Thursday, 23 September 2010

The myth of not having an opinion


Part of the business for ordinary journalists at our ABC and, for that matter, many other parts of the media as well, is not to directly give their own opinion. In a pretense of impartiality the technique is to ring some academic or other who you know will say what you want said.
It’s “almost a process of laundering my own views” is how I saw one journalist describe it recently and there was a wonderful example of it this morning on the AM program when University of NSW constitutional law expert George “rent-a-quote” Williams was turned to to give this momentous opinion about the speakership of the House of Representatives:
Look ultimately there’s not going to be a legal answer to this it will come down to negotiations and a political settlement and it may be only resolved on the floor of the Parliament and they may only occur when the Labor Party may be forced to provide a speaker because in the absence of the speaker Parliament simply can’t operate.”
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