Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wikipissing in the Murdoch media

For all its trilling about the “irresponsible” publication of “sensitive” documents by Wikileaks, it has to be said that the Murdoch media doesn’t hesitate to use those documents to serve its own ‘editorial’ purposes.

For instance, while Andrew Bolt — our own Doctor Easychair — has not been shy about condemning  Wikileaks and its chief Julian Assange, he’s been equally quick to expropriate Wikileaks material when it supports his views on perennial hate-object Kevin Rudd.

So too with an unattributed op-ed piece today in The Australian, which takes the leaked cables about Rudd as vindicating — and indeed confirming the rectitude of — the paper’s long-time critical stance against the former Rudd Government.

The narrative of Mr Rudd’s chaotic government would be familiar to readers of The Australian, which began reporting on the emerging problems of the Rudd administration in mid-2008. Our sources, named and un-named, included senior public servants, politicians and diplomats. More than five months after the caucus revolt that brought an end to a regime Mr Rudd’s deputy argued had lost its way, these facts were finally reported yesterday on the front pages of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, which gleaned its information from US diplomatic cables dropped by WikiLeaks.

Though not wholly unexpected, it’s unfortunate that the writer of this piece has conflated purported “facts” with what are, after all, opinions based on subjective assessments.

Whether the assessments are those of “sources, named and un-named,” or of hapless de-cloaked US diplomats — and whether one agrees or disagrees with those assessments — they remain as opinions, not facts. Not withstanding that assessments and opinions, when repeated often and loudly enough, can reify to become factoids.

For my own assessment of The Oz’s self-serving and self-aggrandising piece here, I can only conclude the paper has enlisted our friend Doctor Easychair to help write its op-eds.

As for our good Doctor, one might wonder whether he’s half-expecting a smoking-gun revelation that “Kevin Rudd gave aid to Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe” in the next tranche of Wikileaks.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope Obama can handle WL Change?

We NEED transparency for our global society that we created an cannot control.To many crises.
We'd never gone to Iraq if we read the cables first?

Redesign democracy now. It's E-government, not E-commerce tat changes our world (stupid!).
How can a few wise leaders alone solve complex global issues pending ?
Come on free press, write about the roadmap to E-power-democracy-morevote!

9/12/10 10:14 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Oz did, it turns out, continue *private* diplomacy as per normal with Indonesia.

Seems that killing Oz journalists is really, really bad, and really, really awful when speaking publicly. When speaking privately, not so much.

19/12/10 11:16 AM  

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