Christopher Dorner, cop turned killer, issued a manifesto that makes Ned Kelly’s letter from Jerildierie seem brief and to the point.
The actual length of Dorner’s screed is a matter of question and depends on which news source you consulted. This page at policymic says 6 pages long – and links to a copy of the manifesto at scribd which clearly shows it’s 23 pages long. Other news sources also released a censored version of the manifesto.
Officially, the censoring removed names and other personal information. However, the SooperMexican blog has identified a number of removed passages which add new depth to the picture. New and unwanted, presumably, because Dorner was embarrassingly fulsome in his praise of Piers Morgan, Hillary Clinton, and the Big O himself.
‘Obama fan on gun rampage’ doesn’t fit the approved narrative. As SooperMexican asks: Would they do this for a Tea Party shooter? Somehow I doubt it.
Until the advent of the internet the news process was a one-way street. Reporters served the news, readers consumed it. If the readers had a dissenting point of view, they were free to reply. But let’s face it, there’s never been a newspaper published that ran to sixty pages of letters to the editor and one page of crime reports.
Today’s media industry is on the ropes. They’ve been overtaken in the evolutionary process; like the dinosaurs, they’ve been left behind. And they don’t quite know how or why it’s happened.
The why part of the question is explained by the treatment of Dorner’s manifesto. Selective quoting to conceal his political leanings. Here in The Great South Land, the citizens were the last to learn that Kevin Rudd was not quite the man they thought they’d chosen as Prime Minister.
The Canberra press gallery, comfortable in their wing of parliament house, knew Kevin Rudd was mad. They knew his government was wildly spinning out of control. They traded stories among themselves; they speculated how long Rudd could keep it from falling apart.
While Kevin Rudd was prime minister journalists decided not to write about his rude and vindictive treatment of his colleagues. Journalists decided not to write about his disorganised and haphazard administrative style. And journalists decided not to write about the fact that Rudd was widely hated by Labor MPs.
Even if you’re not a local, I recommend you follow the link to read the full article. As John Roskam and James Paterson describe the scene, one can imagine the press gallery laying bets on the length of Rudd’s tenure.
Old media finds New media deplorable, and still largely doesn’t understand the part it has itself played in the rise of the New. The blogosphere gives a voice to anyone who has something to say. It doesn’t guarantee intelligent coherent comment – but working for a great metropolitan newspaper (or even a humble suburban one) never guaranteed that either. The blogs have replaced the old Speakers Corner where everyone is free to speak, and to listen – or walk away.
The Old media are being walked away from, in large numbers. And they don’t like it.
Journalists are frequently self-admiring. Under the cloud of editorial pressure and interference from the proprietor they must somehow deliver the truth to a waiting world. But they worry that they’re not unconsciously self-censoring to avoid trouble. The first name usually mentioned in this context is that of Rupert Murdoch; lately, with her bids for Fairfax, mining magnate Gina Rinehart has also been thus branded. Let’s return to the quote from the IPA article. Imagine that Rupert passed word down to his editors that Mr Rudd’s idiosyncratic behaviour was a personal matter and, strictly speaking, not newsworthy. You’d expect a vehement outcry of resistance. Murdoch would have been tagged a media tyrant and accused of imposing censorship. And yet the Canberra press gallery withheld what they knew about Rudd’s dark side without a skerrick of conscience. Almost gleefully they chortled over the dirty secret they shared.
To paraphrase SooperMexican: Would they do this for Tony Abbott? I doubt it.
The blog has turned the news process into a two way street. Journalists who are not prepared to be called out on their work will find a hard road ahead. Most of the media per se leans left in this country – Gore Vidal said that journalism attracts ambitious but lazy second-raters; Mr Vidal was being kind perhaps in omitting to mention the third-. fourth- and fifth-raters – and a good number of Australia’s senior journos are children of the 60s and early 70s. They still fancy themselves as dashing young rebels, seeing further and deeper than the plebs thanks to a few years at university. Fearlessly they critique the power elite, the Establishment. But they’ve been the Establishment for the last twenty years and then some. They’re outsiders on an insider’s wage.
Host and occasional referee at Die, Fluffy Wuffy, Die!, Matt Hayden, has written about the declining audience for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. This is no surprise; the ABC embodies the calcified mindset of mainstream media, both here in Australia and elsewhere. The rebellious energy that produced offbeat programs like The Aunty Jack Show has shrivelled into a broadscale contempt for anything that smacks of conservatism.
Religion is naturally in the sights of the leftoid power bloc. But some religions draw more fire than others.
The Catholic Church has become Public Enemy #1 in the fight against sexual abuse of children. As Joe Dolce explains in his excellent essay in Quadrant, the problem of sexual abuse against children embraces the entire community, not just old Father O’Callaghan. In fact, Catholic priests comprise only a small proportion of offenders:
The three major insurance companies for Protestant churches in America say they typically receive 260 reports each year (thirty-two more than in Catholic churches) of minors being sexually abused by Protestant clergy, staff, or other church-related relationships.
Why are the Protestants given the easy ride? Well, Catholics have that big ol’ palace in Rome. And heaps of pagaentry. What’s a bunch of dour Prod greybeards against all that colour and spectacle?
Still the local media prefer to omit the wide scope of the inquiry. To them, it’s all about dirty Mick kiddy-fiddlers.
Contrary to popular media stories and gossip, the commission’s inquiry has been extended to Protestant churches and religious institutions of every creed, all state-based organisations, public and private schools, non-profit groups, scouts, sporting clubs and community groups. Yet the media publicity surrounding the announcement has focused, once again, ruthlessly on the Catholic Church.
Again, I recommend you follow the link and read the essay in full.
The Old media, mendacious and selective, is losing its audience because it has lost its credibility. The blog and the internet have gained credibility because their information tallies with what the readers see in the world around them.
The princes and princesses of the Old media, meanwhile, stare into the mirror.