Well, yet again I’ve let a member of the Abbott Government distract me from what I was intending to write about. I was going to write about the roundtable on climate change which the ABC calls “an unprecedented alliance of business, union, environmental, investor and welfare groups” and The Guardian refers to as “an unprecedented alliance of business, welfare and environmental groups and trade unions”…
Mm, I suspect that they received the same press release. Even The Herald-Sun refered to it as… as… well, I’m sure it must be there somewhere.
Anyway, I was going to just repeat myself by blathering on about the fact that it seems that a large number of diverse groups – not just your “lefty lynch mob” types – are suggesting that something more needs to be done about climate change. Of course, the Abbott Government would argue that removing a tax and taking taxpayer’s money to give to polluters is not only the most effective way of dealing with climate change, but is also a great way to balance the budget because that tax was costing everyone money. And there is an argument for that. Just like there’s an argument that the ABC is yet again showing what a pack of socialists they are by running a program critical of possible links between the mafia and politicians, when we all know that the mafia are the sort of entrepreneurial types that don’t rely on welfare. Personally, I think it smacks of racism because we’ve never worried about links between good old home grown criminals and politicians.
But I read the transcript of Mr Turnbull’s interview with Barrie Cassidy, and it seems that Turnbull has yet again demonstrated his capacity to take a strong principled stand right up to the point of actually doing something about it.
Ah, Malcolm, the man who brought us “utegate”. Malcolm, the man who seems to be able to imply that he knows that Abbott is going too far, but, well, what can one do but toe the party line? As he said toward the end of the interview, if they get a free vote then he’d vote for gay marriage, and he thinks that they should get a free vote. What more could one ask for in a politician? Cross the floor? Nah, then he’d have to resign from the ministry and he wouldn’t be in Cabinet and he wouldn’t be able to influence the government on such things as gay marriage.
In the Cassidy interview, there are some great bits where Malcolm attempts to explain how launching an inquiry into an editorial decision where the PM has already decided that heads must roll is not the same thing as attempting to interfere with an editorial decision. Basically the subtext was: “Yes, you’re free to do things that the government doesn’t like, and we’re free to launch an inquiry and have you taken off air.”
But it was his explanation of the difference between allowing Zaky Mallah to walk the streets when he was clearly not the sort of person who should be allowed into a studio audience that really confused me:
BARRY CASSIDY: What is the difference between him going into a shopping centre…
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Are you pulling my leg?
BARRY CASSIDY: Well what is the difference between him going into a shopping centre?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: After the Martin Place siege, you’re saying to me that there is no security issue with putting Zaky Mallah in a live audience with…
BARRY CASSIDY: Well what’s the difference between that and Zaky Mallah walking into a shopping centre?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, if you can’t see that, Barrie, I’m sorry. I mean, seriously, you’ve lost the plot there, with all due respect.
This is a high profile audience. It’s a very high profile target. This is a fellow that has threatened violence in the past, has been impris – threatened to kill people, gone to jail for it, been involved in, you know, buying ammunition…
Now, leaving aside the obvious point that Martin Place is in a shopping area so the idea that because of that incident, Q & A is somehow likely to be a target for a terrorist attack than a “shopping centre”, one has to ask how all the extra funding going to our security is being used. After all, if this “dangerous” man in the audience has accessed weapons in the past few months, then surely our security forces would know about it. I mean, with his record they must be keeping tabs on him, surely. And if he was involved in the acquisition of anything that could cause damage, then some action would have been taken, surely.
Whatever, Turnbull seems to be saying that Q & A is a likely target because it has high profile people. Wouldn’t this suggest that it’s a dangerous place to appear at any time, because, after all, it may not be a person known to security forces who is the security risk. Someone like the guy in the Martin Place siege. Oh wait, he was known. Just ignored.
But this still doesn’t explain why – if he sees Zaky Mallah as a danger – why he’s allowed to walk the streets. Is it because he doesn’t really think that Mallah is a real threat to people. Or is it that people in “shopping centres” are more expendable than high profile people?
And Liberals are now refusing to go on Q & A. Is this just so they can complain about ABC bias because there have been no Liberals on for since June, or do they know something? Yes, you’re right, it’s highly unlikely that they know something. There’s absolutely no evidence of that.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Now, in the light of all of that, you get back to that fundamental question: why on earth would the ABC you know, Barrie, I support the ABC, but I’ve got to tell you, the ABC is different to any other media organisation. It has a statutory responsibility to be accurate and impartial and objective.
BARRY CASSIDY: And it’s also independent. It’s a public broadcaster.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: It is independent of government, but it has a higher duty, it has a duty of objectivity that the rest of the media does not. They can be as opinionated as they like.
I’m still trying to work out what the “fundamental question” is in that little ramble. However, I find it fascinating that Malcolm Turnbull thinks that there is NO duty of objectivity in the rest of the media. While I certainly believe that independent media have the right to an editorial opinion, surely there are some standards of objectivity in the reporting of what we laughingly call “news”. Does he really believe that the media have a right to run campaigns vilifying certain sections of the community just because they don’t have to be objective? Oh wait… Silly me. Well, I’m sure that even Turnbull would have a slight problem if any of the major media organisations started prefacing all articles refering to him with “failed Liberal leader” Malcolm Turnbull, or refered to his reliance on the forged email when attacking Rudd in 2009 over the alleged misleading of Parliament.
Still, I did wonder about Turnbull’s suggestion that Cassidy had “lost the plot”. Is this an admission that the Liberal’s have one? And who are they plotting against?
P.S. Investment tip of the week: Get out of real estate and buy shares in flag company.
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