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

the smear merchants « Previous | |Next »
August 23, 2012

It is not just the economics or the technology that is causing the media's woes. We also have the media letting Abbott get away with his exaggerations, lies, misinformation and the his slogans--- we can stop the boats, the carbon tax is destroying the economy, and people seeking asylum are illegals. Black is white in Abbott's inverted world but the media generally let it pass.

Why is this? What does this say about the media? What is going on? Tim Dunlop makes an obvious point about the media's conduct:

all the technology in the world isn't going to change anything if the people in charge continue to prioritise pap over substance.The media business might be struggling because of technological changes, but the quality of journalism is still down to decisions made by human beings.

It's more than pap--it is also smear and dirt in the form of innuendo and rumour. You can see Gillard's response to the campaign around the Slater & Gordon story here.

RoweDmuck.jpg David Rowe

The Australian is recycling false and defamatory material as part of a smear campaign. That too is the result of decisions made by the editors. Truth has seemingly become irrelevant. The News Ltd journalists are protagonists in the public arena in constant struggle with News Ltd's political enemies. They see them ---"liberals"---everywhere. It's a paranoid style.

It is ironic then that the journalistic commentary on the Slater and Gordon affair refers to the terrible blogosphere indulging in wild rumour, snark and smear (it's the blogosphere in general not particular bloggers) in contrast to the main stream media which ethically rejects that way of working.Glen Fuller and Jason Wiilson point out that:

Mainstream media often dismisses online forums, blogs and social media as constituting any sort of viable alternative to traditionally constituted, “quality” print and broadcast media. One of the reasons often given is the intemperate nature of online discussion, which is connected by critics with their easy accessibility, their lack of gatekeepers, and the anonymity or pseudonymity that they afford to users.

The purity of the mainstream media a false assumption, given The Australian's conduct and there is an marked unwillingness by journalists to call The Australian on its smear campaign and its justifications for that campaign.

The journalists will only do so when the PM does. They then report what Gillard says without reflecting on online publics in deliberative democracy, or on liberal democracy's decaying civic life and corrupt media. It's as if they don't know how to respond to the changing dynamic of everyday conflicts online.

The redeeming democracy through deliberation is outside their frame of reference even though they rage against the trolls. Trolling is still seen as an aberration-- the conduct of fringe weirdos that aim to derail the conversation -- rather than the norm in online discourse.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:43 PM | | Comments (10)
Comments

Comments

For journalists like Michelle Grattan all the dirt and filth resides in the bloggersphere-- Larry Pickering---- and not in The Australian.

The journalists continue to talk about Gillard's mistakes re the Slater and Gordon affair. What mistakes? There is nothing there. Gillard offered legal advice on establishing a legal entity believing it was to be used to assist union officials' re-election campaigns. And she hadn't signed the documents establishing it.

It's a smear campaign run by The Australian. The Australian newspaper accused Gillard for the third time of setting up a trust fund for Mr Wilson. The paper was forced to apologise for the third time.

The Australian has published more than 40 articles and opinion pieces about the allegations since first linking Ms Gillard to allegations of corruption in 1995, when Ms Gillard was a Labor candidate. More than three-quarters of the articles have been published this month.

"The News Ltd journalists are protagonists in the public arena in constant struggle with News Ltd's political enemies. They see them ---"liberals"---everywhere. It's a paranoid style."

The News Ltd journalists feed off their own resentments which are enlarged or amplified by News Ltd into public grievances among a mass of Americans unfairly denied voice by the elite (leftists). It's The Fox News American frame that is being deployed.

The paranoid style is by the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy (being denied free speech). It's an angry populism that claims that they are oppressed by the liberal press.

The real story is the conduct of the media not Gillard's mistakes or errors of judgement when she worked at Slater and Gordon

Hedley Thomas is still at it ---going on and on about "the slush fund", and saying nothing about the Australian's backdown re its claims.

Thomas's tactic is guilt by association.

According to the wingnuts, despite the PM facing the media barrage yesterday, there are still lots of "unanswered questions". Did John Howard ever face this sort of scrutiny from the MSM?

answered questions about what?

Mary... that's exactly my point. Those ppl just don't know when to quit.

There is no reason why cartoonists should be any more moral or sane than the rest of us, but what does it say about the OZ when one of its principal cartoonists is so degenerate in his personal life.

I recall something an American blogger wrote about Tea Party darling, Michele Bachmann.

Whenever anyone called her on her hysterical statements, she would just "double down on the crazy". Something she has in common with our Mr Abbott.