tip off

A worrying coincidence?

A tweet from the ABC’s Mark Colvin caught my eye last night:

Then today this pops up on the front of The Australian:
Screen Shot 2012 06 20 at 11 14 23 AM
Kelly opines:

Given the market vacuum opening, Australia can no longer afford a heavily taxpayer-funded ABC locked into a fashionable “writers festival” political culture that caters to a dedicated “true believer” minority. The ABC carries a special responsibility at this point in history.

That means commitment to the central policy questions: the decline in productivity and competitiveness, rising protectionism, the need for tax reform, the implications of industrial re-regulation, the loss of trust in politics, the rise of entitlement, the ramifications of population ageing, the resources boom and lethargy in education and health systems.

It requires an approach more mainstream, more intellectual and more independent.

The media restructuring should mean a greater journalistic onus with opportunity for the public broadcasters.

While there is a lot of deserved attention being paid to the future of Fairfax in light of Gina Rinehart’s current play for control, should we actually be asking about whether the ABC is about to cop yet another thrashing from their competitors, and perhaps the Coalition?

It’s a potentially frightening echo of James Murdoch’s 2009 speech where he called for the BBC to be reined in to remove competition for commercial operators. If Fairfax believe that the ABC will not “be a problem” after the next election, does it matter who owns them? The statement from Fairfax seems to be a fairly clear call for the Coalition to neuter the ABC, to reduce its reach and prevent it from competing with the commercial news providers who are hoping that new paywalls will save their businesses. Under these circumstances can Fairfax’s editorial independence, which journalists are rightly trying to protect, mean anything if their commercial survival hinges on electing a Coalition government?

Meanwhile, Kelly’s call for the ABC to become “more mainstream” is nothing more than an attempt to shift the goal posts and define anyone that doesn’t share the worldview of The Australian as being a fringe dweller. Indeed, it’s worth holding the paper that Kelly is published in up against the demands he makes of the ABC, for example, where was The Australian when high income earners squealed about losing their private health insurance rebate? Questioning entitlement mentality? Not when they could take the opportunity to bash the ALP.

While we regularly question some aspects of the ABC here at Pure Poison we also realise that the ABC is a vital part of Australian democracy that needs to be protected and properly resourced, let’s hope that an ABC even further diminished is not in our future.

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  • 1
    SHV
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    This is interesting, an election run on a policy to destroy the ABC would be a very ‘brave’ move by the LNP.

    I believe it would actually be something that could save Gillard’s bacon.

    Except: pandering to News Ltd and destroying the ABC via insane neo-con policies seems to be a core ALP policy.

  • 2
    calyptorhynchus
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Whilst a fully independent publicly funded broadcaster is a necessity for Australia, I’m not sure you can say that the ABC has ever fulfilled this role. Certainly since the 1990s the ABC has clung cravenly to the government of the day. The only difference is that since 2010 it has clung cravenly to the opposition of the day.

  • 3
    Gerry Hatrick, OAP
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    You Communist watermelons and your jumping about complaining behaviour! Let’s look at Kelly in context:

    the decline in productivity and competitiveness

    Clearly, he’s slyly complaining about the media reporting that productivity is falling, and pointing to the high dollar reducing our international exports.

    rising protectionism

    This is clearly a dig at Katter’s Australian Party, and their brand of protectionisim for rural Australia, following on from his continual bylines about the massive subsidies that coal companies receive from the government, when compared to say, renewable energy.

    the need for tax reform

    He’s supporting the ALP government’s tax reform agenda here, moving the low income tax brack almost 3 times higher – therefore taxing less people, and moving towards the market favoured small-government ideal

    the implications of industrial re-regulation

    Here, he’s championing the Union movement, ensuring that forign workers who are imported in to work in Australia get paid the same rates as normal workers – same job, same pay.

    I think if you follow my line of reasoning, you’ll find smiilar ideas and concepts behind his remaining statements, which are all in line with the Australian’s editorial policy.
    Honestly, some people jumping to conclusions. Almost as good as Mr. A. Bolt pointing out that intellectual dishonesty was harming the Global Warmenists agenda.

  • 4
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    the central policy questions: the decline in productivity and competitiveness, rising protectionism, the need for tax reform, the implications of industrial re-regulation, the loss of trust in politics, the rise of entitlement, the ramifications of population ageing, the resources boom and lethargy in education and health systems.

    What a list. Paul Kelly thinks a wishlist of the rich and privileged to further entrench their privilege and gouge the poor is “mainstream”?

  • 5
    Mr Denmore
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy, I think you’ll find that mainstream in Cardinal Kelly’s world is whatever keeps him gainfully employed shining Rupert’s shoes.

  • 6
    Holden Back
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s much quoted (usually mis-attributed to Voltaire), “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, seems to be about to geta new twist.

    “I disapprove of what you say, and I will defend to the death with all my wealth my right contradict it, flying in the face of any facts, or to make it unheard.”

  • 7
    Steve Gardner
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    @SHV, It would indeed be a brave Opposition Leader who ran on a platform of attacking the ABC. Which is why you won’t hear anything about it until after the election.

  • 8
    Jeff Greene
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I have seen this coming for years. Abbott will gut the ABC and with Fairfax gone, people will have nowhere to go for a balanced view.

    That’s why yesterday I paid for my first ever Crikey subscription. We have to protect what little we have left.

    If the LNP plan comes off Australia will be as democratic as Russia for the foreseeable future.

  • 9
    Steve777
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    “It requires an approach more mainstream, more intellectual and more independent”. What a joke!

    Mainstream? I suppose we do need more of this, because ‘mainstream’ media, especially News Limited, promote the values and interests of the plutocracy. This will be even worse should Gina swallow Fairfax. Of course ‘mainstream’ media try to convince the general public that the plutocracy’s interests are theirs. If this is too hard it will bury news or make stuff up (e.g. yesterday’s beatup over Julia Gillard being ‘slapped down’ by the President of the European Commission).

    Indepenent? What, the Australian and its tabloid stablemates are independent? Certainly not of their proprietors’ interests and agendas, nor would be a Fairfax dominated by Gina.

    We need media to be more Intellectual? Probably – most mainstream media pitch to the lowest common denominator. The Daily Telegraph obviously thinks its readers are stupid, judging by the way it assumes that they need to be told what to think. They aren’t, of course, but have busy lives and don’t have much time away from work and family to do their own analysis. A lie repeated often enough etc etc.

    The ABC is not perfect but it is worth defending. If the ABC is privatised it will join the rest of the big media organisations as just another voice for corporate wealth and power. ABC News 24 might become Australia’s own Fox News. Australia will have no sources of broad circulation independent and unbiased news and analysis. And that’s just what big corporate interests want.

  • 10
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    @SHV – Are you suggesting that the coalition will do everything they promise in the election campaign and not do any other major changes?

    Most likely, IMHO, is that they will let the media owners know behind closed doors that if they get their support they will ‘provide a fairer playing field’ once in power.

    So I doubt that cuts to the ABC will be an election issue. What might happen after the election is scary.

    I’m also concerned by the right constantly presenting the ABC as biased to the left.

    It would be interesting to quantify, but I’m sure that the ABC are presenting the view that corporate taxes should be reduced ten, twenty or perhaps even more often than they present the view that taxes should be INCREASED for big business.

    Surely the progressive balance to the right’s view that taxes should be reduced is that taxes should be increased to help balance the budget and to provide better government services. Yet we almost never hear this view presented on the ABC.

    Possum’s post on What Australians Believe says that 67% of people support increased taxes for big corporations. So the ABC is not only guilty of failing to report the views of the progressive side of politics, but failing to adequately present the views of the majority of the population.

  • 11
    twobob
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    How sad it is. For too long apathy toward politics has been cultured by the media to the point where it takes too much effort to bother to dig to the bottom of what has been going on. This has not only led to disdain of media outlets but to disdain of politicians also. Now we shall reap the rewards and they will be an ever decreased ability of average people to get anywhere near the truth and if or when a truth is unearthed it will be treated as a conspiracy theory and offhandedly dismissed. What a poor future we can look forward to.
    My skin literally crawls at the thought of what these greedy fools will do to our country.

  • 12
    Stephen
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Radio National is one of our rare world-class cultural agencies, and therefore intolerable to both the politicians and the managerialists. It’s just a question of who’ll get there first with the battering ram.

  • 13
    Patrick Bateman
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    The fact that Kelly thinks that a list of pro-big business dead horses flogged by the Australian should be the mandatory content of the “independent” national broadcaster says it all about (a) Kelly and (b) the Australian.

    I am deeply troubled that there appears to be a decisive move amongst the rich and powerful to finally kill off all balance in the Australian media once and for all. They aren’t even dressing it up any more.

  • 14
    Patrick Bateman
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    My skin literally crawls at the thought of what these greedy fools will do to our country.

    I agree with your comment – and the timing is ominous, with perhaps the most right wing Liberal leader ever set to come to power on the back of a wave of mostly phoney outrage. Imagine PM Abbott coupled with a neutered ABC and no Fairfax. We’re screwed.

  • 15
    Nick the Hippy
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Shv @1,
    Are you suggesting that the Liberals are going to have a policy?

  • 16
    Nick the Hippy
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    It must be time for another Michelle Grattan story on a leadership challenge to Julia Gillard. That should help bring about less competition for Fairfax after the next election. Then for a change of pace, she could write a story next week on the ALP leadership crisis. And follow that up with………… ect.

  • 17
    Jacques de Molay
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Paul Kelly still exists? Well I lost that bet.

    I’ll have to assume he mentions in his article that he used to appear on the ABC’s Insiders regularly until they gave him the arse and that his employer News Ltd owns 1/3 (plus effectively runs) Sky News Australia via BSkyB, Sky News being in direct competition with the publicly funded ABC with both having 24 hours news channels.

    Now what nice things did he have to say about the ABC again?

  • 18
    Ravenred
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    It requires an approach more mainstream, more intellectual and more independent.

    The fact that he can write this sort of oxymoron with an allegedly straight face shows that Australian satire is not lost with the passing of Dame Edna.

  • 19
    Angra
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Grand Master – wasn’t Paul Kelly that singer blokey?

  • 20
    SHV
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Nick @ 15,

    If News Ltd tells them to have one, they will!

  • 21
    jules
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Some of Paul Kelly’s (the good one) best work. Its prescient, but it accurately reflected the times too. Tho there are many other songs that are just as good, better if the mood takes me. This song, here with Vikka Bull for example. One Paul kelly is a magician with words, and one isn’t. Which is which – you decide.

    One of my oldest friends plays guitar with Paul Kelly when he tours. Lucky (read talented) bastard.

  • 22
    heavylambs
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Kelly’s listed ‘special policy questions’ that the ABC should apparently show ‘commitment’ to are actually all frequently addressed in ABC content. WTF is Kelly on? Does he review his own work before pressing ‘send’?

  • 23
    linda domaschenz
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    @Nick the Hippy- surely Michelle Grat already has a guaranteed future with Gina.

    As for dirty politics and the ABC, what hope is there for democracy. If anyone with any cerebral reasoning matter would conclude, go down that path and we are on a USA slippery slope.
    Do we want that? Damn sure I don’t. This weeks revelations should caution us all. Our way of life and media transparency is further under threat.
    Being complacent is defeatist.

  • 24
    gtpfb13
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, when you have morons like this:

    The Governmenet should ‘get out of broadcasting’ altogether.  In my mind, how can any government on one hand regulate (or want to regulate) the media yet on the other hand directly fund a massive media machine like the ABC..

    The ABC has at least two dedicated Television stations, many websites, a chain of ABC stores (all hosted in expensive retail real-estate and none of which ever need to make a profit!), nation-wide radio broadcasters, international broadcasters and now even a 24 x 7 news channel.

    And every second of it is tilted so far to the left you almost need to mount your wall mounted television sideways to watch it.

    The ABC and SBS should be sold off or privatised completely and the burden of maintaining this massive media machine taken away from the hard-working tax payer!

    Let someone own it, operate it and allow the MARKET to decide if it’s content is viable in a competitive marketplace.

    The ABC has become another subsidised, arrogant, bloated and out of touch organisation pushing the globalist left wing agenda, completely whilst being immune to the commercial realities of broadcasting (don’t worry, Nanny State will pay for everything).

    I don’t care if the ABC is only 10c a day from each tax payer, it’s MY DAMNED 10C and I don’t want it wasted on leftist propaganda!!

    Thankyou for taking time to read my opinion.

    -JohnO

    JohnO of Melbourne (Reply)
    Wed 20 Jun 12 (04:39pm)

    Amazing that he can actually operate a computer. He obviously gets all his information from the likes of Bolt and cannot form any independent thought at all. In fact seems barely able to form ANY thought at all.

    Most stupid people are conservative.

  • 25
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    linda domaschenz

    ... what hope is there for democracy...If anyone with any cerebral reasoning matter would conclude, go down that path and we are on a USA slippery slope. Do we want that? Damn sure I don’t.

    Is that the same “USA slippery slope” that sees a democracy choosing a black president who publicly supports same-sex marriage?

    Fair enough if you don’t want such things, Linda, you are entitled to your prejudices, I suppose.

  • 26
    fractious
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Kelly’s call for the ABC to become “more mainstream” is nothing more than an attempt to shift the goal posts and define anyone that doesn’t share the worldview of The Australian as being a fringe dweller.

    May be so, but Kelly writes:

    It requires an approach more mainstream, more intellectual and more independent.

    So while he wants the ABC to be more “mainstream” (a weasel word if ever there was one) he also demands it be “more independent” – in most instances trying to be the latter almost by definition precludes being “mainstream”. I therefore conclude Kelly hasn’t a fucking clue what he’s arguing for or about.

  • 27
    fractious
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Nick @15
    Are you suggesting that the Liberals are going to have a policy?

    Tsk tsk, such cynicism. Libs can and do win elections with policies – you only have to look at NSW, where O’Barrell pledged his government would not allow any bogan halfwits with shotguns to go blasting anything that moved in the state’s National Parks.

    What he forgot to mention was that that pledge had a time limit…

  • 28
    Mercurial
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    So Howie, that means everything in the USA must be just peachy keen to us lefties because they have a black prez who supports gay marriage? Isn’t that a bit shallow an analysis (given linda was talking about media), even for you?

  • 29
    jules
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Howie yet again you get it wrong by focusing on superficialities while trying to hang shit on someone.

    The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration's advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/13/obama-trade-document-leak_n_1592593.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl1|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D169383

    Ronald Wilson Obama selling out on campaign promises.

    Perhaps you could google “Wisconsin election fraud” to have a look at the questions raised about the recent Recall Election in that state, or read this piece of awesomeness:

    Michigan lawmakers barred from floor after 'vagina,' 'vasectomy' remarks

    Two state representatives in Michigan were barred from speaking on the floor of the legislature in Lansing Thursday after colleagues deemed their language "failed to maintain the decorum" of the legislative body.

    ....

    They "will not be recognized to speak on the House floor today after being gaveled down for their comments and actions yesterday that failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives," the spokesman said.
    He continued, "House Republicans often go beyond simply allowing debate by welcoming open and passionate discussion of the issues before this chamber. The only way we can continue doing so, however, is to ensure that the proper level of maturity and civility are maintained on the House floor."

    ...

    State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer said. "Right now we are seeing our Republican colleagues in the House working to take away our rights to choose, our rights to health care, our rights to make decisions about our bodies. And just today, they're taking away our female colleagues rights in the House, they're right to speak on the floor."

    Of course I could go on for several pages about the threats to democracy in the US, but why bother. You always have a pre determined position Howie and you’re clearly not interested in changing it.

  • 30
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Mecurial

    So Howie, that means everything in the USA must be just peachy keen to us lefties because they have a black prez who supports gay marriage?

    I’m sure there are many individual issues activists from both sides of the spectrum could point to and suggest that things aren’t as they should be when compared against their own respective ideological and absolute ideals.

    However, if we are talking about the media’s influence on the democratic process, surely we must look at the outcomes of said process as a whole and look at things with an element of relativity.

    The fact is, whatever this “slippery slope” that Linda believes the US media to have slid down it appears to have resulted in the US electorate’s endorsement of arguably the most socially progressive president of modern memory.

  • 31
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Jules

    Of course I could go on for several pages about the threats to democracy individual issues I have an opinion upon in the US

    Pretty much sums up your missing of the point, Jules.

  • 32
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Fractious

    ...allow any bogan halfwits with shotguns...

    Oh, the prejudice!

    ... to go blasting anything that moved in the state’s National Parks.

    Oh, the ignorance!

    The ignorant prejudices of the likes of Fractious aside, I’ve just had both my .223 and .308 resighted and may consider going and doing my small and enjoyable bit for feral animal control.

  • 33
    Aliar Jones
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Is that the same “USA slippery slope” that sees a democracy choosing a black president who publicly supports same-sex marriage?

    Ah the ever-predicatble Rightard Brains Trust!

    No doubt you also ‘think’ this is proof that racism and homphobia in the US has been ‘fixed’ Howtard..

  • 34
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    gtpfb13

    Given that the existence of public broadcasting is a long-standing status-quo in this country would not the by-definition ‘conservative’ position be the maintenance of such an arrangement?

    Hence, if ‘progressive’ is the opposite of said conservatism, that is breaking with the status-quo, is not the privatization of public broadcasters the progressive position by definition?

    Or are the terms ‘conservative’ and ‘progressive’ merely terms of convenience you use to declare those you disagree with stupider than yourself?

  • 35
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Jonesy

    No doubt you also ‘think’ this is proof that racism and homphobia in the US has been ‘fixed’ Howtard..

    Not sure what you mean by ‘fixed’, Jonesinator, but whatever racism and homophobia exists in the US, the fact is 51% of people support gay marriage as does the nation’s first black and most socially progressive president.

    If we are to assume that the aggregate of political outcomes is determined by the aggregate of the output of the media, as you and other regulars here appear to assert, the US media landscape isn’t some slippery slope to right-wing hell.

    Though, perhaps I misunderstood Linda and she’s a Tea Party type who is unhappy with Obama’s comparatively socially progressive agenda and blames the media for this outcome.

  • 36
    Hamis Hill
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    As with the BBC, the interests of the ABC are the interests of “The Crown”, representing
    the interests of the whole of the respective nations and above party politics.
    We have seen, post-war in Australia, a resurgence of religiously-based antagonism to The Crown with post-war migrants of right-wing persuation targetting the institution of The Crown as a way of continuing their anti-democratic objectives, which were defeated in WWII with the heroic sacrifices of Australians. “Ratlines” anyone?
    This attack on the ABC is then a direct attack upon The Crown and a direct attack upon the democracy of Australia as embodied in its citizens, for whom many right wing post-war migrants have nothing but the most unbridled contempt. It remains to be seen whether that contempt is justified. They are certainly entitled, after their decades of unanswered insults against Australian democracy, to believe they are winning.
    But the Cold War is over and the totalitarianism yet to be extinguished is not communism.
    Clue, all those who routinely denounce their fellow citizens as communists are members of the totalitarian right and they have the ABC in their sights, just as they once had the BBC tagged for destruction, to be replaced by Dr Goebells’ alternative.
    Alive and well in the MSM? Do please pick up a history book before it is all too late!

  • 37
    B.Tolputt
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Is that the same “USA slippery slope” that sees a democracy choosing a black president who publicly supports same-sex marriage?

    Fair enough if you don’t want such things, Linda, you are entitled to your prejudices, I suppose.

    Dishonest twaddle. The US elected a black president who, at the time, was publicly opposed to changing the definition of marriage to allow same-sex unions. His position, in his own words, “evolved” whilst already elected as president. Their democracy did not choose a black president who publicly supports same-sex marriage; at best they elected a black president that was politically astute enough to keep his support hidden from the voters.

    If at this time next year he is still president, you might have a point. However, we know he isn’t your preferred choice for that role, so I guess you’re entitled to your prejudice just the same.

  • 38
    Bloods05
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m not surprised you’d hold up the plutocratic mess that the USA has become as a beacon of democracy Howard, but jeez it’s disappointing that you’ve learned so little from coming here, and now your chance is nearly gone. Oh well.

  • 39
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Howard,B. @34

    And there lies the problem with those particular terms. I’ve long since decided that I don’t have a problem with actual conservatives, provided they’re honest. An (honest) conservative is somebody I can discuss and debate with, and I suspect we’d see eye to eye (me and this hypothetical conservative) on most subjects, tending to diverge really only at the edges.

  • 40
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    My only problem with HB’s bon mot is that it doesn’t really take into account the full range of political insanity that is the US. Yep, obama won that election. The historicalness of it no doubt helped a great deal, but he also just happened to be the better candidate by far (anyone who doubts, go back and watch the debates again – mccain was struggling, he really was, at times in that last debate is clearly resembled a goldfish gasping for air). If obama had been white, he’d still have won against mccain – the only question is whether the margin would have been smaller or larger.

    But look at some of the batsh1ttery going on at the state level, and the madness of congress. One president does not a government make.

    But your point was well made. Now, I wonder how much better the democrats would be doing if the voting public got its news from sources that believe in things like honest, physics, evolution, that sort of thing.

  • 41
    fractious
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
    …allow any bogan halfwits with shotguns…

    Oh, the prejudice!

    My apologies, I should have written “white Australian male bogan halfwits”.

    The ignorant prejudices of the likes of Fractious aside, I’ve just had both my .223 and .308 resighted and may consider going and doing my small and enjoyable bit for feral animal control.

    “Charity begins at home”, as the saying goes Howard.

  • 42
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Fair cop regarding that particular issue Tolputt. Point conceded.

    However, the broader point of the US’s first black and arguably most relatively progressive and left-wing of presidential candidates getting up in the face of whatever it is that is supposedly wrong with the US media as a whole still stands.

  • 43
    fractious
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink
    … to go blasting anything that moved in the state’s National Parks.

    Oh, the ignorance!

    Labelling people ignorant is all very well, but fails to enlighten.

    What superior knowledge of yours in this matter is it I am ignorant of?

  • 44
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Matty

    Now, I wonder how much better the democrats would be doing if the voting public got its news from sources that believe in things like honest, physics, evolution, that sort of thing.

    Hard to say.

    Such news sources are there for people to consume, but the fact of the matter is that it’s general human nature to seek out news sources that comfortably conform to one’s preconceived beliefs.

    People tend to bang on about how the media shapes the public’s opinions, which in undoubtedly true to an extant, but it isn’t as simple or one-way as that:

    The public’s opinions also shapes the media.

  • 45
    Mercurial
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Howie you don’t think for one minute that you .223 and .308 (resighted or not) will have any affect on feral animals do you? Come on now, that’s not really what the argument is about is it?

  • 46
    Howard,B.
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    “Charity begins at home”, as the saying goes Howard.

    Fair enough. Seeing as it’s your suggestion: you don’t live anywhere on Sydney’s north shore do you, Fractious?

    ;)

  • 47
    Hamis Hill
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Re the US which right-wing anti-democratic, religious minority “wrongfully”(We were wrong said former US Secretary of State Robert McNamarra) sent sixty thousand young
    Americans to their violent deaths in Vietnam just to prop-up the local version of a corrupt European , colonial religion?
    Trace all your complaints about the US polity back the culprits vainly trying, through all sorts of diversions, to avoid the blood price for their treachery.
    Sixty thousand dead, the blood price will be high! The Cold War is over, communism is dead and justice is finally coming for the remaining totalitarian enemies of democracy.
    Writhing now in their death throes of guilt in the US and Australia. True, very true.

  • 48
    jules
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Howie at least 1/3 of the population of the US thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for the sept 11 attacks. That on its own is a glaring indictment of how a failure of media results in a failure of democracy, this falsehood should have been debunked by the US media, but wasn’t, and that is a failure of democracy, cos like it or not populations need to be informed for a democracy to work effectively.

    If we are to assume that the aggregate of political outcomes is determined by the aggregate of the output of the media, as you and other regulars here appear to assert, the US media landscape isn’t some slippery slope to right-wing hell.

    You obviously missed the 2010 elections that were preceded by a humungous Koch bros media blitz that saw a right wing swing of gun-backed-ego proportions, the recent dodgy recall election in wisconsin or many of the unprogressive election results in the US recently. Tho…

    I do find it interesting that you link the president’s skin colour and opinion on SSM is a factor of a functioning democracy. Clearly you subconsciously associate progressive worldviews with effective, functioning democracies. This is of course an accurate reflection of reality tho if pressed you’d probably deny it. Democracies do function better when they strive to implement progressive worldviews.

    This is of course because conservatism is an evolutionary dead end. The evolutionary equivalent of conservatism is a failure to mutate and history is littered with the bones of extinct species that took that path.

  • 49
    Marek Bage
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Howard, B @ 42

    However, the broader point……still stands

    No it doesn’t.
    That’s tantamount to saying that Israel is not a democracy because its Prime Minister is neither black, nor supportive of marriage equality.

    I thought that electing a black president would go a long way to proving that The USA had left behind the ugliness of its race attitudes of the forties and fifties (not to mention the rest of its history), however, the explosion of white supremacist sentiments in the last few years is shocking and dismaying.
    So much so, that if they elected a Klansman as the next POTUS, you’d have to argue that it was a democratic expression of the sentiments of a sizable chunk of the US electorate.

    Cheers.

  • 50
    jules
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    The public’s opinions also shapes the media.

    No it doesn’t. Well, ok there’s a feedback effect, but the media drives it. To say people prefer news sources that conform to their beliefs is lightly out, Cos they aren’t “news sources” they are interpretations of news.

    News is events that happened from the POV of the journo involved.

    You’re talking about the interpretation of news events in a context, usually political.

    I spose technically you are right if you mean media in all its forms, but what democracy needs is accurate reporting. If you’re confusing accurate reporting of facts for opinion then perhaps that explains alot of your apparent confusion about stuff.

    BTW I hope you didn’t just suggest you are prepared to shoot another commenter.

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