Julia Gillard really thinks she's on a winner with this tactic of smearing anyone who has questions about her role in the AWU scandal as a misogynist, nut-job, or idiot. It's a typically cheap, nasty tactic that her party has used earlier -- for example when Tony Abbott was snapped with a placard behind him saying she was "Bob Brown's bitch". Her ministers all went into overdrive equating this one little incident with ugly "American style" lunacy and hatefulness.
Cynical ALP spin doctors were right in thinking that Oz hacks would run hard with this angle. After all, lazy, sneering Aussie journos have been milking the cow of anti-Americanism for decades now. There's a ready made smear machine all fired up and ready to go!
And it's a powerful machine, considering how many in the press gallery are tragic, jelly-backed Labor luvvies. But the tide is turning. Huge numbers of Aussies have had more than a gut-full of the way the MSM are acting like spin doctors for the Government on this.
So they're turning to social media and the blogosphere instead. Larry Pickering's websites and Facebook page are getting eye-boggling numbers. Have a squizz at the comment threads and you'll get some idea of just how many people are fired up about this. Then there's Michael Smith's blog. It's only been up for a coupla weeks but it has already garnered over 200 000 page views.
There's a big shift happening now. No wonder Gillard is packin' death. She won't sue, though, because that would risk the whole sleazy affair being opened up and investigated even more thoroughly in the long term. Hence she's employing what she thinks is a tried and true tactic with the "nutjobs and misogynists" smear. But it's another error of judgement from someone who's made many already.
Of course no one will end up being shot in the streets as a result of this unrest. But I can't help thinking this is a little bit like the recent Twitter and Facebook revolutions in the Middle East. Autocratic rulers tried to perpetuate their narrative through official mainstream media channels that they controlled completely. But it didn't work because everyone just turned to the internet and Twittered and Facebooked their way to freedom instead!