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Media consumers have little to feed on

Anyone who read Tory Shepherd’s article The guts of the matter is that we want policy, not politics on news.com’s The Punch this morning would have reached the same conclusion as I. It was a shocker. It strictly adhered to the Murdoch Media’s rules one and two: blame the government; when in doubt . . . blame the government.

The article, which was about an open house Community Cabinet in the South Australian electorate of Boothby reminds the reader that:

Labor has disembowelled itself and weโ€™re all standing around trying to divine the future from its spilled entrails.

And those standing around, we learn, want to know if the Government is going to fix important mainstream issues:

How will they fix mental health, and youth violence? What are they going to do about those drowning at sea and those arriving here? How will they look after single parents who struggle to both pay the rent and buy food?

What are we going to do about climate change, the cost of living, education, childcare, the ageing population?

What are we going to do about climate change? You’ve got to be kidding me. My question is: “Why haven’t the media told them?”

For over a year they followed Tony Abbott as he visited every business in the country and predicted with fear and smear how the ‘carbon tax’ would destroy their respective industries and how he was likely to be the last person to walk through their doors. Butchers, bakers, candle-stick makers; thereโ€™d be none left after the dastardly tax annihilated them. Even whole towns were predicted to be wiped off the map. And the media turned each utterance into a headline. The Government is tackling climate change, a simple point that the media has failed to point out. The Murdoch media have been long-term debunkers of climate change and now one of their journalists has the audacity to join in the community chorus and ask of the Government what they intend to do about . . . climate change.

How hard it must be for a journalist to visit a Government web site to look at what is actually being done about an issue? Why can’t they then publish their findings in an informative way? I’ve spent five minutes in Google and I’ve found the answers to all the questions asked by the community and echoed by Tory Shepherd. Here are a few: You can click on a link for climate change, here for mental health, or here for youth violence.

Even though I thought Shepherd’s article bordered on the ridiculous, it still didn’t prepare me for the quality of the reader comments her article attracted. Consider these gems of ignorance:

A Concerned Citizen says:

07:55am | 22/02/13

What function does a government serve if they are not going to address and fix problems facing Australia, or manage infrastructure?

PJ says:

07:28am | 22/02/13

The carbon tax is another Gillard Government tax, like the Mining Tax, which does not work. Its burdon has fallen entirely on the ordinary Australians.

Leopold says:

06:52am | 22/02/13

This government has been too focused on bribing voters with handouts that ultimately go into the pokies and the pockets of carlton united breweries, rather than investing where it will make a difference.

Super D says:

07:15am | 22/02/13

Eventually the ALP will realize its actually about policy.

GregE says:

12:38pm | 22/02/13

If pensioners are struggling, wtf has the ALP done for them over the last 5 years?

GregE says:

09:54am | 22/02/13

. . . the problem is that we have seen lots of policy announcements from the ALP over the last 5 years. And many if not most of those ended in non delivery or a disaster.

james says:

12:41pm | 22/02/13

Gillard have policies only to safeguard her job ( knifing!! !)
Not for the ordinary peopleโ€™s jobs.
That is the bottom line!!!

james says:

01:16pm | 22/02/13

I am too eager to go to polling station now !!!!
I am sick and tired of all these bloody nonsense lies from Gillard.
Time to restore the integrity of our parliamentarian standards in this country.

People who provide comments on news.com sites would obviously belong to its group of loyal readers. As media consumers they are fed very little. The media doesn’t even bother to inform them of what is happening in their own back yard. Starve them as much as possible but throw a bit of manure around to fertilise their ignorance.

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38 comments

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  1. Min

    It would seem that the MSM deliberately go out of their way to chose the most ignorant and least informed of all comments to publish.

  2. Truth Seeker

    Migs, I have also been astounded at the levels of ignorance shown by some of the comments on articles.

    I even had a quite abusive comment on my site, that I allowed through to show the same levels of ignorance, and that comment said that she didn’t know if I was married, but if I was then Gillard says that I am a prostitute…. WTF ๐Ÿ™„

    I am sure you can imagine what I told her, and if you can’t, it’s there for anypone to read ๐Ÿ˜€ My point is the same as yours, these people are fed utter crap, and they believe it because it suits their Murdoch formulated views. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

    Another fine piece BTW ๐Ÿ˜€

    Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚ ;grin:

  3. Maureen

    Wow… this truly is a shocking state of affairs. Democracy’s only hope is that more people become aware of what is really going on, and what voting for the Murdhart empire via Tony Abbott will really mean for most Australians.

  4. mrharmony60

    Miglo, the scary thing is that all those people leaving comments vote. Reasoned debate, facts, figures, even urging these people to Google it themselves doesn’t work. You simply can’t win. Have a quick look at the Daily Telegraph to see where they get their “facts” from. What absolutely astounds me is the way the Coalition can convince low income workers to vote for them, that they’ll be looked after. Even when the tax free threshold drops from 18K to 6K. When they lose the schoolkid bonus. When those on 37K or less lose their superannuation concessions. I’m dumbfounded.

  5. John Lord

    โ€œLess informed voters unfortunately outnumber the more politically aware. Therefore, conservatives feed them all the bullshit they need. And the menu generally contains a fair portion of untruthsโ€

  6. reb

    The news media landscape is in a pretty depressing state of affairs.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this bad.

    They’re firing journalists and editorial staff at a rate of knots at Fairfax and News Limited so it’s no surprise that we see a corresponding drop in “quality” journalism.

    Hopefully with the introduction of The Guardian online we might see some improvement.

  7. reb

    “It would seem that the MSM deliberately go out of their way to chose the most ignorant and least informed of all comments to publish.”

    Agreed. If the “sensationalised” “editorial” isn’t enough to get people fired up, they’ll usually follow it up by publishing the most extreme comments from readers.

  8. Dion Kennedy

    The article is all I have come to expect from MSM. The comment section is proof positive that the article did as intended and reinforced the misconceived ideas of it’s loyal readers. It’s these same readers that see me grinding my teeth at the moment, because other than political propaganda,sporting scandal is their drug of choice .In his 12 years as PM the one thing Howard achieved was the pavlovian conditioning of his ‘battlers’ sport the great distraction

  9. Rob

    Out of habit I don’t go onto news.com. I don’t go to the herald sun. But now I am thinking that is where we should all hang out.

    If the information isn’t there, then maybe it is up to us to put it there.

  10. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    How apt and totally predictable the article in question is written by a Tory ๐Ÿ™„

  11. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    TS have just forwarded The Boil and the comment onto twitter for other to see. What a nasty vicious piece of goods she/he is.
    BTW how do you know whether Smith isn’t the she/he.

  12. Buff McMenis

    Ohhhh, Miglo … I’m getting very discouraged! ๐Ÿ™ The lowest common denominator appears to be getting lower and lower! This silly child reporter should be taught a lesson. It’s appalling.

  13. Truth Seeker

    The comment that I referred to was on my post “The Boil” for any that may want to look ๐Ÿ˜€

    The Boil

    Very sad ๐Ÿ™

    Cheers ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. Truth Seeker

    Sandra, thanks for that, and the truth is you never know who these sad individuals are, but I have heard of smith, and will not visit his site, as I have no desire to read that kind of unadulterated crap.

    A few RW nut jobs have made disparaging remarks about my poetry, but I haven’t come across 1 yet that can get their heads around an original thought, much less make it rhyme, and mine are meant as a bit of light relief usually with an underlying message. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Sadly, not only are they inherently dishonest, but apart from some of their lies, they are singularly un-creative! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Cheers ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Truth jealousy is a curse to those with nothing… I look forward to you poetry just remember, if they arc up you know nerve is struck ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. 730reportland

    Oh come on.
    Anyone with 3 brain cells knows that Limited-News is just mindless teabag promotion and Lefty scaring.

  17. Truth Seeker

    Ricky, cheers mate, I appreciate your support as always. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I actually find it amusing that those that can’t string one honest sentence together can make such comments, and I agree that you know that you’ve hit a nerve when they react. ๐Ÿ˜†

    I was quite chuffed when I got my first response from a RW nut job, but having said that I will happily take criticism from those that I respect, and actually know what they are talking about.

    Sadly none of them fall into either category ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Thanks again mate ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜†

    Cheers ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  18. reb

    “A few RW nut jobs have made disparaging remarks about my poetry,”

    I’m not a “right wing nut job.”

    Your so-called “poetry” is still shit though.

    Just saying….

  19. Truth Seeker

    reb, from you that is a complement ๐Ÿ˜€ and you’re probably right about not being a RW nut job, you’re just a common or garden variety nut job, really sad ๐Ÿ™

    Now do what you did last week when you spat your dummy, took your bat and ball and ran home to mummy you ego maniacal wanker ๐Ÿ˜€

    And good riddance ๐Ÿ˜€

    Cheers ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜†

  20. Truth Seeker

    Just sayin’ ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Iain Hall

    Sorry Michael

    But your advocacy of the government spin on its websites is a bit lame. as for climate change well you only have to ask one simple question and that is has to go to the actual effectiveness of the Gillard scheme and once you admit the truth, that it will make NO measurable difference to the global climate your support for this scheme seems rather silly.

  22. Tom of Melbourne

    I think there are some good quality threads here and even a number of thoughtful contributors.

    There are several that have migrated here from other (group think) sites, who have no purpose other than to disparage those of us with an independent political orientation, and they donโ€™t even do it with intelligence, wit or subtlety. They are simply here to inflame.

    The administrators need to advise these mindless, dishonest types that their comments are unwelcome, and put them into moderation.

    If this blog site wishes to provide a thoughtful and intelligent debate about politics, then admin will have to exercise more independence, and deal with some of those contributors, whose political orientation they share.

  23. Miglo

    But your advocacy of the government spin on its websites is a bit lame.

    There are plenty of non- government sites I could have accessed, but my point is that if the reporter wants to know what the Government is doing then why not go straight to the source.

    It’s simple logic. If you want to know what someone is doing then go and ask them.

  24. Iain Hall

    Michael

    Itโ€™s simple logic. If you want to know what someone is doing then go and ask them.

    I tend to agree with you but sadly the way that most government websites are structured they only give the most superficial and formulaic answers mostly generated by public servants rather than the actual decision makers. Essentially I’m suggesting that we should be as cautious about government websites as we are about any other government propaganda or press releases.

  25. Miglo

    Iain, do you mean ‘government’ or ‘political party’?

    However, my post has been about the media’s laziness in regards to obtaining information. I was pointing out that information is available if they bothered to look for it.

  26. Miglo

    ToM, in regards to your last sentence, this has been done privately. It didn’t see the need to have it spill over into the thread.

  27. andyrob

    ah migs, that is a fantastic piece.

    “If pensioners are struggling, wtf has the ALP done for them over the last 5 years?”

    Oh my f..ing god. that takes the cake.

    Yes you see these types of idiotic comments all the time. I am in IT and frequent Delimiter, zdnet etc and see similar idiotic non fact based comments there as well.

    This is exactly why the Labor party need to get on the front foot and start selling what they HAVE done rather than letting the MSM and LNP shout from the towers the crap they do.

  28. paul

    andyrob,

    โ€œIf pensioners are struggling, wtf has the ALP done for them over the last 5 years?โ€

    This might answer your question,

    In fact, the 2009 pension increase was the largest single increase in real terms for single pensioners since the age pension was introduced one hundred years ago. Overall, the increase roughly equalled all the above-inflation increases that pensioners had enjoyed between 1996 and 2007 under Howard government budgets and was larger than the increases that single pensioners enjoyed in the entire period of the Whitlam government in the 1970s โ€“ long thought of as the high-water mark of welfare state expansion in Australia.

    On a year-by-year basis, the comparisons are even more striking. The Whitlam and Ruddโ€“Gillard governments did more for poor pensioners than any other government in the last half-century.

    http://inside.org.au/social-welfare-and-class-warfare-the-give-and-take-of-budget-balancing/

  29. silkworm

    There are several that have migrated here from other (group think) sites, who have no purpose other than to disparage those of us with an independent political orientation…

    Tom, please tell us what you mean by group think. Do you mean group think of the left or right?

  30. Miglo

    Silkworm, on the left side of politics it is labelled groupthink. When groupthink is practiced by the right, they claim it as a victory for free speech.

    Or, they will claim that because every else in the circle agrees with them it is a sure indication that the person doing the talking is making sense.

  31. silkworm

    730, I am not your enemy. No need to insult. Ta.

  32. 730reportland

    Actually herd-think is practiced by all the embedded-media. Limited-News zombie-media have eaten their own brains chanting pro-teabag nonsense, led by the outfit that can`t make a profit. They give `voice` as we used to say on IRC, to total rubbish as tho it is equal in stature to knowledge. The rest of the embedded-media follow timidly and lazily after.

  33. 730reportland

    Silkbug, an example of embedded media herd-think is the default position that `Mr-Rabbit says X` is news-worthy.

    Just coz it is merely said, without reason, context or explainer of an alternative plan does not make it so.

  34. silkworm

    There are several that have migrated here from other (group think) sites, who have no purpose other than to disparage those of us with an independent political orientationโ€ฆ

    Take 2. OK, I have to agree with Migs and 730 that groupthink typifies the right, especially the teabaggers. I took ToM at his word that he was neither left nor right, but I was being too generous to him. I didn’t honestly think he could defend his insinuation that the left were groupthinkers, as that would have given away his right-leaning position.

    Note that ToM is saying that he is not subject to groupthink, and that therefore he is “independent.” That is an interesting definition of “independent” and one I am sure few of us are comfortable with. If you think the left is subject to groupthink, then you are not being independent at all. you are merely following the News Ltd left-bashing line.

    As far as I am concerned, true independents are left-leaning.

  35. Miglo

    “Consensus” was the word I was lookng for. If the left agree with each other . . . it’s groupthink. If the right agree with each other . . . it’s consensus.

  36. 730reportland

    The whole embedded media practice herd-think, not just Limited-News, my ABC just continually follow in their wake. They do also generate their own herd-think at my ABC, which is coming from some of my ABC`s `charter` and code of conduct, notice that give plenty of air-time to paid shills on qandaland and insiders. The-drum.? Tom is still tea-guzzling.

  37. andyrob

    Thanks Paul, I did realise that, that is why I said “Oh my f..ing god. that takes the cake.”.

    I remember when mum and other family/friends got it, they were so appreciative. I had been going on about a pension increase for years before it happened, it was well deserved.

    We should look after our pensioners better as they have worked and payed taxes for how many years, unlike other welfare recipients that may have contributed nothing.

  38. 730reportland

    abc1 NOW, milne and conroy, senate qt,
    network ten outsourcing mtp and/or some news content thru FOX, that`s less for consumers, foxification of network ten content

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