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Plibersek Shows The Way: Labor, The Media and The Future

I should start with an apology to anyone who reads my contributions to this fine project for my absence over the last six weeks and beyond. Work simply erupted over this time and so opportunities to write for pleasure or interest were few. But now that I have some time I want to note a very interesting interview with Tanya Plibersek on the ABC’s Insiders programme. Ms. Plibersek’s reaction to the trained monkey interviewing her sets the tone for how the Labor party must behave toward the media moving forward.

Background: The Media and the 2022 Election Campaign

Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to the media coverage around this election campaign would have noticed the unbridled bias the media has shown. Whether it is uncritically reporting government talking points or being quite openly hostile to Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and his team, the media has let its true colour show, and that colour is blue. Lest you think this is merely partisan bellyaching, there is evidence to support this. A gander at the front pages of what passes for ‘newspapers’ in this country shows the COALition propaganda rags these papers have become.

This is also by no means restricted to the print media. The television networks are awful too. Whether it is channel 7 constantly bashing every policy Labor put out, and when Albanese and co responded by not putting policies out, accusing them of having no policy, or the ABC consistently cutting Mr Albanese off in his press conferences (technical glitch they said – once maybe, but on the regular?), the bias has been on full display.

Sidenote: The ABC

While bias in the media is to be expected, it is least forgivable in the ABC. Here is a national service that we all, regardless of our political affiliation, pay for. It is the National Broadcaster, not the Government Broadcaster. As one who advocates for a change of government at the forthcoming election, I would be mortified if the ABC turned on a dime and did propaganda for an Albanese government the way they do for the current government. Such action would not surprise me, and it would expose that the ABC knows where its bread is buttered, but I digress. The point is that the National Broadcaster has turned into a government propaganda network. Actually, strike that: based on current evidence, it is a liberal party propaganda network. Its bias against the Labor party is unforgivable. From Stokes, Costello and others I expect this (one is a former treasurer under the LNP ffs), but the ABC knows better.

It is truly remarkable to see a party that nominally represents half the country being treated like an insurgency against the legitimate government that must be stopped at all costs. Democracy is a cruel joke at this point.

Speer[s] Through The Heart: The Plibersek Interview

On this morning’s Insiders programme on the ABC, Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek was interviewed, or more aptly interrogated, by host David Speers. For full context, we note that Speers used to work for Sky. The man is a clear example of ‘you can take the man out of Sky, but you cannot take the Sky out of the man’. I refuse to watch the interview (chiefly because I would throw something at the screen if I did), but the exchange that is making headlines is when Ms Plibersek said to Speers

Sorry, go on. I don’t want to interrupt you, David, please go on

Such was her response to what even called ‘one of many interjections from ABC Insiders host David Speers during an interview’. When even notes the excessive number of your interruptions, you have gone too far. But more to the point, Ms Plibersek has shown how you combat the media. Her snark, what one might even call sass, sets the tone for Labor’s media relations moving forward.

She combined the correct substance, calling that trained partisan monkey out on his journalistic malpractice, with not losing her temper. She put him in his place without raising her voice and it was brilliant.

This is The Future: Labor and The Media

Since the media has made its bias as clear as one would like, the model for Labor is equally as clear. You must fight back against the media and its hostility toward you. The media is, at the end of the day, run by humans. Humans do what they can get away with. If you show the media that their constant barrage of ‘gotcha questions’ and loaded questions will not be tolerated, they will soon change. Hell, you could even threaten their access if you were so inclined. But you have got to bring them into line and make them remember that the Fourth Estate is not meant to show its colours so brightly.

A useful example of getting around the media took place on Qand A, another ABC programme, earlier this week. Mr Albanese received a question about the NDIS, but his attempted response was effectively shut down due to Speers’ constant interruptions. Undeterred, Mr Albanese obtained the woman’s mobile phone number, called her and, after thanking her for her question, provided a detailed answer. A fine demonstration of getting around the media, its hostility and bias and talking directly to voters.

Conclusion: Sass to The Max

The hostility of the media, along with its total hypocrisy (deficits are now an issue again just in time for a Labor government) is hereby exposed. Your role, Mr Albanese and the Labor team, is to no longer take the crap that media dishes out. Scott Morrison has cowered the media through his screeching about bias when confronted with facts he does not like, and they are compliant lapdogs instead of the watchdogs they are meant to be.

Now, I am not suggesting that Mr. Albanese manipulate the press as his counterpart has done, but I do want him to say when confronted with some partisan BS question framed in some crap fashion

Nice gotcha question there. Does anyone have a serious question they would like to ask?

This is not hostile to the media broadly, but it does send the message ‘serious questions only, folks’. It will be necessary for Mr. Albanese to put the media in their place from the start, because if Labor is elected on May 21st, the media will commence Operation Restore Legitimate Government from May 22nd.


Image from Twitter (@AndrewDarroch1)


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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    Hopefully it does by Labor people using interview techniques and rhetorical devices, as used by LNP and media, to apply the torch back onto media and the LNP, obsessed on presentation and sports commentary alone.

    As important if not more, is to show Australian legacy media audience how bad it is compared to elsewhere with broader more diverse media, citizens’ complicity by remaining ignorant and uninformed i.e. anodyne and ‘quiet Australians’; becoming a bad knock off of GOP voting Americans…. .

  2. Keitha Granville

    Yes, absolutely.
    Adan Bandt’s response to a ” how many” question was met with “Google it”. Albo must stop walking in to their traps and call them out for the ignorance they show.

    Good onya Ms Plibersek.

  3. Albos Elbow

    I’d vote Labor if Tanya was opposition leader, although I don’t think there’s any Labor candidate in my electorate.
    Not that I’m voting for Scummo, I’m feeling very Green and Teal this week.

  4. Andrew J. Smith

    Just received this below from Libs who obviously have accessed an email database or scraped it from AEC?

    However, if one has not opted in, and resides in the EU, then it’s illegal aka the EU GDPR General Data Protection Regulation and they can take action against foreign entities e.g. many US news groups choose not to be visible in the EU as they will not comply with the EU GDPR e.g. selling on personal data etc..

    ‘Our puppet show video has reached millions of Victorians and rattled Albanese and Andrews.

    So we made another one!

    We already know that Mr Albanese doesn’t stand for anything. That means he won’t be able to stand up to Premier Daniel Andrews.

    Just a few days ago, Mr Albanese rolled over to Western Australian Labor Premier Mark McGowan, and back-flipped on banning live sheep exports.

    If Mr Albanese can’t stand up to the WA Labor Premier, how will he possibly stand up to the arrogant Daniel Andrews?

    Now is not the time for weak leadership. Victoria needs a strong leader as Prime Minister.

    Will you donate now to help spread the message far and wide?

    Make a Donation

    Australians still don’t know what Albanese stands for.

    Victorians still don’t know what Albanese stands for.

    With just under two weeks to go, it’s time to make a contribution to this campaign.

    < Donate Now >

    We simply can’t risk Labor.

    Help spread the word and share on Facebook HERE.
    Thank you for your support,

    Sam McQuestin,
    State Director
    Liberal Party of Australia (Victoria Division)’

  5. Dr Tim Jones

    Where is the evidence that Mr Andrews is ‘arrogant’? I mean besides the fact that he broke the golden rule of Australia politics ‘Thou shalt not be a Labor politician and be in power’. I would really like to know where the evidence is for him being ‘arrogant’. I mean he did criticise Scummo once, so maybe that’s it? I’m confused

  6. Canguro

    No need to be confused, Tim. This screed originates, as you can see, from the LP (Vic Division)… ergo, it’s more BS, more fakery, more lies, bluster, obfuscation; in short, business as usual from the party that brought us Scott Morrison and the merry band of ScoMo-lites that plague the Australian political landscape. Lying is in their DNA.

    Like the scorpion that stings, they can’t help it.

  7. Consume Less

    This bloke agrees with this media bias, and a gives a bit of light relief at the same time.

  8. New England Cocky

    I am a great fan of Tanya Plibersek becoming the second lady Prime Minister of Australia. Watching her put David Spew get put back into his anus on Insiders, perhaps more LABOR politicians will now follow her example.

    In defence of the ABC, the Murdoch family, beginning with the late Sir Keith, has conducted a vendetta against the ABC since 1932 because the ABC challenges their right to be born-to-rule and profit from the commercial task of misleading the population. Having an independent and objective media funded at arms length by government prevents megalo-millionaires from expanding their personal beliefs beyond supplicant journalists and onto the entire Australian nation.

    It is time for News Ltd to be broken up as a monopoly corporation.

    But Dr Tim, the ”serious question” is whether enough Australian voters want to ”STOP THE LIES VOTE LABOR” or even as Albos Elbow finds, ”A little teal goes well with green” in each of the so-called swinging electorates around Australia to ‘rid ourselves of this damned COALition.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Whilst I am still waiting for someone to recognise public education needs a boost, this announcement from Labor has merit.

    “5,000 students with an Atar of 80 or more will receive the scholarship to study an education degree, with an extra $2,000 bonus a year for those who teach in a regional area.”

    At a cost of $146.5m over four years, it seems money well spent.

    When I finished school, I, like many others, had no idea what I would do. I was offered a teaching scholarship and that decided me. One of the conditions of my scholarship was that, in return for the guarantee of a job when I finished, I would agree to go wherever they sent me in the state for a period of three years. I could submit extenuating circumstances to influence that if necessary (eg partner’s job, kids in school, caring responsibilities etc). If I cut short that three years, I would be liable to repay part of my scholarship funding. The warrant system worked well.

  10. wam

    Tanya shat all over the rabbott and when came up to darwin years ago, I went to meet her, at a reception and she was strong. Under shorten she was torpid. She came again recently and seemed back to her power days. So, should albo lose, lets hope she takes the reins.
    Just off to vote, go go go Albo who will make a great PM.
    ps arrogant is a word the scummos hear often enough about themselves and suspect it is a bad word so they use it whenever threatened.
    pps there used to be a saying ‘…doesn’t know his arse from his elbow’. Thankfully in our system, you can choose who you give your cash to and who gets your vote. Ergo, such carefree gloss can attract cash from labor and may, according to the bandit, take up to 9 seats.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Very interesting that you always focus on the election funding given to the Greens and NEVER mention how Pauline Hanson got $2,840,766.45 last election. Meanwhile……

    Liberal Party of Australia $27,569,610.09
    National Party of Australia – N.S.W. $2,570,290.39
    National Party of Australia – Victoria $1,321,417.93
    Country Liberals (Northern Territory) $213,176.60
    National Party of Australia (WA) Inc $51,462.79

    Australian Labor Party (ALP) $24,684,039.58

    Total election funding paid by the AEC in relation to the 2019 election was $69,647,101.79 – $68,635,245.75 of which was paid to political parties and $1,011,856.04 to independent candidates (including the Senate group).

    Surely there is a better way than this.

  12. Kerri

    Spot on Dr Jones!
    And I would add, that Albo needs to recognise he is answerable to the people and not the media trying to shape policy by forcing commitments such as “no carbon tax” a la Hadley.

  13. New England Cocky

    @ Kaye Lee: The Greens candidate in new e ngland has latched onto the Only Nutters idea for harvesting AEC election funding while holding a position of profit under the Crown as a Councillor at Glen Innes Severn Shire Council. There is some informed support for the Greens which may amount to the threshold four [percent (4%) (?) across the electorate. So damn the Australian Constitution s44(vi) which prohibits nomination for any individual holding a position of profit under the Crown and go for the money….. knowing that the representative of the Nazional$ is unlikely to lose given his 16+% margin of taken for granted voters.

  14. wam

    KAYE in 2016 the loonies got $6m. After the caravan the greens got at least $9m. I consider that a coup by the bandit’s loonies but neither a green nor a sympathiser, including you, acknowledges the success, both in cash and damage to labor. of bandit’s cunning plan. A big glitch was the greens, had no part to play in the balance.
    In your post they don’t get a mention and neither does palmer. for your info: Pauline copied the green’s AEC money making scheme and went one step further charging her volunteers for generic material. Palmer spent millions and I remember you (and labor) blaming him, not the greens, for labor’s loss in queensland(the lnp got the culprit right) He got 650k back for an outlay of $83m, I would consider that effective? You might be heartened by our voting today. there are two of us and only one old rabbottian lady left. So we thought a nett gain at last. Sadly her grand son came and zero again. As we walked in a loonie came and she said are you liberal? he said yes and she took the how to vote. what a quandary for me she is nearly 90 and here was a two vote turnaround but I weakened and told her it was the greens’ card. She dropped it like a hot potato.

  15. Kaye Lee

    “neither a green nor a sympathiser, including you, acknowledges the success, both in cash and damage to labor. of bandit’s cunning plan.”

    How very ScoMo of you.

    Let’s see. If I was a Labor strategist, having lost an unlosable election, would I have a name-calling dummy spit blaming someone else for stealing the election? Or would I recognise that my inconsistent messaging had bled votes in both directions?

    The people who took part in the convoy and their supporters were not united by a political party. Their common aim was to object to the opening up of a huge new coal basin. Labor had a bet each way and it backfired no doubt contributing to the rise in the Greens vote.

    You view everything through a political party lens. You continually want to categorise me that way. I wish you wouldn’t. You don’t understand people like me who care about issues, not parties. To paraphrase Tony Windsor, I don’t give a rat’s arse who cuts the ribbon as long as the bloody thing gets built – or not, as in the case of new coal mines.

    PS You have spent years complaining about Greens electoral funding and no-one else’s. It’s not me leaving things out. I think it is a stupid system.

  16. John Lord

    Brilliant piece. Many thanks.

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