THE 80-page how-to-vote card being distributed daily by the Liberal National Party in Queensland….
Ooops, sorry! That should be… News Corp Australia’s Brisbane turdbloid The Courier-Mail is maintaining its overt support for the LNP as evidenced by its treatment of a comment piece by former Labor Party state secretary Cameron Milner.
Mr Milner penned a no-holds-barred op-ed for the Courier that basically said the government of Annastacia Palaszczuk shouldn’t think that its overall solid handling of the coronavirus pandemic would save its neck at the October state election.
It needed, he said, not to trumpet its past performance in keeping the state safe but to lay out a forward plan for jobs and economic recovery.
Fair enough. Mr Milner is entitled to his view and has a bit of a track record of dropping bombshells in pre-poll periods.
In the lead-up to the 2015 surprise win by Labor he wrote an op-ed all but claiming victory for the then nine-member Labor opposition over the Campbell Newman-led LNP with its record-breaking majority.
He was ultimately correct but wasn’t all that helpful at the time.
His latest op-ed says nothing that most other commentators and even casual observers know to be true.
But that didn’t stop The Courier-Mail whipping it into its industrial-strength eggbeater and giving it a headline bearing no resemblance to Mr Miller’s actual words, plus a questionable headline on an inside page with a rather tortured play on the traditional Polish pronunciation of the Premier’s surname (pictured).
Of course today the corridors of government will be full of curses for the Courier and Mr Milner.
For somebody who claims great insight, perhaps Mr Milner might now recognise that no matter how benign his words may be, it won’t stop the Bowen Hills branch of the LNP (main picture) from using them for its own purposes.
If further evidence of the Courier‘s ongoing campaigning for the LNP were needed, check out Wednesday’s edition.
It carried an “exclusive” and glowingly positive story detailing a new Economic Recovery Agency to be established by an LNP government to act as a “department of grunt” to boost infrastructure projects (pictured).
(A quick aside: we loved the way a cap “G” on Grunt would have busted the last deck so a not-too-bright sub opted for a mixture instead of logically using a lower-case “d” for Dept.)
We can only imagine the Courier’s coverage if Labor proposed a new bureaucracy to oversee existing processes and projects.
By the way, for those who don’t understand the meaning of “exclusive”, it often means a Courier-Mail reporter is forwarded an LNP news release to be “tidied up” for use in a prominent position on an early news page.
And if you’re wondering why the story had no comment whatsoever from the Palaszczuk govt, the Courier knows full well that one of the conditions of the privilege it enjoys as the only monopoly daily newspaper in Brisbane to be offered first dibs at the story – to the total exclusion of any other monopoly daily newspaper that doesn’t exist in Brisbane – is that they don’t seek comment from anyone. Just so you know.
We are sorry if this edition of our Glass House is heavy with items on The Courier-Mail, but we just can’t ignore their fine work.
Take as an example the item published yesterday on the Courier’s online news website.
It revealed all the details, or almost all, of an alleged public brawl between boys from two rival Brisbane private schools (pictured).
One was named in the story as being St Joseph’s College at Nudgee, a very upmarket school run by the Catholic Church in the blessed Edmund Rice tradition.
The other school whose students were allegedly involved in the fight was….. well, we don’t know because the Courier didn’t name it.
It freely announced the alleged involvement of students from Nudgee College but referred to the other institution as “another elite private college”.
The Courier did know its name because the story carried the line: “A spokeswoman from the other college said they could not provide comment as it was not a school matter.”
So why no name? Which, incidentally, was the question posed by almost every online reader who has commented on the story.
Was it the threat of legal action? Or was it someone at the Courier protecting their old school ties?
For a news outlet that only this week stacked on an act about freedom of reporting and the public’s right to know, it is — to use a technical journalistic term — a bit pissweak.