The Midday Meal

A repository for the various things i consume in the course of daily existence

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Not the only country with propagandist media...

This article was reprinted in the Age. Gurwitz's claims around mounting evidence are hard to trust, there has been that much said and so little proved its a little hard to believe these claims now. The Coalition of the Willing have cried wolf a few too many times now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Hooray! They Found Him! Now What?

So the US has found Saddam. What does this mean? Not a lot from my perspective. Its not as if the Iraqis who are unhappy with the Americans are now going to stop killing them. Its not as if the unilateral actions of the US and the effects of those actions on the attitudes of the surrounding islamic regimes.

Sure it will give the US an opportunity for a show trial, proving how noble they are removing this oppressor of the masses from the picture, great PR in an election year for both Bush and Howard. Can prove to their respective constituencies how all their efforts have been successful.

We have to hope that our new opposition has the balls to hold the line on the criticism of the way we entered the war and not allow the spin doctors (such as former Howard staffer turned commentator Gerard Henderson) to turn the capture of Hussein into proof of the achievement of the goals of the war. They should be held to the reasons they entered the conflict and not allowed to move the goal posts.

But there goes my rant for the morning...

There are happier things to talk about i am sure... maybe we can rejoice in Mark Latham giving props to the Labour Heros Chifley and Curtin, and reprising "the Light on the Hill". To paraphrase The Crystal Method let us not forget, there is hope.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Maybe I was a little hasty

The Australian did print this reply by Dawn Casey (until yesterday the head of the national museum).

Although Greg Sheridan was still talking up Rupe's big men, Johnny and George...

Friday, December 12, 2003

Late Breaking News?

It appears that the nerds are in charge.

Independent Journalism?

In my efforts to avoid burn out at the age of 30 (which i was oh so close to) i've determined to read the major daily broadsheets online each morning before starting my day. This morning I headed on down to The Australian. Now Rupert is not unknown for encouraging his editors towards taking a certain position of many issues. Mr Murdock doesn't appear to be opposed to the idea that he can use his considerable media power to influence public opinion in his (or News Limited's) best interests.

In this mornings online opinion page there were two pieces in particular which indicate which side of the two party divide Rupe's current preferrences lie. Both involve comment on the new ALP lead Mark Latham. The first written by, ex Kim Beazley chief of staff, Michael Costello is an examination of the recent rise in the polls of Latham as preferred PM. Costello dismisses any rise as a simple honeymoon, and further dismisses the supposed unity of the new ALP leadership because Mark hasn't given good enough jobs to Beazley supporters like Bob McMullen. To finish he repeats an accusation which appears frequently in the Australian's commentary about the new alternative PM, the theme of Latham's uncontrollable rage. The article smells of sour grapes, just as Costello's article before the leadership ballot was unashamedly pro Beazley (no url for this article was provided as the Australian's online archive is subscriber only)

This is the theme of an opinion peice posted yesterday by another of the Australian's regular columnist Greg Sheridan, who's opposition to Latham is severe. Three of the four columns Sheridan has posted since Latham's accension have been directly critical of Latham and his previous anti-US stance (not much of a surprise in well known yankophile Rupert's paper). Even before the ballot Sheridan expressed his support for both Rudd and Beazley in a "anyone but Latham" reflection of the "anyone but Crean" movement that undermined the previous Labour leader.

With opposition like this in Rupert's broadsheet I can only imagine the difficulty Latham may face next year from the Murdock tabloids which the battlers he's supposed to appeal to read.

Ruperts paper also appears to be taking John Winston's side in another battle with two articles in this edition pushing the Howard line over the interpretation of the national past. Howard's biographer and member of the National Museum Council David Barnett is given the opportunity to continue his public tirade against the National Museum's Leftist Bias. The history and politics surrounding the debate around our national museum in looked at in Stu MacIntyre's The History Wars, although one must remember that McIntyre's account does have a slightly pink tinge.

The second article is by Frank Devine discussing Father Frank Brennan's new book on asylum seekers. Apparently Brennan's "opinion" can be discounted simply because he has the temerity to apply Christian moral standards not just to our treatment of asylum seekers, but also to Aboriginal Australians. Apparently a priest attempting to "do good" and fullfil his social role is unacceptable to Mr Devine.

I'm not so naive as to believe that the media isn't out there pursuing its own agenda, but I guess the overwhelming bias that was evindent today surprised even this cynic.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

A revelation or a realisation?

I'm a little worried now, only the second day and all I can think to put is gossip, and gossip about people that you don't know isn't overly interesting. As I am writing for an audience (who I don't necessarily know) then any information I have is hardly going to be of great interest to my (virtual) readership. On top of this is the aims of this site as a tool to provide me an outlet for any thoughts or ideas I my have and to practise the art of expressing these. In light of this goal its seems a bit silly to aim for the level of this which fills the pages of new weekly and who magazine, I'd like to set my sights a little higher than that.

So what to talk about? Bin Laden winning in the war of terror maybe?

Or at least use the link as an excuse to see if I can make HTML work for me. I've never used it before so the whole thing is king of new and funky. If I can work this out then the side bar over to the left will become more useful to me.

Or I could examine the phenomenon of work Christmas parties. I've never felt a great need to socialise with my work colleagues. I've always figured that most people I worked with had the same attitude to employment as me. If this was the case then the only thing we really had in common was the desire to be doing anything else but work while we were at work. I have since worked out that this isn't necessarily the case. I've also discovered (within the last 24 hours) that it can be beneficial to socialise outside the office. I've never been much of a networker, yet found yesterday I had access to a great deal of information which, while not directly affecting my day to day work, has great benefits in understanding the motives and agendas at play in the environment I work in. So the question is will the benefits to my career be worth my while to encourage further activities with work collegues such as those in the aftermath of yesterdays xmas party?

My readers may like to take into account in assessing my dilemna that I like to drink and will probably do so with anybody as long as they aren't mean to me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

A number of my friends have recently started to compose on blogs. I've got the impression that there's something a little weird about taking the attitude, or the conceit this implies, that you have something to say which will be of enough interest to the rest of the web-enabled world. I still feel this way, however, as I am sure that there will not be a great amount of interest in what I have to say, I can use this as a way of entertaining myself at work and a means of keeping myself sane. I've never keep a diary before and don't expect this to amount to much, but as I'm not paying for it I figure there's not a hell of a lot to lose.