[Published at Independent Australia 7 July 15 5:30pm.]
The Australian commercial media are the unacknowledged third force in Australian politics. Arguably they are more powerful than any of the political parties.
Consider the pre-occupations that dominate our politics at the moment. Islamic terrorists are supposed to be a clear and present danger. Boat people are supposed to be a lurking threat, ever-likely to sweep in and over-run the country, taking our jobs, imposing an alien culture and bringing more terrorists. Roughly half the population does not believe global warming is an immediate or serious threat. (And global warming is almost universally referred to by the deliberately propagated euphemism “climate change”.)
On each of these issues, the dominant public perception is so far from evidence-based reality as to constitute a myth.