I thought Graeme Dobell's column on the Asian Century White Paper last week was a real cracker. I found this passage particularly reassuring:
Malcolm Cook remarks on the limited coverage by the tabloids. The tabloids are, indeed, important attack dogs because of their finely tuned populist noses. The idea of teaching Asian languages to every Australian kid did not, apparently, look like red meat to the redtops. Nothing to bark at there; back to rising electricity prices.
Malcolm's worry is that the tabloid lack of interest indicates Australians just don't want to think about Asia. Perhaps, but maybe many Australians, like the tabloids, didn't see much to get excited about: Asia is important? Yeah, got that memo a while ago. Asia is paying the national bills? Knew that. Just hope we don't have to get our heads around Mandarin to help the kids with the homework. Asia is our future? Tick! Get back to us when you've worked out the details. The people expect the polity to do the policy particulars.
But Graeme and I may both need to readjust our thinking on the tabloids and the Asian century in light of the truly dreadful piece of reporting on a 'all-Asian mall' that aired on Wednesday night's A Current Affair ('what local suburb will they target next?').
Brought to my attention by reader Tom.