Tamed estate: the PM has to ask his wife how to feel empathy yet Labor is on the hook?

Feb 19, 2021

Gladys’ cheerleader in chief at the Sydney Morning Herald finally comes out swinging – at the NSW Opposition Leader. And editorials from The Australian get oh-so-close to touching on the failures of the federal government in aged care and vaccine rollout.

Tamed Estate

A woman alleges she was raped in parliament in the lead-up to the 2019 election. Scott Morrison – the Prime Minister of Australia – needed to ask his wife how to feel; needed a prompt to respond by think about it in terms of if it were his daughter. And the media response? Crickets.

No critical commentary. No calls for resignations. Just what-about-ism and deflection. Even the ABC either failed to ask a Coalition minister to appear on 7.30, or failed to report their refusal to appear.

The Australian‘s Dennis Shanahan:

As for News Corp’s Alice Workman, it was a matter of “toxic laundry” and the Labor Party had the problem.

NSW Politics

Alexandra Smith, the State Political Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, rarely takes a break from being Gladys Berejiklian’s cheerleader.

After spending months waving away Berejiklian’s pork-barrelling of hundreds of millions of dollars and the premier’s “I don’t need to hear about that bit” approach to her boyfriend selling visas, to name just two NSW Coalition scandals, Smith finally got the opportunity to do the real job of a journalist – which is holding power to account.

Smith went after Labor leader Jodi McKay.

It’s hard from the articles to tell what the story actually is, but McKay appears to have, at worst, supported a letter of support. Supported a constituent in supporting someone in their community. It was in fact a pro forma letter. McKay categorically denied it as being a letter of support, but that didn’t stop the journalist running it as fact in the lead. Nor did it stop the Sydney Morning Herald running the standfirst that she wrote a letter of support.

Lockdown blues

As Victoria went back into a brief lockdown – as Sydney, Perth, South Australia, Auckland and more have done in recent weeks or months – the media response was predictably balanced and proportionate.

NewsCorp was practically frothing at the mouth with excitement. The Australian‘s Simon Benson forgot to mention that the other states “stamped out” outbreaks due to lockdowns.

Editorials from The Australian got oh-so-close to touching on the failures of the federal government in aged care and vaccine rollout (as a country we’re about 80th in line, not at the front of the queue);

The Australian‘s Adam Creighton’s brain was well and truly “fried”, to use his words, despite not even being in lockdown; undermining the effectiveness of the vaccine; and once more incorrectly claiming that the flu is worse than Covid.

The Herald Sun’s idea of a contact tracing bungle included “authorities had incorrect contact details” (hard to contract trace if Victorians give authorities the wrong information).

If the following sentence were grammatically correct it might convey the idea that people were unnecessarily contacted – a bit better than people not getting contacted?

So rabid was the media response that people with Covid-19 who were moved from the Holiday Inn left with garbage bags over their head to keep their faces out of the media – good decision given they were plastered over the front page – but even the use of garbage bats was also the government’s fault, apparently.

(The Australian)

IR Reform war

The war on Industrial Relations continued, as the Australian Financial Review kept pushing the “modest” adjective.

Someone please get these guys a Thesaurus. Peter Hartcher at least upgraded to describing them as “minor”.

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