Issue 349

GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG – ISSUE NO. 349

17 February 2017

The inaugural issue of “Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch” was published in April 1988 – over a year before the first edition of the ABC TV Media Watch program went to air. Between November 1997 and October 2015 “Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch” was published as part of The Sydney Institute Quarterly. In March 2009 Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog blog commenced publication.


  • Stop Press: Michelle Guthrie’s Secret Plan No Longer Secret
  • New Feature: Report from Ross Cameron Land with Special Thanks to Rowan Dean
  • Can You Bear It? Alex Malley, Lenore Taylor; Yassmin Abdel-Magied; Q&A’s Approved Question & James Arvanitakis
  • Media Beat-Up of the Week: Ellen Whinnett’s Report from Rome
  • The Media’s Royal Commission Confusion (Continued) – Featuring Rachel Browne (Again)
  • Correspondence: Phillip Adams Helps Out On “Fake Catholics” and Adolf Hitler (Fair Dinkum) & Keith McLennan Helps Out on – You’ve Guessed It – Mr Hitler (Fair Dinkum Squared)

ABC’s (SECRET) PLAN LEAKED BY ABC

This morning’s Sydney Morning Herald has managed to run only two stories on Page One. Well done, etc. The second article, by Fairfax Media’s communications correspondent Matthew Knott (ex Crikey), is headed “ABC boss to divert millions to programs”. It commences as follows:

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie is poised to announce a sweeping overhaul of the broadcaster’s management structures that is designed to free up tens of millions of dollars to invest in programming. Ms Guthrie’s plan – which she has been developing since she arrived at the ABC last May – will be presented to the ABC board for final approval next week, with an official announcement scheduled for next month.

How about that? MWD has always maintained that the role of the ABC board, including the ABC chairman, is essentially ceremonial. Which explains why someone at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster has leaked the ABC managing director’s proposal to Fairfax Media even before it has been considered by the ABC board.

There is much to be said for Michelle Guthrie’s apparent attempt to take money out of the ABC’s bloated management structure and put it into the development of programs.

However, Ms Guthrie’s focus leaves untouched the reality that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster remains a Conservative Free Zone – without one conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of the ABC’s prominent television, radio or online outlets.

Sure, in recent times, the ABC has made more gestures in appointing the likes of Amanda Vanstone and Tom Switzer to non-prominent programs on Radio National. This is of little significance. Moreover, as former ABC Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes has acknowledged, neither Ms Vanstone nor Mr Switzer are conservative in the common sense of the term.

The fact remains that Fox News in the United States and Sky News in Australia employ left-of-centre presenters along with left-of-centre daily/weekly commentators. The ABC has no right-of centre presenters for its key programs and no paid daily/weekly conservative commentators. If this is incorrect, let Aunty advise MWD who is being overlooked.

In other words, both Fox News and Sky News are more pluralistic than the ABC.

Michelle Guthrie supports a kind of diversity for the ABC – which explicitly excludes political diversity.


NEW FEATURE: REPORT FROM ROSS CAMERON LAND

ROWAN DEAN ON HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR MAN CAMERON

Last Saturday, the Sydney Morning Herald devoted its entire front page to a report of a speech by Sky News contributor Ross Cameron to the Q Society the previous Thursday evening. The story was only 36 hours old. How about that?

The meeting was presented as a fund-raiser to support Australia Liberty Alliance supremo Kirralie Smith, who is being sued for defamation on account of certain comments she made about halal and all that.

The rally was supposed to be about free speech. However, the meeting got out of hand when, in the presence of SMH reporters, cartoonist Larry Pickering made the appalling comment that, while he could not stand Muslims, they are not all bad since they do throw homosexuals “off buildings”.

Then there was your man Cameron’s strange performance which focused not on the chosen topic of free expression but on homosexuality – with lotsa references to Ancient Greece and all that stuff. You know, Hadrian and Plato and Socrates. Strange, don’t you think?

These days Ross Cameron appears with Mark Latham and Rowan Dean on Sky News’ Offsiders program at 10 am on Sunday mornings. This is how Mr Dean defended Mr Cameron’s somewhat off-message message last Sunday:

Rowan Dean: Well, I read the transcript through a couple of times. And I say, Ross, you missed your vocation – you should have been writing lyrics for Led Zeppelin. I mean, it was fantastic. I struggled to quite follow and understand where you were getting to. But after a couple of re-readings I got there.

Quite so. Nancy’s (male) co-owner had a similar experience. He struggled to understand what your man Cameron was on about – or even on. However, after a couple of early morning triple Gin & Tonics, Hendo got there.


CAN YOU BEAR IT?

  • NEWS SUSPENDED AS ALEX MALLEY BANGS ON ABOUT HIS SUSPENSION

Nancy’s (male) co-owner has developed an aversion to flying. It does not come from a concern about aircraft crashes – but, rather, it’s a reaction to seeing huge hoardings at airports of CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley flogging his piss-poor book The Naked CEO.

Depart Mascot Airport and the last you see of Sydney is a mug shot of your man Malley. Arrive in Melbourne and it’s the first thing you see. All the billboards seem to carry the message that Master Malley was once suspended from school – Trinity Grammar in Sydney, no less. How shocking is that?

Alex Malley is one of Australia’s leading media tarts. So he never knocks back an invitation to appear on the telly – including the ABC1’s News Breakfast. Like last Monday, when The-Once-Suspended-One had this to say:

Alex Malley: Mitch Fifield’s been the communications minister, I think, since September 15 or thereabouts, if not earlier. But there are two vacancies on the ABC board – there are two vacancies on the SBS board. Vacancies, I think, more than that on Screen Australia. And all the executives around media are talking about the fact that it is about time that these are filled. So the question around – why is it taking so long? There was an ACMA [Australian Communications and Media Authority] review – and apparently they’re waiting to act off that. But I think these things go to giving people the impression that government isn’t decisive. So I think this is an important issue. So if I got appointed to the ABC board, I was thinking was, I would make the start time for ABC Breakfast later in the morning.

Joke? Yawn. The truth is that the ABC Board does not run the ABC. If your man Malley got appointed to the ABC board all that would change is that ABC Board members would hear – time and time again – about how the Catholic Master Malley got suspended from the Anglican Trinity Grammar all those years ago.

Believe it or not [I believe it, MWD Editor], the CPA chief executive managed to refer to his traumatic youth (yet) again on News Breakfast when discussing the snail-ate-my-tax-return excuses which are provided to the Australian Tax Office. Let’s go to the transcript:

Alex Malley: When I got suspended from school, I did tear the number of “days absent” – which probably looked a bit snail-like at the time.

Well, maybe it did. Or maybe it didn’t. Does anyone really care? Can you bear it?

  • LENORE TAYLOR – ALL FIRED UP FOR RENEWABLES

While on the topic of morning television, did anyone see last Sunday’s Insiders which featured The Guardian Australia’s Lenore Taylor banging on (yet again) in support of renewable energy.

In case you missed it, this is what she had to say:

Lenore Taylor: Well I mean it’s kind of like when cars were starting to take over from horses and buggies – a lot of cars probably got bogged on the road. The energy market is kind of like the road that takes energy to everybody’s houses. Now, with the horses and buggies and the cars – do you say “I know, we won’t roll out cars”. Or do you fix the road? You fix the road, right? And that’s the sensible thing to do. It’s not renewables –

Barrie Cassidy: Even I’m starting to understand better now.

Lenore Taylor : – It’s not renewables’ fault the system is so, the system is – under the way the market works it is legal and perfectly rational for a company that owns a generator in one state and a generator in another state to keep this one closed because it will make more money with a price spike by sending in energy from this one. Now if that means that this one is in a State that blacks out, that doesn’t make any sense.

Are you following? Probably not. The fact is that cars are a totally different product to horses. Whereas fossil fuels and renewables both produce the same product – namely, energy. So, replacing fossil fuel with renewables in the production of energy is not equivalent to replacing a horse track with a road fit for vehicles. It’s just that Ms Taylor wants to drive on the renewables road rather than the fossil fuel road. Can you bear it?

  • YASSMIN ABDEL-MAGIED TAKES THE LENORE TAYLOR ROAD

It seems that The Guardian Australia’s editor started a trend last Sunday. This is what Yassmin Abdel-Magied said on the subject during her appearance on Q&A last Monday:

Yassmin Abdel-Magied: There are multiple examples around the world of countries operating on renewables. So, the argument that the technology isn’t there has been proven wrong. That’s point number one. Point number two is simply because things have worked in the past it doesn’t mean we can’t think: “Oh, we have new technology available, how can we use that to make things better?” Just like, for example, when the car came and everyone was using horse and buggies. We didn’t think, “Oh, well, our systems aren’t set up for cars, we’ll continue using horses and buggies because that’s the way it’s always been”. No. We changed roads so that we could use cars.

The problem is that some nations – including China and Germany – are continuing to produce energy from fossil fuels. Yet neither nation can be described as stuck to the horse-and-buggy era. Can you bear it?

  • Q&A’s APPROVED (FAKE NEWS) QUESTION

While on the topic of Q&A, as MWD pointed out last week the first program for the year was a dull affair. Not last Monday’s gig – since the powers that be at Q&A put Senator Jacqui (“Ban the burqa”) Lambie and Yassmin (“Islam is the most feminist religion”) Abdel-Magied on the panel next to Tony Jones. As might be expected, a verbal fight soon developed as the two ladies soon commenced screaming at each other. What fun.

Alas, this took attention away from the first question from a certain Daniel Powell – which was approved by Q&A’s executive producer and called by presenter Tony Jones. Let’s go to the transcript:

Daniel Powell: Over the past week, unprecedented heatwaves have swept all throughout Australia. Why do we have a government that gives billions of dollars in subsidies to fossil fuel companies but refuses to take meaningful action on climate change?

Talk about so-called “fake news”. In the week leading up to last Monday, unprecedented heatwaves did not sweep all throughout Australia. Melbourne, for example, has had a relatively mild summer. Australian governments do not give billions of dollars of subsidies to fossil fuel companies. And successive governments in Australia have given subsidies to encourage renewable energy. An anti-hat trick of howlers, to be sure.

In other words, everything in young Mr Powell’s Q&A approved question was true – except the facts. Can you bear it?

  • DR ARVANITAKIS JUMPS ON THE RENEWABLE CART

Meanwhile, appearing on News Breakfast yesterday, University of Western Sydney academic James Arvanitakis also took the well-travelled track to road metaphoric route. Let’s go to the transcript to hear from Dr Arvanitakis (for a doctor he is):

Virginia Trioli: Well, let’s look at the front page of the Adelaide Advertiser and of course it’s talking about that electricity crisis.

James Arvanitakis: Yeah and look, there is some, an admission there, you know within Adelaide. Within the State that there were some errors made by the regulator and also by the management of the system. I mean, it’s really interesting this debate about the renewables and the targets and so on. But essentially, I mean, you know what’s becoming really clear is that it’s not necessarily the renewables per se. It’s trying to back fit a very advanced technology into a very old technology. It’s like sort of saying: “oh my car doesn’t work on a road with horse and buggies”, you know. So it’s this kind of really interesting political divide .

Del Irani: That analogy is really interesting because I heard an expert saying you know it was basically like moving to cars and it’s not about the car, it’s about building the roads.

James Arvanitakis: That’s right

Del Irani: And that’s the transition period, is where the problems are.

Quite so. It’s just that your man Arvanitakis – following Ms Taylor and Ms Abdel-Magied – seems to think that the only problem involved in switching from fossil fuel to renewables turns on finding a suitable “road”. Can you bear it?

 


MEDIA BEAT-UP OF THE WEEK

ELLEN WHINNETT’S GEORGE PELL NON-STORY

This week’s stand-out is a report in the Herald-Sun last Monday titled “Cardinal Pell On Abuse Inquiry” which was run prominently on Page 2. This is how Ellen Whinnett’s report – filed from Rome, no less – commenced:

Cardinal George Pell has refused to discuss the progress of a police investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against him. The Herald Sun spoke to Cardinal Pell outside his home on the edge of St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. He declined to comment.

What a non-story. In February 2016, the Herald-Sun ran a leaked story that Victoria Police was investigating George Pell for alleged child sexual abuse. As is widely known, Victoria Police put a case to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Victoria which was returned without a recommendation to prosecute. Victoria Police interviewed Cardinal Pell in Rome last October. It did not lay charges but once again has put the matter before the DPP. There the issue rests – for now at least.

In view of this, Ellen Whinnett’s story that Cardinal Pell had nothing to say is a beat-up. What could he say? – apart from denying the allegations, which he has done on a number of occasions.

All that was of interest in the Herald Sun story turned on Ms Whinnett’s report that Cardinal Pell’s “home” – in fact it’s an apartment – “is on the edge of St Peter’s Square at the Vatican”.

Yet the Fairfax Media in general – and the Sydney Morning Herald’s “star” journalist Peter FitzSimons in particular – continue to maintain the falsehood that George Pell lives in a “$30 million mansion in Rome”.


THE MEDIA’S ROYAL COMMISSION CONFUSION

There was huge interest in MWD’s comment last week correcting media reports – particularly on the ABC and in Fairfax Media – that 7 per cent of Catholic priests had (allegedly) offended against children “over the past 35 years”.

In fact, the report of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse indicated that the allegations had been made over the past 35 years. As MWD pointed out, the allegations concerned crimes which occurred overwhelmingly between the early 1950s and the early 1990s but which were reported later.

This was confirmed by Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC in her opening remarks at the Royal Commission yesterday. Ms Furness made the following comment:

The claims data sought information about claims received in the period 1980 to 2015. For a claim to be included in the survey, the claimant must have approached the relevant Catholic Church authority in this time period. However, there was no time limitation in relation to the date of the alleged incidents of abuse.

The earliest incidence of alleged abuse reported in a claim to a Catholic Church authority was in the 1920s and the latest was after 2010.

Between January 1980 and February 2015, 4,445 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse in 4,765 claims. The vast majority of claims alleged abuse that started in the period 1950 to 1989 inclusive. The largest proportion of first alleged incidents of child sexual abuse, 29 per cent, occurred in the 1970s.

In other words, the Royal Commission is currently investigating the causation of crimes by Catholic priests, brothers and laymen which took place a quarter of a century and more ago. That is, overwhelmingly before the Melbourne Response (set up by Archbishop Pell in 1996) and Towards Healing (set up by the other Australian Catholic archbishops and bishops in 1997).

On 8 February the Sydney Morning Herald ran a report by Rachel Browne which failed to point out that the statistics recorded allegations – not established facts. This serious error was subsequently corrected in the online edition of the Sydney Morning Herald but no apology was made for the error. Moreover, the Fairfax Media reported a claim that “much of this abuse happened under the watch of George Pell”. As the Royal Commission’s own statistics reveal, this statement is totally false. But it remains uncorrected on the Sydney Morning Herald’s website.


CORRESPONDENCE

This overwhelmingly popular segment of Media Watch Dog usually works like this. Someone or other thinks it would be a you-beaut idea to write to Gerard Henderson about something or other. And Hendo, being a courteous and well-brought up kind of guy, replies. Then, hey presto, the correspondence is published in MWD – much to the delight of its readers.

There are occasions, however, when Nancy’s (male) co-owner decides to write a polite note to someone or other – who, in turn, believes that a reply is in order. Publication in MWD invariably follows. There are, alas, some occasions where Hendo sends a polite missive but does not receive the courtesy of a reply. Nevertheless, publication of this one-sided correspondence still takes place. For the record – and in the public interest, of course.

As MWD readers are aware, The Guardian Australia’s deputy editor Katharine Murphy put out the following tweet on 6 June 2014 at 4.33 pm – when that issue of MWD was “hot off the press”. Here is Ms Murphy’s tweet: “Without in any way wanting to breach anyone’s human rights or free speech – why do people write emails to Gerard Henderson?” It’s a very good question. Thankfully, not everyone follows Katharine Murphy’s wise counsel – not even Ms Murphy herself (See MWD Issue 297).

  • PHILLIP ADAMS AND GERARD HENDERSON re “FAKE CATHOLICS”, MEL GIBSON’S OLD MAN, POPE PIUS XII AND CATHOLIC NUNS (BELIEVE IT OR NOT)

On Thursday, right on Gin & Tonic time, Phillip Adams AO 1992, AM 1987, Hon DUniv (Griffith), Hon. DLitt (ECU), Hon DUniv (SA), DLitt [sic] (Syd), Hon. DUniv (Macquarie), Doc. Arts (AFTRS) FRSA, Hon FAHA; Author, Broadcaster, Farmer, Journalist sent an email to Gerard Henderson. By the way, your man Adams’ post-nominals are taken from his entry in Who’s Who In Australia 2017. Note that the Man-in-Black neglected to record the Honoris Causa next to his Sydney University Doctor of Literature. But there’s always next year.

Phillip Adams is an out-and-proud teetotaller. So he was not drunk when he sent his email titled “Fake News, Fake Catholics”. If anyone has any idea why your man Adams is doing-a-Trump by sending out erratic messages, please let Hendo know. Now read on.

Phillip Adams to Gerard Henderson – 15 February 2017, 4.15 pm

Fake News, Fake Catholics.

This is a health warning. Read no further if you have a heart condition.

Over the decades I’ve received many remarkable letters from readers – countless thousands of them fill 600 boxes now stored in the National Library. Not one of more significance than what follows – my heavily redacted version of a text from someone signing him/herself MJ.

After a preamble that expresses concern for my health and says “we are praying for you” the writer reveals what the mainstream, lame-stream media is keeping from us

Mel Gibson’s 98 year old father Hutton – the leading writer on Sedevaticantism (look it up) – has hinted at some of this, adding that both the Holocaust and 9/II were gigantic frauds. Now MJ’s letter, hand-written with much of it in caps, blows the lid off a comparable conspiracy.

“You may not know that Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) is NOT a Pope. He is an anti-pope. The Freemasons, Nazis and the Mafia have infiltrated the Holy Roman Catholic Church. “Pope Benedict XVI was an anti-pope, also. We were blessed by Almighty God to have Pope John Paul II , and Pope Paul VI.”

“Pope John XXIII was NOT a pope. He was an anti-pope. We were blessed by Almighty God to have Pope Pius XII”

“Our real pope is in hiding. We do not know his name or in which country he is living today. The Vatican has been taken over by Freemasons, Nazis and the Mafia. There are no Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Monseigneur’s or Priests in the Vatican now. This has been the case since 2005”

“All of the Catholic Priests, Nuns and Religious Brothers throughout the whole world ARE NOW IN HIDING. There are now no public Masses said anywhere in the world. The last Catholic Priest who was in Australia was in 1963. The last Nun who was in Australia was in 1975. There have NEVER been any Religious Brothers in Australia. Those who dress as priests and stand in front of the altars in Catholic churches on Sunday and other days, in Australia and around the world, TODAY are NOT PRIESTS. They are BOGUS.”

“These above wretches, also the women who dress as nuns or as religious brothers are all WRETCHES, are in fact NAZIS. They follow Adolph Hitler”

The rest of the letter is personal, making some trenchant criticisms of my LNL colleagues Bruce Shapiro and Laura Tingle. Needless to say I searched the envelope for a missing page in which we’d learn about our (allegedly) Roman Catholic political leaders – like the previous and current PMs. But it safe to assume that both are WRETCHES and BOGUS. We do not know the name of our real Prime Minister or where he is living. But clearly the government has been taken over by the Freemasons, Nazis and the Mafia.

However I’m a little puzzled by MJ’s blessing of Pius XII – having been persuaded by the brilliant British author John Cornwall that Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli was sympathetic to fascism. “Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII” tells the story of Pacelli, before and during the Nazi era, and came to some disturbing conclusions.

Now, at last, we know the truth. If not the name and address of his true successor. The scandals that assail the Vatican are explicable and we see Cardinal Pell (and Gerard Henderson) in an entirely new light.

MJ’s reminds me of the time I made the satirical suggestion that JFK was assassinated by aliens. I was deluged in Top Secret documents confirming this – and stating that aliens now run America. Which would explain Donald Trump.

Gerard Henderson to Phillip Adams – 17 February 2017

Phillip

How wonderful to receive your email, headed “Fake News, Fake Catholics”. Just when I was wondering how to lead Media Watch Dog’s hugely popular “Correspondence” segment this week – along came your missive. Wacko. Thank God – or, as you would say, “thank god”.

Comment

In response to your rant, I make the following responses.

  1. Thanks for the health warning. I had a few brandies-and-sodas before I read your rant about “Fake Catholics”. I understand that Saint Mary McKillop found that resorting to such medicine helped to alleviate stress – or something like that. It certainly worked for me.
  1. How frightfully interesting that you receive correspondence from Nutters. In truth, most of us columnists do. In any event, someone told you that Mel Gibson’s old man (allegedly) reckons that “both the Holocaust and 9/11 were gigantic frauds”. Well, now. As you are aware, Hutton Gibson (for it is he) is 98 years old.
  1. How frightfully interesting that your correspondent MJ – who, like many a Nutter, uses lotsa capital letters in his/her handwriting – reckons that Pope Francis is “NOT” a pope and that Benedict XVI was an anti-pope and that John XXIII was an anti-pope and that the Freemasons and the Nazis and the Mafia have infiltrated the Holy See. Well, I never.
  1. How frightfully interesting that MJ reckons that “the last Catholic priest who was in Australia was in 1963” Fascinating. For the record, I think I met him.
  1. How frightfully interesting that MJ reckons that all women who claim to be nuns are, in fact, Nazis and wretches. Or perhaps wretched Nazis. I’m so glad you told me this.
  1. I don’t know why you bothered to type up MJ’s conspiracy theory and send it to me. Perhaps you do not have much work to do at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I refer to the one comment in your rant which expresses your very own anti-Catholic sectarianism:

…I’m a little puzzled by MJ’s blessing of Pius XII – having been persuaded by the brilliant British author John Cornwall [sic] that Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli was sympathetic to fascism. Hitler’s Pope: the Secret History of Pius XII tells the story of Pacelli, before and during the Nazi era, and came to some disturbing conclusions.

If you did any research you would know that John Cornwell changed his mind about Pope Pius XII (aka Eugenio Pacelli). In his book The Pope In Winter: The Dark Face of John Paul II’s Papacy (Viking, 2004), John Cornwell wrote:

According to [David] Cesarini and other Jewish commentators on the issue, there is no way to cut the Gordian knot of the Holocaust and Catholic association with it, without the blade of an apology for Pius XII.

I would now argue, in the light of the debates and evidence following Hitler’s Pope, that Pius XII had so little scope of action that it is impossible to judge the motives for his silence during the war, while Rome was under the heel of Mussolini and later occupied by Germans.

There is a lot of new scholarship in this area. Including Rabbi David G. Dalin The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews From the Nazis (Regnery Publishing, 2005), Ronald J. Rychlak Hitler: The War And The Pope (Genesis Press, 2000) and Mark Riebling Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler (Basic Books, 2015).

Even your mate Mark Aarons has conceded that Pius XII saved more Jews than any other European leader – in church or state – during the Second World War. As Mark Aarons and John Loftus put it in their book Ratlines (William Heinemann, 1991):

It is ironic that Pius XII is condemned for following Western policy in public, while his private actions may have saved more Jewish lives than all the Allied governments put together.

I would be happy to discuss this on your Late Night Live program on Radio National. However, since you only ask me to your little wireless station every 25 years – this is not likely to happen soon.

As to your joshing suggestion that Donald Trump is an alien – well, you should be able to do better than this.

By the way, your old-fashioned anti-Catholic sectarianism is becoming so boring and so predictable. However, please keep sending me emails linking me with Pius XII and Cardinal George Pell and the like because MWD’s avid readers just love reading other people’s correspondence.

Lotsa love

Gerard

  • KEITH MCLENNAN & GERARD HENDERSON re ADOLF HITLER (NO LESS)

As avid readers are aware, Nancy’s (male) co-owner does not much like pedants. Even if – as in the case of Keith McLennan – they happen to be avid MWD readers.

In recent issues, the Correspondence segment has published missives from Keith McLennan in defence of inner-city leftist Sandalista Drusilla Modjeska’s assertion that – in February 1991 – the United States invaded Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in “Bush’s war”. It is not clear in Ms Modjeska’s book Second Half First whether the reference is to George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush. In any event, George Bush The Elder was president of the United States in 1991 when Kuwait was liberated.

This time round, Mr McLennan seems to have dropped his support for Ms Modjeska and instead focused on MWD’s description of Adolf Hitler last week. Read on as your man McLennan moved his pedantry from the proper definition of “invasion” to the proper definition of “founder”. [Perhaps you should establish a MWD Pedant’s Corner to accommodate the likes of your man McLennan. Just a thought. – MWD Editor.]

Keith McLennan to Gerard Henderson – 11 February 2017

Hi Gerard,

I was flattered to see that our little discussion of when-an-invasion-is-not-an-invasion featured in today’s Media Watch Dog. At least, the tail-end (so to speak) did.

I believe a John-Laws-style Deliberate Mistake also featured today, in: “Soon after, your man Barry threw the switch to the Nazi Party founder” – the reference being to Adolf Hitler.

I expect I will not be the only one to point out that your man Adolf was not the founder of the Nazi Party. The founder was Anton Drexler, who recruited Hitler as member number 555 in September 1919. This means that Hitler was actually member no. 55, since Drexler had started the count at 500 to make the membership appear bigger than it really was. Hitler later claimed to have been member no. 7 (I imagine he took some satisfaction in the biblical number), but even he could not claim to have been the party’s founder, and I don’t believe he ever did so. By the time he took over the leadership from Drexler (in July 1921), the Nazi Party had thousands of members, and they all knew who the founder was.

Best wishes

Keith McLennan

Gerard Henderson to Keith McLennan – 17 February 2017

Keith

Thanks for your note.

Yes – I published our correspondence in Media Watch Dog on the last two Fridays. This is a hugely popular segment. MWD readers seems to like reading other people’s correspondence – just like some others like examining the washing of neighbours.

As to your most recent missive – well – you are the only avid reader to point out that Adolf Hitler was not “the founder of the Nazi Party”. This suggests that MWD is not read by lotsa pedants. Thank God. As to your pedantry, my response is as follows.

Adolf Hitler is commonly regarded as the founder of the Nazi Party. For example, this is what Robert S. Wistrich wrote in his authoritative Who’s Who in Nazi Germany (Routledge, 1995).

Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945). Founder and leader of the Nazi Party, Reich Chancellor and guiding spirit of the Third Reich from 1933 to 1945.

Whether or not Hitler was the first, seventh or 55th member of what was initially called the Political Workers’ Circle is of little moment – except in Pedant Land.

The fact is that Adolf Hitler took over from Anton Drexler in 1921 (who quit the party in 1923). Hitler was regarded as the founder of the Nazi Party because he created the Nazi movement. Only a pedant would argue otherwise. But, then, you have form as a pedant. Your insistence that the Coalition of the Willing “invaded” Saddam Hussein in February 1991 refers.

Keep morale high.

Gerard Henderson

* * * *

Until next time.

* * * *


Endorsements of MWD

One of my bête noires is Gerard Henderson. And I try not to let him provoke me. I turn the other cheek – both facial and posterial. But this week he said something which just made me furious.

Phillip Adams on Late Night Live, 20 September 2016

If Gerard Henderson is on #insiders tomorrow I’m going to start drinking at 9.01 am

– @annalise108 via Twitter, 30 Jul 2016, 6:30 PM

“[Gerard Henderson is a] whining rodent”

– Bruce Haigh, former diplomat and regular ABC panelist

“[Gerard Henderson is a] cretinous turd”

– Rohan Connolly via Twitter – 12 July 2016

“It’s always nice to be mentioned in your pedantic, predictable and self-absorbed Friday web rant”

– Stephen Mayne, via email, Bastille Day, 2016

My oh my. Poor, blithering Gerard “Gollum” Henderson will be incandescent with rage after that Media Watch. The silly prick.

Mike Carlton via Twitter, 15 Feb 2016, 9:44 PM

Gerard: You are hopeless…

– David Marr, 12 February 2016

ABC is a weakened and flawed institution for sure but it is a vital balance to ranting prejudices of Gerard Henderson’s boss@rupertmurdoch

Quentin Dempster via Twitter, 10 Jan 2016,

Poor mad Gerard is obsessed. I expect he had an unhappy childhood, always the last to be chosen…

Mike Carlton via Twitter, 25 Oct 2015, 3:27 AM

Sometimes I think of Gerard Henderson like a Japanese holdout, lost in the jungles of Borneo, still fighting the war 20 years after it ended

– Erik Jensen,via Twitter, 16 Oct 2015, 4:50 PM

Gérard Henderson brain missing. Small reward

– Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 10 Oct 2015, 11:16 AM

I’ve been shot at by the Viet Cong. I once met Gerard Henderson. I can take any shit thrown at me…

Mike Carlton via Twitter, 9:22 PM – 9 Sep 2015

Gerard. You are an idiot #insiders

Bevan Shields via Twitter, 9:46 AM, 23 August 2015

“[Gerard Henderson is a] professional filing cabinet”

– Leftist scribbler Jeff Sparrow, Crikey, 13 August 2015

Leaving the house to avoid listening to GHenderson on @774melbourne

– Jonathan Green via Twitter, 31 July 2015

“gerard henderson trending on twitter, omg [looks out window, where the sun is eclipsed and the sky blood-red] oh yeah that makes sense”

– Adam Brereton via Twitter, 31 July 2015

Gerard Henderson on @891adelaide right now & I find myself shouting at my radio. What a morning”

– Louise Pascale via Twitter, 31 July 2015

“oh hell why is Gerard Henderson trending? Has boredom become the new black.”

– MNihilon via Twitter, 31 July 2015

Told I made the late Gerard Henderson’s little blog today. Read it. What a rancorous, nauseating, humourless little turd he is.

– Mike Carlton via Twitter during Gin & Tonic Time on 12 June 2015.

“On Sunday before Insiders…I was giving you a rich and full account of what a weird shit I think you are…”

– David Marr to Gerard Henderson, 1 June 2015

To #swf2015 this morning. Sunlit harbour, fabulous crowds radiating civility. And no Gerard Henderson ! It doesn’t get any better.

– Mike Carlton, via Twitter, 1:48 PM – 21 May 2015

Gerard Henderson’s friday self-harm update is here

– Adam Brereton, via Twitter, May 15, 2015

[Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog is] batshit mad.

– Guy Rundle in Crikey, 14 May 2015

I’m in the sort of mood that if I saw Gerard Henderson in the street I’d hit him with his own umbrella

– Ben Pobjie, via Twitter, 8 May 2015

It’s a glorious day when Gerard Henderson has a go at you

– Adam Gartrell, via Twitter, 8 May 2015

Meeting of Gerard Henderson Appreciation Society tonight Sydney Opera House phone booth

– Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 28 April 2015, 1.36 pm (after lunch).

“Gerard’s condescension levels high on #insiders this morning”

– Lenore Taylor, via Twitter, 22 February 2015

“Gerard Henderson and David Marr are on #Insiders this week. Like a political Felix and Oscar.”

– Mark Scott via Twitter 19 February 2015 at 1.10 pm

“I once called Gerard Henderson `a complete f%^wit’. I deeply regret that. I was being much too harsh on f%^wits.”

– Malcolm Farr via Twitter 14 February 2015 at 10:14 am

Oh Gerard. You total clown.”

– Jonathan (“Proudly the ABC’s Sneerer-in-Chief”) Green on Twitter, Friday 3 October 2014, 4.31 pm [Mr Green must be an obsessive avid reader to respond so soon. – Ed]

“Good morning. All the gooder for being attacked (for thousandth time) by silly Gerard in the Oz”

– Phillip Adams via Twitter, 27 September 2014

“What troubles me most is that he [Gerard Henderson] shows such low journalistic standards, yet he is politically quite influential. He is often on Insiders. It’s hard to see why: he comes across as a crank.”

– Kate Durham as told to Crikey, 16 September 2014

“The unhinged but well spoken Gerard Henderson….”

– Bob Ellis, Table Talk blog, 10 August 2014

“Gerard Henderson and Nancy are awful human beings.”

– Alexander White, Twitter, 25 July 2014

“This is my regularly scheduled “Oh Gerard” tweet for every time he appears on #insiders”

– Josh Taylor, senior journalist for ZDNet, Twitter, 20 July 2014

“…that fu-kwitted Gerard “Gollum” Henderson….”

– Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton, via Twitter, 12 July 2014

“[Gerard Henderson is a] silly prick”

– Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton – tweeted Saturday 27 June 2014 at 4.15 pm, i.e. after lunch

“If Gerard Henderson had run Beria’s public relations Stalin’s death would have been hidden for a year and Nikita [Khrushchev] and co would have been shot”

– Laurie Ferguson via Twitter – 22 June 2014 [By-line: Mr Ferguson is a member of the House of Representatives who speaks in riddles.]

“[Gerard Henderson] is the Eeyore of Australian public life”

– Mike Seccombe in The [Boring] Saturday Paper – 21 June 2014

“Without in any way wanting to breach anyone’s human rights or free speech – why do people write emails to Gerard Henderson?”

– Katharine Murphy, Twitter, Friday 6 June 2014

“[Gerard Henderson is] an unhinged prick”

– Mike Carlton, Twitter, Thursday 12 June 2014

“There’s no sense that Gerard Henderson has any literary credentials at all.”

– Anonymous comment quoted, highlighted and presumably endorsed by Jason (“I’m a left-leaning luvvie”) Steger, The Age, 31 May 2014

On boyfriend’s insistence, watching the notorious Gerard Henderson/@Kate_McClymont Lateline segment. GH: What an odd, angry gnome of a man.

– Benjamin Law, via Twitter, Thursday 17 Apr 2014, 11:21 pm

Can’t believe I just spent my Thursday evening with a video recap of Gerard Henderson. I’m a f-cking moron.

– Benjamin Law, via Twitter, Thursday 17 Apr 2014, 11:23 pm

“[Gerard Henderson is an] unhinged crank”

– Mike Carlton, via Twitter, Saturday 29 March 2014, 4.34 pm

Complete stranger comes up to me: that Gerard Henderson’s a xxxxxx.

– Jonathan Green via Twitter, 8 February 2014

'2012