GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG – ISSUE NO. 189

5 JULY 2013 

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. Since November 1997 “Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch” has been published as part of The Sydney Institute Quarterly. In 2009 Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog blog commenced publication.

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YET MORE BRAND NEW ENDORSEMENTS BY PHILLIP ADAMS AO – WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM LA TRIOLI

Phillip Adams @PhillipAdams_1 7 May 2013

Old Australian saying. “He wouldn’t know a tram was up him unless the bell rang”. Wholly appropriate to Gerard Henderson

Phillip Adams ‏@PhillipAdams_1 2 July 2013

The nation mourns Gerard Henderson. He’s in perfect health.

Favorited by Virginia Trioli

[It’s a great endorsement to be sure. But how can Hendo be in perfect health if he has a bell-ringing tram up him? – Ed].

For more endorsements – see end of this issue.

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Malcolm Farr’s Confusion; Chris Masters’ Left-Wing Interpretation of Australian History & Kerry Anne Walsh’s Howlers

 

Can You Bear It?  News Breakfast and Young Labor; Q&A and Non-Labor

 

Scoop: Nancy Hacks Tony Jones/Peter McEvoy Emails

 

Mark Latham’s Continuing Labor Confusion

 

Jonathan Holmes’ (Chatham House)  Knees’-Up 

 

New Segment: Mike Carlton Scores a High on Abuse Level Meter

 

Anti-Catholic Sectarianism: Lateline Duds Fr. Brian Lucas; The Age’s George Pell Obsession

 

Correspondence: Steve Dow vs a Taxi Driver: An Interpretation

 

 

STOP PRESS

 

Er, Ar, Malcolm Farr Up Shia Creek This Morning

 

Nancy’s (male) co-owner is just so excited about his scheduled appearance with the Lord-High-Sneerer David Marr and Fran (I’m-an-Activist”) Kelly on Insiders  this Sunday. So excited indeed, that he just can’t fight it.

So much so that Gerard Henderson went into preparation mode by listening to the Fran Kelly hosted “Friday Panel” on Radio National Breakfast this morning.

And what a wonderful segment it truly was. Especially when Malcolm Farr – who has given a generous endorsement to MWD (see end of this issue) – spoke about Indonesia, Islam and all that.

Malcolm Farr: … Mr Rudd also is  going to acknowledge social problems in Indonesia – such as the fact that spike in Iranian refugee applicants includes a lot of Sunni Muslims, whereas Indonesia is largely Shia. Have I got that right? I think that.  Oh God, forgive me I haven’t. So they’re all sorts of problems that Australia doesn’t seem to be acknowledging. Kevin Rudd wants to at least acknowledge them as a way to getting cooperation from Indonesia.

Yeah right.  No one corrected Mr Farr this morning. So MWD is only too willing to help out.  Iran is overwhelmingly Shia.  Indonesia is predominantly Sunni.  And it was a bit early in the morning for Malcolm (“Gerard Henderson is a f-ckwit”) Farr to get his act together.

Howlers and Leftists Aplenty in Chris Masters’ Doco on the 1920s and 1930s

 

ABC TV’s Publicity Department will not deal with MWD.  Alas. So it is not possible to preview Episode 3 in Chris Masters’ The Years That Made Us documentary which will air on ABC 1 on Sunday night.  However, if Episode 3 resembles Episode 2 (which aired last Sunday) it will be littered with factual errors and will contain much historical hyperbole along with a bevy of leftist historians annunciating the oh-so-boring left-wing interpretation of Australian history.

Episode 2 of The Years That Made Us was titled “Survival”.  Professor Geoffrey Blainey made a few appearances – but not many. The “star” historian performers interviewed by Chris Masters were Stuart Macintyre (a former member of the Communist Party), Judith Brett (a former editor of Arena Magazine, a journal of Marxist opinion), Clare Wright, Richard Waterhouse, Michael Cathcart, Andrew Moore (who once maintained that during Robert Menzies’ prime ministership in the 1950s, The Lodge in Canberra was the headquarters of Australian Fascism). You get the picture.

So far The Years That Made Us has focused on the 1920s and 1930s.  Among those not interviewed on the taxpayer funded documentary are David Lee (who has written a book on Stanley Melbourne Bruce), David Bird (who has written a book on the foreign policy of the Lyons government in the 1930s) and Nancy’s female co-owner Anne Henderson (Joseph Lyons’ biographer who was commissioned to write Lyons’ entry in the British Dictionary of National Biography).

Presumably the reason why the likes of Dr Lee, Dr Bird and Ms Henderson did not get a guernsey turns on the fact that they do not run the fashionable left-wing line on Prime Minister Bruce, Prime Minister Lyons and Australian political history in the 1920s and 1930s. Unlike Comrades Macintyre, Brett, Cathcart, Waterhouse, Wright and so on.

Historical howlers aside, Chris Masters’ episode on the government of Jim Scullin and Joseph Lyons just re-stated the left-wing interpretation of this period of Australian history. You know – evil British bankers, anti- Semitism at Buckingham Palace, high-minded communists defending the oppressed, a nasty right-wing coup (which never happens) just around the corner, corrupt businessmen controlling Lyons and his newly formed United Australia Party and all that junk.

Pity that Nice Mr Scott has not taken up MWD’s suggestion that the ABC should check its own facts before setting up a unit to check the facts of others. Errors in Episode 2 of The Years that Made Us include getting Bruce’s industrial relation’s policy wrong, the claim that Lyons abandoned Labor “to form the United Australia Party” and the assertion that Lyons was “voted in” in January 1932.  Howlers all – and more besides.

Stay tuned. [I can hardly wait.  It seems that your man Masters is destined for a Walkley – Ed].

Howlers Aplenty in Kerry Anne Walsh’s Tome

MWD eagerly awaits obtaining a copy of Kerry Anne Walsh’s The Stalking of Julia Gillard – in which, according to the extracts published so far, the author appears to blame the media for the former prime minister’s demise.

In the meantime, the extract from The Stalking of Julia Gillard – which was published in the Sun-Herald at the weekend – raises some contentious issues.

▪ According to Walsh, in forming a minority government in September 2010 Julia Gillard “achieved what Tony Abbott could not”.  Sure, but it was not that hard. The Gillard Labor government needed the support of four Independents to give it 76 seats in the House of Representatives.  Adam Bandt was first in the cart.  No surprise, since the Greens were never going to support Abbott.  Bandt was followed by Andrew Wilkie – whose seat of Denison has a clear Labor/Green majority.  Followed by former National Party members Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor – who were never going to support a Coalition government which included the National Party.  In other words, Tony Abbott never had a chance of forming a minority government.

▪ According to Walsh, Julia Gillard made the following statement during the 2010 election campaign: “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, but let me be clear.  I will be putting a price on carbon and I will move to an emissions trading scheme”.  A Google search reveals that no such statement was made by the former prime minister .  Did Ms Walsh just make this up?  Surely not.

▪ According to Walsh, at the 2010 election the Liberal Party had a “carbon pricing scheme” on its political wish-list.  This is not so. Stay tuned.

CAN YOU BEAR IT?

 

News Breakfast Barracks for Young Labor

 

What truly stunning performances by the taxpayer funded public broadcaster in the wake of the Labor leadership change from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd.

Last Friday, the ABC 1 News Breakfast program set out to gauge how the new prime minister Kevin Rudd was doing in his attempt to win young voters to Labor. News Breakfast presenter Michael Rowland thought this was a task for Tom Tilley of the ABC Triple J’s Hack program.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Michael Rowland: Well, Triple J’s Hack program have been testing Kevin Rudd’s pitch with their young audience. Tom Tilley is the presenter of Hack, he joins us from Sydney this morning. Tom, how are you?

Tom Tilley: Very good.  And Kevin Rudd’s hunch was right. When we put that to our listeners yesterday they said, “Yes we are very disengaged with politics, we’re sick of all the infighting that we’ve seen over the last three years of minority government but also the infighting within the Labor Party”. But the news also wasn’t good for Tony Abbott. We actually did a Facebook poll yesterday and we had over 1600 votes and the main category that people voted for, and this is more than half the votes, was that the main thing was to keep Tony Abbott out.  So very difficult for both leaders there to engage young people.

Michael Rowland: Now, you’ve got some members of the Young Labor Party faithful Tom.

 

Tom Tilley: That’s right Michael.

 

Too right, that’s right. Comrade Tilley produced three members of Young Labor to demonstrate his point that young voters supported Kevin Rudd and opposed Tony Abbott.

First up there was Dominic Ofner, the president of Young Labor.  Followed by Penny Parker, Young Labor’s Women’s Officer. Followed by John Birrell, a carry-over Labor champion from the 2007 “Kevin ‘07” campaign.  Not a young Liberal Party or National Party supporter was interviewed.  Not one.

Guess what?  Young Comrade Ofner, agreed with Young Comrade Parker who agreed with Young Comrade Birrell that Kevin Rudd was the future and that Tony Abbott was on the nose. That’s what passes for balance at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. Can you bear it?

Q&A – Worse is Better (Said Nancy Channelling Trotsky)

Then on Monday Q&A put on a program that was so bad it was really, really good.

On this occasion there was one conservative panellist.  Just one.  Namely, Coalition front bencher Sophie Mirabella. She was up against Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek, former ALP advertising campaign manager Neil Lawrence, leftist advertising guru Todd Sampson and commentator Sue Cato (who happens to be a personal friend of Kevin Rudd and his family).  Oh yes, Tony Jones joined in the chorus of bagging and mocking Ms Mirabella, Tony Abbott, the Coalition and all that.

It was a veritable 5 to 1 tag-team wrestle.  Leon Trotsky is alleged to have once opined that “Worse is better”.  Nothing better illustrated the lack of political balance at the ABC than last Monday’s Q&A. Can you bear it?

[No doubt Nice Mr Scott, in his role as ABC managing director, will defend this panel selection.  Perhaps by declaring that Q&A panelists’ political and personal views are unrelated to the positions they take on Q&A. Or something like that – Ed].

 

TIME OUT FOR A SCOOP – AS HACKED BY NANCY

Nancy has recently hacked into an email exchange between Q&A producer Peter McEvoy and Q&A presenter Tony Jones. Here it is:

Comrade Tony to Comrade Pete

Hi Pete

Thinking about a Q&A special on the revolution theme.  As you know, I was a teenage rebel whilst at Newington College and once put manure on the cricket-pitch roller or overturned (imaginary) cars or something revolutionary like that. [See MWD Issue 100].  Any ideas about talent for my concept?

Tony (By the way, I knew Francis James, the leftist commissar of Wahroonga].

Comrade Pete to Comrade Tony

 

Hi Tony

Great concept.  How’s this for balance – with a little help from beyond the grave? Let’s get Vladimir Lenin and that German revo Rosa Luxemburg. Then try for Mao Zedong and the Gang of Four Super Star Jiang Qing. That will give us two (revolutionary) sheilas – meeting ABC management’s quota for gender balance.  As to political balance – let’s put them up against fascist jerk Ronald Reagan. If you need a Well Earned Break and can’t present a program, let’s invite Kim Philby to take the chair. He’s got a lot of charm.  That should provide a 5 to 1 leftist press. It worked last Monday.

Pete (By the way, I knew Allan Ashbolt – the leftist commissar of the first Aunty Soviet who was also based around Wahroonga way).

MARK LATHAM – SUPERANNUATED COLUMNIST EXTRAORDINAIRE: A CONTINUING  SAGA

MWD just loves Mark Latham’s columns in the Australian Financial Review. It’s not just that the Lair of Liverpool provides great copy for Nancy’s (male) co-owner.  There is also the matter of social concern.  A man on a taxpayer funded superannuation of a mere $78,000 a year (fully indexed) needs all available financial top-ups.  Especially if he has a wife, a brand new horse, three kids and half a dozen bookmakers to support.

In any event, Mark Latham’s last three columns have been of a you-beaut variety.  A remarkable trilogy, to be sure, in three parts (to be sure).

First, on Thursday 20 June 2013 Mark Latham wrote that Kevin Rudd “had no intention of resuming the Labor leadership in this term of Parliament”.  According to the Lair of Liverpool, Rudd was “wrecking, not running” and the whole “Labor leadership story” was “a story about nothing”.

Kevin Rudd challenged Julia Gillard for the Labor leadership on Wednesday 26 June and was sworn in as prime minister the following morning. In other words, the Lair of Liverpool’s prophecy was discredited in less than a week.

Then on 29 June 2013, Mark Latham declared that  “the return of Kevin Rudd is the final hammer blow in the destruction of Labor’s moral code” and asked: “How could a party of Chifley and Curtin now be led by the most dishonourable saboteur in its history?”

On this occasion, Latham declined to remind readers that he recently said that Rudd would not challenge Gillard before the 2013 election or that he (Latham) had urged electors not to vote for Gillard Labor in the 2010 election – sabotaging Labor’s campaign.

Then on Thursday 4 July 2013, Mark Latham said that Julia Gillard should have taken the advice he offered her in 2005.  Namely that she should “never deal with Kevin Rudd” and that she should face up to the problem of Labor’s “sub-factional war-lords”.

On this occasion, Latham failed to remind readers that he was elected leader in 2003 with the support of Julia Gillard and some of Labor’s sub-factional war lords.

CHATHAM HOUSE RULES AT SANDALISTA CENTRAL

What a remarkable media career Jonathan Holmes has endured. First up, your man Holmes was recruited in Britain in 1982 to become executive producer of Four Corners – despite the fact that he knew nothing, absolutely nothing, about Australia.  As Holmes admitted in The Drum on 28 April 2011, when recruited by the ABC he “didn’t even know the names of the Australian states, let alone the difference between a Prime Minister and a Premier”.  See MWD Issue 93.   It seems, however that Holmes suited the ABC leftist agenda at the time – and so he got the job.  Very much the case of – From Britain With Ignorance. [Could he have been appointed by Alan Ashbolt of the ABC Soviet?  Just a thought. – Ed].

And so it came to pass that Jonathan Holmes became the seventh – out of seven – left-wing Media Watch presenters. Until last week, when he retired – only to be replaced by another leftist.  Paul Barry, in fact, who is about to commence his second stint as Media Watch presenter.

Last night the ABC held a knees-up for Jonathan Holmes at the ABC headquarters in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Ultimo.  Otherwise known as Sandalista Central.

ABC identity Robyn Williams was kind enough to invite Nancy’s (male) co-owner to this taxpayer funded gig. Nancy’s male co-owner told Williams that his presence would not be appreciated.  But your man Williams went ahead with the invitation.  And Gerard Henderson sent a mock acceptance – only to be taken seriously by ABC Media Watch’s party organiser.  Soon, Robyn Williams sent a note saying that the event was “chocka” and Media Watch’s (male) co-owner could not be accommodated at this (taxpayer funded) event. Surprise. Shucks.

The good news is that MWD scored a copy of the formal invitation.  Here it is:

So there you have it.  The ABC1 Media Watch presenter – who admitted to going easy on ABC staff on his program and who just loved revealing the secrets of others –  had a taxpayer funded retirement party held under the Chatham House Rule. Meaning that no one could report the event. What would Julian Assange say?

[ Did Nice Mr Scott send an invitation to Dr Assange, C/- the Embassy of Ecuador in London? – Ed].

NEW SEGMENT – MONITORING MIKE CARLTON’S ABUSE LEVELS: THIS WEEK – HIGH

 

In order to respect Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s call that we become a kinder/gentler nation, MWD has commenced a new – exciting, of course – segment devoted to monitoring the abuse levels of Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton. This week the MWD gauge recorded a high rating.  Here’s why.

In his Sydney Morning Herald column on 29-30 June 2013, Mike Carlton referred to National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce as “that carpetbagging dope”. How clever is that?

It seems that your man Carlton is unaware of the meaning of carpetbagger.  The term denotes the behaviour of a person who takes up residence in a place where he/she has no roots – in order to achieve material gain.  As MWD readers know carpetbagger was the word used to describe Northerners who went to the South after the American Civil War in order to acquire wealth.

It is true that Barnaby Joyce recently moved from southern Queensland to Northern New South Wales in his attempt to win the House of Representatives seat of New England – based on Armidale/Tamworth.  However, Barnaby Joyce originally came from the New England region – to which he has now decided to return.

Barnaby Joyce is no carpetbagger. Moreover, agree with him or not, Joyce is no dope.  But to Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton, it is easy to lace his Sydney Morning Herald column with abuse. It’s a substitute for thought.

ANTI-CATHOLIC SECTARIANISM: AN UPDATE

 

Let’s Hear It From The ABC Taxpayer Funded Public Broadcaster

This is how Susie Smith commenced her Lateline report on the Inquiry Into Sexual Abuse by Catholic Clergy in the Hunter Valley on 25 June 2013. (The transcript is as it appeared on the ABC website on 27 June 2013):

Susie Smith, Reporter : The Fairfax journalist Joanne McCarthy, has been pivotal in exposing clergy abuse in the Hunter for many years. She gave evidence today about internal Catholic Church documents that revealed the Church’s attempt back in 1995 to defrock one of the two priests at the centre of this inquiry, Father Denis McAlinden.

One of the key church officials named in these documents is the current secretary of the Catholic Bishops conference Father Brian Lucas. Joanne McCarthy told the inquiry the release of these documents to a key witness and sexual abuse victim known as AL was sanctioned by Bishop Michael Malone in 2009. Bishop Malone was the then head of the Maitland Newcastle diocese. During the cross examination about the significance of the documents, the barrister representing Ms McCarthy asked her:

Winston Terracini, SC : Was there a confession by a priest, Brian Lucas?

Joanne McCarthy, Fairfax Journalist:  Yes.

This is a serious error which was re-enacted by a reader.  According to official court transcripts, the cross-examination went as follows:

Mr Terracini:  Within that material, was there a fairly firm suggestion that there was a type of confession to a [sic] called Lucas?

Joanne McCarthy:  Yes

The official transcript makes it clear that Terracini SC, the barrister representing Ms McCarthy, referred to a confession to – not by – Fr Lucas. There is no evidence that Fr Lucas made a “confession” about anything in this context.

Now it’s easy for a reporter to make an error.  The problem here is the ABC refuses to correct its reporter’s error either on-air or on-line. The ABC –without notification – has altered the transcript of Terracini SC subsequent to the initial publication of the transcript.  This is unprofessional behaviour. However, as of the time MWD went out today, the ABC has not changed the word “by” to the word “to” either in the graphic (see above) or in the transcript.

This contrasts with the Sydney Morning Herald.  Here is how the SMH (on 27 June 2013) corrected its own error covering a separate exchange between Terracini and McCarthy on the same day:

Wednesday’s report referred to a question put to Joanne McCarthy by her counsel Winston Terracini, SC, about an allegation that Fr Brian Lucas knew that Fr McAlinden had been interfering with children but had done nothing about it.

The report said Ms McCarthy had answered yes to the question. In fact, the transcript shows Ms McCarthy did not answer the question.  Instead, the commissioner Ms Cunneen, SC,  asked Mr Terracini not to introduce that material which he agreed not to do so as not to interfere with the second part of the inquiry dealing with the church’s response to police investigations into two priests which starts on Monday.

Fr Lucas has rejected the allegation as completely untrue.  He said in 1993 he took steps to have Fr McAlinden removed from priestly ministry.  He said the then adult victim did not want police action and he respected her wishes. The Herald apologises to Fr Lucas for any embarrassment caused by yesterday’s report.

There you have it. The Sydney Morning Herald made an error one day and corrected it the next day.  However, on 5 July 2013 the ABC has still to correct its error of 26 June 2013.  This is not the first such occasion.  Four Corners has still to correct a serious error it made concerning Fr Lucas and some others in the “Unholy Silence” program which aired on 8 December 2012.  See Gerard Henderson’s Sydney Morning Herald column of 4 June 2013.

● Let’s Hear It From The Guardian-On-The-Yarra

The Age in Melbourne seems to have a policy of bagging its readers and advertisers who support the newspaper edition and who happen to be believers or business people or who support non-government schools and so on.  It’s The-Guardian-on-the-Yarra’s sneering secularist tradition.

The Age’s reporting of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church – mainly concerning crimes which occurred over two decades ago – has been at times obsessive.  Recently The Age delivered a grovelling apology to Cardinal Pell concerning a report by journalist Barney Zwartz quoting one of Pell’s critics who got it totally wrong.

It seems, however, that Mr Zwartz is so consumed with Cardinal Pell that he cannot desist.  This is a report in The Age last Monday.

Catholic Church: Petition says Cardinal has failed as a moral leader.  Victims call for Pell to stand down.

Barney Zwartz

Religion Editor

Cardinal George Pell has failed Australia’s 5 million Catholics as a religious and moral leader and must be told to stand down as Sydney Archbishop, according to a petition by a clergy sexual abuse victims’ group to the Pope’s Australian ambassador.

”Cardinal Pell is a spiritually impotent leader, a leader who presents no empathy, no moral judgment and no felt deep concern for victims, a leader who is avoiding responsibility for the immorality and sodomy that has been breeding in his house of God,” says the petition to papal nuncio Archbishop Paul Gallagher. It is time for the Roman Catholic Church in Australia to change, and the starting point is for Cardinal George Pell to stand down. He is part of the problem, not the solution.”…

COIN president Bryan Keon-Cohen, QC, said the petition reflected community sentiment that the church continued to focus on damage control rather than fundamental reform.

”It also reflects the community’s view that George Pell’s time has passed. Whatever good or bad he has done, he appears incapable of coming to terms with the enormity of the problem and the need for change in the Catholic Church,” Mr Keon-Cohen said. He believes he is part of the solution because he believes in the standing and reputation of his church, and fails to understand that things have changed. It’s a culture that says the church can do no wrong, and must be protected above all else – a mediaeval doctrine that has no place in modern society.”

What a beat-up.  Bryan Keon-Cohen QC is an advocate.  There is no evidence that he has any particular standing in, or influence on, the Catholic Church in Australia or anywhere else.

Mr Keon-Cohen is entitled to his opinion, of course.  But his claim that Cardinal Pell should stand down is hardly news – especially when, like many newspapers today, The Age has a limited number of available pages to print real news and considered opinion.

CORRESPONDENCE

 

RE STEVE DOW, TAXI-DRIVERS AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

This increasingly popular segment of MWD usually takes the format of someone writing to Gerard Henderson and receiving a response.

On this occasion, however, Gerard Henderson responded to criticism of himself by Fairfax Media journalist and author Steve Dow in the Sydney Morning Herald on 2 July 2013.  The full reference to Gerard Henderson in Steve Dow’s article is set out below.  Here we go:

Gerard Henderson to Steve Dow – 2 July 2013

Dear Steve

I read your piece in the Sydney Morning Herald  this morning, where you wrote:

Abbott as PM will also give succour to the Sydney Institute’s Gerard Henderson, who on these pages recently committed a rhetorical sleight of hand with his statement that I had said gay people only “recently” supported same-sex marriage – inferring previous widespread opposition. What I said was a decade ago you were more likely to hear gay people agitate for civil unions (although some forward thinkers pushed higher for marriage). That was only because on the international experience civil unions were what we thought possible in 2003. You were also more likely to hear some of us question marriage in its present form. But that never meant we didn’t support equality.

As you may or may not know, I am not seeking Tony Abbott’s “succour” – whatever that might mean.

The fact is that I did not commit “a rhetorical sleight of hand” when I wrote my Sydney Morning Herald  column on 30 April 2013:

Journalist Steve Dow, whose book Gay: The Tenth Anniversary Collection has recently been released, appeared on ABC News 24’s The Drum on April 19. It was one of the many debates on the ABC where everyone agrees with everyone else.

During the discussion, Dow acknowledged that the gay movement’s support for same-sex marriage has been a recent development. He added that gays have “gone from quite a radical critique of the whole institution of marriage” to support for same-sex marriage in just 10 years.

Contrary in your assertion in today’s Sydney Morning Herald article, I never used the word “recently” in direct quotes with respect to you.  You just made this up.

This is precisely what you said on The Drum on 19 April 2013:

 

Julia Baird: There are a lot of people in the gay and lesbian community who say: “We think that marriage is a heterosexual institution, we don’t need it, it’s conservative, we have our own rituals and we have our own whatever.”  But that seems to have changed over time, is that right?

Steve Dow: It has changed over time. I mean Australian Marriage Equality – I mean, it’s a conservative argument. We’ve gone from quite a radical critique of the whole institution of marriage to quite a conservative argument – quite simply I think. The Australian Marriage Equality group did a survey of the Midsummer Carnival – which is populated by gay and lesbian, bi, transgender, intersex, queer people – all the alphabet letters. And they found that 95 per cent supported it, less than 5 per cent may not support it but would not necessarily oppose it. So that’s, those are huge, huge numbers. And if you interviewed a gay person 10 years ago they were much more diffident about the whole issue.

That’s what you said on The Drum on 19 April 2013.  And that’s what I said you said in my Sydney Morning Herald on 30 April 2013.

On The Drum you did say that the gay movement has “gone from quite a radical critique of the whole institution of marriage to the quite conservative argument [i.e. support for same sex marriage]”.  And you did say that the gay movement was “much more diffident about the whole issue” of same-sex marriage ten years ago.

That’s precisely what I quoted you as saying in my Sydney Morning Herald column. My quote was accurate – it was not a “sleight of hand”.  You have adopted the tactic of alleging that you have been misquoted rather than concede that you said something which you subsequently have come to regret.  For the record, I believe that what you said on The Drum was accurate – as I indicated in my Sydney Morning Herald column.

In conclusion, I should make a comment on the style of your writing.  It supports my view that there is a tendency in the gay movement – which you embody – to sneer at those who hold socially conservative views on marriage and who have difficulty accepting that the meanings of such words as “marriage”, “husband”, “wife”, “mother” and “father” should be changed in a relatively short period.

Today, for example, you contrasted your inner-city-journalist view with that of a person who was not only a taxi driver but also “flaccid-faced”, “thick-set” and “white-haired”.  What’s more, the taxi driver will vote for Tony Abbott “because Abbott believes in God”. And the taxi-driver demonstrated “growing agitation” as he exhibited a “clenched fist”.  There was even a snide reference to Alan Jones. On this occasion, you provoked a taxi-driver with your opinion on same-sex marriage and then delighted in mocking what you deemed to be his ignorance and intolerance.

Best wishes – and remember there is an open invitation for you to address The Sydney Institute on your book Gay: the tenth anniversary collection if you decide to re-consider your position.

Gerard Henderson

[If Steve Dow replies, this will be published in a future MWD.  Here’s hoping.]

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READ ALL ABOUT IT – COMMENTS ON/ENDORSEMENTS OF MWD

“I said publicly once that I thought that Gerard’s views on the ABC came not from his brain but from his spinal cord”

– Tim Bowden as told to Phillip (“I was a teenage Stalinist”) Adams, Late Night Live, 11 June 2013 – Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday.

“Gerard Henderson is a crank”

– David Marr at the 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival (as reported by Mike Carlton)

“The great Australian media nutter Gerard [Henderson is an] ungrateful bastard”.

– Mark Latham, Q&A, 10 June 2013.

“[Gerard Henderson] is a moral dwarf …Gerard, pull your head in”

– Professor Sinclair Davidson, 24 April 2013.

“[Henderson] You are mad. In the 18th century you would have been caged, with the mob invited to poke you with sticks.”

– Mike Carlton, 5.23 pm (Gin & Tonic Time) 25 March 2013

“I like to think of Gerard [Henderson] as the Inspector Clouseau of forensic journalism”

– David Marr, ABC News 24 The Drum, 21 March 2013.

“[Media Watch Dog is] not a moan, more of a miserable dribble”

– Peter Munro, 21 March 2013

“You are a fool, Henderson, a malicious and mendacious piece of shit… Now F_ck off”

– Mike Carlton, 11 March 2013 (Hangover Time).

“[Gerard Henderson is] an internet pest”

– Dr (for a doctor he is) Jeff Sparrow, 26 February 2013.

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.

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Until next time. In the meantime, keep morale high.