With each passing day, we have more and more stories from our Canberra press gallery telling us that Julia Gillard is under dire threat of a challenge from Kevin Rudd. No matter what she does, it seems that all stories will now include what this means in the context of What It Means For Kevin. Polls are reported as being overwhelmingly in Favour of Kevin – even though, when you look at, potential Labor voters prefer Julia and Kevin evenly – whilst it’s potential Liberal voters who prefer Kevin.
Of course they do. It’s like the Labor voters who prefer Turnbull. Always prefer the person who isn’t in the chair. It’s just der stuff. What has happened with these journalists is that they are now stuck in a very narrow groove. While they are unable to produce factual responses to the points of Tony Abbott (as highlighted by Grog’s Gamut) nor be able to highlight Malcolm Turnbull producing inaccurate statements about the NBN, they just have the following settings: Speculate about Rudd. Quote from Tony Abbott. Boats. BER. Pink Batts. Rudd. Pyne. Gillard’s Shoe. Abbott stunt. Gillard looking wooden. Rudd. Boats. Economy in Trouble (when it’s not). Debt Big (when it’s not). Carbon Tax. Greens are Watermelons. Rudd.
The ABC, who used to have some kind of distance from this stuff, have stepped into the fray. “Increasing speculation” they say. They don’t mention who is speculating – though the media like speculating. Every. Single. Day. Apparently, there is “no escaping speculation that Julia Gillard’s prospects in the job are terminal”. No there isn’t. It’s on the news Every Single Day. According to media outlets, Gillard has been terminal for months. Then we have that unnamed sources in the ALP – “are now concluding that Ms Gillard’s leadership is in ‘deep trouble'”. Of course they would be. If you read the newspapers and watch TV news every day like politicians do, you would conclude that the nation is in dire trouble and Gillard’s for the chop. Especially if you read the stories that appear everyday that start with “The Opposition Says”. Never before in Australia have we been so informed about the opinions of an Opposition as we are today.
The article reveals the repetitious nature of the journalists on the political round, by including questions directed to Kevin. “The journalist asked if 2012 would not only be the Year of the Dragon, but also the Year of Kevin Rudd”. Kevin wouldn’t have heard a question about him taking the leadership back before. And gee, how would he answer that? “Mr Rudd would only smile before giving a version of his stock-standard answer to leadership questions”. Yes, stock standard BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SAME QUESTIONS HE HAS RECEIVED FOR THE LAST YEAR.
The article continues with the silly, by just verbatim quoting of other Labor figures answering the same questions they have been answering for a year.
The best comment about our media is contained in the article, however, from the ever “sober” Stephen Smith – “I don’t worry about chatter in the media. I get on with the job and I think we’ve got to be very focused”. Indeed. Chatter. That’s all it is.
I have threatened that each time a Rudd Leadership Story is mentioned on Twitter, I’ll put up a Justin Bieber video in response. Both are ridiculous and irrelevant. However, perhaps it’s just better that every time Rudd is mentioned, we need a rebadged version of the old MC Hammer hit, You Can’t Touch This – especially the refrain “Stop, Hammer Time.” That’s how our Canberra gallery work. Except it’s Stop. Ruddy Time.