Friday, February 11, 2011

Before A Fall

What is so hard about saying you’re wrong? We all do it: dig our heels in and support our version of truth far longer than we probably should. But lately, it’s become an epidemic of self-righteous indignation.

More Shit

Was it just this week that Tony Abbott stood in quivering silence for over a minute while Channel 7’s cameras rolled?  Shit Happens is an unresolved issue which Tony could have diffused on the spot with a simple admission that his choice of words in Afghanistan was something he regrets, and that he meant no disrespect. Shit Happens may still have been an issue, but it wouldn’t have been the potential career-limiter it is now.

Shit Happens came just a week or so after Donation-gate, in which a plea for donations to the Liberal Party appeared at the end of a letter to Liberal Faithful in which Tony himself called for action to block the Government’s proposed Flood Levy. Again – just say “damn, that shouldn’t be there”, get it the page fixed and move on.

In Abbott’s case, there is  a pattern of conspicuous defiance, followed by the inevitable written statement, and then 24 hours of intensely frustrating spin from Andrew Robb. It keeps the issue – and Abbott’s reluctance to own it – in the headlines far longer than it should be there.

Denial – Not Just A River In Egypt

While it’s very possible that these lapses may well cost Abbott the leadership of the Opposition and another tilt at the lodge, it’s nothing compared to the goings-on this morning.

Tahrir Square
, Egyptions watched in amazement, disbelief and anger as President-For-Now Hozni Mubarek defied the will of millions and refused to step down. He just won’t admit that his country doesn’t want him in the Palace any more.  US President Barack Obama is having emergency meetings with his Security Advisors. Amnesty International and various unions are convening public displays of solidarity in Australia’s capital cities. British Foreign Secretary William Hague tweeted:

Egypt has made the Peace Process more urgent – everyone should be concerned.”

Egyptian diplomat and Nobel Peace Price recipient Mohamed ElBaradei tweeted:

                Egypt will explode. Atmy must save the country now.”

But Murbarek won’t budge. Egypt has become the most real of all reality shows, and Mr President, it’s time to go.

Mr Stubborn

Mubarek’s big non-announcement? Channel Seven’s Sunrise called it wrong. They weren’t the only ones: NBC got it wrong too. There’s rumblings now that the US Intelligence community got it wrong. Nevertheless, Sunrise had Mubarek resigning.  Kochie tweeted:

“Historic Day in Egypt as Facebook generation ousts Mubarek. He even acknowledged the voice of Youth in his decision. Peaceful overthrow.”

Don’t look now, Kochie, but Mubarek is still there. Actually, Kochie probably knows that because the weight of the Twitterverse corrected him.

But Kochie, following the lead of so many before him, dipped more than his toe into the torrent of denial, and nineteen minutes later, tweeted the following:

“People chill out. We took speech live. It is historic. He is stepping down. Will not contest September. My point is it’s driven by youth.”

And eleven minutes after that:

“The point of Egypt is the Facebook generation have forced change. No burning of US flags or waving of Korans. They want Western lifestyle.”

There are many many points being made by the events in Egypt, and Kochie’s point may well be one of them, but it wasn’t the point of this morning’s speech by a leader in the process of being removed from power. Did the world’s media really cover the speech live just to confirm that nothing has changed? Quite possibly, but that’s not how Kochie’s tweet reads. I’ll admit that I’m not a Sunrise viewer, so I don’t know how it looked on air. Based on Twitter alone, I’ll say this:

Abbott, Mubarek and Kochie: Horses' Patootes

No comments:

Post a Comment