Home > Oz Politics > Tony Abbott, fact-checked and FOI’d

Tony Abbott, fact-checked and FOI’d

July 8th, 2013

The Conversation has now launched its election fact-checking site. The opening set includes a factcheck I’ve done, on a claim by Tony Abbott that it now takes three years to get a mine approved compared to less than twelve months six years ago. This is wrong on about as many levels as it can possibly be, the most important being

* The claim rests on a single coal mine in NSW, which was initially rejected, then approved on appeal
* The implied blame is directed to the Commonwealth government, which changed in 2007. But mine approval is mostly a state function, and most states have switched from Labor to LNP governments in the last six years

Meanwhile, there was a Twitterstorm over the weekend, about a story run by independent journalist Margo Kingston, who used FOI to determine that Abbott had been made to repay $9400, claimed as expenses while he was promoting his book Battlelines in 2009. MSM weren’t much interested, but the barrage of tweets has elicited at least one story, here in the Age.

Categories: Oz Politics Tags:
  1. July 8th, 2013 at 09:37 | #1

    Margo Kingston’e article is a textbook example of real journalism.

    People should read both links (kudos to JQ for providing both in accordance with the unwritten rules of internet courtesy and transparency – the Age doesn’t do that in this case).

    The Age piece is a textbook example of Establishment Media selectivity.

    ‘The Punters’ would be intrigued to discover the “Minchin Protocol” (no mention in the Age) which allows pollies caught out misusing expenses to quietly repay the amount without fuss.

    Same Punters would be puzzled that Slipper’s offer to repay was rejected on the basis that in his case the AFP were already involved (no mention in the Age). Kingston queries who it was that got the AFP involved (Age doesn’t).

    The paradox of the Establishment Media is that they continue to hold undeserved power and influence while doing such consistently poor journalism, and they navel gaze about why readership has spiralled downward. As Bianca Hall’s piece shows – eve when they get it right the do it wrong.

  2. John Quiggin
    July 8th, 2013 at 09:44 | #2

    @Megan

    I meant to comment on the absence of a link in the Age piece. Typical of MSM in cases like this, and very bad practice.

  3. aidan
    July 8th, 2013 at 11:05 | #3

    I’m impressed with The Conversation fact checking, but the thing I find lacking in the fact-checking sphere is context.

    In this piece:

    https://theconversation.com/factcheck-do-coles-and-woolies-control-80-of-the-market-15418

    the authors do a great job of checking the facts, and also have some context with respect to the USA market, but I think we need more. The essence of a fact check is the context, if there isn’t any then there isn’t really any point in checking the fact. In this case whilst Katter might be 10-15% out, and this is most likely not malicious, is the point he is trying to make valid? Do we have an effective duopoly in supermarket retail in Australia? Do we even know if we do?

    I think it is likely we do, as we were told the major chains were able to influence the wholesale price of milk. But is this true? I don’t know. I’d like to be told in this context.

    I think a good example of mostly context-free fact checking is this piece on politi-fact:

    http://www.politifact.com.au/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/may/23/joe-hockey/joe-hockey-says-interest-payments-government-debt-/

    Joe Hockey is trying to scare people with a big number. They do mention at the end that we have a small debt compared to many other countries, but the true context of this should be “would the opposition do anything differently?”. In fact under the previous LNP coalition government there were howls of protest when then Treasurer Costello planned to wind up the Government bond market. At that point they committed to always issuing government bonds to provide a base of stable liquid debt for the markets to access. Even if the debt repayments were far less, it sounds a lot less scarey to say “we pay $35m a day in interest, and if I was treasurer it would only be $10m a day!”. The intent was to make it sound scary and big, and it is this that people need the information to understand and contextualise the statement.

    For the most part I’ve been disappointed with Politifact. Some of the stuff they have chosen to fact-check is pretty trivial.

  4. Hermit
    July 8th, 2013 at 11:13 | #4

    I understand Abbott has declined to be interviewed on the ABC for months, perhaps a year. If so it may be that simple mantras and sidestepping tough questions is good strategy. The people who want answers probably wouldn’t vote for him anyway. I wonder in turn if that will validate putting ‘efficiency dividends’ on the ABC after the election.

    Meanwhile Rudd seems to be confirming long held views about his style. Every week more boats arrive seemingly unfazed by any tough new approach whatever that might be. Abbott may win office by saying the least possible and not responding to fact checks.

  5. TerjeP
    July 8th, 2013 at 12:03 | #5

    Hermit – it’s a “small target” tactic. All oppositions do it as much as possible. However it entails a few risks:-

    1. The public might think badly of you for staying low and hence you may actually lose votes.
    2. You may win office but not have a clear mandate for your changes.
    3. Your team may become lazy on policy development.

    Of course the risks have to be balanced against the benefits.

    Worth noting that Gillard avoided talk back radio and hence scrutiny by those most likely to be critics.

  6. Newtownian
    July 8th, 2013 at 12:03 | #6

    A friend recently alerted me to a coalition policy to replace the Carbon Tax – the formation of a Green Army to do small environmental pick and shovel projects like restoring sand dunes. Aside from the fact this work for this dole scheme was introduced at least 15-20 years ago (it was called Green Corps) the actual type of work described notionally by Greg Hunt and Abbot jointly is, as with mines, a State responsibility. The Feds at best give a little money and take all the credit in these situations.

    Together with the mines example this suggests the scattergun attack Labor policy is being supplanted by a policy of scattergun adoption of old inapplicable ideas and recycling them on the basis they will puff out the coalition policy portfolio in the fashion of a financial bubble and appeal to small portions of swinging electorates as a nice idea when the latter don’t have sufficient information or don’t read history books.

    Still given the history of financial bubbles – we never seem to learn – maybe they are on to a good thing.

  7. TerjeP
    July 8th, 2013 at 12:09 | #7

    p.s. Ed Husic was on The Bolt Report on Sunday. He was a little muddled but I think it made him look good on balance. Very few MP’s from the ALP have been willing to front up on this show. Although the new deputy PM is a notable exception. If conservatives are meant to go on the left leaning ABC then it seems fair to expect the progressives to face the conservative media.

    p.p.s. I’d like them all to front libertarian media but we don’t really have any.

  8. Andrew
    July 8th, 2013 at 12:53 | #8

    I think you’re being incredibly over-generous by calling the media’s disciplined malpractice in this instance just “bad practice”. I’m personally going to assume malice.

  9. aidan
    July 8th, 2013 at 13:14 | #9

    TerjeP :
    p.s. Ed Husic was on The Bolt Report on Sunday. He was a little muddled but I think it made him look good on balance. Very few MP’s from the ALP have been willing to front up on this show. Although the new deputy PM is a notable exception. If conservatives are meant to go on the left leaning ABC then it seems fair to expect the progressives to face the conservative media.

    False equivalence. Bolt lies and dissembles, e.g. climate change, aboriginal authors. He does not argue in good faith. There is literally no point going on his show, it will not change his mind or his behaviour.

    Feel free to point out the “left leaning ABC” shows/presenters that behave as Bolt does.

  10. Nathan
    July 8th, 2013 at 15:59 | #10

    @TerjeP
    You can’t possibly be suggesting that any politician is obliged to appear on a show with such an incompetent and irredeemably discredited host.

  11. gerard
    July 8th, 2013 at 16:07 | #11

    Terje, “the ABC” is not the left-wing equivalent of the Bolt Report (which was set up as a deliberately partisan disinformation outlet on Reinhart’s orders to channel 10).

    The comparison is dumb.

  12. wilful
    July 8th, 2013 at 16:53 | #12

    TerjeP :
    Hermit – it’s a “small target” tactic. All oppositions do it as much as possible. However it entails a few risks:-
    1. The public might think badly of you for staying low and hence you may actually lose votes.
    2. You may win office but not have a clear mandate for your changes.
    3. Your team may become lazy on policy development.
    Of course the risks have to be balanced against the benefits.
    Worth noting that Gillard avoided talk back radio and hence scrutiny by those most likely to be critics.

    We saw what happened last time she went on talk-back radio – cost the presenter his job!

  13. NathanA
    July 8th, 2013 at 18:55 | #13

    Thanks for the analysis, I have just been watching the Drum who have been discussing the red/green tape issue. It’s pretty poor that the opposition are unable to be accurate with specific claims of overregulation, particularly when the specific regulations that you’re trying to change ought to be the point, rather than some vague notion of overregulation.

  14. July 8th, 2013 at 20:08 | #14

    The Bolt show is still on? That took me back to Micallef’s last show:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtabDcnNgzU

    …inflammatory…selective misrepresentation…distorting the truth…cynical…intimidatory…not acting in objective good faith…being gratuitous…derisive…grossly careless…dishonest…factual errors…misleading…lacking care…

    All used by courts to describe Bolt’s work.

    Bolt, good for a laugh perhaps but you wouldn’t want anyone who takes him seriously anywhere near sharp objects or the governance of a chook raffle (or a country, obviously).

  15. Jim Rose
    July 8th, 2013 at 20:27 | #15

    maybe there is something in fact checking after all see http://factcheck.org/2013/02/factchecking-obamas-sotu/

  16. John Quiggin
    July 8th, 2013 at 21:04 | #16

    Terje, I’m used to it by now, but your continued support for Bolt still stuns me. Your need to defend him must reveal to you, at some level, that libertarianism, as a political movement, requires lies to survive. You know that Bolt is a liar and a fraud, but you continue to pursue false equivalence.

    If you have any faith in your own political position, you ought to be able to sustain it while admitting that most of your current political allies are, like Bolt and the IPA, strangers to the truth. The inference, I’d suggest is that you should withdraw from party politics, including those of the LDP, and become an independent.

  17. Mr Denmore
    July 8th, 2013 at 21:49 | #17

    Bolt is a polemicist, not a journalist. The presenters on other ABC programs are employees of the public broadcaster and subject to its charter. To describe the broadcaster as left-leaning is tosh. In fact it bends over backwards, forwards and turns itself inside out to be seen as fair and balanced. The degree of its acommodation to the Right is such that it routinely sacrifices journalistic integrity for false equivalence and he-said-she-said stenography dressed up as news. What we actually need on the ABC is fearless journalism, but apart from the odd Background Briefing or Four Corners (when it concerns a subject that won’t upset the culture warriors – like live cattle exports), it shows every sign of being intimidated by the bullies of the Right.

  18. July 8th, 2013 at 21:57 | #18

    @Jim Rose

    Jim, your sensitivity is showing. Why else raise the “Look Over There! An Obama!” link?

    For the record, I am appalled that he issues a “kill list” of people marked for extra-judicial death by drone every Tuesday.

    You have never shown any concern for that aspect of US governance.

  19. iain
    July 8th, 2013 at 23:55 | #19

    For projects requiring an EPBC Act triggered EIS in Queensland, the timeline most major consultancies use now is 5 years – from proponent commencement of the approval process to conditional approval. A number of high profile projects have run longer than this recently, and a number are currently in approvals at longer time frames.

    The key issues are:
    -the whole time frame, from EIS commencement to approval,
    -quantity over quality of EIS information,
    -the levels of duplication and inefficiencies associated with government approvals,
    -staffing levels, and competencies, in government to review EIS documents
    -the amount of information that is withheld, or deliberately understudied, in the EIS process by proponents
    -the general uselessness of the EIS process to consistently influence project design to deliver outcomes that reduce potential impacts to low levels of significance

    Fact checking Abbott, does little to address the concern he is echoing from business, regarding the above. Nor does it address consistent concerns from EIS public submitters, of which Abbott is largely disinterested.

  20. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 05:54 | #20

    The presenters on other ABC programs are employees of the public broadcaster and subject to its charter.

    Not worth the paper it is written on.

  21. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 06:20 | #21

    Terje, I’m used to it by now, but your continued support for Bolt still stuns me.

    I’ve been stunned for years by some of the positions and people that you support. So I suppose we are even.

    Obviously I don’t expect those of a leftist persuasion to like Andrew Bolt greatly but it is somewhat disappointing, and rather low, that you refer to him as a liar and as a fraud. For the record I do not “know” Bolt to be a liar or a fraud although I sometimes disagree with him.

  22. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 06:28 | #22

    Terje, “the ABC” is not the left-wing equivalent of the Bolt Report

    The closest thing the ABC has to “The Bolt Report” is “Insiders”. While the Bolt Report is quite consistent in having somebody from the ALP tribe and somebody from the Coalition tribe during all panel discussions the situation is not so balanced on Insiders where the panel is frequented primarily by those of the ALP tribe. So I agree that they are not equivalent. Bolt makes more space for those with dissenting views and is more transparent and up front about his own biases.

  23. Troy Prideaux
    July 9th, 2013 at 09:53 | #23

    My personal characterization of the typical 3 member guests invited to insiders would be 1 right wing professional opinion providing pundit and 2 respected objective MSM political journalists who generally don’t argue along ideological lines, although sometimes (left leaning) David Marr is invited who can sometimes get involved with such arguments.

  24. Martin Spalding
    July 9th, 2013 at 10:15 | #24

    Terje, have you actually looked at the list of who gets invited to appear on Insiders (both commentators and politicians)? You can’t just get away with these sort of baseless, factless assertions.

    As for Bolt, many of the people you call ‘ALP tribe’ are former politicians/operators turned ALP critics/dissidents, or people from the far right of the ALP spectrum – most progressives won’t have a bar of these anymore. Examples: Michael Costa (epitome of the NSW Right), Mark Latham, Bruce Hawker (strong Rudd supporter & Gillard critic, interviewed at time when JG was still PM), Gary Johns (very ex-ALP, now IPA man & right wing culture warrior), Kristina Keneally, Richard Marles (Rudd man – see Hawker), former senator John Black (reactionary blokes club man, like Gary Johns lite, writes critical pieces in Fin), Liberty Sanger (right of party, partner of David Feeney), Warren Mundine (disaffected ex-ALP, quit late 2012 to much fanfare in The Oz among other RW publications). You can see the trend here – these are all people who are unrepresentative of the progressive point of view. They are, in short, useful for Bolt & his followers.

  25. kevin1
    July 9th, 2013 at 10:16 | #25

    @TerjeP
    I recall those halcyon days of BA Santamaria’s Point of View, a Sunday morning monologue of political guidance to the rightwing faithful. His authority came from a legendary political influence built up over decades which Bolt doesn’t seem to have, although he claims large readership. It’s hard to see Santamaria getting traction nowadays: judging from the blogosphere, today’s right are less religious, less looking for wise leadership, and more wanting the excitement of a fight.

    So a clash of talking heads rather than furious agreement is probably a good business model for Bolt:the frisson of FOX TV is his expressed goal. I don’t know if his program is successful but, as has been remarked by others, the right is largely absent from the thought space because rightwingers are rarely thinkers. I’m not sure there is a big space for it in the lower temperature environment of Australia.

  26. July 9th, 2013 at 10:19 | #26

    Terje P, I only know of Andrew Bolt from the comments section of this blog, but I googled “bolt lies” and the first article of his I came up with was this:

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/its-a-joke-right/story-e6frfifx-1111113082910

    So there is really no question of whether or not he is a liar. But then maybe you missed that one.

  27. Luke Elford
    July 9th, 2013 at 11:21 | #27

    @TerjeP

    I’ve never brought myself to watch The Bolt Report, but your claim that it is even-handed in having Coalition and Labor guests is easily checkable. I reviewed the ten most recent episodes that are documented by IMDB (note: the IMDB episode list is not up-to-date or complete). There were 24 guest appearances made over these ten episodes. Of these, 14 came from the Coalition side, including six appearances by current federal Coalition politicians and four appearances by former federal Coalition politicians. There were seven appearances from guests on the Labor side, but no appearances by current federal Labor politicians. There was one appearance by a former federal Labor politician, three by former state Labor politicians, two by a Labor strategist and one by a former ALP national president. The other three guests were a columnist with The Australian, Bob Carter and Bjorn Lomborg.

    In seven out of the ten episodes, Coalition guests outnumbered Labor guests, whilst Labor guests outnumbered Coalition guests in only one episode (the other two episodes had no guests from political parties).

    On the face of it, then, Bolt’s program is clearly biased in its choice of guests. But it’s much worse than it appears, when we realise that former Labor politicians can easily be vocal critics of current Labor policies or change sides all together. One of the guests, former ALP national president Warren Mundine, is now aligned with Abbott. Another, former Queensland Treasurer Keith De Lacy, went on to become a mining executive who has naturally argued against the carbon tax and the pre-deal mining tax. Former New South Wales MLC John Della Bosca, who accounts for two of the seven Labor appearances, has been a vocal critic of the carbon tax.

    The natural conclusion to draw, Terje, is that you are unreliable as a source of information about The Bolt Report. Fortunately, you are sufficiently transparent in your biases that I never thought for a moment that you might be.

  28. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 13:16 | #28

    On the face of it, then, Bolt’s program is clearly biased in its choice of guests.

    If you had watched the show you would know that Bolt outlines from week to week who from the ALP has been invited but decided not to appear. Anthony Albanese is a very notable exception. He has been on the show several times as a guest. And more recently Ed Husic also turned up to discuss the Koran controversy as well as Labor policies (or lack there of). You can watch that interview here:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoeGeV-7OEQ

    However I did not refer to balance in the profile of the guest list but to the panelists. Both Insiders and The Bolt Report have a panelist discussion of current political events. Insiders is much more partisan in who is selected to come on as expert commentators.

    If you want to look at really biased panels however you can’t go past Q&A on the ABC where I don’t think they have ever had a panel where the majority were inclined towards the right of politics but where they routinely have a panel where the majority is inclined to the left of politics. In a nation that tends to split 50/50 in voting intentions this bias is pretty telling.

    In any case JQ went beyond a charge of bias and accuses Bolt of being both a liar and of being a fraud. IMHO those claims don’t stack up at all. I suspect they are more about personal animosity over personal altercations JQ has had with AB.

  29. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 13:24 | #29

    @Ronald Brak

    I browser the article you linked. There is certainly opinion in the article that many would disagree with. However I’m not sure which bit of it you regard to be a lie. Are you saying Bolt does not actually believe that stuff about Al Gore using lots of electricity? Or are you saying that Al Gore doesn’t actually use lots of electricity and Bolt is mistaken?

    In other words is this charge that Bolt levels against Al Gore wilfully wrong, just wrong, or in fact correct but you don’t like the tone?

  30. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 13:36 | #30

    @aidan

    He does not argue in good faith. There is literally no point going on his show, it will not change his mind or his behaviour.

    I reject the first sentence outright. The second sentence is mostly irrelevant. Going on Q&A will not change the opinions of Tony Jones. Going on the JQ blog will not change the opinions of JQ. Heck I’ve been coming here for an eternity and JQ is as left wing as ever. As a politician you go on a particular show in order to broaden the audience you reach and in order to subject your thinking to it’s harshest critics. I don’t come here to receive praise for my worldview, ideas and outlook. I come here because I want to hear what others have to say about those ideas and to see where there is common ground. Plus I want to hear of ideas I may not hear of in other quarters.

  31. July 9th, 2013 at 14:01 | #31

    TejeP, maybe you got the wrong article. On mine it says, “Here he was, receiving film’s highest honour for his smash documentary, in which he warns that within a century the seas will rise up to 6m while monster hurricanes tear through what’s left of our cities.

    Never mind that scientists reject such wild claims.”

    I take it I don’t need to explain the problem. (But I will if you want me to.)

  32. July 9th, 2013 at 15:01 | #32

    @TerjeP

    IMHO those claims don’t stack up at all

    If you see my comment at #13, those words in block quotes are findings made against Bolt by courts.

    He has been found after due judicial process (at which he was very well represented and advised legally) to be dishonest, lacking good faith etc…

    Unfortunately your opinion is wrong. Those claims not only do ‘stack up’, they have the advantage of being judicial findings.

    Last ratings I saw of the Bolt show were tiny. You like his work but he is still a liar who doesn’t argue in good faith.

  33. Luke Elford
    July 9th, 2013 at 15:14 | #33

    @TerjeP

    Okay, so most of the show consists of Bolt editorialising or interviewing his political friends, and part of the show consists of a discussion panel made up ostensibly of one Coalition-affiliated commentator and one Labor-affiliated commentator, except that most of the Labor-affiliated commentators are actually estranged from the party and heavily critical of Labor’s policies in a way that accords with Bolt’s views (e.g. John Black, Michael Costa, Warren Mundine), as both Martin Spalding and I have discussed above. At least according to the summaries on Bolt’s blog (and it’s corroborated by the little I’ve seen and read), the two panellists seem to almost always end up agreeing that Labor’s policies are terrible. Even if the supposedly Labor-affiliated commentators were representative of Labor viewpoints, it seems strange to say that “Bolt makes more space for those with dissenting views”, when, again, the show consists mostly of him editorialising and interviewing his political friends.

    You could have argued from the start that the show couldn’t be balanced because genuinely left-wing politicians and public intellectuals refuse to appear on it, but you didn’t; you tried to pretend it was balanced. I do think the refusal of most Labor politicians, and virtually all centrist and left-wing public intellectuals, to show any interest in Bolt is part of the reason his guest list skews so far to the right. But I probably draw different conclusions about the cause of this than you do.

  34. Nathan
    July 9th, 2013 at 15:24 | #34

    @TerjeP
    Before rejecting the sentence, I urge you to take to the internet where you will find many examples of just how true it is. For my money the most egregious example is Bolt’s stance(s) on pokies. Here’s Bolt in 2004:
    “They are evil, mindless, addictive and without virtue. They are poker machines and Victoria should switch them off. I LOATHE our pokies. I wish the Kirner Government had never let these foul machines loose on our communities, to pick the pockets of the poor, rob their children and tempt the weak to crime.”

    Furthermore he was quite clear about his solution:
    “We must ban them, as we banned them before, when we had moral gumption. Let’s ban them, now we’ve seen the havoc they wreak….Ban them. Help the weak. Ban them. Think of the children. Ban them. Protect the poor. Ban them. Show some heart. Some virtue. Just ban them.”

    It’s all fun and games when pokies are a means to criticise the Kirner Labour government, but as soon as Labour suggets pre-commitment legislation Bolt launched a tirade of condemnation (Bolt 2012: “Thou shalt not ban pokies”), while neglecting to mention that part of his salary at the time was being paid by John Singleton, who was running a large part of the pro-pokies campaign.

    On the evidence it seems clear that Bolt will completely reverse his opinion on matters of principle to a) aid political allies and b) line his own pockets. This is highly unethical behaviour and about as far from arguing in good faith as one can get. Do you disagree?

  35. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 17:17 | #35

    @Luke Elford

    I said the show was more balanced than Insiders. I also said that Bolt was transparent in his bias. Don’t put false words in my mouth.

  36. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 17:34 | #36

    @Nathan

    I’ve actually followed Bolts commentary on poker machines quite closely over more recent years. He has always been pretty clear about his past position. And he has separated his opinion regarding the politics from his opinion about what is workable and from his opinion about what should ideally be done. He actually struck me as sympathetic to the goals the ALP were trying to achieve.

    Of course if your brain can’t handle a sophisticated opinion you would miss all of that.

    p.s. I don’t personally agree with his prohibitionist tendencies on this issue.

  37. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 17:39 | #37

    @Megan

    Yeah well we all know that court case was a farce. The coalition has said it will amend the law it was based on.

  38. Martin Spalding
    July 9th, 2013 at 17:54 | #38

    Terje, no one is putting words in yr mouth. You said, and I quote: ‘While the Bolt Report is quite consistent in having somebody from the ALP tribe…’ and ‘Bolt makes more space for those with dissenting views’. A few commenters then went about systematically refuting those claims, using evidence. Where is your evidence about the leaning of people (panellists or guests) on Insiders?

    As for the claim that Bolt ‘is more transparent and up front about his own biases’ – true, but so what? Is bias somehow a good thing?

  39. Jim Rose
    July 9th, 2013 at 18:03 | #39

    @Megan When Obama addressed Parliament – drone strikes and all – the greens were all smiles and acted like they were getting autographs from a celebrity or sports hero.

    The United States has the right, as a nation, to use force to defend itself. This right applies not only after a nation has suffered an attack, but also in anticipation of an imminent attack.

    When just wars are fought, the renegade left calls for targeted force; when there is targeted force, this force is always insufficiently targeted. “The last point was intended to make fighting impossible”.

    Obama acquired legal authority for drone warfare from the Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Every member of the enemy forces and leadership are a legitimate target in war regardless of whether they can be caught or pose an imminent threat.

    The U.S military can hunt and destroy pirates and their support networks “wherever” a commander “shall find them,” in Thomas Jefferson’s words. Terrorists have the same legal status as pirates. The USA’s first two wars were against pirates.

    Be careful for what you wish for when demanding strict compliance by Obama with international law. Bush 43 – the big softie that he was – stayed his hand on the long-standing international law stating that francs tireurs, upon capture, can be subjected to a field court martial and summary execution. This included David Hicks.

  40. July 9th, 2013 at 18:28 | #40

    @TerjeP

    Firstly, all of those findings against Bolt will remain regardless of the changing of the law. All he had to do to stay within the relevant section of the act was to act honestly and in good faith – he didn’t.

    Secondly, in “Herald and Weekly times & Bolt v Popovic [2003]” the Victorian Court of Appeal found:

    Mr Bolt’s conduct in the circumstances was, at worst, dishonest and misleading and, at best, grossly careless.

    “Of course if your brain can’t handle a sophisticated opinion you would miss all of that.”

    Indeed.

  41. Tim Macknay
    July 9th, 2013 at 18:45 | #41

    @Jim Rose
    Jim Rose, setting aside the legality or otherwise of Obama administration’s drone operations, wherever did you get the idea that terrorists are hostis humani generis?
    There isn’t even an agreed definition of terrorism at international law, let alone an agreement that they have the same status as pirates. They’re generally treated either as enemy combatants or as criminals. The case for the legality of Obama’s drone strikes rests (as I understand it) on the view that the targets are enemy combatants, not hostis humani generis.

  42. sunshine
    July 9th, 2013 at 19:04 | #42

    I’m not sure it matters much to me if a mine takes a couple of years longer to get approved , why does resource extraction have to happen as fast as possible. Why not leave some for future generations .

    Also there is a growing area of research into basic personality differences between conservatives and progressives . Because of common predispositions conservatives are less likely to argue in good faith .Makes sense, as to them selfishness is a virtue and their opponents capacity for empathy is a weakness to be exploited .
    In a similar vein -Steve Jobs’ address to uni grads that went viral just after his death is a disgrace .He advises them to have singe minded belief ,not to listen to anyone who disagrees ,and to just push ahead with your vision under any circumstances – dont take no for an answer ,never give up ,dont let anyone get in your way. It worked for him (1 in a million) but imagine a whole society full of self centered bullies like that .
    The left, seeking balance and inclusion, are being taken for a ride by the right who are happy to argue in bad faith .

    Jim Rose , I think its lucky not many countries define open warfare so widely .

  43. Ikonoclast
    July 9th, 2013 at 19:13 | #43

    @Jim Rose

    “Gott mit uns! eh, Jim?

  44. Ikonoclast
    July 9th, 2013 at 19:26 | #44

    @sunshine

    “… why does resource extraction have to happen as fast as possible.” – sunshine

    Because they know it’s the end game. What they don’t rip out in this generation (fossil fuels that is) will be stranded assets forever because either;

    (a) we will have banned fossil fuels to save the climate and biosphere; or
    (b) we will have wrecked the biosphere and ended global civilization.

    Either way, they want all the profits, all the wealth and all the power now. After all, they don’t care if the world dies when they die. In fact, I think that is their deepest wish and goal. Nothing less than this black desire would seem to explain the elite’s perverse drive to destroy everything.

  45. NathanA
    July 9th, 2013 at 20:12 | #45

    @sunshine

    I agree with you but I would go a bit further and say I would be happy for development approvals to take longer to be approved the further we are into a mining boom. I would expect that mines in the easiest place to develop, and those that have simpler environmental issues to solve, would be developed first. The longer we are into the boom, the more environmentally sensitive areas are left to mine. I am not saying the regulations would change, but if development approvals don’t get more difficult to acquire, then the regulations are not tough enough in the first place. Of course I am assuming there aren’t any significant technical developments to deal with specific environmental challenges.

    I also think that if you asked random people in the street whether they think that the major problem in Australia is that we aren’t digging coal and iron ore out of the ground quickly enough, you’d probably receive a quizzical look or two.

  46. Alan
    July 9th, 2013 at 21:12 | #46

    @Tim Macknay

    hostis humani generis gives a certain kind of supporter of the various abuses of human rights collectively designated the War on Terror a warm inner glow. They cannot, mind you, produce and legal authority except John Yoo to say that the principle applies to terrorists. Nor, apparently, are they familiar with the the case of Filártiga v. Peña-Irala where a US Circuit Court of Appeals wrote:

    Among the rights universally proclaimed by all nations, as we have noted, is the right to be free of physical torture.

    Indeed, for purposes of civil liability, the torturer has become like the pirate and slave trader before him hostis humani generis, an enemy of all mankind.

    It may be that the warm inner glow grows a little cold at the thought that the courts, which have never found terrorists to be hostis humani generis, have found torturers to be enemies of humankind who are subject to the rule.

  47. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 22:46 | #47

    @Martin Spalding

    I’m happy enough for you to quoted things I actually said. I’m not happy with people, such as Luke, putting false words in my mouth.

  48. TerjeP
    July 9th, 2013 at 22:52 | #48

    Just watched a rerun of yesterday’s Q&A from the ABC. Once again the panel was typically stacked. Our ABC is biased by omission. The ABC charter may as well be toilet paper.

  49. Michael
    July 9th, 2013 at 23:42 | #49

    Terje has a terminal case of the false-equivalances.

    Lies must be given equal footing with truth, or else there is bias.

  50. July 9th, 2013 at 23:46 | #50

    @TerjeP

    But when are you going to explain your support for Bolt, a proven liar who argues without good faith?

    Lying is OK if it supports truthiness?

  51. July 10th, 2013 at 00:11 | #51

    Of course, Terje is really supporting much more than just some petty flogger (Bolt). He is giving fealty to Bolt’s master and owner, Rupert Murdoch – without who Bolt wouldn’t exist in any Establishment Media sense.

    Bolt owes his existence to his strenuous suck-holery.

    Murdoch worship is at the heart of this argument, IMO.

    The serial lying billionaire is attractive to some and repulsive to everyone else. Weird.

  52. Julie Thomas
    July 10th, 2013 at 07:29 | #52

    Terje,

    Sopisticated opinion equals motived reasoning.

    Your opinion has no truth-value unless you use some objective evidence to back up your opinion.

    Bolt does not use any evidence from reputable sources to back up his opinion. He chooses to believe in a small minority, who in other circumstances he would be sneering at, he does like to sneer.

    In the gambling example, he omits discussing up any of the actual evidence about how gambling affects society. You remember society, the collective that is what we need to fix up to make the individual more free and the world a better place?

    Bolt also seems to think that his reasoning powers are better than the scientists who have worked on the problem of climate change for decades. What is it about Bolt that provides you with the certainty that his thinking has a greater truth-value than anyone on ‘the left’?

    And there is another thing you do not seem to understand about being objective/rational.

    Simply, saying that one knows one is biased is not enough to provide the subsequent statement with any truth-value.

    This claim, that Hayek also makes in the introduction to Road to Freedom, provides evidence for my argument that you – and people with your kind of brain or mind and/or circumstances – do not understand what objectivity entails and perhaps you are simply incapable of it or is the motivated reasoning hypothesis sufficient to explain the difference between right and left and why good people believe bad things.

  53. Luke Elford
    July 10th, 2013 at 10:01 | #53

    Terje, you’re the one who went swiftly from a specific comment about the panels, to a general comparison with Insiders, saying: “So I agree that they are not equivalent. Bolt makes more space for those with dissenting views and is more transparent and up front about his own biases.”

    You presented the panels as indicative of the show as a whole. Nowhere did you make it clear in this comment that you thought that, although the panels were balanced in their guest profiles, the show as a whole was not. You had earlier indicated that current federal Labor politicians seldom went on the show, but that’s not the same thing.

    Your specific comment about balance in the panels has been shown to be misleading. More generally, it’s clear that the rest of The Bolt Report contains even less by way of dissenting views, consisting as it does of Bolt editorialising and interviewing right-wing politicians and public intellectuals. So, it makes no sense to present the panels as indicative of the show as a whole anyway. For your claim that “Bolt makes more space for those with dissenting views” than Insiders to be true would require massive unbalance not just in the Insiders panels, but also in who is interviewed on Insiders. You’ve provided evidence for unbalance in neither, and now you seem to have changed your target to Q&A.

  54. ralph
    July 10th, 2013 at 10:11 | #54

    I note that Abbott is now bleating that the fact that his repayment came to light is somehow a ”a blatant attempt by Labor to smear and mislead”. Funny that, I thought it was just the result of good investigative journalism by Margot Kingston.

  55. David Irving (no relation)
    July 10th, 2013 at 13:14 | #55

    ralph, he also seems to be blaming one of his staff for the “error”. That gives us (and his potential Cabinet colleagues) some clues as to the kind of PM he’d be.

    He’s a real prince.

  56. may
    July 10th, 2013 at 13:28 | #56

    where would i be without turgid.

    the up front, no quarter given,implacable explication of a world view that normally hides behind a sophisicated and charming rote driven drone,is right there in all its murk.

    “‘don’t be ridiculous?”

    latest favorite fin line? “privare font”.
    that’s from a couple of days ago.
    did they mean baptismal font or the type of type used.

  57. may
    July 10th, 2013 at 13:30 | #57

    private font.

  58. aidan
    July 10th, 2013 at 14:01 | #58

    TerjeP :
    @aidan

    He does not argue in good faith. There is literally no point going on his show, it will not change his mind or his behaviour.

    I reject the first sentence outright. The second sentence is mostly irrelevant. Going on Q&A will not change the opinions of Tony Jones.

    You’re equating Tony Jones with Andrew Bolt?!? Bolt is clearly a polemicist. I don’t particularly care for Tony Jones’ questioning style, he constantly goes for the “gotcha” politics questions which are a particularly bad fit for a show like Q&A. That said, he is clearly a journalist who doesn’t push a barrow on any issues as far as I know.

    You reject the assertion that Bolt does not argue in good faith? Here are a couple of links.

    http://roymustard.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/shamless-liar-andrew-bolt-cherrypicks-his-way-to-climate-failure/

    http://andrewboltliesdeceptionsonagw.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/double-the-doubt/

  59. July 10th, 2013 at 15:18 | #59

    Judging from this interview yesterday, I don’t think Mr. Abbott read your piece in The Conversation:
    http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/LatestNews/InterviewTranscripts/tabid/85/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/9274/Interview-with-Chris-Uhlmann-730-ABC.aspx

    “A typical mine, for instance, that five years ago took under twelve months to get the approvals done, it now takes over three years. No wonder the investment pipeline is starting to dry up.”

  60. Will
    July 10th, 2013 at 16:50 | #60

    “A typical mine, for instance, that five years ago took under twelve months to get the approvals done, it now takes over three years. No wonder the investment pipeline is starting to dry up.”

    This is another case when the uninformed are being wilfully misled by a laughable ideological interpretation of the facts. Rather than the eternal boogyman of “excessive government regulation” which will be trotted out until the Sun goes supernova, the collapse in mining investment owes origins to the far more parsimonious explanation of declining minerals prices across the board. Over the past 12 months or so, mining companies have shelved the majority of their prospective projects because they are now projected to be uneconomic to utilise in the foreseeable future. It is nothing to do with MRRT, carbon tax, regulation or any other kind of horribly biased “explanation”.

  61. Jim Rose
    July 10th, 2013 at 16:59 | #61

    @Alan Are the Somalian pirates terrorists or pirates, or both? Are Somalian pirates prosecuted as terrorists?

    The hijacking of airliners was defined by the UN in the 1970s as aerial piracy.

    The 9/11 terrorists were aerial pirates. The NATO and allied military entered Afghanistan to subdue the home base of these brigands and those that harboured them.

    Naval and military deployments against pirate lairs date back thousands of years.

    Punitive expeditions against bandits are common-place too such as chasing Pancho Villa and his gang of bandits back in Mexico in 1916 and the occupation and destruction of a pirates lair in Spanish Florida in 1817.

    The US military attacked a Somalian martime pirate camp to rescue hostages. EU naval forces have also attacked these pirate lairs to destroy boats and supplies.

  62. July 10th, 2013 at 18:21 | #62

    @Tristan K

    To be fair though, the hard-hitting “journalist” didn’t let him get away with it:

    CHRIS UHLMANN:

    Is that typical of all mines though or is there just one or two examples that most mines in fact get approval within twelve months?

    TONY ABBOTT:

    No. This is typical of what is happening in the mining industry.

    CHRIS UHLMANN:

    Now you’re also going to lift the burden of green tape….

    See?

  63. TerjeP
    July 10th, 2013 at 18:52 | #63

    @ralph

    Are you aware of the many times Tony Burke and Julia Gillard have also had to pay back personal expenses accidentally claimed as work related? If the Labor party and their media proxies want to moralise about such abuse then they should at least be consistent in applying the standard.

  64. sunshine
    July 10th, 2013 at 19:54 | #64

    If you define Right and Left in terms of less or more government control of economic markets ,and on the other moral issues (abortion ,euthanasia, gay marriage etc) the other way around ,then I think the typical Q+A panel normally has at least one far right person but almost never a far left one . Most of the others are usually left or right leaning centrists ,perhaps more left than right .But my point is without a regular representative of the far left the panel seems unbalanced to the Right . There isnt much room to the right of their usual Rightist but there is lots of room to the left of everyone else . That doesnt seem like a right bias to me.

    The typical Rightist these days seems to make a libertarian style case for no govt control of anything economic beyond ensuring property rights .This may just be the Coalition using a popular sentiment (as the Republicans use the Tea Party in the USA ) in an effort to distinguish themselves from Labor.

  65. kevin1
    July 10th, 2013 at 20:39 | #65

    @Megan

    See?

    What is your point? Honestly, if you listened as much as you talked, you might be more convincing.

  66. Martink
    July 10th, 2013 at 20:46 | #66

    @TerjeP
    The issue is, first, that Abbot’s “expenses misclaim” was known about but barely reported. And, secondly, that one of the coalition’s main claims about Labour is corruption, a claim Labour has not really made about the coalition. So this is about the coalitions double standards, not the other way around.

  67. rog
    July 10th, 2013 at 20:49 | #67

    @TerjeP The issue is not travel charges per se it is the double standards employed by Abbott over the alleged misuse of travel allowance by the Speaker of the House.

  68. July 10th, 2013 at 21:10 | #68

    @kevin1

    It was sarcasm, my point was that Uhlmann let Abbott get away with it.

    What was your point?

  69. July 10th, 2013 at 21:37 | #69

    @TerjeP

    Hi TerjeP

    “then it seems fair to expect the progressives to face the conservative media.”

    The problem with your assertion Terje is; where in the hell will you find this “conservative media.”?

    “Conducted between May 2012 and March this year, the University of the Sunshine Coast’s representative survey of 605 journalists around Australia found that more than half (51.0%) describe themselves as holding left-of-centre political views, compared with only 12.9% who consider themselves right-of-centre.”

    “An interesting finding emerged when we compare journalists from the three biggest news organisations in the country – News Limited, Fairfax Media and the ABC.”

    “41.2% of ABC journalists who declared a voting intention said they would vote for the Greens, followed by 32.4% for Labor and 14.7% for the Coalition.”

    “Among the Fairfax Media journalists who responded, Labor was by far the most popular party at 54.7% support, followed by the Coalition and the Greens, both on 19.8%.”

    “46.5% of News Limited journalists who answered this question said they would vote for Labor, 26.7% for the Coalition, and only 19.8% for the Greens.”

    http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/so-who-skews-news-bias-australian-media-revealed/1875830/

    Anyway, good luck with your search for a conservative media.

    Kind regards

    phoenix

  70. kevin1
    July 10th, 2013 at 21:41 | #70

    @Megan
    if you weren’t so self-referential, you might communicate more effectively, or is hearing the sound of your own voice the objective?

  71. July 10th, 2013 at 21:50 | #71

    @kevin1

    Not at all.

    Please let me hear the sound of your voice. What was the point you were making?

  72. kevin1
    July 10th, 2013 at 23:08 | #72

    @Megan

    Please let me hear the sound of your voice.

    Good grief! Have you considered that a journalist employed by the ABC (and married to a Labor MP) might reasonably decide that letting Abbott damn himself from his own mouth might be a protective yet honest approach, rather than telling his audience what they should think? (which is what you require him to do.) Most people prefer to have the truth revealed to them, rather than being “told” what to think, in my experience.

    Since you asked, my point is that you get your kicks from bellowing and petty rockthrowing against individuals rather than thinking and engaging with others on substantive issues. I recently invited you to elaborate on your objections to NDIS but all you were prepared to say was that you were suspicious of it because….you were suspicious of it. This was politely pointed out to you by me and others including JQ, and you were encouraged to elaborate, but you stormed off in a huff accusing our host of closing down debate. Your permanent indignation and sense of grievance led to you later demanding an apology from us (is this unprecedented?) when a disability advocate protested govt behaviour. (BTW, the advocate did not reject the NDIS, but a govt decision, but any stick with which to beat a brown dog is your MO.)

    I think it is a waste of time to debate someone who carries all this baggage, but you did ask for an apology, and this is the one you deserve.

  73. July 11th, 2013 at 00:17 | #73

    @kevin1

    I think that Uhlmann (regardless of who he is married to, if he is to be considered a journalist of any worth) should have taken Abbott to the facts about mine approvals and held him to account.

    I’m very old fashioned in that regard. I still believe that journalism is an essential element of a functioning democracy and corrupted journalism (ie. spin, propaganda & ‘marketing’) is strongly corrosive of a functioning democracy.

    Your “point” is difficult to engage with, considering that it mostly consists of personal criticism.

    However a few points could be made:

    1. JQ declared that discussion over and I complied.

    2. We now have further examples of people and groups questioning the NDIS, now rebadged “Disability Care”, such as the lady who realised that being aged 64 she will never get the benefit because it cuts off inexplicably at age 65; the groups who last week pointed out that the wage for the new carers will be about $10/hour less than the usual rate; the Lawyer’s Alliance concerns about process, governance and protection of individual rights and a lack of reporting mechanisms; And especially, the lack of any review mechanism against adverse decisions.

    Thanks for being open and coming out with your criticism of what I have previously said. Let’s have this discussion.

    This is democracy.

  74. July 11th, 2013 at 00:37 | #74

    Maybe Bolt will ask Abbott some hard hitting questions about travel allowance? Maybe Bolt will point out the hypocrisy of the pursuit of Slipper?

    Maybe someone in The Australian will write an opinion piece about it, and bring it up day after day?

    Or maybe not.

  75. kevin1
    July 11th, 2013 at 00:45 | #75

    @Megan

    1. it’s not personal criticism, it’s criticism of behaviour.
    2. fess up: JQ did not declare discussion over, he said take it to the sandpit but your self-importance doesn’t tolerate that; who cares about the topic.
    3. Have you ever had a job in the media or govt and tried to deal with the contradiction between your job and what you think? Even so, why is it that the ABC is perceived by most as more critical of govt than the non-ABC media?
    4. Oh dear, govt and bureaucratic policies are not handing out “heaven on a stick”: who would have thunk it? In the real world, people know they still need to struggle to make govt policy work for them. None of your whining invalidates the NDIS concept. You’re probably in a minority of one (OK, make that 2, as Ikonoclast doesn’t believe that reform is possible without revolution.)

    I won’t respond further; the more you talk the more you confirm what I’m saying.

    So you get the last word – Go for it!

  76. July 11th, 2013 at 00:56 | #76

    @kevin1

    The people of Australia really deserve an open discussion about how their tax dollars are spent – especially how much goes to private ‘for-profit’ corporations and how much is diverted away from the government sector in the name of “efficiency” or “savings”.

  77. July 11th, 2013 at 01:14 | #77

    I’ve wheeled this one out over the years when confronted with the “you don’t know what it’s like” argument.

    I like to call it the “Anguished Shill Wrestles With Inner Hypocrite” quote:

    “…I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember The Pop Group’s song ‘We Are All Prostitutes’ but that’s what most of us wage-earners are.

    I’m a journalist working for a crappy, rightwing corporate Australian newspaper. I do what I do because I cannot do anything else. Nothing I do makes one iota of a difference but there are millions of people like me in the world who need the money and will do whatever it takes to
    support our families.

    We aren’t bad people — even though I suspect you think we lack your ideological purity and revolutionary zeal and have, therefore, sided with the “dark side” and probably deserve to die the death capitalism has invented for us.

    Let’s face it, man, most of us humans live in a f*cked world and we get f*cked every day. Whingeing about it has never worked to our advantage. In fact, it’s made matters worse.

    People like me don’t like the “dark side” anymore than we like the “right side” — simply because both sides can be found on the same coin.

    Yours Comrade Jack”

    From: http://www.medialens.org/blogs/david-edwards-blog.php 18 January, 2006

  78. Luke Elford
    July 11th, 2013 at 07:45 | #78

    @phoenix

    If you’re going to selectively quote a source to misrepresent what it says, best not to link to the source, because others will check. The article actually begins:

    “MOST Australian journalists describe themselves as left-wing, yet amongst those who wield the real power in the country’s newsrooms, the Coalition holds a winning lead.”

    And it goes on to explain:

    “Media bosses more in sync with voters

    “Yet, among those who arguably matter most – the journalists in senior editorial ranks who have the most power to decide news agendas – a dramatically different picture emerged.

    “Among the 83 senior editors who took part in the survey, the Coalition was the party of choice on 43.2%, followed by Labor (34.1%) and the Greens (11.4%).

    “This suggests that Australia’s media bosses are more in line with the broader electorate, at least according to recent Newspoll results.

    “It is important to note that there is little research showing that journalists’ personal political biases affect their work.

    “When asked in this survey about a range of influences on their work, many journalists said their superiors have a much stronger influence than their personal values and beliefs.”

  79. TerjeP
    July 11th, 2013 at 09:44 | #79

    @phoenix

    “41.2% of ABC journalists who declared a voting intention said they would vote for the Greens, followed by 32.4% for Labor and 14.7% for the Coalition.”

    So 73.6% of ABC journalists support one of the parties in the Labor / Green coalition that is running the country. This ratio is so far out of whack with norms in the community. I find it incredible that people so quickly defend the ABC as unbiased. It is clearly biased. If it was open and transparent about the bias then it would be a bit less annoying. Or if people at least stopped pretending that the ABC was balanced when clearly it isn’t.

    Out of interest does the ABC have an apprenticeship program encouraging greater diversity amongst it’s ranks? Does it even attempt to be representative of the community it is supposed to serve? Why bother with a charter if they can’t or won’t follow it?

  80. TerjeP
    July 11th, 2013 at 09:51 | #80

    “It is important to note that there is little research showing that journalists’ personal political biases affect their work.

    Blind freddy can see that it does. Not with direct dishonesty* but through omission and double standards.

    * Although there was a recently case of what looks like blatant dishonesty in The Age newspaper where invented quotes were used to make Julia Gillard’s “no carbon tax” promise seem less dishonest. A case of dishonesty being used to protect the dishonest.

  81. TerjeP
    July 11th, 2013 at 09:56 | #81

    @Martink

    And, secondly, that one of the coalition’s main claims about Labour is corruption, a claim Labour has not really made about the coalition.

    I think their main claim about Labor has been on the issue of competence. On the issue of corruption the main concern has been that they defend the corrupt such as Peter Slipper and Craig Thompson.

    p.s. It is “Labor” not “Labour” when you are referring to the Australian political party. They like the US spelling.

  82. Martink
    July 11th, 2013 at 12:00 | #82

    @TerjeP
    **One** of their main claims is corruption, other major claims make no difference. It’s perfectly simple and clear to everyone except people who don’t want to know.
    (And to add to what I said the issue isn’t the pot calling the kettle black it is Abbot not really being aware of what he says and having no long term consistency whatsoever.)

  83. crocodile
    July 11th, 2013 at 12:07 | #83

    On the issue of corruption the main concern has been that they defend the corrupt such as Peter Slipper and Craig Thompson.

    To date, Slipper and Thompson have not been charged with anything. Until tried they are assumed innocent.

  84. July 11th, 2013 at 12:53 | #84

    Hi Luke Elford,

    TerjeP is blatantly bias against the ABC as he only mentioned that
    “73.6% of ABC journalists support one of the parties in the Labor / Green coalition that is running the country.”

    He conspicuously omitted that:

    74.5% of Fairfax” journalists support one of the parties in the Labor / Green coalition that is running the country.”; and;

    66.3% of News Limited “journalists support one of the parties in the Labor / Green coalition that is running the country.”

    Crocodile said;

    “To date, Slipper and Thompson have not been charged with anything”

    Statements like that crocodile will land you a job at the ABC.

    “Defiant Slipper will defend fraud charges“

    “The former commonwealth parliamentary speaker on Thursday pleaded not guilty after being charged with three counts of dishonestly causing a loss to the Department of Finance and Administration.”

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/defiant-slipper-will-defend-fraud-charges-20130523-2k2fj.html

    Kind regards,

    Phoenix

  85. TerjeP
    July 11th, 2013 at 13:27 | #85

    @phoenix

    Fairfax is on par with the ABC. However Fairfax isn’t taxpayer funded and defended by a cheer squad waving a charter and insisting that they offer objectivity and balance.

  86. Jim Birch
    July 11th, 2013 at 13:34 | #86

    One of the problems with perceived bias of the media is that the media has to be interesting to work at all.

    In terms of political discussion, one obvious strategy is to find commentators who are intelligent, articulate and hold opinions that have been a thought through to at least some extent so there’s a chance of a discussion occurring. These are people who are likely to discover that the world is complex and managing it well is likely to require a nuanced approach. The problem is that as soon as people start talking like they sound left wing, even if they aren’t. Empirical research suggests that left wingers are more likely to have more complex lives, thought patterns and tastes; I think most people would agree with that anecdotally.

    An alternate approach to political discourse is to find some simple, emotionally resonating beliefs and blast them out no matter what. These guys don’t do so well on Q&A type shows because they tend to start to look like idiots when they are questioned, sometimes as soon as they open their mouths. I’m not sure why the right wing has gone down this path en masse of late because there is a fair amount of available material for the right that doesn’t sound like it came off the back of a cornflakes packet or a Marvel comic. The trouble is, that you’d have to argue logically, review evidence, admit complexity, concede certain points, and, as a result, you’d sound a bit left wing by the current standard models.

    (I seem to remember a time a few decades back when it was the left that held simple emotional positions but right now it’s hard to believe I’m not imagining that.)

  87. Tim Macknay
    July 11th, 2013 at 14:52 | #87

    @crocodile

    To date, Slipper and Thompson have not been charged with anything. Until tried they are assumed innocent.

    Not quite true. Thomson has been charged with multiple counts of fraud and theft. Slipper has been charged with three counts of defrauding the Commonwealth. Both are contesting the charges however, and you are correct about the presumption of innocence.

  88. crocodile
    July 11th, 2013 at 14:53 | #88

    OK Phoenix, he hasn’t been found guilty of anything. Happy now. I don’t want a job at the ABC. You can have it yourself.

  89. July 11th, 2013 at 15:18 | #89

    @TerjeP

    Hi TerjeP

    Fairfax is even more on par given its left wing bias; because it is also “defended by a cheer squad waving a charter “

    “That the proprietor(s) acknowledge that journalists, artists and photographers must record the affairs of the city, state, nation and the world fairly, fully and regardless of any commercial, political or personal interests, including those of any proprietors, shareholders or board members.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/fairfax-media-charter-of-editorial-independence-20120619-20l4t.html

    There is also an overwhelmingly large percentage of journalists from the left at Fairfax, this imbalance in itself contradicts the Fairfax charter as it can only translate into a correspondingly high percentage of left wing bias that the journalists produce.

    The only way to stop bias in the Australian mainstream media is to start sacking left wing journalists until we have a more balanced mix that represents the broader community. (that includes some left wing journos at news limited, as News currently has 66.3% of journalist that are left wing.)

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  90. July 11th, 2013 at 15:23 | #90

    Hi JQ,

    How come my comments keep getting moderated, don’t I fit in here or is there a technical issue?

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  91. Troy Prideaux
    July 11th, 2013 at 16:58 | #91

    phoenix :
    Hi JQ,
    How come my comments keep getting moderated, don’t I fit in here or is there a technical issue?
    Kind regards,
    phoenix

    Phoenix, from experience I know we need to be very careful with the way we reply to messages with this particular software. If you reply to someone who has replied to somebody else so there’s 2 blue hyperlink reference tags attached of the various participants, then you need to remove at least one of those tags if you want to avoid the auto-moderator grabbing your message. eg. the line that looks like this but with pointy brackets:
    (strong)(a href=”#comment-205521″)phoenix(/a) :( /strong)”
    Apologies, I’m not very good at explaining such things.

  92. Julie Thomas
    July 11th, 2013 at 17:00 | #92

    Terje does it make any difference to your idea that the ABC doesn’t represent the people it is supposed to serve, to know that 89 percent of people think the ABC provides a valuable service to the community?

    That information comes from Counterpoint. Counterpoint was once the only program on the ABC where objectivity and balance were never on offer – not even lip service was paid to these ideals.

    Anyway, Counterpoint now with Amanda Vanstone, did a program a while ago about privatising the ABC and how the ABC was biased and she makes that claim.

  93. Tim Macknay
    July 11th, 2013 at 17:32 | #93

    One of the problems with perceived bias of the media is that the media has to be interesting to work at all.

    In terms of political discussion, one obvious strategy is to find commentators who are intelligent, articulate and hold opinions that have been a thought through to at least some extent so there’s a chance of a discussion occurring. These are people who are likely to discover that the world is complex and managing it well is likely to require a nuanced approach. The problem is that as soon as people start talking like they sound left wing, even if they aren’t. Empirical research suggests that left wingers are more likely to have more complex lives, thought patterns and tastes; I think most people would agree with that anecdotally.

    Accurate identification and assessment of media bias is extremely difficult. It’s virtually impossible for an individual to accurately identify media bias by subjective evaluation, for a number of reasons.

    First, everybody has their own biases which colour their perception of media presentation. Adversarial political interviewing (a mainstay of political broadcasting) automatically creates the appearance of hostility between a journalist and interviewee, which is readily interpreted by a partisan viewer as demonstrating bias on the part of the journalist.

    Second, the vast majority of people (in fact, virtually anyone who is not a media professional) will watch or listen to only a small fraction of the programming provided by a particular broadcaster. Making claims of partisan bias based on a subjective interpretation of a small handful of programs or the behaviour of a small number of journalists cannot be taken seriously as an assessment of the bias of a media organisation.

    The only even slightly reliable way to assess media bias is by a formal study of the entire programming of a particular broadcaster over a period of time according to set criteria and quantifiable methodology for determining bias. All the studies of this kind which have been done in Australia in recent years have found no significant partisan bias in Australian broadcast media, including the ABC and commercial broadcasters. However, even this type of research has difficulties posed by the choice of criteria for assessing bias, and the method of identifying it.

    In any case, these studies make little difference, as most people seem to prefer their own subjective impression to any rigorous analysis. It’s a pity, because it’s a really tedious debate that gets nowhere and makes otherwise smart people look like fools.

  94. may
    July 11th, 2013 at 19:17 | #94

    but isn’t the editor the one with the say on what is published?

    if that is so, then the opinions and orientation of the reporters means zilch.

  95. July 11th, 2013 at 19:48 | #95

    @may

    “but isn’t the editor the one with the say on what is published”

    Yes, but when 75% of the journalists are left wingers, the editor would have to leave out 2/3s of the left wingers stories to balance up the content with the stories of the 25% of right wingers . i.e 50% of the paper would be blank.

  96. paul of albury
    July 11th, 2013 at 20:20 | #96

    Terje, Phoenix, I don’t think the journos are actually biased. It’s just that journos are in a position to be better informed and know what’s going on even if they’re not always allowed by their more conservative bosses to publish it. Andof course reality has a well known left wing bias.

  97. alfred venison
    July 11th, 2013 at 20:47 | #97

    or they can leave out 2/3 of the left winger’s stories to balance up with 25% of right winger’s stories and consign the rest of the paper to advertising. -a.v.

  98. July 11th, 2013 at 21:25 | #98

    @alfred venison

    Or you could just fill those pages with “PR journalism” instead of real journalism:

    after analysing a five-day working week in the media, across 10 hard-copy papers, ACIJ and Crikey found that nearly 55% of stories analysed were driven by some form of public relations. The Daily Telegraph came out on top of the league ladder with 70% of stories analysed triggered by public relations. The Sydney Morning Herald gets the wooden spoon with (only) 42% PR-driven stories for that week.

  99. crocodile
    July 11th, 2013 at 22:35 | #99

    Of course the ABC offers programmes other than political commentary

  100. TerjeP
    July 11th, 2013 at 22:41 | #100

    That information comes from Counterpoint. Counterpoint was once the only program on the ABC where objectivity and balance were never on offer – not even lip service was paid to these ideals.

    Are you proud of quoting a claim that comes from a program that’s never objective or balanced? Do you do this sort of thing very often?

Comment pages
1 2 11661
Comments are closed.