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Media not free according to Jeremy Sear

the media should call truth to power, but not the Labor-Greens minority government*

Jeremy Sear reckons the Australian print media is not free because – wait for it – it is owned by shareholders:

The thing that strikes me as most absurd about it is that we don’t have a free press now. Does anyone really believe that journalists working for News Ltd are free agents, able to hold anyone to account, regardless of their commercial links with their employer, or their employer’s political view on a subject? Or those at Fairfax? Newspapers are owned by billionaires – and corporate shareholders whose stake is built on, for example, the superannuation of ordinary Australians, but where the interests of the board who make the decisions are quite distinct from those of those whose money they control. Can anyone seriously deny that the newspapers with the biggest reach push the interests of the establishment?

Presumably then the left-leaning ABC is the only free major media out there. No shareholders there!

It’d be lovely if we did have a genuinely free press to defend, but we don’t. They don’t call truth to power – they call power to truth.

Not true. In fact, one of Jeremy major gripes with the News Ltd papers is that he thinks they have been far too critical of the Labor-Greens federal government. Jeremy is fine with scrutiny of his beloved Greens – as long as that scrutiny is not highly critical of them.

If the public discourse is so dependent on being honestly informed of the facts, then why shouldn’t there be some standards to which these powerful organs of news be held?

The laws of defamation do protect individuals and organisations from attacks on their reputations based on untrue or unprovable assertions. Meanwhile no one can seriously deny that governments and political parties are able to defend themselves against criticisms. Governments in particular have influence over the Press Gallery, an army of spin doctors and access to taxpayers money in order to “inform” the voters.

 This blog has already highlighted how Jeremy uses such weasel words and motherhood statements in order to promote and yet conceal the Green’s sinister agenda of licensing print media and imposing tough controls on their freedom. It appears that he’s at it again.

Moreover, it does not appear to have occurred to Jeremy that private media organisations need to give their readers what they want and are driven by that requirement precisely because they are accountable to shareholders and exist to make a profit. They cannot satisfy readers by actively protecting the interests of the rich and powerful.

Shame Jeremy.

* quotation marks removed from this caption because of implicit threats of litigation from Jeremy Sear  (Iain)

Treating the story in an even-handed manner

There has been a little side drama going on in Australian politics with Labor  trying to seduce a little known Liberal backbencher into taking the deputy speaker’s job in the house. The price for that position seems to have been that the chap in question would not vote against Gillard on   supply and confidence. Of course it would have been a terrible betrayal of those who had elected him and fortunately the leader of the opposition was able to convince him of the folly of taking the job under those terms. What is really amusing to me is the way that this is being depicted in the press.

The Australian gives us a rather even handed report.

Fairfax's Brisbane times goes with the very partisan headline claiming that Tony Abbott intimidated Alex Somalay

As does the SMH

The Age was a little more even handed in their headline , but I suspect that this is because they were just a little more intrested in the tied AFL Grand final because the story was tucked away in the National affairs section of their web page the copy of the piece was the same however.

The remit of any political leader is to lead so I see no reason at all to think that a leader pulling an errant member back into line when they are flirting with what can only be decribed as a substantial betrayal of the party to the forces of darkness, is anything other than a right and proper example of good shepherding of the party.

Joe Hockey was of course  invoking the ghost of the much despised (by the Labor  Party) Mal Coulston on the TV yesterday and that is in fact a very apt example of the boot being on the other foot  because had the proposed deal stood it would have made the parliamentary task of the Gillard Government just a tad easier which is something no member of the coalition should even think of  doing.

Gillard wanted to govern under the present paradigm (sorry 🙄 ) so instaed of whining about the fact that it will be tough having to govern with only a one seat majority she and her colleges should just knuckle down and keep the discipline that theses numbers require.

Cheers Comrades

PS did anyone notice that Gillard cursed the AFL grand final at the breakfast event yesterday by daring to suggest that any result would be fine as long as it wasn’t a draw???

So the Gods of inflated leather have taken revenge upon the faithful for this example political hubris in the most holy event on their  liturgical calendar by delivering precisely what Gillard was in jest suggesting….

as the axiom says be careful what you wish for…

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