As recently as a year ago, the media pack was almost united on three articles of faith.
First, global warming was an unquestionable crisis.
Second, no political leader could oppose the immediate adoption of emissions trading and be credible.
Third, Kevin Rudd was a brilliant salesman and astute politician who had the next election virtually all sewn up, especially thanks to his global warming policies.
Some examples? Here’s Paul Kelly last year:
I believe that the (Liberal) party room will endorse a series of amendments (to the Government’s emissions trading scheme) which will be the basis for negotiation with the Rudd Government. I mean frankly if they oppose that, that would be signing their own political death warrant… This raises the prospect that the legislation won’t pass and that the election next year will see climate change as a frontline issue. Now this will be a mortal political threat to the Opposition.
There is a view that he [Rudd] has the face and a bearing of a parson, and the heart and soul of a dictator. He has cowed his party, his caucus, his cabinet and the bureaucracy. He holds all the prizes, and anyone who wants to advance must pay homage to him. He bludgeons alternative opinions to death.
Wonder where Chris is now? And would a “sorry” make it all better?
Shouldn’t the media now engage in a mea culpa? After all, global warming seems far from as urgent as everyone thought, both major parties have lost the leaders who once foolishly promised an ETS, both parties are now led by more popular leaders who have shoved the ETS to manana, and the collective wisdom now is that Rudd is and always was a disaster and a klutz.
But here’s how the media works. Those pundits who have only argued over the past couple of weeks that Rudd was a disaster - Laurie Oakes, for instance - are now hailed as far-sighted, despite having pumped his tyres for years, while those very few who have warned for two years he was trouble remain dismissed as ideologues.