Thursday, August 25, 2011

Of course they bloody do

Michelle Grattan's piece in the Age today is not only disingenuous but even perhaps a tad hypocritical, reporting today from well up in the high moral ground that the Federal Labor MPs all have cheat sheets, media questions, for the answering of.

Because as if the very best efforts of Craig Thomson were not enough to bring the party crashing down around his ears and usher in the era of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who if he falls over will be replaced by Prime Minister Julie Bishop, some unidentified (a) total doofus or (b) rat in the ranks (tick one) has left his or her notes lying around on a chair where, of course, the meeja just happened by and picked them up.

Whether it was done by accident or design, you can only imagine what Julia Gillard is thinking this morning. When you've been forced by circumstance to make a fateful lose-lose decision about leading your party, fought an election, exercised your stunning negotiating skills to form government, kept it all together for over a year despite some truly frightful attempts to oust you, and made a few appalling mistakes all by yourself, who needs a rabid, grubby Opposition, a hostile media, a big smear of misogyny right across the national board (Opposition, media, electorate, one's own party, you name it) when you've got one f*ckwit who can't keep either his credit card or the other thing in his pants, and now another who is too absent-minded, or treacherous*, to avoid leaving this kind of thing lying around?

But here's the thing. Of course they've got a bloody cheat sheet. No sensible person who has anything at all to do with media questions would be without one. Because most, not all but most, journalists in our country in its current incarnation seem to think that journalism is about nagging, needling, asking hostile, mindless gotcha questions (50 extra points if you make someone cry or lose his/her temper) and then putting as sensational a spin as possible on whatever the answer was in order to sell more papers. Even Michelle Grattan, who used to be the gold standard.

Or about taking some perfectly ordinary fact, like, say, that MPs have had media training and have paid attention to the advice they were given, and blowing it up with the rhetorical equivalent of a few acronyms and punctuation marks, as here, where the invisible OMGs and exclamation marks are thick on the ground. Get real, Michelle. If the media were doing a good job of reporting neutrally and truthfully on the facts, just the facts, about the way the country's actually being run, people wouldn't nead cheat sheets to help with the Augean-stables task of resisting being tormented and misrepresented by the ladies and gentlemen of the press. As it is, WTF do you expect?

*I'm going with 'treacherous'. You don't 'inadvertently' leave your notes 'on an Opposition seat in Parliament'.


Frances said...

I agree with "treacherous".
I agree with your comments re journalism in Aust. Plus, I am annoyed that so many of them have become "commentators" instead of just reporting facts. Largely, I'm not interested in their opinions.
As for our politicians: I'm inclined to think that wanting to be a politician should automatically preclude one from preselection...but, that would then lead to all the elbowing back room boys and girls coming forward, I expect.
Politics is looking more and more like "The Thick of It."

librarygirl said...

I feel absolute despair about how all this is going to end.

Lord Sedgwick said...

If you want to take a look at contemptible scumbaggerybuggery look no further than the Chihuahua from Sturt who, beyond his unspeakable lack of respect for someone who will be remembered longer that he will ever be, as the Opposition spokes person for Education would appear to have failed Grammar 101 miserably.

"While Margaret Olley is a very significant Australian, and one for which the Opposition has the utmost respect - and I'd point out she was a self-declared Liberal supporter throughout her life - it is not appropriate for a funeral to take precedence over votes in the Parliament about the integrity of the Government," he said.

Elephant's Child said...

I find myself unable to watch any Australian news program because I either cringe or snarl. Or snarl and cringe. And I sadly fear that I know how it is going to end.
And, re the chihuahua from Sturt (love that) he, like many of his party, appears to have also failed introduction to humanity.

Casey said...

Great post, Pavlova.

paul walter said...

Last night's Lateline was a walk down memory lane, as Tony Jones, back for a quick look at the old homestead, conducted a vintage interview with New York journalism professor Jay Rosen.
The interview was understated, which made a consoling change to the more tabloid presentation on Auntie, these days.
Rosen wiped the floor with Jones, but Jones kept his dignity, but if Mark Scott had been watching, he would have had kittens, despite all the subtlety, because this interview was an incidental indictment of how public and broadsheet msm have gone down the tube lately.

Emily said...

What a cesspit we are forced to endure in the name of "democracy".
I'm glad you said Michelle Grattan "used to be" gold standard, although nowadays I'm more inclined to believe it was just a good brass coating which has been scratched away as she has progressively placed the dollar value of her job above doing some half-way decent journalism.

I'm a great fan of Jay Rosen and will catch up with Lateline which I no longer watch as I used to do.

I also caught up with your previous blog about Dr. Max Nicholls. How I wish we had politicians a hundredth as good as him.

paul walter said...

Well, in the absence of other comments, can I raise the question of Milne's effort against Gillard, yesterday?
I thought Gillard having to go to Hartigan a week or two was degrading enough- I don't know why she lowered herself.
Gillard consequently announced that any inquiry into Murdoch in the wake of NOtW would not be widened.
I actually had to work up a bit of sympathy for Gillard, therefore. which is not to say Milne doesnt utterly turn my stomach, totally comprehensively.
But then, he always has.

Pip McGuinness said...

I have just read this and found that it articulated the thoughts I had as I read Grattan's piece, but so much better than I ever could. Mine were along the lines of 'well, derr'. Thank you.

Lord Sedgwick said...

The more I (foolishly) read op ed stuff, the more I think “Never mind the quality, feel the width”. (Or rather, the frequency and the column inches.)