ANDREW BOLT has broken his silence, apparently having made peace with News Ltd brass. He expresses his gratitude for the permission, finally, to say his piece, while also suggesting by inference that John Hartigan was out of line in yanking Glenn Milne’s column. There are mentions of the threats, uttered or implied, hanging over the company and, almost as a form of punctuation in the early paragraphs of his post, repeated assertions that neither he nor News Ltd believe Gillard guilty of tickling the union till. Never that, good heavens no! It is all a question of what the affair with the light-fingered Bruce Wilson says of Gillard’s judgment then, and what her tolerance for the lightly-trousered Craig Thomson says about it now – a perspective that must have soothed News Ltd’s anxious lawyers.
Only a clairvoyant will know if Bolt exercised a diplomatic restraint in addressing his employer’s capitulation to Theodora with a telephone, to recast one of Gough Whitlam’s better lines, but if that is the case he need feel no guilt, because what he has done is actually quite remarkable. How many newsroom types have ever threatened to quit over a matter of principle? The brave Leunig, so beloved of those who hate Bolt, certainly did nothing of the kind when the Age refused to publish his foul equation of Israel with Nazi Germany. If readers can name any ink-stained martyrs for principle, please do so in comments.
And there is something else about Bolt’s column today, a little unintended irony in his mention of Gillard having “exploited Britain's News of the World phone hacking scandal to threaten News Limited with inquiries that might force it to sell some of its papers”, an assault that has never seen the company “so politically vulnerable”.
Well, what if News Ltd did not own so many papers? Gillard would have had to spend many more sixpences calling many more editors and publishers to suppress both the original column and any hostile reporting in rival publications of her gagging reflex. Labor and the Greens want News Ltd. broken up because they believe a fragmented empire will be easier to intimidate and control. As has been the case with so many of their other policies and predictions, they could be in for a shock if that dream is realised.
Labor and the Greens want News Ltd. broken up because they believe a fragmented empire will be easier to intimidate and control. As has been the case with so many of their other policies and predictions, they could be in for a shock if that dream is realised.ReplyDelete
It sort of cuts both ways. On the one hand, it is more difficult to tackle multiple targets at once. On the other hand, each opponent - being smaller - becomes an easier mark, and the others begin to fear for their futures at an earlier stage. Gillard is reeling on the ropes, but a government hostile to non-compliant media and with plenty of electoral padding and poll support to play with could take its time destroying them all.
I agree with Stella Duffy (from one of your links above), that “Theodora’s life is perfect for fiction”. Robert Graves agreed too, as his excellent Count Belisarius (1938) demonstrates.ReplyDelete
Professor, I've often wondered why most of your posts are at least a day old. This one removes any doubt that your computer has the wrong date set.ReplyDelete
I found the reference to Theodora, "actress wife of Justinian the Great". It is interesting as at this time we have a pompous fool who pontificates for over regulation under the name of Justinian in Fairfax on Fridays.ReplyDelete
As scholars note, it was Theodora's fickleness and petty jealousies that lead to the Eastern Roman Empire squandering of the benefits of a boom.
There may be some other interesting Theodora parallels as revealed in this Secret History.ReplyDelete
whyistso, could the Bunyip be in a different time zone?ReplyDelete
Let us not forget that we derive our word ancedote from the Anekdota of Procopius.ReplyDelete
Likely his blogspot configuration has him placed in the US. The sun gets to them last.ReplyDelete
No. Actually they want News broken up because it is a blight on the democratic process. Even the father of political science, Niccolo Machiavelli, had something to say on the concentration of personal power for personal gain, and the corrupting influence it has on the functioning of the State, the capacity and tendency to create partisan groups reflecting restricted interests, and its threat to 'the very bedrock of the polis'.ReplyDelete
The concept is that old, and that true.
Does anyone know if there's a copy of Milne's original article that was published in The Australian online?ReplyDelete
Clyde - check out comment # 203ReplyDelete
"blight on the democratic process"ReplyDelete
Care to back that up, atticusdash?
Don't give EGWhitlam too much credit for the line about Tiberius with a telephone. (What did it even mean? Why Tiberius?) There was an older quip that said Stalin was "Genghis Khan with a telephone." (Googling around I see sources differ as to who said it; but it certainly wasn't EGW.)ReplyDelete
@ Atticusdash: Bullshit. It is impossible for a newspaper* to be a blight on the democratic process.ReplyDelete
A newspaper* can say what it likes, but is utterly powerless without people who read it, digest and weigh up the information, and agree. And there are too many of them, from too many walks of life, for them all to be unthinking sheep or brainless idiots.
The blight comprises any politician who would muzzle or silence a hostile or questioning press. THAT is a more true example of a toxic concentration of power.
(* = insert TV show, radio program, blog, etc. as appropriate.)