tip off

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, “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.

69
  • 1
    Ben
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

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

    Not just an old politician’s trick.

  • 2
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    “Why us? We’re just providing scrutiny”…one man’s scrutiny is another moron’s propaganda.

  • 3
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Any chance of this making it through The Australian’s censors on Dennis Shanahan’s “opinion” (read:more anti-Green propaganda) piece…?
    Brown isn’t facing scrutiny, he’s facing relentless bias and propaganda, courtesy of The Australian, now famous for its pledge to “destroy the Greens at the ballot box”. I know it’s difficult Shanahan, but try, please try, to be slightly ashamed of yourself. Go on, there must still be a speck of integrity in there somewhwere…

  • 4
    janetribune
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Shorter – News Ltd: “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

  • 5
    twobob
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    lol monkeywrench
    Any chance? Why yes, a snowballs chance in hell.

  • 6
    defixio
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Absolutely hilarious. Call them out explicitly and watch them turn into whining children caught trying to wag school. The guy who kept on at Bob Brown toward the end of the press conference, he sounded like he was about to burst into tears. I almost felt embarrassed for him.

  • 7
    Cuppa
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Next Senator Brown should shine the harsh spotlight of scrutiny onto the hateful rhetoric that sqwauks out of AM talk radio 24/7. Hate-Labor-Hate-Greens-Hate-anything-that-isn’t-Liberal-One Nation-KKK.

  • 8
    quantize
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    The hysteria about the Greens only proves how extreme right wing News Ltd really is…they have no credibility as any kind of news source.

  • 9
    savvas jwnhs
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    @5

    I predict that comment WILL get through. Then they will state that UNLIKE THE LEFT, the right can take criticism.

    The FAR RIGHT is getting so cocky that they can afford (in their eyes) to have their lies thrown back at them. It’s only an online comments section.

  • 10
    Think Big
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Poor, poor Ltd News – that all-powerful and omnipotent Green Ogre has been throwing his weight around and scaring those defenceless, precious dears who only have a tiny, fragile, media-empire with which to defend themselves.

  • 11
    confessions
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    That no media outlet has reported the actual reason for Brown’s press conference (declining numbers of koalas) simply proves the point Brown was making about the media. Where are the reports about the Parliamentary Inquiry Brown mentioned yesterday?

  • 12
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Well,well,well! Savvas Jwnhs was right….sorta.

    Monkeywrench of Melbourne Posted at 10:50 AM Today
    Brown isn't facing scruitny, he's facing relentless bias and propaganda.

    Comment 124 of 144


    In short, an object lesson in making censorship look like a malfunction.
    Read the comments. Suddenly, 90% of contributors are vehemently anti-Green. I remember when Shanahan was lapdogging for John Howard prior to the 2007 election, you wouldn’t get more than 20% of posts agreeing with him. The Australian sure has battened down the hatches. Bring on the day they finally go under due to debt, the lying bastards.

  • 13
    Nutsnbolts
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to disturb your segway (whatever that means). Jeremy and Dave – don’t try to be cleverer than your brain-reach. It makes you look stupid.

    And don’t try and use US slang in a forlorn attempt to look ‘cool’ – again it makes you look stupid.

  • 14
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    What?

  • 15
    bis
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I doubt arguing with the media, in this case Fairfax Radio, Channel 10 and the Murdoch papers simultaneously is a good long term, big-picture strategy.
    Jeremy made the point in the open thread that this is irrelevant as Greens voters don’t patronize such outlets anyway, which is a fair point if The Greens wish to forever hover around the 10% mark of electoral support. It also begs the question as to why a Greens member would bother spending his waking hours on rebutting the Murdoch hive-mind on a pro-Greens blog if Rupert’s dark whisperings are irrelevant to his party’s constituency.

  • 16
    Just Me
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    What a joke. The Greens have been subject to more scrutiny, and more unfair scrutiny, than any political party in recent Oz history.

    Some similar nonsense from one of Teh Oz’s leading whaaaa boys, Tom Switzer, over at Deltoid.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/05/oreskes_and_switzer_on_the_dru.php

  • 17
    confessions
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Chris Ulhmann on Bob Brown.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/20/3222324.htm

  • 18
    Nutsnbolts
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy – you call ‘rightists’ – ‘facists, loonies and idiots’. (Various web sites, blogs etc).

    But you apparently can’t take the same poison.

  • 19
    couchy
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    @13

    Do you mean segue? (pronounced segway, I’ll give you that)

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/segue

  • 20
    bis
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Confessions. Thanks for that, I thought Mr Uhlmann summed it all up quite nicely.

  • 21
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    “Jeremy – you call ‘rightists’ – ‘facists, loonies and idiots’. (Various web sites, blogs etc).”

    Where?

    “But you apparently can’t take the same poison.”

    Again, what?

  • 22
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I think, Mr Uhlmann, that what Greens supporters were objecting to were your assertions buried in the middle of questions, eg “How would you replace the $50 billion a year in export income which comes by way of coal – an industry that you’d shut down?”

    (a) $50 billion? That’s the industry’s figure, just repeated uncritically by lazy journos;
    (b) “Shut down” is not the same as “phase out”.

    As for:
    “On Tuesday Senator Brown demanded that Climate Change Minister Greg Combet explain why the carbon price should start “well south” on $40 a tonne. At the same press conference Senator Brown repeatedly refused to make any comment on where he thought the price should fall.

    Why should Mr Combet be called to account by Senator Brown when the Senator refuses to meet the same mark?”

    Why? Because these negotiations are still taking place. Combet’s speculating publicly outside the discussions that are ongoing, while the matters are being negotiated, which is silly and liable to sabotage the process. There’s no reason why the Greens should do the same thing – they want a higher, more effective price, but recognise that they’re in the middle of negotiations with the ALP. There’s not much point conducting those negotiations through the media.

  • 23
    quantize
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to disturb your segway (whatever that means). Jeremy and Dave – don’t try to be cleverer than your brain-reach. It makes you look stupid.

    Oh dear, classic ‘projection’

  • 24
    confessions
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Actually the section of the interview Uhlmann has highlighted in his article shows exactly why 730 has halved its viewer numbers since Red Kerry departed. At no stage is Brown able to finish giving an answer before Uhlmann interrupts him. I’d bet money that viewers aren’t tuning into 730 just to see what the interviewer says.

    Uhlmann might like to accuse “green acolytes” of objecting to his questionning, but he ignores the bigger picture: people are switching off 730 in droves.

  • 25
    bis
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Confessions, putting aside the ratings, Red Kerry was known to get more words in than his guests in many an interview.

  • 26
    RobJ
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    730 has halved its viewer numbers since Red Kerry departed.

    I never knew, though I’m not surprised, bad luck for Leigh Sales who I like, maybe Tony Jones will vacate Lateline and give the gig to Sales??? I can dream.

    Red Kerry was known to get more words in than his guests in many an interview.

    Was he? I’ll have to go and look at some transcripts, do you have a specific example? O’Brien is a hard interviewer, he doesn’t shut up if the interviewee won’t answer the question, he hassles them as he should, makes them look like the clowns they are.

  • 27
    RobJ
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Yep, a cursory glance shows me that O’Brien’s guests say far more than he does, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to provide me with a lot of examples considering you claimed that “Red Kerry was known to get more words in than his guests in many an interview.”

  • 28
    Alan Shore
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Just Me @ 16 that Deltoid thread is truly extraordinary. Both Lawson and Switzer demonstrate why the term Conservative Intellectual is an oxymoron.

  • 29
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    In these days of sock-puppets, concern-trolls and other such subtle variations, it’s nice to see the likes of Nutsnbolts occasionally: a plain, old-fashioned village idiot with a keyboard.
    Just Me@16
    Tim Lambert has done an excellent job of allowing Switzer and Lawson to hoist themselves on their own petards.
    confessions@24
    I note Uhlmann’s comments aren’t open….yet. He probably knows the sort of reception he’s going to get for that load of self-serving tripe.

  • 30
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I note that Ulhmann hasn’t allowed comments and conveniently quotes only part of the interview without linking to the video transcript that shows Ulhmann not allowing Brown to fully answer a question or ignoring answers Brown had given, sometimes several times.

    What a cowardly way to defend yourself Chris, methinks it is you who is a little too precious and needs to toughen up.

    And when can we see you give exactly the same form of “soft” interview with Abbott, cutting short his every answer? The backlash against the ABC and you would be swift and fearsome I’m sure. Let’s see if you would follow that up with a no-reply piece saying Tony needed to toughen up.

  • 31
    confessions
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    bis:

    O’Brien maybe was “known” for that, but it isn’t based on any objective reading of his interview transcripts.

    Rob: Uhlmann is a dreadful interviewer. Sales is much better. Short of getting an import in from overseas (a genuine outsider) to host the show, I’d ditch Uhlmann and just leave Sales to do the interviewing.

  • 32
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I barely watch 7.30 anymore with it’s two conservative “heads” Don’t watchQ & A so much because the audience is now genuinely stacked with racists.

    In spite of hundreds of questions a week asking why we don’t uphold our law for refugees the only question ever asked is why we don’t push them away.

    But I just got a clip about Hillary Clinton.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifZK6SVlQ1Y&feature=player_embedded

    That is such a shock. Who knew the US created the terrorists?

    Certainly no-one in the world wide Murdoch stable who continue to call us loonies.

  • 33
    RobJ
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Sales, I think is like O’Brien, very firm with the interviewee.

  • 34
    Catching up
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Harden up Greens, the game is changing
    By Chris Uhlmann

    …………….Now the game is changing for the Greens. To quote Barack Obama quoting Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility”. With the balance of power comes an added test: how will the Greens stand scrutiny?
    How will they deal with meeting the marks they daily set for others?
    Not well, if recent form is any guide.
    Senator Brown has decided to engage in a war with News Limited, particularly The Australian. The battles are fought daily, in press conferences on an internal lawn in Parliament, with gorgeous flame-red autumn trees as a backdrop……………..

    ……….

    Beyond that Senator Brown is venting an anger shared by most Labor ministers. The difference is they rarely talk about it publicly. So the fight takes some courage but, as ever, it is well picked: Senator Brown knows his constituents passionately hate News Limited. So there is political capital being garnered here.
    But many of the questions asked by the Murdoch Press are perfectly reasonable and when any politician deliberately avoids reasonable questions they should be called on it. Particularly when the Greens so often use press conferences to demand that other politicians be called to account……….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/20/3222324.htm

    Maybe Mr. Uhlmann and his MSM mates need to harden up. At least we do not have to ponder as to where he stands.

  • 35
    gregb
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    oh and do note that the drum article by toolman has no commenting. How convenient.

  • 36
    returnedman
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Why are people so unkind?

  • 37
    RobJ
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I did notice that gregb, very convenient. Anyway, I’ve given up on 7:30 and like I told the ABC earlier, I only use the ABC for commercial free drama these days, thank goodness for the internet. TV is so last century :) And it’s just getting worse and worse.

  • 38
    rhwombat
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Nutsnbolts: An appropriate nym, but 2 letters and an idiot too long.

  • 39
    gregb
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Rob, looks like they are allowing comments. Go check it out.

  • 40
    RobJ
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks….

  • 41
    bis
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    RobJ and Confessions whilst I concede my assessment of Red Kerry’s word count is as a subjective opinion as any, I did spend a little time to compare the word counts of the Chris Uhlmann/Bob Brown interview and an interview between Kerry O’Brien and Tony Abbott in 26/07/2010, that has forever stuck in my mind.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Uhlmann/Brown Interview Total Word Count = approx. 1395

    Uhlmann(interviewer): approx 484 words (35%)
    Brown(interviewee): approx 911 words (65%)

    Interviewer talks just over 1/3 of time.

    ————————————————————————————–
    O’Brien/Abbott Interview Total Word Count = approx. 3132

    O’Brien(interviewer): approx 1637 (52%)
    Abbott(interviewee): approx 1495 (48%)

    Interviewer talks just over 1/2 of the time.
    __________________________________________________________________

    Granted, these are only two examples, but it should becalm anyone who thinks Bob Brown got some rough treatment the other night. I would be interested in seeing the data from all of O’Briens interviews, and especially contrasting that with whether the guest was conservative or not.
    But hey, its Friday night, I have life and I’m not getting paid for this.

  • 42
    quantize
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Red Kerry was known to get more words in than his guests in many an interview.

    Because he didn’t let Howard and his gang of professional bullshit artists get away with obfuscation…

    and he was precisely the same with Labor

    Predictable but false bias claim.

  • 43
    quantize
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Was he? I’ll have to go and look at some transcripts, do you have a specific example? O’Brien is a hard interviewer, he doesn’t shut up if the interviewee won’t answer the question, he hassles them as he should, makes them look like the clowns they are.

    The correct version.

  • 44
    RobJ
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    and he was precisely the same with Labor

    I reckon, he was particularly hard on Beazley. O’Brien is one of the best interviewers this nation has ever produced.

  • 45
    Eponymous
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Confessions, I think you nailed this at 11. Bob was holding a conference on the decline of the koala; greeny or none, this is a big story! But I have seen nothing on the topic.

    The effing koala is going extinct and the biggest news item is that Bob Brown told some journos they’re doing a shit job. Wait and see what happens to tourism if the koala actually does drop off the perch. Maybe then we’ll see a spike in Greens votes. Maybe not though, as they’ll just be blamed for not making their case clearly enough, etcetera, etcetera…

  • 46
    Think Big
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Catching up @ 34

    I liked this bit

    "But many of the questions asked by the Murdoch Press are perfectly reasonable"

    but many more are completely unreasonable and deliberately skewed and that is the point.

    It’s not exactly surprising that those sections of the media that have come under the greatest criticism are shrieking the loudest:

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  • 47
    confessions
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Ep:

    The story gets even bigger when you look at the Budget Papers for the Environment portfolio. Over the years from 1996 until now, the budget allocation for biodiversity and natural environment initiatives has declined significantly, I think something like 200%. Can you imagine this kind of decline in spending in say health, education or defence? The public outcry would be enormous.

    And so when Brown fronts a press conference to talk about a Parliamentary inquiry into koalas, you’d think all those gallery journos who last week were locked away with Swan’s 4th Budget (as they did with each previous budget going back to 1996) would have made some connection between natural environment spend and the possible extinction of one of our most famous native species. Instead they went for the sideshow.

  • 48
    gregb
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Confessions, what do you mean by a decline of 200%?

  • 49
    confessions
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    As a proportion of the overall environment portfolio allocation. It really is a big story.

  • 50
    Cyril Joad
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Actually the whinging typist is refreshingly realistic in his ambitions.

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

    Always aim high I say…

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