Ok, so this is just an obvious joke which you’ve probably heard:
It’s wrong to call Rupert Murdoch the Devil! I mean he may have done some pretty nasty things but he’s never been as lacking in ethics as Murdoch…
One of the difficulties I have when I look at the current state of the media in this country is working out to what extent that the particular journalist is running an agenda where they don’t care what the truth is, or whether they’re actually as stupid as they appear.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not arrogant enough to think that anyone who disagrees with me is ignorant and dull-witted. And, of course, when you have billionaires and multimillionaires owning sections of the media, they will be appointing editors who share their worldview. It’s not necessary for Richie Rich to dictate to Hass Noebbels what slant to give a particular issue. Rich knew that Noebbels supports a small government, low tax, pro-MAGA agenda; he wouldn’t have appointed him otherwise. And, in case you think I’m being sexist with my pronouns there, well, isn’t that just the sort of thing you woke people would say, and that’s exactly why you’re not editing the paper…
It’s no surprise that the editors of the papers owned by the one percent are also owned by the one percent, so, as the joke goes, if Anthony Albanese were to walk on water across Lake Burley Griffin, the Murdoch headline would be: ALBO CAN’T SWIM! The idea that papers push the agendas of big business when they’re owned by big businesses is no more a surprise than if the ACTU bought out a media company that they’d appoint an editor with a pro-union background, rather than Andrew Bolt.
The surprise is that some people don’t seem to agree that the ABC should be more left leaning than media companies that are unapologetically right wing in order to provide the balance that’s in its charter. Similarly, if all the media companies were suddenly taken over by socialists, then the ABC should be more pro free market than the rest of the media. The ABC should be presenting the both the views of the rest of the media AND some alternatives.
So it’s rather strange the way ABC has framed some stories in their news bulletins…
Actually it occurs to me that it’s strange that we use the term “stories” when talking about news items and never take a step back to consider that a story is something with a narrative which is often fictional…
Anyway, the lead is frequently something along the lines of “The Government has been criticised over its announcement/decision/action.” However, when you are given the substance you find that nearly all the criticism is from the Opposition and groups affected by the decision are either ambivalent or mildly supportive. It’s not that the position of the group of Abbott disciples shouldn’t be included; it’s simply that, by making it the lead, it sounds like the government is coming under fire from neutral observers. It’d be like announcing “Breakthrough in male pill condemned as dangerous!” only to find that it was the Pope who is merely reiterating his Church’s position on birth control.
And the lack of pushback from the idea that the Voice Referendum was a “disaster” certainly demonstrates a lack of balance from our ABC. Now if it were the proponents of the Voice pushing that narrative I could understand it. However, the idea that it was failure is predominantly coming from those who opposed it. This only needs a moment of reflection to see how weird it is:
- Are they opposed to the holding of referendums? If not, why is it a “disaster” when the status quo is maintained?
- In a time when people are struggling with the cost of living wasn’t the $400 million plus cost of the referendum a good way to put money in people’s pockets? After all, where did the costs go? Workers employed by the electoral commission, printing, advertising and various other things which would have put money into people’s pockets…
- Or are they saying that it was a disaster because people listened to them and voted accordingly?
Whatever one thinks of the current government, I’m worried about the way that the ABC seems to be going along with the whole politics as a sporting contest thing. You know, we’re not analysing whether it’s good or bad policy, whether what people are saying is factually correct, all we’re interested in is who scored and who’s in front and whether the pitch will respond to spin now that the pace attack has failed to remove the minister.
While it’s not entirely true that the media never look at the veracity of claims, it’s usually done as a gotcha moment. Just like when the politician is asked the “Have you stopped beating your wife?” question. A yes is bad but a no is worse, and the politician has to be on his or her toes to answer without actually saying anything. Even a question such as, “Why have you changed your mind on this?” is loaded with the implication that any human who has discovered new information and decided that a different path would be worth following is far too wishy-washy to be ever trusted, whereas a pig-headed ignoramus who never admits to being wrong is the sort of person that we need. For some reason I just remembered that Rupert has recently hired Tony Abbott…
When Peter Dutton said the quiet bit out loud about how he wasn’t interested in making it easy for Labor to govern, surely that should have been the signal that he’s not interested in working with them to improve conditions for all Australians by mitigating their poor policy. In other words, Dutton was saying that he wants to screw things up as badly as he can in order to improve his chances of being elected. While he may not be the first Opposition leader to think that way, there’s a danger with making it too obvious. You might as well say, “Yes well, this is a great idea and very much needed but we’re going to try and block it because it might make the government too popular!”
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