Old media caps off annus horribilis 2020 with its traditional horrible week. Michael West, standing in for Michael Tanner, looks at the fall of Fairfax, PR masquerading as journalism, who guards the Guardian, Seven News’ calls for war with China and how Scott Morrison’s media team has the game sown up.Faustian Pact: no way back from public relations for News and Nine – Michael West
Carlson was certainly convinced, taking a position at odds with various national security wonks that pullulate the US airwaves. “Whatever you think of Julian Assange and what he did, he is effectively a journalist. He took information and he put it in a place the public could read it.” The Australian was spending time in prison for releasing documents “he did not steal,” merely providing a platform for their dissemination, showing that “the US government was illegally spying on me, and everybody else in this country.”The Julian Assange Pardon Drive – » The Australian Independent Media Network
When America faces a leader with totalitarian impulses who thinks he can will his way into another term, it is also facing its greatest democratic crisis in decades. The passage of time always heals wounds, including political wounds. But what can be done to revive public trust in elections in the meantime is not just an open-ended question. Democracy’s fragile skin has been stretched as never before, when tens of millions of voters say that they don’t trust the results from the best-run election in years.A Deepening Democracy Crisis: More than 70 Percent of Trump Voters Distrust the Best-run Election in Years | The Smirking Chimp
Suddenly Rush Limbaugh doubts two different outlooks can exist in the same country while ignoring that he has stoked the fires of hate and division for decades. By Karoli KunsRush Limbaugh Argues For Secession: ‘There Cannot Be A Peaceful Coexistence’ | Crooks and Liars
In the recent few days, there’s the Cartier watches; the ABC paying Foxtel so that they can cover women’s soccer after Foxtel was given government money to cover women’s sport; the disappearance of all documents relating to the “grants” in NSW; the realisation that even if Trump is voted out, some people still think that Donald Trump is a reasonable pick for President; the confusion that, four years after Trump’s surprise win, the best the Democrats could come up with was Joe Biden; the media’s presentation of the Melbourne lockdown protests and the fact that many people are tipping Richmond to win the AFL flag by more points than they’re likely to kick for the whole game… Strangely that last one is the least of my concerns! Ok, let me take them one at a time:2020: It Doesn’t Exist And I Have Entered A Parallel Universe! – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Will we now see policy discussions and debates in the media? No Effen way. (ODT
Donny SuperSpreader can’t benefit from catching a virus he has claimed affects “virtually nobody”Trump has COVID-19: More evidence that he’s always put his ego ahead of public health | Salon.com
Depressingly readable is the best way to describe Paul Barry’s revealing biography of Rupert Murdoch. I placed the word mongrel in the title of this piece but it could just as easily used scumbag which means a contemptible or objectionable person. It is a story about one man. A man with a love for money, power, influence, acquisitions, wives, children and even scandal. Scandal makes money.Murdoch: forever brutal – » The Australian Independent Media Network
He switched to an announcement-based approach to leadership, and it made complete sense. In the current environment, there are no disincentives for doing so. Press conferences are held at short notice with details postponed until later, and inconvenient questions are easily batted away, well after headlines have established an underlying narrative. Outlets rush to break the news first, follow-ups are negligible, corrections are buried, and the media as a whole paints the picture you would expect from an ecosystem increasingly dominated by supporters of Morrison and his government (most notably in the News Corp stable). It’s all working for the prime minister – he’s a self-styled practical dad, an optimist taking care of business. If there are objections or uncomfortable revelations, he doesn’t accept the premise of your question. Next, please. And tomorrow he’ll have another announcement.The announcement artist | The Monthly
My beautiful but astonishingly pooey two-year-old has handled himself through this pandemic with more grace than Melbourne’s largest newspaper. And the Victorian Liberal Party. Both of whom should feel grateful I’ve listed them as distinct entities.These creeps are going to make the next few weeks harder than they need to be | The Shot
Trump is a particularly stupid man who thinks he is very smart. Perhaps this lies at the root of his monumentally dumb decision to grant Bob Woodward 18 interviewsTrump told a reporter his biggest secret: that he is a danger to the American people | Richard Wolffe | Opinion | The Guardian
Multiple Chinese media sources now claim the ASIO raided four Chinese journalists in Australia. Given the focus on Chinese espionage in Australia at the moment this may be true — and could possibly tip the problem on its head — but the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would not confirm or deny it.Australia takes high moral ground as China expels journalists
Liberal party powerbroker Marcus Bastiaan resigns after being accused of organising staff to recruit membersPM must sack Michael Sukkar over Liberal party branch-stacking allegations, Labor says | Australia news | The Guardian
Finding a way out of the global pandemic has been made more difficult by misinformation and anti-science media commentary, writes Karl MacCorcráin.Getting the message about COVID-19
When a Minister gets that flustered you know a nerve has been hit. (ODT)
The RMIT ABC Fact Check unit, funded jointly between the RMIT University and the ABC, describes itself as an “agenda-free zone” that does not allow staff of the unit to be members of political parties or activist groups.
This truly isn’t even a debate to allw it to become one is to blow smoke into the eyes of the Australian public. Tony Abbott lied in 2013 and the LNP has been doing it ever since with the aid of News Corp and now Ch9 suggesting there’s even a question! (ODT)
It’s worth noting that the same week of this press conference, some in News Ltd had been pushing a completely false story that the Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton had resigned. Headlines around the country in the News Ltd press such as ‘Dan-Made Disaster’ are indicative of News Ltd’s bias and their preoccupation with promoting opinion as news.
After weeks of the national press gunning for the Victorian Premier, while neglecting to hold our Prime Minister to account for the pandemic wrecking ball swinging through the Federal Government-managed aged care sector, amongst other things, public anger at the media hypocrisy was a blister waiting to burst.
The relentless and desperate attempts to “get Dan” by some in the Victorian press was certainly worthy of criticism in my view.
However, we believe all politicians and powerful people should be held up to the same scrutiny. But when it comes to the coronavirus – and many other issues – it’s pretty plain this simply doesn’t happen with respect to the Morrison Government.Scrut
The media skews towards affording pro-Israel voices a substantial amount of exposure, largely excluding Palestinian perspectives, Dr Evan Jones contends.
Nine Entertainment is not merely cowardly with respect to the pro-Israel lobby, it (with the Murdoch media) is an integral part of that lobby, debasing its privileged and crucial medium and sacrificing its integrity — this in tolerating the systematic attempted buying off of its journalists and in opening its pages readily to racist apologists. In short, it’s an ongoing obscenity.
Morrison Government kowtows to the Murdoch global Dynasty (ODT)
Opposition communications ministers have called out the Morrison government’s continued hypocrisy in its funding of its broadcast interests – granting $10 million of public to Fox Sports, weeks after revelations of continued cutting millions of dollars in funding to the ABC.
“The ABC has suffered from repeated budget cuts under the Coalition Government, some $783 million since 2014, and is now cutting jobs and news services to stay afloat. If there is money to go around for broadcasting, it should go to the ABC and SBS.
“The PM needs to reverse the funding cuts to the ABC. He can easily find the first $10 million by taking it back from Murdoch and putting it where it will be the most benefit to broadcasting and promoting women’s sport and where fans can actually watch it without forking out more money,” Hanson-Young said.
The birthplace of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, News Corp’s Australian business, is shaping up as a trouble spot for the global firm, following a billion dollar writedown and a move to stop printing more than 100 regional newspapers.
— Read on www.reuters.com/article/us-news-corp-australia-focus/rupert-murdochs-big-investment-headache-australia-idUSKCN24G36B
In accepting Morrison’s ‘Strict Father’ behaviour, we are also accepting his judgement, which in turn is predicated on his political ideologies and his belief system. To expect the electorate to accept unthinkingly his decisions on this basis is a big call.
What are you prepared to accept from our national leader?
Today marks the tenth anniversary of Julia Gillard becoming Australia’s first female…
It bewilders me that our mainstream media is taking such a vociferous and concerted stand against public and international opinion. The impact of the speech is lost on them. One could be forgiven for thinking they have an agenda. Regardless of how much they condemn the Prime Minister, the world isn’t listening.
The LNP Piss UP sponsored by CH9 needs to be taken off the front pages (ODT)
It’s not easy being a politician. Every day there are challenges that the average punter doesn’t have to face.
Just take the dilemma that Stuart Robert, Dan Tehan and Simon Birmingham had to face last year when deciding whether to go from Canberra to Sydney for a Liberal Party piss up. They had booked their flights and had their staffers book them into an upmarket Sydney hotel when some pesky intern in the minister’s office had the temerity to ask “but who’s going to pay?”
The day before Trump claimed he was taking hydroxychloroquine, Sharyl Attkisson touted the drug on Sinclair stations nationwide
When the cart starts pulling the ss in another direction you know the ass was heading to the knackery. (ODT)
The level of Trump’s mendacity is far grosser than that used to sell the Iraq War by claiming that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Then too there were stories of secret laboratories developing biological weapons. Though Trump is purging US intelligence chiefs and replacing them with Trump loyalists, even they could not stomach his latest conspiracy theory. “The intelligence also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified,” said a statement from the office of the director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell.
The purpose of Trump’s lies is not to convince by rational argument but to dominate the news agenda by outrageous allegations. This simple PR trick has previously worked well for him, but scapegoating China may not be enough to divert attention away from the price Americans have paid for his calamitous mishandling of the pandemic. The casualty figures tell their own grim story: in China there have been 84,373 cases of the illness and 4,643 deaths while in the US there have been just over 1.1 million cases and 64,460 deaths. Trump loyalists will claim that the Chinese are lying, but then they must also explain away the lower loss of life in South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
In Trump Media just Lie and deal with the fallout later. After all it’s a 24/7 cycle (ODT
Donald Trump’s latest campaign rally disguised as a coronavirus task force briefing took a remarkable turn on Wednesday when he was stunned by a tough question from, of all people, John Roberts of Fox News.
Trump was sailing along, singing his own praises (“Did you know I was number one on Facebook?“) and denying any responsibility for the catastrophe when Roberts asked the president about the massive blunder of disbanding the White House pandemic preparedness team set up by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
He’s Your President America and it’s All About Him and not You!!!(ODT)
Repeating the I’m not responsible claim coupled with the “amazing number of tests” and supplies are coming as if they are here. Snake oil (ODT)
Trump also blamed the previous administration for the current shortage of tests and supplies.
“We inherited an obsolete broken system,” the president said. “When you hear the number of tests that we will be providing, and are now, it’s incredible. And I’ve heard a lot of governors saying the same thing.”
Any exchange between Jim Acosta and Trump is bound to be newsworthy at this stage of the game, but this was a real winner. Rather, Acosta was the real winner.
The public is being misinformed about the true fate of koalas following the devastating effects of drought and fires, writes Sue Arnold.
IS THERE A CONSPIRACY to hide the fact NSW koalas are on the verge of extinction? Not in 2050 as WWF continues to predict, but in plain sight now.
Given the ongoing evidence of misinformation across mainstream and social media, one could be forgiven for thinking that a U.S.-style misinformation campaign is in full swing.
In reality, the legacy of the bushfires and drought make it almost 100 per cent certain that NSW koalas are facing looming extinction, save for a few small colonies. The only significant colony remaining is in southwest Sydney.