ANOTHER DAY, another reason to lament the absolute witlessness which now characterises the Phage. Actually, it was earlier in the week when Melbourne’s brain-bereft broadsheet chose to mark the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq with an opinion column by, of all people, George Galloway. It was a predictable rant – death of the American empire, blood-soaked sands, millions dead, nothing gained etc etc. All music to the ears of Age editors, whose ceaseless diminishing of their paper’s franchise speaks of an intellectual breadth stretching only from A to B, as in Asininity to Bolshevism. The Age picked up Galloway’s thoughts from the Guardian, which is no one’s idea of a balanced or even sane publication. But at least the Guardian had the decency to publish on the same day an alternate perspective, that of former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton. At the Age, where editors mistake fog for thought and package words only to pleasure the egos of those lost in similar clouds of self-regard, Bolton did not make the cut.
What a surprise, but it was not the only one.
On the same day the Age employed Galloway to deliver its we-told-so gloat – an ill-argued and demonstrably false one, but it is The Age after all – the newspaper also reported the death of Christopher Hitchens, which prompted a series of adulatory eulogies and encomiums.
Cognitive dissonance, anyone? This little blog’s readers will know without being told how much Hitchens detested Galloway, not to mention his contempt for those who found the crooked, bribe-stuffing, Saddam-pleasuring Scotsman a useful mouthpiece for their causes. Hitchens would have appreciated the Age’s ironic juxtaposition – appreciated it as an opportunity to lacerate those who still imagine they are the gatekeepers of acceptable opinion, those unprepared to acknowledge even as their company’s stock rolls further and faster down the slope to bankruptcy that what they publish has something to do with the posse of receivers gathering at the bottom.
Well, when the Age hits the fan, the office equipment is sold at auction and Melbourne is left with only the Herald Sun and its daily diet of puppies, kittens, hemlines and footballers, perhaps some of those freshly unemployed Age editors will take the time to expand their reading.
Allowing that exposure to their own proiduct has not by that stage entirely robbed Age editors of the ability to read, of course.