Not how it’s done – at all

I have no time, and probably less respect, for Piers Akerman. I don’t know if I’ve ever found a topic that I’ve ever agreed withhim on, other than the fact that we boththink he is overweight. I guess you can find some common ground withanyone – and with Piers, there’s a lot of ground.

Anyway, moving on from cheap shots, I was told by St. Ives that he had written a defense of John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin. I, of course, never would have seen it had it not been brought to my attention, primarily because I avoid Akerman and his vile articles (if you can call them that) like the plague. I sought it out, and could smell the sulfur before I even got my search typed into Google. There it was, first entry when you search ‘piers ackerman sarah palin’. I read through it and it was as awful as St. Ives had warned.

In essence, the piece is two things:

  1. A personal attack on a Fairfax employee Bruce Wolpe, and;
  2. Crap*

It’s a piece where Akerman devotes 10 of his 21 paragraphs (with 2 paragraphs not even being a line long) to attacking Wolpe. What does this have to do with anything, you might ask? I would answer: Absolutely nothing. If Akerman wanted to attack someone using his editorial piece then fine, he can do that. I wouldn’t have had to read it, and the world would think no less of him, as I’m sure the world already disregards him as a fool. But to attack and slander a man under the guise of “reporting” on the U.S. political situation is just stupid.

Akerman reports that Wolpe is a former Clinton employee:

Fairfax executive and occasional commentator Bruce Wolpe, whose brief experience working for the Clintons in Washington apparently qualified him for the job of corporate affairs head on the amateur hour team selected by academic Fred Hilmer, the former chief executive of the flailing publisher, to decorate its tarnished mahogany row.

That is infinitely more first hand knowledge, regardless of the time spent there, than Akerman has of U.S. politics. And what it has to do with his job at Fairfax I’m still trying to figure out. Is he accusing Fairfax media of being left-wing? I think that’s it, but I’m still far from positive.

Anyway, Akerman blabs on about this guy some more, and then finally gets into what the article should be about: His defense of Sarah Palin. That is, if the headline is anything to go by:

Cheap shot not match for survivalist Sarah Palin

He lambasts Barack Obamafor unproven rumours, lies, and false accusations, mix in some general fear-mongering about the Obama/Biden ticket, before going on to praise Palin for being ‘no machine woman’ (which she is), a real ‘new face for American politics’ (which, granted she is, but way too new), that she ‘knows the world of energy’ (which she does not, at all), has ‘a record that reflects experience’ (which she certainly does not – see here and comments here), and that she is ‘an experienced reformer’ (hahaha, you’re kidding Piers, right? Right?)

The most pathetic, yet amusing, aspect of this article is that Akerman has progressively and absolutely been proved wrong on each of his “Palin defenses”throughout the day. As news and scandals continued to break about Palin, Akerman’s piece looked more and more laughable for us observers.

If you’re not a machine woman, you don’t peg $8 million worth of earmarks in 6 years as mayor, you don’t pander to the conservative right, and you aren’t trotted out as a token VP to sure up the base vote as well as try and woo another demographic.

You might be a new face, but so too is a freshman Congressman, and do you really want that person in the waiting for the White House?

If you know the world of energy, you don’t demand that the government allow drilling all over (and off) the country to fix the oil crisis forever.

If you have a record of experience, you have a record that is more than 1.5 years as governor of the 47th smallest state, and mayor of some bunyip town that has less people than turn up to a South Sydney rugby game!

 And if you’re an experienced reformer, you do not have a trail of corruption and questionable behaviour in both public offices that you served.

And then, after defending Palin, Akerman goes on to attack this Wolpe guy again. As if it has somehow managed to feed itself back into the article naturally. No, Piers, the only natural thing about this article is that it’s what you expect a loon right-wing douche would naturally produce. It’s only natural to read this sort of thing from you, Piers. You’ve made a career out of being ludicrous, being sensation to the point of idiotic, and being a fool. You are the most disregarded “””””journalist””””” (really had to stop myself with the “”) that I have ever know.

Writing in the Sun-Herald, Wolpe, a Democrat who never prevents his political affiliation from colouring his views, says John McCain’s choice as Republican presidential running mate, has, “neither stature nor tethers.”

Funnily enough, you do that you dopey hypocrite! How you defended Howard, how you deny any notion of climate change, how you espouse your anti-Labor rhetoric. When was the last time you left your political affiliation out of a column you hack?

Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t hate the guy for having these opinions**, I just hate that he thinks they are the only only opinions that matter, and that he provides no substantial evidence or research to back any of them up. Often, such as in the case of this garbage article, it looks like the fool didn’t even put thought into the writing process, much less research.

It turns out that the maximum extent of the Republican vetting process of Palin was to go onto Google (and I seriously wish I was making this up, but I promise you I am not) and look for anything that came up. And people are mauling the McCain campaign and Republican mismanagement for this complete and miserable failure of duty. Rightly so, I might ad.

Shouldn’t we be holding our journalists to the same sort of standards – that they write informed and factual pieces, and not “persuade” or brainwash the public with pathetic pieces of propaganda? Shouldn’t we be holding Australian media and journalists to the same standards that public servants are held? They have a duty and a role as important in today’s society as those people they report on. They have a responsibility to report accurately, fairly, and without bias. Shouldn’t we hold them to the same strict standards? Surely we should.

Thomas.

 

* I linked to the article on this word because I wasn’t about to tarnish a good and proper English language word by using it as a portal to Hell

** Yes I do

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