Blame Pauline! Australian Media Unwittingly Creates a Folk Hero

Cartoon by Ryan Fletcher.

In a breathtaking leap of logic, the Canberra Times blamed Barnaby Joyce’s plans to relocate a government department to his on electorate on none other than… Pauline Hanson. Yes, it appears that the One Nation matriarch has achieved Slenderman status among the peak hysteria that is mainstream media in 2017.

Eat your vegetables, or Pauline will come for you. Be good and use the correct gender pronouns in school or Roz Ward won’t give you a participation ribbon, but Pauline will definitely pull the wings off a fairy. Say your climate change mantra, or Pauline will give you a lump of fossil fuel coal. Don’t stop to consider the pros and cons of reviewing penalty rates, or Pauline will make you work in her fish and chip shop for $9 an hour!

Somehow the Canberra Times have surmised that Barnaby Joyce is not wholly and solely responsible for his own actions. That he figuratively moved into a quaint yet sinister home in Amityville and has become demonically possessed by the ‘vile poison’ that is One Nation policy, and will presumably start axe-murdering public servants as blood drips from walls and flies gather in the window in the middle of a conservative winter.

We’ve seen this kind of misleading reporting and this type of sustained chipping away before. Take an imperfect candidate who may well trip up all by themselves and fail to capture the public imagination if ignored, or (God forbid) reported on fairly, and aim to destroy them by any means necessary, including deliberately and conspicuously false and misleading op-ed pieces until they are effectively inoculated against any kind of legitimate criticism or even the worst of gaffes, and transcend politics as they achieve infallible folk hero status.

It worked swimmingly in the case of Donald Trump, as long as your definition of swimmingly is the Celebrity Apprentice star becoming leader of the free world. There’s no doubt that if he had been reported upon fairly as opposed to the shameless media pile on, that his ascent to the highest of offices would have been far rockier. Imagine if the press hadn’t so gleefully thrown shade on Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Bush, Kasich, and others in their eagerness to serve up an easily-defeatable monster heel that ticked all the boxes to a voracious Hillary Clinton who was perceived as unsinkable? Imagine if they’d given the guy a fair shake so that there was no distracting white noise when we saw those inevitable gaffes that would have ended any other campaign, had it not been apparent by that stage that anything Trump-related in the media was to be disbelieved until proven otherwise.

Now it’s apparent that elements of the Australian media intend to rinse and repeat with Pauline Hanson. She’s a flawed candidate, who has trouble when debating and articulating policy, and merely allowing her airtime could possibly give her enough rope to scuttle a One Nation landslide. But with nonsensical articles like the one linked, left media in Australia have clearly telegraphed that they’ve learned nothing from the 2016 U.S. election.

The author of the opinion piece linked above clearly relishes the thought of being front and centre to help light the tinder at the base of the bonfire, yet doesn’t seem to realise that Aussie Politics’ answer to Joan of Arc is on top of it. If Australian MSM insist on being shamelessly misleading and horrendously biased towards Hanson, we’ll be seeing, reading, and hearing nonsensical platitudes absolving them from responsibility following the W.A. and Queensland state elections.

If they step away from the pile of lumber and put the matches back in their pocket and just wait, chances are that they’d get exactly what they’re after: a party leader standing atop a woodpile looking rather silly. I doubt that will happen though. The first matches have been struck, and the ensuing flames may well engulf the merchants of outrage as they have in the States, and they won’t stop until Bush Balladeers start writing songs about her.

It’s your XYZ.

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Eh?nonymous was a thoroughly repellent unemployed social justice warrior until a one in a million glitch in his Facebook account affected the algorithms in his news feed, omitting posts from his much loved left leaning Huffington Post and I F---ing Love Science, and inexplicably replacing them with centrist and conservative newsfeed items that slowly dragged him kicking and screaming into the light beyond the safe space that Mr. Zuckerberg had so carefully constructed for him. It’s a long road to recovery, but every Mark Steyn share he sees in his newsfeed is like another day clean from social justice addiction.