Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Sheridan Liberal connection

From the Liberal Party to the people in one easy step thanks to Greg Sheridan.
Sheridan is about the only person still flogging this dead horse other than RWDB in cyberspace.
It really is pathetic journalism taking a handful of quotes from a PhD on terrorism and turning it into an open and shut case against the author.
Despite the fact Sheridan is an opinion writer he still gets a vote for "The Hack" for insulting everyone's intelligence.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Guns and RIP free speech in the Geelong

Gerard McManus has firmed as favourite for the “Hack of 2004” for giving Steve Wardell’s beatup a good kick along in the Hun today.
I particularly like this paragraph; “Mr Latham continues to defend Dr Molloy, despite confusing claims about the academic's past associations with an Asian guerilla organisation.” And what caused the confusion? Wardell’s beatup.
McManus then wrote, “The Courier Mail newspaper had produced a photo of Dr Molloy holding a semi-automatic assault rifle in the Philippines in 1983.”
Hang on there Gerard. The Courier Mail claimed the gun was supplied by Muslim extremists and that is highly unlikely to be true, especially since the general theme of Molloy’s study was about a faltering jihad.
McManus forgot to mention that crucial piece of information.
I have now bestowed the title of “Hack of the Highest Order” on McManus for rehashing a beatup for political gains.

McManus’ performance on this issue absolutely pails into insignificance compared to Wardell. He has teamed up with Stefanie Balogh and Malcolm Cole to produce the follow up.
The lead paragraph declares, “THE Labor Party will make its most important election bid today as it grapples with controversy over a Queensland candidate revealed to have once posed toting a machinegun with a violent Muslim extremist group.” Revealed, REVEALED. Rubbish guys, Wardell just added the context for the photo.

These hacks did acknowledge Molloy’s claims that the photo had been misrepresented before throwing up the huge “red herring” claiming, “ the candidate for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax acknowledged the group he was with, the Moro National Liberation Front, only later formed an agreement with the Philippines government.”
You guys have no proof that photo is of a MNLF soldier and their agreement with the Philippines government is largely irrelevant. These three then gave Labor a good kicking on education without a response from the ALP.
Votes for all involved. Wardell is now giving “The Hack of 2004” a really good nudge.

Whatever happened to the diplomatic post bribes allegedly offered by the National party? Not important, let’s move on.

Terry McCann has joined the Liberal Party interest rates bandwagon with simplistic nonsense, a fear campaign about foreign investment, and more rubbish about IR and the Libs spending spree. Terry’s opinions are largely determined by what the parties say rather than any economic realities. Three votes.

Sydney morning Herald gets a vote for having ads and links for Margo Kingston’s “Not Happy John”, on their online edition main page yesterday. Why they open themselves up for criticism is beyond my comprehension.

Meanwhile Janet Albrechtsen in the Australian has told readers, chicks still dig Howard accept those stuck up “doctors wives” on $3,$4,$500,000 pa. Maybe she is still pissed off about being called a “skanky ho” by Latham.

On another issue, I wrote a letter to the Geelong Addy the other day about John Howard’s honesty. After a couple of savage editing jobs on previous letters about this topic, I asked the charming lady who checks authenticity, whether it was possible to have the words “Howard” and “Liar” in the same paragraph.

The response was, “We have defamation concerns with that”. Rather than give a lecture about defamation law, I’ll just say it seems free speech in terms of criticising powerful politicians is now dead in Rupert’s Geelong rag.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Kiddy Tuesday.

Jason Frenkel must have read my column yesterday about getting other opinions, because in today’s paper he teamed up with Gerard McManus to write this story about child care.
Notice how they get Howard’s comments on Labor policy for the story. That certainly didn’t happen the other way round yesterday.
On another note World Oil prices nearly doubled to $83 a barrel overnight according to Fleur Anderson. Let’s hope the sub-editors picked up that clunker before it made to the printing press.
Steven Wardell, can you spell b-e-a-t-u-p? Wardell wins a special prize for taking material written more than 20 years ago and applying it to today’s terrorism situation. The whole story was merely a google search for Labor candidate Dr Ivan Molloy to find small snippets to publish without any context. Downer got the free kick at the end of the story. Wardell is on the board for “Hack of 2004” with this very strong effort.
Piers Akerman wrote this predictable nonsense about the Greens, “doctors wives”, and Family First.
The whole story was based on Akerman’s assumption that “The extremist criticism (of Family First) seems to be coming from the loopy Greens and their allies among the so-called "doctors' wives" who pride themselves on their small-l liberalism.”
“seems to be coming”. Thanks Piers.
Alan jones has been copping a well-deserved bagging from Brad Norington, Media Watch and the Chasers.
Three votes for Jones.
Oh and this is just pathetic.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Mad Monday

Mad Monday is usually synonymous with drunken footballers celebrating the end of the season, but Mad Monday at the Herald Sun means celebrating the official launch of the Coalition’s campaign.
It was non-stop cheer leading in Rupert’s Melbourne tabloid, and yes the pom poms were blue.
Michael Harvey got the ball rolling on page 1 and the cheer leading didn’t stop until the editorial half way through the rag.
Jason Frenkel had a big day writing about tax help for children, $1.3 billion tax breaks , $1 billion for schools and more cash for GPs. In fact, Frenkel was so busy he didn’t have to check any of Howard’s claims or quote anyone else. Pathetic effort really. Jason, just because Howard says something doesn’t mean it is true. Next time fill your articles with phrases such as, “the government claims...” or “according to Mr Howard’s figures...”
The Herald Sun did balance their coverage with this article by John Ferguson. Ferguson kept up the Herald Sun’s tradition of blurring the lines between hard news and editorial by provided a glowing op-ed piece on the opposite page.
I seriously believe that Howard blowing the budget behind the lectern emblazened with a sign about low interest rates was a piece of comic genius. I’m sure the Chasers appreciate the free kick. Nobody at the Hun even mentioned it.
Who knows, tomorrow’s hard copy may be slightly better if this article about interest rates gets in. Now I know that is not the correct link. The hacks working on the News Ltd web site got it wrong.
Votes for all the people mentioned above.
The Daily Telegraph must have been taking the piss with an editorial noting “Mr Howard's central theme... interest rates and the economy”. If this is the case, why was their no mention about the PM breaking every economic rule in the book when it comes to keeping downward pressure on interest rates?

The Daily Tele editorialised, “IF an election can be won on sheer audacity, John Howard is in the box seat.” Yes it was audacious to kick economic own goals while pretending to be an economically responsible leader, but that doesn’t matter to the Daily Telegraph.

Chief Cheerleader in Sydney Malcolm Farr should have be on the payroll of the Liberal Party after this effort. We can expect some more IR fearmongerring by the conservatives and their friends in the Murdoch press next week.

Over at the Australian, their editorial is already claiming Labor is in trouble. With Rupert, Kerry, Alan, Jeremy, Sattler, Lawsie, and a host of others all gunning for the conservatives, they were always in trouble.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Moral Panic the sinners are coming

Despite this article by Bill Shorten, it was wall to wall conservatives in Melbourne’s Sunday tabloid.
Shorten was swamped by Kroger, John Stone, Milne and Bolt.
Andrew Bolt shows he hates the Greens more than he loves the Liberals by saying the Conservatives are lying or reckless for preferencing the Greens ahead of Labor in some lower house seats.
Bolta has become a full-on prude and is jumping on any female flesh or anything remotely sexy (not literally). Bolta has recently gone Paris Hilton (not literally), and Rebecca Twiggy (not literally) and we are all in mortal danger of loose morals.
Bolta has been pumping up the conservative minors by giving the Family First Party a pretty easy run and telling readers Hanson was ahead of her time.
In 2001, Bolt was the chief “illegals” basher and spent the majority of the campaign wooing the Rednecks for the conservatives. With the rise of the Christian right in 2004, could we see Bolta pushing a new moral panic against pornography, feminism, drugs, and general smuttiness? Man the moral barricades everyone, God is not the answer, but the conservatives can protect us all.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Whinnett hacks harder than the logging industry.

Tasmanian journo Ellen Whinnett has got herself a vote for “Hack of 2004” with her story about only 18 per cent of people supporting an immediate end to old growth logging.

Whinnett forgot to tell readers who paid for the polling (the timber industry) and what question was asked. The question was heavily slanted towards potential job losses (according the industry estimates) if logging was stopped immediately.

She also gave logging interests twice the column space compared to those disputing the poll. The National Association of Forest Industries PR department will be celebrating tonight.

And Whinnett is the “Chief Reporter” at the Mercury. I wonder how bad the cadets are?

Friday, September 24, 2004

More cricket and no economic umpires.

Congratulations to the PM (ABC) crew for this fantastic interview with the PM (alleged lying rodent).
John Howard had absolutely no place to hide, and his cheap political spin on interest rates rising under Labor was exposed. The PM team's story was even better than the Laurie Oaks demolition job of Latham's weekly tables.
Tim Colebatch at The Age covered the story well but David Uren and Steve Lewis blew it again claiming 19 economists said there would be no difference under Liberal or Labor. That would be 14 economist Dave and Steve because 5 of those questioned did not participate in the survey. Under normal circumstances I would give both of these guys a vote for "The Hack" but Uren has actually improved lately and I don't want to punish someone heading in the right direction.
Just before the ABC PM interview John Howard brought out a cricket analogy claiming "I would say (the coalition was) three for about 268.
(in the campaign)
But the right hand opener is still there." Better make that six for 268 after three hit wickets, and with John Anderson yet to bat, the Libs have had a couple of very bad days.

Hack Watch

I don't know if Craig Binnie had anything to do with the headline but "Greens grab for widow's millions" in today's Hun is beyond a joke.
If the story is true, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Greens. Binnie's "no comments" paragraph from the ACF, was subbed out for their on-line addition. Why this was done is beyond my comprehension.
2 votes for the "Hack of 2004".
It wasn't a bomb you morons, but that didn't stop the Daily Terror editorialising about one.
The Daily Terror ramped up the fear declaring "While it is too early yet to say whether the device found on the Virgin Boeing 737 on Monday morning posed an actual threat to the aircraft". This is absolute rubbish, unless you believe in spontaneous combustion. The Age was just as bad.
Malcomn Farr gives the Lib's dirt file on Latham a great run in the Daily Terror today.
Farr talks about the dirt file and then repeats the claims as fact.
Surely he should have added the phrase "the Liberals claim" to this paragraph, "Back in October, 1992, when mayor of Liverpool, he had urged the State Government to close eight Sydney hospitals to save $150 million a year."
In a very flimsy story Farr argues "The Liverpool Leader (local paper) at the time reported Mr Latham's Labor colleagues weren't impressed with Craig Knowles, a future health minister and then Liverpool alderman, calling it simplistic."
Repeating a Liberal dirt unit's claims as facts and then finding this totally unrelated report in the local paper can only be described as pathetic.
One vote for Farr.
Will file again later.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Beat Up

Beat Up
Originally uploaded by hackwatch.
The media couldn't help themselves with this one. The Daily Terror and The Australian just had to put the word "Explosive" in the headline.
The headline was particularly disturbing in the Austalian because their source declared "It is not on the same scale as if you had an actual explosive (onboard)..."
The Age couldn't help themselves either.
This paragraph by David Miranda, "It may also have been designed to burn the plane while it was on the ground because it is impossible for passengers or crew to get into the plane's hold during flight" was about as bad as it got.

David Uren has lost a vote for the"Hack of 2004" because of his skilled reporting about Costello's $700mil black hole allegations.
While Uren lost a vote for "The Hack" Alan Wood gained one for his analysis of the same issue.
Costello made an allegation which has been disputed by an independent economics organisation. That is the story, but Wood claims Labor has to submit their figures to treasury to defend Costello's allegations. So according to Wood, Labor has to defend the false allegations while Costello doesn't have to prove them.
A few hours later the PM made the same call about the
$700 million claim. Singing from the same song sheet eh?
Definitely a vote for "Hack of 2004".

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Who Cares?

This article took not one, but two journos to produce, and can be filed under "Who Cares".
Policies please, not where pollies went to school 30 years ago or where they send their brats.
Murdoch gave Melbourne readers another story of dubious newsworthiness today. Not Rupert this time, but Linsay in The Age. In a story about a dog bite in Darwin, Lindsay mananged to drag out a coalition MP's (Dave Tollner) past indescretions which were not related to his dubious story.
Lindsay, you are on the scoreboard for "the hack".
Tim Colebatch has written a great little report about overseas debt while David Uren continues to write about good economic news concerning oil prices even though it is based on a highly speculative ABARE report.
David is getting another vote for "The Hack of 2004" award for shamelessly avoiding any discussion of economic problems facing the country.
Mark Dunn and Ian McPhedran are now in the running for "The Hack" after this report about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
Their lead paragraph "SEPTEMBER 11 terror mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed obtained a visa to visit alleged Australian-based sympathisers in the month before the 2001 attacks" turns a claim into a fact. Very shoddy.
The rest of their report is based on an unnamed source. Let's hope he (or she) is not the same source used in Rupert's tabloids' massive beatups about Terror training camps in Victorian forests, the Melbourne-based Tawhid terror group, and "Terror Australis" where up to a hundred al-Qaida members were already in Australia in September 2001.

Howard is a Green God in the Hun

Jason Frenkel turned John Howard into an environmental hero with his article in the Herald Sun about $100 million in new reef research funding. Sorry no link. He somehow managed to avoid any comments from the opposition or the fact the CRC for reef research had been de-funded in May.
At least others in the Newscorp stable managed to do a better job.
Frenkel gets a vote for the "Hack of 2004" for his little effort.

Cricket Reports and Corangamite

Torquay branch Labor hack, Tony White has taken to writing cricket reports for my beloved Jan Juc Cricket Club in the small regional Surf Coast Times.
In his latest article he declared the local Liberal member resembled an Easter Island statue without a sign of a pulse since '87. White had a good crack at his own party's candidate who was just what we needed on the Surf Coast, "another Melbourne lawyer". The Greens candidate Stephen Chenery was described as an unknown person "who probably had a beard and wanted everyone to live in mud huts".
Don't know if White deserve a vote for hack of 2004 or a Walkley.
Onto the big Brouhaha in Corangamite.
Labor candidate Peter McMullin has accused the Corangamite shire council of spending $14,000 to re-surface "Stewart McArthur's" road. The local rag picked up the story and it has now being reported on the ABC.
The spin coming from the Corangamite local government shire is, (and I am paraphrasing here) the road is no longer in Corangamite due to redistribution. IF there are any journos out there can I just say RED HERRING RED HERRING RED HERRING, and the ABC have missed it so far. The road still leads to the MP's house and the road resurfacing was paid for by Federal funding. Sure go ahead report McArthur denying all knowledge of the road resurfacing, but please examine the spin from the shire.
Got to go. Be back in a couple of hours.
I'm back and thanks to the always polite Goat, the spelling mistakes have been corrected. But there is sure to be more.
The Age has picked up the "Road-gate" story but there unfortunately isn't a link yet. I haven't seen the hard copy but apparently, according to Cameron from Geelong (who sounded very similar to McMullin's off-sider) it is on p2.
Poor Cameron had to admit he was in the ALP but said he wasn't really involved in the campaign. Well that depends on your definition of "really" doesn't it.
And God bless Australia Post. I just received a love letter from L. Smith from Mentone or possibly Linton telling me what a thug Latham is and I should check p3 of today's Herald Sun (Aug 31). The letter took three weeks to get to my place but considering their wasn't a street name or number on the envelope I'm giving Aus Post two thumbs up for getting here in the first place. Had a quick e-look to see what Mr smith was on about but couldn't find anything. Ah I've wasted enough time on this angry angry man.
According to the US authorities Yosef Islam could not be on the peace plane, but I digress.
And finally John Anderson got an amazingly good run with a photo spread on the Australian's website with lovely nice captions such as "Mr Anderson enjoys a lighter moment", "...he could take a joke", "He mixes well with people on the campaign trail". etc etc.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Road Trips and Spinning Polls

It doesn't get any more pathetic than this.
A road trip in a Monaro, with Galaxy Polls surveying 1000 people (200 per seat) is enough for the Daily Telegraph to declare "... this poll suggests it is Liberal - not Labor - that has increased support".
Rather than investigating Howard's fear campaign about interest rates the Daily Telegraph is joining the Liberal campaign by stating "However, Mr Howard's decision to make interest rates and economic management the front-and-centre election issue has paid dividends, with a majority of voters saying simply they think change is too risky."
What a circus especially since virtually every other polling and media organisation in the country, and even John Howard was saying the latest polls showed Labor could win.
Who's ideas was the Road Trip, the Liberal Party's, Rupert's, or both?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Branch Stacking and Diplomatic Bribes?

Wow, 2 scandals in one day.
Joe Hilderbrand did a good job covering the Latham branch stacking allegations while Tony Windsor's claims of being offered a diplomatic post in exchange for not standing is a genuine bombshell.
Nuffy over at Tim Blair's site is asking "What do you think will get the most media. The Latham rumour or the LNP rumour? I reckon the 7.30 report/SMH/Lateline will all cover the LNP rumour in detail while the ALP will disappear without a trace!"
Well Nuffy, on the one hand you have a well respected independent MP making allegations out in the open, and on the other you have a bitter ex-ALP person who is standing against Latham making claims inside Coward's Castle. Go figure Nuffy.
Having said that, there is now a really big opportunity for a journo to get a Walkley if they can expose either claims. On an election based on trust this could be the biggie.

Pre-school Gate, Negativity, and hacks love a strong man.

Malcolm Farr found a novel way to avoid any serious discussion and bash "Erratic" Latham with this editorial about little Oliver's potential pre-school.
Get onto something that people actually care about rather than "pre-school gate".
Malcolm Cole and Chris Jones somehow managed to omit the crucial infomation about Howard not having overseas support for his plan for Anti-terror flying squads.
But they did manage to editorialise by claiming "News of the planned announcement last night came after Mr Howard flexed his muscles on national security yesterday by restating his readiness to launch a pre-emptive strike if a terrorist threat emerged against Australia."
Wake up guys. Howard would not dare announce these policies if Indonesia's leaders were not busy going to the polls.
Michael Harvey, the Herald Sun's chief politics reporter, was no better with his article under the heading "Terror Net; Agents to go after evil cells". Not without international co-operation which Howard doesn't have as yet.
On a positive note David Penberthy has written a great report about the political moves surrounding Latham's Liverpool record. Penberthy had a shocker in 2001 but has vastly improved this time round.
Why didn't the Herald Sun print the results of the Roy Morgan Poll? They chose to report this one instead. Surely the news is "Polls are inconclusive" rather than "PM on top, but Labor crawl back".

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Talkback speaks and the Herald Sun follows.

The Herald Sun kept bashing Labor's school funding policy in an editorial today.

It really is amazing how they can sum up this complex issue in three paragraphs.

Here is slightly edited version of their middle paragraph; "But parents... work hard to pay fees, so they were in no mood for Labor propaganda about tall poppies. Their anger swamped the airwaves -- 61 per cent of talkback calls have been negative -- giving Mr Latham a crash course in the politics of education funding."

Wow 61% negative. And how often do you hear talkback callers ringing in to tell people all is well.

Look what talkback callers had to say about the FTA.

Rehame indicates 96% of people were negative about the GST and 74% were negative about Peter Reith's phone card affair in this report.

About the only talkback episode I could find where there was overwhelming public support for government policy surrounded the Tampa, and most of that was still negative commentary against queue jumping, disease-ridden illegals.

And who rings talkback. Well this reports may give you some idea.

Yes that is right, angry rednecks or people who fear something will be taken away from them.

A 61% negative talkback response is no basis for an editorial and definitive no basis to determine the popularity of a policy. But Labor bashing doesn't need a firm foundation in Rupert's tabloids.

It's going to be a shitfight.

Judging from the breaking news about the Liberal's attacks on Latham's Liverpool council record, we are in for one all-mighty shitfight over the next few days.
Liberal attack dog Tony Abbott is going in boots and all and it is well and truly on for young and old.
Next thing you know Latham will be accused of fabricating his Swift Boat record in Veitnam!
On a purely political level, the Government could well be on a winner with this issue. Even if they don't prove anything, they can create plenty of doubt and take the focus away from the conservative's weak points. Latham will also have to spend considerable time and resources defending the claims, thus taking the wind out of Labor's sails.
With the campaign taking a very nasty turn Hackwatch is going to stick with this story for a while.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Polls, Free kicks, Who cares? and getting it wrong!

Who in Sydney cares about a bottom-pinching SA Member of Parliament. Intersting choice for a front page story on the Daily Telegraph's website.

I don't know if this AAP story was sub-edited, but it was a shocker.

The article states "Greens senator Bob Brown has suggested he could direct preferences the way of the coalition if Mr Howard agreed to a compensation package on Tasmania's forests." Do they really believe the Greens will preference a party who took the country to war on a pre-emptive strike for WMDs that didn't exist? The Greens may do a split ticket but have in no way suggested preferencing Liberal. The rest of the story was just a free kick to Howard.

Breaking news from AAP finally got it right quoting Bob Brown saying "It would be unprecedented for the Greens to allocate preferences to the Coalition" I told you so.

Not to be outdone by his leader Peter Costello got a free kick as well courtesy of the Daily Telegraph and AAP.

The Tele's editorial was celebrating democracy by declaring it was nice to have choice in this election, and then they put on the Jack Boots claiming the Greens were no choice at all.

Malcolm Farr kept up the biased coverage with his analysis claiming Labor's policies have fallen flat. Just a shame the polls don't show it.

News Corp can't get their poll spin right either with Howard getting a boost in the Tele while the ALP gains but not in the marginals in the Australian.

Speaking of News Poll, my neighbour got polled the other day and he claims the conversation went like this.
NP; Hi I'm from News Poll. In the upcoming Fed election will you be voting Liberal or Labor.
Neighbour; Neither.
NP; so I will put you down as an other.
Neighbour; No I am a green voter not an other voter.
NP; OK we will put you down as a Green.
If my neighbour is accurate this is the most biased way of conducting a poll and will boost both Labor and Liberal primary percentages and disadvantage all minor parties.
Has anyone else had this experience?

Friday, September 17, 2004

One for the right wingers.

Which hat was Emma Dawson wearing for this spray in the age. Her ALP hat or the non-partisan OzProspect thinktank hat?
Thinktanks can provide a great service to the country by doing independent research and conducting forums, but media output like this just gives them a bad name. No research, nothing new, just a big partisan spray.
Very IPA but just in the opposite direction. Hey at least OzProspect identifies their financial backers.
Congrats Emma you're on the board for Hack of 2004. The Age gets a vote for running it to.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Is David Uren Howard's man?

Could John Howard have a better economics correspondent than The Australian's David Uren?
Last week David told every one interest rates were not going up in the next few months, a week before that he was telling everyone rates were going up no matter who was getting elected and this week he was telling everyone how good things were in an article titled Middle Men Getting Richer.

Uren told readers "People living in the poorest suburbs and regions in Australia raised their household incomes by 23.2 per cent between 1996 and 2001" but amazingly forgot to inform everyone that those figures had not been adjusted for inflation. What about their increased expenses with the GST? Not discussed.

Uren got a nice quote from a grazier in the richest postcode who claimed "you could fatten a crowbar" in the region, but didn't get any comments from Cullacabardee in Western Australia (the poorest postcode).

Uren also failed to dig deep into the figures. If he did, he would have noticed they ignored people not submitting tax returns and bumped others with negative income up to a zero income. This of course skews the result and largely ignores the most underprivileged sectors of society.

Essentially Uren takes figures that portray the Howard government in a favourable light. He also seems amazingly adept at avoiding discussing housing affordability, current account deficits, mortgage servicing rates, or household debt levels during the campaign.

So is Uren bias towards the conservatives? Have a look at this recent story on Labor, and this story and you decide.

kick that

kick it 2
Originally uploaded by hackwatch.

Wasn't Mark Latham a Magpies fan 3 months ago? Message to Mark's minders. You're not that strong in inner city seats, so stop upsetting Magpie fans because they are really one-eyed. Message 2. Teach Mark how to drop punt. These things are important.

kick that

kick that
Originally uploaded by hackwatch.
The "Snappers" at news Corp really have got their act together, and they have put together a really good photo spread on their online edition.
Here, Peter Costello learnt his lesson not to take on the teenage mutant ninja turtles.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I'm not a racist...

When someone repeatidly has to answer allegations of being a racist, it is a pretty good sign that they are bigotted.
Today, Andrew Bolt declared "I hate being thought racist or Islamophobic" but the simple reality is, if he stopped writing this kind of crap maybe he wouldn't be accused of being a bigot so much.
So what is Bolt's column about. An un-named colleague visiting an un-named school with lots of arabs and turks behaving badly, and studying arabic.
There were people "of Middle Eastern appearance" bringing down society and forming ghettos.
Stuff it, I might write a story about people "of anglo appearnce" behaving in an anti-social way at Catholic schools. These students would be from white ghettos in middle-suburban melbourne. I'd blame their religion for all societies ills, but confidently declare "In the end, I suspect, we will discover that discipline, rigor, a little prudishness and an optimistic belief in Australia and a respect for its rituals were not so stupid, after all." Yes it is stupid but Bolt seems to get away with it.

Bolt is now in line for the "Stormfront Journalism Award" for columns loved by racist organisations. How long before One Nation put Bolt's latest effort up on their website?

No doubt he will continue this theme during the campaign and declare Labor/Greens/Dems are responsible for all societies ills and the Libs can save us from the dreaded multiculturalists.

Education and Happy "Redneck" Clappers.

Class War screamed the Herald Sun front page. Yes it is a good pun, but why did Jason Frenkel and Catherine Hockley go into bat for the "wealthy schools". I really find it unbelieveable that these two hacks could interveiw two people from independent schools and yet none from a government school association.
The Herald Sun even drew up a hitlist of "elite" schools under Latham's plan. Note to HS editors. Your readers generally don't send their kids to these schools and are probably pretty happy about their kid's schools getting more money.
Dennis Shanahan told a massive porky in his editorial by claiming "...those emerging schools and the poorer Catholic schools, which have rising enrolments have to fight for a relatively small and shrinking slice of the cake." Please Dennis the Labor plan sees grants based on a per student basis. ie More student=bigger pie.
Over at The Age Misha Schubert and Orietta Guerrera went the hit list lead but then interveiwed a wide range of stakeholders.
Shane Green examines the political nitty gritty of the schools policy and declares "On Education Labor has the coalition's number".
It wasn't all bad at the Hun and they did do a good job exposing Mrs Poor as a Liberal stooge when she rang up talkback radio. Wouldn't it be funny if Mrs Poor actually was Mrs Loaded and her story was a load of crap. $34,500 salary for a travel agent eh? Is that before or after deductions, piling cash into an investment property, do they have other income streams? It would be nice to know.
Oh Goody. The Christians are coming with the Family first Party headed by Catch the Fire's Danny Nalliah. And by Family's First, they mean Christian Families first, certainly not same sex families or Muslim families first. Message to journos, somebody please ask these guys if they support the end to TPVs so Muslim families can be re-united.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Frank or Bruce

Frank or Bruce
Originally uploaded by hackwatch.

Bruce or Frank

Bruce or Frank
Originally uploaded by hackwatch.
Is Frank Devine really Bruce Ruxton, or does Bruce write a column in The Australian?

Water Water everywhere and the hacks will have a drink.

News Limited gave Howard's water policy a good run, and gave the Victorian Farmers Federation a platform to give The Greens another kicking. The Greens got to respond to the first article (in the last par) but got nothing in the second.
Meanwhile the Fairfax press interveiwed a wide range of experts, state premiers, and govt spokespeople for a more balanced article about water.

Howard made the first big mistake of the campaign by claiming the Indonesian police had received a phone warning 45 minutes before the Jakarta bomb. Fairfax reported it while web searches indicate Rupert's rags ignored it.

Just a quick update, the Daily Telegraph covered this story in an editorial. Amazing how Andrew Bartlett somehow copped a spray for Howard's stuff-up.

Meanwhile Shaun Carney gets a big tick for his article in Today's Age. Basically Shaun is arguing the media plays a central roll in creating political myths, eg Libs are stronger on national security and they "reduce a complex, diverse national electorate of almost 13 million individuals, along with their thoughts and aspirations and perceptions of the issues, down to a fistful of bumper stickers."
Carney gets a negative vote for "The Hack of 2004" which is currently being lead by Gerard McManus.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Great Debate

Well both the herald sun and The Age agree, Latham won the debate convincingly, but to be perfectly honest they both put me to sleep literally. I had a long day at work though and missed ten minutes of the debate in the land of nod.
Over on Tim Blair's ultra conservative blog they are screaming rigged and are giving the audience member with green hair a work over.
20 minutes after News Corp declared latham the winner they posted this story where two debating judges split the decision. And who awarded it to the Liberals. A guy called Allan McCulloch from the Rostrum Group. Who is this bloke? I googled him and he came up a blank.

Wright has a good run for "The Hack".

Does it get any more bias than this. Basically Ian Haberfield and Lincoln Wright have declared that "Women Desert Latham" based on a poll published a week ago. In my first year of journalism studies, we were taught that most stories have to be based on an event. Last time I checked "desert" was a still verb (unless of course you are talking about the yummy unhealthy plate after the main course). How the hell are these clowns making the desertion claim based on one poll. Surely you need another poll showing Latham was previously polling stronger with women to make this claim.
I might write an article under the headline "Young new voters desert PM" for balance.
Haberfield and Wright are on the board for the "Hack of 2004" award.
In fact Wright picked up another vote for his article about a Green/Liberal preference deal. It is amazing the guy could write 20 pars on something that has absolutely no chance of becoming a reality. Jamie Walker did a much better job in courier mail.In the same paper Denis Atkins gave Latham a very easy run about his tax policy.
Interesting to see Newscorp haven't picked up this story by the talented Matthew Moore about assassination plans in Indonesia. News Corp's coverage from Jakarta has been inferior to fairfax because News Corp sent an Australian-based reporter with little backup to cover the events while Fairfax's Moore has demonstrated the advantages of being a foreign correspondent.
Interestingly News Corp was running a story about Russel Galt's legal fees being covered, but these articles have just been pulled from News Corp websites.
Hard to keep track of the hacks at the daily telegraph when their site is down.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Dirty Tricks

Dirty Tricks
Originally uploaded by hackwatch.
What does Anthony Albanese and Gerard McManus have in common?

Hack Watch

Gerard McManus has just taken the lead on the "Hack of 2004" points table for this effort in the Herald Sun.
The big question is, Why didn't the Herald Sun lable this article an opinion piece?

This piece is just so bloody flimsey it is ridiculous. Could Gerard actually tell us what event (besides him digging for figures he won't source adequately) actually took place for his story.

McManus claims the Tasmanian business investment growth rate of 42% declined. Gee Gerard, can you name any place in Australia where they have been able to sustain that type of business investment growth rate, especially during a "recession we had to have".

While SA and Vic were going broke Bob Brown and the independents (Yes Gerard, The Greens were not even a political party at this time) supported severe cut backs to deal with a $100 million deficit left by the Liberals.

McManus is an absolute disgrace, and the day this type of crap becomes a regular feature in our newspapers is the day we can kiss our democracy goodbye.

It about the terrorism stupid!

After declaring WW3 yesterday and bodly predicting a win for the good guys, the Daily Telegraph has a more measured approach in today's editorial.

Brian Deegan politicised the bombings early by advocating discussions with JI's leaders but he has made a fatal mistake in assuming the press can cover this complex issue in 500 words. Deegan copped a predictable bagging at spleensvile and surely it is only a matter of time before the mainstreamers have a go.

The Australian's editorial, makes a number of sensible comments but has a number of dubious assumptions. The assumption that the Jakarta bombing was all about Islamic Terrorism targetting the West may well be proven true in the long run, but there are still distinct possibilities these attacks had dual motives. It is simply too early to dismiss the possibility that the Old gaurd (suharto's cronies) are working with JI to destabalise the Indonesian elections. They had their grubby little hands all over the Ambon conflict, why not again?

The Australian had a red hot go at the Indonesia media, (one that has way more diversity than ours) and yet seem comfortable pushing the simplistic "hunt them down (and all will be fine)" argument.

It really is a dull day on the campaign trail.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Daily Telegraph declares war.

It seems Campbell Reid has had a full frontal lobotomy and decided to declare war in Daily Telegraph.
Reid has gone the, evil mad bastards who must be "exterminated" vs good "countries committed to freedom and decency" argument. Reid even compare the current situation to WW2.
The best thing about Reid's war that "we must fight" is that according to the Daily Telegraph "...we will win."
Get me a headache tablet.
Meanwhile the Australian's editorial was a lot more measured but interestingly it did parrot Howard's main argument that "Those who say that our involvement in Iraq made us a target for attacks like this are wrong. The Bali bombing occurred long before the war to remove Saddam Hussein."
Ruperts quality paper, Just like John Howard essentially avoids asking the question that could determine the outcome of the election. Are we more of a target because of our involvement in Iraq?

Jakarta Bombing; Hacks Away.

Greg Sheridan got the ball rolling with his article "Proof we are a Prime Target", but somehow managed to avoid discussing Australia's involvement in Iraq may have had something to do with the target choice.
No suprise that Sheridan argued " (the bombing) totally transforms the campaign environment. National security will now dominate the election, at least for some of the time, playing automatically to Prime Minister John Howard's strengths and drowning out Labor's message."
Partisan rubbish using a tragedy. 2 votes for Sheridan for "the Hack".
The Australian declared the bombing was all-about our election campaign and compared it to the Madrid attacks. Of course it is way too early to know the motivation for the timing of the bomb. Third anniversary of Sept 11, Indonesian elections, Australian elections, or simply the bomb planning process was finished. The journalist for this piece Samantha Maiden gets a vote for "the Hack" for her assumptions.
For a much better analysis check Matthew Moore's effort in The Age.
Brendan Nicholson brought up the Iraq connection argument very well by asking experts on the subject.
In a low point for the Age Tony Parkinson did a fox news, by claiming "Some people would say...", "Critics complain..." Who Tony Who? Very Fox.
Malcolm Farr has already declared Latham's mountain has just got higher and backed Howard's argument about Australia's involvement in Iraq does not increase our risk.
What will Farr say if JI directly take responsiblity for the bombings and claim it occured because of Australia's involvement in Iraq?
Meanwhile Richard Woolcott has basically slammed the Howard Government's foreign policy and has said everything so many Labor people want to scream from the rooftops.
Max Suich wrote this interesting piece about media bias, but he largely ignored bias by ommission, bias by hiring, firing and promoting journalists, and political bias through editorial policies on certain issues. eg The Howard government made massive political mileage out of the Murdoch tabloid's policy of demonising asylum seekers. Maybe he will write about this in his next column.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Embassy Bombing

So far the reporting of the attack has been outstanding with the what, when, who, where, and how being covered really well by the wire services.
There hasn't been any speculation in the Daily Telegraph, the age, the Australian, or the herald sun as yet, but how this event is reported will essentially make or break the campaign.
No doubt Howard will get plenty of support from the tabloids.
Will Latham go on the attack and blame Howard for being the Deputy Sheriff and a member of the coalition of the willing for Iraq, or will he sit back and do a Beazley?
Before the blood has dried The Sydney Morning Herald conducted an on-line poll asking which party will benifit from the bombing. About the only decent thing about this poll is, rather than having the opinions of hacks rammed downed our throats, we get the collective opinion of 930 pundits as of 10pm. Not very tactful SMH.

David Uren declares interest rates are not going up.

What can I say. David Uren doesn't have a clue about economics judging from this article in the News Ltd papers.

The best paragraph is this one "Interest rates have now been steady for nine months, and are likely to remain on hold for some months more following the Reserve Bank's decision, announced yesterday, to leave rates unchanged."

David, David, David. Interest rates were not change because, and you may not have noticed this, we are having an election in four weeks.

Despite the "Super of the Future" ads, Bernie Fraser has a pretty good understanding of interest rates and he says they are going up.

There are also plenty of other economists saying they are on the way up in the short term.

David, Look at your article. Government handing out money to all and sundry, homes loans going up again. Umm That would be inflationary wouldn't it.

David gets a vote for "Hack of 2004".

The Holy Trinity; God, Islamist Terror and Andrew Bolt

Don't you just love it when Bolta bangs on about religion and then concludes it's the left to blame.

Bolt slammed Peter Watson for daring to question the direction Australia is headed in his address to the Anglican synod titled How the nation of Australia stands at this time.

Bolt then accuses Watson of "using his privileged religious position to preach everyday secular politics".

Oh the double standards. Bolt has no trouble ignoring the fire and brimstone christians like the Catch the Fire Ministries who promote religious intolerance and discuss modern political issues such as the levels of Islamic immigration. In fact he supports them.

Bolt also doesn't have a problem with the Salt Shakers or this nutter.

Right wing christians preaching modern politics and endorsing Howard or his policies = free speech. Any other christian questioning Howard = furious anger from Bolt.

On to Islamist Terror as Bolt likes to call it.
His summary of the Beslan tragedy is about as black and white as it can get. Terrorists are muslims and bad and the Russians are good. I just find it amazing anyone could ignore the Russian/Chechen war while analysing this tragedy and scream "lefty" at anyone who even discusses the ten year old conflict.
Expect more of the same in the lead up to election day, with Labor and the Greens being the greatest threat to national security. Well it worked in 2001 didn't it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Tax, secrecy, scare, and cartoons.

Great show on Insight about the press corp last night.

Reporting Labor's tax policy can best be summed up by one word "secrecy". The ALP did an amazing job hiding any detail of their policy and released it to the press corp, leaving them nothing to report but the spin.
It was classic he said this, and he said that reporting.

The exception was Fleur Anderson who produced this dog titled Slash and Burn.

This lead paragraph is just hopeless.
"SMOKERS, travellers, mothers, foreign car buyers and clothing manufacturers will bear the $10 billion cost of Labor's slash and burn plan to pay for its $11 billion tax policy."

Fleur is in the running for "Hack of 2004" but she is still a long way behind.

To make up for their lack of analysis on tax The Daily Telegraph gave Ross cameron a solid kicking thanks to a disgruntled ex-staffer. If there was a prize for gutteral muckraking, Luke McIlveen would be in the running.

Tim Colebatch demonstrated the real advantage of having a clue about economics and politics by producing this excellent analysis of Labor's tax reforms.

The Herald Sun once again proved they're a comic with an unflattering cartoon of Latham on their front page. Latham has no chin, a redder nose, higher hairline, and extra weight. Use Photoshop next time.

The Age was considerably kinder with an action shot of Latham in full flight. That "snapper" must be really talented to get that shot of a very flat Latham.

Katherine McGrath gave Latham a suitable grilling of his tax policy this morning on AM.

Now I'm sitting down listening to John Howard pushing out some ridiculous spin about interest rates rising under Labor, undermining their tax breaks.
Faine has just given Howard a good kicking for having higher interest rates compared to the rest of the world.
Howard; ignore question slam Labor with prepared speech.
faine; asks if welfare to work has no merit?
H; Bashes on about interest rates again saying higher under labor than liberal.
F; Faine isn't taking any crap and highlights the weaknesses of Australian economy. Very good kicking bringing in negative gearing and housing prices.
H; ignores it goes back to interest rates, unemployment, govt national debt, real wages (mean not median). etc "This economy is about as good as anywhere in the western world" Goes on to bulkbilling without being asked.
F; Is your medicare package extravagent?
H; no, returns to predictable line on interest rates accuses Labor's policy as being inflationary. eg departure tax
F; laughs at him.
H; Howard knows he is talking crap and accuses Labor's IR policy as inflationary, ties in productivity argument. Plays the budget deficit card under labor. Fear campaign.
F; Asks where libs vision is? and says Libs campaign is all negative.
H; Talks about $600 bribe as visionary.
F; What about policies for the good of the country?
H: Talks up his economic stability record and then goes back to interest rates.

Listener Reaction
1. Paul, the rodent has spoken again. Brings up GST, stamp duty, other taxes.
2. Philip; whoever gets in interest rates go up, slams banks
3. terry; if they don't answer the question cut em off
4. mike; buckets of money, GST fera
5. wendy; wants to know more about medicare safety net
6. Matthew; slams howards interest rate record when treasurer
7 ann; bring back honesty;
8. ann; environment, economy is false if rivers are dying.
9. Tampa
10 Marg; 1.1- 6.3 no time for marg.

finally some sensible discussion with an ACCOS economist.
Summary; ABC is at it's best when they get experts to cut through the spin

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Tabloids declare Libs winner on health.

Well the tabloid's have declared John Howard the winner on bulk billing even though the extra money promised to save medicare may just end up in the pockets of GPs.
The Daily Telegraph started the praising with a story titled Dr John's amazing health elixa and backed it up with an editorial with more of the same.
Rupert's southern tabloid ran this story by Jason Frenkel and Gerard McManus, and didn't they get it off to a pitifully bias start with their lead paragraph declaring "AUSTRALIANS will save at least $5 on a basic doctor's visit under a $1.8 billion Medicare pledge by the Coalition."
Cmon guys investigate the spin don't just peddle it.
In fact peddle it the Hun did, with two journos, Steve Lewis and Sid Maher whacking their names at the top of the same story for their online edition.
Michael Harvey continued the campaign to endorse the Libs healthcare package with his now predictable mix of hard news and commentary in The Herald Sun. It really is staggering the Herald Sun seems unconcerned that Harvey's punditary and hard news appears on the same page.
For a better story on the Medicare promises go to the age.

Time to chose Margo, and Jackman the hackman.

Boy, there sure is a lot of furious anger towards Margo Kingston in right-wing blogger land. Tim Blair recently posted an item about Margo misspelling a word and got 60 angry nutters calling for her public execution. (Bit of an exaggeration here).

But Margo has to decide, is she a journalist or a campaigner.
You can't be both Margo, and you can't swap between the two positions. If the SMH wants to retain their credibility they will show Margo they door. I'd just like to add that Margo has many talents and will be welcomed by other organisations.

Speaking of talent, News Limited's Christine Jackman doesn't have any judging from this story in the Australian.

Conventional defamation doesn't apply on the internet eh Christine? Tell that to one Mr Hardwick who got done for ten years ago in Rindros v Hardwick. What about Gutnick? Stop making stuff up Christine.

Jackman also says it is virtually impossible to find Latham blogs.
Christine, If you put "mark latham" and "blog" into google you will find this page. Now look at third on the list. Click it and you get the They're all arslickers blog. Gee, that took me about 30 seconds.

Here are two more. Time for a new profession Christine if you can't manage basic research.

Both Margo and Jackman get votes for the "Hack of 2004" trophy.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Farr from a King.

Malcolm Farr has got himself a vote for the "Hack of 2004" trophy for this analysis of Wentworth.
I particularly like this paragraph; "King has some ties to the conservation issue having been president of the UNESCO World Heritage Bureau 2000-01 and head of the Australian Heritage Commission just before that."
What Farr doesn't understand is the King played a central role in the government's attempts to have Kakadu withdrawn from World Heritage listing so the jabiluka uranium mine could go ahead, and the Greens can't stand him.
King is basically up shit creek without a paddle if he expects to get preferences ahead of Labor on that ticket, but with more pitiful analysis like Farr's, King may get some primary votes off the Greens.
Hell hath no fury like a sitting member scorned, and if Turnbull gets dumped to the bottom of King's ticket the Royal Sydney Golf Club associates will just be beside themselves having a commie as their Canberra representative.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Silence those damn doctors.

Now that 56 of Australia's most respected doctors have condemned the Iraq war, who is going to be the first hack to character assassinate the mushy-minded, meddeling, mango-munching medicos.

Week Two; The rednecks are a-comin.

As we head into week 2 of the campaign the big question for media watches is, does Rupert's Melbourne tabloids have any impartial commentators?
The Sunday Herald Sun had stories from Liberal Michael Kroger and full-on redneck John Stone.
For those with short memories Stone was a National Party senator, and wrote a piece three years ago in the Australian titled, “We only want those prepared to be like us”. That article would have pleased Hitler.
Here is a little cut and paste of a small part of his speech. "All the past brainwashing to the contrary notwithstanding, all cultures are not equal and it is ridiculous (and, since September 11, much more obviously dangerous) to keep insisting that they are. The most sensitive aspect of that future debate will be our attitude towards further Muslim immigration - towards which, I must openly say, I have the gravest reservations" Cue the Banjo Player.

Stone and Kroger’s piece was “balanced” (2-1) by this one from union heavy Bill Shorten.

I have only seen the electronic version of the Sunday Herald Sun so another balancing story appear in the paper copy. Any posts correcting the record would be appreciated.

Oh goody, Pauline Hanson may be making a comeback. That should please our northern neighbours and liven things up a little. The big question is, will Alan Jones give John Howard or Pauline Hanson top billing.
Good to see Channel 7 getting in on it’s political coverage by having Pauline Hanson appear on reality TV show Dancing With The Stars. Can anyone spell C-I-R-C-U-S.

The poor old Dems can’t get any coverage unless one of their husbands faints on a planes.

Meanwhile Glen Milne has racked up a vote for “Hack of 2004” for his article in various News Ltd papers. Check out the quotes from all the unnamed libs at the bottom of the story. Ring up one of your mates did you Glen? nice balance.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Russell Galt in the ALP?

Well according to Alan Jones, Russell is in the ALP.
I'm not kidding. You can check it through on the 2GB website in the Alan Jones Daily editorial file.
Here is the quote for those who don't want to put up with 2GB's painfully slow computers.

"Alan Jones Editorial
Russell Galt September 2 2004
Well all this business about John Howard being called a lying rodent-It is quite clear that this fellow, Russell Galt is a bloke in the factionally riven Queensland Division of the ALP who has had his nose put out of joint."
Good one Alan, You are now up there with Gerard McManus and Michael Harvey for the "Hack of 2004" award.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Kicking Own Goals

In the last couple of days election watchers have been treated to so many political own goals it seems this campaign is being run solely for the benifit of political satirist.
Apart from the Daily Telegraph who rightly ridiculed Labor, the press went way too easy on Latham and Creans interest rate guarantee pledge. No wonder Simon Crean looked pissed off at such a cheap political stunt. John Quiggin provides some good analysis on this. Rather than signing big piece of cardboard Labor should have just told the electorate the Libs have blown the budget on election bribes putting upward pressure on interest rates at the worst possible time.

Peter King placed one into the back of the Liberals net, in what is sure to be an ongoing saga. Expect some good old-fashioned character assassination from the Liberals on this one. The big question is, who in the Sydney media are going to join in the kicking. My guess is Piers and Alan will line up for a shot at the treasonous ex-Liberal.

Mark Latham looks pretty safe against Liberal candidate Michael Medway who is in sorts of trouble for writing about "...dumb American tourists appear(ing) (at Stratford on Avon) with their uneducated stupid comments". My god. American tourists asking stupid questions, and at Avon of all places. I cant believe it.

The Herald Sun's Luke McIlveen covered this story, and somehow he manages to give Latham a kicking for Medways web diary.

This is his fifth paragraph.
"The 25-year-old insurance salesman (Medway) from Liverpool has won Liberal preselection for the seat of Werriwa. But his colourful language and controversial views could have voters mistaking him for the Opposition Leader."
I won't mince words here folks, this is a ridiculous statement and McIlveen is probably more stupid than the Labor strategist who thought people would be impressed with Latham signing a big piece of paper. McIlveen deserves his vote for Hackwatch's "Hack of 2004" award.

Despite a couple more own goals from the Liberals they must have been happy with the Herald Sun's coverage on Friday.

It was Scoresby Freeway day in the Herald Sun despite the fact that nothing had happened on this largely state-based issue at the time of print. This long piece was backed up by two editorials and a Mark Knight cartoon. Co-incedence? I think not.

In the other editorial Michael Harvey, whose bias is now obvious, has already amazingly given the seats of Deakin and Latrobe to the Liberals. I've still got McManus ahead on points for "The Hack" but Harvey is giving it his all.

Take care people, it is going to get worse before it gets better.

Rupert Vs The Greens

Writing news stories on marginal seats is pretty bloody easy. Generally they go like this;
The battle for the marginal seat of (name of seat) held by Liberal/Labor MP (Name of MP) with a margin of (percentage) will be crucial in determining who wins govern.
(Name of seat) is located ... and contains the major towns of (names of towns).
The sitting member is up against (names of other candidates plus their parties).
After this the journo goes down the main street and reports what people are saying.
Really basic stuff that any wind up monkey could do.
But things are different these days, with John Masanauskas changing the way the Herald Sun does marginal seat reports.
Masanauskas didn't write about any of the important details for the seat of Gippsland but he did manage to find a redneck farmer complianing about the Greens. Great, stick it under the headline "Farmers fear the Greens could damage their patch", slap it next to a classic photo of a concerned farmer with wife and dog, and let him strike fear into decent society about the dreaded Greens.
Hey Masanaukas, in your effort to demonise the Greens you forgot to mention who is Gippsland's sitting member. You get a vote for the "Hack of 2004" trophy.
Greg Sheridan continued rupert's Green bashing with this effort in the Australian.
Here is just a sample of Sheridan; "The Greens are essentially left-wing Hansonites, simultaneously reactionaries and revolutionaries, who combine a hatred of modern society as it actually exists with a conspiracy-laden, fantastical view of how the world works."
Left wing Hansonites. Pu-lease.
In another shocker for Rupert's "quality" press, Christine Jackman produced this story about mojo. Jackman was attrocious last election. She even reported children had been thrown overboard three weeks after Peter Rieth produced his photos that nobody else believed. She gets a Hack of 2004 vote for her latest effort.
On a bright note Max Suich wrote an article titled The decline of the gallery that is a must read.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

It's John Howard and Alan Jones versus Mark Latham

John Howard certainly didn't get asked any tough question with this Alan Jones Interveiw on the first day of the official campaign.
Well I tell a lie. He asked one about tax relief for people under $52,000 but that was just skipped by the PM. John Howard's favourite shock jock didn't push him on it either.
Jones even did some of the PM's bidding by repeating the shallow spin on interest rates.
Compare this interview with the absurd one with Mark Latham. here
Call me a cynic but it is probably good Alan got his Order of Australia before this election because he won't be getting any more gongs if Labor win.

How not to be a political hack

Hi journos,
Here is a simple 10 point plan to follow to become a good political journalist.
1. When you get a press release from a politician ask yourself what is he or she trying to hide.
2. When you get a press release attacking another politician, it is probably a good idea to ask the politician under attack for a quote. Better still, ask the Press releasee to clarify and reference their material. This is called balanced journalism.
3. When a pollie refuses to answer a question, say "you didn't answer the question" and then ask it again.(and again if necessary).
4. When a pollie makes a statement, attribute that claim. Even a cadet knows to do this, but, the number of journos who turned Howard's Children overboard claim into a rolled gold fact was embarrassing to the profession.
5. If you are writing about the law get a lawyers opinion.
6. Get a relevent lawyers opinion. There is no point in asking the bloke who defended your drink-driving charge to comment on constitutional law.
7. Don't ask politicians if they have ever smoked marijauna. It's been done and nobody cares?
8. When you get a press release from a lobby group like the Wilderness society or the IPA, don't cut and paste it and then claim it as yours.
9. Re-read the AJA's code of ethics. If you go to this website it is only one more click away.
10.Now abide by it for a happy healthy democratic process.
Lots of love
from the Hack Watcher.

the Herald Sun vs the Greens

When the Herald Sun hacks, they hack hard. Yesterday Gerard McManus thoroughly misrepresented the Greens policies and was humiliated for being a hack of the highest order by Bob Brown in front of the entire press corp.
Did McManus apologise. No way, he just enlisted the help of Michael Harvey to produce this pile of puke under the disgracefully dishonest headline "Brown backs off Greens' drug ideas".

Brown stood by the real Greens policies of investigating drug harm minimisation stratergies and attacked McManus' dodgy interpretation of them. But who cares about facts anyway. Certainly not McManus.

Anyone would think the Hack of 2004 Trophy is a coverted award the way the Herald Sun journalists are racking up the votes.

Michael Harvey backed up his hard news story with an editorial on page 5 on the same topic. Oh arn't the lines between news and editorials being thoroughly blurred at the Melbourne tabloid. It's probably good the Herald Sun labled Harvey's second piece as "comment" because without this tag it would be hard to tell where the news was.

Andrew Bolt again showed why he has very short odds to win "Hack of 2004" with his effort on the Greens. The Hun hasn't posted his latest column yet but let me assure you guys, he brought up his Green Nazi theory again.

At least my local News Ltd tabloid, the Geelong Advertiser didn't touch this dog.

Perhaps the whole affair was unwittingly summed up by Elizabeth Coleman in her letter to the editor that said, "I though I was reading fiction when I read about the Greens' policies. As I read further it only got worse." Yes Mrs Coleman, you were reading fiction, and yes it was getting worse.