Don’t we just love a good pageant, swingers? It doesn’t matter who or what it involves. It could be a visiting retinue from house Kardashian, the Queen, or any one of a multitude of the irrelevant privileged. Provided we get to line the streets and turn out some pomp, we’re happy little campers. For a country barely older than Colonel Sanders, we sure do love our ceremonies.
One would struggle to feign surprise, then, at the collective obsequiousness with which we greeted the OMG POTUS when he deigned to stop over for a few hours on our fair shores on his way to somewhere more interesting. We have a history of sycophancy. ‘All the way with LBJ’ wasn’t just a slogan, it was a personal directive to sitting members.
So I expected what we got in many ways. The tearful ecstasy of schoolchildren and backbenchers, the heartfelt rendition of ‘I loves you Porgy’ from Julia Gillard on the rusty trombone, Tony Abbott demonstrating that his brain is indistinguishable from colonic irrigation; no surprises to be had there.
What did surprise me was the utter testicular vacuum displayed by the press. Here was the chance for a serious journalist to make their mark by posing serious questions. What did we get? Nothing. From anyone. The coverage was so lacking in substance it was almost anti-matter. One could expect a certain level of ineptitude from some key players. Michelle Grattan managed to get the best day’s sleep in years. Laurie Oakes was undoubtedly sitting in his office, waiting for the president to make an appointment. Andrew Bolt & Alan Jones were detained by federal police at the border and were forced to sleep in their rig – they cuddled. Janet Albrechtsen was busy having rough sex with a stapler. Piers Akerman doesn’t know where he is and would like to be taken home in time for Upstairs Downstairs.
As for the rest? They should wither in Massola-esque shame.
So for the sake of every journalist who has wasted their parents’ money paying for their useless degree, I have a couple of questions for you to write down. You know? The ones you didn’t ask:
- Mr President: You have vocally supported the uprisings in Egypt and Libya now that those dictators no longer serve American interests. Why haven’t you given the same support to the people of Bahrain, who are fighting the same fight?
- Mr President: How can you lecture China on human rights while Guantanamo Bay is still operational – two years after you pledged to shut it down?
- Mr President: Will you seek to extradite Julian Assange and charge him in a military court? If so, will you also seek to extradite responsible parties from the Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian, and New York Times? If not, why not?
Mr President: What exactly does our renewed free trade agreement curtail? Every previous agreement has shafted Australia completely. How is this different?
There you go kids. That should be enough to get you going, or at least cause you to reflect on your gutlessness. Do you wonder at all why people with real jobs think you’re crap?