Yesterday the Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave a masterful performance in front of the media, tackling head on every question and incidence of innuendo about her past generated by the likes of Larry Pickering and The Australian.
So appalling was The Australian’s behaviour they were forced to make two apologies through gritted teeth.
But today, News Ltd has decided it was all the PMs fault – really if only “she had answered the questions“.
No pause to reflect on their actions – no reflection on journalistic ethics.
It’s right back to the smear campaign, albeit with a different twist.
Their line of attack?
It’s all “Julia’s” fault.
She has broken trust in not answering the smear campaign of Mitchell’s merry band of hacks.
The putting aside of ethics, their cluelessness and the sheer intellectual bankruptcy of Chris Mitchell and his “journalists” (and I use the term every so loosely) at that “newspaper” (actually it’s not a newspaper, it’s a piece of agitprop) is beyond belief.
Indeed, the campaign of hate has gone beyond sanity – beyond any conventional sense of decency.
These men – all white, conservative, affluent and in positions of power – are filled with a rage, hatred and a world view at odds with community standards.
Further evidence of this rage – a blog piece from resident climate change denier and bully boy Andrew Bolt who argues it was “clever” to make The Australian “look like the bully”:
It was masterly how she made the most insignificant error in a minor colour story in The Australian seem a massive error which discredited weeks and many pages of meticulously accurate coverage.
It was terrific how she made out the controversy started with the utterly scurrilous blog of Larry Pickering, with a base media just recycling his smelly wares, when serious journalists, politicians, lawyers and unionists have raised serious questions about this for a long time.
It was effective, albeit a little desperate, to play the sexism card, portraying the criticism of her as misogynist and sexist – and then to play the woman betrayed. Sensational, and you can see how that will dovetail into an attack on Tony Abbott.
Again, it was clever tactically to make The Australian a villain, to fit in with the wicked Murdoch media narrative to rally the Left. Never mind that 2UE, 3AW, the Financial Review and, belatedly, Sydney Morning Herald were also demanding answers from her.
And it was a masterstroke to spring the press conference on journalists who thought they were there for an announcement on the new refugee intake, and then stand there until the questions from the largely unprepared petered out in the only opportunity Gillard says she’ll ever give them.
I salute John McTernan, Gillard media director. A masterpiece.
The ugliness of the perpetrator blaming the victim shows not only a lack of empathy, but a failure of journalistic ethics.
Bolt then lets the gaggle of misogynistic forum posters sink the boot in further: I hope every student of journalism reads this blog post and studies it as an example of character asassination.
That’s right Andrew – when women “play” the sexism card it is for personal advantage – men are the poor victims.
Poor misunderstood hacks at The Australian – see, they’re really just honest, plain speaking truth tellers picked upon by lefties, greens, women, refugee advocates, scientists, academics and anyone with a sense of right and wrong.
Can’t people see the men of News Ltd are simply hard-working chaps, who make the occasional mistake?
Are there not women who work at News Ltd?
What do they make of this overt and ugly sexism?
There are two words for such behaviour: cowardly and immoral.
I’m not the biggest fan of the current Labor government – I take issue with many of their policies, lack of vision and continued support for the fossil fuel lobby.
Indeed I’ve been harsh in my criticism at times.
But there comes a time when one has to put politics aside and act with integrity.
News Ltd, you’re a disgrace.