30 NOVEMBER 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are private correspondence and not for publication” – ABC News Radio’s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: Tony Windsor’s Toilet Humour on Lateline; Aunty’s Forthcoming W.E.B.


The Age Equates (Catholic) Piety with Paedophilia


MWD Exclusive: Hendo Invited to Appear on Showdown: Kroger & Latham and other Atrocities


● Can You Bear It?  Donald McDonald on the ABC; Bob Hawke’s Recycled Joke; John Cain’s Double Standard re RBA; Green J. & Fitzsimmons H. Dressed Down for News Breakfast


● Correspondence: The Quest for the Truth on The Punch – With a Little Help from Anonymous Will No One at Quarterly Essay Defend David Marr?; Mark Latham’s Sky News Verballing Documented





▪ Tony Windsor’s Sorbent Moment


What a stunning performance by Independent MP Tony Windsor on the ABC 1 Lateline program last night.

Yesterday morning, Mr Windsor was interviewed by Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly on Radio National Breakfast. Asked about the political events of the final week in Parliament for 2012, Tony Windsor said that he did not read The Australian in particular – or newspapers in general – and really did not know much at all about anything that happened this week – including the events in what has been termed the Gillard/AWU story.

That seemed clear enough.  So it came as some surprise when the powers-that-be at Lateline invited Tony Windsor on to the program last night as the principal talent for interrogation by presenter Tony Jones.

Initially Mr Jones attempted to put the focus on Tony Abbott by suggesting that the Opposition leader had experienced a Godwin Grech moment. For those who are not Australian national politics tragics, this was a reference to the fact that in 2009 the Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull was discredited when he believed a false allegation about the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd put about by Grech.

Initially Tony Windsor said that, yes, Tony Abbott had experienced a Godwin Grech moment.  But then he implied that this was not the case.  Then he said that he didn’t really know what went on in Parliament this week. Then he said that he did not read The Australian. Then followed this stunning comment from the Independent Member for New England – who seems to have an obsession with the toilet. [Perhaps he’s just anal, in an Independent kind of way – Ed].

Tony Jones:  So you haven’t felt it necessary to follow the toing and froing on this issue in Parliament and in the newspapers, the slow drip of documents, the attempt to undermine Julia Gillard’s credibility and trust in her as a prime minister?

Tony Windsor :  No, I haven’t because I don’t have to go there. I can appreciate that the strategy people of the major parties – there’s an election coming up next year, they can all play their games to try and create the ascendancy.  Abbott and Gillard, the sort of 50/50 and we have got to work at the margins to eradicate the belief and integrity in each other. They can do that, but one of the good things of being an Independent, you don’t have to involve yourself in that.

After the next election, there’ll be another government. It might be a hung parliament, it might be Liberal, might be Labor. I’ve lived in that world where you don’t determine who the – the Parliament is or the Government is unless there’s a hung parliament and that’s the environment I work in.

The environment they work in is two management teams trying to take over the management of the nation. But I don’t have to go there. I don’t have to read the paper. I don’t read The Australian anyway. Our family still uses Sorbent. So I don’t have to go to that area every day and plug myself in. I don’t think I’ve read any of the papers today. I don’t think I read any yesterday.

Fancy that.  And remember that, on the Insiders program on 10 October 2010, Tony Windsor (falsely) alleged that fellow Independent MP Bob Katter carried only toilet paper in his big bag.

Tony Windsor :  And his leather briefcase. There’s toilet paper in it you know. I looked inside the other day. There’s nothing there.

Funny eh? Last night Syria was deep in civil war.  The Levenson inquiry was about to hand down its report in Britain and the US economy was said to be on a financial cliff. Also this week Labor has junked a commitment to Israel which extends all the way back to Prime Minister Ben Chifley and his external affairs minister Bert Evatt in the late 1940s.  Yet Lateline’s  priority was to hear from a self-confessed political ignoramus on the week’s events and who insists on talking about toilet rolls, toilet paper and the like. [Shouldn’t this be in the “Can You Bear It?” segment – Ed].

▪ The Public Broadcaster on the Eve of a Well-Earned Break

How nice of nice Mr Scott, the ABC’s managing director and editor-in-chief, to allow the ABC TV’s key News and Current Affairs personnel to have a well-earned break (as in WEB) some three weeks before Christmas and not to expect them to be back to work until after Australia Day.

Jonathan Holmes’ Media Watch headed for the beach last Monday.  Consequently, he will not examine the media’s coverage of the final week of Federal Parliament for 2012, or the recommendations of the Levenson Inquiry in Britain, or the Gillard Government’s response to the Finkelstein Report in Australia. Still, with a limited annual budget of a mere $1 billion, the ABC cannot be expected to have its key news and current affairs programs like Media Watch and Four Corners  and Lateline  and Q&A to report all the news all the time.  In any event, February 2013 is just a  couple of months away and we can all wait to learn of Four Corners’ take on the Gillard/AWU affair – if there is one – until then.

In his last program for the year, Mr Holmes was banging on about how it has taken 2GB presenter Alan Jones over seven years to apologise for something or the other.  Holmes did not mention that his very own Media Watch holds the record for delayed apology.  It took Media Watch a full twenty years to correct an error which it made concerning one-time ABC newsreader Angela Pearman.   See MWD Issue 100 and Issue 159.

Meanwhile Leigh Sales mentioned on 7.30 that night, before heading off for her well-earned break that the Clarke and Dawe Weekly Comedy would continue on 7.30 again next year.  It commenced sometime in the last century and it’s about as predictable as a question on Q&A supporting same-sex marriage or yet another warning about climate catastrophe by RN Breakfast environmental editor Gregg (“I’m an environmentalist”) Borschmann.

Sure, John Clarke and Brian Dawe have a fan club among viewers of the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.  They criticise both Labor and the Coalition – but invariably from the left – which suits the prevailing ABC orthodoxy.

A Clarke/Dawe send-up of such Greens’ luvvies as Bob Brown or Christine Milne or Adam Bandt or Lee Rhiannon would be as rare an event as (i) Tony Windsor talking politics without mentioning toilet rolls or (ii) Lee Rhiannon, BSc Hons (UNSW); Dip. Revolution (Lenin School), telling voters what her marks were when she graduated from the Lenin School of Moscow in 1977 at the height of the Brezhnev repression and/or who financed her travels in Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.


Next Friday’s MWD will focus on how The Age seems to have extended its bagging of the Catholic church to the Jewish community. [ I can barely wait – Ed].

In the meantime, here’s how The Age illustrates all its articles on the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church.

Note that the powers-that-be at The-Guardian-on-the-Yarra have decided to associate “Clergy Abuse” with a priest or brother at prayer – with a rosary, replete with crucifix, in hand.

But priests/brothers do not only pray.  They also administer to the dying (including victims of HIV/AIDS).  They also attempt to look after refugees along with the poor and prisoners.  It’s just that The Age does not want to acknowledge the Catholic Church’s good works.  It prefers to associate paedophilia with devotional prayer.


Believe it or not, the producer of Sky News Showdown: Kroger & Latham invited Gerard Henderson on to the program last Tuesday to discuss the media’s coverage of Federal politics. Including, apparently, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the AWU affair.

It is not clear as to what was the Lair of Liverpool’s precise role in this unexpected invitation. However, since Mark Latham is co-presenter of Showdown: Kroger & Latham, it can only be assumed that he is consulted as to the talent which appears on his program. Showdown: Kroger & Latham – which airs monthly – is one of Mark Latham’s paid contributions to Sky News.  This tops up his taxpayer-funded superannuation payment of a lousy $78,000 a year (fully indexed).

Mark Latham has adopted a unique approach to the Gillard/AWU controversy. In the United States, those who doubted whether Barack Obama was born in the US and, consequently, had an American birth certificate are termed “Birthers”.  So Latham has labelled anyone who regards Julia Gillard as having done something improper with respect to her boyfriend Bruce Wilson’s slush-fund in the  early 1990s as “Brucers”. [Gee. This is a bit confusing – Ed].

According to Mark Latham’s simplistic approach, the media’s coverage of this issue can be depicted as the battle between “the Brucers” versus “the Non-Brucers”.  In Latham-speak, the Brucers comprise anyone who believes that the Prime Minister has any case to answer concerning her involvement in establishing a slush fund for AWU officials Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt when she was a solicitor at Slater & Gordon in the early 1990s.  The Non-Brucers comprise everyone else – including the co-presenter of Showdown: Kroger & Latham , Mr Latham himself. According to this logic – or lack of same – Michael Kroger is a “Brucer”.

Gerard Henderson was too busy to take up the kind offer from the Showdown: Kroger & Latham gig last Tuesday.  Which, on reflection, was a shame since it was a fun-night at the Sky News studios in Sydney’s Macquarie Park.  So much so that staff at the Cummins Psychiatric Unit at the nearby North Shore Hospital were placed on standby for ready deployment. But first, some history.

Appearing on the Paul Murray Live show on Monday 26 November 2012, Mark Latham indicated that he regards  Sky News as a bit of a joke. Latham told Murray that much of what he said on his program was uttered “in jest” and that his contributions to the program involved “humour, fun” and “a sense of laughing”.  This surprised some viewers of Paul Murray Live – since the presenter declares at the start of each program that it presents “what really happened” that day.

In any event, there was no sense of jest or humour when Mark Latham appeared on the Showdown: Kroger & Latham  program the following evening – Tuesday 27 November 2012.  Mr Latham seemed very peeved that Michael Kroger had invited former AWU operative Ralph Blewitt on to Showdown.  Now in Latham-speak, Blewitt is a “Brucer” even though he is now in complete disagreement with Bruce Wilson. [This is confusing.  Does Sky News and the Australian Financial Review really pay Mr Latham for such tosh? – Ed].

Mark Latham put on his angry look as Kroger commenced the program by interviewing  Blewitt.  In fact he resembled a director of Dodgy Brothers Funerals Pty Ltd who is about to advise relatives of a recently departed that the corpse has gone missing.  There was no sign of jest or humour or fun, or indeed, a sense of laughing.  See Nancy’s exclusive pic of Latham on air on Tuesday.

Mark Latham Channelling the CEO of Dodgy Brothers Funerals

Then Latham did a rant to camera, criticising former 2UE presenter Mike Smith, whom he classifies as the “Brucer-in-Chief”.

At the end of the Latham rave, Michael Kroger said that he quite liked Mike Smith and that he intended to invite him on the final Showdown for 2012.  Mark Latham wasn’t having anything to do with the proposal – hardly surprising since, in his rave to camera, Latham had called for Smith to be censored in perpetuity.  Let’s go to the transcript of this riveting rant when Mark Latham threatened Michael Kroger that he would take his microphone and make-up and head back home to Mount Hunter if Smith got a guernsey on Showdown: Kroger & Latham in December.

Michael Kroger :  There you go. That was Mark Latham’s comment, in case you missed it. I know Michael Smith. I’ve met Michael Smith and I’m not sure I agree with your comments about him at all. In fact, what we might do is invite Michael Smith to come on our last show of the year.

Mark Latham : Michael –  the best advice for you is to disassociate yourself from these [interjection]…because they are disgraceful.

Michael Kroger: I haven’t seen those comments. If he has made those comments they’re obviously completely inappropriate. But ah, we’ll perhaps let Michael Smith have a right of reply [interjection] – later on.

Mark Latham: Well I won’t be here to interview him. He should have no role in the public debate in this country. You can interview him, as you just interviewed Ralph Blewitt.

Michael Kroger: Well these people are important people in the public debate in Australia today.

How about that? Could Mark Latham’s on-air dummy-spit  have come about so that MWD’s prophecy that he would soon fall-out with Michael Kroger be fulfilled?  See MWD Issue 164 – in which it was written:

So Mark Latham fell out with Gough  Whitlam – much the same as he has fallen out with virtually everyone who assisted his career.  Tom Switzer is just the latest to experience THE REAL MARK. Having quit as a paid columnist for The Spectator


all Mark Latham has got left to supplement his annual taxpayer superannuation handout of $78,000 (fully indexed) is his column in The Australian Financial Review and his gigs on Sky News.  Nancy’s co-owner does not claim to be a prophet.  However, precedent suggests that yet another Latham dummy spit is due anytime soon.  Now that Latham has dropped his recent bestie Tom Switzer, how long will his new bestie relationship with Michael Kroger – the co-host of Showdown with Mark Latham and Michael Kroger last?  Nancy will keep sniffing away and will keep MWD readers in the loop – so to speak (or both).

It seems that Nancy’s co-owner has assumed some of the attributes of Bob Ellis, the Prophet of Palm Beach [Don’t you usually call him a false prophet? – Ed].  Last Friday, MWD suggested that Mark Latham might fall out with his co-presenter on Showdown: Kroger & Latham. Then on Tuesday, Mark Latham threatened not to appear on the show’s next edition. [Perhaps he is too busy looking for that missing corpse – Ed]. Stay tuned.



▪ Donald McDonald AC and the ABC: A Born-Again Critic

When Donald McDonald was chairman of the ABC from 1996 to 2006 he believed that the taxpayer funded broadcaster could do no wrong.  Mr McDonald said both publicly and privately that the ABC did not pander to a fashionable leftism, that it did not exhibit any bias of any kind and so on.

That was then. Now, however, Donald McDonald occasionally types up a piece for The Spectator Australia where he bags the very ABC which he once praised.  Most recently last Saturday week – when the former ABC chairman accused the ABC of “partisanship” and declared that “both the ABC and the BBC are incredibly self-regarding institutions daily giving thanks to the Pharisee that they are not as other men are”.  Mr McDonald AC concluded his piece by calling on the ABC to be “more balanced”.

And what, pray tell me and/or the Pharisees, did Donald McDonald do – when he was ABC chairman – to insist on balance at the public broadcaster or rail against its self-regard? Answer Zip. Can you bear it?  [No. Nor can I bear the fact that the ABC’s self-regarding Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes has obtained a right-of-reply in the current issue of the Aussie Speccie.  Despite the fact that Media Watch does not allow an on-air reply to any of its critics. – Ed].

Strewth!  Bob Hawke Re-Cycles a Joke


Nancy’s co-owner is a big fan of The Australian’s James Jeffrey (who kindly wrote an endorsement for MWD) and his “Strewth!” column.  However, it is necessary to comment on this item which appeared in The Australian last Friday concerning a recent speech by former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke. Wrote “Strewth!”:

“Fraser.  Remember him?  Malcolm – ”he [Bob Hawke] joshed, before launching into an anecdote about a fight the then PM had with his speechwriter. The following day, according to Hawke, Fraser began delivering a speech, successfully reading the first three pages. “All that was on the fourth page were these words:  ‘Now you’re on your own, you bastard’.”

Great joke, eh.  But not very new.  Nancy’s co-owner first heard the joke in 1976 – when Malcolm Fraser was prime minister.   It was used with respect to former Country Party deputy prime minister Jack McEwen. Can you bear it?

John Cain’s Convenient Memory


The Saturday Age on 24 November 2012 carried an essay by John Cain (1931-    ) bagging the Reserve Bank of Australia – an institution which has a first-rate record as a player in the Australian economy over the past three decades. Mr Cain commenced his article as follows:

As a professorial associate and lecturer at University of Melbourne politics classes over many years, I have been a keen watcher of governments, ministers, public servants and agencies, and how they implement public policy. I have told students (undergraduate and postgraduate) that the public sector is more accountable, responsible, trustworthy and transparent, than the private/commercial/corporate sector.

Parliamentary committees, questions, motions on matters of public importance, ombudsmen, auditors-general, freedom-of-information laws and the media have been more effective than private-sector regulators, I have told them. The concept of ministerial responsibility has a good record – but it seems to have failed as far as our central bank is concerned.

John Cain went on to criticise the RBA for an alleged lack of accountability with respect to the printing of banknotes by RBA subsidiaries.  A reader would have to trail all the way down to the end of the article before discovering that John Cain was a former premier and attorney-general of Victoria.

Sure was. In fact, John Cain was premier of Victoria between 1982 and 1990.  He was premier when the Victorian economy collapsed in the late 1980s and early 1990s following the implosion of the  Victorian government entity Tricontinental in 1989. Tricontinental  was part of the State Bank of Victoria. In 1990 the Labor government in Canberra mitigated the disaster by having the Commonwealth Bank take over the State Bank of Victoria.

The collapse of the Victorian economy during John Cain’s premiership was a major contributing factor to the Australia-wide recession which took place in the early 1990s.  Some industries were lost forever and many Australians were on the dole queues for years.

So it was on John Cain’s watch that the State Bank of Victoria went under.  And now, some two decades later, John Cain is accusing the RBA of “effrontery” and lacking accountability. He also made comments about a criminal case which is currently in pre-trial hearings.  To repeat. According to Cain the RBA is a disgrace and a national calamity. Yet he was the Captain of the Tricontinental Titanic as it sailed into floating financial ice in the late 1980s.

John Cain, the failed premier of Victoria, is now using the Opinion Pages of The Age  to lecture about propriety and accountability. Talk about effrontery.   Can you bear it?

Getting Down and Dirty on News Breakfast


Nancy’s co-owner just loves the ABC1 News Breakfast – especially the “Newspapers” segment where, on almost a daily basis, a host of Melbourne identities turn up at the Southbank studio before dawn to pontificate about what should be in the newspapers.  Naturally, ABC staff allocated to this gig do not get paid.  But nor do others.

Over the year MWD commented that on occasions Scott Burchill has given the impression that he drops into News Breakfast on his way to the tip – with a full load in his ute parked outside the main entrance.  In recent months, however, his dress has improved somewhat.  Clearly he is no longer acquiring disposed clothes at the tip and has upgraded to the local Southbank St Vincent de Paul Op Shop.

However, in recent times Dr Burchill (for a doctor he is) has had some rivals.  So much so that yesterday and today it seemed that the Newspapers segment has been filmed on location at the tip.

First up, Radio National presenter Jonathan Green turned up wearing, wait for it, shorts.  He declared
that they were Gerard Henderson memorial shorts. But Nancy’s co-owner wears neither shorts nor sandals.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Michael Rowland:  Jonathan Green in shorts….

Jonathan Green : These are my Gerard Henderson memorial shorts.

Michael Rowland :  Ahh, Gerard Henderson memorial shorts.  Good morning Gerard, thanks for watching.

Jonathan Green : I thought, Gerard, on a day of 38 degrees it was appropriate to slip into tropical kit.

Michael Rowland: Excellent.

Jonathan Green :  Yes, this will be noted.

Yes indeed. Noted.  But your man Green had a dark jacket over his fawn shorts and look-at-me bare knees.

Then this morning Hamish Fitzsimmons rolled up also with a jacket along with a low cut black tee-shirt and, wait for it, no socks.  He also looked like he had a Shane Warne-style hair transplant transfixed to his lower face.  What did he say about the newspapers?  Nancy’s co-owner has no idea.

Moreover Hamish Fitzsimmons insisted that he was about to go on a WELL EARNED BREAK.  It’s just that, to viewers, your man Fitzsimmons looked like he was already on a holiday.

Can you bear it?





There has been enormous, absolutely enormous, interest in MWD’s extensive coverage of this issue.  See MWD passim.  This week’s email bag contains the view of an anonymous woman in Northern Australia along with Gerard Henderson’s (continuing) search for the truth.


“Anon of Northern Australia” to MWD – 29 November 2012


Just some comments to pass on to Gerard Henderson about Tony Abbott’s mythical punch as reported by David Marr.

Obviously those reporting and believing in this punch have little or no acquaintance with anyone actually punching a wall. Living far from Sydney (Northern Australia, no less) and having obviously greater experience of walls that have been punched, and those people who have punched them, allow me to make the following observations.

A person who punches a wall with any real force at all will almost certainly damage their hand, and they may also damage the wall.

If the wall is brick, cement or similar solid construction, they will not damage the wall but will do great damage to their hand – it will be grazed, badly bruised, bones may be broken and, given the highly sensitive design of our hands, they will experience serious pain.

If they punch a wall with any real force and the wall is plasterboard or similar, they will likely smash a hole through the wall, and in doing so will also hurt their hand, albeit perhaps less seriously.

No person quoted by Mr Marr makes any reference to Mr Abbott injuring his hand, making any expression of pain or damaging the wall. They do not describe him rubbing his hands as he walked away, and they do not describe or mention any damage to the said wall.

From this, I conclude two things.

A. Mr Abbott did not punch the wall.

B. Mr Abbott may have touched, slapped, banged or tapped the wall, but if he did so, the suggestion of violence must be seriously downgraded, as befits a fairly innocuous incident.

Over the years I have known several husbands who, during vehement arguments, to channel their rage and avoid punching their spouse, have punched walls, doors, veranda posts and even trees. While none of them recommend punching a person, neither do they recommend punching solid inanimate objects. Inevitably, some serious damage was sustained by the puncher, a worthy punishment for hot-headedness. Just as inevitably, posts, trees and solid walls escaped unscathed.

I further note that Mr Abbott was an enthusiastic amateur boxer. Perhaps enough said.


C/- Somewhere In Northern Australia


▪ On David Marr’s Unsourced Claims About BA Santamaria as an Advocate of “Vicious” Behaviour


Having failed to get David Marr to back up his claims in Political Animal with evidence, Gerard Henderson wrote to Chris Feik, the editor of Quarterly Essay published by the leftist multi-millionaire property developer Morry Schwartz. [Does Morry sandal-up at literary festival time? – Ed]

Gerard Henderson to Chris Feik – Editor Quarterly Essay  – 29 November 2012


Good afternoon. I trust that morale is high.

I am writing to you in your capacity as editor of Quarterly Essay and in the absence of David Marr on a (secular) pilgrimage somewhere in northern Spain.

Correct me if I am wrong.  However, as I recall, some years ago Black Inc publisher Morry Schwartz decided – after considerable popular demand – to install a fact-checker within Black Inc’s The Monthly.  I assume that Mr Schwartz has a similar evidentiary concern for Quarterly Essay.


Now here is my query.  At Page 39 of “Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott” (Quarterly Essay Issue 47), David Marr wrote:

That was always the Santamaria way: when you haven’t got the numbers, be vicious.

As you will appreciate, this is a serious allegation.  David Marr’s “Political Animal” contains 93 endnotes.  However, there is no citation in the Sources section to support the claim that B.A. Santamaria ever said or wrote that “when you haven’t got the numbers, be vicious”.

Since, no doubt, someone at Quarterly Essay fact-checked “Political Animal”, I would be grateful if you could supply the source reference to support David Marr’s undocumented allegation about the late B.A. Santamaria.

Best wishes

Gerard Henderson



The following emails – focusing on Sky News’ paid contributor Mark Latham’s regard for evidence – are published in the public interest, of course.  [Of course. – Ed].


Gerard Henderson to Angelos Frangopoulos – 22 November 2012



Last night I watched on IQ the Paul Murray Live program which aired on Monday 19 November 2012. As you will be aware, the panellists were Peter Fitzsimons, Mark Latham and John Stanley.

During the discussion concerning the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, Mark Latham made the following comment – which caused considerable mirth on the panel:

Mark Latham: 95 per cent in favour; 3 per cent opposed. And I think down there at Fairfax and the Nielsen Poll they’ve actually got the names of the 3 per cent who oppose. Now, if I’m reading this correctly, it’s G. Pell Sydney, G. Henderson from North Sydney and there’s a P. Kelly from out Hunters Hill way… They’re the 3 per cent.

Mark Latham’s statement is wilfully false. I have made only two public comments on the Royal Commission.

▪ In my Sydney Morning Herald column on Tuesday 14 November 2012, I supported the Prime Minister’s decision to establish a Royal Commission. My column concluded as follows: “The good news is that the proposed royal commission will cover all instances of child abuse and not just crimes committed by Catholic clergy. Tragically it is not likely to stop attacks on young Aboriginal boys and girls.”

▪ On the Insiders program on Sunday 18 November 2012, I also indicated my support for the Royal Commission, commenting: “I support the Royal Commission”

As you know, I am a fan of Sky News Channel 601 and I admire Paul Murray’s journalism. However, programs such as Paul Murray Live should not provide a platform for the likes of Mark Latham to verbal people and make totally false – and damaging – allegations about them.

It would be appreciated if Paul Murray would correct Mark Latham’s false claims with respect to me next Monday.

On another matter, I was recently asked on the next edition of Sideshow with Mark Latham and Michael Kroger to discuss media matters. As I indicated to the program’s producer, I do not see why I should give up a couple of hours on a Tuesday night to appear on a show which is co-hosted by someone who is as loose with the truth as Mr Latham.

Best wishes

Gerard Henderson

Gerard Henderson to Paul Murray – 29 November 2012


I know that Mark Latham regards many of the comments he makes on Paul Murray Live as “in jest” – as he said on your program last Monday. Even so, Mr Latham, has no right to verbal people he does not like – and then, when challenged to substantiate his claims, put up the familiar “Just Joking” defence.

On Monday, at your instruction, Mark Latham pretended to correct his false claim on Paul Murray Live on 19 November 2012 that I opposed the establishment of the Royal Commission Into Child Sexual Abuse.

When making his (so-called) correction, Mark Latham said:

You know, both Henderson and [Paul] Kelly have written all this material about why the Royal Commission will be a terrible, terrible thing when it happens – and then, of course, the caveat : “Oh but I do support it”.

Mr Latham’s statement is wilfully false with respect to me.  I never wrote any material anywhere claiming that the “Royal Commission will be a terrible, terrible thing”.  Never.  If Mr Latham insists that I did – then he should provide evidence to support his assertion.  After all, he had many days to stump up his evidence before appearing on Paul Murray Live last Monday.

I am surprised that Sky News continues to allow Mark Latham – a paid contributor – to make untrue statements about people he does not like, some of whom are Sky News viewers and supporters.

When your producer phoned me late last week to advise that a correction would be made to Mark Latham’s false comments concerning me, I specifically warned him that Mr Latham might use the occasion to re-state his original falsehood.  Yet, this is precisely what happened on Monday.  So a false Latham statement on 19 November was followed by another false Latham statement on 26 November.

In my view, Angelos Frangopoulos and the team at Sky News should be able to do better than this – especially in view of Mr Latham’s documented record of being loose with the truth.

Best wishes

Gerard Henderson

* * *  * *

Until next time. According to plan, Nancy will go into her kennel next Friday for what journalists call a well-earned break.  In the final MWDfor 2012, Nancy hopes to announce her gongs for the year.  God – and Tim Flannery’s Gaia –  willing.