I’ve just completed the Sunday morning ritual. Breakfast in front of ‘Insiders’
I’ve written in this tome previously about the program. The good, bad and decidedly ugly of it. Today was the first time I’ve felt driven to actually contact the ABC, and the program via it’s website, to complain. This morning’s session featured the usual format, presenter and so on, with a variable mix of punditry on the left-right couch arrangement. This morning we had – left-to-right – a female journo from the Murdoch stable who made such an impression on me I can’t even recall her name; Dennis Atkins – also from the same stable, and on the far right, as befits his place in the grand scheme, Piers Akerman. Murdoch hacks all.
The woman made a couple of reasonable points during the show, but nothing worthy of memory, Atkins continues to fascinate with his struggle to appear centrist, while failing miserably on practically every count; and Akerman occupying the greater percentage of face time with his anti-government rhetoric on any issue raised, from trade to climate change to work-life balance in the public service. A very poor showing on the ABC’s part, given that a major part of the program’s attraction is the often barely hidden vitriol which exists between at least one of the non-right seat pundits and the occupant of the right-hand seat. I’d much rather have seen David Marr or Annabelle Crabbe facing off to Akerman, than the spindly pairing on screen today. I thought Akerman was about to start frothing at the lips towards the end of the show, and then came the real clincher regarding the man’s completely biased, not to mention ridiculous view of politically important issues in current times. In the ‘thoughts and predictions’ final seconds, we hear Akerman yet again raise the long dead equine carcass, now surely a picked clean skeleton, of the Heiner Inquiry. Even Barry Cassidy made the reference to ‘dead horse’.
Between August and October last year, Akerman ran a series of ‘blog posts’ in the rag which employs him, trying to raise a spectre of guilt about Rudd and the Heiner Affair in the run up to November 24, 2007. The inference being that Rudd, as Goss’ head public servant at the time in 1989, deliberately had the Inquiry documents shredded to protect his boss. Of course, the fact that the Inquiry had been established by the former National Party government and any guilt or shame would have sheeted home to that side of politics if any nasties were revealed, seems to have completely passed Akerman by. Now it seems he’s at it again.
Seriously, Aunty, there are many more astute pundits in Australian journalism – a broad term to be sure - than Piers Akerman. Can we please, please, please have someone in the right-hand seat who is at least prepared to offer up some kind of argument for their stances, as opposed to simply running off at the gob on a ideological crusade against anything and everything not of a conservative nature?? Someone who’ll live in the present, not the past and seek their anti-governmental ammunition from current news, instead of issues from the dim, distant – and irrelevant – past.