Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gillard’s emotional speech to parliament On Tuesday is being put through the ringer of speculation, with mainstream journalists like Andrew Bolt hinting that her tears were fake.
This in turn gives his employer, that pillar of conservative Melbourne, the Herald Sun, license to publish comments from readers saying out loud what he merely suggested.
Elsewhere that very serious journalist, Dennis Shanahan, churns out a piece that dices with the same sort of speculation. And on and on it goes.
The point is, if, like Brissenden, we are going to get upset about misinformation, trivia, distraction and nonsense infecting our political discourse, then our eyes should be upon mainstream media outlets, not the internet. The so-called serious media is the true echo chamber, and, more importantly, it is the one that has the most immediate and far-reaching consequences for political discussion, not to mention, political practise.
Every day, the mainstream media, by its choice of stories and the way it frames them, serves us up a fusion of fact and fiction, speculation and opinion, tripe and trivia that is wrapped in the cloak of its own legitimacy.
Spot on Tim.
Can’t you just see Tim Dunlop hosting the ABC’s useful Media Watch program one day?
Trashing the net, particularly the blogosphere & Facebook, has become a habit for some paid journos & commentators…probably trying to differentiate themselves in order to protect their decently paid jobs &/or do the bidding of their corporate bosses who dislike any kind of competition for advertising space, subscribers & general revenue.
However, I didn’t expect the ABC’s Michael Brissenden – who I respect for his inventive & generally informative reporting of varied issues & topics – to stoop to that level…
as Tim speculates, it’s probably “a lazy conclusion“…
I imagine Brissenden has read some pretty extreme views on the odd Tea Party site in America of late…and in disgust tarred the entire net w/ the same brush…a reductionist, knee-jerk reaction.
And let’s be frank…if a mainstream journo, commentator, host, editor (gatekeeper) or media mogul/baron is going to be scrutinised intensely in an ongoing basis – assessment of performance & accuracy of reporting – it’s more likely it’s going to happen on the alternative internet sites than in the mainstream arena.
So it’s not surprising the odd media character has a cathartic outburst at the expense of the net.
The irony being, as Tim notes, that mainstream media outlets are also making the internet their home…so in some ways Brissenden is coming across like a TV & Newspaper-based reporting purist…and criticising the very outlets he & his colleagues contribute to.
As for Andrew Bolt…I’m not sure he knows what he believes in…he certainly has extreme right-wing tendencies…but occasionally he sounds reasonable and moderate…but like Matt Franklin & Piers Akerman you feel the softly spoken moderate stuff is a bit of a show, a tactic…to appear reasonable to the general public…and beneath the veneer is a raging extremist who enjoys mocking, lots of attention (Tony Abbott anyone?)…convinced they know what is RIGHT for the rest of Australia, the world.
This is evidenced during interviews…if you carefully observe them as panelists or guest media on programs such as Q & A, Insiders, Agenda & Meet The Press you’ll notice they will, at certain points, take an unexpectedly less harsher approach to a topic, going by their past strong, adamant views on that particular issue or politician…
even resort to a softly spoken, gentler demeanour…
but, if the other guests, analysts, wander onto the green pastures & red rocks of justifying present government actions, policy…approve of a certain Green or Labor or cross-bench Indie’s approach/style…perhaps sound as they say “too left-ish” or progressive…you immediately see the likes of Bolt, Franklin & Akerman champing at the bit with impatience to air their opinion…
and the restraint & moderate approach flies out the window w/ their objectivity.
Interrupting other guests before they finish their sentences and thoughts is an irritating characteristic of this type of commentator, opinion-maker.
The same can be said for some overly biased & irritating radio talkback hosts.
The Murdoch empire seems to cater to these kind of characters.
I refer to them as ‘tricky dicks’.
Can you identify any others? Do they irritate you? Why? How importance is objectivity to news reporting? Have you ever filmed Inuits?
Answer the above questions, ignore them, comment on Tim Dunlop’s piece, talk coffee & wine…music…any other topic you choose.
This is your thread to express any views you like.