The Three Unwise Old Men of the Media

What is happening to the Elders of media?
Fair dinkum, you really have to wonder what the world is coming to. As if mainstream media isn’t bad enough with journalists of all ages and gender now offering their biased political opinions every day in our media instead of professional political analysis, we now have two elders of mainstream media behaving like bogan bullies in the playground who don’t have the wit or intelligence to win an argument so resort to degrading and belittling those who they deem “weaker” than them – and the third behaving like a cross between Henry the VIIIth, Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna!
First we have Alan Jones frothing at the mouth, spewing his vile comments re the Prime Ministers dear old Dad. You’ve read numerous articles on IA (and in msm) about that. Then up pops someone who Labor people would have thought had a little bit more decorum where the PM was concerned given that he is apparently a former Labor Party stalwart, speech writer for many a Labor MP and author of sorts.
Bob Ellis.
Hidden away in his blog on September 12 2012, is a nasty little article about our PM. Not as cruel as Jones’ remarks but not far behind I can tell you.
The Real Julia, Stripped Bare” – where Ellis, for some insane inexplicable reason, has chosen to attack the PM for daring to leave a conference in the Cook Islands to travel home on the day that Australia had its worse death toll in Afghanistan. She came home to show leadership. Had she of not done so, you can bet your bottom dollar the media and the Opposition would have torn strips off her for days on end. Most of us saw it as the decent thing to do.  Ellis, however didn’t. Ellis then took a savage aim at her for leaving a day before a conference in Russia finished and fly home to be with her mother, sister and extended family on hearing of the sudden death of her father saying “she fled the conference and went home weeping to Adelaide.” What drives a silly old man to write something that cruel? Ellis says she should have stayed the extra day. Why? The last day of any conference is usually just putting minor finishing touches to discussion and saying a cheery round of farewells to all and sundry. It was not necessary for the PM to stay an extra day.  Ellis may not be close to his family but for those who are, we all know we would drop everything to be with our loved ones when a parent or dearly loved family member dies. But Ellis equated these dreadful exodus’ with soldiers in the battlefield not allowed to leave their posts when a loved one dies (and I would imagine that would only occur during a violent exchange of gunfire in a battlefield where flight to safety would be near impossible.) Drawing a long bloody bow there Bob if you ask me. 
Why the PM’s return home when her father died even warrants Ellis’ commentary is beyond me. Does he, like Jones, have a permanent hatred for her?  Does he have precious little to write about?  Is he bored? Or is he, like Jones, just old and cranky and wanky?
If I was Julia, I would simply tell Ellis and Jones to “rack off” but being the dignified, strong, professional statesperson she is, she wouldn’t dream of saying anything like that to them. 
So I will say it for her. 
“Rack off! you stupid old has beens”
Then we have the outrageous spectacle of John Laws appearing on ABC 7.30, supposedly to offer intelligent commentary on the Jones saga, but instead looked like and came across as a silly old pompous fool who thought he must have been appearing in some Shakespearean play…either that or he thought he was auditioning for the role of Sir Les Patterson now Barry Humphries has retired him.
These old men of the media should be displaying the art of their craft in a dignified professional statesman like manner – honouring their many years experience in the field with informative, clever, detailed scrutiny of an issue.
But no.
Jones, and Ellis to a lesser extent, are ranting like frustrated old wankers, condemning our female Prime Minister with a viciousness that is not becoming of any journalist in Australia, let alone those in their autumn years.
Laws? Well, as I said, just came across as a pompous old fool.
They are all well past their use-by date.
We have for far too long tolerated the disgraceful ugliness in which mainstream media has descended over the past few years. Young and seasoned journalists, using their medium to spruik their own biased political opinions, rarely, if ever, providing us with highly intelligent policy analysis. Rarely, if ever, providing us with clever, intelligent investigative journalism.
If this is what our seasoned journalists are going to end up like God help us all. Because believe me, they seem to heading that way.
But I’m an optimist – I still have faith in the young ones. 
But I wont hold my breath.

Jill Meagher/Alan Jones

For the past week, I, like thousands and thousands of other people – both women and men, in Melbourne and around Australia have been feeling quite gutted.

My emotions are raw, I have an overwhelming sense of sadness and I’m angry.

I’m angry and so very sad that a lovely young woman’s life has come to such a tragic and horrible end simply because she choose to walk 700 metres, alone, in the early hours of the morning, along a busy, lively inner suburban main road to her home.

I cannot begin to imagine the pain and immense grief Jill Meaghers husband, parents and brother, extended family and friends must be enduring.

My daughter has lived in this community for some years and I know the vulnerability she now feels because an evil man has stolen the innocence of her local community.

Multiply that by a million+ and you will have some idea of Jill’s family’s grief.

I believe Jill’s passing has hit home to so many of us because at the end of the day, she was just like one of our own. A daughter, a sister, a friend. She worked for one of our high profile radio stations, the ABC, where household names struggled with their emotions all week as they continued to talk to us over the airwaves in an attempt to deliver their normal programs.

Jill’s disappearance and subsequent tragic passing became very, and all to real to us all.

But it is curious the way the public react to such violence perpetrated in our streets.

In June 2011, a young schoolgirl Siriyakorn Siriboon (known as Bung) of Thai descent, living in Australia in the outer suburb Melbourne suburb of Boronia with her mother and step-father was snatched from a suburban street on her way to school never to be seen again.

The reaction was one of absolute shock and parents in the vicinity took extra vigil over their children for a few weeks.

No one marched in the street.

Twelve months ago, a known prostitute Jazzy O was murdered in Port Melbourne, another quiet unassuming affluent suburb.

No one marched in the streets.

Why then, would the violence perpetrated on a beautiful young middle class woman living in a trendy inner suburb of Melbourne cause such an outpouring of grief when the abduction of a young Thai girl living in an outer suburb and the murder of a prostitute could not.

Because to the majority of Australians she was just like us.  One of us.

She was not a young Thai schoolgirl from the suburbs. She was not a prostitute.

For some strange inexplicable reason we do not seem to identify with those who we deem “different”.

We still feel “shocked”. But we don’t feel the overwhelming sense of inner grief we feel for someone who is “just like us”.

Reflecting on this and the public’s reaction, I now look back in sorrow at the immense grief that Bungs mother and stepfather and Jazzy O’s family have been feeling for the past twelve months and how little so many of us cared about their loss.

The attack on Jill has proved that it this sort of violence can happen to middle class professional young women.

Although there have been many organisations fighting the good fight against violence towards women, hopefully the powerful march today in Sydney Rd, Brunswick will be the continuance of a now very powerful and vocal movement that will continue the fight that says we will not tolerate this anywhere, anymore, on anyone.

Jill’s loss, although tragically, painfully sad, will not have been in vain. It has opened the eyes and hearts of so many to the violence perpetrated in our suburban streets on women of all ages, race and class.

They have marched in the streets now…for Jill, for Bung, for Jazzy O and for all women who have been victims of violent crime.

Then, on a day when around 30000 people marched in peace and solidarity against violence towards all women along Sydney Road Brunswick, we once again – but certainly not to the same extent – have our sense of decency and what’s right shattered by the insensitive and cruel comments toward our Prime Minister by radio shock jock Alan Jones.

I do not in any way liken Jill Meaghers tragic loss and the grief that her family and friends are feeling with Jones insensitive cruel comments.

My point is, that some men feel that they have the right to rob us not only of our innocence and our right to feel safe in our own community but of our sense of decency. That they feel they have the right to behave in either a violent, sadistic, misogynist, cruel way and believe they can get way with it.

Alan Jones has been spewing his vile comments about the PM for the past two years but this most recent contribution to his literny of abusive rantings has sunk even him to a new low.

What has become of our country where the ugliness of egotistical human beings like Jones think they can say what they like and then only offer an apology when the comments in question reach social media and there is an outcry of disgust?

The comments were made a week ago at a Sydney University Young Liberal function and only came to light because a journalist at the function had taped Jones’s speech.

Jones, in his so called apology at a press conference this morning, alluded to the fact that it was a “private function” implying that the comments were ok to make but should never have been reported to the outside world.

He then blamed someone else for saying the comments in the first place – at a young boys birthday party no less. One can only imagine the standards and morals by which this young boy is being raised if this is the sort of conversation carried on at his party. And having someone with Jones’s background as his Godfather is a whole new article.

The whole point of this article is to say “enough is enough”.

We have a right to feel safe in our streets.

We have a right to decency and respect in our political discourse.

Men do not have the right to abuse our trust, our gender, our vulnerability and sense of decency.