Last night Paul Murray made two interesting comments on Sky News. First he said the media were bored with the election. Then he said that Kevin Rudd was losing the election. These two observations are not unrelated.
As evidence he pointed to the media coverage of the day - misspoken words, kids having a cigar, photo shopped beards, and so on. This morning the outrage is whether women can have sex-appeal. Apparently not.
The point being that trivia is dominating the media coverage because the election outcome is fairly certain.
Paul Kelly, in The Australian, makes a similar point. He argues that, “Rudd’s campaign is manifestly flawed and underdone. Not even Kevin’s remarkable abilities can conceal the obvious.”
That is a polite way of saying that Kevin Rudd has nothing to say.
Mind you, he does keep on saying three things. The GST will go up under an Abbott government - a statement that the somewhat mild mannered Kelly describes as “pathetic”. That Tony Abbott as health minister stripped a billion dollars out of the health system - a claim debunked by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2010. Then we keep hearing about the $70 billion hole in the Coalition’s finances - but the Sydney Morning Herald debunked that claim too.
What I don’t understand is why the media are not challenging Kevin Rudd when he makes those claims. There is no point in having dedicated fact checkers, if the politicians are not then confronted when they manufacture the truth.
In the meantime we’re only in the second week of the campaign so unless a real contest emerges we can expect more of the same.