GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG – ISSUE NO. 291
16 OCTOBER 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.
- Can You Bear It? Matthew Knott on the ABC; Q&A and Israel; AFR Publishes Abbott-hater on Letters Page; Malcolm Farr Goes Soft on “Poor” Murderer; Derryn Hinch Does a Billy Hughes; Maxine McKew Does a Maxine McKew
- A Linda Mottram Moment – In which Paul Bongiorno Compares the Abbott Government with the Nazi Regime
PHILLIP ADAMS AO HELPS OUT
Here’s what the ABC’s Man-in-Black tweeted about Nancy’s (male) co-owner last Saturday at 11.16 am:
Shucks. And Hendo thought that there has been a reconciliation between him and your man Adams. After all, in July 2015 – after a mere quarter of a century – Phillip Adams once again invited Gerard Henderson on to his “little wireless program” Late Night Live. On this occasion, Gerard Henderson AC (aka Always Courteous), who brought the flowers and chocolates, was at his courteous best as he and the ABC’s Man-in-Black engaged in an oh-so-courteous exchange about Hendo’s book Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man (MUP, 2015). As he left the studio, Nancy’s (male) co-owner felt that the conversation had been so amiable that another invitation to appear on LNL was likely – after another 25 years – circa July 2040.
This, alas, now seems unlikely since, less than three months after doing-the-hypocrisies, Phillip Adams is putting it about that Hendo’s missing brain is so small that it warrants a “small reward”. How hurtful. Nancy’s (male) co-owner won’t sleep well in his kennel tonight.
* * * * *
WALEED ALY – OPINIONS WITHOUT NAMES
What a stunning piece by Waleed Aly in Fairfax Media newspapers today. In the online edition, it’s headed “Doctors’ protest over asylum seekers shows us what real morality is all about.”
Believe it or not, in some 1000 words Mr Aly (for a doctor he is yet to become) mentions just one name – psychiatrist Dr “Patrick McGorry” from Monash University. There is one reference to “Stalinism” and one to “Melbourne”. Er, that’s it. Your man Aly is an academic at Monash University’s Politics Department. [I’m not surprised – Ed] and used to writing at length about nothing much in particular. As in no names, no pack drill – as the saying goes (or, rather, went).
- NANCY’S LATEST CAMPAIGN – BRING BACK SCOTT BURCHILL TO NEWS BREAKFAST. NOW.
As is his wont, Nancy’s (male) co-owner goes to bed very late on Thursday night and gets up very early on Friday morning. So, apparently, does Melbourne University academic – and media tart – Nicholas Reece. For your man Reece was on Sky News’ Paul Murray Live up to 10 pm last night and on ABC 1’s News Breakfast at 6.45 am this morning. Boring.
MWD wants Scott Burchill back on News Breakfast. Now. Sure, Dr Burchill (for a doctor he is) erred somewhat in his previous appearance – when the Deakin University’s Humanities and Social Sciences academic told co-presenter Michael Rowland that the recently departed Don Randall might be a you-beaut candidate to become speaker of the House of Representatives.
This was more than a verbal “typo” since your man Burchill seemed not to know the names of some Liberal Party MPs. But, then, Dr Burchill is a leftist academic. Moreover, the learned doctor used to drop into ABC’s Southbank studio on his way to the tip – and dressed accordingly. It’s possible that on the morning of the howler he was focusing on his load and not listening to Michael Rowland’s question and not thinking about the dead. In any event, it’s time for a resurrection of Dr Burchill. Mr Reece dresses too well for this gig.
- MATTHEW KNOTT RUNS AUNTY’S CLAW-BACK LINE
MWD reckons that Young Matthew Knott is ABC bound. After all, he has already taken two steps in the three step process to get a job at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. One – get a job at the leftist Crikey newsletter where fact-free rumours are published on a daily basis. Two – get promoted to Fairfax Media to learn how to work with busloads of leftists. Three – prepare an application to join the ABC’s Conservative Free Zone; start by writing fawning pieces about the ABC and its managing director.
In Fairfax Media newspapers last Saturday, Matthew Knott reported a speech of the previous evening by ABC managing director Mark Scott. Guess what? Nice Mr Scott wants more money for the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. News? Well, The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times thought so – believe it or not. Let’s go to Mr Knott’s report:
The ABC will try to seize on Tony Abbott’s demise as prime minister to push for fresh funding from the Turnbull government to pay for its news and current affairs services. ABC managing director Mark Scott said on Friday that he would argue investing in the public broadcaster is a “sure bet” for the government given the “endless existential shocks” being experienced by commercial media outlets.
“My central thesis tonight is that the public’s investment in news at the ABC represents better value for taxpayers than ever – and is more important than ever,” Mr Scott said in a speech in Melbourne. “As commercial media operations struggle with market forces and the slow decline of their business models, the role of the ABC, particularly in respect to news, is becoming increasingly vital to the health of our democracy and culture….
This was hardly “news” – since Mark Scott and his supporters have been banging on about the prospect of getting lotsa more taxpayer money since the demise of what many at the ABC and Fairfax Media regarded as the Abbott Clerical Fascist Dictatorship. See MWD Issue 290.
The problem with the Scott line is that Malcolm Turnbull believes that the ABC is inefficient when compared with the SBS or Sky News. Mark Scott is in denial about this issue. He just wants yet more taxpayer funded handouts and has convinced Matthew Knott that this is a good cause. And Mr Knott believes him. Can you bear it?
- NO ISRAEL BALANCE ON MONDAY’S Q&A
When on the topic of the ABC, isn’t it great to know that Q&A is back to its traditional format after a small deviation during the final years of the Abbott Clerical Fascist Dictatorship?
Last Monday’s event was a 3 left-of-centre to a 1 right-of-centre balance plus one neutral plus leftist presenter Tony (“I learnt all I know from the late leftist Francis James”) Jones. Namely, Muslim community leader Sheikh Wesam Charkawi, Greens MP Adam Bandt plus Labor Senator Lisa Singh. Turnbull government assistant minister Ken Wyatt was on the platform representing a right-of-centre perspective. And then there was the soprano Tania de Jong.
It’s a similar line-up next Monday. Just consider the “balance” if, as it is likely, the issue of Israel is raised. The panel consists of Israel – critic Bob Carr plus Israel-critic Alison Broinowski plus Israel-critic Elaine Pearson. The rest of the panel comprises 2015 Boyer lecturer Michael Fullilove and Saw Keat Tok – neither of whom have expressed strong positions on Israel. It would make sense to replace Bob Carr (a Labor critic of Israel) with Michael Danby (a Labor supporter of Israel) but don’t hold your breath. Michael Danby, Israel’s strongest supporter in the Labor Caucus, has never been invited on to Q&A. Can you bear it?
- AFR PUBLISHES ABBOTT-HATING DIAGNOSIS ON ITS LETTERS PAGE
While on the topic of the Abbott Clerical Fascist Dictatorship, how about this letter from a certain Peter Scally of New Farm in Brisbane? – which Australian Financial Review editor Michael Stutchbury saw fit to publish last Friday. Here it is – in its (undocumented) entirety:
Blame former PM’s quirks on the boxing
More attention has been given recently to a disorder that has symptoms of memory loss, executive dysfunction (cognition), depression and anxiety (changes in mood) and a short fuse and aggression (behaviour). It can occur as a result of blast injuries, American football, or the repeated knocks prevalent in boxing and rugby. It’s called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
I wonder if the former Rhodes Scholar, Oxford heavyweight boxing champion and rugby player Tony Abbott has a reason for his slight tremor, failure to keep or remember promises, slow and repetitive speech, impaired judgment, and lack of connection with social context (Sir Philip, shirt-fronting, Bronwyn).
He seemed capable of better focus on a single task, and on aggressive attack, when opposition leader. He may have a new single focus – revenge. (“Abbott’s guerrilla campaign – AFR, October 2).”
Sports allowing hard knocks to the head should be restricted. CTE is a progressive disorder that gets worse even after the blows have stopped.
New Farm, Qld
How about that? Mr Scally of New Farm has no evidence that Tony Abbott “has symptoms of memory loss”, suffers from “depression and anxiety” and exhibits a “short fuse and aggression”. There is no evidence that your man Scally has ever interviewed or treated the former prime minister.
What’s more, Mr Scally provided no evidence that Mr Abbott suffers from CTE, or that he fails to “remember promises”, or that he has slow speech or impaired judgement. In fact, when prime minister, Tony Abbott broke as many promises as Julia Gillard and spoke just as slowly. No one has suggested that Ms Gillard is a CTE victim.
Moreover, Tony Abbott had very few boxing bouts and there is no evidence that he suffered blast injuries while playing Rugby Union. Peter Scally appears to have made up his diagnosis from afar. Yet the AFR chose to print this sludge from an evident Abbott-hater.
Can you bear it?
- MALCOLM FARR CALLS PARRAMATTA MURDERER A “POOR YOUTH” – REALLY
While on the topic of fact-free diagnosis, how about the comment made by Malcolm (“Gerard Henderson is a complete f-ckwit”) Farr on Insiders last Sunday.
Let’s go to the transcript when Mr Farr is discussing the 15-year old Farhad Jabar who murdered Police Department public servant Curtis Cheng in Parramatta on 2 October 2015. Your man Farr joined a discussion about the National Security Hotline and whether parents feel confident in reporting the possible radicalisation of their children to authorities in advance of a crime being committed. Let’s go to the transcript:
Malcolm Farr: And do you really want him to become a 15-year old murderer who then essentially commits suicide? I don’t know what the circumstances are, of this – this poor youth’s family. But I mean it’s hard to believe that there wasn’t some instance when they thought – “See, I better talk to someone about this.”
Farhad Jabar shot a man in the back of his head at point-blank range. But, according to Malcolm Farr, Farhad Jabar is merely a “poor youth”. Can you bear it?
- DERRYN HINCH TO STAND FOR THE HUMAN-HEADLINE PARTY
Fortunately Derryn (“Proudly the Human Headline”) Hinch did not commence the incredibly boring Hinch Live last Sunday with a still photo of his brand new knee to which was attached a bunion-challenged big toe – See MWD Issue 283. [Thank God – Ed]. Instead Hinch commenced Hinch Live by confirming that, yes, he will run for the Senate at the next election for the soon to be created Justice Party. [Oh God – Ed].
According to Who’s Who in Australia, your man Hinch was born in February 1944. This means that, when the new senators take their place in the Commonwealth Parliament on 1 July 2017, Mr Hinch will be 73 years old. After a 6 year term, the Human Headline will be approaching 80 and closing in on Billy Hughes as the oldest member or senator to sit in the Parliament of Australia. And this from a bloke who invariably proclaims the cause of young females. Can you bear it?
- MAXINE McKEW’s ONE-SIDED VIEW OF EVIL INCARNATE
How wonderful it is to live again in a nation where the prime minister meets with the approval of the moral guardians at the ABC.
First up, there was Leigh Sales’ gushing interview with Malcolm Turnbull on 7.30. See MWD Issue 288. And now ex-ABC staffer/ex-ALP member Maxine McKew has proclaimed the virtue of the new prime minister. This is what she wrote about the changeover from Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull on the ABC The Drum last Monday:
Turnbull’s talents are evident – he comes across as intelligent, competent and modern. What a relief that in just a few short weeks we have gone from former prime minister Tony Abbott’s bleak world of evil incarnate to a successor who seems to represent the opposite…
How wonderful that Ms McKew, now on the staff at the taxpayer subsidised University of Melbourne, has gone back to her Catholic youth for the “evil incarnate” reference. As far as MWD can recall, Mr Abbott only ever called the so-called Islamic State “evil”. Kevin Rudd, Ms McKew’s one-time boss, used to use the word “evil” with reference to people smugglers. But there you go.
Maxine McKew then went on to blame the conservative side of politics for wage rorts, declaring:
I’ve noticed that the spruikers for the unbridled benefits of democratic capitalism are close to silent when it comes to the shocking wage fraud that has been exposed at 7-Eleven, and could well be systemic across different national franchise outlets, be they petrol stations, nail bars or take-away food outlets.
Where’s the sustained political rhetoric condemning the failure of our institutions to deliver wage justice and the determined action plan to ensure that a sizeable chunk of the service economy isn’t built on the back of illegal wages? It took the persistence of a consumer advocate as well as the investigative work of the ABC’s Four Corners and Fairfax to dig deep on this one and in so doing, to shine a light on practices that blow a very large hole in our concept of democratic fairness.
The Coalition won office in September 2013. Who was in office when much of the 7-Eleven wage fraud commenced? For the most part, Labor – under the governments of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. However, Ms McKew did not tell her Drum readers this. Can you bear it?
IN WHICH PAUL BONGIORNO WAS ALLOWED TO COMPARE TONY ABBOTT WITH ADOLF HITLER
In John Howard’s day, the Prime Minister’s Office regarded Network 10 reporter Paul Bongiorno as the most left-wing member of the Canberra Parliamentary Press Gallery – outside of the ABC. So it came as no surprise that, when your man Bonge became a mere contributing editor for Channel 10, he was soon given extra duties with the taxpayer funded public broadcaster – including on ABC Radio National and ABC Metropolitan Radio 702.
Yesterday, Hendo heard Paul Bongiorno’s bi-weekly discussion with Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly on Radio National Breakfast while walking Nancy at about 7.45 am. Then, after arriving at the office, he heard Bonge banging-on again on 702’s Mornings with Linda Mottram. It was the usual political rant except towards the end when Bonge got into his pulpit and laid down the law about, yes, ART. Let’s go to the transcript, following a gentle lead-in by Ms Mottram:
Linda Mottram: Alright, art.
Paul Bongiorno: Art.
Linda Mottram: Art. There’s lots of it in Parliament House.
Paul Bongiorno: Yes, there is a permanent collection. But what’s happening at the moment is that a collection was, um, ah was commissioned by the Bell Shakespeare ah Company, for some of Australia’s finest artists to paint pictures from the words from Shakespeare’s plays and, er, or, or, or, scenes from Shakespeare’s plays.
And, um, Craig Kelly, the Member for Hughes in Sydney, who put on his Facebook that he stuck with Tony [Abbott] in the recent ballot. Er, he, he takes great offence to one of the arts [sic] of the three witches from Macbeth. And one of the witches [has] a big bare bottom and he doesn’t think that’s very nice. But I went down and had a look at the collection. Ah I actually thought that that by the famous, much awarded artist, um, I can’t think the name now. She’s so awarded, I can’t think of the name.
Linda Mottram: Wendy Sharpe? Wendy Sharpe?
Paul Bongiorno: Wendy Sharpe, of course, yeah. But there’s another one by Ken Done, “A woman is a dish for the gods: Anthony and Cleopatra”, which is full-frontal nudity. I wonder if he [Craig Kelly] likes that one? And then there’s another one by, um, that’s Ken Done’s effort – a guy called Garry Shead, “Romeo and Juliet”. And Romeo seems to be fondling the bare breast of Juliet.
Now, maybe, eh, maybe, eh, Craig Kelly, who said – maybe he’s a philistine – but his hero Tony Abbott once described the art collection in Parliament House as “avant-garde crap”.
Now those of you that have an eye to history, and the history of art discussion and polemics over the years, might remember that the, um, for example, the, eh, Nazis in Nazi Germany outlawed anything that was modern art or impressionistic. The only art that was, you know, politically correct in those times was what they call photo-realism. So you know, whether that would satisfy this gentleman Kelly or not I don’t know. Art is in the eye of the beholder. I do think that maybe he’s a bit prudish and misses the point.
Linda Mottram: Maybe that’s the case, Paul. But that’s entirely your opinion and yours only.
Paul Bongiorno: I agree. I agree. And he’s entitled to his.
Linda Mottram: [much laughter] Totally. [More laughter].
Paul Bongiorno: And I’m sure many agree with him.
Linda Mottram: I’m sure of that, too. [Laughs]
Paul Bongiorno: We can’t all be enlightened aesthetes, like myself. [Much laughter].
Linda Mottram: That’s right. There is room for diversity, a breadth of views. What do they say about the Liberal Party? It’s a broad church – it’s a big broad church out there.
Paul Bongiorno: But, we don’t want too many broads without their clothes on.
Linda Mottram: [Laughs] Very good, he’s on fire today isn’t he? Show him a painting and off he goes. Paul Bongiorno, thank you very much.
Paul Bongiorno: Thank you Linda, goodbye. I’m going down to have a look at the art.
Linda Mottram: Very nice, good, excellent. Enjoy.
What a load of absolute tosh. Just because Tony Abbott is alleged to have once described the art collection in Parliament House as “avant-garde crap” – this does not entitle Paul Bongiorno to associate the former prime minister with the artistic preferences of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.
Linda Mottram did nothing to dissent from Bonge’s association of Tony Abbott with Nazism. Nor did she see fit to point out to Mr Bongiorno that Adolf Hitler’s regime did not just criticise the art of which it disapproved. In Nazi Germany, books and modern art were destroyed and writers and artists were incarcerated and sometimes murdered. Whereas during the time of what some ABC types regard as the Abbott Clerical Fascist Dictatorship, writers and artists still got their Australia Council grants and all that stuff and no artistic work – however crappy – was destroyed on the whim of the prime minister.
Yet, beyond reminding Paul Bongiorno that the Abbott/Nazi link was his opinion – along with a few supporting giggles – the presenter of “Mornings with Linda Mottram” said nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Verily, a Linda Mottram Moment.
- SOME GRATUITOUS ADVICE ON AUNTY’S RURAL DEPARTMENT CLARE VALLEY JUNKET
Did anyone read the report in yesterday’s Herald Sun that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster proposes to shout three score and ten members of the ABC’s Rural Department to a hand-holding four day “professional development” occasion in Clare. Yes, Clare in South Australia’s wine-growing area, around 130 kilometres north of Adelaide. [I’ll drink to that – Ed].
In recent years, ABC managing director and (alleged) editor-in-chief Mark Scott has been busy ripping money out of areas such as the Rural Department and using the funds to bolster Aunty’s ever-expanding online presence. Now Nice Mr Scott has decided to sponsor the remaining 70 Rural Department staff to a four-day love-in for bonding and so on. [Why doesn’t he take MWD’s lead and call this gig a MORALE BOOSTER? – Ed]
The ABC, which is part of the Right-to-Know Alliance, invariably refuses to let others know what they want to know. So it comes as no surprise that ABC management has refused to disclose the cost of this jaunt – or what might be gained from such an apparent indulgence. It seems that the Clare Love-In is some kind of national security secret.
Nancy is an ABC Lover – possibly because she is deaf and, consequently, unaware that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster is a Conservative Free Zone. In any event, MWD asked Nancy to give the ABC Rural Department some advice about what to expect from the Clare Love-In since she is a hand-holding kind of canine and tops at bonding. Here’s her message – sent from a psychiatrist’s couch:
How wonderful that Nice Mr Scott has decided to bring the (remaining) members of the ABC Rural Department to Clare for a bonding session – of the non-restraint genre (i.e. leave your hand-cuffs at home). It should be a memorable occasion – provided you don’t drink too much during the memory-destroying drinking sessions.
To get the most out of the bonding experience, you should take all games seriously. Nice Mr Scott has a tricky game called “Find Aunty’s Conservatives”. To please Nice Mr Scott, you should mention the likes of Aunt Amanda Vanstone and Uncle Tom Switzer – but don’t mention the fact that their programs are low-rating and appear at low-rating times on the low-rating Radio National Network. And remember that occasionally a conservative can be found inside the ABC – particularly when pizzas are being delivered at Ultimo or Southbank.
ABC Chairman Jim Spigelman also has a board game. It’s a memory test which starts with the fact that one of his predecessors – a certain Richard Dowling (1915-1975-) declared that pederasty was all the go. You’ll do well if by the end of the test you cannot remember that the ABC chairman four decades ago had a “Give Pederasts a Chance” mentality – an approach which has not been publicly renounced.
I’m sure you will enjoy the (bonding) sport. The soccer/football game is a real beaut. Two teams, no goal-keepers and one net. Both teams kick in the same direction to discourage professional jealousy. And the netball works a treat without goal posts – bonding sessions have no losers. Also hide-and-seek is stress-free since it takes place on the netball court which makes hiding and seeking less of a challenge than might otherwise be the case.
Remember to bring your sandals and Che-Guevara tee-shirts. Also remember the Aunty Verbal Catechism which is designed to encourage ideological correctness along with ideological bonding and works well in ABC camps, especially with wine:
|Global Warming||We’re all doomed.|
|Same Sex Marriage||Yes, please. Now.
|Christianity||The opiate of the people (as Karl Marx taught us)
|Islam||Let’s not be judgmental
|Fran Kelly||What an “activist”.
|Jonathan Green||Proudly the ABC’s “Sneerer-in-Chief”
|Israel||Let’s hear from Hamas and Hezbollah
|Islamist Terrorism||Let’s talk about the Crusades instead
|Tony Abbott||Clerical Fascist Dictator
|Saint Bob Brown||Pray for us – in a humanist kind of way.
|Cardinal George Pell||May he rot in the Vatican
|Margaret Thatcher||May she rot in hell
|Leigh Sales||Please interrupt us
|Emma Alberici||Please verbal us again
|Tony Jones||He used to turn over cars outside Newington College
|Nice Mr Scott||All hail Nice Mr Scott
|Taxpayers’ Money||More Please
|More Wine?||More Wine!|
PS: I have attached a photo – taken by my master – on the psychiatrist’s couch as I was dictating this missive.
AND THE WINNER IS GUY RUNDLE
As avid MWD readers will be aware, this segment is inspired by the Irish humourist Brian O’Nolan (nom de plume Flann O’Brien, (1911-1966) — and, in particular, his critique of the poet Ezra Pound. The Brian O’Nolan Gong for Literary Sludge is devoted to outing bad writing and incomprehensible prose.
The latest winner is Comrade Guy Rundle, MWD’s favourite Marxist comedian. The one-time co-editor of Arena Magazine, a Marxist journal of opinion, learnt to write sludge at the sandalled-feet of the turgid one-time Communist Party functionary Geoff Sharp (1926-2015). See MWD Issue 280.
These days, Comrade Rundle is Crikey’s editor-at-large and writes thousands of words each working day for Eric Beecher’s leftist newsletter. [Interesting. I thought your man Rundle was Crikey’s editor-at-length. – Ed].
Yesterday’s tract was titled “Rundle: This is the way modern politics ends, not with a bang but a Turnbull”. How about that? As it turned out, Rundle’s Crikey piece commenced not with a bang but a Rundle. Here it is:
Napoleon declared the end of the Holy Roman Empire on one day in 1806, and it might not have been the most momentous thing he did that day. By that time, Charlemagne’s creation was reduced to a few statelets and free cities banded together. The old world died with a whimper. What did that feel like, I’ve often wondered, to see a thousand-year-old empire, one that claimed descent from the Roman Empire itself, end in an afternoon? Something of the feeling was communicated by seeing Tony Abbott take his seat on the backbench in Parliament this week…
Go on. Alas, Comrade Rundle did. And on and on and on – as Comrade Rundle sought to draw a comparison between the alleged end of the Holy Roman Empire and Malcolm Turnbull’s swearing in as Prime Minister of Australia some 209 years later. Yawn.
There were (incomprehensible) references to syncing Rundle’s article with “Iron Butterfly’s in-a-gadda-da-vida or similar”. There was a reference to the “Latham-Rudd-Abbott era” along with a pointer to “transcendental deliverance”. Really. According to Comrade Rundle, Rudd’s vision advocated “a Maoism for middle Australia” and Abbott was “an extraordinary last survival of Christian reactionary politics”. [Does your man Rundle see Christ in the junking of the carbon tax? – Ed]
Then there were references to a Menzies, a Calwell, a Fraser, a Hawke, a Keating and a Howard – but no first names. According to Crikey’s editor-at-large: “Abbott’s was[sic] vision in the sense of Mother Mary coming down in a white light to give you the sword of justice, its mystical and contentless finale”. [What is he on about? – or, perhaps, what’s he on? – Ed]. After a reference to “an ersatz political vision”, Rundle concluded his rant as follows:
The old world dies in an afternoon, and the sooner one realises it has, the sooner one can adjust one’s thinking — and vision — to it.
Yeah, right. [Perhaps he spent the afternoon with Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton? Just a thought. – Ed]
By Flann O’Brien
of Ezra Pound
My grasp of what he wrote and meant
Was only five or six %
The rest was only words and sound –
My reference is to Ezra £
* * * *
of Guy Rundle
My grasp of what Guy wrote or meant
Was only five or six per cent
The rest’s just ripe with Marxist pap
Oh why does Crikey print such crap?
ISABEL OAKESHOTT’S (UNSOURCED) ALLEGATION ABOUT BRITISH PM DAVID CAMERON AND THE DEAD PIG
As avid readers will be aware, in recent issues MWD has focused on the fondness of some journalists – in Australia and elsewhere – for anonymous sources.
The current issue of Private Eye (No 1402) contains a piece on the book Call me Dave: The Unauthorised Biography of David Cameron (Biteback Publishing, 2015) which is co-written by Lord Ashcroft (a Cameron critic) and journalist Isabel Oakeshott.
Private Eye’s report centres on the allegation in Call Me Dave that, when a student at Oxford University, a young David Cameron had placed his penis inside the mouth of a (deceased) pig. Wrote Private Eye:
Even the most hardened tabloid hacks are wondering how Isabel Oakeshott thought she could get away with claiming that the young David Cameron pointed his percy at a porker. None of Cameron’s contemporaries believed that he played hunt-the-sausage with a pig’s head or any other piece of charcuterie. Nor could Oakeshott produce a scrap of evidence.
With sublime insouciance, she explained on Newsnight that she didn’t do anything so laborious as check her facts. Rather she and the obsessively grudgeful Lord Ashcroft preferred to put it out there and let people “decide for themselves whether it’s true” – relying on the non-dom peer’s under-taxed fortune to deter libel writs.
Fact checking is not the only journalistic skill that seems beyond Oakeshott, who was political editor of the Sunday Times until Lord Ashcroft lured her away for his vanity-vengeance project by offering to pay twice as much as the Digger. Hacks are also meant to protect their sources, and it is far from clear that Oakeshott has protected hers.
The sole justification she and Ashcroft offered for their pig-poke story was that although they had no eyewitnesses there was rumoured to be a photo. They couldn’t find that either but it had allegedly been seen by their source, described as “a distinguished MP, who was a contemporary of Cameron at Oxford”….
If Ms Oakeshott tires of the criticism of her “look-mum-no-facts” style of journalism in the Old Dart, she could set sail for the Antipodes. In recent times the Fairfax Media, in particular the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, have given substantial coverage to the stories by the likes of Peter Hartcher (See MWD Issue 287) and others which are based on anonymous sources.
Until next time – keep morale high.
Gérard Henderson brain missing. Small reward
Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 10 October 2015
I’ve been shot at by the Viet Cong. I once met Gerard Henderson. I can take any shit thrown at me…
Mike Carlton via Twitter, 9:22 PM – 9 Sep 2015
Gerard. You are an idiot #insiders
Bevan Shields via Twitter, 9:46 AM, 23 August 2015