Perception Becomes Reality

Murdoch 2

Last Sunday I asked Iain Hall if he felt that democracy was well served when 70% of the Australian print media was owned by Rupert Murdoch. In the context of the question I also said that Fairfax had made a sudden shift to the right and that the ABC was now more right than left. Although I wasn’t totality convinced of how far.

This was his answer.

“I think that you over-estimate the extent to which the Murdoch media influences the political discourse in the age of the internet and social media. That said I don’t see the ABC as being anything but of a left leaning persuasion as it has always been and Fairfax is only beginning to be openly critical of the Gillard government because it is performing so badly that to do otherwise would leave them open to being a propaganda arm of the ALP/Greens. Some here are clinging onto the notion that it’s all the fault of a hostile media like its a life preserver from the Titanic but the seem blissfully unaware or in denial about how cold the waters have become under this dysfunctional government.”

Now lets take a closer look at his answer. His statement that “Quote” “ABC as being anything but of a left leaning persuasion as it has always been.” may in part be true but it should be remembered that Hawke and Keating both continuously complained of ABC bias. Anyway apparently Iain doesn’t watch much of auntie or if he does he does so with his eyes closed. It is obvious to any discerning viewer that there has been a shift in how political news is presented. More often than not we find Abbott’s opinion gets precedence over the PMs statements. In addition there seem to be more guests of a right persuasion on their political program’s. I concede that social media and blogs like this one are making inroads into the influence of newspapers and this is evidenced in the decline in sales. But to say that any media company with 70% share of the market, that its influence is over estimated is ludicrous. Ask any CEO if they would like 70% of any market. I know what the answer would be. In any case it would not be allowed in the US.

By inference it also suggests that its journalists, like Andrew Bolt also have an over estimated influence. And we know that not the case. He in fact has a huge influence.”The Australian” loses an enormous amount of money annually. If it didn’t have influence why does he allow it to continue. And it is jokingly refereed to as the official new sheet of the LNP. Murdoch is not the sort to let a dollar slip through his fingers. Sure the influence of the Internet and social media is biting into his influence but it does not as yet rival main stream media. To say that the vile tabloid headlines of the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph are overestimated shows in itself a denial of the power of a headline. Particularly in their frequency.

I would like to examine the last sentence of Iain’s answer in which he uses two words, notably “dysfunctional government”. As I understand it the word dysfunctional means ” not operating normally or properly” so lets see if this is the case. Iain seems to write off Murdoch’s influence in the reverse manner of created deceptions. Simply say it isn’t true.

The Labor government was elected according to all the requirements of the constitution. It is a minority government that survives with the support of independents and the greens. After two years (despite all the predictions)it still survives and will in all probability run its full term. It has never been defeated on the floor of the house and has passed in excess of 400 pieces of legislation. Some of which has been major reforms. The carbon price and the NBN being just two. All this in a minority setting. I would venture to say given they are able to get Gonski and the NDIS passed they could be arguably the most successful reformist government this country has seen.

So where is the dysfunction? It’s a perception that people like Iain and the main stream media like to perpetuate. Allow me to use one of my quotes. “Life is about perception. Not what is but what we perceive it to be.” Perceptions are manipulations brought about by telling continuous lies or by using extreme negativity on a continuous basis. As Hitler said (or was it the propagandist Goering) that if you tell a lie big enough and often enough it will become the truth.

From day one Julia Gillard has faced a storm, no, an avalanche of criticism from a media hell bent on her removal and an opposition leader who besides being a confessed liar is of dubious character and negativity. And of course a Parliament where the opposition has behaved deplorably. Don’t believe me, then consider these snippets and comments from Malcolm Turnbull’s recent speech.

“Dumbing down complex issues into sound bites, misrepresenting your or your opponent’s policy does not respect ‘Struggle Street’; it treats its residents with contempt.”

“Hopeless, confused, hyper-partisan” debate about climate change.”

“Fox News in the United States is an example of how commercially successful that strategy can be as are some of the shock jocks in Australia,” he said.

“Newspapers and other media were resorting more to commentary and opinion and more to analysis of the effectiveness of political spin than to analysis of the substantive issues.”

“Saying that as news organisations came under greater cost pressures, good reporting which held governments and oppositions to account “was diminishing”. Instead, he said, at the same time, there was more media “narrowcasting” — strident partisanship aimed at like-minded consumers.

“For the last two years the questions from the Opposition have been almost entirely focused on people smuggling and the carbon tax,”

“First, the cynically exploitative — his terminology — campaign against the Republic 12 years ago, a campaign.” He was referring to Abbott.

“A lie is a false statement known to be false by the person who utters it. This may be a deliberate misstatement of fact [such as] ‘I did not have sex with that woman’. Or it may be a false statement that the speaker has no basis for believing to be true: ‘Tony Abbott has a secret plan to reinstate WorkChoices.’”But, he said, “a change of policy is not a lie.” Thus Julia Gillard had not lied about the carbon tax before the last election. She had, for political reasons [the need to get the support of the Greens to take government] broken a promise.

Turnbull endorsed some form of public fact-checking, presumably meaning through organisations like those which exist in America, and analyse the pronouncements of public figures and the media in a strictly non-partisan way.

The preferred opposition leader of the people went on to condemn the frequent use of the word “liar” in relation to politicians — another clear shot at Jones in particular, who dubbed the Prime Minister “Ju-liar”.

Note. These references were taken from an article by Mike Seccombe, Alan Austin September 10, 2012:

Of course I might have added when asking Iain my question the fact that almost all of commercial talk back radio is controlled by right-wing extremist shock jocks with huge audiences. Are there any on the left? And all the commercial television stations have a right-wing leaning. Not good for democracy where a diversity of views is an essential part of the process. As it stands now we have or are likely in the future to have a media consisting of totality right-wing views. Diversity can be found on social media and is flourishing and gaining momentum. However main stream media still influences the broad population who are in a political malaise.

Back to Iain’s point that the government is dysfunctional. It has certainly had its share of controversies. The Thompson affair and Peter Slipper and they have made errors of judgement in predicting surpluses and revenue from mining taxes. But the truth of the matter is that they have been no better or worse than most governments. Maybe better than some. They haven’t lost a minister to any scandal in five years where as Howard lost ten in his first term. He had an unjustifiable and unpopular war and the AWB scandal.

Some of the most significant legislated policies have been the highly regarded stimulus program that prevented our economy from going into decline during the GFC. Other programs have included the critically important BER and HIP programs, the carbon tax/ETS, the MMRT, plain packaging of cigarettes, health reforms, cancer centres, GP Super Clinics, pharmaceutical benefits reforms, disability insurance, indigenous reforms, IR reforms, the National Broadband Network, an investigation into problem gambling on pokies yet to be legislated, the list goes on and on. Of course negative Tony has opposed most of the reforms because he believes that’s what oppositions should do. Stuff the merits of the policy. So complicit are the MSM, that most voters would be unaware of the hundreds of other policies that have passed through parliament. And there is still more important legislation to come.

So how have they performed?

They have managed the economy incredibly well. Unemployment is low – just above 5%; inflation low – within the RBA’s ‘comfort zone’; interest rates are low – a 4.25% cash rate and public debt is also low – a small fraction of comparable countries; a healthy trade surplus; a strong Australian dollar; Triple A credit rating from all three rating agencies; massive investment in mining and related infrastructure; a growing economy despite natural disasters and the high AUD. and retail sales increased by 2% in January.What more do people want? They would like faster growth, better conditions for export manufacturers, and higher levels of confidence in the business community and the electorate, but nonetheless the Government’s record is a splendid if not perfect one, the envy of the developed world. It’s a pity the MSM cannot give some credit to many accomplishments of the Gillard Government and make the electorate aware of them.

Howard and Costello wasted ten surpluses, spending nothing on infrastructure. Which is now a big issue in places like Western Sydney? And of course we should not forget that Costello lost 2.2 billion dollars of taxpayers money in cross-currency swaps. So the fact remains that all governments have pluses and minuses. None however in my memory has had its opposition found guilty by a judge of deliberately using the courts under false pretences in order to bring down a speaker and the government. Now I expect there will be those who will return fire with a dossier of Gillard misdemeanors, but before you do please consider the wrong doings of your own party. I am simply making the point that in a minority setting the government has performed remarkably well and by enlarge this can be put down to the tenacity and strength of will of the prime minister.

Abbott with the aid of an obliging media has been able to create this deception because they are unaccountable to each other. The media don’t think (for whatever reason) there is a need to scrutinise him or his policies (whatever they may be) and Abbott simply walks out on press conferences or makes himself a small target because he doesn’t believe he needs to be accountable. He simply repeats his mantra that the PM is a liar and her government is the worst the country has ever seen. He never explains why and the media never ask. When he calls her a liar they never question his own litany of recorded falsehoods. Lets face it his record (evidence can be provided) entitle him to be judged the biggest liar to ever pace the halls of parliament.

Thus a perception is created by a political media who with a couple of exceptions must be the worst press gallery the country has seen. Misapprehension and misinformation stand in the way of any decent democracy and main stream media has let the Australian public people down.

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237 replies

  1. Miglo – It makes me question whether his presence here is sincere.

    Well, just to ensure you’re not left wondering…I’m not quite over the fact that I remain specifically named in your disclaimer at CW. So for the record, I’m quite sympathetic about those that are arbitrarily banned.

  2. That wasn’t your initial comment reb, you referred to electricians. Are you saying you got that from the ABC?

  3. Even Gillard admits it is

    Again yomm, Gillard told the reporter she could call it a tax if she wanted, she never agreed that it was.

    It’s nuance, I know you don’t do that very well ;)

    But, I’ve pointed that out to you countless times, I’m sure you’ll repeat your mantra again.

  4. What are you on about now reb? Kevin Rudd declined to stand for the leadership of the parliamentary Labor party in 2010 because he knew he didn’t have the numbers – talk about rewriting history :roll:

  5. You’re quite right Tom R.

    I do apologise.

    Four people died.

    Not all of them were electricians.

    I guess that makes it alright then.

  6. Show me where I said that Bacchus?

  7. Well actually, exactly NONE of them were electricians… The blame for ALL of the deaths have been sheeted home to their employers by the courts in each case – but lets not worry about facts – it’s only repeated lies creating false perceptions that matter…

  8. Said what? You really are going off the rails here reb…

  9. That’s nice Jason…

    And you wonder why no one is going to vote Labor at the next election…

    Like I care! the fact is you are and will always be a bitch, one day you’ll grow balls

  10. The blame for ALL of the deaths have been sheeted home to their employers by the courts in each case – but lets not worry about facts – it’s only repeated lies creating false perceptions that matter…

    I’d be interested in exactly who has said that it is not the fault of their employers. Employers are responsible for the safety of their workers.

    I think perhaps you are taking short cuts with the concept of shared accountability.

  11. I guess that makes it alright then.

    No, it just makes you more wrong.

  12. “it’s only repeated lies creating false perceptions that matter…

    What “repeated lies”….???

    People died. They wouldn’t have if Labor had actually thought the program thru…

  13. They wouldn’t have if Labor had actually thought the program thru…

    You assert that, yet the fatality rates and the house fire rates per number of installations were lower under the HIP than the “normal” rates…

  14. Always the “intellect” aren’t you Jason….


    Run along to your soda-stream or whatever you western suburb types do for kicks…

  15. …and the government specifically sought to bring new entrants and inexperienced employees into an industry.

    A recipe for poor OHS in any circumstances.

  16. I’m just talking about the four guys who died…

    Feel free to dress that up as you you choose, Gillard lovers….

  17. People died. They wouldn’t have if Labor had actually thought the program thru…

    People died because other people broke the law. It wasn’t because of any policy settings. If the law hadn’t been broken, they wouldn’t be dead.

    Yet you persist with this despicable smear.

  18. ” They still call it a carbon tax “
    Apologists for Joolya and assorted rusted-on`s should realize by now that every time Joolya drones `carbon-price`, it is an image-management failure and, a club she is handing to 2gb to beat her with. (Ju-Liar)

  19. It wasn’t because of any policy settings.

    Yes it was. If government policy had the specific objective of bringing people into an industry that would not have otherwise worked in it, there is a share of the responsibility for the results.
    The government objective was to increase the number of people installing home insulation.

    ..and still no one is willing to address the combination of-
    • Quick government money
    • Lots of new subcontractors
    • Inexperienced employees

    as contributing to poor safety in the workplace.

  20. Run along to your soda-stream or whatever you western suburb types do for kicks…

    No I’ll run along to my opposite sex partner of whom has born 2 children! please keep the cheap shots coming though!

  21. there is a share of the responsibility for the results.

    So now it is the Government to blame when people break the law :shock:

  22. I’m just talking about the four guys who died…

    And you claim people have had the temerity to call you a troll? Bewildering isn’t it.

  23. So now it is the Government to blame when people break the law

    Are you really so simple that you don’t get “shared accountability”? Do you really not understand the combination of factors that cause workplace injuries and fatalities?

    If the government deliberately seeks to have inexperienced people enter a new industry, where contractors are attracted by the easy government money… you don’t think the principal sponsor of the program has some accountability for the outcomes?

  24. ToM,
    Your argument would hold water if the federal government made the rules for the states building code, other than asbestos??????

  25. You wanted in writing to make it all official.

  26. A few years ago the council of a town a couple of hours from Canberra bitumised what was once a gravel road.

    Someone speeding along that road died. He was speeding because it was now a better road.

    Who did the local media blame? The council, for sealing the road. If they had not have sealed the road the deceased person might still be alive.

    Go figure.

  27. Garret from day one did bring in training and set regulations. This industry was fifty years old before the scheme came in with no regulations.

    Asked anyone that was doing the work at the time. Training was demanded of the workers. Warnings in regard to safety was sent out every day from Garrett’s office.

    The employers convicted in regard to those deaths were not fly by nighters or inexperience.

    They were established companies, mostly in the electrical field.

    The inspection of many thousands of homes did not find that much wrong.

    There were many fewer deaths and fires under this scheme, that previously.

    I know I said I was not coming back, but it makes me angry to see so many mistruths being put forwarded.

    Rudd should have stood berhind Garrett and the scheme.

    Yes, there were some crooks. Always are in this type of operations. No more that usual in a similar scheme.

    Would like to add, this occured under the last government, not this one.

    Good bye


  28. It astonished me that Rudd took it out on Garrett. That was a gutless act. And yes, I remember the stats from Tom R’s link. Notably, that before the HIP there were 8 deaths a year and this was when less homes were being insulated.

  29. Oakeshot appears to be asking for a pox on his own house, for swallowing this xenophobic rubbish pushed by news-libited.

    A concise breakdown of events is over here at another interesting article Migs (you are sure getting around lately)

    The only thing I see missing is where was the cries of xenophobia when the crack down was first released? Has the crack down changed somehow in the intervening time?

  30. “please keep the cheap shots coming though!”

    You mean like….

    “the fact is you are and will always be a bitch

  31. You wanted to make it official

    You really shouldn’t bother to complain when I express some understanding/alignment with others who have been subjected to unfair treatment.

    Certainly you only ever impose any standards to those with a different political orientation to your own.

    Now, I’m entirely willing to leave it at that for now, but I’m unwilling to be chided for commenting on the inconsistent standards that are applied.

  32. Sorry, you are not my mentor.

  33. I obviously don’t seek to be your mentor, but if you wish to reflect on me here and on my “sincerity” I’ll reply

  34. I never doubted your sincerity here for one moment, hence I was surprised to see you elsewhere belittling this site.

    Just sayin’.

  35. but if you wish to reflect on me here and on my “sincerity” I’ll reply


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