I’ve heard enough about Miranda Devine (of The Telegraph) to keep me away from her articles. All the fool me then for wandering into one. Her article Labor can’t handle the truth confirmed all the stories of how pathetic she is. Here is her article in full:
Is there anything this government will not tamper with?
In its mistaken belief that more legislation equals good government we are witnessing one of the most frenetic and interventionist administrations our country has ever endured.
From sport to border protection, energy to mining, hospitals to clunker cars, live cattle exports to fishing trawlers, is there a single human endeavour in which the government leaves well enough alone?
You would think after so many policy disasters it might have the wit to temper its reforming zeal. But this government seems to be in a mad race to stamp its brand over everything, no matter how destructive, just for the satisfaction of saying “Labor was here” – before Labor becomes history.
Now it is our turn. Echoes of Bob Brown could be seen in the vindictive media regulation Communications Minister Stephen Conroy unveiled yesterday.
This bastard child born of revenge and hubris is a threat to free speech and democracy.
Conroy’s illiberal mindset is betrayed by the fact he is determined to ram it through parliament next week. No compromises.
It was Bob Brown, enraged by criticism of Gillard’s climate change policies and deal with the Greens, who first seized on the opportunity that the British phone hacking scandal presented to cow the media at home.
Even though the disgraceful practices of Fleet Street had not occurred in Australian media, as various inquiries proved, the government was happy to follow Brown’s lead.
Who could forget Julia Gillard saying News Limited, publisher of The Daily Telegraph, had “hard questions” to answer over the UK scandal? Or Conroy claiming this paper was “running a campaign on regime change”? Or a Cabinet which reportedly discussed “going to war” with News Limited. Instead of accepting criticism and arguing its case like any government in a healthy democracy, this one uses its power to destroy critics. It seems to think it has the right to dictate news, demand journalists be sacked, and write history in its own image.
The government blames the “Murdoch media” for holding it to account. I would say its anger shows we are doing our jobs properly.
After all, Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald didn’t like media scrutiny of their activities but, without a free press, ICAC would never have launched the investigations which have revealed so much alleged skullduggery in NSW.
There can be little doubt that Conroy’s sole purpose is to bully the Murdoch press into submission, just as he once boasted that he had such “unfettered legal power” over telecommunications executives that he could instruct them to “wear red underpants on your head”.
This is the minister who has no problem with the ABC and Fairfax joining forces to report stories. But the minute News Limited and Channel Ten’s Meet The Press decide to work together he wants to impose legislation to stop it.
Under this government attacks on free speech have combined in a pincer movement. Now Conroy wants to create a new layer of bureaucracy to regulate the media. His powerful Public Interest Media Advocate would be responsible for giving the media a “Heart Foundation Tick” of approval, he said yesterday.
Any media organisation which chooses not to be overseen by the PIMA will pay a heavy price. It will not be exempted from certain sections of the Privacy Act, like organisations which succumb to Conroy’s Heart Foundation tick of approval.
This eminence would be in charge of applying the “public interest test” to media purchases. Or as former competition regulator Graeme Samuel scathingly put it: “Political interest test.”
Conroy has come up with the sort of regulation of the media we would expect to see in Nicaragua and Zimbabwe.
“We have a right to a free press, but … ” he says.
It’s a pretty big but. He talks about “fairness” but one man’s fairness is another man’s bias. He claims the legislation is needed to ensure a “diversity” of voices in the media. But we have never had so much diversity. Anyone with a computer and a blog can set themselves up as a publishing brand in competition with mainstream media.
Why the big hurry, anyway? Why rush this legislation through in what should be an effective caretaker period 185 days before the election.
Because the government is inherently unstable, riven with division, backbiting and remorse. Conroy can’t even guarantee who the Prime Minister will be after next week so he must force his legislation though post-haste.
It’s no way to run a country.
There’s a lot to attack in that article, but I’ll leave that up to you. Instead, I’ll borrow her words “Now it is our turn” and respond with “now it is my turn”.
Do you want the truth? Well here it is:
Your newspaper provides the most manipulative, dishonest, sensationalist, gutless, unfair and unbalanced media in this country. They are lucky to have you on their team to offer pieces of dribble such as your article above.
A search through your previous articles does not reveal much in the way of discussion or dissection of what is important for Australians. You know, minor things such as education, health, employment, lower interest rates, a strong economy, a good welfare system. Your claim that the Murdoch media is doing it’s job properly suggests you live in a parallel universe. If you were doing your job properly then perhaps you might like to ask Tony Abbott some questions instead of talking about the curtains in Julia Gillard’s motel room in Rooty Hill. Who really gives a stuff.
But perhaps your claim that the “Murdoch media is doing it’s job properly” is bipartisan. Doing the job properly, or doing properly what you are asked to do? The latter, I imagine. Peter Wicks has a better idea than you about what doing the Murdoch media’s job properly is. Peter wrote:
Still, this paper (The Telegraph) and News Ltd are part of the corporation that in the UK is embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal. The company that thinks it is OK to hack the mobile phone of a missing murdered schoolgirl and actually delete messages, effectively tampering with evidence and emotionally torturing the girls family.
In Australia News Ltd have desperately tried to distance themselves from the scandal in many a fine display of mock outrage. However there was an Australian link in the phone-hacking scandal that was not often spoken about.
Some of you may remember the hacked conversation that revealed Prince Charles fondness for sanitary products. Prince Charles was reported as telling Camilla Parker Bowles how he wished he was her tampon. Always the romantic apparently….
That story came from a hacked phone call that was allegedly organised by News International staff. So as not to draw attention to themselves, News International reportedly passed the details to News Ltd in Australia who broke the story in New Idea, once that happened News Internationals British press ran the story that apparently “broke in Australia”.
We didn’t read much about that story despite the Australian connection to what was the worlds biggest news story at the time. I know of only a few articles in Fairfax, I guess that’s the beauty of the accused party owning 70% of the news sources in Australia.
It must be so easy to do your job properly when you belong to a media empire that controls 70% of the news sources. And that includes working for a paper, a media owner that are full of shit and writing accordingly.
It’s no way to run a media empire in Australia.
Oh, and here’s another truth. That outfit you’re wearing (below) is ridiculous. It makes you look fat. Was the material formerly hanging as a curtain?
Photo attributed to http://www.international.mq.edu.au