Chasing the Norm

Australian academic and blogger on politics, international relations, and culture

Watch out Mr Rudd

rudd_bbqWhile the polls show that the public still strongly supports Rudd & Labor, it’s worth noting that a number of political journalists have begun to write very critical pieces of Rudd recently.

The past week brings hard hitting pieces by Paul Kelly Michelle Grattan, Laurie Oaks, Glen Milne (admittedly not a big surprise), Annabel Crabb, and Michael Sutchbury. I’ve left off the usual critics, but it seems pretty fair to say Rudd is fairly on the nose with the media as a class. Decisions like parallel imports on books are watched closely and personally (this is a class that reads a lot -ie likes cheap books- and has no time for protectionism), and I’ve heard a number of journalists say they just don’t like Kevin Rudd as a person. While most people don’t vote based on how Kelly & Grattan et all see things, editors and other journalists do take their cues from them. The press, especially up in the gallary at parliament house is a veritable pack, with no one keen to find themselves at odds with their colleagues on what the story of the day is, or who to focus on.

It might be a good idea for Rudd’s advisors to book a big Christmas function for the journo’s at Kirribilli, ply them with plenty of good grog, and try and get personally back on side with them. Most of our journalistic class will probably (in line with the public) vote for Rudd’s re-election next year, but he’s going to have a much harder and more stressful year if he loses a grasp on this group. It won’t be like the scorned lover treatment Keating got when he fell out with the press from 1994 onwards, but it could cost a seat or two, and damage his overall standing (which he needs to appear strong in the region when pushing his APc and the like). Time to fire up the barbie Kev.

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