Media Circus: fewer horses and bayonets edition

I just had to use that in a post somewhere! So, US campaign debates, hey? (and yes, has already been registered by a cybersquatter ( has also been registered but returns a 404, which can be just a holding page, so there might be something there in a few hours))

Of course here in Australia we’re having a mini-budget where the Treasurer has cut a few programs to maintain the surplus, so cue the frothing rhetoric:

There’s also still hearings happening regarding the proposed data retention laws:

Plus there’s the usual gaffes going on:

Thank FSM there’s always sport:

What’s piqued your media interests lately?

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: arts & entertainment, media, parties and factions

Tags: , , , ,

34 replies

  1. Wow, this running with Hockey’s rhetoric was quickly done (and Hockey’s pro-choice, as it happens):

    Oh good God. Right to Life Australia has just put out a press release saying the baby bonus downgrade emulates China’s one child policy
    — Natasha Robinson (@NC_Robinson) October 23, 2012

  2. Y’know, I’m pretty sure the baby bonus wasn’t around when my mother and her siblings were born (and there’s approximately 18 months between my mother and her sister, who was the middle child of three). Somehow, my grandparents managed to handle it – I suspect by borrowing or by having things handed across from various relatives. This was in rural Western Australia in 1941; are the various people going into hysterics about the lack of a baby bonus somehow going to say that the average Aussie is living in WORSE conditions than those my grandmother had to deal with?
    There wasn’t a baby bonus when my younger brother was born, either (second of two), and I don’t think my brother and his then-wife got a baby bonus for either of their kids.
    [Disclaimer: Like our PM, I don’t have children. I therefore probably don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.]

  3. Well I have a baby. Didn’t get the baby bonus because I was out of the country for just the wrong bit of time. Sulked. Coped.

  4. I suppose the thing which is making me roll my eyes most about this is the implication that without the full Baby Bonus, nobody in Australia will either a) have kids at all, or b) have more than one kid per pair. (And of course, this will inevitably lead to TEOTWAWKI).
    At times like these, I have to wonder how these people think the human race got itself to this point (even for the biblical fanatics, there’s at least six thousand years of history BEFORE John Howard created the Baby Bonus to account for). Or possibly they think the world just appeared spontaneously last Tuesday, complete in every detail.

  5. If anyone is deciding whether or not to have (more) children based on the size of the baby bonus, I’d rather they decided not to have those children.

  6. Megpie, in your mother’s day they had Child Endowment, which sounds much more bountiful and benevolent than the more prosaic Family Tax Benefit B (or is it A?) and not as neo-liberal corporate friendly as a Baby Bonus.
    Whatever title they go by, it’s all a poor substitute for those orgiastic rituals they used to have in ancient times to keep the population fertile.

  7. Nuts, internet died in the middle of commenting. Now I am going to write a completely different comment.
    I had two children before the baby bonus came in. Even the first version of it. And my parents had three children in three years (and my father was a graduate student when they started) and I don’t think they ever had more than one cot, or a double pram.
    @iorarua – I would give up some of my baby bonus (I did get it for the third child) for naked young men running through the streets…or maybe the Mardi Gras should rebill itself as a fertility festival…

  8. I was lucky enough to get the baby bonus before they started clamping down on it. It was more than enough to pay for all the baby startup costs (pram/cot/clothes/misc bits and pieces etc) as well as have some left over, but at the same time we would have been fine without it.
    While they’re collecting coins under the sofa cushions I think they should means test it at a much lower income level (average income perhaps is appropriate) and perhaps the government funded parental leave as well – let people choose between their employer funded parental leave if they provide it, or the government one, but not receive both.

  9. Do you mean the Gay Mardi Gras? (Out-of-date title, I know, but that’s what it used to go by.) Because that would be counter-intuitive.

  10. Could people please not use “hysterics” in this context? (or any, really?)
    Many people have found the baby bonus particularly useful at its current level, because it fairly neatly pays for full pregnancy and birth management fees for a homebirth midwife, which for most isn’t subsidised any other way. Giving such short notice is a pretty dirty trick to pay on those folks, I reckon.
    Not everyone’s using it to buy thousand-dollar strollers and plasma televisions.

  11. Giving such short notice is a pretty dirty trick to pay on those folks, I reckon.

    I think the baby bonus changes don’t kick in until July 1 next year.

  12. This last debate with Obama and Romney? *facepalm*. My ballot is in. I voted for Obama. I just want this election season over with now, so I know whether I’m moving to France or not.

  13. Sorry Tigtog – I just realized ‘bayonets’ might have meant something else local to you now, did I gaffe?

    • No gaffe on the bayonets per se, mai – the tweets I embedded in the first part of the post are clearly referencing the debate.
      Showing you didn’t read those in the post – maybe that’s a gaffe? ;P
      It must be intensely infuriating to be in the middle of these incredibly expensive campaigns when all analysis shows that most people made their minds up months if not years ago. Especially when the MSM doesn’t do much coverage of the stuff that really matters, like those electronic voting machines in swing state Ohio that are made by a firm with strong Romney familiy ties.

  14. Move to France! Do it! I certainly will if Abbott becomes PM here. I can recommend a town where the real estate prices are very reasonable and the patisserie is divine.

    Mind now racing through all possible bayonet references, but best leave that alone.

  15. Watching the morning news salivating over the police searching Craig Thomson’s house has given me a raging case of the pedants, and thus I tweeted:

    Dear news media, if the police didn’t bust #craigthomson’s door down, is it really a ‘raid’? Or is it just ‘implementing a search warrant’?

    Another tweeter made the cogent point that if he’s still got anything incriminating lying around after all this time he deserves to go to jail. Quite.

  16. Orlando…
    …you had me at patisserie.

  17. Another tweeter made the cogent point that if he’s still got anything incriminating lying around after all this time he deserves to go to jail. Quite.

    I don’t know if a raid really requires actually busting a door down – the media seem to use the term quite loosely. But why in these sorts of white collar crime raids do they need to be done at dawn? I can sort of understand it if you think the targets may be armed and violent, but not here.
    From news reports the police seem to have found quite a bit of useful evidence from the raid on the HSU offices many months/years after it became public knowledge that there was an investigation (and didn’t they catch someone trying to wheel out evidence out the back door at the time?). So its not totally out of the question that its not just something the police have to do to be thorough.

  18. I don’t know if a raid really requires actually busting a door down – the media seem to use the term quite loosely.

    Media using the term too loosely is precisely the point of my pedantry, yes. If a handful of unarmed(eta: standard issue arms only) police officers knock politely on the door to present the court papers and search the premises, then calling that a “raid” is straight out of the Hyperbole Handbook.

  19. then calling that a “raid” is straight out of the Hyperbole Handbook.

    Perhaps a bit but its pretty common usage in the mainstream media these days (eg. “greenpeace office raided”, “news of the world office” raided etc). I suspect that boat sailed a few years ago and whether we like it or not language changes cf misogyny or female.

    • For sure, Chris – ultimately usage detemines all. I however reserve the right to view a gradual evolution over decades of terms used in sociology as part of the development of academic analyses in a very different light from the media simply choosing to use a sensationalist word where a more prosaic wording would have been perfectly accurate: the latter is pure spin while the former is not.

  20. In the meantime, Phony Tony is engaging in Reverse Hyperbole with a Twist: ”I’m never going to apologise for being a Dad, I’m never going to apologise for having a family.” Exactly nobody at all has asked him to apologise for that of course, but notice how neatly it deflects away from whether he owes the PM an apology for his remark about her government lacking experience with rearing children?

  21. Not to mention the priceless, “If she wants to take offence, of course, I’m sorry about that.”

  22. Tonight’s The Hamster Wheel is the sharpest I’ve seen The Chaser boys being for quite some time. They even provoked folks to read Hansard!

    I decided to chase up the Hansard discussed on the #hamsterwheel tonight.Christopher Pyne’s exclamation’And a Unicorn’
    — Jules (@crinkle_pop) October 24, 2012

  23. For instance, I had no idea that there was now a law prohibiting the use of Parliament sessions footage for the purposes of satire/humour.


  24. Interesting TT, MyNigel had the same response. I’m fairly certain that the Chasers had to can footage or perhaps even a show because of that ruling. I’m also fairly certain that that came into being because of the Chasers. They talked about it previously a while back. I think the point was made at the time that it is difficult to bring down respect levels for the Parliament when the politicians do such a good job of that themselves.

  25. Mindy – I’m don’t think that the legislation was introduced because of the Chaser but has been there since they first allowed cameras in (pre-Chaser) – in fact I think its not so much legislation but rules decided by the parliament (and they own the copyright so can enforce whatever rules they want).
    They also have what I think are some pretty silly rules around having to keep the camera on the person speaking and not show other things happening around the chamber etc.
    In general I think they should just let a few pool cameras in and allow people or companies to (re)-broadcast whatever they want. Release the footage into the public domain rather than having the parliament control it. But I don’t think its likely to change given the people who make the rules don’t want to be made fun of 🙂

  26. On a slightly different topic, Melissa McEwan has a post up at Shakesville about a CNN article with the headline “Do hormones drive women’s votes?” (I am refraining from linking to the article itself).
    As McEwan notes, it is acknowledged in the opening paragraphs of the article itself that the research is … questionable. And yet, the article was written.

  27. Oops – the CNN article is now gone anyway. (FACT CHECK!)
    My irritation remains that it was published in the first place.

  28. Ah, so that explains the unicorn. I was wondering about that too. I’m fairly sure the legislation is pre-Chaser, but the Chaser have been trying to get around it for a long time.
    @orlando – in a paradigm where touching a naked man makes you more likely to get pregnant (why am I having flashbacks to Dolly Doctor?) I think the man’s sexual orientation is pretty irrelevant.

  29. Looks like is an actual website dedicated to the phrase and not a squatter.

    • As I said in the OP, has also been registered but returns a 404, which can be just a holding page, so there might be something there in a few hours

      Lo and behold, now there is something there! I don’t know how long it took them to get something up.
      It was which I said looked like it had been squatted. It still has a big notice on it saying “This domain is for sale!” so that still looks like cybersquatting to me.

  30. It now has a “rousing song” – very amusing.

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