October 09, 2004

DEMOCRACY DEAD, AGAIN

Michael Wooldridge has terrible news for magazine columnists who must file election stories by late Sunday:

I predict we won't know the result tomorrow night and it could take as much as 10 days to find out.

Great! Another ten days of election joy! Other predictions are more positive. Hereís Peter Hartcher:

Every piece of available objective evidence points to the same conclusion. John Howard will win today's election.

But Dennis Shanahan ainít so sure:

Labor can still snatch the election on preferences with a late shift among wavering voters.

Those late-shifting waverers! Theyíll ruin everything. Meanwhile, consistent death-predictor Margo Kingston announces yet another casualty of Howardís blood-drenched reign:

The failure of any newspapers except The Canberra Times and The Melbourne Times to recommend a vote against Howard is the death knell for mainstream journalism as a institutional democratic check on government.

Any newspaper editor worth his salt and aware of the responsibilities of a free press in a democracy would have advocated a vote against Howard for fundamental reasons which underpin the very right of journalism to demand an essential place in our democracy.

Journalism has a right to demand an essential place in our democracy? Such a right is earned, surely. Fellow shambles Phillip Adams offers a simple plea:

Dear God, donít let Howard get re-elected.

Talk about desperate. Adams is an atheist.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 9, 2004 03:50 AM
Comments

In their moment of distress they all convert.

Posted by: Mr. Davis at October 9, 2004 at 03:56 AM

The failure of any newspapers except The Canberra Times and The Melbourne Times to recommend a vote against Howard is the death knell for mainstream journalism as a institutional democratic check on government.

So, all the papers have to be in precise agreement, or democracy is threatened?

Posted by: Robert Crawford at October 9, 2004 at 03:59 AM

There are no atheists in the foxhole. Adams must have had a similar conversion.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 9, 2004 at 03:59 AM

For fundamental reasons which underpin the very right of journalism to demand an essential place in our democracy. She's channeling Kerry. There's trouble beginning the thought, and then it's the end of the sentence already. What was to have been said is run off the end of the sentence entirely while she's stamping around getting the units right.

If you hold open a bag, sometimes an escaped meaning will run in.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at October 9, 2004 at 04:17 AM

I would have advocated a vote against Margo for fundamental reasons which underpin the very right of journalism to demand an editor and a spellchecker.

Get those elementary principles of journalism right first, then she'll be entitled to address bigger issues with some credibility.

Posted by: jafa at October 9, 2004 at 04:34 AM

I know, parsing Margo is a mug's game, but the more you squint at her prose, the more apparent meaning disappears. I mean, she is really only saying that the press (whoever that is) has a "right" to "demand" an essential place (whatever that is).

Sure. Free speech says they can demand whatever they want. Nothing says we have to give it to them.

Posted by: R C Dean at October 9, 2004 at 04:59 AM

Would I be correct in assuming that, if Mark Latham wins, we can count on Margo Kingston to call on all newspapers to endorse his opponent in the next election? Otherwise, it would make her cries for an essential place in a democracy sound like just mere anti-Howard partisanship.

Posted by: Dave T. at October 9, 2004 at 05:10 AM

Dear God, donít let Howard get re-elected.

Too funny.

So I guess if Latham wins, he's going to renounce atheism?

Posted by: david at October 9, 2004 at 05:16 AM

Lucky dogs! You get to end this election misery ahead of the US, and the good guy is going to win besides. I get to watch Kerry spin his head in a 360 and vomit green bile for another three weeks.

Posted by: Peter Boston at October 9, 2004 at 05:35 AM

Please, Please please my Aussie friends, go to the polls and vote for Howards party, and I will do the same by voting for GWB on Nov 2 . We MUST keep in power men who take seriously the threat we face by Islamofacists.

Posted by: debbie at October 9, 2004 at 05:41 AM

The Real JeffS.

Your comment is particularly funny when you take into account that Adams writes for the Rupert Murdoch owned press. No atheists in the foxhole indeed.

Posted by: Just Another Bloody Lawyer at October 9, 2004 at 06:45 AM

...the more you squint at her prose, the more apparent meaning disappears.

Sometimes I dream I'm reading. I'll be reading an interesting book, and then I'll think (in my dream), "Whoa, let's read that again." But when I try, the text dissolves. I squint and squint, but I just can't make out the words. Then I wake up.

I wonder if this is Margo's problem: she's writing in her sleep. This would explain much. Wake up, Margo!

Posted by: Angie Schultz at October 9, 2004 at 06:56 AM

I think Margo just throws random letters together and that they somehow, sometimes, form actual words.
A wonder of nature, folks, a wonder of nature.

Posted by: Mikey at October 9, 2004 at 07:11 AM

Margo Kingston is one of those unfortunate creatures - someone with fundamentally good politics and democratic instincts who makes lots of mistakes and is an easy target. Tim Blair is a yapping lapdog of the rich and powerful; disturbingly reminiscent of the obscene P J O'Rourke, a troubled individual if ever there was one. Blair fails to see the threat to a free press posed by the Howard commitment to concentration of ownership as a threat to democracy. Margo Kingston is one of the few brave voices in Oz journalism who does. Remember Blair, a lapdog is dispensable. They came for the journo's and I did nothing........they came for the lapdogs and there was no one left to do anything. You will pay tomorrow,scumbags. You will pay tomorrow.

Posted by: George the Taxi Driver at October 9, 2004 at 07:14 AM

It's typical of leftist writers that they equate their personal political beliefs as Democracy Itself, just as they find their other beliefs to be perfectly in line with Human Rights and, of course, International Law.

Here's to hoping the lefties in two continents have a bad Oct/Nov...

Posted by: KevinV at October 9, 2004 at 07:22 AM

"...someone with fundamentally good politics and democratic instincts who makes lots of mistakes and is an easy target."

Sort of like Dubya. Except he's, you know, sane.

Posted by: Syd Barret at October 9, 2004 at 07:38 AM

They came for the journos? Yeah, that's right, at first scent of a Howard victory, the dissentors will be rounded up in special "Doofus" camps.

Margo will be first against the wall. Then we'll send Phil to meet his maker.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 9, 2004 at 08:39 AM

"Talk about desperate. Adams is an atheist."

Adam's thinks he's in a foxhole now.

Posted by: amortiser at October 9, 2004 at 08:44 AM

RC Dean: It's not just the press, she's putting forth "journalism" (I'm amazed she didn't capitalize it) as a sort of Platonic ideal with a fundemental right to hold the government in check.

I wonder if the notoriously monolithic Aussie press has a "military wing"...
(/sarcasm)

Posted by: mojo at October 9, 2004 at 08:52 AM

The failure of any newspapers except The Canberra Times and The Melbourne Times to recommend a vote against Howard is the death knell for mainstream journalism as a institutional democratic check on government.

Hey, if you leave out everything except the bolded part, it almost seems like she's inhabiting the same reality as the rest of us.

As for George above: "Margo Kingston...someone with fundamentally good politics"? Geez, the "she means well" argument. That's so going to convince everybody here that she should be taken seriously.

Posted by: PW at October 9, 2004 at 09:50 AM

Once the Libs are confirmed back in tonight, it's high time that the SMH should put Margo out of her misery and give her the arse. It like a line from "The Chaser Decides" a couple of weeks ago: Margo Kingston finally realises that "Online Political Editor" is not such an prestigous job after all.

She's obviously not fit to print, so why inflict her on the net, when she can set up her own damn website.

Posted by: steve at October 9, 2004 at 10:03 AM

Melbourne Times???

When did this come into being??

Posted by: jlchydro at October 9, 2004 at 10:30 AM

the worst part about a howard win will be listening to leftist arseheads moan and whine for the next three years.

Posted by: rosceo at October 9, 2004 at 11:30 AM

Margo Kingston is one of those unfortunate creatures - someone with fundamentally good politics and democratic instincts who makes lots of mistakes and is an easy target.

George, you should have written the Foreword to Not Happy, John! You're a very funny guy.

Posted by: Hanyu at October 9, 2004 at 11:44 AM

I am hoping for a Howard win, partly to see, in the words of Amos, "the left lose they fucking minds"

Posted by: attila at October 9, 2004 at 12:15 PM

the worst part about a howard win will be listening to leftist arseheads moan and whine for the next three years.

You kidding, that would be the best!

Posted by: Quentin George at October 9, 2004 at 12:49 PM

Watching the un-biased commentators of the ABC writhing as the early trends harden and the awful reality sets in of ANOTHER 3 conservative years has enlivened every election since 1996. I thought Red Kerry was having a stroke in 2001. Can't wait to see who's going wave the white flag first tonight!

Posted by: Bluebottle at October 9, 2004 at 03:11 PM

Howard and the Coalition will win. They'll hold all of their seats and win a couple of ALP marginals.

Coalition 54%


Posted by: morton at October 9, 2004 at 03:21 PM

jlchydro: The Melbourne Times is a local paper for inner-Melbourne suburbs - carlton, Fitzroy, Richmond . . . that sort of thing. Basically Lindsay tanner's local rag.

Posted by: steve at October 9, 2004 at 03:25 PM

the worst part about a howard win will be listening to leftist arseheads moan and whine for the next three years.

Posted by: rosceo at October 9, 2004 at 11:30 AM


No way - that will be the best bit, actual wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at October 9, 2004 at 04:11 PM

Tim, George the Taxi Driver compared you to P.J. O'Rourke! As a great fan of O'Rourke's, I consider that a great compliment.

Posted by: Donna V. at October 9, 2004 at 04:28 PM

No way - that will be the best bit, actual wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I hope we hear a lot of lefty asshat wailing and gnashing of teeth in the States in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I hope it's not too early to offer my congratulations to John Howard and his supporters in Australia. You Aussies rock!

Posted by: Donna V. at October 9, 2004 at 04:35 PM

Hey George the Taxi Driver, just put a cork in it, drop the flag fall and drive me to the nearest booth so I can exercise my democratic right to vote for John Howard. And don't take me the long way!

Posted by: Sweet sweet Bundy at October 9, 2004 at 04:47 PM

Voted at a school in West Ryde (Bennelong)this am & the Greens & ALP were handing out how to vote cards together & the Libs were on their own in the middle then another group of Greens & ALP.

Up in the air was the plane writing No More Lies which became More Lies by the time he was finished. Waste of money!!

Also, looks like the election got to one family in Melrose Park. Someone had touched up Andrew Wilkies poster at the front of their house & the owners had written some paranoid crap about the art work & have even installed cameras to catch the artist. Think they need a Bex & a good lie down tomorrow...

Me, I'm off to the Star City to celebrate...

Posted by: NoItAll at October 9, 2004 at 05:01 PM

George says:
They came for the journo's and I did nothing
Hey George, I'm a journo. What was it of mine that they came for? Hope it was something I could do without.

Posted by: slatts at October 9, 2004 at 05:02 PM

Bugga!! Wrote in wrong section...

Posted by: NoItAll at October 9, 2004 at 05:48 PM

[Chief Wiggum voice]

"Where's your Messiah now, Adams? Naaaahh!"

[/Chief Wiggum voice]

Posted by: Richard at October 9, 2004 at 09:03 PM

Hopefully now Margo will piss off and take her ridiculous left-wing rhetoric with her.

It's a disgrace that she thinks she should be given a vehicle for her tiring viewpoints.

Posted by: DavidW at October 10, 2004 at 01:07 AM

12.17am Australia woooooooooooooooooooh woooooooooooooooooooooooooh woooooooooooooooooooooooooh
GO JOHN HOWARD
GO GEORGE BUSH WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH
Oh yees I have had a drop or two of good red
wooooooooooooh
oh Rosy you silly old woman- but there is God after all WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH
Austalians you really think- God Bless you all
Good night

Posted by: Rose at October 10, 2004 at 01:21 AM

I agree with Marge,with the proviso that journalists put themselves up for election.
Here's hoping Howard is elected ,you Australians have never run from a fight,I'd hate to see you cower like Spain.

Posted by: PeterUK at October 10, 2004 at 01:21 AM

Margo has good intentions?

So did Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: Sheriff at October 10, 2004 at 01:55 AM

Interestingly, no one on this site wants to reply to the point about concentration of media ownership. I'm always curious when you get a bunch of yahoos together such as on this site. Do they think "I am rich and will benefit from Howard's anti democratic inclinations, so screw democracy." or do they think "The Howard government's commitment to the concentration of media ownership is GOOD for democracy.", and then perform some form of mental gymnastics to justify this. I suppose the real question is - are the cheering yobs on this site evil, or just stupid. I'm very interested in the answer to that question.

Posted by: George the Taxi Driver at October 11, 2004 at 12:09 AM

Interestingly, no one on this site wants to reply to the point about concentration of media ownership. I'm always curious when you get a bunch of yahoos together such as on this site. Do they think "I am rich and will benefit from Howard's anti democratic inclinations, so screw democracy." or do they think "The Howard government's commitment to the concentration of media ownership is GOOD for democracy.", and then perform some form of mental gymnastics to justify this. I suppose the real question is - are the cheering yobs on this site evil, or just stupid. I'm very interested in the answer to that question.

Posted by: George the Taxi Driver at October 11, 2004 at 12:15 AM

Fret not, George, because your fellow moonbat Justin brought up the same topic in this thread and some of us evil/stupid people responded to it. You did know "this site" consists of more than just this one page you've posted on, right?

Also, complaining that nobody bothered to respond to one of your tired talking points tends to make you look like the obnoxious lefty you probably are.

Posted by: PW at October 11, 2004 at 02:24 PM