Tuesday, August 2, 2011

O'Neil Before Him

HAVING invested its money in 22 episodes of Crownies, an entertainment Mark Scott regards as “great Australian content”,  a cash-strapped ABC is said to be mulling some very hard economies. After tonight’s Q&A, one obvious target must be that show’s booking department, which clearly let the team down. The panel was stacked, as usual -- they got that bit right. But somebody made the terrible mistake of inviting the ferocious Brendan O’Neil from Spiked, and his fellow panelists’ discomfort at encountering an actual, ardent defender of free speech was palpable. There were moments when a seething Tanya Plibersek was caught in hatchet-faced profile, narrowed eyes casting daggers at the tormenter who kept taking apart her fuzzy fascism, one euphemism for censorship at a time.

On O’Neil’s other side, ABC favourite Stephen Mayne did a better job, most of the time, of hiding a rising gorge. But O’Neil and his sentiments eventually proved too much, prompting a series of ejaculatory eruptions about the wicked Murdochs. Eventually Mayne just had to blurt it out, couldn’t hold it a second longer – free speech and an unfettered press really do need hard scrutiny and, quite possibly, a few controls. This from a journalist, mind you, a journalist whose particular loathing for News Limited blinds him to irony. What might have happened to Jeffed.com, Mayne’s original exercise in ego and annoyance, if then-Premier Kennett had been armed with the right tools for swatting gadflies? If that thought occurred to him, it was driven very quickly from mind by the irresistible lure of taking Rupert down a peg or two. Mayne made a sad spectacle -- all the sadder for knowing in his heart that he would trade free speech for the pleasure of a good, old-fashioned pile-on.

And it just kept getting better – or worse if you happen to be the worker who opted to include that question emailed to Christine Nixon, the one asking if she enjoyed dinner as Victoria went up in flames. She’s a broken creature, you could tell by her limp admission of “mistakes” and the sagging, defeated way she didn’t even bother to try the nobody-loves-a-chubby routine. The former police commissioner was ever a font of bright and shiny words, except last night they sagged limp and empty, an old woman’s drawers being hung out with their owner to dry.

If Q&A could match tonight’s effort just a bit more often, that would be the best argument for its retention. It won’t, of course. Next week, expect orthodoxy’s return – and that will surely be bad news for one booker and one email-sifter, who are almost certain for the chop. Pity about those pink slips, but as Stephen Mayne was telling us, such disrespect for that which you and all your best mates hold dear really is beyond the pale.

26 comments:

  1. O'Neil was superb, just superb. All the more thrilling because he made Plibersek appear as stupid as she really is.

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  2. Oh please tell me there is a link that I can watch this on. And an accurate transcript...

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  3. Yes O'Neil outshone the other panelists with ease. He won't ever appear on that show again. I was delighted to see Plibersek made to look like a goose or at least a woman with a dull mind.

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  4. Best for Ages. We need to hear more from this spirited defender of free speech and alternative views.
    Heather Ridout must have a bum full of splinters from fence sitting how on earth does Australian Manufacturing put up with her as it's so called representative when she supports 1 Labor and 2 Financial imposts that will make her members less competitive in every way ensuring more jobs are moved offshore. Her tenure has been a complete failure .

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  5. "Oh please tell me there is a link"

    CLICK.

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  6. There you go: relive the magnificent O'Neil.
    In terms the youngest in the family would use: that was ownage

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  7. I kept waiting for Plibersek to trot out the "we're working towards a clean energy future" - so unprepared was she without a script! Bravo O'Neil, 'tho we won't see you on #TheirABC ever again.

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  8. yeah the fat chick sure struggles

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  9. Plibersek is a dill, so it's curious she so rarely gets taken apart in a debate. Commentators and interviewers should take note of Brendan O’Neil's effortless skill in showing how little she brings to the table. He was a sensation. The most enjoyable Q&A I've seen in years. More Brendan more often, I say...but no doubt the ABC will blacklist him after last night's effort.

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  10. Any conservatives have obviously deserted the peanut gallery of that increasingly crassly party-political Q & A, so I hope that in future either no conservative will accept to be on that panel, unless they are as courageous, articulate and focused as this Brendan O'Neil was. Kudos to him for disregarding the hostile public, let alone the Host who displays that typical ABC bias in buckets. (Talk about “objectivity“ *rolls eyes*).

    As to that regular member of the Q & A kangaroo court panel, Pli-berserk, her bad faith is absolutely breath taking. I must confess that I really cannot stand her bovinely mammalian facial expressions when she dives into her holier than thou sermons, however, I think we are really entitled to be completely disgusted by her continuous psychological projections "dont put words in my mouth" even as she is doing excactly that to her opponents.

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  11. Take it from a CFA guy, Nixon still does not "get" how the emergency services actually operate. She said it was "a bottom up system". Bullshit! It is a top down system dressed to look like a community operation. When there is a fire the first thing the chiefs do is parachute in an incident control officer from HQ. They don't know the area, they don't know the capabilities of the crews and they don't want to know them. Your local volunteers get treated like dills while the "professionals" fight about who is in charge. On Black Saturday the incident controllers at Kilmore and Kangaroo Ground were at each others throats (while local volunteers and the DSE fire person was ignored) as they fought for "control" of the fire that wiped out Kinglake. Kinglake could have been warned but it wasn't because the brass were busy ignoring each other.

    People should have gone to jail over all the mistakes on and up to Black Saturday. The royal Commission has not fixed them so it will happen again.
    Ralph In The Bush

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  12. I'm glad O'Neil stopped saying "censorious". Apart from that it was a comprehensive take down. Although the warm applause for Tanya's platitudes might have the casual observer thinking otherwise.

    Along with the booker and email sifter, the tweet boss might also have to go. A number of tweets from right wing death beasts were allowed to make it through, in addition to the regular contributors who always seem to crop up. Zeg, the cartoonist for example. Another good tweet went along the lines of "I'd like to watch Qanda but I had to eat".

    The tweeters missed a wide-open door when Tanya wondered how we would feed ourselves in the future. The obvious person to ask was sitting on the panel - "Well, drop whatever emergency is at hand and make your way to the pub"...

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  13. To think I switched it off in disgust when I saw the line up and heard them launch right into Bolta.

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  14. Stephen Mayne's own words, from the link provided above by the Professor:

    "Despite leaving [Kennett's office] on good terms, relations steadily deteriorated over the next three years due to on-going editorial criticism of Kennett’s governance practices with great back-up from Terry McCrann as you can see from this package.

    However, given Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing instincts, his mother’s habit of displaying Liberal Party posters at Cruden Farm and editor Peter Blunden’s then record of never having editorialised for Labor, the Herald Sun was never going to call for Jeff’s resignation.

    "When Kennett’s press secretary Steve Murphy told me in 1995 that Kerry Packer had given the Premier a $400,000 tax-free defamation settlement, I resolved to do everything possible to bring him down."

    When it is OK to "do everything possible" to bring down a government? Answer: when you are Stephen Mayne (not Rupert Murdoch), and the government is one that you don't approve of. What a vain, self-regarding hypocrite.

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  15. And Mayne has the gall to criticise Murdoch supposedly for trying to bring down a government. Incredible.

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  16. As you say the irony is lost on the Maynes and the Wikileaks fans. We want our Watergates, Climategates, Wikileaks, etc, along with our nightly feed of conspiracy theories about our elites as well as the more general 'keeping the bastards honest!' and we're not too fussy about a journos's 'sources' or paparazzi methods in feeding us all that. However don't you bastards dare try any of that crap on us little blokes or ours or else! Yes it's a fuzzy, ill-defined line they're asked to walk, as News of the World quickly discovered to their dismay, but piss off Mayne if you think we're gunna side with you and your preferred elites in giving any of the bastards an easy ride. Feel our subtle nuance feller.
    -observa

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  17. It's O'Neill with two ls, apparently...

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  18. Are you (and Anonymous) suggesting that the ABC invited O'Neill on Q&A without knowing what his opinions were and what he was likely to say? What a dim-witted thing to assert.

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  19. Labor, the greens are dead fish and now can be spotted a mile off with their new tax alarm bells ringing everywhere. The power of red slides to panic as the consensus girls show tell and confess their ignorance when long term decisions are needed.

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  20. And did you catch the business woman's statement that freedom is dangerous and needs clamping down on?

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  21. Hi Bunyip, I didn't share your enthusiasm for the O'neill fella. I thought he was on very shakey ground with his argument that we all have free will and therefore the press should be able to print whateva and it have no influence on the minds of anyone - it kind of undermines the the whole basis of advertising. And the panel is STACKED, really, really. So from left to right(Geographically)Dutton(liberal),Nixon(middleof the road lefty), Ridout,(centre),Plibersek(left)Oneill(centre-right), Mayne(kinda lefty/righty???). Well that's a fair summation isn't it ?. How is that stacked??

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  22. Can we please have a real pitchforks and all revolution soon to squash the conga line of political terrorists and the fully loaded gallery of tree people at Q&A! A complete renovation of the ABC and SBS staff structure would ensue. Q&A with Andy Bolt as moderator sounds good!

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  23. That women is a best blonde joke ever.
    I guess one day when she passes on they will have to burry her in Y shaped coffin. I can't see any other qualities for being appounted by labor to the office she holds.

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  24. HEY!!! What's this "No one loves a chubby BS??"
    I'll have you know I wake every morning with at least a half a chubby...and I LOVE IT!!

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  25. Hey Professor, you made the Oz's Cut and Paste today.

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  26. It's not a question of selling he ABC. It's time to sell Tasmania!
    We'd lose Milne, Brown, Wilkie and Adams and the State Government's liabilities.

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