Saturday, November 30, 2013

The toughest of the knob polishers, hagiographers and crony commentariat get going ...

No mercy!

You see, when the going gets tough, the toughest of the forelock tuggers, hagiographers, knob polishers and crony commentariat get going.

The pond was delighted by the spin in this header by the reptiles at the lizard Oz, with the reptiles trying to get out of jail with some post-modernist, ironic single inverted commas:

Indeed. What a heavenly angel, what a guardian.

Help out Qantas? Why not? While we're at it, how about the Commonwealth Bank? Bring back Chifley and nationalise all the bloody banks ...

How desperate and pathetic can it get?

Well hapless James Morrow, contemplating the matters of a Qantas buyback, the GrainCorp bid, and the attempt to ramp up the GST on international goods to help out retail - no matter if it cost more than it earned - was in a slump, and saw it all as a grand plan, in A decision that goes against the Liberals' grain (behind the paywall so you don't have to give a toss about Liberal grain):

Perhaps this is all part of a grand plan, a marathon of reform rather than a sprint, to flush out pro-market sentiments within Labor that can be used as wedges later. 
Already Chris Bowen has come out slamming Hockey's decision on GrainCorp as "pathetic" and it is Labor premiers who are against the government taking a cut every time Australians order a cookbook from Amazon. 
Maybe armed with these statements, Hockey will be able to force Labor to sign up to a more ambitious program of reform down the track. 
We can only hope.

Or we can only be truly deluded.

The pond feels for Morrow, and has decided that he's a worthy winner of the inaugural Grand Imperial Order of the Majestic Pie-Eater prize for silliness.

Here you go, prize pie-eater, take a bow and a digital splash:

Oh that header's looking ghostly grey ... we hope it feels better after you've eaten that pie.

Naturally Akker Dakker was on hand to shove a finger in the dyke (no smutty jokes, please), and the Daily Terror felt the message was so needed they kept him on the revolving fickle digital splash of fame long after the piece's use-by date:

The seriously flawed assumption? Why it can only be that Christopher Pyne isn't a poodle ...

Long term readers of Akker Dakker will know you only need one slogan: four legged Poodle Pyne good, naughty two legged state Liberal leaders baad.

Yep, that's Liberal leaders, who shockingly accused Pyne and Abbott of misrepresentation and deviousness and promise breaking, lying in short, in all but name, and when it comes to Liberal on Liberal, Akker Dakker knows where he squats. No doubt we can apply the Morrow strategy:

Maybe armed with Akker Dakker columns, Pyne will be able to force Liberal state leaders to sign up to a more ambitious program of reform down the track. 
We can only hope.

Or some such thing.

But wait, these are mere tabloid follies. We need the heavy hitters at the lizard Oz. How goes the Saturday digital day?

Oh dear. After his bold brave decision on GrainCorp, jolly Joe is going to sort out Qantas.

It seems the toughest of the crony commentariat are having a bit of a fainting fit, wilting a little in the heat of the kitchen:

Oh dear.

Is there anybody else?

And as a bonus, you get to put John Durie's words to music, and sing along with Cyndi Lauper:

In a world full of agrarian socialists
You can lose sight of it all 
And the veto darkness inside you 
Can make you feel so small 
 But I see your true veto colors 
Shining through 
I see your true farmer agrarian socialist colors 
And that's why I love you 

The second verse should probably feature Alan Joyce and the Qantas board flying the airline into the ground, in much the same way as the crazed Egyptian flight officer in a recent repeat of Air Crash Investigations, but hush, this is all getting far too serious, and we need a squirrel.

Please, please, is there a squirrel in the house.

Phew, that's a relief. It sounds serious ...

But it also sounds deeply mysterious. Who are these friends? Why should the PM show no mercy?

Bizarrely, the pond saw the splash transform before its eyes (and sadly before a screen cap). You see, in the original, it was a little more giving. It actually mentioned the ABC.

But clearly the reptiles at the lizard Oz are now very sensitive about being featured in Crikey collages, as they maintain the rage against the cardigan wears.

Oh wait, it's come back, it can take its pride of place in any decent collage:

Well played Ms Collier. Your sterling effort as part of the baying pack of hounds at the lizard Oz, maintaining the rage and the crusade, is duly noted. Consider yourself shortlisted for a board placement ...

Can anybody join in this squirrel hunt?

Of course they can:

Usually the pond wouldn't use Greg Sheridan as a shoelace to secure a shoe to a real investigative journalist's foot, but surely he has a point here.

It's much more courageous and profoundly journalistic simply to eavesdrop on a celebrity, and publish the results in a tabloid ... unless it happens to get a little sordid, and land in court ... but even then it's surely real journalism. Why the Daily Terror is a most wondrous example of photoshopped front page ratbag ideology dressed up as journalism the world has ever seen. What brave lads and lasses ...

And there you have it.

The pond was feeling lazy, but really all you need in Murdoch la la land is a tour of the headlines, because everything else will be astonishingly predictable, banal, dreary and wet. How did Macbeth put it?

Chairman Rupert! - I am sick at heart, 
When I behold - Chairman Rupert, I say - This paywall
Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now. 
I have liv'd long enough: my way of life 
Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf; 
And that which should accompany old age, 
As intelligent journalism, balanced reading, 
Memory beyond two days past of what  was said and promised.
I must not look to have; but, in their stead
Routine relentless monotonous Murdochian curses, 
Both loud and deep, no mouth-honour or breath, 
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not,
Because it's all too bloody predictable ...

Or some such thing.

But on pleasant note, to end on an up - as you always do when you think of the wisdom of the Fool in King Lear - it was good to see that cartoonists are again being celebrated in Old Parliament House. Of late, the pond has been giving David Rowe and David Pope a fine old pounding, so here instead is
David Rowe turning up for the launch of the exhibition.

You can also see him on the ABC here. Thank the long absent lord for the ABC, eh Ms Collier?

And look, there's David Pope with ... sorry, the pond has a short memory ...

And look there's Andrew Marlston, otherwise known as a dog, but certainly not a poodle ...

The long absent lord bless them all, eh Tiny Tim, in times of trouble they've been the one fragile link to sanity for the pond ...

And you'll find a link to the exhibition, Behind the Lines 2013, here.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A day out with the lizards and the donkeys and the luddites ...

(Above: the genius of David Rowe. Go on, give him a hit here, he deserves it, and we now feel no shame talking about the poodle Pyne down below).

The pond was out and about last night, and in the usual way, while on the road tuned in to RN, if only because Gerard Henderson would be doing the same, and it was yet another way to thumb the nose at the crony commentariat.

Big mistake. Ted Mack was on Big Ideas (you can hear him here on catch up radio). Now the pond had always been ambivalent about Mack, ever since he decided that the solution to littering in North Sydney was simply to abolish public bins. As the pond was working in North Sydney at the time, the only logical equally unilateral response was to litter, and so for the first and last time, the pond became a litter bug ...

Talk about the unintended consequences of unilateral politics. But that said, it was hard to disagree with Mack's assessment of the political system in Australia, run by an unfortunate and unholy duopoly of power mongerss. It's fucked. Not just a little bit, but comprehensively, in every way Mack relentlessly outlined in detail. Sadly, Mack's solutions had the viability of abolishing litter by abolishing council-serviced public bins, and all the pond could conclude was that politics would stay well and truly fucked way beyond the pond's lifetime.

Speaking of fucked, how unhappy must be the reptiles at the lizard Oz, now that the Walkley Awards are in.

The poor old dears. All they could boast about  was a photography by Colin Murty, and reporting from South Asia, by Amanda Hodge, and sister paper  HUN's James Campbell's story about police tapes that sent Ted Baillieu packing (Colin Murty's haunting image wins top Walkley photography award, paywall affected because you have to pay to read about a few winners and lots of losers).

Time to get out those meaningless in-house awards and give them another polish.

Meanwhile, the ABC was preening and prancing and boasting, and it was just so unfair, as you can read in Walkley Awards: Joanne McCarthy wins gold, Caroline Jones among ABC journalists honoured. 

Lateline! With that softie Tony Jones sucking up to Clive! Shocking, outrageous. Foreign Correspondent! Appalling. And so on and so forth. Oh it's too much for a lizard to bear.

And dammit, there was Pravda on the Yarra, breaking out the champagne in The Age wins Walkley Awards.

Not a single mention of that bloated tick on the taxpayer hide, Andrew Bolt, and not a mention of all those amazing EXCLUSIVES the lizards deliver on a daily basis.

Is there any human bean on earth who wouldn't pause to admire, with astonishment, Hedley Thomas's amazing series of relentless scoops as he pursues his crusade against Clive Palmer.

What an astonishing EXCLUSIVE.

Sadly the pond, having signed more contracts with a confidentiality clause than had hot breakfasts (we favour muesli and yoghurt like any decent hippie), took it the wrong way. What, you mean Clive has been running his assorted business without including a confidentiality clause?

But surely it's time for the Walkleys to conjure up an award for relentless monomania in the conducting of crusades in the press. The reptiles could make out like bandits ...

Meanwhile, the pond is thinking of nominating The Jakarta Post for a Walkley for exemplary reporting on matters of interest to Australians, not to mention the odd bit of commentary, such as William Maley's The tyranny of parochialism. Or Indonesia-Australia on track, but back to square one.

Yes, it's quaint to read opinion with an almost Edwardian gentility, rather than the foaming and frothing of outraged monitor lizards hungry for flesh.

Yet you now have to go right down the page in the Fairfaxians digital edition to discover Jakarta extends bans on co-operation:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s hopes for a quick resumption of co-operation with Indonesia appear dashed after Jakarta outlined a road map to restoring relations that could take up to a year to implement. And Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has again highlighted that the lack of the word “sorry” in Mr Abbott’s letter last week to the president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may still be a stumbling block. 

Sheesh, quick, bring on a regional war with China. What's that you say, it might be hard to keep it regional...

Meanwhile, you won't see the reptiles at the Oz deliver this sort of bog standard news report:

Oh dear. Yep, it's all there in Confidential briefing: NBN unlikely to meet Coalition's deadline, with a most modest Exclusive at the top of the story by David Braue.

Braue's opening par is a model of that old style rule in journalism - lay it out in the first par, lay it out short, and hard and fast (you know, like Raymond Chandler and a gat and a girl):

The Coalition’s national broadband network model will prove inadequate for many businesses, is poorly planned and is unlikely to be completed on time, according to NBN Co’s internal analysis for the incoming Abbott government. 
Obtained by Fairfax Media, the analysis casts doubts over the timing and cost-effectiveness of the government’s proposed fibre-to-the-node model, highlighting numerous legislative, construction and technical challenges likely to blow out the Coalition’s 2016 and 2019 delivery deadlines.

There's a lot more, and while it might have been an 'exclusive' leak, any blind Freddy or Frederica could have seen that the contents were entirely predictable.

The new plans were fucked from the start. There is, for example, no incentive for anyone in metropolitan areas blessed with some kind of service (unlike the pond) to shift across to an equally clunky model offering clunky speeds through clunky copper connections.

Still, it will keep Abbott happy, because now Turnbull is tagged with Turnbull's NBN plan, and slowly, slowly Turnbull will be roasted by his folly. The man who invented the internet in Australia and all the other jovial bullshit will hang around his neck as he wrestles with the beast, while the luddite he panders to roams free and wild ...

Poor old big Mal, already forced to counter-punch and how feeble it sounded. Out of date report, blah blah. Out of date? What's that make copper?

And the reptiles at the Oz can congratulate themselves. They've kept Australia in the technological wilderness and made the world safe for Foxtel ... now that deserves a Walkley, surely there's a category for best luddite reporting, though climate science in the Oz would be a serious contender ...

Meanwhile, the pond has to gasp in awe and admiration at Poodle Pyne, so elegantly captured by David Rowe in his sensitive portrait.

Only a very short time ago, the poodle went on the record saying that the Howard model was a good starting point for his Conski proposals (we hesitate to use the word 'reforms'). Yes, he did:

TOM IGGULDEN: But Mr Pine says he's doing everyone a favour by scrapping the Gonski model... CHRISTOPHER PYNE: It's an incomprehensible mess. 
TOM IGGULDEN: ...and says things were better before Labor's reforms. 
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The school funding model that was implemented by the Howard Government is a good starting point for a school funding model. 
 TOM IGGULDEN: The NSW Education Minister disagrees. 
 ADRIAN PICCOLI, NSW EDUCATION MINISTER: The only person I've ever heard say that the SES model is a good model is Minister Pine. (here, and we retained the Pine typos because everybody should pine for a Pyne joke).

And then as bold and as cheeky as good ship's brass, he did a St Peter, with the cock only needing to crow once:

The Education Minister said that he had defended the Howard model because it was a needs-based model. 
"But that will not be the basis of a new funding model, because we’ve moved beyond that," he said. "I've never said that we would now re-introduce the previous government's model." (here, forced video at end of link)

Yep,  using it as a good model for a good starting point  means it absolutely must now be ignored.

Why all the confusion, apart from the self-evident obvious explanation that Pyne is a bear with very little brain?

Surely it's nakedly, blatantly obvious that Pyne doesn't have a clue what he wants to do, and is making it up as he goes along, and in the short term, his only motivations are spite, spleen, revenge, and ideology, spurred along by a couple of notions:

1. Come hell or high water, and no matter what the likes of Kathryn Greiner says, Pyne will do down Gonski, irrespective whether it's a good idea to do so or not, or whether he has any sensible alternatives in mind;
2. One way or another, the rich and private schools will get more than their fair share, and in the process the farcical government funding of downright weird private schools dedicated to creationism or other forms of fundamentalism will continue apace, covered with a fig leaf of regulatory oversight, and only disturbed by the occasional scandal when the wackos crawl out from under the rock. And since Scott 'speaking in tongues' Morrison has already crawled out from a Shire rock to help fuck up the relationship with Indonesia and do over refugees, who could be surprised by that.

The preening, posing Pyne now has shifted to short odds in the race amongst the Liberal ministry to introduce the biggest cock-up in the shortest time.

No need to resort to the crony commentariat for laughs when their heroes are doing a first rate job as the vaudeville headliners ...

Oh, and in breaking news, big brave bold Joe Hockey has folded to the agrarian socialists. What a hollow sham of a Shrek donkey he is, how predictable the result, despite all his huffing and puffing and posturing and posing and bully boy talk ...

Open for business? Well only if you do it the agrarian socialist way ...

Score one for Barnaby Joyce, and nil for Hockey.

But it's great news for the cartoonists, with so many losers and flip flops thonging their way around Canberra. How to cover it all?

David Pope shows how a little snip will fix everything. More Popery here.

CBR? Is that code for how the fucked Turnbull model will deliver streaming on his third rate network?

Oh you have to laugh, except when the pond heads off to the toilet for a quiet little catch-up cry ...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Speaking of an audience for Right Men ...

Crikey yesterday offered this delightful montage of the output of Murdochians in recent weeks.

But of course art requires incessant re-working - Mahler was always fiddling with his orchestrations - and just today the Murdochians have provided fresh raw material for a re-working of the montage.

Here you go:

Of course the Bolter's rant is ostensibly about the ABC, the relationship with Indonesia, and intelligence matters, and traitors and cant and hypocrisy, but in the usual Bolter way, it turns out to be all about him.

Was there a man ever more dedicated to fluff-gathering from navel-gazing activities?

He (Paul Barry) also challenged me to reveal my salary as he'd just "revealed" his own. 
Relevance? Zero. Deception? High. Barry in fact revealed only his ABC salary, the part of his income provided by taxpayers. He omitted his book royalties, speaking fees and other privately-earned income of no business of anyone but the tax man. 
 My own income from taxpayers? Not one cent, so what was Barry's point? 
 Let's hope our spies did pick up intelligence in Indonesia, because the ABC could sure use it here.

Not one cent?

Yep, the Bolter is still writhing from Barry's salary tease, in the manner of many self-righteous zealots and demagogues.

It goes back to a syndrome identified a long time ago by science fiction writer A. E. Van Vogt, which he identified as 'The Right Man Syndrome':

'The Right Man syndrome' is a personality and behavioral pattern described by science fiction writer A. E. Van Voght and later popularized by the British writer Colin Wilson. The term describes an individual, almost always male, who has a dynamic yet fragile personality and possesses a manic need to feel that his actions are perfectly justified and correct at all times.
The need always to "be right" assumes supreme importance in the Right Man's life. "To challenge any aspect of a Right Man's life," says writer Bruce Wright, "is, to him, an insufferable attack on his self-esteem, to be met with whatever vitriol might be required to still the threat. (here in pdf form though you might appreciate the joke even more when you see it was published in Alternative Therapies in May 1998 as a howl of pain)

The point here is that the Bolter is deeply threatened by the way he's pulling down much more than Barry, while pretending to be a friend of the masses, who just happens to like opera and every now and then finds a bottle of Grange lurking in the lounge where it was left by a careless friend, so it can be scoffed with some fine home cuisine.

Now in relation to the ABC, another term might be more relevant:

1. Pathological obsession with one idea or subject. 
2. Intent concentration on or exaggerated enthusiasm for a single subject or idea.

But when you come to bizarre assertions like this one ...

 My own income from taxpayers? Not one cent, so what was Barry's point? 

... the monomania theory has to give way to the Right Man theory.

Now the pond has a very loose and fragile understanding of capitalism, no doubt tainted by at one point reading Karl Marx and Mao - does watching Ronald Reagan in movies provide a sufficiently healthy corrective? - but here's how it works.

Let's assume a media mogul, who owns a newspaper. Let's assume it's the Melbourne HUN. Let's assume the rag is interested in readers and cultivating a readership. Let's assume, in the marketing arm at least, that these fickle creatures will be dubbed clients or customers or the key A-B demographic or whatever other term is doing the rounds.

These days it seems to be "audience". The brave marketing team at the lizard Oz did a study - a Pulse Panel - because the pond and the reptiles just Pulse all the time - to discover that Monday is planning day, setting the tone for the week ahead, while Tuesday is when the week really starts, as our readers make the most of small indulgences to ease into the week.

But don't take the pond's word for it, grok off to News Corp here to discover how you too can reach over 14.4 million Australians (assuming 22 million Australians, that's the Murdochians saying that they dominate 65% of the market).

Oh there's much talk of brands, ad products, case studies, campaigns and audiences:

We've created a partnership. One that forms an even stronger bond between you and us. It unlocks more possibilities, more relationships and more opportunities. And gives you access to our combined category and audience strengths. Creating a deeper, more intimate connection with our most important partners - Australians.

Yes, yes, deeply nauseating, when all they want to do is flog stuff to you and extract the readies from your purse, pocket or wallet, and it reminds the pond why there was always a fierce argument going on as to whether the marketing or the legal department was most full of the most insufferable types spouting the most insufferable gibberish ...

But back to capitalism. Now it seems to the pond, in a clear enough way, that the aim of the media mogul is to gouge Australians, which is to say taxpayers who have the readies, either by way of a shelf price or a subscription or by foisting advertising on them - in the ideal world, the mug punters pay to have the advertising shoved in front of them.

To achieve this, they need some content to fill in the nooks and crannies and crevices. Cue types like the Bolter, who blather on like a gigantic dose of verbal diarrhoea. The mogul pays types like the Bolter with money they've conned out of the taxpayers, hopefully tithing enough to maintain their mogul billionaire status, though things have got a little tighter these last few years, and flicking the rest as a handsome stipend to the Bolter types.

If that's the case, we can then arrive at a new formulation, one which applies just as forcefully to the Bolter's Ten network gig as it does to working for the Murdochians:

My own income from taxpayers? Well thanks to them I get paid a shitload - nah, nah, sucks boo - by the Murdochians and by the Ten network, and even when I stick a lot of it in the short term money market and pick up shares, I can thank the lord that the taxpayers are so generous in the way they reward me. So what was my point again? 

Of course the Bolter's pay could derive from a family trust set up years ago by devoted parents, and he now donates his time free to the HUN and Ten, as a community service, but deep down the pond suspects it's the taxpayers who are really footing the bill.

Of course you can't even begin to discuss any of this with people who are right men. They're too intent on insisting on stupid pedantries - not a cent - removed from reality.

They're not interested in nuance, subtlety, or the way the actual world works. They're just interested in their own infallibility, and their complete and utter righteous capacity for being correct about everything.

There's another interesting way of noting this in passing, and it comes courtesy of generally grumpy Paul Sheehan today, scribbling about a local murder trial in Simon Gittany's smile fades:

Sheehan sees nothing wrong with noting that he had a prejudicial opinion formed before the verdict:

Simon Gittany is an innocent man. These were the first words I wrote on Wednesday morning, before the judgment in his trial for murder. I was prepared for the worst, and this was going to be my provocative lead. 

What an astonishing admission. Yet even as he covers the guilty verdict, Sheehan maintains the prejudice:

All the journalists I talked to who were covering the trial had concluded he was guilty and that, if it were a jury trial, Gittany would be burnt toast. 
But this was not a jury trial. This was a trial by a judge alone, Justice Lucy McCallum. Such is the chasm that has grown between community values and judicial technicality that the conviction rates in trials by jury and trials by judge alone now diverges starkly. Juries are much more likely to convict than judges.

So does Sheehan apologise to Justice McCallum for his prejudiced, jaundiced view of her work? Nope. He quotes from her extensively, but there's not a single admission that his provocative lead was provocatively in error.

Instead he continues to maintain the rage about the role judges play.

But that's the way it is with the right men. Things might turn out differently, but they never say sorry. They never shut up and they never surrender, and long after others might have reeled into a magic water night, there's Sheehan still spouting his prejudices. And getting paid for it by the Fairfaxians, courtesy the long-suffering, tax-paying readership.

So is there any upside as we ease ourselves into the middle of the week, and some foolish taxpayers piss money against the wall on Murdochian and Fairfaxians products that support righteous men like the Bolter and Sheehan?

Well sometimes their money finds its way into the right pockets, which is to say cartoonists like David Pope.

What else is there to say about the poodle Pyne and his latest island adventure as yesterday, the lads prepared for Piggy?

Sorry, Piggy, life isn't scientific, it's a barbaric ritual featuring Right Men ...

(Quick, Pope has another go at it, here, this time with video games, top of the gallery today only).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Caution, unpredictable political animals ahead ...

(Above: sheesh, and we're only up to black Wednesday).

The pond was astonished to learn that the TV soap Home and Away was trotting out the hoary old device of a bomb going off.

The pond hasn't thought of this sort of trick since the glory days of Number 96, but despite a temporary bump, that attempt to refresh the show was a sign that the end days were upon it ...

It reminded the pond that it had never, not once, seen a full episode of Home and Away or Neighbours. There's probably an entire book to be written about things not done, and not regretted for a moment. Non, je ne regrette rien, ni le bien qu'on m'a fait, ni le mai tout ca m'est bien egal ... (sung in a sultry tone with a frog in the throat).

Speaking of  bombs - it seems the only way to ensure constant hits from the NSA - the pond has also never seen a single episode of The Bolter Report. No, je ne regrette rien ...

But we do like, in a belated way, to keep track of how the show is going, and last Sunday delivered most peculiar results:

Insiders: 173,000 / 93,000 / 41,000 
The Bolt Report: 134,000 / 19,000 (here, with other ratings)

The 134k isn't bad - for a loser - but what's with that repeat figure?

The pond could only think that TV tonight had made a typo while transcribing the figures.

What's more, the ABC did over Ten, with 18.7% to 16.9%. They couldn't even win with David Attenborough - Nine hauled in 1.32m for Attenborough in India, while Ten could only score 309,000 for DA living with baboons.

Of course the rot starts at the head of the ranting right wing ratbag fish that hangs like a pall of doom over the daytime Sunday schedule, but the pond is tired of explaining this to Ten network execs ...

But it's easy to see why the likes of the Bolter fears and loathes the ABC. Why, the cardigan wearers are doing the Bolter like an easy TV dinner re-heated in the microwave ...

Meanwhile, Paul Barry has been shamelessly teasing the Bolter, and the Bolter being a man of shameless self-importance, as most preening demagogues are, Barry got a bite:

Sure enough, today the Terror was shocked and appalled.

You might have thought that the poodle Pyne betraying a core election promise, with the approval of Abbott, who had made the core, read my lips election promise, would have provided enough work for the hagiographers, crony commentariat and assorted knob polishers. 

Or the ongoing saga with Yudhoyono, but what do you know, right below an update on Indonesia, came a story on the fluff gathering navel-gazers:

If you were stupid enough to click on the Twit-for-tat story, you found the Bolter blathering on in a way that suggested there was a hint of fear in the eyes, the sort that some allege can be seen in the eyes of English cricketers:

Bolt said: "There are a couple things about Media Watch that I thought made Paul Barry look foolish or deceptive and Media Watch a disgrace, just one more evidence of how wrong it is for that show to have been left to hosts of the Left since its birth. 
"There has been no balance. 
"And tonight I think he abused his position and trashed the journalism standards he is allegedly there to police."

The specious grounds for this is that the public doesn't pay the Bolter's salary, when in fact any dolt who contributes a sub to the HUN or helps out Ten with advertising revenue (almost invisible as they are) is helping to pay for the Bolter's salary.

That's how it works, and frankly the pond is utterly compelled to discover what it's worth to have a pet demagogue who can be let off the leash as required ...

So let's have the amounts the Bolter gets courtesy of the public. That would be his Ten fees, his work at the HUN, and anywhere else a foolish public chips in to help him maintain his rage.

Anyhoo, Barry obviously hit a raw nerve, because the ravaging, raging, frothing and foaming fearless crusaders have come out in force after the Media Watch show.

The Terror  thoughtfully provided a link to a Bolter piece, Paul Barry really is a fool, which suggests that only a fool would go around calling someone who got a bite out of the Bolter was a fool ...

The only problem, if you followed the Terror link, is that this is what you got:

Yep, completely blank, except for the ad - perhaps all revenue going to the Bolter as a basket charity case - though we haven't bothered to fill in the full blank page, since reading the Bolter is enough to induce a state of blankness up there with Will Smith waving a magic wand at you ...

Never mind, the furious foolish fulminations can be found at the HUN here.

Meanwhile, the piece also links to Tim Blair saying Paul Barry can't read, a neat side-step which completely avoids the issues of working for a gutter trawling, sleazoid gossip rag of the yellow kind relentlessly dedicated to exposing fornication between consenting adults.

But then Blair cut his teeth on the Melbourne Truth, so ferreting through the trash can must be business as usual ...

Crikey had a neat satirical wrinkle on this, proposing how wrong it was to publish salacious, unsubstantiated gossip about the private lives of public figures, and then linking to sundry Murdochian follies, including Gawker ... yep, what's good for the NSW Labor goose is clearly good for the strutting gander.

And then it came to the pond with a startling clarity. What was the point of staying mentally pure and not watching TV soaps, and then spending all this valuable saved time looking at idiots like the Bolter and the Bleagh?

I mean, who on the planet would resort to either of them for insight into climate science, or almost anything else? And how much are they paid for their dissembling, distortions and preposterous huffing and puffing?

Clearly, if the ratings of the Bolter's show for Ten is any guide, the vast majority of Australians feel the same way ... why he might only be paid with sixpences ...

Meanwhile, remember that Terror story about Indonesia?

To a casual reader, it's a deceptive header, a header which actually is deceptive about the content of the actual story, here.

The reality is a tad different with SBY keeping Tony Abbott on the rack and giving him a few more spins, as you can read here.

It's a subtle difference, but that's the art of the hagiographic knob polisher at work.

In one header, you'd gather that SBY was seeking to end the games, and in the other, you'd see his fury remains fresh, and Abbott must agree to kow tow, humble himself, and eat a little more egg before things are set aright ...

You can see this hagiographic spin at work in the Murdoch rags at a daily basis, which is why it seems that hundreds of Australians have taken to clicking on the Jakarta Post to see what's really going on:

Yep, there it is, SBY isn't seeking, he is still demanding, and he's not just demanding that silly old Peter Leahy work out what city he's in to receive a letter ... with this sort of story, RI to stop arresting boat people, still coming out of Jakarata, posing an interesting ongoing challenge for Abbott ...

What's interesting and disturbing about the JP stories which have comments is how there now seems to be a festering proxy war going on between comments from Indonesians, and comments from what seems to be an invasion of Australian ratbags, who litter the pages in the same way they soil Bali ...

SBY is doing a Keating and doing Abbott slowly, and there's very little the hagiographers can do about it, but what's going to be even more interesting is the way the Abbott government is right at this moment gearing up to make a mess of its relationship with China, as the Chinese crank up their campaign against Japan, and thereby, the United States ...

No doubt Hugh White is inclined to be hysterical in Abbott playing with diplomatic fire in Asia, but there's also no doubt that we are going to live in interesting times in the next few months ...

And this is where the simple-minded ratbag demagoguery of an Alan Jones or an Andrew Bolt, or a man chanting three word slogans, is more than useless.

So there you go. Internationally, going the wrong way with Indonesia, the Middle East, and now quite possibly and domestically, thanks to poodle Pyne, the Abbott government is now at war with conservative state Liberals, educators and in NSW, big Bazza O'Farrell who started to talk about the children still being in an opposition mind set ...

It seems to be a fine old mess, as Lara Tingle notes s in Government of 'no surprises' rewrites history ...

Perhaps the only surprise is that some foolish people thought there'd be no surprises. There will be a Gonski reform process under my government ... oh sure, and let's talk about Julia Gillard and carbon taxes, and who can tell the biggest lies and the most shameless porkies ...

Let's face it, as a way of sustaining audience interest, the Abbott government is well on the way to a Home and Away solution to diplomatic relations and to government ...

(Below: please, don't blame the pond. We merely report on what's in The Jakarta Post here)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Speaking of errors of judgment ...

(Above: speaking of errors of judgment, as you do. And the text in that hard to read 1960s Molnar cartoon at the bottom? So we all agree then that the next G.G. shall be a real Australian, if we can find a suitable one among the English aristocracy. Still a fun joke in 1968!)

And while we're at it, the pond has a bone to pick with Crikey and its editorial yesterday, which conformed to the line run by an outraged crony commentariat - when isn't the crony commentariat outraged and shocked and horrified and indignant?

As it happens, Crikey agrees with the views expressed by the Governor-General on the issues of same-sex marriage and the republic in her Boyer Lecture. 
The problem is, as Governor-General she does not have the right to express such views. As Governor-General, Quentin Bryce must be a national figure, one who brings us together rather than divides us. 
As the example of Sir William Deane showed, this need not be at the expense of engaging with the community. Moreover, the Governor-General is an appointed figure, not an elected one. Their views on significant political issues, whether the republic, same-sex marriage, or anything else, should be irrelevant to the performance of their duties. 
In expressing such views, Bryce has taken sides on a political issue in a manner inappropriate for her role. They are divisive and add nothing to those debates. Australians who disagree with her are entitled to wonder why the representative of our head of state is using her position to advance them -- in the same way that progressives would be offended if a conservative Governor-General expressed views with which they disagreed. 
Bryce has been a successful Governor-General. But her decision to air her personal views on controversial issues was an error of judgment.

As it happens, the pond is deeply offended by the sight of anyone who calls themselves, and expects others to call them, Sir.

No doubt Sir William Deane was a kindly chap, but he's not the pond's Sir. Nor Lord ...

Or Consul or Viceroy or Viscount or Grand Pooh-bah or Lord High Archbishop of Titipu and so on and so forth.

As such, the pond found Sir William Deane a deeply divisive, problematic figure.

Much the same could be said for the rest of the half-baked seat warmers that have occupied the GG chair, not limited to the often drunk Johnny Kerr.

Major General Michael Jeffery was always hanging around thrusting his love of the military in the pond's face - well at least whenever he could be found, he was - and the hapless Hollingworth was a representative of established religion before his seat got too hot for comfort.

And if you go further back, what a pack of nonentities sent out to keep the colonies calm - in the usual way, there's now a wiki, most with pictures, of the whole bedraggled pack, here. All gongs and fancy drapes and deeply offensive and a profound error of judgment, usually implying that for all its federation airs, Australia remained a colonial outpost of Empire

Talk about a collection of irritating stuffed dummies.

Now the pond has sometimes found itself in the company of some highly placed Xian who insists on getting the show off with a bang by blathering on to their invisible friend.

The pond doesn't mind this sort of nonsense, though of course if you think for a moment you could find it deeply offensive.

Ditto GG's blathering on in a patriotic way how great it is that Australia is a war mongering nation and has played its part in almost any twentieth century war you could mention ...

But let them have their fun, it's a free country, at least outside the Murdoch press, and it's natural that all the institutions that count are deeply conservative, and reserved usually for pooh bahs who have shown all the signs of having a lobotomy, so that when they stand up and make a speech you could mistake what they say for the 'bah-ing' of sheep.

In this context, the sign that Bryce was actually alive and still had a brain came as a welcome relief, in much the same way as the pond can in fact embrace and accept the notion that conservative Governor-Generals of the Jeffery kind will routinely say something that irritates the pond. Or Prince Chuck will deliver yet another speech on the environment - when he's not bunging on a super dooper 65th birthday bash.

In fact, Bryce's words were discrete and cleverly worded, and you have to think something's up when the pond actually thinks Tony Abbott had the right reaction, which was to note it was a personal opinion and what the heck she'll be gone in a few months and then John Howard can be loved by the people, and that won't be offensive to anyone, not anyone at all ...

You see, she had to say something remotely intelligent, given that was actually a public lecture, but who would have thought she'd get the sort of mamby pamby cluck clucking and tut tutting in Crikey, attempting an unlikely imitation of the Bolter.

Sheesh, wanting people to love each other, and hoping that someday a child might turn into an Australian can be head of state, and we all fall over in a fainting fit?

If this is a heresy that shouldn't be spoken, what about all the stuffed shirts who've rabbited on endlessly about the wonders of a constitutional monarchy, and simply by their presence, their attitudes, and their symbols been as deeply offensive as David Flint claiming we live in a bloody crowned Republic. Talk about offensive gibberish ...

Meanwhile, it behoves the pond to note sparkling comedy items, and the comedy stylings don't get any better than those on offer from Dennis "the bouffant hair" Shanahan:

An anti-climax? Oh the poor dears. Is that like some kind of brewer's droop, or perhaps the deep stupor that comes with a premature climax?

Who knows and it's certainly premature to speculate.

Oh okay, you can go and read Shanahan if you like, commiserating with the coalition, if you can be bothered getting around the paywall, Government lets itself be set up as sitting duck.

To actually pay for a short piece beating up the polls would seem to the pond to be a scandalous waste of money, but what's beguiling was the way that Shanahan felt the need to indulge in some gloomy hand-wringing:

It's one thing to avoid the vacuous tyranny of 24-hour news cycle but it's another to allow your opponents to frame the impression of what you are doing. 
In the first weeks of parliament, Joe Hockey's attempts to raise the debt ceiling have been portrayed as the Coalition simply raising debt to $500 billion; the refusal to speak about boat arrivals, to deprive the people-smugglers publicity, seen as confirmation they are still coming; and the staunch defence of Australia's interests over spying on Indonesia seen as Abbott damaging the relationship with Jakarta. 
It's all very well to appear as a calm and serene duck on the surface while furiously paddling underneath, but it is another thing altogether to allow yourself to be set up as a sitting duck.

Oh dear, only three months in power, and already there's buyer's remorse and talk of ducks on the pond like a shearer spotting a woman in the sheds.

But apparently there's hope, if they can just snatch the Textor and other twitterers away from tweetishness and focus on the communication:

The polls at this stage of the cycle matter little. What's important is the shaping of how the government conveys what is doing.

What, like Hoe Hockey wanting to raise the debt ceiling, having in opposition portrayed this as a fiendish betrayal, or Scott Morrison acting like a complete loon in the matter of boat people, or butter fingers Abbott dropping an easy catch when he had the chance to nip the controversy in the bud with a little early action, and all that's been left is for the likes of Dame Slap to organise a counter-insurgency strike against the ABC and Mark Scott, because that's part of the Murdochian agenda to de-gut the ABC?

And now poodle Pyne wanting to appear to do something, getting all the state Liberals into a state of liberal agitation?

Well the pond doesn't have any buyer's remorse, and is wildly excited that poodle Pyne has emerged from his cocoon to give Scott Morrison a run for his money as the Minister most likely to be moved on ...

The pond still has a bottle of red riding on Morrison, but once we get past the first re-shuffle, how long before other questions are asked?

Ask away, Mr. Moir and more Moir here.

Ah the hat, the hat. Talk about deeply offensive errors of judgment ...

With the poodle on the run, the pond turns to Prattling Polonius and a hearty dose of hedonism ...

(Above: yes the poodle is out of the cage, and running amok, aware that Scott Morrison has a good head start as the minister most likely to be sacked for fucking it up, but the pond doesn't have to worry, because Pope has got it under control, and there's more knavish Popery here)

4.30 am, and the sound of a plane approaching Sydney airport on the third runway disturbs the pond's sleep.

Say what? Curfew? What curfew?

Being inclined to the dramatic, the pond immediately empathises with the pilot, struggling to regain control, yanking hard on the stick as someone spots Huns diving out of the moonlight, fighting to avoid a spot on Air Crash Investigations.

In the cold morning light, it's just another bastard and Sydney Airport getting away with it - not that the pond has anything against bastards, or Sydney Airport when it remembers the curfew, so much as the silly geese who think Canberra makes an ideal second airport for Sydney, or swallow the Max the axe line.

But it got the pond up early, and surly, and the very last thing that was needed was to cop an eyeful of this from prattling Polonius on a Tuesday:

Ye ancient cats and long suffering fishes, will they never shut up about it, all the bleating, and the moaning, and the whining and the blaming and the pointing of the finger at the ABC, when most of it is sour grapes, because any journalist worth a pinch of salt would have run with the story. Just as they ran with the story about Obama and the Germans.

All this bloody groaning and weeping and sighing, just because Abbott was a butter fingers.

It's not like the commentariat have had to endure the sight of a brave pilot struggling to land his plane, hydraulics shot, the cockpit in flames, fighting to avoid dropping his broken engine into the pond's lounge room as he roars to safety and a landing on the third runway. At 4.32 am.

Meanwhile, there's absolutely nothing new in Henderson's Spying on Indonesia: ABC disclosures in conflict with its 'soft diplomacy', except for the usual sight of Hendo chewing his cud in his usual paddock, and somehow imagining that we live in the good old days of the USSR and the ABC's role is roughly the equivalent of Pravda and Mosfilm.

Hendo is agitated that Mark Scott talked of 'soft diplomacy' and then dropped a double bunger on the diplomacy talk by daring to run a news room which dared to report some news.

And so we have to trawl through all the usual grievances, the Australia Network going to the ABC, the ABC getting too much money, and this guff:

There is no compelling public or national interest in such a revelation. As well, its broadcast on the ABC's Australia Network gave an unwarranted authenticity to the story in the Asia Pacific region, where it is not always recognised that governments do not run government-funded organisations.

Say what? Unwarranted authenticity? Because the spying was just an imaginary incident, like a pilot flying solo, fighting for his life?

unwarranted - without a basis in reason or fact; "baseless gossip"; "the allegations proved groundless"; "idle fears"; "unfounded suspicions"; "unwarranted jealousy" "I am sure your fears are unwarranted"

So what's all the bloody fuss about then? I mean, there's plausible deniability, and then there's just rank stupidity and a useless abuse of the actual meaning of words ...

And now we need to get agitated because people in the Asia Pacific region - yes, dumb, unsophisticated people lacking Hendo's wonderful analytical skills - might mistake the ABC for Pravda or Mosfilm ... and think what actually happened might have actually happened.

And to top off all this paranoia, fear and loathing, prattling Polonius mingles a little Pommie bashing with leftist bashing:

In a speech to Asialink in August 2010, Scott defined the ABC's soft diplomacy as ''helping to develop a positive reputation for a nation in other countries'' along with ''foreign policy and trade objectives''. This comment is at odds with his defence of the ABC's decision to run Snowden's documents last week in co-operation with the London-based left-wing Guardian, which has no interest in promoting Australia in the Asia-Pacific or anywhere else. 

Yes damn you London-based pinko perverts. Leave it to brave Hendo to abuse the ABC for not being a decent, patriotic Pravda ...

No wonder each day the pond wakes up to a topsy turvy bizarro world.

Sadly, Hendo was so late to the scene of the crime and the agitation, all the key points had been covered the night before on Media Watch, here to watch, and the astonishing news that the ratbag Bolter, rabidly rabbiting on like a scoundrel about patriotism and traitors, had at one point paused to acknowledge:

You could have knocked the pond down with a feather. 

Host Barry also challenged the Bolter to a salary showdown - oh how we'd love to learn what the Bolter and the rest of the crony commentariat earn for generating the hysteria that infests the public discourse - and then had the cheek to contemplate whether the Daily Terror should have published a report on the private life of Nathan Rees's private life - the sort of question that hasn't been asked because of all the shock, horror and reeling and writhing about a bit of phone tapping.

The pond loved the defence on offer, as did Barry:


What a pathetic, lip-smacking, furtive, mother Grundy abuse of a word. Get up to all sorts of hedonism ...

Does Andrew Clennell of the Terror have any idea of just how stupid that sounds? Censorious, prudish, priggish, killjoyish, old maidish, schoolmarmish, puritanical, and all the other Cromwellian adjectives and nouns you can use to describe the Victorian mindset, updated to a yellow press, slavering, slobbering tabloid mentality ...

1. Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses. 
2. Philosophy: The ethical doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good. 
3. Psychology: The doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

Stop all that at once. You there, put down that philosophy text. Andrew Clennell of the Terror anti-sensual police is on patrol, and he'll have none of this filthy, vile hedonism, and pollies getting up to it and never mind conflating a furtive consenting fuck with criminal activities ...

Which brings us to a real cause of complaint about the ABC. Last night was the very last night of Media Watch for the year. Who knows when the show might come back, probably around February if the punters get lucky. Ditto Four Corners.

Oh sure there's an upside, the pond won't have to re-commence studiously ignoring Q and A until the new year, but what is it with this Xmas-New Year shutdown, which is on a par with public schools, but without the excuse of having been relentlessly harassed by young people with far too much energy ...

Sheesh, already Xmas advertising is in full swing, the war on Xmas is cranking up - happy holydays everyone - and it's not just the ABC that goes quiet, the whole commercial media pack trot out their second eleven ...

Of course the ABC hacks have a good excuse - as he noted in his Bolter salary showdown, Barry was sure the Bolter was doing much better, though when asked by Fairfax how much he earned, the free-minded wide-ranging B olter hung up the phone without so much as a by their leave ... (here) ... apparently because what's good for a lot of cardigan wearing geese isn't good for such a high class, high flying climate scientist and blogging gander ...

And so the resentful tribe must feel that holidays are the next best thing to cash in the paw, unless you happen to be Phillip Adams and think you should be paid more for being radio's best substitute for mogadon yet devised.

And no doubt it gives the second eleven a chance to strut their stuff.

But already the pond can feel the sweet smell of the lotus eaters sinking into the nostrils ... the somnolence of summer is here,  quite possibly with a whiff of hedonism in the air.

Thank the long absent lord we have the Daily Terror on hand to go on flesh patrol throughout the land ... though the stench of the hypocrisy might be nauseating for those who can be bothered to wade through the endless galleries of posing women the rag puts on its website in the quest to generate hits, attract the hedonists and sate the voyeurists ...

And remember if you pay for it in any way, you're part of the problem, not part of the solution.

(Below: speaking of diplomacy, as you do. More Moir here, for today only with a Lord Turnbull joke at the start of the gallery)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Eavesdropping on the crony commentariat ...

The pond always likes to start the week on a light note, and so let's thank the long absent lord for Hedley Thomas ...

You might recall that Thomas was at one time perceived as a hot shot, ground-breaking investigative journalist. 

These days, he's more a forlorn, lonely Randy Stone figure who covers the Clive Palmer beat for the daily.

The pond isn't the only one to be bemused - cf Crikey's The Oz v Clive Palmer, may be paywall affected. Yes, it's been going on since before June of this year ...

Desperately whipped up stories in quest of an eggbeater are a key part of this beat. Which brings us to this bit of froth and bubble today:

There's something really weird that infects the reptiles at the lizard Oz when they embark on a crusade.

You can see it in the relentless distortions, misrepresentations and denunciations involved in the crusade against climate science. Theoretically the rag accepts that there are human impacts on climate, but practically they maintain the rage by endlessly publishing pieces that push other barrows.

The same can be said for its misreporting of the NBN, which, with the help of other Murdochians, has now seen Australians accept a bizarro world where copper is good enough, and fibre an indulgence, and possibly in the process handed the country a very expensive upgrade bill a couple of decades down the track, no doubt to be paid for by consumers who want to join the wired 21st century.

At least in the case of copper, you can see a point. Foxtel, for one, wants people to stick to its boxes and its HFC technology, locked in and shorn like sheep for their weekly offerings. It's the perfect tithing business model,  as the churches worked out long ago, if you can keep the faithful locked in and ignorant ...

But in the case of Clive Palmer, the ongoing presentation of stories of the Fawlty Towers kind is beyond the bizarro. 

No doubt the rag hopes that the drip drop of stories will render Clive impotent in Canberra, and it will somehow help their man, and yet no one seems to have tweaked how weird it is to have the servile lackeys of one billionaire rage at the servile lackeys of another, foreign billionaire. Oh okay Clive is a Queenslander and that makes him foreign to any sensible southerner, but you catch the drift ...

If you're going to be offended by Clive, you'll already be offended by his coal loving, populist demagogic, deceptive ways.

What this story does is demean poor old obsessive-compulsive Hedley Thomas, who seems to have received stern orders to run endless stories about Clive, never mind the quality, feel the width.

It gives the rag itself the air of a Fawlty Towers tabloid ...

As noted, Clive is from Queensland, which is a natural throw to another story about an equally weird Queenslander, one Campbell Newman, featured in The Graudian's Queensland verging on a one-party state, says corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald.

Who writes these headers?


It is a one party state, and Newman runs a government with an enormous majority, and there is no balancing upper house, and only now does it seem to have dawned on the populace - they say some Queenslanders are a little slow - that it can do what it wants. The notion of the committee system providing balance and review is a farce, as Newman made clear by sacking, wholus bolus, a committee he didn't like.

It seems that the hapless Dr Levy has at last worked out that his behaviour on the front page of a Murdoch rag might have diminished the reputation of the CMC (Newman Government axes PCMC), and it has led to the bizarre sight of politicians proposing a return to an upper house.

But will you find the reptiles at the lizard Oz trawling through Newman's garbage on a daily basis? Of course not ...

Meanwhile, if you head off to the local brand of the Murdochians, you'll find tub-thumping parochialism of the most pathetic kind:

No, not that vain, pathetic boasting about theme parks, the gnat alongside huffing and puffing and demanding that Quentin Bryce resign now, forthwith, don't slam the door on the way out, and so on and so forth, as you can read in It is time Quentin Bryce resigned as Governor General.

There it is in black and white, irrefutable evidence that the Bolter is as dumb and as weird as Flint and the ACMers, who have lathered them up into a fine old frenzy, though in most dignified terms, in Her Excellency descends into politics ...

Descends into politics? Why of course ... politics is full of snakes and vipers like Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott, a mugwump bog swamp of appalling creatures, requiring the wearing of white gloves at all times like a Tokyo taxi-driver ...

In his ratbag polemic, the Bolter reminded the pond of just how utterly tedious the crusading at News Corp can get. Not that the Bolter will expect Bryce or Abbott to take any action. It's just an indignant dog whistling squawk to do a bit of column filling.

In the process, the Bolter attempts to draw up a list of Bryce's crimes, but can't come up with many, instead clucking about how a partisan GG might have us at each other's throats ...

Yet another Jaffa in the aisle moment. Can anyone think of any time when the Bolter hasn't had his fingers on someone's throat, wrenching and tearing and throttling and blocking off the air and giving the carotid artery a really hard time?

Bryce's worst crime?

She demanded more leadership in tackling the drought and global warming, and even launched the book version of the Garnaut Climate Change Review, an alarmist bible written by prime minister Kevin Rudd's adviser on global warming.

What a tedious man he is. Strip warmist and alarmist out of his vocabulary and he'd be reduced to grunting and farting ...

What on earth does he make of the prospect of Prince Chuck ascending the throne, given that Chuck routinely indulges in all sorts of "alarmist" talk, not to mention taking a firm stand against modern architecture. And yet here's the Bolter getting all prissy and pompous about Bryce, and crying shame and calling 'resign, resign'.

What a goose he is. Next he'll be having fainting fits ...

Meanwhile, over at the Fairfaxians, that other goose, Paul Sheehan, who routinely transforms into a generally grumpy and fearful Chicken Little, is still maintaining the rage, in Tony Abbott's 10 ways out of this mess (forced video at end of link)

Yes the magic water man has ten guaranteed solutions for Tony Abbott in relation to Indonesia, proving that shameless hucksterism remains alive at the rag.

Only last week Sheehan was peddling paranoid fantasies of the wildest kind, drawing this satisfying rebuke from Jonathan Holmes, here:

... That morning she'd (Miranda the Devine) claimed that The Guardian had ''sat on its bombshell allegations … for five months''. And she knew why: '
'This is the end game for the bleeding heart Left and its media enablers: to prevent the Abbott government from fulfilling its election promise to 'stop the boats'.'' 
Her fellow News stirrer Andrew Bolt agreed: ''Hatred of Abbott and his signature boats policy is driving much of this hysterical media coverage and damn the national interest.'' 
And so did Fairfax's Paul Sheehan: ''The Guardian had possession of the security leak for months,'' he wrote on Thursday. ''Nothing happened while Labor was in power.'' Mark Scott's decision to run with the story ''was consistent with, on his watch, the ABC's institutional hostility to Coalition policies on asylum-seekers … The ABC has got what it wanted.'' 
What addle-pated nonsense.

The pond loved it, especially the use of "addle-pated", though whether it should be hyphenated is a matter of fierce controversy.

Still it conjures up Sheehan and the rest of the crony commentariat in a single apt world:

addlepated - stupid and confused; "blathering like the addlepated nincompoop that you are"; "a confused puddingheaded, muddleheaded fellow"- Isaac Sterne
Eccentric; peculiar: "[Her] estates . . . are odes to addlepated excess, a melange of priceless antiques and thrift-store horrors" (Michelle Green). 
Senseless; mad: "led the addlepated charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava" (Thomas Flanagan) (dictionary here)

The pond now understands why the Fairfaxians persist in running the addlepated Sheehan. It gives them a chance to run pieces explaining how and why he's addlepated.

But it's the business of the addlepated to just go on blathering, and for any criticism to be water off a goose's feathers.

And wouldn't you know it, Sheehan's leading his own addlepated charge again today. It's still all a conspiracy, it's still all the fault of Mark Scott and the ABC:

None of this should be a surprise to Scott given that it was his ABC that instigated the last disaster in the relationship, the Four Corners report on Indonesian cattle slaughtering that prompted the Gillard's government's suspension of the live cattle trade. 
Viner and Scott cannot now blame the Prime Minister, given that his hands were tied by a convention he chose to honour, much to my chagrin. The arguments in favour of publishing the spying leaks are obvious: that the truth will prevent government security agencies from excessive zeal, and the public has a right to know what is being done in its name. It is a strong argument, and I respect it. 

Respect? Sheehan doesn't know the meaning of the word, or he wouldn't have indulged himself in wild paranoid fantasies.

But the public interest test can be rigorously contested in this case. The truth is something we all navigate every day, so as not to give offence or create enmity. Governments do the same. Yet neither Viner nor Scott has bothered to enunciate how, in the ''public interest'', the positives outweigh the negatives. They have, with Abbott and the spooks, joint ownership of the toxins flowing through the relationship. And neither has come close to justifying their actions.

Presumably Sheehan read what Holmes had to say. Presumably he failed to understand a single word of what he read.

What does he imagine the Fairfaxians would have done if The Graudian had turned to them with a ripper of a story, in its own way as compelling as Obama and the chancellor, albeit with more parochial consequences?

Just as it isn't Abbott's fault for what happened in 2009, it isn't Scott's or the ABC's fault that Abbott fumbled the ball like an English cricketer ...

If he'd done it with style, when it counted, at the very first moment the scandal broke, got on the front foot, stared down the approaching demons, it could have all been different, and he wouldn't have needed any of the blathering inane Sheehan's suggestions ... and Fairfax readers wouldn't have had to wade through the crony commentariat scribbler who still is presented as their way to start the week with a thoughtful read.

Now there's the real scandal, right up there with poor old Hedley Thomas ...

(Below: besides, the cartoonists must be fed).