Sunday 14 May 2017
1 Peter Dutton, in his obsession for criticising anyone who disagrees with him this week took it upon himself to give Fairfax media a spray. Even when he has repeatedly been accused of lying over an incident on Manus Island. Remember he has form in the area of free speech. Not so long ago again on the Ray Hadley show he denounced business leaders’ for daring to have a view on gay marriage.
The public didn’t miss the company’s “left-leaning” journalists when they went on strike to protest looming job losses, he said.
The shocking Minister for Immigration was being interviewed by the shocking shock jock from Sydney Ray Hadley (one of many shock jocks who house themselves within the right of politics – left have none, btw) who seems to be in sync with Dutton’s opinion of Fairfax journalists. A glowing reference for the SMH or The Age would not be forthcoming in this interview.
Dutton, the former copper from Queensland has always had problems with opinions other than his own. He thinks free speech can only be spoken by the right.
“I thought the productivity of Fairfax went up last week with the strike. I don’t think lives were affected one way or another,” he said.
“I think people realise you can live without reading Fairfax newspapers. I think it’s a better way to lead your life – that would be my advice.”
There were “a couple of good journos” at the company, most were “out of touch” and intent on pushing a “political and ideological argument.”
“When they [the journalist] say ‘the Prime Minister has been captured by the right’ or ‘has been playing to the conservative base of the party’ that’s code for this: they’re saying Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t undone the boats policy, he hasn’t allowed the detention centres to close on Manus and Nauru.”
“That’s the one thing that they’re obsessed about. “They believe that already we should’ve had gay marriage or we should’ve had a republic, they can’t believe that somebody like Turnbull is being captured into thinking you continue Operation Sovereign Borders.”
During the strike by journalists it should be noted that Fairfax was praising the budget.
Fairfax Media chief executive officer Greg Hywood put him in his box: “Once again Peter Dutton shows why no one rates him.”
I do, badly.
Dutton’s Cabinet colleague Matt Canavan had this to say:
“I think we are lucky in this country to have a great diversity of media, from the ABC through to Fairfax, the Australian, the Courier Mail, the TVs – I think it would be a sad day if any of those organisations couldn’t continue.”
”The pedlars of verbal violence and dishonesty like Peter Dutton are the most vigorous defenders of free speech, when it suits themselves, because it gives their vitriolic nonsense legitimacy. With the use of free speech, the bigots and hate-mongers seek to influence those in the community who are susceptible or like-minded.”
I posted this on the same subject a couple of years ago. It addresses journalism on the right of politics.
Of course, you could hear the shouts: “So what. Who reads The Australian?” Well the correct answer is not many. It only has a circulation of about 20,000 in Victoria but the point is that it is the go to publication for the right-wing shock jocks, conservative politicians and the chattering political class. It has enormous political clout and although it loses millions, every year Murdoch props it up because of its influence. It’s the same reason Reinhardt wants a slice of Fairfax. It’s for the influence it would give her. It has been demonstrated in Victoria just how powerful the Herald Sun is. They have been largely responsible for the dismissal of two recent police commissioners.
What it comes down to is what the Australian public is prepared to endure. In a free society where freedom of the press is sacrosanct (as should be diversity) newspaper proprietors should be able to, within reason print what they want and if the journalists want to make idiots of themselves, then that should also be their right. However, it is the sheer avalanche of bias on a daily basis that I object to. When Murdoch owns 70% of print media and with editors like Chris Mitchell, there is no balance and the politically disengaged are therefore unfairly influenced. Now that Fairfax has decided to join them together with a new ABC right-wing policy, it has become decidedly worse. In fact the left no longer has a voice. If it does. It is scarcely a whisper. It has nothing to do with free speech but has everything to do with power and influence.
It is about time someone stood up to the distortions, contradictions and outright lies of the poisonous and extremist Murdoch Empire and mainstream media in general. It is simply not good enough for a democratic Australia and we should all be outraged by it. If the government is unable to get its legislation passed then it shall remain unfinished business. If it does it will probably require refinements at a later date. And there has to be something in it for Murdoch.
And this is what is at the heart of the matter. The real fears of the media proprietors concern the advocates other task being whether future mergers and acquisitions are in the public interest or not. It is not about free speech at all. It is about self-interest.
2 The budget still weighs heavily on our minds and the reason for not including the costs for reaching our Paris Agreement targets is a mystery.
Exactly one year ago I wrote this:
A few days prior to Malcolm Turnbull announcing the election Greg Hunt, the Coalition’s second best liar released modelling by Energetics that he said those who said they couldn’t reach their targets were totality wrong. And he told The Australian Newspaper just that. “Who else?” you might ask.
But Peter Holt, associate at Energetics, told Guardian Australia that the policies would only achieve those reductions with changes – either large funding top-ups to the ERF (estimated by others at least $6bn) or a strengthening of the safeguards mechanism so it turned into a baseline and credit emissions trading scheme.
Which all rather confirms what Turnbull said just a few years ago:
”If you want to cut carbon emissions in a very substantial way to the levels that the scientists are telling us we need to do by mid-century to avoid dangerous climate change, then a direct action policy where … industry was able to freely pollute, if you like, and the government was just spending more and more taxpayers’ money to offset it, that would become a very expensive charge on the budget in the years ahead.”
The ABC also did a fact check on an assumption of Turnbull’s.
The claim: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says that Australia’s emissions reduction target of 26 to 28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 is “second only to the emission cuts offered by Brazil” when measured on a per capita basis.
The verdict: Australia’s per capita reductions for 2030 will be 50 to 52 per cent lower than 2005 levels, which is smaller than the 53 per cent per capita reduction Brazil will make over the same time period, but the per capita cuts of Norway, at 57 per cent, and Switzerland, at 60 per cent, are even higher than both Brazil and Australia. Mr. Turnbull is incorrect.
”In terms of the environment. I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today”
On Wednesday I received this from Amanda McKenzie CEO of the Climate Council.
On Tuesday night I sat on my couch and waited. And waited. “I was waiting to tick climate change off my budget bingo but I never got the chance. That’s because Scott Morrison delivered his budget speech without a single mention of climate change, the biggest long-term economic threat we face. But, hidden deep within the budget papers was the revelation that the Climate Change Authority had been stripped of almost two-thirds of its funding and confirmation that it will be wound up. The Climate Change Authority is charged with providing independent advice to the government on how to tackle climate change effectively. For example, it provides detailed analysis on what Australia’s emissions reductions should be and pathways for how to meet those targets. The disappearing Climate Change Authority means there will be one less group conducting vital research in Australia. We can’t accurately or effectively mitigate or adapt to climate change without the most up-to-date climate and energy analysis. This continues the Federal government’s pattern of cutting funding to climate research. First it was the Climate Commission, then it was CSIRO, and now the Climate Change Authority is on the cutting block. With the Government spending even less on science, and climate change research, we need to expand our work to ensure the community is informed. Can you chip in and support the future of climate science in Australia? The good news is that concern about climate change is now at the highest levels since 2008 (1). So this is the time to keep pushing. Let’s keep fighting – keeping the government honest and the community informed.”
My thought for the day.
“The original intent of free speech was to give a voice to the oppressed and to keep governments honest. In the United States, the first amendment is now used as a justification to incite racism, validate hatred and promote both religious and political bigotry.”
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