February 24, 2004

HELL TEMPERATURE DECREASES MARGINALLY

At last -- grudgingly, and only by comparing his case to a conservative columnistís -- Media Watch cites Phillip Adams. Professor Bunyip, who does a better job than Media Watch at zero expense to the taxpayer, reviews last nightís episode; so does Tim Dunlop, in a pathetic kind of way.

Adams himself is today consumed by fear at what a Mark Latham-led government might mean for the ABC:

If Latham has been willing to echo Philip Ruddock on refugees, let the record show that he also has been willing to amplify Richard Alston on the ABC. It's not widely known but a few months before being anointed Opposition Leader, a letter from Latham arrived on the seventh floor at ABC headquarters in Sydney's Ultimo. While the letter is locked in a safe, those who've seen it talk of being surprised, even shocked, by its content.

Apparently it might have been torn from the pages of the conservative Quadrant or the rantings of Melbourne Herald-Sun columnist Andrew Bolt. There are familiar rantings about elitism and complaints about public broadcasting being a sheltered workshop for middle-class wankers. In other words, Latham was picking up where Bob Hawke and Paul Keating left off -- making it clear that he despises the ABC and all that, to him, it represents.

Good!

Posted by Tim Blair at February 24, 2004 12:50 PM
Comments

I still won't vote for Latham, but if he does win, I'll be just a little less unhappy . . . .

Posted by: steve at February 24, 2004 at 12:57 PM

"Locked in a safe"? "Shocked by its content"? Good God, what's in it, the plans to the submarine? These people need to get over themselves, big time.

Posted by: Alice at February 24, 2004 at 01:00 PM

Do you think Fatso's overdue exposure on Media Watch had anything to do with his non-appearance on Late Night Live last night. Let's hope whatever he had was painful.

Posted by: superboot at February 24, 2004 at 01:06 PM

I am hopelessly biased here i will admit, but the media watch treatment of Mr Adams did seem pretty light on for what was a pretty severe case of bad journalism at best, or blatant misrepresentation at worst. Mr Adams' defence was pretty piss weak as well - he cops to 'mislaying' the might (and ignoring the significance of that), but then claims:
"Because if I missed a "might" in that speech so did the President in his next speech. There were no mights, no ifs, no buts, no doubts, no qualifications." eh? Care to give the reference Philsy? (preferably from a source other than yourself, as your credibility when it comes to quoting people accurately is in utter shreds)

Posted by: Paul Dub at February 24, 2004 at 01:06 PM

What a scream. ABC is going all out to promote the ALP on the belief, if they win ALP will pour down extra truck loads down their ugly throat and give them free reign to get on with spin and lying. The letter must have induced , ha, a collectiive breakdown rplete with hysteria, loud sobbing, gnashing of teeth. Lucky trhe fly on the wall that day -only if there were more of them and very public.No wonder Marr as Uncle observed made a failed and dismal attempt at correcting the defects of his `intellectual' leftoid organ grinding, they are in the shit up to the eyeballs and they just don't have a clue - thus the insouciance of Biffer as Tim has recently document. This is a hoot'n' nanny of a fight.

Biff away Biffer.

Posted by: d at February 24, 2004 at 01:08 PM

The absolute hide of their closer – “Surely the Oz and the bloggers can’t have one rule for the right wing columnists and another for the left?” – is astonishing.

It has taken Media Watch weeks to enter into this debate and still no plastic turkey inquiry.

Turning to more trifling examples of MW’s hypocrisy, perhaps they could pay attention to not committing the kind of error that they highlight on their programme – eg:

"a CIA confident"? : "a CIA confidant”, surely.

“ … Stutchbury mounted a very vigorous defence of Albrectsen's albrechting in his papers Media section. ” – surely “ … Stutchbury mounted a very vigorous defence of Albrectsen's albrechting in his paper’s Media section.”

Self indulgent clots

Posted by: procrustes at February 24, 2004 at 01:32 PM

In other words, Latham was picking up where Bob Hawke and Paul Keating left off -- making it clear that he despises the ABC and all that, to him, it represents.

Chalk up some points for Basher Latham!! He's still got a while to go before he reaches the dizzying heights of one Mr. Jeffrey Kennett though.

Posted by: Johnny Wishbone at February 24, 2004 at 02:31 PM
grudgingly,

Why do you say that? What evidence do you offer that the analysis of Adams' "lifting and twisting" was grudging, other than your own pique?

and only by comparing his case to a conservative columnistís

There's two reasons for the comparison to Albrechtsen, and it's not to deflect blame from Adams.

It's firstly to demonstrate another example of "lifting and twisting", and secondly to remind those "who circle Adams ... calling for his blood"
that, if past form is anything to go by, the editor of The Australian won't take any action.

Media Watch cites Phillip Adams. Professor Bunyip, who does a better job than Media Watch at zero expense to the taxpayer, reviews last nightís episode; so does Tim Dunlop, in a pathetic kind of way.

Prof Bunyip misses the point, IMHO. See above.

And Tim Dunlop doesn't review last night's episode, as you claim, but wonders how its critics (such as yourself) will react to it. No wonder you reached for the "pathetic" epithet, if you fail to comprehend such a simple distinction.

but the media watch treatment of Mr Adams did seem pretty light on for what was a pretty severe case of bad journalism at best, or blatant misrepresentation at worst.

What more did you want Media Watch to say? They demonstrated how Adams had modified the meaning of Bush's speech, and noted that "he took his words gave them a bit of a twist to suit his own argument". They noted that Adams' had admitted his error, but also noted that his justifications were not an excuse.

Mr Adams' defence was pretty piss weak as well - he cops to 'mislaying' the might (and ignoring the significance of that), but then claims: "Because if I missed a "might" in that speech so did the President in his next speech. There were no mights, no ifs, no buts, no doubts, no qualifications.

And this was rightly derided as not offering an excuse for his misprepresentation.

Posted by: Jethro at February 24, 2004 at 03:07 PM

bottom line jethro.. media-watch only did the story after much hassling by bunyip, tim and others . the criticism of Phildo by media watch was done begrudgingly and was half-arsed. ie, it was PISSWEAK.

Posted by: roscoe at February 24, 2004 at 04:21 PM

Hey Jethro old son, old mate, the wankers at Media Watch have, over the last couple of years, been given truckloads of material with which to hang the Phat Phart from the highest branch. Spare us your pathetic defence.

Posted by: Kate at February 24, 2004 at 04:33 PM

Marr's excuse for a right wing journalist's error would never be that there are plenty of leftie lies around to balance it.

He's discharged his responsibility to be even-handed in the most dishonest way possible.

Even he must realise that he would have had more credibility by leaving out the Albrechtsen tit-for-tat thing.

Posted by: ilibcc at February 24, 2004 at 04:51 PM

Adams Lied!
Chips Fried!!

Posted by: Habib at February 24, 2004 at 05:00 PM


I plead guilty. Of inadvertently mislaying a "might" from Bush's State of the Union speech. Mislaying but not misleadingÖ Because if I missed a "might" in that speech so did the President in his next speech. There were no mights, no ifs, no buts, no doubts, no qualifications.

Ha. It wasn't just mislaying a might. The quotes were completely fabricated. Media watch accepted this watering down of the accusation.

True, but no excuse.

Posted by: markove at February 24, 2004 at 06:43 PM

Ouch!
Reduced to a circling blogger.

No wonder the Spleenville blogettes are foaming at the mouth. After waiting up all night to show the missus the power they wield on the net, Media Watch won't even toss them a bone and name their meme-master.
BooHoo

Posted by: What More at February 24, 2004 at 07:47 PM

I picked up on this as well (already mentioned in a posting, above):

"Surely the Oz and the bloggers canít have one rule for the right wing columnists and another for the left?"

This did seem like a very poor ending.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at February 24, 2004 at 08:06 PM

the next person to use the word MEME will have the word PARADIGM inserted in their anus.

Posted by: roscoe at February 24, 2004 at 08:20 PM

There's two reasons for the comparison to Albrechtsen, and it's not to deflect blame from Adams.

It's firstly to demonstrate another example of "lifting and twisting", and secondly to remind those "who circle Adams ... calling for his blood"
that, if past form is anything to go by, the editor of The Australian won't take any action.

There's no need to "give another example of lifting and twisting". The error is not that complicated. Does MW always "give another example" when catching a sneaky scribe? If not, they would seem to have some of the consistency problems your second justification would address.

But the real reason seems to be a desire to entrench the term "albrechting" in the local lexicon. I can understand this, not too many rightist journos have been "meme-ified" (apologies, roscoe). There's a lot of propaganda value in portraying a prominent partisan opinion-maker as the embodiment of some media sin. And it's got to be annoying for those on the left when they fisk a conservative article. You can't call the fisking a fisking without impliedly ridiculing one of the Good Guys.

But since media members "lift and twist" as a matter of course, look forward to hearing "albrechting" hammered home on a regular basis.

Posted by: CleverNameHere at February 24, 2004 at 09:24 PM

Albrechting,
that means painting in the style of the marvelous German renaissance artist Albrecht Duerer,
doesn't it?

Posted by: peggy sue at February 24, 2004 at 09:41 PM

Congratulations Tim and THANKYOU.

You and the good Professor Bunyip are much to be admired for your campaign to expose the bias at Media Watch and the shenanigans of Phillip Adams.

Well Done.

Posted by: The Gnu Hunter at February 24, 2004 at 09:50 PM
There's no need to "give another example of lifting and twisting". The error is not that complicated. Does MW always "give another example" when catching a sneaky scribe?

By "give another example of lifting and twisting", I meant Adams as the example, not Albrechtsen. As in, "Here's another example of 'lifting and twisting'..."

Posted by: Jethro at February 24, 2004 at 10:07 PM

By "give another example of lifting and twisting", I meant Adams as the example, not Albrechtsen. As in, "Here's another example of 'lifting and twisting'..."

OK, I see what you mean, but that just makes even more like MW is straining to meme-ify Albrecht.

Consider this:

The verb "to albrecht" meaning to lift and twist - entered the language a couple of years ago when we reported columnist Janet Albrechtsen lifting and twisting academic sources to suit her purposes.

Now ABC broadcaster Phillip Adams has been nabbed albrechting in his column in The Australian. His victim? The president of the United States.

Strangely enough, a google search for "albrechting" results in a googlewhack. Quite odd for a word that has "entered the language". But if "albrechting" doesn't enter into common use, I doubt MW will be to blame.

Posted by: CleverNameHere at February 25, 2004 at 12:35 AM

I love the attepmt by Marr to get his own version of "fisking" up and running.

Sorry to say David but "albrechtsening" just doesn't have the same ring to it. Hell, most people haven't even worked out how to say it let alone use it in everyday language.
Try finding a single syllable name (just for argument sake like "Philp" - hmmm..."twist and Phlip" now that works nicely...oh hang on, you probably wouldn't be to keen on that now would you.

Posted by: Michael at February 25, 2004 at 09:39 AM

Apart, perhaps, from David Marr's own dinner parties I can't believe anyone has used, does use, or will use the word 'Albrechtsen' as a verb. This attempt at demonising a fellow journalist is just laughable.

Posted by: mike at February 25, 2004 at 02:48 PM