7 AUGUST 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: ABC PM Reckons Stalin Won the Pacific War
  • Nicholas Reece Describes his Political Critics as Totally Insane
  • Vale Robert Conquest: 1917-2015
  • Can You Bear It? Crikey’s Liberal Headline; Crikey’s Jesuit Confusion; Peter McEvoy’s Obsession & Ranald Macdonald’s Lesson From The Age’s (Leftist) Pulpit
  • MWD’s Exclusive: Dr Scott Burchill Afflicted by the Curse on News Breakfast
  • Behind MWD’s “Deliberate Mistakes” – Plus some “Deliberate Mistakes” Corrected
  • Correspondence: John Barron Steps Up Again



Did anyone hear last night’s ABC PM’s program’s report on the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the Atom Bomb on the Japanese city Hiroshima?

At the end of Michael Edwards’ light-weight report, there was a suggestion that the communist totalitarian dictator Josef Stalin won the Pacific War – without firing a shot in anger.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Michael Edwards: The stated purpose for dropping the nuclear bombs was to bring a swift end to the carnage of World War II. But many historians now question whether the use of nuclear weapons was justified. Greg Thielmann is from the Arms Control Association in Washington DC.

Greg Thielmann: The truth is that the day after Hiroshima the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. And historians, I think, agree that that was a bigger shock for the Japanese leadership than even the first bomb. And of course, it took a number of days before the nature of the bomb was even starting to sink in with the Japanese leadership.

So there you have it.  Michael Edwards interviewed just one historian – a certain Greg Thielmann. And he happens to believe that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had little, if anything, to do with the Japanese surrender.  It was all achieved by good old Uncle Joe in the Kremlin who had no battalions in the field.  No other view was heard.

Historical sludge. ABC style.


As MWD’s avid readers are aware, former Julia Gillard staffer and one-time Labor Party operative Nicholas Reece has some kind of gig at the taxpayer subsidised University of Melbourne.  Your man Reece lives in inner-city Melbourne, not far from the studios of the ABC and Sky News where he seems to spend much of his non-sleeping life perfecting his blooming career as a media-tart.

Mr Reece (for a doctor he is yet to become) was on Paul Murray Live last night. Again.  Banging on about the need to increase electricity prices by means of an emissions trading scheme or an increased taxpayer subsidised renewable energy target. Again. Or whatever. Again.

Presenter Paul Murray and co-panellists Miranda Devine and Rowan Dean expressed the view that it was not a good idea to increase the power bills of low paid workers and welfare recipients.  Whereupon Mr Reece described Ms Devine and Mr Dean as “totally insane”.

Such abuse appears to represent what passes for debate and discussion at Hendo’s alma mater, Melbourne University – Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis. [Is it politically correct at Melbourne University to use the (alleged) mental illness of others as a means of scoring debating points on late night television? I wonder. Perhaps your man Reece should be reported to the Human Rights Commission president – and former Melbourne University Law School graduate – a certain Professor Gillian Triggs – Ed]


Media Watch Dog acknowledges the death of the British historian, writer and poet Robert Conquest.  Gerard Henderson and Anne Henderson followed Robert Conquest’s work as university students in the late 1960s and early 1970s and kept in touch with him over recent decades from The Sydney Institute.  This included a meeting at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, California, some years ago.

Without question, Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties was a seminal work.  Conquest, who had not visited the Soviet Union at the time he wrote his book, was one of the first intellectuals in the West to identify and document the evils of communism totalitarianism in the Soviet Union during the dictatorship of Josef Stalin. When the book was first published in 1968, there was still support for Soviet communism within sections of the Western intelligentsia which was still very influential within universities and the media.

Robert Conquest took an unflinching position of supporting the victims of communist totalitarianism – when it was unfashionable to do so – and opposing the oppressors.  At the time, some academics and journalists declined to speak out against Stalin and his heirs lest they be refused visas to visit the Soviet Union and other parts of Eastern Europe under communist regimes.

Today, almost half a century after it was first published, The Great Terror stands as a remarkable intellectual achievement.  It was profoundly true and written in a compelling manner.  As such, it is a classic of 20th Century historical literature.

Can you bear it graphic


Eric Beecher, supremo of the leftist Crikey newsletter, is invariably banging on about the (alleged) decline in journalistic standards.  This intellectual-high-and-mightiness prevails in Crikey – despite the fact that the newsletter publishes unsourced rumours along with MWD’s favourite Marxist comedian’s (i.e. Comrade Guy Rundle) long-winded literary sludge.

This is how Crikey headed its lead political story on Tuesday – by politics editor Bernard Keane, no less.

Libs want Turnbull, Labor want anyone but Bill: Essential

Tony Abbott’s poll numbers are improving, but he still trails Malcolm Turnbull as the preferred leader of the Liberal Party, today’s Essential Report shows. Turnbull is preferred as leader by 24% of voters, compared to 18% who prefer Abbott. That’s a significant turnaround since February, when just 11% favoured Abbott, even less than “someone else” (13%) and Julie Bishop (21%). Julie Bishop is now preferred as leader by 17% of voters.

Interestingly, Turnbull’s strong lead over Abbott among women has faded — in February, he led Abbott 22% to 8% among women, but now leads by 18% to 15%, while his lead among men has been reduced but is still strong at 30%-21% now, compared to 27% to 13% in February. Among Liberal voters, Abbott strongly leads Turnbull, 41% to 21% — a big turnaround from February, when Julie Bishop (26%) and Turnbull (24%) led the Prime Minister (23%).

Yeah, that’s right.  The Essential Poll indicates that 41 per cent of Liberal Party/Nationals voters believe that Tony Abbott “would make the best leader of the Liberal Party”. The figure for Malcolm Turnbull is 21 per cent.  Yet Crikey’s heading was “Libs want Turnbull”.  This from a holier-than-thou newsletter which complains about declining standards in the print media. Can you bear it?


While on the topic of Crikey, did anyone read freelance journalist Michael Sainsbury’s piece in Crikey on 27 July 2015 about Tony Abbott and – yes – the Catholic Church?  In case you missed it, here’s how Mr Sainsbury’s piece commenced:

Church lets loose at its least favourite Abbott

The Jesuit head of the Asia-Pacific region has slammed Tony Abbott’s refugee policy, and the big man himself has taken a position very contrary to Abbott’s on the environment. Australian priest Father Mark Raper, the Asia-Pacific head of the Catholic religious order the Society of Jesus (aka the Jesuits), has lambasted the Australian government for being “short term, narrow, self-interested, merciless and out of touch”.

The federal cabinet is heavily Catholic and contains five Jesuit-educated ministers, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott himself.

Raper’s official title is president of the Conference of Provincials for the Asia-Pacific area, which extends from Myanmar across mainland China to Japan in the north and through south-east Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Islands in the south.

How frightfully interesting. And how wilfully ignorant.

Fr Mark Raper is an influential Catholic priest, of the Jesuit genre.  However, contrary to the Crikey headline, Fr Raper does not represent the Catholic “Church”.  The official representative of the Catholic Church in Sydney (where the Prime Minister resides) is Archbishop Anthony Fisher who – like all archbishops and bishops – reports direct to the Pope in Rome.  The available evidence indicates that the Prime Minister and the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney enjoy a good relationship.

Michael Sainsbury – who sounds like he was educated by the Jesuits – seems to have an over-blown view of the Society of Jesus.  He wrote this in Crikey:

The Jesuits are widely seen within the Catholic Church as an elite, educated and more liberal-leaning order. In 2013, Cardinal Jose Mario Bergoglio was elected as the first Jesuit Pope since the extremely influential order was formed by Spanish priest Ignatius Loyola in 1540. The PM was educated by the Jesuits, completing his primary school years at St Aloysius at Milson’s Point and then his secondary school at St Ignatius College, Riverview.

Michael Sainsbury neglected to mention that the Jesuits were purged by the Pope between 1773 and 1814.  They are back in favour these days – as indicated by the fact that Pope Francis is a Jesuit.  But it is poor history to equate the views of the Society of Jesus with that of the Vatican.

Sainsbury went on to describe Fr Michael Kelly S.J. as the “Liberal Party’s chaplin-at-large and an old Abbott mate”. What a load of tosh. Fr Kelly is on record as making criticisms of Tony Abbott. Moreover he is anything but a Liberal Party standard-bearer.  And this from Crikey which condemns the standards of the mainstream media. Can you bear it?


Many thanks to the avid MWD reader who drew attention to the following tweet which was sent out by Q&A executive producer Peter McEvoy at 7.54 pm on Friday 24 July 2015 – just after pre-performance drinks at the Belvoir Theatre in Sydney:

Now here’s a question. What was your man McEvoy on about? And here’s another: Can you bear it? [Do you mean: “What was your man McEvoy on”? And is he so delusional – even at 7.54 pm on a Friday night – to really believe that you care about his whereabouts? – Ed].



  Can you believe it? On MondayThe Age ran an opinion piece by a certain Ranald Macdonald, whom it described as “a former managing director of The Age [and] “a former radio morning presenter” and so on. It failed to mention that your man Macdonald presided over one of the most disastrous decisions in the Australian media industry – the rise, stagnation and fall of the Melbourne evening newspaper Newsday – all within a couple of months. He was later to fail in business. Having failed in business, and being of small “l” liberal disposition, Macdonald got a morning gig on ABC Metropolitan Radio in Melbourne. No surprise there. He then went overseas – from whence he continues to send back missives to the Antipodes with advice on this and that. Most recently in The Age on Monday – in a piece headed “How to save our ABC from Abbott and Murdoch”. Now the Coalition, led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is pumping over $1 billion a year into the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. But Macdonald reckons that this is not enough and it needs lotsa more cash. With the emphasis on lotsa. Declared the failed former managing director of The Age last Monday: A recent tweet to Q&A said: “I live in fear of no ABC”. Many Australians share this concern – or at the very least a steady decline in the national broadcaster’s health. The government-enforced cuts in funding and continual pressure on the ABC from the right – promoted enthusiastically by the Murdoch media conglomerate and the broadcaster’s commercial rivals – have ensured that the ABC cannot now carry out its charter responsibilities and provide a variety of quality programming for all of Australia. Loss of the Australia Network, by the capricious decisions of the Abbott government, has decimated the corporation’s ability to cover what is happening to our north. In fact, the ABC only won the Australia Network contract – against the wishes of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) – because the previous Labor government rigged the decision on the contract. Moreover, in the capital cities of Melbourne and Sydney, the ABC has five television channels, half a dozen radio stations and an on-line journal of opinion (The Drum) and more besides. What more does it want? Yet Macdonald reckons that the ABC should receive more handouts and has joined the Friends of the ABC to campaign for other people’s money (via taxation) to be spent on the public broadcaster. Really and truly. Indeed, Mr Macdonald believes that the Abbott government is in breach of Australia’s United Nations responsibilities with respect to the ABC. Spoke Father Macdonald from The Age’s pulpit, to his sandal-wearing brethren, last Monday: Former US president Jimmy Carter once said that to know what is happening through the media is a basic human right. Indeed, Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right … to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Regardless of the impact of the web and of social media, democracy remains under threat when news is dominated by a huge multi-media organisation – and one with a strong ideological agenda. Politicians and even competing journalists are often nervous about being seen as critical or of “not being onside”. Healthy debate only exists when the facts are known and the pulpit is shared by those expressing differing views. What a load of tosh. Australians the world over have never had a greater access to news. Moreover, in Australia, the media is literally dominated by the ABC – television, radio, online print and more besides – not by News Corporation. That’s why the ABC – not News Corp – is the biggest employer of journalists in Australia. And Ranald Macdonald reckons that the Abbott government is a threat to the very existence of the ABC. Can you bear it?

MWDEXCLUSIVE HENDO’S CURSE WORKS WITH NEWS BREAKFAST BUT NOT LATE NIGHT LIVE Last week Gerard Henderson was invited to be interviewed by Phillip Adams on ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live for the first time in a quarter of century. Being a courteous kind of guy, Nancy’s (male) co-owner accepted the ABC’s Man-in-Black’s kind invitation. Only to find, that your man Adams was wearing a red jacket over his basic black shirt. Cardinal red – believe it or not. After a quarter of a century of long-time-no-see, this came as something of a shock. Rn pic The last time Hendo appeared on LNL was about 20 years ago when Vivian Schenker was in the chair. He can’t remember what she was wearing – but Nancy’s (male) co-owner does recall that he was involved in a discussion with the (then) ABC operative Quentin Dempster (whom he drove home after the occasion). It was that friendly. But no other invitation was extended – and Hendo had to sit by the phone – hour after hour, day after day, month after month and year after year – until last week. As you would expect from a courteous kind of guy, Hendo brought (fictitious) flowers and (fictitious) chocolates for the occasion. All in vain, it seems. For, not long after a polite discussion on Gerard Henderson’s Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man (MUP), Phillip Adams put out the following tweet last Sunday:

How typical that your man Adams – perhaps Australia’s wealthiest socialist – wants an exorcist who will work at mates’ rates to rid the LNL studio of Hendo’s lingering demonic influence.

However, despite the LNL’s presenter’s concern, there is no evidence that Nancy’s (male) co-owner left any curse at Ultimo last week. Yet the situation may be different with respect to the taxpayer funded broadcaster’s Southbank studio in Melbourne.

For the second time in six years, Hendo received an invitation to appear on the ABC1 News Breakfast program. Being a courteous kind of guy, he accepted the invitation.

So, last Friday morning, Nancy’s (male) co-owner sat on the News Breakfast grey couch and discussed his Santamaria biography with presenter Michael Rowland. This is the same couch used by Mr Rowland and Virginia Trioli for their “Newspapers” segment each morning.

There was no sign of any lingering curse last Monday when John Roskam did the “Newspapers” gig. But this is what happened when Deakin University leftist Scott Burchill filled the “Newspapers” role on Tuesday. Discussion focused on who might replace Bronwyn Bishop, who had resigned as Speaker of the House of Representatives last Sunday. Let’s go to the transcript:

Michael Rowland: The Financial Review looks at the race for the Speaker’s job, Scott. Who’s leading the field at this stage?

Scott Burchill: The now phrase is a “Melbourne Cup field” which means that no one knows. But we are promised that we won’t have another “captain’s pick” as Bronwyn Bishop was in the last case. So there’s now six or seven people who have put up their hand. Mr Ruddock is one of them – who’s the former Party whip. And I guess now it will be up to the Party Room and the lobbyists – because it’s a very lucrative position, as we now know.

Michael Rowland: Ah, it’s a salary of what? – 350 odd thousand dollars, staff, you get to represent Australia at various functions.

Scott Burchill: [interjecting] and travel entitlements

Michael Rowland: And travel entitlements which, rest assured, won’t involve helicopters, Scott, in the future.

Virginia Trioli: We’re looking at Sharman Stone [on the TV monitor], she’s ruled herself out.

Scott Burchill: She ruled herself out before anyone ruled her in.

Virginia Trioli: That’s right, she wants to keep being difficult

Scott Burchill: That’s right, she wants to be the conscience of the nation and the backbench.

Michael Rowland: The gadfly on the backbench. Bruce Scott is the deputy speaker. He’s not really figuring in the race for the job. It looks as though it’s going to go to a Liberal Party MP. It could be –

Scott Burchill: Yeah.

Michael Rowland: It could be –

Scott Burchill: Don Randall.

[Award pause occurs here]

Michael Rowland: Ah – Don Randall. No.

Scott Burchill: No?

Michael Rowland: No, he’s dead.

Scott Burchill: Sorry, not Don Randall. Umm.

Michael Rowland: Tony Smith.

Scott Burchill: Tony Smith, yeah.

Virginia Trioli: Yes, from Victoria.

Michael Rowland: Tony Smith.

Scott Burchill: Sorry, wrong name, sorry.

Michael Rowland: Yep and Andrew Southcott from South Australia.

Scott Burchill: That’s right.

Michael Rowland: Teresa Gambaro has been mentioned in dispatches – Brisbane MP. So, you never know.

Scott Burchill: It’s a big field but it will be done by Party vote, obviously, in this case. So the Party Room will make the decision and we’ll see in the, I think Monday or Tuesday.

burchill trioli panel

Um. Yeah. Sorry. It appears that Hendo’s Curse affected Sandalista Burchill – who, once again, dressed up as if he had dropped into the ABC’s Southbank studio on his way to dump a full load at the local tip. Your man Burchill was wearing a black jacket, black tee-shirt and dark red slacks. According to an MWD avid reader, he had the word “Anarchy” printed in bright red on his black tee-shirt. Can this be so?

MWD is loath to criticise others for printed or verbal “typos”. It’s just that the dialogue in this case suggested that Dr Burchill (for a doctor he is) did not know anything about the late Don Randall or Tony Smith or Andrew Southcott or Teresa Gambaro. Indeed, all the possible candidates for Speaker – except Phillip Ruddock – were cited by Young Mr Rowland or La Trioli. The only names mentioned by your man Burchill were Mr Ruddock and the recently departed Don Randall. Perhaps, next time around, it would be best not to ask the learned doctor about the Liberal Party.

Still afflicted by Hendo’s Curse, Dr Burchill went on to tell News Breakfast viewers that he sold his house last weekend at the prevailing “market expectations”. Well, fancy that. Yawn – and so on.

It appears that Hendo’s Curse was still on the News Breakfast couch the following morning. On Wednesday, lawyer and former journalist Michael Magazanik did the “Newspapers” gig. He focused on developments in the case of Corryn Rayney, a registrar at the Supreme Court of Western Australia, who was murdered in Perth some years ago. The reference was to the front page story in The West Australian headed “Rayney Law Licence Cancelled”.

Lloyd Rayney (Corryn Rayney’s husband) was acquitted of murdering his wife. Magazanik intended to tell News Breakfast viewers that Rayney, a barrister and former senior prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, had been struck off by the Legal Practice Board for recording his late wife’s conversations. Except that Mr Magazanik said that “the Western Australian legal body had withdrawn his licence to practise medicine” [sic] because he destroyed some of those recording devices despite knowing the police were looking for them” – without correction from either Michael Rowland or Virginia Trioli. Your man Magazanik repeated that Rayney will appeal and “fight for his right to practise medicine”. Again without correction. Lloyd Rayney is not a (medical) doctor and, consequently, does not need a “licence to practise medicine”. But, as a qualified barrister he does need a licence to practise law.

We’ll let you know if Hendo’s Curse continues to prevail at Southbank. [Perhaps the powers-that-be at ABC in Melbourne should engage an expensive exorcist. To thoroughly cleanse the studio, just in case. I can supply names if required – since some of my best friends are really good at driving out demons. – Ed].

lady in red heading

While on the topic of DRESSED-IN-RED, here’s a pic of The Sydney Institute’s executive assistant Lalita Mathias. That’s her on the left, dressed in red, next to the Prime Minister. The occasion was the launch at Arnold Bloch Leibler in Melbourne on 30 July of Gerard Henderson’s biography of Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man (MUP, 2015). [I note that the centenary of Bob Santamaria’s birth is next Friday – Ed].

Ms Mathias’ many roles at the Sydney Institute include typing Media Watch Dog every Friday morning before early morning coffee. She fulfils the task of placing John-Laws-Style-Deliberate-Mistakes in MWD – sometimes at Hendo’s direction and sometimes on her own initiative – a feature of this publication which is much beloved by its avid readers.


Deliberate Mistake corrected heading

While on the topic of “deliberate mistakes”, congratulations to the avid readers who identified the following errors:

  • Issue 277 – Senator Cory Bernardi’s name was misspelt.
  • Issue 279 – When Gough Whitlam threw water over Paul Hasluck in the House of Representatives in 1965, he (Whitlam) was Deputy Leader of the Labor Party – not leader.
  • Issue 280 – The Hampstead Heath house (allegedly) rented by Fairfax Media’s rep in London came at a price of a mere £ 1,700 per week – not £ 17,000 per month.

Mea Culpas all around (for those who understand Latin).

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 tens of millions 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 MWD 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.


As readers of last week’s MWD will be aware, this correspondence commenced when Hendo asked the ABC’s Fact Check Unit presenter whether his view that “a promise is broken” if an organisation or person “fails to deliver it [the promise] either through a change in policy or an inability to deliver” applies to the ABC itself.

Nancy’s (male) co-owner asked Mr Barron if he assessed ABC managing director Mark Scott’s promise, made in September 2006, that he was intent on delivering greater diversity within the taxpayer funded public broadcaster as a broken promise. It is a matter of fact that such diversity has not been delivered at the public broadcaster.

As the correspondence demonstrates, John (“I don’t always give a fact”) Barron has studiously avoided answering the question. Instead he has alleged that his “private correspondence” – which was sent from an ABC email address – has been quoted. In fact, this was public correspondence written at – and sent from – the ABC concerning the policy of ABC Fact Check Unit with respect to promises. And yet Mr Barron maintains that to quote his written statements on the ABC amounts to a breach of journalistic ethics. The correspondence continues this week. Now read on:

John Barron to Gerard Henderson – 31 July 2015

Dear Gerard,

You must think me terribly rude, however I didn’t receive your last email, hence my lack of a reply. I only know it was ever apparently sent because it is printed in your column.

Thank you for suggesting I be paid $52 by Mr Kenny, I will take a cheque. I will leave it to you to calculate how much you should pay for reprinting my words in your column.

I tell you what, how about a signed copy of your book?


Gerard Henderson to John Barron – 31 July 2015

Mea Culpa

It must have been a mistake at my end. Here it is:

Thanks for your prompt reply. But I’m not sure how to read it. To quote tennis great John McEnroe “Can you be serious?”

Are you, an ABC journalist, really condemning a newspaper columnist – to wit Chris Kenny – for publishing private correspondence. As you should be aware, ABC journalists have been publishing private correspondence for eons. Moreover, it would seem that Chris Kenny had authority to publish Dr McCusker’s letter.

You seem to be alleging that Chris Kenny only prints private correspondence because he is “paid by the word”. Turn it up. The number of words cited by Mr Kenny from the McCusker/Barron exchange amounts to 52 in total. If Chris Kenny is paid at a dollar a word, he would score $52. Hardly enough to support a family for more than a few hours.

Like so many journalists, you are extraordinarily sensitive to criticism.

In any event, if as a taxpayer funded journalist who writes by email/fax/letter in your capacity as presenter of the ABC’s Fact Check Unit, why should you not be quoted? Surely your comments are in the public interest

Keep morale high.

Gerard Henderson

John Barron to Gerard Henderson – 31 July 2015

Thank you Gerard.

I appreciate your concerns for my sensitivity, although I assure you I am in no way aggrieved.

And it is so very kind of you to suggest my private correspondence is of public interest. You make me feel very important indeed. Truly I blush although I can’t believe it is so.

Now, about that book…I think it only a fair swap to send you a copy of our fact checking book “Is that a Fact?” – which will help you better understand what we do.

Perhaps your book on Santamaria will help me understand what you do as well.


Gerard Henderson to John Barron – 6 August 2015


Thanks for your note of last Friday. As previously advised, I do apologise for lapsing from my A.C. (aka Always Courteous) practice by forwarding my email of 31 July to MWD’s tens of millions of readers before sending it to your good self.

As I said last week, “Mea Culpa”. To which I now should add “Mea Culpa” and “Mea Maxima Culpa”. As In “Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” – just in case ABC journalists no longer read Latin.

I have waited all week for a copy of Is that a Fact? The fact is it has not arrived. Could this be a broken promise within the ABC Fact Check Unit’s interpretation of this phenomenon? I sure do hope your tome arrives – since I would very much like to “better understand” what you do.

As to your suggestion that I might pay a dollar a word for quoting your thoughts in my Media Watch Dog blog – well, clearly, you do not appreciate that some souls (desperate for publicity) pay Nancy to get quoted in MWD.

By the way, I’m still wondering whether you think Nice Mr Scott broke a promise when he failed to deliver diversity at the ABC.

Keep morale high.


John Barron to Gerard Henderson – 6 August 2015

Hello Gerard!

Again it seems our communications are imperfect – I was waiting to hear from you the best address to send a copy of “Is That A fact?” to, and had heard nothing.

Is The Sydney Institute the best address?

And indeed you are right about my grasp on Latin being a bit lax – so much so I didn’t even know the word “lax” WAS Latin.

Ah, such irony… irony, being from the Latin ironia – which you must also have known.

You might be glad to know just this week I have finished writing the sequel, “Completely Fact!” – in all good bookstores soon for the tremendously reasonable price of just $24.99.

I have also been looking out anxiously for a copy of your book on BA – I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

Best as ever,


Gerard Henderson to John Barron – 7 August 2015

Good afternoon John

You can’t be serious – as the saying goes. Can it be that the head of the ABC’s expensive Fact Check Unit cannot locate The Sydney Institute’s address? Fancy that.

Being a courteous kind of guy, I purchase author’s books. So, I am happy to buy a copy of your tome Is That a Fact? – along with its sequel Completely Fact. How prolific you are.

By the way, I’m still awaiting your view of whether Nice Mr Scott broke a promise when he failed to deliver greater diversity at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.

Over and out.

Gerard Henderson

Until next time – keep morale high.

“gerard henderson trending on twitter, omg [looks out window, where the sun is eclipsed and the sky blood-red] oh yeah that makes sense”

– Adam Brereton via Twitter, 31 July 2015

Gerard Henderson on @891adelaide right now & I find myself shouting at my radio. What a morning”

– Louise Pascale via Twitter, 31 July 2015

“oh hell why is Gerard Henderson trending? Has boredom become the new black.”

– MNihilon via Twitter, 31 July 2015

Told I made the late Gerard Henderson’s little blog today. Read it. What a rancorous, nauseating, humourless little turd he is.

– Mike Carlton via Twitter during Gin & Tonic Time on 12 June 2015.

“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