Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


The controversy about Abbott’s “Shit happens” remark is a beatup, although his weird reaction to it is probably newsworthy.
Frankly, the way the media handles politicians visiting war zones is a complete nonsense.
I remember a visit from Vince Gair in SVN when I was in 7 RAR. Apart from the sight of an overweight and pudgy gentleman wandering around our lines followed by (I think) one cameraman, it was a non event.
I remember thinking “What on earth is he doing here?”, and from memory, most of us shared the same thoughts. We generally thought the whole thing was, to put it crudely, a bit of a wank.
I vaguely remember Malcolm Fraser visiting as Minister for Defence, but I may be wrong.
Nothing seems to have changed, except the degree of hype involved.
I don’t doubt the good intentions of the politicians (of all stripes) concerned in showing support for the diggers, but if it’s the diggers they want to support, why do they need to have an army of hangers on making sure they’re seen in the best light back home?
The answer is of course, wrapped up in promoting a political image, but the sad thing about it is the way in which the diggers are used as fodder in this enterprise.
I have a raw spot about this, given the way our service was treated when it was no longer politically popular. This treatment was across the board when I got home, irrespective of party politics. Nobody in politics wanted to know us.
Here’s a thought.
How about banning the media from travelling with politicians visiting soldiers on operational duty?
The diggers would feel supported and valued, and the politicians would be freer to be themselves, and in a better position to learn something without media minders.
What do you reckon?


cav said...

What do I reckon?

This news was 6 months old. Abbott had banned footage from the media as he didn't want images of his firing weapons to get into the hands of the media.

Was this the catalyst for Riley to go sniffing for some news by using FOI to get some footage?

Riley denies he ambushed Abbott as he informed Abbott's people about the interview and what he was going to ask.

What he did do was infer that Abbott's shit happens comment referred to the death of an Australian soldier.

I think Abbott was stunned by this. What was going through Abbott's mind? Should I deck him or headbutt him would be my guess.

C7 that night referred to Abbott's insensitive comments as an intro to Riley's piece for the evening news, and yes two more gotchas.

They made sure that they showed the full 24 seconds of silence and they edited the shit happens footage that omits two senior military members agreeing with him.

Gutter journalism.

A six months old story introduced in a way to embarrass Abbott.

A beatup 1735099?

Abbott didn't lay a hand on him, pity.

1735099 said...

If Abbott didn't want pictures of himself having yippee shoots all he had to do was not to fire the weapons in the first place. Howard didn't, Rudd didn't and Gillard doesn't.
Better still - no media - no problem, which is the point made in my original post. Also there is no risk of diggers being used as political propaganda if the media isn't present.

cav said...

It wasn't the media, it was Defence that did the filming. That's why Riley needed FOI to go sniffing for a story

1735099 said...

Army media is still media. No cameras - no propaganda - no problem.

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