Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The eleventy billioneth post about that speech.

I wasn't going to write about this, I really wasn't.

But a couple of things changed my mind.

Firstly, the reaction of just about everybody in the Canberra Press Gallery to the rest of the world driving around to their place to point at them and laugh has been instructive. Instead of conceding that, you know, several thousand people might have a point, the Gallery has been all "But you don't understand, it's all about The Cooooontext, it's all about the Government defending that horrid Peter Slipper."

Which sort of works.

Until you think about it for 30 seconds.

Or read the actual speech.

The PM had made it perfectly clear that Slipper's texts were unacceptable and offensive. She also made it quite clear that it was important to follow the correct process while the matters were before the courts.

And even if - and I do mean if - it was all a cynical stunt by the Government to shore up their numbers, then why did two of the independents and Adam Bandt vote against the Opposition's motion? It's no skin off their noses if Slipper moves to the cross-benches.

Or perhaps they could see that Ms Gillard had a point about due process.

The always perceptive Mr Denmore has a good take on the Gallery's reaction here, but my quick summary would be this.

If the reaction from experienced journalists to any criticism from their readers is to either try to bully them into submission or claim they can't possible understand what is happening before their eyes, then why read them?

If  any schlub with too much time on their hands and an Internet connection can pull together an interpretation of what is happening in Canberra that is just as valid as the Gallery, then why listen to the Gallery?

In short, why care what the Gallery says about anything?


Melba said...

Disappointed in the gallery. Disappointed in Grattan; not that she has to support Gillard 'as a woman' but because she can't see what you have accurately described as a situation where readers/voters are having a valid reaction. Disappointed also to see words like 'tirade' used in headlines to articles on Gillard's speech.

A lot of disappointment but no fucking surprise.

Melba said...
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Mr E said...

My only perception of the Canberra Press Gallery is based on an anecdote passed to me over dinner by the then Prime Minister's press secretary describing an event at the Canberra Press Club involving he and another noted Melbourne journalist who were at the time totally pissed and running around the press club with arms outstretched, holding an empty beer can in each hand, pretending they were jet fighter aircraft. The incident ended with them making complete cunts of themselves by bursting through the doors into a room where a press club lecture was being recorded by the ABC. The event was edited out of the final broadcast. This is my only press gallery story and the only one I'll probably ever need.

Anonymous said...

Ramon, I took your and Mr E's advice months ago and started foraging for news elsewhere. Although, I have to say that quality alternative journalism seems to be a wee bit more sparse here than in the US and Europe. Or maybe I'm still not looking in all the right corners of the interwebs.


I either still haven't seen the really offensive material from the Slipper text messages or I'm somehow just not getting it. Putting aside the cab charge, sexual harassment and abuse of position stuff, can anybody explain to me precisely what bits were supposed to be offensive to women in general? Melbs? Kettle? Squib? EMS? Did any of you guys get any burn off it?

I haven't researched this at all, but I'm willing to bet there's probably been greater amounts of sexism and misogyny on display in some of the political policies he's supported over the years. What was his position on Health-Minister-Abbott's wanky fuckin' crusade against abortion, back in the day?

Melba said...

My reaction to Slipper likening female vulvae to mussels: I wasn't offended and didn't care about it. To me it wasn't malicious, it was a general statement, not talking about a specific person and it wasn't completely inaccurate. To me it wasn't someone being anything other than clumsily [un]funny. I kind of felt sorry for him that it had been made public because to me it wasn't a big deal. So no, Alex, no burn. There are far more offensive things being said/bandied about at the moment, eg Abbott's go at Gillard for being childless (again).


What I want to know is what was said about Abbott's female staffer that got people going.

Anonymous said...
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Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Alex, I don't normally do this but can you please remove that joke.

It's highly defamatory and I really don't want to lose my house.

Anonymous said...


Sorry Ramon. I've no interest in seeing you destitute either.

I'll send it to Melba in an email.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Thanks Alex.

Appreciate that.

Melba said...

So hay


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Just watching the US elections, Melbs.

God, I love elections!

Looking good for Obama.

Anonymous said...

What are you watching it on, Ramon? I decided to switch things up a bit this time and listen to Fox News' coverage.

Hey Melbs, I managed to catch one of the final screening of Wuthering Heights. Will let you know what I thought over at your place later on.

Melba said...

Yes especially American elections which are just so damned West Wing.

So Obama is in and this gives me hope that Abbott won't for some reason, the Gillard will prevail and get back in, that the world is completely fucked up.

Oooh Wuthering, Alex. Am half way through re-reading. Look forward to your thoughts but I might warn you: you can't say anything negative. (Only joking.) (Well, half anyway.)

That's what I said to P when we saw it, I knew she'd go it and I could bear it. BUT I will let you have your voice and be mature about it.

Melba said...

For you Ramon, a special Prezi:


Anonymous said...

Listening to the fallout on Fox has been pretty funny. The immediate response on election night was fairly uniformly: "Shit, look at the exit poll demographics. If we can't do something to make our party appeal to women and brown people from here on, we are fucked!" (Funny how women are a majority of the population, but are so often put in the "minorities" category.)

Then it went to: "Obama's campaign was pretty dirty and he had the media on his side. I guess we need to be louder and dirtier in the future."

And by the conclusion of day one: "Liberals have successfully engineered a country held hostage to welfare addiction. How do we get back to the ideals of hard work and self reliance? Obviously, the real battleground is going to be classrooms."

... which was a bit of a disturbing conclusion.

Melba, I see most of the Republicans who were outspoken on rape & abortion got the arse; except, notably, Scott DesJarlaise, the doctor who ran on a pro-life, family/Christian-values platform after having numerous affairs with his patients and making a secret tape of himself pressuring one of them to have an abortion. Makes the whole Slipper thing look pale, eh? (Then again, so does Troy Buswell, I guess, and he doesn't seem to be going anywhere.)

And since every silver lining needs a nice dark cloud ...

I've heard a few reports that unofficial word from the federal drug authority (headed by a far right wing ideologue who was reappointed by Obama - both of whom have advocated states rights in the past) is that Colorado and Washington can go fuck themselves if they think they'll get away with legalising cannabis.

And according to some of the analysis I've seen, the Dems are already dropping hints that they intend to surreptitiously adopt a number of the economic policies that the Republicans ran on.

Which, I guess, is part of the narrative that Obama's rhetoric is often pitched quite a bit to the left of his actions. Kind of a wee bit of a familiar feel to that, isn't there?

Melba said...

Sorry Alex, the Republicans weren't 'outspoken' on abortion and rape: they were fucking completely wrong and irresponsible in their statements.

I know you know that, and wouldn't argue otherwise, but wanted to point out that 'outspoken' doesn't really cover it.

I didn't follow the whole thing really at all; in fact didn't realise it was happening until I saw stuff on twitter (yes, I've gone there, but for 'professional reasons').

The idea of the pitch left to the actions, yes it is familiar. I think it's how they roll, and vice versa as well. I think I saw a similar but reverse thing on tv the other night: Campbell Newman demonstrating huge umbrage at the suggestion of privatisation of utilities (can't remember if it was electricity or whatever) - I rubbed my eyes and thought I was dreaming. A Lib against privatisation? I know there is a history of the ALP being for it, in fact it might have been one of the early 'Liberal' things they jumped on, but for a Lib to be against it was really funny.

Anonymous said...

Privatisation (and the sense of deception surrounding it) is widely considered to be among the chief reasons that Labor lost up here; so yeah, for CanDo&Co it's a wise choice of rhetoric for the time being.

On the Republicans, what I meant was that I think there are a lot more of them who share (or support) those fucked-up opinions but have the political good sense to avoid talking about it. Maybe I should have said "vocal" instead.

catlick said...

Hiiiii everyone! Long time etc. Alex I downloaded and read the txt messages. (http://www.fedcourt.gov.au/.../2-Oct-2012-Book-of-Evidence-Annexure.p...) Quotidian but not criminal. Seems in the latter parts to bolster Slipper's claim that the sexual harassment case is politically driven. Anyway, the reason I called in was to ask- Ricky Ponting, wtf? Please, I need a Ramon post about Australian Test Cricket. The rest of the world doesn't seem to think there's a problem.

catlick said...

And it is truly moving to read of the changes in your lives. Appropriate sentiment all round. Me? Hit by an Audi and still nursing smashed legs after 3 months. Which is why I have time to visit. Just sorry I didn't pop in sooner. See ya!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Christ catlick, that's terrible.

Hope all is well soon, I've been wondering where you were.

And no, it's not been a great season thus far for Punter.

Still, at least he's had a shave.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of not popping in sooner, I feel awful. Melba's keeping me so busy these days. Okay, there might be other things too, but I'm putting most of the blame on her. *smirk*

Great to hear from you again Catlick, even if the news is terrible. Do they reckon all the damage is going to be repairable? To your legs I mean, the Audi be stuffed.

I had a browse of that document (much obliged). Had to have a little chuckle at the self-aware references to the two-faced nature of politics and the he-said-she-said nature of political journalism; especially the bit about vexnews.com having more worthwhile information on it than any of the commercial channels. And I'm guessing, from the looks of it, that Justice Rares might have agreed with your assessment of the case. Speaking of, is it okay to talk about these things here now, comrade INH?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Go for your life Alex but remember - lawyers are expensive.

Melba said...

Oh this is depressing. No action at all?

Happy NYE everyone.


catlick said...

Hiii Melba.Hiiii y'all. Hope you all made it safely to this side. I did a rehab hospital NYE, and you'll be pleased to know 9.00pm is the new midnight.

I'm now worth a fortune in scrap, half a kilo of titanium in my right leg and I'm learning to walk on it. "I'll be back."

Re the Slipper txts, the timeless mussels slash slash analogy was possibly a derivative reworking of the "snails or oysters" scene in Spartacus, and I can imagine Peter Slipper on a bathing stool with James Ashby playing the role of a precocious Antoninus...discussing strawberry chutney recipes..

"And taste is not the same as appetite, and therefore not a question of morals, hmm?"*


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Watching cricket.

Too busy.

Back soon.


Melba said...

Oh pfft Ramon.

Hi Catlick and Happy NY. Bugger about the leg, hope it continues to improve, you've been in rehab for ages now it seems.

Anonymous said...

9:00pm being the new midnight sounds okay to me, so long as that doesn't make 3:00am the new 6:00am. I really let my hair down this year and spent NYE dozing in front of episodes of the recently reimagined rebooted remakes of Battlestar Galactica and V (V is especially fine pisstake material for those who are into that sort of thing).

Presently, I'm drowning in an ocean of rellies, with the tide not set to recede until the end of school holidays. That's what you get for being related to a bunch of teachers though, I suppose. One of my autie's granddaughters (or something - I can't keep them straight anymore) from out whoop-whoop is moving in down the road and I'm supposed to keep an eye on her and help her adjust to city living or some shit. Personally, I think she needs a little less supervision and a little more looking after herself and I fear the first time she shows up here with dirty clothes there's going to be waterworks.

Catlick, I'm now imagining you as the Bionic woman and having fanciful thoughts of you and Melba battling the forces of villainy together. Also, thanks for the Spartacus imagery, which I'm also having no trouble envisioning. Might have to do something with that one, actually.

Melba said...

I was going to make a Bionic Woman crack too but decided not to... exactly where my mind went.

Squibby, when next you pass this way I had a Chrissy card returned from your PO Box. Anyone have a squib update?

Anonymous said...

I was going to make a Bionic Woman crack too but decided not to

Yeah, but that's because you're not the tactless, insensitive cow that I am.

No offence intended, Catlick.

Melba said...

Well I am Alex, just not that time.