Australia’s old media is fighting an internal civil war trying to justify their cheerleader style of reporting federal politics. In this case, it’s regarding Australia’s highly questionable $368 billion expenditure on submarines.
The Canberra Press Gallery reporters have been exposed for failing dismally in doing their job to keep politicians accountable and they have spent the last few days attacking former Prime Minister Paul Keating to somehow justify their failings.
The latest attacks on the old media started when Nine Entertainment’s papers The SMH and The Age, which was supported by Channel Nine, published a blatant propaganda 3-part series that started on the 7th of March called “Red Alert” with the first article titled “Australia faces the threat of war with China within three years – and we’re not ready”.
The 2 journalists who wrote the “Red Alert” propaganda series, Peter Hartcher and Matthew Knott, were attacked heavily on social media and I published an article on the 12th of March titled “Nine chairman Peter Costello is now promoting war with China after making $millions lobbying for defence companies”.
Peter Hartcher and Matthew Knott were also exposed for dodgy reporting and blatant bias on the 13th of March on Media Watch but somehow they in effect claim all the criticism is Paul Keating’s fault. The Media Watch segment is the first 8 minutes in the below video:
On Wednesday the 15th of March Paul Keating was interviewed at the National Press Club and he was asked questions by numerous journalists on the AUKUS submarine deal as per the below video. Keating didn’t hold back in being critical of the journalists with many journalists returning fire and attacking Keating via their positions in the media.
The Canberra Press Gallery’s hypocrisy in attacking Keating for calling them out on stupid questions and then doing the same to Keating is well analysed by Michael Pascoe in an article where he says:
According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s chief political correspondent, David Crowe: “[Paul] Keating’s assessment [of Australia’s AUKUS submarine deal] is a doddering delusion. In his twilight years, at 79, the former leader sounds deranged.”
That was after dutifully reporting the government’s briefing against the former prime minister and apparently being outraged by Mr Keating offering “sneering answers to reasonable questions from journalists – going personal in almost every answer”.
“The vision of an old man treating young women with derision was jarring,” according to the article.
That’s opposed to the SMH chief political correspondent’s ageism and treating the former prime minister, a giant of Australian politics, with derision, suggesting he was senile. No “jarring” there.
Michael Pascoe defends at least some of Paul Keating’s criticism of Penny Wong for her part in the submarine deal when he says “This puts Labor on the same level as Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton – people prepared to damage Australia’s best interests for domestic political reasons.”
Mr Keating has had an ear and a tongue in Labor’s policy development. Clearly his recommendations have not been accepted, but his contacts are such that his allegation must be treated very seriously – especially when the claim fits the facts.
Nothing else makes sense of the leadership triumvirate of Albanese, Wong and Marles pledging allegiance to AUKUS and nuclear-powered submarines within hours of hearing of such things and knowing bugger-all about them. (Click here to read more)
On the other hand, the ABC’s Laura Tingle says Keating has some “profoundly important questions” on the submarine deal that have gone unanswered by the media where she says:
“But you don’t even have to agree with his assessment to realise he is posing profoundly important questions that have just slipped us by in this current debate.”
But Tingle says “Bipartisanship has robbed us of serious debate” and defends Penny Wong when she says: “Foreign Minister Penny Wong — who unfairly copped a savaging from Keating this week”. (Click here to read more)
Bipartisanship, both the coalition and Labor supporting AUKUS and the submarine deal, is not the main issue that has robbed up of serious debate. The main reason we have been robbed of debate on the issue is the cheerleader mentality of the old media who support whatever propaganda the politicians feed them and then report that propaganda as facts.
As far as Laura Tingle saying Penny Wong “unfairly copped a savaging from Keating this week” is concerned, if Michael Pascoe is right and Penny Wong and others are “people prepared to damage Australia’s best interests for domestic political reasons.” then Penny Wong has gotten off lightly. For the record, I agree with Pascoe on this point.
The SMH’s editor Bevan Shields returned fire against Paul Keating and Media Watch in an article titled “We are not above criticism but these attacks go too far” and said: “For years we laughed with Keating as he hurls his trademark barbs. But it’s not funny anymore”. Bevan Shields came under widespread attack on Twitter and as per below decided to close his account.
Peter Costello News (formally known as Nine Entertainment)
At the heart of the old media internal civil war is Nine Entertainment chairman Peter Costello who Paul Keating called a “low-altitude flyer” when they were both in federal politics as per the below video.
The article I wrote on the 12th of March titled “Nine chairman Peter Costello is now promoting war with China after making $millions lobbying for defence companies” was updated with a video with further information on the 15th of March after the $368 billion submarine contract was announced. It’s worth noting that none of the media have raised the serious conflict of interests regarding Peter Costello, executive editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Tory Maguire and her husband David Miles whom I wrote about.
Peter Hartcher, on of the “Red Alert” journalists said regarding Keating “He made the absurd claim that the government had “no mandate” for the policy. In fact, Albanese took the AUKUS plan in principle to the 2022 election as Labor policy”.
The stupidity is that statement is both the coalition and Labor have AUKUS as part of their policy so voters had no choice and we never knew it was going to cost $368 billion. So, to say “Labor had a mandate” because they took it to the 2022 election is deceptive at best and dishonest at worst.
Not only have senior Nine journalists Peter Hartcher and Matthew Knott had their reputations trashed writing the Red Alert series but at least 2 other journalists, David Crowe, Malcolm Knox and SMH editor Bevan Shields have written pieces defending them and Nine’s papers which has achieved nothing except throwing their own reputations under a bus.
Peter Costello should resign as chairman of Nine Entertainment before more damage is done on his watch.
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