Dennis Shanahan

Feb 27, 2010

We understand the romance because we own the romance

Dennis Shanahan writes on

Dennis Shanahan writes one of the most unintentionally ironic columns in the history of The Australian. I’m not going to do a detailed analysis because I wouldn’t want to give the impression that his commentary on polling and media narratives should be taken seriously. Just read it and enjoy the hypocrisy of Mr The Narrowing!!1! Rudd’s Honeymoon Over!!1! Abbott Resurgence!!1! lecturing “websites” and “ABC commentators” for promulgating myths and presenting a distorted impression of what the polls show.

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76 thoughts on “We understand the romance because we own the romance

  1. Iain Hall

    I have ambivalent feelings about all Journalists and while I think that all have their individual biases I also think that you are being too simplistic to suggest that all of the right or all of the left for that matter have the sort of blanket criticisms of the media that you are suggesting here.

  2. surlysimon

    Iain but what “raw information” are we talking about? a poll or someone the journo talked to at the weekend while waiting in line at woolies.
    Why does the right only think the media are doing a good job when it agrees with them? When it was chasing the stuff ups of the previous govt it was a bunch of lefty stirrers, when it’s spruiking the collapse of labour it’s doing god’s work.

  3. Iain Hall

    Sorry that last one should be addressed to Simon

  4. Iain Hall

    even “opinions” are coloured by the raw information would you really expect any piece about the changing fortunes of Rudd et al to say that things s are all hunky dory? Or that he has never been more loved by the people?

  5. surlysimon

    I can see you spend very little time with those who work for the media, many journalists now see them selves as opinion writers rather than reporters of fact and anyone writing opinion isn’t reflecting anything other than his or her opinion.

    there are those who can report, but by an large they don’t get a photo dinkus or work for News

  6. confessions

    [But if my mind is so deeply closed then why would I ask you more than once to enunciate why you think that Tobias is so correct here?]

    My only guess is that you don’t know the many jokes which have circluated about Shanahan, the Australian and Newspoll. Your loss, you’ve missed out on a cracker IMO that has carried on for over 2 years now.

    And if you genuinely want to know what the point of his post is, try asking toby – I’m sure he won’t bite.

  7. surlysimon

    “You refuse to even consider that what Shanahan is doing is just summing up what the media thinks and offering an opinion of what the bad poll result may mean for the government and the opposition.”

    Iain again it is you who do not see, first what Shanahan is doing is summing what he thinks, or are you saying all the media are of one mind, what even all those terrible lefties at the ABC. And what bad poll result, this weeks seems to show Labour holding is own if not gaining ground.

    You seem to be a mass of cliches masqurading as an argument.

  8. Iain Hall

    I think that it is not as simple as that and that while everyone does write according to their own views but I think that a pro journalist actually moderates and modifies those views in the light of the current information.
    But I agree with you that there is no conspiracy here as Tobias is trying to suggest with is post.

  9. Iain Hall

    Toby has hardly made a deep and meaningful argument here.
    But if my mind is so deeply closed then why would I ask you more than once to enunciate why you think that Tobias is so correct here?
    It seems to me that your’s is the mind that is closed here. You refuse to even consider that what Shanahan is doing is just summing up what the media thinks and offering an opinion of what the bad poll result may mean for the government and the opposition.
    As for the Coffee thing I was using sarcasm as the brighter lights here have realised, Now there is a lot that you can tell about people from the little innocuous things that they do including their choice of beverage. Anthropology is quite expansive about social behaviours and and for a lot of people that means the drinking of coffee. This piece was quite amusing I’m not saying that anyone, least of all me, can perfectly pick anyone’s political persuasion by the coffee that they drink but I can’t imagine why it is such a big deal to you unless my “decaf soy latte “quip actually cut rather too close to the truth

  10. surlysimon

    who said anything about “evil media owners” my point was and is that what journalists write largly reflects their veiws and has bugger all to do with what anyone else thinks. Those who work in the media write and report based on their own biases and egos, it’s got bugger all to do with Owners or the Public. No conspiricy here I leave that to the raving righties

  11. confessions

    Iain: you are the only one on this thread defending his writing and interpretations (when you aren’t soothsaying about coffee that is), so I can say with complete confidence that you’ve really got no idea why people find Shanahan’s forays into Newspoll data so ironic.

    If you don’t know, or refuse to even think about what Toby has written, then I’m not going to help you. Your mind is clearly closed on this issue, and to be honest with you I find your thought processes somewhat disturbing: only a truly deluded person would ever say they could guess someone’s political leanings based on the coffee they drink. Utter bonkers.

  12. ShaunHC

    Political pundits like Shanahan are just trying to call the mood

    Really Iain? So what was he doing on 2007? The mood was against Howard. Why did he continue to write in favour of Howard if all he does is try to call the mood?

    If you can not enunciate precisely why you think that Shanahan is wrong or hypocritical here

    I can enunciate it in precise terms. Shanahan interpreted the polls in the best light he could for Howard in 2007. Cherry picking the data favourable to Howard. Now he is critical of those doing the same thing with Rudd. Clear enuff for ya Iain?

  13. Iain Hall

    That is a cop out. If you can not enunciate precisely why you think that Shanahan is wrong or hypocritical here then perhaps he isn’t.
    While I certainly do celebrate when it looks like things are swinging against a government that I dislike I am realistic enough to realise, as the Pollies say ad infinitum, “the only reliable poll is on election day” we all (from either side of politics) struggle to control our hopes and our fears when the polling is going against our preferred option. As I see it in an environment like this one it is only natural that those who want to see Rudd retain office at the next election will try to down play a bad result in the polls and those one the other side will try very hard to restrain their optimism to avoid greater disappointment should their team not get across the line. Political pundits like Shanahan are just trying to call the mood of the people and like lots of pundits he could be wrong which is what Labor die-hards hope for even when the evidence is against their hope.

  14. confessions

    ShaunHC: yep, and you don’t get more removed from reality than thinking you can predict someone’s political viewpoint from the type of coffee they drink. But Iain thinks he can.


  15. ShaunHC

    Hey confessions, the only reason I am fascinated with this type of blogging is people like Iain. So blinded by their own belief they miss the point of an article such as this. It can be hard to get the point when your frames of reference are so askew.

  16. confessions

    ShaunHC: Ssshhhh! Iain doesn’t understand why Shana’s somber sermonising in his weekend column is laughable, much less hypocritical. He can’t understand why Toby has a strikethrough of the various positions taken by Shanahan in relation to Newspoll interpretation, so if you make it too obvious you’ll just confuse Iain ever further. Best to leave him festering with his fantasies about coffee consumption.

  17. ShaunHC

    “News papers and the media reflect the feelings of the people…”


    So how then Iain do you explain that when Howard was tanking in 2007, Shanahan’s columns repeatedly tried to interpret the polls in the most favourable light possible for the Libs?

    I put it to you that you would consider them to reflect the feelings of the people when you agree with them. When you don’t, the media is all left leaning.

  18. Iain Hall

    Johnny & Simon

    Despite conspiracy theories popular among the left about evil media owners manipulating a gullible public. I really think that the situation is rather more like the chicken and the egg dichotomy. You know which comes first. When you consider that this piece is talking about opinion polls and the feeling of the public about the performance of a government who have made some pretty significant stuff ups I really can’t see how you can argue that any media agent or institution is leading the tide of dissatisfaction.
    I agree with You Simon when you say the media is afraid of the Internet, but mainly because they are having a hard time working out how to make money from it But I think that Twitter is a dead end and that it will be sunk under the shear weight of the inanities that it contains.
    I’ll get some pop corn and you can explain just WHY you think the Shanahan piece is at all hypocritical . As you are so certain that it is that should be a doodle for you.

  19. surlysimon

    “News papers and the media reflect the feelings of the people” no they don’t they reflect the feelings of those who work in the media, and believe me I know. How often I have opened a certain newspaper to see that the people intervied for a story on subject X are either empoyees or family of. Luenig even did a cartoon about it once. And before you try and suggest otherwise this goes for them all, newspapers, radio, and TV
    That is why some in the media are affraid of the internet and sites like Twitter, because sudenly what the people think can be seen unfiltered.

  20. Johnny Come Lately

    Iain Hall said:

    “News papers and the media reflect the feelings of the people…”

    Wrong again Iain, newspapers and media (mostly the mainstream media) shape the feelings of the people.

  21. confessions

    You really can’t see why Shanahan’s article about Newspoll is sheer hypocracy – even though Toby’s post spells it out for you?

    Oh well, enjoy your deluded fantasies.

  22. Iain Hall

    Shorter confessions:
    “I can’t explain why I think Shanahan’s piece is hypocritical or wrong so I will find an obscure piece written by Dennis Shanahan thirty two years ago about house prices”

    News papers and the media reflect the feelings of the people, and at present more and more people are beginning to feel that the government that we have is not what Labor promised us back in 2007 so it is only natural that the polls should reflect this.

  23. confessions

    surlysimon: the Murdoch papers have been especially rancorous towrads the government. Hopefully it will all blow up in their faces.

    Meanwhile, here’s Dennis Shanahan applying his Teh Narrowing!! rhetoric to Sydney house prices, circa 1978.

  24. surlysimon

    Don’t you love how this the role of the media changes given the party in power, Liberals in Govt, media must simply tell the world how good they are and never criticise, Labor in power, media must just criticise and never say they are good.

    Ah to see the world in such simplistic terms

  25. confessions

    Shorter Iain Hall: I have no idea what this post is about so will try to deflect from my lack of understanding by claiming others don’t understand it.

  26. Iain Hall

    Well I think that Dennis Shanahan actually wrote a rather good piece that sums up the woes of the current government according to the polling and the media gallery. If you think that there is any hypocrisy involved in writing that piece then you totally misunderstand the role of the media when it comes to discussing the state of play in Australian politics,
    But you are wrong to suggest that it is down to me that the discussion here turned to beverage choice and political persuasion.

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