Satire Opinion

Mainstream media steering us clear of the bigger issues

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

The mainstream media has become an increasingly unreliable source of news that really matters, writes John Longhurst.

BAZZA SIPPED his schooner and scrolled his iPad for news.

He was in earshot of various conversations and tuned into the debate about the overhyped NRL launch in the USA.

There was a pause as Know-All Ron cleared his throat and pontificated about Sam Kerr being charged with “racially aggravated assault” in London.

Ron’s audience shook their heads and his chest swelled before he concluded:

“Her actions have completely undermined the launch of the National Rugby League season.”

Bazza tuned out before the corrections cut in.

To his right, a conversation about a ute tax raged but was cut short when the pub wag stated:

Fair enough if it is used for a purpose, but in most cases, particularly in the city, the biggest challenge these monstrous utes such as Rams face is the speed humps at the supermarket car park. Anyhow, these emissions standards are not a ute tax and are the norm overseas. We are just dragging the chain, once again, on anything to do with climate change. But, rest assured, I am pretty certain Peter Dutton will trounce it anyway, with a policy on nuclear-powered utes.

Bazza grinned, took a decent sip and looked up at the television news. Property prices, hospital waiting times, a minor earthquake in the Blue Mountains and the ongoing contest to take the USA to a November retirement home had the newsreader punctuating – and occasionally editing – each story with his eyebrows.

Bazza gritted his teeth and shook his head.

Above the din, Bazza could overhear Mick lead a discussion with a large group of patrons on the whereabouts of Catherine, Princess of Wales. The fact that four international picture agencies had issued “kill notices” of a family photo released by Kensington Palace for UK Mother’s Day prompted furious debate and much “tut-tutting”.

Conspiracy theories from a possible kidnapping by Russian President Vladimir Putin to her being under lock and key in the Tower of London stoked the conversation to fever pitch.

Mick took a decent sip and raised his voice to restore order:

“Let’s just keep an eye on things for the moment. Without doubt, it is the biggest news story doing the rounds at this time, but let’s just hope and pray that things work out for the Royal Family. They are facing problems on a number of fronts with the King’s recent cancer diagnosis and a wayward son off living in California.”

Murmurs of agreement.

Bazza half smiled, took a generous sip of his schooner and searched the internet on his iPad for some time before landing on the fact that 30,000 people killed in the war on Gaza now matched the 30,000 people killed in the war in Ukraine.

He searched in vain for a corresponding news story. 

John Longhurst is a former industrial advocate and political adviser. He currently works as an English and History teacher on the South Coast of NSW.

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