Cartoon: Media control is not a new idea in Australia; here is Pickering’s take on the Whitlam regimes attempt at it in the 70s.Anyone who frequents the news in this country over the last couple of years could be forgiven for thinking that the fascist Gillard government is made up of a group of compulsive liars. This according to the Finkelstein Inquiry is due to the unhealthy tendency of the press to concentrate our attention on such things as the dishonest claim that there would be no carbon tax under a Gillard government.
Small matters such as the broken promise to Andrew Wilkie over poker machine reform, that gained his support to form a government in the first place, and her denial of an offer being made to Bob Carr of a Senate seat and the Foreign Affairs Portfolio, followed by her appointment of Bob to the Senate vacancy and the Foreign Affairs Portfolio.
There is also the issue of the press making the government look incompetent. If the media had not mentioned the disastrous mistakes of the pink bats scandal, the burning down of homes and the killing of workers under a government stimulus scheme, the failure of the BER scheme, the government might look better. The fact that the scheme to provide set top boxes for televisions cost more than ten times per unit what the private sector could do it for, has also been unhelpful.
There is also the issue of the way ‘shock jocks’ pick on individuals. For example, that bastard Andrew Bolt has been making climate guru Tim Flannery look like a complete idiot just because every dire prediction he has made has been proven wrong. Cartoonists also make real pricks of themselves:
Cartoon: Typical example of unfair cartoonistic criticism of Flannery’s penchant for screwing up.
Anyway the Finkelstein Inquiry, (wasn’t there a bawdy song about a Mr Finklestein) is putting a stop to this with a recommendation that the news including blogs are to be regulated, so that the public will not be pestered with information that causes them to lose confidence in the ruling class here:
A TAXPAYER-funded watchdog should regulate all of Australia's news and current affairs across all media, an inquiry has urged. The Independent Media Inquiry wants a statutory watchdog to set standards and handle complaints involving all print, radio, television and online platforms. The controversial measures were detailed in the inquiry's report, released by the Federal Government. …Greens leader Bob Brown is for it, claiming that it will improve media regulation. He has welcomed the report and urged the government to take action to establish the proposed News Media Council to regulate news across all mediums:
Inquiry chairman Ray Finkelstein, QC, said existing mechanisms regulating the media were not sufficient to deal with accountability in all news and current affairs platforms. He singled out the Australian Press Council, which handles public complaints and monitors the professional standards of its print medium members.
“I think we have an inadequate system of serving the public interest in truth,” he said. Senator Brown said it was important to ensure the new body was set-up as a statutory entity as recommended by Mr Finklestein because it would see Australia “catch up with other countries.”By the sound of that, the other countries he wishes to “catch up with,” are North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Syria, and their counterparts.
He also said the parliament should review the performance of the regulator in future and was open to changing its rules via legislation if necessary. “We’re a democracy and parliament is here to change rules if it wishes,” he said.