Monday, April 15, 2013

Poll Axed

YOU have to feel sorry for the poor dears at Fairfax. There they are, adrift on their sinking ships, yet content enough in their own simple way at the thought that they have driven off all those nasty conservatives who used to buy their papers. At The Age, where not even one conservative columnist is allowed to sully the newly shrunk pages, the big effort appears to be invested in making sure bad news appears less so .... before being made to vanish altogether.

Take this morning's poll showing that Gillard's dills now enjoy the support of only 29% of the voting population. Fairfax paid for the poll, so you might imagine it would wish to give it much prominence. And so it did, for a while.

What follows is a frame-by-frame record of the incredible shrinking poll story:

At 9am we saw this on the Age homepage:
A bit after 10.30, the headline had been softened somewhat and pushed down the page:

And finally, at around lunchtime, Peter Hartcher weighed in with an analysis -- correct, as it happens -- that rather neatly deep-sixed the actual, shocking polls numbers:

There are some polls, however, that do get a prominent display, with no fudging of headlines or hack columnists' attempts to cushion the bad news with a dribble of interpretative insight. On the same home page where word of that dreadful poll was made to vanish, we also find this:

The Age will be dead soon, done in by its own left hand. It will be no great loss.


  1. Regarding the NBN, why wouldn't anyone want a free Ferrari? Sure you have to pay for the fuel, but if someone else is picking up the purchase price and the maintenance bill, why not?

  2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.April 15, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    There is no making a silk purse out of this sow's ear, Prof.

    She needs to be Gonski.


  3. Good to see Mark Kenny back at his natural home. He must save a fortune in soap now that he doesn't have to scrub himself vigorously after coming home from Newscorp every day.

  4. "...The Age will be dead soon, done in by its own left hand...

    I thought onanism only made you go blind?

    There is hope for us yet, provided institutionalised Circle-wank (as practiced at the ABC) does also kill;)

  5. The Old and Unimproved DaveApril 15, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    The paper's name is prophetic.

    One is reminded of those old sci-fi scenarios where the protagonist gets zapped by chronos particles or something, the uni-directional flow of time reverses, and our hero starts growing every younger.

    One can't help but feel that The Age's next Julia-related headline will be 'WAHHHHH!'

  6. In the first headline in this post- the photo of Hillard looks like she is turning into Michell's Gratten.

  7. Prof,

    I regard The Age's news/editorial content as contemptible, however, I still buy the Saturday edition, largely for the magazine inserts. It also provides a regular reminder of how contemptible the news/editorial content is...


    Bill T

  8. "if gillard crapped in the dispatch box the Age would hail her efforts on behalf of organic fertilisers"

    I must dispute this Professor. If Gillard did that the Age would pretend not to notice, then after a brief pause, ask "what's that smell" and then blame Abbott.

  9. I think The Age has made some slight superficial improvements in recent years. 10 years ago the Gillard poll results would have been headlined something like "Abbott's latest ploy winning over voters".

    However, any slight improvement in reporting is countered by the fact that you can't click on a single article without being assaulted with "Daily Life" nonsense about fannies in the related articles bar.