Those that live outside the south-east corner of Queensland probably don’t take much notice of the politics of the Brisbane City Council. Brisbane has an annual budget and population larger than Tasmania and, somewhat unusually for Australia, is a Council comprising mostly overtly party political elected members.
Brisbane residents have elected an LNP Council for almost the past two decades. The LNP has produced three Lord Mayors in this time, first Campbell Newman (who went on to become Premier of Queensland), Graham Quirk (Newman’s Deputy) and as of about six months ago, Adrian Schrinner. Until recently, the presumptive ALP Lord Mayor was a businessman, Rod Harding. Harding, who isn’t a current Councillor, also ran as the ALP Candidate for Lord Mayor at the last election. He was soundly beaten by Graham Quirk.
At the end of September, Harding was dumped by the ALP in favour of former commercial television political reporter Patrick Condren. The Queensland Local Government elections are due at the end of March 2020. To say that LNP State MP, Christian Rowan was unimpressed is an understatement. According to Nine media, Rowan tweeted
Fake news Labor journalist masquerading as “independent” for years. Leftist journalists have been infiltrating press galleries across all Parliaments running their own biased agenda at the expense of a true, fair & unbiased free press.
Apart from Rowan’s only apparent interest is that he a Queensland MP for a seat largely inside the City of Brisbane boundaries, is he making the accusation that Condren was biased through his years of reporting for Queensland commercial television? It seems to be the case, despite Condren claiming he wasn’t a member of a political party until recently.
Factually, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull were at some point in their working lives journalists so Rowan’s ‘all journalists are lefties’ claim doesn’t stack up. Sarah Henderson (recently returned to Federal Parliament as a member of the Liberal Party) is a former ABC journalist and there are numerous similar examples (on both sides of the political fence) across the three levels of government in Australia. If the reporting of any of them was consistently biased to either the left or right, it would be difficult for most journalists to rise to ‘senior’ or ‘veteran’ level, as Condren did.
Regardless of where you live, Rowan’s Twitter tirade is evidence of a large problem. Condren may have reported unfavourably on various LNP issues while holding a microphone or typing away on a keyboard. The chances are that Condren also annoyed the ‘bejeezes’ out of the ALP at times in his previous life. The media is supposed to report the facts and let individual consumers make the ‘value judgement’ on the relevance of the facts and how it compares with the individual consumer’s opinions, lived experience and beliefs. Just because you don’t necessarily agree with the facts presented by an individual reporter, doesn’t necessarily mean the reporter is biased, promotes ‘fake news’ or is part of a conspiracy by the Illuminati or any other group to take over the world.
Trump is an example of this. If the news report is not to his liking, is it the fault of the journalist or the editor or the proprietor that they disagree with Trump’s world view. It is even more concerning when Trump then recants the initial view and the media go along with it.
As Greg Jericho discusses in The Guardian, Morrison is turning into the ‘ocker Trump’ where there is only one side to an issue — his. As Jericho discusses
Morrison has demonstrated a Trumpesque ability to fudge, mislead and obfuscate, and to also suggest things are the opposite of reality.
Rowan, like Morrison and Trump are shooting the messenger. While they have every right to disagree with the position reported by some or all of the media, they also need to provide the evidence and data that would be required to demonstrate the lack of accuracy inherent in the claim of fake news. Otherwise, why should you or I believe them?
What do you think?
This article was originally published on The Political Sword.
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