16 September 2013

On tonight's panel...?

Finally, Media Watch has a pop at the left, hitting both the ABC and Fairfax in one show


Would it be curmudgeonly of me to point out that it's rather convenient that this sudden change in editorial line happened just after the election? In the interests of fairness I will give Barry credit for attacking the other side, but it is also a fair point that there have been at least half a dozen attacks on Murdoch vs one on the ABC/Fairfax - so 'needs improvement' but getting there perhaps

Incidentally I couldn't really care less if an ABC show photo-shopped a News Limited journo into having sex with a dog, but to me it's clear that this sort of 'joke' (which was only amusing if you revel in seeing your opponents mocked) is evidence of a left-wing mentality, the Chaser are well to the left and I don't think that's disputed, and strictly speaking there's nothing wrong with them leaning in their comedy (outside an election special on a state-funded broadcaster, I should add), they can hide behind the line that some people won't like certain jokes if they want, although I'd disagree that it was actually satire

Their continued promotion by the ABC when they aren't particularly popular any more, however, says quite a lot about the management and culture at the organisation

But onto my main point tonight - following on from a reasonable Media Watch, we were introduced to the Q&A panel - featuring no government or opposition spokesmen (normally a good thing), or even journalists:

Clive Palmer - ok, definitely independent
Nick Xenophon - can fairly be described as a centrist
Larissa Waters (Greens) - because it's not like they get on with the main parties regularly anyway?
David Williamson - a playwright critical of Murdoch
Rebecca Huntley - a research director
Mark Latham - former federal Labor leader

Hmm, worrying...

First point - Latham is hardly independent, he's not a member of the opposition, and he likes writing bad things about his former colleagues, but he is very much a Labor man

'Playwright' always rings alarm bells, David Williamson went on to confirm my suspicions by admitting he was a "leftie" and harping on about socialism and Australia's Gini coefficient (which is significantly better than America's, David)

You never know, Rebecca Huntley might research economics, but alas no, even her bio lists her as "[formerly] involved in ALP politics, working for numerous federal politicians. She was a member of the National Committee of Emily’s List and the ALP’s federal policy committee"

So, unlikely to see much liberal/conservative viewpoints being bandied around there, with a Green thrown in and Xenophon a self-confessed centrist that left any pro-market, pro-business views pretty much to the affable, eccentric Palmer (and maybe Latham as he is at least an economic rationalist)

In what world is this balanced? We have just changed to a Liberal government with a clear majority and Q&A has three panelists who are openly left wing and hostile to the new government, another who is a former Labor leader and essentially no serious voices from the economic right

I just don't understand how this can pass for balance, for starters even if you trot out the letter-of-the-law political party rule, it's odd that the Greens are formally represented as everyone else is either independent or a micro-party, the Greens are regularly featured with the main parties and were part of a coalition government mere months ago

Secondly, two others are former ALP members, and the other effectively admitted being a lifelong ALP voter (or Green, maybe), only one of the remaining two could be considered to have links to the Liberals leaving a four to one balance if you're using any sort of common sense

Sorry but saying 'they're all independent of parties' (except the Greens obviously) just doesn't wash, it's blatant - there was criticism of Murdoch, free markets and Tony Abbott and much support of socialism without any reply - there were no rebuttals from the right (as the sole champion, Clive can say what he likes and avoided any such argument)

Whatever, I, as always, wish to leave it up to the market to decide...not that it really helps...

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