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Abbott’s Murdoch moment

Today’s Courier Mail front page

In the talk show it is called “the money shot”. That unscripted moment in the show when something genuinely unexpected happens, breaking out from banality, and into genuine confrontation.

It is this moment that the program exists for. It is why people watch: to connect with something that, because it is not staged, resonates as the truth. But usually this moment is delivered by an audience member, or non-celebrity invited on stage.

Last night, at the Courier Mail-sponsored people’s forum, it was not the audience but Tony Abbott who provided this moment, and predictably, this is the moment that has had the most attention since the debate.

Was this moment genuinely uncontrolled? Some have suggested Abbott has anger issues and an inability to perform under pressure. But actually, Abbott had everything going for him. After all, given that all the resources of the News Corp empire are backing him up in every city, he was in a safe house: a rugby leagues club owned by News Corp, hosting on a TV station owned by News Corp and sponsored by a newspaper owned by News Corp. Last night, access to the political public sphere had become managed by private interests who have already made their support for Abbott transparent.

With the “shock and awe” media power that Abbott has been able to tow along with, undermining the highest office in the land he himself may be holding, with the tag “this guy” is not that courageous. He is kind of closing the loop between the tabloid campaign: “finally, you have the chance to KICK THIS MOB OUT” becomes “does this guy ever shut up?”

In this context the cross-selling of the message between Abbott and News Corp, is looking really staged. It is a shot at the PM and a money shot for Murdoch. It sells television, newspapers, leagues club support, and between these institutions Rudd can easily get caught in the cross-fire.

Being far ahead in the polls, Abbott could not afford to make any whopping mistakes, but could be confident that his attempt to humiliate Rudd would be given favourable coverage. Indeed it was, by the “sponsor” of the debate, the Courier Mail, the following morning.

Join the conversation

9 Comments sorted by

  1. Michael Shand

    Software Tester

    The whole thing is a sham, do you know why it is only the 2 major party's debating?

    do you know why everywhere in the media including the The Conversation they always put election images of Rudd v Abbot?

    The whole thing is a sham

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    1. Kym Afford

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Shand

      I did not watch it but waited for the Murdoch view..dangerously predictable... And if you think Abbott scripted that retort, recall his trembling lip in Pakistan... I can feel an uppercut coming on!

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    2. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Kym Afford

      I don't have a view on whether that particular line was scripted or not

      to me that is missing the forrest for the tree's

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  2. Rod Govers

    Retired IT administrator

    I got the feeling watching the debate, that Abbott had rehearsed that line and was just waiting to throw it in somewhere.

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  3. Pat Moore

    gardener

    Kudos David for joining the dots and making the true picture plain....Murdochracy brought to us by his sponsors, the two party political state. The LNP though is THE chosen golden boy this time Michael to do optimal damage to what's left of the commons and for an over-the-top privatisation party come September 7th...the Moet will be flowing down the crystal cascades and diamonds will be flashing amongst the dark Italian suits and shoes. The Queensland coup will be going national. The top of the…

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  4. Simon Coyle

    Retired at Life Inc.

    I used to wonder what Rupert was up to when he moved NewsCorp off-shore and then forsake his home for US citizenship...I wonder no longer, seems he's determined to turn AUS into USA

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  5. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    All is perception - the Courier Mail - if they wished - could have turned it into the Latham handshake moment.

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  6. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    They may have put Newman into power, partially by blaming his predecessor for an act of nature, the Brisbane Floods.
    But can The Brisbane Courier-Mail do it again?
    Remember these are the turkeys who used to go around telling everyone at election time that The Wilderness Society were the Greens Political party and then complaining that The Greens were making their own preference deals, shock horror!
    An easily confused bunch I'd say.
    Especially backing the Blue over the Maroon in a QLD newspaper, don't they know which state the are in, certainly not their state of confusion?
    I said Maroon!

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  7. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    '... the cross-selling of the message between Abbott and News Corp, is looking really staged. It is a shot at the PM and a money shot for Murdoch. It sells television, newspapers, leagues club support, and between these institutions Rudd can easily get caught in the cross-fire.'

    It's interesting to see what's selling today's Courier Mail.

    'BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer has finally revealed details of a dinner at which LNP candidate Mal Brough allegedly outlined the plot to destroy former federal…

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