As we head into the end times for Mal Brough, let's consider how his career represents several things wider than him: machismo, keeping Aborigines "in their place", opportunity costs, and the price of loyalty. Oh, and of course, piss-poor standards of political journalism.Act I: Taking the creaseBefore first entering parliament for the electorate of Longman (now held by Wyatt Roy) in 1996, Brough had been an army officer. The press gallery singled him out for Big Things.
Articles from Politically homeless
After Paris, after Beirut and the Aeroflot Russian airline flight and ... and all the other outrages, apparently we have to burn someone. Who, and how, are the questions to be answered. At this difficult time it would be preferable to join hands in unity; but burning nobody, no way, is no longer an option. Pretending that it is an option means that you can overlook a choice "we" seem to have made but not acknowledged.
In the 1990s Laurie Oakes claimed that the "national broadcaster" was not the ABC but the commercial media outlet he worked for, Channel 9. Since then, commercial television and radio have declined in Australia. Oakes wouldn't make that claim now, or he'd be ridiculed if he did. People have other options for spending their time than watching TV or listening to the radio:
The system of mandatory detention of asylum-seekers began in 1992, when Paul Keating was PM and Labor Left inner-city Melbourne MP Gerry Hand was Immigration Minister. Since then, Labor has been in power for 10 years and the Coalition for 13.
When John Birmingham went after this blog I thought traffic would 'splode, with people piling in to see why anyone would pick on a sweet, fading light-entertainment show. Barely a ripple - this blog is experiencing pretty much its normal traffic and I thank those who’ve left comments here and elsewhere.
Like Andrew Bolt, Annabel Crabb has developed a media persona which cannot admit the possibility of anger.
The press gallery has disgraced itself yet again by falling for an old trick, which some can anticipate but none seem able to head off. This time it's failing to spot information released after 8pm on a Friday night.
Australian political journalism is abysmal.
The Liberal rightwingers who want to turn a large party into a small one have succeeded in convincing gullible broadcasters into calling them "reformers". It's an achievement for them I suppose, but it's amazing how the word "reform" acts as a verbal prophylactic on further thought.
More than most journalists, political journalists get caught up on the idea that their work is "the first draft of history". Laurie Oakes has a particularly bad case of it.