There’s one good thing you can say about a selfish person: they’re reliable. No matter what, you can rely on them to look after Number One.

The mainstream media are self-centred to the core. So they’ll speak lies for power until the cows come home – until it’s them feeling the jackboot. Then they’ll squeal like stuck pigs.

True to form, the Australian mainstream media spent the past few days clutching their pearls and parroting the official narrative over the tradies’ protests in Melbourne. Then Dictator Dan came for them.

When the Victorian government imposed a no-fly zone and an arbitrary ban on live reporting from Melbourne, the mainstream media finally began to cotton on to what the protesters had been trying to say. Some of them even began – gasp! – telling the truth.

The use of flash bombs, pepper bullets and other tactical weapons against unarmed protesters should ring alarm bells of concern even for those who support the police and empathise with the difficult job they have been given. Compassion for police must not extend to giving them effectively unchecked powers to direct other public bodies to censor media freedoms.

Oh, so now the media get it.

With not a blush of shame, the same media – Nine Network Australia, Seven Network and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – who had spent days demonising and outright lying about the tradie protests, ran squealing to a judge that their freedoms were being trampled on by the Daniel Andrews government.

Which is exactly what the tradies had been saying, only to be met with a chorus of sneers from the media.

Challenging the ruling and holding the government and police to account is the proper course of action for the media to take.

Of course it is – maybe now they’ll even start doing it.

But the media is not blameless in the unedifying position that Melbourne now finds itself. Many news organisations have allowed themselves to parrot the demeaning lines of union officials and politicians to deflect attention from the real causes behind recent displays of public dissent. It is easy to dismiss protesters when they are described as being impostors and extremists or willing to spit on frontline health workers. It is more difficult to report the issues that have sparked a revolt.

The issues are many-fold, ranging from resentment at Covid restrictions to outright rebellion against the union leadership. I have attempted to cover them in another post for The BFD: few in the mainstream media have bothered. Australia’s billion-dollar, taxpayer-funded broadcaster in particular has chosen to squawk a series of lazy slurs that its journalists apparently recite from an autocue: “right wing extremists”, “neo-Nazis”, “white supremacists”.

In the words of one tradie interviewed by Rebel News: To the nation of Australia, as a union member I am so sorry we didn’t stand up for all those shopkeepers and all those other people who have been trampled upon. I feel disgusted that we were allowed to work during that time so I do apologise, but let’s stand up as a nation.

These sentiments reflect the frustrations of many people who have been left voiceless. On the protest lines were many unionised workers more used to giving orders to the Andrews government.

The Australian

The relationship between unions – or at least, union leadership – and the Andrews government has been self-serving and nepotistic. Union leaders pour millions into the Labor party’s coffers and put doorknockers in the suburbs each election. In return, the government scratches the big unions’ backs all the way: not least including the grubby deal to hand control of Victoria’s proudly volunteer Country Fire Authority to the city-based United Firefighters’ Union.

So when Andrews’s pet health bureaucrats put restrictions on the construction industry, they had every reason to think that the unions would go along. The union bosses did, but the workers arked up. So the government reacted with a sledgehammer: shutting down the entire industry.

And the workers revolted, big time.

The tradies’ protests are, like the Yellow Jackets in France and MAGA in America, another instance of the fundamental political divide in the 21st century: not the familiar schism of right/left, but a far older and deeper one: the elites versus the masses.

The media have to decide which side they’re on.

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Media Stop Sneering and Start Squealing

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...