no meltdown in that video. I’m astonished that anyone could try to claim there was. Unless, I guess, they’re assuming that nobody will check their claims. Which is actually a fairly reasonable assumption for some. No names.

    I seem to recall jon stewart taking the mickey about a similar claim about bill clinton once. His “angry outburst” basically consisted of challenging a reporter’s statement. That was it. The US press has worked quite hard at times to paint billy as some sort of emotionally unstable lunatic. I wonder if that’s the plan for bob brown now – plant a few stories now about his “meltdown” and refer to them as evidence, going forward? Should we be expecting a few weeks’ stories about this violent maniac’s notorious temper? Unnamed people “close to the greens” giving vague, weaseled testimony to the australian about his history of anger management problems? Maybe a thread Over There about the tempers of totalitarians?

  11. bis

    I lost all respect for bleak after his performance on insight

    Would have to disagree, MoC. All I saw was a satirist defending the right to offend, as any one who values free expression should.

  12. Jeremy Sear

    “Wow. I just got around to watching bob brown’s “meltdown”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OydmiPg6j9M

    I am very impressed. Very impressed indeed. “

    Didn’t you see the bit where he killed and ate a News Ltd journo?

    Seriously, that video must be a political Rorschach test – you see what you want to see. The only way you could see that as a “meltdown” would be if you were determined that you WANTED to see a meltdown from Brown and are determined to see one, regardless of the evidence.

  13. Matthew of Canberra

    “Poor Bill, never the same after the accident”

    I lost all respect for bleak after his performance on insight when asked to comment on a cartoon he’d drawn (it was something anti-muzzie, either “they blow up so fast these days” or “does my bomb look bit in this” – can’t remember which). Rather than just eat crow and say “yeah, ok, that is the sort of stupid we’re talking about” he tried to cling to the high moral ground while still excusing himself. It was very unflattering. I’ve graded him as a goose ever since.

  14. Matthew of Canberra

    Wow. I just got around to watching bob brown’s “meltdown”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OydmiPg6j9M

    I am very impressed. Very impressed indeed.

    There’s no meltdown in that video. Not a bit of it. In spite of the circumstances, being surrounded by some fairly petulant and aggressive journalists with cameras rolling, he didn’t lose his cool. He was civil, polite, didn’t raise his voice, showed absolutely no sign of stress or anger. Can anyone here imagine tony abbot facing a street interview like that and not loosing his cool and storming off? In fact, the one thing sadly missing from that interview was a camera on the press pack itself. That would have been very illuminating, I think. The journalists were the ones melting down. How DARE he question their right to call the shots?

    Bob brown’s stock just went up a few points, for me. I think bolta was extremely foolish to draw attention to that video. The few genuinely curious droogs might just watch it. I’m actually thinking about making my first-ever political donation as a result of that video (but it’ll have to wait a month – it’s been a bit tight lately).

    Andrew, I suspect you’ll eventually read this, so: that is what debate looks like. Notice that he doesn’t use the words “DEFAMED” or “ANTI-SEMITE” when he doesn’t agree with something that somebody says. He doesn’t shout. He doesn’t talk over people. Notice that he can explain his point without comparing anyone to hitler or stalin. That’s the civility that you seem to think is missing from political discourse. Apparently it isn’t. It’s just missing from your part of it. More political debate like that would make this country a better place.

    As for the content of what he said. Ppppttht. That’s a no-brainer. Nobody can seriously disagree that NEWS has been running an open vendetta against the greens (and the ALP). It’s become particularly strenuous since the last election, which The Australian apparently thought it deserved to win for the liberal party. After all – it campaigned so hard for them. NEWS isn’t even pretending to be a news-reporting organisation any more when it comes to australian politics.

    I’m actually not a “greens supporter”. On economic matters, they make my eyes roll. But that was a most impressive interview performance.

  15. bis

    Making light of the misfortune of others, Quantize? You paradigm of moral virtue, you.

  16. quantize

    Poor Bill, never the same after the accident…he certainly hears his master’s voice loud and clear now

  17. joe2

    Standard wing nut tactic, confessions. Accuse others of what they didn’t do, which just so happens to be what their team just did.

  18. confessions

    The discussion OO journo Matthew Franklin is having on twitter about this really is a sight to behold. Franklin’s position seems to be that Brown is criticising journos and media coverage as a way of avoiding answering questions from the waiting pack.

    Excuse me, but wasn’t it Hockey at NPC last week who accused a journo of getting his questions from Labor, as a way of avoiding his question? Wasn’t it Abbott yesterday who accused the ABC of cultural cringe because he didn’t like the ABC journo’s question? Wasn’t it Abbott yesterday who shut down his presser once questions turned to Turnbull’s comments on their indirect, inaction climate policy?

    Seems there’s one rule for the Liberals and another for the Greens.

  19. Jeremy Sear

    “Bolt’s aim for his debut hosting role, he says, was to ”get out of it alive. And without utter humiliation,”

    Well, at least he achieved the first.