Issue 159


19 OCTOBER 2012

Jonathan Green: “Nancy, will be taking notes, I suspect”

Michael Rowland: “Nancy…yes.  We’ll get a nice write-up on Friday.  Good morning as well, Gerard. Thanks for watching, by the way.

– ABC 1 News Breakfast, 18 October 2012

“Gerard [Henderson] is a complete f-ckwit”

– Malcolm Farr, via Twitter, 29 June 2012 (circa pre-dinner drinks)

“What a haughty flapping half-arsed buffoon he [Henderson] is”

– Bob Ellis on his Table Talk blog, 8 May 2012 (before breakfast)

“We’d better be careful what we say, just in case Gerard’s offsider pooch Nancy is keeping an eye on us for his delightfully earnest Media Watch Dog”

– Tom Cowie of The Power Index, Crikey 20 January 2012

“Henderson…What a pompous, pretentious turd you are.”

– Mike Carlton, Saturday 13 August 2011 (after lunch)

“Go to the Sydney Institute Media Watch Dog website to marvel at [its] work”

– Mark Latham The Spectator Australia 11 June 2011.

Media Watch Dog – “disgraceful”, “sick”

– Professor Robert Manne, April Fool’s Day 2011.

“Before going further can you write to confirm that these emails are private correspondence and not for publication”

– ABC News Radio’s Marius Benson, 11 March 2011. He did go further – see MWD Issue 86.

“I realise this makes me practically retarded, but until five minutes ago I thought Nancy was Gerard Henderson’s wife, not his dog.”

– Byronbache via Twitter, Monday 7 February 2011

“Gerard Henderson is big enough to take care of himself, but that doesn’t stop us worrying about him from time to time.  Lately it’s Hendo’s tendency to self-harm that has us losing sleep. For example, peruse the correspondence he’s published in his latest Media Watch Dog blog…..There’s a part of us that just wants to ask: “Hendo, are you OK?”

– James Jeffrey’s “Strewth!” column, The Australian, 8 November 2010.

“Media Watch Dog on Fridays…is a sort of popular read in the Crikey office”

Crikey’s Andrew Crook on ABC 2 News Breakfast, 24 September 2010.

Stop Press: Is PM Manmohan Singh a Misogynist?; Is Anthony Mundine a Racist?; Is Eric Campbell a Sexist?; Does the ABC Need Accuracy Training?; Questions for Anne Summers & Larissa Behrendt etc

● MWD Conspiracy: How the Jesuit Educated Bill Shorten and Tony Abbott Changed The English Language Down Under

● Can You Bear It? Mark Latham Bags Tom Switzer, Jennifer Byrne Bags Mitt Romney, Mark Davis Bags Fox News & Jane Caro’s Gender Confusion about Jack the Ripper

● Nancy’s Pick-of-the-Week: All Aboard the Turnbull Love-Boat with Elizabeth Farrelly and Paul Malone

● Nancy and Inky Discuss Fashion – with a Little Help from John Sevior and Scott Burchill

● The Age’s Obsession with Tony Abbott (Continued)

● Documentation: Jonathan Green and the News Breakfast Team on Sandals, Nancy and all that stuff

● Correspondence: Terry McCrann Demolishes Stephen Koukoulas’ Account of the Whitlam Government’s Economic Performance








Where are the modern day thought-police when you need them to handle rampant sexism, rampant racism and rampant rampantism?

● Indian PM Singh – With Time On His Hand – Insults Aussie PM, Apparently


Last night ABC TV News and Sky News showed footage of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh looking at his watch when Prime Minister Julia Gillard was speaking during a media conference in New Delhi.  Now I ask you. Would Prime Minister Singh have looked at his watch if Australia’s prime minister had been a man?  You know the answer.

In the House of Representatives on Tuesday 9  October 2012, Ms Gillard caught Opposition leader Tony Abbott looking at his watch towards the end of her speech on misogyny, sexism and all that lot.  She declared:

Good sense, common sense and proper process are what should rule this parliament. That is what I believe is the path forward for this Parliament, not the kinds of double standards and political game playing imposed by the Leader of the Opposition, who is now looking at his watch because, apparently, a woman has spoken for too long….

At the time the Prime Minister’s defiant, feisty speech was enthusiastically endorsed by the likes of Anne Summers A.O. Ph.D (as she terms herself), Jane Caro, Dee Madigan, Julia Baird and the like.  See MWD Issue 158.  However, alas, they all have been silent in the face of Mr Singh’s obvious offence to Ms Gillard.  [Are you sure about this? Perhaps the Indian prime minister just wanted to know what time it was. – Ed].

● Where is Dr Behrendt and the UTS when Anthony Mundine Needs Confronting?

Then at the media conference for the forthcoming Anthony Mundine v Daniel Geale IBF middle-weight title fight in Sydney yesterday, the indigenous Sydney-based Mr Mundine declared that the indigenous Tasmania-based Mr Geale was not really indigenous at all.  According to the Sydney boxer, “they wiped all the Aborigines from Tasmania out”.  So the Tasmanian boxer cannot be Aboriginal. So there.

Now when Herald-Sun columnist Andrew Bolt questioned the Aboriginality of what were termed certain “fair-skinned Aborigines” in 2010, all hell broke loose.  The likes of Larissa Behrendt took Mr Bolt all the way to the Federal Court – Bromberg J. presiding.  Whereupon Justice Mordy Bromberg found against Andrew Bolt in Eatock v Bolt – holding that the plaintiffs had been offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the Herald-Sun columnist.

But where are the likes of Dr Behrendt (for a doctor she is) and Mr Clark this morning? And where is the high profile lawyer Ron Merkel QC who went on Q&A after the case and castigated Andrew Bolt? And where the howls of outrage from the leftist sandal-wearers at the University of Technology, Sydney expressing outrage that Anthony Mundine had both mocked and intimidated Daniel Geale. Where indeed?  And will Ron Merkel QC offer his (pro bono) services to take “Choc” Mundine before the beak?  [I don’t know about you. But I would not take on Anthony Mundine anytime soon – on this or any other matter. – Ed].

Why Alan Jones will be fact-checked but not the ABC


How about that? Following a decision of the (“Don’t call us ACMA”) Australian Communications and Media Authority, Macquarie Radio Network will subject 2GB broadcaster Alan Jones to a new regime. You see, Mr Jones and his team will be required to fact-check material and to make a reasonable attempt to present alternative viewpoints.

How frightfully interesting that the taxpayer funded ABC is not required to abide by such standards.

As MWD readers will be aware, Kim Dalton (the ABC’s Director of Television) refuses to correct the documentary All The Way, which claims that the Menzies Government resorted to conscription in May 1966 in order that the Australian Army could take control of Phuc Tuy province in South Vietnam. In fact, conscription was introduced in late 1964 and Robert Menzies was not even prime minister in May 1966. See MWD Issues 157, 138, 135, 134 and 133.

Moreover, senior ABC executive Bruce Belsham remains unfazed that an article by Professor Robert Manne of La Trobe University (“Proudly One of Australia’s Top 500 Big Polluters”) on the ABC’s The Drum contains three factual errors in just one sentence. See MWD Issues 157, 129 and 128.

2GB employs not one left-of-centre presenter and it will be required to present alternative viewpoints. No such requirement will apply to the ABC – which employs no conservative presenters.

On ABC Radio’s 702’s Mornings with Linda Mottram today, ABC Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes conversed about Alan Jones’ factual errors and the need to prevent or correct same. He neglected to remind ABC listeners that his program holds the world record for delaying a correction. It took Media Watch a full two decades to correct an error it made in 1991 concerning Angela Pearman. See MWD issues 113 and 100.

Also, many ABC programs still go to air without a conservative viewpoint being heard. ABC News 24’s coverage of the second presidential debate, for example, concluded with a round-up of opinion. The only expert invited to air a view was former Labor staffer Michael Gleeson. The social democrat Mr Gleeson called a victory for the social democrat President Barack Obama. Fancy that.

The fact remains that Fox News covers a wider range of views than can be heard on most ABC programs.


Who would have thought that, when Master Bill Shorten was studying English at the Jesuit run Xavier College in Melbourne around two decades ago, he would change English usage in Australia?  But this week it came to pass.  Let’s go to the transcript of Monday’s Q&A.

Tony Jones : There’s a question on this very subject [misogyny]. I’ll go to Vince Del Gallego.

Vince Del Gallego : A lie is a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive. A misogynist hates women and girls. Julia Gillard announced to Australia and the whole world that Tony Abbott is a misogynist, which is a false statement with deliberate intent to deceive. Is the real Julia Gillard a confirmed liar?

Tony Jones: Bill Shorten.

Bill Shorten: No. Let’s go through and what I understand to be the meanings of misogyny and sexism. There’s been a lot of really valuable contributions from a range of people. I take the definition of misogyny – the old definition is – “do you hate women?”. I don’t think Tony Abbott hates women. But do I think in the vernacular that misogyny has moved to the following definition, yes I do. And the following definition is – there are some people who say things to women which are frankly inadvertent. That doesn’t make them right but they’re capable of being corrected. Misogyny, to me, is a – in the language which I understand it to have been used most recently – is a view that there are some people who have a prejudice about women in certain occupations and they have an unexamined view in their own head about the status of women and the equality of women to do a whole range of things….

Tony Jones: You’ve already redefined a word that’s in the dictionary to suit your own meanings….

Bill Shorten: It’s still a free country. I will work with you but they’re my views.

Tony Jones: It is a free country and there’s a dictionary and you can look up the definition.

Bill Shorten: Yep. Okay.

That was Monday night.  On Tuesday Sue Butler, the editor of the Macquarie Dictionary which is based at the (taxpayer subsidised) University of Sydney, held an extraordinary meeting of the powers-that-be-at-the-Macquarie Dictionary. They decided to re-define the meaning of “misogyny” in a way which accommodated Mr Shorten’s definition.

So there you have it.  Pre-Q&A, “misogyny” was defined as hatred of women. However, post-Q&A, the definition was softened to include entrenched prejudice against women.

This now means that when the Prime Minister Julia Gillard accused Tony Abbott in the Parliament last week of misogyny she may have meant that he hated women or she may have meant that he was only prejudiced against women.

So, where is the Jesuit connection that circles the conspiracy – so to speak?  Well, Tony Abbott was educated at the Jesuit run St Ignatius, Riverview, in Sydney.

Get it? The Jesuit educated Bill Shorten has changed the meaning of the word “misogyny” so that the Jesuit educated Tony Abbott cannot be accused of hating half the population.  According to the brand-new definition, he might be prejudiced against half the population.  That’s all and demonstrates that the graduates of Jesuit schools are just prejudiced when they don’t really hate.  [Fascinating. I wonder if we could work on Ms Butler and her anonymous colleagues at the Macquarie Dictionary. Currently the Macquarie Dictionary links the term “Nazi” with Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party of recent memory.  But some people use the word “Nazi” with respect to such contemporary conservative political leaders as John Howard and Angela Merkel.  Perhaps, after a Q&A program, Ms Butler of the Macquarie Dictionary might call an emergency meeting of her anonymous colleagues and extend the definition of Nazi to read as follows: “Nazi: one who believes in or sympathises with the policies characteristic of Hitler or John Howard or Angela Merkel”.  Just a thought. – Ed].



● Aussie Speccie Contributor Declares He Is Ashamed Of The Aussie Speccie

Every Friday, before Nancy’s co-owner presses the button to send out MWD, he reads The Spectator Australia. Tommie Switzer’s “Aussie Speccie” seldom disappoints.  Certainly not last Friday when Mark Latham’s “Latham’s Law” column was devoted to Mark Latham (as usual) and the magazine itself.

The Lair of Liverpool (i) maintained that “the Australian newspaper is produced by cave-dwellers”, (ii) declared that a “madness” is “gripping” the Coalition’s “side of politics”, (iii) said he was “ashamed” of Tom Switzer’s editorial in the previous week’s edition since it gave comfort to “the sick puppies, the [Alan] Jones followers” and was “also intellectually dishonest” and (iv) depicted The Spectator Australia’s associate editor Rowan Dean as “naive about politics”. That’s all.

Otherwise Mr Latham is pleased to be paid for contributing to The Spectator Australia – a handy stipend which supplements his lousy taxpayer funded superannuation pension of a mere $78,000 per year (fully indexed).

This is the very same Mark Latham who just six weeks ago criticised Nancy’s co-owner for (allegedly) engaging in “increasingly bizarre attacks” on, wait for it, The Spectator Australia.  Can you bear it?

● Jennifer Byrne Looks at Mitt Romney and Thinks of Jerks


On ABC 702 Drive with Richard Glover yesterday evening, ABC “Book Show” presenter Jennifer Byrne described Mitt Romney as “a jerk”. Just a jerk.

Imagine if Ms Byrne had used a four letter word with reference to a female left-of-centre politician?  Just imagine.  But ABC types can say what they like when it comes to bagging a male Republican who is contesting next month’s US presidential election. Can you bear it?

● Mark Davis Depicts Fox news as Completely Insane

Then on the Sky News Paul Murray Live show last night, the taxpayer funded SBS Dateline co-presenter Mark Davis had this to say about Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News in the United States.

We [in Australia] don’t have any part of our media that’s insane.  As insane as Fox, you know, which is a huge driver of American public opinion.  We’re pretty sane people, I think.

So there you have it.  Fox News is “insane”.  Just insane.  Yet Fox News has numerous paid left-of-centre commentators. Meanwhile neither the SBS nor ABC has one conservative presenter, producer or editor on any of its prominent outlets.  Not one. Can you bear it?

● Jane Caro Forgets that Jack the Ripper was a Bloke


On ABC Radio 702 last Monday, Jane Caro said that the list of insults by Labor against Tony Abbott, compiled by Sydney Morning Herald columnist Paul Sheehan, were okay because they were “not gendered”. Ms Caro conveniently overlooked the fact that Julia Gillard’s depiction of Abbott as “Jack the Ripper” was gender specific – since it is assumed that the said murderer was a man who killed women. Can you bear it?

●Eric Campbell: What’s the Point of a Formal Enquiry?

Meanwhile, the ABC managing director and editor-in-chief Mark Scott has instituted an enquiry into the sexist tweets by ABC TV Foreign Correspondent reporter Eric Campbell about Tony Abbott’s chief-of-staff Peta Credlin.

It’s not clear what there is to be enquired about. Campbell’s sexist tweets about Ms Credlin consist of a total of 40 words. Moreover, there is no doubting that Campbell is the author.

All nice Mr Scott has to decide is whether such tweets are acceptable behaviour for an ABC reporter? And, if not, what is to be done about it? Yet the ABC manager has instigated an enquiry. Can you bear it?





● All Elizabeth Farrelly’s Inner-City Friends Just Love Malcolm


Now here’s a question?  Does Nancy’s favourite Sydney Morning Herald columnist Elizabeth Farrelly know anyone who doesn’t vote for the Greens or Labor and who lives outside the inner-city?

Yesterday, Ms Farrelly commenced her SMH column, titled “Time for Turnbull to end the divide”, as follows:

Just about everyone I know loves Malcolm Turnbull. This is especially weird since my sample, though broad and random – greens and Christians, professionals and hobos, poets, Buddhists, anarchists, atheists, engineers and random reprobates – takes in few Liberal voters, if any. I don’t solicit the information. It just crops up. In voices tinged with gentle surprise, as if they can’t quite believe it themselves, they confess. Well, in fact, yes – if Malcolm stood for prime minister, they would vote for him in a flash. It’s love.

I’m generally chary of the L-word, especially as applied to politicians. Penny Wong and Bob Brown are my lot so far, with a touch of the Johns, Hatton and Button. What they share, these few, is not charisma. It’s not sex appeal or glad-handedness. It’s principle; each has a clear, inviolate hinterland with a big “Not for sale” sign hung on the gate and principles that will not bend beyond recognition with the next political zephyr.

So there you have it.  Ms Farrelly may not know even one Coalition voter.  But she sure knows that Malcolm Turnbull should lead the Liberal Party. Elizabeth Farrelly went on to list her policy priorities. They are (i) climate change, (ii) bike lanes, (iii) gay marriage and (iv) anti-censorship.  This suggests that Mr Turnbull would have particular appeal to Adam and Steve who enjoy peddaling around the inner-city to and from viewing Bill Henson’s pics of naked pre-pubescent girls and boys all the while worrying about the impact of global warming on, say, Ultimo.  Ms Farrelly went on to condemn “Aussie pride in our big houses and footy scores”. How twee.

The only problem with Elizabeth Farrelly’s “Everyone loves the Turnbulls” story is that most of Australia’s marginal seats are located in the outer suburbs and regional centres – (i) where the masses like big houses and take footy scores seriously, (ii) where bikes are not a suitable form of transport, (iii) where many Christians, Hindus and Muslims live, who are opposed to same-sex marriage and (iv) where support for a carbon tax is about as popular as Cardinal George Pell is at an ABC Christmas Party. [Don’t you mean a Happy Holidays celebration? – Ed].

Elizabeth Farrelly did not tell her readers precisely how Mr Turnbull would convince a majority of Liberal Party MPs to endorse a carbon tax/emissions trading scheme.  Or how he could get the National Party to remain in the Coalition if the Opposition backed a carbon tax/ETS.

● And So Does The Canberra Times’ House-Leftie

In Sunday Canberra Times on 7 October 2012 Paul Malone – the CT’s house-leftie – ran a similar line in a column titled “Liberals should turn to Turnbull”. Malone declared that “a Turnbull dethroning of Tony Abbott before the next election is not out of the question” and concluded his piece as follows:

Abbott has proved to be a most effective Leader of the Opposition and it might be asked why the Liberal Party would want to replace him. The answer is that his era has passed. This will become more apparent as time goes on.

The polls show that, were an election to be held today, Abbott would win a comfortable majority. But the election is some time in the future and it is future-thinking policies that Abbott lacks. His 1950s thinking just won’t do in the second decade of the 21st century. If Liberal Party members come to recognise this and turn to Turnbull, their election victory will be assured.

Which raises the question?  Why should Liberal MPs take advice from the Canberra Times’ house leftist?




● Shoeless Sevior Impresses Colleen Ryan of “The Power Issue”

Nancy Asks: As I recall, Richard Gluyas reported in The Australian sometime in September that one-time journo John Sevior had walked away from his time as Perpetual’s head of equities with a mere $21 million or so as a final year payment.  To me, this seems like a lot of moolah.  However, when glancing at the oh-so-soft profile on Sevior by Colleen Ryan in The Australian Financial Review Magazine’s October 2012 edition titled “The Power Issue”, I looked at the accompanying photographs by Nic Walker.

Do you know what?  John Sevior’s blue sweatshirt had a hole under the arm.  And his slacks had loose threads.  And he had no shoes on. Just how expensive is it in Sydney these days for a stockbroker in between jobs who earned a meagre $21 million in his last year in a job? Can it be that your man Sevior cannot afford clothes and footwear? And does this explain his unclad and shabby attire when Mr Walker rocked up to his home in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs to take his pics?

Inky Responds: You ought to try and get out of your kennel more often.  You need to know more about how a fashionable man, who camps-in at Bellevue Hill, dresses these days.  Mr Sevior dresses poor, you see. A hole under the sweatshirt here. A bit of thread on trousers there. Sans shoes – and so on.  Out Liverpool way, the not-so-well-off try to look their best – and dress in suits, fashionable dresses, shoes and the like. But in Bellevue Hill, it pays to look a bit like something the cat dragged in – especially when the Financial Review photographer turns up and the cat in question is of the Sphynx breed.

In a way, I feel sorry for Mr Sevior. An orphan, he was educated at Geelong Grammar School. Moreover, on turning 21 in 1983, he inherited a stock portfolio of a mere $150,000.  Actually, I would be surprised if, in his entire adult life, Mr Sevior has ever been able to afford shoes or even sandals (thank God).

In any event, I thought that the pics in “The Power Issue” worked well.  Blue sweatshirt by The Salvation Army.  Frayed trousers by St Vincent de Paul’s. Footwear by Almighty God. John Sevior is among Bellevue Hill’s best dressed/worst dressed stockbrokers.  That, no doubt, is why Ms Ryan was so impressed with him.  It pays to be barefoot in the (Bellevue Hill) park.

● Dr Scott Burchill’s Tipping Point

Nancy Asks: I was watching ABC TV’s News Breakfast – as is my wont –  on Tuesday. I noticed that leftist Deakin University academic Dr Scott Burchill (for a doctor he is) was wearing a different jacket from usual. Young Michael Rowland, the co-presenter, declared that this was a nice look and suggested that my co-owner Gerard Henderson would like it.  I’m not so sure.  The jacket may be new/second hand. But Dr Burchill was unshaven and I’m sure he was wearing sandals under the desk. Why is it that Dr Burchill continually dresses down to go on national television?

Inky Responds: Once again, you should get out of your kennel more.  No one gets paid to go on News Breakfast. Some guests like doing the “Newspapers” gig because they are media tarts.  Others because they can touch up their tan per courtesy of the ABC’s (taxpayer funded) TV lights.  Others still because they have nothing better to do than to rise at 4.30 am and head to Southbank by 6 am for no financial compensation and to talk to an audience despite the fact that you, Nancy, may be the only one watching.

Scott Burchill’s time is precious.  He is, after all, an academic.  So, as previously explained, Dr Burchill rationalises his time to drop in at Southbank on his way to the tip and before he combs his hair for the day.  Last Tuesday, he had an up-market load (computers, analogue TVs, that sort of thing). So he wore a new/old jacket. During SB’s previous appearance on 18 September, he wore a coloured Hawaiian shirt.  This co-incided with a visit to the tip to dump some old bean-bags with screen-printed images of Che Guevara plus volumes of unread copies of “The Complete Works of Leon Trotsky” along with two bucket loads of broken Bob Marley albums.

Then, when Dr Burchill gets really down and dirty on the News Breakfast set, this is a sign that his ute outside the Southbank studios is loaded up with a dysfunctional worm-farm, three pre-loved busts of Lenin which have been attacked by Maoists  and perhaps a dead cat or two. That’s how he presented earlier in the year.  The only time Dr Burchill wore a suit and tie was when he was heading off for a job interview – presumably for a lectureship position at Deakin University’s Department of Applied Garbage. [Do you mean Deakin University’s prestigious Department of Humanities and Social Sciences? – Ed].

In any event, don’t bother about the rubbish that Scott Burchill is wearing.  Focus, instead, on his MIND. All I can say is that on News Breakfast last Tuesday, Dr Burchill was the brightest guy in the room who happened to be on his way to the tip.  Don’t ask me what he said.  I have no idea. And nor, I suspect, did the viewers.



Last Tuesday, The Age ran two page one stories featuring criticism of Tony Abbott along with a mocking Tandberg cartoon. Somehow or other, Richard Willingham’s non-story about possible Coalition funding for the proposed East-West tunnel in Melbourne was regarded as big news.

Willingham made much pf the fact that the Opposition leader had not discussed the proposal with the bureaucrats at Infrastructure Australia. But Mr Abbott never claimed to have done so – he spoke to Infrastructure Australia board members. Hardly a big story. Yet, the Guardian-on-the-Yarra filled out the story with claims that the Opposition leader is a “road lobbyist”. Who said this? The Public Transport Users Association, that’s who. Gee whiz. And The Age calls this big news.


Jonathan Green Names Nancy As A Note-Taker

What a stunning “Newspapers” segment on ABC 1 News Breakfast program yesterday.  Karina Carvalho and Michael Rowland were in the chair and ABC Radio National Sunday Extra presenter Jonathan Green was doing the commentary.  All three of  them could not get Media Watch Dog – and Nancy, of course – off their minds.

First up, there was a discussion of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s unfortunate fall in New Delhi. Let’s go to the transcript:

Jonathan Green: The sensible thing that – the chap that was with her at the time was wearing sandals. And I would suggest to the PM that, whatever Gerard Henderson might think about such footwear, that’s clearly the sensible way to go.

Michael Rowland: He doesn’t think highly of them, as we know.

Jonathan Green: He does not.

Karina Carvalho: I love it when men advise women what shoes they should wear.

Jonathan Green: It’s misandry [sic], perhaps.

Michael Rowland: Misandry. Ah yes – setting up a conversation down the track. But, I mean, I think this has all been overplayed….

Young Ms Carvalho seems to lack a sense of irony and does not understand that the sandal-wearers refrain follows that of George Orwell – and applies to both men and women.  The fact is that Nancy’s co-owner advises both men and women to avoid sandals lest they espouse a fashionable leftism invariably attached to leftist sandal-wearers like, well, Karina Carvalho.

Soon after, discussion turned on the Macquarie Dictionary’s decision to alter the definition of misogyny after three decades of defining the word as equating to hatred of women.  Let’s go to the transcript, again:

Jonathan Green: It’s [the misogyny story] been given an extremely good run.  And some papers have taken it as a part of a political agenda and it’s “outrage, outrage, outrage”. See quotes again by our favourite person, Gerard Henderson, in the Financial Review.

Michael Rowland: He watches the program.

Jonathan Green: He watches – Good morning Gerard.

Karina Carvalho: I think this is his favourite segment, the Newspapers review.

Michael Rowland: Yes he does, yes. And you’ve [Jonathan Green] got a coat on so –

Jonathan Green: Nancy, Nancy, too will be taking notes I suspect.

Michael Rowland: Nancy too, yes. We’ll get a nice write-up on Friday. Good morning as well, Gerard. Thanks for watching, by the way.

And so this Documentation section was written – so that Young Michael Rowland’s prophecy, that yesterday’s News Breakfast would be covered in today’s MWD, might be fulfilled. Please note that this is a reference to the Gospel of Matthew 2:23: “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets.” – King James Bible.  [Why not try the Douay translation? It better fits your mindset – Ed].



Terry McCrann to Gerard Henderson – 19 October 2012


Gerard, it takes an impressive level of clueless stupidity for even a Labor apologist to spring to the defence of the 1974 Whitlam budget – the budget that defined that government as the worst and most destructive in Australia’s history. Until that is, first Kevin Rudd came along to top even Gough Whitlam in sheer bumbling awfulness. For him of course, subsequently to have to cede the title of Australia’s worst ever prime minister, to Julia Gillard.

But up stepped former Gillard advisor Stephen Koukoulas to pompously ridicule your criticisms of the 1974 budget and the numbers you used [See MWD Issue 158]. And get it absolutely and totally wrong. Apart from one minor mistake, which you have acknowledged, your numbers were correct.

Koukoulas thundered that your ‘howler of howlers’ was to claim the budget deficit increased substantially in 1974-75. When instead, the government recorded a budget surplus. Actually, and I quote from the 1975 budget papers, the 1974-75 budget had a deficit of $2.57 billion. In today’s terms, that does not sound much, but it was equivalent to 4.3 per cent of that year’s GDP.

Today such a deficit would be around $65 billion. Fancy, that, much like the deficits that Gillard and her treasurer Wayne Swan, who Koukoulas used to, ahem, advise, have presided over. And they’ve done it every year. Back in 1974-75 though, the Whitlam budget lifted government spending by an almost incomprehensible 45.8 per cent in a single year. Koukoulas claimed it was “only” 39.6 per cent.

Showing just how clueless he is, Koukoulas ridiculed the difference between your reference to the increase being almost 50 per cent and his “correct” figure for the increase, as – “worth around $36 billion in a single year”.

Being completely unaware that his 39.6 per cent would be like lifting budget spending now by a mind-numbing $140 billion or so in a single year. Something I think that even the team of Koukoulas, Swan and Gillard would draw some breath at.

Koukoulas’ mistake was the simple one of someone that understands little of budgets and even less of history. He’s just taken his numbers out of the current budget papers. These are a reconstruction of the real numbers, to try to put them on the same basis as the way the modern numbers are done. To my mind, the real numbers are, well, the real numbers, and are as I and you have stated.

Koukoulas exposes himself by making a snide reference to the author of the source you quoted. W.E. (Bill) Norton was a distinguished head of the Reserve Bank’s research department – an economist who actually knew what he was talking and writing about. Unlike your unfortunate correspondent.

Terry McCrann

News Ltd


Until next time.