Journos fancy themselves as realists, but Steve "We Will Get Him" Lewis is a special kind of realist: a magic realist. Check out this non-story:
TONY Abbott's new government is experiencing its first bout of internal tension with senior Liberal and Nationals' MPs openly jostling for the prized role of parliamentary speaker.No, it isn't.
There is a bit of fact about halfway down the story, where it says Bronwyn Bishop is Abbott's choice. End of story, insofar as there is one.
Bronwyn Bishop was one of Abbott's mentors. She has been practising for the Speakership since Howard dumped her from his ministry. Her niggly and often irrelevant points of order, references to Standing Orders and other folderol of parliamentary procedure were just so many auditions for a role she would never have gotten under Howard, or Costello for that matter. Press gallery
Bishop was and is deadly serious about the Speakership and Abbott will indulge her. Bruce Scott was wrong; the Speakership is absolutely within the gift of the Prime Minister. Had she wanted High Commissioner to London or something like that, Abbott would have given it to her. She wants to stick around and will probably die in office rather than go out with dignity; so Abbott will indulge her in that.
The rest of Lewis' piece is sheer bullshit:
- Scott is the guy who refused to roll over for Barnaby. He's 70 years old and is finished;
- Don Randall is a grub - if Labor are going to give Abbott a taste of his own relentlessly negative medicine inside parliament and out, and if Abbott wants to try and put that behind him, Randall is about the worst choice they could possibly make. He is consistently in the top five of Politicians Most Desperately In Need Of A Smack In The Mouth. So he's close to Julie Bishop, so what?
- Sharman Stone was a bright and capable person who was Deputy Assistant Minister for Bugger-All under Howard, and under Abbott she will scarcely go further; and
- The reference to Kevin Andrews in the passive voice shows that some figments are so weak not even Steve Lewis can make them work.
Lewis' problems with fabulism are a matter of record and he is clearly continuing unchastened down that line. Glenn Milne is now a burnt-out shell for a far lesser offence against that so-called profession. Lewis' future probably includes a few drops ("EXCLUSIVE BY STEVE LEWIS The Treasurer will announce later this morning that ...") but not much more. As if he'll ever bring down a minister in this government.
Today's press gallery is a far cry from the 1970s, where journos told anecdotes about how up-himself Whitlam is, complete with bad imitations of his vocal mannerisms and laughter at the end (similar stories abound about Rudd, without the mannerisms or the laughter). Now the press gallery has what they wanted: a Prime Minister who respects the press to a degree unparalleled since Hawke.
Howard always treated the press gallery like poisonous reptiles: his attempts to look relaxed in their company were never convincing, except that one time in 1989 where he came out with his "Lazarus with a triple bypass" comment. The press gallery hated Gillard because she disdained them, and started flirting with the social media that is dismantling the press gallery with or without official help. They came to hate Rudd, too; journalists with nothing better to do all day but bear witness to a 15-minute grab orchestrated wholly for their benefit got miffed when he was a bit late.
The press gallery should be ecstatic that their boy has been Lodged; they're not, kind of uneasy and not quite believing the situation they're in, not quite believing themselves. This will be where things get interesting.
Not for Steve Lewis, though - that gibberer will bumble along like nothing has happened, until his career finally expires and he wonders how it all came to this. Not even Col Allan can keep this crap going. Give him a Walkley or send him to prison, because Steve "We Will Get Him" Lewis' style of anti-journalism simply has no future.