Archive for August 2008
Let’s face it – the Australian Labor Party can do a lot better than it is doing. There is neither need nor reason for anybody to feel sentimental about committee-intensive hierarchies where Marxist farts call each other comrade as though doing so doesn’t paint “delete me” clearly on their forehead.
But, at the very least, Labor should show some concern for the minimal levels of wellbeing generally supported by worker solidarity. So what the hell does Morris Iemma stand for?
Obviously less than slightly left talkback DJ Mike Carlton. Carlton refused to submit his weekly column to Fairfax for their weekend edition of the Simply Moaning Herald because of strike action by journalists opposed to mass sackings. So he has been (at least for now) sacked.
What does Morris do? As strikebreaking scab labour, he exploits Fairfax’s need for wordage with yet another worthless diatribe about the wonderful benefits of delivering publicly built and owned utilities into private hands.
Because he runs what should be one of the most manageable states in Australia, but can’t think of any other way to screw more money out of the inhabitants.
Because he is a dick.
The kind of dick that has made an unelectable State Liberal Party look like the best thing that could now happen to New South Wales at the next election. And everybody seems to know this except for the New South Wales Labor Government.
Who didn’t even think to charge Parker Brothers $15 billion for the right to stick Sydney on a Global Monopoly board. Even though Morris was so proud. Of his Monopoly.
“Nowhere to be found”? Indeed.
…. so why not do both?!?!
…. always more funny at Cyanide and Happiness
The correct answers are “more than ever” and “completely”. “totally” and “who?” are also acceptable.
The main Fairfax broadsheets are Melbourne’s Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. One of the supposed strengths of Fairfax is a pluralistic approach, namely that know-nothing scene queens like Miranda Devine and Liberal Party lobbyists like Gerard Henderson appear alongside worthwhile writers and analysts like Michelle Grattan, Ross Gittins, and Peter Hartcher.
Anybody who has been paying attention would have noticed that the Herald has increasingly hybridised itself over the last 12-18 months, becoming – at least in part – some sort of pillar for right wing hacks and Pauline Hanson supporters to lean upon in times of need of propaganda or self-approval.
Add in to the mix elements of Ralph crossed with Who Weekly and New Idea, and you have some kind of race to the bottom marked by pictures of boobs and no need for reading or analysis above a fifth grade level. The only reason that the papers are worth reading is for ridicule and the fact that they are 60% not this (or 40% in the case of the Herald – whose editor scrapped and investigative journalist’s final piece after five years in and around Palestine because he didn’t want to offend the Israel lobby. What a dick!).
The Fairfax Brains Trust’s self-perception is perhaps best evidenced in their latest tv ads – cool and striking photos from around the world flash in sync with rocking guitar, and then there’s some lame tagline about being cool and cutting edge. The fact that the paper is neither is underscored by the fact that the music is a blatant plagiarism of that ancient anthem “Fuck You I won’t Do What Ya Tell Me” by Rage Against the Machine parading as futuristic freshness.
Either Fairfax doesn’t realize that it actually is the Machine, or its directors do realize this but figure the rest of us are so stupid that rainbow-bright advertising featuring photos taken for international non-Fairfax publications will stop us working this out for ourselves.
So now Fairfax’s directors have taken the bold decision to reward shareholders and themselves by sacking 550 employees, including a large number of journalists. Amusingly, even with their massive resources, Fairfax have been slow to adapt to the age of new media. They are only doing something now – the wrong thing – because their profits have shrunk. Rather than an innervation of their online presence (with wacky upgrades like “hyperlinking”), it is likely that we will see more tacky crappy “Sam” type blogs and uncredited reposting of even more articles from the New York Times, and of course even more crap press releases parading as articles.
Like this one by some p.r. mole called Miriam Steffens. Amazingly, the Fairfax staff seem incredibly upbeat about their own rapidly vanishing prospects. Steffens even managed to frame the quote from the journalists’ own union in such a way that it almost sounds non-combative:
“It’s a gut reaction that reducing costs is going to be the salvation of media groups who are struggling in these difficult times. One would have thought that the way to attract readers is to produce the best quality journalism we can.”
The Australian presents an entirely different and far more insightful viewpoint. The articles make for a good exercise in contextualisation and comparison – structures, highlights, flow, tone, viewpoint; even in comparing the comments by reps from the same union, The Australian takes a mighty dump on Steffens brown-nosing head:
Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Victorian sectretary Louise Connor said The Age journalists were angry and shell-shocked and had condemned Mr Kirk for making the announcement before talking to staff.
Which also goes to show that direct quotes can hide the truth more effectively than paraphrasing when they are pruned with intent. Although absent from Fairfax’s own article on the subject, The Australian – which properly discloses all of its potential conflicts of interest in quoting from sources such as the Daily Telegraph’s editorial staff – gives voice to Gerard Noonan of Fairfax.
After a meeting at Fairfax’s headquarters in Sydney’s Pyrmont, senior Herald journalist Gerard Noonan branded management “gutless” and said they were using “the worst of the Work Choices legislation” to make deep cuts to journalism.
“This is a panicked response,” he said. “Management is clearly struggling to deal with how to handle the complex demands of high-end, quality journalism.”
Miriam works in the same building as Gerard, but completely misses the existence of this anger, doesn’t feel it worth mentioning that the Stock Exchange was informed of this decision before the people to be fired, and indeed thinks that the key point of note in the entire piece of scumbaggery is that:
(Fairfax Executive) Mr (David) Kirk said the targeted $50 million in annualised cost savings would “hold us in good stead for years to come”.
Fairfax, you’re in something, but it’s not “stead” and if employees like “Miriam” are anything to go by, it’s not good.
Q. How do you know when the Australian Men’s Basketball team have lost their game and been bundled out of the Olympics?
A. Because the story about 150 brown people being killed in an exploding plane is the second item on the news.
ha ha ha haaaaa ha ha ha ha aaaaaaah ha aaha hah ahahah ah aha ha ha…………..
I don’t know what the IOC douche de la douche Jacques Rogge was smoking when just a fortnight ago he declared that the Olympics was going to pretty much turn China into the global capital of love, happiness, and human rights. He may have just been inhaling his own farts.
Thousands of them.
An act which would certainly seem congruous to his temperament.
But waht teh fcuk!
It was obvious from even before Day 1 of the current games that Australia’s 7 Network was going to seek out exciting new depths in televised subocrity, as they somehow lost the booking sheet for GetUp’s advertisement due to run between 1 and 3 IN THE MORNING asking PM Kevin Rudd not to forget about Tibet while chatting over roast duck and the red book with Citizen Ichi.
SBS have done their best by using their journalists’ access to China to look at stories beyond how awesome Australian athletes, the Chinese government, and not getting caught for drug-cheating all are. ABC radio has tried to.
But Channel 7, like most networks in fact, haven’t really pursued any of the relevant questions.
As in, the kind of questions that just the other day saw BOCOG – the Chinese Olympic Committee – cancel daily press briefings less than halfway through the Games. They didn’t just cancel the press conferences – knowing that they were going to do this, they had intelligence agency photographers come and photograph every single journalist in attendance.
Why? The day before, a British journalist tried to get an answer to a simple question 5 times – not from Chairman Mao, but from IOC Press Secretary Giselle Davies.
Following more than a week of stories about internet censorship, manipulation of video broadcasts, the arrests of people applying to use the supposedly guaranteed peaceful protest sites around Beijing, and ultimately the beating and brief detention of a journalist and his photgrapher at a 30-second 7-person Free Tibet protest, the journalist asked, as many ways as could possibly be conceived, whether the IOC was embarrassed by the way that Chinese authorities had not and perhaps never intended to live up to their promised commitments regarding human rights and press freedom.
She avoided the question, answering that athletics is great, that the venues are nice, that the security of the athletes and spectators has been well attended to. She may have even gone so far as to say that some of the ticketing difficulties seemed to be getting sorted out rather well.
This is the IOC, not a Chinese mouthpiece afraid his family will be arrested and his house bulldozed if he says the wrong thing.
Oh yes, and she also repeatedly told the reporter to give back the microphone so someone else could have a go. Have a go at what? Praising China for letting Tibetans live long enough to realize that they are ever more surely becoming the victims of globally sanctioned genocide?
Religious freedoms? Athletes, especially winners, must surely get the most respect and the best treatment that is on offer. I watched this morning as Catherine Ndereba won a tight race for silver in the Women’s marathon. Even having just run this brutal race, she promptly grabbed a towel from her coach and kneeled on it over the finish line in Lane 3. As soon as it became apparent that she was praying, thanking her God for getting her there, at least three Chinese officials closed in around her and began to physically move her away from the cameras and the track.
This was obvious to a TV spectator, unpaid, uninformed, thousands of miles away. The Channel 7 commentators didn’t even mention it.
It’s obvious that the Olympics is about stories – the 49 year old French cyclist narrowly missing bronze, the 16-year old Australian missing school to win gold, 8 wins as a result of A.D.D. therapy, Cuban volleyballers beating China from 2-0 down – but these stories aren’t great because they’re positive, shiny, uplifting. They’re great because they’re real, because they’re a combination of unlikely elements that still lead to a remarkable outcome.
But for all the media on the ground and the billions of dollars spent in video surveillance and satellite broadcasting, the biggest stories of the Beijing Olympics seem unlikely to be told anytime in the next ten days.
One World One Dream
One Massive Corrupt System One Thoroughly Acquiescent And Shameful Australian Television Network
“Listen John, I’m the Treasurer. I will wear the blame for rising inflation. I will be the one the public distrust. If I am going to be the future leader, this inane half-baked economic voodooism has to be killed and buried. You have f-cked up my chances of being PM now — you’re not going to f-ck my chances in the future!”
Interestingly enough, the Latham Diaries were thoroughly worth reading as a piece of political history, regardless of which political ideology you might largely support. Will Costello’s be similar? Can’t say – but can say that if you’re going to read it, please don’t pay money for it. Visit your local library or get a promo copy.
Otherwise you’re putting food in Peter Costello’s mouth.
And that would be a mistake.
Unless that ‘food’ is a Brendan Nelson turd with broken glass and John Howard’s penis in it.
Bono, retire from public life and we’ll donate a ton of money to fight AIDS is exactly what it sounds like. Gotta love that. Turns out that the RED campaign has spent more on marketing associated brands – like American Express – than it has actually raised for charity. Hmmm. What does that sound like….?
And given the European land war currently gearing up in Georgia, Undernews seems a gem of a discovery – particularly with regard to this article detailing the involvement of Israeli & US oil interests in Georgia in the lead up to Russia’s use of the American regime-change-for-personal-gain model of diplomacy. Speaking of which, there’s also this article on preparations for a naval blockade of Iran. And those are just today’s entries.
Hmmm… Certainly less pompous than a lot of the writing at Counterpunch. Could be a new favourite American-based international news and analysis site.
And ditching blah for wah – check out Natalia Paruz. Better known as “Saw Lady”…
is iiiiincrediiiiible. Go swoon at SawLady.com for more freaky goodness….
And finally, not just for Trekkies but for anyone with working eye glands…
That’s not a special effect. It’s a ‘pho-to’ from APOD – NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day archive. It’s cool that they do more than just invent frying pans, fix toilets, and get silenced over global warming, eh?