I am a big fan of the Monthly, but I didn’t like the awful cartoon cover of Tony Abbott (September 2014) and I don’t like the Bill Shorten cover (March). Is it OK to portray politicians in such a deliberately ugly manner? If so, why is it OK? It’s not OK in every other context I can think of.
I guess one response is that they have chosen public office, knowing the treatment they will get in the media, and it’s important that politicians are scrutinised. But is it part of effective scrutiny? Surely one consequence is that the pool of people who aspire to hold such important offices is diminished. The Monthly generally does a great job of raising the level of debate.