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

The Australian writes crap « Previous | |Next »
August 3, 2011

This is what passes for political journalism in Australia. Nikki Savva uses a chat involving an unknown senior Labor Cabinet minister with an acquaintance to further News Ltd's campaign against the Gillard Government. How does Savva know what was said in this private conversation?

SchanckMurdoch.jpg Schank

Her "argument" is constructed thus. The prominent member of a government (no not Martin Ferguson, so guess who) is a secret climate change denier, who says that carbon tax is destroying the Gillard Government; and that the media bias campaign being waged by the government, principally against News Limited, is a diversion. Although he (not she, so guess who) did not canvass Julia Gillard's removal in the conversation Savva is no doubt what the signs all mean.

Savva decodes this private conversation thus: the dogs are barking, the cocks are crowing and the galahs are talking. She neglected to mention the frogs. Clearly, all this chatter means that Gillard is in trouble, Labor's despair is now in depression mode, the factional knives are out and it's only a question of time before Gillard is cut down by the faceless factional bosses who have always ruled the ALP. Gavva would know. She has the inside info on what is really happening in politics.

There we have the classic example of the policy free commentary of the Canberra Gallery on display built on one anonymous cabinet minister recently revealing his desolation in a conversation with an acquaintance where he supposedly confessed political life had become near intolerable. How did Gavva know? Maybe she was a fly on the wall? Seduced the acquaintance to tell all? Used a private detective to hack into the phones?

There is no mention in the column of the NBN, health reform, carbon tax , MRRT the Malaysian deal on refugees; let alone the implications of the shift to a digital economy that is taking place all around us.

This kind of "journalism" is what gives journalist such a bad name--it's just toeing a political line of News Ltd 's agenda without "telling all sides of the story in any kind of dispute." This partisan political commentary in the guise of journalism has nothing to do with truth, accountability or public interest. The distrust of Canberra Press Gallery arises because much of their "journalism" is little more than rampantly partisan news commentary churned out by ideological warriors.

That's Murdoch's way. The hacks do as they are told. If not they are out.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:57 AM | | Comments (12)


So much for traditional journalism

Savva's work cannot be called quality journalism

Succinctly stated.

This morning Fran at the ABC had a conversation with Michelle from the MSM and some bloke from channel 7.
The topic apparently [this is actually a second hand report from Ms fred] was the policy progress, or otherwise, of the government.
It seems that the 3 journos engaged in a bit of media cross fertilization actually agreed that the government is enacting considerable positive policy for the betterment of Australian society and that some credit must go to PM Gillard for her considerable negotiating skills.
Hmm, that's nice, a rare positive assessment.
But ....
They, apparently, agreed that the govt, Gillard in particular I presume, has an 'image' problem.

The irony of that escaped them. They were unaware that they are the keepers and creators of image creation in Oz.


Niki Savva is particularly bad. Most of them at least gesture towards policy or some kind of real life contact with an informant. She just pulls stuff out of thin air. And she draws the most absurd conclusions. Even Glen Milne is better.

I've wondered whether she has a drinking problem. There's partisan and there's loopy. Savva is definitely playing at the loopy end of the sandpit.

it was not quite thus:

the 3 journos engaged actually agreed that the government is enacting considerable positive policy for the betterment of Australian society and that some credit must go to PM Gillard for her considerable negotiating skills.

Malcolm Farr, the National politcal editor of, was concerned to assess Gillard's outcomes according to Rudd's promises--eg., on hospital reform funding.

The reform has turned otherwise---taking over GST--- and so Gillard has come up short. It's case of Gillard reducing the goals and our expectations--ie., cutting things short. So it's a black mark not a tick.

What Murdoch is doing with his media is to misrepresent the democratic choices we face., in order to persuade us to vote against our own interests and in favour of his.

So we should support lower taxes for the rich, weaker regulations for industry, and worse health, education and social insurance for ourselves.

News Ltd is trying to persuade us to vote against our own interests: to shrink the state, and to support spending cuts rather than tax rises.

Poor conservatives. You've got to feel sorry for them. They are the victims of an illiberal left that tricks them all the time.

The right --eg., Janet Albrechtson --- keep on writing in the Murdoch Press how the oh so clever PC crowd who run the show (the New Class) keep on telling us what to think and closing down discussion by using a variety of tactics.

Over the past few weeks, some on the Left have claimed that those of us who have raised questions about multiculturalism, immigration and the relationship between Islam and modernity have blood on our hands for the mass murder in Oslo. Here, murder is used as a muzzle to close down free speech. And this is just the latest addition to a growing list of tactics to curb free speech, and even worse, to stifle genuine inquiry.

This is her response to those legitimately pointing out was that many of the right wing journalists jumped to premature conclusions that the Oslo massacre was an Islamic terrorist attack.

The poor dears have to be on their toes and watching their backs 24/7. It must be such hard work since the PC crowd use so many tricks and much trickery to stifle dissent and vest moral authority in one voice.

Doesn't Murdoch own 70% of the print media in Australia?

Janet Albrechtsen's rant is an example of what News Ltd call quality journalism. It is what they want us to pay for!

The irony is that little criticism is allowed inside News Ltd.

At the Australian, which sees itself as the opposition to the Gillard Government, Chris Mitchell, the editor-in-chief, is a dictator who tolerates little dissent at the tactics used by his newspaper to shit on the government day after day.

The Australian, and the rest of New Ltd's newspapers are not held to account. The Press Council is a joke.

Savva- Australia's answer to Rebekah Brooks!
I see Stutchbury has executed another failed campaign against Quiggin, also.
Vicious b-stards they are, and never more so than when they've been caught out, as recent weeks demonstrate.

Quiggin's criticism of the Murdoch Press in the AFR seem quite reasonable. Referring to the phone hacking scandal in the UK he asks, 'What are the implications of all this for Australia? He answers thus:

It seems unlikely that there has been any significant phone hacking here: that appears to be a UK-specific pathology. But in other respects, the power of News Corporation and the shamelessness with which that power is used to promote the political and commercial interests of the Murdoch empire is even greater here than in the UK.

He then adds:
The blatantly fact-free political campaigns run by News Corporation on issues such as climate change and fiscal stimulus have created huge difficulties for the Labor government (the Obama Administration in the US has had similar problems). Dealings between governments and the press are constrained by a set of conventions based on the presumption that the press is supposed to present a more or less accurate report of the events they cover and that governments are obligated to treat the press as a group seeking to find and report the truth. When that ceases to be the case, as it has done with News Corporation, it is hard to know how to respond.

News Ltd clearly breaks the the set of conventions underpinning the relationship between government and the media in which the press presents a more or less accurate report of the events they cover and that governments are obligated to treat the press as a group seeking to find and report the truth.

Murdoch draws a distinction between reporting and commentary and says that the reporting is accurate whilst the commentary is opinion from a political perspective. In Australia News Ltd's reporting is mixed up with reporting --eg., around climate change and the NBN.

It is fairly obvious and well known that News Ltd run political campaigns as opposed to finding and reporting the truth. So Quiggin isn't saying anything outrageous.

That's the beauty of the tactic.
Employ it against a moderate to make them seem further across the political spectrumas to hue, than they actually are. Anyone further left starts to take on the apparition of some bomb thrower from Doestoyevski.