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EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl – The question on “Prop” Questions …

March 15, 2012
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Title:
The question on “prop” Questions …
My head hurts every time I hear a journalist fumble a scripted question … the question is invariable not their own wording and not something they would normally ask.  The issue is that Politicians befriend Editors and Journalists through their Press advisors and Management and from that has come the ‘Prop’ question.

That is – when a Politician wants to sell a message or some policy issue – he gets his media people to give the question he wants to answer to a Journalist who has friendly relations with the MP and their press office.

It’s a tandem act – scratch my back and I’ll give you a story some time down the track.

My editor tells me to get in there and mix it up – but the problem with that is you get yourself banned or not invited to Press conferences … it comes down to integrity and that was compromised decades ago … nobody in this business as a stand-up moral they can lean up against – they’re all as sunk as chewed gum under a bus seat …

Politics in the public arena has become as ‘robust’ as watching indoor lawn bowls – the Question time is the only arena where the term ‘robust’ debate is used – yet even that is like watching kindergarten squabbles … and when someone gets asked a question – they do everything but answer the question unless it is from the Government looking to sage a ‘Prop’ question answer.

Decades of educating Journalist at our Universities has yielded squat when it comes to quality – the quantity is there – but the ‘lipstick’ eye-candy producers and directors prefer has made serious journalism a materialistic profession – wardrobe and makeup budgets are more important than the quality of the investigative journalism Australia was renown for decades ago.

Mike Willesse comes to mind – his Wikipedia site is linked here – serious journalism has made way to allow populist opinions – nobody wants too serious entertainment – the ABC tries hard with programs like Q&A, Lateline, 4 Corners, 7:30 Report, Insiders all try hard – but News 24 additions like The Drum, and the like are pure gap filler type shows … journalists going on camera as opinion offers is not the answer.

I’ve been asked on these shows plenty of times – the money sucks, and they want to cake you up with make-up so the wrinkles don’t cast shadows – the lighting makes you sweat and between off-camera moments with assistants running in to wipe brows and underarms – nobody can get all that serious when the camera then throws back to them and fumble the response thinking about what wet patches are showing.

I told them to ‘fuck-off’ in much more polite terms … but the constant fill of momo tone interviews and ‘Prop” questions is killing the political world.   The people are the best judges and when both Leaders have approval rankings in the low 30’s – it tells you that none of them can engage the electorate – RUDD did and that is why he was so popular …

Play a game with yourselves and try to spot the “Prop” questions asked by journalists …

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