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Murdoch mass media madness

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The Governor General of Australia seems to be fair game for the Murdoch tabloids—Barry Everingham wonders if there’s a hidden agenda lurking somewhere.

In the Sunday Telegraph today, Samanatha Maiden went overboard after finding out the cost of flowers at Government House, Yarralumla in the ACT have cost around $800 a week since Ms Quentin Bryce became Governor General.

Quentin Bryce being presented with a bouquet of flowers on Wattle Day


Needless to say, the implication drawn by the paper is that the Governor General herself goes shopping and maybe even does the flower arrangements.

The story is a typical beat-up and a disgrace. The Governor General is Australia’s first citizen and represents all Australians. Her official residence is taxpayer funded—as it should be. She entertains every official visitor who comes here – royalty, heads of state, heads of government – the whole box and dice.

She is one of Australia’s most distinguished daughters and has scooped the pool in top jobs: Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Equal Rights Commissioner, Lecturer and Tutor at Queensland University’s Law School, Governor of Queensland—the list goes on and on.

Of course the cost of flowers is minimal compared to the millions of dollars it cost to keep John and Janette Howard in Kirribilli House while The Lodge was staffed and maintained and used spasmodically. Will there be a FOI request for those costings?

The Governor General was pilloried in a cowardly way by the Murdoch press for making an official visit to several African counties – like the Queen, the woman she represents - she does what the government of the day tells her to do. If the Murdoch story beaters don’t know that, they shouldn’t be opining about it, and if they do they should bloody well be ashamed of themselves. They must know protocol denies her any right of reply to their outrageous allegations.

Needless to say, Andrew Bolt in the Melbourne Sunday tabloid was displaying his bias on his blog and winding up his anonymous western suburbs constituency to their usual standard of agreement with anything he writes—it’s fair to wonder if majority of them would even know the name of Governor General.

Bolt was being uncharacteristically reticent on a certain matter this morning and I can’t get my head around that one—I guess all that will come out in the wash one day, but for him to be silent means something is going on…

The Sydney Morning Herald’s crack columnist, Mike Carlton, refers to Bolt as “Melbourne’s village idiot”—a description I would never use to describe him. In fact, he writes brilliantly—it’s just that his thinking is so skewered.

And on that subject, Guy Rundle has a devastating must-read piece in the current issue of The Monthly.

Guy Rundle


Rundle takes Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck apart, accusing the latter – the most egregious Fox shock commentator of making, on more than 200 occasions, comparisons of Obama to Hitler and the Nazis (watch out Cory Bernardi, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison).

Beck’s comments got up the nostrils of many Jews and others: Rundle reports by December last year even Abraham Foxman, the conservative head of the Anti-Defamation League, had had enough— joining 400 rabbis in a petition to Fox News president, political street fighter Roger Ailes, expressing their disgust at Beck’s shtick. It fell on deaf ears, but only Ailess’. Bill Kristol told Beck to shut up and Newt Gingrich told Sarah Palin to “think before speaking”.

Rundle again:
By mid-2010 it was clear Palin was turning into as much a problem as an asset for the Republican Party continuing to flirt with questions about Obama’s birth certificate.

The Gifford’s shootings seem to be turning things around.

Rundle says Jared Lee Loughner’s madness latched easily on to the myth of the Tea Partiers, drawing in their obsessions about the god standard – without it money was “unreal” – and the unconstitutionality of the federal government.

“His violent madness,” Rundle writes, “did not of itself invalidate those beliefs per se, but it was difficult for conservatives to explain how someone who had acted on all the various memes of Tea Party-esque conservatism, was, by definition, criminally insane.

Rundle finishes with a warning our own shock jocks could well heed:
Fox News has pitched a big tent, hoping it would contain the circus it had started. But the clowns have spilled out of the Jalopy and it may be that Rupert’s creation will be what guarantees Obama a victory in 2012.
 
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