Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

Call him Cowardy Fuckwit Bush – he’s threatening to bomb old friends.
October 24, 2007

America made sure Saddam Hussien hung for his murder of Iraq’s Kurds, so what should happen to Bush if he bombs – as he’s threatening – the Kurds who are disturbing the Turks?

It’s a case of the good guys – although we know the Turks aren’t so good, laughing at Australians who go to Gallpolli each year to remember their defeat at the hands of the Turks – imitating the deeds of a murderer. The Turks have already bombed Kurdish villagers – two days ago.

Now Bush is saying, we’ll bomb them for you, so you don’t have to enter Iraq and confuse matters to another layer. Of course they’ve given these Kurds a label: the PKK, an alleged terrorist group. Who wouldn’t be a terrorist if you and your people had been bombed since the second world war, pretty regularly? Churchill bombed them first because they didn’t like the way their land had been divided, and became violent. Since then the Turks have been frightened they may attempt to take their land back from Turkey, and so bomb them out of fear. They want to do to them what they did to the Armenians a hundred years ago: tried to wipe the race out and killed a million or so.

What do we call Bush submitting to blackmail by the Turks? I thought he always said America wouldn’t give into blackmail threats and he’s preparing to after only three days. Remember also how America promised the Kurds that if they attacked Saddam Hussien they would receive support from America. They did; and they didn’t. Maybe fuckwit wouldn’t be out of order. A cowardy custard fuckwit?

Saddam Hussien gassed the Kurds. The result was death, as will be the result of the Turkish and American bombing. Of course civilians will be killed for Americans have never bombed anybody without killing civilians – collateral damage remember?

Canberra journalists self-censor
October 22, 2007

Now we have the sight of Canberra journalists self-censoring in no uncertain way (See previous story, Rupert Murdoch’s John Hartigan….).The National Press Club has shown us the real culture of the media with their closing down on freedom of speech over the worm. It is now clear that those journalists working for Canberra’s media bureaus are adhering to what they imagined are the wishes of their contacts. It used to be the first instinct of any journalist to begin to rail against the first sign of brow beating by politicians. Now the journalists do their own brow beating. I guess it’s because the National Press Club has become an imposing institution. For what? For pretending they are as important as those on whom they reported. Guys, you used to be more important

I was a press secretary to a dpm in the seventies and when that individual rang proprietors to stop a major story (against my fervent advice) the memories of the senior journalists who had been by-passed were honed, and the moment he stepped out of line they destroyed him. Rightly so.

Towards the end of my time it used to be that peer group leaders were subtley manipulated so they would take their acolytes along with them. During the next Labor government those peer leaders were rewarded handsomely.

Rupert Murdoch’s Hartigan forgot about self-censorship
October 22, 2007

One of Rupert Murdoch’s chief execs, John Hartigan, spoke well at The National Press Club (covered by ABC television on Sunday night)and fooled most people into thinking his boss never interferred with editorial direction. He outlined how he had never been given editorial direction and therefore it didn’t exist. He hasn’t understood the concept of self-censorship. Having worked with most news organisations in Australia, except Murdoch, I know that even ABC television lets you know the attitude you should take to a story or a personality. I remember overstepping the mark on asking Premier Bolte whether he would have a royal commission into a train wreck on the Sydney line. From memory half a dozen people were killed but the shots were spectacular and if it hadn’t been for a crop duster pilot who ran along the length of the train smashing windows with an axe there would have been many more deaths. I was reprimanded for chasing that , and for being insolent to the Premier. Another journo asked me what in the hell did I think I was doing? There was to be no criticism of the incumbent government in News. I left the ABC newsroom soon after. So, if you don’t adhere to the subtle messages you are given a lecture on how to approach a certain kind of story.

In my day on The Age and GTV news we knew that we were not to cover anti-Vietnam demonstrations more than a few pars, and would have been quite within the right attitude if they weren’t covered at all. Jim Cairns was a total no no for Graham Perkin on The Age and if he was forced to use a story that emanated from Jim he would use an old photograph taken when Jim had severe hayfever. There were other shots of Jim but the photo ed knew the one Perkin liked. When I became Jim’s press secretary during his time as deputy prime minister I asked an Age journalist to destroy the photograph. Subsequently it went missing.

My own experience with Murdoch and his culture was when I was replaced at the Review by Richard Walsh (he halved the circulation in three weeks) and it was suggested I ring The Australian for a job.I did and it was suggested that they needed a senior journalist to investigate Victorian politicians. They flew me to Sydney for an interview. I understood I had the senior position and was to start on Monday. Turning up at The Australian officers in Melbourne I discovered I had been alloted a dog show to cover. I queried the assignment. No, that was my task that day. I was told I had a junior grading, less than I had had several jobs before working for Gordon Barton. I left and flew to Canada the following week. I started at The Tortonto Telegram at a respectable salary.

I really dislike having to explain mysef with too many personal experiences but I have to add that The Sunday Observer knocked the Melbourne circulation of Murdoch’s Mirror, and The Sunday Telegraph, for six. I guess that’s the reason I was treated like that. I know when I left The Age’s pathetic Newsday for The Sunday Observer I was told by Newsday’s deputy editor, John Stevens that If I went I’d never get another job in Australian journalism (it was a friendly warning not a threat) so he knew there was a proprietors’ attitude with which you had to contend.