The Media Love Affair With Abbott
Media discipline has kept the Coalition on top of the Polls throughout the life of this Government. Barely a word of criticism has surfaced despite the outrageous disregard for the truth shown by the Coalition leadership.
The media and the Coalition has merged into a small coterie which brings to mind the original 19th Century “Push” gangs of small-time street criminals in Sydney’s The Rocks district. Tony Abbott’s Sydney and Catholic-based “Push” has been instrumental in keeping the Coalition poll numbers high despite the depressing negativity of its message.
This has been achieved by transparently publicising any divisions, bad news or minor economic swings on the weekends when the Nielsen, Galaxy, Morgan or Newspoll are being taken. Basically, every second weekend. The repetition and timing of the constant “Rudd challenges Gillard” headlines has become a part of the political scene. So much so that even the general public is now aware of it. That has been the background rhythm of our political rap.
Is The Honeymoon Over?
Suddenly there has been a change. This weekend is the second “polltime” in a row with no leadership stories.
More than that, there is a change from the unalloyed adoration which has been the Media default setting with regard to Tony Abbott. We have seen Laurie Oakes and Michelle Grattan both publish articles which were critical of Tony Abbott. Even this morning’s “Insiders” on the ABC was critical of the LOTO and his “wall punching denials”. Tony Abbott himself has, in large part, withdrawn from the media or perhaps the media is simply not concentrating on him as much.
Who Will Be The New Darling?
Could it be that what we are seeing is not a swing to the ALP but a media move to remove a now-tainted LOTO. The effect on this weekend’s polling will be to reduce the Abbott popularity figures and lead to more talk of what is known on Twitter as #libspill without anyone really knowing the proposed replacement. Julia Gillard’s popularity will not be greatly changed by the latest stories and the ALP will gain little in the public mind.
Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop, Scott Morrison and Sophie Mirabella all seem to be tainted by close association with Abbott. Perhaps Malcolm Turnbull is the only one of the LNP leadership group with the ability to rise above that disadvantage. Then again, perhaps it will be the new Senator for Victoria, the personable Arthur Sinodinos who is being positioned for the big move.
The replacement Liberal leader will be given a dream run into power near the end of 2013 and so the right choice must be made. Sinodinos may well be the John Howard of the next decade.
While we wonder who will be the replacement, we can all enjoy the sight of a bully going down.
Even though it means the ALP will lose its only hope of retaining power.