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

political cartooning « Previous | |Next »
September 29, 2007

I've missed Pryor's cartoons. For some reason the Canberra Times doesn't put them online these days . That's a pity because Pryor's work has a bite that is often missing from the work of the other Australian cartoonists.


It certainly makes makes some of the Canberra Press Gallery look like fluff pieces. Some of the political press at the right-wing noise machine----News Ltd---are saying that Rudd had another bad week, making it two in row; that Rudd is under pressure as his day of reckoning approaches; and that the political wobbles are caused by the Coalition targeting Rudd's glass jaw. So says Clinton Porteous in the Courier Mail. The coalition is catching up to Rudd as his lead narrows.

Give me Pryor any day to that kind of "political journalism" with its mind-numbing obsession with "horse race" analysis. The prose of the sophisticated insider political types is to prattle on in a speculative and gossipy manner about whether Howard and Rudd are winning and losing.

Have you noticed that these kind of pundits believe that they are representative of, and express, what most "ordinary Australians " believe? These pundits support the Howard agenda, the Canberra power system and the Canberra power brokers. In feeding off Canberra year after year these political journalists become appendages of it and vigorous defenders of nothing other than the Canberra system.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:01 PM | | Comments (8)



Race horse analysis is largely what the punters want in this "Election of the Stars" but how do you feel about that this election is the first without the Packer influence. Kerry I think delivered up the Leaping Numbats to the highest bidder and he did it for both sides. Some of the uncertainty out there could be attributed to the De-Packerization of this election.

Might there be a pattern to this thing wth Pryor. A good conspiracy theorist would also note the "disappearing" of Kostakidis from SBS and changes to Dateline. ABC seems also dumbed down since bite; no bark Mark Scott arrived with "bells and whistles" news service often devoid of content. Less content as to 4 Corners, Media Watch the purloined Lateline and other current affairs. Their doco section has been shut down, with it's former boss ( Dionne Gilmour? ) talking of a death of "excellence".
The Australian on-line changed its format, making it difficult to recover writers like Errol Simper and Emma Tom who are less dumbed down than others, whilst there is now direct access to tabloid content elsewhere, like a link to the Telegraph running something mucky on Britney's sex life, for example.
Equally disastrous parallel format changes at Ron Walker's Age and SMH (on line). Far less serious news, more Paris Hilton junk and an endless bowl movement of "lifestyle".
You'd think just one of these at a time individually, as in terms of bad taste?
But the lot, simultaneously?
Winston finally got his way with media, although it took a LONG time. Unless the condition of australian media and press is just a conspiracy theory. Even then, it's moot who is responsible for the "conspiracy", though.

The whole election is dumbed down. Like Les says, it's an election of the stars, celebrity politics. There's not really anything weighty enough for intelligent analysts to analyse.

I think the biggest issue of this election is John Howard. Not whether he's been good or bad for the country or whether he believes in climate change, but whether his era is over.

the issues are there to discuss since many of Howard's economic policies have been more about entrenching conservative power than about improving the economy.

Thus industrial relations is about greater flexibility in labour markets, hurting Labor by crippling its financial backers in the union movement, and destroying union power vis-a-vis employers.

The Canberra Press Gallery rarely focuses on this as they are concerned with the current state of the horse race.

Andrew Charlton points out more examples in The Age of Howard usign policies to entrench conservative power and marginalise the opposition to his Government.

re your comment that its an

election of the stars, celebrity politics. There's not really anything weighty enough for intelligent analysts to analyse.

The analysts could analyze the use of the media--eg., the negative advertsing as Jason Koutsoukis in his op-ed in The Age.


I can't remember where I saw it now, but somebody's focus group research said it's pointless criticising Howard because people who've supported him until now feel he's done a good job, best PM we've ever had.

I'm re-reading McKenzie Wark's Celebrities, Culture and Cyberspace. Howard was right when he said the times would suit him. He did what people wanted at the time and they still like him for it. Trouble is, everything was invested in Howard himself rather than the Liberal Party, and the times no longer suit him. Howard can't do climate change and he can't back off Workchoices. He's already being talked about in the past tense.

You have to wonder whether the gallery are capable of doing anything more than the two horse race thing. Half of them are celebrities themselves. Incredibly lazy ones. Maybe the race is the only way they can make sense of their own predicament.


Thanks. Interesting article. It will be interesting to see this ad campaign and just how low it actually goes.

I knew Luke Dunkerley, one of the Labor ad men, years ago. Very clever and very funny. I didn't know what had happened to him. Somehow I doubt the election ads will provide a creative outlet for humour.

Pryor is no doubt one of the best political cartoonists in the country. And he's not partisan - I lived in Canberra during the Keating years and for the last few years up to 1996, Keating was portrayed as Napoleon XIV with outrageous wigs, robes, etc.

I agree with you about Pryor---he has a very good grasp of how politics is actually played in Canberra. It is a pity more of his work is not online so that people can appreciate his brillance.