Wednesday 20th of June 2018

a smoking gun..

smoking gun

nothing but drivel...


From John Lord


I confess to having been a news junkie all my life. An obsession with news generally – and newspapers in particular – started when I was around fourteen or fifteen. I would purchase a newspaper to read on the tram on my way to work and The Herald on my way home. When I grew older on Saturday nights I was at the news agency to buy the pink paper, the Sporting Globe to see if my name was in the football columns.


And as a teenage boy I confess to buying the odd copy of The Truth to satisfy my raging hormones. And I grew up with the familiar musical introduction to the ABC news. So news in all its mediums has formed a major part of the essence of my life, and for the most part I trusted what it told me.

Yes, there were times when politics was reported with fact and objectivity (well, in the broadsheets anyway) and opinion was mostly assigned to the editor.

And if I disagreed I could write a letter and I did, but for me to miss a daily scour of the The Age would leave me with a sense of emptiness … that somehow my day had been diminished, that I would not be informed.

This habit of a lifetime came to an end when I cancelled my subscription some three years ago. It had become obvious to me that The Age was dumbing itself down and in doing so was attempting to dumb me down with it.

With the inception of the internet it has all changed. And for the better, I might add. It has forced them out into the open and exposed much mainstream media (MSM) for the lying, conniving peddlers of untruthful opinion that it is.

Oddly, in the US Donald Trump is at war with the MSM but ignores the real culprit in Rupert Murdoch, who is mainly responsible for all the “fake news” as Trump describes it.

What they failed to realise, or counter, was that the internet provided so many other sources by which we could obtain information, and that we could in fact question what they were trying to dumb us down with.

But they kept writing their drivel and we in turn sent it around social media exposing their bullshit for everyone to see. Their dumbness is revealed by the fact that they allow us to share their opinion pieces with others and in doing so believe they expand their audience.

And we do share, but our opinion goes along with it. And then bloggers reveal their crass lies with opinion that is as Laurie Oakes says, “more widely read than some mainstream articles.”

This blog and many others are examples of just how news, and acquiring it, has changed.

And so in their ignorance and stupidity mainstream media continues to print or say whatever it considers is in its own best interests. Then it might say something interesting and truthful.

Lenore Taylor writing for The Guardian said this of our parliament and the fourth estate (the MSM):

”Parliament and the media, both reliant on public trust for their existence, ”should give long pause for thought about how that trust can be regained … for the media it now has to come down to meeting, and explaining how we are meeting, our responsibilities to be reliable and informative and interesting and fair.”

To quote Lenore Taylor again:

” … how can the public trust the media to be reliable and fair if large swaths of it are palpably hostile to the Prime Minister, then purport to report the ”news” that her leadership is under threat?”

The American actor Jim Carey critiqued Fox News with this caustic and biting quote (which in my view very adequately sums up the Murdoch right of mainstream media in Australia, which is 70% of print media):

”I’ll just say this: in my opinion Fux News is a last resort for kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their extreme and intolerant views; a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue.”

And of course we could add the more reserved view of Malcolm Turnbull:

”Broadcasters, or politicians or writers … who think that they are respecting ‘Struggle Street’, the battlers, … by dumbing things down into one-line sound bites are not respecting them, they are treating them with contempt”

Further evidence of our dumbing down can be seen by the fact that women are so under represented in mainstream media. Males deliver two thirds of political commentary in Australia.

If we really think that women should have a voice and that diversity has an intrinsic value then women (and us) are being dumbed down by omission. Is it because men (those in power) think that women might shape opinion in a way they might find threatening? We saw that when Grahame Morris called Leigh Sales “a cow” for her tough interview with Tony Abbott when he was opposition leader.

When a former Prime Minister like Tony Abbott talks about women in the following way you can see the push to dumb them down and keep them in their place:

”I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.”

What condescending male self-righteousness.

When I was encouraged to write social commentary by Alan Austin and invited to write for The AIMN by Michael Taylor I was not aware of the vitriol with which people might attack me and their methodology in doing so.

I quickly learned that they just wanted to take you off subject and dumb down your argument. And do it with demeaning words. I thought up a quote for them:

”To those who think they can win a debate by being loud and crass. I say be quiet. To those who think they can win with a perceived superior intellect I say be humble. Discourse requires civility in order to produce reasoned outcomes.”

This dumbing down is of necessity, partly a by-product of the habitual negativity and conservatism of Tony Abbott who still feeds the media his simplistic solutions to complex problems.

Another example of mainstream media dumbing things down is by demeaning authors. Mainstream media believes that by dumbing down the issues into elementary soundbites or writing consisting of simplistic argument of 150 words or so it can in turn dumb you down also.

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and now a word from our sponsors...


Big tobacco has helped prop up police and Border Force in the fight against black market cigarettes, a partnership that could breach a major international agreement.

Key points:
  • ABC reveals big tobacco companies involved in providing resources and support to law enforcement
  • The AFP and NSW Police denied the allegations
  • Four days after assault on a tobacco executive, the Government announced funding for a Tobacco Strike Team


The brutal bashing of a tobacco executive last year led an ABC investigation to follow a murky trail of covert meetings and intelligence operations.

What it uncovered was big tobacco providing law enforcement with high-level intelligence, identifying targets, helping plan operations and tactics, and paying for surveillance technology.

New South Wales Police are explicitly banned from accepting any support from the tobacco industry.

And it is likely the partnership breaches a legally binding World Health Organisation (WHO) agreement limiting tobacco companies' involvement with law enforcement.

The companies have argued they are being good corporate citizens because illicit tobacco funds terrorism and organised crime but anti-smoking advocates said the industry was just trying to "infiltrate government".

"The tobacco industry's motives are really clear. It's nothing to do with public health, it's all about protecting their profits," Cancer Council Australia's Kylie Lindorff said.

Let's step it out.

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Meanwhile at the deadly sponsorship department:


Mention a few weeks back was given in this space to politicians, including Poodles PyneBrian Loughnane (aka Mr Credlin), Michael Danby, MP, and others, being wined and dined at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, while on a junket to Israel.

It should have been mentioned that the feast was sponsored by Elbit Systems, a large Israeli arms manufacturer, some of whose products possess “unprecedented lethality”.

This strikes a chord because Elbit has been the subject of notice in the NSW parliament. Specifically, upper house Greens member David Shoebridge asked about $2.5 million of state funding towards a project involving the NSW Royal Flying Doctor Service and Elbit – part of a Restart NSW Funding Deed.

The NSW minister for energy, utilities and the arts, Don Harwin, MP, replied that “the government is proud to be partnering with Elbit and the RFDS to provide a new state-of-the-art flight simulator in Dubbo”.

Shoebridge followed this up with questions earlier this month on whether the government has invested in Elbit’s war business through State Super. The answers are due next month. One requirement of restart funding deeds is that the “project not be brought into disrepute”.

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