Friends in high places

The Independent examines the role of lobbying in Washington and its ties to the top echelons of the Republican Party. This story has it all. Indians, friends of George W. Bush, fraud and corruption of the democratic process. As we’re told: “Eventually in politics, money wins.”

Back in Melbourne, Sushi Das discusses the role of government spin doctors. Key line: “…The government uses our taxes to pay media advisers to obscure the truth, block access to ministers and protect politicians from scrutiny. It keeps the public in the dark.” These media advisors are unaccountable and paid by our tax dollars.

It’s time – as suggested years ago by Margo Kingston at the Sydney Morning Herald but rejected by a senior editorial staffer – to name and shame individuals blocking the free flow of information. Journalists should reveal the source of their “scoops”, if at all possible. Chances are they’ve received a call from a ministerial advisor offering an “exclusive”. To not do so means reporters are complicit in the grand political game and trust in public institutions falls every further. Treasurer Peter Costello may say that the Liberals will be “very, very careful” with their newfound Senate power, but we aren’t going to take his word for it, are we?

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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