Arguing as if you mean it . . .

I ran into this excerpt from Q&A a day or so ago and it struck me. I’m actually not sympathetic to the general wailing and gnashing of teeth from the left about how right wing terrorists come out of intemperate language on the right. On the other hand Alan Jones did actually incite a riot at Cronulla and his hatespeech about Julia Gillard is outrageous. So it’s a legitimate topic.

Anyway what struck me about this except was that here was a senior politician arguing as if what she was saying mattered. She wasn’t rehearsing talking points which alas, virtually all the others do, and are seen to do. All the super politicians are able to speak as if they actually mean it. Don Chipp, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, John Howard could all do it. Cheryl could do it until she swapped parties and it somehow all went wrong. Tony Abbot can kind of do it – in the sense that he has the manner of someone who believes what he’s saying – the main problem being that what he’s saying is pretty empty and changes every now and again. Julia and Wayne – well they don’t really seem to be able to do it at all . . .

This entry was posted in Economics and public policy, Politics - national. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
46 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
aidan
aidan
10 years ago

Brendan O’Neill is [deleted]. He twists bloody everything.

Rex
Rex
10 years ago

That clip was probably one of the most compelling pieces of TV I’ve seen all year, and it hasn’t lost its power on repeat viewing.

Her argument fell down somewhat when she used the term “preach hate”. Most of even the “shrill and outrageous” (as B’ON calls it) commentators can’t be accused of preaching hate.

However her point is important, It’s the the rabid tone of much media commentary, the point scoring, and blame shifting that has got completely out of hand, and threatens to undermine civil behaviour.

As Mitch Hooke notes its all about “public contest through the popular media” over rational and considered debate. If you can get the public fired up and aggressive – no matter how weak the case, you win.

Looks like that’s the model for the future. Accrue a large and aggressive support base through verballing, shouty sloganeering and repetition of selective facts, deny culpability for those who go off the rails, and bludgeon rational discussion and common courtesy out of the way.

rog
rog
10 years ago

ONeills argument falls flat

I trusted Jones’s listeners knew he was making a joke and not issuing an instruction

His trust does not qualify him to make assumptions as to how others feel and react.

That seems to be part of the DNA of these self elected freedom fighters, like Jones they project ad nauseum.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

I though Plibersek sounded a bit dim on the argument. O’Neil was simply saying that free speech is important and that we’re entitled to think people are adults. Plibersek and her backers were doing exactly as O’Neil suggested, which is saying that free speech is important, but …!

Rog, that’s pathetic. Assumptions are wide-spread and important. Like the assumption that the govt’s mandate means something.

Yobbo
Yobbo
10 years ago

“preach hate” = disagree with Labor party talking points.

rog
rog
10 years ago

Yobbo, your definition of hate speech falls down when reading Breivik’s manifesto, he draws heavily on right wing leaders like John Howard for support.

rog
rog
10 years ago

Pedro, there is a perceived lack of consistency between laws of libel and sedition and the laws dealing with the incitement of hatred and discrimination.

Don Arthur
Don Arthur
10 years ago

I’ve always liked Tanya P, but she’s so nice that I’ve thought that may not be taken seriously.

It’s because she really seems to care about people that I take her seriously.

Paul Montgomery
Paul Montgomery
10 years ago

The clip reminded me of a piece of vision I was shown in my journalism course at RMIT many years ago. Hawke is being interviewed by some hapless journo, and there’s a point where he flicks the switch and goes full bore… but there’s a split second just before the moment where his beetled brow flicks towards Camera 2 to make sure it’s on him, and then he’s away like Bonecrusher. Plibersek had a similar half-glance towards the camera on the right of the stage to make sure she was being caught right in the face as she delivered her barrage. Not that it diluted her message any, but an enjoyable little nuance.

Yobbo
Yobbo
10 years ago

Yobbo, your definition of hate speech falls down when reading Breivik’s manifesto, he draws heavily on right wing leaders like John Howard for support.

That wasn’t what Tanya Pilbersek was talking about. She was basically saying that anyone expressing a right-wing viewpoint in a newspaper or on radio was ‘preaching hate’, because the only legitimate reason you could criticise multiculturalism is because you hate foreigners. That’s what O’Neill was pointing out in the debate. Disagreeing with Tanya = Preaching Hate in her eyes.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Rog, libel is a personal wrong and you have to show damage to your reputation as a result of the libel, which generally needs to be an untrue and defamatory statement about you. Sedition is an attack on all of us, but I think it ought to be a narrowly confined offence, being a believer in free speech and all. So how are those the same as incitement to hatred and discrimination?

Now let’s take the argument a little further. It’s not uncommon for people to incite hatred against various horrible criminals, kiddie murders and such. Is that wrong? I’ll sign up to incite discrimination against certain cultural practices, like female circumcision. I’ll even incite hatred against the people who do that to their kids.

There are some sorts of hatred inciting that I don’t support, but I still worry that some important babies might disappear with that bath water.

Also, you can’t use the crazy actions of a nut to make judgments about the rules that ought to apply to normal people.

aidan
aidan
10 years ago

Really? I can’t say 24-carat xxxx?

Strewth!

[edited again. Aidan, we have laws of defamation. We didn’t make them but we are potentially liable. If you want to defame people on this site, pls send us a holding deposit to cover all possible costs. If you’re interested we can work out exactly how much the deposit should be, but I’d suggest we start at a couple of hundred grand. NG]

rog
rog
10 years ago

Australian law on sedition(

d) to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth.

wizofaus
wizofaus
10 years ago

“It’s not uncommon for people to incite hatred against various horrible criminals, kiddie murders and such. Is that wrong?”

Yes.

If nothing else, there’s always the possibility that your target isn’t in fact the person responsible, or the possibility that their crimes are something they already hate themselves enough for, without any need for anybody else to add to that.

But regardless of that, inciting hatred is far more damaging to our ability as a species to coexist harmoniously and productively than plenty of activities that we readily accept as being ‘wrong’.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Yobbo,
She wasn’t.

Its all in your head.

rog
rog
10 years ago

Inciting hatred has nothing to do with enacting justice and nothing to do with ensuring freedom. So why go out on a limb to support it?

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Hey, it’s human nature to hate in some circumstances; you lefties are always trying to create the new man, but where does that get you?. Hatred is not immoral or moral of itself. It is a passion. The reasons for hating might be immoral, but hating someone for their wickedness is surely not.

Rog, you might have not understood the key bit of the sedition rule, but a few years of law school does get you more skills than just googling.

rog
rog
10 years ago

Pedro, you have to understand that those who don’t go to law school employ those that do go to law school.

As they say, when a lawyer represents himself he has a fool for a client.

Paul Montgomery
Paul Montgomery
10 years ago

No Pedro, there is no moral rationale for hate. It is a human emotion, yes, but when our blood stops boiling and we are calm enough to sit at a desk and write about it, there is no logic to it.

Mr Denmore
Mr Denmore
10 years ago

There is no excuse for incitement or hateful speech from anyone, right or left. And the responsibility of media and political leaders is even greater, because they essentially set the standards for everyone.

I don’t there is any question now that the standards of our political discourse have coarsened to the point where the most common civility is seen as a point of weakness. Our entire culture has become more “shouty” and angry and rageful and short-fused. Where once wit and a shared sense of humanity defused tense situations, now the tendency is turn the angry dial to 10 from the word go.

As a media critic, I think the shockjocks like Alan Jones bear a very large responsibility for this extremity in our discourse. And I find it extraordinary that the regulator ACMA feels it does not have a case to deprive 2GB of its licence and haul Jones before the courts for incitement.

As for Brendan O’Neill, he is an opportunist and a professional troll. That he has moved so swifly from the Trotskyite left to the libertarian lunar right should tell you all you need to know about his bonafides. The simple fact is he has been angling for a job at News Ltd in Sydney and his calculated bomb throwing on Q and A merely was his job application to Chris Mitchell.

murph the surf.
murph the surf.
10 years ago

Sadly I think Yobbo is on the money with this particular piece of media.
By constantly using the expression “preaching hate” Ms Plibersek creates the impression that those who disagree with her are doing this not politelt disgreeing with her viewpoint.
The mass murderer in Norway read Howard and Windshuttle.Can someone quote to me the pages which are preaching hate?
This is by way of being a distinct issue from the general level of aggression that has developed in the media – I take this to be a sign that progressive ( or attempting to be so )governments are in power.However once they are removed the media will probably revert to telling us we live in the best of all possible worlds.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

nothing like being able to create an impression by generalisations.

Unless you or yobbo actually supply some evidence you are merely blowing hot air.

I love the way O’Neil said Jones was joking.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

“As they say, when a lawyer represents himself he has a fool for a client.”
And it’s double for bush-lawyers rog. You’ll need more lessons if you’re to rely on Mr Denmore’s much-lamented wittiness.

Denmore, that’s tosh. People don’t need an excuse for acting naturally. But, if you think hatred can’t be excused, then why does it exist? Is it learned or innate?

“And the responsibility of media and political leaders is even greater, because they essentially set the standards for everyone.” LOL, ask not for whom dobell tolls … Do you really think that the media and pollies set the standard for everyone? Man, that’s just crazy; it’s the footballers! Seriously, those fucks don’t set the standard for anyone. They follow the pack, pretty much every man and woman-jack of them.

“Our entire culture has become more “shouty” and angry and rageful and short-fused. Where once wit and a shared sense of humanity defused tense situations, now the tendency is turn the angry dial to 10 from the word go.”
Err, when exactly was that cultural golden age, and just which culture are you talking about? You just make this stuff up don’t you?

Murph, there’s more to the media than shock jocks and the Oz and I think the claim that aggression has increased can’t be substantiated. It’s just your confirmation bias at work.

Mr Denmore
Mr Denmore
10 years ago

Nicholas, you can chart the demise of question time behaviour from around the time they allowed the TV cameras in. The entire pantomime is orchestrated to engineer grabs for the nightly news bulletins.

Pedro, I didn’t say you could outlaw hatred. We all experience loathing from time to time. As I tell my son, it’s what you do with those feelings that matter. My point is that hate speech and extreme obnoxiousness, as expressed by the likes of Bolt and Jones, is a conscious and cynical strategy by a desperate media to build audiences by stirring people up.

Sure there has always been media provocation. But I don’t recall, back in the 70s or 80s, talkshow hosts inciting riots and suggesting our political leaders be killed. These calculated extremities are being imported, like everything else in Australian media and politics, from the USA.

BTW, your own snide and aggressive tone – I’m assuming you’re an undergraduate – rather proves my point about the disappearance of civility.

Paul Bamford
Paul Bamford
10 years ago

Apropos @26:

this is worth reading. And here’s the media provocation Crumb is responding to.

Paul Bamford
Paul Bamford
10 years ago

Oh – and here’s the New Matilda article I should have HTed.

Yobbo
Yobbo
10 years ago

My point is that hate speech and extreme obnoxiousness, as expressed by the likes of Bolt and Jones

examples?

But I don’t recall, back in the 70s or 80s, talkshow hosts inciting riots and suggesting our political leaders be killed.

examples?

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Yobbo you do not find it somewhat hypocritical in asking someone else for evidence after you didn’t provide a scintilla of evidence to back up to remarks!

Jones’s remarks about Gillard are quite violent and were not meant to be funny.

Yobbo
Yobbo
10 years ago

No, I don’t. So where’s the evidence of hate speech, inciting riots, and suggesting assassination of political leaders? Anyone?

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Perhaps when you provide some evidence of your allegations others might.
I already have

JC
JC
10 years ago

Jones’s remarks about Gillard are quite violent and were not meant to be funny.

Like this, Homer?

http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an24882733

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Denmore, I might be snide, but hardly aggressive and certainly not undergraduate. In my nearly 50 years I’ve learned that not much changes. I’m pretty sure that there is no point in western civilisation when there was general tendency to difuse tensions with wit and common humanity. It’s not aggression to point out that something is dim.

I’m pretty sure that Gillard is not the only PM that has faced threats and I don’t for a minute think Jones incited a riot.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

they are not remarks JC but it isn’t funny either.

It isn’t incidental to what we are talking about.

JC
JC
10 years ago

Homer

Do you have any evidence that people would be motivated (by Jones saying what he did or burning an effigy of Howard) to go out and try to violently harm them?

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

That isn’t the point.
the point is Jones remarks were violent and inflammatory and of course stupid

JC
JC
10 years ago

If it isn’t the point, what is the point you’re trying to make if you have one?

You are saying that people will be motivated to cause psychical harm. Do you have any evidence of this?

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

you are on drugs.

The only thing I have said was that Jones’s language was violent.
nothing more , nothing less.

Yobbo
Yobbo
10 years ago

Still no examples provided, I guess you were making it all up.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

yeah they must be like your examples that back up your argument.

Those in glass houses…..

Yobbo
Yobbo
10 years ago

I’m not accusing anyone of death threats or incitement to violence Homer, you are.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

yobbo said this

‘“preach hate” = disagree with Labor party talking points.

evidence was ?

I on the other hand actually gave an example of violent language which for which the goose on Q&A said was a joke.

That is the difference between us. you make outlandish statements for which you refuse to produce evidence. I on the other hand do the opposite.

JC
JC
10 years ago

the point is Jones remarks were violent and inflammatory and of course stupid

Homer, how would you categorize Paul Keating’s comments? I believe he’s a hero of yours, yea?

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

which comments?
I do not have heroes