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

the decline of Crikey « Previous | |Next »
September 25, 2006

I am a subscriber to Crikey's daily email and it has been worthwhile over the last 15 months. However, of late, the conservative political commentary by Christian Kerr has declined with his embrace of the Bush narrative of the West v Islam. This narrative is deployed by Kerr to target lefties as bad. Rarely is this kind of issue mentioned, let alone considered. What we have is the rhetoric of 'Chamberlain-like appeasers' used against the 'limp left' who question Bush's strategy of a full-frontal, global assault on Islam.

This is Kerr's effort on Friday:

It’s Friday, it’s been a long week --- so let’s wrap this up quickly. There’s been a lot of shouting in Crikey of late over the West and Islam ---yet I suspect that many of the people involved don’t really give a hoot about the issues supposedly invovled. I suspect that they’re simply anti-American. Ironically, one of the best recent wraps of this tendency comes from an Arab newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat. It’s carried some particularly sharp thoughts on Gunter Grass’ confessions of his SS past to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

We are then treated to an account of Grass's well known Nazi sympathies and not noticing racism in Germany.

Kerr reaches this conclusion:

Living under Hitler for 13 years, and not having noticed racism? Grass must have been deaf and blind. Indeed. If America’s involved, it must be bad. That’s about the only remaining shred of ideology the tired old leftists have to cling to.

Huh? German fascists and Australian lefties are equivalent because they are anti-American? That's trash talk --there is no argument here about the Rumsfeld strategy in Afghanistan or Iraq, or the issues raised by the war on terrorism. It's just guilt by association. If we disagree with Kerr's conservative moverment, then we are by definition endangering the security of the country.
Kerr's trash talk indicates how he has become a shrill cultural warrrior who belongs on the dark pages of The Australian. He is travelling along with the other neo-cons banging the war drum. Presumably, the bizarre acts committed by the US in Guatanamo, Abu Ghraib and the CIA's secret prisons to bring more democracy in the Middle East can be written off as the crimes of a few bad apples. That's moral clarity for you.

Crikey's distinctive political voice has gone.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:57 PM | | Comments (4)


someone left a comment on the post.Alas it was accidently deleted because the post was duplicated and the deleted post had the comments on deleted duplicate. Whoever it was could they redo their comments.

They started 'I couldn't agree more Gary....

Christian Kerr has really dragged the level of Crikey down, especially with his argument for the clash of civilisation in the last week.

Sad really, it was ok when CK was quite reasonable in his writings - I would say mostly misguided, but that's my standpoint.

Now he has become a pugilistic idealogue - like all the other members of the right wing commentocracy. You get the feeling he is trying to line up a job at The Australian.

he did go on about environmentalism and the greens in a hostile way that showed minimal understanding of the issues --eg water management, conservation and the National Water Initaitve.

A lot of what Kerr has been writing of late is self-promotion and marketing.He is positioning himself for sure.

Christian Kerr really pissed me off with some of his writings before he went away on holiday too -- particularly the knee-jerk type articles like the one claiming the anti-Exclusive-Brethren press was inspired by a Greens-led conspiracy, not inspired by the weird and wonderful practices of the EB per se.

He seems to have toned down lately though and gone back to being more intelligent and insightful than the typical federal parliamentarian rather than less.