The first was Jason Wilson's description of Abbott and the way he is reported. Journalists will stop at Wilson's description of what a weirdo Abbott is, and stop short of considering their own role in persuading a sceptical public that whatever you didn't like about Gillard/Rudd, Abbott was the better choice. In a country where most people were biased against Abbott, and had those biases reaffirmed since September 2013, what even does it mean to be 'balanced' in covering Abbott? What does it mean to note that he did something that attracted criticism when you can't assess or even distinguish different types of criticism? Wilson has written a cut-out-and-keep article on traditional media failure, well worth reading right now. See you when you get back.
The other masterful piece of commentary today came from Peter Greste, in his address to the National Press Club. He was effusive in praising Julie Bishop for her work, and that of the Department of Foreign Affairs, in gaining his release from prison in Egypt. His warm thanks of others, and detailed explanations of their tireless behind-the-scenes work, truly shows the benefits of living a generous life and receiving generosity in turn. Toward the end of the speech he effectively rounded on Bishop and the government: Greste criticised data collection for its impact on journalism, and successive cutbacks (by all recent governments, and by traditional media) of Australia's engagement with the modern world.
Strangely, the NPC's fearless camera put Bishop out of shot at the point where the government and the media copped some well-earned stick. The questions from journalists were inane, as they usually are at such events. One
It will be interesting to see how traditional media report that speech. They'll be all over the Bishop-praise, and Peter Hartcher lapped up that twaddle about journalists being cantankerous and competitive. They are unlikely to report that speech for the boomerang that it was, whirring off forcefully at the start only to smack them in the backs of their heads at the end. But hey, maybe this time will be different.