MSM Versus The Fifth Estate

Over the past week we have seen unprecedented comment flood the Fifth estate via our social media – Twitter, individual blogs, online News and Opinion websites – in response to the Prime Ministers very powerful speech in Parliament re sexism in politics.

The Fifth Estate through the avenue of advanced technology has become an extremely influential form of media – comments on Twitter reaching the Twittersphere at almost the speed of light; bloggers establishing their own online pathway to express their own personal opinion on many issues; online News and Opinion websites such as Independent Australia, New Matilda, The Conversation adding a completely new and “independent” dimension to news reporting, opinion and investigative journalism.

No longer does the general public have to rely on – or more to the point – put up with – the blatantly biased and opinionated journalism of our mainstream daily newspapers.

And thank God for that.

Where the majority of the Fifth Estate contributors applauded the PM’s speech, mainstream media blatantly refused to acknowledge the magnitude of the power behind the words she spoke.

Seasoned political journalists excused their bias by running for cover under the pretext of “context”.

“We are political journalists! We must report through the prism of political principles!” “We know best when reporting on politics!”

No. Actually, they don’t.

The Press Gallery who make up the majority of political journalists in mainstream media – have been caged within the walls of that political glasshouse for so long they have fogged up the glass with their indignant, righteous, know-it-all huff and puff so much that they can no longer – or deliberately choose not to – see outside to what is important to the general public.

They have become so politically insular, biased and unashamedly opinionated that they no longer know the meaning of fair and balanced reporting.

But why are we not surprised?

For the past two years, ever since Julia Gillard was anointed the Prime Minister by the Independents, mainstream media has done everything in its power to condemn, ridicule, misconstrue and omit important facts from their reporting in order to assist the political power game playing of Tony Abbott.

Example: The consistent and oft repeated lie that the Prime Minister is a “liar” regarding her Carbon Tax comment.

A lie in itself.

What the Prime Minister actually said was: “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, but let me be clear, I will be putting a price on carbon and I will move to an ETS.”

When the PM made that statement she would not have imagined that the Government she would lead would be a minority one. One in which compromise would be the order of the day.

Tony Abbott had the opportunity to be Prime Minister. He would have done anything – even consider “selling his arse” – to get the top job.

But the Independents knew he would not be easy to work with – that they would not be able to trust him to negotiate and compromise.

Gillard ‘compromised’.

She DID put a price on carbon – just as she said she would.

That Abbott et al call it a tax is irrelevant.

It is a price on carbon; to be more precise, a price to be paid for carbon emissions for the biggest polluters  ― initially set at $23 a tonne and then moving to a market based price.

But how many times have you seen mainstream media not only report the truth re the fullness of what the PM said, but back it up with the genuine and logical explanation of her compromise.

How many times do we see headlines praising the Government for fending off a recession post GFC, or lauding the Government for having the lowest interest rates and unemployment in 20+ years and economy that is the envy of the world?

Almost never.

Now I know the Labor Government have made some pretty silly gaffes and mistakes of their own. Doesn’t everybody?

They have been reported ad nauseum by journalists from mainstream media every opportunity they get.

But the people of Australia have never had to opportunity to genuinely believe that Julia Gillard is actually a very, very good prime Minister because the mainstream media have forcefully, day in day out, shoved down the electorates’ throats their own personal and barefaced biased opinions of the Prime Minister.

At the same time, mainstream media have allowed Abbott’s lies to manifest into a bizarre reality and have, like sychophantic frenzied trolls, perpetuated on a daily basis – Abbott’s treacherous attempt to bring down the Labor minority Government.

Mainstream media either make pathetic excuses for or never report on the lies, the gaffes of Abbott and his Shadow Ministers, the devious involvement of Liberal MP’s in the Slipper affair, the facts and detail behind the HSU affair as reported in Independent Australia by Peter Wicks. It is all swept under their dirty threadbare carpet where they hope no one will look.

But the members of the Fifth Estate have not only looked under that dirty threadbare carpet – they have found the grubby little secrets that mainstream media had hoped to keep concealed from the general public regarding the dirty little deeds and devious ploys of the Coalition  – and have exposed them for all to see via The Fifth Estate.

So why do the journalists of mainstream media want so desperately for Abbott to be Prime Minister?

I can understand why journalists from the Murdoch stable want to elevate him to the top job. They are all disciples of Rupert Murdoch who greedily endeavors to shove his right wing agenda down the throats of everyone on the planet at every opportunity he gets. It’s all about greed.

Commercial television and radio shock jocks – need I say anymore – just out to see who can be the most sensationalist and vile.

But even journalists from the Fairfax stable and the ABC, who once upon a time offered fair and balanced journalism, have jumped on the “Bring down Gillard” bandwagon.

The subliminal way in which they promote Abbott over the PM is not easy for all to notice, but its there – day in – day out.

If they just wanted to rid Australia of a minority Government and advance just one particular party to rule in its own right – one would expect they would write fair and balanced articles weighing up arguments and writing comparisons on the policies of both sides.

But they don’t do that.

They blatantly support Abbott no matter how sexist, idiotic, inept and policy free he is.

Again, I ask why.

It can’t be because Abbott has superior policies. No one knows what they are.

It can’t be because he is a Statesman. He isn’t. He is a fool and a mouse on the world stage.

It can’t be because he is an honest, positive, forward thinking politician.

He has used the lie of fearmongering to petrify the electorate into believing the world would come to an end if a carbon price was introduced.

He has used the lie of “illegal boat people” to petrify the electorate into believing we are being over run by Muslims.

He has used the viciousness of personal sexist verbal and visual assaults on the Prime Minister to disgracefully denigrate her in the eyes of the public.

They must want to see and report on the financial damage winding back the carbon price and the MRRT will bring.

They must want to see and report on the regressive policies he will introduce to dilute women’s rights – which he will do through his ideological religious fevour.

They must want to see and report on the furore that will occur between Australia and Indonesia when he “turns back the boats” without Indonesian approval.

Mainstream journalists see their jobs becoming extremely tenuous as the Fifth Estate becomes increasingly influential with ordinary every day people finally being able to have their say be it on Twitter, individual blogs or reading online independent news and opinion websites.

The only reason I can think of why mainstream media want so desperately for Abbott to be PM, is so that they can voraciously report on the chaos and destruction he will bring down on the Australian people through their dying media in the hope that they can regain their influence over the minds of the people and try to re-ignite the people’s preference for mainstream media.

It isn’t going to happen.

The genie is out of the bottle.

Mainstream journalists not only want fear, chaos and destruction to rule – they need it to justify their support for Abbott.

It’s the only reason I can think of that explain why they act the way they do.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandra
    Oct 17, 2012 @ 16:38:08

    Another great article Denise.
    What most of the MSM just don’t get is that all of us here at the 5th Estate blog sites are just getting geared up and prepared to have our individual says as to just what we think and know in our complex world today.
    I started a tertiary studies for a degree 2 years (never having got past year 10) and the very first subject was on communication. It was then that I had to do proper analysis of the media, the owners of the media outlets etc. I like many people really hadn’t taken a lot of notice of the current day MSM (to busy running businesses and bringing up a family) and what they were reporting.
    It was only doing that research and having to write an essay on the subject that I became really aware of what was going on in MSM of today. Got a credit with the essay, but it did have the comment that perhaps I was a little opinionated.
    Perhaps that was because I felt I was entitled to that being 71years old.
    My eldest grand-daughter has always wanted to be a journalist from a very early age, but this year as she was trying to find out what Uni would give her the best chance to achieve her dream. She asked my opinion as to what she should be looking for and I just told her to really look at the MSM, the owners of the media outlets and the concentration of their ownership of all forms of media and then make her decision.
    She came back with “OMG, I had no idea that it was this bad. It’s not supposed to be this way. Aren’t there any rules or regulations regarding a saturated media ownership”.
    Well, there was once, but when and where that disappeared to, someone might be able to show us. Looks like a lot of slight of hand has been done over the percentage of ownership anyone can have since the Conrad Black era.
    I reckon that we now don’t need the MSM to follow any more for information. We just need to keep our communication happening on the 5th Estate after all, we are intelligent human beings (well most of us) who can really make up our own minds about important subjects and we can see through all of the spin and garbage that those who want to play power games with our lives. It is through yours and others who write great articles sites that we can now be really be heard.


  2. RJ
    Oct 19, 2012 @ 10:16:53


    Regarding this paragraph in your article: “What the Prime Minister actually said was: “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, but let me be clear, I will be putting a price on carbon and I will move to an ETS.”

    Are you able to provide a reference to this quote? I have seen this mentioned previously, and searched in vain for a transcript or complete cut from the famous interview, and I am as yet unable to find evidence of this statement.




    • denniallen
      Oct 19, 2012 @ 17:24:11

      Hi Rohan,

      The actual quote “There will be no carbon tax under the Government I lead, but let me be clear, I will be putting a price on carbon and I will move to an ETS” has been reported and quoted as is in a major daily newspaper.

      However, I will be totally honest and say it is now very difficult to find. If one googles the PM’s carbon tax quote one unfortunately gets a You Tube clip edited by the Liberal Party (conveniently leaving out the part where she continues talking about climate change policy) and the majority of sites relating to this are conservative blogs.

      However as others have stated…the PM did clearly state there would be a carbon price.

      Even the Australian printed the fact.

      I will endeavor to track down the link and as soon as I get it I will add it to this site.

      My apologies to anyone who thinks they have been deceived by my adding that quote.



  3. fred
    Oct 19, 2012 @ 19:00:26

    Noam Chomsky and Ted Herman “Manufacturing Consent – the political economy of the Mass Media” Vintage 1988

    Essential reading for understanding the role of mass media in a capitalist society. Oldish, not perfect, USA centred, but still probably the single best book on the topic.


  4. fred
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 09:47:12

    The writer above makes a valid point:
    ““If citizens were limited by the small snippets of the [Gillard calling Abbott on his repeated misogyny] video hand-picked and tailored for the 6PM television news, the response may have differed considerably. This highlights how online video platforms are challenging the hegemonic power of traditional broadcasters,….”

    I wonder how different politics would be in this country if we were given our news and information without it having passed through the heavily biased MSM filter first?


  5. Bilko
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 14:37:34

    It is all about money and the power it can bring, my personal view is Murdoch will lose both when the NBN is fully integrated in this country. Abbott is his best bet to prevent this happening, which is also why Turnbull will not become LOTO as in his heart he knows it is the correct way to go. He has proved that by putting his money in such overseas investment and given the opportunity would do so here if he could. I don’t think a conflict of interest issue would arrive as he is not in government. By the way an excellent blog.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: