It’s been a week since Prime Minister Gillard addressed the National Press Club, 14th July, 2011, and the sum total reportage of the hour long address is “Well, the first thing I would say is, don’t write crap.” [applause from audience] “Can’t be that hard.”
This is what the PM said immediately afterwards.
Journalist Mark Riley began :-
MR – Mark Riley from the Seven Network Prime Minister, I’m always asking about you so I want to ask you about us.
PM- Let’s talk about you for a while.
MR – Yeh, let’s talk about us. Me and my friends here. I think a few of us have been reflecting on this in the last few weeks and certainly in the last couple of days, very sharply, on our responsibilities.
When we see a gentleman in Gladstone trying to encourage people to
take up arms against the government, a woman in Melbourne being shoved out of a public meeting and harassed down the street, to tears, you confronted in a shopping centre by people screaming, Liberal Party members calling you a liar, and then a radio station coming here and broadcasting all day, in the first day back of Parliament, to whip climate change opposers into a frenzy, how do you see our responsibility, and the way that we should be reporting this matter ?
PM I think we will have a long debate about media ethics in this country, but if I could put it as clearly as I can, I’d say to you, don’t write crap. Can’t be that hard…….and when you have written complete crap, I think you should correct it.
So I’d like to see as many column inches confirming that there’s no 6.5c a litre charge on petrol, as I saw reporting Tony Abbott’s claims that there would be.
I’d like to see as many column inches and minutes on the TV news reporting that the future of the coal industry is bright and strong, as verified by a huge coal company like Peabodys,
as I saw coverage of Tony Abbott standing in a Peabodys mine saying the coal industry was going to close down.
I’d like to see as many minutes of coverage and column inches on the steel industry and the work we’ve done with the steel industry, so they are satisfied with the arrangements that we’ve made about carbon pricing.
I’m not saying they’re not under pressure. They’re under pressure because of the global economic winds we were just talking about, but they are satisfied about carbon pricing.
I’d like to see as much time devoted to that as was devoted to Tony Abbott’s claims when he stood next to steel workers, that Whyalla was going to be wiped off the map.
And there’s a new one today, we’ve had Nystar, they’re involved of course, in making zinc.
They’ve put out a statement that says, “the impact of this carbon tax is not considered to be material to Nystar”.
This is against a Tony Abbott claim, if we have a carbon tax, that smelter closes down.
Well, I think the Nystar accuracy needs to get as much exposure as the false claim did.
And if we saw some of that, some accuracy and facts out there, I think what I had the opportunity that I had to do at the community forum in Brisbane last night, and I don’t mind taking criticism on the chin, that’s part of my job, but when I was there talking to people about the facts, and talking to people afterwards, more casually, you could see, once they got that information, the sense of re-assurance it gave them. It changed a lot of minds.
Now you would say it’s not your job to change people’s minds about a government policy and that’s true, but I think it is your job to get information to people that’s accurate and rigourous.
Some of the crazier claims we’ve seen in this debate need to be put to one side and the accurate facts get out there.
AS THE PRIME MINISTER SAID……”CAN’T BE THAT HARD”
Well, that went straight around the S-bend.
The very next day Malcom Farnsworth wrote on ABC’s The Drum
Selling the carbon tax: less is more
Julia Gillard should have stayed in bed this week, for all the good her carbon tax campaigning did.
In fact, she ought to just shut up about the carbon tax and get on with something else.
This week smacks of the same hopeless political strategy that Rudd and Gillard have fallen for before, the strategy that says you have to run around the country like a maniac and never shut up.
It’s also the strategy that gives Tony Abbott a daily free kick as the media treat the circus like an election campaign and give him equal time.
Take Gillard’s appearance at the National Press Club yesterday. Her speech on climate change was quite good, but it was overshadowed by the personal development lecture from the Unley High school girl.
Last night’s television pictures duly centred on Gillard’s teary moment and her injunction to the press gallery to “stop writing crap”. Forget about any coverage of the economic imperatives of the carbon tax.
Not surprisingly, the journalists did exactly that, and so did Mr. Farnsworth !
Which maniac has been running around the country and never shutting up ??