Showing posts with label media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media. Show all posts

Monday, 9 April 2018

Trump called out for untrue personal attack


Fox News pointed out in polite terms that US President Donald J. Trump is telling wall-to-wall lies in his personal attack on the founder of Amazon (an American electronic commerce and cloud computing corporation) and owner of The Washingtom Post, multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos.

It also linked this attack to newspaper's reporting of the the DOJ-FBI investigation into alleged links between the the Trump presidential campaign and Russia's interferrence in the 2016 US national elections.


Perhaps Trump should cast his mind back to the last American president that tried to silence The Washington Post - in that case for it's reporting of the Watergate political scandal.

He might also care to recall that Bezos (the world's 'richest' man in 2018) only holds est. 16 per cent of Amazon shares - there are another 2,447 shareholders of record and est. 60.53 per cent of the share pool is owned by institutional investors, who as representatives of a host of beneficial shareholders won't be happy with Trump's crude attempt to force Amazon share value down. 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Mainstream media continues to amplify racist dog whistles in 2018


In September 2017 the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) published the new Code of Conduct for Nurses and Code of Conduct for Midwives. The codes took effect for all nurses and midwives in Australia on 1 March 2018.


The new codes for nurses and midwives can be found here.

These codes passed without much comment until far-right Senator Cory Bernardi began to bay about “political correctness” on 31 January 2018 and claim that Nurses must acknowledge white privilege and voice this acknowledgment if asked.

According to ABC Media Watch he was followed by the Murdoch media running with this blatant dog whistle, followed by Andrew Bolt, Peta Credlin and various radio shock jocks.

Misleading media coverage culminating in a truly appalling piece of journalism by Channel 7 which elicited this response…………..

Luke Pearson writing at @IndigenousX on 24 March 2018:


“BUT FIRST TONIGHT, THE CONTENTIOUS NEW CODE TELLING NURSES TO SAY ‘SORRY FOR BEING WHITE’ WHEN TREATING THEIR INDIGENOUS PATIENTS..

That’s how Today Tonight Adelaide began last night.
It continued:

“Now, it’s the latest in a string of politically correct changes for the health industry, but this one has led to calls for the Nursing Board boss to resign.”

It was followed by a five minute story with the new code being condemned by someone you’ve probably never heard of, Graeme Haycroft, explaining that: “According to how the code is written, the white nurse would come in and say, ‘before I deal with you, I have to acknowledge to you that I have certain privileges that you don’t have” followed by Cory Bernardi calling it divisive.

It goes on in this vein for a full five minutes before it cuts back to the presenter, who finally says, “The Nursing and Midwifery Board has told us that the code was drafted in consultation with Aboriginal groups and has been taken out of context as it’s not a requirement for health workers to declare or apologise for white privilege”.

And just to reinforce that point, the entire premise for the segment was false. There is no requirement for nurses to apologise for being white, which would be very awkward for the more the more than 1500 Indigenous nurses across Australia, and the countless others who also aren’t white to begin with. But, even for the nurses who are – THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT FOR THEM TO APOLOGISE FOR BEING WHITE.

So, why on Earth would Today Tonight run such a story?

Why would they base a story off the demonstrably false allegations of this Graeme Haycroft person?

To answer that, it might useful to cut back to a 2005 Sydney Morning Herald story about Mr Haycroft:

“A member of the National Party and the H.R. Nicholls Society, he (Mr Haycroft) boasts that, because of a tussle he had with the Australian Workers Union 15 years ago, the union does not have a single member shearing sheep in south-western Queensland today.

Now he runs a labour hire firm with a thriving sideline in moving small-business employees off awards and collective agreements and onto the Federal Government’s preferred individual contracts, Australian Workplace Agreements.

…Mr Haycroft’s business stands out because he is targeting lower-skilled, lower-paid workers, often with poor English – the people unions say have much to fear from individual contracts.”

Cut back to 2018, and Graeme Haycroft now runs the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland, which promotes itself as an alternative to the Qld Nurses Union.

So, a man with a long history of fighting Unions, who ‘saved’ the mushroom farming business by showing businesses how to move “small-business employees off awards and collective agreements and onto the Federal Government’s preferred individual contracts, Australian Workplace Agreements.”

According to the 2005 article, “Mr Haycroft said workers had been more than happy to sign on, most with their penalty rates, holiday pay and other conditions being rolled into a flat rate.”

“However, [there is always a ‘however’], Mr Haycroft was stripped of his preferred provider status with the Office of the Employment Advocate on Thursday, after a Sydney picker, Carmen Walacz Vel Walewska, said she was sacked after she contacted the Australian Workers Union for advice on AWAs.”

With that track record, it’s hard to imagine why nurses would want to leave their current union in favour of his ‘professional association’.

It seems as though, once again, Indigenous people have become a political football and a convenient scapegoat for issues that have nothing to do with us.

Queensland has a long history of political success found through anti-Aboriginal sentiment, so what better way to undermine a Union and recruit new members to a professional association than to accuse the Union of ‘racism against white people’ and ‘political correctness gone made’ by spreading the blatantly false and misleading accusation that white nurses now have to apologise to Aboriginal people for being white?

And just like Dick Smith’s anti-immigration campaign, Blair Cottrell’s anti-African ‘community safety group’, and Prue McSween’s call for a new Stolen Generation, it seems Channel 7 is always more than happy to ignore the facts and sensationalise issues about race and racism.

There is always one more thing.

We, and others, will soon publish articles explaining what the Code of Conduct actually calls for, and explain why cultural competence and cultural safety are important (editor’s note: we did, here’s one of them), but I can’t help but be reminded of this quote from Toni Morrison:
“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”

So, instead of working on the very real business of ensuring best practice within the nursing industry, our Indigenous experts in this area will have to take a few days away from this important work to explain that no one is asking for white nurses to apologise for being white.
Just like we have to explain that not all Aboriginal parents abuse their children, or that we don’t want to steal white people’s backyards, or that we had (and have) science, or that Australia wasn’t Terra Nullius, or, as Malcolm Turnbull suggested last year, that acknowledging Indigenous history and addressing the issue of colonial statues and place names across Australia is not a “Stalinist exercise of trying to wipe out or obliterate or blank out parts of our history”.

So long as Australian media and politics finds value, profit and opportunity in promoting racism, there will always be one more thing.

So, I might as well clear up a few others while I’m here, and empty a few more buckets out of the endless ocean of racist misinformation.

Child abuse isn’t a ‘cultural’ thing.

Police are not scared to arrest Aboriginal people out of fear of being called racist.

We don’t get free houses.

Aboriginal people using white ochre on their faces in dance and ceremony is not the same thing as white people dressing up in blackface.

We don’t get free university.

The Voice to Parliament is not a third chamber of parliament.

We are not the problem.

Anything else?

We aren’t vampires?

We don’t shoot laser beams out of our eyes?

We aren’t secretly developing a perpetual motion machine that runs on white tears?

I’m sure I, and countless others, will undoubtedly need to keep adding to this list because, as Toni Morrison tells us, there will always be one more thing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, Response to Media Watch, 23 March 2018, excerpt:

 Do nurses under the new code have to announce their ‘white privilege’ before treating indigenous patients?
It is not a requirement of the codes of conduct for nurses and midwives to announce or apologise for white privilege. Any claim that nurses and midwives need to announce or apologise for white privilege is completely untrue. The recent criticisms from Mr Haycroft are based on completely untrue statements. The requirements for nurses when working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples are clearly outlined in section 3.1 of the code.

Are nurses encouraged to announce their ‘white privilege’ before treating indigenous patients?
No.

Is there any requirement to acknowledge or announce ‘white privilege’ before treating a patient?
No.

Can a nurse be sacked for NOT declaring or addressing their ‘white privilege’ to a patient?
No.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUSTRALIAN NURSING AND MIDWIFERY FEDERATION, AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF NURSING, AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF MIDWIVES AND CONGRESS OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER NURSES AND MIDWIVES JOINT STATEMENT, 23 March 2018:
 In response to Graeme Haycroft’s recent comments, we welcome the opportunity to provide further information on how important cultural safety is for improving health outcomes and experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

 It is clear from the 2018 Closing the Gap Report tabled by Prime Minister Turnbull in February 2018 that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples still experience poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians. It is well understood these inequities are a result of the colonisation process and the many discriminatory policies to which Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians were subjected to, and the ongoing experience of discrimination today.

All healthcare leaders and health professionals have a role to play in closing the gap.
The approach the NMBA has taken for nurses and midwives (the largest workforce in the healthcare system) by setting expectations around culturally safe practice, reflects the current expectations of governments to provide a culturally safe health system. (For more information please see the COAG Health Council 4 August 2017 Communiqué).

Culturally safe and respectful practice is not a new concept. Nurses and midwives are expected to engage with all people as individuals in a culturally safe and respectful way, foster open, honest and compassionate professional relationships, and adhere to their obligations about privacy and confidentiality.

Many health services already provide cultural safety training for their staff. Cultural safety is about the person who is providing care reflecting on their own assumptions and culture in order to work in a genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Nurses and midwives have always had a responsibility to provide care that contributes to the best possible outcome for the person/woman they are caring for. They need to work in partnership with that person/woman to do so. The principle of cultural safety in the new Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives (the codes) provides simple, common sense guidance on how to work in a partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The codes do not require nurses or midwives to declare or apologise for white privilege.

The guidance around cultural safety in the codes sets out clearly the behaviours that are expected of nurses and midwives, and the standard of conduct that patients and their families can expect. It is vital guidance for improving health outcomes and experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The codes were developed through an evidence-based and extensive consultation process conducted over a two-year period. Their development included literature reviews to ensure they were based on the best available international and Australian evidence, as well as an analysis of complaints about the conduct of nurses and midwives to ensure they were meeting the public’s needs.

The consultation and input from the public and professions included working groups, focus groups and preliminary and public consultation. The public consultation phase included a campaign to encourage nurses and midwives to provide feedback.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the Australian College of Nursing, the Australian College of Midwives and the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives all participated in each stage of the development and consultation of the new codes. The organisations strongly support the guidance around cultural safety in the codes for nurses and midwives.

Lynette Cusack Chair Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
Ann Kinnear CEO Australian College of Midwives (ACM)
Kylie Ward CEO Australian College of Nursing (ACN)
Janine Mohamed CEO Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives
Annie Butler A/Federal Secretary Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation


Thursday, 1 March 2018

No need to worry about the possibility that a Liberal-Nationals Federal Government will impose censorship on the free press in Australia



The time to fret over the possibility of government censorship of the media is over because in February 2018 it ceased being a distant possibility and became fact.

This is what the Australian Press Council stated about the News Corp online article….

Australian Press Council (APC):   


The Press Council has considered whether its Standards of Practice were breached by an article published in news.com.au on 31 May 2017, headed “Islamic State [IS] terror guide encourages luring victims via Gumtree, eBay”.

The opening paragraph read: “ISLAMIC State has released a step-by-step guide on how to murder nonbelievers, which includes how to lure targets via fake ads on Gumtree and eBay”. The article proceeded to relay in detail how an article in “[t]he latest edition of the terror group’s English-language propaganda magazine … encourages would-be terrorists to advertise products on second-hand selling sites … to lure victims and assassinate them”. The article mostly comprised extracts from the source material describing the steps necessary to perform such acts.

The Council considered that the article did publish much of the source material from IS verbatim, with limited accompanying analysis or context, such as comments from experts and websites such as Gumtree. The Council accepted there was no intention to encourage or support terrorism, but considered that republishing content from terrorist entities in this manner can perpetuate the purpose of such propaganda and give publicity to its ideas and practices.

However, the Council accepted the public interest in alerting readers to potential risks to their safety. It considered that on balance, the public interest in alerting readers to the dangerous content of the terrorist propaganda and its instructional detail was greater than the risk to their safety posed by the effective republication of terrorist propaganda content. Given this, the Council concluded that the public interest justified publication of the article. Accordingly, the publication did not breach General Principle 6.

The Council noted that great care needs to be exercised by publications when reporting on terrorist propaganda to ensure that public safety is not compromised. In particular, effectively republishing source material comprising instructional detail in how to carry out particular terrorist acts could pose a risk to public safety, and reasonable steps should be taken to prevent such an outcome.

This is what the Turnbull Government did…….

News.com.au, 28 February 2018:

…the article titled “Islamic State terror guide encourages luring victims via Gumtree, eBay” no longer exists.

A week after it was published on May 31, 2017, the Attorney-General’s office contacted news.com.au to demand it be taken down, saying the Classification Board had ruled it should be refused classification as it “directly or indirectly” advocated terrorist acts.

It appears to be the first time section 9A of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 has been used to censor a news report, since it was first added in 2007.

The action has alarmed the publisher of news.com.au as Australian media in general were not informed the Classification Board had the power to ban news stories or that the eSafety Commissioner had the power to instigate investigations into news articles.

“The first news.com.au knew of this matter was when contacted by the Attorney-General’s Department and advised of the Classification Board decision,” news.com.au argued as part of a separate Press Council investigation into the article.
“The department, board and the eSafety Commissioner did not contact news.com.au beforehand to advise of the investigation. Consequently, news.com.au was not given the right to make submissions or a defence in regard to the article.”

News.com.au removed the article as it was facing legal penalties from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) if it refused, including fines or even civil or criminal legal action.
In justifying its decision, the Classification Board noted the article contained “detailed references and lengthy quotations from Rumiyah (Islamic State’s propaganda magazine)” with limited author text to provide context.

News.com.au asked the board why there was no opportunity for news organisations to defend the article based on public interest grounds but a response provided by a spokesman for the eSafety Commissioner did not directly address this.

The spokesman said the board did consider whether the material could “reasonably be considered to be done merely as part of public discussion or debate, or as entertainment or satire” before making its decision.

He also acknowledged this may have been the first time a news article had been censored using this section.

However, as a government which to a man fails to grasp how the Internet works their well-laid plans seldom go off without a hitch and, the article that Turnbull & Co wish to erase from memory remains on national and international news sites as I write.

Friday, 19 January 2018

In response to Trump's fake news awards the Committee to Protect Journalists announced Press Oppressors awards


After a couple of date deferrals, well-known right wing ratbag US President Donald J Trump finally released his so-called 2017 Fake News Awards on a Republican web site on 18 January 2017 (Sydney time) announcing "the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media".

As one has come to expect from this inadequate man it was an eleven point non-event with no red carpet, no 'ceremony', absolutely no evidence of corruption being presented and containing a number of distortions of fact.

Trump's awards had been left in the shade weeks ago by Stephen Colbert's mocking off Times Square billboard and the Committee to Protect Journalists' pre-emptive strike.


Shareblue Media, 9 January 2018:

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Monday released a list of the world’s worst press oppressors — and Donald Trump took home the top honor, beating out dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The list of global press oppressors recognizes world leaders “who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media.” It was released in response to Trump’s upcoming “fake news” awards ceremony.

Trump was named the winner of the “Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom” award for going “above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.”
Among other things, Trump has popularized the term “fake news,” using it to describe any news that he doesn’t like — at times, even his own words. He uses the bully pulpit to openly promote Fox News as his personal propaganda arm while denigrating other news sources and calling for the firing of journalists who make honest mistakes.

Most recently, Trump called for banning the book “Fire and Fury” because he doesn’t like its unflattering portrayal of his first year in office.


Most Thin-skinned - Winner: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, Runner-Up: President Donald Trump, United States

Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press - Winner: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, Runner-Up: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt

Tightest Grip on Media (This category excludes countries with no independent media, such as North Korea and Eritrea)  - Winner: President Xi Jinping, China, Runner-Up: President Vladimir Putin, Russia

Biggest Backslider in Press Freedom - Winner: State Counselor and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar, Runner-Up: President Andrzej Duda, Poland

Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom - Winner: President Donald Trump, United States

The United States, with its First Amendment protection for a free press, has long stood as a beacon for independent media around the world. While previous U.S. presidents have each criticized the press to some degree, they have also made public commitments to uphold its essential role in democracy, at home and abroad. Trump, by contrast, has consistently undermined domestic news outlets and declined to publicly raise freedom of the press with repressive leaders such as Xi, Erdoğan, and Sisi. Authorities in ChinaSyria, and Russia have adopted Trump's "fake news" epithet, and Erdoğan has applauded at least one of his verbal attacks on journalists. Under Trump's administration, the Department of Justice has failed to commit to guidelines intended to protect journalists' sources, and the State Department has proposed to cut funding for international organizations that help buttress international norms in support of free expression. As Trump and other Western powers fail to pressure the world's most repressive leaders into improving the climate for press freedom, the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

In Australia 90% of the population read news media


Excerpt from AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER HISTORY GROUP, NEWSLETTER No. 95, December 2017:

The Australian Financial Review’s weekday edition increased its print readership by 14.9 per cent to 347,000 people during the 12 months ending in August. The AFR Weekend rose 4.8 per cent to 130,000 people. The weekday Australian increased its print readers by 5.6 per cent in the past 12 months. The paper’s weekday audience rose 26,000 to 494,000, while the Weekend Australian was up 2.8 per cent to 590,000 for the 12 months ending in August, according to the Enhanced Media Metrics Australia statistics.

The Sydney Morning Herald fell 3.5 per cent to 640,000 people Monday to Friday, while its Saturday edition was down 8.4 per cent to 655,000. In Melbourne, weekday print readership of News Corp’s Herald Sun fell 5.1 per cent to 1.190 million, while the paper’s Saturday edition dropped 7.3 per cent to 974,000 readers. The Age fell 8.7 per cent to 549,000 readers, with the Saturday edition down 11.4 per cent to 522,000.

The Australian’s total combined audience across print and digital platforms was 3.159 million, down 4.1 per cent on the year. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph was the best performing of the state-based News Corp papers, with its Monday-to-Friday edition up 1 per cent to 1.003 million readers; its Saturday edition rose 4.7 per cent to 798,000 readers. The Sunday Telegraph print readership fell 5 per cent to 1.027 million readers.

Emma found 13.1 million Australians — 70 per cent of the population — read news media electronically on smartphones, tablets, mobiles or computers. Across all platforms, including print, news media was read by 16.7 million people, 90 per cent of the population.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Senate estimates hearing accidentally exposed the pro-government bias of Registered Organisation Commission's senior management


The Mandarin, 1 December 2017:

Two federal statutory officials have admitted to making comments that Labor has seized on as raising doubts about their agency's independence.

The comments were made during a break in an Employment portfolio estimates hearing this morning exploring the Australian Federal Police raid on a union headquarters and involvement of Employment Minister Michaelia Cash's office.

One of the participants, Registered Organisation Commission's executive director Chris Enright (pictured), strongly hit back at claims he is not independent, or has questionable ethics through his 40 years of service in government and police roles.

Media present in an estimates hearing overheard the comments, including Buzzfeed reporter Alice Workman, who tweeted part of the exchange:

Alice Workman
Labor has called for the clerk so meeting resume for a few seconds but is suspended again. This is going to go on for a while. Cash seems very cheery as she uses break to leave the room, greeting people#estimates

Alice Workman
Overheard as committee on break: ROC and FWO officials joking that "this has been a very productive half hour" and "they could do this all day" as Labor's "getting pretty desperate" #estimates

That tweet enraged Labor senators when the hearing resumed. The Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James was not involved in the exchange. However, two officials owned up the exchange, Registered Organisations Commissioner Mark Bielecki and Chris Enright, ROC's executive director.

"How can you ever be regarded as independent [public servants] after the comments you just made?" asked a visibly angered Senator Doug Cameron.

The officials could not respond as Senator Ian Macdonald interjected, claiming the question was bullying the officials.

The chair Senator Linda Reynolds reminded officials that audio-visual Hansard rules do not apply during breaks and journalists may report anything they hear or observe in the building.

Cash directed officials to cover any documents they had brought from sight of journalists or cameras.

Alice Workman
To clarify: I did not listen in to any private convo. I was in room with my media pass and heard what everyone else around me did. 

The full comments cannot be verified without an investigation as Hansard rules do not permit the release of committee records when the hearing is not in session....

Also on Twitter was this plaintive tweet from the journalist mentioned above:
And this from the twitterverse:

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Quote of the Week


“Trump is 71; Murdoch is 86, and the median age of a prime-time Fox News viewer is 68. Anyone can see where this is going. The grim reaper has become a Democratic poll watcher.”  [Journalist Richard Cohen  writing in The Washington Post, 13 November 2017]

Monday, 23 October 2017

Australian politics, law, justice and eligibility to sit as a federal parliamentarian


Excerpt from Ingrid Matthews’ article in Independent Australia, Hurrah! It's Section Forty-Forganza Week!, 12 October 2017:

REPORTING POLITICS, LAW AND JUSTICE
There are two other general points to make about the media framing of this case. 
The first is the oft-foreshadowed possibility that those MPs who have not done so may be "forced to resign". This is supremely irritating, because no force is involved (unlike, say, how police handled a child here). Any resignation would be a function of the MP failing to comply with our Constitution and of the High Court doing its job.
The absence of force is important, because the biggest claim that common law liberal democracies like Australia make for our system is this: legal and political conflicts are settled in a "civilised" manner. With words, not fists. With elections, not coups. Using evidence and argument, not violence and vigilantism.
The rituals of legal process are imbued with this pretension to courteous resolution. But that is not how the law looks to Black people in prison cells and their families. Or to welfare recipients sent AFP-branded debt notices by Centrelink. We pay Barnaby Joyce over $1 million per three-year term, and thousands more in expenses, while aggressively pursuing the poorest people in society for petty or non-existent offences and debts.
This is not justice.
Similarly, the notion that the "High Court could bring down the Government" is erroneous. If Joyce is disqualified, it would be a product of Joyce’s oversight and not because the High Court exercised some previously unrealised prerogative power in a curial coup. Plus, there are crossbenchers in the Lower House. The member for Indi will support the Government on confidence and supply. Thus a shift from a majority to a minority government does not "bring down a government". Such a narrative is misleading and frankly embarrassing, given we had a minority government a mere four years ago.
In my view, if Joyce could discover and renounce New Zealand citizenship in 2017, he could have done so in 2004 when he nominated for the Senate, or in 2013 for the seat of New England (Wiki history here). This position is based in law and morality. To me it is simply wrong of Joyce to not ensure his eligibility to sit in the Australian Parliament when he receives such enormous largesse from the Australian public to do so. I say largesse because I can not see any value-add to the national interest, any return on our investment, in Joyce and his travels.
So yes, the politics of this case are fascinating, but not necessarily in the ways that are offered up by political reporters. Constitutional law is a serious business, and the law is not a game.
Ingrid Matthews is a sessional academic who teaches law and human rights. You can follow Ingrid on Twitter at @iMusing or via her blog oecomuse.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Pollie dripping venom at taxpayers' expense


Federal Labor MP for Melbourne Ports since 1998 Michael Danby may have let his website www.nolibirandeal.com lapse on 14 September 2017, however his venom is still dripping at taxpayers’ expense and is now pointedly directed at an ABC journalist.

Australian Jewish News, via Twitter, 1 October 2017, half-page advertisement

Australian Jewish News, 5 October 2017, half-page advertisement


Australian Jewish News, 14 September 2007 via Media Watch

However, the recent increased criticism might be because Mr. Danby may no longer be hopeful of retaining Labor Party preselection ahead of the next federal election.

The Opposition Leader is not the only one deeply unimpressed by Danby’s attack ads.

Perhaps the party’s over for this parliamentarian?

UPDATE

On 16 October 2017 ABC News reported that Danby took a week's sick leave in 2016 but rather than take to his bed he took off for Israel instead.

Wonder if that trip was also at taxpayer expense?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

"You're an absolute disgrace" Coalition and One Nation senators


Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie on the floor of the Australian Senate, 14 September 2017.

Senate Hansard,  12 September 2017:
Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (13:56): The government wants One Nation support for this package so badly that it has agreed to invite a razor gang into the books of the ABC. And it wants Nick Xenophon's support for the package so badly that it has agreed not to embarrass him into being forced to vote in support of One Nation's proposal. But make no mistake, voting for this bill means voting for One Nation's deal. I know that, One Nation knows that and you can bet your last dollar that Nick Xenophon and his team know that, too. As for what the details are, we still don't know. The government won't tell us and they won't tell us. All we know is that it commits the government to review the ABC and ask if it is reducing the profitability of its commercial rivals. Guess what? The job of the ABC isn't to make money for its commercial rivals. Its job is to guarantee all Australians have access to news, programming and information that affects their lives, no matter where they live or how wealthy they are. The deal the government has made isn't designed to improve the ABC; it is designed to defund it. It's a deal to set up a rigged kangaroo court that is determined to find the ABC guilty and lay the groundwork for slashing the budget of the most trusted news source in the country—or, as I like to refer to it, the eighth great wonder of the world. That is the deal that is before us. That is the vote we are taking—to defend the ABC or to defund it. No amount of tax breaks or inquiries into tech giants can change that. As the old saying goes, if you don't know all the details of the deal, don't vote for it. If you knew all the details of the deal, you probably wouldn't vote for it anyway. A vote in favour of this package is a vote in favour of all the strings that come attached to it. The government could have opted to put the full details of the deal in the legislation, but it decided not to because it is embarrassed by what it has agreed to. And if something is so embarrassing that not even this government would be willing to put its name to it, then it says something about all those who are voting to support it. No matter what else is said, no matter who says it, there's only one thing you need to remember: if you are proud of something, you don't hide it. The deal that has been made between One Nation and the Turnbull government doesn't go ahead unless this vote passes. What we're doing by voting for this media reform package is actually voting for a dirty deal, because the government decided to link the two. We are voting for something on paper and another thing altogether in practice. We're choosing whether to defend the ABC or to defund it. I will not endorse this deal. I am willing to vote to help the commercial players by doing away with outdated media ownership regulations but I refuse to vote for a package that hurts journalism in rural and regional Australia. The bill before us is only half the deal. The other half will not be put to the vote. This is the vote—for the visible half and for the invisible other. It is the only opportunity we will have to oppose the dirty deal the government has made to let loose the razor gangs on the budget of the ABC for the crime of doing exactly what the public needs a public broadcaster to do. I won't be supporting this bill and I am disappointed that I can't. I'm disappointed that I can't support this bill, because I support what it's trying to achieve in principle. The media landscape is changing fast and— The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Lambie. You are in continuation. It being 2pm, we move to question without notice.
Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (18:27): The media landscape is changing fast. The industry is changing and the industry's regulation needs changing too. It's ridiculous to say that the only way to defend a struggling industry is to defend the regulation that's preventing it from defending itself against new and enormous threats. But concerns around the potential loss of media diversity as a result of the changes posed are real and valid. It is important that any deal to change regulation also protects media diversity in the process. Nobody wants any one media baron to have excessive power over the political landscape, and the best way to address concerns about private media ownership is to invest in publicly owned media. The government, with courage, would put whatever it's proposing to a vote. That's not what it has agreed to. Instead, reports suggest that the government has made some sneaky handshake deal in a back room somewhere to undermine the operations of the ABC, and it has gone behind the back of the Senate to do it. I won't be supporting this bill, and I'm disappointed that I can't. I'm disappointed that I can't support this bill because I support in principle what it's trying to achieve, but I will not be a part of taking a pitchfork to the ABC.