There’s a common element to many, if not most, of the news that flits across the TV screens: lies.
People attempt to add a touch of sophistry to lying, by trying to create classes of lies, but in the end it all adds up to the same thing: saying one thing when knowing that the opposite was correct.
One well-known example: the current president of the United States, Joe Biden, came to office promising a US$15 minimum wage for the country. He also promised to provide medical services for all and forgive at least a part of the billions in student debt.
Australian journalists often criticise each other, with those on the right tending to go for those on the left and vice versa. But, generally, in these stoushes, details of people’s private lives are not revealed.
But there are exceptions, and one of those was witnessed on March 31, when Aaron Patrick, the senior correspondent with the Australian Financial Review, took a swing at Samantha Maiden, a reporter with news.com.au, a free site operated by News Corporation, over coverage of numerous issues around women. (News Corporation’s other sites are all paywalled.)
In February, Maiden exposed the story of a young Liberal staffer, Brittany Higgins, who had been allegedly raped by a colleague in Parliament House some two years ago.
A timeline of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine saga courtesy of Justin Stevens, executive producer of the ABC’s 7.30 program
19/8/20 PM media release: “Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, if it proves successful, through an agreement between the Australian Government &… AstraZeneca.”
7/9/20 Govt announces $1.7 billion Uni of Oxford/AstraZeneca & the Uni of QLD/CSL Manufacturing agreements. PM says “a home-grown sovereign plan for vaccines is the hope I bring to Australians today.”
Recently, the New York Times ran an article about Donald Trump having paid no federal income taxes for 10 of the last 15 years; many claimed it was a blockbuster story and that it would have far-reaching effects on the forthcoming presidential election.
If this was the first time Trump’s tax evasion was being mentioned, then, sure, it would have been a big deal.
For many years, Australia has been trading with China, apparently in the belief that one can do business with a country for yonks without expecting the development of some sense of obligation. The attitude has been that China needs Australian resources and the relationship needs to go no further than the transfer of sand dug out of Australia and sent to China.
Those in Beijing, obviously, haven’t seen the exchange this way. There has been an expectation that there would be some obligation for the relationship to go further than just the impersonal exchange of goods for money. Australia, in true colonial fashion, has expected China to know its place and keep its distance.
This is similar to the attitude the Americans took when they pushed for China’s admission to the World Trade Organisation: all they wanted was a means of getting rid of their manufacturing so their industries could grow richer and an understanding that China would agree to go along with the American diktat to change as needed to keep the US on top of the trading world. Continue reading “Managing a relationship is hard work”
Australia has been imposing hefty duties on Chinese steel, aluminium and chemical imports for more than six years, despite a letter from the Chinese side in 2014 saying that holding talks with Canberra on this would be of no use.
Recently, China said it would impose tariffs on Australian barley and also block beef imports from four Australian abattoirs. This latter story has become a big stamping ground for patriotic Australian journalists, a crowd who accuse Chinese scribes of being one-eyed, but act exactly the same way.
But the fact that Australia has been imposing huge tariffs? Only one journalist to date, Angus Grigg of the Australian Financial Review, has written about it.
When Scott Morrison led the Liberal-National Coalition to victory in the last federal election in May, he was greeted as some kind of superman, mainly because all the polls had predicted a Labor win, and by a substantial margin too.
All the political pundits crowed that this win gave the Australian Prime Minister complete authority to govern as he wished, and the chance to implement policies of his liking.
In the first three weeks of June last year, the ABC’s Sarah Ferguson presented a three-part saga on the channel’s Four Corners program, which the ABC claimed was the “story of the century”.
It was a rehashing of all the claims against US President Donald Trump, which the American TV stations had gone over with a fine-toothed comb but which Ferguson seemed convinced still had something hidden for her to uncover.
The year that ends today was remarkable for one thing on the media front that has gone largely unnoticed: the fall from grace of one of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s brightest stars who has long been a standard-setter at the country’s national broadcaster.
Sarah Ferguson was the journalist’s journalist, seemingly a woman of fierce integrity, and one who pandered to neither left nor right. When she sat in for Leigh Sales, the host of 7.30, the main current affairs programme, for six months while Sales was on a maternity leave break, the programme seemed to come to life as she attacked politicians with vigour and fearlessness.