Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

Brains in chains

In the Sydney Morning Herald, this headline:

Why there are more prisoners
but fewer crimes being committed

The report begins (emphasis added):

The number of people in NSW prisons hit record levels last year despite more than a decade of crime declines, with women and Indigenous people locked up at a faster rate than others.

Harsher sentences, more police powers, changes to bail laws and parole conditions plus improved technology and security have put more people in jail as more crimes are solved.

Senior lecturer at the Sydney Institute of Criminology (University of Sydney) Dr Garner Clancey said people coming through the courts are being imprisoned more frequently and serving longer sentences.

“Talking tough constantly, increasing the number of offences for which you can be charged, increasing the penalties if you are caught and prosecuted and a relentless policing of bail makes the overall justice system more punitive,” Dr Clancey said. “The debate is, is that necessary, particularly at a time we’ve had declining crime.”

Locking up more malefactors means there are fewer on the streets to commit crimes. It takes years of advanced education for something so obvious to be rendered obscure. 

Insights from Quadrant

Imaginary impeachment


There’s a newsroom term, “re-topping”, which means changing the first few paragraphs to include the latest facts and, as inky sorts say, “advance the story.” Yesterday’s big yarn, just now being re-topped all over the world, was a beaut: according to Buzzfeed, the outlet which first aired the confected Trump-Russiagate dossier compiled by a Washington lobbying outfit paid by Hillary’s Clinton’s presidential campaign, “two sources” had confirmed that Donald Trump instructed former attorney Michael Cohen to lie under oath. This information was said to be in special counsel Mueller’s hands and would likely lead to the president’s impeachment.

If you are inclined to believe Mr Trump is the spawn of Satan and takes his riding instructions directly from the Kremlin, it was a bombshell. At the ABC, where there are no conservatives nor, apparently, experienced senior editors to restrain the leftist gusto of a groupthink newsroom, it became the day’s big story.

The same confirmation bias was also evident at the former Fairfax comics, now part of Nine, where early on Saturday afternoon the headline and blurb reproduced atop this post continued to preside over the home page.

Trouble is, the story wasn’t true and the source denying it was no less that Mueller himself, which suggests the Buzzfeed report was very, very wrong indeed. Throughout the so-called Russiagate investigation, Team Mueller has maintained a near-monastic silence on the progress or otherwise of its diggings and delvings. That it broke that silence to refute Buzzfeed’s bogus scoop is an indictment in itself.

How did the ABC and Fairfax react to the denial of the story they loved so much, a denial which first hit the wires in the wee hours of Saturday morning?

At the ABC, the initial report was re-topped, eventually, with word of Mueller’s disavowal. After that, the original story, with its references to “bombshells”, quotes from foaming Trump critics and charting of what readers were led to believe was the path to near-certain impeachment, well that was allowed to stand. It is almost as if some news-editing backbencher decided the old and wrong story was just too good to take down and spike, which is what should happen to reports that simply aren’t true. Unless there is an outbreak of old-fashioned journalistic rigour at the ABC, that bizarre re-topped blend of opening paragraphs denying everything follows, and at great length, can still be read here.

And Fairfax?

Well, low as standards are the ABC, the Madame Defarge-style relish at the prospect of Trump being loaded into the tumbril continued to stand as written by Crikey! alumni Matthew Knott, who has been burnishing his credentials as a priest in journalism’s alleged temple of truth at Columbia University’s J-School.

One might hope such an august institution would address how a correct and accurate re-topping might be accomplished. One could also hope that a story sourced from a disreputable and habitually wrong organ such as Buzzfeed might prompt the notion that a better, honest story needed to be written — one that sets the record straight and explains how gross and partisan inaccuracies came to be presented as straight-bat gospel.

 

Insights from Quadrant

Gillette’s bottom line

For several days now, Quadrant Online has dropped a line to Procter & Gamble’s local PR office seeking comment on the men-are-shockers campaign by the woke conglomerate’s Gillette subsidiary, with no answers received. While this is annoying — what are PR units for if not for telling lies to the media? — it might also be taken as a testament to the Australian office’s good sense. After all, when your corporate masters commit to a policy of pro-active idiocy which sees the customer base told they are very rum lot indeed, silence is golden if you wish to maintain steady employment.

Still, for the sake of curiosity alone, P&G’s resolute schtum routine is galling. Take the picture above, for example, in which the Gillette brand is emblazoned across a bevy of pert bottoms, several of them thrust provocatively toward the camera in what can only be construed as a deliberate effort to incite male prurience. That would be the same XYer interest in comely women denounced in the now infamous ad decrying “toxic masculinity”.

All we want to know is how P&G reconciles the two projections of its Gillette brand.

Meanwhile, while P&G bites its tongue, rival Schick hasn’t forgotten its market.

Insights from Quadrant

Slipping away

Theresa May’s Brexit “deal” went down for the count and so, Zeg fears, is Britannia herself:

Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

Brains in chains

In the Sydney Morning Herald, this headline:

Why there are more prisoners
but fewer crimes being committed

The report begins (emphasis added):

The number of people in NSW prisons hit record levels last year despite more than a decade of crime declines, with women and Indigenous people locked up at a faster rate than others.

Harsher sentences, more police powers, changes to bail laws and parole conditions plus improved technology and security have put more people in jail as more crimes are solved.

Senior lecturer at the Sydney Institute of Criminology (University of Sydney) Dr Garner Clancey said people coming through the courts are being imprisoned more frequently and serving longer sentences.

“Talking tough constantly, increasing the number of offences for which you can be charged, increasing the penalties if you are caught and prosecuted and a relentless policing of bail makes the overall justice system more punitive,” Dr Clancey said. “The debate is, is that necessary, particularly at a time we’ve had declining crime.”

Locking up more malefactors means there are fewer on the streets to commit crimes. It takes years of advanced education for something so obvious to be rendered obscure. 

Insights from Quadrant

Imaginary impeachment


There’s a newsroom term, “re-topping”, which means changing the first few paragraphs to include the latest facts and, as inky sorts say, “advance the story.” Yesterday’s big yarn, just now being re-topped all over the world, was a beaut: according to Buzzfeed, the outlet which first aired the confected Trump-Russiagate dossier compiled by a Washington lobbying outfit paid by Hillary’s Clinton’s presidential campaign, “two sources” had confirmed that Donald Trump instructed former attorney Michael Cohen to lie under oath. This information was said to be in special counsel Mueller’s hands and would likely lead to the president’s impeachment.

If you are inclined to believe Mr Trump is the spawn of Satan and takes his riding instructions directly from the Kremlin, it was a bombshell. At the ABC, where there are no conservatives nor, apparently, experienced senior editors to restrain the leftist gusto of a groupthink newsroom, it became the day’s big story.

The same confirmation bias was also evident at the former Fairfax comics, now part of Nine, where early on Saturday afternoon the headline and blurb reproduced atop this post continued to preside over the home page.

Trouble is, the story wasn’t true and the source denying it was no less that Mueller himself, which suggests the Buzzfeed report was very, very wrong indeed. Throughout the so-called Russiagate investigation, Team Mueller has maintained a near-monastic silence on the progress or otherwise of its diggings and delvings. That it broke that silence to refute Buzzfeed’s bogus scoop is an indictment in itself.

How did the ABC and Fairfax react to the denial of the story they loved so much, a denial which first hit the wires in the wee hours of Saturday morning?

At the ABC, the initial report was re-topped, eventually, with word of Mueller’s disavowal. After that, the original story, with its references to “bombshells”, quotes from foaming Trump critics and charting of what readers were led to believe was the path to near-certain impeachment, well that was allowed to stand. It is almost as if some news-editing backbencher decided the old and wrong story was just too good to take down and spike, which is what should happen to reports that simply aren’t true. Unless there is an outbreak of old-fashioned journalistic rigour at the ABC, that bizarre re-topped blend of opening paragraphs denying everything follows, and at great length, can still be read here.

And Fairfax?

Well, low as standards are the ABC, the Madame Defarge-style relish at the prospect of Trump being loaded into the tumbril continued to stand as written by Crikey! alumni Matthew Knott, who has been burnishing his credentials as a priest in journalism’s alleged temple of truth at Columbia University’s J-School.

One might hope such an august institution would address how a correct and accurate re-topping might be accomplished. One could also hope that a story sourced from a disreputable and habitually wrong organ such as Buzzfeed might prompt the notion that a better, honest story needed to be written — one that sets the record straight and explains how gross and partisan inaccuracies came to be presented as straight-bat gospel.

 

Insights from Quadrant

Gillette’s bottom line

For several days now, Quadrant Online has dropped a line to Procter & Gamble’s local PR office seeking comment on the men-are-shockers campaign by the woke conglomerate’s Gillette subsidiary, with no answers received. While this is annoying — what are PR units for if not for telling lies to the media? — it might also be taken as a testament to the Australian office’s good sense. After all, when your corporate masters commit to a policy of pro-active idiocy which sees the customer base told they are very rum lot indeed, silence is golden if you wish to maintain steady employment.

Still, for the sake of curiosity alone, P&G’s resolute schtum routine is galling. Take the picture above, for example, in which the Gillette brand is emblazoned across a bevy of pert bottoms, several of them thrust provocatively toward the camera in what can only be construed as a deliberate effort to incite male prurience. That would be the same XYer interest in comely women denounced in the now infamous ad decrying “toxic masculinity”.

All we want to know is how P&G reconciles the two projections of its Gillette brand.

Meanwhile, while P&G bites its tongue, rival Schick hasn’t forgotten its market.

Insights from Quadrant

Slipping away

Theresa May’s Brexit “deal” went down for the count and so, Zeg fears, is Britannia herself: