Media Circus: personality politics edition

Yeah, I know that’s generally how the MSM coverage falls out most of the time, but it’s ratcheted up a few notches in recent weeks, hasn’t it? PM Gillard’s smackdown of Abbott in Question Time went viral while our parliamentary press gallery went ‘meh’, the US presidential campaigns are getting down deep into the mud-throwing while pontificating about women and just not mentioning climate change etc

As I retweeted last night:

What are you looking forward to this week?

As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis elsewhere, on any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).

Categories: media, parties and factions, Politics, social justice

Tags: , , ,

18 replies

  1. The male politicians in Australia seem to have been quite careful not to say hardly anything at all about women so far this week, but Mitt Romney has given us Gee thanks, Mittens.

  2. I understand that Romney was basically looking for a cookie for doing the absolute minimum necessary to act decently, but I’m not sure I understand why “binders full of women” has become a meme. It seemed to make internal sense, even if it was basically “I’m not a bigot, really!”
    Anyone mind helping?

  3. It’s just a ridiculously objectifying way of describing the binders full of CVs belonging to highly qualified women, I reckon.
    Also, he massaged the facts – an independent organisation put the binders of CVs together as their own initiative, and sent them to governors etc. It wasn’t done on his orders at all, he just took the credit for work done by others.
    In other news, xkcd has some commentary on the electoral race-calling BS.

  4. TT, feel free to cut this off at the pass if you don’t want a derail to something that is not about commentary about women, but I was particularly amused by the reported comments of Tim Worner, CEO of Channel Seven, that Seven will not fast-track TV shows in fear of piracy. I particularly liked this:

    But Mr Worner said viewers were accustomed to watching shows when aired in Australia and in suitable timeslots and he was confident piracy would not spell the end of imported television shows.

    That said, he is quoted as saying that he holds this view because ratings for big shows over the past couple of years have held up, and he accepts there are “challenges”, so the blockquoted representation of his views might not be completely accurate.
    But … “viewers were accustomed to watching shows when aired in Australia” – if that IS in any way an accurate quote/representation of what he said, well …

    • I only theme the Media Circus posts as a bit of a discussion starter, Jo, so go right ahead! The point is to apply a critical eye to what is being reported in the news, whatever that ends up being in any given week.

  5. I thought that was the case, but wasn’t sure if this might be a special week…

    • I’ve tweaked the OP to make it clearer, Jo.
      As to Mr Worner, he’s sure getting plenty of stick in the comments for having his head in the sand, isn’t he?

  6. Yes – it’s one of the few times I’ve been glad I’ve read an MSM comments thread!

  7. (well, the part of it I bothered to read – it started getting a bit repetitive)

    • I tried to leave a long transcript/description of First Dog’s latest cartoon, but the software hated it. So I’m going to edit this comment in the backend to add what I wanted to say first time around.

      If you haven’t seen today’s First Dog on the Moon cartoon, it’s a classic which is relevant to our interests.

      nb: This cartoon generally has anthropomorphised dogs as the characters.
      Panel 1:
      [two panicking dogs bracket the text]
      Caption: It was going to be the end of everything and we were all going to die, but no.
      Now it turnes out that electricity consumption is down and coal fired power stations are cloasing all across the country, partly because of the carbon tax …

      Panel 2:
      [5 confused dogs are bewildered at the foot of the panel]
      Caption: A great roar went up across the land. A mixture of shock and disbelief. The carbon tax is actually working! And nobody died!
      Dog 1: Are you serious?
      Dog 2: hahahahahah
      Dog 3: Oh my god
      Dog 4: wut?
      Dog 5: hahahaahaha
      Panel 3:
      [two dogs on bicycles at left sneer at a dog with a lawnmower at right]
      Caption: Noxious hordes of supercilious elites swarmed through inner-urban streets on their bicycles, sneering and mocking people with carbon intensive lifestyles.
      Rider 1: You there! Yes you with your poorly considered use of non-renewable resources!
      Rider 2: Ridiculous fellow!
      Lawnmower dog: ?
      Panel 4:
      [A large group of dogs in a park listening to a speaker on a platform, some holding placards such as “WE TOLD YOU SO” and “WHERE”S YOUR PYTHON NOW?”]
      Caption: Thousands of people attended smug “I told you so” rallies in parks across he nation. The leader of the opposition was deried and laughed at. At one point an effigy of him was jostled.*
      * Not burnt obviously, this is the kinder gentler party
      Panel 5:
      [A dog sits on a comfy chair, watching TV and laughing.]
      Caption: The Coal Industry demanded a change to the Renewables Energy Target to slow down the implementation of green energy sources because people wer losing their jobs. Everyone laughed and laughed.
      TV announcer: A Coal Industry spokesbriquette said today “Why didn’t anyone warn us?!”
      Panel 6:
      [a small boat at sea – two dogs are aboard throwing a chaff bag into the water]
      Caption: Alan Jones was placed in a chaff bag and thrown out to sea where he died of shame.
      Chaff Bag: I promise it won’t happen again. I have a fact checker now!
      Panel 7:
      [a dog is reading the a tabloid newspaper]
      Caption: And because it had been such a huge story for so long, had dominated so much of the news cycle for years, the success of the carbon tax was first in every news bulletin, and front page news in every newspaper in the country.
      Newspaper front page:
      Masthead – DAILY BABYCINO
      Headline – PM IN FALL DOWN SHOE SHOCK!
      Sub Heading – 8 pages inside

  8. Jo – with some stations fast-tracking and others not it will be interesting to see if it impacts ratings. Though when stations say they are fast tracking they (with the exception of Doctor Who) still tend to be a couple of weeks behind. And with discussions of popular shows being global now rather than local many people aren’t willing to even wait that long.
    He’s probably correct in saying the vast majority of people in Australia are used to being a year or more behind – its a very common complaint. But that’s definitely changing (especially I’d guess amongst the younger demographic).

  9. ”He’s probably correct in saying the vast majority of people in Australia are used to being a year or more behind …”
    Oh, absolutely! I was responding to the contempt I see in the statement he made (ie people in Australia are used to being treated poorly, and so we will continue to treat them poorly).

  10. On another note: Does David Cameron really #lovetheNHS?
    Yet another example of someone totally misunderstanding how spin goes down (or doesn’t!) on social media.

  11. Harking back to the Fauxpology edition of Media Circus, but it’s related to new Parrot news, so it belongs on this week’s Circus: in light of Alan Jones being told by ACMA that he must undergo fact-checking training and employ a fact checker in future –

    Must read – great article by @LenoreTaylor about the false climate change claims by Alan Jones
    — Jon Dee ( (@JonDeeOz) October 18, 2012

  12. And now a huge step away from personality politics and back to the issues that really matter – a must-read piece from Waleed Aly in the SMH on the flaws in our bureaucratic processes dealing with asylum seekers: Defeated in a cruel game

    Welcome to Kafka’s Australia, where rights are guaranteed, but preferably forgotten. So we maintain that we respect due process and human rights, even if it’s clear we don’t always like them very much. We have been doing this for ages. ”Screening out” has been around for the best part of a decade; long enough for the department to call it a ”long-standing policy over successive governments”.
    And if you believe the lawyers who work in this area, it’s part of a number of bureaucratic practices designed to prevent asylum seekers accessing the few rights they have.

  13. Seriously, Coorey?

    Having said all that, Rudd deserves the most credit for the win simply because it was his idea.

    No, that’s not how it works. Yes, Rudd deserves credit, for both the idea and the work he did in the first place.
    The others who did the work – especially Gillard and, it seems, Carr – also deserve credit for the work they did.
    It might be that Rudd deserves the most credit because of the combined effect of the idea and the initial work. But not just because it was his idea!

  14. It might be that Rudd deserves the most credit because of the combined effect of the idea and the initial work. But not just because it was his idea!

    To be fair to Rudd (and I agree its not just because of the idea) he was also Foreign minister until early this year so its likely he not only pushed the initial idea but also did the vast majority of the political work (he’s not exactly a hands-off guy!). Of course lots of public servants busy in the background as well.
    Its not something you can get up an running in a few months – apparently Luxembourg has been lobbying since 2001 or so. Rudd also has taken the bulk of the criticism over the years by the media and the Opposition for pushing it too.
    As a side issue I’m rather amused that we’re still grouped with Western European powers when it comes to taking turns having representation on the security council!
    I also find it interesting that we got such a large amount of support from other countries. Even with criticism from UN agencies over things like asylum seekers its a sign that we’re still seen in a good light by other governments compared to Luxembourg and Finland who don’t have bad reputations.

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