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

media + politics « Previous | |Next »
October 14, 2007

It's English imagery but change the faces of the politicians in the image and it applies to Australia. Or does it? It's a key question now that the election has been called on cue.

Steve Bell

Will Murdoch support his old political friend, a scrappy Coalition and the conservative ascendancy? Or will he embrace political realism, betray his old friends and pump for Rudd and the conservative ALP? What will Murdoch do about the growing sense of grievance in the electorate? Ignore it? He's not known for his support forr furthering democracy is he?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:25 PM | | Comments (9)


I dipped into the Brisbane Courier Mail over the weekend. It's very very hostile to Rudd----redneck conservatism? Agrarian populism?


Qld is having a bit of an identity crisis. The redneck conservatism and agrarian populism sets are still strong, but they're ebbing. But nothing has really come along to replace it yet.

I suspect that the Murdoch papers here are having the same problems as Murdoch papers everywhere - cred's wearing off.

the News Ltd electoral narrative is ’Coalition on the comeback’; 'Rudd losing traction';“The Narrowing” is happening; Howard hits his stride.; Rudd suffers body blow etc etc

Another theme is 'Gillard is Far Left' one:--she is anti-business and cannot be trusted. She's a witch.

the Murdock papers have a clear political agenda. Our Leaders need more power because they want to protect us in an evil world populated by Islamaic terrorists who hate us.

Such power should be vested without oversight and safeguards. Our leaders and officials are good and responsible and would never abuse their power.


For mine, that's ample reason alone to hope Rudd wins. We need to bury the idea that Murdoch automatically has that much power.

The widespread belief that he has that power is half the reason he actually has it. Nobody can take away the actual power, but a convincing Rudd win would go a long way to challenging him.

Margaret Simons in daily Crikey says:

in these very early days of the campaign some interesting things can be said about the coverage. This is based on impressions, rather than detailed content analysis, but it seems to me that while all the broadsheets could be accused of bias, the much mocked tabloids are actually playing it right down the middle, which challenges the usual lefty assumptions about Rupert Murdoch’s bias.

She adds that:
My impression – and the hard content analysis should and no doubt will be done – is that the broadsheets are perhaps unconsciously tending to play culture war games. The tabloids on the other hand know that for most Australians, there is no culture war – or at least none that is of relevance or interest to them.

It is the Australian that is not playing down it down the middle.


That was interesting. Tabloids don't get around to politics until page 6 or 7 but the broadsheets do hysterical headlines. It reminded me of the GG response when the blogosphere challenged their interpretation of the polls. There was a suggestion that they understand themselves to be participating as much as reporting on politics.

If Murdoch has the influence over editorial he's thought to have, he seems to be playing it both ways.

when conservatism became successful --and fashionable--diuring the decade after 1996 a space was opened up in Australia for conservative journalists with fiery rhetoric about press or media being captured by liberalism.

Referring to the US during the Reagan regime, Geoffrey Baker, writing in the New York Review of Books, says:

The new conservative journalists were high-spirited and zealous for battle. Their eagerness to become unabashed political warriors coincided with journalism's transformation into "media," a slippery word that usually means "television," which usually means "the entertainment business." With television even politics could be entertaining if staged as a good brawl. Lyn, when Suddenly there were careers and money to be had for journalists ready to put on makeup, abandon objectivity, and duke it out rhetorically on camera with colleagues of opposing political persuasions.

Once converted into a "personality," a journalist ceases simply "appearing" on TV and begins "performing."


We have been treated to a smorgasbord of conservative celebrities and celebrity conservatives for a decade. In that same decade we've been introduced to Big Brother and the turkey slap, Queer Eye For a Straight Guy and Alan Jones' sexuality.

Freud anyone?