Media Circus: Royal Commission Edition

The Royal Commission into paedophilia within the Catholic Church called for by DCI Peter Fox (and others) is going to happen.

Tony Abbott’s approval rating is down to 27%.

The wailing and gnashing of Republican culture warrior teeth in the USA continues.

Short on links because I’m busy up north helping out the olds this week.

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

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9 replies

  1. How long will this all take? Are they going to be running this commission for a decade? Will there be compensation? Anyone go to jail? Will new laws be drafted to ensure it never has to come to this stage again?

  2. The big problem with a Royal Commission into this at the federal level is it’s the wrong tier of government to be dealing with the whole problem. Most of the institutionalised problems which occur are going to be with state-based institutions, such as the various departments which handle child protection, or the various police forces; things the federal government is prohibited by law from touching. So while a federal Royal Commission is going to be able to stir up the muck at the bottom of the pond, and recommend changes and charges and so on, it isn’t going to be able to do more than that – after the commission hands down its findings, the action is going to have to occur at a state level.
    So what that means is in NSW things are going to be tackled pretty smartly (because the majority of the heat and light on the issue is currently going on there). In most of the other states, what’s going to happen is that the various outcomes will be put on various “to do” lists, and possibly given a slightly higher priority than they might otherwise have been (depending on the amount of funds available, the volume of problems discovered, and the priority placed on dealing with them by the state government). In Queensland, they’re going to be put at the bottom of the priority list, because the current QLD state government are hearkening back to the Queensland Nationals heyday in the Bjelke-Petersen era, when the Premier of Queensland was a rule unto himself and barely co-operated with Federalism at all.
    One thing we really shouldn’t be expecting from this Royal Commission is a change in the behaviour of the Catholic Church in Australia, because they have far too much invested in the “celibate clergy” status quo, and they really aren’t going to alter that in order to bump up their public image in one small country where they aren’t the dominant faith. Instead, I’d be looking at them pointing to every single secular institution they can think of as needing more attention before the issue of possible cover-ups within the Catholic church are tackled.

  3. The PM and Secretary Clinton in a private meeting in Perth. TeamJG
    — Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) November 13, 2012

  4. A bunch of Republicans are really annoyed that they can’t seem to get Teh Lieberal Media™ to be as convinced as they are that there’s a deep conspiratorial (impeachable) presidential secret scandal at the heart of the Bengazi bombings.
    Kevin Drum: Republicans desperately need a scandal
    It’s such a desperately important matter that Sen. John McCain was so busy holding a press conference to berate Teh Lieberal Media™ for ignoring this Enormous Big Important Story that he didn’t have time to attend a special classified closed-door briefing to the Senate Homeland Security Committee on the latest intel about the Benghazi attacks.

  5. Bloody hell, that Pell has not been struck by a thunderbolt is proof enough to me of the non-existence of his god:

    Pell calls abortion a greater crime than sex abuse
    Sydney’s Archbishop George Pell told pilgrims at World Youth Day in Toronto “abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people”.

  6. Oops, I failed to realise that the above link is from 10 years ago. However, if he still believes the same (and I’m pretty sure that he does, given his behaviour over the last week) then my opinion on the thunderbolt stands.

  7. Mike Carlton describes Cardinal Archbishop Pell’s press conference on Tuesday thus:

    Strip away the apostolic airs and he could have been a flack for James Hardie assuring the world that the dangers of the company’s asbestos products had been rather overblown.
    It was monstrous. It was despicable. To portray the church as a victim in this filthy business was an Orwellian reversal of the polarity of right and wrong, truth and fiction.

  8. It’s a bit embarrassing when the writer of an editorial for a major broadsheet doesn’t understand what the separation of church and state actually means.

    • The various public arguments about no longer respecting the sanctity of the confessional appear to assume a utility that I’m not sure is there: how many paedophile priests are there really who are actually confessing their sins in the rite of confession?
      However, changing practice so that a priest’s confidentiality has no better status than a journalist’s confidentiality regarding sources i.e. if they hold to confidentiality, they go to prison for contempt of court – that sends an important message as to how the state regards the status of the church as subject to the laws of the land, even if hardly any priests would be willing to be excommunicated by breaking the confessional confidentiality.

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