So many of us have tried to warn you of the impending apocalyptic hellscape that following the recommendations of the Finkelstein media inquiry will inevitably create in Australia:
“This all comes from Finkelstein,” said one former press gallery member, now working incognito in a Hume Highway fast-food franchise and smuggling out precious analysis of internal ructions within the ALP to a public readership starved of idle and unsourced speculation. “We warned them that forcing newspapers to prominently publish corrections was the thin end of the wedge. And here we are, with the professors in charge – cracking down on misplaced modifiers and throwing passive case authors into solitary confinement.”
Attempts to overthrow the autocratic regime have been thwarted by a ruthless secret police cadre created by the government’s communications minister, Major General Grogs Gamut – a former blogger and now vainglorious enforcer who insists he be represented at every state occasion by Ralph Fiennes as Coriolanus.
And yet even now you won’t believe us. You call us self-interested hypocrites, scaremongering hacks, pathetic liars without shame who are blatantly misrepresenting what’s actually been proposed.
Well here’s one collection of our courageous predictions. Let the record show that we saw what was coming, and tried to warn you. It’s not our fault that you refused to listen.
* * *
Naturally, the far-right IPA – which was pretty darn happy with the status quo, thank you very much – was quick out of the gate with TERRIFYING PREDICTIONS OF THINGS TO COME.
Here’s man of the people John Roskam. published in the AFR:
A failure to defend liberty
The inquiry was demanded by Bob Brown and the Greens as part of their campaign against News Ltd [my hyperlink]…
A blog site visited by literally one or two people a day would fall within the ambit of the council.
Finkelstein’s recommendations are profoundly illiberal and undemocratic.
They are the most serious assault on the liberties of Australians since Robert Menzies tried to ban the Communist Party in 1949. It is almost incredible that Finkelstein, who as a Federal Court judge once adjudicated on the lives of citizens according to the laws of a liberal democracy, could conceive of such a regime to control freedom of speech.
Finkelstein’s ideological position is not hard to find. It’s in paragraph 4.10 of his report. He thinks a council should control speech in Australia because most people are too dumb or ignorant to decide for themselves about what they see and hear and read in the media.
In response to the claim from News Ltd’s John Hartigan that ultimately readers “were capable of making up their own minds” about bias in the media, Finkelstein writes, “often, however, readers are not in a position to make an appropriately informed judgment”.
This is intellectual arrogance at its most breathtaking. And it’s a great argument against democracy. If, as Finkelstein claims, people aren’t smart enough to decide for themselves the merits of what they see in the media then they’re certainly not smart enough to decide who to vote for.
This is the totalitarian fallacy: don’t let the people decide (because the people are too stupid), let judges and academics decide for them.
The Finkelstein report overturns two centuries of Western political philosophy. Since the French Revolution, the left have fought for the right of every adult regardless of class, education, or background to participate in politics and political debate. In Australia in 2012, Finkelstein and the Greens believe access to the media should be restricted.
(I like how Roskam pretends Finkelestein called people “dumb” and then reinforces his inaccurate paraphrase by suggesting Finkelstein claimed people “aren’t smart enough”. That’s some quality verballing right there.)
And here’s Chris Berg, not being silenced by the far-Left Sydney Morning Herald:
Free press to be sacrificed for political retribution
Freedom of the media is too important to be controlled by government.
The Independent Media Inquiry has proposed just what was expected: an outrageous attack on freedom of speech and the press.
Mark Pearson tried to warn readers of the ABC’s The Drum:
Scratch the surface of this proposal and you will find a harsh new regime which stands to damage Australia’s reputation as a democracy and might well come back to bite the politicians, academics and publishers who are supporting it today.
And one of Chris Mitchell’s employees at The Australian courageously gave their boss a couple of paragraphs to explain the upcoming oppression at the hand of those dastardly disease-ridden Leftists:
Chris Mitchell, editor-in-chief of The Australian, believes the problem is both cultural and political. “The media studies academic class is far removed from the concerns of viewers and readers and is engaged in a sociological project to change the world in its image. That is, to infect people with progressive left ideology,” he says.
“Journalists are interested in reporting what is actually happening. It is hilarious so many media academics who fought John Howard on the grounds he was ‘stifling dissent’ are now at the forefront of shutting down free speech. They only support free speech they agree with.
“Like many on the Left they love scrutiny of conservative governments but completely reject scrutiny of the Greens and the Green-Labor coalition.”
(Only The Australian‘s special Mitchell-Level-Hypocrisy Proof publishing system was able to repeat the “only support free speech they agree with” line by the famed defamation-suit threatener without exploding.)
The ever-reliable Gerard Henderson even explained to us why we should fear the report’s author – “Ray Finkelstein as (sic) an ABC-Admiring Kind of Leftie”.
Last, but not least, here are the great heroes of the people, Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt – not that their readers didn’t already know exactly what to expect.
The rise of the totalitarians
…It takes a certain kind of mind to want such controls over the political speech of so many… the sinister Finkelstein inquiry… the totalitarian instinct behind its recommendations
Greens try to muzzle media
…It is a slap in the face for that fundamental democratic pillar – a free press… Of course [Brown] wants the media muzzled.
There you are. And many more, collected on Twitter under the hashtag #FinkelScares.
Wake up, sheeple.