Trashing press freedom

So here I was in Canberra.  A swanky hotel suite.  Nice new suits.  Lord Copper’s blank cheque.

But what do I know about writing journalism?

If it doesn’t come with flour and castor sugar: nothing!

But how hard can it be.  Murdoch runs a string of whores who apparently do it every day.  To fill his propaganda rags with more or less grammatical effluent.

But I thought I’d better get some primers.

So I ordered every George Orwell book of essays and columns, all the Hunter S Thompson books.  And some other stuff too.

Bingo!

Ding, ding, ding!!!

Those guys could write!

Some of what they wrote years ago is still pretty to the point today.

The fat-bogan-in-chief is always on about how unfair the ABC is to him … and his gang of crooks.  He whines that it’s a ‘lack of objectivity’.

How can any right-thinking human being not be critical of a sack-of-shit hypocritical, lying, corruption magnet?

Thompson said it one time in ’71.  So I’ll steal his words here, and add some of my own:

The Coalition junta’s crackdown on the free press in Australia will have a nasty blow-back effect on any arsehole who talks shit about bad language and lack of objectivity.

Most people entirely ignorant about journalism only talk about objectivity, but Hunter Thompson grabs it straight by the fucking throat. You will be hard-pressed to find any argument, among professionals, on the question of Thompson’s objectivity.

As for mine … well, my doctor says it swole up and busted about ten years ago.  The only thing I ever saw that came close to objective journalism was a CCTV setup that recorded a crooked Gold Coast cop bash a teenage girl.  Right before his superiors defended his actions as necessary and in keeping with good police practice!

So much for objective journalism.  Don’t bother to look for it here—not under any byline anywhere in the press.  With the possible exception of things like sports scores and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as objective journalism.  The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

As pompous as the champion of flat earth theories, Terry Young (Liberal, Longman, QLD).

Demanding that our children be taught ‘both sides’ on issues like climate change and evolution.

What a champion of mediaevalism that guy must be.

Both sides?

That’s like saying we should teach our kids 2+2=4 and any other fucking number the cretins voting Coalition want it to be.

You know what, Mr Young: there is only one side to the facts.  Everything else is superstition, ignorance, and ideology.

No reason to stop you from being any or all those things, but imposing wilful ignorance and stupidity on our kids?  Just stay the hell away from our kids.

We don’t want pastors or priests in our schools. We know what holy rollers always end up doing with children, don’t we.

What Morrison’s gangsters really want is media bias.  Overt, lying, malicious, bias.  So long as it always runs in their favour, to cover up their crimes, incompetence, and their lack of any shred of human decency.

Just how it’s possible that a few hundred people around the country, who declare their earnings as derived from journalism, actually go along with such depraved and shameful demands is anyone’s guess.

But for now it seems to be working: there is no free press in the country.  There are probably only a dozen or so people who could justifiably call themselves journalists.

And they have to work pretty hard not to make the political news sound like the script for an episode of The Sopranos.  The point is, though, any real political news would contain more underhanded corruption and crime than all six seasons of The Sopranos combined.

Doesn’t really matter, though.  The Morrison gang has begun to outlaw the free press.

Federal police: 6 June raids on the ABC.  Demands of finger and palm prints for journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark.  Presumptive criminals for doing their jobs.  For reporting allegations of illegal killings by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.  Is there something to report on more in the public interest than Australian soldiers doing the dirty work of US imperialism?

Persecution of the press under ‘national security’ laws is what it is.  National security now seems to include not being able to hold to account the government of the day on any issue at all.

Australia’s secret police chief, Peter Dutton, says the journalists broke the law!

What he didn’t say was that the law he’s talking about is a wartime imposition of totalitarian paternalism unheard of in civilised countries.  Howard pushed it through after 9/11, and the sunset clause has been extended ever since.  Dutton’s been trying to ratchet it up ever since.  Six Bills likely to pass unopposed by the newly even more timid ALP.  More timid than it was under Shorten, which is pretty cowardly indeed.

National security laws need to be repealed rather than used for the overtly political aims of shutting down what remains of the free press.  We have laws already that make it criminal offences to preach and practice violence.

Enforce those, or sack the lazy, incompetent fucks who can’t make those laws work to achieve their intended aims.  No need for secret police nonsense in Australia.

There’s a rumour in Brisbane that Dutton’s been spotted posing in front of a mirror wearing black riding boots and jodhpurs, with a custom black tunic sporting a Sam Browne belt avec pistol, and prominent silver collar flashes.

Fancies himself as Australia’s Kaltenbrunner.  Acts like it too.  What can you expect from a Queensland ex-cop.  Cultured in Moonlight State anti-ethics and authoritarian narcissism.

Holds onto his seat by less than two per cent.  But is probably the country’s most balefully powerful manipulator.

Sometime in the next ten or twenty years, when we look back to decide at what point we lost our civil liberties and democratic instincts, we might well pinpoint 20 December 2017, when old jellyback Turnbull let Dutton become ‘Home Affairs’ minister.  Where home affairs is the euphemism used to normalise the idea that domestic affairs are solely about policing and persecuting citizens.

Things have only gotten worse.  Morrison is already a dead man walking in Dutton’s crosshairs.  And then he would ascend to the top job.

He talks a lot about the danger of terrorism.  Seems not to notice he’s the most dangerous terrorist in the country.  Sowing fear and loathing.  Making people afraid.  Add that to the coalition’s relentless class warfare—against the poor and the powerless.  And what you have is a government instilling fearfulness in city streets, suburbs, and country towns.

Maybe Dutton’s next step, after stabbing his Caesar, will be to confer a permanent prime ministership on himself, and then dissolve parliament.  There is precedent for such things from men of his temperament.

No press at all after that.  Free or not.  Only Murdoch’s propaganda machine, revising history, suppressing truth, and ushering in a period of darkness.  Home-made terror in Australia to cover the self-serving public asset stripping and theft by the few on the extreme right that is already the new norm.

 

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