30 April 2021
Morrison is running a highly Presidential style of government such that the
evening news is now more like ‘What Morrison did today’.
This reminds me of when I was in Parliament and would try to sell an issue
to the Parliamentary media, and they would say, ‘We’ve got our NSW story for
today; it is Minister X opening Y’. I would say, ‘Yes, but that is staged and
not really news and there will something else staged tomorrow and the next day
and you are merely a government propaganda arm’. The journalist would reply,
‘Yes, probably, but if I don’t cover that story I will get my ass kicked’.
These government backflips are mainly ignored by the mainstream media
because of Morrison’s media management strategy. He hold media briefings in
which he says what he is going to announce the next day, so those invited can
have a ‘sneak preview’. He then announces whatever it was so gets two bites of
the cherry. Of course any journalist who gives an unfavourable spin risks
having their outlet not invited next time, so they will just be commentators 15
hours behind the story. Here is a story from Bernard Keane at Crikey, who is
one of those not invited.