December 11, 2010
Antony Loewenstein on the courtier nature of journalists:
Such obedience doesn’t come naturally; it takes years of practice. Annual events such as the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue - a secret gathering of politicians, journalists and opinion-makers - consolidate the unhealthy, uncritical relationship between Australia and America. Many corporate journalists have attended, including the Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hartcher and former Labor MP and ABC reporter Maxine McKew. It aims to consolidate American hegemony rather than challenging it.
It’s largely a one-way street. Australians display loyalty to an agenda and the Americans are allegedly thankful. As US participant Steve Clemons wrote in 2007:
Phil Scanlan, founder of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, is proud of the fact that in 15 years, no-one has leaked any of the internal conversations of the conference. I won't either... unless I get permission from one of the speakers or commentators to do so which is allowed by the rules.