Wednesday, May 11, 2005
The Australian government unveiled its budget for 2005/06 last night. I wont bore my overseas readers with details, except to mention this brief exchange between a newsreader on Australias other public TV channel, SBS, and the Treasurer Peter Costello just to show that tendentious interviewing techniques are not the sole domain of the American mainstream media:
Rena Sarumpaet: Well Treasurer thanks very much for joining us. The Budgets already been described tonight as irresponsible. What makes you so sure that this $21 billion handout wont rebound as interest rates rise?(Hey, nothing like starting on a positive note? What better way to open an interview than with a Labor Party talking point?)
Treasurer: Well its not a handout it is a tax cut.Priceless. Sadly, many in the media and the commentariat still seem to labor under a misapprehension that because the government prints all the money it actually belongs to the government and it is the government's right and a privilege to decide how much of it will be shared with the people. And somehow, the hundreds of millions of dollars spent every year on public media is never considered a hand-out.