My predictions are always much better than those by the prophets of doom professors Ehrlich or Flannery which of course is nothing much to be proud of. It would be hard to find somebody with worse record than those two. I hereby predict the death of The Australian.
The Bulletin (1880 – 2008) went under just when I was finishing my letter to them expressing in my usual clumsy and illiterate way my disappointment over the depths they slid to. What a waste of helpful suggestions! But if I was able retrieve it from my prematurely softened hard drive, I could possibly dust it off and send to His Honour The Editor of The Australian. It would probably came too late and in any case, he only ever published my most insipid letters, those likely to challenge neither his IQ nor his ego.
When one buys a newspaper, i.e. paper, if for nothing else, it is useful for wrapping fish and chips or polishing windows. Having no need for either, the last time I bought The Australian was in December 1999 (or was it 1993?). I believe I am not an exception. Comes the internet and apparently some people read The Australian that way. From time to time I had done so too. Now Messrs Murdoch, Murdoch et all decided they are not getting enough money from advertisements and that the internet readers ought to pay. “Charging for the content” in the current parlance. The idea in principle is unobjectionable. But what for exactly are we, the occasional and not easily pleased readers expected to pay? For the „news“ copied from other sources, more often than not adulterated by the B level journalism commentary? Or for the “opinions”? The Australian keeps a stable (I am too polite to call it a hen-house, as Bjelke Petersen would) of so called opinion writers who are, oh so predictable. The ones perhaps worth reading could be counted on the fingers of one hand (somehow the four fingers tequila is at the back of my mind), the honourable exceptions being Janet Albrechtsen and Greg Sheridan. With all due respect I cannot imagine anyone possessed of sound mind paying for the other, painfully obvious and intellectually feeble opinions.
People are deluding themselves if they believe that the Murdoch enterprise is interested in anything but making more money. Freedom of expression? How can we profit? That they at the moment appear slightly conservative is entirely coincidental; it is so simply because all the other media organisations turned to the extreme left. Appointing a husband of Whitlam*’s daughter as the head of Newscorp Limited does not bode well.
Influencing public, making enemies, forming public opinion and all that is fine, if you have a stomach for it, but should we, the benighted “punters”** pay for that? The newspapers as we remembered them or read about in history books are being replaced by special interests propaganda sheets, such as The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald but who is noticing? And who cares? As The Australian dumbed down the “content” in order to attract advertisers, it created the herd of docile consumers, not a class of clear thinking readers.
Well, go and … influence yourself, The Australian (1964 – ?). You won’t be missed. The Bulletin? What Bulletin?
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*/ ALP lawyer and until the blight of Julia Gillard the most disastrous Prime Minister Australia ever had.
**/ perhaps you noticed they do not dare to provoke by calling us “citizens” . The famous battle-cry “Aux armes,Citoyens” must be frightening them.