Nine flips its lid

Really, Channel 9 news? Your audience is that special or that sensitive that it has to be protected to that extent?

The Glass House refers to the decision by the producers of the sports report on 9’s 6pm news on Sunday night to pixilate a harmless little bird its cameras caught in the coaching box of the Melbourne Storm during its match against the Wests Tigers.

The lighthearted “bird” had been flipped by coach Craig Bellamy (shown above) towards Cameron Smith on the field after the Storm captain had gone past Bellamy’s try-scoring record.

The Glass House doesn’t know what’s the sadder: that somehow someone flipping the bird is still a no-no in the 21st Century; or that Channel 9 thinks anyone of an age to be adversely affected by the gesture is actually watching news any more, be it at 6pm or any other time.

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Well, there must have literally been seconds in it, if at all, if you believe reporter Laura Tamasi’s report in the same news bulletin about a midnight car crash in Mount Druitt. Nano seconds perhaps? The briefest moment in time.

Laura breathlessly reported: “….running towards the wreckage, this is what police feared when they called off their pursuit just moments earlier…”

Well, The Glass House concedes it’s possible the police vehicles could have pulled up just around the corner and then the cops heard the smash? It’s just lucky that they were close enough that they didn’t need to stay in their cars and drive to the scene!

They ran around a corner and then exclaimed: “Hello! Hello! Hello! What’s all this then?”

We suspect Laura got closer to the truth when she added: “….police initiated the chase….but it was terminated less than 500 metres later when the woman’s white Hyundai crossed onto the wrong side of the road, smashing into an SUV….”

A crash would most definitely have terminated the chase. It’d got to be one or the other, Laura, and we suspect you’ve got it right at your second attempt.

The Glass House has banged on before about the need for reporters to qualify police claims of calling off pursuits “moments before” or “well before” a chased vehicle slams into a family of eight on their way to church, killing all occupants plus the family dog.

The cynical old washed-up hack journos who write The Glass House appreciate that while cops in most beats have strict rules about calling off pursuits where public lives are endangered, they do love a chase and with sirens blazing it’s all good fun – until someone gets hurt. It’s then up to police media to solemnly report the chase was called off moments earlier, minutes earlier, or, in the case of the most horrific of outcomes, days earlier.

Your job, Laura, is to add one extra word! “….police SAY they called off the pursuit…”

And applying a little more logic and consistency to your reporting will take you a long way too.

Take heed of what Peter Overton said in his introduction to your piece… “officers SAY they called off the chase moments before….”

Learn from your elders, Laura.

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All it takes is a few short words to show that News Corp Australia’s blatantly partisan political assault on state premiers Dan Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk has failed miserably.

Today’s edition of The Australian carries a front-page story on its latest Newspoll showing 62% of Victorians back Premier Andrews and his approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The same figure shows up as his overall satisfaction rating among voters.

In Queensland 68% of respondents gave their backing to Premier Palaszczuk’s handling of the crisis with 63% satisfied with her overall performance as the state’s leader.

You can read the full story and all the figures in the Newspoll tables for yourself.

But for us it is one line in a comment piece by The Oz’s Victorian editor Damon Johnston (pictured) that says it all.

When referring to the “mistakes” made by the Andrews Government (not “alleged mistakes” you’ll note) Johnston says voters are not actually blaming him.

“Despite the noisy but in all reality tiny numbers of anti-mask protesters, and loud commentary, Newspoll suggests this is not resonating among Victorians,” he writes.

We translate that simple line into a massive condemnation of News Corp’s own “loud commentary” that has seen its outlets in Victoria and elsewhere tear strips off Andrews day in and day out. The same approach has been taken by the News Corp outlets in Queensland where an election is weeks away.

But who’s listening to News Corp? Newspoll, and now one of News Corp’s own editors, have given the answer.