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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 08:55 am
Age economics editor Tim Colebatch:
The worst betrayal of the public is by the columnists, newspapers and think tanks that have turned themselves into cheer squads for the Government and hitmen against its opponents. We have a new class of intellectual courtier in the media and think tanks, who churn out newspaper columns supporting the Government and are rewarded with appointments to government bodies.
You mean like Phillip Adams?
Columnists should not be team players (this one certainly isn’t).
Individualism! At the Age!
Their job is to be independent auditors of what the politicians are doing with our money, and our trust. Their job is to think through issues, without fear or favour, and give readers relevant facts and arguments they will find useful. Their job is to serve readers, not politicians …
Colebatch seems certain of the notion that any thoughtful examination of issues, without fear or favour, will deliver a finding that opposes the Howard government.
To me, those who act as a cheer squad for those in power, or as hitmen against those out of power, are indistinguishable from their counterparts in authoritarian states such as China and Iran.
Speaking of cheer squads, has the Age’s economics editor already forgotten the conga line of suckholes who assembled behind Mark Latham? Having dismissed conservative columnists (none of whom he names) as fascist-state cheerleaders, Colebatch ends on an informative note:
If we talk past each other, if we refuse to engage with each other’s arguments but resort to abuse and hyperbole, we desert the meeting ground of objective debate.
When you find that ground, mate, tell us about it.