there was a flurry of media interest. There is plenty of verbal stoushing but not a lot of physical violence involved in Australian politics. Nevertheless the Premier was allegedly attacked with a rolled up magazine. The police were called in. Someone was arrested and the saga has limped along in the media ever since - until the Clintonesque type sex-in-the-office allegations began to surface and the Clintonesque type denials were made.
I am bored with the whole affair but it does raise some interesting questions about politics and the media.
Journalists, like everyone else, have political views. One of the thngs that can lead people into journalism are strong views about issues. That is a problem. It means the rest of us are getting views, not news.
I think it would be fair to say that, recently, our media has been more about views than news. Our Premier was once a journalist himself. (This may go some way to proving my point about views not news.) He knows how the media works. He knows how to control the slippery slime that pretends to be steel hard facts. The Premier has been working this slime for nine years with barely a slip until now. It means we have not had an effective opposition.
The same thing is occurring in Federal politics, although the tactic there is a little different. If you want to be part of the Parliamentary Press Gallery then you will learn the approved lines and deliver them. The Prime Minister does not tolerate dissent or criticism but appears to allow a little of both - in order to avoid them. He has line-walking down to a fine art. He is, after all, the world's greatest diplomat. He is going to single handedly save the world by presenting the Australian government's ETS (emissions trading scheme) to everyone in Copenhagen. That Copenhagen's climate change negotiations conference is really about raising money in order to keep an effectively bankrupt United Nations from completely collapsing is another story altogether - not one we are allowed to know about.
I wonder where the media is headed. I wonder where freedom of speech is headed. Perhaps that is why blogging is important. There must be blogs out there that will tell me things. I just have to find them.