James Massola nose his stuff!

The Sun-Herald’s James Massola has put in a very strong claim for The Bug’s coveted Media Glass House Arselicker of the Month of June award.

In his outstanding piece today, James continues to tick a number of preliminary boxes with our judging panel: his ongoing assertions in recent scribblings that the next federal is looming; that would be fine and fair because it’s almost “due” anyway, that Anthony Albanese is simply not cutting through; and the Father of our Nation and leader of the only side of Australian politics that knows how to run economies properly is in the box seat to return the LNP to government and a much-deserved fourth term, mainly through his marketing skills and the fact that he remains much admired in his home state of NSW.

Today’s piece – Labor at pains to avoid backward step – fits the template exactly. And right from the first line of the standfirst.

As a federal poll looms…


…. and if Albanese is the right person to turn [things around for Labor]…


The main article takes us to The Lodge on Wednesay night, where Scott Morrison wins at pool with his junior ministers…


After Andrew Hastie goes in off the black. Hmm…maybe he should be in the running for arselicker of the month?

But back to Massola who opines that after a difficult three months …”the May budget has helped to start restoring the government’s fortunes.”

No evidence for this assertion but nevertheless …. Tick!

“A former party director, Morrison is an outcome-focussed arch-pragmatist, to use the jargon, and as [one previously mentioned] MP observes he is “driven by the research (internal polling) and if the research is good, he’s good. And at the moment he’s walking on sunshine.”

Tickety TICK!

Massola then adds: “But the picture on the Labor side of politics is less rosy.”


“As Morrison and his government’s stocks have started to rise once more … (No evidence of that either but Tick!) … and as the next election – which could be held as soon as August (Tick!) or as late as May 2022 – draws nearer there is growing concern in the caucus about the party’s path to victory.


Ready for this next bit? Have your tickmeter ready!

“Whenever the poll is held, Morrison will be the first Prime Minister since John Howard in 2007 to serve a full term and lead his party to an election.

“That (relative) stability, a generally well-received budget that cauterised political wounds, a vaccine program that is slowly gathering pace and the boost the pandemic is giving incumbents across the country means Labor has a mountain to climb to win the next election.”

Massola then spends the next three column legs of his stink piece gleefully informing us about what 15 Labor federal MPS think, including backbenchers “who fear losing their seats under Anthony Albanese”.


Massola writes of other names being mentioned to replace Albanese who is not cutting through (tick!) and who wasted his Budget reply opportunity. He quotes one MP: “Look at the marginals. People are starting to lose confidence an the mood has shifted over the last two weeks.”


All in all, a fine piece of prime ministerial arselicking from James Massola, who seems totally oblivious to the fact Morrison got zero bounce from the Budget in the latest Newspoll, or that Labor has held an election winning lead for the last four Newspolls.

And if you’d like a totally different view of how the last week went for the master marketer who perhaps should not be walking on sunshine right now, look up Laura Tingle’s take on 7.30 on Thursday night.