Now we know who Grog is… what changed… #grogsgate

I Work in the Public Service and I Tweet T-Shirt or Sticker I’m sure people much more articulate that I have covered this… but what the hell here is my 2cents worth on the whole #grogsgate affair.

The Australian has taken the line that it was in the public’s interest to know.  But now we all know what has changed.  Do people feel betrayed by Grog, do people question everything he has written, do we feel he has lied.  For me the answer is no, and this is where The Australian has let itself down and betrayed Grog for nothing more than a petty squabble over bragging rights.

Unlike many of the pseudonyms that have been referred to, or hidden leakers and secret “sources”, not one thing changed.  People have a name and nothing more.  Perhaps if the Australian had thought about this, the fallout wouldn’t be so bad.  IMHO the public interest test was failed.  All we learned was a name and which department he works for. Everything else is the same.  These two “facts” haven’t changed a single thing he wrote.

The Australian did play the man and not the ball.  Unlike secret emails from Treasury, or worse anonymous editorials attacking our political process and blatant crankiness that their chosen one didn’t win the election, not one thing changed knowing who he is.

Worse still is the fallout for Grog, who has been forced to defend himself for what has proved to be trumped up nothingness.  Sure some people were curious, and perhaps his name should have come out, but there are ways and means.  Perhaps it would have come out in time anyway.  But then what did it matter, when a blogger writes they have to defend themselves on their writing, not on the masthead.

It was Grog’s writing that drew people in.  Sure people agreed with him and yet people also disagreed with him.  His blog gave people an open platform to disagree and to a name.  That name may not have been real, but it was still him and he would still have to defend his words.

It’s funny how Mark Scott took his words to heart and looked at what the ABC was doing, not treating him as a threat.  The Australian, doesn’t take the critics well and instead of addressing them gave us a story that didn’t change a thing.

That is the crux, it was a non story, but a non story that will have ramifications for Grog and for media as a whole.

Grog won’t be the last to be outed, but I am sure The Australian isn’t going to like when the bloggers fight back, which they will.

And yes my name is Wolf 🙂

5 Responses to “Now we know who Grog is… what changed… #grogsgate”

  1. Nice post Wolf. I’ve been troubled by this episode. At first I thought it was simply the old’s hatred of the new, professionals’ animus for amateurs. But as you point out, there were progressive elements in the media who took Grogs’ critique to heart.

    I now think the motivation was more mundane and petty: an easy story and a bit of gleeful payback. Stay classy Massola.

  2. Agreed, pseudo bloggers will organise defences against this form of attack. I guess in that regard, someone had to take a fall to find out what to do to protect themselves. Complete bugger, tho.

  3. Nice post Wolf.

    My take on it was always that Grog used a constant pseudonym to actual HELP manage the perception of conflict. If he had been known as Greg J then people would have been able to just say “Public Service Bias” or whatever. By stating that he was PS, and making a very clear rule that he never commented on anything to do with work, he was able to actually dispel some of that potential perception.

    Massola who has known his identity for 10 months and who has not only read his blog but also his doctoral thesis, and probably everything public domain from the PS with his name on it, would have to have known that Grog was being very very careful, and very, very straight in not going near “conflicted areas”.

    Was Grog partisan? Sure! He wears it on his sleeve in his writing. But he also dug the boot in to Labor when he felt it necessary.

    He is a DAMN good analyst, and we need that in the APS. His out of work writings are way better than most of the crap served up by either Fairfax, News, or the broadcast meeja. Sure, he was not writing on a tight deadline or t oa column centimetre limitation, and that is one thing that we need to insist from our media.

    Give us good well backed up analysis that is needed to make up our minds about things. Then maybe we will get a better educated electorate which understands nuance is way more important than the screaming soundbites that all sides seem to be addicted to.

    At the end of the day, it is the CONTENT that Grog produced that was the threat to News. Not the opinion, but the fact that “an amateur” could present (at no cost apart from time away from his family in front of his computer) well thought out critique – and mainly criticism that the MSM wasn’t raising his questions.

    There are bloggers, and there are bloggers. Grog is one of the best we have this side of the world. But he does it as a hobby.

    Massola is supposedly a professional. Well, he gets paid for it. But he certainly did not earn his keep (and neither did his editorial chiefs) in deciding to out Grog. You are completely correct that there is no justification for it.

    However, I do agree with Margaret Simmons that it wasn’t necessarily unethical, per se. Bad taste. Bad judgement. Overly personal. All the above.

    Sorry – this is waay too long and I’m not really adding a hell of a lot to what you have said. Me bad.

  4. Mine will be short, Wolfie.

    I just appreciate (as I am sure Grogs does) that people have taken the time to describe from their own perspective what all of this means.

    For mine, It means a bully has been unmasked and it means that a threat has been identified in someone ‘considered’ a lesser being.

    It also means that ‘we are legion for we are many’ and that bullies are isolated fools. Or will be.

    Nice post with a nice thought behind it.

    Now to smash them out of the park

  5. I agree with you Wolf. I had only found Grogs’ blog during the election and was following him on Twitter. Was following Massola on Twitter too until his underhanded outing, then I hit the “unfollow” button.

    What sticks in my craw about this whole thing is that the MSM have paid writers (I can’t bring myself to call them journalists) who continually use pseuonyms. They aren’t being outed. And they should be!

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment