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Oh please, shoot me now!

Anybody who watched – sorry, laboured through the ABC’s QandA last night could not have helped to notice that, despite the multitude of tweets begging for a question to Christopher Pyne on the Ashbygate affair … it was definitely off limits. The ABC, in their wisdom, preferred to direct the discussion about a Labor Government who is apparently out of touch with the electorate (and quickly gave the floor to Amanda Vanstone), or the lack of public transport in Western Sydney. It was about as gripping as an episode of Basil Brush.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only viewer to tune in to watch Pyne face a few curved balls. I guess we know the ABC’s agenda: Go lightly on the Opposition. Somewhere up the hierarchy someone is pulling a few strings.

Last night the public might have thought it was given its first real chance to pursue this important electoral issue. We’ve sat by and watch our media do nothing, say nothing. And last night they shut the door on their viewers.

The media has an agenda. Today on news.com another side of the agenda was on pathetic display. We read:

Mr Abbott is expected to have a wealth of material to draw upon from over summer since parliament last met last November.

Ms Gillard’s leadership has been dogged over the past week by speculation about a Kevin Rudd return, more poor opinion polls, the mismanaged Cabinet reshuffle and the charging of suspended Labor MP Craig Thomson a day after announcing the election date.

So in less than 24 hours I’ve learned that the media wants to kill the real stories and replace it with opinion, speculation, and outright lies.

I want to dissect the second sentence of the above quote and ask the writer some questions:

  • I’d like to know a bit more about the leadership speculation about a Kevin Rudd return. To my knowledge the only speculation has been generated by our mainstream media in search of another unsubstantiated story, yet one that will tarnish the Government. Can you thus substantiate that claim?
  • How much poorer are the opinion polls for Labor compared to their showing over the past 12 months? And have you bothered to look at the latest Morgan Poll which shows Labor only one point behind the LNP?
  • How was it a mismanaged Cabinet reshuffle? Is that a fact or is that just your opinion? Can you tell me how it should have been conducted?
  • Yes, Craig Thomson is a suspended Labor MP but he is now an Independent MP. Why not state that? Oh that’s right, it would be less harmful to Julia Gillard to do so.

If this is the best our media can perform, then please, shoot me now. I don’t want them deciding who runs this country.

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74 comments

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  1. g2-5bba245eb6db01d36e28de6648a6336a

    What is the point of having a Q&A program is the most asked questions are censored

    If you went to the Q&A site yesterday and scrolled through the questions by my count there were 5 questions for Pyne about the Ashby Slipper affair to every other question

    Was a deal struck not to raise this question ?

    It was obviously important to the audience why was it ignored ?

    If you want to know it is time to ask the ABC !

    Lodge a complaint

  2. Swing Required

    We now have so-called serious journalists not calling out the Opposition over this silly ‘;caretaker’usiness.

    If they’re that out of touch, duumb or too lazy to ggogle the Constitution, can we have some competent people replace them, please?

  3. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Judging by the ballistic activity in the twitter feed, people are keen for an answer. I suspect that it was stated as a no go condition. Very surprised Anne did not bring it up. The free pass was obvious.

  4. Min

    Mark, there were rounds of applause when a member of the audience quite rightly suggested that if the Opposition do not announce their policies and costings then how is the electorate supposed to be able to make informed choices. Glossed over…

    Ann Summers made pertinent remarks that any female would now be extremely wary of choosing politics as a career due to the blatantly pornographic way the PM has been treated. Glossed over…

    That Pyne had been in the thick of it all was met with guffaws.

  5. Kevin Rennie

    Nor were there any references to Pyne’s third reich gaffe. He’s lily-white when it comes to the low tone of political debate.

  6. shane

    media watch… start sending in tips to THAT show, they follow up and reply. the last MSM hope.

  7. shane

    also time for a new ABC head, get rid of that Liberal stoog running the show now that was put in to ‘restore balance’ (conservative for ‘biased as lawn bowls’) to the ABC… we need impartiallity to go with it along with honesty and going in hard when they wont answer…. and actually ask some probing questions of everyone… not just the Govt…

  8. Mark Hyde

    The Opposition must the thanking their lucky stars they aren’t actually asked about their economic plans in great detail either. No scrutiny for a quick path to the Treasury benches……:P

  9. reb

    Maybe, just maybe… a lot of people have never really gotten over the way in which Gillard knifed Rudd to assume the leadership.

    It seems her legitimacy as leader has always been questioned from the out set, and perhaps the above is the reason why…

    (Just putting the thought out there)…

    It also seems that traditional news outlets are scrambling for any sort of attention – even Channel 7 has merged Today Tonight with its 6:00pm “news” bulletin for a combined one hour of complete unadulterated shite masquerading as “news”.

    It’s like the last dying gasps of someone who no longer carries any relevance in today’s modern world.

    Heck, even the fact that the crusty old Michelle Grattan is tossing in the towel made the news as a “leading story.”

    France is at war, but Michelle Grattan quitting her job is somehow more newsworthy…?

    I sympathise with the “shoot me now” state of mind.

    I do however, draw one small piece of reassurance, that many Australian people simply view the “so-called” news in this country as the sheer hyperventilating Murdoch-driven nonsense that it is, by the fact that Tony Abbott still remains universally loathed in the polls.

    This, despite getting a free-ride in the msm…

    Imagine what his approval would be like if they actually look a balanced view…?

  10. John Lord

    “It is said of pornography (and I am not expert in this field) that in order to maintain the viewers interest it needs to progressively become more outlandish – more tantalising – more seductive-more flirtatious-more provocative – more stunning and more enticing. And in their desire to maintain some dominance,that’s exactly what main stream media is doing. It has chosen to prostitute itself in the forlorn hope of remaining relevant”

    Lets hope the bloggers can pick up the pieces.

  11. Min

    Reb, has the MSM ever labelled Abbott taking over from Turnbull “a knifing”..of course not, that sort of rhetoric is always reserved for the left side of politics.

  12. Min

    John, astute observation. Previously I have referred to this as the great dumbing down, so as to appeal to the Alan Jones listeners which would fit in precisely with your theory of having to make things even more provocative, even more titillating to gain the desired reaction..

  13. Miglo

    Pyne was quick to say that Gillard knifed Pyne, which I thought was a bit rich for national TV.

  14. reb

    “has the MSM ever labelled Abbott taking over from Turnbull “a knifing”

    Min, my understanding is that there was a very public vote in the case of Turnbull.

    Gillard’s assassination of Rudd was done behind closed doors and motivated by people who no one had ever heard of before (Howes, Shortern Arbib)..

    To suggest that there is a comparison between Abbott who was elected democratically by his party in the form of a vote, and Gillard who sabotaged Rudd without any sort of vote or prior notice is disingenuous.

    The term “knifing” seems perfectly appropriate given the circumstances, although I appreciate that Gillard loyalists may struggle with it.

  15. reb

    “that sort of rhetoric is always reserved for the left side of politics.”

    Are you convinced that Labor is still a party of “the left…?”

    Like Tim Dunlop, I’m not.

  16. Miglo

    Reb, as it turned out, Abbott did the dirty on Hockey. Abbott told Hockey he’d support him in the spill, then on the day of the vote – after talking to Nick Minchin – threw his own hat in the ring. Did Hockey know about this? Apparently not.

    As for Rudd, he was doomed to lose his job that night. The knifing was done by Arbib and the job offered to Gillard.

  17. dafid1d

    To completely justify your comments Mig, Murdochs Sky PM Agenda couldn’t get on to Rudstoration fast enough. Then the two jurno hacks decided Abbott presented a restrained, measured performance in Question time, supported by the Opposition. Not touching on Abbott having to withdraw a comment aimed at the Speaker, which made her very angry. Then J Bishop was thrown out after she questioned why, in my opinion, demanded to know why a racist based question aimed at the new AG, who is of Jewish extraction, wasn’t allowed.
    Nothing has changed. Pyne was his objectionable self.
    So the media have reached the stage where they believe they are untouchable, say what they like, lies, misrepresentation, no facts rubbish. As far as one Lewis is concerned I hate to imagine the lengths he will go to achieve whatever destruction he can

  18. reb

    “The knifing was done by Arbib and the job offered to Gillard.”

    Indeed. The point is the Libs had a vote.

  19. Miglo

    Point taken.

    I was still satisfied with the outcome though. Some were. Some weren’t.

  20. Miglo

    Labor have had a vote on it since though. 🙂

  21. Miglo

    It’s the only show I trust on TV these days, shane.

  22. Bacchus

    So where’s the re-writing of history there reb? I followed this very closely at the time. It was interesting to listen to my local member on ABC radio defending Mr Rudd to the hilt and saying there should be no change of leader. “I have a conservative view of these matters. I have always voted for the leader,” he said.

    Mr Rudd was presented with the numbers of the caucus on the morning of 24th June 2010 and decided, or was persuaded by his backers, not to run.

    Historical fact reb – sorry…

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-06-24/rudds-backers-concede-defeat/878918

  23. Miglo

    They can start with the Board. It’s stacked with Howard appointees.

  24. andyrob

    “QandA lack of taking notice to the public.

    I am very dissapointed at the lack of questioning of Chistopher Pyne on QANDA last night, specifically in relation to the @ashbygate issue. There were so many people tweeting, asking for the questions to be raised.

    In light of the findings by the judge in the Slipper/Ashby case, where he found possible conspiracy by some members of the LNP to dislodge the sitting government (I.E. a coup), the ABC as a whole (qanda last night in this case) has not questioned any of the parties, to any real extent, since it happened. 4 Corners? Abscent. News? Abscent. Lateline? Abscent. 7.30 report? Abscent.

    I find this extremely curious and/or suspicious as that finding would have to be one of the, if not the biggest news issue of last year. All media have fallen deaf to any calls for an investigation, which was certainly not the case from all mainstream media outlets prior to the findings.

    As a tax paying Australian, I demand that the ABC, as it has with many other not so important issues in the past, throw its reporting resources at this issue as it IS the biggest scandel to happen in this country, probably ever. This is as big as WATERGATE was in the USA in mine and so many other Australians.

    Regards

    Andrew Robinson”

    Just sent to the ABC!!! Response requested. bring it on.

  25. Bacchus

    Labor had the opportunity for a vote at the time, it’s just that one of the contenders decided he didn’t want the humiliation that he knew a vote would bring. No less democratic than Abbott knifing Turnbull…

  26. richard facer

    those who consider julia’s take over from kevin a knifing should consider that rudd is well known as being difficult to work with and extremely paranoid. One should also consider that there may well be personal reasons which we might find out about later down the track say in someones memoirs that explain it adequately. Julia may not want to damage kevin with the real reason but I am led to believe there was a betrayal of trust which led to it.

  27. reb

    “I was still satisfied with the outcome though”

    I guess that’s all that really matters… 😯

  28. reb

    “it’s just that one of the contenders decided he didn’t want the humiliation that he knew a vote would bring”

    Oh please Bacchus… I had my doubts about the others, but I never picked you as someone that would attempt to re-write history in a Gillard-positive light.

    Honestly… 🙄

  29. Tom of Melbourne

    Ignoring the fact that the challenge was actually announced by Paul Howes on Lateline.

    Remember when Howes was due to be interviewed, but held up because he was on the phone to Gillard? People outside caucus were running the challenge.

    The caucus just fell into line with the demands of the hacks and powerbrokers. Most of the MPs only heard about the challenge via Lateline and Paul Howes.

    Disgraceful.

  30. Tom of Melbourne

    Rudd was a sitting Prime Minister, who hadn’t been given the opportunity to serve the term he was elected to.

    The challenge was orchestrated by Howes and his mates, outside caucus. The MPs just fell into line with the instructions from hacks and powerbrokers It was a disgrace.

    It is no use ALP supporters pretending it was any different to those facts.

  31. Jason

    ToM,
    You as a former member of the ALP I’m surprised that your surprised that “union bosses” have tapped leaders on the shoulder. Yes Rudd was the first sitting first term PM to have it done, but not the first Labor leader who’s been told their time is up.
    Anyway you vote informal so who cares what you think about the running of the ALP.

  32. vfmarky

    All strength to the 5th Estate.
    You’re the light on the proverbial hill as far as I’m concerned…

  33. Miglo

    I’d be surprised if it were to be an election issue.

    I think that most people will want other issues put on the table.

  34. Min

    Migs, from the audience response last night Abbott’s biggest problem is going to be attempting to explain how he’s going to pay for it all. After recent experiences with Liberal state governments, slash and burn isn’t going to be nearly as popular.

  35. Dion Kennedy

    Andyrob – Snap, i wrote almost that exact letter. I expect the ABC will find themselves the recipients of many hundreds more .

  36. Miglo

    ToM, it’s beyond boring.

  37. Jason

    Hmm the way a democratically PM was knifed by a junior in a historic first…?

    I beg to differ…

    As far as I was aware under the constituion the elected members of the party or (caucus) elected the leader as we don’t vote for a PM.
    But I could be wrong.

  38. dafid1

    Good on you Andy, we all share your concern and the fact the ABC who exist because of our taxes have become merely a mouth piece for Abbotts outdated conservative views.is as worrying as you say.
    God knows where this country is headed, corrupt police re Craig Thomson, media lies and misinformation supporting Abbott to the hilt, an Opposition party involved in sedition to bring down a Govt. None of it seemingly accountable.
    We rely on our Govt to this obvious corruption is seen and rooted out.The culprits brought to justice and pay for their crimes So far the Govt, our Labor Govt have let us down badly.

  39. Miglo

    Dafid, let’s hope they bite the bullet if they win the election and do something about our corrupt media. And yes, they have let us down in that regards to date. They’ve held back, for some reason.

  40. Tom of Melbourne

    “I’d be surprised if it were to be an election issue.
    I think that most people will want other issues put on the table.

    Howard lost the election in 2007 because people considered him to be devious, putting his political interests in front of his public responsibilities,

    The public sentiment against politicians who aren’t trusted.

    The knifing of Rudd tainted Gillard and her actions since haven’t improved her public standing.

    Transparency and honesty in government are of considerable public interest. I think these are election issues.

  41. lmrh5

    Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  42. andyrob

    Dion, I hope so.

  43. dafid1

    Pip let us hope The Guardian arrives and is in action long before the election. Sites like this and our wonderful Independent Australia need all the assistance available to see through and fight the corruption that is driving our country to God knows what end

  44. reb

    “I’d be surprised if it were to be an election issue.

    Hmm the way a democratically PM was knifed by a junior in a historic first…?

    I beg to differ…

  45. reb

    “it’s beyond boring.”

    Really…? Or just politically inconvenient to recall the facts?

  46. reb

    “I’d be surprised if it were to be an election issue.”

    And so endeth the lesson…

    And oh how we laughed…… 🙂

  47. Carole

    As a Queenslander, i would like to hear the Conservative explanation of the manner of Mr Newman’s elevation in the state political ranks. It was extemely weird to have the State opposition being led and directed by an unelected ‘outsider’ to the parliament, sitting in the gallery, apparently text-messaging LNP MPs sitting in the House. As for the demise of Mr Rudd: why are the facts of his removal so critically important to non-Labor supporters? So many of the current political discussions are coloured by the persuasive bias of msm language. The ALP is in ‘chaos’ because two Ministers resigned to give their successors time to adjust to new roles before an election. But the Opposition is not similarly labeled – or even perceived as downright dysfunctional – when they have 8 or 9 MPs abandoning ship. I enjoy rigorous debate but it is becoming increasingly evident that msm, including the most ‘popular’ national daily newspaper, rather resemble unpaid Coalition campaign documents.

  48. Jason

    Reb,
    For over 100 years the ALP have “knifed” many leaders state and federal you carry on as though it’s something new!

  49. Tom of Melbourne

    I’m entirely happy to discuss the media!

    I’d note that often News/Murdoch is criticised for manipulating the public! Uneducated/uninformed people are manipulated by News/Murdoch. Apparently this is to the advantage of the opposition….or so may seem to say.

    People that push this line seem to overlook-
    1. Murdoch newspapers are more widely read among ALP electorates, Fairfax is popular among Liberal electorates.
    2. The area with the greatest density of people with a tertiary education is also about the most overwhelmingly Liberal suburb in Australia.

    Point 1 seems counter to the notion that Murdoch/News is effective in manipulating public opinion.

    Point 2 seems to suggest that education doesn’t necessarily result in an inclination to support the ALP.

    And on the subjuect of intelligence…there was a study in the UK a few years ago that tracked voting preferences against intelligence. The most intelligent voted Green, followed by Liberal Democrats. the next most intelligent were Conservatives. Labour came next, but not far behind the Conservatives. A long way back were the Nationalists. Is there a reason to think that a similar pattern would not occur here?

  50. Jason

    Miglo,
    ToM claims to be intelligent and educated yet he votes informal!They must be the pond scum of the survey.

  51. Miglo

    Jason, good point.

  52. Miglo

    ToM, this post is about transparency and honesty in the media, which I believe is of considerable public interest.

    Are you interested in discussing it?

  53. Min

    Transparent and honest..just like Tony Abbott… References to the “knifing” are nothing more than continuous attempts at avoiding scrutinising Opposition policy and people via the tactic of “look over there..it’s Rudd”.

  54. Miglo

    Dafid, thanks for the thumbs up. Everyone associated with this site will appreciate your comment.

    BTW, I hear that the Huffington Post might be interested in launching an Australian version.

  55. reb

    References to the “knifing” are nothing more than continuous attempts at avoiding scrutinising Opposition policy and people via the tactic of “look over there..it’s Rudd”.

    If you’ll excuse me, your beloved already acknowledged that the “knifing” was a fact…

    Just sayin….

  56. Miglo

    Well I’m intelligent and educated, and I vote Labor.

  57. Ken Brown

    Don’t bother to complain to the ABC about their pro opposition bias….they have plenty of spin doctors to come back with an inane response to any accusation!

  58. stevefoypl

    Isn’t it just a little bit suspicious that the MSM always fall back on the old line “We are just reporting what the public are talking about” yet the public are screaming out for answers on Ashbygate and the silence is deafening.

  59. Min

    Reb, and I’m not permitted to have my own opinion???

  60. andyrob

    Exactly. I don’t see that it is suspicious for someone that owns a shalet to provide accomodation for free to whomever they like, they own the thing (I have been offered a couple of nights up there in the past from someone I knew) . Nor would I find a business person or LNP person accepting a free night accomodation in a friends hotel in FNQ an issue. Why the the big beat up tonight. Oh I guess the public are talking about it will be the excuse, not that the MSN are just jumping on the bandwagon. My god, Lateline (Emma, please!) you intoduced Garret as the education minister and going to talk about Gonski but go straight to whether he had stayed in the shalet and grilled him on that. FFS, how blatent an attack is that on the current sitting party.

  61. Miglo

    Not if it differs from everybody else’s. :mrgreen:

  62. Deb

    Was Caesar really assassinated on the Ides of March, or was it just violent rhetoric intended to make his overthrow sound worse than it was?

  63. andyrob

    Thanks Reb, was late last night, my eyes were a bit weary and the typing fingers slipped up a level.

  64. reb

    “I’m not permitted to have my own opinion???”

    Yes Min, of course..

  65. reb

    “Was Caesar really assassinated on the Ides of March, or was it just violent rhetoric intended to make his overthrow sound worse than it was?”

    You mean, Shakespeare was a Murdoch stooge…?

  66. reb

    “I don’t see that it is suspicious for someone that owns a shalet to provide accomodation for free to whomever they like..”

    True, but if they owned a chalet, things might be different.

  67. Miglo

    How about a shallot, andyrob? 😉

  68. rossleighbrisbane

    The media always refer to Thompson as “ex-Labor”. It’d be interesting to see when they stopped referring to Katter as “ex-National”, or Peter Slipper as “ex-Liberal”!

  69. andyrob

    Oh my, is Turnbull and the LNP for real. As Michael Wyres commented, perhaps Ausie Post should be as well, the are both GBE’s. Seems the ABC journo quized him though, which is good for a change.

    NBN should be in caretaker mode, claims Turnbull

  70. Miglo

    Andyrob, you’ve won a cigar.

  71. Catching up

    I hate to say it again. No PM is elected by the people. They are elected the by the electorate as an MP.

    The PM is then found from the side that has the most votes on the floor of the house.

    The side with the most numbers,then gather in their caucus to elect a PM.

    The caucus giveth, the caucus taketh away.

    The PM is not, never has been elected by the people.

    Mr, Rudd had the confidence of his caucus, then lost it.

    How long does one really believe Mr.. Abbott will last, if he achieves his ambition. I suspect not to lead at the following election.

    I am sure, we will not see the outbursts we do now.

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