Where the Truth Goes to Die

Bolt 3

Where the Truth Goes to Die.

Until recently I was in the habit of attending a writers forum every Monday. The group was made up of poets, short story writers, journalists and would be novelists. The conveyer of our group was a wise elderly lady who in terms of the written word, knew her stuff. Primarily I am a creative writer of short stories and poetry. I have read poetry at the national gallery and I have won a few short story competitions. Of late I seem to have drifted, or been enticed (because of my interest in politics) into the world of the blogger. Anyway, one day we had a group discussion on the current standard of journalism. We were asked to take a slip of paper with a journalists name on it and the newspaper they wrote for, from a box. Bingo, lo and behold I had the name Bolt perched between thumb and forefinger.

So I gave my view. “He is a writer of very little journalistic distinction I said. He is apt to write for an audience in a style suitable for the intelligence of 13 year olds. His writing is never challenging (not even a word) in a literary sense and his sentences usually carry the weight of invective untruth. He writes with journalist flamboyance which is calculated to offend the targeted and please his cohort of followers. Because truth and journalistic shrill are incompatible he relegates truth to unconscionable practice. In short,he writes with the venom of a snake but with this snake there seems to be no antidote. He also writes for a tabloid newspaper where the truth goes to die.” And that was the end of my little rant.

I might add that it is the same style that Tony Abbott employs orally. You simply tell people what it is you think they want to hear. It’s what Abbott meant when after his “climate change is crap” comment he said. “I was speaking to an audience”. Lies, after all, are unimportant.

In a democracy the right to free speech in given by the people through the parliament. Therefore, it should be incumbent on people to display decorum, moderation, truth, fact, balance, reason, tolerance, civility and respect for the other point of view.

Andrew Bolt has never thought highly of these ideals. He prefers provocative sensationalism. After all why should he. He is probably paid loads of money to do just that. Newspapers all over the world are fighting for survival and the Herald Sun is one of many. The Australian loses huge amounts each year but Murdoch props it up because of its political influence. It is the go to newspaper for conservatives. The Melbourne Age is also losing circulation and trying to follow the same course with its own brand of tabloid nonsense. So how do you prop up circulation? You have writers like Bolt write inflammatory titillating nonsense to a largely disengaged, uninformed audience with journalism that appeals to societies lowest values.

“It is said of pornography (and I am not expert in this field) that in order to maintain the viewers interest it needs to progressively become more outlandish – more tantalising – more seductive-more flirtatious-more provocative – more stunning and more enticing. And in their desire to maintain some dominance,that’s exactly what main stream media is doing. It has chosen to prostitute itself in the forlorn hope of remaining relevant”

Recall Bolt’s recent brush with the law. For me that judgment had little to do with free speech but more to do with the standard of journalism that the Herald Sun is responsible for.Justice Bromberg, wrote that Bolt’s use of language and structure (quote) ”is highly suggestive and designed to excite”. His style was ”not careful, precise or exact” and the language ”not moderate or temperate but often strong and emphatic”. ‘There is a liberal use of sarcasm and mockery,” he wrote. ”Language of that kind has a heightened capacity to convey implications beyond the literal meaning of the words utilised. It is language, which invites the reader to not only read the lines, but to also read between the lines.”

During the London riots, Bolt in one of his pieces used the word ‘aped’ to describe the copycat behaviour of some people. The use of the word was legitimate in that sense until you appreciate that he was talking about black West Indians, and then the word took on a different connotation. That of a racist intent.

In 2002, Magistrate Jelena Popovic was awarded $246,000 damages for defamation after suing Bolt and the publishers of the Herald Sun over a 13 December 2000 column in which he claimed she had “hugged two drug traffickers she let walk free”. Popovic asserted she had in fact shaken their hands to congratulate them on having completed a rehabilitation program. The jury found that the article was not true, that it was not a faithful and accurate record of judicial proceedings and that it was not a fair comment on a matter of public import. A court of Appeal later reversed some punitive damages, though it upheld the defamation finding, describing Bolt’s conduct as “at worst, dishonest and misleading and at best, grossly careless”.

Then there is his spat with Robert Manne about the stolen generation. If you have followed this ongoing argument, you cannot but be impressed with the lucidity of Robert Manne’s writing compared with Andrew Bolt’s simple meanderings. It is astonishing. You have to be impressed by Manne’s research. The way he takes you on a factual, believable journey full of insight and truth. Manne also some time ago analysed the poisonous influence of Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited in this country, particularly through the extremist editorial policy of The Australian Newspaper, where the truth is distorted and contrary views vilified. Manne followed up with a brilliantly written and researched “Quarterly Essay” concluding that “The Australian” is more a propaganda sheet than a newspaper.

Australians have had to put up with the rantings and ravings of populist main stream media for far too long, where extremist views are regularly presented on TV, radio, and particularly via the monopolistic media empire of Rupert Murdoch, the person ultimately responsible for the scandalous phone tapping scandal in Britain, which has earned him world wide opprobrium.

PS

In the advent of a conservative government being elected on September 14 in the year of our lord 2013. A requiem mass for the death of truth in main stream media and government will be held at old Parliament House Canberra. The service will be conducted by Archbishop Murdoch and assisted by an Abbott. The eulogy will be given by Andrew Bolt and prayers will be read by Piers Akerman and Alan Jones.

Prayers will also be offered for the death of the following by the leader of the opposition.

The National Disability Scheme.
A plebiscite for a republic.
The lose of school hand outs.
Tax cuts for lower income earners.
Increased superannuation payments.
The death of the Murray Darling.
The environment.
The mining tax.
The NBN.
Thousands of jobs.
Marriage equality.
Equality in education.

Those who believe in the virtue of truth will not be welcome. Women will be directed toward the kitchen.

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Categories: Media

149 replies

  1. ” It’s occasionally critical of Labor “
    Would you say it is equally critical of ALL Federal politicians/parties.?
    .
    Would you say it gives equal `promotional` space to ALL politicians/parties.?
    .
    Over a longer time-frame, you would find it is not really the case since Gina got her mits on Fair-Fox, and is very-often a Limited-News-Lite.

  2. “Would you say it is equally critical of ALL Federal politicians/parties.?

    No, but it’s not obliged to.

    “Would you say it gives equal `promotional` space to ALL politicians/parties.?”

    No, but it’s not obliged to.

  3. John
    I think that changing the format of the Age is the only sensible thing that one can do if you want to continue producing a hard copy of your paper a broad sheet is just too difficult to handle that said I reckon that the Age will be digital only within five years as will most of the other papers.

    Their website is much improved in terms of its layout and clarity.from what I have seen today. In terms of its content I don’t see much change.

  4. OMG, I agree with Iain.

  5. In fact, I would also add, that the traditional msm has been in decline for years, so the level of blame that the Gillard apologists lay at the feet of the msm for her woes is perhaps just a tad over-stated.

  6. “Religious freedom must be protected” ~ Julia Gillard.

    Nice to see she’s not pandering to religious nut jobs… :roll:

  7. It is simply a convenient myth to suggest that Fairfax has moved to the “right”

    Fairfax follows a progressive line, News doesn’t.

    Fairfax moving to the right is a statement that will give ALP supporters comfort following the election. It’s a little like Collingwood blaming the umpires for various lost grand finals.

  8. Funny thing is, I could not care less what the paper looks like. I cannot remember the last time I bought one. I used to buy every paper available.

    I do not but any now. I do not even bother to read the local paper.

    I tell a lie, I buy the tele when I get the train to Campbelltown.

    Maybe three or four times a year.

    When I was young, would read anything that had printed on it. Four of five books a week plus any paper I could get my hands on.

  9. You miss the point. All of that is normal. It’s when specific issues arise that the bias is identified. For example The Age’s behaviour over something that happened twenty years ago in the knowledge that no evidence existed. The same applies their fetish about leadership challenges when again no evidence existed. Then there was the call for her to resign when there was no evidence that her government was any better or worse than any other. It’s not the measure of content on any given day. It is editorial policy that you look for.

  10. “The same applies their fetish about leadership challenges when again no evidence existed.”

    ROFLMAO!

    Like the one in February…..! :)

    All just “baseless media speculation…”

    Oh how we laughed and laughed….. :)

  11. ” No, but it’s not obliged to.”
    l `m not claiming they`re `obliged` to, l was just explaining a simple `measure` you can use, to draw your own conclusions, rather than rely on yomm`s teabaggery. The only org `obliged` to any type of reporting quality is my ABC, tho it seems to fail quite often too, and provides too much `voice` to teabags and other shills (ACL) that give the perception of it too being teabag.

  12. ” It is editorial policy that you look for.

    Editorial policy???

    Didn’t The Australian editorial provide a qualified call for the re-election of Gillard in 2010?

    Does that make The Australian on the side of the ALP?

  13. ” when specific issues arise that the bias is identified. “
    John Lord is correct here Reb, tho the example, not so much. The better example would be `known-fake-nude-pauline-hanson-photos` run by Limited-News. Did smh/age jump on this ban-wagon.?

  14. “it seems to fail quite often too, and provides too much `voice` to teabags and other shills (ACL)”

    Gillard seems to be providing a great deal of voice and credibility to ACL.

  15. Well Reb, you know l aint going to argue with that. :-)

  16. No it makes it on the side of its best interests.

  17. No it makes it on the side of its best interests.

    Probably. But editorially The Australian supported the return of the Gillard Government in 2010.

    It’s reporting didn’t follow this direction though.

    I do think that it is a struggle to identify any “right” agenda Fairfax pushes. It’s orientation is to be critical of both state and federal governments, and that’s appropriate because both have plenty to be critical about.

    I think John, you equate “left” with the ALP, and that a stretch these days.

  18. John, one has to read the rubbish to appreciate the good stuff.

  19. Good thought. As in life. We experience sorrow that we might better appreciate happiness.

  20. Fairfax Watch

    The political articles today – do they suggest a shift to the “right”?

    P1 – Exclusive about$10k dinners by state Liberal Minister
    P1 – Sympathetic photo of Bob Brown, 30 years snce election of Hawke and saving of Franklin River
    P2-3 Report of court proceedings about faulty distribution network casussing fatalities & bushfires
    P4 – More reporting of $10K dinners by Liberals
    P5 –hens
    P8-9 Round up of Abbott wanting to win 3 seats in Vic,…PM will struggle when minders lead up a gully
    P9 – Coalition denies families $2300 worse off
    P10-11 Lots of nice coverage & photos of Bob Brown at the Franklin, celebrating 30 years.
    P11 Article on endangered marsupial

    Is there anything in all that that could be regarded as pushing a “right” agenda. Several articles are pro environment/green.

    Does anyone have any evidence of a shift to the “right”?

  21. Fairfax Watch ctd

    P24-25 – double page on possible leadership contender Matthew Guy and the $10000 fundraisers.
    P26 – Editorial critical of Matthew Guy and Liberals

  22. If I knew who I was talking too I might provide an answer. Until then I decline. My name is John lord I live in Traralgon Vic Australia. Who are you?

  23. John, great place Traralgon..an uncle surname Lucas was once Sergeant of police there. For those who may have missed it, my name is Carol Ahern and I live in Canberra..I’m originally from Hawthorn.

  24. John we might not agree on much but I think we are as one when it comes to the easy anonymity of the internet being more of a curse than a blessing.

    Oh and BTW I did send a response post to Michael but he has as yet not posted it here However if you drop over to mine I have published it there:
    http://iainhall.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/conservatism-102/

  25. I have perused it Iain but on my iPad the font is very small. My eyesight is a bit lacking and I am waiting on new specs. I shall have a look on my PC.

  26. John, if you wish to place restrictions on your contributions, that’s a matter entirely for you.

    I think people are entirely free to participate on blogs on whatever basis they choose. Your personal, self imposed restrictions have nothing to do with me, or the comments I post.

  27. Is that what you call un identifiable free speech ?

  28. I think the one who owns the site or post an article as an author, have the right to run it however they see fit.

    They have the right to protect themselves from those who come with one aim. That is to cause disruptiion.

    If those who visit, do not like that they can move on.

    Where the sense of entitlement that some have come from is beyond me.

    Why they believe they have the right to say what they like on the sites of others is unbelievable.

    Others that visit and make comments, have the right to protection from those who come to abuse.

  29. Yes, we’ll put.

  30. John, it has nothing to do with free speech.

    They have the right to make comments, just not on these sites.

    They do not have the right to cause so much disruption and anst.

    It is often called being civil and good manners.

  31. John – Is that what you call un identifiable free speech ?

    I don’t call it anything, other than exchanging (sometimes) informed views.
    ——————
    Fed Up, why do you see it necessary to get involved in even polite exchanges? I was pointing out that John is entitled to blog on whatever conditions he chooses, and that has nothing to do with me. But typically, you bluster in suggesting that others decamp the site.

    Why is that?

  32. The author has the right to expect the discussion is anout what they have posted.

  33. Iain is nothing more than a manipulator. He always ends up pushing his own agenda and taking over every post.

    Wherever he is allowed to comment, it’s ended up this way everyiime. There are many sites he is banned from.

  34. The same right as you. If this is a polite exchange, I would not like to see a snide or nasty one.

    Yes ToM, it is the same old argument, that goes on forever.

    It is also the same old argument with the same small handful of people.

    Thankfully most that come here, have better manners, and are more civil.

    Every post ends up at this point, and ToM, you can see nothing wrong with that.

    Slowly those that annoy, and have their own agenda are being weeded out. Not many to go, I would say.

  35. “They have the right to make comments, just not on these sites.”

    LULZ… :)

  36. ToM, I am only saying, if you do not like the opinions voiced here, why stay. Is that an unreasonable question.

  37. Here comes reb to put his boot in. Never known to fail.

    Do not tell me, that is not the aim of some.

  38. Fed Up, if you don’t like my comments, please feel free to ignore them. If you’re not interested in exchanging views with those who may challenge you, please don’t go to any effort.

    But typically you do, you seem to enjoy bossing people around on some sites. I really don’t quite understand why you assign this role to yourself.

  39. It’s the quaintest thing isn’t it…

    CU/FU on one hand demands “a polite exchange,” saying “I would not like to see a snide or nasty one.”

    Fair enough.

    But in the next breath says “Iain is nothing more than a manipulator.”

    Has it occurred to you that you’re actually the one derailing threads with your constant interruptions about how the blog should be run, and dictating who should and who shouldn’t be allowed to comment here….?

  40. “if you do not like the opinions voiced here, why stay. Is that an unreasonable question.”

    Likewise, if you don’t like the opinions of others expressed here, you’re perfectly entitled to leave.

  41. Yes, reb, if you say so.

    I am not sure others see it that way.

    What I do know, most are sick of every thread ending in this way., With the same people always involved.

    Now, unlike you and your ilk, I could be wrong.

    What is wrong with just addressing the posts.

    Anyway, Reb, I could not care less about what you have to say.

  42. The problem is that many do not like it when some are allowed to disrupt the thread, do leave.

  43. The point I’m trying to make is that you are the one disrupting the thread whenever you intervene to dictate who should, and who shouldn’t be allowed to comment here.

    That’s all I’m going to say on the matter, but it would be nice if you could reflect on your own conduct for a change rather than criticising others simply because they hold a different view from you, and refrain from dictating who should or shouldn’t be allowed to comment and telling those people that they should just leave.

    I don’t recall reading any sort of policy that we all had to agree with each other, and to be honest it would be a pretty ordinary blog if we did.

  44. Honestly Catching Up, I have no idea what you’re on about.

    John advised that he placed some conditions on his comments. That’s a matter for him.

    On the other hand, you bowl in and seek to put conditions on the contributions of others.

    Why not just ignore contributions you don’t like? It would be more pleasant for everyone.

  45. For once I agree with both Tom of Melbourne and Reb.
    I contribute to the threads because I enjoy arguing about their topics posted and I try very hard to stay on subject but FU/CU keeps piping up suggesting that either I or other individuals leave when we take a contrary position to either them or the author of the piece. We usually get some variation upon the suggestion that we should leave or in some way be restricted in the way that we comment.

    Its hard to resist the temptation to defend oneself or descend into the same snark that is the currency of those who inevitably endorse FU/CU’s position and If I or others can’t resist that temptation FU/CU then insist that we are the disruptor.

  46. My comment has been swallowed by the Askiment again :(

  47. Out of respect to the author it’s time to close the comments on this thread.

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