Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Show me the money 

The Australian government unveiled its budget for 2005/06 last night. I won’t bore my overseas readers with details, except to mention this brief exchange between a newsreader on Australia’s 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 Budget’s already been described tonight as irresponsible. What makes you so sure that this $21 billion handout won’t 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 it’s 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.


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