12 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.

  • Stop Press: Laura Tingle Changes Her Line.
  • The ABC’s Double Standards on Financial Disclosure – Jonathan Holmes and Tim Latham Fudge the Issue
  • Nancy’s Old Bones: Richo Forgets NSW Labor Right’s Role in Bert Evatt Debacle
  • Nancy’s Open Letter to Richard Glover Concerning Their Common “Mother” Problem
  • Can You Bear It?: Michael Cathcart/Joe Lyons; Peter Van Onselen/”Gorgeous” George Galloway & Phillip Adams/Nosredneh Drarag[sic]
  • History Corner: Chris Masters Stumbles on First Menzies Government
  • MWD’s Very Own Fact-Check – Coffee (Not Lunch) With Guy Rundle
  • Correspondence: Jim Filshie & Gerard Henderson on the Public Broadcaster as a Conservative-Free-Zone

La Tingle Forgets Napoleon’s Retreat From Moscow

What a truly wonderful piece by Australian Financial Review political editor Laura Tingle this morning. So full of meaning – especially the paragraph where La Tingle wrote:

Kevin Rudd is moving fast, and moving into comfortable Coalition territory wherever Tony Abbott looks, adopting the fast-moving battle tactics of Napoleon rather than Abbott’s more concentrated Schwerpunkt-ish tactics (sorry had to get that word in) which have been summarised by battle tactic experts as “Klotzen, nicht kleckern!” (literally “Boot’em don’t spatter’em”).

Go on. According to AFR’s political editor, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is “adopting the fast-moving battle tactics of Napoleon” Could this be the very same Monsieur Bonaparte who adopted a fast-moving retreat from Moscow circa 1812, ran into a bit of trouble with Wellington at Waterloo circa 1815 and ended his days (and nights) in exile at St Helena?

As to Schwerpunkt, well.

For years Laura Tingle has complained that the Tony Abbott led Opposition does not have settled policies. However, this morning La Tingle welcomed the fact that Kevin Rudd’s Labor government does not have settled policies on key issues when she wrote:

Suddenly, the four issues that dogged Labor for at least the past three years are in the process of being transformed: leadership, the carbon price, boats and economic management.

La Tingle specifically acknowledged that “we don’t know how the government will finance an early shift to an emissions trading scheme”. But, it’s Labor – so no problem. She also acknowledged that “the politics of [asylum seeker] boats is changing”. But that’s okay too. Laura Tingle went on to say that:

When people in focus groups are asked whether they believe Tony Abbott can really “stop the boats”, they don’t believe it.
The AFR political editor did not declare who did this focus group research.

La Tingle may be correct in seeing in 2013 “an eerie echo of 1983” when Labor, under Bob Hawke’s leadership, won a huge victory. And she may be correct in suggesting a “later election” rather than “an early one”. MWD is not into prediction. We prefer to leave this to Bob Ellis, the False Prophet of Palm Beach – who, by the way, also predicted a Labor landslide not so long ago.

Obviously a Case for Nice Mr Scott: The ABC’s Media Watch Ignores Private Sector Payments to ABC Staff & Trade Union Membership of ABC Staff

The recently retired Jonathan Holmes, when presenter of ABC 1’s Media Watch program, just loved to send out letters-of-demand requesting a reply by a certain date. However, Mr Holmes went into “no correspondence will be entered into” mode when he was asked to explain his own position on media matters.

In various programs this year, Mr Holmes (i) demanded that guests appearing on the “Newspapers” segment on ABC 1 News Breakfast program, should declare if they are members of a political party and (ii) said that it was only proper that ABC audiences should know who funds such organisations as the Institute of Public Affairs, whose employees appear on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster on occasions.

For the record, Media Watch Dog has always regarded such disclosures as unnecessary – since there is no evidence that employees of (i) a university (ii) a right-of-centre or left-of-centre think tank or (iii) the private sector or public sector media do anything other than write or say what they happen to believe.

It’s just that, on the eve of his retirement, Jonathan Holmes refused to answer two questions. Here they are:

  • Mr Holmes refused to state why he wanted non-ABC commentators to declare whether they are members of a political party but did not want ABC presenters and commentators to declare whether or not they are members of a trade union. This in spite of the fact that trade unions have political interests.
  • Mr Holmes refused to state why he wanted to know who funded the IPA (which employs the likes of John Roskam and Tim Wilson) but did not want to know who funded the non-ABC income of ABC presenters who take money direct from companies for compere and speaking fees. This in spite of the fact that neither Mr Roskam nor Mr Wilson receive money direct from business – whereas some ABC personalities do receive money direct from business.

MWD happens to believe that Q&A presenter Tony Jones has long held the political views which are evident during his interviews. In other words, Tony Jones is not a cash-for-comment type. Yet, according to Ovation’s Speaker website Mr Jones does sell his services to business – see here – for between $5,000 and $10,000 a gig.

Once again, there is no problem. It’s just a case of double standards. According to the ABC’s official media commentator, viewers should know who funds the IPA, which employs John Roskam and Tim Wilson. But viewers are not entitled to know who gives money for services direct to Tony Jones – apart, that is, from his ABC income.

RN Breakfast Ignores Taxpayer Subsided Status of Michelle Grattan
Then there is the case of Radio National Breakfast which is presented by Fran Kelly. RN Breakfast executive producer Tim Latham has had a long held policy that a regular guest on the program who is employed by, say, a think- tank should be identified as follows: “Mr X/Ms Y works for Z, a privately funded think-tank.”

Fair enough. It’s just that Mr Latham apparently does not believe that a similar declaration should be made with respect to regular guests on the program who are employed by taxpayer funded or subsidised entities.

Michelle Grattan, who does the RN Breakfast political commentary a couple of times a week, now works for The Conversation website. Fran Kelly invariably refers to Ms Grattan’s employer either before or after her commentary. Fair enough. However, no reference is made to the fact that The Conversation is primarily funded by a number of universities – which run political campaigns for additional government funding. In other words, the principal funders of The Conversation have a more direct vested interest in political issues than the principal funders of the right-of-centre and left-of-centre think tanks.

There is another matter. As the 2013-14 Budget Papers confirm, the Commonwealth Government is providing $2 million over two years to The Conversation. The Commonwealth Government also recently approved The Conversation Trust to be a specifically listed deductable gift recipient. It is estimated that this will cost revenue $1.8 million over the four year forward estimates period.

In other words, over the next couple of years the Commonwealth Government will subsidise The Conversationat around $1.5 million a year. This is a substantial sum – especially when compared to the annual budgets of organisations like the IPA. It is also a contentious amount – since the Opposition has hinted, if elected, it will constrain revenue.

Clearly Michelle Grattan works for an organisation which has a vested interest in maintaining and obtaining government funding.

Like Tony Jones, Michelle Grattan is not a cash-for-comment type. But, then, neither is John Roskam and Tim Wilson.

For the sake of consistency, in the lead-up to the 2013 election, Fran Kelly should be referring to Ms Grattan as follows: “Michelle Grattan is the chief political correspondent of The Conversation which is funded by the major universities and subsidised by the taxpayer”. Or words to this effect.

What does RN Breakfast executive producer Tim Latham think about this? Well, believe it or not, he simply refuses to address the issue and, like Jonathan Holmes, has gone into a “no-correspondence-will-be-entered-into” mode.

Like Jonathan Holmes, Tim Latham has one rule for the likes of IPA staff and another rule for taxpayer subsidised commentators. This is clearly a case for Nice Mr Scott – but don’t hold your breath. No one really manages the ABC – not even the ABC’s managing director and editor-in-chief.

Richo White-Washes NSW Labor Right’s Softness on “Doc” Evatt
In his Sky News Richo program on Wednesday, former NSW Labor right- apparatchik Graham Richardson expressed concern about Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s intentions concerning how the ALP chooses its parliamentary leader.

Richo’s position was straight forward. He said that the Parliamentary Labor Party needed to be able to quickly remove a leader who was not performing. He mentioned Bert Evatt (who led the ALP to defeat in 1954, 1955 and 1958) and Mark Latham (who led the ALP to defeat in 2004).

Richo returned to the point in his column in The Australian today where he wrote:

There are plenty of examples of why such a cumbersome mechanism [proposed by Rudd] makes no sense. HV Evatt was in the process of succumbing to the early stages of dementia. Mark Latham had an almighty meltdown, refused to take calls from anyone and disowned everything he previously stood for. What if these problems occurred during a three-year term of an elected prime minister? What if on top of the 70 per cent requirement there would still be a need for the entire party membership to vote in a leadership ballot? I can only guess on how long such a vote would take, but four to six weeks would be a reasonable guess. There is no doubt to how the voters would react to the nation being held hostage for the six weeks because of the Labor party’s rules.

Good point – as far as it goes. The problem is that Richardson’s comment overlooks the role played by his members in the NSW Labor Right in the 1950s in propping up Dr Evatt (for a doctor he was). Richo was born in 1949 so he is too young to have been involved in the NSW Labor Right in the 1950s. But he joined this Labor faction in the 1960s.

The fact is that Bert Evatt (who held the seats of Barton and Hunter respectively in NSW) showed signs of mental illness at least as early as 1951 when he succeeded Ben Chifley as Labor leader and Opposition leader. Dr Evatt’s behaviour was erratic in the lead-up to the 1954 election – and all the more so the following year when he effectively split the ALP. Evatt’s mental illness deteriorated even further in the latter half of the 1950s.

Throughout this period, the NSW Labor Right – which dominated the Labor Caucus in Canberra – refused to move against Evatt. They were only able to get rid of him by persuading their colleagues in the NSW State Labor government to appoint Bert Evatt as Chief Justice of New South Wales.

This was one of the most scandalous judicial appointments in Australian history. The Heffron Labor government appointed Evatt as Chief Justice in January 1960 – in the full knowledge that he was mentally ill. They did this so that Labor could choose a new leader (Arthur Calwell) in the lead-up to the 1961 Federal election. There was dissent within the Heffron government – but a majority went along with Evatt’s appointment. Evatt resigned as NSW Chief Justice in March 1962 – just over a year after his scandalous appointment.

The men who became Graham Richardson’s mentors in the NSW Labor Right should have had the courage to remove Evatt as ALP leader after his failure to win the May 1954 election. Today Richo is suggesting that Evatt developed a mental illness in his final years as Labor leader. This is pure mythology to cover the fact that the NSW Labor Right has frequently been weak when it should have been strong.

In which Nancy is inspired by the extract from Mr Glover’s book George Clooney’s Haircut which was published in the Good Weekend on 6 July 2013

Dear Mr Glover

I was so saddened to read your account of your mother in the Good Weekend last Saturday. From the pic which you supplied, she looks a sassy sheila. But, alas, this appears not to have been the case – as you reveal in your latest tome George Clooney’s Haircut.

How tragic to learn, in the Good Weekend, that the late Mrs Glover was a sexual refusenik who was impregnated by sperm-and-a-syringe job. I understand that refusenik mothers-to-be of a certain age were wont to lie on the kitchen floor – syringe in hand – with their legs up against the fridge door. Then conception followed.

These days luvvies like yourself invariably turn up for the birth of their children. But I have always believed that the real challenge for modern males is to be present at the conception. But then, as a sheila – what would I know?

I regret that your late father missed out on the conception experience. Or did he really? I note that in the Good Weekend you reported that your old man always said that your mother was forced to have sex with him on at least one occasion. How frightfully interesting. But, like you, I do not believe your father. You look like a syringe job to me.

It’s sad to learn, too, that around the time you turned 14, your mother became a complete tramp and, after seducing your English teacher, went nude for the rest of her life. Or something like that.

I was also disappointed to learn that Mrs Glover was a compulsive liar who falsely claimed that she was born to the English nobility in Berkeley Square when – as you discovered – she was born into poverty and destitution in the north of England halfway down a coal mine. So much so that her father – your paternal grandfather – wore his only handkerchief on his head and had to blow his nose on borrowed sandpaper.

Having felt your pain on reading the Good Weekend last Saturday, I felt that I should write you a personal letter about my own dreadful circumstances. I hope that you will come to feel my own pain.

It was only when I turned 6 that I learnt my late mother walked the streets naked. On four legs. Yes, my mother was a street walker. You see, like Mrs Glover, my mother did not like sex. That’s why she insisted on payment for such activity. Apparently, my father opposed paying for sex. So I was conceived by artificial insemination. The old man’s sperm was placed on a syringe and the vet did the rest. Sure my father said that he well and truly rogered my mother on one occasion. But I doubt it. I have always felt a certain familiarity with syringes. Syringes are in my DNA, so to speak.

My mother always said that she resided in such posh suburbs as Mosman and Double Bay. It was only years later, when I met my auntie, that I learnt the horrible truth. The locations were really such places Yagoona and Rooty Hill – working class, alas. Moreover, my father was so poor that he wore a collar made of old rope and stiffened with vinegar. You can see it in the old family photo which my auntie showed me.

Like Mrs Glover, my mother suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder. So much so that she would check me for fleas every 30 seconds. In short, I am embarrassed about my youth. I intend to share my burden by writing a book titled “Dr Rock Hudson’s Fist” with a view to having it extracted in the Good Weekend and advertised for free on the advertisement-free ABC – like your book last night. What do you think?

Or do you believe that it is somewhat passé to dump on those who begot you when they are dead and cannot deny their frigidity or lust or snobbery or psychiatric disorders, and reckless use of a syringe (in view of the consequences involved)?

Yours sincerely

C- The Kennel
41 Phillip Street

Can you bear it graphic
Yes, We Had No Dictators – Michael Cathcart’s Regret

What a stunning performance by ABC house-leftie Michael Cathcart at the commencement of Episode 3 of Chris Masters’ documentary The Years That Made Us, which aired on ABC1 last Sunday.

This final segment was titled “Gathering Storms” and focused on Australia – and the world – in the 1930s. Early on there was footage of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (who came to power in 1922) and the German dictator Adolf Hitler (who came to power in 1933).

This is how Dr Cathcart (for a doctor he is) introduced the Gathering Storms episode:

Michael Cathcart: This is a time when countries all around the world are embracing political extremes. You know, when you’ve got Bolshevik revolutions, you’ve got fascism brewing. Mussolini’s already in power by this stage. Hitler will be in power by 1933. In Australia, we get Joe Lyons.

Michael Cathcart had the look of a man indicating that Joe Lyons was pretty hopeless. There was Australia without a pop-star dictator. You know, the Soviet Union had Stalin, Germany had Hitler, Italy had Mussolini. And in Australia – “we get Joe Lyons”. Shame. Just a former Tasmanian school teacher who quit the Labor Party at the time of the Great Depression and joined the political conservatives – becoming United Australia Party prime minister in January 1932.

Just how boring can a nation be? The Soviet Union, Germany and Italy had high profile dictators in the 1930s who were into mass murder to a greater or lesser extent. And in democratic Australia “we get Joe Lyons”. Can you bear it?
All Quiet on the Galloway Front in PVO’s Men’s Shed
Peter Van Onselen’s The Contrarians program on Sky News on Friday seems to have become part of the Men’s Shed movement. Week after week, PVO lines up a collection of blokes to comment on this or that. It’s hard to work out whether the program is current affairs or comedy. Certainly it was the latter during last Friday’s 5 pm version of The Contrarians, which featured Respect MP George Galloway.

The Scottish-born raving leftie was given a free kick since neither Peter Van Onselen nor panellists Tanveer Ahmed and Peter Bentley seemed to know enough to provide any opposition. This is what Gorgeous George had to say:

George Galloway : Many countries – your country, my country, Bangladesh – have polities which are tweedle dee and tweedle dum. Or as I put it more rudely, two cheeks to the same backside. [Much laughter from the panel]. And if the parties become no more than tweedle dee/tweedle dum – and they have a stranglehold for reasons of money and all sorts of other reasons on the polity – then this invites a politics of insurgency. In the case of poor world countries, army intervention.

Peter Van Onselen : Well there’s a bigger issue there isn’t it – I mean, at the end of the day, in prosperous western nations, the idea of inviting any sort of revolution is – goes against the realities of people’s economic conditions, certainly in a country like this.
George Galloway : Well I can’t speak for your country. But in the European context, parties of insurgency, like ours – I mean, I won last year the biggest electoral swing in the 20th and 21st century in Britain. And that means since democracy started in Britain, I won the biggest swing. Against all the other parties, a seven party race, I got 58 per cent of the vote.

Nobody on The Contrarians’ panel mentioned the fact that George Galloway is the member for Bradford West in Yorkshire. Galloway’s success has involved pandering to the Muslim vote. He would not get such a vote in any other constituency in Britain.

Nor did PVO and his fellow panellists mention that Galloway is a toady for various Arab dictators including President Assad in Syria and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon. Nor did anyone mention Gorgeous George’s fawning visit to the murderous dictator Saddam Hussein in 1994 when he said: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability”.

Moreover none of The Contrarians team raised with Gorgeous George his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006 when he dressed in a leotard and imitated a cat drinking milk from a saucer.

Can you bear it?

Phillip Adams: Can Tweet, Can’t Spell

It seems like a case of: Have Tweet – pity about the spelling. Last Sunday Phillip Adams’ continuing obsession with Gerard Henderson took the form of two tweets. Here they are:

▪ Phillip Adams ‏@PhillipAdams_1 7 Jul
Asking dick smith to sponsor searches for a.Lassister’s Lost Reef, b.the thylacine and c.anyone who actually likes Gerard Henderson

▪ Phillip Adams ‏@PhillipAdams_1 7 Jul
If we all say Nosredneh Drarag 3 times (it’s Gerard Henderson backwards ) he might disappear.

Wonderful stuff. There is only one (slight) problem. Even if you say “Nosredneh Drarag” three times – or even a score of times – it still does not spell Gerard Henderson backwards. Rather it refers to some guy called Garard – who, apparently, is a bestie of the more famous Gerund. Neither is any relation of Nancy’s (male) co-owner.

In any event, as one of Australia’s wealthiest socialists, the Man-In-Black should be able to fund searches of his own. Mr Adams should not need to rely on the resources of Dick Smith – Australia’s high profile environmentalist with the REALLY BIG carbon footprint (See Issue 98). Can you bear it?

History Corner
Chris Masters Mangles Menzies’ Memory
How strange that the ABC has set up a Fact Checking Unit to check the facts of others – but not the material which it presents as “fact”.

Here is another example. This is what presenter Chris Masters said close to the end of his ABC1 documentary The Years That Made Us.

Chris Masters: By the time Japan enters the war, Australia also has a new prime minister, John Curtin – and Labor forming government after Robert Menzies’ minority rule collapses.

No so. John Curtin became prime minister on 7 October 1941 – following the collapse of the minority Country-United Australia Party Government which was led by Arthur Fadden. Robert Menzies stepped down as prime minister on 29 August 1941 and was replaced by Fadden. It was the minority government, led by Arthur Fadden, which collapsed on 3 October 1941 when two Independents, who had supported the Coalition, crossed the floor and supported Labor led by John Curtin.

It is not clear that the two Independents would have crossed the floor if Menzies had still been prime minister. Hence it is misleading to state – as Chris Masters did – that Labor formed government after the collapse of the Menzies led minority government. In fact the minority government remained in office after Menzies stepped down as prime minister.

Coffee With Guy Rundle (Marxist Comedian)

Alas, unlike the ABC, MWD did not receive a $10 million taxpayer funded handout from the Commonwealth Government to set up a fact-checking unit. Unlike nice Mr Scott’s public broadcaster. Nevertheless Nancy has set up a small Empirical Testing Service (ETS) at the rear of her kennel and will check assertions from time to time.

Here is the first such venture. Over the last week or so, Crikey has been running contributions on its “Comments, Clarifications and C-ckups” segment about a “lunch” which Gerard Henderson had with Guy Rundle some years ago. There was no such occasion.

The facts are set out in Gerard Henderson’s note to Crikey, which was published on 3 July 2013.

Some years ago Guy Rundle invited Gerard Henderson to coffee at the Wentworth Sheraton (now Sofitel Wentworth) Hotel in Sydney. Guy Rundle arrived late and left Gerard Henderson with the bill.

Mr Rundle claims that he does not recall the occasion but does not deny that it took place. He used a response in Crikey to refer to Henderson and the word “grub” in the same sentence. How touching.

So that’s it. It was coffee – not lunch. Gerard Henderson agreed to the get-together since the Brighton Grammar School graduate is his favourite Marxist comedian. Guy Rundle used the occasion to suggest the he should be invited to address The Sydney Institute on social policy. How times change.

correspondence header caps

Re Jim Filshie, Gerard Henderson and ABC Appearances

This enormously popular segment of Media Watch Dog usually works like this. Someone gets it into their head that it would be a you-beaut idea to write to Nancy’s (male) co-owner about something or other. He replies. And, lo and behold, the correspondence is published (usually in its entirety) in MWD.

Gerard Henderson was still in the ABC’s Southbank studio on the Insiders set (with David Marr and George Megalogenis) last Sunday at 9.59 am when an email arrived from a certain Jim Filshie. Mr Filshie is wont to write to Mr Henderson when the spirit moves him. [Do you mean: The spirits move him? – Ed]. And so it came to pass that this happened last Sunday morning. Being a courteous kind of guy, Gerard Henderson replied. Here we go:

Jim Filshie to Gerard Henderson – 7 July 2013

Hi Mr. Henderson, me again… just watching you on Insiders this morning, I noticed that the left-wingers on the panel criticised Labor on a number of occasions whereas you fulfilled the conservative role of promoting Liberal policy on everything. I’m just raising this because you’re always on about ABC bias, but the only evidence of bias I saw this morning was you.

Take care,


Gerard Henderson To Jim Filshie – 9 July 2013

Mr Filshie

It was wonderful, just wonderful, to hear from you last Sunday. And what an obsession you have – Insiders had not even finished when you sent your email complaining that I had expressed “bias” on the program. This suggests that you only want commentators “on-the-couch” who agree with you.

In response, I make the following comments:

1. It is not true that on Insiders last Sunday, I “fulfilled the conservative role of promoting Liberal policy on everything”. For example, I complimented Tony Burke and praised the performance of Bob Hawke’s Labor government. I am unaware that either stance is consistent with what you call “Liberal policy”. By the way, when did either David Marr or George Megalogenis ever praise John Howard’s Coalition government? Over to you.

2. I do not recall ever using the word “bias” in connection with the ABC. However, it is possible that the word may have been used by a sub-editor as a heading for my Sydney Morning Herald column on one or more occasions.

3. My position on the ABC is that it is a Conservative-Free-Zone. No one has contradicted my claim that there is not one conservative presenter or producer or editor on any one of the ABC’s main television or radio or online productions. That’s just a fact. If you dispute it – just name the names.

The fact is that there is more political diversity on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News than there is on the Australian taxpayer funded broadcaster. Fox News employs some left-liberal regular commentators on its main programs. The ABC employs no conservative regular commentators on its main programs.

4. I note that, in previous correspondence, you have said it is appropriate that “ABC journos tend to be a bit left”. I also note that you seem upset that someone like me can get a run every now and then on Insiders. In my view, Insiders works because it presents a diversity of political opinions.

In any event, stay calm. Over the last decade I have appeared on Insiders about half-a-dozen times a year. This is about the only main ABC program on which I appear. I have been on Q&A or its predecessor Difference of Opinion twice in the last seven years. I have not appeared on a Lateline debate or on The World Today for around five years. It is eons since I last appeared on AM or PM or Radio National Breakfast or Late Night Live or the 702 Mornings and Drive programs or News Breakfast. I have never been invited to appear on The Drum.

I am not saying that I would accept invitations to appear on all or any of the above. I am just making the point that conservatives like me get very few invitations from the ABC.

In conclusion, your concern about my occasional appearances on Insiders is unwarranted. The fact is that, over the past six years, I have appeared on main ABC programs about once every two months. Even if I were a dispenser of “bias”, I could not do much damage to your view that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster should be the preserve of the left.

By the way, in your previous email you suggested that the diversity of views heard at The Sydney Institute imitated that of Q&A. I leave aside the fact that Q&A has at least a 3/2 centre left/centre-right “balance” each week. But I do make the point that The Sydney Institute commenced operations in 1989 – around two decades before Q&A got under way.

Best wishes – and remember to stay calm.

Gerard Henderson

Jim Filshie sent a somewhat longish response in which he claimed that Gerard Henderson was keeping a file on him. [Why would anyone want to do this – and where would he/she put it? – Ed]. Mr Filshie also raised a number of extraneous issues and declared that he would have to be paid a lot of money to watch Fox News. [Have you thought of commencing an appeal? – Ed]. Er, that’s about it. By the way, Jim Filshie could not name one conservative presenter or producer or editor on any of the ABC’S main television or radio or online outlets.


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

– Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 2 July 2013 (favourited by Virginia Trioli)

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

– Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 7 May 2013

“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.

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