The Press is the Opium of the Masses

Phenomena, like catastrophic Global Warming, become fact in our minds because journalists and politicians in the West tacitly say so.  Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the oft-touted but non-existent “consensus of scientists” who are promoting Carbon Taxation.  In this case for one, the science is very much secondary to the politics.

Our press is phenomenally powerful in formulating our Group Think.  Will they continue to promote Idealism and thus reject Realism?  If so, the Global recession will only get worse as Big Government spends more money from a contracting tax-payer base.  Can our newspapers help us out of our current economic decline by pulling the wool, they placed, from our eyes?

When I first landed on the hallowed shores of Sydney 12 years ago.  I swiftly got myself a subscription to the leading broadsheet newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).  For one, my soon-to-be wife loved the excellent Life Style supplement sections.  Over the years, I’ve become older, wiser (and plumper).  I also think I have woken up to a few more intricacies of life, love and politics.  I’ve turned from being an avid ABC, SBS, SMH fan (UK~BBC, USA~NBC) to a disillusioned, disappointed departee.  They are strong proponents of Left-Liberal Progressivism (something some friends still blame me being of).  So, I guess I should still be a big fan?  These media outlets are banner wavers of Middle Class Idealism; proponents of a better, more egalitarian society.  Great.  However, as I’ve become plumper, I’ve come to realise they perhaps a certain degree  of lack common sense philosophy and Realism.  I now read the Daily Telegraph (aka “Torygraph”).

Progressivism proponents, such as the SMH, have had one small chink in the armour of late.  Articles, by people such as Gerald Henderson, published by the SMH itself, deviate from their philosophical polemic.  In particular, I fully laud today’s offering by the Sydney Morning Herald.  Are they finally waking up and smelling the prevailing wind’s flowers?  Or is this just tokenism?  As controversial Gina Reinhart pointed out, their readership numbers  are collapsing and the Murdoch press are snapping them up.  The reason is their so-called balanced viewpoint, which they like to promote, is predominantly firmly Left to Far Left (aka Green).  Many people, but of course not all, have had enough of being told the Carbon Tax is great for business, Boat People immigration should not be discouraged, we should stifle the engine of Australia, the mining sector, in more Super Taxes, the list goes on.  These are allegedly great ideas.  We are delivered these messages from Prime Minister Gillard in Canberra and the message is disseminated through the government’s, tax payer paid, voice-piece, the ABC and papers like the SMH.  Many people, especially Blue Collar workers who seem to often have more common sense than us City types, read one thing and see with their own eyes another.  The story just doesn’t stack up with reality.  They are voting with their subscriptions and perhaps the decline of the SMH has finally given credence to this viewpoint.  SMH, don’t keep spouting the same party line.  It’s time to go back to centralist, more balanced, more incisive, objective and aggressive journalism.  It’s time to reveal the inconvenient truths not propone them?

Is the SMH back on former form, have they found their balance again, or is this sort of quality journalism just a blip?

Media response to inconvenient truths reveals hidden agenda

by Gerald Henderson for the Sydney Morning Herald



Information is power and thus those who deliver the information are important gate-keepers to power.  When it comes to politics, virtually all information has bias.  It’s intrinsically a subjective form.  Furthermore, when the vast majority of readily available information, namely from the mass media, is coming from a certain standpoint, then there is an overall imbalance.  When the mass media, by and large, promotes Big Government, taxation and thus regulation, it is perhaps fair to say, the “Press is the Opium of the Masses”.

Are the SMH, and the majority of the West’s press institutions, changing tack to survive the onslaught of the popular Murdoch machine?  This is not a willful change of tact, but a necessity of survival.  One directional reporting is no longer cutting the grass of viewer opinion.  SMH, are you putting the old school, informative journalism back into your journal?  Let’s hope so.

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3 Responses to The Press is the Opium of the Masses

  1. Les Richardson says:

    Gerald Henderson is a fairly frequent columnist for the SMH, and this is a good example of what he writes. He’s a conservative, and a very insightful writer. The article itself is carefully crafted to try not to turn off the average SMH reader too quickly, and is well written to try to do that and still maintain its point.

    That the SMH have the odd conservative article is okay, but it doesn’t come close to balance. The Australian and the Telegraph have proportionally a lot more left leaning writers, many of whom are far more extreme (eg Philip Adams), and are much more likely to have simultaneous competing articles – ie a for and against version on a given topic.

    A point to also bear in mind is that the Fairfax press is in big trouble – financially it is on a downward slide and no one seems to have the faintest idea what to do about it. By leaning too hard left, the SMH and Age have lost a bit of ground to the more consistently conservative Murdoch press, but their biggest problem actually comes from the ABC. The ABC has been aggressively expanding its radio and internet services, the former hurting Fairfax’s profitable radio network, and the latter directly competing with where Fairfax needs to migrate its paper services to survive. Murdoch and Fairfax to a very large extent service different markets with a large cross-over group that is contestable. The ABC and Fairfax are fighting over the same audience.

    By moving back to the centre, Fairfax can get more customers back from Murdoch (note this seems to be the decision Newsweek has made, and CNN are starting to try to do) and that may be enough to save them. This is what Gina Rinehart not doubt planned to do. Fairfax is really struggling with the concept, but the ABC increasingly owns the far left (or is owned by it) and Fairfax simply cannot compete with a publicly funded, massively resourced entity which doesn’t need to worry about profits.

  2. RobF says:

    This is apparently not an isolated incident.

    Yesterday, there was a very heated debate in parliament and Prime Minister Julia Gillard defended the unequivocal King of Sleaze, the Speaker of the House, Peter Slipper. Why you ask? Well, he was a very public defector from his own party the opposition (Liberal) party. Julia Gillard managed to remove from their ranks this key seat to help gain the numbers to form a Labour minority government.

    In a nutshell, Julia Gillard voraciously attacked, as is oft the Left’s way, personally her opposing member, Tony Abbott. Calling, this father of 3 grown up daughters, a misogynist many, many times over. Anyway, at the end of her tirade the Speaker of the House resigned anyway and made the whole charade an obvious farce. She was defending the Sleaze King with dirty tactics for personal gain (holding a minority government in power) and it was all a futile exercise anyway.

    The Daily Telegraph newspaper is generally Right leaning and did NOT make the above point (obviously anyway). They were strangely mute on this point, one you’d think they would love to shout from the hills. However, the government’s fan club, the very Left wing, Sydney Morning Herald, published a hugely scathing article about this sordid affair. I guess this begs the question: is Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s own fan club disowning her? Is her position in a very real and present jeopardy from within?

    Sydney Morning Herald Summary paragraph:
    “But then why did she mislead the Australian people before the last election on the carbon tax? Why did she leave her law firm under a cloud? Why did she shaft her own leader? Why did she depose a prime minister who had a mandate from the people? Why has she methodically deployed the politics of personal abuse?”

    Gillard reveals true nature in playing gender card
    Julia ranting

  3. Angel Mente says:

    It is a truth that the largest part of the world’s media is controlled by right wing moguls. Their aim is to further the cause of capitalism and retain the planet’s gap between wealthy and poor. Left Insider offers left wing news from reputable news sites such as Left Futures, Red Pepper, Novara, The Canary, Buzz Feed, Left Foot Forward etc. We all own the right to fully exploit our own qualities and we all have the duty to help others maximise theirs.

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