GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG – ISSUE NO. 273
12 JUNE 2015



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

    7.30’s (FUNDING) DOUBLE STANDARD

    What a remarkable report by Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop (he of what Paul Keating calls the “hyphenated name set”) on 7.30 last night. Discussion turned on the regional summit on terrorism which is currently taking place in Sydney.

    Let’s go to the transcript where, after pointing out that some Muslim groups had refused to attend the summit, Mr R-D continued:

    Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop: Other Muslim leaders were keen to make the journey, including Hass Dellal who’s received Government funding to run national counter radicalisation workshops.

    Hass Dellal, Australian Multicultural Foundation: We’ve received two lots of money over the last couple of years. And it’s all gone into our prevention programs. To the tune of, you know I think each program is about $100,000.
    But, you know what that program has done today has trained 132 volunteers, has been delivered to five to 600 people in terms of information sessions which looks at, you know, what are the warning signs?

    Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop: Hass Dellal runs workshops to teach families, police and community workers the warning signs of radicalisation. But programs like these are few and far between. The Government recently handed out $1.6 million for counter radicalisation projects. However, most haven’t yet got off the ground and some of Australia’s biggest Muslim and Arab groups are refusing to work with the program.

    Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop’s line seemed to be that attention should be given to the fact that the Commonwealth government provides financial support to some Muslim groups. The implication was that accepting tax-payers money somehow taints the grants. Why? The Commonwealth government provides $1 billion to the ABC – and it does not have one conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets. So, clearly, there is no co-relation between an organisation accepting government money and supporting government causes.

    LATELINE’S YOU-BEAUT ANTI-JIHADIST IDEA

    Meanwhile on Lateline last night, presenter Tony Jones interviewed two summit attendees – Abdul-Rehman Malik and Daisy Khan. It was one of those familiar ABC discussions where everyone essentially agrees with everyone else – and someone finds time to criticise Tony Abbott and the Coalition government.

    Then, towards the end of the discussion, Abdul-Rehman Malik ran the line – which was stated by David Marr on Insiders on 31 May – that it would be a you-beaut idea to reward so-called disillusioned foreign fighters who return from the battlefield in Iraq/Syria by inviting them to lecture their brothers/sisters why they should not do jihad. Let’s go to the transcript:

    Tony Jones: Briefly, do you sense that – well you’ve seen pretty much the Australian response, and the Prime Minister came out today and once again underlined Islamic State is out to get you, essentially, and we’re going to do more to sort of restrain citizenship. Are we going about it the wrong way?

    Abdul-Rehman Malik: Frankly, it doesn’t sound right. And I think some of that language, the death cult language, the language of taking away citizenship, I think it’s headed in the wrong direction and remember there’s going to be kids and it’s already happening, who’ve gone out there, who survived, and who want to come back.
    Don’t take their citizenship away. They could be our best allies. The rehabilitation engagement as is happening in Denmark, and in other countries – in the Netherlands, where people are coming back from the brink, we’re coming back from Raqqa, coming back from the front are being engaged with in a meaningful way, they’re going to be our best allies, they are going to be the best ambassadors to say, “You think you’re creating a utopian society out there? You’re not. I’ve seen it, its hell; let’s not go down that route.”

    Watching this last night, Hendo immediately threw the switch to positive – in a “moving forward” kind of way – and drew up a day’s itinerary for a jihadist of the Prodigal Son genre.

    A Day In The Life Of A Returning-Jihadist as visualised by Hendo

    Sparrows: Wake up at Four Seasons’ five-star hotel on Circular Quay.

    7.45 am: Interview with Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly on ABC Radio National Breakfast. Tell Ms Kelly how, after a dozen or so occasions, decapitating Shia Muslims and Christians becomes just so boring and you plan to tell Sunni Islamists that they should not do what you did.

    8.15 am: Breakfast with Nice Mr Scott and Jim (‘A little bit of sharia is quite okay’) Spigelman at ABC Ultimo headquarters. Propose a program titled “This Ex-Jihadist Tonight” to go to air at 8 pm on ABC 1, ABC 2, ABC 3, ABC Kids or ABC News 24. The ABC chairman and managing director will be sympathetic to your pitch. If rejected, try SBS One, SBS Two and SBS Three tomorrow.

    9.30 am: Lecture at the University of Technology, Sydney on the topic “Why I favoured suicide/homicide attacks for others but not for myself”. Brothers up the front; sisters down the back. No hanky panky.

    11 am: Fairfax Media interview with Paul McGeough. It is expected that Mr McGeough will lead questions along the lines that there will be peace in the Middle East provided Israel packs up.

    1 pm: Lunch at Lakemba with Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar.

    3 pm: Lecture at the University of Sydney hosted by Professor Jake Lynch. Topic: “Shia Muslims I have killed and won’t kill again”. Bros up the front, sisters at the back. Remember not to mention ISIS’s position on sexual slavery in case the acoustics are good and you can be heard down the back.

    4.30 pm Interview with Green Left Weekly and Mike Seccombe from The [Boring] Saturday Paper. It is expected that you will be questioned about how the Abbott Clerical Fascist dictatorship alienates young Sunni Islamists and causes them to rape and plunder in Shia Muslim lands.

    5.30 pm: Gin-and-tonic with Mike Carlton. But without the gin. Pass around anti-semitic cartoons which might illustrate his column if he ever returns to the Sydney Morning Herald.

    7 pm: Briefing with David Marr. Explain why, even in your jihadist days, you never really intended to cut his throat. Really and truly.

    8 pm: Talk to a special session of the “Not-So-Dangerous Ideas” series at the Sydney Opera House. Chairman Dr Simon Longstaff (for a doctor he is). Topic: “Why Polygamy is a beaut idea – especially for bros”. Brothers up the front – their (many) wives down the back.

    9.30 pm: Appear as special guest panellist on Q&A. Expect a standing ovation from the audience at any time – but especially when you criticise the Prime Minister.

    11 pm: Return to Four Seasons Hotel. Dream of beheading a dozen or so Kafirs in your jihadist days. Look forward to a business class trip to Melbourne tomorrow for an appearance at a special gathering of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival set followed by a prayer meeting with the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne. Remember to wear sandals and speak well of Che Guevara.


    mauricenewman

    IN WHICH MEDIA TART NICHOLAS REECE (MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY) CITES SELECTIVE MATERIAL FROM TODAY’S NEWSPAPERS

    Does Melbourne University media tart – and former Julia Gillard staffer – Nicholas Reece never sleep?

    There he was on Paul Murray Live at 9 pm last night banging on about Tony Abbott – closing time 10 pm. And there he was on ABC News Breakfast this morning doing the “Newspapers” gig – arrival time 6 am.

    It turned out to be one of those occasions where everyone agreed with everyone else on the need to act dangerous on climate change in an ABC kind of way. Presenter Michael Rowland agreed with Nicholas Reece who agreed with Kumi Taguchi who agreed with Nicholas Reece who agreed with himself that Prime Minister Tony Abbott was wrong yesterday to criticise windfarms or doubt the one-true Renewable Energy Target faith. Let’s go to the transcript:

    Nicholas Reece: So this time on the program he’s come out and said that he would like to have wound back the Renewable Energy Target even further than it has been and secondly he questioned the science around windfarms, saying that reports by the National Health and Medical Research Commission [sic] saying that windfarms don’t pose any health problems –

    Michael Rowland: The Age is one of many papers leading with this story this morning.

    Nicholas Reece: Indeed, so firstly he’s questioning the health risks around windfarms, he thinks that there are concerns again going against his own peak scientific body. And then secondly, he’s saying that he’d like to see less windfarms and would have liked to have seen the RET wound back. Obviously the renewable energy industry is up in arms about that today. And you know many advocates for further investment in renewables, making that shift from fossil fuels to solar and wind, are very concerned as well.

    Kumi Taguchi: And of course talking about the winding back of the RET. Linking it directly to reducing the number of wind turbines out there saying – oh, if we wind it back we wouldn’t need so many of them. But again, as Michael said, led on to that question really by Alan Jones and that radio interview.

    Nicholas Reece: Yes, I mean look this is a very big challenge facing Australia. I think mainstream Australia would accept that you can’t have 7 billion humans on the earth continuing to consume coal fired electricity at the rate they are. We do need to make a transition as a species and as an economy and renewable energy’s the way to do that. But here’s the Prime Minister questioning incentives that are encouraging that to occur.

    So Nicholas Reece quoted The Age bagging Tony Abbott on windfarms. No surprise. But your man Reece, having ridiculed the idea that windfarms might have some deleterious medical effects on humans, ignored a report from The Australian to the contrary. Here it is:

    Wind farm effect on balance “akin to seasickness”: scientist

    by Simon King

    The scientist who set up the Sydney University Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory — and who was asked to be involved in assessing the National Health and Medical Research Council’s targeted research examining the effect of wind turbines — says the growing body of evidence points to the low-frequency infrasound they create directly affecting the human nervous system.

    Medical faculty associate profes­sor of neuroscience Simon Carlile said it was time to properly examine the effects of low-frequency wavelengths and recognise that, like seasickness, they don’t affect everybody.

    “In terms of the physiology, in terms of how we know the nervous system responds to this low-fre­q­uency noise, the evidence says ‘yes, the nervous system is activated at these frequencies’,” he told The Australian.

    “But not in the traditional way you might think hearing works — it’s stimulating the system that’s involved in balance — the vestibular system. So there’s some good physiology, some good neuro­science, that this does exist and it’s been shown in animal models.”

    But Associate Professor Carlile said its existence was only “one part of the story”.

    “The other part is that some people are susceptible and some aren’t,” he said.

    “It just means that when you look across 1000 people you can’t see a statistical effect across that population — because 90 per cent of them aren’t affected. Then the question is: why are some people affect­ed and other people aren’t?

    “And the answer to this could be because it’s not stimulating the ears — you can’t hear it at low frequency — it’s stimulating the vestibular system.’’

    Associate Professor Carlile said that was similar to people who suffered seasickness….

    Needless to say, your man Reece did not think the story as suitable material for ABC viewers. Nor did Mr Rowland or Ms Taguchi.

    And now for a score:

    Maurice Newman: 3

    Jonathan Holmes: Zip


    MWDEXCLUSIVE

    CRIKEY’S MARGOT SAVILLE GOES A-WALKING ONE FINE WINTER’S LUNCH-TIME IN HUNTERS HILL

    What a stunning piece by Margot Saville in Crikey (editor Marni Cordell) yesterday.

    Ms Saville – who is described as “Crikey journalist based in Sydney” – wrote a piece titled “A day in Joe Hockey’s little bubble of privilege”. This involved Crikey’s intrepid reporter travelling all the way from her abode in Rozelle to Hunters Hill on the other side of Iron Cove Bridge. How frightfully exciting.

    You could tell that this was likely to be a hatchet job from the first paragraph:

    Now that Joe Hockey is a property expert, it seemed only right to spend a day in his shoes, walking the leafy boulevards of beautiful Hunter’s Hill. A couple of days ago, our federal Treasurer said that the key to buying a house was to get a job that pays good money. Well, if you want to emulate Joe and buy a sandstone mansion in this prestige Sydney suburb, you are going to need a very good job. In 2004, Joe and his wife, Melissa Babbage, paid $3.5 million for a superb heritage house in a good street; it’s now said to be worth $5.4 million. With a median house price of $1.9 million, it’s no surprise that Hunter’s Hill, surrounded by water and only 30 minutes to the CBD, is full of lawyers and bankers.

    The Federal treasurer receives about $370,000 per year. Mr Hockey was a Cabinet minister in 2004 when he and his wife Melissa Babbage bought their Hunters Hill home. $370,000 a year is not a huge income in contemporary Sydney – and significantly less than the income earned by many lawyers and bankers. In fact, it is Ms Babbage who is the wealthy member of the Hockey family.

    Melissa Babbage is not the only wealthy woman who lives with her husband and children in Hunters Hill. So does the leftist luvvie thespian Cate Blanchett – who is neither lawyer nor banker but is a multi-millionaire. Margot Saville missed this, apparently.

    According to Ms Saville, “hanging around Hunters Hill is a bit like being on the Truman Show”. In Margot Saville’s Day Out in Hunters Hill, she observed that:

    ٠ In HH, everything is so perfect, it’s slightly surreal. Why, “if you ring Le Village you can pick up a ‘sous-vide’ serving of beef for dinner”. Fancy that. As distinct from Rozelle down Balmain way where, it would appear from Ms Saville’s testimony, that it’s all meat and three veg.

    ٠ HH is “Liberal Party heartland”. Ms Saville reported that “she was surrounded by well-dressed seniors… self-funded retirees who, thanks to the government’s generous superannuation tax-concessions, had enough money to spend $40 a head for lunch.” Wow. A whole $40. Lunch it would seem, is much cheaper down Rozelle way. Crikey’s intrepid reporter seemed unaware that HH was loaded with “seniors” last Wednesday at lunch time because, er, it was lunch time on Wednesday.

    After reflecting on the life-and-times of her day in Hunters Hill, Margot Saville wrote about her own life experience:

    It’s not surprising that Joe [Hockey] would move there; living in Hunter’s Hill is a natural progression for someone with his pedigree. Hockey was a few years below me at Sydney Uni law school, so I am very familiar with his type. In those days, the law school had many boys like him — privately educated, middle-class, entitled. They had been placed on to a very long elevator that carried them from middle-class homes in Sydney’s north shore and eastern suburbs to good private schools to Sydney University to study law, medicine or engineering. There, they played rugby union and student politics — like our Prime Minister — and strengthened the bonds they’d made with other boys of their ilk. By the time our federal Treasurer left uni, his future was assured; employment in a large commercial law firm, a job in politics, a safe seat.

    What a load of tosh. Hockey’s “pedigree” consists of a migrant father who was born in Palestine during the British Mandate and ran a small business in Sydney. Tony Abbott’s father is an English-born dentist. Not much “pedigree” there either – the landed gentry did not earn a living making sandwiches or filling teeth. Certainly no less pedigree than that of Crikey publisher and editor-in-chief Sophie Black who went to Star of the Sea in the Melbourne suburb of Gardenvale. No less.

    But there is a personal story here. As Ms Saville told Crikey readers:

    Walking around, I couldn’t help feeling that if I’d married one of those boys from law school and moved here, I’d be one of those well-shod ladies at lunch, snapping my fingers for another pinot gris. Because if you spend most of your days surrounded by the trappings of the good life, you quickly get used to it. And instead of thinking that you’ve been lucky enough to win life’s lottery — you were in the right place at the right time, from the right family — you start to feel that you deserve it. And if you are the federal treasurer, you feel entitled to hand out advice. Just work hard and get a good job — is that all you did, Joe? I don’t think so.

    Margot Saville missed the point that Melissa Babbage did not marry a wealthy “boy” from Sydney University Law School. Rather Ms Babbage, from a relatively humble background, became wealthy in her own right. It seems that Crikey’s Sydney based feminist journalist cannot accept that a woman can become wealthy in her own right. [Do you think that she should enter a feminist re-education camp under the control of Dr Anne Summers or some such? – Ed]

    And is Margot Saville really suggesting that all Hunters Hill ladies who lunch “snap their fingers” when ordering “another pinot gris” and that all the ladies at lunch at Le Village have got money because they married one of those boys from the Sydney University Law School?

    Since Crikey is into tracing “pedigree”, “right families” and so on, perhaps Crikey might tell its readers about the back-ground of the well-shod Margot Saville who managed to make it to Sydney Law School and on to her fashionable Rozelle abode. Apparently, without acquiring a sense of “entitlement” which compelled her to be rude to waiters.


    Can you bear it graphic

    JONATHAN GREEN: INNER CITY FOX-HUNTING MAN

    While on the topic of Joe Hockey, property and all that – did anyone see Jonathan (“Proudly the ABC’s sneerer-in-chief”) Green on ABC 1 News Breakfast yesterday? Towards the end of the “Newspapers” segment, your man Green commented that Joe Hockey “has property”.

    Well, so he does. And so does Jonathan Green. It’s just that Mr Green seems to believe that we are all really and truly interested in his brick-and-mortar life. As avid MWD will remember, in November 2013 Mr Green told ABC listeners of his move from fashionable Hawthorn to fashionable inner-city Fitzroy for a cool $1.5 million give or take a few dollars or so. Yawn. Your man Green was so crass as to be photographed in front of his recently acquired terrace in Fitzroy – among the leftist sandal wearers in Sandalista Central. More yawns. Here’s the photo:

    fitzroy-profile_1024

    Meanwhile thanks to Sharri Markson’’s “The Diary” in The Australian last Monday for reminding MWD of the photo which Jonathan Green tweeted last May with the ironic (MWD inspired) caption: “Sandal-wearing inner-city leftist sneerer has a day off”. [Surely the presenter of ABC RN’s Sunday Extra meant that he was on “a Well-Earned-Break” – Ed]

    It has been long-known that your man Green rides both horses and bicycles. However, Ms Markson’s “scoop” was to reveal that Mr Green is a fox-hunting man. As JG told SM: “It’s [fox-hunting] long established in these parts. My club is one of the several around Melbourne and has been active since 1888 – and plays a small part in controlling a pretty noxious feral pest.”
    So there you have it. One day your man Green is a typical sandal-wearing inner-city leftist bragging about his million dollar plus Fitzroy terrace and not objecting to his comrades at the ABC collective campaigning for animal rights. And another day your man Green is either trying to murder foxes or preparing for a horse-tiring six day event or some such. Can you bear it?

    jonathan green horse

    Newsflash: Jonathan Green appointed to edit Melbourne University Publishing Meanjin literary journal.

    Thanks to the avid MWD reader who drew attention to this appointment this morning. It is fully supported by Hendo. After all, Jonathan Green – who is wont to express concern about unemployment on his ABC Sunday Extra program – cannot be expected to get by with just one taxpayer subsidised job. He needs at least two – one per courtesy of the taxpayer funded public broadcaster and one per courtesy of the taxpayer subsidised Melbourne University which supports Meanjin. After all, how is your man Green expected to pay his mortgage on a $1.5 million terrace in Fitzroy plus his fox-hunting expense?

    What’s more, the Green experience might lead to a new literary output in Meanjin – perhaps a book following that other literary fox-hunter Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) titled, say, “More Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man”.

    MIKE CARLTON’S (VERY) LONG WEEKEND

    It’s been a busy week for Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton at his Avalon Beach abode this week.

    Last Friday at 7.26 pm – i.e. gin and tonic time – a frustrated Mr Carlton sent out an angry tweet while home alone:

    Nancy’ (male) co-owner shares Mr Carlton’s pain. There can be nothing more frustrating than, gin-and-tonic in hand, waiting for the missus to return from work at the ABC on a Friday evening. After all, a chap needs someone to stoke the fire, pour another gin-and-tonic and all that jazz. Your man Carlton – who spent some time himself at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster – seems to have forgotten that ABC journalists get extra annual leave to compensate for working overtime without pay. [Don’t you mean extra Well Earned Breaks? – Ed] Then on Sunday at around 9 am – i.e. hangover time – Mike Carlton awoke, read Fairfax Media, looked out of the window and saw – yes, Benito Mussolini arriving on Avalon Beach. This led to the following tweet about the Abbott Clerical Fascist dictatorship and its criticism of Human Rights president Professor Gillian Triggs:

    This is the very same Tony Abbott who, last December, handed out a $5000 tax free prize to Mr Carlton for being short-listed in the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Australia History. What a funny way for Mr Abbott to finance his “slow crawl to fascism”. Can you bear it?

    DEE MADIGAN’S CONFUSION: A MOVEABLE FEAST

    While on the topic of real tweets, this is what Dee Madigan sent out last Friday – only minutes after Media Watch Dog went out to its tens of millions of readers:


    As avid MWD readers will be aware, MWD Issue 273 documented how Ms Madigan could not remember on Monday what she tweeted the previous day concerning Nancy’s (male) co-owner.

    In the MWD story, reference was made to Dee Madigan’s “time in public relations” and her life in “PR land”. But Ms Madigan denies this. She just works in advertising, you see. And, apparently, there is a division as thick as the Berlin Wall between public relations and advertising.

    Or is there? Indeed Ms Madigan’s own website states “Dee is an award winning Creative Director with 18 years’ experience in the advertising industry… Dee develops and implements strategic and creative communications and public relations for the smallest of businesses and the largest of corporations.”

    So, once again, Dee Madigan cannot remember on Friday afternoon what was on her website on Friday morning. Can you bear it?


    MORE INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE ON HINCH LIVE – FEATURING ANDREA CLARKE

    While on the topic of PR types who contribute to what passes for discussion on Sky News, consider the case of Andrea Clarke. This is what she had to say about asylum seekers, the Australian Navy and all that on Hinch Live last Sunday. Let’s go to the transcript:

    Andrea Clarke: Well, I think the propaganda that the [Abbott] government has been banging on about, and how these boatloads of terrorists are coming over. It’s just complete, it’s complete rubbish. And we’ve allowed boats to smash up against reefs and watch people drown.

    Derryn Hinch: We didn’t, we didn’t allow the boats, who said we allowed the boats, the government didn’t say “Hey, try and come to that risky area there”.

    Andrea Clarke: Well they certainly didn’t make any effort to rescue them.

    Derryn Hinch: No you had people risking their lives to try and save those people on that boat, it was a terrible situation. The locals there were risking their own lives trying to get lifejackets to those drowning people.

    Martine Hart: I don’t think anyone would think that the Australian Navy would condone the drownings or the death of –

    Andrea Clarke: No but I think that they all knew they could have acted sooner before they got close to shore.

    So there you have it. According to Hinch Live “expert” Andrea Clarke, the Abbott government has “allowed the asylum seeker boats to smash up against reefs” and been prepared to “watch people drown”. She also asserted that the Abbott government “made no effort to rescue” drowning asylum seekers. And Ms Clarke accused the Australian Navy of not acting earlier to prevent drownings at sea. All without evidence, of course. And Ms Clarke forgot to mention that all the drownings which have occurred in recent years took place when the Labor/Greens government was in office.

    In her wilful ignorance, Andrea Clarke overlooked the fact that the worst recent accident involving asylum seekers near Australia occurred in June 2012 off Christmas Island during Julia Gillard’s prime ministership. Moreover, as presenter Derryn Hinch and co-panellist Martine Hart pointed out last Sunday, efforts have been made to save drowning asylum seekers by the Australian Navy, Customs and individuals alike.

    The problem is that, at times, Derryn Hinch acts like Andrea Clarke. That is, he makes wilfully ignorant statements based on his belief or opinion – without reference to evidence. See this week’s “Correspondence” section, for example. So Ms Clarke’s howler cannot be a sackable offence. After all she just channels Mr Hinch in proclaiming beliefs rather than stating evidence. Can you bear it?


    correspondence header caps

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

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

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

    DERRYN HINCH & GERARD HENDERSON – HOW MR HINCH JUST MADE UP HIS CLAIMS ABOUT CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

    In recent weeks on Sky News’ Paul Murray Live and Hinch Live, presenters Paul Murray and Derryn Hinch have made numerous misinformed comments about Cardinal George Pell and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Some of these have been documented in Media Watch Dog – others will be documented later. Gerard Henderson also covered some of these howlers in his column in The Weekend Australian on 30-31 May 2015. Mr Murray and Mr Hinch have not allowed any alternate views to be heard on their programs.

    Neither Sky News’ management – which is busy on other matters at the moment – nor its presenters Mr Murray or Mr Hinch have been willing to provide evidence for the assertions made on Paul Murray Live or Hinch Live or to correct the howlers. This is unprofessional journalism at its best – or worst.

    Paul Murray has declined to enter into correspondence on this matter – despite his constant refrain on air that he is “keen to know” what viewers “think”. However, on two occasions, Derryn Hinch has responded to Gerard Henderson. Thus making this Correspondence segment possible. In his second email, Derryn Hinch acknowledged that his claims against Pell were based on his own beliefs – not on evidence. Here we go.

    Gerard Henderson to Derryn Hinch – 3 June 2015

    Subject: What a Couple of Gutless Wonders

    Paul/Derryn

    I note that you used the Paul Murray Live program again last night to criticise me concerning my comments on Cardinal Pell. But neither of you has the intellectual courage to invite me on to Paul Murray Live or Hinch Live.

    In this instance Sky News is more biased than the ABC – the ABC has invited a number of well-informed national and international figures to balance the criticism of Pell. As far as I am aware, Sky News has only invited Pell critics on to its programs.

    For the record, there were even more howlers on Paul Murray Live last night with respect to this story.

    ▪ Contrary to Derryn Hinch’s assertion, Peter Saunders was not hand-picked by Pope Francis to “go after child abuse practices”. This demonstrates a total ignorance of the Vatican’s Protection of Minors Commission – as documented by Desmond O’Grady in today’s Sydney Morning Herald and as explained by Austen Invereigh on Radio National Breakfast yesterday.

    ▪ Contrary to Paul Murray’s assertion – no one (to my knowledge) has said that Cardinal Pell is “not supposed” to appear before the Royal Commission’s Ballarat hearings.

    ▪ Contrary to Paul Murray’s implication – it is the Royal Commission which determines the schedule for its hearings. Not Cardinal Pell or even Mr Murray.

    ▪ Contrary to Derryn Hinch’s assertion, there is no evidence that Pell was in a room in Ballarat when moving Ridsdale to another parish because he was “dangerous around children” was discussed.

    ▪ Contrary to Derryn Hinch’s assertion, there is no evidence that Pell was in a house at the time when sexual abuse by Ridsdale took place in the house.

    In conclusion, I note that Paul Murray Live and Hinch Live seem to believe that I am a “George Pell PR man”. In fact my position is almost identical with that taken by The Australian in its editorial last Monday. As I understand, The Australian and Sky News are commercial partners in Australian Agenda.

    If either of you develops the courage to invite me on the program I would be happy to oblige. Alternatively, if you like to find alternate views contrary to your bully pulpit line – you might contact Noel Debien or Tess Livingstone, among others.

    Individuals who subscribe to Foxtel are entitled to hear a plurality of views on Sky News. Right now PML and HL are channelling the taxpayer funded public broadcaster in running “debates” where everyone agrees with everyone else.

    Gerard Henderson

    cc: Angelos Frangopoulos

    Ian Ferguson

    Derryn Hinch to Gerard Henderson – 3 June 2015

    Gerard

    We all have our outlets. You in The Australian and The Insiders and your media website.

    Where was your own “intellectual courage” in phoning me for a quote before claiming in print that my “invincible ignorance” made me unaware of Pell’s appearances before the commission and the Victorian parliamentary inquiry?

    I set that part of the record straight in today’s editorial.

    Cheers

    Hinch

    Gerard Henderson to Derryn Hinch – 3 June 2015

    Derryn

    It’s not quite the same. My column in The Australian is just a column. Just like your blog is just a blog. Also, people who disagree with me can write to The Australian. And I publish criticism of myself in the “Correspondence” section of my Media Watch Dog blog.

    It’s true that I appear about once every six weeks on Insiders but I do not set the agenda or invite the other guests.

    You and Paul Murray choose your own guests and determine your own agenda. However, with respect to George Pell, you only invite Pell critics on to your program and you censor and verbal those who disagree with you. It’s the kind of bias which Paul Murray condemns often with respect to what he terms “Channel 2”.

    In relation to my comment about your “invincible ignorance”, I did not need to check with you because I quoted directly from what you said on Sky News. If you have any doubts, check the video. I did a transcript of your rant on Sky News and quoted you direct. I am not supposed to know that you hold positions other than those which you yourself express on Sky News.

    I note, for the record, that you have not corrected any of the numerous howlers which you have made with respect to George Pell. Nor has Paul Murray. In this regard, Sky News is as bad as the ABC in refusing to acknowledge errors and make corrections.

    Keep morale high.

    Gerard

    * * * * *

    Gerard Henderson to Derryn Hinch – 9 June 2015

    Subject: Sky News’ Gutless Wonders – Part 113

    Derryn

    I was away at the weekend. I have just noticed that you had yet another go at me on Hinch Live last Sunday. I note for the record, once again, that you do not have the intellectual courage to invite me on to Hinch Live to defend my position. The same is true with respect to Paul Murray and Paul Murray Live.

    On Hinch Live last Sunday, you provided yet more misinformation to Sky News viewers. I refer to that part of your rambling comments to your guest Timothy Jones where the following comment was made:

    Timothy Jones: That psychological approach is sort of complicit with the religious approach which is focused on saving the sinner and curing the sick person.

    Derryn Hinch: But where their argument gets weaker – and it’s never been very strong – where it gets weaker, is if you take the case of Bishop Mulkearns. I mean, and, in the meeting that Pell was allegedly at, decided they had to transfer Ridsdale away to another parish because he was molesting children in Ballarat. And they moved him nine times. They must have known that this psychobabble wasn’t working. They obviously knew that the man was an offender or they wouldn’t have kept moving him.

    If you have done any research you would know that this comment is false. There is evidence before the Royal Commission that George Pell was at a meeting in 1982 when Bishop Mulkearns said that Ridsdale had to be moved to another parish.

    However, no evidence was provided to the Royal Commission that child sexual abuse was mentioned at this meeting. You just made this up. A priest, who was present at the meeting, told the Herald-Sun that Mulkearns advised the meeting that there was a problem with homosexuality in the Ballarat diocese. As you should be aware, this is not the same thing.

    I look forward to next Sunday’s Hinch Live to see what else you make up.

    When I have time I will collect your errors with respect to this matter – along with those of Paul Murray – and publish these on my Media Watch Dog blog. I will also note that Sky News corrected none of your howlers – or those of Paul Murray. In this instance, Sky News is even less willing to correct errors than the ABC.

    Keep morale high.

    Gerard Henderson

    cc: Angelos Frangopoulos

    Ian Ferguson

    Paul Murray

    Derryn Hinch to Gerard Henderson – 9 June 2015

    Gerard

    I cannot believe that anybody – even Pell apologists like you and Andrew Bolt – could believe that nobody, at that 1982 meeting you mention, asked Bishop Mulkearns why they had to go to the expense of shifting Ridsdale to another parish. George Pell was a member of that College of Consultors for Ballarat from 1977 until he left Ballarat in 1984.

    And, by the way Gerard, I suspect that, over the decades I have done more research on George Pell than you have.

    Regards

    Derryn Hinch

    Gerard Henderson to Derryn Hinch – 9 June 2015

    Derryn

    You presented your comments about George Pell on Hinch Live last Sunday as a statement of fact.

    Now, however, you concede that your comment was a statement of your belief as to what occurred at one meeting in Ballarat in 1982.

    For my part, I am interested in evidence. You seem to be interested in accusations – which may, or may not, turn out to be accurate.

    All I am saying is that it is misinformation to present your personal opinion as a matter of established fact.

    Gerard

    cc: Angelos Frangopoulos

    Paul Murray


    Until next time – keep morale high.


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

    David Marr to Gerard Henderson, 1 June 2015

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

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

    Gerard Henderson’s friday self-harm update is here

    – Adam Brereton, via Twitter, May 15, 2015

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

    – Guy Rundle in Crikey, 14 May 2015:

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

    – Ben Pobjie, via Twitter, 8 May 2015

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

    – Adam Gartrell, via Twitter, 8 May 2015

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

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

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

    – Lenore Taylor, via Twitter, 22 February 2015

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

    – Mark Scott via Twitter 19 February 2015 at 1.10 pm

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

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

    Oh Gerard. You total clown.”

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

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

    – Phillip Adams via Twitter, 27 September 2014

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

    – Kate Durham as told to Crikey, 16 September 2014

    “The unhinged but well spoken Gerard Henderson….”

    – Bob Ellis, Table Talk blog, 10 August 2014

    “Gerard Henderson and Nancy are awful human beings.”

    – Alexander White, Twitter, 25 July 2014

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

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

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

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

    “[Gerard Henderson is a] silly prick”

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

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

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

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

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

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

    – Katharine Murphy, Twitter, Friday 6 June 2014

    “[Gerard Henderson is] an unhinged prick”

    – Mike Carlton, Twitter, Thursday 12 June 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “[Gerard Henderson is an] unhinged crank”

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

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

    – Jonathan Green via Twitter, 8 February 2014


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

    – Mark Scott via Twitter 19 February 2015 at 1.10 pm

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

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

    Oh Gerard. You total clown.”

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

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

    – Phillip Adams via Twitter, 27 September 2014

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

    – Kate Durham as told to Crikey, 16 September 2014

    “The unhinged but well spoken Gerard Henderson….”

    – Bob Ellis, Table Talk blog, 10 August 2014

    “Gerard Henderson and Nancy are awful human beings.”

    – Alexander White, Twitter, 25 July 2014

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

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

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

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

    “[Gerard Henderson is a] silly prick”

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

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

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

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

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

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

    – Katharine Murphy, Twitter, Friday 6 June 2014

    “[Gerard Henderson is] an unhinged prick”

    – Mike Carlton, Twitter, Thursday 12 June 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “[Gerard Henderson is an] unhinged crank”

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

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

    – Jonathan Green via Twitter, 8 February 2014