Flagging a protection racket

Our Media Glass House researchers would like to remind our readers that a NSW state election is due in March next year.

They would like to send a message to our readers that if you think News Crap Australia was blatantly going out of its way to go easy on the Liberal Party at the May federal election, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

As an early indicator our MGH teams point to how Rupert Murdoch’s Sydney turdbloid The Daily Telegraph handled the flag scandal this week. Or, more correctly, the flag scandals.

As Exhibit A they point to the big empty space on top of the arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge where NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, wants to put a flagpole to permanently fly the Aboriginal flag in addition to the Australian and NSW flags.

Our researchers also point to the big empty space that the Liberal Party premier tried to pass off as an answer when asked why the initiative would cost $25 million.

When he announced the project last Sunday one reporter asked why it would cost so much.

The Premier replied: “I don’t know, but it does, apparently.”

Now let’s stop for just a moment and imagine if those words had come out of the mouth of a Labor state premier.

Yes, you’re correct, he or she would be on the front page the next day being editorially lambasted for not knowing why they needed to spend $25 million in taxpayers’ funds for a flagpole at a time most taxpayers wouldn’t mind an extra $25 to meet household bills.

He or she would also be attacked for being cavalier with public cash but incompetent to boot and deserving of being thrown out of office.

But the next day the Tele ran the story rather smallish and very, very matter of factly. (below)

It wasn’t until the Tuesday edition of The Daily Telegraph that the paper began to take the story a tad more seriously after a company consulted by NSW bureaucrats prior to the Premier’s announcement revealed it had told them the project could cost around $600,000.

But even then the Tele was careful not to say a harsh word about the cost or the Premier’s inability to explain it.

In fact it quoted him as saying the price tag he had announced “wouldn’t pass the pub test” and that he had asked for it to be reviewed. (top story below)

The Tele refrained from – or perhaps never thought of – suggesting he might have done that before opening his mouth last Sunday.

But luckily by then federal leader of The Greens, Adam Bandt, had delivered a second flag “scandal” by declaring he would refuse to stand in front of an Australian flag at his news conferences. So the Tele turned its editorial guns on him. (bottom story, below)

The soft treatment for the Premier continued in the Tele‘s editorial on Tuesday (below) which, again in a rather smallish and matter-of-fact commentary, praised Mr Perrottet for his decision to fly the Aboriginal flag on the bridge as a demonstration of inclusiveness.

The editorial also identified one key question about the project: “How on earth does it cost $25 million to build a flagpole?”

Yet again it refrained from, or never thought of, suggesting that the Premier should have been able to provide the answer which by that time he had still failed to do.

But the bigger space in the editorial column was devoted to, you guessed right, Adam Bandt and his no-flag scandal.

Certainly Bandt should be questioned about his attitude to the national flag, and certainly some people will disagree with it, and some may even think it is a big political mistake on his part.

But while Bandt’s decision might cost him votes, it doesn’t cost taxpayers $25 million. And he has explained it.

Get ready for a rerun of NSW Liberal Party ads masquerading as news stories and editorials in coming months.