Finding myself rather unwell this morning, I am resting up and reading the local newspapers. There are a number of free papers here, plus a modestly priced local paper for Wauchope. Three come from Port Macquarie, and two of them, as far as I can see, are really just giant advertisements. However, they do keep one abreast of what is happening in the area.
The Wauchope Gazette featured the bus accident and alleged sabotage on the front page, along with an article about the need to man the Police Station in Wauchope every day. The regular Port Macquarie Express had the annual Comboyne show goat race highlighted on the front page.
The third Port newspaper is a new one, at least to us. It turned up yesterday in the driveway. We don't know who prints it, or who owns it. There is no information of that sort to be found in it. Its editors and journalists are anonymous (there is one name noted under 'news department' but no by-lines on indivdual new items). And just as an aside, some of the contributors apparently cannot spell or proof read accurately. Apostrophes run riot in irregular places, Tony Abbott has become Tony Abbort (a Freudian slip?) and at the base of one page we find Puzzel Answers.
Why does this matter, I hear you cry? It matters because this paper appears to function mainly to endorse the National candidates for the coming State election and to smear everybody else. The front page announces that the National Party member for Oxley is "Mister 72%". I want to know who is putting it out, and what their vested interests might be. It seems that impartial journalism and this paper have nothing to say to each other.
The page three article highlights the misdeeds of the sacked General Manager of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. It also features photos of the two sitting independent members. Apparently they had lunch with him a few times. It is a great example of guilt by association.
The paper does print the policies of the various candidates as received. Fine and good, and I appreciate this. But the (nameless) editorial again picks up the alleged dubious association of the sitting Independent members with the last General Manager, as reputedly they were ongoing beneficiaries of his misuse of funds, in the form of lunches. Sadly, the National Party member for Oxley apparently only ever received a cup of coffee from him. The inference about who is honest is clear.
However, the best (??) part of the paper is a little (also anonymous) editorial piece called 'Carp's Corner'. It is a sustained, ill-informed piece of invective against anyone who thinks our planet is in trouble from climate change. I won't go onto all the errors of fact that it contains, and there are many. Its primary purpose appears to be to smear the Independent Federal member, predict the impending bankruptcy of the mid north coast due to the carbon tax, and to suggest that states who are low emitters of CO2 should secede from Australia and go it alone. Ignoring the nuclear crisis in Japan, it also suggests that a swag of nuclear reactors should be built in W.A. It then goes on to say that the people of this elecorate could then become a loyal Eastern satellite of W.A., which should secede ala a resurrected Lang Hancock. This, says Carp, would be preferable to subsidising Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong's carbon tax bills.
Mmmmmmm. I see. Time to come clean, Mr Carp. Who are you and who pays you?