“Hierophantic condescension and stolid obviousness” #Australia journalism

Well, that’s Amanda Lohrey off a couple of Christmas card lists!!

“One of the reasons we need a civics program in schools is because we learn so little about the complexity of government from the Canberra press gallery. From the hierophantic condescension of Laurie Oakes to the stolid obviousness of Michelle Grattan, what we mostly get is a repetitive loop of myopic opinionating with scarcely any factual analysis of policy, never mind depth of historical context.” [Lohrey goes on to point out the role of political parties as social gatherings in the pre-television/radio days]

(The piece is about how much Australians don’t know about their own history and politics, kinda echoes Laura Tingle on Political Amnesia). Fwiw, I have learnt a lot about Australian politics from reading Oakes and Grattan, though the former is slow to mention the following –

“Thanks to former ALP leader Mark Latham’s pugnacious 2005 memoir, Rudd’s leaking – particularly to Oakes – was already infamous. Latham outlines in The Latham Diaries how he suspected Rudd of being the source of numerous damaging leaks before and after the 2004 federal election – “his pompous language is a give-away” – and details a curious trap he set by feeding Rudd false information. The information, concerning nonexistent focus groups, was prominently reported in Oakes’ Bulletin column the next week.”

Jensen, E.  2013. The Saboteur. The Monthly, May.

To save some of you googling-

A hierophant (Ancient Greek: ἱεροφάντης) is a person who brings religious congregants into the presence of that which is deemed holy.[1] The word comes from Ancient Greece, where it was constructed from the combination of ta hiera, “the holy,” and phainein, “to show.”

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