⚠️ Morrison’s Liberals are starting a war on facts over the impact of medevac bill on return of people smugglers ⚠️
How will journos cover these lies? How should we respond?
A thread 👇🏻
This exchange between @murpharoo and @ScottMorrisonMP is the foundation of Liberals’ rhetoric strategy in response to medevac bill passing.
Morrison’s strategy is to lie by saying the medevac bill will ‘bring back to boats’, saying the people smugglers will see the opportunity to bring asylum seekers to Australia. This is an attack on Labor using their tired ‘Liberals better on national security’ fear campaign.
Important points:
👉🏻Morrison admits it is not true that bill restarts people snuggling business model.
👉🏻He calls this truth (facts) just the ‘nuance of the Canberra bubble’.
👉🏻He says it is not the Libs who are lying by saying people smugglers are back - it’s people smugglers.
This strategy gives Morrison carte blanche alibi to lie his head off, while blaming people smugglers for his blatant, demonstrably false misrepresentation of the consequences of this bill.
To put it bluntly - the Prime Minister is purposely lying to the public for political purposes.
This is therefore political propaganda aimed at distorting reality. Think children overboard mark two.
Katharine Murphy pushed back describing the bill’s details as ‘fact’, not ‘nuance’. But the PM brushed this aside and moved on. Watch this repeated 100 times today. He is a proficient liar.
PVO has in fact made the good point that Morrison is the one more likely to be restarting people smuggling trade at this point through his announcing ‘they’re back!’
So, how should journalists treat these Liberal lies? The first thing is definitely don’t put them in a headline or a tweet. I’m sure we’ll see Murdoch news doing it. Headline will be: ‘Labor brings boats back’.
It doesn’t matter if then Labor’s response such as ‘this is a lie, the bill doesn’t do this’ is included somewhere in the article - I call this false balance. It’s too late to correct the record on a lie so big that it changes people’s perception of the policy change.
US journalists are grappling with this same problem in working out how to report Trump without letting his lies change public perception. Hence why some outlets chose not to televise State of the Union address live.
Lakoff suggests ‘truth sandwich’ approach to political lies:
👉🏻Give context: ‘Morrison is misrepresenting bill’
👉🏻Quote Morrison: ‘He says people smugglers are back’
👉🏻Provide evidence of lie: ‘bill only applies to asylum seekers already on Manus, Nauru’.
Journalists find it hard to question what they see as the ultimate authoritative source: the Prime Minister. That means the PM often gets away with blatant lies, because journos think everything he says is newsworthy, regardless of credibility.
Academic research has shown such assumptions about the credibility of powerful leaders led to such massive lies as weapons of destruction from Bush admin justifying war in Iraq. This is not small fry stuff. Journos need to get this right.
There are obviously outlets such as Murdoch who will happily parrot Morrison’s lies - will put them up in lights and feed the propaganda machine. Other outlets - the ones who still want credibility - need to resist doing the same.
Calling out lies is never easy. Remain calm and keep repeating fact. The people smugglers can think whatever they want but the fact is the bill doesn’t influence their business models in the slightest. Facts are more important than perception.
All us tweeps need to be alert to the lies and make sure we call them out whenever we see them. Make sure the community know the truth - have respectful conversations with people who may have swallowed the lies whole. End.
Post script: right on cue, here is the @Australian doing exactly what I said they would, as predictable as always 🙄
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