After Gina Rhinehart Buys Fairfax

The hilarious implication – and secret terror of every Melbourne hipster – is that Rinehart will turn Fairfax into some kind of 24-hour Mining Channel, with endless re-runs of Red Dog and Wake in Fright, interspersed with ads for blue singlets. You won’t be able to so much as pick up a copy of the Age without finding your hands stained red with dust, as you search in vain for a single article that isn’t about the Hancock family, while averting your eyes from the topless pictures of Andrew Bolt on page 3. 

I don’t know about you, but given the uniformly mindless dross scraped up, warmed over, rehashed and then served as ideological bubble-and-squeak on the ABC (even drizzled with its jus of self-righteousness and dark-green sea foam), I long for alternatives. In fact, I long for the much-anticipated sale of the ABC under the most enthusiastic sort of Liberal government, and dismantled by an equally enthusiastic Mark Latham. During the Renaissance, it was the independently filthy rich – the oligarchs, bankers and popes – who sponsored the finest artists of the age. Let a new Renaissance bloom at the touch of button 2 on the remote: I hope Rinehart buys the entire Fairfax group, and then casts hungry eyes on the ABC itself…

Read more here:

From ‘One-woman Army’ by Philippa Martyr
Published at Quadrant Online on June 20, 2012


66 Responses to After Gina Rhinehart Buys Fairfax

  1. Robert June 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Rinehart breaching the fortress of Big Smug! Some things are too good to be true. But in case it really does happen…some party music!

  2. Geoff Wilkinson June 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Beautifully expressed! My sentiments exactly!

  3. John Sayers June 21, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    OT – john osullivan has an interesting article:

  4. Debbie June 21, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Great piece.
    It captures what is so annoying and insulting about the behaviour of the ‘self appointed self righteous’ who make vague intellectual excuses about their inability to produce, solve real problems (as opposed to manufactured bureaucratic problems) or give credit to those who take risks and are succesful.
    The negative and totally unsubstantiated insinuations that the ABC is turning into a fine art on shows such as Q&A (from Jen’s experience even Media Watch) deserve the criticism.
    They behave like insufferable intellectual snobs and this piece is laughing at their behaviour.

  5. Douglas Clifford June 21, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    If the ABC’s so bad Jennifer, why is it consistently regarded in successive surveys as the most reliable news source in this country?

  6. jennifer June 21, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Douglas, I don’t doubt that many/most believe the propaganda it serves up. But in my view, on the issues I know something about, its an absolute disgrace.

  7. Hope June 21, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Whenever I read or hear comments about the left wing bias of the ABC etc, I am reminded about a comment from a German migrant I Knew in the 1970s. He was surprised: in Germany his politics had been mundane middle-of-the-road; in Australia, his views were regarded as way-out crazy left-wing (and he was working here in a university!). He couldn’t believe how conservative Australians were.

    Perhaps we need to ABC to be (and it’s only a little bit) left wing just to give us something (more!) to whinge about. Wouldn’t it be boring if all the media was shock-jock right wing, Gina Rinehart cloned? Even if you are a total supporter, would you really want that? For a start, there wouldn’t any need for right-wing commentators if there was no left wing media to comment on.

  8. Debbie June 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    the criticism in the Quadrant article is levelled at infotainment productions like Q&A.
    They pretend to be presenting balanced opinions. The actual ABC news broadcasts are different.
    Unlike Jen and many, many others, you have obviously never been subjected to their particular brand of self appointed, pseudo intellectual & rhetorical snobbery.
    As Jen said, when people have personal experience and personal knowledge of some of these issues they can see what an absolute disgrace this behaviour can be. The ABC are not the only station that exhibit this behaviour, they’re just the biggest snobs when they do it.
    The Quadrant article is laughing at the snobby attitude and so am I. There isn’t anything inferior about getting your hands dirty or in standing up for common sense. Gina R is not an insidious enemy of either democracy or Australia. The constant inferences that she is has most likely partly inspired her to do as she has done.

  9. spangled drongo June 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    “Senator Conroy described the rapid demise highlighted by Fairfax Media and News Limited restructures as “a very sad day”.

    “The print newspaper is under enormous pressure and what’s you’re seeing here is possibly the beginning of the end for the print newspaper,” he told Channel Nine this morning.

    He called newspapers “venerable” institutions that “played a vital role in democracy”.

    But he had a dire prediction for traditional weekday editions.

    “I wouldn’t be putting money betting that there’ll be print newspapers during the week in five years’ time,” he said.”

    So therefore we have to protect Gina’s interests by stopping her from making foolish investments.

    Just imagine if only people like Gina and Rupert were smart enough to succeed?

    We would have to make editorial independence compulsory so that dickheads like David Marr could hold down a job.

  10. Mark A June 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Douglas Clifford wrote:
    “If the ABC’s so bad Jennifer, why is it consistently regarded in successive surveys as the most reliable news source in this country?”

    There is nothing inaccurate about the news as provided by the ABC.

    If you look for blatant bias it’s not there either, what makes it biased is the presentation, slant, they put on it and most importantly the news they ignore, or if it’s too important but doesn’t fit into the group-think, they only mention it in passing.

    If you are a regular listener to the ABC radio as I am on certain days, you could observe this very easily. Some important news items not favorable to Labor are simply not elaborated on, others of relative unimportance but damaging to the opposition are discussed in great detail and mentioned often.

    Also every discussion about climate change excludes sceptics, or if included, outnumbered by at least two to one.

    Listen to Jon Faine sometimes on 3LO on the morning show, if a talk back caller talks rubbish like the other day one of them was absolutely livid about the so called “Diesel excise rebate” to mining companies, Jon never pulled him up and told him that it was a road tax on vehicles actually USING>/b> public roads, so why should a farmer or fisherman or miner pay it when their machinery never goes on the road?

    But it was a good miner-farmer bashing so he let it go on.

    Douglas, that is bias, don’t expect them to be stupid and be blatant about it, often what is not said is more important than what is!

  11. Mark A June 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    forgot to close bold

  12. Hasbeen June 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    So true Jen.

    The life I’ve led means I know a very great deal about a few small areas of knowledge. With most of these things what I know comes from proven work with them. I find it really frightening that when ever the ABC produce their usual procession of academics, on any of these subjects, the statements made are at least 90% totally wrong. This is 100% the case with anything to do with the reef.

    I don’t know if these academics are know nothing fools, or prepared to lie & cheat to support greenie thinking. I think it is probably the latter with most of them

    Some you’ll notice, have a prepared answer to another question, & will use that, studiously avoiding the real subject entirely. I guess those pretend to be dumb, & not understand what they were asked, & thus avoid lying. Others are prepared to give bare faced lies, to keep their masters happy.

  13. jennifer June 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Sorry Debbie but you are wrong. You would know that much of what is reported by the ABC about the Murray Darling is wrong. If you start taking an interest in other issues you will discover the same. To their credit I suspect they get the sports reporting correct.

    The ABC is the worst, but most of the mainstream media is negligent when it comes to reporting.

    The simmering untold story at the moment is here .

  14. Patrick June 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    If the ABC is biased then it’s a subconscious bias and certainly not a deliberate or orchestrated one. There may arguably be a bias to the left of politics from the ABC, but that slight leaning is amplified by the raging and unabashed bias toward the right coming from most other popular sources of news and current affairs in the country.

    Fairfax newspapers are almost like a last bastion of true independent, unbiased reporting in this country. Regardless of which way you lean yourself, you should be able to recognise the value in this, and what a detriment to this country it would be to lose this. But I don’t see any such recognition in this article, nor in your comments. Simply characterising those who support independent press as “Melbourne hipsters” is an insult to yourself because it signifies how little thought you have given to the issue, and perhaps how little thought you have in general.

    I’m not sure what your story is but if you’re going to make a case for bringing down the ABC you should probably try a lot harder.

  15. Neville June 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    This bloke seems to have the inside info on just about everyone.

    How this true Gillard story hasn’t hit the fan properly I just can’t understand.
    I was sent this link to KCA ages ago and pinch myself that she continues to get way with it.
    BTW Bolt mentioned it a few weeks ago on the Bolt report and Alan Jones knows about it and so does Tony Abbott.
    They all seem to agree that the AWU must make the first move and lodge a complaint. I can’t see Paul Howes or Bill Shorten ( Howes old boss)) making that move.

  16. Neville June 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    From the Bolt Report see from 4min 15 secs. Bolt talks to Mike Smith about the Gillard AWU case.

  17. Neville June 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Just think about forty years ago a group of men were discovered breaking into the Watergate hotel trying to find info and dirt on their rival political party in the most powerful country on the planet.

    No money was stolen nobody robbed or killed and yet this became one of the greatest stories of the 20th century.

    The real kicker was the cover up and how Nixon and his gang tried to hose this down and tried to cling to power. The real crime was the cover up.

    I suppose some of these people could plead that they were only in their mid thirties and claim to be young and naive, but they were still adults.

    So how can any leader get away with this and why doesn’t the hypocrite Howes do something about it?
    In Aussie terms this is as big a cover up that one could imagine. So what’s wrong with our useless journos and media. It will eventually be exposed and everyone may at long last see a glimpse of the real Julia.

  18. John Sayers June 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    thanks Jen – the Pickering site is an eye opener 🙂

  19. jennifer June 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Let’s start listing a few of the scandals the mainstream media refuse to report on…
    There is the judge who has committed paternity fraud
    There is the university vice chancellor who has committed enrollment fraud….

    At this blog I have provided how much detail about the $10 billion save the Murray Darling lie that both sides of politics are complicit in?

    And I haven’t even mentioned many of my other pet environmental issues including the Great Barrrier Reef. Here is just one of many on the GBR that I have documented, this one even before i started this blog…

  20. Richard Meredith June 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Hello Jennifer. My name is Christine Milne (hear my Tassie twang!) Signing charters of editorial independence and introducing Conroy’s public interest test is a typically pusillanimous response from this government, which would have done nothing if we the Greens, who got them into office, hadn’t put some steel in their spine.

    It’s quite clear that the government must buy Fairfax and bundle it up with the ABC to ensure we have fair and free reportage that caters for the opinions of sensible minorities and avoids the excesses of News Corporation journalists (and some other internet independents – who shall remain nameless), who’ll talk to complete loonies like Lord Monckton and Ian Plimer simply because they want to make me and Bob and Tim very cross. This is the heavy price we pay for letting the media slip into the hands of commercial interests. The sooner all media is nationalised the safer we all will be.

  21. Neville June 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    Robert McClelland opens the door a little. Juliar should be worried.

  22. el gordo June 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    ‘Fairfax newspapers are almost like a last bastion of true independent, unbiased reporting in this country’

    That’s not true Patrick, on climate change Fairfax has been a staunch supporter of the watermelon brigade.

  23. Ray Bee June 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    Patrick: “If the ABC is biased then it’s a subconscious bias and certainly not a deliberate or orchestrated one. ”
    This man must be half asleep when he listens to or watches the ABC.
    Two examples of what the ABC covers with little or no balance, are:
    . man-made climate change, where it invariably refuses to air opposing views, and
    . same-sex marriage (SSM), where it goes out of its way to air the views of gay activists. When contacted about the six or so SSM supporters that ABC NewsRadio interviewed in two hours last Monday morning, but none with opposing views, the contact stated that the ABC had reported the anti-SSM messages given by the churches on the Sunday before.

  24. Neville June 22, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Just look at the numbskulls and ratbags who will be in charge of our electicity prices. Could anyone pick a more stupid group of alarmists and extremists for this task.

    Dracula in charge of the bloodbank would fail by comparison. Karoly is there fresh from a workover from McIntyre and his bloggers. What a poor silly fool.

  25. Debbie June 22, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I agree the ABC are the worst Jen,
    I also agree that the MSM can be horribly negligent. They don’t let the truth interfere with a good story.
    I think Mark A explained it very well. The bias is not blatant, it is often what’s not reported that’s the issue.
    Above all however, I agree with the criticism in this Quadrant piece. I loathe the intellectual snobbery and the thinly veiled insinuations that the ABC in particular has turned into a fine art.
    That MW disgrace that involved you was a classic example.
    Whenever possible, if they can possibly get away with it, the media shoots the messenger and ignores the message or even worse, taints the message.
    I’m also completely over the left/right obsession. Those are socialist terms. Somehow they have morphed into something else which sees the media insinuating that right wing socialists like Stalin and Hitler were from the conservative side of politics.
    There is far more to governance than left wing and right wing socialist politics.

  26. Ian Thomson June 22, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    While the ABC definitely shows editorial group think , it is also pertinent to note that most Australian media has similar biases and shortcomings. ( Try spending a day trapped in a workplace with a commercial FM station, which treats Hollywood ‘dating’ as headline news .)

    I don’t know if shooting the messenger is the cure, I suspect that editorial control is, while biased, also sorely lacking. Overnight radio announcers and program hosts seem to have carte blanche to be overbearing and opinionated, with call editing subtly, ( yes Mark A – not always subtly ) carried out.

    While Q&A is plain sickening, much of the problem seems to stem from total ignorance. Ignorance about subject matter at hand and Australia in general.
    A sad ‘ Australian Story ‘ about an old man who’s invention was ripped off, was followed a week later with the invention winning accolades on ‘New Inventors’.
    The ABC do not have exclusivity here.

    I travel widely in my work and spend hours listening to radio. A surprising fact is that the ‘junior’ journos on JJJ’s Hack ask the questions that you always want the high profile ones to ask, so there is hope.

    Must also note Jen, that RN’s ‘ Counterpoint’ did let you stir the pot about the Murray. The downside is that you were relegated to an opinion program, when you were presenting proven facts.

    I fear that Australians have got the media they actually want. Lots of drama, no disturbing reality.

    As far as knowing subject matter goes- A plane went down near Wauchope , (right next to the coast ) it was in ‘far Northwest NSW’. One near Tarago, ( NE of Canberra), was in’ far Southwest’ NSW.
    That is the team which knows all about the MDB and GBR.

  27. Ian Thomson June 22, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Forgot to add that Philippa Martyr’s treatment may be the correct and only cure. Laugh at the fools.

  28. Neville June 22, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Debbie I think that the difference is freedom or democracy versus totalitarianism. Hitler and Stalin were indeed best mates with their pact signed by the time both countries invaded Poland in 1939 and divided the spoils.

    If Germany had won the battle of Britain air war Hitler wouldn’t have invaded Russia in 1941 (probably later) and the outcome of WW2 may have been very different.
    Japan bombing Pearl Harbour ( also 1941) ensured the USA would enter the war and the ending was enevitable from then on.

    Stalin like Hitler and so much of todays left hated Jews and ended his career with a pogrom of sorts against Jews until his death in 1953.
    So not much to choose from between them I’d say, both horrible full on, very dangerous totalitarian psychopaths

  29. val majkus June 22, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Alan Jones and Professor Carter and a copy of an e mail I received today:
    I listened with white hot anger to Alan Jones’ interview with Bob Carter this morning about the CSIRO funded CarbonKids website. Professor Carter said our children are being brainwashed at school to believe carbon dioxide was carbon via the CSIRO funded website called CarbonKids.

    When I Googled ‘Carbon Kids’, a plethora of sites came up where carbon dioxide is now called carbon. This is perpetuating the hoax that C02 is black sooty carbon and a pollutant, instead of a gas that’s essential for life on earth.

    Professor Carter spoke about an ABC website – a greenhouse gas calculator – where children could enter their details and the site would calculate the age they should die at so they don’t use too much of the Earth’s resources. This site has been taken down but imagine the damage it did to children?

    Both the CSIRO and the ABC are funded by taxpayers and one of the first things Tony Abbott must do when he is elected is to withdraw funding if they don’t stop perpetuating this propaganda. Please take the time to write to him about this.

    Parents must be made aware of where their taxes are going and how their children are being taught rubbish instead of science. I grew up loving science and was an A-Grade student because my teachers made the subject fascinating. Our children should be delighted by science instead of being made fearful. A science teacher at one of our rallies told me she was totally disgusted at the rubbish she’s being made teach in schools but as it’s part of the curriculum and she has to teach it.

    As the High Court has just made the decision that chaplains in schools contravenes the Constitution as schools are run by States instead of the Federal Government, it’s essential that Barry O’Farrell and Campbell Newman start applying the blowtorch to our educators and make them teach proper science and not the Gaia-worshipping junk science that’s currently infecting educational facilities at all levels.

    Please write to Barry O’Farrell and Campbell Newman and ask them to start winding back this hoax, this big lie, and start teaching our children the truth about carbon dioxide.

    Emails: Barry O’Farrell and Campbell Newman

    We have to make a concerted effort to stop this blackmail of our children.

    The link to the podcast is here:

  30. Minister for Truth June 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    This is simply appalling stuff.

    Why would anyone in their right mind appoint a bevy of the most leftist.activistic and incompetent academics God ever breathed air into, than Hamilton, Karoly and Quiggin.

    Normal people would not appoint them to school Tuck Shop, never mind having influence over power pricing etc

    I mean, its only two weeks ago that Karoly the intellectual genius that he is had to withdraw a paper he was a signature to, because of incompetence…and that was after peer Reveiw

    One can only assume that:

    a) No one else would do the job, or
    b) The Laborites know they will take beating at the next election so they are hell bent on doing as much damage as possible, out of sheer spite…which then again is Labor characteristic

  31. ianl8888 June 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    “he Laborites know they will take beating at the next election so they are hell bent on doing as much damage as possible, out of sheer spite…which then again is Labor characteristic”

    Agreed – that is precisely where we are now

  32. Minister for Truth June 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Actually I am wrong

    There is a third reason. .

    c) These appointments are only there to take the hits when it all goes pear shape, which as sure as hell it will.

    Combet and Gillard are therefore being too clever by half.

    One would have thought though, that Ridout/Fraser might have more nous than to fall for that..but I guess ego is a wonderful distorter of reality, not just for academics.

    Couldnt have included Flannery, as that would have made it a bit too obvious

  33. Neville June 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Could the AWU, Wilson and Gillard story be getting legs. Now in the senate as well as the house of reps. The door is opening just a little bit more.

  34. Debbie June 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    That’s true Neville,
    they were definitely totalitarians. But they both rose to power via socialism and socialist policies and used ‘group think’ & ‘propaganda’ as tools to centralise their position.
    Hitler’s party was the National Socialist Party and we’re all aware that Stalin rose through the socialist ranks.
    I always ask people what it was about the Jews that Hitler and Stalin hated so much. We’re often led to believe it was based on religion but considering one was a confirmed athiest that probably isn’t the answer.
    I suspect it was because the Jews believed in private enterprise and small family based businesses. They also wanted to mind their own business and let others mind theirs. 🙂
    That attitude is the unspoken enemy of right wing socialist theories.

  35. val majkus June 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    an update to Jen’s reference to Pickering’s blog yesterday

    Gillard confronted with the scandal she almost buried
    Andrew Bolt –, Friday, June, 22,
    (12:22pm) Robert McClelland has lifted the lid on a story that many in the media have been too scared to touch – a scandal involving a then boyfried of the Prime Minister.

  36. Neville June 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    If the Gillard, Wilson AWU story doesn’t make the news at 6pm this evening we’ll know that something strange is taking place.
    Bolt has updated his page on this to include all the info from Brandis and Joyce speeches today in the senate.
    Joyce’s speech was very good although repeats at Bolt’s blog, but he is very well researched and makes some excellent points.

    You just have to feel for that poor naive 35 year old woman who allegedly set up the bank accounts for her boyfriend Wilson.
    This is the same naive girl who just happened to be a full partner at Slater and Gordon at the time.

  37. cohenite June 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Someone said:

    “If the ABC is biased then it’s a subconscious bias and certainly not a deliberate or orchestrated one. There may arguably be a bias to the left of politics from the ABC, but that slight leaning is amplified by the raging and unabashed bias toward the right coming from most other popular sources of news and current affairs in the country.”

    “slight leaning” compared with “raging and unabashed bias”

    How could you take anyone who says that seriously? For a start the most salient point is ignored by them; that is, the ABC is PUBLICALLY funded; private media is not. Given this for the ABC to have any leaning is abhorrent.

    And its leaning is more than “slight”; on the topic of AGW it is an unabashed and biased believer.

  38. Ian Thomson June 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Ok, so if all this blows, will the Australian public forget that Malcolm Turnbull is a warmist share trader and good old Tony hates anything protecting wage earners ?
    Will we get the situation where corruption is replaced by city based, economist loonies, “with a mandate “, as seems to be the NSW Vic case now ? They have fixed nothing that the other lot did.
    In fact they seem to be making things even worse.
    People who immediately pick a fight with ALL the emergency service people, nurses, teachers. – —LOONIES.
    Tony will not give up on AGW ,because Mighty Mal is breathing up his bum.

    The Nationals could help ,if they stood up on their own. Strangely , on moral matters, the Greens are the true opposition. What a funny scary world.

  39. cohenite June 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    W.B Yeats wrote that:

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    This is the awful reality we in Australia currently face. And just to depress you all completely consider what W. H. Auden wrote:

    “Out of the air a voice without a face
    Proved by statistics that some cause was just
    In tones as dry and level as the place:
    No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;
    Column by column in a cloud of dust
    They marched away enduring a belief
    Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief.”

  40. jennifer June 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    I agree that the awful reality is that the opposition’s policies and politics are almost as bad as the current Labor governments. In fact on the issue of the Murray Darling possibly worst.

    The Howard government oversaw the empowerment of the World Wide Fund for Nature through extraordinary amounts of government funding and more. Howard himself made a hero of Peter Cullen and also Tim Flannery and implemented the policies of the Wentworth Group including by giving us the current Water Act.

    They went along with Kyoto including through banning the clearing of regrowth on grazing land and their AGW policies have always been base on junk science.

  41. John Sayers June 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Yes Jen you are right – but it’s a matter of commitment to the cause.

    Howard was pandering to voters he hoped to win over. The current lot believe it.

  42. mate June 23, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    As if Murdoch’s control of 70% of our print media wasn’t enough group think for right wingers we now have Gina trying to hoover up the balance.

    Too much group think is never enough for right wingers. We can’t have unauthorised and impure views and ideas polluting the minds of the volk.

    And that Fairfax could be considered “left wing” just makes me laugh. If you’re not a flag waving, ranting sycophant to oligarchs your a commie these days. And you’re liberal democrats too as long as you control what’s in the media and can shout down a duopolistic media megaphone at anyone who deviates from the orthodox group think.

    The demise of Fairfax will be sad but there will be enough people who don’t want Gina and Rupert indoctrinating them to create opportunities for new players in the media. Enjoy your monstrous servings of group think and cant while you can. Your smug gloating may be premature yet.

  43. Robert June 23, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Mate, it’s like we’ve met before. Spooky.

  44. Debbie June 23, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    The MDB defintely got used as a political football and I agree that both sides of politics are to blame. That ‘precautionary principle’ has succesfully stymied any sensible or progressive legislative action. The Howard govt is largely responsible for that because it is embedded in the assumptions of that woefully inadequate Water Act 2007.
    I think John has also made a valid point.
    The current mob are blindly committed and clueless. They truly believe that the MDB can be managed centrally by using ‘long term averages’.
    They also seem to believe that all our rivers naturally operated like the rivers in Europe.
    For some inexplicable and illogical reason they have largely bought the argument that the coastal portion of the MDB should be ‘managed’ as if the ocean and coastal weather doesn’t exist.
    The worst damage is that they have deliberately framed the MDB debate as a battle between Agriculture and The Environment and are attempting to trade off States according to that framing. Those Lakes and the estuary have been abused in the name of that debate.
    So have inland irrigation communities.
    What has been achieved and what has been avoided?
    All I have seen is exponential bureaucratic growth and very little practical action.
    Lots of rhetoric and much playing of politics.
    It’s a real shame because parts of the system are in dire need of upgrade. Some mistakes have been made and they need to be fixed.

    Also noticed that the ‘Gillard/Wilson’ scandal did not make the 6pm news I watched yesterday? Did it get a mention anywhere?

  45. Neville June 23, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Debbie you’ll note I said it would be strange if it ( Gillard, AWU, Wilson) doesn’t make the 6 pm news.
    Then again we live in strange times, but it has made it into the MSM today thanks to McClelland, Joyce and Brandis.

    Tomorrow Bolt promises to provide us with a blast from Gillard’s past on the Bolt report. So I suppose things are well advanced to where we were just 24 or so hours ago.

    But full credit to Kangaroo court, Larry Pickering and others for keeping this on the boil until a former disgruntled labor Attorney general took his action.

  46. ianl8888 June 23, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    “Enjoy your monstrous servings of group think and cant while you can. Your smug gloating may be premature yet.”

    And there’s the spite … in full view

  47. val majkus June 23, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Hi Debbie
    In relation to your last sentence Andrew Bolt has a post up today about that matter – he’s citing an article from the Fin Review for which subscription is required, I’m not a subscriber to the Fin Review so can’t tell you any more – it certainly didn’t get a mention on Win news (ch 7);

    I totally agree with you about the Water Act 2007 (which I think can be attributed to Malcolm Turnbull but certainly to the Howard Govt.) What right or expertise do city ‘environmentalists’ think they have to pontificate on these matters. At least Howard didn’t sign Aust up to Kyoto but the banning of regrowth clearing on grazing land was certainly a mistake (I don’t even see how it could have been justified.) But those were the days when ‘environmentalism’ was raging – I don’t know if that’s happening in the majority of the electorate anymore.
    It’s certainly still happpening amongst those whose livelihood and raison de etre depend upon it. Check out what Garth Paltridge has to say at
    a bit of cut and paste:
    ‘The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense. If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise. The argument about the science is, and always has been, whether the increase would be big enough to be noticed among all the other natural variations of climate. The economic and social argument is whether the increase, even if it were noticeable, would change the overall welfare of mankind for the worse.

    Attempts to resolve the arguments are plagued with problems, a lot of which are inherently insoluble. There are many aspects of the behaviour of the natural climate system and of human society that are unpredictable in principle, let alone in practice. But perhaps the biggest of the underlying problems, and it is common to both arguments since it inevitably exists when there is large unpredictability and uncertainty, is the presence of strong forces encouraging public overstatement and a belief in worst-case scenarios….
    Climate science has transformed itself from a research backwater a few decades ago into one of the greatest public-good scientific cash cows ever devised. In Australia, for instance, there is a separate federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency specifically devoted to implementing (buying?) the social change required to limit global warming. The livelihood of many of the climate scientists within the CSIRO and elsewhere is now dependent on grants from that department. It is not a situation conducive to sceptical outlook and balanced advice. When a tendency toward postmodern science is mixed with a single, generous and undoubtedly biased source of money, it is not surprising that things can go very wrong very quickly.

    This has all come about largely because government laboratories these days are required to earn a goodly fraction of their operating income from external sources – this even when their activity is public-good research for which there is not a private market. The requirement inevitably encourages the emergence of activist-scientists who are not overly concerned about sliding into the realm of postmodern science…..’
    (more at the link)

    What’s the solution … well Prof Paltridge says ‘it’s important that any political and economic action on the matter of global warming should be flexible enough to be changed, or indeed discarded, should there be a significant shift in scientific or public perception. In terms of practical politics, the government of the day needs to give itself future wiggle room by making it clear to everyone that it is indeed making decisions on the basis of a fluid balance of probabilities, rather than on what activists insist is a scientific and economic certainty.

    and I think this is the line the Coalition should take with their climate policies – be brave and don’t pander to the green vote and discard that 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target
    (check out their policy)

  48. val majkus June 23, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    and the Coalition should renounce Agenda 21
    here’s a copy of an e mail currently doing the rounds
    The ‘sceptics’ are as much to blame for this this carbon/ CO2 issue. This is the United Nation’s Agenda 21 in action and the public have not been made aware of it.
    Almost every local government council is now a member of ICLEI ( a pseudonym for Agenda 21). the mainstream media remains silent on it. So do the sceptics.
    Sceptics can go on bleating about what a scam is the CO2 issue and waste time trying to prove IPCC scientists incorrect, They don’t care. While sceptics remain silent on Agenda 21 and its arm ( tentacle ) ICLEI the U.N and IPCC will just snigger behind their hands. Their programs, sustainable development/smart growth etc., is being implemented as we speak.
    In 1992 Australia, along with about 179 other countries signed up to the U.N.’s Earth Summit in Rio. This was an act of treason. Our constitution says we may not give authority to a foreign power but in signing to the U.N. we have done so.
    The U.N. can even over-ride our constitution.
    It is vital that the public be made aware of Agenda 21, ICLEI and its intentions.
    Cities and counties in the USA are withdrawing from ICLEI in droves now as the public are slowly being made aware of the consequences of adopting United Nation’s Agenda 21.

  49. val majkus June 23, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    If you’d like more Agenda 21 (thanks Mr Whitlam) reading and a link to the Agenda try this article

    And Willis recommends ‘Head them off at the pass, harass their flanks, destroy their supply-wagons, cut them off from their water supply, I don’t know what … but this madness has to stop. You cannot redistribute your way to wealth, and as Margaret Thatcher is rumored to have remarked, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

    A word to the wise … it’s your money that they are planning to run out of, in the process of propping up some of the planet’s most despotic regimes in the name of “combatting climate change” …

  50. cohenite June 23, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Jennifer, I agree with you about the coalition:

  51. cohenite June 23, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    ‘mate’ writes, amongst the vitriol:

    “As if Murdoch’s control of 70% of our print media wasn’t enough group think for right wingers we now have Gina trying to hoover up the balance. ”

    This dog will not die. Murdoch does not OWN 70% of the print media, he owns 32%. The readership of Murdoch is:

    “Parliamentary library figures suggest News’s share of circulation – as distinct from ownership – is 68 per cent in the capital cities and 77 per cent of the Sunday market.”

    So, as well as being nasty, ‘mate’ is wrong. And this is why the left want Murdoch closed down; the hoi poloi read him; this was the sole purpose of the Finkelstein enquiry; to justify censorship because the masses were not reading and believing their betters at Fairfax and the ABC.

  52. jennifer June 23, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Mr Murray Hogarth in the Sydney Morning Herald from 30 July 1996…
    (Particulalrly relevant today in light of Craig Thompson’s unresolved issues and the handling of the same by the present government. But silence from the core/from the leaders in the mainstream media.)

    ‘Between 1992 and 1995, about $370,000 flowed through two Perth-based accounts – operated in the name of the “AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc” – which, until last month, had never been heard of in the AWU’s national offices in Sydney.
    We have to find out who set these accounts up.

    We have to find out whether the person who set these accounts up had told the Australian Workers Union that they were setting up these accounts. We have to find minutes to prove that the accounts that were being set up were under the instruction and the auspices of the Australian Workers Union and not set up outside. Any competent solicitor would start asking those questions. So who is setting these up? What is the purpose of these accounts? What is the source of these funds? What is the application of these funds? That is what a person who was competent would ask. Most certainly it is what a partner of a law firm would ask. They would definitely be the questions that a partner of a law firm would ask, especially if they were the ones drawing up the accounts. It also says:

    All the money came from the big construction group Thiess Contractors, which says the payments were legitimate, arising from a tripartite agreement between it, the AWU and the West Australian Government….  But once in union hands, it seems, the funds went walkabout… It is now known that nearly $220,000 was withdrawn using about 40 cash cheques … ranging from $4,000 to $50,000.

    Exactly where all the money ended up is far from clear. The man who should know, a former top official, Mr Bruce Wilson, says it is all “old hat stuff” and he has “nothing to say”. ..

    Several other cheques totalling about $35,000 were made out in 1993 to a now ex-AWU official, Mr Ralph Blewitt, and, once, about $67,000 went to the trust account of the high-profile Melbourne law firm Slater and Gordon. The timing of this payment has caught the eye of AWU bosses. It coincides with the purchase of a house in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in Mr Blewitt’s name…

    In a major new development, the Herald has learned that on July 14 last year, a cheque bearing what appears to be Mr Wilson’s signature was written in an apparent bid to transfer about $160,000 from the “Members Welfare” account in Victoria, into the still-unexplained “Construction Industry Fund” in Western Australia.  But the cheque was caught at the last minute by a “freeze” on the account placed by lawyers acting for the present AWU State secretary in Victoria, Mr Bob Smith, who was a bitter enemy of Mr Wilson, and remains a close ally of Mr Steve Harrison, one of the two rival joint … secretaries.

    A month later, in strange circumstances, the $160,000 was “unfrozen” in a peace deal done by Mr Smith and his lawyers …”

    (end of quotes)

  53. cohenite June 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Gillard’s response to McClelland’s speech is that she was “young and naive”.

    Thompson’s response is that he did nothing/was set up.

    Apart from a few msm figures noone touches this; and the few msm outlets have been cowed by Finkelstein set up by Gillard and pushed through by Brown.

    This is such a 3rd world country.

  54. Debbie June 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    At least get your stats right if you’re planning to sneer and appear oh so smug and intellectually zooooperior.
    I’m sure Murdoch would be delighted to own 70%. 🙂
    Very unlikely however.
    Just in case you failed to notice, the MSM is not getting a good wrap here, which includes Murdoch.
    The Quadrant article was laughing at the self appointed and self justified, smug behaviour that the ABC in particular has turned into a fine art. Did you actually bother to read it?
    There certainly wasn’t a ‘get out of gaol card’ for any MSM outlet. It actually advanced the idea that a new face and a shake up might be a good thing.
    I tend to agree. Gina Rhinehart doesn’t ‘hoover’. What an odd metaphor.

  55. val majkus June 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    The Mayne Report has a post which tracks “what The Australian, Glenn Milne and Julia Gillard have said about the embezzlement of AWU funds by the PM’s former partner Bruce Wilson.”

    and for balance a bit of a round up by media watch

    from reports – there has been Fraud Squad involvement which resulted in ‘no or insufficient evidence’
    and of course denials of wrong doing from the main players
    this is the Kernohan stat dec
    (framed in broad terms and a bit vague as to ‘source of knowledge’

  56. Bob_FJ June 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Coming back to the “independent” ABC, I console myself in my awareness that the ABC Board is officially constructed so:
    “…Up to seven Directors are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Government…”

    So I muse that perhaps some of those “independent” directors (one might dream them having an above average IQ) may privately not believe in some of the evident group-think, but are cautious of their employment interests at the end of their current (5-year?) term by following government policy and directing their staff likewise; maybe? Well what else in this widely corrupt world?

    What really upsets me though is that some ABC icons such as Jonathan Holmes (Media Watch) and Robyn Williams (of the so-called; The Science Show) are sublimely dogmatically convinced that any “consensus science” that is declared in the media or by pollies is gospel fact. (whilst being clueless of the science)

    Corruption did you query?
    OK, it may be purely coincidental and unexplained, but what about;
    The now defunct ABC TV show; ‘The 7:30 Report’? Shortly before its popular host Kerry O’Brien was announced to be displaced elsewhere, he did a report on the involvement of government advisor and economist Prof Ross Garnaut in his mining activities at OK Tedi and Lihir Gold, both having highly controversial ecological implications.
    So what did the Editor-in-Chief Mark Scott do? He wrote a personal apology to Prof Garnaut, had some “inconvenient information” removed from the ABC website, and had a further apology put to air on the replacement show called “7:30”.

    Curiously BTW, Jonathan Holmes said this back in May concerning the new host of the new show:
    The ‘blonde presenter’, Leigh Sales, is on maternity leave and will no doubt return later this year.

  57. el gordo June 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Useful links Val.

  58. jennifer June 24, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Bob fj

    Ron Brunton, once a member of the ABC Board, writes of his experiences here

  59. Bob_FJ June 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Ron Brunton certainly comes quickly to the point in your short version of his address. I’d like to read his full PDF but since it is behind a pay-wall and it is some years old, I’ll skip it. I found this via Google, my bold added:
    ‘Yes, Director’ – an Anthropologist on the Board of the ABC- Brunton, Ron
    Abstract: The author recounts his experiences on his decision to write about his experiences at the ABC in a paper titled ‘Yes, director’. There were mixed reactions from different people on this decision. Full Text PDF (Buy Now – AU$33.00) (137kb).

    In my later career in a large international manufacturing coy I have sat-in as programme controller on various board meetings and have heard other middle management people report stuff that I knew to be either wrong or “missing” important info. I would look at them straight in the eyes, and they would not flinch. I imagine that in the ABC it would be much easier to do, like for instance no one would die from say incomplete engineering or bad manufacturing process.
    Hey but look, to lighten the mood a bit I found one of these cute little guys in the bush near me, without knowing what it was, and had to do some research.
    It was freshly deceased without any sign why, but apparently the males only live for a year.

  60. Bob Fernley-Jones June 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    I have a morbid fascination for watching Media Watch on Monday nights and in one such programme Mr Holmes took-down the respected Chris Uhlmann on the show: “7:30”, formerly “The 7:30 Report”. I was shocked that Chris had reported stuff that evidently had critical information edited-out that clearly distressed a worker in that field, as seen when played back by Media Watch. It was brutal here:

    Anyhow I visited the website/transcript and was amazed to see this quote from Jonathan Holmes; the only time that I’ve known him to comment on his website including when I’ve addressed comments to him directly:

    15 May 2012 2:49:28pm, As program presenter, Chris Uhlmann would have very little input into the stories aired on the program, other than his own interviews. He would not be responsible for commissioning them, or for their detailed execution, and might not even see them before they air. So far as Media Watch is concerned this was not an item about Chris Uhlmann, whom we regard as a fair and accomplished presenter and political interviewer. The ‘blonde presenter’, Leigh Sales, is on maternity leave and will no doubt return later this year.

    One can only wonder why he wrote this, but I would think that it was the result of a good smack-on-the-wrist from above for putting in doubt the integrity of what is generally a seemingly good programme.
    I did reply to Mr Holmes’ comment, but there was no response.

    And, of course, there was no such clarification/apology for Mr Uhlmann on air.

  61. jennifer June 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm #


    I have trouble bringing myself to watch ABC TV and could not sit down and watch Media Watch.

    Regarding the full article by Ron Brunton, I’ve just sent it to you by email.

  62. mate June 25, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    “Parliamentary library figures suggest News’s share of circulation – as distinct from ownership – is 68 per cent in the capital cities and 77 per cent of the Sunday market.”

    Who are you quoting there cohenite?

  63. Debbie June 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    But Mate,
    You certainly wrote this:
    As if Murdoch’s control of 70% of our print media wasn’t enough group think for right wingers….

    Cohenite is correct to point out that Murdoch does not ‘control’ 70% of our print media he only has 32%

    Maybe the others could consider why the READERSHIP circulation is at a SUGGESTED higher rate that his 32% ownership and LEARN FROM THAT?

    I also question your vitriolic right wing/left wing statement.
    You seem to have totally missed the point of the Quadrant article.
    It is definitely saying that a new face could perhaps create a much needed and overdue shake up of MSM….you seem to have a very poor opinion of the new face.
    You have actually used the same sneering tone that is highlighted and then laughed at in the Quadrant article.

  64. Bob_FJ June 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Thanks for the full Ron Brunton PDF….. So it seems that not much has changed since he left the ABC in 2008. We all know how people still in employment tend to NOT rock the boat. In contrast, take for instance the big bunch of retirees from NASA recently that came-out with a big letter pleading for a return to science by NASA for the sake of reputations.
    It would be nice if we could get a group of ex-directors and maybe a few pollies to study the way you were treated by the ABC on that Media Watch show and compare the entirely different sympathetic apology made to Prof Ross Garnaut earlier. I wonder if they could apply pressure to the current authorities. Do you or any readers still around have any lists of email addresses?

    Incidentally, I’ve also been browsing the ‘ABC Act 1983’, and it seems that the most relevant section in a huge yawn is:

    Duties of the Board 8.1:
    (c) To ensure that the gathering and presentation by the Corporation of news and information is accurate and impartial according to the recognized standards of objective journalism; and
    (e) to develop codes of practice relating to:
    (i) programming matters…
    and to notify those codes to the ACMA…

    per the webpage ‘ABC Editorial Policies’ the Codes of Practice are derived from their self-regulated policies.
    ACMA have previously email advised me that they can only rule on the Codes of Practice, not the Editorial Policies or the ABC Act which seems a bit strange.

  65. Debbie June 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

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