An Open Letter to the Mainstream Media

Mac and WillDear Mainstream Media,

I know we haven’t exactly got along in the past, but I’m just writing to let you know the status of our relationship is now in an emergency zone. I’m no longer just pissed off. I’ve reached the point of contempt. It’s not like I didn’t already know you were a broken-record narrative, full of bias, inaccuracy and completely anti-balance, but now I have a fictional model of just how good you could be if you gave a shit. And this just makes the reality of your inadequacy even more obvious. Yes, I’m watching Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom and it’s completely depressing.

Since you probably haven’t watched Newsroom, and if you have you’re no doubt laughing it off just like your biggest defender, @sclark_melbs, calling it ‘fictional’ and ‘drama’, I thought it might be timely to let you know you could really learn something from this television series. And yes, you can learn something from fictional stories – they are just words formed into ideas which, after all, is your stock-in-trade.

In Episode 2 of Season 1, the fabulous Executive Producer of News Night, MacKenzie McHale, informs her staff of the standards they will be working to in her newsroom. These four beautiful rules are so simple, yet so ignored by your journalists day in day out:

  1. Is this information we need in the voting booth?
  2. Is this the best possible form of the argument?
  3. Is this in historical context?
  4. Are there really two sides to every story?

Do you ever think that maybe if you showed this sort of integrity in the news reporting process, you might actually do some good in our society? I realise this isn’t your ultimate goal, and not the reason you go to work every day, but wouldn’t it feel nice inside to actually know you were contributing to society rather than ripping it up and stamping on it? Standards of decency. Do you even have such a thing?

Let’s look at these rules in regards to your favourite topic of political reportage – Kevin Rudd and his shambolic quest to undermine the Prime Minister. Apparently this story trumps news of policy success, and pretty much anything the Labor Party wants to say on any topic which isn’t related to bringing Gillard down. And I can’t for the life of me work out why? Unless of course you are just hacks. I’m looking at all of you – from Murdoch’s unprofitable rabble, all the way to, upsettingly, the Guardian, which we all hoped was going to be above this bullshit Groundhog Day leadership tension story. But alas, the Guardian is not. And neither is the ABC, so the commercial interest excuse fails here. I would welcome a journalist explaining to us how Kevin’s white-anting antics are important information to the electorate. Do we need these stories to make up our minds in the voting booth? I’d say emphatically, no, it’s just Labor bashing.  Based on the historical context, we already know Kevin doesn’t have the numbers after one challenge, and one aborted challenge. Based on these simple facts, which you are all very aware of, is there any relevance in the news that Kevin is still upset that he’s not PM anymore? My cat doesn’t have the numbers to challenge the Prime Minister, but if I started a rumor that she wanted to, would you run with that too? How about more historical context? Like the fact that Kevin was shit at being Prime Minister and was replaced by an extremely competent Deputy Prime Minister who has had ten times the policy wins Kevin had? This just doesn’t ever get a mention. How is this not relevant to your bullshit stories that weren’t relevant in the first place?

How about we look at all the times you break standards 2 and 4. When you quote ‘the Opposition says’ without actually giving any thought to the accuracy of what the Opposition says. I heard a cracker tonight on South Australia’s ABC news. Some of the relevant facts were, thankfully, included; South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill had confirmed his state’s support for the Gonski education funding deal. I’ll note here that when the ACT signed up, you made the story about a sandwich. Seriously, you did. But credit where it’s due, you reported Gillard’s success in reaching agreement with South Australia. And then you ruined it by adding that the leader of the South Australian Liberal Opposition had criticized the deal, saying it was not delivering an education funding boost to South Australian schools, but rather a funding cut. So here I ask, did anyone check if the Liberal Opposition Leader was correct in this statement? Because I actually think he was unashamedly incorrect- the whole point of the Gonski deal is that every school will be better off. But just the fact of reporting this inaccurate statement makes the electorate think it is true. When you do this, you’re not informing the public; at best you’re confusing them, at worst you’re lying to them. Does it really take very long to verify the facts of someone’s statement before quoting it on air? Is the overused knee-jerk technique of adding ‘the Opposition says’ to every news bulletin really the best form of the argument? How about getting an expert in to speak about education funding if the Opposition don’t have anything relevant or truthful to add (in other words – if they don’t actually have an argument)? And are there really two sides to every story? I would say if the Opposition are just making shit up, they have no right to be included in the report. And if your journalists can’t verify the veracity of the Opposition’s statements before you quote them, why the fuck are you putting them in your news story? This is not balance. This is lazy. Do you ever think that if you did hold politicians to a very basic, base-line standard of only reporting their slogans and sound-bites when they are factual, you might actually improve the quality of political discourse in this country? Never considered it? Didn’t think so.

It’s when you don’t bother to find out who else was at Brough’s dinner. It’s when you take the word of the restaurant owner over the chef’s evidence and you decide not to investigate the truth. It’s when you don’t ask why Brough apologised long before the restaurant owner said the menu was never printed. It’s when someone is lying and you don’t care. It’s when you stalk Craig Thomson and ignore James Ashby. It’s when you beat up stories about Gillard’s ex boyfriend 20 years ago, but make nothing of Abbott’s current slush-fund court case. It’s when you report everything from the worn out, inaccurate narrative of Labor ‘chaos’ and ‘failure’ and you actively support Abbott’s teflon-un-scrutinised stunt show, that we know you are campaigners, not journalists. It’s when you forget that it’s your job to find things out and to tell us the facts, that we remember we can’t trust you. And if we can’t trust you, why should we bother with your words? It all comes down to integrity and respect for the audience. Of which I would question if you have any. Ever noticed how the only people defending you on social media are your own members? Why is that? How can all of us be so outraged by you on a daily basis yet you still ignore the criticism? Time and time again we see you saying you’re getting disapproval from supporters on both sides of politics so you must be doing the right thing. This is bullshit. You’re getting criticism from everyone because you are doing a terrible job of reporting the news. This is why watching Newsroom is so sad. I’m watching a hypothetical scenario of how things could, in a decent world, work. But you, the mainstream media in Australia, do not belong to this world. So this world remains an unattainable fantasy.


  1. I suspect a story on that resturant owner alone, would make a great story. A man, who has friends on both sides of politics.

  2. Hear hear! I second that motion on the bases that Australian Media are colluding and trying their upmost best to get rid on our present Prime Minister in this present time. Yes Rudd has proved to be a Dud Bomb failing to explode into leadership, while Julia who had the guts to take charge of the helm of this country and has successfully steered Australia ever since.

  3. An outstanding post, Victoria.

    It ought to be required reading by every person that cares about freedom and integrity. Unfortunately, that does not include most of the mainstream media.

    • The only “journalists” we have are sporting journalists – the rest of the news is covered by jurpollists and I must say that jurpollism is of a very high standard.
      Creative speculation about speculative opinion polls has got to be ‘difficult’ ??

  4. Sadly the journalists in this country are becoming more like the scum that accumulates on the s-bend clinging on desperately as their relevance is being flushed away. Newspapers are failing and cannot even give enough copies away to please their advertisers, more and more of the pages are taken up by fluff and opinion, television and radio news broadcasters are frantically chasing every bit of nonsense to try to fill their spots with entertainment to keep the audience watching.

    And, meanwhile all these so called professional journalists are racing around the country telling us it isn’t their fault that the media scene is so dumbed down, while they are merrily writing another episode of make-believe and nonsense.

    If the person that is writing the garbage that is being sold as news and information isn’t responsible for it, who the f*ck is. I didn’t write it so it can’t be me, I just used to buy it, now I don’t do that, nor watch it, nor listen to it.

    Journalism used to be a trade of courageous men and women, delving deep into topics and ferreting out stories of real worth, now it seems to be a trade of people that can photocopy another’s article or opinion, reword it slightly and regurgitate it under their own name.

    No wonder they are desperately trying to stop independent journalists that want to be real journalists from joining the press gallery, their shame and incompetence would be obvious to all.

  5. Great read Victoria, 100% accurate again. The Main Sleaze Media has been in on the fix against the Labor Government since day one. And we have these pathetic, grovelling so called journalists doing what they are told to write and not having the courage to report the truth, but just what their masters tell them. This is why they are rated lower than a used car salesman,in fact lower than the shit on your shoe.

  6. Excellent work Victoria, thank goodness somebody cares enough to take matters into their own hands. In the past week Minister Greg Combet gave a fabulous speech on progress re carbon pricing, its success and its bright future. You’d have thought this important given all the angst our nation has gone through on this issue. Was it reported? Did it make the news? No. Yesterday there was a debate on IR policy between Eric Abetz and Bill Shorten. Important? You’d think so. Was it reported? Did it make the news? No. What was it the media thought most newsworthy? Kevin Rudd.
    How often have we heard the following question “So why do you think Julia Gillard and Labor are having trouble cutting through?”
    The answer is obvious. A free press? The bastion of democracy? What a bloody joke. We are all being played.

  7. context is a good word here. Julia is ALSO a shit prime minister! This article isnt two faced at all on the biased section.

    • Jason, upon what do you base your comments. It is personal experience or just something that you’ve read and regurgitated?

      • Agree with you Kevin. I am hearing Jason’s reaction quite a bit, but only from staunch liberal voters or from people who don’t really know why they think that way. They are just hearing it everyday from the radio and the sound bites on television. The author makes a very good point about the importance of verifying opposing points of view before sharing them with the public. We have had three years of slogans and unverified comments.

  8. Thank you for your post. I hope there are not too many readers like me for I am completely at a loss to understand the media in Australia at this time. Perplexed and deeply saddened that this is taking place at all. Never in my life time (I’m approaching my 80th year) have I seen such a vitriolic attach upon a successful Prime Minister as one witnesses on almost a daily occurrence. It seem as if being a woman is such an affront and threat to the media’s world view that she must destroyed at all costs before her desire for equality becomes wide spread amongst women. What is happening to this country that I love? Why are we not accepting women as equal partners in our lives? Why are we aping the US (and other nations) desire for the maximum profit regardless of the human cost? Where will it end? If Mr Abbott returns to government with the overall majority that seems evident I fear for my country and my fellow Australians. I don’t want an uncaring and selfish society.

    • It’s what is called the ” what’s in it for me? ” mentality of australia today. We already have an uncaring selfish society, the asylum seekers, the carbon tax etc are cases in point. The liberal party have brought the racial attitudes of many of the electorate into the mainstream and deemed it acceptable to be taking pot shots at asylum seekers. We never heard this nonsense when John Howard was running the show, the boats were coming back than but that never gets reported all we hear is the pacific solution worked, did it? go and ask all those poor buggers who were left to rot on Manus island and Nauru once they were out of the hands of the Australian Government. Out of mind out of sight is basically what happened and it never got reported that way. It’s disgraceful. You never heard Kim Beazley go on a xenophobic rant about stopping the boats over and over again did we?. And if he did it woulod have been reported in a biased way to make him look like a racist bigot, and now it’s ok for Abbott to do the same thing? Give me a spell! I’ve had it with this country.

      • >We never heard this nonsense when John Howard was running the show

        Children overboard, anyone? Howard and Reith took so long in correcting the record because they so wanted it to be true, if not for them then for us. Not to mention the role that public servant Miles Jordana and Reith “press secretary” Ross Hampton played in cooking up the lies.

        Racism in Canberra is nothing new.

  9. Fantastic post – pity the ‘sheep” (and basically that is what the general populace has reduced themselves to being) won’t care .. they will just blimdly follow what’s been put in front of them. I thought American elections were bad but congratulations Australia media, you have stooped to an all time low. I have never been so disgusted in all my life …

    And should Labor will the election (and I sure as heck hope they do), will we be subject to more of the same??

    • The sheep couldn’t care less that their kids are going to be better educated or their disabled children are going to be looked after better. They don’t even care that we have the one of the most advanced economies in the world who avoided a recession. All they care about is a so called lie about a price on carbon ( last time i checked China is doing exactly the same thing), Julia knifing a poor PM in the back even though he was out of his depth and so called false claims of Abbott being a misogynist ( he bloody well is if you looked past the propaganda and looked at his history), In what way are any of these issues relevant to running a country successfully?, name a PM or President who doesn’t change their mind when making a policy decison? ( according to the media John Howard never lied and was the perfect angel, please let’s not forget children overboard). Disgusting how this has got to this point.

      • >The sheep couldn’t care less that their kids are going to be better educated

        Quite a lot of the sheep don’t want other people’s children better educated. Aside from abrogating any responsibility for the common good, it makes it harder to justify the thousands they (and, shamefully, we) have blown on sending theirs to private schools.

        Or the lard-arsed Suburban assaUlt Vehicles they seem to need to ferry them to those Halls of Earning

  10. Hi,
    I have found an excellent on-line publication called “Independent Australia”.
    They seem to be quite fair and balanced, which as you so correctly state, is woefully lacking in todays MSM/ABC.
    Chech them out and decide for yourself. I am in no way affiliated with these guys, I just like what they do 🙂

  11. An outstanding post! Sadly our pathetic journalists are dumbing down the debate & blaming everyone else for its poor quality. The press a bastion of democracy – what a joke!

  12. Actually, Newsroom isn’t quite as fictional as you think. Aaron Sorkin who created the show is very good friends with Keith Olbermann, an MSNBC anchor who used to host his own show called Countdown and who the character of Will McAvoy is very loosely based. Olberman used to do rgular “special comments” calling out various politicians for things or just discussing various issues. His Special Comment on the passing of Proposition 8 rescinding the right to same-sex marriage is one of the most moving and eloquent statements I’ve yet to see on television about this issue. While Olbermann’s personality (some say ego) caused him to clash with people and his superiors to the extent that he eventually left MSNBC and his failed attempt to relaunch Countdown on CurrentTV crashed and burned, he was a refreshingly vocal proponant of actually calling it as he saw it and holding people to acocunt for the hypocrisy of their positions. I strongly recommend you checking out his “Special Comment” segments on youtube. Proof that there actually are good journalists and commentators out there who are willing to call bullshit for what it is. We miss ya, Keith!! But at least your persona and efforts live on (somewhat delayed by production schedules) in Will McAvoy!

  13. Ho hum…just another lefty blog yet again blaming everything and anyone for the piss poor performance of Gillard. You can’t polish a turd.

    • If you would ask him I’m sure that you could get Rabbott to try polishing a turd because it is the only thing he is good for. Gillard has been the head of a government which has had astounding successes during her relatively short period in office. Her successes are well contrasted to the Howard years. Not everything they have done has been to my liking but they have had 6 years only to do it whereas Howard had nearly 12 years and spent most of it selling community assets to balance his budgets and create a “surplus”. Truth is there was no surplus because he sold off the family jewels to achieve a paper profit, hardly good accounting and I’m sure I wouldn’t sell my personal assets or my business assets then claim to have made a profit ie surplus.

  14. So very timely !!

    Allow me to quote my Facebook status from this very morning….



    Front page of todays (News Corporation) Adelaide Advertiser……:
    **** SO SAD ****
    Two-Thirds of it is a photograph of an Adelaide barrister who has had a sex-change operation………..
    Why “So sad” ??
    Because News corporation things this is such earth-shattering news, that nothing else more important happened in the world, that this deserves almost the whole front cover of the Saturday newspaper.
    I don’t care…..It doesn’t bother me……It doesn’t effect me….What he / she does is of no business of mine or of 99.99999% of the population of South Australia.
    Tell me more important news, according to ABC News-Radio, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people // Kevin Rudd “may” be considering making a comeback but Gillard won’t go without a fight // South Australia has signed up for the Gonski reform…….THESE are the news items that didn’t make it to the front page of the newspaper !

  15. Victoria, this should be printed in every newspaper!! Brilliant. Every question I’ve raged at the television from m lounge room

  16. Catherine murphy (the Guardian) was quite good on lateline last night,she had actually read JG’s so called blue tie speech and commented sensibly on it.Even P Coorey had to lift his gamewhen faced with her half way sensible performance.

  17. RE: Is the overused knee-jerk technique of adding ‘the Opposition says’ to every news bulletin really the best form of the argument?

    I have a sense your perspective on the usefuleness of giving the opposition a response could change in approximately 90 days.

  18. Now it is, an insignificant back bencher “says”… Something he has been saying for a long time, suddenly means the PM is at risk,

    The story has been the same, since tghe early hours of this morning.

    We have seen the PM and many ministers, out in the community, making important announcements. Not one word do we hear of this.

  19. You lost me at….Like the fact that Kevin was shit at being Prime Minister and was replaced by an extremely competent Deputy Prime Minister who has had ten times the policy wins Kevin had.

    ‘Extremely competent Deputy’, who was also the Education Minister. So she gets the top job and gets the Gonski inquiry going and he figures out a shit load of more money will fix it all. Why was it broken if her redness was the previous Education Minister and was so competent. It is the same as the Qld health department mess. Beattie was Health Minister prior to being premier and look at the mess he left us with after he tried to fix it when he was premier.

  20. I was really excited about The Guardian – until a Fairfax Village Idiot Katharine Murphy turned up and once again we read political ‘opinion’ that reads like a series of Facebook updates from a particularly vacuous teenager. And then I saw her on the drum, desperate to put negative spin on Julia Gillard’s treatment at the hands of Howard Sattler to the point of basically suggesting she brought it on herself. Well, that was the message so far as I could ascertain it. She is as inarticulate on camera as she is in print.

    And she is one of the more competent ones.


    • So all these polls, that have been released every two weeks, for decades, because they are currently diabolical for the ALP, are part of some anti-ALP conspiracy. *rolls eyes*.

      • The polls are mostly done by Limited News and are biased and unreliable. Auto dialing machines to landlines and loaded questions

      • If you actually looked at the thing holistically you will find polling and media reporting in lockstep – and has been for decades. The polls say something, the media play up to it and it is a circular self fulfilling prophecy. And it swings both ways but never so demonstrable as over the past 3 years. Peter if you were such an avid watcher of the polls I am very surprised that you have not noticed. What you also fail to realise is that the media no longer see their role as reporting the news, but making it – which is why print and TV media is so dominated by so-called journalists like the appalling Murphy and the Sky New fair and balanced panels of Van Onelson, Benson and another like minded clone whose name escapes me but doesn’t matter as he was in head nodding assurance same as the other two, imparting their wit and wisdom and opinion dressed up as authoritative news. Does it not occur to you that the political news cycle is just a cash cow for media and the politicians are but a commodity? And at the end of the day what do you expect with a media conglomeration of 70% Murdoch spinning a consistent anti-Gillard/leadership speculation line – which fosters the one thing that Australian voters are leery of the most – instability -and most of Fairfax and even the ABC joining in the circle-jerk? If you cannot see these things then I can only presume you’ve had a cynicism bypass or would be a good candidate for investment in a Harbour Bridge purchase.

  21. As the labor faithful watch the labor machine circling the drain hole to oblivion, they turn on the media. Cop it people.

  22. The true story is the Murdoch press has run a campaign against the Gillard government from the moment it formed a coalition with The Greens to form government.The campaign has been led by the upmarket flagship (The Australian) and downmarket rag (The Daily Telegraph). Whereby the government has been bombarded with blanket negative publicity on a daily basis for the length of its term. Everything positive has been ignored, downplayed, relegated or spun negatively. Everything negative has been given prominence, headlined and sustained. All of the rest…the dire negative polling, the supine compliance of the remaining media, the silly panic moves of a submerging government, the cockiness of a policy free opposition…springs from this tidal wave of negative publicity.

    It’s no less than the hijacking of our democracy by a notorious foreign proprietor and his rogue media corporation. And it’s not as if they don’t have serious recent form on another continent for just such anti-democratic behaviour, self-serving lies, influence peddling, and downright criminal acts.

  23. Great article. I agree with it totally. The media is the biggest threat to democracy in Australia. We are in danger of being governed by an oligarchy of the wealthy. If you can control the media and the message you can control the masses.

  24. Yes, an excellent summary of the dire state of our media, thank you, Victoria!
    …although the term “media” should reallly include all this blogging etc. Online seems to be the one place where actual discussion can take place, a haven really.
    When we talk about media as you have above, though, I suspect we are talking about the 30 (20 mins plus ads) mins and 3 min news programs of TV and radio.
    The short sound-byte indoctrination approach of TV and radio and print headlines is desperately trying to woo the populace…tv screens, loud commercial radio in medical waiting rooms, train stations, shops…all the places where you have no choice in your viewing/listening. It seems to work – people spout the same rubbish blasted at them…
    I think we should all stand up and rebel against it – ask the shopkeeper, medical practice etc to turn it down, change to music etc. Most people feel too intimidated to ask for this, but polite and repetitive asks by many people will change it…vote with your actions…oh, yes! Democracy!

  25. Great article Victoria. You may be interested in the ABC’s reply to my complaint about Ross Cameron’s bullying behaviour towards Cheryl Kernot & Julia Baird on the Drum last week. Notice there’s no signature. It seems their only preoccupation is with ratings. Certainly not viewer’s legitimate complaints.

    “Thank you for your email.

    The Drum’s aim is to present a range of relevant viewpoints on issues of the day, and as such seeks commentators from all sides of the political spectrum.

    The panellists are encouraged to be forthright in their views and very often forcefully express those views. The ABC has no editorial stance on those views but we recognise viewers will have their own personal reaction to what is expressed.

    Mr Cameron holds strong views on a range of topics and certainly argues his case passionately – that’s why we enjoy having him on the program.

    Most of that evening’s program was centred around the Prime Minister’s speech on gender and the offensive menu at a Mal Brough campaign event.

    Both issues had attracted strong comments across the community during the day and were reflected in the discussion on The Drum that night.

    Thanks for the feedback and for taking the time to write.

    Yours sincerely

    The team at ABC News24.”


  26. Hence why I don’t even bother with the media. The only one I bother with is Fox News, and even they aren’t as centered as they claim to be, and I don’t mean too far right.

  27. Aaron Sorkin will break the heart of everyone who hopes for a better….whatever. Did you see his series The West Wing about a fictional president and his staff? Like The Newsroom, no one, anywhere within 100 yards of the real White House, or a major network newsroom, is as noble or impassioned or ethical. But it does make for great television.

    I’m a professional journo — freelance — and see how crappy much of my peers’ work is. It is whatever their bosses demand and reward. Which is no defense.

    I’m not at all surprised if Julia Gillard is being ripped to shreds on a daily level. I live in the U.S., where she’s almost unheard of, of course — but she seems bloody amazing: smart, tough, determined and fearless. Oh, and female. That alone is enough to put a target on her back, but add in the rest and she’s going to be ridiculed in every way possible because she is so deeply frightening to those who are happier assuming women cannot possibly be powerful and effective. Which (with all due respect to Australian men) is something I hear is not uncommon in your country (as it is most everywhere.)

    • Absolutely LOVE Aaron Sorkin….I believe he is one of the most talented writers in television. It is cool he is able to use the media of television to say what is NOT being said anywhere else. I have watched the opening scene of Newsroom several times now and I can’t say I disagree with a single word he says. I think Aaron has a talent for making the arguments for both sides. Rock on! More power to female journalist! 🙂

  28. *sigh* as a journalist i do agree but also have to say a big part of bad mainstream media has a lot to do with people not willing to pay for good journalism … sadly

  29. Julia Gillard got a much longer honeymoon period than any politician / pm in the history of this country. This is because she is a woman, and because she is the first female prime minister. If she is being ‘ripped to shreds’ it’s not because she’s a woman, but because she has a habit of playing the feminist card to distract us from the fact that a woman who had the chance to prove that women can do it better, has failed us all miserably.

    Gillard’s failures have set feminists back a century or two and set our country back several decades.. Rudd wasn’t a good prime minister either but it was up to those who voted him in to vote him out. The cunning little son of a gun doesn’t want his old post back, he wants something better. Rudd wants that revenge that is best served cold. And if those king makers are playing along, then it’s what they always do. In recent history they did it to John Howard, they did it to Kevin Rudd and now they’re doing it to Julia Gillard.

  30. If this PM got a long honeymoon, I can see where she might be glad she bypassed marriage. If that was a honeymoon,

    I would also be giving it a miss.

    The shit began, and many journalist, not her supporters, who moderate sites such as Punch, began the day she took over.

    Does one notice, that those who set out to attack the PM, rarely rely on facts.

  31. Well written, well said. Goebbels would be proud of today’s mainstream media, “If you tell a lie, tell a big one.” And what lies they are. Pandering to prejudice and ignorance from asylum seekers to climate change, from the need for 457 visas, to the demonisation of anyone who belongs to a union, that privatization is better than government responsibility to its citizens and so it goes ad infinitum, ad nauseaum….The American journalist H.L.Mencken wrote that ‘no one ever went broke underestimating the the intelligence of the American public.” The Australian media have adopted it as a watchword.

  32. I solved this problem a long time ago. In 2006, I gave away my television. I haven’t watched, listened to, or otherwise marinated in, any type of news since then. My health is amazing.

  33. Why. over the ditch, did not the NZ people treat their woman PM with such contempt, as many do ours.

  34. The Newsroom should be billed as a “public service announcement” – i posted about it a few weeks ago – though I suspect that once the blinders go on, they are near impossible to pry off. Once upon a time we only had the 6 o’clock news, now we pick and choose what we want to hear. I’ve heard Americans refer to CNN as the communist new network. Sad and a sorry testament to our state of affairs. Congratulations on being FP’d – great post, and you’ve found another follower 🙂

  35. Oh how I agree with you. I have seen a person most dear to me get his name dirtied in newspapers because the reporter’s source was jealous of that person. Even though the reporter apologised, it doesn’t matter. Because people devour any kind of gossip and since it was written in one of the most reputed newspapers, they believe it whole heartedly.

    Just look at what is reported about Syria. And then read this –

    I have no idea what to trust these days. And strangely, journalism is what I have always thought would be a dream career for me. How they have misused a profession just because it has a psychological power over millions.

  36. I think every American should see the opening scene of Newsroom! Aaron Sorkin is a genius!! And he says all the things in his writing of television media that no one else has the guts to put out there! Thank you Victoria for bringing this to light again….I think it made the rounds when Newsroom aired. I know I posted it on my Facebook.

  37. If they say art imitates reality the Newsroom seems to do just that. Its shows the ugly truth about our society, we no longer do research and we no longer demand the truth. We only listen to our choice of the news no matter if we are hearing the truth or not. Our media knows this and they report only what the demographics want to see. (Redmeat) GREAT post!

  38. It saddens me to say the misery loves company, as this is the sorry state of affairs here in the US as well. I find myself listening the BBC and Al Jazeera, just to gain a little insight and perspective from the pablum our news organizations feed us.

  39. I feel the same way about Sorkin’s The West Wing and American politics. Every 4 years I find myself wishing that President Bartlett was on the ticket.

    • Yes, I watched that bit where dumb Leigh Sales failed and then turned to another channel. I noticed on the Drum tonight, David Marr is sending Australia the strongest warning message about Abbott’s concerning Gay marriage and abortion. The other David Marr has strongly voiced his opinion on the legality that Abbott can never stop the boats. Just like I have been saying for months now Abbott will never stop those refugee boats from coming.

  40. I’ve also just finished watching the series, and I can share in your frustration. Philippine news media is neither the least fluff-free. But perhaps with more people like you — who complain about injustice given to news consumers — some of the sincere journalists can get a hint that not everyone is too pleased..

  41. Why is the current situation exceptional?

    “………..In the editorial, The Age says it has not taken its position lightly. It says it has respect for the Prime Minister, and hopes the reforms she has implemented will remain in place.

    The newspaper says Mr Rudd was a flawed leader and it is not convinced he is a changed man, but that opinion polls suggest his return would make the election a genuine contest.

    It says time is running out and the time for leadership change is now.

    Editor-in-chief Andrew Holden says the editorial was published with great reluctance.

    He says usually it is better for the Prime Minister to be chosen by the people, but the current situation is exceptional.

    “It’s come now because essentially there’s one sitting week left of Parliament,” he said..”

  42. Right on man. This show is genius and so accurate. I love how HBO doesn’t compromise its integrity like every other channel. The problem up until now has been that the media is controlled almost entirely by the rich who buy the governmnet that they want. They were able to push any agenda they wanted becaue the wrong information was being passed around. Thanks to social media, and people like you, I think people are finally starting to connect the dots. We are controlled and oppressed by the top 1%. We spend more money on our military than the next 19 countries combined (including China). They call it “defense.” What are we defending? Our people were waiting around to die when Katrina hit, but were had the resources to invade Iraq. For what? I still don’t know. I guess I do…oil.

    • The second Iraq War was based on the biggest lie ever told. Weapons Mass Destruction including the theory Saddam Hussein might just have a couple of Nukes laying around for is aging Scuds is a joke. Like a few thousand old artillery shells with very limited range of say 13 miles containing chemicals is no match against one WMD that can travel hundreds of miles becomes the joke of the century.

      • We put Saddam in power and he immediately executed a mass genocide of the Kurds. Did we give a shit about people being oppressed then? No we sold Saddam the guns to kill them. We took him out to replace him with a spineless puppet that would do whatever we wanted. The Bush family makes all of their money from oil, and we invaded a country that has mass amounts of oil under false pretenses. Pretty obvious what was going on, and still nothing has been done about it. When I think of all the people who died (American and Iraqi) it infuriates me. They have no problem throwing away lives and bankrupting our country. All while they are profiting off of every aspect of it.

      • Who are we is the question? Masterwaddle: Eventhough Saddam played a key role in the 1968 Coup on the 17th July 1968. The rest of the world didn’t put Saddam in power through the Ba-athism party, They did that themselves while Saddam gradually took control and nationalised the Iraq oil industry for himself and took control of the Iraq State owned banks in the early 1970’s. Oh yer in the name of the people of Iraq.

        Italy was the first country to supply Iraq with plutonium extraction facilities along with 75,000 rounds of carrier type artillery shells capable of dispersing chemical weapons and mustard gas and anything else one could put in them sometime in the early 1970’s. If we means Swiss companies supplying machinery to help make rockets to carry Nuclear capabilities over the horizon, then albeit. Germany and France were also the main players in suppling while Russia had help build Iraq’s Nuclear program with France. Then Portugal must be included by supplying yellow cake to them. Anyway Israel destroyed the French built reactor for good in 1981 putting any hope of Saddam ever having Nuclear capabilities. Yes chemicals were used in artillery shells against the Iranians and Kurdish while only one Scud was fired with chemicals which I believed failed to hit its target area.

        Yes the USA supplied computers and the such which might have help Saddam Nuclear capabilities that were really meant for medical research. Just like Australia supplying wheat to feed the Iraq population in exchange for cheap oil.

        Finally most of Iraq military ground and air forces were supplied by Russia.

        So who do you really mean we. Yes the Western Nations played their individual part, but none put Saddam into power. He did that himself.

        The bottom line is we the Western Word were told a big fat lie in the end.

      • All I was trying to say was that Operation Iraqi freedom was bullshit. There is plenty of oppression in this world that our government doesn’t give a shit about until they can use it as an excuse to rape a country of its resources. They wanted a military footing in the Middle East and they wanted their oil. Now they are in position to slap together another half assed case against a country they want to invade to “spread freedom and democracy.”

  43. “It’s not like I didn’t already know you were a broken-record narrative, full of bias, inaccuracy and completely anti-balance, but now I have a fictional model of just how good you could be if you gave a shit.”

    I howled with laughter reading this.

  44. Yeah. And West Wing ended too. My husband worked as a TV reporter for more than 40 years. There WERE good years … the end of the Ed Murrow years when idealism was not considered dorky. But the bottom line killed it dead. Deader than the proverbial doornail. As long as news has to earn its way by entertaining people (entertaining people? With the news? Are you fucking kidding? No, they are not kidding), it will never get better. I’m glad I saw what it was like when it was different than it is now. I’m glad I worked in media in those halcyon days of yore, whatever that means. But I don’t think I’ll live to see days like that ever again. Maybe none of us will.

    • Long ago when Storms never occurred. Eric Pearce would read the evening news on channel 9 and at the end of the news just on 7 pm the clock would show the time so we could set our alarm or whatever. Halcyon days of yore and the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Conflict rings some bells in my brain again followed by Vietnam. Abbott would still have been in prep school shorts in those days while I played soldier.

  45. Great article. Sadly, it is comforting to know that the US isn’t the only country that is suffering a loss of actual journalism. 😦

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