The Other Side

Posted: June 16, 2012 in Media

A lot of people have asked me about the Main Stream Media (MSM) of late. Particularly why I think they all seem to be singing along to the same old tune regarding Craig Thomson, Kathy Jackson, and the HSU saga.

I will make the bold assumption that if you are reading this, you may have read one, or even some of my articles published, bravely, by Independent Australia.

Let me start by saying that I don’t want to blow smoke up anyone’s ass, but I thought this may interest you. In fact, it says one or two things about the MSM these days, and also helps us understand the public perception of the MSM, much of which is due to a lot of the plain regurgitated shit that passes as content these days.

The first mainstream person to pick up on my HSU story was in fact, someone best known for their comedy work. Wendy Harmer contacted me about writing a piece for her awesome, and extremely popular Hoopla website.

This came about, after someone from the MSM, wrote an article for the Hoopla site that followed the standard portrayal of Craig Thomson, you know, as an evil doer who can’t keep his trousers zipped up, with wild conspiracy theories to explain his innocence. This article had appeared the day after Craig’s parliamentary address.

The unbiased media at its best/worst

The Hoopla article attracted such a barrage of hate mail, venom, and abuse, Wendy sought out an alternate view and came upon me.

Now I would not have considered Hoopla to be a site that left wingers frequent, or a site that is in the “favourites” list of alternative thinkers. In fact, I would say it is quite representative of the general public, particularly the female voting age public.

What a gutsy move by Harmer, to actually follow the direction the evidence and the public were taking, and run with something that was a bit different, and flew in the face of the story according to the MSM.

When, my post, “A Dingo Took My MP” was posted on Hoopla, it received a great response, overwhelmingly positive. My faith in the theory of “innocent until proven guilty” was restored. My faith that the public may be able to see through a “Trial by Media” was also given a boost.

Another interesting thing I wanted to note regarding Wendy. When, after 32 years of waiting, a Coroner finally cleared Lindy and Michael Chamberlain of murder, and changed the death certificate of Baby Azaria, guess who was the first to apologise for their portrayal of Lindy? That’s right, bloody Harmer again…. What a do-gooder….

Imagine that, someone with a conscience having the gut’s to admit wrong and apologise… Hats Off…

Now, I should start by pointing out that I have a healthy respect for the media, and a hell of a lot of respect for many inside it. There are many who I have dealt with who I have nothing but good things to say about, incidentally most of those I know from Twitter, they know who they are. Others however, I don’t have a lot of time for.

I will not mention any names here, as I don’t want to bruise any egos, as I have discovered over the past weeks just how fragile many of them are.

It seems that if a story finds itself into a bloggers hands, rather than a member of the MSM it is to be treated with scorn. My main source in the HSU saga articles didn’t trust the MSM, and came to someone who had their best interests at heart, not Murdoch’s, Rinehart’s, or Kathy Jackson and her Coalition stooges interests.

I knew the story was way too big for me to handle, and tried to pass it on to many in the MSM, but to no avail. The approaches to the MSM led to roadblocks, delays, gutless bosses and legal departments. Although, all the while these people were happy to run the endless stream of smear spewing forth from camp Jackson, but not having the guts to run with real documentation, lest it prove their earlier stories incorrect.

Many of those in the MSM state that it is their job to report, they are trained, they have the access and contacts, and they are paid to do it. We should trust them, rather than the bloggers and independent news sites.

In a way, this kind of hits the nail on the head, it is a trust issue. Much of the public distrust the MSM.

One of the reasons for this distrust, is one of the same reasons MSM journalists say they should be trusted. They are paid to do what they do.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, we don’t expect you to work for free, and I know for a fact you work damn hard for the money, it is just who pay’s you. We have all seen the bias of the press at work, not just with Craig Thomson, but with many other issues in the past. There is no doubt at all that the media is shifting to the right.

A good example of this was in May 2010 in NSW.

David Campbell, a minister in the NSW Labor government was filmed by a news crew as he casually strolled out of a gay club, and walked to his car. This was an apparent scandal.

Some would say this was nothing. Some would say it held some public interest. The Coalition made a meal out of it, David Campbell was utterly devastated, not because he had done anything wrong, but because of the way the media beat it up. The story dominated the front pages for more than a week.

Fast forward to 2011, when Coalition Minister George Souris get’s into some bother.

George, allegedly masturbating on his balcony one night, goes down stairs with his 70 odd year old, married dick out for all to see, and tries to force himself onto another male in a swimming pool in the inner city. George is eventually hauled off by police after complaints are made.

How much coverage did George receive from the MSM? Hardly any at all, scarcely rated a mention, and he was never named by the MSM once for this scandal.

Double standards? Most would think so.

Those looking to Crikey as an alternative source for news are setting themselves up for disappointment after they pay to access it. It is just more of what the MSM reports, just minus the bells and whistles.

If Crikey were a band, they would be a top 40 cover band playing an under 18’s gig. Not worth the cover charge, and all the originality of a carbon copy.

In fact, if it weren’t for Crikey’s cartoonist First Dog, they would probably all be flipping burgers at McDonalds.

As for the ABC, what can I say? I almost wept the other night watching The Drum, and hearing “The Apology”

Where has our much beloved Aunty disappeared to?

The apology to Scott Morrison on the Drum, after Stephen Long’s totally justified comments was a disgrace.

I was mistakenly under the impression that The Drum was for guests to discuss their opinions. Stephen Long stated an opinion that many, including myself, share regarding Scott Morrison’s manner in dealing with the asylum seeker issue, it in no way needed an apology.

However, Andrew Bolt, jumped on the bandwagon, and said that Morrison did not pander to the racist’s and their views. After all, I guess that is Andrew’s job…

Now, Andrew Bolt, this is the man, who when charged in court for publishing racist views, that were not in any way factual and claiming they were, blubbered and sooked and moaned about freedom of the press, and free speech. Now he complains about someone stating a valid opinion, on a show where opinions are discussed.

The real issue was that Stephen Long works for the ABC. ABC journalists and commentators are free to have an opinion, as long as it has been cleared from way on high first apparently. Unless of course your name is Peter Reith.

Stephen Long, a man not worthy of an opinion?

With all of this happening, is it any wonder that alternative news sources are popping up all over the internet?

People are desperate to hear the truth, the unbiased truth. Although I don’t in any way claim to be unbiased, after all, most blogs are tilted one way, people at least know what direction I’m coming from. Most in the MSM claim to be unbiased, but certainly seem to lean towards the right.

Those in the MSM who are scared of the bloggers and are always on the defensive, are a little like a bunch of medical researchers who disregard a cure for cancer just because a pharmacist discovers it…

We should not see each other as competitors, I still buy the paper on occasion. I have never known, or heard of anybody, who went to buy the paper, then put it back, because they decided reading a blog was a better idea.

I understand that many of you fear for your careers and your future, many jobs have recently been going overseas. However, if you are good at what you do, people will always want to read your work, no matter where it is published. In fact, many of the comments you see online on your articles, are only there because a blogger has linked to it in a post, or somebody has tweeted the link.

It is also important to note, that these jobs are not disappearing due to bloggers and social media. Your jobs are going because your organisations failed to react to social change, and refused to embrace technology until it was too late. They thought talking the change down would alter the outcome, they were wrong.

I would think twice before you started talking down online news sources. Some may mock that statement , but do it at your own peril, after all, if you haven’t noticed the size of your publication shrinking over the last few years, then maybe arrogance isn’t your biggest issue. One never knows when and where you may be looking for work in the uncertain future.

Many of these online publications live off nothing but adrenaline. They feel, and many agree, that their message deserves a chance to be heard. They do not have the backing of Rupert Murdoch, or Gina Rinehart, instead they rely on a small amount of advertising in some cases, but mostly on donations from those in the public who appreciate their efforts.

I can only speak for myself, but I do this because I am often frustrated at stories that I don’t believe get the coverage they deserve. Often it is also because I feel the coverage has been one-sided.

If people don’t like what I write, then that is fine, I don’t take it to heart. I recieve my fair share of criticism and abuse, but I don’t let it get the better of me.

I am of the opinion that we can all live in the same world happily. I am happy for MSM journalists to ignore me if they don’t like what I do, however I don’t see the need for them to write off the documentation I have uncovered publicly. The police certainly haven’t, and neither have the public, especially the union members, so why the need for blog bashing? We really are no threat to your profession.

I know I didn’t attend university to learn how to form an opinion. I also realise that I may on occasion miss a typo when I write these after work, usually late at night. But occasionally, we bloggers may have something important to say, maybe you should occasionally approach us with an open mind. Many in your profession already do.

Those of us blogging about, running online publications on, and debating politics online, do so because we take an active interest in politics. That, I believe is a healthy thing for a democratic society. If there were less with an active interest, there would be less reading your columns, or watching your shows, most political journalists and commentators would be out of a job.

I could not finish this without mentioning a couple of the journalists who have been open to looking at facts rather than a pointed finger and smear. Journalists who have kept my somewhat battered faith in the MSM alive.

Sarah Wiley of channel 7, who is a pleasure to deal with, despite having a badly bunged up foot. Simon Benson of The Telegraph in Sydney, for keeping an open mind and following the trail of evidence. I particularly wanted to also mention Kevin Wilde of channel 9, whose enthusiasm, drive, and professionalism is unsurpassed, a dedicated journo, and a great bloke to boot.

In the Independent media, there is obviously David Donovan of Independent Australia, the first to have the guts to run with this story, as well as Andrew from Vex News. I also wanted to make mention of Eric Gyors of 89.7FM Eastside Radio in Sydney, and also Dennis Evans of Melbourne’s 855AM 3CR for putting the story out there for the public to decide.

As we watch the Leveson Inquiry play out in the UK each night on the news, we are reminded of just how important it is to have an active and independent news sources.

Some say that bloggers and Independent News sources lack the back up, and the access to investigative tools and personnel. This may be true, and maybe that is why we are yet to hear of a blogger or an Independent hacking and deleting messages of a young murdered girls phone.

I wish all of you in the MSM nothing but good fortune, happiness, and fulfilment.

I just hope that some sectors learn to adapt to, and embrace social change rather than fear it.

  1. You are too kind to the MSM in particular the ABC. Section 4 of the ABC Editorial Policy 2011 declares the organization’s aspiration “to equip audiences to make up their own minds … consistent with the public service character of the ABC.” In this instance as in many pthers they are failing miserably.

  2. dafid1 says:

    Congrats Peter on speaking from the heart and letting us share some of your inner thoughts on the MSM. My admiration for your work is immense. Without your couragous pursuit of the truth in the HSU/Jackson setup of Craig Thomson (no P ) we would never have learned of the sordid involvement of the many now having to answer for their deeds.
    While on Jackson, I read she was offended by being questioned by the media at an airport. Declaring it was most upsetting for her and her children. No thought or concern for Craig Thomson (no P) or his then pregnant wife as they were hounded by the media for weeks and verbally assaulted in the HOR and MSM by the likes of bullies in Abbott, Pyne, Bishop. Brandis, Abetz, Corman etc. Long may she learn Karma has a way of returning the favour.
    Best wishes and long may you be there to sort out the truth from the lies, the bullies, the phonies and those who would seek to destroy others in pursuit of personal and/or political gain

    • wixxy says:

      Thanks for your feedback and kind words.
      The double standards from Jackson are mind numbing, but you are dead right about Karma
      Thanks again 🙂

  3. debbiep says:

    Great article and insight.

    ‘if you are good at what you do, people will always want to read your work’ -Here lays the demise of many journalists in the MSM, because in the end- I believe- your principles will win every time, given time. Many in the MSM have forgot the important job role they play in a society. Turning it into a joke and making Main Stream News laughable ( not in a funny way).
    They were given an important role (job) and have blown it. They have not taken the importance of what they do very seriously. And for that I hope the new blogger journo’s and online media like Independent Australia , Vex News & the Global Mail take on those important roles. And within time the tide will turn and people will wake up. Its the ‘ying and yang’ of life.

    It’s all about time, timing and given time. Thankyou peter.

  4. You are restoring our trust in democracy and in the voice of those good people who place truth and justice before self-interest and political power. It’s good to know about Wendy Harmer, too. Thanks also for mentioning those journalists who do not take the commands of Rupert to be irrefutable philosophical truth even though their careers may well be threatened for not doing so.
    You have to wonder if in deliberately missing the main issue, the MSM will soon be avoiding forking food into their mouths when they eat and start stuffing it up their noses instead.
    A key question to ask about any controversial event which can so easily be misrepresented, is “Who stands to gain and who stands to lose by a particular construction of the details?” The MSM have a vested interest in having CT declared guilty. But why are the ABC being as bad???

  5. deknarf says:

    Nice article wixxy, but I’m one of the many who consider that the MSM in Oz has finally reached the bottom of the cesspit that it jumped into. I stopped getting The Australian because of its continued bias and negativity and also stopped looking at its website. Stick mainly with the ABC, SBS and the Sydney Morning Herald for Oz news, but have gone outside to other countries news websites to get a better coverage of events. Also looking at local blogs more these days. Sadly, and due entirely to their own doing, Australia now needs a media monitor which actually has real teeth and ensures responsibility, balance and accountability.

  6. Heather says:

    Am reading all your posts with great interest. Please keep up the great work!

  7. Wendy Harmer says:

    Dear Wixxy… thanks for your support of The Hoopla.

    It was a very odd thing that we ran your piece comparing Craig Thomson with Lindy Chamberlain just a short time before the Chamberlain death notice was delivered. (I’d overlooked that it was coming.)

    Many people have wondered why I made that apology to Lindy, when I’ve told so many jokes over the years re: current affairs and haven’t said sorry and I have time to ponder too. That routine always bothered me (some 30 years on) and on reflection I think it was because I had chosen to “run with the hounds” instead of the hares.

    Professional journalists (and comics, dare I say) should never be caught up in a group mentality if they are to be useful.

    The best satirists should always be on the hunt for hypocrisy and expose it.

    The best journalists of course should be inquiring,nimble, clever and assiduous in digging out facts. That’s the job description.

    It is a present malaise in the media that we have fewer and fewer investigative journalists and more and more “opinion writers”. This has been discussed at length of course.The main reason cited is that newspapers don’t have the money to fund journalists to make lengthy investigations as they once did. We are all the poorer for it.

    Once you cross that line to being an opinion writer, it becomes more and more difficult to admit you were wrong because you have so much of your personal reputation at stake.

    Seems to me the term “journalist” is up for some revision. As an opinion writer these days, I don’t spend my time scouting through piles of documents, cultivating sources etc. to break stories, although I once did.

    The MSM has become less a journal of record and more a cult of personality. I can contrast this with when I started in the media almost 40 years ago and it was a rare person indeed who was given a column. Most journos were humble grafters, not “opinionaters”, and were given resources and time to pursue big stories.

    It is interesting today to hear Albanese compare the Slipper affair with Watergate. In this instance the work of investigation has been left to lawyers, not, by and large, by journalists like Woodward and Bernstein.

    Regarding Thomson, it may well be a person like yourself, a reviled “blogger” who has done the yard yards and lead us to the truth. We shall see.

    Again,many thanks for your efforts in pursuit of the facts. Keep running with the hares ahead of the pack!

    PS: I should make mention of the headline (as suggested by you) that we used on your piece for us : “A Dingo’s Got My MP”. Some said it was insensitive, but since Lindy Chamberlain herself says that the phrase is now in common parlance and plans to call her autobigraphy just that (although it will be: “A Dingo Took My Baby”), then I think The Hoopla can be forgiven.

  8. Brad says:

    Iv’e never been able to put my thoughts onto paper..Reading your articles, iv’e realized their is a pretty simply method to getting the correct message across.. Just start typing and think of nothing but the story that needs or has to be told..the truth and nothing but the truth. Use the given facts that are available at the time.. Funny thing about the truth…Everybody wants to know it..MSM made a decision ‘because Jackson was a whistle blower she must be telling the truth’ that was big mistake for a person that appears to have a few delusional problems.. Lets just hope, the lesson has now been learnt, and it never gets to this position again..
    I have no sympathy for her, she has used everybody around her to cover her tracks, involving more and more as she has perpetuated a life of lies and cover ups ….I could be totally wrong with my thoughts, but I will be very surprised if I am..

    Thank you Peter and David for having the courage to continue finding the truth and bringing MSM to account..How many of them would put their hands up like Wendy Harmer did if Craig Thomson had just given up on life, and in the years to come, was found to be totally innocent ..quick guess..bugger all…

  9. Wendy Harmer says:

    Oh, I see we did call it a Dingo Took My MP… explanation still stands, however.

  10. Ken Atkinson says:

    Congratulations Peter on another fine piece of work. I now find myself going to your site first if I am in search of the truth, and your prior pieces regarding the travesty besetting Craig Thomson and the dirty goings -on behind the scenes re Kathy Jackson has been most illuminating. At every instance I have shared your work for my friends to see and consider and can only hope that more and more “average” Australians will eventually be confronted with the truth, something sadly lacking in MSM today. I have been particularly disappointed with our own ABC and the lack of any intent at reporting the truth on this saga. I am slightly bouyed by today’s article concerning Ashby and his alleged undermining of Peter Slipper. I can only wait with baited breath that it will soon extend to the “real” story about one, Kathy Jackson. Keep up the great work Peter, we need people like you desperately.

  11. Marilyn says:

    Well said Wendy and Peter.

    Without the articles from Wicks and his trusted source in the HSU we would be none the wiser although I have not trusted Kathy Jackson since day one.

  12. joe carli. says:

    On Stephen Long.. I consider his opinion on subjects he is asked about to be cosidered, accurate and informative…I would support him replacing Alan Kohler as the business editor at the ABC. But then, the ABC. these days is less of a supporter of quality and qualification than a supporter of “MAAATES”!!!

  13. Ray Marx says:

    You Two, Wendy and Wixxy have restored my faith in media, thank you for your perseverence and bravery in going against the flow!

  14. Marilyn says:

    And I just found Simon Benson’s piece, no wonder Kate Mc has gone silent.

  15. The bull says:

    Nice assessment of msm from Wendy. The fact that mediocraties like Kate McClymont can call themselves investigative journalists demonstrates how low the bar is. Asking Kathy Jackson what to write for her next article hardly qualifies as investigation.

  16. Umberto Ledfooti says:

    Awesome work, Peter. Please keep doing what you’re doing.

    As an aside, I was one of 17 people who complained to The Australian Press Council about the front page of the Herald Sun you’ve shown here as “The unbiased media at its best/worst”.

    They said they’d pass the complaint onto the Herald Sun. And nothing’s been heard since then.

    Which support my opinion that the MSM seem to be a law unto themselves and they aren’t interested in reporting the news, but manipulating it.

  17. Miglo says:

    Wixxy, this, in my opinion, is the best piece who have ever written.

    I found it inspiring. So inspiring in fact, that I’m thinking of starting up my own blog. 😉

  18. SG Warren says:

    I think half the problem these days is that journalists think they are peddling us information when they are in fact peddling their own credibility.

    To explain what I mean, look at scientists. If a scientist tells you professionally that they believe something is so, they will provide references to their sources, explain any case studies they underwent researching and explain their methodology behind them coming to the conclusion they have come too. Then if you are interested you can look to see if any other scientist has come to different conclusions and compare their methodology.

    So when they tell us something is so, there is a wealth of information provided backing up their opinion.

    If a scientist makes a mistake (eg. neutrinos traveling faster than light) they always publish a correction if it’s found their study came to it’s conclusions wrongly. If they don’t they risk other scientists finding out they were wrong and losing all credibility in the scientific community.

    Even lawyers (and we all know how much the general public trusts them) will cite legislation, case law and precedents when explaining (on a professional basis) the legality of something. Judges will release judgements explaining in detail how they came to the conclusion they did and how the evidence led to both the conviction or acquittal and how it influenced sentencing.

    So again when they say something is so they actually provide a wealth of information backing up their opinion.

    If a judge finds that new evidence available after a judgement points to a different outcome, they will reopen the case. Defence lawyers in this country aren’t allowed to claim not-guilty pleas for their clients if they know their client is guilty. Prosecution is compelled to provide any evidence they find that may help the defence.

    Journo’s on the other hand, claim the right to hand out information without any references, without explaining the methodology they used to gain the information (and before you ask why this is relevant simply look at the phone hacking scandal in the UK) and typically don’t talk about laws except the FOI or any law they think is unfairly stopping them from making a buck.

    So when they say something is so, they are in fact just saying “I think this is the case due to information available to me that I’m not going to provide to you. You”l just have to trust me when I say this is the case.”

    As I said they trade on their credibility. And yet simultaneously they seem incapable of recognising that if they publish something that is wrong, the thing that a credible person would do is publish the fact and issue a correction.

    These days the typical response to any news story on the online MSM I’ve read that has had massive factual problems is to simply delete the authors name from the byline, then edit the story to remove any (without providing a statement saying they have made a change). Most people have already read the story and so never read the corrected version and so effectively the journo lies and then all evidence is removed after the fact.

    A classic example in recent times was last year when Dr Martin Parkinson (Treasury Secretary) gave a speech on productivity. The ABC’s story (from one of their staff reporters – on ABC news not the Drum) led with the title “Treasury Secretary says we all need to work harder” and then went on to cry that we all aren’t working hard enough and this was causing the productivity problems the country is facing.

    Unfortunately for the ABC a good dozen commentators had already read the transcript of his speech and so were very aware that Parkinson had in fact said the complete opposite and had actually said our problems with productivity aren’t caused by labor (he quite specifically said this multiple times) but by legal red tape, inefficient middle management and industries like the mining industry currently being involved in lengthy capital expansion. (Sorry HR Nichol society – it looks like you lose this round)

    When we started commenting and complaining about the story as it was portraying the complete opposite of what a senior public official had said as being the truth and provided links to the actual transcript, there was no comment from the ABC. 3 hours later I refreshed the page and suddenly all comments had been deleted, the title had changed to something a little more neutral, they had changed several lines of the story to remove any direct reference to them putting words into Parkinson’s mouth and deleted the authors name from the by-line.

    The story still effectively was the same, they had just removed any reference likely to get themselves sued. (Tragically for them every other news site had by this time of course carbon copied the story. I think the original – minus byline of course – is still on Yahoo)

    They may think they have covered themselves with this action but what they actually did for every person who saw it happen was confirm that the ABC news-desk has no credibility and is happy to lie. So why would any of us trust them them next time they ask us to trust them.

    I provided screenshots of the original story, modified story, evidence that other MSM news sources had copied the story verbatim (minus by-line) and a copy of the actual transcript of the speech to Media-watch. Funnily enough they didn’t run the story, but their presenter hopped on the Drum a few weeks later to have a cry that people were talking about introducing laws to reduce press freedoms.

    Now we have MSM Journo’s complaining about the public disengaging from them. Here’s a pro-tip. Tell people when you stuff up and we will actually be more likely to trust you when you say you are telling the truth. Pretend you are always telling the truth and of course no-one will ever trust you.

  19. SG Warren says:

    Arrgh sorry that was so tldr;

    Meant it to be much shorter but this issue really ticks me off.

  20. Bella says:

    Peter what you are doing is both courageous and impressive. I’ve read all of your articles in Independant Australia and admire both the depth of your detailed investigations and your logical analysis. Plus you’re a bloody good writer – your pieces are always well written, clear and interesting. The MSM’s lack of response says much more about them than about you, or about the quality of the work you’re doing. Indeed as someone else said you’ve got to ask – who is their silence benefitting? And that goes for the neutered, gutless ABC

    I’m curious to know if you’ve had any contact with Albanese or any other MP’s. An obvious Qn is why haven’t any of them picked up on your findings and flung them back at Abbott et al?. Possibly they’re waiting to get through the Slippergate affair. Then hopefully Thomson can get his turn for vindication. At least the Opposition have been relatively silent about Thomson since Abbott and Pyne’s pathetic dash for the doors.

    In the meantime, it’s interesting to read about Kathy Jackson’s ongoing train crash. Surely the behaviour of her legal team in court yesterday amounted to contempt of court..

    Keep up the good work Peter for the sake of all of us who believe justice should prevail,

  21. Lachlan Ridge says:

    If a gold Walkley is to mean anything it should be presented to you Peter. This is an astonishing story that could have led to a change of government without an election or a scrutiny of policy if Thomson had not had the strength to withstand the character assassination delivered by the MSM and Her Majesty’s Loyal (thank you David Flint). We would have a government that would include Eric Abetz and Sophie Mirabella as ministers!

    I used to start my day with Crikey but now I start with IA. This is what I posted under Keane’s ‘let’s all be friends’ jeremiad over at Crikey, (and I share your opinion thereof except I’d add Rundle to First Dog):

    Well it looks like the Hunchback of Barton has well and truly jumped the shark. Of course the difference between bloggers and the mainstream media matters. Without blogs we would not have the full story of the Jackson-Lawler affair, which with its links between Lawler and Abbott and Pyne, dwarfs anything the Thomson ‘scandal’ has thrown up.

    And the coverage of this from the mainstream media despite the plethora of published information showing Jackson and Lawler up to their necks in it? Not a peep outside of some cheap shots continuing the anti-Thomson crusade above a barely concealed desire to snatch government in this hung parliament along with some inconsequential and uncontextual court reportage. Jackson continues to be reported uncritically, as does every carpetbagger with a begging bowl and a PR outfit in tow.

    The mainstream media is toast and I relish the thought. It is a great thing for democracy that few believe them any more. They keep spouting the deregulation is good for all of us Kool Aid that Steel’s article on Crikey showed was so much tosh and bunkum. While Steel [Possum Comitatus] seemed genuinely concerned and perplexed by all this it was not news to anyone who has had an award based income in the last twenty years. Ironic that the most out of touch of all apart from politicians and journalists seem to be pollsters!

    I quit journalism because it was nothing short of an echo chamber for the kleptocrats and a hundred percent of my former colleagues would do well to do the same.

    And Crikey can add itself to the list of self important buffoons parading as sources of information – especially if you let that goose Kohler anywhere near a platform. The lot of you are useless at giving me information I need to manage my life in this society as effectively as I can.

    Thank god for blogs where I can find links to source information, anything else is just budgie cage liner and wasted bandwidth.


  22. WatsonGirlsDad says:

    I was interested in Wendys comments regarding the media from 40 years ago. It has got me wondering about our ageing population.

    My wife works in PR. The other night I told her how dismayed I was that the #Jacksonville articles were not being picked up by the MSM. I explained that compared to much of the dross that makes headlines, this information really was in the public interest (especially the poor HSU members). What would you do I asked. It was suggested I start with talk back radio and to see what fuses that might light.

    Well I started with a well known local commercial radio station. I had not listened to it before, so I thought I would give it a whirl before hitting them up. Well OMG !!! Whilst I knew the demographic wouldn’t be ‘twenty somethings’ I was astonished to find the number of grumpy old bastards out there and aren’t they all very angry.

    Yes, I was listening to talk back radio shortly after Mr Costellos well balanced opinion of the Qld state of affairs had been published. The retirees were going nuts. The presenter of the show was not stopping them either, indeed stirring them up with suggestions that Labor needs to be rolled at a federal level also.

    I was amazed that so many people had swallowed the information all on face value and with all the spin that was being put on it. Now I am not saying the numbers are good,bad or ugly but I know that I will look into it a bit more before I call for executions like some.

    Of course many of the ageing population only have MSM (un-researched broad sweeping statement I know !!). If 40 years ago the MSM were a more respectable mob, as Wendy alludes to, maybe many of the olds still think they are.

    Feel so much better now I have got some pent up ageism out the way.

    Anyway Wixxy – please keep up the good work and I am still looking at ways to heighten awareness of your articles.

  23. Marilyn says:

    Another bug bear with the MSM is their insistence in treating every arrival of refugees by sea as news, whining endlessly about non-existent smugglers and generaly writing garbage passed off as news.

    It makes not a jot of difference how asylum seekers get here and it never has.

  24. kazann says:

    My distrust of the MSN started after reading about a blogger who had obviously ruffled some feathers amongst the MSN. Thanks to that paper’s little tirade I decided to look at his stuff. It made me question what I was reading. I started to seek out video footage and transcripts of speeches to cross reference what they claimed was said against what was actually said. I discovered they seem very good at cherry picking a phrase and then linking it to something completely unrelated or spinning it out of context..
    So maybe those passing themselves off as journalists should be worried. I found bloggers often encourage you to think, to look at links and not just rely on what they say. On the other hand the MSN seem to be busy telling us what to think or reading from a politicans press release without question, trying to attract attention with their shouty, often misleading, headlines. Sometimes I feel like a character in a dystopian novel. I knew something was wrong. I realised the people controlling the news were, well, controlling the news. I’ve had my epihany and now I’m just waiting for others to wake up and smell the foul decaying carcass with a megaphone we once used to trust and respect, the MSN.

  25. seb says:

    Sorry have not read the comments yet –

    Seem to me with the msm thinks the LIBs are going to win, so there is no point in investigating any thing that lessen that possibility.

    Very surprised that David Marr, of the SMH, called Craig Thomson a liar on Q&A.

    When Julian Morrow call Bob Carr a liar on RN drive, did he say sorry?

    Thanks for all your time and efforts.

  26. Don says:

    Anne Louise Germaine De Stael-Holstein (1766-1817) was a French speaking Swiss author. Napoleon said about her that she “teaches people to think who never thought before or who had fogotten how to think”. I am a retired engineer and I hadn’t shown as much interest in politics in the past as I have in recent times and it’s all because of the MSM not giving our PM and elected Government a “fair go” and discovering the IA website.
    When I hear WIN-TV advertise their news program on the radio as “the news service you can trust” – I say “what a joke”.
    I believe Anne Louise was refering to people like you when she said “search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty”.
    If Craig Thomson is exonerated (after 9 investigations) I believe he owes you a debt of gratitude, as we all do, for your investigative skills and tenacity.

  27. The bull says:

    Newsflash! Exclusive! HUMPTY DUMPTY FALLS OFF THE WALL! One story, one account, by one journalist, accepted unquestioningly by all media outlets. Story picked up and paraphrased in rest of media e.g. BAD EGG TRAGEDY! Followed by the commentariat commenting on other commentariat’s comments using hip media speak and the word ‘narrative’ frequently, viz. ‘What’s the opposition’s NARRATIVE likely to be on this Annabel?’ Wit from fast emerging media celebrity, Annabel. ‘Well according to Richo they’re putting all their eggs in one basket, Chris and the NARRATIVE is scrambled.’ Ho, ho, ho! Letter from citizen to MSM – ‘I just saw HUMPTY. He’s still on the wall’. Crumpled and put in the bin.

  28. Marilyn says:

    And Brough will assist the court. What a joke the ABC has become.

  29. Marilyn says:

    That was my impression too. I wonder how we will fare against my mate Julian Burnside though.

    I don’t remember the Howard mob doing too well with the docks case do you?

    I note Simon Benson questioned McClymont and Fairfax over that credit slip that I identified as bogus in a nano-second as did all the other people I sent it to.

  30. Baraholka says:


    Thomson says he has been cleared of various wrongs by seven different investigations. I know the AEC cleared him of $73K in electoral funding. What were the other six investigations and their findings.

    Many Thanks,


  31. Buff McMenis says:

    As usual, Peter, your wise words give me some hope that even the lowest common denominator (now to be referred to as LCD) will have to come to terms with the lies, misinformation, distortion of truth and relevance, opinionated reports rather than investigative news, blatant bias by shock-jocks and TV so-called commentators who are nothing more than propagandists for the Right Wing, and now the insane descent of the ABC into the same “cess-pit” journalistic cant as the commercial outlets have shown for too many years!

    Interesting to see that Fairfax is now showing that their endless reassurances that they “Tell the news as it is” is no longer believable. 1900 jobs, 400 of which are in the reporting area are now to be lost! Well, well, well .. who’da thunk it? Paywall, tabloids, Page 3 girls? And no-one will lose out? HA! At least we have Blogging, although there is a rather disturbing note that some Suadi Prince (close friend of dear old Rupert) has just bought into Twitter to the tune of some $300 million .. scary? Damned tootin’ it is! LCD and the thinkers will now all be dumbed down. So although I still have that little bit of hope you give me, it’s rapidly scooting out the door ..

  32. web says:

    excellent publish, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not realize this.
    You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

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