Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm Impressed, Your Journalists Are Like Frightened Sheep

Annabel Crabb wonders if Kevin "Total Control" Rudd privately oohs a little awe at how China keeps its media in check :

For publicity-conscious prime ministers (and which of them isn't?), repression really does take the legwork out of media management. Forget the endless round of wheedling, bullying, placating, cajoling and hand-holding that constitutes modern spin.

The whiff of "How would you like your entire family to go to jail?" is so much neater and more efficient, don't you think?

Imagine the thrill of simply running a red pen through anything that might have the effect of dimming your aura of brilliance! Within seconds, your shickered rampage through the fleshpots of New York becomes a beard-stroking mission to the United Nations.

Footage of your unfortunate earwax excavations disappears without a trace from the internet, replaced by endless video hours of troop inspection, and tiny children presenting you reverently with stuffed pandas.

Rudd doesn't have to worry about putting to use any media repression tricks he might pick up in China just yet, or the ones he didn't already know. For now, most of the major journalists seem to be firmly on Rudd's side.

That will change when the budget and the new opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull, reset the media focus for the rest of 2008 to something with more claws and blood.