I have been trying to hide beneath a rock recently trying to ignore the possibility of and Abbott government although it is not easy. The worst is reading comments from the mainstream press online, as it seems the Liberal Party has placed Young Liberals to basically spend most of their time to write anti-Labor, pro-Liberal comments. So I sought refuge amongst the posts at Pollbludger where it seems it is visited almost all by Labor supporters. Of course they are all very anxious that the government that in most circumstances should be re-elected is in serious danger of being turfed out after one term. and that we are going back to the Howard years, in fact even worse with Tony Abbott. However some of them have almost tipped over and have become a bit obsessive. There was an American political analysts on Lateline that talked about ‘Horse Race Elections’ where the election is seen as a horse race where a candidate is ahead at one moment and behind the next.
Well at Pollbludger is more like a ‘two flies on the wall’ election. Every nuance, every statement is seen as a triumph or a disaster. For instance one contributor wrote that Julia Gillard was going to lose the elections because she looked tired on the 7.30 Report. I mean, really.
Of course one of the favourite complaints is the media, and to some extent I agree with them. The media overall has been quite negative towards the Government. I am not sure why. Whether they felt that Labor was too ahead and they felt that the Liberals were the underdog, or perhaps they were treated badly by Kevin Rudd’s staff. Of course anyone with a passing interest in political coverage would know that News Limited, and especially ‘The Australian’ has been very anti Labor for some time now, so there shouldn’t be any surprises there. What is disappointing however is how the ABC has basically used the narrative from ‘The Australian’ to frame its own coverage.
This feeling is also shared by others. Bernard Keane writes on Crikey.
With the battle to attack the cash handouts lost, The Australian, including some of its Press Gallery journalists, began a dishonest campaign against the education component of the stimulus packages, a campaign that has twice now, once by the ANAO, and a second time last week in the first Orgill report, been comprehensively and systematically discredited by independent analyses. The ABC has enthusiastically backed up News Ltd in this campaign, with its “Online Investigations Unit” misrepresenting the ANAO report.
Again speculation is rife on why the ABC has been behaving this way. Is it because it tries to shake the belief that it has an inherent Labor bias? Or has Howard finally been successful in turning the ABC as Liberal friendly acolyte of News Limited?
Reading the posts of some of Pollbludger contributors it seems to me that they are watching ABC News 24 and Sky News simultaneously while listening to ABC News Radio at the same time. I do wonder whether this media overload does warp your sense of reality where a comment is seen as being monumentally against your side whether that’s true or not. The fact is that most voters out there do not watch the media incessantly or have their votes swayed by small events. They do look at policies and also make an assessment on whether a particular leader has the qualities to become a Prime Minister.
Whether most of them agree with you or not it’s another matter.