GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG – ISSUE NO. 216
7 March 2014



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 GRAPHIC

    MORE ABC SPIN ON THE ABC

    What a wonderful statement by an anonymous ABC “spokesman” on the ABC 1 Lateline program last night [Shouldn’t that, in ABC speak, be spokesperson? – Ed]. The comment followed presenter Tony Jones’ report of Justice Robert Beech-Jones’ decision in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday that Australian columnist Chris Kenny can sue the ABC for defamation.

    Mr Kenny, so far unsuccessfully, has sought an apology from the ABC for a skit by The Chaser Boys (average age 381/2) which depicted Chris Kenny having sex with a dog. The (alleged) humour took place on The Hampster Decides in the aftermath of the September 2013 election which ushered in what some in the ABC regard as the Abbott Clerical-Fascist Dictatorship and which made The Chaser Boys really, really sad – and ready to lash out at such perceived Coalition supporters as Chris Kenny.

    The anonymous ABC spokesman was reported by Lateline to have said that the ABC “had no choice but to defend the matter given that Chris Kenny went ahead with the action”.

    This is just (more) ABC rationalisation – which reflects the ABC mindset of refusing to apologise or make corrections. In fact, the ABC could have chosen to apologise to Chris Kenny – in which case the legal action would not have gone ahead and the taxpayer funded public broadcaster would not have the need to use taxpayer funds defending itself and The Chaser Boys (Average Age 381/2).

    But the costs are mounting already since the taxpayer funded Rob Simpson (the ABC’s director of legal and business affairs) used taxpayer funds to engage a Senior Counsel to appear for the ABC in the NSW Supreme Court.


    MWDEXCLUSIVE

    WHEN ABC CHAIRMAN DICK DOWNING CALLED ON AUSTRALIANS TO “UNDERSTAND” PEDERASTY

    Right now there is a controversy in Britain about the Paedophile Information Exchange which existed in the 1970s and 1980s.

    It so happens that the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) was affiliated with the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL). And it so happens that leading figures in the NCCL at the time included Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt – both of whom became leading members of the recent Labour government – along with former Labour Party treasurer Jack Dromey. Ms Harman is currently deputy leader of the Labour Party and Mr Dromey is currently Labour’s shadow minister for policing.

    This issue has received widescale publicity in the British media. It has been covered by Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times and Toby Young in The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph – as well as in The Sun, the Daily Mail and on the BBC Newsnight program – where, in an embarrassing performance, Ms Harman told interviewer Laura Keunssberg that a “politically motivated smear campaign” has been launched against her.

    In March 1976, the NCCL issued a press release calling for the age of consent to be lowered to age 10. Yes, ten years old. No one thought at the time that women would be interested in 10 year old boys or girls. The NCCL, then, was campaigning on behalf of adult men who wanted to have sex with male and/or female children. In March 1976, Patricia Hewitt was the NCCL’S general secretary and Jack Dromey was on the NCCL’s executive committee. Harriet Harman was the NCCL’s legal affairs officer between 1978 and 1982. According to Tony Young, the Paedophile Information Exchange itself advocated that the age of consent should be lowered to four years old. Neither Harman, nor Hewitt nor Dromey saw this as a reason why NCCL should disaffiliate the PIE.

    That was Britain in the 1970s and the 1980s. It was much the same in Australia – with even the ABC chairman Richard Downing (1915-1975) proclaiming that pederasts, that is men who want to have sex with boys, should be understood.

    The story is documented, surprisingly in a dispassionate way, by K.J. Inglis in his book The Australian Broadcasting Commission 1932-1983 (MUP, 1983) – from which the account below is drawn. This is what Ken Inglis wrote about how the ABC’s Lateline (then a radio program) in 1975 covered the issue of adult men who wanted to have sex with young boys :

    On 14 July 1975…[Allan] Ashbolt’s department devoted Lateline… to a subject never before discussed on the ABC and seldom, perhaps, canvassed in quite this way anywhere in the world except privately and in “alternative” media. As the ABC described the programme: “Pederasty, as defined by the Penguin English Dictionary, is the homosexual relationship of a man with a boy. The subject usually creates feelings of revulsion and disgust within most people. The issues raised by such relationships are discussed by three pederasts” [on the Lateline program].

    And so they were, without any criticism beyond what the contributors offered of each other, as when two attacked the third for treating boys as mere sex objects.

    ABC’s chairman, Professor Richard Downing wrote to The Sydney Morning Herald on 19 July 1975 defending Lateline’s pederasty program – in which one pederast essentially agreed with a second pederast who essentially agreed with a third pederast who essentially agreed with the first pederast who essentially agreed with himself that it was okay for adult men to have sex with young boys.

    This is what Richard Downing (who was appointed ABC chairman by Gough Whitlam’s Labor government) had to say in 1975 about pederasty and all that – as told to readers of The Sydney Morning Herald :

    …the phenomenon of pederasty seems appropriate for public discussion in a society which, if it is to be open, democratic and responsible, needs also to understand the diverse natures of the people who compose that society…. The ABC does not seek to offend but only to enlighten. To quote from a report to the British Independent Broadcasting Authority: “Society may remain civilised only if the individual learns to abhor the results of uncivilised behaviour – even though the learning process can be upsetting to him.”

    So there you have it. Just four decades ago, the chairman of the ABC said that we all needed to “understand” pederasts and equated an understanding of pederasty with an enlightened society. And the leftist Allan Ashbolt – who was responsible for mentoring such young ABC leftist “stars” as Jon (Darce) Cassidy, Peter Fry, Malcolm Long, Gillian Waite and Marius Webb – believed that pederasts should be given a platform on the taxpayer funded broadcaster to advance their cause and be understood by their fellow citizens.

    How strange that, in the 1970s, the ABC was promoting the needs of Australians to “understand” pederasts but that in the early 21st Century the ABC campaigned against the very evil that it had once advocated.

    In Britain, Patricia Hewitt has apologised for her one time support for lowering the age of consent to age 10. Will anyone at the public broadcaster in Australia apologise for the fact that four decades ago the ABC chairman called on Australians to “understand the culture” of men who wanted to have sex with young children?

    [Interesting. You must return to this topic next week. As I recall, your hippie Richard Neville had something to say about paedophiles in his book Play Power – Ed.]

    Professor Richard Downing’s letter to the Sydney Morning Herald of 19 July 1975 is set out below – for posterity, of course:

    ABC head defends the Lateline show July 1975


    Can you bear it graphic

    ● PROFESSOR SHEILA FITZPATRICK ON BUSY MR STALIN

    Many thanks to one of MWD’s avid Canberra readers who provided advice about a public lecture to be delivered by Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick at the Australian National University next Thursday. [I can hardly wait – Ed].

    Dr Fitzpatrick (for a doctor she is) will speak on the topic: “Stalin and ‘Abroad’: Soviet Attitudes to Foreigners and the West in the Pre-War Period”. This is the flyer being used to promote the learned professor’s forthcoming lecture:

    Stalin and his Politburo team were intensely suspicious of foreigners. This was not just on the general principle that capitalist Europe wanted to crush the upstarts who had made a revolution in Russia in 1917. It was also because the Stalin group, mainly former Bolshevik underground workers of lower-class origins, lacked the European experience and knowledge of foreign languages of their main political opponents in the 1920s, cosmopolitan former émigré intellectuals like Trotsky and Zinoviev.

    Members of the Stalin team rarely travelled abroad, and it was not until the Second World War that Stalin, Molotov and their Politburo colleagues had direct personal contacts with Western statesmen.

    Yet throughout the 1920s and ‘30s, despite their extremely busy lives, most of them plugged away at home study of English and German, part of personal self-education programs that included going to the opera and keeping up with contemporary literature and the arts. This lecture explores the unique mix of inferiority consciousness and malicious bravado that Stalin and Molotov brought to the field of international diplomacy, their suspicions of foreigners resident in the Soviet Union, and their urgent desire to impress the outside world, not only with Soviet power and resolve but also with its mastery of high culture.

    How about that? Team Stalin did lead “extremely busy lives” in the 1920s and 1930s. As you would – if you had to establish gulags, organise purges, initiate a forced famine in Ukraine and sign death warrants with two hands (to save time). And just think about Vyacheslav Molotov – who had to find time to get together with Joachim Von Ribbentrop and sign the Nazi Soviet Pact in August 1939. How busy can you get?

    Yet, as Dr Fitzpatrick would have us believe, Busy Mr Stalin and Busy Mr Molotov used to engage in the “home study” of English and German while going to the opera and keeping up with contemporary literature and the arts. [They sound like the type of “lighthouse consumers” whom Morry Schwartz is trying to get to subscribe to The Saturday Paper. Just a thought. – Ed].

    Such home study made it possible for Team Stalin to display “malicious bravado” in “international diplomacy”. Could Professor Fitzpatrick have the Hitler-Stalin Pact in mind? Can you bear it?

    ● HOW THE TSAR WAS MURDERED – DON’T READ ABOUT IT IN THE SMH

    While on the topic of Russia, which was once part of the Soviet Union, did anyone read the “Russia Beyond The Headlines (RBTH)” feature which was embedded in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday? It carried a statement by Vladimir Morozov, Russia’s Ambassador to Australia, justifying Russia’s recent actions with respect to Ukraine. Enough said.

    Nancy’s (male) co-owner’s favourite page was titled “History” and headed “Royal family’s sporting life gives glimpse of healthy competition”. It was all about the Russian tsars and sport. Read all about how Empress Elizabeth was into rowing while Emperor Nicholas I favoured gymnastics and Emperor Alexander II was into cycling but Emperor Nicholas II was into tennis.

    Fascinating, don’t you think? It’s just that the author of the piece – a certain Georgy Manaev – did not get around to mentioning that Nicholas II, his wife and children were all murdered by the Bolsheviks at Ekaterinburg (now Sverdlovsk) in 1918. As to Stalin, well, Manaev declared that he was tops at bowling. Can you bear it?

    THE SMH’S WHITE AUSTRALIA BEAT-UP

    MWD Issue 215 featured Richard Ackland’s column titled “Welcome back to the days of White Australia”.

    A Sydney based avid MWD reader has forwarded a screen-shot of the very same article as it appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

    scott morrison white australia

    1. http://www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/pdf/report-on-migration-program-2012-13.pdf -Page 5

    2. http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/statistics/immigration-update/australia_offshore_humanitarian_prog_2012-13.pdf -Page 20

    Needless to say, the above links do not support the Herald’s assertion. Australia’s major source countries for skilled migration in 2012-13 were India, China and the United Kingdom. Moreover, according to the available figures, in 2012-13 refugees who were granted visas under the Australian humanitarian program were mostly from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

    It seems that the Herald on-line’s White Australia beat-up was just misleading click-bait. Can you bear it?

    THE AGE’S SECTARIAN BEAT-UP

    The pre-selection for the Liberal Party Victorian seat of Kew was an old-style rank and file ballot. The local Tim Smith defeated the Liberal MP for Doncaster Mary Wooldridge by a clear margin.

    Yet, according to Richard Willingham’s report in The Age last Monday, Tim Smith prevailing over Ms Wooldridge was all due to the weekend influence of social conservatives – presumably conservative Catholics and other Christians. According to The-Guardian-on-the-Yarra’s state political correspondent:

    It is understood that some campaigning against Ms Wooldridge focused on the fact she voted to decriminalise abortion in 2008. The Kew branch is considered socially conservative.

    Mr Willingham’s sources for this assertion were the all-too-familiar “many MPs”, “one senior Liberal” and “some”. But it was good enough for a Page 1 lead in The Age. Can you bear it?


    saturdaypaper

    ERIK JENSEN CHANNELS NANCY

    Erik Jensen, editor of The Saturday Paper, is on record as describing 60s-something men as “old”. (See MWD Issue 210). Mr Jensen works for Black Inc proprietor Morry Schwartz, who was born in March 1948.

    Erik (“I work for an old man”) Jensen wrote the somewhat pretentious editorial which appeared in the inaugural editor of The Saturday Paper dated 1-7 March 2014. However, in the final paragraph, Erik Jensen moved from pretention to identity theft. This is what he wrote :

    Fundamentally, The Saturday Paper is about permission: Permission for a country to look at itself unselfconsciously; for writers to tell stories that are ignored elsewhere, in ways that challenge orthodoxy; permission to question authority and provoke debate, to round up an issue, to yap and growl and demand we be better. We promise to be a small but handsome mongrel, a blue heeler cross of the press.

    So there you have it. Morry Schwartz, Erik Jensen and the like will provide “permission” – per courtesy of The Saturday Paper – for Australians to write about Australia. Well, thanks for that. And Erik Jensen now regards himself as a “handsome mongrel, a blue heeler cross of the press”.

    This is Erik Jensen – he’s no blue heeler. For starters, his hair is too long.

    FakeBlueHeeler

    And this is Nancy – she is both a blue heeler and a truly gorgeous mongrel.

    TrueBlueHeeler

    For the rest, The Saturday Paper featured a typical round-up of leftist sandalistas. Including David Marr (on George Pell, of course), Mike Seccombe (who regards Tony Abbott as having serious character flaws), Steve Dow, Christos Tsiolkas and Richard Flanagan. It won’t be long before Robert Manne (one of Morry Schwartz’s besties) makes an appearance. As “Cut & Paste” in The Australian pointed out last Monday, 9 out of 12 stories in the inaugural issue of The Saturday Paper were critical of Tony Abbott and the Coalition.

    Last Saturday’s lead story – by Sophie Morris on Manus Island detention centre – did not contain a news lead and could have appeared a week earlier. Or, perhaps, a week later.

    As befits a publication aimed at lighthouse consuming[sic] inner-city leftists, The Saturday Paper contained advertisements for Rolex watches, Mercedes Benz cars, Harrold luxury department stores for men along with luxury homes in “Melbourne’s prestigious Alphington”. There was an advertisement for Tasmania featured on the back page of The Saturday Paper and also as a “flyer” – apparently advertising Mona, Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art which is funded from the profits of gambling. [Great. At least Mona is not taxpayer funded – Ed].

    This is the front page of the Mona flyer, brought to you by Young Erik and Old Morry per courtesy of The Saturday Paper.

    engine of shit

    Enough said. Or perhaps not.


    five paws graphic

    STEP FORWARD TROY BRAMSTON

    While on the topic of The Saturday Paper, this is what journalist and former Labor Party, parliamentary staffer Troy Bramston had to say about Morry Schwartz’s (print) baby in his Australian column last Monday:

    Where The Saturday Paper fits into this growing diversity of media outlets was evident after a cursory flick through its slim 32 pages. This is a publication that caters to the narrow green-Left fringe audience clustered around the affluent inner-city suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

    Its coverage was predictable: Australia’s bipartisan and “barbaric” asylum-seeker policy, mooted savage budget cuts that could force up the cost of medicines, another of David Marr’s tedious critiques of George Pell, an account of “embattled” Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash, among other polemics.

    The Saturday Paper is not a paper for Coalition voters. But nor will it find an audience among the vast swaths of Labor voters living in the outer suburbs of the major cities. They too will be alienated by its content…. The Saturday Paper is likely to rival only one other weekly newspaper: Green Left Weekly. After all, they are chasing the same audience and offer the same ignorant, moralistic and simplistic worldview.

    Troy Bramston also identified the only “joke” in The Saturday Paper’s inaugural issue. Namely, the description of Byron Bay-based superannuated leftie Mungo MacCallum – who gave up his journalistic career some three decades ago – as “one of the most influential and entertaining political journalists”. Good one, Morry. Good one, Erik. And well done Troy for identifying the humour.

    Troy Bramston – Five Paws. [Troy Bramston’s a bit harsh on your man MacCallum, don’t you think? Mungo Man can be really humourous – as when he agreed with his partner Jenny Garrett’s assessment that he drank heaps, only because he had been driven to a drop or more by having to live in the reality of a John Howard Fascist Dictatorship (Good Weekend, February 2005) – Ed]


    nancy's pick graphic

    ON THE LITERARY NOSE WITH JENNIFER BYRNE

    Like all canines, Nancy likes nothing better than a really big SMELL followed by an enormous SNIFF. Or a discussion about the same. What a thrill, then, when The Book Club on ABC 1 got around to discussing smells – or sniffs – towards the end of the program last Tuesday.

    As usual, Jennifer Byrne was in the presenter’s chair and the panellists were comedian Kate Langbroek, The Age’s literary editor Jason Steger, author and commentator Marieke Hardy (who is always telling us that she is the – meaning “a” – granddaughter of the one-time Stalinist Frank Hardy) and crime fiction writer Michael Robotham.

    Kate Langbroek was invited to kick off the “favourite book” segment. She chose Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York (Picador, 2009).

    Mr Steger soon related how “the other day at work someone was walking past” and he said: “Oh you smell really nice” and she turned and said “Burberry”. Mr Steger works at “The Guardian on the Yarra” which constantly experiences the aroma of the Yarra’s left bank. Age journalists, apparently, talk about little else than scent.

    Jason Steger pointed out that Chandler Burr particularly dislikes people with moustaches who smoke. Especially if they are Spanish women. At which point, Ms Byrne was quick to point out: “At least it’s not sexist – it’s just generally”. So, that’s okay, then.

    This was followed by a sense of primary school sniggering by Jason and Marieke and Michael and Kate who teased one another as to who would read out a memorable passage from The Perfect Scent. Hardy and Byrne expressed some criticisms of the book while Langbroek and Steger were generally supportive.

    As the discussion continued, the tone lowered. Let’s go to the transcript:

    Michael Robotham: [The Perfect Scent] …. did lead me to one of the most entertaining afternoons of my life at the David Jones perfume counter.

    Jennifer Byrne: Well, there you go.

    Michael Robotham: Where I was talking to these women – I nearly got myself arrested when I said to a woman did she think this perfume had an undertone of fresh sperm?

    [Much mutual laughter]

    Eventually Ms Hardy got to read the really sought after bit:

    Marieke Hardy: Can I please, please read it? Please can I read it? I’ve read this aloud to so many. I would call up strangers and read this. I would get arrested next. Okay, this is about an animalistic scent. “It is one of the most astounding smells you will ever experience. It is, to put it most precisely, the rich, thick scent of the anus of a clean man combined with the smells of his warm skin, his armpits sometime around midday, the head of his ripely scented uncircumcised penis, a trace of ammonia and the sweetish, nutty, acrid, visceral smell of his breath. There’s simply no other way to describe it”. I don’t want to smell like that. I mean, I’m sure it’s delicious. But I –

    Jennifer Byrne: And that’s one he liked!

    Marieke Hardy: Yeah, he loves that.

    Jennifer Byrne: He loves that.

    Marieke Hardy: It’s a rich, clean anus.

    Kate Langbroek: That’s not a surprise, is it?

    Jason Steger: He does say later on, he does say : “The smell of clean anus turns out to be extremely helpful in perfume”.

    Marieke Hardy: He loves it. Yes.

    Jason Steger: And let me go on: “In trace amounts it deepens and enriches floral scents, it fleshes out green scents Jacques Guerlain – this is a man who was creating perfumes as recently as the 1950s – famously said that all of his perfumes contained, somewhere inside them, the smell of the underside of his mistress. He was referring to all three holes.”

    [Much mutual laughter]

    Jason Steger: I mean, what a way to write about –

    Marieke Hardy: I know! That, I think, is quite sexy. But straight after that it says: “The smell of shit is crucial to any high quality chocolate scent.”

    Kate Langbroek: Okay, so now try and tell me you didn’t freaking’ enjoy the book!

    [Much mutual laughter]

    Kate Langbroek: Oh my God. You [Jason Steger] had to punctuate that by taking your glasses off.

    Jason Steger: Well, they were steaming up.

    Jennifer Byrne: I’ve gotta say –

    At this stage, everyone started talking over everyone else – and the discussion got even worse. Some highlights:

    ▪ Kate Langbroek declared that “all these people slothing around in a pair of thongs trying to cover up the stench of their unfreshly washed anus – it’s amazing.” [Much mutual laughter]

    ▪ Jason Steger declared “Which Sarah Jessica Parker would clearly like” and

    ▪ Kate Langbroek responded: “She would go mad for it. The musk! The musk!”

    ▪ Jason Steger then described perfume making as “a secret world” which Chandler Burr regards as a “gulag”. Really.

    Soon after, fortunately, Jennifer Byrne declared “And that is our club for another month – our first month for 2014.” Stand by for more on-the-nose book discussions funded by your taxes next month.


    correspondence header caps

    – WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM STEPHEN BARTOS IN CANBERRA

    This highly popular segment of Media Watch Dog usually works like this. Someone or other comes to the opinion that it would be a you-beaut idea to write to Nancy’s (male) co-owner about something or other. And Hendo, being a courteous kind of guy, replies. Then, hey presto, the entire correspondence is published – in unedited form – in MWD. Much to the delight of MWD’s tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of avid readers.

    This week Stephen Bartos wrote to Gerard Henderson – in both “dismayed” and “disappointed” mode. And Hendo responded – in both calm and considered mode. Here we go:

    Stephen Bartos to Gerard Henderson – 3 March 2014

    Dear Gerard

    I am dismayed and disappointed by your reaction in your latest Media Watch Dog to my comments on 7.30 Report.

    You must know that only portions of a pre-recorded interview are broadcast.

    I agree with you completely that the Rudd and Gillard governments failed to get the fiscal house in order and could/should have done more, and I also said something on that. The other important set of comments on structural budget problems related to the unsustainability of healthcare expenditure, also not broadcast.

    The interview I gave was in no way negative about the present government, and indeed amongst other things I said that it was great that they had made a start on tackling the problem and their approach was commendable (or words to that effect – because they too were cut, I can’t remember precisely).

    As to your drawing on a Crikey article from August, I was asked to write in that piece about the constitutional/governance implications if there were to be a hung parliament. Nowhere did I predict that this would happen. I did indicate that polls at the time were suggesting it – the reason they asked me write the piece – but this is a fact rather than a prediction. I have never, and never will, make election predictions, and have no claims to be a psephologist.

    All the more puzzling you would want to stick the boot in because I am on The Sydney Institute mailing list, have supported events of yours in the past, and I think you would find we would probably agree on budget matters.

    Kind regards

    Stephen Bartos

    Gerard Henderson to Stephen Bartos – 5 March 2014

    Dear Stephen

    I refer to your email re my comments about you in last Friday’s Media Watch Dog.

    I am surprised that you are so sensitive to criticism. MWD is an irreverent take on the media and those who appear in it. You understand how television works. If you agree to do a pre-recorded interview with 7.30, you should expect that 7.30 will edit your comments to fit the journalist’s, or the producer’s, thesis.

    This is the first comment which 7.30 ran from you on Tuesday 25 February 2014:

    Stephen Bartos, Executive Director, ACIL Allen Consulting: The budget’s unsustainable basically because all of us in Australia got income tax cuts at the height of the mining boom, so the Howard government introduced a succession, budget after budget, of income tax cuts when we were getting heaps of money in from the mining boom.

    As you know, I was never a deputy secretary of the Finance Department. But this comment seems radically superficial to me – implying, as it does, that all of Australia’s current economic discontents are due to the Howard government’s tax cuts. It is true that in the 7.30 interview you also made reference to “a lot of government expenditure that was put in place when the mining boom was in its throes”. However, you made no specific reference to the Rudd and Gillard governments.

    I am only aware of what you said on 7.30 – I have no idea of any comment you might have made which did not make it to air.

    I do not understand how you can be “dismayed and disappointed” when I quoted you accurately. As far as I am aware, you did not complain to 7.30 that your views had been taken out of context.

    You seem to think that it’s quite okay for you to bag the likes of John Howard and Peter Costello on national television – but not at all okay for me to criticise what you were (accurately) reported to have said about the Howard/Costello government.

    It’s much the same with your August 2013 article in Crikey. If you don’t want to be quoted theorising about the possibility of a hung parliament – then don’t accept invitations from Crikey to write about this topic. Just say no.

    You only have to re-read the final paragraphs of your Crikey piece of 5 August 2013 to realise that it was not worth writing. This is how you ended your piece:

    Voters probably expect the members of Parliament they elect to have at least some passing interest in governing the country. Refusal to govern by the party with the most seats, especially if that also were the party with the largest number of votes, might backfire.

    If an Abbott refusal to make deals in order to govern precipitated a new election, voters would have an interesting choice. Would they reward the Coalition for sticking to its principles, or punish it for being too high-minded for its own good? We have never been there, so the question is hypothetical, but one suspects voters might prefer pragmatism over the inconvenience of an extra election.

    Abbott’s insistence on not forming minority government is an element of Coalition electoral strategy at this point of the campaign but creates a hostage for the future. In the event of a hung Parliament the promise will make life more difficult for the Governor-General in determining who has the best claims to govern, and more difficult for the Coalition in determining who is best to lead them.

    It is not “sticking in the boot” for me to criticise such speculative nonsense – in what was, after all, a light-hearted comment in MWD.

    I understand that you are on Anne Henderson’s media mailing list – you can be removed from this if you like.

    I guess we probably do agree on many budget matters. Where we have a different approach is this. If I say something deserving of criticism, I expect to be criticised. But if you say something deserving of criticism, you expect to be ignored. Especially by Nancy’s (male) co-owner. But Media Watch Dog seldom sleeps and is always on the look-out for cant and hyperbole.

    Best wishes

    Gerard Henderson


     

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

    – Jonathan Green via Twitter, 8 February 2014

    “[Gerard Henderson is] a sclerotic warhorse, unhelpful to debate, unwilling to think…a wonderful study in delusion…ideologically-constipated.”

    – Erik Jensen, editor of Morry Schwartz’s The Saturday Paper [forthcoming], 23 November 2013

    “The last time Gerard Henderson smiled was in 1978, when he saw a university student being mauled by a pitbull.”

    – Ben Pobjie, via Twitter, 13 October 2013 [Editor’s Note: Mr “Why Can’t I Score an

    Invite on Q&A?” Pobjie is wrong. In fact, the year was 1977 and the dog was a blue-heeler – like Nancy]

    “I think Henderson is seriously ill. There’s enough there for an entire convention of psychiatrists.”

    – Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton (after Pre-Dinner Drinks tweet to Jeff Sparrow), 8 October 2013

    “Wrong, you got caught out, off to Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog for you!”

    – Tim Wilson tweet to Jonathan Green and Virginia Trioli, 8 October 2013.

    “Nancy as ever will be the judge”

    – Jonathan Green to Tim Wilson and Virginia Trioli (conceding to the arbitral authority of Nancy), 8 October 2013

    [Gerard Henderson’s analysis of the ABC] is absolutely simplistic.”

    – ABC managing director Mark Scott talking to ABC presenter Jonathan Green on ABC Radio National Drive, 2 May 2013.

    “Oh my God; you’re as bad as Gerard Henderson.”

    – Dr Peter Van Onselen (for a doctor he is), The Contrarians, Sky News, 20 September 2013.

    “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, keep morale high.