Media Analysis

Victorian mainstream media very mad about Dan Andrews — stark raving mad

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

Any sense of ethics and sanity has disappeared from the mainstream media in its attempt to discredit Premier Dan Andrews prior to the Victorian State Election. David Donovan examines this lunacy.

IT TURNS OUT the mainstream media in Victoria has gone completely mad.

Don’t get me wrong, they were pretty awful before, but something is going on there that has turned them from simply being malevolent and reactionary into drooling, jibbering maniacs.

Of course, when I say something is going on there, you understand I am being intentionally coy. Because we all know exactly what is going on there.

What’s going on is the so-called “popular press” really, really, really does not like Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews at all, and there is a State Election in Victoria on Saturday (26 November 2022), and Labor are still well ahead in the polls, and well… it just makes them so mad!

Completely stark raving mad, it appears.

It is all about the "character" of Andrews, as milquetoast ABC News Breakfast host Michael Rowland parroted from a Herald Sun editorial he had probably just skimmed that morning, which they no doubt took verbatim from a Liberal Party set of talking points.

Because that’s how it works in this country. Don’t worry that the Opposition Leader, Matthew “Mafia” Guy, is deeply implicated in a number of scandals and is closely associated with various organised crime figures, it is Andrews who has character questions to answer, apparently. It’s enough to make you go crazy if you let it.

Being Independent Australia readers, you are clearly a cut above the average in terms of intelligence, savoir-faire and good looks, so you are not going to go nuts like Victoria’s relic media. And because of that, I am also not going to waste your time explaining all the endless insanities we have witnessed in this Victorian Election campaign. You will most likely have been following them all yourself.

But for those few who haven’t been keeping up-to-date in this comically misreported Election, here are just a select few of our favourite mad mainstream media moments.

Well, there was the case of the cyclist who was hit by a car driven by Andrews. Catherine Andrews, that is, Dan Andrews’ wife. The evil Dan was in the car, though, and so perhaps he was goading his wife to run down the 15-year-old cyclist. The evil bastard! 

When did this incident occur, you might well ask? 2013. Has it just come to light? No, it was thoroughly scandalised by the papers in every election since. Have the police and other authorities properly investigated the matter? Of course, they have. It is clear the Andrews’ were simply involved in a serious and distressing motor vehicle accident for which they were in no way to blame. In fact, you would have to be quite mad to try to use this tired old incident to sap the support of this widely popular Premier.

Another incident involves the following set of stairs:

(Screenshot via YouTube)

That small flight of stairs was the one Daniel Andrews fell down in March 2021, suffering such catastrophic injuries his wife Cath thought he was going to die. He suffered compression of the T7 vertebra and five broken ribs, and spent seven months convalescing, before being able to come back to work.

Now, some may think that such an injury might be cause for sympathy, but not in Victorian media circles. Not only was it blown into a weird conspiracy theory last year, but it re-emerged as a front-page story again in this State Election, in the Herald Sun earlier this month, along with a double-page inside spread. Why, is not clear. Anyone would think, given the column and pictorial inches wasted on these stairs that Andrews had just ended a torrid affair with them, leading to this homely fixture tripping him up as he went down them. It’s all rather absurd.

Speaking of absurd, our last example involves tiresome 3AW shock joke, Neil Mitchell, who doesn’t even bother trying to make any sense anymore. He hates Andrews and the Labor Party with old-man curmudgeonly ferocity. Mitchell was particularly cranky earlier this month in an interview with Victorian Ambulance Union boss Danny Hill.

In this interview, Mitchell belittled, scolded and spoke over the union boss at every opportunity, eventually leading an exasperated Hill to make a tongue-in-cheek apology to Mitchell for interrupting his questions with some answers.

Attempting to discredit Hill as a Labor Party stooge, grumpy old Mitchell at one stage asked Hill which party’s policies he preferred. Hill said the union was in support of Labor’s policies and listed some of them, before pointing out problems with previous Liberal Government policies.

“All I'm criticising here,” harrumphed Mitchell,“is you having a go at the Opposition by going back to something [from] eight years ago or more. Who's got the better current policy?”

“Well, I haven't seen an ambulance policy from the Opposition,” protested Hill.

To which the old fool replied: “Well, then, how can you judge?”

Checkmate!

Most polls suggest the Andrews’ Labor Government will be re-elected this Saturday, with the two-party-preferred vote consistently hovering around a commanding 54-46 lead. If that happens, as seems likely, where does that leave Victoria’s mad mainstream media? Will they decide to start reporting the news again, rather than attempting to influence the electorate to vote for their preferred side of politics? Or will their heads just explode?

It will be fascinating to watch and, either way, is a win for Victorian media-consumer fans of democracy everywhere.

Roll on, Saturday.

Follow IA founder David G Donovan on Twitter @davrosz. Also, follow Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus, on Facebook HERE and on Instagram HERE.

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