Media Circus: 1st Tuesday in November edition

So there’s two big horse races happening tomorrow – one at Flemington racetrack and the other at polling stations across the USA as voters make their decision between Obama and Romney for president (and for whoever their congresscritters, senators, mayors, prosecutors, school boards and dogcatchers etc will be).  Will Nate Silver win his bet with Joe Scarborough?
(edited to add this absolutely perfect xkcd cartoon)

Poll Watching

There’s also rumblings around Canberra and editorial offices about Budget projections.

According to some of the crankier relatives in my FB timeline, OMG Gillard is still such a liar liar liar and when will the nation wake up to the Truth!??!11! (not linking)

More elderly British entertainers are being investigated as possible co-predators with Jimmy Savile, and his estate has been frozen in anticipation of legal action from complainants.

Savile’s relatives said they do not want a penny of his estate and called for the cash to be donated to an organisation to tackle sex crimes.

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: media, parties and factions

Tags: , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. I am loving the Twitter take on activated almonds.
    I know that some of my tweeps are a bit mystified at people’s response to this, and are feeling a bit judged. My position is that I don’t care what you eat if you do me the same favour. But his column was a bit judgey for me. YMMV

    • I found the chef’s column smug, self-righteous, judgemental and classist as hell.
      Also, alkalised water is pure woo of the highest order – our body’s homeostasis keeps the stomach secretions coming until the stomach contents are at the optimum narrow pH range no matter what we eat. More alkaline food only means more acid secretion. For some of the other alkaline foods he mentions it is possible for them to have an effect in the lower digestive tract as their full array of nutrients is absorbed to be used by the body – but the water has no additional nutrients to offer, so once it leaves the stomach that’s as good as it nutritiously gets, and what it’s got is no alkalinity.

  2. Ross Gittins’ analysis of the Gillard government’s White Paper on the Asian Century: Paper a whitewash of the environment

    THE most glaring weakness in Julia Gillard’s white paper on the Asian century is its failure to factor in the high likelihood that mounting environmental problems will stop Asia continuing to grow so rapidly – as well as limit our ability to take advantage of what growth there is.
    It would be unfair to single out the Gillard government as unwilling to face up to the seriousness of our natural environment problems and start integrating them into its forecasts and projections.
    That’s just as true of almost all economists and business people. While most economists (and SOME business people) are prepared to acknowledge particular environmental problems – climate change, water, soil, fish stocks, biodiversity – they’re not prepared to see them as symptoms of a much bigger problem: we may be reaching the physical limits to continued growth in natural resource use.
    So, just like the white paper, they continue to put worries about environmental problems in a box separate from the box marked ”economy”, where they do their forecasts and longer-term projections of economic growth.

    Bolded emphasis above is mine.

    • Women’s Agenda has reposted Bernard Keane’s Crikey article on gender imbalance in the Australian public service: More women needed in key policy agencies

      Treasury is sufficiently concerned about the dearth of women in its upper ranks to have launched an internal program to address it. Martin Parkinson spoke about the Progressing Women initiative in August:

      ”Diversity has been found to be important to high-performing and healthy organisations, in part because diverse perspectives improve the quality of decision making, and because organisations with better gender balance tend to have more inclusive cultures that optimise the skills and contribution of all their employees. In short, diversity can lead to better employee engagement. It is clear that organisations like Treasury will need to tap into a deeper and more diverse pool of talent and experience if we are to understand and meet the evolving and increasingly complex needs of the public, business and government.”

      Parkinson spoke of “a range of subtle cultural, attitudinal and behavioural issues that will take time and persistence to change”.

  3. Waleed Aly’s latest on asylum seekers.
    Brilliant rebuke to those who defend the political equivalent of “fuck off, we’re full” bumper stickers, because they totally have asylum seekers’ welfare and best interests in mind. Yeah, right.
    I may or may not have screwed up the html.

  4. This article on gay men’s sexism by Yolo Akili has been doing the rounds on my facebook and has precipitated the expected “but what about the women who grope men?!!” responses along with a number of “Yes, this” comments by women who have experienced groping by gay men. It’s 101 level, but quite good for those interested in starting a conversation.
    (Warning that I haven’t checked the comments or anything because the commentariat at the Good Men Project is often pretty vile.)

  5. cady, your html is fine. Li, thanks for the link.
    I was just reminded elsewhere of this classic from Bernard Keane a few years ago regarding how to engage with government ministers: Don’t Waste Your Time Waste Theirs – A Guide to Writing to Ministers

  6. Progressives’ hopes of Obama repealing Citizens United or even of the U.S. ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which has languished in the Senate since the Carter Administration, look to be dashed if current electoral projections are accurate. Amendments need a two thirds majority in Congress to even be presented to the states, which means you need the support of the Republicans. Treaties or Conventions require a two thirds majority or 67 votes in the Senate to be ratified which means at least 13 Republican votes are needed in the projected Senate of 54-46.

  7. Ballots close on the east coast of the USA in 2 hours.

    • The TV networks are all calling it for Obama now – he’s definitely got 273 electoral votes in the bag. Looks like the Dems win the Senate and the Reps win the House. Figures on the popular vote count are, of course, still trickling in.

  8. I was just reminded elsewhere of this classic from Bernard Keane a few years ago regarding how to engage with government ministers: Don’t Waste Your Time Waste Theirs – A Guide to Writing to Ministers

    Keane is right, that would definitely chew up bureaucratic time, annoy ministerial staff and cost taxpayers money. What it won’t do is influence policy, so I’d suggest all it does is waste time, at both ends, and money.

  9. Ha – TT, I just posted in the open thread 🙂
    Do you want me to delete that and post here instead?

  10. Got it. It’s mostly the former so I’ll leave it there.
    But the second part of my comment would make sense here, too. What with Akin and Mourdock losing, Baldwin winning, at least two of the marriage equality initiatives getting up (with suggestions that the two others might, too) and Florida’s Amendment 6 looking to go down (Amendment 6 would have severely restricted funding re abortion), there are some serious progressive/women-friendly/LGBTQI-friendly gains going on.
    Not to mention some other awesome candidates getting up (mostly in the Senate, from what I can see – it looks like the Republicans will retain control of the House of Reps, and have even picked up a few seats there).
    In many ways, those things give me more hope about the USA than Obama’s (almost certain) win.

    • Interesting op-ed from a conservative on the failures of the GOP, in this campaign and in messaging generally over recent years, in light of Obama’s re-election – Jonathan Kay: A dark, dark day for American conservatism.
      Romney is making his concession speech now, and it’s respectably gracious. I did snort though when he said Ryan was the best choice he could have possibly made for running mate – Ryan couldn’t even deliver his own state to the GOP.

  11. Elizabeth Warren. Yippeeeeeeeeee!

  12. I’m not so much happy about Obama’s win, but relieved. There’s so many things that I disagree with (not closing Guantanamo, drone wars, etc), but Romney would have been much worse.
    Random fact about the election date I heard about on a podcast – the election actually occurs on the first Tuesday in November after the first Monday in November. So much of the US election system seems to be stuck in the 1800s and for whatever reason they don’t seem capable of reforming it. Except when they do amazingly stupid stuff like allowing people to email in votes!

  13. Thanks TT, after the day I have had I needed that 😀

  14. Wow, that takedown of the Sheehan article was even better.

    Which leads Dr Mumbo to look inside himself and ask the question: What the actual fuck?

    Me too, Dr Mumbo, me too.

  15. On Paul Sheehan, never have I seen an article for which the summary “Notes from my boner” was more appropriate.

    • A Current Affair makes up bullshit yet again: Castle Mall retailers hit back at A Current Affair

      In the story introduction, A Current Affair host Tracey Grimshaw described the situation as “the battle between Aussie shopkeepers and centre management who are kicking them out to make way for businesses who directly target the suburb’s Asian population.”
      No businesses have been kicked out of the centre and of the businesses that have moved, two are owned by Asians. One of those moved is the Chinese Medicine Centre.

      ACA interviewed Pauline Hanson outside the mall and broadcast a cherrypick of reactionary/racist vox-pops, and said that retailers were unwilling to speak to them when apparently retailers were never even asked to speak to them, so this was a full-on beat-up from the get-go.

  16. Jimmy Savile, with friends like these…
    That’s right, the Yorkshire Ripper is coming to his defence. Credible character witness?

    • Karl Rove is trying to spin the meaning of the term “voter suppression” now.

      Appearing on Fox News, where he enthusiastically contested the network’s call of Ohio in favor of Obama earlier in the week, Rove said that Obama had “succeeded by suppressing the vote,” particularly by denigrating “Romney’s character, business acumen, experience.”

      Nope, that’s suppressingdepressing the turnout, and that’s what both sides in the US try to do to the other side’s supporters: persuade them that the opposing candidate simply is not worth them bothering to cast a vote at the polling precinct. Suppressing the vote is when engaged and willing voters are prevented from casting their vote at the polling precinct. That’s apples and oranges, Karl Rove.

  17. Karl Rove has always considered himself something of a wit. At times, however, he has an unfortunate tendency to give the impression of being half correct.

  18. I watched that ACA episode – at least I watched for about 30 secs before I switched it off in disgust. The next night they revisited the issue because, surprise surprise, it had stirred up a lot of outrage. Tracy Grimshaw concluded by saying that it was okay to report these sorts of things so long as it was done ‘sensitively’. Because that’s what bringing in Pauline Hanson to comment is – sensitive.
    However most of the reportage around this episode I’ve read has been ‘what a load of tosh’. I don’t know how much of that is genuine enlightenment and how much is a chance to put down the rivals.

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