Does this quote from Balzac’s Lost Illusions bring anyone to mind in the Australian media?
Journalism, so far from being in the hands of a priesthood, came to be first a party weapon, and then a commercial speculation, carried on without conscience or scruple, like other commercial speculations. Every newspaper, as Blondet says, is a shop to which people come for opinions of the right shade. If there were a paper for hunchbacks, it would set forth plainly, morning and evening, in its columns, the beauty, the utility, and necessity of deformity. A newspaper is not supposed to enlighten its readers, but to supply them with congenial opinions. Give any newspaper time enough, and it will be base, hypocritical, shameless, and treacherous; the periodical press will be the death of ideas, systems, and individuals; nay, it will flourish upon their decay. It will take the credit of all creations of the brain; the harm that it does is done anonymously. We, for instance—I, Claude Vignon; you, Blondet; you, Lousteau; and you, Finot—we are all Platos, Aristides, and Catos, Plutarch’s men, in short; we are all immaculate; we may wash our hands of all iniquity. Napoleon’s sublime aphorism, suggested by his study of the Convention, ‘No one individual is responsible for a crime committed collectively,’ sums up the whole significance of a phenomenon, moral or immoral, whichever you please. However shamefully a newspaper may behave, the disgrace attaches to no one person.
Passing Bull 292 Hypocrisy of the Prime Minister
The hypocrisy of Scott Morrison defies belief. (Have you met anyone who believes that he is fit for the job of Prime Minister?) He wants to abolish the ABC, in conformity with the requirements of Rupert Murdoch, and he wants a government inquiry into it. He resists proper inquiry into the manifest corruption of which his whole government smells.
I was the risk manager of a large law firm for fifteen years, but you do not need that experience to see just how risky this man is. He not intelligent. He is not aware of how unintelligent he is. And he gets that blindness from God. He is therefore as safe as Guy Fawkes.
My heart therefore goes out to a 75year old lady from Richmond, Lynette Payne. Her letter to The Age today concludes ‘There will be riots in the streets if the ABC is privatised/abolished, and I will be one of the rioters.’ Atta girl, Lyn – and I will be there with you, shoulder to shoulder. There is also a letter from Glenda McNaught of East Melbourne. If she is the person I think she is, she knows all about preppy dopes with ideas above their station. She catalogues the grosser failings of Mr Morrison – and then mentions the one thing he got right. He appointed Ita Buttrose the chair of the ABC. Hit them right where it hurts most, Ita.