Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Political Spin & Image

Poor Tony Abbott, he's not only paying for his sins, but the sins of all politicians. His sin: admitting on ABC's 7:30 Report on 17-May-10 that his comments were not always "Gospel truth", and that sometimes "in the heat of discussion you go a little bit further". He was responding to a question about why he vowed to introduce a new tax (to supposedly fund pay for stay-at-home mothers), when he had previously promised "no new taxes".

So, how do you tell the "truth" from spin?? Brisbane-based ABC journalist Madonna King wrote, on 11-May-10 a list to help. It includes:
the mea culpa; the diversionary tactic ; it's all in the language;
the greed card; the missing transcript; pick your day syndrome;
it's not personal, it's just me; tell the partial truth;
blame the public servant; the drip feed; saved by the review;
the picture opportunity; the human touch; the social media blitz;
the phony sacking
You can read the full descriptions by Madonna King at:

I'll add the following:
the pre-prepared statement, with no questions allowed. Often used after a forced resignation (to avoid being sacked) - remember Peter Garrett.
the send a junior minion to explain: Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey's quick exit from the National Press Club today, after explaining how the Opposition would make savings. (Cut programs) gave journalists the printed paper just as he was leaving, and leaving junior Andrew Robb to bluster through questions)
the we'll send a battery of MP's/Ministers to all deliver the same message, using the same key words. You just had it from the government, spinning Tony Abbott's admission as a sometime liar.
the 'friendly' interviews to multiple TV/Radio/Media. There's an election soon, isn't there? Oh and add the friendly/highly critical journalist's story (there's a hidden agenda to support a particular politician/party - Miranda Devine & Glenn Milne spring to mind.)
the repetition of message. This has been adopted from the advertising industry. It is still used in many ads, including those from politicians.