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EYE-BALL Opinion – Conroy’s Proposed Media Overlord – If the Government lifted its game – then perhaps the media have an incentive to do the same –

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Title:
– Conroy’s Proposed Media Overlord –
– If the Government lifted its game – then perhaps the media have an incentive to do the same –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 14th Mar 2013 |
The Communications Minister Stephen Conroy in more recent times, probably since he became the Leader in the Senate,  lives up to his Union thug status if his performances in the Senate, and in his media confrontations are used as a measure.   It would appear it is his sworn duty to kick heads when his Leader asks him to.

Conroy is a modern-day Neanderthal in the true sense of the word.  He is cumbersome with the truth, he has limited oratory skills, his ability to communicate is two-speed, dumb and dumber, and is  Rudd’s greatest mistake.

Why did Rudd give this boofhead any Ministerial profile when he was such a poor performer from the start?  The folly is revealed now – but to give him the Communications portfolio was like giving matches to a little boy who likes to play with fire.

Having completely lost the plot over the NBN rollout as it grins to a halt amid new delays caused by the recent QLD floods – with new evidence arising over the current rollout structure and its failure to protect the system from water damage – Conroy has assumed a new challenge in jumping to his Leaders finger snap when she cried foul again over her long-held view that  News Ltd  attacks against her and her Government were malicious, inaccurate, and at times defamatory.

The ‘Liar’ chant from the public gallery during Question Time this week was hurled at Gillard as a measure of public frustration at her refusal to vacate the PM position amid high speculation that she just cannot function in the job.   More so it is viewed as a measure of the public’s perception that the Government has been reckless in handling of the economy.

It proves the electorates angst is festering and motivating public displays of emotion.  The mistrust and lack of respect for this Government is obvious.  In all there were three evictions from the public Gallery during Question Time this week for abusive comments directed at Gillard.  These outbursts followed the ‘Rooty Hill’ outburst caught on camera last week as the abused was held at bay by security.

Perhaps if the Government did not avoid its accountability when asked Questions by the Opposition on important matters like ‘the budget surplus backflip’,  they might understand that it is they who are contemptible, it is they who are disrespecting the process of Government, it is they who have lied to the public and produced evidence of corruptible behaviour, it is they who owes the electorate answers to legitimate questions being asked by the Opposition and the media at large.  It is the only form of accountability any Government has – the media and Opposition are the only mediums where the public are kept informed of the Governments performance.

Conroy is living his fantasy lap-dog adoration for his Leader when he tries to find support for the proposed new Media Laws Legislation aimed at culling the media’s ability to abuse, call to account, and denigrate the Government for their failures – of which there are too many to mention.

The proposed Legislation wants an ‘Overlord’ to regulate media content and is being read into the House as this post is being written as a ‘1st Reading’.   The position of Oakeshott and Windsor whose votes will be needed to get it through the House are unknown.

More recently – the now resigned former AG – Nicola Roxon – also attempted to curb ‘free speech’ through her own Legislation.   This was met with rock-wall solidarity from all sectors of the media and community watchdog groups.  Roxon’s Legislation will fail despite the new AG Dreyfus is trying to amend the bill to appease many.

If a Government does not like the message the media portray, broadcast, or discuss, then it is only out of desperation that a Government will try to amend media legislation to curb what is printed and published.

We know where that leads from past history and the ‘Daily Telegraph’ tried to be blunt when it ran the caption and image at right in their daily tabloid.

The outrage by media outlets friendly to the Government including the ABC – have castigated the portrayal of Conroy as a new member of the despots he is aligned with in the front page linkage.

On the ‘7:30 Report’ during the week – Leigh Sales had this to say in her defense of the criticism aimed at ‘News Ltd’ and the ‘Daily Telegraph’ for the above portrayal – full transcript linked here  – with video of interview with ‘News Limited’s’ Editorial Director Campbell Reid…

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: And a short time ago News Limited’s group editorial director Campbell Reid joined me in Sydney.

Campbell Reid thanks for joining us. Let’s take a look at the front page of one of your publications today – Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper – likening Stephen Conroy to despots, dictators and mass murderers: Stalin, Mao, Castro, Kim, Mugabe, Ahmadinejad. So, your organisation is quite comfortable journalistic standards like fairness and accuracy is it?

CAMPBELL REID, GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, NEWS LIMITED: I don’t accept that. The point that the Daily Telegraph was making, in a vigorous tabloid way, which is how tabloids operate, that like those people, Stephen Conroy believes that Government intervention in a free press is acceptable. That’s the point it’s making; it’s not likening them to any of the other crimes and misdemeanours, it very clearly says that. So that is a provocative tabloid presentation of an incredibly provocative act by a Government – the first Government outside of wartime in our country’s history to impose media oversight by the Government.

LEIGH SALES: I’ll come to the specifics of what they’re doing in a moment. Inside that paper it depicts Stephen Conroy as channelling Joseph Stalin. You say that there are similarities in the way these people wanted to control media and what Stephen Conroy is doing. Let’s talk about the way Joseph Stalin controlled people who circulated information that was counter to what he wanted to do: they were rounded up, they were tortured, they were imprisoned in their millions, they were executed in public executions, so are you really doing…

CAMPBELL REID: Do you seriously think a reader of the Daily Telegraph thinks that we’re accusing Stephen Conroy of… next step to be rounding up people. We’re making the point about the freedom of speech…

LEIGH SALES: Perhaps now, but are you doing your readers a service in presenting the facts in an impartial manner so that they can make up their minds?

CAMPBELL REID: No, we’re not! We’re absolutely not. This is a tabloid newspaper in a robust free society. If you don’t like the position that is taken – and many of our readers and other readers don’t – you don’t have to consume it, you don’t have to agree and, gee, if you want to complain you can complain.

LEIGH SALES: So tabloid newspapers don’t have to adhere to the same standards of fairness and accuracy as other newspapers?

CAMPBELL REID: Um… this is provocative… I reject that it’s unfair, and I reject that it’s inaccurate.

LEIGH SALES: Has News Limited…

CAMPBELL REID: There’s a difference between provocation and inaccuracy and unfairness, and if we’re thinking that really what we need in Australian society is a tort of politeness, and a shut-down media where you’re not allowed to be provocative, you’re not allowed to be interesting, you’re not allowed to be…

LEIGH SALES: You can be provocative and interesting; you just can’t be blatantly unfair in terms of saying… well, Joseph Stalin didn’t pop up legislative packages for people to discuss or to pass through a Parliament, he just rounded up people with opposing views and executed them.

CAMPBELL REID: Yeah. I say again, we’re not saying – and the Daily Telegraph is not saying – that we expect Stephen Conroy to be rounding up people. We are saying that he has decided, like those people, that it’s OK to have the Government control a free press, and it’s OK in his world to demand that a Parliament accept and pass that legislation within effectively one week’s working days.

LEIGH SALES: Aren’t you doing all of us in the media a disservice by running something like this because it gives critics an opportunity to say, “Well, there you go, that’s why the media needs more oversight”.

CAMPBELL REID: So… so, under provocation the media has to be very quietly… oh, please don’t offend that nice Mr Conroy…

LEIGH SALES: Well, I think fairness and impartiality are a pretty good standard.

CAMPBELL REID: He’s well offended… he’s well offended before today takes place. This is, you know… so, under… please don’t think for a second that an assault, and there’s no other… no matter what the Government pretends, this is Government sanctioning of journalism, that’s a massively provocative step in Australia and that front page reflects that… continues

When Leigh Sales asks the question highlighted …

… LEIGH SALES: Well, I think fairness and impartiality are a pretty good standard….

… I think Sales has applied double standards when she makes the above statement in the context of this Governments demonstrated long term contempt for the process of Government.

I believe this Government has a proven track record of lying, of not responding ‘directly’ to questions asked in the House, is a Government who hides its mistakes and attempts to hide and covers then up.  Swan’s recent misdirection when using the ‘nominal GDP’ debate all meant to obfuscate and confuse critics looking for simple answers to debt increases, economic slowdown, the two-speed economy, and I mean the East Coast versus the West and Northern coasts,  and the resultant budget blowout.

When the media point out the shortcomings of so many Ministers, and the PM, and embarrasses the Government in the process – the response by this Government has been to try and re-regulate media laws to restrict content, and to appoint a higher authority to monitor ‘free press’ publications.

Leigh Sales is out-of-order here in her defence of Conroy.

The recent increased funding allocated to the ABC by the Government and outside the normal timing for regular budget discussions, reeks of a pay-off to reward the ABC support for the Government, and perhaps with an election looming, there was some innuendo that the ABC could help the Government win the election.

Leigh Sales can hardly be seen as impartial in this scenario …

Conroy has a long track record of failure as a Minister – he has been in charge of the NBN and its $40 billion budget from the outset.

He is continually fronting the media to explain about delays and cost overruns and never brings good news.  He always tries to put a positive spin on the bad news but fails every time.  Conroy has ties to Obeid and used his hospitality as was revealed during the recent ICAC inquiry.   Conroy only updated his interests register after this association was revealed – a sign that there is more to come or that Conroy does not know what a financial benefit is anymore, if he ever did.

If the Government does not like the current media message – or the way the public have responded – perhaps they should look inward and discuss their performance in an honest and up-front way.   Perhaps being up-front and taking responsibility for failed budget forecasts and expenditure before revenues were collected.   Perhaps admitting and coming clean on the debt ceiling Hockey asked in the House as opposed to attacking the Opposition over a forecast budget hole that has no relevance whatsoever.

Conroy is and has been in overreach mode ever since he entered the Senate …  he should of stayed a superannuation officer and research assistant for the TWU – his APH bio linked here ….


The EYE-BALL Opinion plea for action:

Gillard’s Government is poison to this Nation … how do we get rid of her now?

The message has to be sent – there are some 14 million registered voters represented by 150 MP’s – 72 of which are ALP.    If each of these 72 ALP MP’s received an e-mail, a fax, a phone call, or a letter from all the people who want her gone with a simple message like the one below –  :

This is a protest message …
GET RID OF GILLARD

… do you think it might motivate caucus …

Please – send this message to as many and as often as you can – bombard the Caucus Members with a message so clear and with weight of numbers that it will force them to act.

You could also think about sending it to the Independents, Oakeshott, Windsor, Wilkie, and Brandt,  as well … Katter already votes with the Coalition, and Slipper and Thompson are a lost cause and their fate already sealed.

Links to every MP e-mail can be found using the Australian Parliamentary Website Members and Senator links below … pick your an ALP MP or Senator, or send it to all – voice your opinion now.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please use/click on your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.


Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion …

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  1. Barry M
    March 14, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Reid should have explained to Sales that based on her performance and line of questioning when interviewing people she does not agree with, she would be a prime example of who the Govt appointed commissar (particularly under a new regime) would come after and have not only chastised but penalised in some other way.
    In fact the Coalition should allow the laws to pass and when in Govt appoint their own Commissar and let him run rampant among the ABC before getting rid of the draconian laws.

  2. Paul
    March 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I’m amused by this meme that we somehow had a free Press until this moment. For as long as proprietors have had personal agendas and have liked to see themselves as political players and kingmakers or have been willing to serve the agenda of others then we have never had a “free Press”.

  3. March 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Sorry Paul – I support your theory that media proporitors have always been able to write what they want regardless of political pursuasion, or favour owed, or received –

    But is that not the issue – being able to publish what you want – and not be subjected to new legislation that proposes a regulatory authority only once removed from Governemnt sanction that has the power to cramp that very freedom of speech …

  4. March 14, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Click here to read what James Patterson had to say about Conroy on his Blog today …

  5. March 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    A Summary of Conroy’s legislative media changes …

    [youtube”http://youtu.be/P4kWMIapJaU&w=420&h=308″]

  6. March 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Today after question time, on Radio National Malcolm Turnbull was debating Conroy’s proposed bill.

    Turnbull claimed the Eddie Obeid story is only now in ICAC due to the personal bravery of reporting by Kate McClymont. Kate pursued the story against the odds until finally the ABC decided to run with it. Turnbull claimed Obeid is the biggest public fraud in our lifetime. It is hard to disagree with that.

    For me this is very similar to Bob Kernohan and AWU, or Kathy Jackson and HSU East. Kill the messenger.

    Sure Rupert Murdoch has a perceived history of political interference, that makes Kerry Stokes an imitator, and Gina Rinehart a wannabee. The speculation could go on endless.

    The Prime Minister called her reporter (including blog) accusers over AWU “misogynist nut jobs”. Where is the slander?

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