Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sheehan goes silly

Another disadvantage to a crook back, apart from having to withdraw from this morning's members' round at the golf club, is that there is more time for reading the papers, which can shatter one's faith in otherwise sensible columnists. Consider the home page enticement on The Age site this morning:

That promotional teaser refers to a column by Paul Sheehan, who is inclined to warmism, true, but can usually be counted upon to write his dispatches from Planet Earth. This one, however, comes straight from the moon and should serve as a reminder of that heavenly body's traditional relationship to periodic outbreaks of madness.

Rupert Murdoch regards Kevin Rudd as a posturing twerp who is doing great damage to Australia? Well, so what! Other than the sort of people who think the Age is a reputable newspaper, anybody with half a brain understands the current Prime Minister to be an amalgam of character flaws and incompetence. As to the NBN angle, movies are downloaded at the Billabong all the time. Sure, it could be faster -- and no doubt will be without Labor's gold-plated investment in technology apt to be rendered obsolete before it is fully installed. Murdoch owned a satellite TV company in the US, DirecTV, and sold it some years ago. So it is not as if he is unaware of the web's inevitable ascendency.

Instead of Sheehan's theory, could it be, do you reckon, that Murdoch is simply concerned for his Australian investments and has sent someone to discover why, just to note a couple of examples, News Limited expensively poached blonde economist Julia Jessica Irvine from Fairfax, or why some genius paid Kohler, Beecher et al $20 million-plus for that business site no one reads.

Or perhaps Murdoch wants to know why his company's Australian outpost went doggo after Andrew Bolt's scandalous conviction for exercising his right to free speech, declining to file the appeal it was morally bound to underwrite, given the company's stated opposition to crimps on the media's right to report and opine.

Kevin Rudd may well be drawing no comfort from Editor Allan's return, but the person, whoever it is, who decided Jessica Irvine was worth a huge salary and marquee billing probably has more reason to fret.  


  1. Edit required- Jessica Irvine

  2. Jessica Irvine was yet again reminding us on Sky (in a panel discussion with Joe Hockey) that she has an economics degree. The number of times she mentions her economics degree is amazing, as if it is a great rarity.
    Her articles also frequently mention her great interest in economics, her great knowledge of economics and her close ties with Treasury.
    Shame that with all this self-proclaimed expertise she almost always just recycles government media releases.

  3. Salient points you raise here, Prof. Especially as to Bolt's court case and the Silent Sam response from management.

  4. Agreed. Also quietly embarassing/cringeworthy was the line, "Allan is a man widely known inside News Corp as Col Pot, a play on the name of the Cambodian genocidal dictator", the second half of which was almost surely demanded by one of the two remaining subs who presumed Fairfax's readers so culturally and historically illiterate (for them every year is Year Zero!) that they needed their hands held through the joke.