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Like Spoilt Little Brats

It was not paranoia, it was real. The past three weeks saw our supposed free press, our once proud doyens of truth and justice forsake their role and barrage us with a one-sided attack on Bill Shorten, in a manner not seen since their failed attempt to hang draw and quarter him during the Trade Union Royal Commission.

What spoilt little brats, they are!.

We can only speculate on what drove them to try and make Super Saturday Shorten’s funeral, but just like the Royal Commission, it failed.

Super Saturday was an opportunity for the media to scrutinise a government in disarray, to anticipate the result as a measure of considerable broader electoral discontent. But instead, they chose to personalise and vilify the alternative prime minister, make it a test of his credentials, rather than call a dishonest, deceptive, unfair government to account.

Not a clever move as things turned out. All the speculation about the possibility of Labor losing Longman and Braddon was used, once more, to mask the Turnbull government’s lack of performance, lack of policy, lack of vision and lack of true leadership.

All the speculation about Shorten’s leadership, about his poor preferred prime minister ratings, about his trade union connections, seemingly orchestrated across all the various media platforms, seemed too concentrated to be coincidental. Someone was directing it.

What was promised? By whom? How much? And how soon?

For whatever reason, the media had climbed into bed with the Conservatives to convince what they thought was a small and gullible voting block, to rewrite history. Shorten was even lambasted for not turning up to either electorate the day before the election. As if that was the last straw.

So what now? Their campaign failed, not marginally, not barely, it failed spectacularly. The voters from Queensland and Tasmania brought the media back to reality. It was the electorate who would decide who would represent them and the size of the margin they would extend to their elected choice.

They ignored the media, they saw through the shallow, thinly veiled attempt to concentrate on the opposition and instead, sent an unmistakeable message to the government: you have not been honest with us, you have not been fair, you favour the wealthy, despise the weak, the sick, the disadvantaged. For this, you will pay.

They have put Longman and Braddon back in the Labor camp. They have seen to it that Bill Shorten’s leadership is no more to be questioned, that the preferred prime minister polling is irrelevant and that Australian voters will not be hoodwinked when we go to a general election sometime in the next ten months.

It can’t come quick enough. So let’s see where the media apply the pressure now. They have been put back in their place well and truly by their true masters. Like spoilt little brats, they have been given a good spanking. They put their money on the wrong horse and now, go home with empty pockets.

What a miserable lot they are. Serves them right!


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  1. Carol Taylor

    John, one day I counted no less than FOUR anti-Bill Shorten articles in the Fairfax media. It had been decided; Labor would lose 2 seats which would then lead to an immediate challenge by Anthony Albanese. They had even gone as far as to write articles about Albanese in preparation for ‘the inevitable’.

    I might ask, why is Shorten supposedly so unpopular? Might it be that the msm never writes one positive thing about him and that every single article is accompanied by a ‘suitable’ negative image. We couldn’t possibly have photo of Bill smiling with that boyish grin, it might send too many positive, always stick with the worst photo possible giving contrast to a smiling genial Malcolm Turnbull. As we all know, the public seldom looks much further than the headline, the photo and the introductory paragraph, so in a deliberate tactic, these are all made as negative as possible. Who of the public can even say that they know Shorten when he is either completely ignored or always given a negative makeover?

  2. Roger

    JK, best analysis I have run across yet. The media and the neo-cons live in bratworld, but don’t expect them to learn anything. They will continue to frame the debate in terms of the public not understanding how good are LNP policies, that Turnbull failed because he is not a great salesman, we offer you our next leader (Bishop?) who will do the job properly . . The mainstream media are rubbish.

  3. New England Cocky

    A bonus on top of a wonderful “four from four”winning result. Thank you John.

    Look out Benito Dutton, the Australian people are coming for you and your fascist racist policies!!!!!!!

    But I must correct a small error; “the media had climbed into bed with the Conservatives” it has been worse than that for the past 5 years. Even the allegedly non-partisan “The Conversation” has parroted LNP propaganda since Abbott was elected in 1983.

    But I digress; The LNP is not “the Conservatives”, they are the “Liarbrals Party” of the undeserving wealthy plus both foreign owned and local corporates together with the National$ (who prefer Adulterers) are destroying our nation against the best interests of the Australian people.

    (Now, where is that wet tram ticket?)

  4. Phil

    Damned fine analysis. Is that slippery eel Textor somewhere in the background?

  5. Yvonne Robertson

    With all due respect it has been that way for some time. Think of how the media got behind Abbott and constantly lambasted Gillard. Disgusting stuff.

    We must never forget that the media companies are private businesses and they see their bread buttered by the LNP. You only have to view the dismantling of the cross media ownership laws recently in what is already one of the most concentrated media ownerships in the world. The attacks on the public broadcaster, being softened for sell off to Murdock.

    Journalists who are employed by and large are overfed and consider themselves part of that elite – making the news – providing us with their opinions – rarely if ever reporting. The Labor party are behind the eight ball. They only ever win despite the media providing billions of dollars of unpaid advertising for the LNP, rather than because of fair or balanced reporting. The LNP and their out of touch press gallery are not concerned about the ordinary people. Their sense of specialness and entitlement is predicated on the gap between them and us.

    Just watch Niki Savva and Katharine Murphy on Insiders this morning justifying their muck-raking over these last months in the lead up to the cluster of by-elections.

  6. diannaart

    Turnbull accusing Shorten of using dishonest and school-yard tactics – projection much?

    Not one member of the MSM called Turnbull out for his bleeding obvious hypocrisy.

    Except on the 5th estate.

    Thank you John Kelly, Kaye Lee, John Lord, Terence Mills, Dr Kampmark and AIMers.

  7. Godwin

    Yes some need to learn about Projection and Ad hominem behavoir in a political debate.

  8. Kerri

    Why the pollsters put so much faith in the “preferred Prime Minister” stats baffles me.
    As though the average voter has any control whatsoever over who will be PM.
    We vote for our electorate representative and it is only the people of one electorate who vote in the leader of any party. It stuns me even more that the public believe they have control over who is PM.
    As a consequence of this mistaken belief we get Dutton, Morrison, Pyne, Bishop, Abbott, Andrews and all the other drop kicks that the public hate and whinge about.
    You would think after the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd and the Abbott/Turnbull swaps the public and the press would have worked out that we do not have the US electoral system and have really no say in who becomes PM.
    Good article John. Thanks.

  9. Henry Rodrigues

    Watched the Insiders and came away more convinced that the media are the biggest enemy of the voters, by not presenting impartial and honest reporting. Nikki Sava I can understand and acknowledge as being Turdball’s apologist since her husband works directly for the Turd, but Murphy is the most feckless journalist ever to come on Insiders. Murphy wouldn’t apologise for her biased attitude towards Bill and Labor, blithely ignored any comment on Turdball’s disastrous judgements, and no criticism at all about the coalition’s election rout. And they call themselves journalists ?????? Glad the Guardian has blacklisted me, couldn’t be more disinterested in their reporting.

  10. helvityni

    Whitlam had both, charisma and policies.
    Shorten has good policies.
    What has Turnbull got? No nation building policies, and as for charm…where does he hide it?

    Over there in Germany, they have a long-lasting FEMALE leader, Merkel; no charm, now fancy outfits, hair colour, etc…Obviously over there the policies matter most…Some other good female leaders might not have been pretty as a picture (Tarja Halonen, Helen Clarke), but maybe there too the policies mattered….

  11. Matters Not


    Shorten has good policies.

    Like doing specials deals with Catholic education that will negatively impact on the dollars available for State schools?

    In the lead up to Longman, three Catholic schools sent letters home suggesting same.

    Let’s have some transparent principles and not backroom specials deals. Can Bill abandon his lifetime modus operandi? There’s lots of people watching – who understand these things. Where’s Tanya?.

  12. Kaye Lee

    I saw Turnbull interviewed on Friday I think. All he could say was we are here because of a lie. Bill Shorten lied about the dual citizens blah blah. He is so caught up in the Kill Bill strategy that he completely misses any opportunity to sell his own policies. They have been in government for five years and are still using the Abbott Opposition attack mode. It is absolutely gobsmacking listening to the journalists speculate about Labor leadership when there is open revolt in the Coalition with all sorts of policy disagreement, people making demands and threatening to cross the floor and quite publicly criticising their own leader. All Albanese did was make a speech saying the Labor Party had to work co-operatively with business. Well duh! That’s what governments are supposed to do – work with all sectors to achieve the results that are best for the country.

    I am trying to think of a Coalition policy – tax cuts for big business is on the nose, they might get the NEG up but, as the experts point out, it will make absolutely no difference to doing nothing. Renewable investment will happen, slower perhaps without subsidies, but inevitable. And the latest report from the energy regulators does not anticipate any reliability issues in the next decade even with the closure of Liddell. Do they have any others?

  13. Sam

    You had to love Mr Liberal Guy on the ABC’s panel last night.

    Such a desperately sad scramble to spin the result into a positive for the government and a negative for Labor. ‘Well governments just dont take seats from opposition.’ ‘That 4% swing is in line with typical by-election swings against governments.’ ‘I don’t think there’s anything positive at all for Shorten to take from this, if you look at this fall in vote. in this seat.’ etc

    Oh and by the way, an anti-liberal government facebook page shared this article on Facebook and some random person tried to shout it down with ‘lol this is the most biased thing I’ve read on the entire election.’ Then when people shut him down, he dug in and tried to turn it around accusing everyone of being happy to be stuck in echo chambers and not engaging people. Conservatives are funny.

  14. helvityni

    MN, I only listed some good female leaders because I now fear that maybe Liberals are turning to Bishop in their search for a possible new leader…

    Tanya is fine…she did sound a bit pissed off with Barrie on Insiders.

  15. paul walter

    From what I saw of Backsliders this morning, Murphy seemed ok, but Savva was straight out of Edgar Allan Poe.

    Sam, re ABC coverage I didn’t bother after looking at that scab tabloid panel. So much damage already done to public broadcasting.

  16. Kaye Lee

    The headline at is

    “The Liberal Party has hit back after its Super Saturday by-election failure
    THE FEDERAL government has hit back after its spectacular by-election failure, saying “no one should be punching the air in the Labor Party”.

  17. Rhonda

    Helvityni, Turnbullshit’s charm, much like his various values positions, was a total facade. He’s all spite and fright these days.
    Insiders was a total embarrassment this morning. no.effing.idea

  18. Rhonda

    Hey Paul W, I thought K Murphy seemed pretty desperate with her “we didn’t make anything up about a leadership challenge – really we didn’t” . Absolutely no reflective analysis as to why the MSM spoke of nothing but.

  19. paul walter

    She would say that. But she also admitted the country is strife, citing press/media freedom, then Savva went for the personal stuff with a rabid vehemence I did not notice in the other panellists…I was sickened enough to walk away at that point.

    The personal crap followed on from the dreadful panel on Van Onselen’s Drum on Friday evening. These are very sick people.

  20. paul walter

    Here is Murphy on Super Saturday in today’s Grauniad, the Grauniad a victim itself of government interference some months ago involving Fifield, via Xenophon, which explains some of the dumbing down even there of late.

    I know she can be painfully cautious (as she was last week) but I can’t find the heart to rate her as low, at the level of the Murdoch character assassins.

  21. helvityni

    …I loved Tanya being short and snappy with Barrie !

  22. Wun Farlung

    Cassidy actually admitted that they were at fault for going down the gossipy ‘kill Bill’ road on insiders this morning but the 3 ring cicus of so called Journalists would have none of it.
    Even when presented with footage of Albo denying any challenge with an emphatic no did they leave it they are as out of touch as the lnp .
    As is commented above they consider themselves part of the ‘elite’.
    The so called Journalists are expendable flunkies that can be shit canned just like the pollies they suck up to and the pollies are very small plankton in the ‘elite’ pond

  23. paul walter

    Helvi,Tanya Plibersek had me laughing with her dismissive remarks of chicken little Pyne. She’s very good at this close-in sort of stuff.

  24. Peter F

    I believe that the coalition are reaping the rewards of their push for the recent plebiscite. The thousands of young proper who enrolled for the first time to voice their opinion at the plebiscite have NOT been counted in pre-poll analysis.

  25. My say

    This government is getting really desperate ,They will say and do anything to Kill Bill with the help from distrucctive media ,Thank god people are finally beginning to wake up,

  26. dean micic

    UnvoterBULL , the lies and level of anti ALP propaganda going on in this country is obscene , for Bill Shorten to rise above these pathetic voices ,who have no vision , no ethics and no policies ,they are dirty slimy parasites , with only self interest and donors needs in their mindsets , just hoping people are not swayed by their and the MSM bullshit !!! Australia needs a party that cares about it citizens !!!

  27. John Higgins

    I don’t see the problem with Nine taking over Fairfax, they were already turning into just another version of The Australian with David Crowe and Peter Hartcher, Mark Kenny etc, all trying so hard to sound “objective” and ” journalistic” even with their Kill Bill campaign right-blinkers on fooling nobody. And Katharine Murphy? She drips LURVE for Turdbull at every possible moment. I love how she can get over a thousand comments from Guardian readers going ape at her but the blinkers remain in place … and so does Mal in her heart … true love unrequited. (maybe)

  28. kerri

    The media and especially political commentators are so caught up in their own “special” ability to predict every little thing the various parties do that they have failed to notice that they are progressively getting wronger and wronger and wronger. Ego first. Commentary second. They actually believe if they continually report a leadership challenge it will happen. They think they can make the news.
    Actually at the moment they are making the news but failing to report on how phenominally wrong they are.
    Murphy lost me when she defended the press silence over Barnaby Joyce’s affair.

  29. Kerri

    The media and especially political commentators are so caught up in their own “special” ability to predict every little thing the various parties do that they have failed to notice that they are progressively getting wronger and wronger and wronger. Ego first. Commentary second. They actually believe if they continually report a leadership challenge it will happen. They think if they push hard enough the politicians will have to answer to their claims. They think they can make the news.
    Actually at the moment they are making the news but failing to report on how phenomenally wrong they are.
    Murphy lost me when she defended the press silence over Barnaby Joyce’s affair.

  30. Patagonian

    “The so called Journalists are expendable flunkies that can be shit canned just like the pollies they suck up to”…as the journos at Fairfax are about to discover.

  31. John Lord

    Well said John. As one who reads the dailies consistently for the purpose of such analysis I can attest to the truth of what you say.

  32. Jaquix

    See Ali France just behind Susan Lamb – she is the Labor candidate who will be standing against Peter Dutton in Dickson at the general election – unless he managers to strongarm someone out of a safer seat.

  33. DrakeN

    Due to the time differences, I’m usually late getting to these pages.
    Just let me thank you all again for the article and comments – it’s always refreshing.

  34. Rod Stebbing

    In the 60s on many, many occasions I witnessed journalists fawning over politicians while ‘off camera’. As a naive youngster I found this symbiotic relationship nausea-inducing.
    During these intervening years it appears that nothing has changed except that now many more journalists have re-badged themselves as spin doctors – which I suppose is a more honest descriptor.

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