16 December 2007

"tremendous picture" or just unkind?

| johnboy
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I’d really prefer this site not become just a “wot the CT done” talk shop.

So when the buzz started yesterday about *that* picture I thought we’d let it pass through to the keeper.

But now it’s national news let’s take a swing.

So this adorned the front page of Canberra’s only broadsheet yesterday.

It’s the work of Brendan Esposito, a Fairfax photographer.

Mark Baker, the CT editor, says it’s a “tremendous picture” and informs us that anyone thinking they can see anything untoward are “imagining more than is there”. (Bearing in mind that Mark has access to a higher resolution version than the rest of us)

I’m sure you’ll all have an opinion but frankly I have trouble believing this line:

“It didn’t occur to me that people would have a problem with the issue of the dress,” he said.

There might not be anything “to see” but it’s still a gutter up-skirt shot for mine (and yes I considered having this discussion without reproducing the image for just that reason but I think we can assume the damage is done). I also thought using a shot capturing her laughing in such an ugly way was unkind and not something we’d do at any publication I’ve worked for.

Anyone want to guess what the increased relevance is worth compared to the cancelled subscriptions from readers who prefer not to have an up-skirt shot on their breakfast table?

UPDATED: The CT is running an AAP story justifying it’s own decisions, but the letters to the editor have few kind words.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Journalism academic Julie Posetti is not at all impressed with the CT’s actions and goes so far as to claim that elements within the paper are also very unhappy.

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smiling politely5:48 pm 18 Dec 07

The optional preferential system seems to work reasonably well in Queensland and it would be good to have it applied to House of Reps elections at the Federal level.

But it’s desperately needed for the Senate – Antony Green wrote a paper about it after the 2004 election, using the election of Steve Fielding of Family First in Victoria as an example of some of the absurdities the current system produces. Not entirely sure but it may require amendments to the Electoral Act rather than constitutional change (with all the attendant problems that brings).

Just like the roulette table ‘no more preferences’.

Would it make everyone happier if we retained preferential voting but allowed voters to expire at a point where they were no longer comfortable allocating a preference?

For example the Green voter could just stop numbering before they got to One Nation or the Liberals?

Less of an issue in the Reps but would greatly improve the senate in NSW!

Your facts are wrong where you stated both that “in the 1998 election 99% of candidates that won first past the vote went on to win the seat.” and “Ironically the only candidate to win first past the post and not win the seat was Pauline Hanson.” You certainly didn’t qualify these statements about “in favour of the Coalition”.

You didn’t mention Hinkler at all. By the way, Barry Brebner was also an ALP candidate, and Pauline’s loss that you mention was also in favour of the Coalition, so that makes three (and yes, still outweighed by the four seats that went the other way).

Bringing this back to the point about first-past-the-post versus fully preferential voting, if we take the example of Blair, the result was entirely appropriate. When given the choice between Cameron Thompson of the Liberal Party and Pauline Hanson, more electors wanted the former than the latter to represent them.

Considering this was about your ridiculous statement that Howard would have lost the 1998 election due to One Nation preferences that was all I looked at and I could only find one seat – Hinkler (you said Hickley) that One Nation may have influenced in favour of the Coalition. So I can’t really see where my facts are wrong.

You have now conveniently raised a number of other seats where the first-past-the-post candidate didn’t eventually win. None of them but Hinkler were influenced in favour of the Coalition.

So I would suggest my facts (99%) are pretty safe.

I’m not interested in misrepresenting the facts to make a case. I admitted already that I was wrong, it’s a pity you apparently don’t have the minerals to do the same.

OMG….Broadbent, Cameron, Smith and Jeans were Liberals who won first-pass-the-post BUT lost their seats. Only TWO ALP candidates who were first-past-the-post may have lost their seats due to One Nation preferences.

Your first statement suggested that John Howard would have lost the 1998 election if it wasn’t for One Nation preferences.

You clearly prove in your second blog that this wasn’t the case.

You can’t even win a debate with yourself.

OK, you’re correct that it would not have changed the election result, I should have checked the data before spouting off. However, you’re wrong about the percentage of candidates that won fptp going on to win the seat – in that election the following candidates who won “first past the post” didn’t win the seat:

Pauline Hanson in Blair
Cheryl Dorron in Hinkley
Barry Brebner in Parkes
Russell Broadbent in McMillan
Eoin Cameron in Stirling
Susan Jeanes in Kingston
Warwick Smith in Bass

(which, if you’re playing along at home, makes it 95% of fptp-winning candidates going on to win the seat). Seems like I’m not that only one that needs to check their facts.

Do I think those candidates were dudded? No. In each case a majority of voters in their electorate wanted the actual winner elected over the fptp winner.

What a load of crap Caf. Check the AEC site and you’ll see that in the 1998 election 99% of candidates that won first past the vote went on to win the seat. One Nation’s preferences did not win the election for the Coalition. Ironically the only candidate to win first past the post and not win the seat was Pauline Hanson.
Please check your facts prior to making such an absurd statement!

Post election I was watching Sunrise I think it was and they had one of their regulars in lamenting the fall from power.

Her comments were ‘I’m moving to China for 3 years’.

I thought ‘That’s all we need, more staunch industrialist, climate change sceptical people helping run China’.

Some wankers never learn do they ?

Deadmandrinking2:52 am 18 Dec 07

Didn’t waste it last election. I’m happy.

Yeah, that’s fine Deadman. You go ahead and waste your vote.

Deadmandrinking11:44 pm 17 Dec 07

By voting liberal you have friends like Big Dave.

I’m gonna vote Green.

Here’s Baker;s own disingenuous excuse to his own staff. Has he ever heard of cropping? Has he ever heard of Photoshop? Where was Bruce Jones in all this?

From: “Mark Baker”
Sent 12/13/2007

Subject: Front page

There has been considerable controversy about today’s front page picture. I have made the following points in response to media inquiries:

. I chose the picture
. It is a terrific news picture. This was an historic moment: the end of the political road for John Howard. The look exchanged between the victor and the vanquished was priceless. It was a far better picture than any of the other options from that event.
. The picture showed a glimpse of leg up Maxine’s skirt (no more than mid thigh). It was not obscene. It was not voyeuristic. Those suggesting the picture shows more have vivid imaginations.
. If readers have been offended, for whatever reason, I greatly regret that. We are not in the business of gratuitously upsetting people or being sensational.

Mark Baker

What a load of toss Mark. You’re a disgrace as an editor, but I guess you pay peanuts at Rural Press…you get monkeys.

Crikey: It’s further worth noting that if we had first-past-the-post voting, John Howard would have been a one-term PM, because when One Nation was at the apogee of its powers at the 1998 federal election, it took a large chunk of the Conservative first preference votes. Also, you can’t just take votes cast under a fully preferential system and then apply first-past-the-post rules to them – people would not have voted the same way under that system.

BigDave: You’re not being asked to “give the nod” to Labor or the Greens. You’re being asked, “if it comes down to either the Labor candidate or the Greens candidate, which would you prefer?”. If it never comes down to that choice, your selection between them isn’t used. Since in practice, it usually comes down to a choice of “Liberal or Labor”, the fact that you put Liberal higher than Labor is what matters.

V twin venom1:39 pm 17 Dec 07

I don’t believe some of RA’s greatest smart arses have’nt linked this topic with the one that follows.

What IS pink and has ears like an elephant?

Is worth noting that Labor won 30 plus seats due to Green preferences. If it was first past the post, as it is in most democracies, Maxine would be back sniffing around the ABC for a job, and Labor would not have won the Election.

Heh, WMD being a provocateur again.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say he was a Big Al ressurection by the RA team looking to have a bit of fun in a slow news period.

hingo_VRCalaisV69:17 am 17 Dec 07

You know what they say, you don’t win friends by voting for the Greens.

Deadmandrinking1:05 am 17 Dec 07

Um…Big Dave, you can select your own preferences. That’s what numbering the boxes is all about.

Oh, and Deadmandrinking, I don’t need to be told anything twice. You’re the one that’s not listening you green little prick.

That’s the way it goes Sepi. If 31% wanted Labor, they win. It works like that in any other competition doesn’t it?
Because of this unfair system, I have to give a vote to Labor and the Greens. Why should I? I can’t stand either of them. But a compulsory preference given to them by myself, might do them a favour, maybe even tip it for them.
Why should a party or parties, which I don’t particularly like, get a nod from me? Is that really fair??
And believe me, I know many who feel the same.

Get over it, BigDave. In Bennelong, 51.40% of the electorate said “we’d rather have Maxine than John”, and 48.60% said “we’d rather have John than Maxine”. Expressed in those terms, the result is pretty obvious.

Deadmandrinking6:17 pm 16 Dec 07

That’s what I said, Sepi. Geez Bigdave, why do you need to be told twice?

Although, I should point out, under Bigdave’s system, I assume more people would condescend to voting for the big two. I would hate that personally, being a Greens voter who selected labor at second on my preferences, because whilst I’m happy that the lesser of two evils is in power, I still want to make it clear at the voting booth who I really support.

Point well made, Sepi. The current system allows people to show a preference, but to ensure that the “big” mob they also prefer gets their vote. So in effect, each person has at least 2 votes.

Um no. Not unless there are only two parties running.

Imagine this:

Labor might get 31%
Liberal might get 30%
Family first might get 30%
(voters who would prefer Liberal over labor)
Greens would get 8%.

Under your system labor would win, despite 60% of people not wanting them to.

Like I said, it’s a backwards system. Voting should be for who you want, not who’s second best via preferences. If you like the Greens, vote the Greens not bloody Labor! Might as well not bother wasting your vote!
A party might gain power because they have the most votes?? Isn’t that the idea??

hingo_VRCalaisV66:09 pm 15 Dec 07

Yes, Labor won, now the Labor voters can stop whinging and concentrate on how their leader is going to destroy the country. Liberal voters, you now have a reason to whinge or if you prefer, hang tight for 3 years until Tin Tin has served his term.

Deadmandrinking12:09 pm 15 Dec 07

You’re missing my point.

Most people take preferences into account while voting (Am I repeating myself? I am, aren’t I?), so whilst they may vote for say, the Greens, because they truly believe what that party has to say, they know realistically that the closest they’re going to get in government is Labor. If that person wants to vote Greens but not have Labor in power, they can redirect the preferences.

This system is in place to prevent the occurrence where a party might gain power because they have the most votes, but not a majority of the population’s votes. A government is never going to be popular if only 30% of the population actually voted for them, are they?

BigDave, I suggest you learn how your vote is actually counted and about the choices you can make with your vote. It will help your addled brain immensely, I assure you.

That is precisely my point. You shouldn’t be able to win on preferences. There should be ONE vote, for or against. Simple. What a backwards bloody system.
As for it being for the better, I guarantee you’ll be thinking otherwise in 2-3 years time.

Deadmandrinking11:22 pm 14 Dec 07

It wasn’t a proper majority, Bigdave, else he would have won. The fact labor won on preferences means more people wanted him out.

Stop whinging. Howard lost, the Liberals lost and it was all for the better.

I wouldn’t mind but she’s an ugly old boot. What bullshit this whole seat of Bennelong issue is anyway. She didn’t win on primary votes, Howard did. The majority wanted him back. This type of voting system is a bloody farce.

I didn’t even notice this ‘problem’ – says more about the reader/viewer if they take issue with this photo.

Deadmandrinking8:05 pm 14 Dec 07

And Leah, you’re female I assume. Tell these innocent boys the difference between thighs and well, you know…

I hate when this site goes all Summernats.

Vic Bitterman7:19 pm 14 Dec 07

Hooray for crusty old flange!

justbands and deadmandrinking are talking sense – who are these old pervs getting out with their magnifying glasses, just having a look at exactly how much they have see, just to have something to bitch to the radio and write letters about. I’ve heard stories about people going into newspaper offices to look at photos and posters of car crashes, checking for blood, just to have something to complain about. It’s beyond a joke and people should get a life.

Deadmandrinking5:15 pm 14 Dec 07

She’s old tang, Barney, o-old.

Egoslayer, I was having a go at your joke. Don’t get me wrong, I had a chuckle – but the internet laws had been a topic earlier and I find them quite amusing too. I think we were on different wavelengths for a while.

Nice joke. See shit – shit, ha ha ha.

I’d do her.

She wouldn’t do me though 🙂

And if you’re reading, Hi Mrs Danman!!

It’s okay *egoslayer*. Me and Deadmandrinking are having a back-n-forth. At least we were. I still think Maxine is hot.

For your information Deadmandrinking there was no ‘attack’ intended just some humor on a thread that had probably gone past it’s use-by date!! But you go a head and make it what you will… it is such heavyweight topic after all!!

Maybe she’s saying, “Looks like the children have thrown you overboard now, you prick!”?

Is it just me or does it look like Maxine is calling Johnny chicken and doing the accompanying sounds and actions?

(Meanwhile Johnny is sitting there thinking – Bloody Janette, I would have retired a year ago if it hadn’t been for her)

Deadmandrinking3:44 pm 14 Dec 07

Damn straight, Barney. Romantic emotional connections are for pussies!

Deadmandrinking3:43 pm 14 Dec 07

To explain the internet law thing, egoslayer – the reason they have been invented is because people use the same stupid tactics over and over again, i.e. the Nazi thing, where the emotional weight is used to emphasize a poor link between someone’s views or activities and the Nazi’s (HITLER used speed, for example). Same goes for attacking someone’s spelling or choice of words, because you’re deriving from the real argument at hand.

Does it make sense now?

lol so so serious you are, Deadmandrinking. Sure enough, you’d settle for nothing less than a Britney Spears type then.

God I have to get out more…

No I wouldn’t say that… but there is a saying that goes “don’t argue with idiots, they only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience”

I have had to use that every now and then..

…Oops, i have probably just violated some other internet law.. But i get Skidbladnir’s point at 3:08 pm… good work!!

Deadmandrinking3:16 pm 14 Dec 07


Fair enough… you win ….whatever!!

Enjoy your day…

Self-invoked Godwin & Sexton = “I’ll make the Hitler reference” = “This topic has grown old, it needs to die, and I am willing to fire the bullet”

Deadmandrinking3:03 pm 14 Dec 07

There’s another one about having a go at people grammar, speeling, choice of words etc. VY brought it up.

You guys need to get out more!! Your reference…

There are many corollaries to Godwin’s law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself)[2] than others invented later.[1] For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress. This principle is itself frequently referred to as Godwin’s law. It is considered poor form to raise such a comparison arbitrarily with the motive of ending the thread. There is a widely recognized codicil that any such ulterior-motive invocation of Godwin’s law will be unsuccessful (this is sometimes referred to as “Quirk’s Exception”).[6]
Some argue that linking reductio ad Hitlerum to discussion length had been done prior to 1990 by a poster named Richard Sexton: “You can tell when a USENET[sic] discussion is getting old when one of the participents[sic] drags out Hitler and the Nazis.”[7] It has never been established whether Sexton’s quip had any influence on Godwin’s law, but since Sexton’s comment refers to discussion length alone, whereas Godwin’s Law is designed to make users more aware of inappropriate hyperbole, it seems likely that their origins are distinct.
Godwin’s law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one’s opponent) with Hitler or Nazis or their actions. It does not apply to discussions directly addressing genocide, propaganda, or other mainstays of the Nazi regime.[citation needed] Whether it applies to humorous use or references to oneself is open to interpretation, because although mentioning and trivializing Nazism in an online discussion, this would not be a fallacious attack against a debate opponent.
However, Godwin’s law itself can be abused, as a distraction or diversion, that fallaciously miscasts an opponent’s argument as hyperbole, especially if the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate. A 2005 Reason magazine article argued that Godwin’s law is often misused to ridicule even valid comparisons.[8]

I still don’t get and by now i don’t even care!!!

I say again WHAT THE…?

Deadmandrinking2:53 pm 14 Dec 07

Those are her thighs, you moron. They’re darker because of her skirt. If you look at where her waist is, then look at where the supposed exposed groin is, you’ll see that it’s not anatomically correct.

Jeez, you must leave women very unsatisfied, Barney.

Deadmandrinking, it’s right there in front of your eyes ! Anyway. I stand by my comments. Cause you all know I am right. Even if you are too scared to say so in a public forum.

* Nothing to see here *

Go back and read through your internet laws, specificallythis one with an added Sexton corolary.

“I bit Hitler slayed a few egos too.”

What The…??
I could be a dyslexic chicken for all you know… Ease up!!

…I couldn’t resist making the obvious comment!! Especially given the tone of the rest of them!! Must be a boring Friday, hey!!

I bit Hitler slayed a few egos too.


Deadmandrinking2:12 pm 14 Dec 07

You just slayed my ego!

Isn’t there an internet law for this one?

“Shame on you all for actually making me have a look ‘up there’ to see if you were correct. Pffft, You can’t really see shit”

I should hope not!!

Deadmandrinking2:06 pm 14 Dec 07

Barney, I usually look in that area – when the subject is about 20-30. McCew might make a good pollie for me, that’s it.

barking toad1:57 pm 14 Dec 07

Did I see a little sign saying “Hogg’s Been Here”?

Or was I looking too hard?

:-o. I’m a male. I naturally look in that area. That picture seemed to draw more attention to that area due to the fact that there was *more* shown. Not much yeah, but you know. Anyway. Nothing to see here folks.

PS: LoL @ Commando Style

Deadmandrinking1:28 pm 14 Dec 07

Shame on you all for actually making me have a look ‘up there’ to see if you were correct. Pffft, You can’t really see shit. A bit of leg, maybe, but what year is this? The fifties? I hardly think Maxine Mccew would have been going commando during this kind of occasion.

“Those suggesting the picture shows more have vivid imaginations.” – I think that accounts for most of the sad losers who wrote in.

Mr Evil. I think we can safely say that John Howard and his gang were 100% EVIL. You might have to do better in your attacks against Kevin Rudd. I could go on all day about Howard’s scheming. But I’m not going to. Frankly I am sick of John Howard and nobody really needs to mention his name anymore. Cause “Johnny Boy…Poor Old Johnny Boy” got the arse. Hard to imagine for some, yet oh so true.

Storm. Teacup. *yawn*

Gungahlin Al12:48 pm 14 Dec 07

I thought it was pathetic of the Canberra Times to use that photo as a whole, pathetic to not crop it to ditch the up-skirt, and the response from the paper in today’s edition is even more pathetic.

A professional photographer summed it up well in a call to 666 yesterday when he said that he saw Esposito taking the shot during TV footage and thought then that he either “had no idea what he was doing, or he knew exactly what he was doing, and more likely the latter.”

I think ditto goes for the CT Editor and his pathetic attempts at justification. “Glimpse of thigh” my arse.

Dark and Mysterious12:30 pm 14 Dec 07

Low, low, low…and low! I mean, put aside the personal feelings of the poor woman, who probably wants to cut out all this stuff and send it to her parents (I know I would). This was a historic occasion, a sitting PM conceding his seat, a real achuievement for Maxine McKew, and they choose this picture. ‘Sexist’ and ‘demeaning’ are the VERY least of it. ‘Tacky’ also springs to mind. Disgraceful!!!!!!

Absent Diane12:22 pm 14 Dec 07

the photo is hilarious… she looks like she has broken out into the chorus of the chicken dance!!

Maxine hot? Man, you need to get out more often!

Anyway, Rudd’s proving to be a good liar too – troops out of Iraq was the Labor catchcry for years, now only 550 of the 1500 are coming home.

Maxine is hot ! John Howard is a tested and proved lying scum bag. The Liberals are a bunch of out-of-code dirt buckets. I’m sure Maxine will do just fine. But there are obviously still a lot of Fascist Liberal tossers about.

Crass photo. But Maxine is still hot.

Just for a moment, let’s pretend it’s not Maxine.

If she was a leggy blonde wearing a bikini (with bikini bottoms on), you’d see a lot more and I highly doubt people would be kicking up a stink about it.

It is a great photo, and to kick up a stink about something that actually isn’t there – well, I guess it was a slow news day.

At least she didn’t “do a Britney”.

To be honest, when I first saw it I thought it was amongst the finer political photos I’d ever seen. And I did not notice her legs at all. Mark Baker might be full of shit, but he’s right at least as far as I’m concerned. Who’s looking to Maxine McKew for titilation? I didn’t see the skirt, I saw a tired old man being sneered at by his lightweight conqueror. It’s a brilliant photo, and captures the moment much much better than the alternatives used by the SMH and others.

And besides, if it’s all right for her to get about town dressed like that, accepting all the attendant risks, then why is it not all right to capture her image dressed like that? If you can see it in the flesh, in public, then I don’t see why it shouldn’t be on the front page of the local rag. Time to grow up a little.

Thumper, you want to make -link- a link you just do the <a href=""&gt a finish with a </a>

But as this thing autoconverts html I have no idea if this example will work until I try it.

(There is a guide below the “Leave a comment”)

Not necessarily Mr Evil, the underlying demographics of Bennelong have been trending Labour for 20 years, it’s been the PM’s personal vote that’s kept it in Liberal hands. Maxine should get a “Sophomore Surge” next election, as she builds up a personal vote herself and the effect of Howard’s personal vote disappears.

Bennelong seems most likely to become a classic marginal for the next few elections, going with whoever forms government.

“and on the same seat! :)”

Agreed. I think she’s an over-rated twat, and my bet is Bennalong will be a Liberal seat again next election.

barking toad9:33 am 14 Dec 07

and on the same seat! 🙂

Hey there’s two c*%ts in that photo!

If the CT is a broadsheet because they are putting photos of pollis on the front page.

If they were a tabloid they would be putting this on page three.
(So you could read it on the bus\train\ferry and not get glared at by other passengers)

barking toad9:20 am 14 Dec 07

The shot was selected for front page publication for 3 reasons :

1. To show JH looking like a grumpy old man;
2. To show Maxine supposedly berating JH about something he’s done wrong; and,
3. To give a hint of beaver to try and lift the pathetic circulation of the Canberra Age.

Looks like the panty hamster’s ready to go for a run on its wheel.

Uncalled for the CT to publish the letter or for me to report what is in the public domain?

lol, its reminds me of a certain sharon stone moment in basic instinct.

as the letter to the editor said today:

Maxine is after the Brazillian vote.

While the CT might be in a broadsheet format, the editor is operating at well below tabloid level.

Shame Mr Baker!

I must admit i prefer the real “thing” to the old one wearing a tie next to it.

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