Could we have some real news, please?


I am yet to discover what the Prime Minister talked about with world leaders at the Asia-Europe meeting in Brussels. It sounds like a pretty important meeting, yet all I’ve learned from the Australian media is that she got eight hours of sleep, made a joke about her accent, and denied she was having a dig at Tony Abbott:

PM denies ‘low rent politics’ over Abbott jet lag gaffe:

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has wound up her hectic first trip to Europe – but was forced to spend her last couple of hours in Brussels denying she had played politics over Afghanistan in the wake of Tony Abbott’s jet lag gaffe.

Forced by Australian journos who must find conflict in everything, rather than report the news. That the Prime Minister and Opposition leader disagree is not news.

Tony Abbott was in the UK for the British Conservative Party conference, but all I know from the Australian media is that he didn’t go to Afghanistan with Gillard because he didn’t want jetlag before the conference, but saying so was a “gaffe”:

The Leader of the Opposition was forced to apologise for his ill-timed comments overnight although senior Liberal colleagues insisted privately that he had already locked in a date to visit Australian troops and that Ms Gillard was guilty of “low rent politics” as she was aware of this.

Australia has a lot of really intelligent journos who are very good at their jobs, so why are they dishing up this rubbish? And why are we, as their audience, putting up with it? Actually, we’re not – we’ve stopped buying their papers and I doubt many of us will bother with paywalls. That’s why the MSM is in trouble – they’re just not willing to consider that their product sucks.

14 responses to “Could we have some real news, please?

  1. Well said.

    Also completely missing from commentary I’ve seen about the Abbott/Gillard overseas trips is any questioning of the notion that dropping into Afghanistan for a day does anything real to educate politians about the war for which they hold ultimately responsibility.

    Visits to Afghanistan are treated like hospital visits – or putting flowers on a grave. A moral obligation with ceremonial purpose. These visits are first and foremost PR affairs. The politician is expected to deliver a speech that says “the nation is 100% behind you!” to the troops. This gets broadcast back home and gives additional impetus to the war.

    Getting a real first-hand education about the Afghan War is simply not possible for our politicians. So they pop up unannounced in a secure military base and pretend to have visited the country. They remind me of the well-to-do folk who zip from the inside of one Hilton hotel to the next and claim they’ve ‘seen’ lots of countries. It’s a pretension, nothing more.

    • Hi Syd Walker, welcome to the News with Nipples.

      You’re right – they can’t possibly know what it’s like. But neither can we because news is too polite. I think there’s a very good argument for showing what bodies look like after a suicide bomb (bloated and naked) and what sort of injuries people suffer during war, so that we – the public – can make an informed decision about whether we support the war or not.

  2. so are there actually journalists following them or are we getting this from one of Julia’s aids twitter

  3. Actually, trips to Afghanistan (and other army bases) is one of the reasons that I don’t like Gillard.
    My husband is military, and during his times on deployments, each time she has been to “see the troops” (when he was there) she was just outright rude to all of them until the cameras started rolling. Wish I could say more about it, (since there is a lot more to it than just that,) but in the interest of respecting my husbands privacy I really can’t.

    Syd is very right. Our leaders cannot possibly understand what the war is really like. For one, they have a lot of extra security following them around everywhere they go. And secondly, they cannot possibly understand or get a feel for it unless they spent a decent amount time there, in the same conditions as our men and women do. They rarely even make it out of the green zones.

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  5. Go straight the source.(Which will probably be the best we can hope for in terms of media coverage if the SMH article is anything to go by.) If you’re interested…. ASEM 8

    and there’s this a pdf fact sheet

    Astonishingly enough though I can find articles on “Gillard’s trip”, very few have any actual content to offer about what the ASEM 8 summit is addressing this time and given that it is our first time being involved with the summit one would think that would be both news worthy and in the public interest…though apparently not.

  6. Pingback: When you’re losing, just call her a bitch | the news with nipples

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