Sunday, May 18, 2008


Tim Blair has settled into his new blog at Sydney's The Daily Telegraph, after howling outrage from many of his readers that he had betrayed them by closing his independent blog. Now if they want to comment at Blair's blog they now have to share comments space with people who actually hold opposing views to their own. The horror.

One day into the new gig, Blair was clearly already well over his mostly Bush-worshipping American readership's endless complaints that their bursts of 'brilliant wit' actually had to be moderated now, and why didn't he get more moderators or work faster so they could more quickly show each other how brilliant and witty they were? Blair's frustration was obvious :

Remember, we’re only 24 hours or so into this. Don’t fear the newness. Only a few years ago my site had no comments facility at all; I used to get slammed for that, too. And later for allowing too many comments. Now, for not posting comments quickly enough ...

We’ll sort things out. Might take a little while, but still.
Blair was then told by some of his most frequent commenters that they didn't think he was all that important to his own blog anyway, and it was the brilliant wit of the commenters that pulled the crowds and kept the blog alive. Nice. Here's Wronwright :
...this blog was built on the comments. This community has essentially crafted a unique situation. I don’t know any other like it. You lose that when you go over to a newspaper blog.

...I can tell it won’t be the same as this blog. For one thing, it’s not enough that moderation is being done. I detest 95% of the trolls and I’d just as soon they’d be eradicated. You can’t do that on a newspaper blog.


Tim Blair is also discovering already how embarrassing it can be to be a newspaper blogger, particularly when you're a blogger that likes to rip into the corporate competition. Witness The Daily Telegraph's Blair going after the Sun-Herald over this story, which claims :

The Australian Army tested chemical weapons on a town which now has deaths from cancer 10 times the state average.

Military scientists sprayed the toxic defoliant Agent Orange in the jungle that is part of the water catchment area for Innisfail in Queensland’s far north at the start of the Vietnam War.

Blair wonders :
A defoliant now counts as a “chemical weapon”? Fairfax staff are traditionally confused over this.
Blair's workmates seem confused as well, because they ran the exact same story on the same day as the Sun Herald over at the Telegraph :

Blair doesn't acknowledge this double-standard, of course. Not yet, anyway.

This is a typical tactic of both Blair and his Yoda, Andrew Bolt at the Herald Sun. They quote global warming hysteria and eco-mania from wire stories run in Fairfax media, and at the ABC, while refusing to acknowledge that their own newspapers are running the exact same stories, often with far more dramatic headlines and imagery. Rupert Murdoch himself announced last year that climate change posed "dire consequences" for the world, and that his worldwide media empire would work hard to convince readers of this truth.

But neither Blair nor Bolt will acknowledge that Rupert Murdoch is a far more influential promoter of climate change than Al Gore, or Tim Flannery (their standard emotional scratching post). Nor will they acknowledge the fact that the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun pump as much, if not more, environment- related Fear & Doom stories into the minds of their readers as Fairfax and the ABC.

But those truths don't tie into the Blair n' Bolt 'Evil Lefties' narrative, of course.