Monday, 21 October 2013

Is much of the media coverage of Prime Minister Abbott during the October 2013 bushfires accurate, misleading or downright false?

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was apparently ‘discovered’ almost by accident as he anonymously went about fighting NSW bushfires over the last six days:

However, it appears that it was not just an onlooker or ordinary volunteer who snapped Abbott – it appears to have been the former Senior Studio Director at Skynews whose efforts were first tweeted via a Canberra-based political reporter at Sky News.

Here is one of the three tweeted pictures – all apparently originating in Sky News on 20 October 2013:

Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited Network was not content with republishing these images allegedly snapped at around 8am on 20 October – it also used additional images in some of its reporting. Unfortunately those images can only be described as false reporting.

According to The Australian on 21 October 2013:

According to Newzzly post two weeks and six days before that, this image actually belonged to the period covering the fire on Barrenjoey headland:

This was The Daily Telegraph on 16 October 2013:

And this is what a peek at The Daily Telegraph’s 16 October photograph properties revealed:

I am now wondering if any of the Abbott as fire fighter images, being published in mainstream and social media reports on NSW bushfires this month, are in fact genuine.


Found on Twitter:

Lucy J Evans is a young woman who has been active on Facebook since January-February 2012.

On 19 October 2013 The Hawkesbury Gazette published this photograph (photographer unknown) of Tony Abbott at Bilpin on its Facebook page:


Anonymous said...

good work Clarence girl.
what a fraud Abbott is.

sortius said...

I also question any D300 photos, that's a consumer camera, & I would suspect have been taken by one of the Liberal party's cameras. If you notice, Greg Hunt recently purchased a $2300 camera (probably a D300 with a dual lens kit):

I'd hazard a guess that ALL front bench Liberal MPs purchased Nikon D300s to take photos to distribute to News Corp daily. Saves News Corp money & ensures the Liberal party is only shown in a positive light.

The Nikon D3 is a pro camera, so probably legitimate news photographers took them. Still fluff pieces though. ;)

Anonymous said...

YOu can't buy the D300 anymore, it was discontinued a while ago.

Unknown said...

This must be a new type of "warfare" where the Generals go to the front line and fight the "enemy".

Wonder who is running the show back "home" ?

Anonymous said...

If he was there, a large contingent of Federal Police protection unit would have been hovering around him all the time, plus an ambulance reserved just in case, and a chopper on standbye if he had to be moved out. That is a huge cost in manpower for a photo opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Can he just burn in the fires as well.

Anonymous said...

Dear god its just gets more and more clearer everyday what this man , our pm is really capable of low will Teflon Tony go...without pity or empathy

Anonymous said...

If you've worked in the media industry, you'll know that stock footage and stock images are used all the time and news stories are embargoed.

Some of these photos are not of the current bushfire, as clearly mentioned in the image metadata contained in the file - if you dug a little deeper.

"Opposition leader Tony Abbott pictured with the Davidson Rural Fire Service team, which he volunteers with, preparing to help contain the Deans Gap fire,near Wandandian, south of Nowra. The Davidson RFS unit Tony Abbott is a member of was dispatched this"
The Deans Gap fire was in NSW in January.

This just confirms that stock images are being used. This is because the newspaper doesn't have any other images of Tony being on a fire truck, except what was "Twittered" in the first place.

As for the Twitter image, these don't have any metadata, as it appears they were processed after the journo got back to the office, based on the location they tweeted from in North Ryde.

Cheers. :)

clarencegirl said...

Anonymous 21 October 2013 13:34,

You are missing the point.

Some of these 'stock' photos have captions which clearly state they depict the PM during the October 2013 bushfires when they in fact do not and, others imply the same.

The average online or print newspaper reader is not necessarily going to hunt down metadata - they are going to accept the images as true in the context of the article and move onto the next story.

Whether the dishonesty originated with the media or the PM's office is almost besides the point, the articles remains dishonest.

Andy of Sydney said...

Actually, there is a MASSIVE difference between the PM's Office deliberately trying to con the Australian public and the media being misleading, as is their wont.

YOUR assertion is that it is the PM who is fraudulent. When faced with facts, especially the article's metadata, which tells the entire story, you are now trying cover yourself.

Let me make this clear: If Joe is a fraud, it is defamatory to claim that John is also a fraud. Defamation is illegal and you can be faced with criminal prosecution.

An apology is in order, and a public retraction of your initial statement should be made... That is, if you have ANY shred of integrity at all, which I highly doubt.

clarencegirl said...

Andy of Sydney,

The title of the post couldn't make it any clearer - "Is media coverage of Prime Minister Abbott during the October 2013 bushfires accurate, misleading or downright false?

Note the term "media coverage".

Take a walk around the block and cool down.

Anonymous said...

He is not doing it for nicks nor are his minders which i take are members of the RFS or have they signed a waver if they get injured and are they properly dressed and trained.

I dont think so. Tony should get a Logi this year with his daughters accepting it for him as he will be attendin a bike ride at Coffs Hbr

Anonymous said...

The village idiot posing as our Prime Minster will take every opportunity to present himself as a Forrest Gumpian character similar to the George Bush "you could have a beer with this guy" routine. It is just one of many stunts elitists use to try and shill the general punter into believing they are like them. I just wish the village would come and claim its idiot soon before he destroys the country.

Anonymous said...

Our very own Putin.

Anonymous said...

More bullshit propaganda from Murdochs toilet paper. Him and Abbott ought to go and hide under Gina Swinehearts bridge with her until the danger passes . . . . . then they can all come out and claim to be heroes together.

Steve Kennewell

Jack Lacton said...

Isn't it fair to say that Abbott did what he's done for the last 15-odd years and performed his duties as a bush fire fighter and that the media simply used stock images because they didn't have any of him actually on the job on the day?

Anonymous said...

Current photos or not, Tony Abbott volunteered his time over the weekend with the RFS.

Anonymous said...

This just confirmed all my suspicions - this guy will never miss up a photo opportunity in any circumstances. What a fraud - always has been always will be. He knows no shame.

Jack said...

Gee, clarencegirl, someone's been law-talkin' at yer. It can get nasty when you query illusions about their alpha male.

It's obviously deceptive to caption a photo taken in January with: "Prime Minister Tony Abbott balances firefighting with his northern beaches brigade and leading the nation."

Nope, there's no problem with using 'stock images' if the fact is explicitly made clear. It wasn't, so it's a shonky piece of work, by shonks who didn't even have the brains to cover their arse by removing the EXIF data.

News consumers are entitled to feel ripped off and manipulated. By virtue of that, it doesn't do Abbott any favours either.

Well spotted!

Anonymous said...

Good on you Tony, my husband is in the rural fire fighters and I worry about hi every time he goes out to fight a fire, you guys put your life on the line each time you go out and don't get paid for it good on you's , I am so proud to be married to a volunteer fire fighter

Anonymous said...

Leave him alone at least he's helping people which is more than you people that are bagging him are doing, it's not something he's doing just to get inhe news, he's been doing it for years, that's what volunteers do

Anonymous said...

S being dickheads volunteers need to be respected not picked on no matter who they are

Anonymous said...

If he really wanted to help, he would reverse the decision to cut the criteria for emergency aid.

Anonymous said...

Lol were spotted and good investigation work. The sad thing is where ever this has been on social media today the comments have been similar to "Oh what a great PM we have".

So it has clearly worked when common sense tells you that it makes no sense for the head of the country to be out fighting fires. Let alone what all the black suits with ear pieces in would do while he was.

Yes me thinks He hero worships Putin - complete with attitudes about women that are based in the 50's

Regards from the mid north coast.

Anonymous said...

Where is the photos of the Prime Minister with the match lighting Adam Bandts fuel load?

Anonymous said...

Abbott entered politics in a 1994 by-election. He first stood for re-election in 1996 and again in 1998.
At the October 1998 election he suffered a swing against him for the first time.
Sometime in 1999 he joined the local bushfire brigade.
His voluteering during bushfires has always found its way into the newspapers.
Abbott never makes a move which is not connected to his ambitions and being in the brigade is no exception.

Unknown said...

Abbott has diddled the taxpayer to the tune of $93 thousand via his expense account.

When Abbott goes on his lycra clad bicycle rides he has been claiming expenses.

When Abbott has travelled across Australia flogging his book he has been claiming expenses.

When Abbott took his handbag hit squad daughters to Melbourne he claimed on his expenses.

A bushfire photo opportunity for "Slick" Abbott ..... who woulda thunk it ?

Lawrencew said...

What sort of honesty do you expect from an aspirational bogan?

Lawrence Winder said...

What do you expect of an aspirational bogan?

Paloma said...

Re Anonymous 21 October 2013 20:57
When Abbott was studying at Oxford uni, a group of students had been organizing for days a demonstration against PM Thatcher's invasion of the Faulkland islands, the same day of the demonstration TAbbott called a few students to support Thatcher's action, he stood in front of the other students' banner, gave a speach and his photo appeared in the newspaper the following day. The way I see it , this is his modus operandus, not much work, but opportunity is the call. I think the photos are from previous 'performance'.

OB Firey said...

Tony was on the fireground at Bilpin, working his rear end off, on a night shift. He was as black & knackered as everyone else at 3.00am. There are other social media photos from Hawkesbury Gazette that are not stock photos.

Anonymous said...

Just curious if you did an expose on Rudd and all the pics of his humanitarian efforts with the floods etc??
You must remember them surely? The Suitcase on the head empty of course - didnt want to hurt his neck or mess the hair eh? What about the tiny chainsaw and the giant log pic? Or maybe the sleeping bag pic. Oh so many to choose from.
Well? Did you?
Abbott has been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years how much volunteering for anything do you do? Hmm??

Turn It Up Mike said...

Perhaps some of the media images reproduced in one story using images of Abbott in fire fighting gear from a previous story should have * File images used because we weren't there but are using this photo because people like images to go with the story. Here's one someone else took previously.

clarencegirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
clarencegirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
clarencegirl said...

Sorry I'll get the dates right this time. Have a fat thumb today!

Anonymous 22 October 2013 08:59,

I followed the Queensland floods you mentioned and looked closely at both Abbott & Rudd's efforts to help during that period.

Sorry, but Abbott only came north for blatant photo opportunities, whereas (as much as I dislike what Kevin Rudd became) most of Rudd's efforts were genuine attempts to help out.

As for Tony Abbott's firefighting career - he didn't join until late 1999 or sometime in 2000.

That is only 13 years service at most, which is less time than he has been in federal parliament.

A simple Google search will bring up docs showing this.

As for my personal volunteering - I have put in the hard yards over many years when I was younger and fitter and, still help out when health permits.

Unlike Abbott, I never ever claimed a dollar for volunteer work.

Anonymous said...

I've never read such a spiteful load of idiotic and jealous rubbish. Half the state is on fire and this nasty rot is all you have to say?

Most of you are talking absolute rubbish..this for instance.." I also question any D300 photos, that's a consumer camera, & I would suspect have been taken by one of the Liberal party's cameras. If you notice, Greg Hunt recently purchased a $2300 camera (probably a D300 with a dual lens kit):

I'd hazard a guess that ALL front bench Liberal MPs purchased Nikon D300s to take photos to distribute to News Corp daily. Saves News Corp money & ensures the Liberal party is only shown in a positive light."

Hazard a guess?? oh please! in other words you haven't a clue and like to make things up.

As for the 'twitter' story..I could write one of those about anyone I doesn't make it true.

Grow up you lot! and stop talking rot.

Anonymous said...

Your husband is in the true sense of the RFS a worker which all are admired and get a well earned THANK'S not a jerker like Tony who only for his job wouldnt have been near a fire in years and still would be counted as a serving member.

To your husband a big thanks

William Tell said...

I wonder if Abbott put in a claim for the night away? Is the photo opportunity in relation to his role as PM - or to his role as a publicity seeker? Why can't he do his charity work without making sure everyone notices?

Anonymous said...

Same News Corp. BS just a different day.

Do your service and kick a LNP supporter in the groin. Stop these idiots from breeding any more gullible morons.

Anonymous said...

If you want to know what the media can do for a politician or how they can help destroy a prime minister, read, 'The Stalking of Julia Gillard'.

mullet said...

Abbott, Abbott, Abbott, Abbott, Abbott - You fanatics just can't help yourselves, can you?

I spent the day at Springwood and the blokes and girls in yellow suits were everywhere. Some were dirty, some were clean, but ALL were doing their bit, and the locals loved them.

Above the noise of the helicopters firebombing out near Chapman Road, you could hear the locals cursing the stupid green restrictions on hazard reduction burning. And there was no sign of your heroic leftists out there doing their bit. No, they were all sitting back whinging about how Abbott started the fires.

I don't particularly like politicians of any persuasion, but I detest ideologues like the crop of you have on this blog (yep, take a bow, Slick Fraser)sitting back on their fat arses pontificating on how lousy volunteers like Abbott are, when all they get dirty are their fingers from a dusty keyboard.

Get this through your heads - ideology don't beat fires. Volunteers do. You just want to hope that if a fire or flood comes a-knocking at your door, those same volunteers don't recognise you for what you are - miserable, whinging bums that ain't fit to wipe the dust of a volunteer's boots.