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

blogger's criticism of the Canberra Press Gallery « Previous | |Next »
April 2, 2007

As I understand it the blogger's key criticism of the mainstream media is that journalists are partisan, because they now spin government claims and right-wing narratives, and do so uncritically and often with inaccuracies. The disaster of the Iraq War and the myths about that war which the Murdoch journalists allowed to take root -- and which they never investigated, exposed or attacked -- is an indictment of their profession.

I appreciate that Canberra has been a town dominated by the Liberal power structure for a decade or more, and that those journalists who see their job as breaking stories need to have meaningful political source. Consequently, they have needed to cultivate relationships with Liberal Party sources.

However, that process of currying favor with the Liberal power structure, listening to Liberal sources, being dependent upon Liberal favors and access means that many journalists in the Canberra Press gallery are on the Liberal Party drip feed, with several becoming spinners and attack dogs for the conservative movement against "the Left."

The second criticism is that the journalists are unwilling to address the way the above linkages is producing biased and corrupt journalism that undermines what the media claims is their core responsibiliy: -- to act as an adversarial check on government. This watchdog for democracy responsibility is what has been abdicated by large sections of the Canberra Press Gallery during the formation of the national security state.

This core watchdog responsibility is important because the conservative movement is an authoritarian movement, whose slogan "security leads to freedom", covers up the way that the Howard Government embraces and seeks ever-expanding government power within Fortress Australia. This power is based on the claimed need to protect the Australian people from all the scary, lurking dangers in the world just outside our national borders. These dangers about global terrorism are constantly stirred and inflamed in order to ensure the need for "security," from terrorists is ensured by vesting more and more power in the hands of strong, protective Leaders. These are leaders willing to take the tough decisions to deprive citizens of their liberty to ensure national security.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:43 AM | | Comments (2)


Gary, my first visit to your site - impressive site with a distinctly progressive slant (which I like).
'....strong, protective leaders." They may be seen as such by some of their supporters, perhaps by most of them, but for me they are nothing so much as a crushing weight against living freely in our country.

Imo, Howard and his colleagues are even more dangerous to our democracy than are Bush and the loons who surround him. Howard and Ruddock are manipulative and deceitful players in the game and they are achieving almost everything they desire without most of us even noticing. And what concerns me most of all is that I'm not sure Rudd and his gang will be much better. A little perhaps, but not much. The future holds much to concern us, I fear.

well there has been a lot of 'fear and loathing' under the Howard Government hasn't there, coupled with a creeping authoritarianism.

A Rudd-led ALP would probably trade in the fear and loathing a lot less; but I'm not sure about the drift to authoritarianism. They would allow it to happen is my guess.

Why so? Because the authoritarian measures are being implemented within a political structure that remains democratic. The War on Terror indicates this development :has prepared us for such a development: the normalisation of crisis produces a situation in which democratic rights and freedoms (habeas corpus, free speech and assembly) are suspended while democracy is still proclaimed.