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What is your view of ABC?

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max manewer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 5:28pm
Of course people will have differing opinions about a particular reporter, who may appear conservative on one issue, but "lefty" on another. Just sticking strictly to facts solves a lot of that. Something the ABC was once better at. I am not interested in their personal opinions about anything at all, when that creeps in, in any way, even in the tone of voice, it ain't journalism any more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 5:29pm
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

Have a look at social media while those programs are on When you have equal numbers of people claiming they are leftie or right stooges, they are doing it pretty right. Chris Uhlmann(I think ) recently wrote an article about him being bemused and frustrated at being  left and right at the same time

Is that because the left are most often wrong?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cabosanlucas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 5:40pm
Originally posted by max manewer max manewer wrote:

Some at the ABC appear to have adopted the attitude they have to peddle the contrary of Murdoch's biases, and in doing so generated their own brand of rubbish. It doesn't follow that if some of the Murdoch offering is trash, it all is.


exactly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 5:45pm
Originally posted by max manewer max manewer wrote:

Of course people will have differing opinions about a particular reporter, who may appear conservative on one issue, but "lefty" on another. Just sticking strictly to facts solves a lot of that. Something the ABC was once better at. I am not interested in their personal opinions about anything at all, when that creeps in, in any way, even in the tone of voice, it ain't journalism any more.


Come on.

The vast majority of the ABC news department is outstanding.

Like many people I can not stand QandA, But the serious job of bringing the news to Australians is without doubt best from the ABC.




STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

reductio ad absurdum

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 5:48pm
I got the impression the ABC reporter in Puerto Rico was intent on bagging Trump. He does a good job of that himself, but she couldn't resist a dig. That would not have happened years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 5:49pm
As Einstein said reality is relative to the observer.

From where some of you observe Genghis Khan was a leftie.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 5:50pm
Originally posted by max manewer max manewer wrote:

I got the impression the ABC reporter in Puerto Rico was intent on bagging Trump. He does a good job of that himself, but she couldn't resist a dig. That would not have happened years ago.

Nobody, no sane person I should say, can bring Trump into a conversation or report without ridiculing the situation.




STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

reductio ad absurdum

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 5:52pm
Once the biases of reporters come to the fore, and sometimes quite overtly, it is a step on to the slippery slope.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tlazolteotl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 6:15pm
Originally posted by Dr E Dr E wrote:

Blah blah blah ... the cat is out of the bag PT!

Renewables are subsidised at a hugely inflated rate, considering what they put into the grid ... you know it, everyone knows it, plus the money all goes off shore anyway!

Why are AGL, turning their back on coal ... wouldn't be for lovely, guaranteed, government $$$$$$$'s would it? Embarrassed

Just like Gays have NO EQUALITY!!!Cry ... just more Leftard Lies!!!Pig


Subsidising something you urgently need to develop- crazy economics- wacko.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horlicks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 6:33pm
Originally posted by max manewer max manewer wrote:

I got the impression the ABC reporter in Puerto Rico was intent on bagging Trump. He does a good job of that himself, but she couldn't resist a dig. That would not have happened years ago.


Zoe would be one of the best foreign correspondents of any network anywhere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 6:34pm
Originally posted by horlicks horlicks wrote:

Originally posted by max manewer max manewer wrote:

I got the impression the ABC reporter in Puerto Rico was intent on bagging Trump. He does a good job of that himself, but she couldn't resist a dig. That would not have happened years ago.


Zoe would be one of the best foreign correspondents of any network anywhere.

Too bad she let her own opinion slip.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 6:55pm
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

As Einstein said reality is relative to the observer.

From where some of you observe Genghis Khan was a leftie.

Rather hackneyed comments, PT, you can do better !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 7:47pm
Originally posted by Tlazolteotl Tlazolteotl wrote:

Originally posted by Dr E Dr E wrote:

Blah blah blah ... the cat is out of the bag PT!

Renewables are subsidised at a hugely inflated rate, considering what they put into the grid ... you know it, everyone knows it, plus the money all goes off shore anyway!

Why are AGL, turning their back on coal ... wouldn't be for lovely, guaranteed, government $$$$$$$'s would it? Embarrassed

Just like Gays have NO EQUALITY!!!Cry ... just more Leftard Lies!!!Pig


Subsidising something you urgently need to develop- crazy economics- wacko.

What do we "urgently need" you twat?LOL

We are talking about FAKE NEWS, subsidised by TAXPAYER MONEY, when we are heading towards 7 TRILLION DOLLARS IN THE HOLE ... wish I was as smart as you think you are!Clown
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 7:52pm
You can not blame anyone under the age of about 45 who is in the media, or in academia, or public service, if they can't help flying the Socialist flag at every opportunity - they have been brainwashed and live and work in a "regressive" vacuum ... in fact, if they fail to take a swipe at Trump when the opportunity arises, they will be roundly teased and criticised byu their peers.

Just a fact of life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote horlicks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 8:16pm
Originally posted by Dr E Dr E wrote:

You can not blame anyone under the age of about 45 who is in the media, or in academia, or public service, if they can't help flying the Socialist flag at every opportunity - they have been brainwashed and live and work in a "regressive" vacuum ... in fact, if they fail to take a swipe at Trump when the opportunity arises, they will be roundly teased and criticised byu their peers.

Just a fact of life.


As usual you talk a complete load of rubbish.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 9:18pm
Where do you work horlicks?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 9:33pm
... and since you are clearly an authority on rubbish, tell us who the conservative journalists are at the ABC ... any 3 will do! ... try going onto a University Campus wearing a MAGA hat ... they call John Howard a War Criminal when he's offered an honorary degree! ... speak to a male teacher in the Public Education System and ask how he goes battling the obese pink haired freaks in overalls ... ask any public servant what they think is the best way to battle Big Government, ask anyone under 25 what they really think about Trannies and the other 47 Heinz varieties of gender - just do it away from their friends and peers, and they will tell you the truth, otherwise they fear vilification - they support SSM, because it's easier than lying, but they never mix with any of the people you see campaigning for it.

The next generation coming through are aware of this bullgelati, and they will be conservative.
 
If you want to live in a bubble, it's ok, carry on, but don't insult me with your naivety.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horlicks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 11:03pm
If you were not so pathetic it would actually be funny for someone who parrots the crazies.
Calling the last president O'Bummer, reports that differ from right wing opinion "fake news", people with different views "leftards" and then accusing others of living in a bubble. Time you looked in a mirror.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2017 at 11:50pm
Well whadda ya know! 

Replies with abuse, ignores all of the discussion points.Clap

I'll save you looking in the mirror, you are simply a sad caricature of the problems that are being allowed to decay our society.

Why are you wasting my time by commenting? ... we just got rid of Whale!!!Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 7:14am

ABC chief MD Michelle Guthrie condemns Turnbull government’s ‘vendetta’ media reforms

ABC MD Michelle Guthrie has blasted the Turnbull government’s ‘vendetta’ deal with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party to secure its latest media ownership reforms.

“Legislation designed to further a political vendetta by one party uncomfortable with being scrutinised by our investigative programs is not good policy-making”, Ms Guthrie said in an ABC Friends national conference after-dinner speech in Sydney on Friday.

Determined to secure crossbench support for the reforms, Communications
Minister Senator Mitch Fifield agreed to demands for a ‘competitive neutrality’ inquiry into the ABC’s online content, iView and SBS on Demand at the urging of commercial media CEOs.

The minister also agreed to Senator Hanson’s demands to name all staff earning more than $200,000 a year and to insert the contentious words “fair and balanced” into the ABC Charter.

An ABC Four Corners investigation early this year triggered Australian Federal Police and Australian Electoral Commission inquiries into public funding and non-disclosure allegations raised by the disgruntled One Nation.

The crossbench deals did not further the public interest, Ms Guthrie said.

“They interfere with the right and ability of the ABC Board to do its work, and
[they] override the Privacy Act to force salary disclosures on our employees that no other public agency is required to do.”

In the most aggressive rhetoric yet used by the ABC managing director, now 15 months into her five year contract, Ms Guthrie said the Turnbull government’s poor policy-making extended to “using the ABC Act as a bargaining chip in industry machinations that have nothing to do with the national broadcaster.”

She also questioned the commercial media industry’s justification for ownership reforms intended to counter domestic market dominance by Facebook and Google.

While Fairfax and News Corp have many problems in this new landscape, the ABC was not the cause of them, she said.

“As a former Google executive, I question whether consolidating the number
of local players to build size is the panacea the CEOs are proclaiming it to
be,” she said.

The combined worth of the three major commercial free-to-airs was about
$A2.1 billion. Southern Cross and Prime added another $1 billion. Fairfax had
a market cap of about $2.2 billion.

“In stark contrast, Facebook has a market cap of $US500 billion; Alphabet, the
Google parent, an even higher $US660 billion, and Netflix, that rising upstart, is now valued at over $US70 billion.

“The ABC’s role in the media law reform debate was supposed to be as an
interested bystander. We had no skin in the game – or so we thought.

“We now find ourselves very much impacted by the deal-making and with a real need to ensure that the public interest – as opposed to vested interest – is
protected.”

The “competitive neutrality” inquiry ordered by Senator Fifield is now expected
to be undertaken by the Department of Communications, rather than the
Productivity Commission.

There is increasing speculation that once the ownership reforms are enacted News Corp could merge with tycoon Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network now that it appears the US player CBS will acquire Network Ten.

Ms Guthrie said the commercial free-to-air and Foxtel CEOs “seem to spend
more time whinging about the ABC than addressing their own audience
challenges”.

“Should your children and grandchildren be denied the right to watch Play School and Peppa Pig on an iPad because Hugh Marks (Nine Network), Michael Miller (News Corp) and Paul Anderson (Ten Network) are finding life tough?

“Should the ABC be forced, as they have asserted, into a pure market-failure role, simply doing the things the commercials don’t want to do, or can’t?”

“Absolutely not!”

Ms Guthrie also defended the ABC’s decision to end the late night TV current
affairs program Lateline after a 28 year run.

“Yes, Lateline is finishing,’ she said, “but we will continue to provide late evening current affairs on the main channel and our ABC News Channel.”.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 7:57am
WOW , the hips are out early .

Winx must be going around today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 7:58am
Whips ,     It's my Hips that are out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 8:01am
Originally posted by maccamax maccamax wrote:

WOW , the hips are out early .

Winx must be going around today.

$1.27 big overs on BetfairWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 8:22am
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

Originally posted by maccamax maccamax wrote:

WOW , the hips are out early .

Winx must be going around today.


$1.27 big overs on BetfairWink


It is overs ...    Wins this in a canter.

The Champ Will get a start from Humidor ,   can you see him rattling off the final 600 in 32.
--
I have to save up to make Francis of Assisi,    Fav in the Cups.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 8:59am
Originally posted by maccamax maccamax wrote:

Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

Originally posted by maccamax maccamax wrote:

WOW , the hips are out early .

Winx must be going around today.


$1.27 big overs on BetfairWink


It is overs ...    Wins this in a canter.

The Champ Will get a start from Humidor ,   can you see him rattling off the final 600 in 32.
--
I have to save up to make Francis of Assisi,    Fav in the Cups.

He is the Pope's favorite saint maxie. Dont know if that will help the equine version though...Does Frankie have a punt?

I noticed it was SFOA day last week and they had the blessing of the animals with it. People everywhere taking their animals to church That mob will do anything to halt flagging numbers. I bet they were counted in the attendance figures. Do you have to put an extra tenner in the plate for your dog, I wonder?

They all got blessed maxie, imagine that, getting your chihuahua blessed....no doubt for protection from YES voters .....Curse you slippery slopers...leave the puppies alone 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maccamax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 9:10am
   Francis of Assisi is one smart galloper.

I missed the bigger odds early ...    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cabosanlucas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 11:44am
Originally posted by maccamax maccamax wrote:

    Francis of Assisi is one smart galloper.

I missed the bigger odds early ...    


Here ya go old mate...

said 5 mins before start time.

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/saints/saints/peace-prayer-of-st-francis-of-assisi
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 12:45pm
Lateline on the way out, but had an interesting story about a fella who has studied the keys to success of great team sport dynasties over the years, across a variety of sports, world-wide. He examined all manner of parameters, but his final analysis identified the captain of the team, as being the most important factor in continued success. I guess when you look at the success of the Qld SOO League team under Cam Smith, e.g., there is no contradiction there. He went on to outline the characteristics that defined successful captains . I'm tipping many sports executives will read this study with interest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2017 at 12:48pm
I have posted the full article because it is behind a paywall. From the Saturday Paper


With the collapse of Murdoch’s takeover plan for Ten, something else ended: the designs for his Sky roster to take a de facto Fox News to the mainstream. By Mike Seccombe.

Murdoch’s failure to launch Fox here

Poor Andrew Bolt. Not long ago the right-wing blogger and News Corp columnist was in line to become the Bill O’Reilly of Australian television, leading the way into a Foxified future, assisted by changes to Australia’s media laws.

But not anymore.

The scenario would have gone like this: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp buys control of Sky News, stacks it with a squad of right-wing opinion-mongers, led by Bolt. Then Australia’s media laws, which have locked Murdoch out of free-to-air television for more than 25 years, are changed by the Turnbull government. Then Lachlan Murdoch and friends buy the struggling Ten Network. Then Sky takes over news production for the network. Then Ten’s news division becomes increasingly like Sky’s, which is to say, more about opinion than fact, like Fox News is in America.

This is not baseless speculation. In December last year, News Corp did take over Sky News, through its parent company, Australian News Channel. And Sky News has indeed been stacked with a long roster of right wing tub-thumpers – many of them with previous Murdoch connections. In May, the foundering Ten Network was reported to be considering drastic changes under project “Blue Horizon”, which involved outsourcing news to Sky.

And Lachlan Murdoch and his elderly partner, Bruce Gordon, did indeed try to gain control of Ten. They drove it into administration in June. Their plan would have seen the network rid of a lot of its pesky debt and also put the weights on the Turnbull government to hasten the passage of regulatory changes advantageous to big players such as them. Then they would have bought it back from the administrators.

But they screwed it up. The government took longer than they planned to get the media law changes through the senate. They underestimated the hostility of creditors, staff and some minor shareholders. And they were gazumped by the American media giant CBS.

And so Bolt is left on the eighth floor of a Melbourne office building, holed up in a makeshift studio, broadcasting to an audience of almost no one. Guests ring a number to be let in and find their own way in the lift. There is no hair and make-up to speak of, none of the usual trappings of a television studio. This is as close as you can get to pirate radio without being on Mark Latham’s show.

Sure, there’s talk of further legal action by Gordon to try to stop the CBS takeover, and the Ten shareholders have not yet given final approval. But as Allan Goldin, a director of the Australian Shareholders’ Association and media specialist, says, while the deal is “still up in the air in theory; in practice it’s highly unlikely that CBS won’t take over the company”.

“Highly unlikely” is really an understatement. The prospect of a Murdoch owning the network now looks remote. And that, says Rodney Tiffen, emeritus professor of government and international relations at Sydney University, “is unequivocally good news”.

“It’s good news, first because it increases media competition, and second because CBS know what they’re doing and they’ve got deep pockets. Whereas Lachlan and Bruce Gordon have had a long time running Ten and they’ve not done a lot of good for it.”

Few would argue with him. Poor programming decisions, swingeing staff cuts, poor employee relations, a revolving door of management, multimillion-dollar losses and accumulated debt – Ten was, in the words of one senior staff member, “a sheer kissin’ disaster”.

And CBS, though an American company, offers a deep roster of programming and, more importantly, a reputation for comprehensive and pretty straight news reporting, as well as corporate integrity – especially in comparison with the Murdoch empire.

“I think we’ve dodged a bullet,” Tiffen says.

So back to Bolt – and the large stockpile of other right-wing media commentators, shock jocks, former politicians and straight-out reactionaries gathered by Sky News. Their chance of making it from niche television to the broadcast big-time appears equally remote.

The whole affair makes for an interesting case study of the influence of conservative media, and the extent to which the perception of it is matched by reality. Consider just some of the names assembled by Sky News: 2GB’s Alan Jones; former chief of staff to Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin; former Liberal politicians Peter Reith and Ross Cameron; former Labor Right figures Mark Latham, now fired, and Graham Richardson, who lost his show; News Corp columnists Chris Kenny and of course Bolt, described by his employer as “Australia’s most-read blogger”.

So, how much influence does this dream team of influencers actually have? Not much, judging by audience size. Sky News’s evening offering of relentless, strident opinion attracts a rather smaller crowd than an average AFL game. Not an AFL final, an average club game. A couple of tens of thousands.

Some might argue that their power should not be measured by viewership alone, that when Peta Credlin, for example, offers some new insight into Abbott’s efforts to white-ant Malcolm Turnbull, it resonates through the broader media.

And that’s true. The question is, though, does that really change anything in terms of the direction of public debate? Or has the Foxification of Sky News revealed an illusion of power, like when Toto pulls back the curtain in The Wizard of Oz and reveals the fearsome wizard is a rather inadequate little man using echo effects? There is a growing body of evidence to suggest the latter.

The word “Foxification” is not our invention, but has been used a lot over the past year or so by media analysts. One of Murdoch’s then media writers, the venerable Mark Day, used it in May, in a piece in which he surveyed Sky News’s line-up of stridently opinionated presenters, and pondered whether there had been a “brand reset” since News Corp acquired it.

“Will it be ‘Foxified’ – that is, turned into a Down Under version of America’s most watched and controversial cable news channel, Fox News?” he asked, rhetorically, at the top. Later he answered his own question, saying that appeared “broadly” to be the case.

Day, an old-school journo at heart, suggested this was not such a good thing and that Sky News should “pull back to the core function of providing more news, at least part of the time”.

“Why not packages on war zones, science news or the ways the world’s climate or environmental problems are being addressed in other nations?” he asked. And again he answered himself: “because the numbers show audiences prefer opinion and debate programming”.

That, however, is a proposition that lacks necessary nuance. And perhaps the best way to show that is to go to a case study. Andrew Bolt’s TV career provides a good one.

There was a time when he was a regular panellist on the ABC’s agenda-setting Sunday morning political panel show, Insiders. It really was Barrie Cassidy’s show, but at least it provided an audience of several hundred thousand viewers for Bolt’s conservative opinions.

Trouble was, the ABC program offered a range of views apart from his. So in 2011, Bolt jumped at the chance to have his own rival show, free of such pluralism, on the Ten Network. When The Bolt Report began in May that year, he declared his aim was to out-rate Insiders. His show aired at 10am, the same time as Insiders finished, initially for half an hour. In 2014, reportedly at the urging of Ten shareholder and Bolt supporter Gina Rinehart, it was extended to an hour.

It was competitive at the start, then began an inexorable slide. By November 2015, its audience had shrunk 60 per cent, to a little more than 110,000.

In January 2016, The Australian was the first to report that Ten had decided to can The Bolt Report. Bolt denied this. He had, he said, “decided to take the show to Sky instead, and keep my weekends free. News Corp did not refuse to keep paying for the show on Channel 10.”

Leaving aside the interesting revelation that News Corp had to pay Ten to put Bolt on air, the most relevant fact is that Bolt’s audience tanked further.

A few months ago, Fairfax Media’s Craig Mathieson analysed the ratings for Sky News’s nightly line-up. And what he reported was woeful.

On Tuesday, March 28, The Bolt Report drew a national audience at 7pm of just 27,000. Of those, 23,000 were aged over 55. Alan Jones’s 8pm show did a little better, with 34,000 viewers, and Paul Murray Live at 9pm topped out with 55,000. Meanwhile Insiders powers on, with an average 550,000 viewers.

So, to Day’s point that audiences “prefer opinion and debate”, perhaps one should add a caveat. Says Barrie Cassidy: “They want fact-based debate, rather than ideological bombast.”

Cassidy reckons Bolt probably did more for his conservative cause as a panellist – not just because of audience size, but because he might actually have been heard by some people who were persuadable. In this, I should make a disclosure: I am a panellist on Cassidy’s show, as are a number of my colleagues from The Saturday Paper.

Data from the United States underline the point that right-wing media increasingly preaches to the converted. A Pew Research Centre study in 2014 found that among people with “consistently” conservative views, 88 per cent trusted only Fox. People with more malleable views, in contrast, engaged with a far wider variety of sources of news and opinion – public radio, cable networks, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times et cetera.

Furthermore, Fox viewers are literally a dying demographic. Nielsen ratings show the median age of its audience is 68. This is the TV they watch in God’s waiting room.

It’s not hard to see the political implications of this: the ranters on Fox may have a locked-in demographic of older, less-educated, typically white males, but they’re not making many converts.

There’s no denying, though, that Fox is big in America, unlike its imitator here. A partial explanation of that is that cable is ubiquitous in the States, while in this country only about a third of people get it. But perhaps a greater part of the explanation is that Sky’s presenters have other primary gigs on talkback radio, or in the Murdoch press. Perhaps if you can get your fix of Andrew Bolt in the paper or online, you don’t feel the need to watch him on TV.

The fact Sky News’s presenters have other outlets, though, does not necessarily make them more influential. The reason is that, like the Fox presenters in the US, they are preaching to the converted, but not really shifting much opinion.

Rodney Tiffen made this point strongly in an analysis a couple of years ago, of the relevance of the Murdoch media in two remarkable state elections.

“Over the past eight months, Victoria and Queensland have ejected first-term Liberal governments despite the best efforts of the Murdoch press in those states,” he wrote.

“Their slanted front pages, unbalanced coverage and combative editorials only highlighted their growing irrelevance to the electoral process.”

He attributed this in part to the structural factor of declining newspaper circulation. Murdoch papers, he calculated, reached only about 10 per cent of the population in 2015, or “probably about half of their reach when they supported John Howard in the 2001 election”.

Of that 10th of the population, he reckoned, more than half were already anti-Labor voters, and most of the rest “fairly settled in their political attitudes and largely immune to the papers’ persuasive efforts”.

Then there was the trust factor. He noted polling by Essential Media, showing 70 per cent trust in Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age, compared with about 60 in News Corp’s broadsheet The Australian, and only about 50 per cent for The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Herald Sun in Melbourne and The Courier-Mail in Brisbane.

Tiffen acknowledged the role of these media in agenda setting for what he called the “self-referential noise machine” of commercial radio talkback, but cautioned against mistaking its “volume and bluster” for persuasiveness.

Speaking to The Saturday Paper this week, Tiffen elaborated somewhat on his thesis. Now, he reckoned, the right-wing media actually presented more of the problem for the conservative side of politics than the progressive side.

“I don’t think they have a big impact now on converting voters from Labor to Liberal, because there are not many in their audiences left to convert,” he said.

“But when the Murdoch press and commercial talk radio get stuck into an issue that divides the conservative side of politics, they can still have an impact.

“If they run hard on an issue such as the greyhound racing ban, and mobilise the more conservative forces, that spooks the more liberal elements in the Coalition.”

Indeed, it’s not hard to identify other contemporary examples, such as coal seam gas mining. Here, some right-wing commentators, including Alan Jones, who back the anti-fracking farmers, are pitted against others who back the miners.

The result: tension between the Turnbull government, which wants more fracking, and states such as New South Wales, which see political peril in agreeing to that.

Or consider the response to climate change. The denialists on talkback and in the Murdoch media have utterly failed to sway public opinion against renewable energy, but they have played a big role in paralysing federal government policymaking.

Meanwhile, the dream team on Sky News seems to become ever more extreme and destructive, in what Mathieson called their “ideological obsession”.

Credlin’s loyalty to Abbott only fuels government disunity. Paul Murray cosies up to the extremists of One Nation and the libertarian gun enthusiast from the Liberal Democrats, David Leyonhjelm. He whales into the Liberal moderate Christopher Pyne as “piss-weak”, “useless”, “a dressmaker” and an “Christmas pudding”, among other things. Bolt, broadcasting from under the stairs, instructs his viewers that it’s time to give up on the Liberal Party and back Cory Bernardi’s breakaway Australian Conservatives party.

Truly, Bill Shorten must be laughing. And Malcolm Turnbull’s only comfort is that hardly anyone is watching.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Oct 7, 2017 as "Murdoch’s failure to launch Fox here"

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