There are many in the community who have been frustrated with the lack of government explanation of policies such as the carbon tax – an inability to “sell” the ideas. We have seen today just why that task is next to impossible with the way the News Limited media and now Channel 10 have targetted the union and Greenpeace backed “Say Yes” campaign.
It seems that any move to promote action on climate change inspires “community outrage” these days, if the Daily Telegraph can be believed. However, the only “community” quoted as being “outraged” were a politician – Barnaby Joyce, who believes climate change isn’t happening and Family First, the virtually non-existent party, who apparently consists of battlers who won’t afford the carbon tax – even though a. we don’t know how much it will cost and b. Family First was largely bankrolled by members of megachurches, who can afford plenty of things, including large donations to their churches and Family First.
The article in the Tele contains all the old tricks of manipulation – giving her a catchy name – instead of Hanoi Jane we have Carbon Cate; targetting Blanchett’s income; calling her a “Hollywood” actress, calling it a “slick campaign” and stating that Blanchett “refused to answer” the phone calls from the Telegraph. I would too – they would distort anything she’d say. It is pretty ironic to point out the income of Blanchett when their owner is richer than Charles Foster Kane, they have celebrated Aussie Cate whenever her Hollywood success has been celebrated when Oscars are handed out, and the DT are pretty slick with their handouts, magazines, etc.
Notice, though, that they don’t target Michael Caton – simply referring to his role on Packed to the Rafters. I’m surprised they didn’t target the fact he lives in the Eastern Suburbs. Perhaps they realise that Caton is an Australian icon, untouchable after his role on The Castle. That’s the interesting point about the ad, which is a simple, informative, ad that outlines the need for carbon pricing. And it is Caton, not Blanchett, who is the star – and doing the most explanation. Just giving us the vibe of carbon pricing.
It was said on Twitter by well known political historian and sage Malcolm Farnsworth that it is patronising of organisations who mount campaigns like these, using movie and TV stars to tell people what to do and think. I do agree that it is and it should be unnecessary to undertake such actions, but that seems to be the nature of contemporary message delivery. A known face, a person with high “Q” scores, such as Caton and, to a lesser extent, Blanchett, does have more “cut through” than an anonymous person. It is a good advertisement as a start of the information delivery that is needed in relation to carbon pricing.
The aggressive, personal attacks from the Daily Telegraph is proof that News Limited and its fellow travellers (we can expect a similar approach from a Channel 10 part owned by Gina Rinehart and James Packer) do feel threatened by the impact of the ad, that it normalises climate change, rather than being the provence of scientists like Tim Flannery, who have been easier targets for the anti-CC media in the past, due to a general public suspicion of scientists and their jargon. We really do seem to have the beginnings of a polarised media in the American style, with the Daily Telegraph becoming the New York Post and The Australian being the print version of Fox News. However, I suspect Rinehart and her strategists will find it hard to tinker too much with Channel 10 – the core audience (18 – 29 year olds) would have no interest in the smug Play School warblings of Andrew Bolt.
All in all, we can see what would happen to a government advertisement. News Limited papers and commercial TV (along with talkback – imagine that well known impoverished man of the people Alan Jones and Ray Hadley tomorrow!) would zero in on any part of it and blacken it. Just as they have the facts of climate change – which has seen more and more people starting to doubt the facts. Encouraging people to doubt facts, the proud record of our commercial media outlets. No wonder the government really can’t figure a way to sell / promote / disseminate the need for a climate pricing mechanism. They are defeated before they can start.