Truth to Power. Part Two

30 Sep

So, let’s go through this tweet, phrase by anguished phrase.

“MSM truthers.” A truther is “a person who doubts the generally accepted account of an event, believing that an official conspiracy exists to conceal the true explanation; a conspiracy theorist.”

There are 9/11 truthers who believe the terrorist attacks were perpetrated by the US government;  Sandy Hook Elementary School truthers who believe the massacre was a “false flag” government conspiracy, Holocaust deniers, Obama birthers and so on.

Di Stefano attempts to delegitimise any inquiry into the narrative choices made by MSM, describing those who question perceived bias as “truthers,” and implying that merely questioning media choices is the act of a conspiracy theorist. Whether you find MSM biased towards the right or the left of politics, in either case you are participating in a conspiracy and you wear a tin foil hat. Therefore your concerns are invalid, and deserving only of mockery.

When any institution takes this as its default position towards questioners and critics, it has lost sight of its purpose and its parameters. MSM is not now, never has been and should never aspire to be above critique. The tactic of reacting to criticism by denigrating the critic is inadequate and defensive, and only serves to confirm the suspicion that there is indeed something rotten in the fourth estate.

When your mainstream media tell you you’re unhinged (or biased) for questioning them, they’re presuming a privilege to stifle rather than evaluate criticism. This is the antithesis of the values of a liberal democracy. Fortunately we have blogs and social media through which we can contest mainstream efforts to quash disagreement. That the mainstream media has no business quashing criticism in the first place is a fact that must never be forgotten.

Aged-out tribal boomers.

“Aged out” usually refers to a young person who passes an age where he or she is eligible for certain youth benefits, or must leave foster care. Obviously the term wasn’t used in this sense when linked to “tribal boomers” and I took it to be a disparaging comment on people over fifty who are perceived by Di Stefano to be “aged-out” of well, life, really and of participating in or contributing to anything considered by him to be relevant or important.

(I’m not sure about fifty, maybe it’s sixty, but I don’t think that much matters.)

It’s a thing, to blame boomers for a swathe of social difficulties, and to perceive that group as particularly privileged: the hippies who grew up to be successful capitalists and bought up all the houses as investment properties (taking advantage of negative gearing) leaving younger generations struggling to put a roof over their heads.

There are no doubt many boomers who fit that stereotype, however there are many who don’t. For example, hundreds of thousands of older women are expected to become homeless in the near future, and many of these are, in Di Stefano’s terms, aged out tribal boomers.

This is the danger of isolating human groups who have in common only their age, and then pitting them against one another: the real culprits, rampant capitalism enabled by corrupt government supported by complicit media, remain unacknowledged and unchallenged. Responsibility is deflected and as long as the populace is busily engaged in wars against a particular group: boomers, asylum seekers, bikies, feminists, irresponsible whining generation whatever who just need to stop buying coffee if they want a home, those who are actually responsible for society’s ills and have the power to address them, are not held to account.

It’s surely the job of MSM to bring us back to first principles, not to divide and set us upon one another for their amusement and the amusement of their masters.

While Di Stefano didn’t gender his aged-out comment, it is particularly dismissive of women. When did you last hear a man over fifty described as aged-out?

He also used a tweet from a  woman as an example, and it was me who started him off on his tantrum.

I suspect that when a man describes a woman as aged out, this is code for “no longer sexually interesting to me and therefore irrelevant.”

When challenged, Di Stefano responded:

Stinking up Australian politics

As I replied to Di Stefano when he posted his tweet: crap politicians stink up Australian politics, and I’d add to that, crap media who do a crap job are enabling the ongoing production of stink.

I think Di Stefano’s one tweet validates much criticism  of MSM: biased, inaccurate, pushing a bizarre and very personal agenda, defensive, arrogant, ill-informed, divisive click bait crap. I rest my case.

 

"sticks thumb under front teeth"

“sticks thumb under front teeth”

 

 

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79 Responses to “Truth to Power. Part Two”

  1. paul walter. September 30, 2016 at 9:53 am #

    Observe how the ABC now travels as Michelle Guthrie’s Murdoch poison runs its course.

    The control freak mentality never tolerates divergence for fear of being proved wrong and being forced to the effort of reconsideration.

    I am going to offer Amanda Meade’s melancholic latest column from the Guardian because its examples so flesh out what Jennifer Wilson is saying…no bad deed goes unrewarded.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/sep/30/tony-abbott-era-funding-cuts-return-to-strike-another-blow-to-the-abc#comments

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson September 30, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      Thanks, PW.
      I don’t know how the talented journos at the ABC manage to survive the atmosphere. They must be very dedicated.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson September 30, 2016 at 11:25 am #

      PW, are you in SA? And if so, how are you faring?

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter. September 30, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

        Hahaha, yes. I’m fine, it is nice that the rest of the country is finally giving us a little attention, also something finally happening to relieve the boredom at Sleepy Hollow.

        Others in agricultural areas are NOT doing so well, with very, very promising crops are now ruined. It has been a spectacularly wet, stormy year, like 1992 (I think) and follows the pattern of the La Nina following the El Nino. As usual, infrastructure has been found wanting under exceptional circumstances.

        The real insult has come with Frydenberg, Xenophon and Turnbull playing Trump-like silly flat earth games involving renewable energy.

        I think the real problem stems from privatisation of electricity, which like privatisation of detention camps, say, removes accountability and government oversight..what happened was predictable but still the idiots had vital components of the system out of commission for maintenance in this of all years.

        Thanks for asking, hope things are well in the Deep North.

        Liked by 2 people

        • paul walter. September 30, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

          Actually, Marilyn would be one to ask as to these things, as she lives in the Barossa Valley, about 70k s north of Adelaide which is supposed to be the latest epicentre for flooding.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Jennifer Wilson September 30, 2016 at 6:32 pm #

          I’m watching in disbelief as the politics are played out over the SA storm. Incredible rush to push ideology!

          Liked by 2 people

          • doug quixote September 30, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

            What always strikes me about these issues is how keen the apparatchiks are to point the finger of blame. We may find out after the inevitable inquiry that the actual reasons are altogether different from the ideologically presupposed reasons. But don’t expect them to retract, unless quietly on page 17.

            And so it goes.

            Liked by 2 people

          • paul walter. September 30, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

            Jennifer, DQ, here is a Guardian piece that is trying to unravel what has happened in SA and why:

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/30/there-are-two-issues-the-south-australian-blackout-should-make-us-think-about

            Yep, neoliberalist privatisation, a case history.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Jennifer Wilson October 1, 2016 at 6:16 am #

              *Primary responsibility for sorting out this mess sits with the federal government. *

              Which is why Turnbull has come out swinging. Deflection! Deflection! Look over there it’s not us!

              Liked by 1 person

              • allthumbs October 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

                I don’t know if you missed if JW, the journos certainly did, but during a tirade against Dan Andrews about Victorian renewable targets, Turnbull uttered something very much like, “Dan Andrews was speaking gibberish, mentioning innovation and technology with no context, no plan…”

                Turnbull’s whole appeal to the nation in general and to his party in particular was based on those very words used in that very way when he announced his contending the LP leadership position.

                Wyatt Roy has obviously been radicalized during his stint as an MP within the LP as is obvious with his recent trip to visiting Kurds on the Iraqi battelfront and the AFP should be having a very close look as to who was mentoring or brainwashing Wyatt. And I’d be looking very closely as to who or how his trip was financed.

                Liked by 1 person

                • paul walter. October 1, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

                  If it had been a muslim lad he would have been canned for twenty years.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • doug quixote October 1, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

                  I would favour establishing Kurdistan. Its time has come. Much as the Turks would like to suppress them, the Kurds have paid their dues as a nation.

                  Wyatt Roy is actually on the right side for a change. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • paul walter. October 1, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

                    Couldn’t agree more.

                    The Kurds are victims of other people’s carve ups of the region across three nations, Iraq, Iran and Turkey. Their struggle is yet another complicating factor across that entire zone. The Turks in particular have been harsh with them, which conflicts with others aims in recruiting them to fight yet other groupings. It is a true proxy war where the hopes and aspirations of many groups are played on by the bigger fish as they are used as pawns in the ongoing, long term Big Game.

                    Liked by 1 person

                  • Marilyn October 2, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

                    Yes that might well be but for fuck’s sake if his name was Mohammed he would be banged up for 40 years.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • paul walter. October 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

                      Well, yes. That is basically what I was saying also a few posts earlier.

                      Marilyn, you escaped retribution as to the near certainty the bushfires a year or two back, it seems you have also eluded comeuppance via the Great Barossa Flood of 2016.

                      Where is karma?

                      Actually, I shouldn’t speak..too many more false steps and I might have come, (sadly) history also, watching the Torrens in flood below the weir on Friday night, an excursion for which I later received a stern scolding over, from a female FB friend.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Jennifer Wilson October 3, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

                      Well, I guess you weren’t as reckless as the woman in the NT who chastised a crocodile with her thong….

                      Like

                • Jennifer Wilson October 3, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

                  Ahahahahahaha, allthumbs, your first para is gold. I’ve yet to hear any plans from Turnbull, in or out context.

                  I don’t care much about Wyatt Roy. But I take your point about his possible backers.

                  Like

                  • paul walter. October 3, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

                    Jennifer you are saying this woman hit one on the snout with footwear, or “went commando” to chase a crocodile?

                    The antics women get up to in this liberated day and age, these never fail to enthrall.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Jennifer Wilson October 4, 2016 at 9:45 am #

                      The food thong, PW, the foot thong. She brandished her foot thong to protect her dog.

                      Like

        • paul walter. October 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

          Digressing, I got so bored with teev last night I went for a walk to see how the Torrens river close by below the weir was… nothing could have prepared me for the sight of the huge, deep raging torrent, trees uprooted and so forth

          On the upshot, I have just read a report that Arrium Steel at Whyalla has already “done” $ thirty million over this event.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson October 3, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

            I think Turnbull actually took to FB today to thank volunteers.

            Like

            • paul walter. October 3, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

              The Torrens weir has offered an excellent excuse for walks . Walks are important, when you get frustrated with media and press for not providing serious analysis of privatised infrastructure failures.

              If only I had thought to put up a barrier and charge all the people a dollar each just to see it. The water thundering out was breathtaking in its power, marvelled at in silence by the assembled multitudes. And yes, I got rained on coming home, although a huge Moreton Bay Fig prevented a true drenching.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. diannaart September 30, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    Jennifer

    I know exactly how you feel.

    Cheers

    Dianna

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson September 30, 2016 at 11:06 am #

      I’ve actually been walking round with my thumb under my front teeth in that excellent Italian gesture of contempt.

      Liked by 2 people

      • diannaart September 30, 2016 at 11:25 am #

        I thought it was the back hand swipe of fingers under the chin…. or is the Greek method of conveying contempt?

        There is always the white Anglo-Saxon raspberry.

        😉

        Liked by 2 people

  3. samjandwich September 30, 2016 at 10:04 am #

    “kisses fingers” indeed! See, there are some people who can handle being in the spotlight and some who can’t. Those who can are those whose sense of self isn’t threatened by the fact that other people’s views don’t coalesce with their own. Those who can’t get so consumed by their own insecurity that they lose their impulse control and ultimately self-destruct.

    Career-limiting move there Mark, and I sincerely hope your superiors are giving you some serious “counselling” over this.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Macam September 30, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    A nice dissection Jennifer, Di Stefano is just a provocateur for click- bait / infotainment, trying to make a name for himself. I think having a cash register attached to your web site makes you MSM now a days.
    As for Buzzfeed it’s just white noise with a selective notch filter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannaart September 30, 2016 at 10:23 am #

      Indeed Macam.

      We have been warned; Mark Di Stefano is a dick.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson September 30, 2016 at 11:07 am #

      Thanks, Macam. I feel much better having got it all off my chest. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. davechaffeyhippie September 30, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    Here is my one thought about Mark Di Stephano. Chris Distephano is a pretty funny US comedian.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Cranky Pants Noely (@YaThinkN) September 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    Obviously I’m pretty thick as I don’t actually see how the tweets he copied actually made any sort of point? I mean what is the link there? None of us were being ‘tribal’, ie batting for a particular team, and not sure how he could be using to illustrate “aged-out” as he has no bloody idea how old we are? ie I’m 48 and not a boomer.

    Oh well, guess it is just not my lot in life to as hip & smart as some 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. allthumbs September 30, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    As an over 50’s man, I feel he has a point.

    I read his “What a time to be alive”, which was somewhat amusing but had an element of a gutless crying off where I thought it might have been a bit more in your face to the normal journalistic Election campaign road story memoir I’d expected. But it wasn’t, it was pretty much the same old tired format with little insight and lacking to make a declarative statement of here I stand.

    Bob Ellis at 70 had more vitality, daring and wit, and dare I say it youth in terms of an open mind and imaginative chutzpah that males Di Stefano sound like an ageing dotard.

    I think the divide will become greater between the generations, competition for jobs will increase as we baby boomers are expected to work longer, and increasing tax burden on the younger citizens, to pay for our aged care and longevity. We have had a history of fighting for policy that suited our needs, only to close the gates behind us so those that follow were not given access to the same amenities, education, health, and as Jennifer points out, wealth accumlation.

    Di Stefano’s MSM criticism rings a little truer in intent when at 9am on a Sunday I tune in to watch Insiders.

    Liked by 4 people

    • diannaart September 30, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

      Bob Ellis at 70 had more vitality, daring and wit, and dare I say it youth in terms of an open mind and imaginative chutzpah that males Di Stefano sound like an ageing dotard.

      Yes!

      Perhaps Jennifer can send link to Di Stef in the interests of edification

      Liked by 2 people

  8. townsvilleblog September 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    The only reason I watch ‘some’ MSN is to see what ‘lies’ the public is being told. If one has independent research it is easily seen the this LNP govt tells us that unemployment is 5.7%, yet Morgan Research finds it to be 10.4%, someone is lying, and with the tories record my guess is them.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. diannaart September 30, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    I understand, not deserving of a spit in a firestorm

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Anonymous September 30, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    “Bizarre and very personal agenda” indeed. And to what point? Male vanity I suspect. Drops a nonsensical vaguely offensive non sequitur then flounces off when challenged to make sense of it. I guess finger kissing is the only (il)logical response!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous September 30, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      -freya

      Like

  11. doug quixote September 30, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    The concentration of media ownership in Australia is a major problem, only partly lessened by the decline in newspaper sales.

    But I wouldn’t sweat too much over a dummy spit by a hack journalist.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. paul walter. September 30, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

    Truth to Power indicates a required response, a sort of grace under pressure.

    Ive just watched the most compelling example for ages, in the following example:

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/video/2016/sep/30/clementine-ford-sharri-markson-the-drum-video.

    In the past I have griped about what turns out to be no more than earnestness, but she’d get my vote any time. Give me honest over a liar, a diamond before a dog turd…

    Liked by 2 people

    • paul walter. September 30, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

      Ford as honest, that is.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson October 1, 2016 at 6:13 am #

      Thanks for that link, PW. I missed it because I rarely watch The Drum anymore.

      Markson v Ford? I don’t think anyone I’d want to be friends with would support Markson over Ford. I find the former intolerable, it’s like watching humans attempting to have considered discussions with a yappy white dog.

      Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter. October 1, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

      Sorry, I dislike Markson like I dislike most lying Murdoch hacks, but I should not have called her a dog turd.

      Like

      • doug quixote October 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

        No? Perhaps a cat turd?

        Like

        • paul walter. October 1, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

          I wondered if someone was going to post, saying not to denigrate Doggie Dumps. Yours is the other possible answer.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. paul walter. October 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    (Door creaks, rusty hinges, blows away dust, spiderwebs).

    “Hullo, anyone home?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter. October 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

      Btw, on Markson and Ford, a moderately irritating piece at Fairfax by Drum host Julia Baird on Ford, who is getting a big publicity boost for her book.

      http://www.smh.com.au/comment/clementine-ford-is-winning-the-battle-for-feminisms-final-frontier-20160930-grsesi.html

      I don’t mind people drawing attention to someone else’s flaws. However, you do expect a certain even-handedness as to coverage and the last few paragraphs of Baird’s piece were imho, bitty.

      What Baird did was deny Ford context for her position re people like Markson and the cultural conditioning; “cupcaking”, if you like, whilst waxing lyrical on folk like Devine, Mia Freedman and Markson (thus, probably a raft of other putrid Murdoch hacks).

      Needless to say my comment in response didnt make it to their comments section.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote October 3, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

        I have no problems with Ford. She is articulate and has something to say. (OK, a lot to say 🙂 ) and she is entitled to say it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • paul walter. October 3, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

          Yes. Whether you like someone or what they have to say is beside the point. The important thing is the right to to speak without interference.

          Voltaire is said to have said that though he might disagree with you, he would defend your right to say it.

          Let people put up their point and let the points be examined and debunked or endorsed on evidence and logic.

          We know Marilyn can flame, for example, but for all the irratation she sometimes creates, I ‘d still be the less well off for not having had the option of consideration of what she has discovered and what her thinking is on some serious issues.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson October 4, 2016 at 9:49 am #

          I’m going to read her book. I don’t read much *feminist* stuff these days, but I’ve decided to read Ford.

          Like

      • Jennifer Wilson October 4, 2016 at 9:47 am #

        PW, I wasn’t at all impressed with that piece. Glad to see someone else found it irritating, I thought it might just be my bad-tempered self.

        Like

        • paul walter. October 4, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

          No, it was poor because she would have known better. She’s supposed to be Julia Baird, not Miranda Devine.

          Everyone has faults, but fair play would require this to balance through mention of good points or at least an attempt to understand where another person is “coming from”.

          Ford ‘s real problem is that she does know enough. She makes those too comfortable with the status quo uncomfortable and we see the reactive response.

          But I need to balance also. Baird is on safer ground as to excoriation, sometimes excoriation could be tempered with, in turn, an attempt at appreciation by Ford of where her targets “come from” also.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. doug quixote October 4, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

    Christopher Pyne’s staffer, and no doubt like-minded budgie smuggling buffoons, think they can go to a Muslim country and behave like the buffoons they are. And get away with it.

    Perhaps there is such a thing as karma.

    It’s a pity that the famous Budgie Smuggler himself wasn’t with them. (And please resist the urge to post the prick’s photo, dear reader!)

    Karma . . . or is it “shit happens” ??

    Like

    • paul walter. October 5, 2016 at 12:12 am #

      It will only get worse when the national dumbing down is complete and we live in a complete rather than partial simulacra.

      The process is international and driven by financialised capitalism from a patriarchal base (Narev as a minor example?) and will mean the eventual end of the West in general, because it is a foolish way for a civilisation to prepare for a walk along a cliff, hooking its own eyeballs out first. The latest personifications also include Xtian Porter.

      De-nile is too big a river to cross without likely drowning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote October 5, 2016 at 8:20 am #

        The right wing view of the world is an aberration, a disease of the mind. It has spread like a contagion and it breaks out of its remission stage from time to time.

        Closely related to selfishness, it is more prevalent among the older citizens but all ages are susceptible. Old fools were young fools once, for the most part,

        Liked by 1 person

        • paul walter. October 5, 2016 at 10:30 am #

          DQ, you would have been astonished at the ABC cutting off SA Premier Jay Weatherill just as he announced that the federal government had NOT consulted the Regulator before going off half cocked about renewable energy and the SA blackout.

          Liked by 1 person

          • doug quixote October 5, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

            Federal Government going off half-cocked! As if!

            I don’t think they have ever been full-cocked. They are rightists, you know. (see above)

            Liked by 1 person

        • Havana Liedown October 7, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

          Wevvowution comwades!!!

          This time it will work, with our benevolent dictators Doug and Helvi at the helm.

          Like

      • Jennifer Wilson October 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

        Do you guys know that Narev was advised about the questioning by Brian Loughnane?

        Like

  15. paul walter. October 6, 2016 at 12:44 am #

    Btw Just noticed a series of comments at your twitter feed from a certain Marilyn losing it with “ïnterstate wankers” mislead by Nick “Xylophone”. Rofl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson October 7, 2016 at 7:15 am #

      I missed that, PW. Marilyn is marvellous on Twitter. She frequently goes after me.

      Like

      • doug quixote October 7, 2016 at 11:44 am #

        You’re probably one of the few who haven’t blocked her.

        It would be good if her attacks could be better directed.

        As regards being shocked – just accept that those ‘others’ are arseholes and treat them with contempt and derision.

        Like

        • paul walter. October 8, 2016 at 12:23 am #

          She’s seldom wrong though. Had a chat with her on the phone she immediately remembered, chapter and verse, the role a far younger Xylophone played in the sordid privatisation of electricity here in the late nineties under John Olsen.

          See, most of you guys only know her in Xena mode, but there is a really beaut side to her in general conversation.

          Like

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