Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some Free Advice For Senator Bernardi

Dear Senator,
The next time you receive a when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife call from a Fairfax or ABC reporter, tell them you are just a little busy and ask that their questions be submitted in writing. Promise you will respond immediately, which is only good manners. Further, advise the reporter that, while you are happy to have your words editted for the dead tree edition, you expect your comments to be published in full on the website, where space is not an issue.

Next, post the questions and your answers on your own parliamentary website, not bothering to wait until the reporter has written his or her story. This will not only ruin whatever dubious scoop the reporter is pushing, it will make them think twice before again trying to stitch you up.

Finally, if you give an interview on camera or if the reporter is simply operating an audio recorder, make your own copy and post that as well.

The key is to respond immediately and without mercy to any mistakes. Do not go cap in hand to the reporter and ask for the record to be corrected. It will not happen, so you need to set things straight -- and to do so right away. Bloggers call this "fisking" and there is no reason why parliamentarians should not do it too.

If you find yourself too busy to follow this prescription, hire someone who can. And if you have a PR person who believes in making nice with reporters, write out their severance cheque and show them the door. The press is your enemy -- yes, even the Murdoch press -- so invest no effort in schmoozing. It will not bring the slightest reward.

Fact is, you are never going to get a fair shake. Today's "expose" of "secret" domain registrations and "Tea Party-style" activism should be all the proof you need.

Oh, and one other thing. When the Abbott government is elected, immediately suspend all government advertising in Old Media outlets. Nobody reads those display ads, anyway, and the charges ultimately pay the salaries of people whose only goal is spread distortions.

Best of luck,


  1. Very good advice, Prof. I second it. Hope the Senator is reading.

  2. PhillipGeorge(c)2011October 17, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    Prof, I want to know what good people are reading. What's worth a look and second look. Be it providence or serendipity the citation of Andrew Rule's Korean War sniper story was a boon. There is so much feeble minded and inane chaff to sift through to find a few kernel's hardly worth the efforts of the exercises in separation.

    Hidden in an open field, the man with the 303, dove tails with your/ this current post.

    Purportedly Oliver Cromwell never lost a battle. At a time when so much fighting was done where men could see the whites of each others eyes, that says something of the man. You've heard it said there are no atheists in foxholes. So what animates the man, what feeds his inner being, what stirs his emotions, what inspires and motivates are of the highest interest - or should be to narrators of any confrontation.
    Cromwell's little book "Soldiers Pocket Bible 1642" reshaped England, and gave rise via some convulsive turns to the Parliamentary system now used, right here, right now. The selection of verses is a study in motivation, self reflection, adaptability, hopefulness, resolve, resignation, determination, consistency, pragmatism, preparedness. It could be taken onto any theatre of engagement, for those with the heart to read it - therein, what is missing is what was abolished. The purist of one age became the rationalist of another and the baby went out with the bath water.
    "Have a heart but don't take mine", was another verse, the English Beat - Sole Salvation - 1982
    Good practical advice for politician or soldier - especially one wanting to lead a party. Hidden in an open field. Thanks.
    Man has a maker is where the Parliament came from and its one sustaining feature. cheers.
    Victoria's desalination plant is one monument to alternative cognition.

  3. Seriously, what the hell did he attempt to say?

  4. It was an interesting exercise in more ways than one. While I cna understand resentment of astroturf groups Getup and Newsstand being treated by Fairfax and others as 'grassroots', the attempt to paint these new groups as being

    "We are not a political party. We are not politically partisan" was an insult to the intelligence of voters.

    However, a general lesson was in the writer of the piece's own techniques (from Media Matters 'rule book' perhaps)...

    “as a guest of the Tea Party think tank, the Heartland Institute”.

    ‘The Heartland Institute is best known in the US ……..and for its role in Climategate.’

    Simple technique to associate supposedly ‘bad’ organisation with two things you are targeting and which have NO connection to what you fear -

    in this case the Tea Party and your worst nightmare – Climategate.

    I also recommended keeping an eye on that author Deborah Gough.

    That was a learned technique.

  5. Anonymous, you might well ask. There appears to a one man competition running, where the number of allusions that are thrown in, irrelevant or not, must be in direct proportion to the hidden genius and gravitas of our friend.

    Or perhaps it's a game; see how many matchups can be found, with the bow drawn way, way past its elastic limit, per article.

    Prof. Bunyip must tremble before putting another piece up for a google match-to-reference assault.

  6. PhillipGeorge(c)2011October 17, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Anonymous 1 or 2,
    here's a word picture,
    the best sniper was the one in the featureless landscape.
    can't do any better than that without crayons and butchers paper, and mobiles from the ceiling.
    there, there, now.

  7. "When the Abbott government is elected, immediately suspend all government advertising in Old Media outlets..."

    What a brilliant idea, the Coalition should start spreading this idea vigorously. It might cause some of the editors to have second thoughts. But whatever Fairfax does, the Coalition should stop all govt advertising with Fairfax post-election

  8. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 17, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    It's good advice to choose your PR person wisely. Don't forget that these days PR's are often trained by the same universities, sometimes even in the same faculties, that offer such outstanding political indoctrination to wannabe journalists. It all rubs off a bit on the most well-intentioned of media-handling employees unless they get put straight. Nice one for noting its possible effects, Bunyip.

  9. The Sunday Age complained that the good Senator was astroturfing. What, pray tell, are these activities revealed by The Australian Online today:

    LABOR has handed grants worth $3 million to green groups to fund initiatives that support action on climate change and back the government's carbon tax package.

    A Senate estimates committee today also revealed the Gillard government's multi-million dollar carbon tax advertising campaign has reached almost $24 million, after a $4 million blow-out.

    The almost $24 million in advertising includes $16 million on carbon tax advertising, up from $12 million, $3.9 million on developing the ad campaign and $4 million on household leaflets.

    Details also emerged about a series of ad-hoc grants to green groups.

    The groups benefiting from grants included the Climate Institute, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Climate Works Australia. Some of the groups have been part of the “say yes” coalition and have backed Labor as it fends off ony Abbott's anti-carbon tax campaign.

  10. And one more thing Cory - check your own website occasionally -