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Archive for May, 2011

Government has lost the media war

May 16, 2011 48 comments

It’s official.  The Government has been completely routed in the media war.  It is a triumph of the sound bite over dry facts, the beat-up over reality, and fiction over fact.

Now we all know the Government massively behind the eight ball, with a hostile media willing to make shit up to further their narrative, an Opposition willing to feed the chooks with all the 3 word slogan and sound bites they can deal with, and a largely apathetic public, but it shouldn’t have come to this.

To mind, there are a few reasons it has come to this:

  1. The disgusting media bias present in this country is just obscene at the moment.  If your opinion was formed purely by what the MSM reported you would think that the Government is taking all your money off you and pissing it up the wall with nothing to show for it. Also that they are taking every opportunity to knife you in the back and drive you into the ground.  Of course nothing could be further from the truth, but when every story on policy starts with “The Opposition says…” you know where you stand.
  2. By committing to cutting back on the obscene amounts spent on Government advertising they have effectively shot themselves in the foot.  With the MSM pissed off that they don’t have this massive stream of revenue any more and with the huge free kicks given to the LNP, you know they aren’t going to do them any favours.
  3. The “journalists” currently reporting on politics have so debased their profession that they have become glorified typists.  They no longer investigate or probe anything…if it’s juicy and given to them by the Opposition they will run it verbatim on page 1, then retract later on page 15 when the fallout happens.
  4. I hesitate to bring something this shallow up, but the Government needs to get some spokespeople with personality in front of the camera.  When the PM is speaking at a press conference I am constantly looking for a man with a box offstage because she is so robotic and affected.  The public can’t engage with them because they are simply so grey and politician-like.

Now I don’t think it’s a completely lost cause, but they need to take action quickly and strongly.

  1. Whenever an interviewer brings up a spurious talking point factoid, slap them down hard and fast.  Slam them with some short, punchy statements with salient facts and don’t be afraid to ridicule them.  I constantly find myself yelling at the screen during these situations, trying to get them to tell the person off.  A little gentle sarcasm or mocking wouldn’t go astray either…Aussies appreciate someone who doesn’t put up with shit and to watch some of them sit there and take it is just soul destroying at times.
  2. Get on live TV as much as possible.  This will eliminate the chance of unfavourable editing, plus if it is combined with 1. will make for great coverage the following day.
  3. For God’s sake inject some personality.  Everyone agrees that Julia is a fantastic performer during QT, routinely destroying the Opposition soundly but you never hear it at all.  She needs to bring this to her interviews and other media engagements.  I would love to hear her carve up some Limited News nuffie who asks her some ridiculous question about her jacket or handbag.

Any other suggestions?

PS  On a side note I had a brief discussion with a very LNP-leaning acquaintance that started with “so do you feel rich earning 150K +”?  Of course, this is the meme pushed by the MSM and he repeated their talking points verbatim.  From there we veered into the carbon tax (yes all the buttons were pushed in sequence) and he came out with something that just stopped me cold.  Even though I repeatedly told him the point of the carbon tax was that the polluters were taxed and that the money gained was passed on to us to compensate for price rises, he said that because those earning 150K were getting the family benefits cut, this meant that they would also not get full compensation from the carbon tax.  No matter how many times I tried to tell him they were completey unrelated (almost to the point of divorce from my nearby wife) he still conflated the two.

I wonder how commonplace this is?

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Australian cricket and the “Hate Club”

May 4, 2011 2 comments

I just read the latest Inside Sport magazine and came across an article by Will Swanton about the level of hatred displayed towards the Australian cricket team last summer.

Now I know he’s a News Ltd “journalist” so expectations are pretty low, but the story was the biggest bunch of arse-hatted dribble I had read in a long time.

The primary thesis of his story was that the team was being unfairly abused by the public for their perceived personal foibles as opposed to their on-field performances, and even though their performances were not great we should still barrack for them because they’re our team.  I don’t think I have ever read a bigger collection of cluelessness in one place.

One thing that seems to escape Will’s attention is that the vast majority of the dislike generated for the team is based purely on their ability…not on how good a bloke they are, especially in the case of Michael Clarke.

He does a great job of attempting to cover for Ponting, but the fact is that he is a very ordinary captain.  At the start of his career he had a kick-arse team that helped cover for his deficiencies, but as the stars retired he has been repeatedly found out.  Who can forget the incident when instead of pressing for a win with a wicket or two to go, he decides to switch out his successful bowlers for spinners in an effort to increase the over rate and avoid a fine.  Or perhaps the time when he wins the toss on a seaming pitch in humid conditions and elects to BAT FIRST…seriously, a lower grade club captain wouldn’t make a mistake as fundamental as that.

The biggest problem I (and probably a lot of other people) have with the Australian team is that the majority of them shouldn’t even be in the team based on their form or ability.  Ponting and Clarke as batsmen haven’t performed well enough to keep their positions, but because they are in leadership positions they are a protected species.  Another in this situation is Mike Hussey…apparently a century every 3 seasons is good enough to keep your spot these days.  I know the current argument is that there is no-one performing well enough in Shield cricket to warrant promotion, but if they never get the chance to prove themselves we’ll once again end up with a team full of 30+ year old debutants.

We all know the Cricket Australia hierarchy have their favourites, usually based on their marketability.  How else do you explain the constant talk of Philip Hughes being the next big thing when he can barely make the NSW state team?  Or Steve Smith as the next big all-rounder?

So despite Will’s mournful plaint that the cricket loving public just doesn’t understand these blokes and should cut them some slack, the reality is that the public understand a hell of a lot more than Cricket Australia and are not happy with the way they are the sport, all in the name of money.  We understand that’s why long-in-the-tooth players are kept in the team despite poor form, why talented Shield players are kept out of the squad in preference to flashy no-hopers with a hint of marketability *cough* David Warner *cough*, and also why the breeding ground for our future Test players is being diluted for some cheap-arse knock-off of the IPL in a n attempt to rake in some dough from the Twenty20 gravy train.

For these reasons I’m proud to proclaim my membership of the Hate Club.

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