The (diabolically) brilliant politics of scaring the elderly
An Australian reader explains the near-total blackout on real news Down Under - and how government-fed media propaganda has turned elections there inside out.
First: Thanks so much for all the feedback. You blew up my inbox (more correctly, I blew it up)!
Two interesting points: The vast majority of you wrote that you are happy to receive several emails a day. Obviously, there’s some potential selection bias - the most enthusiastic people may be more likely to write me. But I have to go with what I hear. So I will not hold back. (I apologize to those folks who want less. The Substack format doesn’t allow for partial lists at this time.) That said, I will try to limit the snark - that format seems to work better on Twitter.
Second: the topic that generated the LEAST interest was the origins of the virus. At first I was a bit surprised - as an investigative reporter, I think it needs to be explored deeply. But of course nothing else compares to the fight over whether we - or our kids - will be mandated to be vaccinated. And other people are doing good work on the questions of the lab leak. I’ll probably put it aside.
(A quick correction from the prior email, btw - the number of Twitter impressions I received in August was 182 million, not 210 million. If Twitter hadn’t banned me on the 28th, I would likely have reached the latter figure.)
Now - onto this email, from a reader in Australia. The extent of the news blackout and open propaganda is stunning. It is no exaggeration that the United States might be in the same situation if not for Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, and a handful of other conservative or independent voices.
But here’s the part I hadn’t thought through. Older people tend to lean right. (As the old joke goes, a 20-year-old conservative has no heart, a 70-year-old liberal has no brain.) And they vote. Frighten even a small number of those folks into voting for the forever lockdowns and you can make a huge difference electorally.
Obviously, this is not just an issue for Australia, but for the US and Europe too - European populations are even older.
I’ll let him speak for himself, unedited. Just a few redactions of identifying information.
I have been reading your emails about Australia and being an Australian myself i thought i would offer you some thoughts on what is hapenning here and why nobody is standing up to all this.
I was born and grew up here and usually spend a couple of months of the year here and the rest of the year in XXX. But i came back here early in the Pandemic for the sake of my Dad is who has XXX and is in ill health generally and have not been allowed to leave since.
And can i first thank you for the Twitter feed you were running. It was one of only a handful of things keeping me sane during this period. Everybody else around me is buying into all the lies and i have felt as though i was losing my mind at times. It was so comforting to see that there were other people just as sceptical of all this as i was and have been.
I think you might be under appreciating is just how complete and comprehensive the media black out of information the government doesn't want the public to hear has been. Way worse and more comprehensive of a black out than what i see in Europe and the US. The only thing comparable to this media operation that i have seen was the Brexit campaign in the UK. Just wall to wall propaganda being blasted at the public 24/7 and all contrary information and opinion banished.
It is obvious that media coverage of Covid here is completely controlled by the government. The other day when Joe Rogan said he recovered from Covid with Ivermectin i saw the same "special report" on the 6pm news reports of all 4 main stations smearing Ivermectin.
Not only were all the key points and buzzwords identical, i.e. the horse dewormer talking point and the claims that the ICU's were full of people with life threatenning diarrhoea from taking it, but the whole script was pretty much identical. What are the odds that all 4 channels decided independently to do a special report on Ivermectin all on the same day and all with the same false talking points? There is obviously a unit in the government that is monitoring for when somebody with influence contradicts the narrative and sends out a script designed to counter it for the media to run.
Everyday on TV here the various state leaders and health ministers get on TV and tell the public that the vaccine will stop them getting Covid and/or transmitting it to other people. They use very careful language when doing it. They don't make a clear direct statement that might come back to haunt them, i.e. You can't be infected once vaccinated, but they just repeatedly imply it over and over again.
Information from other countries is not allowed to be presented unless it conforms to the narrative. There was blanket coverage of India earlier in the year. Then when deaths dropped away it has not been mentioned since. None of the events in Israel or Iceland are mentioned at all.
Coverage of vaccine adverse events is definately banned. They have admitted to like 6 deaths from blood clots from AstraZeneca. They never do anything that would humanise the person who died. No photos of the person are shown. No friends or family ever interviewed. Just a brief description of the age and gender of the person, where they are from, and then usually a caveat implying it wasn't really the vaccine the person died from added at the end (i.e. "She was known to be in poor health for some time").
In contrast they can't wait to tell you all about anybody who died from Covid, especially if they are under 60. Photos and tearful statements from friends and family galore. They have not admitted to a single case of Guillain-Barre syndrome or myocarditis or facial paralysis. Not one. There must be loads of these side effects by now but the government and media have not admitted to a single one.
Coverage of the police violence is banned. You will not see any of the footage you have been emailing in any of the news coverage. People who rely on mainstream media will simply not know not about it. There has been zero coverage of the Identify and Disrupt bill you mentioned meaning the government can take over your email and social media accounts. Rammed through parliament in one day with no debate. Both parties voting for it. No media coverage at all. If you interviewed 50,000 Australian i would be shocked if even one person knew about it.
Anyway, i don't want to write too long of an email but i wanted to point out that one of the differences i can see between Australia and other countries and why this is being tolerated is the media blackout is beyond what you could imagine.
Most Australians think that the vaccine will stop them being infected, that you only have to have it once and thats it, that serious side effects are about as likely as wining the lottery, that the vaccine is no different to other vaccines in how it works, that if you got Covid you would probably have a 5% chance of dying. People really believe this.
Also, you need to appreciate the politics. The elderly have been totally radicalised by the fear campaign. The fear campaign was targetted at the young and it has totally failed to scare them but it has scared the shit out of the elderly.
And they have formed a formidable voting block to back the restrictions. There have been two state elections since the Pandemic and both were won in a landslide by the incumbent left wing government who ran on a platform of keeping borders shut and being complete totalitarians. The got all the elderly vote which normally votes conservative, plus the middle aged women who love the totalitarianism, plus the work from home crowd who are voting to keep this going so they don't have to go back to working at the office, plus all the people who normally vote left wing.
But the elderly vote is the big block. In a country with an ageing population and compulsory voting if all the elderly vote against you it is almost impossible to win. Especially for conservative parties because the elderly are a big part of their natural base. So they are very reluctant to stand up to any of this as the mostly left wing state governments are doing it.