Hospitals throughout the great Brisbane area are struggling to find enough beds for patients suffering from extreme shock after they read today’s print edition of The Courier-Mail that appeared to be fair to Labor and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Many victims had to be triaged on ambulance ramps and on footpaths outside emergency departments as hundreds of Courier readers presented with typical shock symptoms including very pale skins, wide-eyed, fixed stares, violent head-shaking and many muttering “Renee, Renee, how could you?”, a reference to the paper’s national political editor Renee Viellaris who wrote the front-page story.
Most of the patients crammed into hospital wards (one pictured above) were typical of The Courier-Mail‘s current print-media readership: many appeared quite elderly, some were wearing faded Liberal “Time’s Up” T-shirts from the 1975 federal election and quite a number died of old age before they could be treated.
While many of those raced to hospital were among the 1750 people in the greater Brisbane area who still have a home-delivery subscription, others took ill after reading the paper for free at the countless cafes and hole-in-the-wall coffee outlets that have suddenly appeared around the city in recent years like north Queensland cane toads after a monsoonal downpour.
Typical was Meryl Brianick, 67, who was enjoying a flat white and a $5 brekkie at Fat Boys in the Fortitude Valley mall just north of the CBD.
“It was dreadful, simply dreadful,” Meryl, a cook at Royal Brisbane Hospital and a life-long supporter of the Liberal Party once the DLP had been disbanded, told The Bug between taking deep draughts from an oxygen mask.
“Look at the heading! It uses Shorten’s first name and everything and talks about what Labor is expected to offer special interest groups such as mums. I’ve never seen such disgusting, one-sided bias like that before.
“What happened to a reasonable heading such as ‘SHORTEN STRUGGLES IN TAX CATCHUP’?”
The Bug understands the shock front page and seemingly fair treatment of Labor came about after Rupert Murdoch visited the paper’s Bowen Hills HQ in recent days and addressed senior editors from both the Courier and its sister publication, The Sunday Mail.
Without Mr Murdoch actually saying any such thing, it is understood the editors came away from that meeting with a feeling they needed to show some professional fairness and ethics and present a far more balanced coverage ahead of the looming federal election campaign.
The editors apparently decided that they’d get that out of the way as soon as possible and that it should be done today.
The Bug feels that decision would be of little comfort to all those patients, including those now deceased, who were unaware that The Courier-Mail would revert to its usual comforting and traditional form from Friday morning.