22 October 2006

The unexamined story is not worth publishing

This is not a vision for Australia. This is a Beazley press release with a journalist's name at the top (and wouldn't you know it, that journalist is Jason Koutsoukis).

In the attached "Kim Beazley's Top 10":

  • points 1, 4 and 7 are utter wank. Ten years in Opposition and that's the best they can come up with?

  • point 2 is likely to be bullshit, and point 8 definitely is. There is no way any politician would honour those promises.So the SBS board will still be sacked with failed preselection candidates and jaded staffers looking for a change of scene? Where are the experts in new mobile multimedia technologies?

  • point 3: OK, so it's too early for details. How about some pilot programs in the Labor states you can point to as an indication of what you mean?

  • point 6: with a privatised Telstra, how are you going to do that? By asking Trujillo if he'll dig into his bonus? By asking the owneers of the next two biggest telcos, the governments of Singapore and New Zealand?

  • point 9: so, Howard's going to halve the number of national media networks, and Labor are going to give back an extra one (which they'll give to someone who'll say nice things about Labor)? What about an actual departure from Howard's frame of thinking? No exploration of new technologies? "We're going to look at the diversity issue, put all those issues into the pot, look at how all this operates … and then arrive at a conclusion." Oh, please. How long has this man been in politics? A serious journalist would have shredded that mealy-mouthed nonsense. Not good enough!

  • point 10: Sounds good but how does it fit with an overall vision of making Australia and Australians safe?

If ever a politician ought not to be taken on trust it's Kim Beazley. When you interview a politician Jason, think about what politicians generally and Beazley in particular have done, and ask some questions.

The fact that a politician has put out a press release is not a story. It's not even a reason for a story. If Jason Koutsoukis wants a job as a Beazley government press sec, he should not be using Opinion pieces in The Age as mortar for his castles in the air.

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