Media Circus: Palmergeddon edition

Yesterday the new Palmer United Party senators didn’t vote with the government after all on Abbott’s repeal of Labor’s carbon pricing system, and this morning the Murdoch Media is full of grotesque caricatures of Clive Palmer focussing on his fat (wow, whodathunkit?) while trumpeting FUD about “chaos” in parliament because one vote on one bill in the Senate has not gone the government’s way.

That spinaround didn’t take long, did it?

I’m hugely wary of Palmer’s solipsistic and exploitative view of politics myself, but schadenfreude is absolutely the word du jour for my emotions regarding what he wrought against Abbott yesterday. Palmer’s pursuit of populism has worked in the national interest for this brief moment. But do any of us have any confidence that he won’t jump tracks for his own benefit in a heartbeat if Abbott offers him the right deal?

My favourite #auspol image macro for the last few days: “I am the leader of the charm offensive. Are you not charmed?”

Hint to spin teams – if you’re mounting a charm offensive, the last thing you should do is announce that this is what you’re doing! Because then the people you want to charm realise that you’re insincere sooner rather than later, which is exactly what you don’t want. It reminds me of when the Labor spin team announced that it was time to bring out The Real Julia instead of just doing it, which meant that the tactic was fatally undermined before it even started. Strikes me as yet another manifestation of the political elite’s obsession with the 24/7 news cycle instead of dealing with fundamentals that building up electoral support over time.

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

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, media

Tags: , , ,

5 replies

  1. Can anybody point me to a cartoon I heard described on the radio this morning? Abbott complaining to Palmer about the voters giving him a mandate, and Palmer responding about them being generous and giving him a mandate too?

    Also, relevant to other political arenas, I give you

  2. Talking about the 24/7 news cycle, a bunch of time is being spent this morning talking about a meteor flare last night just because it was bright enough to be seen in the city and someone got good video of it. Why is a bog standard meteor suddenly news?

    ETA 09:29AM:

    I feel conflicted about Palmer. I definitely feel quite a bit of schadenfreude whenever he makes life hard for the coalition. But overall, I detest him. I wonder from time to time if he’s some sort of Machiavellian genius disguised as a fool or if he’s just a fool. His policies seem overwhelmingly self interested and he apparently has no time for expert opinion. One wonders if he has any time for facts or figures? His treatment of the clerk of the Senate was appalling. And lastly, how can anyone negotiate in good faith with him after last week’s episode over the carbon tax?

  4. [Comment deleted – sockpuppet for previous banned commentor detected ~ tt]

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