Saturday, August 7, 2010

Election 2010: Day 22 (or seriously, what’s the point?)

Mark down today as the day coverage of elections in Australian reached a record level of stupid.

Julia Gillard first met with Kevin Rudd – it was pretty stage managed; just one TV camera in to get the footage of the two of them with John Faulkner and a couple others looking at a map and discussing how they’ll go about campaigning. The media obviously wanted a joint press conference, but that wasn’t going to happen, and so they bitched as they are want to do. Fair enough. 412195-gillard-rudd

Then Julia went to an old folks’ home in Brisbane where she announced her seniors’ policy. It contained the announcement that seniors on the pension will be able to earn up to $6,500 a year before losing any of their pension.

She also announced a tightening of regulations regarding reverse mortgages. For those of you who don’t know what a reverse mortgage ie (and I have to admit I am one of them) essentially they are as bit like a bridging loan taken out against your house until the day you die. You get a loan of money against your home which you can use to live on. And like a bridging loan you don’t need to repay the capital and interest, it just gets totted up until when you die and then the house is sold and the payment due to the bank is taken.

You can see how doing this could be greatly beneficial if you are in your 60s or 70s and you have paid off your house, but you don’t have much other than a pension to get by on (ie asset rich, cash poor). But I gather the regulations on it are a tad loose. I would love to give you more information but alas I cannot even tell you if the policy is any good, what regulations will be tightened, who, what, when, where, why etc etc, because the press conference she gave yielded only one question on her policy announcements, and that was essentially a “can your afford this” question.

The press conference was dominated but the appearance of Mark Latham, who is being paid by Channel 9 to play the role of “journalist” in an upcoming episode of 60 Minutes.  Yep Channel 9, which through Laurie Oakes’s exclusives has arguably been the must watch news program of this campaign, decided to flush any vestige of credibility down the nearest toilet and pulled out Latham to cover the campaign. It’s actual journalists must feel so valued.

Before we get to the press conference, bear in mind Channel 9 is the only one paying him. Every other media outlet has zero to gain from making a point of the fact except to give Channel 9 a free plug.

Remember as well she has just announced a policy that will cost $100 million and is targeted at a key group of the electorate – a group who apparently were annoyed by the report two weeks ago that she had queried the cost of the rise in the pension.

OK, here we go:

JOURNALIST:          Prime Minister you promised to show us the real Julia Gillard the other week.  At this morning’s meeting with Kevin Rudd why the secrecy, why a couple of cameras in the meetings why not come out and speak publicly if you’re all one happy family at the moment?

Look I’ll be kind. You gotta expect a question about Rudd – but seriously it’s a bit of a “why did you not let us in” whinge. But I’ll let it pass.

JOURNALIST:          How does footage of you and the Prime Minister looking at a map help to convince Australians not to let Tony Abbott slide into power?

Well I don’t think she does think that. Really just another bitch that they weren’t allowed in the room.

JOURNALIST:          Prime Minister we saw about 60 seconds of footage of that meeting and it appears that there was no interaction whatsoever between you, not even eye contact.  Was there any direct dialogue between you and Kevin and what was it about?

Probably was too hard to ask – “What did you and Mr Rudd discuss”?

JOURNALIST:          What will be Mr Rudd’s involvement in the campaign? Could you please tell us exactly?  Will you be appearing with him?  Just take us through it.

Fair enough question to ask – should have been the first one asked really. Because it is the only one about Rudd and Gillard that is of much relevance.

JOURNALIST:          Will you be campaigning with him and secondly was there any agreement on how you’ll handle lines like: the Government’s lost its way?  How are you going to both handle those?

OK, yeah I guess the first part is ok, but the second? Really? You think she’s going to tell you? Do journalists like asking questions that are easy to avoid? Here’s how she tackled that probing question:

PM: In relation to the second half of your questions, no we didn’t discuss that matter.

Let’s continue.

JOURNALIST:          Will you be happy about him being at the official launch and also is that the only time when you’ll be together?

Gee I really wondered if she would say, actually I hope the little bastard falls under a bus on the way to the launch. I mean seriously, what was the point of that question? What did the journalist expect her to say?

JOURNALIST:          It was seven minutes I think into his statement the other day before he actually mentioned your name.  He spent a lot of time defending his legacy and speaking out against Tony Abbott.  Isn’t part of the problem here that, not that you can’t find agreement on disliking Tony Abbott but he won’t come out and say that you will make a good Prime Minister?

Seven minutes? Oh Geez that’s bad, because we all know 6 minutes is the time period in which you have to mention someone's name in a speech before we all know you hate them.

JOURNALIST:          Normally when you meet with a candidate you see a handshake, someone stands behind your shoulder while you’re talking.  You get all those sorts of pictures.  Yet you and Kevin Rudd didn’t even look at each other.  Why didn’t you shake hands with the cameras?  And two, do you think that voters are going to get confused that there’s maybe two leaders of the Labor Party when you’re both campaigning?

This journalist obviously sees him or herself (I can’t recall who asked it) as a bit of a PR expert. Which is good really, because they’re certainly not a policy whizz. Will voters get confused? Depends – if they only get their information about politics in this country from the media, then yes they probably will be.

JOURNALIST:  Prime minister, you have spoken several times about your understanding about how difficult these past weeks have been on Kevin Rudd and obviously his family, as a person, but today you had the opportunity, sitting next to him in a room.  Did you say sorry, or do you think you don’t have anything to say sorry for?

For those of you who have come in late to proceedings, this is the ninth question of the press conference and all nine have been on Kevin Rudd. We’re now onto whether or not Julia should apologise for the spill? Seriously. We’re talking about who will lead this country and these guys are worried about someone's hurt feelings. Wonder if anyone has asked Abbott if he apologised to Turnbull? Or perhaps everyone assumed that they are adults, and know the job and the risks that come with it.

JOURNALIST:  Prime Minister, there’s another former Labor leader just standing over there, in Mark Latham, why should Australians vote for you when you have one leader who, who has just been dumped, who won’t say you’re a great option for PM, and another former leader wandering around, criticising you and your key policies?
PM:  With the greatest respect to the question, Malcolm Fraser, former Liberal Prime Minister, directly asked -
JOURNALIST:  He didn’t turn up at any press conference -

Notice that? Yep it was the complete absence of any reference to the fact that Channel Nine are paying Latham to be there. The journalist is suggesting his being there is Julia’s fault!

JOURNALIST:  You have used all those examples in the past to attack the other side, and say they’re unelectable?

This question referred to Julia listing off all the ex-Liberal leaders who think Abbott is a fool, it was a bit of a waste of a follow up I have to say.  

JOURNALIST:  Prime Minister, can we go a bit more broadly, today your campaign is centred on your reunion with Kevin Rudd.  You can’t deny that Mark Latham is here.  Things aren’t ideal for you are they?

JOURNALIST:  But you can’t campaign effectively –
PM:  Well, I can’t when you’re interrupting me, Latika, no. 

No, she can’t deny Mark Latham is here – and you can’t deny he is there because Channel Nine paid him to be there – yes paid by the media. And no she probably can’t campaign effectively when the media are so asinine as to ask her about people who are there only because they have been paid by the media to be there.  

JOURNALIST:  Did you communicate with Mark? You used to be quite close friends

Yes please do tell us if you talk to this idiot who is only there because Channel Nine paid him to be there, but whatever you do please do not tell us about anything to do with a policy would affect every person in this country over the age of 65. 

JOURNALIST:  When does Mr Rudd start work?

Yep back to Rudd – because there is a rule in the press pack that you only ask 6 questions in a row about stunt paid for by rival media outlets.

JOURNALIST:  (inaudible) the media? Will he (inaudible)?
PM:  What a ridiculous question.  In what sense?  How is that possible? Kevin will be campaigning as a member of the team. Kevin will be campaigning as someone who, if we are re-elected, will be a senior Minister in my Government.  What that means is Kevin will be campaigning around the country, the way other members of the team are campaigning.

I can’t recall what the question was here, but I can’t believe I would be able to improve on the PM’s first response.

JOURNALIST:  How will people really believe that he’s going to work with you as part of your team, if you’re talking about how much you have in common, but you won’t hold media interviews together and he won’t really even answer questions at a media conference environment about what’s happened and how he will work together?

Question number 18. By the time the press gallery gets around to asking about aged care funding, I’ll be eligible to receive it.

JOURNALIST:  Prime Minister, just to follow up on my earlier question, I understand what you’re saying about policy and that is your focus, the problem is when you try to put out policy and you are just distracted by other mixed messages like about Kevin Rudd and Mark Latham, is that difficult for you and your campaign, and keeping Tony Abbott out of the Lodge?

Yes my previous question about Mark Lathan (who is only here because Channel Nine are paying him to be here) didn't fully show that I don’t care about a policy that actually affects people’s lives, so let me ask another question to fully demonstrate that I don’t want to focus on policy that actually affects people’s lives.

Seriously, you couldn’t make this up. One brilliant person on twitter suggested The Chaser could get some easy laughs by showing up to press conferences and asking policy questions. 

JOURNALIST:  When was the last time you spoke with Mark Latham?

Oh yes, Australia needs to know when was the last time our Prime Minister talked to a person who hasn't been in the parliamentary Labor Party for 6 years.

JOURNALIST:  What was the meeting about?

Now just to explain how utterly stupid this question is, it is in response to Gillard’s answer to the previous question. She answered: “a number of years ago”. Yes we need to know what was discussed a number of years ago between these two people, one of whom is utterly irrelevant to the lives of every one in Australia excepting his own family.

Would love to know who that journo was.

JOURNALIST:  Did you discuss today what sort of role, which jobs Mr Rudd might get if you are re-elected?

A fair enough question, though given Rudd’s role post election has been stated about a gazillion times, it is pretty pointless.

JOURNALIST:  Prime Minister, in the past month we have had a toxic interaction between Paul Keating and Bob Hawke in the form of a letter, we’ve had the situation with Kevin Rudd over the past few weeks, and today Mark Latham is standing up at your press conference.  What does this say about Labor’s culture and are you concerned what this means for you when you decide to leave politics?

Words just fail me. A question asked by a person who is either completely ignorant of Australian political history or… no I think I’ll leave it there.

JOURNALIST:  Would you have a message for people in Labor who seem to be not taking it quite as seriously as you are, for example, Mr Latham.  Are you annoyed that he showed up here today?  Is he distracting essentially from what you want to talk about and what would you say to people in Labor who don’t seem to be having quite the same view as you?

Ok, let’s say this in small words so you can all understand it: MARK LATHAM WAS PAID BY CHANNE NINE TO BE THERE.

JOURNALIST:  On policy, did you talk to Kevin Rudd today about how he will campaign in support, or if not, for your position on asylum seekers, and also climate change?

The really sad thing is that this journalist think this is a policy question. A question of how someone will campaign on a issue is not a policy question. Look, here, I’ll help. Here’s a policy question on those two issues:

“On policy, do you have any anticipation by how much will a regional processing centre in East Timor reduce the number of people attempting to come to Australia by boat? Do you think it will halve the number? What number will you judge as being successful?”

“On policy, you have said you need consensus before moving to putting a price on carbon. How will you judge that consensus has been reached? Or is it a moveable figure that you will shift depending on the political situation at the time?”

Ok… now get ready… here it comes…

 JOURNALIST:  You questioned if we could afford a pension increase, do you think we can afford this with such an ageing population?

Yes ladies and gentlemen: Question 26, the last question of a press conference held to announce a policy on aged care is about aged care. A soft one granted, but at least it was on it. Well done.


Now as to Latham, many journalists on twitter seemed content to blame Labor for the farce that we just read. A few like Annabel Crabb tweeted when I asked her about Latham’s appearance at the press conference:463648-latham-gillard

I think it is most inappropriate. ac

But when footage emerged of him approaching Gillard at the Brisbane Ekka, it seemed to spur the gallery to slam the entire stunt – perhaps realising that this was not exactly casting their profession in a decent light (can’t imagine why).

The best tweet I saw was by The Oz’s Matthew Franklin (and regular readers would know I am not one to usually hand out bouquets to him, but on this issue he got it absolutely spot on:

For nine to use latham as a 'journo' is deplorable and makes a mockery of their approach to journalism

Yep. Channel Nine a credible news organisation? Sorry, that bridge has now been burnt. Well done to you.

Laurie Oakes must feel so chuffed that he has been used as the warm-up act for a buffoon.


kusiki said...

Great post, agree a million times over. The only reason Latham was a distraction was because the press acknowledged his presence, anyone at home watching live wouldn't have even known he was there. ...and all these questions about Rudd? This is starting to feel like a bad joke.

Dave said...

From what I can glean from the policy documents submitted by Labor, the changes proposed by Labor would guarantee that the total amount of the loan cannot exceed the value of the home, a situation that would result in the home owner being unable to pay back the full debt by selling the house.

The regulations are also intended to address lack of understanding among consumers in the marketplace.

It's not surprising that they didn't ask about the policy. Most of the journalists wouldn't have know what reverse mortgages were until they got back to their computers. Perhaps the press secretaries should at least outline what major points would be covered by the leader at the press conference the next day so that they can do some back ground reading.

Anonymous said...

@BernardK here

U mean Latham was paid?

This is a really good regulatory policy by the look of things; know of a number of families caught out when the reverse mortgage capital and interest has come in at 140% of value - BEFORE the oldies have dies.

How many questions in total, and how many actually semi-substantive?

Wondering if I can rebook my flight outta here a few days earlier. This is just too damn head-desk for words.

The state of journalism in this election is a total disgrace.

Darryl Snow said...

You may as well hand the whole shebang over to @journojones on Twitter such was the mindless presence of today's media pack.

As was pointed out by @Pollytics, some other unprofessional blogger or armchair critic (as described by @BennPackham or his ilk) that policy dealing with regulating reverse mortgages may well be the second most important financial transaction a senior may ever commit to. And then there is the question of pensions and the small stalk, large mushroom head reality of welfare, generally, and an ageing population, specifically, that faces all of us.

You know, the sort of thing that even a Future Fund cant cope with.

But no. The stars and starlets of the pack were confined to a bus cos you cant fit a thousand inane questions in a small room, let alone the questioners, and guess what happened?

Miffed, they stored all that youthful energy and burst out with the questions that may define a nation.

And Jesus didn't they do that?

Happily for some journos, #loltham appeared in a moment that was inadequately described by some as 'surreal' and conveniently became a lightning rod for media disaffection amongst the Twitterati.

Don't mistake the anger. Nor it's target. And to those that think that Latham took the heat off you, or that this is about the 'lefties' being frustrated about a bad campaign, I will offer an opinion.

Yes, the ALP's campaign has been a screaming joke beset with weirdness that few could have predicted.

The policies on offer, less so. There is a difference and the public deserve you to go back to the most basic tenets of all learning. That is, compare and contrast.

And in doing so, draw in other sources, often independent. Often of less colour. Often longer than a pundit's attention span. Then distill it.

What you will find at the end of that process is this elusive thing formerly known as a question. On policy.

Shaun said...

Gillard took all that and then Latham with some grace and calmness.

But the media is becoming very precious indeed. I can't believe no-one pointed out the reason why Latham was at the presser.

I'm sure the journos in the Sunday papers will confine themselves to reporting on policy.

Hillbilly Skeleton said...

Frankly, I think the Press Pack has been Pussy-whipped by Latika Bourke, and it shows. They appear to be following in her wake, with inane question after inane question, whose sole purpose is to embarass the holders of the highest offices in our land. 2UE have a lot to answer for that they could employ such a ditzy dame in the supposedly serious position of commentator on National political affairs. Since her appearance on the scene things have gone downhill fast. Now you even have such previously thoughtful and considered commenators such as Michelle Grattan making comments like an extra in Mean Girls.
Do they know how ridiculous and puerile they look and sound? I just wish they'd grow up and do a proper job instead of continuing to come up with stunts intended to demean our hard-working representatives, or at least apply the same low-blow standards to Tony Abbott press conferences.

Grog said...

Cheers Dave - that does sound like an excellent policy initiative.

Hillbilly, I don't think we can blame it all on Latika Bourke!

But yes Michelle Gratten was there and her questions were as pointless as the rest.

My big point about this press conference is that yes Gillard would have been annoyed by the questions, but not one came anywhere near to troubling her, or tripping her up.

She batted away all 26 with ease, because not one of them forced her to think on her feet about what I'd suggest would be a complex policy that has repercussions (all policy has repercussions).

Anonymous said...

I feel sick.

It doesn't seem so long ago that the journalists would have laughed at the odd cornball asking an inane question at a press conference. Now the whole campaign feels like an extended episode of Media Watch.

They are a laughing stock and in turn will turn the nation into a laughing stock. There is no analysis (Grog for PM). For 3weeks I have waiting for them to turn the blowtorch on Abbott. Still waiting...

DB said...

Welcome to bizzaro world - Latham turns journo; definitely a better choice for him than hairdresser. Poacher meet Gamekeeper.

Talk about dumbing down an industry. Sixty Minutes have jumped the shark.

Can't wait for Latham to interview Rudd. Perhaps Latham will smash his own camera.

I feel sorry for The Chaser being upstaged here and agree that they should start asking policy questions.

Anonymous said...

Another excellent forensic dissection of our incompetent media, Grog.

I still wonder exactly why it is that Latham is so bitter about the ALP, given that he stabbed himself in the back.

60minsWorm said...

I gotta say it's a bit weird that journalists, without seeking confirmation from the source, are reporting Latham has been hired by Nine as a "journalist". In fact, the only statement issued by Nine read: "Yes Mark Latham is working WITH 60 Minutes." (the caps are mine).
Since this campaign began, various media outlets, including The Financial Review and ABC have sought out Latham's views. Of course he's a bitter man and a failed leader, but his insights, however coloured, made for interesting reading and yes - God forbid - headlines.
All indications are, Latham is doing an observation piece for 60 Minutes - neither he not they ever claimed it was journalism he was attempting?
Obviously, the value of Latham is his strong opinions, formed by experience within the Labor Party and, for better or worse, it's leader through an election campaign. It makes him a fairly qualified commentator, doesn't it?
How is this different from the Australian newspaper asking Malcolm Fraser to write an opinion piece on Tony Abbott's performance thus far?
Or Bob Hawke penning a one-off Good Weekend column? It's not. The fact that Latham is so despised by so many people doesn't make his input worthless. And the fact some grumpy journos, jaded by too many days on the bus, used his presence at a presser to attack JG, doesn't make Channel Nine the Journalism Antichrist.
It's not their fault nobody talked about policy. Neither can they be held responsible for the fact the commentator they've chosen is an unpopular man with a grating personal manner. But I can guarantee one thing - I'll bet you a late night taxi ride they had no idea that a bunch of serious political reporters would deliver them such a generous serving of free publicity.

Grog said...

Sorry 60 Minutes worm if you think a serious and credible current affairs program would use Latham as is 60 Minutes, then your definition of serious and credible are much different to mine,

It's a stunt, and a joke.

And what's more his display today at the Ekka shows that it was a misguided joke as well - he came across as a thug.

60minsWorm said...

Sorry, couldn't make much sense of that. Think you left out a couple of words. And also, I'm kinda drunk. Out on the turps with the 60 Minutes boys. Anyway, it's almost my turn for Karaoke - Latham's nearly finished "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves", so better go. Oh, but I notice the silly bastard is now lead item on nine.msn. It maybe a stunt, but if that interest translates into ratings for Nine, it could turn out to be quite a cunning one.
Love Wormy

Anonymous said...

The whole situation with Kevin Rudd - as farcical as it is - is absolutely fair game. The ALP brought this on themselves and the public deserves to know what the long-term implications are on an ALP government and policy.

But I agree the stunt with Latham is just that - a stunt - and all the journalists and media organisations that gave it credence should hang their heads.

I find this sudden turn on the election press pack amusing. I guess it took the absolute circus in Brisbane yesterday to bring it to a head. BUT I hope that this doesn't mean the media is going to do an immediate "180" and go back to the model of worshipping the ALP and giving them a free pass when it comes to explaining policy details and backflips.

Yes, focus on policy. But it is still important for the public to know how dysfunctional the ALP is and what "deal" was done to gain Kevin Rudd's cooperation. The issues surrounding Rudd's deposition might be sensational (they are) but don't you want to know if this instability is going to continue if the ALP is re-elected? I do! And this includes some needed probing of why Rudd's government "had lost its way", how a Gillard government will be different on key policy issues, and what their real policy plans are for climate change and asylum seekers, among others.

As for the performance of the press pack. I do agree with others that the likes of Latika Bourke have lowered the standard dramatically. In part because of their motus operandi and focus on the banal but also because they simply don't have the training or "capacity" to analyse the issues and ask the appropriate questions.

But I also wonder why the media organisations staff the pack with some of the most junior and inexperienced reporters in the game. Michelle Grattan and Malcolm Farnsworth seem to have spent a day or two here and there. But the full-timers in the bubble seem to be very young and very inexperienced and the banality breeds on itself.

Anonymous said...

Oops, comment above by Anonymous @ 8:06am should have read "Malcolm Farr" - not "Malcolm Farnsworth". I've seen Farr on the bus, but not Farnsworth.

Grog said...

"BUT I hope that this doesn't mean the media is going to do an immediate "180" and go back to the model of worshipping the ALP and giving them a free pass when it comes to explaining policy details and backflips. "

Am trying to remember when that has ever been.

Anonymous said...

Grog: when was it? the unheard of 2+ years whilst Rudd's approval ratings were in the stratosphere. Where were hardhitting questions on the BER before the Coalition started to rollout all the examples of waste? Where were the obvious questions on potential for rort of pink batt program before people died? where was the pressure for a double dissolution on the ETS before Rudd went silent and then dropped the whole thing?

Grog said...

Anon "rollout those examples of waste"? You mean the ones they read about in The Oz - ie in the media.

Oh and those examples? yep around 1.5% of all the projects.

How shocking.

Robert said...

Whether Latham was working WITH or FOR channel 9 seems irrelevant now that Mr Gyngell has apologised for his intrusion. I suppose 9 has extracted all the requisite publicity.

Jaeger said...

Michelle Grattan and Malcolm Farnsworth should know better. That "mainstream media" has deteriorated to Twitter (without the editorial feedback) is pretty piss poor. To have the old timers not acting as mentors and complicit in the stupidity is pathetic. Ear clips all round!

If there was any serious self-regulation, the rest of the media should be kicking Channel 9 for the Latham experiment. As it is, they'll probably give them a golf clap, and kick themselves for not thinking of it first.

(Irony: my word verification is "pressme".)

Alistair Baillieu-McEwan said...

A question for you Grog - How is it possible for you to be so sure that Ch.9 are the ONLY ones paying Mark Latham? For my money there is, and has been for the last twelve months, a patterned undermining of the Labor Party. My guess is that there are Liberal Party linkages spread like a gossamer web throughout the media exerting influence and perceptions in a wideranging thread. I'm drawn to a conspiracy theory approach now that I've actually started to chart the consistency of language use throughout that time. The themes running through today's Liberal launch have given me some rich material to add to my thesis.

By the way, I think you have provided the laugh of the campaign so far in repeating Matthew Franklin's words "For (Ch.)Nine to use Latham as a "journo" is deplorable and makes a mockery of their approach to journalism"
How does he account for the fact that The Australian promotes him as a "Journalist" instead of as the megaphone for the Liberal Party that he is so frequently.

Alistair Baillieu-McEwan said...

Should have mentioned that the "patterned undermining" of the Labor Party has been ably assisted and even furthered by the antics of the Labor Party themselves. This does not negate the substance of what I'm saying.

Grog said...

Yes ABMcE - We should remember that Latham appears on Sky and the AFR pays him to write each week - but at least with those aspects it's just his opinion.

And yes, I never thought I would quote Franklin in glowing terms, but this has been a weird campaign.

bo jo said...

@60 minutes Worm

Fark me - the rank cynicism of those who would convince themselves they're important, eh? This is what celebrity culture finally brings us to... journalism's version of dumb and dumber.

These guys wouldn't know the difference between a policy paper and a menu at a brothel. In fact the menu is more important to them.

Vale intelligent public discourse in Aus. I guess we have university "journalism" schools to thank for the state we're in?

ben said...

Thanks for this great post. I'd only add my personal fave from Abbott's speech:

From day one, a Coalition government would stop the school hall rip offs by giving money directly to school P&Cs that wouldn’t waste it.

Has he ever been on a school P&C??!!

Matthew said...

Fuck me.

I've been up the coast playing some gigs over this weekend so only caught snippets of this by checking twitter once or twice. After watching insiders from this morning and reading this, i'm a bit stunned.

After that great post of yours from last weekend, we get this farce of a press conference. Even if, as was floated on insiders, there are non-political journos being assigned to the election beat, these questions are a fucking joke. Clearly getting the media to realise how stupid they're all looking is a looooong term project.

I just wish the political parties were more onto social media and other methods to get their message out, they could be really pwning the press gallery right now if they had any idea there. Sure, the mainstream media isn't about to go away, but if the political parties were reaching out to and working with, a-hem, armchair critics and non-professionals (headdesk on whoever it was that called Possum a non-pro), they gallery would be looking even more irrelevant.

Honestly, if i was a journo of any standing i'd be looking to call out this crap, for the good of the profession. But then again, the "doyen" generation aren't exactly doing much better - I'm gobsmacked that Grattan was at the presser today, any idea what questions she asked? At least George Mega was on insiders or else i'd call this weekend a 100% fail for the media.

Oh, and how lucky are these journos that the pollies are of the "don't take any risks" variety - can you imagine the dressing down Keating would give to some of these clowns on the trail? Fuck, i'd PAY to see that!

Anonymous said...

Latham and Channel 9

There are 3 conditions that could exist in Latham's question to Gillard.

(a) he was lying - knowing there was no complaint from the ALP to Cahnnel 9. Journalists have ethics (unlike some politicians) and therefore he should resign from his new role
(b) he was lied to by his employer - he should resign in protest at being manipulated - assuming that being lied to by his employer does matter to him
(c) he is delusional and as Channel 9 have confirmed there was no complaint - he should be let go by the new employer as a compassionant act so they are no seen to be expliting a delusional man.