Has the SMH’s Bevan Shields joined that elite group of Australian journalists whose more accurate job description would be LNP public relations officer?
The Bug hopes not but the signs are not good for Shields, pictured above outside his workplace.
Yes, we can now report our suspicions that the rupeatrophication of Bevan Shields’ brain might sadly now be complete. Sorry to use technical terms that maybe only those in the craft know.
Rupeatrophy of a reporter’s thinking processes occurs when the leftside of their brain withers away and the reporter or columnist automatically starts to write down or say what they believe their employer wants them to write down or say.
Astute Bug readers would already know that, seeing almost the entire Australian media landscape is now ruled by right-wing ratbags living here or in New York, rupeatrophy is generally diagnosed fairly simply by one major symptom: a large and savage shift in thinking to the right.
Brain scans of journos with rupeatrophied brains generally reveal extensive veillariscaring of the brain tissue. Sorry for another piece of industry jargon but that’s its technical term.
Sometimes the victims of rupeatrophy actually support their employer’s political views but more often than not it’s because jobs in the industry are now scarcer than a logical statement in a Janet Albrechtsen article.
For that reason, there is often more sorrow and pity for rupeatrophied scribes within the industry than anger or disgust.
What amazes The Bug about Shields’ new status is that a large body of work has not been needed for his suspected yet worthy elevation to this group.
Indeed, while some of his yarns have garnered dark mutterings from social mediocre critics over time, The Bug until recently believed Shields was only showing symptoms of costelloitis of the brain, a painful precursor to full-blown rupeatrophy.
Costelloitis has become more common since Nine Entertainment took over the Fairfax mastheads that included the SMH, The Age and Australian Financial Review.
But The Bug now believes full rupeatrophy has indeed settled into Shields’ grey matter, and it’s not because of any particular newspaper article that Shields thought he got just Right, but in fact just one tweet from a few days back (below).
Shields felt the need to slam as a “gross simplification” a Tweeter’s summary of a Guardian Australia article by Ben Smee about what Deputy PM McCormack had to say about Pacific Islanders.
“Full comments are worth reading” snarled Shields.
Well, The Bug won’t waste too much space running over the background to Smee’s piece. Or thinking too long about McCormack’s IQ, for that matter. That’s just plain depressing.
Smee had some four pars of McCormack’s comments in quotes. We’ve checked them against the video of the Deputy PM’s comments that the Guardian also provided and they are spot on. As was Gabrielle Jackson’s summary.
Background checking is not really much of a thing with rupeatrophied journos. Scribes in its sad grip often …. aah… shield themselves from factual information so as to make their task easier. It’s got nothing to do with easing their embarrassment; they’re way beyond that.
No, when The Bug sees a journo who goes out of his way to indirectly dump on another scribe and plainly seeks to defend a leading LNP politician by suggesting he’s been hard done by and clearly inferring that a more thorough reading of his comments puts him in much better light, then we fear a second or third professional opinion is not needed. Full-blown ruperatrophy has Shields in its sinister grip.
It’s sad, indeed, that a journo’s fair and accurate summary of a gross simpleton’s comments are labelled by Shields as a gross simplification in return.
To be fair, maybe Shields has seen the full video of McCormack’s comments and it was not available to The Guardian Australia. Perhaps our deputy PM went on to completely disown his earlier comments. Maybe Shields did hear and see McCormack utter: “I say, folks, everything I’ve just said is a complete load of bullshit so please forgive me!”. That would be a story in itself, you’d think.
And The Bug invites Bevan Shields to present that information to us and we’ll gladly take down this post.
But until that happens, we’ll stick with the view that Shields’ brain has been well and truly rupeatrophied. That’s our own gross simplification of the facts.
Rupeatrophied scribes automatically feel duty-bound to defend stupid LNP politicians now matter how stupid or illogical or unprofessional it makes them look as well.
We strongly urge Nine management to send Shields for some brain scans immediately. If not that, then at least force him to Specsavers and Hearing Australia for some tests.