Category: Media

Combatting fake news

Which organisations are the primary generators of destructive falsehoods in Australia? Here, IA’s trusty Facebook friends have been helpful once again.

The groups nominated most frequently by readers include:

  • News Corp;
  • commercial radio and television newsrooms;
  • the Institute of Public Affairs;
  • the Liberal Party;
  • the National Party;
  • public relations consultants used by the above parties;
  • big business peak bodies;
  • the big four banks and some other finance corporations;
  • mining and forestry corporations and industry groups;
  • some municipal councils;
  • some property development corporations; and
  • leadership teams of some rich mega-churches.

via Combatting fake news

Attorney-General Christian Porter walks away from AFP claims

Attorney-General Christian Porter says he had limited information when claiming journalists were not the target of police investigations.

Bad blood between media chiefs and the Morrison government deepened on Friday after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton rejected demands to drop police action against three high-profile journalists and implied the reporters committed a crime by receiving top-secret documents.

Mr Dutton on Friday rejected demands from media chiefs to drop any action against the reporters, arguing “nobody is above the law”.

“I think it is up to the police to investigate, to do it independently and make a decision about whether or not they prosecute,” he told Nine’s Today program.

UN

“We are seeing a lot of backsliding around the world in democratic societies around basic protections, and a lot of it has been digital interference [with press freedoms],” he said, citing newly intrusive laws in France and Britain.

“Australia is following that line. But I think it’s also gone a lot further.”

“We are in a golden age of surveillance: all these digital tools of convenience [we use] have given governments enormous technological power to get access to everything we do and everything we say,” he said.

“There is this deeply unfortunate confluence of post-9/11 and the rise of the digital age that made it close to impossible to protect the privacy of [journalistic] work.

“People could care less about journalists. But they should care about the possibility in the future to have adequate and accurate information about what their governments are doing.”

When Will Americans Realize We’re Not the Good Guys?

When Will Americans Realize We're Not the Good Guys?

To sum up, no one should ever claim that we Americans aren’t “at home” in the world. We’re everywhere, remarkably well funded and well armed and ready to face off against the aggressors and provocateurs of this planet. Just one small suggestion: thank the troops for their service if you want, and then, as most Americans do, go about your business as if nothing were happening in those distant lands. As we head into election season 2020, however, just don’t imagine that we’re the good guys on Planet Earth. As far as I can tell, there aren’t many good guys left.

via When Will Americans Realize We’re Not the Good Guys?

Major newspapers largely leave new report of sexual assault by Trump off their front pages

A new report of sexual assault committed by President Donald Trump has come to light, but several major newspapers didn’t find the story important enough to place on their front pages.

via Major newspapers largely leave new report of sexual assault by Trump off their front pages

The falsity of fake news – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Difficult to pin down when this narrative actually began, but for argument’s sake I’ll posit its start with the recent Australian Federal Election and the plethora of fake news trumpeting a Labor victory.

A successive run of negative polls published over at least two years, pointed to this mythical Labor win.

Indeed, dire poll numbers prompted Malcolm Turnbull’s putsch, which lead to the demise of Tony Abbott and ultimately the triumph of Scott Morrison.

The script suggested a brave new Shorten Labor Government replete with the sparkling post-modern trappings of a new Whitlam/Hawke/Keating imperium.

But the thumping hangover of this self-inflicted delusion is made worse by recent raids on the ABC and a News Corp journalist, both aided and abetted by the home-grown master of the dark art of fake news, the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton.

The falsity of fake news – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Alan Jones’ climate change ‘argument’

Jones is one of these illogical people. The problem is that he has been given a microphone to peddle his rubbish to thousands of listeners and give succour to far-right politicians who spruik similar rubbish in the party room.

via Alan Jones’ climate change ‘argument’

Half of Americans see fake news as bigger threat than terrorism, study finds | US news | The Guardian

Lawmakers have yet to take concrete action against fake news and misinformation.

Australia doesn’t care about Fake News it cares about Real News getting out (ODT)

Almost 70% of Americans feel fake news has greatly affected their confidence in government institutions, a new study says

via Half of Americans see fake news as bigger threat than terrorism, study finds | US news | The Guardian

Why the raids on Australian media present a clear threat to democracy

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One of the most disturbing outcomes is not prosecutions or even the raids themselves, but the chilling of public interest journalism. Sources are less likely to come forward, facing risk to themselves and a high likelihood of identification by government agencies. And journalists are less likely to run stories, knowing the risks posed to their sources and perhaps even to themselves.

via Why the raids on Australian media present a clear threat to democracy

AFP raid home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst over national security reporting

Annika Smethurst's home was raided by AFP.

Is this a false flag to distract from the ATO’s whistle blower? (ODT)

The actions are in connection to an April 2018 story that revealed internal government discussions about giving electronic intelligence agency the Australian Signals Directorate greater power to respond to threats on Australian soil.

AFP raid home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst over national security reporting

Enough ‘gotcha’ campaign coverage. Here are five ways the media can better cover elections

Screenshot_2019-06-03 Enough 'gotcha' campaign coverage Here are five ways the media can better cover elections.jpg“The reason is simple: for political parties, elections are make or break, determining their fate for the next three years; for the media, an election is just another story, admittedly a long-running and important story, but not an organisation-transforming event.” Conversation

I disagree I believe elections are a long runningmedia “investment” $80 million proved that and Murdoch media was a long term investor in the the conservatives and has been since Bob Hawke. It’s conservative leanings aren’t aimed at the general electorate but are focused on where the profit is and that’s not with the ALP. News Corp is less focused on news and far more on influence for money and PR. How much did they make this election? To say News Corp runs at a loss is merely to say they don’t pay tax. (ODT)

Enough ‘gotcha’ campaign coverage. Here are five ways the media can better cover elections

 

Here’s a Breakdown of Trump’s Most Effective Rhetorical Weapons — and Why They Could Get Him Reelected | The Smirking Chimp

Soundbytes won the last election in Australia because of short memories and Media (ODT)

5. Trump claims that U.S. economy is better than ever

Trump obviously realizes that many Americans, like himself, have short attention spans. Democrats are much better at nuance, but when so many Americans respond instinctively to soundbites — not nuance or intricate details — Democrats are fighting an uphill battle. Trump has repeatedly congratulated himself for the United States’ low unemployment rates of 2018 and 2019, but the devil is in the details: the country was recovering significantly from the Great Recession when Obama was still president — and not all Americans have been feeling the recovery. But when Trump stresses that “our economy is better than it has been in many decades” and tries to take credit for it, his base is going to buy into it — even if they’re still struggling.

via Here’s a Breakdown of Trump’s Most Effective Rhetorical Weapons — and Why They Could Get Him Reelected | The Smirking Chimp

The Mass Media Is Poisoning Us With Hate | The Smirking Chimp

“If you’re constantly winding up audiences and telling them that all of their troubles are a result of this other group that is literally Hitler, that they’re literally Nazis, they’re literally Stalin, sooner or later some people are going to start picking up weapons and do something crazy,” Taibbi said. “This is why people are correctly upset about Fox News. But they should also be concerned about other forms of media. The formula is similar across the board.”

“Our system of bubble economics is going to produce some kind of a catastrophe at some point,” Taibbi, the author of one of the finest books on the 2008 financial crash, “Griftopia,” concluded. “At which point, if you tell people often enough that their next-door neighbor is literally in the league with Nazis or terrorists or whatever it is—of course Fox pioneered this, going back to the Iraq War, when we were told liberals were terrorist supporters—sooner or later, there’s going to be violence. The inability of society to agree on a common set of facts means the media has failed already. It means we’re just not reaching people. [In this atmosphere] we will never be able to work things out in a civil way.”

via The Mass Media Is Poisoning Us With Hate | The Smirking Chimp

Media Censors the Opinions of 37% of Americans. And Now They’re Gloating About It. | The Smirking Chimp

Thirty-seven percent of American citizens are socialist or communist. That’s far more people than voted for either Hillary Clinton (28% of eligible voters) or Donald Trump (27%) in 2016.

The majority is voiceless. A privileged minority rules. The United States is a political apartheid state.

If the Left were allowed on the ballot in this fake democracy, given space in newspapers and on television, invited to join political debates, and if it wasn’t brutally suppressed by the police and FBI, the Left wouldn’t need to wage a revolution in order to take over the country. Leftists could easily win at the ballot box if America were a real democracy.

via Media Censors the Opinions of 37% of Americans. And Now They’re Gloating About It. | The Smirking Chimp

Alan Jones revels in Q&A’s free kicks but there is no clear path ahead

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Problem the electorates that count don’t watch Q&A (ODT)

If you were wondering what the newly-elected Morrison government has in store for the next three years, Q&A was the place for you to come … and leave with absolutely no idea.

via Alan Jones revels in Q&A’s free kicks but there is no clear path ahead

Ex-Murdoch lieutenant Chris Mitchell says criticism of News Corp ‘worth thinking about’

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via Ex-Murdoch lieutenant Chris Mitchell says criticism of News Corp ‘worth thinking about’

Andrew Bolt was never a “chief lieutenant” so he just hung on the tail of the rise (ODT)

Rupert Murdoch’s former chief lieutenant in Australia, Chris Mitchell, says criticism of News Corp’s political reporting from current and former journalists is “worth thinking about”, amid outrage over the media empire’s election coverage.

Mr Mitchell – who was editor-in-chief of The Australian for 13 years until 2015 – praised this week’s two most prominent News Corp critics as excellent journalists, although he argued the furore about the company’s coverage was overblown.

Disproportionate Sentences: Julian Assange, Bail, and Extradition – » The Australian Independent Media Network

 

With Assange being treated as a felon of grave importance; and Manning’s continued detention for her ongoing refusal to cooperate with the investigative grand jury in the United States, the press corps of the world should be both revolted and alarmed. What a delightful World Press Freedom Day it turned out to be.

via Disproportionate Sentences: Julian Assange, Bail, and Extradition – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Lawrence O’Donnell Rips Liar-in-Chief’s ‘Vile, Despicable’ And ‘Hitlerian’ Abortion Lie | Crooks and Liars

O’Donnell introduced the clip as “one of the ugliest lies of his presidency, possibly his ugliest lie, possibly his worst lie,” which it is. After warning that he was playing the clip rather than reading the words, he played a brief clip of the “poisonous” lie that doctors and mothers conspire to kill babies.

“This is vile, despicable, deplorable lying by a man who clearly now is willing to say absolutely anything to hold onto the presidency,” O’Donnell said.

Lawrence O’Donnell Rips Liar-in-Chief’s ‘Vile, Despicable’ And ‘Hitlerian’ Abortion Lie | Crooks and Liars

and

https://crooksandliars.com/2019/04/neonatal-nurses-bash-trumps-lies-about

Assange: Press Freedom Endangered by Charge of Conspiracy between Publisher and Source

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Could Conspiracy charges extend to all those that supported Wikileaks too. Morally, Financially, technically how far can the US spread these charges? (ODT)

CPJ has long raised concerns about the legal implications for a prosecution of Assange, primarily related to legal theories that he could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. In 2010, CPJ wrote a letter urging the DOJ not to prosecute WikiLeaks under the Espionage Act for publishing activities. In 2018, CPJ published a blog arguing that conspiracy charges against Assange could set a dangerous precedent.

via Assange: Press Freedom Endangered by Charge of Conspiracy between Publisher and Source

Republicans & Rupert Murdoch Created al-Qaeda when Ilhan Omar’s Somalia upheld Scientific Socialism

https://www.juancole.com/images/2019/04/ronald-reagan-mujahideen-750x424.jpg

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The dishonest smearing of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) by the Rupert Murdoch press,including the New York Post and Fox Cable News, on which the despicable Trump piled on, contains more ironies than her defenders for the most par realize.

Omar spoke at the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in March, saying, “Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it . . . CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

She is right. The 9/11 terrorist operation that killed nearly 3,000 Americans was the work of a small fringe extremist group, consisting of only a few thousand vigilante guerrillas out of a world-wide Muslim population of 1.8 billion.

via Republicans & Rupert Murdoch Created al-Qaeda when Ilhan Omar’s Somalia upheld Scientific Socialism

The media still thinks I run the United Patriots Front

It is not the Muslims’ fault that 51 of their number were killed. It is not the Greens’ fault that it happened. It is the fault of the individual, the movement that took him in and radicalised him, the ideology that informed him and the institutions that supported that ideology — such as the Australian media. In 2017, I stepped into the light of national mainstream media attention simply by putting on a ridiculous pantomime of real patriot groups. I succeeded in it with ease, because our mainstream media apply no critical thinking when broadcasting organised white supremacists. It was a fun failure to point out through MFP in 2017.

via The media still thinks I run the United Patriots Front

Compared with the rest of the world, Australia’s economy has deteriorated badly across the board – Michael West

Household wealth and income

Rate of annual wage rises: down from seventh in 2013 to 21st now.

Gross domestic product per capita: down from fifth to seventh.

Gross national savings: down from ninth to 19th.

Mean wealth per adult: down from second to fourth.

Household debt: up from the fourth highest to the second highest.

Gini coefficient (equality of wealth distribution): down from 12th to 28th.

Government and business measures

Budget deficit as a percentage of GDP: down from ninth to 25th;

Government spending as a percentage of GDP: down from fifth to eighth;

Growth in the volume of exports of goods and services: down from fourth to 18th.

Heritage Foundation economic freedom: down from first to third.

Value of the Australian dollar: down from 92 U.S. cents to 71.1 cents.

Value of the Australian dollar: down from 91.3 Japanese yen to 79.3 yen.

Value of the Australian dollar: down from 116 Kiwi cents to 105 cents.

There are probably only two significant variables on which Australia has improved relative to the rest of the world since 2013 — executive salaries and corporate profits. This explains why this analysis will not be found in Australia’s mainstream media.

via Compared with the rest of the world, Australia’s economy has deteriorated badly across the board – Michael West

How the Media Launders Fossil Fuel Propaganda

There it was in black and white ­— or black, white, and a palette of gentle greens and blues. With a headline predicting that natural gas “will thrive in the age of renewables,” the article made the case that there are limitations on solar and wind power and that — as a subhead spelled out in aquamarine type — natural gas “is part of the solution.” Why was the Washington Post weighing in on the need for continued production of this fossil fuel in the face of climate change?

Or was it? On closer inspection, the report wasn’t coming from the D.C. paper’s newsroom. Though the link takes you to a page published by WashingtonPost.com, the story is actually a publication of WP BrandStudio, the paper’s branded content platform. In other words, the article is really an advertisement, and the copy was paid for by the American Petroleum Institute. The tagline — “Content from American Petroleum Institute” — is plain to see if you’re looking for it, though easy to miss if you’re not.

via How the Media Launders Fossil Fuel Propaganda

News Corp launches offensive against Labor’s climate policy amid glowing budget 2019 previews | Australia news | The Guardian

Ahead of budget 2019, the front pages of the Australian and the Daily Telegraph newspapers on 2 April feature a barrage of negative stories about Labor’s climate change policy.

Foreign interference in Australian Politics, Murdoch is American and driving 66% of our media (ODT)

The Daily Telegraph and its stablemates have taken the blowtorch to Labor’s climate policy, labelling it a “lunchbox tax” across numerous news stories, editorials, graphics and opinion pieces.

The barrage of negative stories is in sharp contrast to the glowing previews of Scott Morrison’s first budget as prime minister which the publications say will bring “tax relief for millions of workers”.

via News Corp launches offensive against Labor’s climate policy amid glowing budget 2019 previews | Australia news | The Guardian

‘Who do you think is going to win that?’: Trump battle could be Lachlan Murdoch’s first problem

Without its legacy film and television business, Fox Corp’s most-high-profile division is Fox News, which is in a symbiotic relationship with the president of the United States. That relationship is already challenging Lachlan to deal with what one Hollywood executive called “the elephant in the room” for Fox – the toxic identity of Fox News in a mostly liberal entertainment industry.
On the other side of the political spectrum, several Fox News staffers said they are distrustful of Lachlan’s devotion to the cable news channel, and some call Lachlan “Fredo” behind his back, an unkind reference to a weak-willed son in “The Godfather.” The opinionated, conservative faction of the company that supports Trump is already testing his authority.

Trump became president, giving Rupert unprecedented access to a sitting US president – a relationship he has long coveted. The two men talk weekly, according to people close to them, and sometimes more often than that.

Lachlan doesn’t like to talk to the politicians. Rupert, however, has always has been attuned to political realities.

This is what Murdoch has always been about THE ART OF THE DEAL something Trump could never finese. (ODT)

“Rupert understood all along that governments care about media and that they meddle in it, and they have rules and you have to have a rapprochement to be successful,” said Reed Hundt, a former FCC chairman in the Clinton administration.

The Murdochs agreed to the Disney offer as the Justice Department was fighting AT&T’s $US85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner. In contrast to the hostility Trump displayed toward that deal, Trump spoke to Rupert the day the Fox deal with Disney was announced and “congratulated him,” according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

(In another sign of the Murdochs and Trumps having close ties: When Ivanka Trump joined the White House, she relinquished her role as trustee of the fortune of Rupert Murdoch’s two youngest children.)

“It’s Lachlan versus the president,” said the 21st Century Fox film executive. “Who do you think is going to win that?”

‘Who do you think is going to win that?’: Trump battle could be Lachlan Murdoch’s first problem

Why Isn’t Tucker Carlson’s Hate Speech a Deal-Breaker?

A tactic that has worked well in the face of hateful rhetoric in the media is a pressure campaign against advertisers. This is exactly what a March 13 protest called “Drop Fox” was designed to do. Even in the lead-up to the protest, more than a dozen advertisers had already dropped their sponsorship. Gertz shared that “This is all happening at a very dangerous time for Fox News,” and that Fox organized the meeting in March rather than in May—the more traditional time for ad buys—because of a “series of advertiser boycotts against their major hosts over a series of months.” In their call to “Drop Fox,” Media Matters and other organizations and activists are demanding cutting ties with the worst elements in American society.

That is not a big ask, but in Trump’s America morality has been distorted and hate continues to have a place on television and in the White House—until the nation chooses another way.

via Why Isn’t Tucker Carlson’s Hate Speech a Deal-Breaker?

Rush Limbaugh suggests New Zealand shootings might be a false flag attack committed by a leftist to smear conservatives

Limbaugh: “There’s an ongoing theory that the shooter himself may in fact be a leftist who writes the manifesto and then goes out and performs the deed purposely to smear his political enemies”

Rush Limbaugh suggests New Zealand shootings might be a false flag attack committed by a leftist to smear conservatives

Morrison government backs down on banning Milo Yiannopoulos in face of backlash

Abbott flipped, Coleman’s flipped, Morrison flipped the panic is unbelievable (ODT)

Unbelieveable just how gutless this government is. Yiannopoulos Came fled the country witha pocket ful of cash abd an unpaid invoice for $56,000 and and they are invinting him in to do it again. Why Australia because we have a government of suckers logged into and working for Murdoch media. This isn’t about free speech its’about fraud. (ODT)

The initial push to reject the visa was met with a furious response from pro-free speech Coalition MPs, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, and some media commentators including Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

“Of course this is a backdown,” Bolt said Saturday.

Morrison government backs down on banning Milo Yiannopoulos in face of backlash

Dems Kick Fox News Out Of Debate Coverage | Crooks and Liars

Dems Kick Fox News Out Of Debate Coverage

So it’s when in Rome do as the Romans do. Do a Trump. Does it matter locking out fake news? (ODT)

The Democratic National Committee has decided to exclude Fox News Channel from televising any of its candidate debates during the 2019-2020 cycle as a result of published revelations detailing the cable network’s close ties to the Trump administration.

via Dems Kick Fox News Out Of Debate Coverage | Crooks and Liars

Fox News ‘Outed’ As Trump Propaganda Unit? Really | Crooks and Liars

On the one hand, I’m glad Ms. Mayer’s story — rich with telling details as it is — exists in the world. And that fact that it was printed in The New Yorker has given it social media rocket fuel.

On the other hand, this feels so much like reading a weather report from 20 years ago that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

via Fox News ‘Outed’ As Trump Propaganda Unit? Really | Crooks and Liars

The Making of the Fox News White House | The New Yorker

Politico later reported that it was Hannity’s seventh interview with the President, and Fox’s forty-second. Since then, Trump has given Fox two more. He has granted only ten to the three other main television networks combined, and none to CNN, which he denounces as “fake news.” Hannity was treated in Texas like a member of the Administration because he virtually is one. The same can be said of Fox’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch. Fox has long been a bane of liberals, but in the past two years many people who watch the network closely, including some Fox alumni, say that it has evolved into something that hasn’t existed before in the United States. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of Presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of “Messengers of the Right,” a history of the conservative media’s impact on American politics, says of Fox, “It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.”

For both Trump and Fox, “fear is a business strategy—it keeps people watching.” As the President has been beset by scandals, congressional hearings, and even talk of impeachment, Fox has been both his shield and his sword. his press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has largely stopped holding press conferences, but she has made some thirty appearances on such shows as “Fox & Friends” and “Hannity.” Trump, Hemmer says, has “almost become a programmer.”

Bill Kristol, who was a paid contributor to Fox News until 2012 and is a prominent Never Trumper, said of the network, “It’s changed a lot. Before, it was conservative, but it wasn’t crazy. Now it’s just propaganda.” Joe Peyronnin, a professor of journalism at N.Y.U., was an early president of Fox News, in the mid-nineties. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he says of Fox. “It’s as if the President had his own press organization. It’s not healthy.”

Shine, the Fox and White House payrolls actually do overlap. The Hollywood Reporter obtained financial-disclosure forms revealing that Fox has been paying Shine millions of dollars since he joined the Administration. Last year, he collected the first half of a seven-million-dollar bonus that he was owed after resigning from Fox; this year, he will collect the remainder. That sum is in addition to an $8.4-million

Source: The Making of the Fox News White House | The New Yorker

Sky News ads go dark as Andrew Bolt defends ‘innocent’ George Pell | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

Andrew Bolt has for a long time been George Pell’s staunchest supporter, among a large group of acolytes in the media ranks. But his decision to back the cardinal after he was convicted of child sexual abuse this week has cost his employer dearly, both in ad dollars and reputation.

When Bolt announced he would be talking about his serious misgivings about the guilty verdict on The Bolt Report on Tuesday night, Sky News Australia took the unprecedented step of stripping all advertising from the show.

Advertisers on the Bolt Report in the days leading up to Tuesday were Ford, Coles, Audi, Ikea, Jenny Craig, Coca-Cola, Budget Rent a Car, Audi and dozens more. Many of them had already been targeted by social media activist group Sleeping Giants Oz for appearing on Sky After Dark programs in general and Bolt in particular. Some advertisers, such as pool company Poolwerx and builders Hotondo Homes, responded to the activism by removing their ads from the after-6pm lineup on the pay TV channel.

via Sky News ads go dark as Andrew Bolt defends ‘innocent’ George Pell | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

The Obsession With Jussie Smollett’s ‘Hoax’ Is Obscuring the Real Threat of Racist Violence | The Nation

Image result for Images of Christopher Paul Hasson

Where’s the media furor over real-live racists Christopher Paul Hasson and Roger Stone?

via The Obsession With Jussie Smollett’s ‘Hoax’ Is Obscuring the Real Threat of Racist Violence | The Nation

The Jussie Smollett case became a political tool before we ever really knew what happened – Analysis; Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

a photo of Jussie Smollett

Commentators like Andrew Bolt will put themselves on all sides of the fence in order to appear opinionated as well as safe to be able to say “I didn’t say that or I told you so in the same breathe”. After all Smollet is a Fox Star.(ODT)

But instant commentary is almost a necessity in 2019 if you are a celebrity or a politician — or anyone with a Twitter account.

The confusion over this story is a by-product of a culture that is quick to judge and to call-out, and one that so often rewards people for taking a side — instantly and via strong language — on an issue of public concern.

Candidates seeking office, like celebrities seeking status — like all us who are extremely online — have become incentivised to weigh in.

But as the Smollett case has shown, when a useful narrative emerges, certainty becomes secondary.

The Jussie Smollett case became a political tool before we ever really knew what happened – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Trump will score another win if Big Media fetishizes his soap opera while the working class suffers | Salon.com

 

Just as in 2016, the actual economic conditions of the American people will be the defining issue for 2020. Ignoring it, or giving Trump a pass on the economy, will permit him to make the campaign about everything and anything else.

The corporate news media is doing it all over again — still equating aggregate national unemployment data and a robust stock market with a strong economy. And they have developed the face saving construct that Trump won only because the Russians stole the election, not because the media missed the slow motion collapse of capitalism that Trump exploited by convincing just enough people he had a magical time machine that could transport us all back to those halcyon days when the middle class was expanding.

For these get-Trump newshounds it’s always Mueller-time.

Their master script is that POTUS is the Don of a Russian/American organized crime family that stole the American election.

That could all be true, yet if Mueller comes up short of actually taking Trump out, the media’s fixation on the intrigue will only inoculate Trump.

Can’t you hear it now . . . ‘I told you-NO COLLUSION.’

Just as in 2016, the actual economic conditions of the American people will be the defining issue for 2020. Ignoring it, or giving Trump a pass on the economy, will permit him to make the campaign about everything and anything else.

via Trump will score another win if Big Media fetishizes his soap opera while the working class suffers | Salon.com

People smugglers plot to find chinks in a Shorten government’s armour

 

“A former people smuggler now living in Pakistan has been asked by his former bosses to return to Indonesia and test a future Shorten government by finding passengers willing to travel on boats to Australia.” Ch9

Media Matters: Channel bought Fairfax and has instatnly cahnged tack and taken on the Murdoch Model of business. This is a story you would have expected to see run in conservative fearmongering Herald Sun and Daily Telegraphs to gain attention. The carrot to raise numbers and make advertisersl follow. The ” people smugglers” in this article are unnamed, their “bosses” unnamed as is their location. Historic footage of a people smuggler is used. A fantasy yarn might make a great story and the conservatives happy to use it. Our MSM is a disgrace.

But Dutton was always ready to become Australia’s Paul Revere to let us know ” The boats are coming the boats are coming.” They have always been coming but  an “on the waters government secret” but then  the ELECTIONS are coming. (ODT)

“They want to push it. They want to send one, two, three, four, five, six, seven boats every week, twice a week … then I think it will be hard for the [Australian] government to handle it. All of a sudden 1000 people, or 2000 in a month or two,” he said.Ch9

via People smugglers plot to find chinks in a Shorten government’s armour

Grattan on Friday: What does “reopening” Christmas Island actually mean and why do it?

The Liberals think anything to do with “boats” is lethal for Labor; the ALP believe community attitudes have changed but is very apprehensive about how the debate would go if boats showed up.

No question, this is rocky for Bill Shorten. The government attack is ferocious, full of exaggeration and scaremongering.

Indeed. So which un-nuanced Morrison message will the smugglers hear? That the policy has been trashed – or that the borders are being fortified?

There is also the danger, which some critics have highlighted, that in its rhetoric about numerous alleged criminals on Nauru and Manus, the government could make the US more reluctant to take people (it has only accepted 456 so far – the deal was up to 1,250).

Grattan on Friday: What does “reopening” Christmas Island actually mean and why do it?

Fox News figures salivate over Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address

FAIR & BLANCED (ODT)

On February 5, President Donald Trump gave his 2019 State of the Union address. It was filled with misinformation and anti-immigrant bigotry, often sounding similar to Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. While mainstream news outlets fact-checked the many lies and misleading claims in the speech, Fox News figures heaped enthusiastic praise on Trump’s address, calling it “one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard in terms of reaching across the aisle,” gushing that “the president delivered, I think, a message of unity,” claiming “Trump is going to be recognized as one of the greatest presidents of our generation, if not the greatest,” and more:

via Fox News figures salivate over Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address

Playing the ref with a fake tax – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Journalists are under no obligation to uncritically repeat and adopt false information from the Liberal government. Footy is a game, but politics is not. The public need journalists to blow the whistle in the interests of democracy. If they continue to fail to do this, they are forgetting the very reason they exist.

via Playing the ref with a fake tax – » The Australian Independent Media Network