GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 657

20 October 2023

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  • ISRAEL ACCUSED ON RN BREAKFAST OF GENOCIDE

Media Watch Dog invariably watches the “Newspapers” segment on ABC TV’s News Breakfast each (workday) morning.  Primarily because it provides such great copy for Ellie’s (male) co-owner.  If only for the fact that, like the rest of prominent ABC programs, the segment is a conservative free zone and throws up lots of left-wing opinions.

Indeed, you have to go back to a time when Moses was a boy to find a commentator from a conservative or libertarian think tank like the Institute of Public Affairs, the Centre for Independent Studies, the Menzies Centre, the Robert Menzies Institute and so on, on the News Breakfast newspapers segment.  But representatives from such leftist organisations as The Australia Institute invariably get a run along with journalists from The Guardian Australia.  Plus, on occasions, Lizzie O’Shea from the left-wing Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

On Friday 20 October, News Breakfast  co-presenter Lisa Millar introduced Lizzie O’Shea as a “lawyer and chair of Digital Rights Watch”. Fair enough. But no mention was made of the fact that Ms O’Shea is a principal at the Melbourne-based Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.  The firm is named after Maurice Blackburn, a one-time Labor Party MP who was kicked out of the ALP in 1941 for being too close to the communist Soviet Union.

Let’s go to the transcript when Ms O’Shea comments on the war in the Middle East following Hamas’ murderous invasion of Southern Israel and Israel’s retaliation:

Lisa Millar: Let’s go to this story from New South Wales, coming out of the Sydney Morning Herald. It’s on the front page. Labor MPs split over what we’re seeing in the Middle East. Talk us through what you’ve been reading this morning.

Lizzie O’Shea: Yeah, so we’ve seen this in the last day or so, that a couple of federal Labor MPs, but also at a state level, are starting to speak out against the [Albanese Government’s] stated position which is – generally it’s been to be showing support for Israel, and not really commenting on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. And I think that probably reflects what a lot of people in the community are seeing, as well. They’re very concerned about the genocide, really, that’s unfolding and the failure of political leaders to speak out against it. So, that’s causing a rift. The union movement, as well, has put out a statement that I think is pretty impressive, really.

So there you have it. Lizzie O’Shea accused the national Israeli government of waging genocide with respect to Gaza without providing any evidence that Israel is deliberately targeting civilians – the definition of genocide.  Lisa Millar and her co-presenter Michael Rowland just let this most serious allegation go unchallenged.

So the Maurice Blackburn lawyer soon returned to the scene of the wilful exaggeration:

Michael Rowland: I found it very instructive, the union movement statement, which, as you say, goes through, chapter and verse, its concerns. But calling on directly the prime minister to take a tougher line against Israel.

Lizzie O’Shea: Indeed, and there’s also a group, Parliamentary Friends of Palestine, which was much more muted, which I think is kind of telling. So, you know, there’s been a very strong campaign among the public, who are, I think gravely concerned. You know, one of the things you hope in a liberal democracy is that you don’t see these kinds of genocides happen under the watch of the Australian government. And I think that a lot of people are pretty concerned about that, running a very strong campaign to get –

Lisa Millar: [interjecting] And –

Lizzie O’Shea: – leaders to act.

Lisa Millar: – I have to say, because there are people who will immediately jump on your use of the word “genocide”, that the Israelis will say that they are defending themselves against a devastating act that occurred almost two weeks ago now….

It was only when the left-wing lawyer suggested that the Albanese Labor government might be somehow accepting of Israel’s (alleged) genocide that Lisa Millar pushed back.  Michael Rowland expressed no concern whatsoever at O’Shea’s word usage.

Eventually Lizzie O’Shea referred to Hamas’ “terrorist attacks” on Israel and made a somewhat belated reference to “anti-semitic attacks”.

The program’s Newspapers segment is intended to provide for a discussion of what is in the newspapers.  But Ms O’Shea led off by using the taxpayer funded public broadcaster to attack one party to a conflict with reference to an allegation that was not in the paper under discussion – and to ignore the fact that Hamas commenced the hostilities to which Israel has responded.

That’s the reality of the conservative free zone that is the ABC.


  • JONATHAN GREEN, BONGE, TROY BRAMSTON, MARK KENNY & MURPHAROO THROW THE SWITCH TO “POOR FELLOW MY COUNTRY” MODE

As Media Watch Dog readers are aware, Ellie’s (male) co-owner is not in the business of telling readers who or which cause they should vote for, or against.  And Hendo is certainly not in the business of “educating” (read “learning”) the good people of Australia about this or that. However, MWD is interested in how the media reported, or commented on, the referendum campaign on the Voice and the resultant 39 per cent Yes vote plus the 61 per cent No vote.

In The Australian plus such papers as The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun along with Sky News – there was genuine debate among journalists and paid contributors.  Sure, “No” supporters outnumbered “Yes” advocates on prominent News Corp media outlets. But the “Yes” case was promulgated by the likes of Chris Kenny, Joe Hildebrand and Troy Bramston.  However, there was not one “No” advocate among the presenters or paid contributors on any prominent ABC programs.

The failure of leading ABC journalists to understand the “No” case was evident in some of the reactions when ABC types realised that the “Yes” cause was heading to failure.  A few examples illustrate the point:

It was Hangover Time on Saturday 14 October – the morning of the constitutional referendum. Ellie’s (male) co-owner staggered to his feet at dawn and turned on his computer – only to find this since-deleted post on X (formerly Twitter) by Jonathan (“Proudly the ABC’s sneerer-in-chief”) Green.

It would seem that Comrade Green anticipated the defeat of the “Yes” case – which became evident by around 6.30 pm Australia Eastern Daylight Time:

Jonathan Green ‪@GreenJ

F_ck Australia. I mean seriously. What the f_ck. How can you say no?

14/10/2023, 6:19 am

Clearly your man Green – who presents Blueprint for Living (or it is Blueprint for Lemon Tarts?) – has little time for the judgment of a clear majority of the Australian voting public.

MWD recalls attempting to wade through Xavier Herbert’s 1,500 page tome Poor Fellow My Country which was published in 1975. Barry Humphries called it “Poor Fellow My Reader” – for good reason.  BTW, the height-challenged Hendo used to take all 1,500 pages of Poor Fellow My Country to the Outer at the Essendon Football Ground and stand on it for a better view.

 

But MWD digresses – once again.  Over the past half-century, your man Herbert’s alienated term has become something of a cliché.   Certainly, it was thrown into use when it became evident that the “Yes” cause was going to or had gone down. Let’s hear from The [Boring] Saturday Paper’s Paul Bongiorno, and The Australian’s Troy Bramston:

Thank you Troy. Thank you Bonge.  And, needless to say, thank you Comrade Xavier Herbert (1901-1984).

Then there was Mark (“Please call me Professor and don’t talk about my  lack of publications”) Kenny who had this to say:

How about that?  In a mere 17 words, the learned Australian National University professor said that he did not know – but also that he did know – “my country”.

Then Katharine (“Malcolm calls me Murpharoo” ) Murphy had this to say on the morning after the night before defeat:

[That’s enough, surely.  Perhaps it’s time to raise the question: Can You Bear It? – MWD Editor.]

  • PATRICIA KARVELAS THROWS THE SWITCH TO GRUMPY WHEN THE “NO” CASE SAID NO TO HER HAVING CANAPÉS WITH GINA

Meanwhile, the ABC’s Patricia (“Everyone calls me PK” ) Karvelas’ alienation did not focus solely on the 39 to 61 scoreboard – but, rather, on the fact that she was not invited to the “No” knees-up at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane:

No wonder PK seemed, well, grumpy on the night but also in the morning.  Not only did she have to report the “No” victory speeches for the ABC – but she didn’t get a chance to talk to Australia’s richest woman who apparently was enjoying canapés somewhere in the building.  Shucks.  Perhaps PK should file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission or some such.  Can You Bear It?

  • COMRADE PK ON THE (ALLEGEDLY) UNEDUCATED WHO (ALLEGEDLY) DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT GOVERNMENT

While on the topic of PK, she certainly made a splash in the media this week – both on the Voice referendum and the Hamas/Israel war.

On 16 October, ABC political reporter Dana Morse, who identifies as Indigenous, joined Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly and PK on the ABC’s The Party Room podcast. It was one of those oh-so-familiar taxpayer broadcaster’s get-togethers where essentially everyone agrees with essentially everyone on essentially everything and a fine ideological time is had by all.  All three, for example, indicated that they were “Yes” supporters.

Ellie’s (male) co-owner recalls an American conservative saying half a century ago that he would prefer to be governed by the first one hundred names in the Manhattan phone book than by the faculty at Harvard Law School.  Comrade Karvelas takes a different view – to her, education equates with wisdom and good judgment.

Let’s go to the transcript and hear what PK has to say in a long response to a friendly comment from Comrade Kelly:

Seat by seat, booth by booth, the Yes vote, if you look at it, has been achieved in places where voters have a bachelor’s degree. Or, have better than average wages Fran – right?  Now, this goes to the No campaign and also the right-wing of politics – their narrative of the “insiders” and the “outsiders”. You have the elites and the non-elites.

I think there’s a bigger story to tell here, though, about education. And where you find educated people who know – if you’ve got a bachelor’s degree, chances are you know something about government, our structures, you’ve taken an interest in the kind of way these things happen. Not because you’re better, but just because you’ve got the opportunity to have done that.

Just to be clear, like, I’m not judging people’s achievements [i.e. bachelor degree holders] It’s just you’ve been able to find out lots of information that perhaps has led you to come to a different conclusion. And so this huge chasm – because it is [huge] –  in our electorate, is a big one…. Where people have been educated, they’ve come to different conclusions.

And then you get a whole swathe of people working very hard – can I say, and probably having very little time to focus on reading constitutions, or proposals or, and making pretty quick on the hop decisions. Where I do think quick social media campaigns probably have had a big impact, that sort of consumption. And so I think that is the bigger part of the demographic story. And the Yes campaign didn’t get to those people. It didn’t get to the people in casual employment with three jobs. Clearly those people have not had that kind of access to that information.

How elitist can a Melbourne-based, sandalista, inner-city leftist get?  Clearly, Comrade Karvelas belongs to the intellectually authoritarian leftists in our midst who believe that everyone will agree with them if only they can “learn” the teeming uneducated masses.

But here’s the problem.  If PK’s “Let’s educate the masses, comrades” tactic is correct – then how can she explain the high 62 per cent “Yes” vote in the same-sex marriage postal ballot? Ellie’s (male) co-owner knows many a graduate with three university degrees whom he would not trust to walk Ellie around the block.  PK reckons that it is only the educated people “who know something of government”.

How does this explain the highly successful former prime minister Paul Keating who left school at Year 10 and never acquired a bachelor’s degree? But who knew more about government than most BAs. Which raises the question:  Can You Bear It?

[MWD’s Editor’s Note on PK & Israel:  I note that in her long (15-minute) Radio National interview with Teal Independent Zoe Daniel on 18 October, Comrade Karvelas said this with respect to what is now known to be the explosion at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City:

Patricia Karvelas:  The World Health Organisation says the hospital was on the list of evacuation sites provided by the Israeli military.  Does Israel’s right to defend itself extend to bombing hospitals?

Zoe Daniel: No, it doesn’t…

The ABC Radio National presenter provided no evidence whatsoever to support her implication that Israel regards the right to self-defence as extending to deliberately “bombing hospitals”.  As far as I can work out, Ms Karvelas has not corrected this totally false claim. – MWD Editor.]


MWD EXCLUSIVE

  • HENDO’S REAL DOG ELLIE WRITES ABOUT WHAT ALBO’S NON-DOG TOTO WROTE IN THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

These days, Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald seems so desperate to fill its opinion pages that it recently commissioned Toto Albanese – who identifies as Australia’s First Dog – to write a column on 6 October. It turned out that Toto engaged a ghostwriter – former ABC TV 7.30 executive producer, Deborah Fleming, who presents as a rescue greyhound owner.

Media Watch Dog asked rescue blue heeler Ellie (B Catastrophe Studies) to write a brief column commenting on Toto’s column. Here is what she had to say:

I read Toto Albanese’s piece in The Sydney Morning Herald. My (male) co-owner always places my food on the SMH so there was no option.

Having read what Toto wrote in the SMH, I came away with this question. What is Albo’s choice in canines? In my view, a non-dog dog. That’s what I call cavoodles. By this I mean that the breed that comes from breeding in-bred cavaliers with in-bred poodles. And out come cavoodles.

What did poodles ever do to advance the canine breed? Except to suck up to the emperors of Europe. Gough Whitlam once reported that a poodle passed wind in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. Or was it an equally useless non-dog corgi?

As for cavaliers – well, remember what happened to Charles I. His dogs did not even try to save him from that creep Cromwell. As for the useless poodles – they used to be working dogs, but now spend most of their days at the hairdresser.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese once declared that he decided to enter politics in order to fight Tories. And now he pretends to play cricket at the Tory-friendly Kirribilli House on Sydney Harbour (a gentleman’s game – give or take a Warner or a Warnie) and uses Toto as his runner between wickets. That’s a funny way to fight Tories, don’t you think?

My cousins Luke and Leia are Jack Russell/foxy types. They are trained to catch real rats. My other cousin Missy is a kelpie, trained to herd sheep. And me and my predecessors Nancy and Jackie are/were working dogs – if cattle happen to be around the place. If not, we round up unfriendly-looking visitors/potential thieves.

At least Ms Fleming’s greyhound grew up chasing lures (ie pretend rabbits) around tracks. But cavoodles, what use are they? Except to fill the SMH’s Opinion Page on a quiet Friday when the editor is in need of a non-dog dog to write about dogs. As my (male) co-owner is wont to say – Can You Bear It?


Media Fool Of The Week

  • IN WHICH RED-HEADED FITZ THINKS IT’S A YOU-BEAUT IDEA TO BAN BUSINESSES & PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATIONS FROM ENTERING PARLIAMENT HOUSE

Lotsa thanks for the avid Kalgoorlie reader who drew attention to the exchange on X (formerly Twitter) involving Nine’s Sun Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons (aka The Red Bandannaed One) and someone else:

Turn it up.  Your man Fitz reckons that it “might be an act of political genius” if the Albanese Labor government removed access to Parliament by the “Mining Council, the Pharmacy Guild, the lot” – presumably because they opposed the “Yes” vote in the 14 October referendum on The Voice.

But did they?  Moreover, is there such an entity as the “Mining Council”?  As to the Pharmacy Guild, did it take a view on The Voice?  MWD has no evidence of this.

Your man Farquhar’s rant – which Comrade Fitz described as a work of genius – overlooks the fact that many of Australia’s mining companies supported the “Yes” case – as did the Australian Medical Association and other professional organisations.

If large businesses and professional organisations had a vote for their members in the referendum – then “Yes” would have prevailed convincingly.  Yet the Red Bandannaed One reckons that life would be better if the representatives of certain businesses and professional organisations were permanently banned from even entering Parliament House.

Peter FitzSimons:  Media Fool of the Week.

Peter FitzSimons as MWD readers like to remember him – having worn a red rag on his head for over a decade


  • THE AXIS IGNORES THE WARNINGS ON A SHODDY AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE POLL

The Australia Institute presents as an independent think tank. But avid MWD readers will be aware its purpose appears to be to create policy papers supportive of the sorts of policies embraced by the Greens and the Labor left. Unsurprisingly these policy pronouncements often receive a friendly outing from the ABC and/or The Guardian.

On Thursday 19 October, the ABC’s favourite institute sent out a media release proclaiming “Overwhelming support for truth in political advertising laws following referendum”. It seems that, in the days following the Voice referendum, The Australia Institute conducted a poll supposedly designed to measure voter sentiment on Indigenous affairs and misinformation.

The poll was immediately given a friendly write-up by The Guardian’s chief political correspondent Paul Karp. And, in a stunning coincidence, The Australia Institute’s deputy director Ebony Bennett just so happened to be booked to appear on ABC TV’s News Breakfast that very morning to discuss the news of the day. And one of the news stories discussed on the News Breakfast couch just happened to be The Guardian’s uncritical coverage of the poll. The Guardian/ABC/Australia Institute Axis in full effect. Here is how the discussion went:

Lisa Millar: Can we turn to this story in The Guardian? Which involves a survey that your own institute, The Australia Institute, did. I’ve got to say it is probably a not surprising result that nine in ten Australians would like to outlaw lies in political advertising.

Ebony Bennett: Yeah, so this is a big boost to Labor’s plans to introduce truth in political advertising laws. Which they’ve foreshadowed already. But we conducted an exit poll of around 1,500 voters in the wake of the referendum. And what we asked them was, would they back truth in political advertising laws, and almost nine in ten would do that. I think, importantly, it’s backed by both Yes and No voters and across the political spectrum. But we also saw a majority of people were concerned about the level of lies and disinformation that featured during that referendum campaign. And I think it’s really important that these kinds of laws are brought in ahead of the next election and as part of the suite of electoral reforms that the government and the parliament will soon be considering.

Michael Rowland: Here’s hoping.

The discussion then moved on without any pushback from the hosts. So, it would seem this poll is powerful evidence for widespread support for truth in advertising laws, with no reason at all to doubt its validity. At least according to the journos at The Guardian or the ABC. However, not all were so confident in the poll, here is the assessment of Tasmanian psephologist (polling and election expert) Kevin Bonham:

It seems Dr Bonham believes the Australia Institute poll falls under the category of a “poll-shaped object”, that is, something which resembles, but is not quite, a scientific poll. Specifically, his complaint is that respondents were asked a series of other questions before being asked whether they supported truth in advertising laws. These included questions about misleading ads and social media misinformation during the referendum campaign, which could potentially bias the respondent’s later answers.

Indeed, buried within the detailed results of the poll is the following warning: “Preceding questions in the poll are expected to have influenced the results of some of the questions published here”. But this warning did not make it into The Australia Institute’s media release, or The Guardian’s article, or the News Breakfast discussion. It was also missed by Independent MP Zali Steggall, a supporter of truth in advertising laws, who was spruiking the poll on X/Twitter.

It would seem members of the Guardian/ABC/Australia Institute Axis are highly concerned about misinformation, except when it comes to shoddy polls being passed around to support left-wing causes.


  • COMRADES JANE CARO & DEE MADIGAN EXHIBIT LIMITED VOCABULARIES

The other day, the blue cattle dog Ellie (Bachelor of Catastrophe Studies at The Canberra Bubble Institute who is a junk professor at the same esteemed centre of learning) asked her (male) co-owner: “What do you call a person in the media, with a limited vocabulary?  His answer was: “Jane Caro”.  The reference was to this post put on X at Post-Dinner Drinks Time on 18 October:

How about that?  With all the available words in the Oxford Dictionary,  the fave word usage of Ms Jane Caro is a four-letter word beginning with “f”.   Comrade Jane likes to boast that she had a wonderful education. But, alas, it appears that she learnt the Queen’s English – or was it the King’s English? – in a school without a thesaurus.

Comrade Caro is not the only Australian leftist to fit the bill, it would appear.  As readers of today’s hugely popular Can You Bear It? segment will be aware, the ABC’s Jonathan Green used the “f” word on two occasions in a 13-word post to explain his position on the Voice referendum of recent memory.

And then this is what MWD fave and committed leftist Dee Madigan had to say by the way of a post after she left the ABC studio in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Southbank following her appearance on Q+A last Monday:

Now, Comrade Caro is always carrying on about how she enjoyed a great education in a government school in the Old Dart or something like that. And Comrade Madigan is always banging on about how she attended Loreto Mandeville Hall when it was run by the Loreto Sisters, a Catholic order of nuns.  In those days it identified as a “Ladies College” – but no longer it seems.  By the way, Madigan has told us all that her father was a Catholic priest.

Despite all that Caesar and God could provide Ms Caro and Ms Madigan respectively – they still have a vocabulary that is over-dependent on the “f” word.

MWD has a solution to widen this duo’s word usage.  It’s off to Nancy’s courtesy classes for youse both.


OUTSIDE INSIDERS

As avid readers are well aware, a certain William (Bill) Thompson – a Melburnian who identifies as the ABC’s Southbank Correspondent – set up the “Outside Insiders” video segment some years ago.  This is a print edition of the Bill Thompson initiative to report on the ABC TV Insiders program from the outside.  Mr Thompson remains in situ in Melbourne but Insiders has fled Melbourne for the (media) safety of the Canberra Bubble and, consequently, has been loosed from the troublesome Mr Thompson. [Maybe that’s why Insiders junked Melbourne – just a thought. – MWD Editor]

  • DUTTON ANTAGONISTS AS INSIDERS PANELLISTS – STARRING NINE’S NIKI SAVVA, THE GUARDIAN’S KATHARINE MURPHY, NINE’S SEAN KELLY, PLUS LAURA TINGLE OF THE ABC + NINE’S AFR

It is a little-known fact that it is ABC executive producers – not presenters – who are primarily responsible for choosing panels for such programs as Insiders, The Drum, Q+A and so on.

It turns out that, in recent times, Samuel Clark, Insiders executive producer, has assembled a formidable array of strident critics of Opposition leader Peter Dutton and the Coalition for the program’s panels. However, there are no strident critics of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Labor government on the Insiders’ couch.  Let’s have a look at what some of the regular Insiders’ panellists had to say in recent times.

  • Interviewed by Leigh Sales on her recent book Story Tellers (Scribner, 2023), Niki Savva – columnist for Nine’s The Age and Sydney Morning Herald – declared that she always tries to make her column “different”. This will surprise some readers who recall that Comrade Savva has a habit of regularly attacking the Liberal Party leader (provided it’s not Malcolm Turnbull) and the Coalition.

In her Nine column on 19 October, Niki Savva had this to say about the constitutional referendum:

In the aftermath [of the referendum], Peter Dutton has shown scant remorse for the harm that might have been inflicted on Indigenous people or on the body politic by the lies and the racist themes by some No supporters. On Saturday night, Dutton declared it a “good day for Australia” and anyway, whatever harm was inflicted was not his fault, it was Albanese’s. In the fine tradition of former prime minister Tony Abbott – a key figure in Advance Australia – he kept his foot on his opponent’s throat.

Get it?  Comrade Savva regards Peter Dutton in much the same way as she regarded Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison. Ms Savva even quoted one (anonymous) Labor cabinet minister against the Liberal Party leader:

One cabinet minister who has watched Dutton closely, observed that he appeared to have difficulty dealing with assertive women.

Quelle Surprise!  An Age/SMH “exclusive” it would seem – in which Comrade Savva’s scoop reveals the view of one Labor cabinet minister who does not like the Liberal Party leader.

  • This is how The Guardian Australia advertised its political editor Katharine Murphy’s column in its paper on Sunday 15 October:

Enough said.

 

  • Then on 16 October, in his Age/SMH column, Sean Kelly wrote:

Perhaps the most telling moment of the entire campaign came early, when Peter Dutton said the Coalition would hold a referendum on recognition alone: “We went to the last election and a number of elections before that with that as our policy and that will be our policy going into the next election as well.”

A policy that has been on the books for years but never delivered: is there a greater symbol of the hollowness at the heart of the supposed goodwill of Australians towards Indigenous people? We want to help, we say, just tell us how! Oh, that’s not a good option. No, not that either. Your people are dying, you say? Let’s wait a while.

Comrade Kelly believes that Peter Dutton is willing to “wait a while” while Indigenous Australians die.  Really.  Who would have thought someone who worked on the staff of two former Labor prime ministers would say such a thing about a Liberal Party leader.

 

  • And then there is the 7.30 political editor and Australian Financial Review columnist Laura Tingle. This is how she concluded 7.30’s coverage of the referendum in a (friendly) chat with presenter Sarah Ferguson. The date was Thursday 12 October:

Laura Tingle:  …I don’t think it’s necessarily going to do any good for Peter Dutton if the No case wins, in the long term. But if it does, I think the political implications is that it will, it will fire up the conservatives to think that this is the way you run politics. And I think that’s a really deeply disturbing sign for the country. It’s a further push into this idea that you just attack, you just tear down, and that you have nothing positive to say about virtually anything.

So, La Tingle declared before the referendum that No advocate Peter Dutton would be a loser whether or not the No case prevailed.  If Yes won, Dutton lost.  And if No won, Dutton also lost.  Moreover, someone who Niki Savva describes as “the ABC’s most senior journalist” declared that it would be a “deeply disturbing sign for the country” if Peter Dutton was involved in a victory for No.

So, there you have it.  Four Dutton antagonists – all with a seat on the Insiders’  couch.

  • INSIDERS 15 OCTOBER – ANOTHER DISCUSSION BUT NO DEBATE

Insiders on 15 October was more of the same.  Meaning boring – in that the panellists David Crowe (Nine), Isabella Higgins (ABC) and John Paul Janke (SBS, NITV) essentially agreed with each other on essentially everything.  The two topics were the Voice (it took a full 60 minutes) plus a discussion on the Hamas/Israel War – which took much of the remaining 30 minutes of the extended program, during which Adam Harvey (ABC) replaced John Paul Janke. In the interviewee slots, David Speers interviewed Health Minister Mark Butler (a Yes supporter) plus Liberal Party backbencher Julian Leeser (a Liberal “Yes” supporter).  No Coalition politician who was in the No camp got a guernsey.

Messers Speers and Crowe gave the impression that they were in the Yes camp – and the Indigenous journalists Higgins and Janke were for Yes.  No other view was heard – from either the conservative or (so-called) progressive “No” advocates.

Groan.  It was as dull as that.  A bit like church on Sunday in bygone days when there was only one truth.  But that was the panel that Comrade Clark determined that we had to have.


YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS

“You Must Remember This” is based on the chorus line in the song As Time Goes By which was popularised by the film Casablanca. It is devoted to reminding the usual suspects of what they and/or those they supported once wrote or said or did.

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As avid readers know, Media Watch Dog upholds the saying that it’s unwise to make predictions – especially about the future. So it should come as no surprise that MWD kept some predictions about the Voice referendum. As it turned out, only the commentary that foresaw a Yes vote and a No defeat fit in this “You Must Remember This” segment.

Here are some false prophets in action. More will follow in future issues. Here we go:

PAUL BONGIORNO

By midweek it was obvious that Dutton wasn’t looking for a way to reconnect with the broader electorate, which is clearly what is needed. On the very morning Newspoll published a consolidated survey over three months of majority voter support across a majority of states for a constitutional Voice to Parliament, the Liberals spurned its findings.”

(The Saturday Paper, Voice exposes Dutton’s desperation, 8/4/23)

DAVID CROWE

“The opposition leader has seen no dividend from his decisions to fight hard on the Indigenous Voice…”

“The approach is certainly keeping Dutton and his colleagues in touch with their base – by pointing their aircraft towards the ground and hitting the accelerator…the recovery only comes if the Liberals and their leader wake up to political reality. The numbers are in: it is almost a year since the election and voters are shunning Dutton and his party. Nothing he has done so far has won them back. The only rational response is to change course. Otherwise, the ground awaits.”

(SMH, Dutton’s one-note Voice strategy puts Liberals in a spiral, 19/4/23)

BARRIE CASSIDY

BARRIE CASSIDY & PETER FITZSIMONS

PETER FITZSIMONS

 

PETER HARTCHER

The Liberal Party’s decision to say No to the Voice turned out to be about much more. It turned out to be a big signal to voters about the character of the Liberal Party itself. And they didn’t like it.

(SMH, The Liberal Party is dying and Dutton can’t even diagnose the disease, 22/4/23)

PHILLIP ADAMS

PATRICIA KARVELAS

NIKI SAVVA

“It would be peak arrogance for the Coalition to insist on a No vote, in the face of such overwhelming support for Yes from religious, business, ethnic, sporting and community groups.”

(SMH, ‘Dutton risks being blamed if the Voice fails or deemed irrelevant if it succeeds’, 2/3/23)

PAUL KARP

[Jacinta] Price may speak for some Indigenous people who feel the voice will make little practical difference, but public opinion polling and the consensus in the Uluru statement from the heart would suggest this is a minority view.

By deriding those who disagree with her as the “Aboriginal industry”, Price is hardly the model of good faith that opponents of the voice, including Dutton, say must be a feature of the debate.

(The Guardian, Jacinta Price’s promotion is a win for the Nationals as Dutton goes all-in on blocking the Indigenous voice, 18/4/23)

SIMON HOLMES A COURT

Actual result in Wannon as of 20 October 2023

Yes: 31.21% No: 68.79%

KOS SAMARAS

 

 

That’s all for now folks – with more to come.

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Until next time

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