Probyn shows his true colours


So, there we have it. From the mouth of ABC national political editor Andrew Probyn – with no caveats, no ifs or buts, no qualifications whatsoever.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has done a “stellar job” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stellar –  meaning extremely high in quality or excellent.

Here’s Probyn’s actual words on Sunday’s Insiders program, when discussing the upcoming Eden-Monaro federal by election: “In some ways it’s going to be a Scott Morrison contest, one between himself…

“…The ScoMo who really botched the bushfire response from the start and struggled all the way through and then you’ve got the Scott Morrison, the ScoMo, who has done a stellar job in response to the pandemic…”

Let’s cut to the chase here. If we were to challenge Probyn to defend such effusive and supporting comments, he’d argue he’s only reflecting the high personal approval standards the PM has reached in recent Newspolls.

And to that, we at The Bug shout “BULLSHIT”.

Probyn is making the same mistake – possibly on purpose – that other mainstream media members of the SS  (Scott’s Sycophants) such as Peter Hartcher, namely that he’s conflating those poll results with some sort of Father of the Nation performance by Morrison on Coronavirus.

Call it part of my lifeline training as a journalist, but I try to put a totally understandable yet almost pathological hatred of everything Morrison does and stands for aside and give credit where credit’s due.

And everything I’ve gleaned about the way Morrison has handled COVID-19 gives him a pass mark at best; many, many rasping dry coughs and high temperatures short of a “stellar” performance.

I could list the examples of how Morrison has been more led than leading on the virus response but let’s be as fair as possible.

COVID-19 has given Morrison a chance to display an empathy he doesn’t possess. He invariably overdoes it with waffle, but the crisis suits his lay-preacher style.

I commend him for not succumbing to what must be an enormous temptation at his almost daily briefings to drop his head, close his eyes, raise an open hand to heaven and lapse into tongues.

What gives me the total shits about the likes of the  Probyns, Hartchers, Shields and just about every Newscorpse scribe out there at the moment is their total refusal to read Morrison’s Newspoll figures in any other way than one that shines the most radiant positive light of the “father of the nation”. One that they clearly hope will be permanent.

The high positive rating figures can be attributable to the fact Morrison has been front and centre in the news every day for the past six weeks. Albanese who?

A fair percentage of the Australian population got $750 a few weeks back – THANKS, SCO-MO! – with another $750 soon.

He’s also throwing $130 billion at people to save or keep their jobs. $200 billion plus in all buys a lot of goodwill in my book.

State leaders have also soared in popularity, and their daily messages have often been more about what their citizens can’t do instead of being told bucketloads of money are coming their way.

I reckon even Hitler might have reached a 68 per cent popularity rating if a poll had been taken at Auschwitz after a weekend of camp sports, tables groaning with bratwurst sausages and mountains of sauerkraut, unlimited slices of warm apple strudel, lashings of icecream and the promise of weekend leave and real showers.

In summary, then,  any journalists who thinks Morrison’s handling of the virus has been stellar have got their hand well and truly on it. And they’re most likely dreadful, deep-seated Tories at heart.

From an ABC journalist’s mouth, it’s simply unforgiveable and Probyn should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.

If we are to keep fighting for Aunty’s survival, Probyn needs to lift his game, show some professional balance and stop damaging the brand. Otherwise, he should fuck off to Murdoch’s Newscorpse where I suspect he really belongs.