Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, February 23, 2004
SPINNING FIT TO SCREW HIS CHAIR into the studio floor, Media Watch presenter David Marr tonight gives off-handed recognition to the vices of his political friends.

First, ex-Senator Alston's continuing attempts to find an independent umpire for his complaints about the political bias of Auntie's AM's treatment of the Iraq war.

If you can follow the logic of Media Watch on this one you deserve a PhD. Or two, if it's from the University of Western Sydney.

The introduction is a simple lie: Richard Alston?s twice-rejected complaints about the ABC?s coverage of the Iraq war.

Alston's complaints have been twice supported, by in-house ABC reviews.

You then deal only with a complaint that's not on the list of those the ABC's internal review found to be "serious" cases of bias. And you talk about nothing else. Life is too short to say any more.

Courtesy of a MEAA member, Alston's submission to the ABA has been published. Or, is about to be published on Media Watch.

And then, mirabile dictu, Media Watch reveals the latest of Philip "Gastropod" Adams's deceptions in his Australian column.

But only with a twist and a double spin. Adams is, so we're told, only following the lead set by Janet Albrechtsen, whose failure to follow the left line has already made her a target of Marr and the whole tribe of Marred minds.

Do you get that? Does that mean that until he read Albrechtsen, Adams was honest, logical and balanced?

Of course not. It means that even a token recognition of leftist chicanery must be relativised according to a leftist travesty of a conservative opinion.

This must be the grossest example of political thuggery so far this year:

The verb "to albrecht" meaning to lift and twist - entered the language a couple of years ago when we reported columnist Janet Albrechtsen lifting and twisting academic sources to suit her purposes according to Media Watch.

Of course, it didn't. But you can't tickle the Gastropod's tail without treading on the reputation of someone far more serious but insufficiently left-wing.

Still, it's worth watching Marr and his mob put to the trouble of spinning so wildly. Just lie back and forget you're paying for it.

And congratulations to the blogging Bunyip for pointing out Adams's chicanery so often that even the gruesome crew has been embarrassed into noticing it.

Don't expect a repeat this side of 2020.