Monday, September 27, 2010

Spartacus no more

Last week, at the end of the Media 140 conference where I was blogging, the day ended with panellist Jason Wilson asking “Who is Grog’s Gamut?!”. In response a handful of people stood up and announced “I’m Grog’s Gamut!” “No, I’m Grog’s Gamut!”. It was a response that had been organised in advance by a some friends (including Wilson) as a bit of a joke because throughout the day the name “Grog’s Gamut” had been mentioned a few times – to the point where Osman Faruqi was tweeting that he had been having a drink every time it was mentioned and that he was pretty well on his ear.

Well no longer do we need to ask the question. Today James Massola of The Australian has taken it upon himself to out me. Apparently knowing I am Greg Jericho is “in the public interest” because the head of the ABC, Mark Scott, mentioned in a speech that my blog post attacking journalists’ coverage of the campaign (and specifically the lack of policy) was mentioned at an ABC executive meeting:

The first example is through blogs and the Twitter traffic. Halfway through the campaign, the ABC Executive met on a Monday morning and discussed the weekend blog by the Canberra public servant, writing under the tag Grog's Gamut. It was a lacerating critique of the journalists following the candidates, their obsession with transient matters, the political scandal of the day. He met a chorus of praise and support, triggering a barrage of criticism of campaign coverage.

So because the head of the ABC took notice of something I wrote anonymously about journalism, I need to be named. I guess the lesson here is if you want to blog anonymously, don’t do it effectively.  

Whatever you think of Massola’s decision to out me (and it was certainly not my decision or preference), I will just say he has known who I was since last November. Why he has decided to reveal my name now, given Scott’s speech was delivered on the 2 September, is for to him to say. No doubt he has his reasons and thinks them valid.

The justification for the story actually came from the media editor (yes it is bizarre that I am someone whom the national daily needs to justify outing):

IF you are a public servant and blogging and tweeting, sometimes airing a partisan political line, do you deserve anonymity? No.

Journalists and editors grant anonymity to sources and whistleblowers but Grog's Gamut, or as we know now, Greg Jericho, is an active participant in the public debate via Twitter and his blog. The ABC's managing director Mark Scott cited "Grog's Gamut" criticism of media's election coverage at an ABC news meeting and as a result "we adjusted our strategy".

Fair enough. But if you are influencing the public debate, particularly as a public servant, it is the public's right to know who you are. It is the media's duty to report it.

Take that however you want to.

Now to Massola’s article.

Firstly the headline:

Controversial political blogger unmasked as a federal public servant

Well my unmasking as a public servant actually happened a while ago – in fact Massola did it when he wrote about me on August 7:

Hobby writers keep pros on their toes

A FUNNY thing happened in the political blogosphere last week. The mainstream media got down to some serious self-analysis after a critical post by a Canberra public servant who blogs under the name of Grogs Gamut.

But oh well, he didn’t write the headline, so I’ll let that pass through to the keeper.

He writes:

Mr Jericho, who was the subject of intrigue at the Media 140 conference in Canberra last Thursday as an "embedded" but anonymous blogger, wore a nametag that gave his first name but not his last.

He knows this because he sat down by coincidence at my table at the conference late in the afternoon. I noticed him, and as he knew my name I sent a private message to him on Twitter letting him know that I was at the table. He did not talk to me on the day, in fact he left before the session ended, which was a pity because we have chatted a fair bit on Twitter and I was interested to meet him. Stupidly I know, but given he had known my name for 10 months, I was not concerned that he would out me.

As for others at the conference, I didn’t out myself at all to any journalists – a few people asked at the post event drinks (by which time all the journalists had left) if I was Grog’s Gamut, I said I was. Strangely none of them gave a stuff what my real name was.

Here’s the fun bit of Massola’s article:

At the height of the insulation scandal that engulfed Peter Garrett, he defended his former minister, writing "Garrett was demoted for no good reason" and that ". . . Garrett has been demoted, despite no-one in the media or the opposition actually being able to explain just exactly with any level of intelligence what he did wrong, he was deemed to have 'bungled'."

Yep I certainly believed that, and still do. How did I come to that view? By reading the newspapers, and then also reading the publicly released reports into the insulation scheme, and then coming to an opinion. It’s just an opinion that differs with that of The Australian’s. I never had any access to anything from the areas that handled the insulation program. I knew as much (or as little) about it as anyone who reads the media.

He also quotes:

In comparison, Mr Jericho wrote that opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt "could write a PhD thesis on environmental political cowardice."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is "the master of spin" and, on the Rooty Hill leader's forum, "because it wasn't a debate Abbott was able to get away with an inordinate amount of bullshit".

Yep two more opinions. I am disappointed by Hunt, I was a big fan of his prior to dumping his support for the carbon price – I would have liked to see him do as Turnbull did and cross the floor; I actually think his long term career would have been better served by him doing so. And yes, I thought the Rooty Hill format was a joke, because by going last (as did Julia Gillard in Brisbane) he had no need to worry about getting picked up on anything. The format is loaded in the advantage of the person going second. 

But here’s the thing: if the Libs had got over the line I would have turned up and kept doing my job as I always have done it (including as I did under Howard) – apolitically. Massola cites the APS Values:

"the APS is apolitical, performing its functions in an impartial and professional manner".

Damn straight it is. And so am I – when I am performing its functions.

Here’s what the Public Service Commission says about political views:

Participating in political activities

It is quite acceptable for APS employees to participate in political activities as part of normal community affairs.

APS employees may become members of or hold office in any political party.

APS employees, whether or not they are members of political parties, are expected to separate their personal views on policy issues from the performance of their official duties. This is an important part of professionalism and impartiality as an APS employee.

Where an APS employee is involved in publicly promoting party or other views on certain issues, and where their duties are directly concerned with advising on or directing the implementation or administration of government policy on those issues, there is potential for conflicts of interest.

  • Well I’d say tweeting and blogging about Tony Abbott at a community forum at Rooty Hill is fairly well smack in the middle of “normal community affairs”.
  • I am not a member of any political party.
  • I do separate my personal views.
  • Once again I have never written about any policy or program that I am directly concerned with advising on or directing the implementation thereof (or even indirectly for that matter).

Massola then has this little analogy:

The revelation of Mr Jericho's identity is the latest in a string of anonymous authors who have been unmasked, from Belle Du Jour, author of the Diary of a London Call Girl -- who was revealed to be Brooke Magnanti -- through to writer Helen Demidenko, author of The Hand that Signed the Paper, subsequently revealed to be Helen Darville (now Dale) and The Australian's own Christian Kerr, who outed himself as "Hillary Bray" while a contributor to Crikey.

Nice: I’m being compared to a prostitute. Here’s the thing – Belle Du Jour was writing about her experience and inside knowledge, so too Kerr when he was Hillary Bray. I have not. I have never offered up any information other than that which is publicly known. Helen Demidenko by contrast was pretending to be someone she was not in order for her work to appear more authentic. Had I been saying I was a political insider, or staffer then the analogy would be correct. It is not.

At least Mossala did quote me saying:

Asked if he was concerned that his partisan political views were not appropriate to his role in the public service, Mr Jericho said: "I never write about anything I do at my work, either on my blog or on twitter. So I thought it easiest -- given that I did not want to have continue saying something was my opinion -- to go under my pseudonym.

"I've worked in the public service under a Liberal government and a Labor government, overseeing programs and policy. I really have no care about who I am working for -- it's purely the policy or the program that is paramount. I've never had any difficulty working for either side. My supervisors have never had any problem. And when I'm writing at home after dinner, I comment on issues that have nothing to do with my work."

Look I know there’s been a fair bit of heat directed at Massola on Twitter. But I’m not here to pick a fight with him. I wish he hadn’t written the piece, but he has, and no, he ain’t getting a Christmas card. Throughout the last 12 months that I have been on Twitter I have often had arguments with journalists. I would like to think I have never been abusive. I have only been blocked by one journalist (I made a snarky comment one Saturday morning that was retweeted by one of her followers), and yet I have never attacked that journalist on this blog – and in fact have even defended her in comments.

I know many journalists on Twitter will think Massola did the right thing. Some, less publically, will not. Debate away if you must. My only bugbear is it would have been nice if he had provided some links to the blog (that is standard courtesy online).

So now everyone (or at least those small few who care) knows who I am. So is the public interest served? Do my words carry more or less weight than they did yesterday? I don’t think so. 

I started this blog back in 2008. I chose the name Grog because it was my nickname back in my days at uni in the early 90s (not due to my drinking ability, but due to my illegible handwriting which made “Greg” look more like “Grog” in a note I wrote to a friend). I had been using “Grog”when posting on Poll Bludger. I was actually quoted once by Samantha Maiden in The Oz in 2007 in response to a bad Newspoll where she quoted a few comments made on Poll Bludger by nervous lefties – my comment was actually to tell everyone to calm down and not worry – unfortunately it’s not online anymore.

When I decided to start my own blog I thought it sensible to keep my online name as I would be writing about politics much as I did on Poll Bludger – generally online people keep the same name across different blogs. Also, as a public servant I didn’t want to have to keep making it clear that these views are my own, that I do this as a hobby etc etc. 

That said I have never viewed being “Grog” as a free pass to write about anything I wanted to. As said above I never write about my area of policy (at the moment film) except in a very peripheral sense – ie movies I like and the odd promotion of upcoming Australian films that I think looks interesting. I have never written anything which I have gleaned through work. All information I use comes from the media or press releases or public reports. This is pretty clear from anyone who regularly reads this blog – you never find “breaking” or “inside” news here – you find opinion and analysis.

I also have never used advertising – despite quite a few friends who work online saying I’m mad not to. My view was even if I only was to make pocket money from writing partisan political commentary, I would be wrong to do so. I wrote a piece for The Drum, but that was purely on media coverage and made no political comment other than a wish for deeper policy from both sides. Ironically the blog post which got all the coverage included me praising the Liberal Party on its disability policy (though I still don’t know if my daughter would have qualified)!

I chose Grog’s Gamut as a title of the blog because that was the title of some pieces of stream of consciousness guff I wrote for my boarding-college paper during my time at uni. And if this blog continues I’ll keep using the title and name .

So what now? Well we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted. I hope I can keep blogging even if it is just on sport, films, books and the media (geez, there’s some ample material). Maybe the media can’t cope with a blog that gets about 1,000 readers a day. Personally I think they can. As The Australian's Matthew Franklin can attest, if any journalist ever thinks I have wronged them, I will acknowledge any oversight or make a correction.

And despite my obvious dislike of much of what is written in The Australian, the best wrap I have ever received was featured on its website. George Megolagenis in his last blog before going on leave responded to a comment from a reader wishing him well and suggesting that he should read my blog. George responded:

George Megalogenis
Fri 10 Sep 10 (05:35pm)

Thanks
Grog had a pretty good campaign I thought.

For a blogger like me, that’s about as good as it gets. And I’ll take it.

I stated doing this blog because having finished my PhD (you can read all 315 brilliant pages here – Massola has, poor fool!), and then shifting to working as a public servant, I craved an outlet to write something other than work related material (fun though that can be – seriously!). People who are writers need to write or they go insane, I count myself as one of those people. And so each night after finishing cleaning the dishes at around 6:30pm and before saying goodnight to my eldest daughter at around 8:30pm, I sit down and write this blog. I could have written fiction, but I found writing on current events easier and less stressful (well I once did).

blog countWhen I started back in 2008 I was lucky to get more than 20 hits. I recall getting excited to get over 25 consistently. The only people who read me were my family and a few friends. I didn’t care, I just loved to write, and got a kick out of my wife, Dad or sister telling me she/he had liked what I had written.  Now I get around 1000 hits a day. It is nothing major in the grand scheme of things, but it is nice to know that what I write is liked by enough people that they keep coming back for no other reason than they like what I write.

No one reads this blog because of who I am. Grog’s Gamut is a nobody – you don’t read me because I worked for so and so, or because I obviously have the ear of someone important, or because some newspaper tells you I am a must read. And guess what, I still am a nobody – I have never worked for so and so, and I still don’t have someone's ear. Though I guess at least The Australian thinks I’m worth reading…

And so that’s it. The ‘big’ secret is now out. Is this the end for me as a blogger and as a public servant? I hope not. I like my job, do it diligently, do it well (in my opinion), and I don’t believe I have contravened the APS code of conduct – if I did I wouldn't have started the blog in the first place. I did not stay anonymous because I thought I was doing anything wrong, just that I seriously did not think it mattered.

But if to keep doing my job means I have to stop blogging and tweeting, well then I’ll do that; this is just a hobby after all. I guess I’ll have to try my hand at fiction. I would be sad if it comes to that, but that is life.

So there you are. Don’t you all feel so much more informed? I must say it’s much more interesting than writing about that horrid old hard to understand policy…

UPDATE: The Oz has now linked to my blog. Also just to clear up some of the comments, James Massola did contact me (via Twitter) to tell me he was going to reveal my identity. The quotes in his piece are from the interview I had with him.

225 comments:

1 – 200 of 225   Newer›   Newest»
lapuntadelfin said...

I do not need to say that I think you have explained your position.

I now wish The Australian and its writer explains his/theirs.

Go now Massola. Hell, we might even make a news cycle deadline

Chris Quirk said...

Thanks for sharing your side of the story Grog.

Dermott Banana said...

So much here I agree with and can relate to, having had a similar outing experience.
Grog, they outed you because you scared them.
Remember that.

frogpondsrock said...

I have followed you on twitter off and on for ages now and was interested to read both articles. My reaction to Massolas article is what was the point? Why out you? Surely he had better things to do with his time?

I am a personal blogger who lives in a small rural community in Tassie and due to extenuating circumstances I outed myself in June 2009. It took a few months to get my head around the fact that every man and his dog in my small community knew who I was and was reading my blog. But at the end of the day when I sit down to write it is just me and the internet.

sterow said...

I find this interesting because I recently quit a job in the Victorian Public Service largely because they became uncomfortable with comment I was making as an editor of an industry journal. My situation was a little different as my employers had known I had this role when I took the job and assured me it was okay as long as I always made it clear it was personal opinion, and didn't write about things I was involved in. Unfortunately that assurance evaporated when criticism of the Victorian government got too pointed.

My own experience was that any reference to the VPS code of conduct was pretty much waved away as irrelevant: the culture about what was the "done thing" had its own set of rules that were separate from what they had put in writing. That was what I found infuriating.

The problem for me is that if the public service (or in this case, the media) starts to take a zero tolerance approach to expressions of personal views, it introduces a massive detrimental selection bias into their pool of employees. Do we really want the public service stacked with people who show no interest or participation in public debate?

Ashraf Ghebranious said...

Your name is a label. No more. It helps identify a person but never their views.

While you may feel out of kilter unmasked, you will soon realise that you are freer writing now than ever before. Now you do not have to worry about if people may know who you are because that is no longer an issue.

You will be surprised at the freedom. And as you already pointed out, what you write does not in anyway take away or interfere with what you do.

Having said that, I also know that certain pressures from on high can occur in the Public Service and you may be asked to go slower.

My advice is to not heed that advice. Go harder I say! As long as it does not stop your ability to do the job you get paid for, they can not silence the voice they do not pay for.

As the Hoodoo Guru's say, "Let your freak flag fly".

heisenberg said...

Grog,
The MSM think they have the game sown up. The internet has changed that to some extent. It seems you have pricked their collective conscience. Perhaps I'm paranoid, but over the past couple of years I feel I have seen signs of a new fascism in the world, both east and west. If this fascism comes to reality it will be essential to shut down opposition to the MSM and the propagandists in their midst.

Dennis Shanahan seems to have blocked me after I wrote and said that one of the reasons Howard lost the election in 2007 was because sycophants such as himself who had Howard's ear, did not warn him of what was happening.

If Abbott were to become PM, would you be safe in your job?

Chris said...

GG, your work isn't as controversial as it is outstanding. We would all love to keep read whatever you are happy to write.

You haven't broken yourself against the APS values as I understand them; you've kept clear of conflicts of interest and disclosure.

By the way, the 'values' are misnamed; employers can't prescribe beliefs, but can prescribe duties.

JudgeG said...

Please keep blogging. I was going nuts with the extreme right-wing coverage of the election in the mainstream media - particularly from news ltd - and then I was advised to look at your blog/twitter comments.

It is the best thing I've ever done. You've made me realise that there are still good, sensible Australians who haven't sold their soul and their brain for 20 pieces of silver.

I read your twitter comments and follow the links you provide before I even go to the loo in the mornings!

How amazing that the right-wing power-base in this country felt so threatened by you they had one of their lackies "out" you in an attempt to neutralise you.

Your family, your job, your hobbies, your blogging, your tweeting....keep it all going.

Don't let one act of sheer bastardry silence you.

Editor said...

I wish you well, whatever decision you take or need to make. You blog has been a must-read since I first became aware of your writing. Great job!

RogerLamb1 said...

"It is quite acceptable for APS employees to participate in political activities as part of normal community affairs."

And always should be. So, here's hoping that policy will be honoured in the full, and that we can continue to read Grog's Gamut.

Senexx said...

Prepared to be demonised.
Massola = The Australian = News Ltd = Liberal Party = Joe Hockey and anonymous tweeters and bloggers (and he's the one I'd be least concerned with)

You were viewed by them (nonsensically) to have power over them so they had to out you. Now they will attempt to demonise you in every way possible.

I think the whole thing is nonsense, should not have been done and as you say as long as ppl keep their online identity across sites that is as good as a real name.

I hope you can keep on blogging. Wish you all the best.

Bleeter said...

Just wanting to put on record my feeling that the Oz, by going to court to protect the anonymous source of anti-terror raids, has really shown it's colours. Your outing is of public interest, yet the outing of a source who reveals State Secrets isn't? What a complete pile of horse shit.

Tom Hawkins said...

Keep blogging Grog.. You have become a thorn under the saddle of News Ltd and that can only be a good thing. I think the journalist who outed you is a gutless wonder and I hope that one day he realises that selling his soul for the almighty Murdoch dollar was to choose the low road in that profession.

Bill said...

Why should I suddenly start believing anything written in the Aus now?

On this 'blog, the person doesn't matter as much as the message. Having said that, I had never heard of James Massola before this morning. Now I have. Therefore, mission accomplished.

Just another example of the hypocritical Murdocracy that public servants must be uncritical drones in all aspects of the lives, but journalists are free to publish their spin with nothing more than the occasional wet-towel flick from Media Watch.

ajdavid59 said...

The story in the Australian is a non-story. I was an avid reader of that newspaper for nearly two decades. It's current policy of running illogical pieces like this one as "news" does our country a disservice. I guess they will next run a story 'exposing' "Chanticleer" from the AFR.

Political Scientist (name withheld - I might work for the government and wouldn't want Massola finding out) said...

I live in Canberra - most people I know are public servants and many of those are active in politics or members of political parties (in a couple of cases holding executive positions). Some of them even blog. No legal or ethical line is crossed in any direction. Not only is Massola incorrect and uninformed, he is showing himself up to be nothing more than a News Ltd hack. When there is nothing better to write about, make something up, make it look like news and make it look like an outrage.

Ms fifikins said...

Perhaps I have rose colored glasses that clash with their red frames, but still this 'outing' could be a good thing.

The pressure of anonymity gives perceived power. Whether you are Grog or Greg means nothing to me. I just look at your lefting, sorry righting, sorry writing and nod. If I do pick up The Aus, I only ever read sections, and never the front one! Keep on keeping on.

Voxpop said...

I had heard of you previously but this is my first visit to your blog. They reference you a lot on LP which is one of the places I go to get my fix on reality. I check the msm briefly and saw today's article (no link) so googled to get here and hope that you will continue as you now have another new fan. Going back to read some of your archives now.

2353 said...

I've just posted this comment on the Story in the Australian - what's the bet it doesn't get published?

Rest assured - if you shut Grog down more will rise. The failures of the Australian and other media outlets to report the last federal election with anything like fairness and honesty was rightly reported by Grog. That the Australian has since printed in an editorial that it will destroy the Greens demonstrates its lack of integrity, factual reporting and fairness.

Like it or not the Australian like all media should be in the business of reporting facts and allowing the consumer to make an informed decision. While your organisation doesn't, others (hopefully including Grog) will.

SM said...

Grog, what a gutless act not to at least let you know. I hope you have an unlisted phone number, if you don't get it changed ASAP.

I think the possibility that anyone other than a journalist might hold an opinion deeply frightens many of them. That someone might do some research in a couple of hours and make clear that what they do is toe received lines terrifies them.

Your blog is an inspiration and should your employer give you grief we all know who is responsible.

Do what is right for you.

theconsciencevote said...

Frankly, the whole thing reads like a standard MSM pose - discredit a blogger who shows a higher standard of journalistic integrity (and can write more coherently!), by insinuating there's something shady going on there. Maybe that's not the case here - maybe it was headline-chasing - but the net effect is to focus attention on blogging in general.

I've lost count of the columns and comments by MSM journos who are very quick to differentiate so-called 'real' journalism from blogging. What it comes down to is whether there's a big media organisation paying for the stories - which is no guarantee of excellence or integrity.

Your blog definitely should keep going. It's clear you touched a nerve with your critique of media coverage - don't let that be your swansong.

Adele said...

I do hope you keep blogging about politics, Grog. I have found your commentary about the election, policies and so on to have been invaluable. Your exploration of issues is incisive, interesting and covers the important points - exactly what has been needed (and unfortunately has been lacking in many areas of mainstream media coverage).

The outing seems unnecessary and concerns me, because I wonder how many other political bloggers whose content contradicts the News Limited cheersquad will be on the list for outing. It almost seems like a threat in some ways - to people's livelihoods, jobs, etc - for daring to put fingers to keyboard and write about their impressions of the political landscape.

Good luck!

troyski said...

Thanks Frog for continuing to have the courage to share your thoughts and opinions so openly with others. With reason and logic you've challenged the group-think, horse race journalism that is the norm in Australian media. I hope the journos that regularly engage with you on Twitter now have the courage to show some public support.

Today you continue to show dignity and thoughtfulness in response to a customary and very personal attack by The Australian. It's such s shame that our national broadest feels the need to play the bully with you like it has with so many others.

I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Hey Grog>

"organised in advance by a some friends"

...should be stitched up as the rodeo has now linked it's article to your page...

Craig Thomler said...

Hi Grog,
As another public servant blogger who at times attracts attention for his posts - albeit one who does so under his own name and posts on an area of professional interest, rather than on politics - I support your right to have political opinions and act within the APS code of conduct.

I also find it quite disappointing but typical that the HIPPOs of traditional media would look for blood when they see their 'right to report and comment' under threat from non-journalists building a substantial following.

Keep doing what you do.

Cheers,

Craig

Anonymous said...

Freakn front page under the masthead too. Far out- I guess they are paid to be shameless.

You don't smoke Korans now do you?

Saraswati said...

Grog I hope you don't stop blogging. Your blog is one of my favourite places to visit on the web, largely because you are honest and truthful in your opinion.

The Australian should realise that people leave their opinions at the door when they work as a Public Servant, for the hours where you are inside the door you don't have an opinion. Your life and your opinions is (and should be) your own once you leave the building.

Jan said...

As my mother would have said, " Take no notice of them. They're just jealous!"
Please keep writing/blogging. You're a necessary antidote to the drivel of the msm.

curious said...

I completely understand the desire to separate the public and the private. I do not work for the APS but I work for a public company with a passionate interest in using social media to promote themselves so I tweet publically as their employee but anonymously on domestic minutae and politics to make clear the separation. I've also got an anonymous blog where I write - I have two teenage children and an ex-husband who don't need to be outed either - and, as you say, it is that desire to write, not necessarily to express an opinion which fuels our blogging. If I write something about a restaurant I went to, does that allow the restauranteur to reveal my name in the public interest? Really, it is the quality of your writing and the balance of your opinions that has kept me returning to read your work. I hope you keep writing but I will totally understand if you feel this has constrained you from doing so.

AusMossy said...

No offence Grog, but I still have no idea who you are. Not sure why the Australian thought revealing your name would suddenly cause us to view your writing as somehow less worthy. Nor am I sure why they think public servants are not entitled to opinions. Should you also not be allowed to vote?

I hope you keep blogging. I can't say I am a regular reader, but I enjoy what I do see.

Dong said...

I want to add my voice of support Grog but recognise that for job security things might need to change. You should be proud of the fact that your writing influences public debate and maybe a few journalists have found that they don't. Your opinion carries more weight with me and I presume many others than the so called 'factual' articles by some in the professional media.
I want to acknowledge that reading your blogs have awakened me to the need to check facts and think about what is being reported. Introducing me to writers such as Peter Martin has helped me to do mt own research, find primary sources and make up my own mind. I am a much more informed voter and participant in the political debate than before. Grog your work has been invaluable whether it keeps on in present form or needs to change be assured of my gratitude.

ernmalleyscat said...

Well done. I hope you can keep writing on politics.

By the way my name is Chris Roberts, but it's just something my parents made up.

Anonymous said...

Imacca from PB here.

Grog, i'll be honest with you. I really enjoy what you write, and quite frankly dont give a stuff who you actually are (but not in a bad way...)

It does seems odd that the OO have chosen to put you, but maybe they want to help clear the decks for the start of parliament after the Mr Rabbots Rabble have made such a mess of them?

Anyhow, hope you keep it up. Grogs Gamut presents a interesting perspective and i'd miss it if its not around.

Syd Walker said...

I wouldn't be too bothered to be compared with a prostitute by Mr Massola, Grog

At least he didn't accuse you of being a journalist. That would have been a real insult.

Many people have interesting ideas and good writing / speaking skills. Only 'journalists' can be relied upon - almost without fail - to keep keyboards silent and mouths shut on stories those who control the mass media really DON'T want told.

Our mass media should be regarded first and foremost as a means of PR / social control, which takes the views of a few and represents them as the views of all of us. The chosen few paid 'journalists' are trained to respect the boundaries of 'acceptable' discourse, which while constantly evolving are essentially predictable.

Social media via the internet threaten this hypnotic spell.

Anonymous said...

On ya Grog.

you are a credit to the blogging form and demonstrate the quality of the APS. FWIW i think that the quality of your blogging work is not the only thing that threatens the MSM, but that you are a public servant who is creative and courageous. the APS is one of the fav scapgoats of the MSM and you challenge their stereotypes with every word you pixilize.

good luck
dylan AGH is no longer dylwah

Anonymous said...

What a stormy teacup- Culture Wars and Perception Management.

They must be really smarting over there at the Oz after tripping over themselves trying to destroy the Greens.

From what I read, GG is way too considerate for this 2nd rate $hitfling to stick. Demidenko? What a joke!!!

eebzzub said...

Seems like the Oz have linked to you now...

tredlgt said...

Once again the pretenders show their fear. Attack to prove a point ,in this case look how tough we are against a bloke writing at his kitchen table for nothing but fun . This should fix him, showing up the great journalists of australia, needs to be put in his place .
It will be a loss if you have to close this blog when all you did was show how enjoyable current affairs could be when written about by someone who appears to not want to be the focus of the exercise.
AustraliaFoxnewscorp just emphasises with this piece of shit what the complaint was about the last few months . TRIVIA.

Good luck Grog

Virginia Tressider said...

Aside from committing an act of bastardry, Massola demonstrated pretty breathtaking ignorance about the public service. Silly me, I thought it might be useful to know something about the PS when your job's to write about goings-on in Canberra, but there you go.
If public servants can't have political views, as Massola seems to suggest, then why are they allowed to vote? (And don't go getting any MORE silly ideas, News.)
Just roll the non-PS population of the ACT into Eden-Monaro or something and disenfranchise the public servants. Do I hear the word 'unconstitutional'?
But you've got to hand it to News. Deprived - largely by you - of claiming credibility in reporting on Gillard's earlobes, they're now at bedrock and still tunnelling. Such persistence.

Peter Wood said...

The Australian's justification for outing you is completely ridiculous. I have little doubt that their motivation is that they do not like it when people who have opinions different from theirs have their writing influence public debate. It says a lot about their political agenda.

I hope that you continue blogging and tweeting, and that you are able to continue to blog and tweet about policy and politics.

Mark Thomson said...

As another kitchen scribbler, I applaud your efforts. I started my 'therapy' after leaving the APS, but the focus of my blogging encapsulated a core reason for my early departure. If I had been aware of this amazing tool I would have launched a little earlier but I would have had to be more careful with overlaps between content and my APS responsibilities. Well done you. My blog is at:
http://seekingasylumdownunder2.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I guess the misfire over Tones Treasury-costing "strategy" means it is now NewsLtd's perogative to smear the PS and ramp-up the noise.

Very professional.

In the immortal mantra of another B movie actor - "there you go again"(again).

Anonymous said...

pre

MassiveSpray said...

Grog, I hope this won't stop you from continuing with your excellent blog.

Keep up the good work...you've obviously got the talentless wannabes worried.

newswithnipples said...

"Journalists and editors grant anonymity to sources and whistleblowers"

And "unnamed sources" within the Liberal/Labor party. If a politician wants to use the media to undermine a colleague, we should know who they are.

mischa said...

Yours is a voice of sanity, Grog. The Oz are determined to do what they can to discredit anyone who disagrees with them, regardless of the impact it may have on their lives.

Good journalists can handle criticism. Quality journalists take that criticism and use it to improve their performance. They're writing for us, after all - if we demand a higher standard, then they should be up to the task of providing it. The Oz (among others) have proved time and again that they aren't up to this challenge.

I sincerely hope this doesn't stop you from blogging. Your posts are of better quality than what you read from a number of "professionals" in the media.

Fran said...

Good luck and good hunting Grog. It is appalling that we have a new iteration of McCarthyism afoot, and that the Murdochratic empire extends to a publicly fuinded broadcast arm -- the ABC. With this in mind, I am moved to recall that passage from the 18th Brumaire ...

"Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce."

If there is anything useful I can contribute in this matter, please don't hesitate to find me on twitter under fran_b__

Anonymous said...

I am yet another follower of your blog. I read it to retain some realistic perspective on matters political. I do think the murdoch hacks are afraid of the blogosphere (and of a realistic perspective on the politics of the nation) which may explain the hysterical opposition to the NBN.
Blog on Grog.

Hillbilly Skeleton said...

You're supposed to pull your head in because you are a Public Servant who has ALP leanings, but Godwin Grech is allowed to feed information about the Rudd government direct to The Australian and the Liberal Party so as to attempt to help bring a legitimate government down? As if.
Just more hypocrisy and double standards from the Ltd News plutochratic empire.
Ignore their feeble attempts to silence you, Grog. In fact, use your newfound notoriety to expand your reach into the hearts and minds of more and still more Australians. Maybe this incident is the watershed that the 5th Estate has been waiting for in order to finally establish our bona fides in competition with the 'traditional' media sources of information and opinion?
So I say to you, Grog, brush off the attacks now that you have been forced to come out of the closet. You may be temporarily bloodied, but remain unbowed. Let me tell you, from one who has copped the full brunt of an attack from the Coalition trolls on the News Ltd.'s blogs on many occasions, due to my particular circumstances which are similar to yours, being that I also am an intelligent & articulate blogger from the Left of Centre with a particular focus on issues which affect the Disabled and Carers, because I, too have a Disabled child and am his Carer at home, I say keep the blogging going full bore. The only difference between us has been that I took my assault on News Ltd.'s values directly to their blogs from Day 1, and have thus freely put myself out there to cop the sort of abuse that you have only had directed your way now, simply in order to expose it to those that read the Oz's Jack the Insider blog, as you probably already are well aware of, seeing how you used to comment there yourself in the beginning.
So onwards and upwards, Grog. This kerfuffle can only increase the amount of traffic to your blog. Which is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Massola's article smacks more of personal retribution than public interest. Whether kudos for Gamut's blogs got up his 'professional' nose or he came off second best in Twitter exchange it alarms News Limited deems personal gripes are public interest. Or if Massola really thinks government employees have no right to opinions in the minor commentariat albeit using an alias he’s blind to the DNA of his profession and free speech. Between them Massola and News Ltd have really cemented long and widely held views they both endorse bias and pay-back well beyond the politisphere.

Ed Butler said...

As one who swore to never go commenting on blogs, I feel it incumbent on me to offer support and encouragement. Your being 'outed' has no bearing on your ability to provide a quiet, but thoughtful voice in Australia's alternative media. Grog you were, Grog you remain.

BiteTheDust said...

Grogs keep writing your insightful commentary.
It is obviously to the point and accurate as The Australian article has shown

Your response as dignified and as insightful as always

Robbo

SB said...

I think you should resign. You should be apolitical and your ALP biases will influence your work.

AustraliaVotes said...

Anonymity scares/worries/intrigues some people. I remember when I just 'AustraliaVotes' and had no real name attached to it, people would always ask who I was.

Anonymous said...

As someone said above ~ please keep blogging!
And as someone else said ~ I still dont know who you are ....
And for me it doesnt matter ...
What matters is that few are saying it honestly and I think you have argued for a higher standard in journalism ~ something sadly missing currently
Wishing you all the best ...

Anonymous said...

If you worked for the Canadian federal public service, you would probably lose your position with cause unless you took leave during the period you we blogging. Involvement in election campaigns by civil servants has a series of rules to follow.

As for the media, they are suppose to print the facts unless they are trying to protect their sources. Your name was just a piece of news that your supervisor should have known.

Colin Campbell said...

Good luck. Make sure you don't hit the grog.

morewest said...

So Massola outed you, huh?

Okay, so I'll return the 'favour' and out him. James Massola is really, Keith Rupert Murdoch, even if he mighten realise it.

I said if before, but it's, IMHO, worth repeating: Foreigners shouldn't be allowed to own our media. Especially, foreigners running an agenda to curry favour with a political party in their own country.

Inversius said...

Thanks to the publicity stirred up by the Australian, I am now aware of your excellent blog. Mainstream media does have its uses after all :)

rhwombat said...

Grog: you are still at the top of my oz blog list. Hang tough and damn the Rupertarians. Slainte

reb of Hobart said...

Don't stop blogging mate...

We need you. Maintain the rage!!!

Withnail said...

A wonderful response. I absolutely adore your insight and hope you keep blogging. The blogitics sphere cannot lose such a wonderful contributor.

LizzieA01 said...

another voice of support... I had no idea who you were prior to today, and knowing now in no way affects my opinion of your work as Grogs Gamut.

Please don't run scared from this. We need sane discourse outside of the MSM, and you are ann integral part of that.

drsusancalvin said...

I'm a little sad to think you might stop blogging at a time when things are getting interesting. I reproduce my comment at The Australian here. This is turducken with different ingredients. Sanctimony stuffed with professional jealousy stuffed with laziness served with a double standard of gravy.

Anonymous said...

Grog

These reptiles have slunk lower than a dingo's bum

You aint doing anything wrong-just exposing the truth

Cheers
Gusface

Little Mysteries said...

Its been wonderful to read your blog, and hear another view. I hope you are allowed to continue.
Best Wishes to you.

Johnno said...

I think I need to thank James Massola for drawing your blog to my attention. It's always good to read real analysis rather than the joke that passes for journalism today (Massola being a leading exponent).

Anonymous said...

One Grog is worth a hundred OOs.

emjar said...

Grog,
I have followed you since 2009 as I particularly appreciate your attempts to set the record straight about asylum seekers. This pathetic attempt to discredit you is typical of the conservative press and of mediocre journalists who are running scared as they become less and less relevant.I have to believe this will make you stronger- after all you can't pay for this sort of advertising.
Keep calm and carry on. Your country needs you!!!

Anonymous said...

Have admired your writing since early PB days back when JWH was entrenched in Kirribilli.
Hope you will continue to provide us with your insight.

Anonymous said...

Another bombshell revelation for the day:

Apparently a billionaire foreigner is using Australian media to influence Australian politics.

Fiona said...

whoa. So you like, live in canberra and either work for government or have some connection to it? Can the internet filter stop all canberrans such as myself from bloggin, you know, just in case?

Anonymous said...

I don't care if your name is Donald Duck. Your articles are the only refuge from the Coalition propaganda machine that is The Australian.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Don't stop blogging on politics Grog, don't let them win.

llengib said...

Just wanted to post and give my support. I first read your blog posts around the time of the insulation scheme and have been reading ever since.

Thank you and I hope to read much more of your News and Analysis.

DH said...

Massola's article was pathetic. I hope there will be no repercussions for you in your job. As long as we bloggers don't use insider information from our public roles, we have as much right as any citizen to express a private view. (Diary of a Desperate Houso).

Anonymous said...

Am over 70 and purchased the "Australian" from inception to 3 years ago and what a pity it would be to see that "biased rag" as it has become succeed in hushing one of the top analitical sparky blogs. Thanks for your opinions.

Glen Mahoulis said...

Uncle Grog,

Love your work. Your piece on the press was the best analysis of the campaign. You really got under the skin of some of those more sensitive types, didn't you?

So long as you don't write about whatever your department does, I can't see what all the drama is about.

You are a pioneer in a certain chapter of Australian political culture/history. I hope that by the next election you will have spawned a whole new crop of blogging analysts, to tell us what really the f is up

ewe2 said...

It seems there's one rule for Grog and another for Godwin, as some journalists are desperately tweeting already.

It doesn't change the fact that blogs such as yours are a better source of news than they are, and they know it.

As Voltaire said, it is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

Jaeger said...

Once again, the (old) media demonstrates its obsession with personalities, and fails to "get" Internet culture. It's the content, stupid!

I hope your outing doesn't create any problems for you, or impair your excellent and insightful blog posts.

Anonymous said...

Would James Massola unmask the Easter Bunny and Father Christmas if it sold newspapers?

Keep up the good work Grog.

Jaeger said...

P.S. Perhaps a post comparing the APS Code of Conduct with the Australian Journalist Association Code of Ethics is in order? ;-)

(See also: John 8:7.)

Maria said...

I do hope you keep going, your analysis is interesting & informative. Like we used to look to the newspapers for.

I found, amongst the smugness of whateverhisnameis' article, the small fact that he overlooked that your more noted pieces were on the media & its workings, rather than politics, rather insightful.

They really are incredibly archaic when it comes to the new media, and increasingly shrill when it comes to their self-perceived importance.

Anonymous said...

I've already forgotten your name, but I remember the quality of your work.
Good luck and best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Take it is a compliment. If you were no good they wouldn't care. Keep blogging, #$@% 'em.

Michael M, in Sydney said...

Grog who? Love your work, but.

Anonymous said...

I've never twittered, face-booked, my-spaced but I am compelled to brave cyber world to let you know how incredible your site is. It's the first thing I check each day. I am so impressed how you cut through spin and rubbish and deliver the real truth, not the main stream media's version. Grog's Gamut, an oasis in the desert of lack luster drivel.

chrispycon said...

James who?

jenjen said...

Grog, I've been reading your blog since a friend sent a link to the media piece. (I've never commented before though.) I have to say you got me through the election with considerably lower blood pressure than I would have had otherwise. The coverage from other sources (and particularly the Australian) was abysmal. Keep writing on whatever you want to write about. I don't think you have done anything wrong, and you don't post on any inside knowledge or really in the area you work in. Really, you behave far more ethically than the Australian do – don't let them intimidate you! (Of course, that said, DO do whatever is best for you and your family.) All the best, and thanks again for keeping me sane!

Anonymous said...

nothing like the enthusiastic punter showing the pros up for the vacuousness of what they do to get their paid danders up.

they are very, very afraid.

this is the democratisation of opinion at it's best, a new paradigm if you will.

i salute you grog, keep it up.

nutra

Nina said...

I second everything they all said. Except I reckon I feel a lot stronger about it, because I would've used a hundred expletives by now.

dogma said...

Grog do not let them stop you. Your more interesting to read.

Peter Schumacher said...

Carmel would have laughed SO hard about this!

Roxanna from PB said...

I've been reading you since before the Gamut. Whgat an act of bastardry and attempt to repress freedom of speech. I hope all public servants resist this, as I do.

Good luck Grog.

Aya said...

This is ridiculous. It was never Grog's intention to influence public debate, only to express an opinion. How on earth do you then justify this being "in the public interest"? And doesn't the phrase "in the public interest" indicate that the public is, in fact, interested? Who can say that this is the case over the "real identity" of Grog? Who honestly cares?

Stop Murdoch said...

Typical of News Ltd, but a real shame Massola has decided to throw his lot in with that shameless mob of cowards and crooks.

Coincidently, we had already declared tomorrow (28/9/10) to be a special "Boycott Murdoch Day".

Please, everyone join in!

Desertgirl said...

Grog, I hope you continue blogging. Your thoughts and analyses, especially during the recent election campaign, were both thought-provoking and useful. I found them helpful in forming my own opinion prior to voting day.

I am only an occasional reader of your blog, but I did happen to read "that" post picked up by Mark Scott at the ABC. I happened to agree with you. I found the election campaign to be very frustrating with the lack of serious investigation of party policies.

Thank you for taking the time today to write such a dignified & considered response to the article in today's The Australian.

As for Massola and The Australian, I just don't get it. And maybe that explains why I gave up reading that newspaper many months ago.

Cheers,
Sharon Sprott (aka Desertgirl)
Alice Springs, NT

Fiona said...

Hey, look on the bright side. I'd never heard of you, and thanks to the Australian outing you, I'm here. Gee, you write well. So while outing you sucks, they've just increased both your traffic and profile, neither of which they probably intended to do.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope you are safe at work, Grog.

DaveMcRae said...

You are better than them - and they know it too.

I have so enjoyed your informative blogs. Best wishes for whatever you decide. (Selfish of me I know, but I do hope you continue)

Anonymous said...

Well well well, Grog. You must have really upset the rednecks at The Un-Australian, although it is really just business as usual for them. In your post you have clearly set out the rationale for their "startling news" when you said in relation to one of your opinions - "It is just an opinion that differs with that of The Australian" (?Grog, shouldn't that be 'differs from' - goodness knows what you public servants are coming to!) You might need to check a Good English Grammar if you intend to continue blogging since The Australian usually falls back on minor matters like this to fill their Cut & Paste section (formerly known as Spew Centre).

I think The Australian perhaps should be devoting some space to referencing articles about their boss which have been appearing in other mainstream media regarding his links to the Tea Party and it's billionaire funders (see for example The New York Times August 28, 2010 by Frank Rich; The New Yorker August 30, 2010 by Jane Mayer; TheObserver guardian.co.uk 12 September 2010).

Peter said...

just a simple comment of support from a former political correspondent (on the Australian) who enjoyed the quality of your writing, who contributed to some of your more challenging on-line debates and who hopes that your wisdom is allowed to flourish.

Anonymous said...

While I couldnt care less about the content of the article, or you attempting to defend - what I dont know - yourself, I would however like to ask ... when did you find the time to reply to the article and post your comments? Wasnt while at work was it? You can say what you like about anyone you like, yet when my money is paying your wages, yes you can read in to that TAXES, then save your pitying grandstanding for your own time.

Anonymous said...

Please Grog, Don't give up your political take on current affairs. When parliament sits tomorrow, we are going to need your input on a daily basis. Someone has to truthfully and clear-sightedly report what will undoubtedly be "an all-in open brawl. Please don't leave us to the mercy of the ABC news network or the print media. You saved our sanity during and after the election. Don't abandonus to the lazy, uninformed and biased excuses we have for public media in this country.

Treva

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your blog during the election campaign Grog, have been back many times and have cut and pasted your words elsewhere in the blogosphere. During this time I have not read the Australian once and now feel even less like doing so.

If you do continue to blog I predict that your readership will skyrocket and you might like to think again about advertisements.

Pip-e-Longstocking said...

Along with all the other comments, Grog, I do hope you keep blogging and to hell with foreign newspaper owners and their minions.
They're spluttering in your dust.

P.M.Newton said...

Laura Tingle summed it up nicely in a tweet earlier today:
"The point about Grog's Gamut is not about anonymity, it's about why a national newspaper feels it has to 'out' him ?"

The thing that made this blog a must see for me during the election was not that it would have a "scoop" or some kind of insider knowledge but that it was analysing exactly what we, the punters, were seeing.

So the writer is a public servant. So what. It said that on the blog. It's worth repeating, it did not rely on any insider knowledge for its content, just a set of eyes and ears and a brain to come up with an opinion.

Hope you feel able to continue writing Grog.

Anonymous said...

One of many great Footrot Flats cartoons is when the dog [with the THE underlined] is tip toeing past the humungous pig dog Major asleep outside his kennel and Major growls!
THE dog pauses and is overjoyed:
"I'm a threat!"


fredex

breadvanner said...

Grog , I should thank whats his name from the Ltd News mob , add another one to your Blog. You must getting more hits than the American / Saudi owned( Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal )paper .Keep on blogging.

Rationalist said...

I don't know what a grog is.

I don't know what a gamut is.

When you combine these things, you get a blog that I like to read.

Anonymous said...

Anon is 3.54am the time Grog would be at work and by the way today is a public holiday in ACT.
Grog your problem is you out performed what's his name.

Anonymous said...

Go Grog. Keep up the fantastic work. Democracy owes youa lot.

Anonymous said...

Count me as another one who has found you because of whatshisname. I found PB a month ago and enjoy the blog but your analysis and clear writing style is the meat that goes with the PB veg. If you know what I mean. :-)

Love it - hope this will not be the end - although you must do what you must do. I once blogged publicly about a political issue under my own name and while I made a difference, it was not without some discomfort at times. Overall, though, the positive outweighed the negative.

Remember - you are not alone - there is a community put here that will rally if necessary. That is what the internet has really unleashed.

Gweneth

Anonymous said...

Well I had never heard of you, Grog, till I read the shameful piece in 'The Australian' today. So, here I am, and glad to be so.

'The Australian' has sunk to new lows lately. Somehow the ABC appears to be tethered to the Oz and it's sinking fast too. Not good. We need more independent voices, not fewer, as a balance to the one-sided mainstream media.

Keep up the good work and know you've found yourself a new fan.

ACBlog said...

Grog,

Nothing new to add - only a voice of support for your excellent work. Your hobby has put shown that a lot of professionals in the media have not been doing their homework (or, indeed, actual work).

I wonder, though, about the timing of the "outing" and perhaps there are pressures at the Oz to do as much as possible to destabilise ALP support prior to the Senate handover.

Or possibly I am totally losing perspective because I do read the Oz. Online (I refuse to pay for that tripe).

Best wishes.

maintaining the rage said...

Grog, love your work mate. Hope this doesn't stymie one of the few blogs that I have enjoyed reading of late. I guess if I ever bought one of Murdoch's papers this would have me stop in protest, but just haven't ever had the need to pick one up for anything but cleaning up after an errant pet.
So looks like I'll take this opportunity to cancel Foxtel instead.
Wow, feeling better already.

nawagadj said...

As a very recent new reader, you've been an intellectual spring in a media desert. Hope it doesn't stop flowing.

The 'outing' smells a little like what you've been discussing recently - lazy journalism. It was an easy story, justified by that much abused argument, the public interest.

Clytie said...

Heh. Reminds me of when I was with the PS, and ABC radio asked me for some info. I supplied it, and oddly enough they called back and wanted another interview.

While I was wondering why they wanted me (I'm nobody important), I was hurriedly yanked into a management interview.

"Why did you say that?"

"I just told them the truth."

"You don't DO that!"

Luckily, I'm not in the PS anymore, so I don't have to work that one out. ;)

Keep up the good work, Grog.

Jeremy said...

It's nothing more than bullying, and here's hoping you and your employer can treat it with the contempt it deserves.

I enjoy your blog and other writing and look forward to reading more of it!

Always remember, they're only outing you because you're doing such a good job, and that threatens them.

Anonymous said...

I think they finally kneecapped themselves, Grog. It is clear that the Murdoch rags consider themselves the orchestrator of political matters in Australia, and are still smarting from their latest failed attempt at kingmaking. By dumping on the little guy, who dares to call it like it is in the media, they have revealed themselves as the bullies they truly are. As a result, a lot of little guys like me will point the finger at them every chance we get. Rupert is about to find that he doesn't dictate to the Net. Good luck in your future endeavours, and many thanks for past ones.

Bill said...

A simple check of the posting times should answer any questions about whether Grog was posting on the public dollar.

I found it very interesting to see which "professional" journos on twitter were defending the outing, or at least rationalising it.

Would it be much of a leap to suspect that some of them might be the same ones who have posted anonymous comments to posts here?

Is it not in the public interest to know which writers feel so threatened by a blogger that they try to discredit him in this way? Come on folks, you know who you are.

david said...

Is this the #Groggate that they're all tweeting about?
Fun and games.
Thanks for thoughtful blog. Keep it up,please.

Anonymous said...

Along with all the others here I hope you keep blogging on whatever subjects you wish to - the quality of your writing obviously draws many readers. I found my way here via LP during the election and, for anyone from the MSM who are reading this, it was a relief to have an alternative to rather poor reporting in the papers esp the Australian.

Andrew said...

Grog, I've never read your blog but I defend to the death your right to blog it. Shame on The Australian (again).

alien boy said...

Grog, thanks for your insightful analyses. I'm in Japan these days but have found reading you blog to be the single most informative resource regarding the state of politics in Australia. Keep up the writing!
Also, thanks for the film info - hopefully I'll even get to see some of them sometime!
Cheers from Saitama!

Anonymous said...

I hope you can keep the blog going as it was, Grog, and not feel compelled to cut opining on politics. I´ve been reading it for over a year now from my home in Spain and find it to be far and away the most informed commentary on Aust politics. All the best.

Tim said...

The Australian is increasingly being seen for what it clearly is:

a Murdoch mouth-rag...

...the day is coming when it will be bankrupt...financially not just morally

I'm so glad that IT has been outed for it's ongoing partisanship

i will never, ever buy a copy and one day perhaps we should start boycotting their biggest advertisers...that's gonna hurt!

Anonymous said...

Time to set up a facebook page? Clearly you have a lot of friends!

Great to see that you have goaded the Oz into a full frontal attack. Do keep on writing.

To change the subject, have you seen TWTWB? I know it is a teen flick and corney in parts but I was blown away. Very out of the box for an Australian movie.

Tosca said...

Dear Grog I hope that you have been buoyed up by the support that you have received today.

Please keep on blogging the way that you have been doing. Your style and opinions are refreshing and well informed.

James Massola and his ilk would be better to try to EMULATE you rather than trying to IMMOLATE you.

Anonymous said...

The banality of evil, eh? How truly adolescent and peevish our 'national' newspaper has become. We are creeping away from democracy and silencing the voices of opposition in any way possible.

Congratulations on getting under their skin - they know you matter, so like everyone else I really hope you keep on blogging.

dandelion said...

Amazing that Massola felt a need to out you! It would have better for him to ask you if he could. At least you would have some idea why he wanted to do such a thing. Might I ask you how you think your bog became noticed by the press? Rather did you do anything special that you would attribute your sudden rise in readership to?
Thanks,
Cathy

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg, how do you make time for all that important work that you're being paid for by the taxpayer? You must really be superman or perhaps you ought to be on the next round of furloughs when the Libs get back into power.

Anonymous said...

Just adding my voice. Shame on The Australian. I hope you can keep up the good work! I read you from the USA where I am currently living. -- George.

Anonymous said...

The OO isn't interested in improving the standard of its political coverage. They know very well that if they impartially compared the polices of the major parties the Liberals wouldn't stand a chance of winning.

That's why we get biased coverage and shallow sensationalist tripe from the Opposition Oracle and their echoes at the ABC.

Tim said...

Hi Grog,

The reality is that the Australian were feeling a bit threatened by your film reviews.

I also think you cutting pieces on the AFL ladder were imposing too much on their turf.

Anyway, good to see your level headed response. Oh and at least you get to watch a winning team with the yankees, unlike those underachieving Crows.

Please keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Grog, just another note of support - I trust you'll keep blogging once the dust settles.

Best of luck,

Kymbos.

Catalyst said...

Actually The Australian gave you heaps of free publicity and for anyone sick of their virulent proaganda - an alternative, which makes sense.

I have not commented a lot but so often when I read your comments - I think why didn.t the MSM ask that? Query that? Can it be they did not think it, or that they were not allowed to? Or do they think we are all so trivial that we fall for their drivel?

Anonymous said...

stop whingeing and do some work for once...you public servant, you!

Storm said...

They outed you because you scared them. You are one of the people online who are very unbiased and tell the truth... something Abbott and his friends can't handle, and the truth hurts them.

You will have no problem continuing this blog. I don't care who you are, I just love your honesty and intelligence.

Private Citizen said...

Nothing you have done has voided your right to privacy. If anyone interferes with you because of the article or the blog let us know. It is about time we taught some of the self appointed arbiters a lesson in the freedom of political expression. Australia is a nation of public servants. We have the need and the the right to participate. We may have to take a few of them to the federal court.

private citizen said...

Support Grog from 9 to 5 ! Dont visit a news.com.au website during normal business hours (9am -5pm). That way you cant be cant be outed for bludging on the bosses time. Of course, that will mean you wont be able to comment on any of News Ltd. highly researched, and unbiased, articles *gag*. News' comments are often closed within hours of any article being posted.

DailyMagnet said...

Oh no - Massola's created a terrible image of the media - we're not all like that Grog! His actions were very "tabloid" and he has no idea of the number of unpaid hours of dedication it takes to run a blog(I assume) and that he has just tried to assassinate free speech and debate in its truest form. That Mark Scott was the catalyst for this, is not something I think the head of Aunty would be keen to have publicized.

The mainstream media generally have a huge amount of antipathy for the blogosphere and independent media who they see as a threat to their jobs. The industry is seeing so many journos made redundant and circulations on a downward spiral.

At the moment, if they thought it'd lead, they'd kick you down the stairs.

Private Citizen said...

The Australian has just published another story "Journalist threatened over Twitter outing". It is like watching an episode of Mike Moore's Frontline, they have even found some out of context quotes from experts to justify their original publication. The Australian does that a lot nowadays. Who needs ethics if you have experts?

Anonymous said...

Now thanks to The Australian you'll be getting more than 1000 hits a day.

Gotta love free advertising!

Andrea said...

Please don't stop blogging. I moved back here a year ago from America, and although there is a great deal I don't miss about that country, the political online blogging is far superior there. I was thrilled when I discovered your blog just before the election, as I despaired of most of the coverage I was reading, particularly in the mainstream media.

James said...

Senator Conroy made a pertinent remark last night on QandA about your outing. It was the Australian that led a campaign against the SA Government proposal to stop anonymous blogging during elections. He correctly calls out News Corp's hypocrisy about your unmasking.

Nigel said...

Outing you has let me know about your blog. I hope you can keep doing it, but my guess is the government will stop you because neither side can bear criticism. Meanwhile, till they silence you, I've put a link in my blog to yours. You'll be getting even more visits.

NormanK said...

Grog
I'll add to the chorus of your readers in praising your efforts. I came to your site from a link at The Political Sword and I think I can safely speak for a large number of people over there who appreciate what you contribute to all of us. Your take on Question Time is compulsory reading. I hope the gutless actions of the Murdoch Press do not have any serious impact on your family or your job.
Let's hope that this is a watershed moment and marks the rise and rise of sensible bloggers such as yourself.
All the best in whatever you decide to do.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Grog

Thought you might get a laugh out of this.
http://www.youtube.com/user/FILMAUSTRALIA?feature=mhum#p/u/0/DTGF2RdYsKk

Check the name of the Newspaper !!

From one humble PS to another.

Doug said...

Note the anonymous editorial writer in today's Australian - - pompously denying Grog's right to anonymity. Intentional irony?

Anonymous said...

Please, please keep this blog going - we need people like you to help us understand this messy world.

Kevin Rennie said...

Greg

A rose by any other name.

Keep up the great work. The blogosphere needs you! Keep writng pieces that I'd be glad to put my signature to.

Anonymous said...

Shit I just signed on as Anonymous, am I in trouble now?

Tez said...

Go grog - The Australian was an insult to professional Journalism throughout the campaign, and it continues to act in that vein. Nobody has actually told them that the election is over.(One last point- How come no one has made an issue of the fact that Julie Bishop is not married and has no children?)

Anonymous said...

Grog? Greg? I thought you were The Stig.

Radguy said...

You're a star Grog! I am very interested in public servant opinions, as the PS is the front line.

I think this is an own goal, or more accurately; hari kiri on the part of the OO. Blog publicity undermines newspaper sales.

Don't worry about your job, the forces of PB and your followers are right behind you.

Paul Hodgson said...

Grog: I DO hope you either keep on blogging or that someone like Fairfax employs you on a juicy salary and gives you free rein. I'd renew my sub to the SMH if they fired Gerard Henderson or Paul Sheehan and employed you instead.

You've been a consistent beacon of good sense and my every best wish to you and your family.

Paul Hodgson

Caen said...

Like so many others have done, I wish to add my voice of appreciation for your coverage of the election and hope that you continue blogging.

ibabalone said...

Thank you James Massola for the great public service you have done us all. By exposing Grog's identity, you have introduced me to one of the ever growing number of great blogs from which I get the vast majority of my news and opinion.

I am forever in your debt for saving me from the sorry state of the traditional media model you work within including:

- blatantly politicized news underpinned by skewed and selective reporting in which opinion masquerades as "facts"

- editorials in which shrill moralizing has supplanted well-informed, reasoned, balanced debate

- a journalistic vision of "news" that has become so narrow, parochial and lacking in international content and a wider perspective, it borders on xenophobia.

The many wonderful blogs I continue to find (including Grog's) offer news and opinion of genuine import (and for free!). Rarely is a good blog sullied with tales of Paris Hilton's latest arrest, Charlie Sheen's domestic problems and other gossip that rightly belongs on Entertainment Tonight. And even more rarely will a good blog insult my intelligence by suggesting such pap is suitable material for the "national news".

Of course I realize that bloggers are not journalists and that the information on blogs is not subject to those high professional standards the traditional media is so proud of. I'm regularly reminded of the significance journalists attach to fact-checking and accuracy. Why just today I was reminded of it when a blog very helpfully informed me that the story reported yesterday by many major news outlets claiming the UN had appointed an alien affairs ambassador, was complete bunkum.

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/09/27/reports-that-un-is-a.html

That Massola's story is of crucial public interest is put beyond doubt by the revelation that this shadowy Grog/Greg character's role in the APS has something to do with........film. The ONA? Defence? Treasury? Pffft! Every Canberra insider knows the most damaging leaks always have something to with the Arts. Who knows what highly sensitive information Grog might have unleashed on an unsuspecting public but for James Massola's intrepid reporting, his dedication to the public's right to know and his fearlessness in the face of such a serious threat to national security, .

So thanks again James Massola for reminding me why the work of you and so many of your colleagues becomes less and less important to me by the day. Thank you for the selfless generosity you have shown by introducing me to a blog I can add to the others I already read because they do your job so much better than you. And thank you for the extraordinary amount of free advertising you have given Grog's blog. It is both a triumph for him and an hysterically funny demonstration of how sad, tragic and just plain dumb the traditional media has become.

Vale James! Remember, there is no such thing as failure, there is only low aim! So keep up the good work.

PS If the powers-that-be should be silly enough to make life difficult for you Grog, I think you should ask yourself if you're not wasted on the public service.

ibabalone said...

Thank you James Massola for the great public service you have done us all. By exposing Grog's identity, you have introduced me to one of the ever growing number of great blogs from which I get the vast majority of my news and opinion.

I am forever in your debt for saving me from the sorry state of the traditional media model you work for.

The many wonderful blogs I continue to find (including Grog's) offer news and opinion of genuine import (and for free!). Rarely does a good blog pass off Paris Hilton's latest arrest, Charlie Sheen's domestic problems and other pap as material suitable for the "national news".

Of course bloggers are not bound by professional journalistic standards and I'm regularly reminded of the significance journalists attach to fact-checking and accuracy. Why just today I was reminded of it when a blog very helpfully informed me that the story reported yesterday by many major news outlets claiming the UN had appointed an alien affairs ambassador, was complete bunkum.

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/09/27/reports-that-un-is-a.html

As for the revelation that the shadowy Grog's/Greg's role in the APS has something to do with........film. The ONA? Defence? Treasury? Pffft! Who knows what highly sensitive information Grog might have unleashed on an unsuspecting public but for James Massola's intrepid reporting, his dedication to the public's right to know and his fearlessness in the face of such a serious threat to national security, .

So thanks again James Massola for reminding me why the work of you and so many of your colleagues becomes less and less important to me by the day. Thank you for your selfless generosity by introducing me to a blog I can add to the others I already read because they do your job so much better than you. And thank you for the extraordinary amount of free advertising you have given Grog's blog. It is both a triumph for him and an hysterically funny demonstration of how sad, tragic and just plain dumb the traditional media has become.

Vale James!

PS If the powers-that-be should be silly enough to make life difficult for you Grog, I think you should ask yourself if you're not wasted on the public service.

ibabalone said...

Thank you James Massola for the great public service you have done us all. By exposing Grog's identity, you have introduced me to one of the ever growing number of great blogs from which I get the vast majority of my news and opinion.

I am forever in your debt for saving me from the sorry state of the traditional media model you work for.

The many wonderful blogs I continue to find (including Grog's) offer news and opinion of genuine import (and for free!). Rarely does a good blog pass off Paris Hilton's latest arrest, Charlie Sheen's domestic problems and other pap as material suitable for the "national news".

Of course bloggers are not bound by professional journalistic standards and I'm regularly reminded of the significance journalists attach to fact-checking and accuracy. Why just today I was reminded of it when a blog very helpfully informed me that the story reported yesterday by many major news outlets claiming the UN had appointed an alien affairs ambassador, was complete bunkum.

So thanks again James Massola for reminding me why the work of you and so many of your colleagues becomes less and less important to me by the day. Thank you for your selfless generosity by introducing me to a blog I can add to the others I already read because they do your job so much better than you. And thank you for the extraordinary amount of free advertising you have given Grog's blog. It is both a triumph for him and an hysterically funny demonstration of how sad, tragic and just plain dumb the traditional media has become.

PS If the powers-that-be should be silly enough to make life difficult for you Grog, I think you should ask yourself if you're not wasted on the public service.

Anonymous said...

Grog
Don't let the 00 bully-boys silence you,judging by the encouragement and support that you have been shown here and at other sites eg Crikey and The Drum you have more friends than you realised.I hope you can keep up the good work.

Gabby said...

please, please, please keep blogging! I tuned in to your blog around the time of the insulation so-called "debacle" and never left. Your analysis was sanity making and made sense. Your cut throat review of the media's role in the election and of the policy and communication failures of both major parties was insightful and on target. A joy to read what I should have been reading in the mainstream and have missed. Lead on Grog!

L said...

You must have hit pretty close to the mark to get them all riled up like that. Good work! Don't stop now that you're famous!

Grog's Grommet said...

You should resign due to this conflict of interest. We need impartial people in the Public Service.

Anonymous said...

I hope your not offended if I say I don't give a rat's arse about any of this. Just keep blogging about everything you have been blogging about - politics, films, football, anything. I read and enjoy every post.

Big Cuz said...

hope you'll be back soon Grog. In the mean time have you considered launching a merchandise range? If so put me down for a Grog's Gamut Mug and a "I’m Grog’s Gamut!" T-shirt

Political Tarot said...

Hi Grog,

Thank you for your posts. I am disgusted with the behaviour of 'The Australian', throughout the election campaign, following the decision of the independents and now with this. I have referred to your work a couple of times when writing my own blog (linking to it of course!), and I have always found your work to be highly detailed, informative and relevant.

This is especially true of your post on the reports into the BER, which indicated that it was far, far removed from the disaster that
'The Australian' reported.

For the most part, News Limited are a biased, blatantly right-wing promoting disgrace and I hope that this incident brings this attention of the general public.

Rojo said...

It's about time more people knew about your excellent Blog. I hope this #grogate affair gets more people reading your work. It's a pity that the all the talented journalists in the MSM, cannot write similar thought provoking articles when it matters. Keep up the good work. P.S. I'll have the same shirt as Big Cuz please.

Anonymous said...

Cuppa says:

Mr John Menadue is a former executive at News Ltd. So he knows the way it works as well as anyone.

He described the influence of the Australian on the coverage of the election as "pernicious". He describes the paper as a Mad Hatter's Tea Party for its extremeness and partisanship.

He has also taken aim at the ABC for mimicking the Australian and for running triviality and beat-ups. He is disappointed and extremely annoyed with the ABC.

Mr Menadue is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of the media during the recent election. We should all drop him a line to add our voices to his call.

Listen to the ABC interview with John Menadue by downloading this .mp3 audio file:

http://blogs.abc.net.au/files/john-menadue-interview.mp3

Next, please contact him to express support for a Parliamentary Inquiry. We wouldn't be at Grog's blog right now if the need for action on the media weren't so apparent.

John Menadue
Director
Centre for Policy Development
PO Box K3
Haymarket NSW 1240

papier et encre said...

I was at Media140 and loved your pre-ogranised 'who's Grogs' moment.

Good article by Dave Goukroger on the lack of understanding by journos in this whole ridiculous business. http://bit.ly/bCaEOv

On the bright side, I'm sure there are many more people who want to hear what you have to say now. :)

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the reason the Australian outed you comes down to nothing more than the fact that theyd ont like good competition in the market for news, opinions and ideas.

They should get over it. They have been offering a substandard narrow product for years along with the rest of Murdochs stable of nags.

private citizen said...

The Australian, cum NW, has turned this into cynical episode of flamebaiting with no less than 5articles today. Couldnt tell you the content of the articles I am refusing to look at the news.com.au sites but I glanced the headlines before leaving home.

Mikey_Capital said...

I think the Oz is pathetic. Actually it's been pathetic since inception - a throw back to the 19th century partisan yellow scream sheets, but they are threatened by blogs because it's passionate articulate (for the most part) people writing for free and having an influence and they hate it because it undermines them.

As for their assertion public service bloggers need to be outed - utter bollocks.

I blog anonymously and I am a public servant. Why do I do it anon? Because my employment conditions prohibit media engagement without approval and this counts as that. If I am anonymous and my employer is not disclosed then I am not in violation.

Essentially then The Australian set out to harm you financially and put you in a bad stead with your employer.

Why? Because they're vindictive petty minded media thugs of the worst kind. The Daily Telegraph with a veneer of culture.

Otto Marasco American Interests said...

See, you don't need one of those fancy wordpress blogs tp gain cred in the blog game...Well done!

Anonymous said...

Hey Grog, don't give the SOB the satisfaction and keep on blogging.

Love your work.

private citizen said...

If the OZ outs bloggers and twitterers, does that mean we can be nominated for the Walkleys awards? The Australian thinks we are more influential than their stable of journos.

poptoo said...

Grog mate, you don't happen to be a member of the SCG? The way the Trust treats its members is a disgrace and for a blogger the topic is virgin soil pregnant with possibilities and worthy of your talents.

Anonymous said...

Another vote of support from another appreciative reader. Keep going and don't let the Aus stop you. Your analyses are sane even though your biases sometimes show through. But that's opinion, right?! What I appreciate is that you don't over-egg your position, you just try to say it as you see it. That's honesty in my book.

Armagny said...

Disgusted. Massola's name will not be forgotten. What an unethical tool.

Cthulhu said...

Good luck mate, I hope you keep it up.

Your article critiquing election coverage was fantastic, and it seems others agree.

Stick with it!

Anonymous said...

Massola is a grub. He knew you were at the conference and could've had the discussion face-to-face about 'outing' you.

This seems typical of his modus operandi - as a public servant, I've had peripheral dealings with him and he always threatens to write a bad/skewed story so he can get information. When he doesn't get what he wants he names the public servant who has had to deliver the 'standard bureaucratic response'....nice standard of journalism there (not).

He's also obviously jealous that you are held in such high regard by ABC management and journos like Oakes. He can only dream about that.

Steve said...

I check your blog most days, and enjoy your commentary, although this is the first comment that I have left. The main reason for this comment is to encourage you to continue to write this blog.

Anonymous said...

Grog!

I have been a long time reader of your blog and have always found your posts to be insightful and thought provoking.

I say keep up the good work

Mexi

Marcus said...

Does this mean Jack the Insider will now be signing his full name on his blog posts? Or is the Australian quietly trying to tell us that their blogs do not influence anything beyond the tearoom?

Mikey_Capital said...

By the way I found this hilarious

"The prolific blogger shows a strong preference for the ALP, despite the Public Service code of conduct stating that "the APS is apolitical, performing its functions in an impartial and professional manner".

Seriously. The code of conduct. Do they not understand we're allowed to have our own opinions? Just not let them influence our day to day job? Of course they do. They're just being evil and trying to get you into trouble.

Sad, laughable, and deeply, deeply pathetic. I wonder when they were in journo school they thought they'd end up like this?

But as Obama recently pointed out in his Rolling Stone interview in regards to fox, the golden age of balanced journalist is but a twinkle in the history of the media. For the most part partisan agenda setting was the norm. All Murdoch has done is used a successful media model and damn any impact this has on broader society. Such as, you know, Bush winning in 2000.

Jayne LP said...

Wow, loved your in depth analysis of the situation from your perspective. I love that you give quotes and differentiate using colour etc - making this as black and white as it can possibly be!! Almost making fun of the situation - maybe more than almost!
I think it is a joke that your identity became known - I personally think the more appropriate headline would be - WOW, not all people involved in Government are narrow-minded and professional spin-doctors. Although, not nearly as catchy.
Its great that an APS staff member can see both sides of the medias version of politics, and it is reassuring to know that the Governments employees are smart and have their own opinions. It sucks that you were forced to write this blog entry, but thanks so much for doing so.

Anonymous said...

Its through this kerfuffle,beginning with the election campaign's droll commentary, that I have begun to read your blog. Feeling intellectually starved by journalistic monotony I went looking, and found your blog. Thank you and please keep writing. Its a joy to read thoughtful, evidence based analysis,(as opposed to endless hyperbole or 'outrage' rubbish).

Private Citizen said...

Aussie bloggers forced to balance anonymity with influence
Media group faces both ways on the issue
By Jane Fae Ozimek
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/29/australia_blog_anonymity/

PossumTwo said...

Please do not allow those small-minded hacks who outed you to scare you off sharing your sensible (and much appreciated) comments and analysis. We need people like you who can puncture pomposity, see thru spin and give us some depth of thought (especially when compared with the shallow, stagnant pool that is the general media scrum).

Please come back - I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!

Ann of Brisbane said...

Am a fairly recent devotee to your writing but I'm feeling withdrawal symptoms too - it just shows how the MSM does not satisfy our wish for considered writing/broadcasting.
It is worrying tho to think that all of this (and it is more than a 'kerfuffle') is impinging on your private life and professional life. I truly hope your employment/ability to make a living is not under threat.
From the tenor of these comments people will be pleased if you write on innocuous topics even if you have to leave politics alone, but what a loss.....

Anonymous said...

Come back Grog!

Introspection said...

I hope you continue writing. I find your ideas honest, intelligent and refreshing. Ironically, it was through Massoulas' 'expose' that I discovered your blog.

Alistair Baillieu-McEwan said...

Well, well, well, Grog - This is a nice kettle of fish we've all been landed in, isn't it? The furore keeps going whilst the upper echelon at The Australian are wringing their hands wondering how they can save face (and readers).
It is laughable that some are pointing out that Public Servants ought not hold political opinions, nor publish them whether by the written word or orally.
I well remember the days of the Howard Government when they were in deep doodoo over some of their morally questionable actions and they would trot out a public servant to support their political spin, whether it was an Admiral in the case of the children overboard, or a senior public servant in respect of whether they had prior knowledge of the imminent sinking of the Siev X.
Some things never change and the double-standards of the Murdoch stable and it's fellow travellers in radio and elsewhere are still being laid out loud and clear.
It gives me great pleasure that you are now receiving posts from people who were not aware of this great site until The Australian decided to publish it's attack. We are all still waiting for the naming of ALL their "anonymous sources" and the contributors to Cut & Paste - even the various contributors to it's Editorial column shouldn't be excluded
Keep on plugging.

emjar said...

Grog-where are you?? What's happening to you? Come back-we need you!!!

Fran said...

I regard the time as long overdue for a political campaign against the OO (aka The Australian). This arrogant swaggering component of the Murdochracy is a living, breathing insult to good public policy. Far from articulating critiques of public policy, it is now openly subversive both of evidence-based analysis and established usages of cultural life in this country such as the right to privacy.

Their publications have also infected the ABC, whose lazy and witless journalists take the latest talking points from the OO as if it were the News and frame discussion accordingly. News Ltd is not merely a media organisation.

It's a virus that is causing a chronic illness in public culture. A little while back, it declared that The Greens were hypocrites who were bad for this country and should be destroyed at the ballot box. Those of us who support good public policy should respond that the OO are hypocrites who should be destroyed in the marketplace.

Not paying for their tatty sub-intellectual rag (and its equally ugly sister The Telegraph) is not going to do the job. No self-respecting person I know buys this stuff and in any event, the cover price barely pays for delivery, let alone production. We must keep in mind that however it may appear, readers are not their customers. Readers are their audience, i.e. their product, which they market to the customers that keep them afloat -- advertisers. If we wish to hurt News Ltd, we must convince advertisers that that sections of the audience that they pay good money to access online and in print are being prejudiced by their support of News Ltd publications -- that such support damages their standing.

We have, after all, laws in this country restraining people from giving financial support to or profiting from criminal activity. It is illegal to coerce members of
parliament, judges, juries and public officials to secure favourable treatment. It's very clear that this is what the OO and its related set of replicating viruses do. Advertisers in these publications are in practice behaving just like someone funding the contamination of a watercourse, or facilitating the spread of a serious
disease or the blackmail of public officials.

We should make this plain to companies like Vodaphone and the ANZ Bank, whose ads sit alongside screeching editorials defending the outing of GrogsGamut author Greg Jericho, and beside Terry McCrann insisting that Marius Kloppers is bent on destroying the company he runs by advocating a carbon price.

It is fair to say that we are few in number, and so we must direct our energies so as to maximise the impact. We don't yet have the resources to work effectively against all supporters of News Ltd. Therefore, I would urge those who are repelled by the activities of News Ltd to target these two companies, ANZ and Vodaphone with letters explaining why you mean to implicate them as responsible for the decline in the quality of public debate in this country and as thus commercially unsupportable.

I'd be very interested if those who make progress on this let me know via my Twitter ID (fran_b__ ) where I will retweet useful actions and progress. I am starting a new hashtag there to coordinate searches for this campaign, the string for which is #pwnNewsLtd so please include this in any Twitter feed.

Best ...

Fran said...

I regard the time as long overdue for a political campaign against the OO (aka The Australian). This arrogant swaggering component of the Murdochracy is a living, breathing insult to good public policy. Far from articulating critiques of public policy, it is now openly subversive both of evidence-based analysis and established usages of cultural life in this country such as the right to privacy.

Their publications have also infected the ABC, whose lazy and witless journalists take the latest talking points from the OO as if it were the News and frame discussion accordingly. News Ltd is not merely a media organisation.

It's a virus that is causing a chronic illness in public culture. A little while back, it declared that The Greens were hypocrites who were bad for this country and should be destroyed at the ballot box. Those of us who support good public policy should respond that the OO are hypocrites who should be destroyed in the marketplace.

Not paying for their tatty sub-intellectual rag (and its equally ugly sister The Telegraph) is not going to do the job. No self-respecting person I know buys this stuff and in any event, the cover price barely pays for delivery, let alone production. We must keep in mind that however it may appear, readers are not their customers. Readers are their audience, i.e. their product, which they market to the customers that keep them afloat -- advertisers. If we wish to hurt News Ltd, we must convince advertisers that that sections of the audience that they pay good money to access online and in print are being prejudiced by their support of News Ltd publications -- that such support damages their standing.

We have, after all, laws in this country restraining people from giving financial support to or profiting from criminal activity. It is illegal to coerce members of
parliament, judges, juries and public officials to secure favourable treatment. It's very clear that this is what the OO and its related set of replicating viruses do. Advertisers in these publications are in practice behaving just like someone funding the contamination of a watercourse, or facilitating the spread of a serious
disease or the blackmail of public officials.

We should make this plain to companies like Vodaphone and the ANZ Bank, whose ads sit alongside screeching editorials defending the outing of GrogsGamut author Greg Jericho, and beside Terry McCrann insisting that Marius Kloppers is bent on destroying the company he runs by advocating a carbon price.

It is fair to say that we are few in number, and so we must direct our energies so as to maximise the impact. We don't yet have the resources to work effectively against all supporters of News Ltd. Therefore, I would urge those who are repelled by the activities of News Ltd to target these two companies, ANZ and Vodaphone with letters explaining why you mean to implicate them as responsible for the decline in the quality of public debate in this country and as thus commercially unsupportable.

I'd be very interested if those who make progress on this let me know via my Twitter ID (fran_b__ ) where I will retweet useful actions and progress. I am starting a new hashtag there to coordinate searches for this campaign, the string for which is #pwnNewsLtd so please include this in any Twitter feed.

Best ...

Maria said...

Mind you, just curious - your last name is very unusual. What is its origin/background?
(Don't bother if you don't want to, not being nosy, just like the history of interesting names.)

EliRabett said...

Eli recommends publishing Mr. Massola's email adress, telephone number and address.

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