The political discourse in Australia has reached a new low. The public disapproves deeply of the leaders of both political parties. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that media reporting on politics is also approaching its nadir.
Australia is a BORING place. And, for people going about their everyday lives, that’s a GOOD thing. We have the lowest employment in the Western world. We have a stable democracy. We have low crime. Our news media is desperate, desperate to generate attention-grabbing headlines. Politics is their fodder.
All those Very Serious People — those political commentators filling the pages with “insight” — feign concern over the state of our politics, how much trouble Labor is in, how more attention should be paid to the policy issues that actually matter. But of course, they have a choice on what to report on and that choice is clear. When the front page is dominated by sensationalised controversies, when the dimming heat of the controversy is laboriously attended to and sustained by those papers, it is clear where their priorities lie.
The worst offender, of course, is News Corp. How can anyone take what they write seriously? At least The Daily Telegraph in Sydney doesn’t pretend to be a serious paper. The Australian, on the other hand, does pretend to be a serious paper. And when they release a front page like this, any pretence of “fair and balanced” or whatever other trope they want to foist onto themselves is demolished, once and for all. It is disgusting. It is shameful.
I am sick of politics in Australia, and more to the point, I am sick of the news media.