Andrew Bolt on Conroy’s Media Gagging Law

Andrew Bolt is loudly opposing Stephen Conroy’s media gagging attempts, as is the Murdoch stable with their front page campaign.

This was was the front page of the Sydney Daily Telegraph:

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Bolt is on the attack, not only against Conroy but also against other journalists who he views as collaborators. Here is the first part of his column:

IT’S shocking enough the Gillard Government tries to muzzle journalists. Worse is that journalists cheer it on.

Even ministers privately believe what seems obvious: media laws proposed by the Government are revenge on its critics, especially News Ltd newspapers like this one.

Hear it from Fairfax’s Peter Hartcher, who’s spoken to more ministers than’ll speak to me.

Reports Hartcher: “Labor’s leaders wanted to punish enemies – the Murdoch empire – … as they head for the exit, runs the theory held by some senior ministers.” 

Asked for examples of media sins that need taming, Communications Minister Steve Conroy gave the ABC just two – both involving journalists criticising the Government.

Of course, the proper reaction to a government using state power thus should be horror. How dare it act like some tinpot tyranny, telling us what we may read or write?

But check the reaction when Sydney’s Daily Telegraph made that point in a brilliant front page lampooning Conroy, picturing him alongside Stalin, Mao, and Mugabe.

This was legitimate mocking of an astonishingly arrogant politician planning to appoint a government commissar to monitor media standards and strip legal protections from journalists who refuse to recognise its authority.

Yet some senior journalists treated it as exactly the reporting Conroy’s law was not only meant to stamp out, but perhaps should.

Take Leigh Sales, the ABC’s 7.30 presenter, who attacked News’ editorial director, Campbell Reid.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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