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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Parliament & the media « Previous | |Next »
April 3, 2004

The fray over the Leader of the ALP opposition saying that he would withdraw troops from Iraq before Xmas on a radio interview caused a political storm in the Canberra hothouse. By the weekend the storm had pretty much blown itself out.

The after image from the storm is this:

CartoonNicolson3.jpg
Nicholson

Of course, that is how the conflict looks from the outside looking through the media prism; the broken window onto a despised breed of men behaving badly. Inside the institution the conflict is experienced quite differently. What the public see as real from the outside when it is but the theatre of political combat. And Don Watson adds, thanks to the short carefully edited grabs of the media, the public just see the theatre when it is real combat.

The media must now be rubbing their hands with glee. When the oomph is back in politics, it means increased ratings for the networks. They have something to sell in an election year. The media prism is increasingly turned onto politics. Profits will flow from reshaping the political combat as spectacle and tapping into, and feeding the public's loathing of politicians behaving badly.

Hence the media's focus on Question Time in the House of Representatives and ignoring the good second reading speeches in the Senate. The consequence of the media's prism is the evacuation of meaning of the combat and less and less understanding of the political traditions that inform and give the substance tot he combat. All the media shows us is the drama and the spectacle.

The media now determines the form, and increasingly, the content of the political debate.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:31 AM | | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (1)
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My month or so's contract work of doing philosophy in federal Parliament is drawing to a close. My intense experience over that month in there political machinery of the state reaffirmed Carl Schmitt's thesis that the essential political distinction is... [Read More]

 
Comments

Comments

yeh. the "little chap" dragging Latham down to the cesspool...
The way the liberation of Iraq is going though you'd have to say Latham is on a winner.

It's rather amusing. Just how long should a 'lengthy' briefing be? The very name says it should be brief, but how brief?

Enough to touch and cover all the bases of the issue. Otherwise it is not a briefing.