Michelle Grattan's piece in the Age today is not only disingenuous but even perhaps a tad hypocritical, reporting today from well up in the high moral ground that the Federal Labor MPs all have cheat sheets, media questions, for the answering of.
Because as if the very best efforts of Craig Thomson were not enough to bring the party crashing down around his ears and usher in the era of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who if he falls over will be replaced by Prime Minister Julie Bishop, some unidentified (a) total doofus or (b) rat in the ranks (tick one) has left his or her notes lying around on a chair where, of course, the meeja just happened by and picked them up.
Whether it was done by accident or design, you can only imagine what Julia Gillard is thinking this morning. When you've been forced by circumstance to make a fateful lose-lose decision about leading your party, fought an election, exercised your stunning negotiating skills to form government, kept it all together for over a year despite some truly frightful attempts to oust you, and made a few appalling mistakes all by yourself, who needs a rabid, grubby Opposition, a hostile media, a big smear of misogyny right across the national board (Opposition, media, electorate, one's own party, you name it) when you've got one f*ckwit who can't keep either his credit card or the other thing in his pants, and now another who is too absent-minded, or treacherous*, to avoid leaving this kind of thing lying around?
But here's the thing. Of course they've got a bloody cheat sheet. No sensible person who has anything at all to do with media questions would be without one. Because most, not all but most, journalists in our country in its current incarnation seem to think that journalism is about nagging, needling, asking hostile, mindless gotcha questions (50 extra points if you make someone cry or lose his/her temper) and then putting as sensational a spin as possible on whatever the answer was in order to sell more papers. Even Michelle Grattan, who used to be the gold standard.
Or about taking some perfectly ordinary fact, like, say, that MPs have had media training and have paid attention to the advice they were given, and blowing it up with the rhetorical equivalent of a few acronyms and punctuation marks, as here, where the invisible OMGs and exclamation marks are thick on the ground. Get real, Michelle. If the media were doing a good job of reporting neutrally and truthfully on the facts, just the facts, about the way the country's actually being run, people wouldn't nead cheat sheets to help with the Augean-stables task of resisting being tormented and misrepresented by the ladies and gentlemen of the press. As it is, WTF do you expect?
*I'm going with 'treacherous'. You don't 'inadvertently' leave your notes 'on an Opposition seat in Parliament'.
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