Monday, August 03, 2015

Part 2 of the pond's thesis, offering final and convincing proof that the dog botherer is obsessed with Media Watch and the ABC and climate science ...

In part two of the pond's thesis that the dog botherer is bizarrely obsessed with Media Watch and the ABC and climate science and renewable energy and all that jazz, the pond is proud to present startling new evidence today, thanks to the lizard Oz.

Now weak souls might have thought that the dog botherer's splash above was just another example of chip on shoulder moaning about the privileged position of the taxpayer funded ABC.

Weaker souls might even pass on the story altogether - "no!", the shriek, "anything but the kennypatch" - but bravehearts, dedicated scientific explorers, will see an exemplary example of a man capable of doing a pivot on a dime, and moving well beyond a simple moan about Media Watch to embrace the ABC, climate change and the whole damn thing.

Let's begin with a joke:

Or maybe reading Lolita in Australia in the 1960s, a time when conservatives of the Kenny school wanked themselves into a frenzy about the dangers of reading Nabokov.

But don't you just love the pleading - pay me and Rupert so we might continue to do what we do. Which is what? Act like preening ratbag ideologues of the first water?

Never mind, on we go, and please bear in mind the pond's thesis, because it's heavy going, as all dog botherer pieces are:

Okay, Media Watch, pivot to seething resentment about the ABC, much bitterness and bile, then pivot to seething resentment about renewable energy.

Actually many in the media did take the cue, and asked frightening questions about startling figures flung wildly around ... by Tony Abbott and his minions - the ABC might be cowed, but you can always head off to The Conversation to read FactCheck: Would Labor's renewable energy plan cost consumers $60 billion.

Now the pond can sense restless readers asking "are we there yet?", and with the pond's thesis already soundly proven - it's a bit like dropping apples in a quest for evidence of gravity - we can complete what's a relatively short rant from the dog botherer:

Yep, there's the ABC again, plus a pivot to the Graudian thrown in for a bonus, courtesy Lenore Taylor, and a pivot to Fran Kelly, who drags in Phil Coorey, and then there's a pivot to climate science, and a final elegant covert but none too subtle climate science denialism in those last couple of lines ... because, you know, talk of bushfires in winter is just part of a UN inspired scare campaign to produce a world government ... or at least that's what Dame Slap and Miranda the Devine seemed to think ...

Which makes that early special pleading really laughable.

You know, the stuff about commercial realities ...

If you are reading this, Pauline Hanson might have been … no, let me start again. If you are reading this, you have probably paid for a newspaper or a digital subscription to The Australian. 
Apart from separating you from some of your legal tender and placing you in a cohort of intelligent, informed and discerning citizens, this payment performs a number of useful functions. 
It helps to cover the costs of production, pay the wages of our staff (some may even filter down to me) and indulges our publisher’s ambition for this 51-year-old masthead to return a post-GFC profit.

Well no, the pond didn't pay for it, either by way of killing a tree or wasting money on a digital subscription, and the notion that reading the likes of Kenny might put the pond in a cohort of intelligent, informed and discerning citizens had the pond rolling the jaffas down the aisle ...

Truth to tell, the thought that some of the money might filter down to the dog botherer is the best reason the pond has never bothered to describe. Kenny is entitled to write all the shit he likes, but helping him get paid for it is a bridge too far ...

No, no, you won't, you'll be remembered as a scribbler with an unhealthy, weird, almost perverted interest in the ABC, Media Watch and climate denialism ... why do you listen and watch if it upsets you so?

Must be like reading Fairfax and the Graudian and furtively calling up the ABC on the fablet in the bunker's Surry Hills toilet ... why not stick to Lolita?

Let the age of legitimate entitlement begin, please line up here with your gruel bowl for manna from Tony and co. ...

Let the good times roll ...

Bron voyage and a joke about sacrificing the bishop is the best the Murdochians have got?

And what's this "At last she's gone", as if the Murdochians were in on the game from the start, and couldn't wait to get rid of the Bishop, whereas the reality was that it was the Fairfaxians did all the heavy lifting at the start, and were also there for the kill:

Yes, that's a better headline. What was startling was just how sad and strained Abbott was looking when he announced he'd killed his metaphorical mother. Like a figure in a Greek tragedy, albeit yet to reach any kind of catharsis ...

Never mind, the way Abbott bungled, mishandled, then went to ground in the crucial week leading up to the sacking - call it a resignation if you will - will become the stuff of political legend.

And meanwhile let the hounding continue, so that an ongoing examination of the books leads to the same humiliation and legal suffering Slipper endured. Not that the pond has time for Slipper, but the need for an aesthetic balance, the quest for the golden mean, should ensure that the scandal hounds Bishop and Abbott for months to come. Because it's not just the system, it's the individual and the ethical and moral capacity of the individual to follow the guidelines already to hand, in spirit as well as letter of the law.

And we know how that turned out.

And what heavy lifting it now leaves the reptiles to do.

Already the work is under way. Malcolm Turnbull wasted endless minutes on AM this morning enduring questions about Bronnie before spruiking jobs, jobs, jobs for the NBN, and all that did was remind the pond of its seething resentment and the absurdity of the current roll out, and now they're pissing more money against the wall on more jobs to roll out a second-rate infrastructure ...

But it was the reptiles of Oz that were favoured with all the juicy tips and optimistic bits of boon doggling:

Ignore the bits about Bronnie - and the enormously stupid Ergas proposing that Bishop required a quicker exit, which is a bit like the pond writing how when the sun comes up, the light comes into the world ...

Below all that, the funeral rites, you can see the busy reptiles doing their level best.

There's the NBN, and big Mal is out and about everywhere - not just AM - talking up his second rate system, which will require massive re-configuring even before its first iteration is completed, and endless blather about jobs, jobs, jobs, and now a hint that the government might have folded on the matter of the ship-building in South Australia. Perhaps the poodle is feeling the noose a little too tightly around the neck.

And there was the bromancer, sagely explaining how the bold and brave Aussies stood up to Obama himself on the matter of the TPP.

Which rather ignores the question about why the government was so heavily committed to negotiations which were never primarily about trade, or the sugar industry or diary or cattle or the rest of it, but were seen by the Americans as a way of fortifying their intellectual property rights in a number of fields while giving away as little as they could manage in relation to actual trade.

It's been a classic fuck up and that foolish fop Andrew Robb did his best to peddle the nonsense for years - was still doing it this very day - and now the reptiles have to wheel out the bromancer to explain how Abbott himself snatched victory from the jaws of defeat ... by walking away from a deal that Robb was still pumping up all week as just within the government's grasp.

Yep it's getting tougher and tougher for the reptiles, and now let the boon doggling and pork barreling begin ... happy crow eaters, to be blessed with the munificence, because, after all, they're entitled ...

Now please allow the pond to examine how the reptiles deal with the funeral rites of Bronnie as an example of their tireless work:

A more accurate transcription would be, "good dog, slow to heel, but at least now you've remembered, when it comes to loyalty, who your real master is ..."

Then comes the obfuscation, what we might call the de-Slipperisation of the situation:

Four days ago, Mrs Bishop ruled out resigning — a position that became increasingly untenable as yet more evidence emerged of her extravagant, if permitted, use of entitlements. She will continue as the member for Mackellar, but it has been an ignominious end to her speakership. For Mr Abbott and the Coalition, her resignation should staunch much of the political fallout over her arrogant use of entitlements. The more contentious of these might or might not have fallen within guidelines. Department of Finance inquiries are ongoing. But as backbenchers confronted by angry constituents over the winter recess have told Mr Abbott — and as the Prime Minister has effectively conceded — Mrs Bishop’s conduct fell far short of public expectations.

Because going to a colleague's wedding is clearly important official business ...

Let's have a refresher on travelling allowances for Ministers, which by extension are a pretty good guide to helicopters and which explains why politicians construct phoney official government business so they can attend a wedding with clear conscience:

There's a lot more here.

Back to the reptiles, expressing hope. There's a little light spanking with a lettuce leaf, as the reptiles boldly note that Bronnie was blatantly partisan but "appeared dignified" - no doubt because the reptiles think that their blatantly partisan ways still allow them to appear dignified, as opposed to looking like a bunch of angry old white males going red in the face shouting about climate science and halal food:

Loyalty to a longstanding friend and party stalwart such as Mrs Bishop was clearly important to Mr Abbott. Another of his mentors, John Howard, would have moved against Mrs Bishop sooner. In his first term, Mr Howard chopped or accepted the resignations of seven ministers, parliamentary secretaries and his key adviser when they fell short of his code of conduct. 

And then there's the notion that Abbott will reform himself ...

Better late than never, Mr Abbott faced the fact that his government would continue bleeding support, and that it would be unable to cut through on substantial policy areas, until the unwelcome distraction created by Mrs Bishop was resolved. Starting with tomorrow’s cabinet meeting in Adelaide, where major announcements have been scheduled, Mr Abbott must now focus on re-energising the government and concentrating on economic and other major policy areas. 

Yep, by boondoggling and pork barrelling ... starting with ships, ships, ships for Australia ... preferably using coal, coal, coal ...

And why not finish off with a bit of special pleading and exceptionalism and entitlement to entitlements:

He can also point to the much-needed entitlements review as evidence of a lesson learned the hard way. Politicians work long hours and travel long distances. Relatively, they are poorly paid for the time they put in. They are entitled to be compensated for legitimate travel and other expenses. But controversial grey areas need to be better managed and, crucially, community expectations met.
The age of entitlement is dead. Let the age of legitimate entitlement begin ...

And luckily Rowe has returned in the nick of time to bless the new understanding of legitimate entitlement (and more Rowe here):

And now, since a piece about Abbott and Bronnie and the reptiles is by definition a piece without substance, a shadow, a wraith, lets finish by noting that a heretic has dared to speak out:

The story about the column is here, and the column's here.

Amen to that, but ooohhh, doesn't that wind turbine look ugly as we whisk past it in our chauffeured car ...

Sunday, August 02, 2015

And the winner is ... weasel words ...

And the winner for the best file photo and headline in Murdoch la la land is:

Hmm, a certain lack of imagination in the entries ...

And the winner of the best and most disingenuous excuse category?

Sorry, only a couple of contenders and one clear, easy winner:

"We have a situation where spending is arguably inside the rules but plainly outside community expectations," he said.

That weasel word "arguably" makes it a clear winner.

There was another contender:

"In this game you start throwing rocks and there won't be a person left in the Parliament because everyone will have some issue somewhere in the past that is difficult to explain. But, but believe you me, I don't think there was any maliciousness in how it happened."

Translation: better not start throwing stones because we're all thieves ... not malicious thieves of course, just good hearted, well meaning thieves ...

A brave and noble try, but it's Barners and he won the perpetual trophy for silly gaffes and is no longer eligible to compete.

And that, as they say, is that.

A Sunday meditation in which the pond is derailed, and loses faith in Jon Stewart and the Fairfaxians ...

(Above: yes, why?)

Talk about devastated.

The pond finally got to sit down and watch the Judd Apatow directed, Amy Schumer starring Trainwreck, and what a derailment that was.

The sports guys had fun - John Cena handled his cameo in good style, and LeBron James was acceptable enough, though without any apparent reason to be in the show, and amongst the few professional actors on view, Tilda Swinton showed yet again that she knew how to produce a triple decker ham sandwich.

But the mix of improv stand-up comedy stylings with an attempt at a 'girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy back' plot was interminable and unendurable, and worst of all, not very funny.

Now the pond knows the film has attracted notoriety for unfortunate reasons, but the pond came to the show under the delusion that Schumer was some sort of bold, brave, cutting edge American comedian comfortable with the mention of blow jobs and cunnilingus and all the rest of the paraphernalia of modern American life...

So that's why she dresses up as a cheerleader to dance her way back into the heart of her top notch sports medicine surgeon, and incidentally scores a job at Vanity Fair.

It's about as modern and incisive as Cinderella or a 1930s sitcom.

Scrub that. In those days we had His Girl Friday, if you want journalism as a theme, and a whole swag of Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy comedies.

The pond has loved liquorice guns ever since ...

... and Judd Apatow now has the pond's full unfettered loathing, and sadly, Schumer isn't far behind.

American reviewers lapped this sort of twaddle up, which helps explain a more significant matter worth mentioning this meditative Sunday.

The complaisance of the American press when it comes to Hollywood.

A complaisance shared by Tony Abbott, Andrew Robb and the TPP.

And then comes Tom Cruise, out to flog another movie, likely as unendurable as the last one, unless heart-stopping salt and oil saturated popcorn is your pleasure.

Which leads the pond to another gripe.

The Fairfaxians picked up a story about Cruise's latest press blitz for Mission Unendurable from The Washington Post.

No harm in that, though many might wonder why they don't just start reading The Washington Post instead of the Fairfaxians.

Here's the problem: the Fairfaxians stripped out all the links in the story.

This is how it looks at The Washington Post here:

Now that's a screen cap, but at the original, you could head off to the Washington Post HBO link here, or leave the site and visit the story about the 'church' nee cult denying everything here, or The Wrap reporting on Tom Cruise banning scientology and dating questions, here, featuring Jon Stewart falling into line and not raising a peep, or Sarah Gilbert in The Atlantic scribbling Cruise Controlled.

And so on. There's a lot more links in the story, and that shows respect for the readership and a willingness to acknowledge what's out there on the full to overflowing intertubes.

So why did the Fairfaxians do what they did?

It's not because of a willingness to ignore what Gilbert had to say. The Fairfaxians were happy to quote her - without any link:

Gilbert points out the strangeness of The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, a master at calling out hypocrisy, interviewing Cruise this week and completely gliding over the topic, instead bantering about workout routines. That puzzle, of course, is quickly solved by the fact that Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures (which produces Mission: Impossible) are both owned by Viacom. It's the same reason why embattled NBC Universal stars want to stick to the NBC's Today show - shared corporate overlords make these situations much easier.

This is how the story ended in the Wapo:

Yep, plenty of links and further reading, to ensure some stickability, and an acknowledgment of Gilbert as a source of much of the story, with the provision of a link or three.

It's a common courtesy that even that notorious shark Huffpo does, or sometimes apparently the Daily Mail, not the pond can confirm this because it never visits the Daily Mail site ..

And this is how the story ended in the Fairfaxians:

Oh fuck, not Tamworth again.

Let's just say TripAdvisor that you might think you've got the pond's number but it'll be a blowfly laden day in hell's top paddock before the pond spends 97 smackeroos to stay in the heart of the known universe.

But here's the real problem arising from the laziness and moral turpitude of the Fairfaxians. (No wonder Stan has been such a gigantic flop).

What was going to be yet another diatribe against Tom Cruise and Scientology - okay, it's been done before but where's the harm in another outing - was derailed by the Fairfaxians' behaviour in relation to links.

In short, and to draw the strands together, the Fairfaxians are the Judd Apatow of down under journalism, and just as Apatow has delivered a sickening blow to rom coms, the Fairfaxians have dealt an outrageous link-free blow to their readership ...

So no, the pond won't be linking to their scientology story, no matter the way it provides a potent shame file moment for Jon Stewart ... because you can see the original doing it with links elsewhere on the full to overflowing intertubes ...

But hey, to show the pond's heart is in the right place, here's another story in Salon, What does Jon Stewart have to lose by asking real questions?": Scientology watchdog explains Tom Cruise's media blackout.

Read it and weep Judd and Amy ...

(Below: Jon Stewart, the cult compliant, complicit feet of clay man)

In which the pond offers a simplistic, Murdochian tabloid headline view of the state of play ... and it seems Bronnie, the monk and the viper Bolter are a bit like Australian cricket ...

It's simply a day of headlines today, but before we start, apologies, because it seems someone has noticed that the pond's banner has been hacked ... we'll certainly adjust it, and delete the clown face ... once the clown has gone ...

Meanwhile, the Murdochians have finally got the bit between their teeth. The cane toads have rediscovered their Photoshop mojo:

And the HUNsters exude piety:

Let's tiptoe past the rank hypocrisy of that "respect" as the gutter rag hosts, yet again, a prime example of racist thinking, and for the moment just focus on poor old Bronnie ...

Talk about being caught up in the tabloid wars ...

And the Terrorists were in full cry too:

Well you have to look below the exclusive photos of Bindi, but if you do it digitally - who would kill trees on a Sunday to read the Terrorists? - you can wade through stories and an editorial:

So much reading, though you'll need to know how to subvert their "exclusive offerings" paywall.

Even the Graudian tried to stay in the game with Andrew Wilkie, though it's old news as the scandal's days are measured:

And the Fairfaxians had a new angle at the top of the page:

There's actually no need to dig beneath the headlines.

This Bronnie infestation is now everywhere, and it goes on endlessly and turns up in all sorts of odd places, like a Sydney cockroach. It's ruining decent reptile reading, it's ruining blogging, it's ruining everything ...

But above all, the longer it goes on, and the pussyfooting, mollycoddling Abbott sits on his thumb, it's ruining Abbott. So the pond must endure ...

Meanwhile, back to the rank hypocrisy of that HUN front page shouting 'respect', with accompanying blather about the tribe speaking ...

What jolly japesters, what merry pranksters the HUNsters are ...

Of course the Terrorists have their own professional racist:

And in the best 'teach the controversy' style, they have a few making counter-arguments:

It's taken this long for the Terrorists to realise that Miranda the Devine is deeply stupid?

So something positive might come of the Adam Goodes' affair?

But back to the merry HUNsters, nurturing the viper Bolter in their bosom.

Yep, the Bolter has done it again, but rather than link to the Bolter, and thereby reward him with a few innocents clicking on his wicked words, why not just show a bit of the Fairfaxian coverage ...

You can read the best of the story at Fairfax here, but there's nothing more to be said - the Bolter has been called out on this myth-making before - though there is something more to be done.

Yes you can find Ben Eltham on Twitter here, and you can find the Australian Press Council complaint form here. It's not complicated or particularly onerous to complete ...

Wouldn't it be grand for the Press Council to be inundated with complaints about the viper Bolter? Where would the crocodile tears, the rank hypocrisy of the Murdochian HUNsters be then?

There's one person the pond would particularly like to see complain, a man who has frequently got down with the dogs and from time to time wonders why he's got up with fleas:

Well there's another stark choice Mr Pearson. Stay silent in the ongoing matter of the Bolter or tackle him head on ...

More in sorrow than anger, the pond has noted before the tricky path you've followed, at home with the Murdochians, cheek by jowel with the likes of the viper Bolter.

Well it's past time for an intervention and the use of that gravitas ...

Though perhaps we could follow the intervention ordered by First Dog (and the full cartoon and more First Dog here):

Send the Bolter to the land of fush and chups?! Why hadn't anyone thought of it before?

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Yee hah ...

Okay, too many people have been pestering and badgering the pond about this "alleged" "scandal".

There's more here at the Northern Daily Laggard, but see if you can spot the grotesque scandal at the heart of this report, which makes it extremely dubious:

Hands up those who were shocked that Abbott was in to rorting! As if you didn't know ...

Hands up those who thought his canoodling with that Tamworth girl a tad too fresh! Why he's got the swagger of a Nashville star ...

Sorry, you may all don a dunce cap and go to the corner at the back of the classroom.

The outrageous, shocking remark was "I really don't know how you could spend $10,000 in one day in Tamworth" ... as if you couldn't get through 10k in a day, and not need to stay the night, in a town known for its bright lights as the Vegas of the north west slopes and plains.

What a lack of imagination Rob Taber shows!

Why not book out the Hog's Breath and bung on a meal for the locals? Oh okay, you could do the Cattleman Steakhouse if you want to help out a newly married couple with a touch of class ...

How about putting on an open tab at Joe Maguire's Pub? With free punch up in the alley ...

Thought about spending a couple of hours running hard earned cash through the pokies at Westies?

Why not make a decent offer on that famous guitar and take it home with you?

Talk about excitement city and Trip Advisor's Top Things to Do in Tamworth!

Why the pond could run through $20k in a day, easy peasy.

The reason why Tony Abbott didn't do that is he's a humble, discreet, rorter. Why he catches economy class to Europe just like your average Joe Blow.

And what does your average Joe Blow say about that sort of stupidity? Sheesh mate, everyone who can afford it wants to fly business to get away from all the useless fucking politicians filling up the seats in economy ...

Now could we package that guitar with a harbour bridge and sell it off? 10k the lot and you can fly to Europe for free ...