It is a crucial part of any journalist's remit to adopt a healthy measure of scepticism when scrutinising an incumbent government. After all, it would be a foolish inquirer who took everything he or she was told at face value without probing further.
And perhaps it's something peculiar to Australian society where, in so many facets of everyday life, the options boil down to a slightly rigid choice comprising a duopoly. You drive either a Holden or a Ford, you shop at either Coles or Woollies, you live in Sydney or Melbourne, you read the Oz or the Age/SMH, you vote Labour or the Coalition, in Sydney you live north or south of the harbour and you prefer Bondi to Manly for your beach frolicking or vice versa.
Granted, it's fair enough to keep a close eye of the government's introduction of enhanced security legislation. I wouldn't want to live in a country where hard-won checks and balances had been obliterated for the sake of political expediency.
And yet, the noises from some deluded corners of the media landscape seem infantile at best, outright dangerous in other respects. To keep suggesting the current threat from the death cult within Islam is something the prime minister has cooked up himself to deflect attention from a budget that was handed down six or seven months ago strikes me as outlandish and juvenile in the extreme.
And, while I cherish the right of the media to keep an eagle eye spotlight on any government's actions, I do wonder whether some of these media commentators raised their influential voices in similar righteous disquiet over the previous federal government's attempts to curtail free speech by proposing to have a Kremlin-style state licensing authority aiming to censor news outlets that might, Heaven forfend, disagree with the Gillard point of view?