News Ltd, you’re a disgrace: Bolt claims PM is “playing the sexism” card

A failure to learn from one’s mistakes is a failure of ethics

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 Andrew.

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.

7 thoughts on “News Ltd, you’re a disgrace: Bolt claims PM is “playing the sexism” card

  1. uknowispeaksense says:

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for integrity from Andrew Bolt. His assessment of the situation is akin to that of a rapist blaming his victim for wearing a skirt. He is a shameless hack with a moral compass akin to that of said rapist.

  2. franbarlow says:

    As whiny as Blot’s post was, I’m not hearing a counter-argument from him — just a complaint that Gillard gave the Australian’s trolling the response it deserved — by calling them on it.

    There’s absolutely no doubt that profound misogyny attends their dealing with Gillard. They trade on it to lend meaning to their smears. The briefest of review of “Blotworld” shows this up. Pickering merely traded on that in his pieces — which is why Gillard on his pages can be drawn with a strap-on phallic accessory/cum baton in hand to the glee of his readers. It’s why Gillard is caricatured dressed in a two piece bikini with a large behind, pointy witch like nose, sagging protruding breasts and a bulbous paunch and swollen thighs. It’s why in the Telegraph during the 2010 election campaign she could be pictured as a homeless aged bag lady — it’s not merely being a woman that these folks despise. It’s why Gillard in The Age can be pictured as a lumbering giant — like that women in the insurance ad — stamping on things but perhaps being at risk of toppling over and causing mayhem.

    None of this stuff would work if Gillard was a male. I’m no kind of friend of the ALP or Gillard but one would need to be in complete denial to fail to see the express gender-based animus that makes their trolling possible. It is after all, along with express xenophobia, hatred of science and scientists and academics, intellectuals, jurists, public servants, of Aboriginals (especially those deemed not black enough for their liking), youth, Muslims — indeed pretty much anyone but white middle-aged conservative men working in business, only one of the many places for the RW press to go in defending the privileges of the boss class.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Thanks Fran, and yes – if Gillard was a man you wouldn’t see this.

      And if Obama wasn’t of African-American heritage, there would be no questions about his “legitimacy”. Was there not an Californian Governor – who was a movie star and professional body builder – born outside the US?

      Anyone give me a name there? You know, thick Austrian accent… where was the Birther Movement then?

      I’ve said this many times: the conservatives rage directed at Obama and Gillard has more to do with a) the fear they have lost control and the world has changed b) they are no longer the gate keepers of power and c) those once subservient are now in positions of power.

      They have a model for what legitimate holders of power should look like. You can guess what their mental picture of said “leaders” should be.

      I despise this portrayal of women. As a man, I can only have so much understanding – but as a father to a daughter and someone with four sisters (!) I believe I’ve gained some understanding of the inherent sexism that pervades parts of our culture.

      Re depictions of Gillard: they infantilize her, trade on stereotypes of “wicked” step-mothers and witches, attack her physical appearance and question her competence. They draw upon stereotypes of the “cold fish” because of her apparent calmness. Should she display emotion – any emotion – she will be accused of being “hysterical”. She is “deceitful”, again another stereotype of women who transgress traditional roles.

      Which sums up Bolt’s reaction and nasty little piece of vile – my sense of ethical revulsion is hard to describe.

      Gillard displayed calm resolution, strength, intelligence and yes even emotion in her performance (frustration and anger clearly below the surface all of which is legitimate).

      If a man put on such display as Gillard did, they would be praised for their gravitas and “statesmen like” charisma.

      And all this from a company whose owner has been found to “unift” to lead a major corporation; a company which has engaged in illegal activities; a company that has mislead the public on the Iraq War and climate change.

      A plague upon the House of Murdoch and its empire.

  3. Sou says:

    Some men like to decide what is sexist and what isn’t, especially when the sexism is directed towards women. It’s just another form of sexism: “We men know best. You women are complaining about nothing. Learn to cop it on the chin like a man!”

    Take a peek at the cartoon on this page:

  4. […] 2012/08/24: WtD: News Ltd, you’re a disgrace: Bolt claims PM is “playing the sexism&#822… […]

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