Sep 262007

I’d urge you, dear reader, to have a gander at Ken Parish’s spittle-flecked rant about the ABC’s Media Watch program treatment of someone who just happens to scribble on Club Troppo occasionally.

Why, you may ask? As an abject example of just what one needs to take seriously in this life, and what one can laugh out loud about, dismiss and move on from. I know writer’s block can set in sometimes, and finding a suitable subject to blog about sometimes comes hard, but seriously, starting off a rant about a television program with…“What a slimy, condescending, pox-ridden excrescence is ABC’s Media Watch program.” simply goes to extremes.
It’s pretty clear that Phillip Adams made a blue in identifying Helen Dale/Darville/Demidenko, or whatever name she chooses to run under these days, as the person who made his blood freeze. Given the inferences the latter lady applied to the subject both on her usual graffiti wall – Catallaxy – and Club Troppo (comments), she doesn’t spare much consideration for Adams either.
You see, this is the real point, (paying attention, Jason?) no-one who’s up in arms over a television program knows for sure & certain whether this meeting of minds actually took place? And if it did – or didn’t – then so what?!!! If it did, someone looks silly. If it didn’t someone else looks silly. Big deal! Yet the ‘Friends of Helen Dale/Demidenko/Darville Society’ seem vowed and declared (comments) that it must never have happened because Phillip Adams is a Phat Phuck or some equally ridiculous and mindless insult, according to how much you despise Adams’ self-declared leftish ideology. Amusingly, Dale/Demidenko/Darville thinks it’s all a bit of a hoot:

“I’m not even angry, really, it’s just too funny to be really angry about.”

Seems she’s the only one who wants to blink and miss this episode, while others of her ideological bent want to leap to a causeless defence. Typically blogospheric behaviour, actually.
Of course, one mustn’t dare to focus on blogospheric behaviour, must one? There’s the room temperature of a bloggers IQ to consider. Is that Fahrenheit or Celcius, I wonder? I notice there’s a comment on this subject on CT which pretty well encapsulates the sphere & all in it.

This thread neatly encapsulates a lot of what is wrong with the blogsphere:
1. Incosequential subject matter that most couldn’t give a stuff about;
2. Post that displays moral outrage completely out of proportion with alleged offence/outrage;
3. Valid and pertinent comments derailed by juvenile bickering and name calling;
4. Special pleading.

’nuff said, I reckon. Oh, by all means do read the ensuing comment threads on the above-mentioned blogs. It’s what they do this stuff for, y’know :)

  17 Responses to “We Look After Our Own……Apparently”

  1. It seems fairly inappropriate to use strongly negative language about an interview that didn’t exist, and then not apologise. It also seems inappropriate for MW to use their segment to have another go at Helen.
    I don’t think the important point is whether they have ever met. Indeed, that seems almost entirely irrelevant to the appropirateness of the behaviour of Adams & MW.

  2. Define ‘appropriate’, John. Is Parish’s reaction ‘appropriate’? Is Soon’s? Is spraying foam across the sphere over an issue which amounts to nothing more than a typhoon in a thimble, appropriate? Adam’s made a blue. Perhaps he needs to retract his statement in a more fulsome manner. Media Watch…..well, let’s be clear. It’s a TV program. Entertainment. As I read someone say, it’s trash talk directed at trash talkers. I’m amused by those who see the issue as yet another opportunity to lambaste the ABC because it’s a public-owned instrumentality (not government owned, as those on the right insist), and ought to be privatised, etc. Just imagine MW in the same vein as ACA. It doesn’t bear thinking about. We’d likely see Parish – that vaunted centrist – taking a daily apoplectic fit.
    The real bottom line in my mind being the total irrelevancy placed on the issue by Ms Dale/Darville/Demidenko. Probably rightly so, given her own dubious background.

  3. You see, this is the real point, (paying attention, Jason?) no-one who’s up in arms over a television program knows for sure & certain whether this meeting of minds actually took place?
    I reckon that it’s pretty certain it didn’t take place. Why? Because if it had, it would’ve been in the records of the Late Night Live program yes? And I’m sure that Adams and co would’ve paraded that with relish.
    I didn’t listen to the interview in which Adams claims to’ve had his blood chilled by Helen but I failed to see why that would’ve occured. If the inference is that she is a racial bigot, I’ve never seen any such evidence that she is. That includes her famously ‘anti-semitic’ novel.
    The fact is that the cultural establishment in this country was caught with their pants down. There was a deliberate policy of ethnic essentialism at the time which tended to include or exclude voices not on the basis of quality of work but on the basis of the ethnicity of the author: a sort of cultural industry affirmative action. I won’t express my opinions on this sort of policy except to say that I have no problem with an author deploying a hoax to exploit it and/or lampoon it.
    Funnily enough The Hand That Signed The Paper was lauded by the literary establishment before the Demidenko hoax was blown and accused of anti-semitism afterward. It’s my view that the Oz cultural industry establishment are a bunch of self-important blowhard mediocrities who take themselves so seriously as to catalogue every demonstration of the mundane reality of their calibre. I believe the anti-semitism volley was by and large a cover for return fire from bruised pride.
    Philip Adams is the world heavyweight champion of self-important blowhard Australian mediocrity.
    My objections to Adams don’t come so much from a ‘contempt for his ideology’ as the hypocrisy, the childish bleating, the shallow pap voiced as profound insight that characterizes the standard Adams schpiel. The guy seriously think he’s Emerson.
    He ain’t Emerson he’s the hippie answer to Colonel Blimp.

  4. Media Watch…..well, let’s be clear. It’s a TV program. Entertainment. As I read someone say, it’s trash talk directed at trash talkers.
    Media Watch is far more than that. I’m not really certain they deserve a rap over the knuckles for their presentation of the whole thing. But they do display a bias and should not.

  5. two goes, Adrien? I’m impressed. I fail to see the real point of your treatise, and find myself wondering why you’re defending Darville/Demidenko/Dale when you admit that she’s as much a fraudster in your eyes as Adams is. That she hoaxed the culture vultures in the name of art doesn’t seem a relevant excuse to place her on a pedestal to me.
    As for Adams, I disagree entirely. Let’s be honest, shall we, and come right out with the real angst you hold against him, that he’s successful in more fields of endeavour concerning the arts than most pretending literati can hope to be. Personally, I like his style. He is what he is and damn the critiques. You’re free to dislike him, but please, if you’re going to invest in a hate fest, at least define the subject as well as the object.
    Media Watch? It’s still television, which is essentially entertainment. Do try not to take it seriously.

  6. “Media Watch? It’s still television, which is essentially entertainment. Do try not to take it seriously.”
    Your condescending, immature attitude aside, the idea that all television is “essentially entertainment” that should not be taken seriously is curious. I assume that your attitude extends to news stories containing facts that support your political leanings? Since it’s rather obvious that the facts of this story don’t support them.
    If anyone wants to talk to a 13 year old with tabs open at all times to (thesaurus included!), or an adult with the manners of a 13 year old, Niall is apparently available.

  7. Your condescending, immature attitude aside, oh dear, Cha… on the right just don’t get it, do you? When you start hurling insults, you’ve already lost. Of course, being American, you’d know all about the issues at play in the matter I posted on, wouldn’t you. Perhaps you’d like to express a rational opinion?

  8. Had two goes old bean because the ‘it’s just entertainment’ schtick was a different subject. Media Watch purports to be a watchdog on the media. It’s serious. This ‘it’s just entertainment’ routine gets used all the time by second-rate journalists to justify their shoddy efforts and total lack of moral fibre. Media Watch is supposedly a programme that examines and exposes this. That’s good. What it isn;t good is that it appears to participate in the culture wars and therefore erodes the respect it would have if it were strictly non-partisan.
    As for Adams. Yes I’m immensely jealous. I wake up every morning and wish I was a big fat sanctimonious twit whose conversation subsists on the level of the four stoned teenagers wagging their remedial English class and discussing the ‘fact’ that aliens built the pyramids. Adams is a dinosaur and he should go. You like him you say? So what?

  9. I think Adrian is a stupid jerk. P Adams is the most consumate intellectual this country has ever had.

  10. Adrien, I’d suggest that no matter how unbiased Media Watch was, you and many others who have varying axes to grind on Aunty would still find something to gripe about. It’s television, my dear. Nothing more and certainly a whole lot less than the brain fodder it purports to be.
    In the subject of Adams, I’m happy to say I’m a ‘Poddie’ and enjoy every moment of LNL. I’m neither threatened by Adams’ intellectualist approach to culture and the arts, neither do I regard him as smarter than I am. I don’t care if he’s fat or thin, balding or fully coiffured. I appreciate his approach to life, the universe and everything because he’s so much different to the rest of the herd. You say you despise him. I say to you, Adrien, so what!

  11. I’m sure Parish & Soon have done inappropriate things in their life too. But Adams is more of a public figure spreading his message over a significantly wider audience. I think it is fair to be more worried about his behaviour than the behaviour of bloggers.
    Certainly, I would be more upset if I was lied about on national radio as opposed to catallaxy.
    As for MW, I agree we shouldn’t expect better. Perhaps the problem is that some people like the concept but find themselves forever dissapointed. Or perhaps it’s because everybody already knows ACA is crap, but some live under the false assumption that MW is a serious show.
    Finally, I think you’ll find the ABC really is owned by the government. Whether it should be or not is a different debate (personally, I don’t think the government should be in the communications industry).

  12. Niall
    You really shouldn’t make assumptions about what people think. I don’t have a problem with the ABC. I actually didn’t used to have a problem with Media Watch either. To be sure some of the political pressure brought to bare against the ABC by Howard is probably making the ABC staff more partisan (when they can) then they’d normally be. That’s a whole other issue. But Media Watch is a show the whole purpose of which is to be a standard bearer and guardian vis a vis the serious duties of the Fourth Estate. It is, however, becoming just another front in the culture war. Issuing condescending sentences is not a rebuttal.
    RE: Mr. Adams – you don’t say as much but I’m inferring again that you believe my problem with Adams is that I disagree with his politics. On points of policy I agree with him somewhat and sometime. In fact I reckon I’d disgaree with PJ O’Rourke far more often. However I respect O’Rourke as I don’t respect Adams. Adams’ weekly column in magazine is trite; his broadcasting persona rings with the self-assuredness of non-existent genius and how many times does he have to tell us that he’s an atheist?
    It ain’t 1960 anymore Phil. We don’t care.

  13. That’s The Australian magazine. Sorry HTML blunder.

  14. John
    Couldn’t agree more in some respects. I disagree, however, on the subject of ownership. The ‘government’ owns nothing that isn’t in the public purse.
    I sense a certain discomfort on your part with the persona which Mr Adams presents. Perhaps if you’ve achieved as much as he has in his lifetime, then maybe you’d have a right to challenge his POV.
    As for Media Watch, I suspect you only dislike it’s presentation because it doesn’t live up to your own personal standards. There is much more to this tale than is being revealed on air, I’m certain, however, I do think you need to step back from your expectations and simply accept the program for what it is. Entertainment aimed at a specific target, and in you, my dear, they’ve found their mark.

  15. Checked back in for what it’s worth (the price of Zimbawe bonds).
    I have a right to challenge Mr. Adams POV absolutely. It’s called freedom of speech.
    in you, my dear, they’ve found their mark.
    I am not your dear and I don’t own a television.

  16. Prosecution rests, Your Honour.

  17. What a bitchy & irrelevant thread -Diddums had a ‘senior moment’ on live radio, as he acknowledged the following night and in today’s (2nd Oct) Oz.
    However the screeching of the raving right bemuses me, why so paranoid & desperate to declaim?

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