MSM finds the big stories just too damn hard

The most important story on the News.com.au homepage at midday is that a former Playboy playmate walked past the striking Qantas workers. Seriously. This is their main story. You can’t make this shit up:

A former playmate near striking Qantas workers is Big News at news.com.au

A former playmate near striking Qantas workers is Big News at news.com.au

And if you clicked on the Kendra Wilkinson link and saw the photo of her at the airport, despite the nonsense that she “lifted their members”, I’d be surprised if anyone knew who she was. Unless the Telegraph journo (who wrote the story) told them, simply so he could link her arrival to the Qantas story. You know, I’ve always thought that the striking Qantas workers story could do with some boobies.

By the way, I loved that the Hamster guys last night laughed at news.com.au’s laziness with this story: Help us decode the carbon law:

IT HAS 18 pieces of legislation, making up 1129 pages and 255,539 words.

And it’s the most important change to Australia’s laws in decades.

At news.com.au we want you to help us sift through the fine print and tell us what you think.

So take the time to go through the bills – there are links to them all below – and let us know what you find.

It’s SO IMPORTANT that not a single journalist at news.com.au was told to read it. Getting your audience to read legislation for you because you couldn’t be bothered is hardly the data journalism that The Guardian used to investigate 458,832 pages of MPs’ expenses. And we all know that’s where they got the idea. Well, they got the idea but they missed the point.

But I should be even-handed in my pointing out of dumb journalism. The Herald Sun had one of their journalists get a “body language expert” to comment on a photo of Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. (And other than talking to journalists, what do body language experts do? Is it like therapy, but instead of talking about your stuff you show a video of someone else doing something?): Cold comfort in kiss between Gillard and Rudd:

IT was almost like she was kissing a blow-up doll, a body language expert declared of yesterday’s kiss between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.

Dig at Gillard’s private life, check.

Allan Pease, who co-wrote the “Definitive Book Of Body Language”, said both politicians were trying to put on a positive show, but the gesture appeared too thought-out and lacked genuine warmth.

“The whole thing is awkward,” Mr Pease said.

You know what’s really awkward? Convincing people you’re a real news organisation when you run dumb stories like this.

Who gives a shit if Gillard and Rudd like each other or not? Do you like every person you work with?

According to the story, Rudd was holding a “bundle of paperwork” in one arm so he went for a handshake. What the story fails to mention, but you can see it in the video, is that everyone was hugging and kiss-on-the-cheeking:

Mr Rudd initiated contact with a handshake before Ms Gillard converted it into a full-blown embrace.

But instead of a heartfelt hug Mr Pease said the PM squeezed her former boss’s shoulders in a holding-like grip.

Ooh, “former boss”, nice little undermining dig there from Wes Hosking. And besides, aren’t all grips “holding-like”? If you’re gripping something, you’re holding it. And to me it just looks like a normal hand on the shoulder (but I am not a body language expert, of course):

A normal kiss on the cheek becomes THE END OF THE WORLD at the Herald Sun

A normal kiss on the cheek becomes THE END OF THE WORLD at the Herald Sun

If you don’t put your hand on the other person’s arm, then it just dangles awkwardly by your side.

Ms Gillard pushing her hips away from Mr Rudd was a further sign the pair lacked an intimate connection, as was her closed-mouth smile.

“Women do that gesture in situations where they feel really uncomfortable,” Mr Pease said.

I’d hate to work with Mr Pease who thinks that a kiss on the cheek between colleagues requires a crotch thrust and grind.

“If you’re with some bird and you’re trying to impress her and she’s got the expression Julia Gillard’s got, you kind of know you’re bombing out.”

Um, Mr Pease, you do know they’re not dating, right?

39 responses to “MSM finds the big stories just too damn hard

  1. I know this is not the point but did Allan Pease really say bird? Did a major news story just infer our PM is like ‘some bird’?

  2. I had cause to glance at the cover of the daily Telegraph today. The front is the pic above, and caption ‘Kiss of Death’. The top banner is something about a voodoo doll to weaken an NZ sporting team. That’s the whole cover.

  3. It’s embarrassing.

  4. The undisguised delight over the Gillard/Rudd embrace has a touch of the rape culture about it, too. Woman forced to endure a kiss from a man against her will – wow that’s sexy.

  5. The whole thing is just absurd and ridiculous. What a goddamn beat-up about nothing. The ‘news’ articles I mean, not your post NWN.

  6. The kiss made bigger headlines than the carbon tax FFS! I was cruising SMH.com on my lunch break and that’s how I found out the result – from following the “main story” of the kiss to a secondary link about how the vote actually went. Ridiculous.

  7. If they had said ‘claw-like grip’ this would have been perfect (in a – you’ve perfected the art of misogyny way)…

  8. Really? Getting a body language expert to tell us the bleeding obvious.

    • It doesn’t count until an expert expert has assessed the expertise, possibly with an amusing side note for the epistempohiles, that the word expert comes from the base words of ex, meaning previous or has been, and spurt, a drip under pressure.

  9. I’m still trying to figure out what the problem with Snog-gate is – that Gillard didn’t use enough tongue and work Rudd like a pole in a lapdance club?

    Believe it or not, I rather doubt Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott have the most “comfortable” and “natural” body language when they’re around each other. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for an in-depth analysis of the psychosexual implications of that bad bromance.

    • The kicker they used on the Herald Sun homepage was “Blow up doll”. And then the headline about Gillard, thereby implying that she was the inflatable sex toy. I didn’t get a screengrab of it, but someone must have complained because it was soon changed to “Body language”.

      • Ewww… I’m not Julia Gillard’s biggest fan, but she seem to be stuck in the same crap shack women pols (left, right, whatever) always end up in – if you’re assertive and efficient you’re some hideously unfeminine castrating bitch-bot. But just you try being too “femme” and you’re a flaky light-weight who only got the job out of political correctness. (Or, if you’re listening for the dog-whistle, flirted and screwed your way up the greasy pole. No talent required.).

        • And don’t get me started on the empty fruit bowl. Oh, and the deliberately barren bullshit. As though a woman’s only purpose is a fetus incubator and what the hell is she doing in politics anyway.

    • Seriously, Craig Ranapia, that is one of the most beautifully-written comments on this whole thing that I have ever read!

  10. Pingback: Elsewhere – MSM finds the big stories just too damn hard | Pure Poison

  11. “I’d hate to work with Mr Pease who thinks that a kiss on the cheek between colleagues requires a crotch thrust and grind.”

    Would not one be letting themselves open to sexual harassment?

    • Exactly. Mr Pease appears to be unable to tell the difference between work appropriate body language and work inappropriate body language. That’s really bad for someone calling themselves a body language expert.

      Catching up, welcome to the News with Nipples.

  12. I’m actually ashamed that our PM is treated with so little respect. It certainly sends the wrong message to would-be politicians of all sexes. The giggling over camera angles on Insiders disgusted me. I can appreciate the professional context but the tacit approval of such selective reporting is a shocking blindness .

    • It is so disrespectful. It makes me cringe every day.

      What happened on Insiders? I stopped watching it a long time ago – too many pulled eye muscles from rolling them.

    • It’s not just the Australian Prime Minister. I’ve gotten in some rather unpleasant on-line arguments with allegedly progressive Kiwis who think it’s OK to call New Zealand’s Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett (not well-loved by the left, needless to add) thinks like a “fat c**t”. I guess some sexism and flat out misogyny is worse than others, depending on whether you like the politics of the woman involved.

  13. The gigglefest was centered around the “Kiss of Deceit” photo where they showed other angles that were deemed “less successful”; Piers Ackermann declared it the winning photo of the year. Here’s the link if you can stomach it: http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2011/s3340832.htm. I can’t imagine the same treatment for Tony Abbott.

    I only watch Insiders now and then, haven’t really tuned in for over a year for the same reason. The Drum is bad enough. I think I reached irony overload when someone setup a website for Insiders fans with the byline “we’re all insiders now”.

    • Eew, creepy. Akerman is the doddery old uncle who thinks every word he says is pure genius.

      It’s telling that the only thing the journos think is important is the leadership “stoush”. There isn’t one. There’s no fight. Rudd is clearly sitting back and letting the media do all the heavy lifting for him. And the media just laps it up, believing that they are truly insiders, yet too caught up in their own self-importance to realise they are being used.

  14. I’m not so sure that Rudd wants the job; by the time Piers starts yelling slogans most issues are obsolete. But none of this is mere misogyny. Fran Kelly has been eager to beat up any controversy, she’s really gone downhill since her 7.30 days. It is difficult to decode the political intentions; is it feed for the chooks as Joh used to say?

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