Media Circus: Gratuitous Knighthood Edition

As a general observation, I’m finding it quite amusing how many Aussie pundits don’t seem to understand that accumulating more than one knighthood from more than one nation is extremely common at the highest levels of the royalty/nobility/courtier/diplomat/military pyramids. Not that this makes Tony Abbott’s decision any less ridiculous  on various political grounds (for instance, Philip has been a Companion of the Order of Australia since 1988, is more really necessary?), but it does mean that the idea of giving a royal Duke a knighthood is not per se unprecedented (the current Prince of Wales was made a Knight of the Order of Australia by the Fraser government in 1981 before the Hawke government discontinued the grade in 1986). The primary absurdity came with the Abbott government restoring the grades of Knight/Dame to the Order of Australia in the first place, such secondary absurdities as this particular captain’s pick were inevitable from that point forward (even The Australian‘s editorial agrees on how bizarre this decision was).

Just to emphasise how little this honour is likely to mean for someone literally with a cupboard full of the beasts for his valet to keep polished: Britain has six separate domestic orders of chivalry which include knighthoods, and every single royal duke is a knight in several of them (Philip has been a Knight of the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Thistle and the Order of the British Empire (KG, KT, GBE) since the early years of his marriage to the Queen). Philip also holds knighthoods (according to Wikipedia) from Greece, Denmark, Monaco, Norway, Panama, Sweden, Ethiopia, Portugal, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Nepal, Finland, Tunisia, Liberia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Belgium, Iceland, Luxembourg, and Spain. Some of those nations have awarded him multiple knighthoods over the decades. Philip has also been appointed to many other orders of chivalry within and without Britain with titles other than that of Knight.

The big question now is whether the outcry over this knightly appointment will stop the eventual dubbing of Sir Rupert in due time (as a US citizen he would only properly be entitled to the letters KA following his name but not the prefix title “Sir”, but can anyone imagine him correcting anyone who called him “Sir Rupert”?).


What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?

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!).



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25 replies

  1. I noticed the other day that when reporting on a young man being sexually assaulted, the fact that it was done by two males made it into the headline.

  2. Imagine the headlines if he’d been sexually assaulted by women, Mindy?

    Interesting link: How Did 80 People Get Half of the World’s Wealth?

  3. OMG, that Jezebel spiel was perfect!

  4. I notice that the LNP’s adverts in QLD have used the word “strong” about 70 times in the allotted 30 seconds. Of course “strong” is code to QLD’ers to “vote for the bloke, not the sheila”.

  5. How surprising – former Dr Who actor says Dr Who should never be a woman because that would be weird but he is okay if Dr Who changes ethnicity as long as it is done on merit rather than just for the sake of it. FFS.

  6. Thanks TT. I was on the tablet and there probably is a way of doing links but *Luddite*.
    Anyway, there is a new fad out there. Steam cleaning your vagina. (not recommended by actual medical professionals)
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/29/for-the-love-of-goop-don-t-steam-your-vagina.html?source=TDB&via=FB_Page

  7. Is the “Just don’t work on weekends” line the inevitable consequence of believing thatUnions are an unfair gang, that someone one fifteen dollars an hour can successfully negotiate with the HR department’s lawyer, that jobs are there for the taking if people weren’t so lazy, and that aussie battlers who own businesses are hard done by, and those poor multinational mining companies need more money? Isn’t it just another example of denying that employers have any power or choices?
    Also, wouldn’t it have been hilarious if the Australia day workers just decided not to work on the long weekend? That would have made any events rather awkward.

  8. The Dr Who argument seems a lot like some of the complaints I have seen about the recent Ghostbusters reboot casting announcement: you can’t have a woman playing a character, because that is changing the character!

    • Remember the flying outrage monkeys who went apeshit years ago over Starbuck in the Battlestar Galactica reboot being recast as a woman? Nothing’s changed.

  9. Congratulations to Campbell Newman on his stunning loss in the QLD election!
    Awesomely, the flow on effect is that Tony Abbott is now also in the political poo!
    Can anyone say “One term Tony”?
    Bad news: I read some people think Scott Morrison would be a good leader. Out of the frying pan with that one.
    Been greatly enjoying the brouhaha over ‘Ghostbusters’. When women complain about lack of representation in media, we get told it’s all in our heads and it has nothing to do with power. But change the dynamic, and have no men and suddenly it is very much about power. And we have people very clearly saying they don’t want to change. Well, that’s why the children I teach will all need to be feminists.

  10. First Dog says Anna P, the new QLD Premier looks like a schoolteacher who can’t remember where she parked her car. (tee hee!) Steve Bracks had that look too, when he beat Kennett.
    What a good morning.

  11. On the other hand, people are suggesting Mal Brough would make a great PM.
    How could it be possible to replace Tony Abbott with someone worse?

  12. FWIW, Australia made my local (NYC area, USA) newspaper today.
    I can’t find anything on their on-line edition (actually, I can’t see _anything_ — it doesn’t like my browser), but the print edition wrote:

    Australia’s main national newspaper was facing sharp criticism over its obituary of the nation’s most famous author, whom it described as plain and overweight. The Australian newspaper’s obituary of Colleen McCullough, whose novel “The Thorn Birds” sold 30 million copies worldwide and who died on Thursday at age 77 after a long illness, opened not with a list of her myriad accomplishments, but with a description of her appearance.

    I did run across
    a more detailed article on this
    on the website of another newspaper with the same name as ours (but in Ohio, not New York.) It mentioned a number of major US newspapers which mocked the paper’s choice of lede, and also mentioned that the hashtag #myozobituary is trending for people to write parody obituaries.

  13. Anyone in a position to report back on that NPC speech?

  14. I’m really quite pleased about the ’Tiara Tantrum’ at the Miss Amazon awards. I rather like a beauty queen with a bit of sass 🙂

  15. Strange opening from Tim Dick today blaming the women of Australia for 52% of people surveyed (2123 via SMS) being in favour of the death penalty in the Bali 9 case. While I’m sure that there are some women who agree, why this opening sentence:
    “Every second Australian wants two of her fellow citizens to be killed for trying to take heroin out of Indonesia.”
    Mind you, based on a sample of 2100 people that is quite a long bow to draw anyway. Based on my own survey I have found 0 women in favour and 1-2 blokes. They were mansplainy types too. Does that mean all mansplainy types are in favour of the death penalty. I doubt it.
    WTF Tim Dick?

  16. Mindy, perhaps he was just trying to avoid the use of ‘he’ as a generic pronoun. It does seem a rather misplaced attempt if so.

  17. I wonder if it’s because he refers to Australia in his sentence, and he’s using the convention that a country is referred to as female, in the same way as boats are considered to be female?

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