Flat White

Calumnies from the clickbait farm

3 October 2016

1:00 PM

3 October 2016

1:00 PM

Snip20161002_1“This is what would happen if Australian halted immigration”, the introduction to ditzy Fairfax economics correspondent Jessica Irvine’s latest bleatings begins before a string of subheads lists the worst woes to befall any one nation since the 10 plagues hit Egypt: “Population growth would halve … Economic growth would falter … Our workforce would age quicker … The federal budget would blow out … Roads would remain crowded, housing expensive … Education and tourism would suffer … It’d be harder to find a doctor.”

The link from The Sydney Morning Herald, Age and Canberra Times websites is illustrated by a photo of Sonia Kruger, and the online version of the article is accompanied by a second photo plus a video of the Channel Nine host.

All of which is very curious because Kruger has courted controversy with her comments on Muslim immigration, not immigration generally.

“Personally, I would like to see it stop now for Australia,” she said of Muslim immigration on the Today show back in July. “I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do when they go out to celebrate Australia Day, and I’d like to see freedom of speech.”

But Fairfax has decided to smear Kruger with the insinuation she opposes immigration across the board by using her image to accompany a story online. The fact that she’s a sleb and easy on the eye — and has sinned against political correctness — must have played a part in their decision too.


Truth, however, hasn’t. Fairfax have deliberately chosen to distort Kruger’s views in pursuit of hits. The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times — all once papers of record — are now just the crudest clickbait farms.

“Independent. Always,” the line beneath their mastheads runs.

“And prepared to fudge the facts to keep the business staggering on,” it should also say.

By the way, The Australian contains an article today that says “The majority of the suspected ­Islamic State terrorists linked to the November 2015 attacks in Paris entered Europe pretending to be refugees, Hungarian security officials have revealed.”

A pretty good yarn. A pretty important one, too.

But you won’t find it in the Fairfaxs.

PS The Sydney Morning Herald’s, Age’s and Crimes’ cartoon today has a go at Bob Menzies. That’s right. The bloke who stood down as PM on January 26, 1966. Their editorial cartoonist only had 18,536 days to come up with something more topical, but who’s counting when you’re having a go at the right.

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