5 February 2016

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.





It’s great to have Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly back from her Well Earned Break. And wasn’t that a very “Political Forum” on Radio National Breakfast this morning?

It was an all-sheila affair. Fran Kelly was in the presenter’s chair and the segment was produced by RN Breakfast’s  political editor Alison Carabine.  The guests were Laura Tingle (political editor, Australian Financial Review), Karen Middleton (political correspondent, The Saturday Paper) and Katharine Murphy (political editor, Guardian Australia).

Believe it or not, Fran Kelly and Laura Tingle and Karen Middleton and Katharine Murphy went on and on – and on and on – for over 19 minutes. With everyone essentially agreeing with everyone else on a range of issues – in a Canberra Press Gallery kind of way. The topics included:

Tax Reform : Laura said that the GST (as part of tax reform) had gone off the boil a bit this week.  Karen agreed with Laura and Katharine agreed with Karen. And Fran agreed with what she termed “three giants of the Press Gallery”.  Laura said that “it is not clear to me that the government actually knows why it is doing tax reform”. She added “We’ve got to know what the ‘it’ is”. More agreement. This was greeted by mutual reinforcing laughter from Katharine and Karen.

Asylum Seekers :  Ms Murphy referred to the Turnbull government’s “atrocious deterrence policies”. La Tingle predicted that the Turnbull government would do a “fudge” on this issue. Ms Middleton agreed – saying there is a “change in tone”. But all agreed that any change in handling children in detention would be low key.

Katharine then said that the policy was “absurdity upon absurdity”. Karen responded: “It is.” Fran then said that the people on Manus Island and Nauru were stuck.  Laura declared that Australia has “so besmirched our name in this area”. Katharine agreed that Europe, not Australia, had a “genuine migration crisis”. Laura agreed.

Double Dissolution :  Fran Kelly declared that “the Senate yesterday decided to put the whole ABBC [legislation] – which was meant to be the trigger for the double dissolution – off; so the best laid plans, if they were plans of Malcolm Turnbull, [sic]   I’m not sure.

What the RN Breakfast presenter was suggesting is that the Senate, by sending the ABBC legislation to a Senate committee rather than defeating it yesterday, had taken away the trigger for a double dissolution.

This is hopelessly wrong – as precedent indicates.  In April 1951 Robert Menzies obtained a double dissolution from the Governor-General, Sir William McKell, after Labor sent the Coalition’s banking legislation to a select committee without defeating it in the Senate. The fact is that a double dissolution can be brought about by delaying, as well as defeating, legislation in the Senate.

The Friday Panel did not disagree with the presenter.  Karen Middleton declared that “the Senate has come back quite trickily with its deferral of the Building Construction Commission legislation. Ah, ha. We don’t have to vote for it or against it, we can just put it off till March”. Whereupon Kelly said that the Coalition “didn’t see that coming”.

As mentioned above, not one of the “giants” of the Press Gallery was aware that Robert Menzies obtained a double dissolution election in April 1951 after the Coalition’s banking legislation was merely delayed by the Opposition in the Senate.

At this stage Hendo realised that long discussions with no disagreement are boring and decided to talk to the deaf Nancy.



What a feisty column in Fairfax Media newspapers today by Mr Waleed (“one day I’ll be a doctor”) Aly. When he is not writing for Fairfax Media and appearing on Network 10’s The Project, your man Aly is a lecturer in politics at Monash University.

This morning Aly rails against the border protection policies of the governments led by John Howard, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott – but does not  specifically mention Malcolm Turnbull.

According to Waleed Aly:

Ultimately, this whole issue exists in a world of make-believe: make-believe borders, make-believe compliance with the refugee convention, and make-believe resettlement policy. Among all the moral injuries we’ve inflicted on ourselves in this sordid area of politics – and there are many – the most overlooked is how adept we’ve become at lying to ourselves.

Mr Aly went on and on. But, in around 1000 words, he did not say what Australia’s border protection policy should be. Aly did not indicate how Australia can prevent its asylum seeker policy being handed over to people smugglers if the currently essentially bi-partisan policy is weakened.  Nor did he suggest how, if the policy is relaxed, Australian authorities can prevent children, women and men drowning at sea.

Nor did Aly put a total on the number of unauthorised boat arrivals which Australia should accept each year.  Perhaps 500, or 5000, or 50,000 – or whatever?  Waleed Aly isn’t saying.  Mr Aly is an academic and commentator who carries no responsibility for the consequences of his advocacy in the media. With form like this, another Walkley Award for your man Aly can’t be too far away.

No doubt the Walkley Award judges will look-back-in-happiness at Aly’s rant about Tony Blair and Tony Abbott in the Fairfax Media newspapers on 30 October 2015.  The Monash University politics lecturer gave Blair and Abbott a lecture about Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey and “the Syrian catastrophe”. He asked “why should the weight of refugees protection be carried by those nations least equipped to handle it”.  But Aly neglected to mention that wealthy Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States had declined to take any refugees – not even Sunnis.

Aly went on to allege that Australia’s political culture “mostly ignores arcane matters like foreign affairs”.  In this same article he totally overlooked such “arcane matters” as the Sunni-Shia conflict which has led to an effective religious civil war within Islam.



Can you bear it graphic



 Last week MWD reported that the oh-so-irreverent Richard Ackland had accepted an AM in the Australia Day Honours List.  Ackland AM now joins other irreverent journalistic types who have accepted gongs in recent memory. Including Phillip Adams AO, AM and the late Padraic P. McGuinness AO.

Last week MWD wondered whether the gonging of Ackland AM would improve the tone of his “Gadfly” column in Morry Schwartz’s The [boring] Saturday Paper – now that he is destined to head off to Government House for cucumber sandwiches, speeches by the Queen’s man in Australia and the like. Apparently not, it seems.

Believe it or not, last Saturday your man Ackland referred to Alexander Downer’s (alleged) “childlike form of expression” when he spoke recently at Australia House in London in his capacity as Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. This from a columnist who engages in childlike expression on a regular basis.  Take last Saturday, for example. In his “Gadfly” column, Richard Ackland AM:

٠ referred to The Australian’s Sharri Markson as “Lois Lane of The Australian”

٠ referred to Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos as “Arfur (Daley) Sinodinos”

٠ referred to Alexander Downer, Australia’s High Commissioner in London, as “Lord Downer”

٠ referred to High Commissioner Downer’s father, Sir Alexander Downer, as “Sir Alick” [Gosh, this is so funny. Any more of Ackland AM bons mots to follow? Ed]

٠ referred to Bronwyn Bishop as “Princess Bronnie”

٠ referred to Queen Elizabeth I as “Betty Battenberg”

٠ referred to journalist Paul Kelly as “Monsignor Kelly”

٠ referred to The Australian as “The Catholic Boys Daily”

٠ referred to Senator Eric Abetz as “Young Otto Abetz”

٠ referred to former prime minister Tony Abbott as “Tone”

٠ And, oh yes, Ackland AM also re-cycled that old, old “joke” about Mrs Bishop’s hair:

As it is, if Bronwyn retains preselection there’s a good prospect that a strong independent, assisted by local hero Bob Ellis, could do the Liberals major damage, campaigning on the toxic effects of hairspray on the northern beaches.

And this unfunny tripe from the very same Ackland AM who complains of the “childlike form of expression” of others. Can you bear it?



While on the topic of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, consider the tweet put out by Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton on Monday after the 70 year old had just returned from a visit to his local Avalon Beach.


Okay. Yeah, sure.  The tweet went out at 6.04 pm – Gin and Tonic up Avalon Beach way.  But isn’t it surprising that the Sage of Avalon Beach is not so concerned about beautiful women contracting a melanoma on their, say, shins.  Can you bear it?



Thanks to the avid reader who drew MWD’s attention to Tony Wright’s “Sketch” column in The Age on 28 January 2016. The evidence suggests that Mr Wright is seeking an AM gong – like Ackland AM. How else to explain his child-like attempts at humour?

The aim of the sketch – if aim there was – was to ridicule Tony Abbott, Kevin Andrews, Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi.  How very Guardian-on-the-Yarraish.  This is how Tony Wright commenced his column titled “Aiding and Abetzing the cause of flat-Earthers insurgency”:

Senator Eric Abetz awoke from his fitful summer slumber. He’d been dreaming about Donald Trump. And Sarah Palin. And vice-versa. “The Earth is flat,” he declared in his familiar nasal whine. “No plebiscite thingie can change that. We have to build a wall so we don’t fall off.” He nudged his dozing companions, Kevin Andrews and Cory Bernardi. “Wake up,” he cried. “We’ve got to put things to rights!”

“Rights?” mumbled Cory. “What are the tree-hugger vegans wanting now, Erica?” “The globalists want to bind us to the globe,” said Senator Abetz. “It’s time for an insurgency. What are you doing on your knees, Kevin?” “I’m praying against globalists. And insurgents. And binding. And all the other ungodly things. Sodom and Gomorrah,” offered Kevin.

Alas, Wright’s attempt at humour didn’t get any better. Here’s the conclusion – which commences with Senator Bernardi saying:

“Where is he [Tony Abbott], anyway?” asked Cory. “He’s over at the edge of the world, just near the garden of Eden, speaking to the flat-Earthers,” said the Senator.

How funny can you get? And to think The Age pays Tony Wright to publish this verbal sludge. Can you bear it?



According to ABC publicity, Q&A is the show where the audience asks the questions. And that comes with a bit of abuse, too, it seems.

Well that’s what happened last Monday when Q&A returned from it’s oh-so-long Well Earned Break.  Audience member Ronaldo Aquino suggested to the panel that Australian Institute of Criminology statistics indicated that domestic violence peaked in 2007.

Presenter Tony (“Don’t I look so hip without a tie”) Jones called on Australian of the Year David Morrison to respond. And Lieutenant-General Morrison told Mr Aquino that he was talking “bull-shit”. The following exchange followed:

Tony Jones: Just on the question of statistics, it might be –

David Morrison: Sorry, I swore on your program, Tony.

Tony Jones: That’s all right.


All right? But no one apologised to Ronaldo Aquino. Can you bear it?

[No. Perhaps next week you could advise avid readers about Nancy’s Courtesy Classes which are designed to handle angry Australians of the Year – among others. – Ed]



On The Road With Kerry O'Brien



The Irish writer Flann O’Brien once joked that he lost a finger due to flunking Latin declensions while studying under the Christian Brothers. Amputation was the punishment.

Nancy’s (male) co-owner was reminded of this when watching Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery on ABC 1 on Wednesday featuring recently retired ABC presenter Kerry O’Brien.  Red Kerry rocked up in a manual VW somewhere in Brisbane and took Ms Zemiro for a trip around the areas where he grew up.  It was a car ride to Self-Indulgence Land.

There was the family’s home in South Brisbane. Kezza advised the infatuated Julia of the very window out of which he had spewed one night a mere half a century ago – just at a time when his sister (accompanied by her boyfriend) was returning home. Fancy that. [Er, not really. Ed.]   It was what Barry Humphries once described as a “Chunder Down Under”. Apparently it took the Brisbane Floods of 1974 to completely clean-up the site.

Then it was on to St Laurence’s College in Brisbane where Young Kerry suffered corporal punishment under the Christian Brothers.  He claimed that a Brother had even hit him with a strap on the head – but did not say whether his parents had noticed any cuts or bruising, which surely would have resulted from such a violent attack.

These are the “highlights” of Red Kerry’s look-back-in-anger moment as told to the comedian Julia Zemiro – where your man O’Brien revealed much about his school days and his journalism – except for the fact that he was Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam’s media adviser in the mid-1970s.

On the Labor Split of the 1950s

Julia Zemiro: Were your family very political?

 Kerry O’Brien: Dad certainly was. His father was a foundation member of the Rockhampton branch of the Labor Party.  He was also very strongly Catholic and he was one of those whose ties to Catholicism were stronger than his ties to the Labor Party. And he went DLP in the Split.


What a load of tosh. The Split in the Labor Party in the 1950s primarily took place at the Federal level and in Victoria and Queensland.  Labor split at the national level and in Victoria in 1955. However, the split in Queensland did not take place until 1957 – and was different to that which had occurred two years earlier in Victoria.

It is true that many – but not all – of the national and Victorian parliamentarians who resigned from/were expelled from the ALP in 1955 were Catholics.  But the Split in Queensland was different – and occurred because the Queensland ALP state executive moved against Queensland Labor premier Vince Gair and his colleagues.  In fact, all but one of Gair’s ten man cabinet was expelled by the Australian Labor Party and formed the Queensland Labor Party (QLP) – which later joined with the Democratic Labor Party (DLP). The remaining ALP members voted with the conservative Opposition to deny supply and defeat the Gair government. Labor did not return to office for another three decades.

The Labor Party split in Queensland in 1957 had little to do with Catholicism.  Sure, many who formed the QLP were Catholic – but this simply reflected the fact that many members of the ALP at the time were Catholic. Kerry O’Brien’s father did not choose between the Labor Party and the Catholic Church in 1957 – he was expelled by the ALP for supporting Vice Gair who had disagreed with the ALP party machine over its call for an increase in annual leave for public servants.

On Red Kerry’s Humiliation

 Kerry O’Brien: It’s probably a slight exaggeration to say that there wasn’t a week in nine years that I didn’t go without the strap. But it wouldn’t have been much less than that. [This is incomprehensible – did the Home Delivery producer really put this to air? – Ed]

 Julia Zemiro: You were singled out. Why was that? 

Kerry O’Brien: Grade Four, I used to get into a certain amount of strife and I think maybe I was just very chatty in the class with maybe little bit of a sense of mischief.  But the Brother who had me in Grade Five, he was a very red faced guy who even looked angry and he certainly, he used to get into big tempers. But he stood me up and he said “Kerry O’Brien stand up”. So I stood up and he said – so I would have been nine. He stood me up in front of this class of about eighty kids and he said “Now I’ve been warned about you and I’m putting you on notice;” and I’m paraphrasing him “I’m putting you on notice and if you step out of line, I’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks.”  So it wasn’t the threat of the ton of bricks that was the issue, it was the humiliation of being stood up in front of eighty of my class mates and being told that essentially I was a rat.

Gosh. So half a century ago a Christian Brother told young Kezza that if he stepped out of line he was going to come down on him “like a ton of bricks”.  Where Nancy’s (male) co-owner went to school half a century ago, such an admonition would have made Hendo a hero.  But Red Kerry still feels the pain of such a “humiliation” 50 years later – along with the need to tell Home Delivery viewers. Fair dinkum.

As to the “rat” reference – well it appears that the 70 year old O’Brien just made this up.  Misbehaving school children half a century ago were not called “rats”.  Get over it, Red Kerry.

Then Kezza had this to say about the Christian Brothers who, whatever their faults, gave up their lives to teach the children of the working class – and provided the basic education which saw the likes of O’Brien attain well-paid jobs without having to undertake university study while others won Commonwealth scholarships or state scholarships to study at university.

Kerry O’Brien: There may be brothers, former brothers, who would pop their heads up, if they haven’t left the mortal coil, and say: “No Kerry you’ve got it all wrong. I was there, I loved my God I loved my faith and I actually got great joy out of my teaching.” But I suspect there were a lot of very unhappy, very misdirected, misplaced people who led very unhappy and unfulfilled lives. Who were celibate when they probably, you know, they were celibate because they’d chosen to be at the age of fifteen. Those things don’t stack up. I mean it’s quite a selfless act to take – the decision to give up your life for a religious purpose. But I feel sad for the people who occupied this space.

How would Kerry O’Brien know that “a lot of” Christian Brothers led “very unhappy and unfulfilled lives?” And if he is “sad” for the Christian Brothers of St Laurence College, why did he bag them out on television to a comedian?


Kerry O'Brien Home Delivery



 While on the topic of Kerry O’Brien, this is what Red Kerry had to say in the “Acknowledgements” section of his recently released book Keating (Allen & Unwin, 2015) about the people who helped him with the Paul Keating project when he was on the payroll at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.

O'Brien Excerpt

Now MWD does not focus on written or verbal “typos” – since everyone makes the occasional spelling/pronunciation mistake or uses the wrong word every now and then.

However, MWD is of the view that someone like Kerry O’Brien – who was treated so well by the ABC over so many years – should at least know the name of his managers.

Until her recent resignation to take up the top job at the State Library of Victoria, Kate Torney was head of ABC News and Current Affairs.  Yet it appears that Kerry O’Brien does not know how to spell her name – calling her “Kate Tawney”.

In case Kerry O’Brien’s Keating goes to a second edition, MWD offers this helpful guide as how to, and not to, spell Kate Torney – in what is a competitive field.

Tawney Tawney and Torney



Nancy’s Old Bones



 As avid MWD readers will recall, one-time ABC supremo Darce (call me Jon) Cassidy was featured in leftist film maker Haydn Keenan’s Persons of Interest documentary which aired on SBS TV in 2014.  Persons of Interest examined the files of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation concerning persons whom ASIO regarded as national security risks during the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s.

Darce Cassidy was interviewed on Persons of Interest. In a somewhat delusional state, your man Cassidy alleged that come the revolution in the late 1960s/early 1970s, ASIO would have attempted to murder him – and that he and his comrades would have responded in kind.  Gerard Henderson covers this ground in his review of John Blaxland’s official history of ASIO between 1963 and 1973 which is published in the current issue of The Sydney Institute Review – see here.

As documented by historian Ken Inglis in This is the ABC (MUP, 1983) Darce Cassidy was a member of what was called “Ashbolt’s Kindergarten”.  This was the term used to describe the action of self-declared Marxist Allan Ashbolt – when a senior ABC manager in the 1960s and 1970s – to place young leftists within the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. Ken Inglis named members of “Ashbolt’s Kindergarten” as including Jon (aka Darce) Cassidy, Malcolm Long and Marius Webb.

Your man Cassidy’s file was recently released by the National Archives of Australia.  Here is the commencement of the report of what Comrade Cassidy said at a leftist conference in Brisbane in February 1972:


Darc (Jon Michael) CASSIDY (VPF, 19777)


Darc (Jon Michael) CASSIDY (VPF, 19777) attended the Action Conference on Racism and Change held at the University of Queensland between 28th January and 2nd February 1972. In conversation CASSIDY stated that he had been able, without difficulty, to convince his superiors in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the Conference was worthy of coverage by the A.B.C.   CASSIDY then volunteered for the project and his fares from Melbourne to Brisbane and return and his accommodation costs in Brisbane were paid for by the A.B.C.  He boasted that he was getting “a week’s holiday for the revolution” for doing forty-five minutes of work.

So there you have it. You man Cassidy boasted in February 1972 that the ABC was funding his contribution to the revolution.


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 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 – not even Ms Murphy herself (See MWD Issue 297).


 As avid readers will be aware, a year ago Sunday Canberra Times columnist and leftist Paul Malone wrote to Gerard Henderson about the Middle East and all that.  See here.  Hendo, being courteous, responded to Mr Malone’s poorly written correspondence. However, just after Christmas Day 2015 your man Malone got upset that MWD had not published one of his letters a year earlier and commenced trolling Hendo – with a little help from Fairfax Media.  Here is the latest correspondence – which contains the (poorly written) letter of 17 January 2015 which Mr Malone complains MWD did not publish.  Here we go:


Paul Malone to Gerard Henderson – 12 December 2015


Dear Gerard

I have only just noticed the postings of our correspondence on your Media Watch Dog site. Forgive me for not following your every word.  But you do not follow mine either. In the last entry of our exchange on 23 January 2015 you said I seemed “unaware of the long conflict between the Sunni and Shia brands of Islam.”

In fact on 17 January 2015, a week before you wrote this the Canberra Times published my article which said, among other things:

But if Islam does stand for freedom of faith and coexistence, why is it that so many people who call themselves Muslims are in so much conflict, not just with non-Muslims, but also with other people who call themselves Muslim?

Muslims of one sort or another are in conflict with Hindus in India, Buddhists in Thailand, Christians in the Western world and the Philippines, atheists and Orthodox Christians in the territories of the old Soviet Union and Buddhists and communists in China. But most noticeably they are in conflict with each other – Shia and Sunni in Iraq and Iran, Alawites and Sunni in Syria, Kurds and Turks in Turkey.

Not only are there wars, there are many horrific incidents.

The media is so full of the killings in Paris that it’s easy to forget the massacre in Peshawar, Pakistan, in mid-December, when 141 people, mostly schoolchildren, were killed. In Northern Nigeria, Boko Haram is reported to have killed over 500 people a fortnight ago and used a 10-year-old girl to detonate a bomb at a market, killing at least 10 people and seriously injuring others.

 I wish you would stop assuming what I think and misrepresenting my views.




Paul Malone to Gerard Henderson – 27 December 2015

Dear Gerard

I note your enthusiasm for publicly pointing out the failures of others (The Oz 26-27 Dec) but I also note that you have not even bothered to acknowledge my email… which points out your misrepresentation of my position.

I hope you will publicly correct the record in your Media Watchdog and, next time, rather than assuming my position, just ask me.




Gerard Henderson to Paul Malone – 5 February 2016


I refer to your email of Monday 27 December 2015 in which you complained that I had not published your letter of 23 January 2015 in my Media Watch Dog blog.  I understand that you recently phoned the office about this. Apologies that I did not have time to take your call (I understand that you did not leave a phone number).  However, I did pass on a message that I would be in touch concerning your latest email.  Hence this email – so that my prophecy might be fulfilled.

All I can say is that you are easily offended and very sensitive to criticism (even for a journalist). Your email arrived at 11.36 am on the Sunday after Christmas Day 2015 which – in Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton’s time – is Hangover Time.  The truth is that I simply overlooked your missive.  It was not the most important correspondence which I received during the Silly Season – believe it or not.

In response to your letter of 23 January 2015, I must confess that I do not always read your “The Recidivist” column in the Sunday Canberra Times.  So I had no idea on 23 January 2015 that you had referred to the conflict between Sunni and Shia in your Sunday Canberra Times article on 17 January 2015. Fancy that.

What I was aware of is that in your email correspondence of early January 2015 you said that you had emailed “Muslim reps” asking why there are “Muslims killing Muslims” – but received no reply.  You seem surprised by this.  Pretty naïve, don’t you think? Moreover, in this correspondence you indicated no understanding of the bitter Sunni/Shia divide within Islam.

In relation to your Sunday Canberra Times column, titled “Comment on commentator’s views”, I make the following points:

▪  I stand by what I wrote in The Weekend Australian on 3 January 2015 that “there was no war between Israel and Palestine; nor has such an entity as Palestine ever existed”. I was referring to the fact that there has never been a Palestine state.  In my column I specifically referred to the Palestinian Authority and to my (then) recent visit to Ramallah. So I am certainly aware of the land referred to by some as Palestine – this does not make Palestine a state or an entity.

▪ In your email of 9 January 2015, you were intellectually dishonest enough to selectively quote from the Balfour Declaration of 1926.  You wrote that the Balfour Declaration states “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine….” to support your assertion that there is an entity known as Palestine . You neglected to complete the quote which referred to “the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish state”. [emphasis added].  I note that you did not acknowledge this fudge in your Sunday Canberra Times column.

▪  I did not claim that you ever said that “there should be no Israel”. I simply quoted your comment to me:

No Palestine, Gerard??? (Oz Jan 3-4)

More like No Israel?

Funny that you pick on 1948 to 1967 to look at the region.

What you were suggesting is that Palestine has more legitimacy than Israel.  This overlooks the fact that Israel was created with the sanction of the United Nations in 1948.  The United Nations Security Council has not endorsed the creation of a state of Palestine.

▪ I note that you quote from my article “The Rat Pack” on the Canberra Parliamentary Press Gallery which was published in the August 1987 edition of the IPA Review – almost three decades ago. I stand by my comment that, circa 1987, most members of the Press Gallery agreed with each other and that most were infatuated with Paul Keating. As you concede, there was “some truth” in my Keating comment.  So what precisely is your point?

Your assertion – made without direct quotes – that I felt that “half of the Gallery should support a racist anti-democratic regime” in South Africa is totally dishonest.  You just made this up.

I cited four issues on which the Gallery held an almost universal view – one of which referred to “economic sanctions against South Africa”. The others involved national security, foreign policy and industrial relations.

In conclusion I should state that I am surprised that Fairfax Media decided to publish your comments in January 2016 about our correspondence of a year earlier and about what you wrote to me in 2008.  Yawn.  I guess that Fairfax Media is short of quality copy these days.

The Sunday Canberra Times’ sub-editor certainly gave a hint about what he/she thought of your sludge with this headline: “Comment on commentator’s view”.  Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  Also, your piece was illustrated with a photo of Paul Keating – which had little to do with your (boring) column.

Here’s hoping you are enjoying your semi-retirement down Ocean Grove way. Keep those columns coming since I read them on occasion to see what economic regulators are banging on about.




Until next time.



The ABC is a weakened and flawed institution for sure but it is a vital balance to ranting prejudices of Gerard Henderson’s boss @rupertmurdoch

– Quentin Dempster via Twitter, 10 January 2016

“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