Coming back to Blogger

July 30, 2007

A couple of weeks ago I decided to move Ethical Martini over to WordPress. But I really wasn’t happy there.
I’ve thought about it and done a bit more scoping of the options on offer at both places – there are subtle but important differences – and decided, no matter how I feel about the Goolempire, to return to my original home.


Some reading from Columbia Journalism Review

July 30, 2007

Dear Reader,

For your reading pleasure, as the Bancroft family makes up its collective mind, we offer three recent offerings from
Columbia Journalism Review on the matter of News Corp. and Dow Jones.
Your choice: short, medium, long. We hope you enjoy all three.

The Editors

The Scorpion and the Frog
CJR’s editorial on the Murdoch offer

Why the Dow Jones Vote Matters
Dean Starkman on the mission of The Wall Street Journal

Bending to Power
Murdoch historian Bruce Page on how Rupert built his empire, and how he uses it

Facebook and surveillance

July 23, 2007

I received this email from a colleague today. He’s asked me not to use his name. It’s not paranoia, just a precaution.

I very much like the idea of the police or employers trowelling Facebook and similar to gather Evidence.

As this On line social networking craze escalates, one will be regarded with suspicion if/when one Does Not have a Facebook site orequivalent. What’s wrong with you? What have you got to hide? I get looked at weirdly because I don’t use a mobile phone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Your national broadcaster…No, not the ABC, the other one

July 19, 2007

Well it had to happen, the ABC’s been losing its grip for some time, now, like a staggering drunk who doesn’t realise they are sick with alcoholism, the ABC’s finally crossed over.

No, not to the spiritual plane, but to the very earthly plane of commercial broadcasting. How did this happen? Well, it seems that a cosy deal between the two national brooadcasters – the ABC and Channel Nine – is allowing ABC radio “stars” to also front programs on the Nine Network.
Thankfully, the ABC has not gone completely down to the bottom of the barrel, The Media Report, on ABC Radio National, has exposed the rort.

The transcript and the audio/podcast are here. But to whet your appetite, here’s a little teaser:

Media Watch presenter, Anthony Funnell: But let’s start in Brisbane. And have a listen to this:

Spencer Howson: Hello, Spencer Howson here; tonight on Extra, the best garden-friendly laundry detergents, so you can use grey water safely. Also shopping online for bonus rewards and discounts. Plus a family desperately needing grandparents. See you at 5.30.

TV advertisement voiceover: Did someone say pizza?

Read the rest of this entry »

Mike Steketee – why is he still at The Australian?

July 19, 2007

In a column today, The Australian‘s political correspondent and columnist, Mike Steketee, takes a look at the civil liberties implications of the arrest, detention and charging of Dr Mohamed Haneef with terrorism-related offences. Dr Haneef is charged with “recklessly” giving a mobile phone SIM card to his cousin who then might have used it in a terror plot in the UK.

Here’s a taste of what Steketee had to say:

The High Court has ruled that people can be detained indefinitely under the immigration laws and it could take years for the courts to deal with the charge against Haneef.

That emphasises how far this Government is prepared to go to debauch the independent legal process: the one, by the way, we are fighting to preserve in the war against terrorists.

This is basically right, but I’m sure it’s not sitting very well with The Australian‘s editorial masters. Steketee is the conscience of the paper. Of course, all the good work that he does in putting a sane and sensible position is undone when you see the type of illustration that the paper uses to support the column.

The Australian's image of Dr Haneef

I couldn’t resist pinching this from crikey too

July 19, 2007
5. Howard’s missing video

Lauren Parle writes:

When Prime Minister John Howard lost his YouTube virginity yesterday morning, he probably didn’t expect a search of his name to rank his two-minute long piece behind videos entitled “John Howard is a farting fossil fuel” and “John Howard downloads some p-rn”. Read the rest of this entry »

update on the Haneef leaks to The Australian

July 19, 2007

This story is still moving along. Now it seems that late yesterday (Wednesday 18 July) the lawyer for Dr Haneef admitted that he had leaked transcripts of an interrogation of his client to the news media. The lawyer, Stephen Keim, is also going on the offensive, accusing the Australian Federal Police and others of also leaking material damaging to his client.

The barrister made some strong comments to the media today (19 July):

Mr Ruddock said he would investigate what sanctions were possible against Mr Keim, but the Brisbane barrister said the outrage was selective in that neither the Government nor the AFP had condemned several leaks of material damaging to Dr Haneef. “My client has been subject to a barrage of leaks,” Mr Keim said.He said he was bemused by the assertions of Mr Keelty in circumstances where an aggressive campaign of leaking, selectively and misleadingly, from the same document and other allegedly secret documentation held by law-enforcement agencies had been perpetrated in recent weeks.

“These leaks could only have been motivated by a desire by those perpetrating them to suggest to the Australian public that the case against Dr Haneef was stronger than the Australian Federal Police, through their counsel, the commonwealth DPP, had been able to put before the court,” Mr Keim said.

“I challenge the Prime Minister, his ministers, Mr Keelty and the police to produce the legal basis which would make anything I’ve done illegal.

“They know where I am. If they think I’ve done anything wrong, they can come and take me away.” Read the rest of this entry »