Colorectal stenographers

By September 25, 2021Media

Some of the most enjoyable occasional reads, although mostly about UK politics, are those by Marina Hyde, who writes for the Guardian. Her latest effort is superb; it is entitled ‘If only the UK could panic-buy prime ministers who know what they’re doing’. It made me laugh out loud a few times. It was largely about the “possibility of shortages of commodities as diverse as gas, petrol, carbon dioxide, beer, lorry drivers, chicken, hospitality staff, care workers, turkeys, and prime ministers who understand economics”1. It is a hoot.

One of the rightfully disparaging comments in her piece was reserved for Times columnist James Forsyth; she called him a “colorectal stenographer”. I presume that this referred to the propensity of Forsyth to write any old shit, as long as it supports the UK’s tory government1. The Times started out as the Daily Universal Register in 1785, but adopted its current name at the beginning of 1788. In 1981, it was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp2. So, calling a Murdoch columnist a “colorectal stenographer” has much resonance in Australia.

Given the failures in just about every aspect of governance by the federal government since their election in 2013, whether it be in dealing with climate change, water management, vaccine acquisition and distribution, quarantine, robodebt, jobkeeper, and their propensity for corrupt practices, it is surprising that so many journalists still seem to think they are competent. Many people in the politically engaged community have started to term some of the ‘journalists’ more prone to simply retype government talking points or press releases as stenographers. While this is accurate for some of the junior hacks of the Murdoch and other outlets, there are some ‘journalists’ who clearly invent stuff seemingly designed to ingratiate themselves with those in government, or are instructed to write such drivel. Such people truly are “colorectal stenographers”.

Working out who these are within News Corp is easy. Most of them lack any semblance of journalistic ethics, and I have listed numerous examples of these on this blog before3-8. Finding those with ethics is more difficult, but there are a few; very few. What is disturbing, is that such a lack of ethics has now spread to Nine media. Dorothy? Are you there?




  • Glenn says:

    Real journalism went out the window the day the “Espionage and Foreign Interference Bill” whose purpose is to make journalism a crime here was passed. So when the AFP attacked the ABC and Annika Smethurst in June 2019, Albanese had a sook about it. Labor didn’t bother to read the legislation fully before passing it. His party did this.

    Also, I noticed that Herr Dutton took it upon himself to go after social media users who criticize him. If he wins his case, then this would have a negative impact on free speech.

    Thanks to this government, Australia is an enemy of democracy.

    • admin says:

      I am sure Labor read it before it passed. Their strategy is to have a low profile and little differentiation from the government on ‘national security’, so the Murdoch and Nine media cannot scare the bejesus out of those gullibles afraid of brown people, by telling them that millions of brown people will arrive if we don’t have leased second hand America submarines. The government are as popular as genital herpes in parts of the country, especially in those states they pilloried for having Labor governments during a pandemic. If they are re-elected the nation is doomed.

    • clive pegler says:

      Glenn, the tories are overly fond of deploying landmines, aka ‘wedges’, especially on hot button issues (i suppose one could call them ‘mum n dad’ issues), such as refugees, homeland security etc etc. The dodging of these wedges is a delicate act so as not to give the tories (free electoral) emotive ammunition. It’s despairing at time I know but, surely you saw what happened with the likes of Dividend imputations, even down to the ludicrous (albeit anecdotal) situation of lnp voters, who’d never owned shares, expecting free money. There’s a lot of fucking goldfish out there 🙁

  • Russell says:

    I take my cue from Clive’s above contribution, especially his reference to the ignorant voter mass which he humorously calls goldfish. Another apt name is “sheeple”. If one were to be very cynical and say outright where and why this country cannot seem to develop a decent number of progressives who influence policy, I know where my finger would point. May I be more precise here? When I say we need many more progressive minds and political figures, I don’t just mean types such as are found in the left faction of the Labor Party, nor do I mean centrist-to-moderate Liberals. Yes, more progressive minds would be fantastic, giving the Liberal Party stronger diversity to offset its extreme conservative wing ( – mainly pseudo-religious jerks, too many of which occupy the ministry of Scummo’s government). By true progressives, I mean bravely independent minds with a very keen eye for the cutting edge issues, which Liberals and Nationals run in fear from all the time. Climate change; getting to zero emissions rapidly; lousy, crazy foreign policy; awful income inequality and privatisation of the commons.
    As to where Clive Pegler’s “goldfish” predominate in the national population, I’m certain the largest number of them live in regional areas, especially in Queensland and Western Australia. Also, a close look at the innate parochialism and backwardness of some of our city-based electorates means pointing the finger at Perth and Brisbane. It’s in all those parts of the voting population that too many people are badly informed on the realities we face as a nation; and too often they just don’t grasp the massive danger that “Morritrump” and the authoritarian mob under him, present to our country right now.

    • admin says:

      I half read an article some time ago basically saying that the Coalition have been installed to do nothing. That is because the oligarchy like the flow of taxpayer funds to their bottom line. That comes as tax cuts, subsidies, and grants. The stagnant wages of the punters also help their bottom line. They are unaware that anger is building at their venality and it cannot last. They had better change things or they will be changed without asking. If the Morrison government is re-elected, it will be the end of Australia. We will indeed end up, as Le Kwan Yew said, the white trash of Asia. We will end up like the US.

  • Jon says:

    The conservatives are undoubtedly the major problem Glenn but the culpable incompetence of Labor shouldn’t be downplayed. The 21st century PLP is so inept they couldn’t mount a cogent argument in defence of the minerals super profits tax even with the full resources of government (Gillard and Swan take a bow), they were totally lost trying to sell the straightforward case for curtailing cash handouts to dividend trough pigs (yet another economic burden Howard and Costello left this country), and they didn’t have the required intelligence, guts or gravitas to mount the obvious case for their negative gearing policy – since dumped by the uninspiring and unenterprising Albanese. The party system is failing this country badly.

    • admin says:

      Yep. It is the system which needs to be changed. Chester’s behaviour is just a symptom of the control the parties have over their muppets. This is particularly so when, if the muppet rails against the control or, god forbid, crosses the floor, he or she could find themselves missing out on preselection and lose their sinecure as a parliamentarian.

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