Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Putin invoked

Janet Albrechtsen today writes:

[The Finkelstein] report eschewed John Stuart Mill and embraced a Putin-style push where people on the street are treated as too dumb to be left to read newspapers without Big Brother having the power to censor what they read.

On that, Eric Campbell tweeted today: “I’ve covered Putin’s media crackdown for 13 years. It is grotesque to liken it to Australia. This debate has gone beyond stupid.”

Indeed, contrary to Albrechtsen’s febrile godwinesque rhetoric, Finkelstein proposes nothing at all like “Big Brother censorship”. Rather, it proposes a number of options with the aim of improving checks-and-balances on our media that to date, it’s been argued, have been inadequate.

Albrechtsen is free to argue that the current regime of checks-and-balances is quite adequate, hopefully citing real-world examples (that might contribute to something known as debate, Janet). But she chooses instead to jump up and down like a chicken little, hurling semi-Godwins at “them”.

Albrechtsen also observes:

Progressives talk only about fair and balanced speech, whatever that means.

It’s somewhat surprising Albrechtsen should require guidance on the meaning of “fair and balanced,” but there it is in black-and-white. It wouldn’t tax most reasonable people to assess whether a media organisation has taken all reasonable steps to ensure its coverage of serious public policy issues is fair and balanced.

No, this tract by Albrechtsen is just another contribution to the clubby News £td fortress mentality, which fancies itself the intellectual progeny of John Stuart Mill as opposed to being merely Rupert’s trained monkeys.

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