Australia: pack-attack and group-think vs free speech

A perfect day in Conroyland

Make no mistake. These media “reforms”, to use the term both loosely and wrongly, have nothing to do with ensuring higher standards of media conduct and greater diversity of views. They are about one thing and one thing only – spite.


Is Australia’s journaillie too dumb to realize what Conroy’s legislation will mean to them?

Andrew Bolt:


Laws to punish the media will put this country in a dangerous place

To now hear the journaillie crying for their muzzle is terrifying.

IT’S shocking enough the Gillard Government tries to muzzle journalists. Worse is that journalists cheer it on.  (full post below the fold)

Three cheers for Piers

Bravo, Piers Akerman, for angrily challenging the three snickering and sneering members of the journalist collective on the set of Insiders to fight for free speech. There was some noisy spinning of wheels in reverse after that justifiably furious outburst, but too little and too late.

Journalists panting for their muzzle.

And what also disgusts me – that pack-attack and group-think mentality which makes so much of Australia’s media so intellectually lazy, complacent and incurious, and so prey to fashionable enthusiasms such as global warming. So Malcolm laughs at Piers as Karen laughs even harder, while glancing over to Barrie to check he’s laughing, too.

More on this issue in the Herald Sun tomorrow.


Reader Linda:

I just watched Insiders on TV and it occurred to me, that those journalists would be apoplectic if a Liberal Party had introduced this bill.They’re just sycophants.


What’s race got to do with it, anyhow?
  • Tough new penalties wanted for racial spite ; The broadcaster Alan Jones could have been jailed for up to three years for labelling Lebanese Muslims ”vermin” and ”mongrels” who ”rape and pillage”, under a proposed overhaul of NSW racial vilification laws

Reader Linda:


I just watched Insiders on TV and it occurred to me, that those journalists would be apoplectic if a Liberal Party had introduced this bill.They’re just sycophants.

Reader Seedy:

Piers showed the passion that every advocate of freedom should show. Funnily enough the 3 govt scriptwriters on the panel thought the proposed legislation was flawed yet were willing to compromise their profession. Shame on them. Well done Piers, you showed us their true colours – weak kneed apologists.

Reader Bile:

Piers was inspirational this morning on the Insiders. He tore in the other 3 clowns for their laughing. What, are they too dumb to realize what Conroy’s legislation will mean to them? Or are they too much in Labor’s pocket to protest against the attack on their freedom (of the press). Let us all be inspired by Piers’ deeds and be as strong in condemning Conroy’s legislation.


Reader Lee:

Even knowing of the predominantly left-leaning bias of the Insiders guests (plus host), I was appalled at the sniggering, sarcastic interruptions to the legitimate opinion put forward by Piers Akerman. Barrie Cassidy, Karen Middleton and Malcolm Farr, being journalists, should hang their heads in shame at their brazen attempts to muzzle and denigrate other points of view. An unfortunate new low for the taxpayer-funded ABC, but perhaps a reflection of the presenters’ recognition of the chaos that is the Gillard Government.

Reader Lisle:

What does one say when you see such an inspirational performance from Piers on Insiders this morning? It just illustrates how naive and laid back Australians have become to believe that this attack on our freedom of speech is okay. It is not, and all just to get News Limited because they have highlighted the failings of this government. I didn’t notice their shouting in 2007 when the media backed Kevin Rudd.My sister commented to me yesterday that it reminds her of Chifley’s intention to nationalise the banks in 1949.Let us all be inspired by Piers.


Reader Liz:

It was a shocker! And then Farr says at the end of the programme congratulations to Barrie Cassidy about some award he had won.Another award for the groupthink set.

Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:

AB, I think Farr has the most to answer for: after all, the proposed print media reforms don’t touch the the other two. While Barrie and Karen should have to wear the shame of their efforts this morning forevermore, Farr should retire immediately. If he’s so lost to the Left that he can’t bring himself to defend his own freedom, then clearly the time has come for him to give the game away. 


Another Insiders panellist begs for a muzzle:


But what Mike Seccombe also does is:

A: misrepresent Piers’ argument, thereby committing the sin he claims we need new laws to stop.

B: suggest this really is the Gillard Government using state power to attack a single media group, a misuses of state power to which he does not object.

You wonder why some cultured countries, or at least their elites, once permitted a slide into totalitarianism, or, indeed, actually cheered it on.


No, this isn’t a totalitarian country. But the first lurches towards a control of the free press are meeting an astonishing lack of resistance from those who should care most.


Yet another journalist calling for the muzzle:


What a gross misrepresentation of what Piers, said, with free slander thrown in.

But where is Bongiorno’s own accountability? What will it take for him to finally correct and apologise for this astonishing misrepresentation he perpetrated on ABC Radio National’sBreakfast?:


Of course we do know [Tony Abbott] stoutly defended [immigration spokesman] Scott Morrison, who thought that asylum seekers who are on bridging visas should be tagged the same way as sex offenders.

As I pointed out at the time:

Morrison said or suggested no such thing. The closest anyone in the Opposition came to saying anything of the kind was Opposition frontbencher Eric Abetz – who actually rejected a suggestion, put to him by a journalist, that asylum seekers be put on a register like sex offenders. No mention of tagging at all.

Bongiorno has ascribed to Morrison a view not expressed by him or any other Liberal, and done so on the basis of a misquote of someone else.

Bongiorno never corrected, never apologised. Should a new (Liberal-appointed) media supercop force him to?


Professor Sinclair Davidson:

Piers’ finest moment

Reader Ringo:

Andrew, for further stupidity, see Farr’s ridiculous tweeting after the show in which he completely twists what Piers was actually saying. And yes, cheered on by the usual subjects.

To now hear even journalists crying for their muzzle is terrifying:

Even ministers privately believe what seems obvious: media laws proposed by the Government are revenge on its critics, especially News Ltd newspapers like this one.

Hear it from Fairfax’s Peter Hartcher, who’s spoken to more ministers than’ll speak to me.

Reports Hartcher: “Labor’s leaders wanted to punish enemies – the Murdoch empire – … as they head for the exit, runs the theory held by some senior ministers.”

Asked for examples of media sins that need taming, Communications Minister Steve Conroy gave the ABC just two – both involving journalists criticising the Government.

Of course, the proper reaction to a government using state power thus should be horror. How dare it act like some tinpot tyranny, telling us what we may read or write?

Have your say: Blog with Andrew Bolt

But check the reaction when Sydney’s Daily Telegraph made that point in a brilliant front page lampooning Conroy, picturing him alongside Stalin, Mao, and Mugabe.

This was legitimate mocking of an astonishingly arrogant politician planning to appoint a government commissar to monitor media standards and strip legal protections from journalists who refuse to recognise its authority.

Yet some senior journalists treated it as exactly the reporting Conroy’s law was not only meant to stamp out, but perhaps should.

Take Leigh Sales, the ABC’s 7.30 presenter, who attacked News’ editorial director, Campbell Reid.

Sales: You can be provocative and interesting; you just can’t be blatantly unfair. Aren’t you doing all of us in the media a disservice by running something like this, because it gives critics an opportunity to say, “Well, there you go. That’s why the media needs more oversight”?

Reid: So, so, under provocation, the media has to be very quietly, oh, please don’t offend that nice Mr Conroy?

Sales: Well, I think fairness and impartiality are a pretty good standard.

Sales seemed to be seriously arguing the Telegraph should not have run its front page for fear of justifying laws meant to stop exactly this kind of reporting.

Never have calls for the criminalising or punishment of opinions been so loud. To now hear even journalists crying for their muzzle is terrifying

That’s called a pre-emptive cringe. Or gutless. Note the assumption the page was “unfair” and, therefore, inviting censorship.

By that standard, I’d ban half the ABC coverage, not least on global warming, were I as authoritarian as Labor.

Here is Barrie Cassidy, of the ABC’s Insiders: “I think (News) played into (the Government’s) hands … because the Telegraph … probably is supporting the Government’s argument in their hysterical and silly way that they’ve responded.”

A front page satirising the Government “probably is supporting the Government’s argument” for more control of media?

Versions of this dangerous argument are run only by the Left.

Here’s the Sydney Morning Herald’s Richard Ackland, fierce in the defence of free speech for all but conservatives: “The shrill coverage from News Ltd papers in particular leads to the suspicion that Senator Conroy can’t be far wrong with his tiny package of media reforms.”

That’s mad. How can complaining about the loss of free speech prove you’re not losing it? More importantly, note Ackland’s claim this “shrill coverage” justifies the controls about to be imposed.

WALK silently to your execution. Don’t cry out or you’ll be shot, and deserve it.

Conroy, himself, betrayed his controlling instincts when asked about that front page: “Whether or not it’s breached any laws or any standards, ah, it certainly breaches a bad-taste standard. Whether it breaches others, I’d have to take advice and have a look.”

Consider: Reports critical of the Government are now checked by it for breaches of standards on how we may express ourselves, standards Conroy now wants overseen by a commissar he appoints.

Let me put the issue in a way journalists of the Left may understand. People: How would you feel about this new media commissar if that person was … me?

Defend the principle, not the side. Defend free speech, even from your friends.

This country is in a dangerous place. Never have calls for the criminalising or punishment of opinions been so loud.

To now hear even journalists crying for their muzzle is terrifying.

5 thoughts on “Australia: pack-attack and group-think vs free speech”

  1. The quislings are eagerly implementing the OIC’s sharia laws by stealth. Why are they so keen to introduce these treasonous criminal punishments on people who merely appear spiteful or post critical imformation.
    If they (anti-disrimination commission and others) continue trying “to keep the cork in the bottle” by these means they are guaranteeing civil war.
    It stinks and will lead to misery.

  2. Laws against slander already exist, but they depend on actual damages needing to be proven, AFTER they occur, & one has the defense of Truth.

    Adding an oversite committee of appointed bureaucrats answerable to the opinionated stance of political parties is a form of “pre-emptively defensive” victim-blaming slander in itself: the false notion that “Because you COULD say something wrong, SO you WILL say something “wrong” SO we must now stop you in advance from doing so!”

    (Slander = pre-judice)!

    1. The Mohammedan understanding of slander, talebearing or blasphemy is much more far reaching than ours. It forbids anything said that a soldier of allah may dislike.

      Winston Churchill said, ‘a free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize, it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny’.

      By rejecting statutory regulation but being in favour of a royal charter David Cameron has instituted a muzzling of the press which he calls ‘defending free press principles’

  3. These journalists calling for censorship are going to get a shock when their darling Muslims impose a ban on pornography. I seem to remember the Left getting very huffy about freedom when it came to pornography!

  4. @Uncle Vladdi

    Why stop there?

    Why not just fulfill the Left’s wet dream and go further to control our thoughts.

    Roll on the ‘re-education’ camps.

Comments are closed.