These days the pretence of fair play is all but gone. The default position of the Opposition is to smear and traduce anyone who has the temerity to disagree with them or express any sympathy with a government policy. One wonders what Joyce would have said if Blanchett’s name was Gina Hancock. You suspect her free enterprise spirit and entrepreneurial flair would have been proclaimed loudly and long.
The dumbed-down populism of the tabloid press is nothing new but it has about it now a vehemence and viciousness that can still surprise, especially in its casual, off-hand dismissal of an Australian citizen’s right to speak her mind.
The really big lie is how they’re using slanted language to mislead a less than careful reader to believe that the pro-carbon-price ad was made by the government using taxpayer money, when it fact it was made by a coalition of environmental lobby groups using funds raised from private donations.
Notice too how all the tabloid venom is for the patrician-looking Blanchett. Ocker actor Michael Caton also appeared in that ad, so did previous liberal leaders Malcolm Fraser and John Hewson and a brace of sporting stars: they’re hardly being even mentioned. It’s all about framing Blanchett in some demanding diva role instead of the truth of her being just one member of an ensemble cast of volunteers giving their time freely.
As pointed out by Tom Arup in today’s SMH:
The justification for the story was the community outrage Blanchett had sparked for her views. Pretty incredible that outrage, particularly given it manifested itself hours before the ads even appeared.
”I did it because I think Australia can make a difference,” Caton said. ”We were the first to give women the vote, we were the first to come up with the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, we developed the cochlear ear implant, but we’ve been becoming timid. And look what happened. Cate Blanchett appears in an ad and gets her head kicked for being a rich bitch.
“Can I be ironic? Cate Blanchett is in favour of the carbon tax because she is rich, Malcolm Turnbull is in favour of an emissions trading scheme because he is rich, Kevin Rudd is in favour of one because he has a rich wife – it’s a conspiracy. Apparently rich people aren’t entitled to express a view unless they are billionaires complaining about a mining tax.”
Can’t have uppity womenfolk free-ranging those opinions now, can we? Not unless they’re managing a billion dollar mining inheritance, then it’s just fine for them to be wealthy and opinionated.