The Two Missing Words on Robodebt

Yeah, “I’m sorry” would have been kinda nice. But those aren’t the missing words.

It was always too much to expect even a façade of contrition from Morrison or Tudge or Miller or Benson, or at least a dozen other down-punching sociopathic thugs. So, although the words of regret are blaring in their absence, the words were not to be expected, they’re not missing as such. The missing words are:

Well, duh.

As we wrote, it was all obvious. Always. Robodebt was obviously immoral and obviously illegal, and it was obvious from the very beginning, from the first moments that the elements of the appalling scheme came out. And still it went on for years. And why? Not because of Morrison and Tudge and Miller and Benson and all their fellow goons: there will always be goons attempting to do goonish things. It went on for years because supposedly better people let them. As we wrote,

Robodebt was only permitted to continue for the insane number of years that it did because of the obsequious and trivialised and goldfish-memoried news media. The publishers and reporters who covered Robodebt like a forgettable football match rather than as the great travesty that it was are almost as culpable as the gargoyle ministers and DHS goons.

So, to hear Laura Tingle sermonise now about Morrison being a liar and of the perversion of the public service? Of course she’s right, and of course it’s good that she’s saying it. The Royal Commissioner was great. But Tingle failed. The ABC failed. They all failed.

Of course Tingle and the others are not nearly as responsible, are not nearly as reprehensible as Morrison and the other Robothugs. But Tingle is a respected human, and we hold her to a high, human standard. She failed, as did, almost universally, her colleagues.

If the Robodebt post mortem has included any proper discussion of the failure of the media, a single note of responsibility or remorse from the too-silent media big shots, we have not heard it. To hell with them. Too.

8 Replies to “The Two Missing Words on Robodebt”

  1. It reminds me of how, back in the 70s/80s, Sir Joh B-P referred to his daily press conferences as “feeding the chooks”. It is possibly the best description that I can recall on the role of media w.r.t. the government. “Dutiful stenographers” is another. However, I disagree that the media failed: they did their job splendidly, as they were required to do.

  2. Australias media and notably the press gallery are glorified gossip columnists. They never discuss policy, and focus obsessively on personalities and stupid ‘leadership challenges’.

    1. Agreed. Laura Tingle is about as good as it gets, which is not nearly good enough. Most are vomit-inducing.

  3. By the way, a bit off topic, but I just realized that years ago I dated someone from the VCAA. She said her job was rubbish, and nobody there does any work. Nothing seems to have changed.

  4. Just to remember the context of the times. In May 2019 we had a federal election that Scummo won due to his relentless opposition to the redistributive policies of Labor ( and people not wanting to give up their middle class welfare). The media went apesh*t over all of that. And they just repeated the crap presented to them word for word.
    At the same time the obscenity of Robodebt was in full swing. Only the Guardian, Crikey and GetUp said anything at all critical. The rest of the media…crickets.
    Morrison wound up with a majority of 1. I blame the media for a large part of that travesty and as a result we got saddled with shit-lite policies from Albo 3 years later

    1. I agree. Labor has hardly been good, but the media in their shallowness demanded that Labor be cowards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 128 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here