Caught in its own trap

Comment by Barry Tucker                    22 June, 2013

Melbourne’s The Age sprung its trap today and neatly caught itself.

In an editorial calling for the Labor Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to stand aside “For the sake of the nation”, because her message is not getting through, The Age revealed itself to be a perfect waste of perfectly good newsprint, and megabytes.

The Age is well aware of the reason why Labor’s message is not getting across: The Age, along with the rest of the mainstream news media, is not allowing Labor’s message to get through.

The MSM, including the supposedly impartial taxpayer funded ABC, chooses to focus on leadership rumours instead of examining the policies of Labor AND the federal Liberal National Party Coalition. The Coalition HAS released policies, and so have five minor parties that I can quickly think of. It’s only the lazy people and those who don’t want to discuss them that can’t find them.

Read The Age editorial, if you want to.

Read Mike Carlton, SMH.com.au, who added to the Social Media outrage by also calling on the PM to throw in the towel.

Read what the very frank, forthright and astute blogger Victoria Rollison has to say about The Age and its editorial.

Read what blogger Michelle had to say about ABC 7.30’s focus on leadership instead of relative policies.

Read former federal Liberal minister, now political commentator Amanda Vanstone on the Prime Minister’s mistakes.

UPDATE, 23 June:

Because of angry public reaction to The Age editorial, the newspaper had to justify its position today.

The Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Holden, appeared in a video interview in the Political section of The Sunday Age, which was reported on by Urban Affairs Reporter Leesha McKenny.

Mr Holden said in the past The Age had advocated that Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Liberal Prime Minister John Howard should stand down.

He said the decision to urge Prime Minister Gillard to stand down was taken because a Nielsen opinion poll indicated the public had stopped listening to her. This meant the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, would not be seriously challenged during the election campaign debate.

My take: Prime Minister Gillard has demonstrated during Parliamentary debates, Question Time and in public appearances that she is in touch with policy to a degree that is extraordinary. I cannot think of any member of the federal government who would be more capable in debating Mr Abbott.

I think the Conservatives and their supporters are more afraid of exposing Tony Abbott to a head-on policy debate with the Prime Minister than anything else. Perhaps that is why they are so keen for her to stand down.

One blogger, Kate Ahearn (@KateAhearne) has responded to The Age editorial by setting up a petition designed to go to all Australian news media outlets. 

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