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December 19th 2016 print

Peter Smith

A Pundit’s Prose and Cons

Greg Sheridan doesn't like Donald Trump and never has, but he really shouldn't allow that antipathy to frame the incoming US president beneath the ever-dark cloud of his personal contempt. Still, there is some good news: his columns don't appear daily

trump old scratchHow do we get our news about America? The answer, in my experience, is that we don’t. We don’t get news about America, we get commentary. When it comes to Donald Trump that commentary is almost invariably negative. A measure of that is The Australian. After all, that is probably the best place to go among the MSM to get anything approaching balance. Alas, respected commentators Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan have shown a proclivity to bucket Trump in personal terms at every opportunity. Is it any wonder fear and ignorance about Trump is widespread in Australia.

Greg Sheridan was at it again last week. Under a heading of “Good Trump, Bad Trump” (paywalled) and a split picture of a haloed and horned Trump, Sheridan made a series of (to me) laughable conjectures. His problem began by letting his headline write the story. He presumably awoke with what he thought was a good headline. Now, how can I write something to fit it? He probably mused.

Me, I can’t write headlines. Quadrant Online’s editor writes most of my headlines based on the storylines. Message to Greg: Write your story first.

“Every day will start with the question is today a good Trump day or a bad Trump day?” Apparently this is to be gauged by Trump’s tweets. Put this in context of Abbott stopping the boats and knighting Prince Philip. Who the heck cared about the second, except the precious media beating it up? People won’t care if Trump criticises the press in tweets if he can secure the US southern border, lower taxes, reduce regulations, and create millions of new jobs. Notice something when it comes to criticisms of Trump: it is a policy-free zone.

Then comes the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Sheridan finds this “deeply perplexing.” It seems to me that you might not like the nominee, but perplexed? Tillerson is a highly experienced and successful businessman with a record of negotiating international deals. There is nothing perplexing about his nomination.

His company’s drilling in Russia was stymied by sanctions after Russia took back Crimea. He doesn’t like sanctions and thinks they don’t work. So what? His shareholders don’t like sanctions either because they damage profitability. And sanctions have hardly been wildly successful as a means of disciplining despots. So far as I know, neither Cuba nor North Korea has been brought to heel.

It is all quite silly. Representing ExxonMobil means exactly that. Representing the United States means that he will switch teams and loyalties. It happens all the time in the sporting arena and we don’t question whether a transferred player will deliberately start kicking own goals.

But I am not a mind reader. Sheridan is. Apparently Trump is so dumb that he hired Tillerson because of his (Tillerson’s) current “geopolitical thinking”. In turn, Trump thinks that Tillerson is so dumb that he will continue to act as secretary of state as though he represents ExxonMobil. Dumb stuff all round.

At length, presumably to fill up column space, we are told the bleeding obvious that Tillerson holds shares in his company and will benefit if sanctions on Russia are lifted; though, he can remove this conflict by cashing out his shares. Duh! Get this leap of logic from Never-Trumper John McCain, which is given undeserving currency: Tillerson has been awarded the Russian Order of Friendship, hence he is friend of Putin, “a murderer, thug and KGB agent whose aeroplanes are precisely targeting hospitals in Aleppo.”

Then there is the made-up stuff.  “Trump upset Beijing by asking why the US should abide by the one-China policy…if Beijing does not give Washington a good trade deal.” This is simply not true; and, pertinently, Trump is not directly quoted. Trump made the point that a foreign country was not going to tell him who he could take a phone call from. Hooray! I would have thought. He further made the points that diplomacy was a two-way street, that China is building militarised islands in the South China Sea, was not sufficiently bearing down on North Korea and is behaving unfairly in trading with the US.

Trump doesn’t give away his negotiating position before he starts — unlike the geniuses who have been running foreign policy over the past eight years. But their record in producing mayhem in the Middle East and in unleashing Russia and Iran is apparently OK because none of them is conflicted by owning oil company shares. Give all of us deplorables a break!

Trump also has a “tendency to thrash US institutions.” And the scant evidence for this is his questioning of the role of the CIA in leaking (apparently) disinformation to the The Washington Post about Russian hacking of the DNC and John Podesta. First, there was no hacking in the sense of gaining access and manipulating data. There was leaking of truthful information; maybe through phishing, which requires an idiot on the other side (i.e. in this case a Democrat) giving out their logons and details.

If the CIA has proof it was the Russians, that it was Putin-inspired, that it was designed to benefit Donald Trump then they should present it to Congress not leak it to the press. And if the Russians are so clever and were intent on electing Trump why didn’t they release any of Hillary’s 33,000 deleted emails, which they surely would have ‘hacked’. Now that would have been a useful point for a journalist/commentator to make. But, of course, that doesn’t fit the Trump-bashing agenda of those whose elitist perspective insulates them from understanding what is happening on the ground.

Brexit and Trump shows how large the gap between pundits and punters has become. I see no evidence of the gap closing. Let’s face it: the pundits know that the punters are dunces and deplorables. Most journalists and commentators wouldn’t write as they do if they had an ounce of objectivity and respect for their readers’ intellect and commonsense.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [49]

  1. Doubting Thomas says:

    Bravo! Sheridan and several of the other opinionators at the Australian have become quite boring. Scarcely a word about the disgraceful behaviour of the Democratic losers. When even the likes of Maureen Dowd is criticising them for their stupidity anfd hypocrisy, you’d expect Sheridan at al to notice.

    • Jody says:

      I very much admire Greg Sheridan who shows the most scholarly and objective journalism (next to Paul Kelly) that it’s possible to get in this country. Sheridan is a close friend and philosophical kindred spirit of Tony Abbott; a great supporter and a thoroughly decent man. If he doesn’t like Trump I think we all need to take a cold shower.

      • hwka says:

        Unfortunately, in the last 20 years this country has been irrevocably changed by a succession of educated idiots masquerading as politicians,judges and journalists.
        “Thoroughly decent” all of them- perhaps , as though this would,could or should provide absolution.
        Actually I prefer the ancient Japanese ritual of disembowelment- the ultimate in self- service .
        Of course this gutless lot (sorry) would need need some assistance.
        The knockdown line in Peter Smith’s comment was : “Notice something when it comes to criticisms of Trump: it is a policy free zone”.
        I must admit I speed-read Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan whenever I come across them and if either is indeed regarded as the best available then I have no need to reconsider
        the subscription I cancelled some years ago.
        I see that in a later comment on Trump you nevertheless “wish him well”.
        OK, attempting to mind-read is really fraught, but I feel very confident here based on your comment history.
        No you don’t

    • LBLoveday says:

      I stopped reading Sheridan 2-3 months ago – at least one of us has “lost the plot”, and I prefer to think it is him.
      Surely News Ltd could publish articles specific to the USA from a USA-based and well-informed journalist rather than someone who purports to be an expert on the politics of pretty well every country in the world.

      • Jody says:

        Foreign affairs is his speciality.

        • LBLoveday says:

          Yes it is, and as such he purports expertise in a very large range of countries, peoples, people and issues, but he then can only be an “expert of everything, master of none”, as exemplified by his coverage of the USA election and Trump in particular.
          The Australian would, in my opinion, be better served by having the USA, in particular because of its preeminence, reported on by someone who specialises in USA matters.

          • Jody says:

            You mean like the US Studies Centre, none of whose staff predicted a Trump victory.

            Trump is a divisive character and may yet fall on his sword – sooner rather than later; I’d be hedging my bets a little if I were you!!! I wish him well but do not hold much hope for success.

          • LBLoveday says:

            I should have been less general – obviously I did not mean that mob of left-wing tax-payer subsidised “academics”. In my previous post I did write “USA-based” and, to me, that was reinforced by an article written by Sheridan after a few hours of “high-level” discussions in Jakarta (they prevaricate Mr Sheridan, they say what they, for whatever reason, want you to report) and published in both The Australian and The Jakarta Post. Military men in-country scoffed at it.
            You are not me – I’ve made gambling my life’s work and I don’t lay-off/hedge so, thanks anyway, but your advice won’t be acted on. I recall offering to bet you an unspecified substantial amount on a Trump victory, but you passed. Not to matter, I backed him at odds varying from 3.50 to 5.90, not because I regarded him as possibly the Western world’s last hope, but because of reading comments from people in-country (NOT comments in the NYTimes or Washington Post! One of TBlair’s articles about his in-USA observations reinforces the importance ofthat) and evaluating his chances being far better than the betting markets. Win for me, win for the world I hope and believe.

  2. ianl says:

    > “Most journalists and commentators wouldn’t write as they do if they had an ounce of objectivity and respect for their readers’ intellect and commonsense”

    Yes. Their vanity, their corrupt sense of Noble Cause, simply does not permit respect for their audience. If you can bear it, read the Editorials and weep at the condescending, smug, deliberately dumbed-down circular B/S that is published therein.

    I know there are commenters here who stand up for Sheridan and Kelly as well as other journos. I don’t … their sneering lack of respect is a two-way street, so the Aus is purchased now three times a week for the chess column (Fairfax can’t play chess).

    The meeja visibly lost power in the Brexit and Trump episodes. Waffle won by one skinny, wobbly Nat seat, despite the Aus “deplorables” being lectured for months on how to vote. The only thing crowding the meeja mindset now is how to regain that lost power – and the best way they think they know is to continue perpetuating Fake News. Sheridan’s sneering “commentary”, as critiqued here by Peter, is a prime example.

  3. Alice Thermopolis says:

    As for thrashing US institutions, this post last week by the Manhattan Contrarian was “deeply perplexing” too:

    http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2016/12/15/a-modest-proposal

    “There is absolutely nothing “nonpartisan” about this. The Department of Energy is substantially if not entirely engaged in carrying out policies that are favored by Democrats and opposed by Republicans — policies like promoting and subsidizing wind and solar energy and hamstringing and restricting fossil fuels. Do you think that even the Energy Information Agency is nonpartisan? Don’t be ridiculous. Their “levelized cost of energy” reports are carefully engineered to defraud the American people into supporting “renewable” energy by downplaying the real costs of wind and solar energy by a factor of five or ten or more. The same overt or covert partisanship is equally if not more true at Education, HUD, EPA, and, for that matter, throughout the government.

    How bad is the partisanship in the government? Surely, you say, there must be at least a few Republicans in the government who can be counted on to keep things fair! If you think that, you are deluding yourself. Analyze the election results from the District of Columbia, and you come away realizing that virtually every single person who works for the federal government is a Democrat.

  4. Keith Kennelly says:

    From the people Trump is appointing the pattern is ‘doers’ and ‘achievers’ and he appears intent on them playing substantial roles in dismantaling the Climate Scam, increasing employment, reducing the size of government and the associated costs, reducing business tax and red tape.
    He’s also appointing people who will support him when he stands up to despotic regimes as he recently did to China. As well as renogiating trade deals.

    The news all over the world is focused on those appointments and the positive nature of them. But no great depth of such commentary in our msm.

  5. Warty says:

    To stop reading Sheridan, as LBLoveday has, is to miss a gem like ‘Western Civilisation in Safe Hands at Small Campion College’, where the substance of the article shows Greg’s conservatism at its very best. One of my great concerns, more than the rising threat of Islam, has been the rapid rundown of our traditions, our culture, but Greg’s account of what goes on at Campion College reassured me beyond expectation. His performance on Q & A back in November, where he rumbled with Terri Butler on the issue of s.18C and the QUT students , was another moment where he shot up in my estimation. He was almost alt-Right there (just kidding) and my heart glowed in appreciation. There were two recent articles: ‘Donald Trump could be our best friend ever’ and ‘Australia can influence Trump Administration, to Asia’s benefit’, which admittedly were more about his proposed administration, than Trump per se, but at least they were positive.But the Good Trump, Bad Trump article was almost a return to the bad old days, before his ‘I got it wrong about the election’ one, you know, where he actually publicly apologised.
    I had written a number of reader responses to his previous anti Trump articles, as I did to the Good Trump, Bad Trump one, but though there is a lot of the MSM about him, he is also a little more complex than I had previously realised.
    Jody goes too far though, and her Paul Kelly infuriates me: he’s worse than Sheridan.

    • Jody says:

      Did you read Kelly’s excellent book “Triumph and Demise”. He’s currently Australia’s best political journalist, IMO.

      • padraic says:

        John Podesta is hardly in a position to condemn the Russians for interfering in American politics when he was directly involved in channeling funds to some ratbag activist group here to influence directly Australian politics and policies. In America all this whinging about the Russians is just sour grapes by the losers. I cannot see how such an alleged hacking could have brainwashed the average voter to vote for Trump. Hasn’t the media got anything better to talk about or give us real news for a change?

        • ianl says:

          > “Hasn’t the media got anything better to talk about or give us real news for a change?”

          Never going to happen. The issue is power, control; unaccountable power and control are even better. Fake News is a tried and road-tested short cut for this. That it seems to be losing its’ potency is a real worry for the MSM. Both Sheridan and Kelly whine and whinge about this perceived loss of credibility without the slightest self-awareness of what the causes may be.

          Despite Jody’s LINO support for Kelly as a journo, Kelly has always run a somewhat whiney, soft-left attitude, firmly implanted from his ALP beginnings (a clean whiteboard, anyone ?). He has persistently misrepresented the 1974-75 imbroglio (one of the marvellous political episodes I thoroughly enjoyed watching unfold in all its’ fine detail). This misrepresentation is always aimed at minimising ALP sillinesses, maximising Kerr’s “villainy” and avoiding Constitutional facts, such as the Reserve Powers, that may confuse simplistic Republic propaganda. Presumably Kelly thinks most of us who actually watched the 1975 extravaganza are either dead or senile, so he can run Fake News for the younger generations to chew a Republic cud on. I have no brief for the British monarchy, just for whole-cloth truth in MSM reporting … Pollyanna silly, I know.

      • Warty says:

        Jody, if his book deviates markedly from his The Australian political commentary one might be tempted to read it, otherwise why on earth would one waste one’s time? Reading some of the ‘alternative media’ sites, as you do, I came across a rather ugly sounding expression ‘cuck’ which stands for ‘mainstream conservatives’. Cucks are a rather slippery lot, in that they have a few conservative attributes, but defend the rotten establishment with might an main (because they’re moribund, aren’t they). Paul is a cuck. He is appalled by a Trump, because he offends all his delicate sensibilities.
        Kelly reminds me of some of my old boarding school masters, so utterly bound in their one-eyed forms of conservatism, they were utterly incapable of even peaking outside the box. To do so would simply not be setting the right ‘tone’. The mere recollection makes me want to utter a string of expletives fit to disturb even the most hardened Quadrant reader.
        My idea of a lucid conservative, is one who is prepared to examine what makes, say the Liberal Party, actually tick. Someone who is prepared to point out the level of political correctness that pads out the livers and kidneys and hearts and vascular systems of a few too many of our cuck politicians.
        I’m not saying I know who would necessarily have the fortitude to overturn the heap of discarded vulture feathers, I can only say that there is a desperate need for some integrity around here. Cucks are even more frustrating than a kennel-full of Greens. My apologies for my vehemence: I have history.

        • Warty says:

          There’d be total mayhem.

        • Jody says:

          You are entitled to your opinion. My eldest son has been using the word “cuck” for quite a while now.

          Re Paul Kelly. I well remember his measured and reasonable comments during the Rudd ascendancy on “The Insiders”, thinking them fair and Kelly accurately described the whole political climate at that time. I have two books by Kelly on my shelves, “March of the Patriots” and “Triumph and Demise”. Have you read either of these? I have great admiration for his coolness of tone and thoughtful line of questioning.

          Right now I’m disgusted with the Liberal Party for banning Ross Cameron. He is one of a tiny few whom you describe as having “the fortitude to overturn the heap of discarded vulture features”. He is fearless, but the Liberals won’t have him because he speaks his mind.

          Things will be quiet for politics over the Christmas period. Paul Murray Live keeps going on FoxNews. He’s a champion as are most of his guests.

          • Warty says:

            ‘You’re entitled to your opinion’ is a euphemism for ‘I vehemently disagree’ . . . well normally.
            As I inferred, having read a good many of his articles (some almost to the end) I had decided to give his books a wide berth, though I foolishly bought and read his colleague’s Making Headlines. But having read Doubting Thomas’s comment ‘his forte’ being his ‘previous books’, I might be inclined to see if I can borrow Triumph and Demise from the library.
            But Jody, we do have common ground (other than the Quadrant) albeit a slight change in wording. I am not at all surprised the ‘banned’ Ross Cameron. He was my candidate when I lived in Dundas Valley many years ago, and I though he was good then, and thoroughly ‘on song’ now.
            Politics will be anything but quiet on the other side of the Pacific, over the Christmas period.

          • LBLoveday says:

            I left Australia the week after my daughter turned 18 – gave her the keys, told her to change the utilities to her name, said my job was well done and hopped on a plane.
            To the point, I’d never heard of Paul Murray Live before I “deserted”, and I must get a different Fox News here to what Jodie does – I’ve never seen Paul Murray Live programmed on Fox News (or any station I get).

      • Doubting Thomas says:

        I read it and enjoyed it as I have his previous books. This is his forté, the knitting to which he ought to stick. I’m finding his columns about current events increasing irrelevant. Given time to consider, he’s fine.

    • padraic says:

      I agree with you Warty on Greg’s article on Campion College. Universities these days pretend that anything before them is not worth knowing. Such arrogance. I remember attending a packed public lecture at the Sydney Town Hall where Mortimer Adler extolled the virtues of the “Great Books of the Western World”. We were proud to be at the political and social end points of Western thought and striving. There were no protesters outside then. Imagine the kerfuffle if that lecture was attempted these days.

  6. Bill Martin says:

    Greg Sheridan most certainly is a staunch conservative and the vast majority of his writing and utterances deserve respect. All the greater is the pity that he seems unable to keep his intense personal dislike of Trump from colouring and thereby devaluing some of his articles. It also diminishes him personally.

    Concerning the prospects of a Trump presidency, there are no signs whatever that there is anything to worry about. Quite the opposite, in fact. Unless, of course you are a progressive liberal, a climate alarmist, a hater of the white race, particularly of white men, putting the importance of nature and all creatures above humanity, a champion of minorities, especially of the LGBTI crowd, etc. etc. Then you have every justification to be terrified. Not because you will be in any physical danger but because nothing will go your way.

    As for genuine and reliable news from the USA, there are a number of excellent portals on the web, foremost among them is Breibart, which happens to be Trump’s favourite. Power Line and American Thinker are a couple more worth consulting regularly. Check them out.

    http://www.breitbart.com/ http://www.powerlineblog.com/ http://www.americanthinker.com/

    • ron.house says:

      Don’t you tell me the “progressives” put all creatures above humanity, with their bird-mincing and bat-exploding wind turbines and their fry a bird alive solar concentrators. They hate all life equally, human and animal.

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    My son found Luther, Hume, Smith and Mill all in the same month, recently. I was thrilled at the depth of understanding he showed. He wound me up initially by telling me Keynes was brilliant.

    He’s 32 and starting to read a little more seriously.

    • Jody says:

      I felt exactly the same way when my (now 40y/o) eldest son took to listening and enjoying much of Bach; particularly the solo keyboard works. He’s also keenly interested in politics and has a vigorous intelligence and conservative orientation. And, of course, I have a son working for the Coalition.

  8. Don A. Veitch says:

    Sheridan is misleading us, conflicts of interests are not the big issues – never worried M/s Clinton.

    Trumps tactics are clever but a highly dangerous game is now in play.Trump is falling in line with traditional US foreign policy and with Tillersen (actually a good appointment), are building the Russian connection (at the nomenklatura level also), whilst ramping up anti-PRC language and on the eastern front, stirring the ROC. The aim is to divide Russia from China, at any cost. A modern version of the old Sino-Soviet split, but massaged by the USA, is back on to serve traditional US interests!

    Oil and sanctions are at the heart of the play.

    The next step is to attack Iran, undermine the Iranian nuclear deal, stymie/capture its oil production, jack up prices for the benefit of the Saudis/OPEC cartels, and destroy , for another twenty years, Iran’s chances at modernisation. That will be Pompeo, Flynn and Bolton’s 4-year project.

    For DJT anti-free trade also, apparently, includes pro-cartels!

    • Jody says:

      As you say, a “dangerous strategy”. He who plays with fire…..

      • en passant says:

        Jody,
        Let’s make it interesting by staking real money where our opinion is. Let you and me bet $100 each at even odds on Trump succeeding or failing as follows:
        1. Trump begins building the wall with Mexico within 12-months
        2. Trump rolls back the EPA CO2 endangerment regulations within 3-months
        3. Trump begins repatriating illegals within 3-months.
        4. Trump authorises fracking on Federal Lands within 3-months.
        5. Trump cancels the F-35 programme within 12 months

        When Trump fails, this will be the easiest $500 you will ever make …

        Do you accept?

    • Warty says:

      Don’t worry, Russia is doing its own bit to isolate China, with its recent talks with Shinzo Abe. Shinzo didn’t get all he wanted, but they’ve established important trade deals and tokens of friendship, terribly important to a financially crippled Russia. Nobody in their right mind would think Russia would be happy to have a powerful, resurgent China on its doorstep, particularly in the light of China’s behaviour in the South China Sea. In knowing a sympathetic Trump is due to take up the previously slack reigns, Japan feels free to make its own accords. So Trump doesn’t have to desperately try and ‘divide Russia from China, at any costs’: Russia is in the process of doing so itself at a bargain base price.

  9. Keith Kennelly says:

    So Jody I lived and loved books, I guess you and/or your husband did the same with music?
    Osmosis at work.’

    Don, spot on but this time there is a friendship budding.

    I’m not sure of Trump’s attitude to Iran, Saudi or Israel either. Especially since the US is independent from Mid East oil. In that regard I’ll be watching Trump and Russia’s relationships with the oil rich central Asian republics.

    OPEC could soon be irrelevant along with the whole Mid East.

    The Donald, to me, seems to be playing a ‘firm but peace’ strategy. In business that’s the most successful strategy why wouldn’t he do that in all aspects of government as well? It is already working with the Chinese.

  10. Ian MacDougall says:

    “There are so many reasons to be fearful of a Trump presidency, but the ease with which he uses his bully pulpit to lash out at practically anyone who displeases him should send chills up the back of any freedom-loving American. These are the actions of an authoritarian, one backed up by his unquestioning supporters, who are all too happy, it seems, to translate his words into actions. Worst of all, there is evidently no one who can tell Trump to knock it off. Not the coterie of sycophantic aides who indulge his childish animosities; not cowardly congressional Republicans too fearful of upsetting Trump’s supporters or inflaming the man himself; and not the cable news networks and mainstream media who treat Trump’s actions as a topic of political debate rather than as evidence of his derangement.
    The president-elect is the most dangerous man in America….
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/…/tomgram%3A_ann_jones%2C_donal…/
    Anyone familiar with the history of Germany between the wars of the the 20th C should hear alarm bells ringing.
    BUT although Trump has the power to unleash domestic chaos in the US, I do not think he will do for the US what that other demagogue Hitler did for Germany. Though he has the attention span of a toddler, he is too egocentric and narcissistic to do anything of the kind. How he will handle a reality in which America does NOT become ‘great again’ is a moot point, and we can only wait and see. Could spit the dummy and throw a tantrum big time…

    • Jody says:

      For your first paragraph I thought you were talking about Hillary and the Democrats; you easily could have been. Same template.

      The analogies between Hitler and Trump are unhelpful. The only ‘alarm bells’ ringing for me are the ones tolling lost freedom of speech through censorship and political correctness. The bullying tactics of the Left come right off the authoritarian song-sheet. They think they can ‘legislate’ to keep people quiet – to prosecute them if they “offend” or threaten ‘safe spaces’. The modern face of America – and its osmotic process in Australia and elsewhere – is very very ugly indeed. It is truly a culture of narcissism. Christopher Lasch was right way back in 1979.

      Do you think that a man (or woman) with ‘the attention span of a toddler’ could have gone on to build an empire and become a billionaire? Just running a household budget is onerous enough for me; I cannot imagine what it’s like managing hundreds of business entities and making decisions which will involve financial success. Despite all the people working for Trump, I suspect it’s his own ruthless instincts and entrepreneurship that have forged his success. Hardly something a toddler can do. You weaken your arguments, Ian, with these cheap shots.

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Jody,

        Google – trump, attention span of a toddler -. There is lots of stuff on that theme, about the man about to become POTUS, and from serious news organisations like the NYT and Huffpost. Perhaps not acceptable to you on ideological grounds, but try inserting the name of any other American or other politician (eg our own dear Malcolm Turnbull) and see what you get.

        Have a look at http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/12/08/who-will-stand-donald-trump/s0xv1MGzIyLcXBA6AYi3GK/story.html?p1=Article_Recommended_ReadMore_Pos2

        “Consider the experience of Chuck Jones, the head of the local union responsible for the workers at the Carrier plant in Indiana, who accurately went on TV and said Trump was misleading Americans about the number of jobs he saved. Trump savaged him on Twitter. He accused Jones of doing a “terrible job” representing workers and said that if his local union was “any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana.” Once you get past the surreal nature of an alleged billionaire who lives in an apartment that looks like it was designed by Saddam Hussein’s interior decorator bashing working-class Americans who work in a factory in Indiana, this is pretty scary stuff. Here’s the president-elect of the United States attacking a private citizen who criticized him. Jones is now getting death threats from outraged Trump supporters.”

        http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/12/08/who-will-stand-donald-trump/s0xv1MGzIyLcXBA6AYi3GK/story.html?p1=Article_Recommended_ReadMore_Pos2

        I will honestly be surprised if this man, whose personal staff have spent the last couple of weeks finding out what the POTUS job entails, makes it through the first term without getting impeached: for something. He’s Richard Nixon without the sense of humour.

        • Jody says:

          I’m prepared to give the “newbie” a go, not having much confidence that it will, at the very least, turn out better than MaObama. I’m not American and so I don’t have to like Trump but I would take as much notice of what CNN, The New York Times and all the other ‘progressive’ luvvie media as I would ‘trust an adder fanged’.

          Have a great Christmas!!

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            You and your lot too.
            PS: I read the ‘progressive, luvvie’ media such as the Guardian and the NYT, AND also the stuff posted on ‘conservative’ sites like this one. Otherwise you live life going in and out of a series of echo chambers.

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Jody:
        Just posted a reply. Like so many, ‘awaiting “moderation”‘.

        • en passant says:

          Ian,
          A piece of advice for you: shut up until you know what you are talking about and not just parroting fake news. When are you going to tell us the destination you seek for the ideal CO2 concentration & the ideal global average temperature.
          The foundations of my shorefront home 1.5m above the high water mark will be laid commencing 10th January 2017. Exciting, isn’t it?

  11. Bran Dee says:

    Returning to the subject of Greg Sheridan’s obvious fallibility when writing in a negative fashion about Donald Trump. Greg is often a perceptive commentator on events but his opinions sometimes seem pre-programmed as they were with Tony Abbott. In referring to Campion College an informed letter in the Oz 19/12 says “Campion was hung, drawn and quartered after indictment and conviction as a traitor, rather than burned at the stake as a heretic would have been. — So I hope Greg Sheridan’s version is a relic of his upbringing, not the foundation myth of a promising educational enterprise”.
    Greg could be more helpful making the point made by another Oz 17-18/12 letter writer who ventures to favorably compare Trump to Turnbull an says “[one] makes a statement of delivery [while the other] a statement of dithery”.

    • Jody says:

      To be certain, none of them is less than flawed. But, as I’m not prepared to run for public office myself, I accept that we generally get the politicians we deserve!!!

    • en passant says:

      Try not confuse the snowflakes with truth, facts, logic or reality, less you insult, offend or hurt their feelings. After all the taxpayers have not yet funded enough safe spaces, play dough or counsellors.

  12. Homer Sapien says:

    Some of the “readers” deserve Sheridan. Good article Peter.

  13. Jody says:

    @Ian. Point taken about the echo chamber; all the sites are like that!!

    No more politics – Greg Sheridan or Paul Kelly – for me this festive season. I’m just starting an article from a Columbia University musicology journal, “Key Structure and Tonal Allegory in the Passions of JS Bach: An Introduction” by Eric Chafe. Great for the insomnia.

    Cheers!