Mood: not sure
Topic: election Oz 2007
Picture: Images from Spiderman 3 trailer: “How long can any man fight the darkeness … before he finds it in himself?” Is our Treasurer “Peter” caught in his own political web and desire for revenge? Will he break free with a heroic budget? Will he get to say “Everyone loves me”. Will he triumph and get the girl … err top job? Or will an evil sand man (John Howard/Kevin Rudd) still destroy all electoral hope? Come see the longest running most expensive Hollywood movie ever made, roughly 5 months duration and $240 billion expenditure. It’s a blockbuster! It could reverse the polls by 10 points or more!
Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):
This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies in Big Politics and Big Media. ]
Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208
“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”
Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.
For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.
Media Backgrounder: - Matt Price, The Australian
What happens to talented journalists who work for News Ltd? Does the money and the capitalist greed finally get them in the end? Or do they just get an infected foot and start blathering and missing the obvious?
With dancing bear Greg Sheridan one assumes he sold out a long long time ago, revealed by his own admissions of dedicated hatred of the Lefties on his university campus. Was it the ultra Right Bulletin or Quadrant that gave him a start? Same thing really.
But what about Matt Price? He has wandered around pretty badly this last week. Late on Friday he blathered on to Jennifer Byrne on ABC 702 radio about Howard stock standard election year “listening” backflips and terrible comments by Bill Heffernan as to Julia Gillard’s childless fate. But not once did he say what everyone else in the political community knows – it was a Heffernan dog whistle to the ultra right, not least the Assembly of God/Family First fruitcakes.
The cartoon in the Herald covered it so well here:
Was it just a cavalier late Friday arvo blather from Price, you would expect in workplaces nationwide? Well no because he wrote a column along the same lines in The Australian the same day May 5th: Budget for more bile as desperation rises | Matt Price | The ... The article was a study in fence sitting: “For all her talents, Gillard is an extraordinarily defensive politician” followed by a determined sledge of Medicare Gold, while the Coalition Govt sits on $15.5 BILLION surplus. So unrealistic eh, Matt?
Indeed The Australian played along with the bury the lead re Heffernan's obscenity here: p4 2/5/07 postage stamp bottom left far corner by Samantha Maiden “Libs stick to barren gibe”. Everyone else went big including Ch10 Meet the Press tv talky today 6/5/07.
No mention of Big Heff dog whistling by their gun commentator Price. That’s quite an omission there Matt.
- Greg Sheridan, The Australian (and see postscript)
Which brings us to the tone of intellectual corruption set by the dancing bear Greg Sheridan About Greg Sheridan | Greg Sheridan biography | The Australian also at News Ltd'sThe Australian.
We specifically identified on our news blog here Sheridan's willing compromise of journalistic objectivity by accepting a pro Israel rah rah prize recently: A clear case of bias to one of many geopolitical stakeholders, relevant to subjects he writes about all the time as a foreign affairs and defence specialist. And Sheridan responds in a recent article:
“It goes without saying that in accepting this award I do not compromise my independence as a commentator. I have often been critical of Israeli policies. Last year I opposed its military operation in Lebanon.”
Wrong test. Wrong in theory and practice. The spin in the headline 3/5/07 shows the determined line: Rare support for democracy in a sea of misunderstanding with sub header “Despite its mistakes, Israel is a legitimate nation should not be treated as a pariah” [sic]
1. Israel as we understand it doesn’t actually have a written constitution (!). Bizarre but true. So how can there be a real accountable democracy in such an ethno religious enclave? We hear this complaint about theocratic Iran often enough. Then there is the odd nuclear whistleblower locked up for decades: Mordechai Vanunu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2. Uri Davis' book Israel: An Apartheid State written by the child of holocaust survivers documents the way land law in Israel is skewed to the ethno religious control of the Jewish People with rampant discrimination against Arabic Israelis. That’s what you might expect but its not democracy in the sense we understand in Australia because its theocratic or at least ethnic in tone. Similarly President Jimmy Carter has tilted at the sacred cow of aparthied in Israel with his book: Jimmy Carter and Apartheid - The New York Review of Books
So these disturbing airbrushes should be kept in mind when we read so called unbiased Sheridan, same article:
“Anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and anti Israel sentiment are all different, yet they are all intimately related [we don’t think he means the military industrial complex with Nixon stating Israel is cheaper than a USA Mediteranean Fleet]. They draw from diverse sources, yet they are all, in their virulent forms, fundamentally irrational and evidence of psychological and ideological dysfunction rather than genuine analysis. [so easy to condescend on those fat News Ltd wages perhaps].
And he goes on with the allegedly ‘unbiased’ commentary, and note again the complete airbrush of USA barracking and funding of Saddam Hussein’s war on Iran in a laughable “analysis”:
“Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for the deaths of near enough to 1.5 million Iraqi Arabs and Iranians. …a million or more died in a wholly unjustified war he launched against Iran. Anyone who was seriously concerned about Muslim suffering in the Middle East would have concentrated on Saddam all the yeas he was in power.”
Well there you have it. Saddam apparently was never an ally of Donald Rumself, never shook his hand, and never did the USA’s murderous dirty work for middle east oil? It’s all so clear, not. Everyone else has concluded Saddam was Made in the USA.:
"The Bush administration [has] sent U.S. technology to the Iraqi military and to many Iraqi military factories, despite over-whelming evidence showing that Iraq intended to use the technology in its clandestine nuclear, chemical, biological, and long-range missile programs."
No this quotation is not pulled from a conspiracy-minded website, but from the Congressional Record from July 27, 1992. They are the words of the late Congressman Henry Gonzalez of Texas.
For months in the early 1990s Gonzalez released hundreds of documents that outlined how the highest levels of the U.S. government - including Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and current Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - had secretly and illegally helped arm Saddam Hussein. The scandal was known as Iraqgate.
In 1991, Charles Schumer, then a New York Congressman, now the New York Senator, said Hussein was Bush's Frankenstein: "He had been created in the White House laboratory with a collection of government programs, banks, and private companies." At the time, future Vice President Al Gore said, "Bush is presiding over a cover up significantly worse than Watergate."
Don’t go down the Sheridan track Matt Price, baffled by your own bullshit. They can’t pay you enough.
And the nasty politicking by Sheridan goes on and on. We have started deconstructing his essay noted by, and attacking same Prof Hugh White of the Lowy Institute here:
2 May 2007 - Media
Greg Sheridan reviews a Lowy Institute Paper by Visiting Fellow Hugh White, entiled 'Beyond the defence of Australia'. The Paper can be viewed and ordered at: http://www.lowyinstitute.org/Publication.asp?pid=521
Australian Literary Review, 2 May 2007, p. 16
Interesting that the Sheridan article itself attacking White, the ABC and Fairfax is offline, perhaps for copyright reasons with web referencing here ALR | The Australian
The conceited Sheridan article is replete with trite, at time gratuitous put downs with some real howlers only exceeded by the poisonous posturing: He whines about Prof White’s qualified written style of support of the Australia USA Alliance when his own article is littered with “may be”, “from his point of view”, “could also be seen” which are hardly categorical stances. What Prof White is, is realistic mature sophisticated and I suspect much more honest. He doesn’t want to see Australia blunder into another Iraq such as say a nuke powered Taiwan vis a vis China. Nor nuke defence shields on Australian soil making us a nuke target.
There’s plenty more that’s blatantly wrong with the Sheridan piece like airbrush of security dimensions of climate change, but you get the idea. Sheridan is a flake. He even projects his own sorry state onto White with “the only strategic analyst in captivity”. Sheridan of all people would know what that's like at News Ltd. Like lionesque intellectual Paul Kelly this Sheridan is another animal in the News Ltd Zoo.
What this is all about is revenge by dancing bear Sheridan pure and simple for Prof Hugh White giving substance to the damning belief of many greens that PM Howard has a sleazy Strangelove embrace of a nuke weapons future for Australia, under cover of dodgy climate policy, as here: Don't mention the bomb - Hugh White - Opinion - theage.com.au
It's the defence analysts version of whistleblowing which has really damaged Howard's credibility with the political community Left and Right, Green and Brown, Media and politician. They can well imagine a hawk like Howard destroying out natural advantage as a lucky country distant from all those geopolitical conflicts with an array of nuke weapons dumped on us by Uncle Sam.
This indeed is why the opening paragraph seeks to maliciously position White as dodgy on the USA alliance, a holy grail of modern politics, under cover no less of hypocritical style comments. Give up Greg your fur is showing, as much as your pursuit of the so called “war on terror” which phrase itself is a travesty of English literature let alone analytical thinking.
10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am
Paul Bongiorno directs traffic. Interesting polling data about PM Howard best days behind him strong trend in perception. Another poll later in show what money should go on in the budget – mostly services, not tax cuts (only 20%).
Brutal ALP revenge story on Kelly Hoare for speaking against Greg Combet choreography pre selection in Charlton. Front pager Sydney Daily Telegraph. Cruel cruel business.
Panel is Fleur Anderson AFR , Steve Lewis The Australian (Murdoch controlled, ultra Right)
Lindsay Tanner, sticks with the sledge of Howard’s wind up phone. Pretty smooth, mostly about budget, leans on broadband policy.
Cheeky Nicholson rubbery figures is Howard in bed with picture of Ricky Ponting cricketer reprising a photo in the Big Media this last week (Australian from memory).
Chris Richardson, Access Economics re budget: cares about “democracy” of this boom reaching the suburbs.
Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress
7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary
Riley Diary – edgy and amusing segment.
Riley – “dishes the dirt” (our headline recently on Tas forests piece).
Very funny based on puppet agro theme, complete with single long eye brow.
Goes big on Heffernan slur. Howard gets testy and smart alec at a presser at the end.
Riley notes the dog whistle aspect “unreconstructed misogynistic vote” is pretty small, (unlike Matt Price above?) Correctly notes Howard rodent like back up about family traditional values before demanding an apology from his attack dog. All pretty sleazy really.
Feature on child custody dispute father with 3 kids in Tasmania.
Feature about drug rehabilitation, a campaign pioneered by The Greens for a long time the major parties are finally adopting with no acknowledgement, of course. Given Ben Cousins AFL drug addict, Couts Trotter drug rehab story. Big media finally starting get a mature approach?
Oaks interview with Treasurer Costello - this is the main game. Re-elect the government?
Budget will be in surplus. Asked about tax cuts. Says last 4 did, but long list of spending priorities, health, childcare, defence, environment. No direct answer.
Whose turn is it this time? Declines.
What about pressure on interest rates? Govt will not borrow – [quite ideological ignores role of good debt which won NSW ALP the last election]
Defence – increase re personnel but also equipment. Biggest build up since WW2. Very expensive. State of the art in 4, 5, 6 years time.
Climate change? Long term issue, sound responses, not knee jerk responses. Thought about it a lot … blah blah … decades lie ahead. Low interest loans.
Says Rudd policy is a real puzzle, people in too much debt, then offers them more loans. [highlights good versus bad debt, ideology of Costello.] Costello says they would be doing it anyway if they could use water/energy savings to pay for loan.
Costello goes into blather and bluster self aggrandising mode about 240 billion dollar budget process affecting decades ahead. Making cover for his own exposure on ideological hatred valid govt valid interventions.
Shameful ideology really. I suppose the market would have solved WW2 as well?
Onto politics of IR and (weak) consultation of Rod Edington.
Revealing survey of 10 point change in polls 3 weeks after 2004 election budget.
Talent is Wayne Swan, Opposition Treasurer. Looking pretty sharp and focused. Quite deft.
Everyperson is a flock of sisters wondering about what to spend money on. Mention of climate change, water.
Paul Kelly “the professor” of politics at News Ltd, not nearly as wicked as Sheridan. More a dancing elephant than bear. Notes big change in IR to avoid mugging by Unions. Rudd is in charge and moving to rectify the problems of “detail” runs into big discussion by the panel. Matt Price looks unfocussed and blathering (but why? Sick with foot infection he said on radio, probably the antibiotics. Starts to warm up and focus with some real grist, thankfully.)
Footage on Today show of Tony Abbott looks emaciated, stressed. Gillard on her game too there.
Bolt lies about Prof Garnaut view of Stern. Not that “deeply flawed” but that underestimates some factors and over estimates some other.
Bolt frolic against the whole IPCC science process, with Barry Cassidy furrowed brow. Panel and compere humour Bolt they know is way off to the margins, giving cover to eco dunce Howard etc.
Replayed at 11.10 am on radio PNN 630 AM band.
Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/
Postscript #1: More media backgrounders:
The Essay Patience and curiosity versus paranoia and fear by Paul Monk who we still remember from Ursula College (Catholic) residential college at ANU two doors up from exclusive (Protestant) Burgman College that Ruddy was domiciled at in the late 70ies. The two page feature is massively relevant to Greg Sheridan for his "paranoia" although its actually about James Jesus Angleton head of CIA counter intelligence until 1973 when he was "removed". My recollection of Angleton in Peter Wrights' Spycatcher is that he was a drunk, which explains oh so much. We read this essay at p28 Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum supplement 5-6 May 07. The piece apparently is found in full in Griffith Review 16: Unintended Consequences (ABC Books), http://www3.griffith.edu.au/01/griffithreview/current_edition.php
This very amusing piece by Mark Coultan in New York in staying healthy while touching too many people in politics: Germ warfare fought on new front in clean land - Opinion - Home
Minister Joe Tripodi implicated by Trevor Davies in ALP Young Labor conference corruption [which recent law cases have shown is probably actionable for misuse of public funds]. Davies is a local ALP branch secretary and veteran worker at the South Sydney Herald free suburban press: April 2007 edition page 5 reads "I was asked by various people if I would have the person, who signed the nomination form in my name charged." If it looks like, reads like, smells like fraud, then it probably is.
Janet Albrechtsen, aka ABC Board's Madam Lash who gives every impression of a condescending pompous ayrian has the story of an ex union organiser Ayn Rand type Grace Collier in silky blouse, excessive lippy and a very big chip on her shoulder. This traitor to unionism says her old comrades are just fee gougers while Collier herself lives in a culture of social justice built by those same unions with a proud 100+ year history, warts and all. Sad stuff. Story here 5th May p23 where else but Murdoch The Australian Unions plan to get rich (and powerful) with bargaining fees ... (Albrechtsen is funny for her hyper praise of all things individual above all else while tugging the forelock as a Howard stooge on the ABC Board. In other words hierarchy is good as long as she is high on the hog, and too bad any of the individuals downstairs copping her lash. It's all about privilege really.
Malcolm Turnbull busily protesting too much in all the Murdoch press at what a good job he and his government are doing on greenhouse emissions, as here Malcolm Turnbull: Bring Third World in on climate pact | Opinion ... While Mal has a point the critics at the Climate Institute are ALP aligned wolves, he still deserves a slam dunk for sleazy accounting tricks as per the editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald here Wrong message on greenhouse
Then there was this curious 12cm by 12 cm advert green washing of the cotton industry massive over use of water here placed smack bang in the middle of the share market price lists on 2nd May SMH for "Ecoliving Collection" (no relation to ecology action sydney related to SAM blog here):
But it's not just cotton marketers getting away with environmental murder. This one is going to our environmental contacts at Ecosistemas in Chile:
Last but not least this quote from Timothy Balding, CEO of Paris based World Association of Newspapers on World Press Freedom Day in "ALP's source protection delayed", by Chris Merritt Legal Affairs editor at The Australian May 4, 2007 p22:
"...there was legitimate concern that security and surveillance measures were being used to stifle debate and the free flow of information. Mr Balding said counter terrorism measures were laudable but there were growing concerns that they were being introduced with insufficient regard for the overriding need to protect individual liberties and press freedom."
Which echoes the question: Why exactly was this SAM news blog reporter evicted from Sydney University campus recently (see indepenent media topic at right) while reporting an anti government student rally? Could it be censorship under the cover of security. Surely not? Because that would bring security measures into disrepute and erode the integrity of that "laudable" objective for indulgence in abuse of power.