Sep 19, 2011

Pure Poison IconThe Australian‘s Media Diary announces:

THE Australian’s Paul Kelly has decided not to participate in a debate with historian Robert Manne on his essay, Bad News, which focuses on the newspaper and its role in Australian life.

The cancellation of his appearance follows a response by Kelly to Manne’s essay published in The Australian last Thursday.

Last night [Editor of The Australian, Chris] Mitchell told Diary: “The Australian has finished with the issue.’’

The Australian devoted eight thousand words to Manne’s essay on the weekend, in addition to Kelly’s spray on Thursday, but now it’s done? Forgive me if I think that this looks like the Oz is leaving the field because they’ve realised that their effort to date has done nothing more than provide further examples of the type of behaviour that Manne criticised.


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25 thoughts on “Finished with the issue

  1. SHV


    I can’t find the exact reference, but I remember reading recently that Murdoch’s view of the importance of ‘truth’ in his media goes along these lines:

    1. Will they sue us?
    2. Will they win?
    3. If they win, how much will it cost us?

    OK, publish!

  2. SHV


    We’ll see.

    If I were advising the Dowler family I would say: The price for this outrage is up to you, but I suggest US$5Billion. Hold the line. We’ll take them to Court and drag their sad and disgusting arses through the muck so much that the Murdoch empire will collapse and they really won’t be able to do any more harm to anyone ever again.

    It will be worth it if you don’t get a cent but you stop this cancer from further destroying our civic life.

    As an aside, I noticed a story from the UK today about Rupert’s little mate Dave Cameron wanting to destroy “no win no fee” solicitors from acting for people like the Dowlers.


  3. monkeywrench

    SHV, I notice the one outlet that can be trusted on coverage on the News Ltd cesspit, The Guardian, suggests that the issue is still in negotiation. I hope the Dowlers hold them to account, and the queue of litigants keeps increasing. It remains to be seen whether the politicians of Britain, Australia and the US have the collective moral fibre to do something realistic about the corruption that is News Ltd. Somehow, I think that they will squib it. Certainly, things are looking less than encouraging here.

  4. SHV

    Speaking of ‘finished with the issue’:

    There is just one problem with this story, it originates from News Int. – Therefore, using history as a guide – it probably isn’t true.

  5. Aurgh

    MoC @3, JS @4,


    I notice the Media Diary page is waiting for comments. Any chance Sir Robin would get through their moderators?

  6. Matthew of Canberra

    “I’m not holding my breath.”

    He didn’t say when. Or give any undertakings about the size of the font. Or define what he means by “substantive”.

    So there’s a fair bit of room to move.

  7. ConnorJ

    Groupthunk! From The Australian? Who woulda thunk?! 😀

  8. TomM

    I love it. In yesterday’s letters, a letter from Manne was published:

    “ON Saturday, The Weekend Australian published six articles, a blog, a cartoon and an editorial attacking my Quarterly Essay, Bad News. In total this amounted to about 12,000 words. The articles contained literally dozens of errors of fact and interpretation. I wish readers of The Australian to be aware that when I requested a right of reply it was refused.”

    It was accompanied with an “Editor’s Reply” that ran along the lines of too bad, so sad and ended with this corker:

    “Any substantive corrections will appear on The Australian’s website.”

    I’m not holding my breath.

  9. Ravenred

    That does smack a bit of cowardice. Manne is willing to defend his thesis in a public forum. Paul Kelly (and I don’t know how much influence Chris Mitchell does actually have on the issue) is content to fire off from his ivory tower and shut the balcony doors to dissenting voices. I’m never one to claim that public debate is the argument sealer (for example, Monkton is a quite good debater in rhetorical terms), but it smacks of rejecting scrutiny and denying evidence…

  10. Chris Tallis

    Like all bullies one on one they go to water.
    Whats your problem paul? Scared of loosing or more scared of exposing your rotten publications falsehoods?

  11. Eponymous

    ‘We do not mercilessly pursue our critics and opponents and here are 10000 words, across 4 days in a national newspaper to prove it!’

  12. monkeywrench

    A great victory for Manne. No doubt The Jester will also tiptoe away from the subject, as he does with so many difficult ( ie embarrassing for him) issues….

  13. Lord Barry Bonkton

    Chris Mitchell has raised the White Flag up one of Howard’s flagpoles. After reading Manne’s 2,800 word blog on Chris’s fault’s on his essay , no wonder he is running away.
    YES Fran , spineless.

  14. confessions

    And The Drum.

    The OO is just an easy target these days.

  15. Jay

    It seems that after Robert Manne deconstructed Paul Kellys article with surgical precision, showing him up to be a complete buffoon, this withdrawel suggests The Australian and Paul Kelly just couldn’t face a debate where they would be slowly and convincingly fisted over an extended period of time (sorry for that image). Like many modern day bullies, the eagerness to stand by their behaviour quickly evaporates when forced to do it face to face.

  16. joe2

    Chris Mitchell is the one who will be ‘finished’ by Christmas. The Saturday edition of the 0.0. will ensure he has much more quality time to be with his family.

  17. AR

    In print falsehoods can be marshalled to bolster a point but face to face B/S can be called to stop a lie being furthered. Given this basic vulnerability in defending the indefensible I’m only surprised Polonius agreed in the first instance.
    To withdraw later is proof positive of a fatuous position.

  18. quantize

    Well this blows the shit right out of their phony ass claims about the ‘left’ shutting down debate..

    We’ve had to listen to Bolt whine about it, and here we have his handlers and masters doing it in textbook style..

    Shameful tossers…no credibility whatsoever

  19. Fran Barlow

    All newspapers are unbound, but The Australian is also spineless in the metaphorical sense.

  20. Matthew of Canberra

    JS @4

    Oooh, we are bullies aren’t we?

    But let me something straight … does this mean that the editor(s) at the australian actually DO dictate a company line of certain issues? To the point of actually saying ‘no, nobody’s going to talk about what that critic said about us any more’?

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED!

    The tip of the iceberg?

  21. Jeremy Sear

    Brave Sir Robin turned about
    and gallantly he chickened out.

    Bravely taking to his feet
    he beat a very brave retreat…

  22. Matthew of Canberra

    Brave Sir Robin ran away.
    Bravely ran away, away!
    When danger reared its ugly head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.

  23. specialtask

    The OZ wouldn’t be stifling debate would it?

  24. SHV

    I’ve suggested previously here that News Ltd is stuffed, finished etc…

    I believe this is another example of how the ‘unhinging’ is more than just a phase they are going through.

    There comes a time when people just give up and walk away in disgust, no amount of psychotic screeching or beligerent pouting will turn the crowd back to News Ltd. They’re finished.

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