As Australia enters a period where we are going to have one of the largest battle of ideas for decades, the noisiest newspaper in the country  – once proudly considered the national broadsheet – has been transformed by its current leadership into such a farcical shadow of its former self, that it has resorted to that most pathetic of tactics that we in the blogosphere are all too familiar with; trolling the internets.

The outing of Grog’s Gamut and the petty, vindictive thuggery and implied threats behind it, speak much more about the character of the paper and the journalist involved than it does about any vacuous nonsense over imagined rights of anonymity online. If you want to be anonymous, you can – and no amount of bleating from some half baked, well dressed, shit sheet is going to change that any time soon. Speaking as someone that did it for years, it can be done.

Yet we’ve had not just one article on this tawdry rubbish,  we’ve had a rolling series of articles churned out by this newspaper and its usual suspects over the last few days, with a special collection still to come.

Jay Rosen called it a war on bloggers while the paper itself has laughably called it a debate.

Yet this is not a debate any more than its a war – it’s just a bunch heritage media gibbons throwing poo.

Often this mob will take issue with a blogger over some particular point, or indulge in one of their well known hissyfits and drive by smears – we’ve seen this happen for years with this newspaper. But after the original, sad little article that outed Grog – something certainly deserving of debate – the follow up stories have been singularly defined by their complete absence of any real content; well, once you remove the glorious self justifications and gratuitous fantasies of being the nation’s public interest netcop.

These clowns are trolling the internet.

They’re trolling you.

They’re trying to stir up shit to drive online eyeballs, and so far there’s a lot of people falling for it.

These actions aren’t the mark of leadership in Australian journalism, it’s the mark of a declining newspaper desperate for attention.

It’s also the type of pathetic unhinging we thought was inevitable.

As the saying goes – don’t feed the trolls.

In better news, now that Parliament has returned and political business ramps back up to normal levels, the blog can start doing what it does again. Yes, the break was lovely – thanks 😛

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