I’m reading a novel by Lionel Shriver ( of We need to Talk about Kevin fame) titled The New Republic. The blurb on the back claims the novel is about terrorism and personal magnetism. It does indeed deal with both, in that bitingly humorous fashion usually fuelled by deep anger, and contempt for the subjects. I won’t attempt to describe the convoluted plot, for to do so would be to ruin the story.
However, to my reader’s mind this novel is all about journalists and mainstream media, especially those who venture into theatres of conflict, and Shriver has not one good thing to say about them. For example:
“I’m a journalist,” she has a lead character, Barrington Saddler, explain, “and journalists need news. Deprive them of it, and they go a bit barking. Deprive them of news long enough, and they’ll make their own – much the way the starving will eventually turn to cannibalism.”
And this from his editor: “Journalists are parasites…on everyone else’s events. The worst thing that can happen to a correspondent is to start thinking of himself as a player. The hack who fancies himself a mover-and-shaker gets slipshod – thinks he’s covering his own story. Reporting is a humble profession, Mr Kellogg. Journalists -” Wallasek shrugged – “are History’s secretaries…a reporter’s not supposed to chip in his two cents.”
I find it significant that this novel is all about journalists, with terrorism and personal magnetism employed merely as vehicles to cynically explore the bleak terrain of mainstream media, but there’s no mention at all of this on the cover. Oh, BTW. It’s published by Harper Collins Fourth Estate.
And so to Peter Wicks’ latest expose of Kathy Jackson, her partner Michael Lawler, the HSU & FWA. Wixxy is doing an extraordinary job of investigative blogging without any of the resources or protections afforded to mainstream journalists. As Peter points out, with such limited resources he’s still been able to access flammable information about payments made by the HSU to Kathy Jackson, payments that beggar belief. These include over half a million dollars invoiced as “Key Management Personnel Compensation,” itemised only as “Employee benefits.” Kathy Jackson is the sole recipient.
Don’t miss reading Wixxy’s piece, published today in Independent Australia. Wicks provides all kinds of interesting links, including the connection between Jackson, FWA boss Michael Lawler, and Christopher Pyne, who were all spotted enjoying coffee together just last week. Why aren’t these matters receiving anything like the intense scrutiny given to Craig Thomson’s affairs? Why aren’t journos lurking beneath Jackson’s bathroom window while she takes a shower? How come the msm aren’t asking why Jackson’s child care centre whose staff do not wear uniforms, received money for their non-existent uniforms from the HSU? Are child care centres even in the HSU?
Why the mainstream media haven’t bothered to investigate these matters any further is a mystery. Idleness? Political pressure to refrain?
With a few outstanding exceptions, we don’t generally have investigative journalists, just an excess of self-regarding opinionistas. Thank god we do have bloggers.
Or maybe too many of our journos, like Shriver’s morally corrupt hacks, are far too busy trying to be players?
Oh, and this has just been brought to my attention. I don’t know how reliable this source is, but it alleges Lawler belongs or belonged to Opus Dei. The thlot pickens.
Finally I am seriously disappointed in Barack Obama who has just awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour to Bob Dylan WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE GONE TO LEONARD COHEN. And yes, the medal can be awarded to non US citizens. I still take my hat off to you Leonard. Dylan is good, but you are better. Plus you don’t look as drug-fucked.