September 5

The governor-General and the media…continued


 Ideology in the media takes second place to the natural dislike one newspaper will usually display for one from a rival stable, it seems. How else can we explain the defence of the Governor- General by the nation’s ultra republican newspaper, The Age? As we mentioned in this column of 27 August, 2006, a clutch of Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited papers recently published a “national survey” alleging the Governor-General was unknown and virtually invisible.

They also claimed that a prime ministerial advisor, Mr. Tony O’Leary, had told the Governor-General’s staff in May 2005 “ to keep the GG out of the public eye.”  The report said the PM’s office was angry because  the GG had appeared on Ten’s Meet the Press. Since then, they claimed, the PM had since assumed many of what are normally  vice-regal duties. But  Mr. O’Leary says this is "complete nonsense", according to a report by Lawrence Money and Suzanne Carbone  in The Age on 30 August, 2006.(We almost missed this but for the eagle eyes of a Canadian reader, whom we thank) 

The Age suggests  News Limited  should have checked with the other major media group, which is putting out a five-page colour spread. Under the headline "The halls of power",  the September Women’s Weekly  tells of the "steadiness and certainty" that Michael and Marlena Jeffery have brought to Yarralumla.

As to being invisible, the Weekly notes "their punishing schedule” which keeps them busy 6 ½ days a week, with an average of 200 functions a year. "Their diary is booked five months in advance". The Age says that while Mr.O’Leary was "promised a denial" by the journalists concerned, he is  still waiting.




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