26 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.




    The news out of London late last night was dominated by the report of former judge Dame Jane Smith on pedophilia at the BBC – focusing on the case of entertainer Jimmy Savile (1926- 2011).

    Dame Jane concluded that “certain junior and middle-ranking individuals were aware of Savile’s inappropriate sexual conduct in connection with his work for the BBC”.  However, she “found no evidence that the BBC, as a corporate body, was aware of Savile’s inappropriate sexual conduct in connection with his work for the BBC”.  Savile’s targets at the BBC included girls and boys as young as eight.

    Dame Jane Smith’s findings about BBC management’s knowledge of Savile’s offending have been challenged already – but not refuted.

    How different with Australia’s very own ABC –  where four decades ago the ABC’s chairman publicly supported pederasty.  As MWD has documented, in 1975 the (then) ABC chairman – Professor Richard Downing – declared that “the community” should “know” that “in general, men will sleep with young boys”. Professor Downing was appointed ABC chairman by Gough Whitlam’s Labor government – at a time when current ABC chairman James Spigelman was Mr Whitlam’s communications adviser.

    On 19 July 1975 Professor Downing had a letter published in the Sydney Morning Herald – signed in his official position as ABC chairman – in which he defended an ABC radio program which had interviewed three self-declared pederasts in the ABC’s Sydney studios.  The radio program, titled Lateline, was presented by Richard Neville, who made no criticism of the pederasts’ crimes.  All this is documented in K.S. Inglis’ This is the ABC (MUP, 1983) and, in more detail, in MWD.

    In 2016, ABC Chairman Jim Spigelman is not responsible for what one of his predecessors did or said in 1975.  However, it is notable that on two occasions Mr Spigelman has rejected MWD’s suggestion that he should distance the contemporary ABC from the views proclaimed by Professor Downing, on behalf of the ABC, in 1975.

    Some ABC journalists, correctly, have expressed the view that current Catholic bishops should not distance themselves and the Catholic Church from the inaction of one or more of their predecessors to respond adequately to instances of clerical child sexual abuse.  For example, on 17 February 2016, the ABC PM’s Charlotte King reported that Paul Bird, the Catholic Archbishop of Ballarat, has said that he will accept responsibility for the deeds of commission and omission of the late Bishop James O’Collins. Bishop O’Collins was in charge of the Catholic diocese of Ballarat between 1941 and 1971.

    Yet, speaking on behalf of the ABC, James Spigelman refuses to accept any responsibility for the deeds of commission or omission of the late Professor Richard Downing who was chairman of the ABC between 1973 and 1975.  There is an unpleasant double-standard here.

    It might be advisable for the ABC Board to consider this matter before the Royal Commission turns its attention to institutional responses to child sexual abuse by the Australian media. by the way, the ABC refuses to report Professor Downing’s statement of four decades ago. Apparently its gone down the taxpayer funded broadcaster’s memory hole.


    It was one of those rare occasions on the Thursday edition of Sky News’ Paul Murray Live when the panellists and presenter were not talking over each other and comments could be heard. [Is this necessarily a useful occasion? – MWD Ed].

    Under discussion was the matter of revenge porn.  Let’s go to the transcript as Paul Murray discusses the BIG ISSUE OF THE DAY (AND NIGHT).  Namely revenge porn:

    Paul Murray: Now Rowan – as much as I’m a libertarian, as much as I’m a “government not in the way” – I reckon if somebody decides to post a photo of your dick on the internet, and you didn’t want to, you should be able to follow them.

    Rowan Dean:  Yes but –

    Hugh McDermott : [interrupting – and demonstrating size by using his thumb and index finger] It’s a very small photo.  A very small photo. A very small photo. Very small photo. Very small photo.

    Rowan Dean:  How long did you work on that one?

    Good question.  Yes, Dr McDermott (for a doctor he is) repeated his small penis “joke” on no fewer than five occasions.  The joke is older than the Labor Party, of which Hugh McDermott is the Member for Prospect in the NSW State Parliament.  Your man McDermott lifted his standards – albeit from a low base – when he later described Rowan Dean and his supporters as “bloated cats”.  How about that?



    ABC TV News this morning interviewed Chrissie and Anthony Foster, two of Cardinal George Pell’s most vehement critics, as they departed Melbourne Airport to attend the hearings of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Rome (commencing Monday morning, Australian time).

    Two of the Fosters’ daughters were sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest in Melbourne before George Pell became Archbishop of Melbourne.  This is what Mr Foster had to say – as reported by ABC TV:

    Anthony Foster:  Well we want to hear the truth. And he’s [Cardinal Pell’s] worked his way right through the hierarchy right up to the top of the Catholic Church.  So, we really want to hear the truth about what happened. And it’s about time we saw some action out of the Catholic Church.  So may be hearing the whole truth from him – we might actually start to see some action.

    What the ABC did not report is that, in November 2005, the Foster family accepted $750,000 in compensation from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne plus payment of their legal costs and an indemnity in respect to any payments to the Health Insurance Commission. This is documented in the Royal Commission’s Report of Case Study No 16: The Melbourne Response, July 2015, page 19.  ABC journalists seem unaware of this “action” which has already occurred with respect to the Foster family.  It’s not that hard to find out – it’s called doing research.

    So, in some instances at least, there has been action by the Catholic Church with respect to victims of clerical child sexual abuse.  But you rarely hear this on “Your ABC”.




    On Wednesday, Gerard Henderson received an invitation to the ratepayer funded City of Sydney “People First” conference.  The oh-so-fashionable sub-title of the conference is a “Working together for a strong, just and inclusive society”. Yawn. How predictable. And so on.

    It seems that Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore thinks that the good people of Sydney have nothing better to do on the evening of Thursday 17 March 2016 than to rock up at the State Theatre in Market Street and listen to the Sandalista Set lecture them as every speaker agrees with every other speaker on everything.

    It’s a real leftist love-fest with a Welcome & Speech by Clover Moore, a Keynote Speech by Mary Robinson (president of The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice) and a Guest Speech by Dr Richard Denniss, (chief economist of the leftist Australia Institute).

    There follows a Discussion Panel featuring Clover Moore (yet again), Mary Robinson, Stan Grant (Sky News’ international editor), Narelle Hooper, Dr Richard (for a doctor he is) Denniss, Deng Thiak Adut (lawyer and community leader) and Sam Mostyn (director, Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development). Oh yes, the MC is oh-so-trendy Adam Spencer (formerly of, you’ve guessed it, the ABC).

    The event partner of the ratepayer subsidised City of Sydney is the taxpayer subsidised University of Sydney.

    People First is likely to channel an ABC style “discussion” where everyone agrees with everyone else and a fine leftist ideological time is had by all. At public expense.

    That’s taxpayer subsidised debate among the sandal-wearers in inner-Sydney. What about the Sandalista Set in Melbourne? Well, earlier this month, The Age (aka “The-Guardian-on-the-Yarra”) carried the taxpayer subsidised Wheeler Centre: Books Writing Ideas program for Season One 2016.

    It’s yet another leftist stack.  Speakers at the Wheeler Centre in February/March 2016 include Susan Carland, Jack Charles, Lee Lin Chin, Anna Funder, Tony Windsor, Etgar Keret, David Suzuki (on his 22nd “final tour of Australia”), Naomi Oreskes, Dr Tim (“Why didn’t Brisbane run out of water as I predicted before the Brisbane floods?”) Flannery, Penny Arcade, Masha Gessen, Anita Heiss and Audra Simpson. Richard Dawkins was a sold-out occasion for March but his visit was postponed due to medical reasons – or Divine intervention (just joking) or whatever.

    You be the judge.  But MWD cannot locate one conservative writer or commentator among the taxpayer subsidised Wheeler Centre’s speakers’ list. Not one. The only way that a conservative is likely to enter into the kingdom of the Wheeler Centre is if he or she gets lost on the way to a meeting of the Edmund Burke Society and ends up at the Wheeler Centre’s taxpayer funded digs in Little Lonsdale Street.

    By the way, the taxpayer subsidised Wheeler Centre is supported by the following organisations, all of which are also taxpayer subsidised – UNESCO, City of Melbourne, Victorian Government and the University of Melbourne.

    The Wheeler Centre: Books Writing Ideas should be renamed “The Wheeler Centre: Leftist Books, Left-Wing Writing, Only One Idea”.

    Just a thought.




    In the courtesy-lite world in which we live, Nancy has commenced running a virtual courtesy class about what to say – and what not to say – in or on the media.  The hope is that Nancy’s Courtesy Classes will lead to an overall lift in Australian manners.

    Case Study 1 – Mark Riley’s Personal Comment

    Thanks to the avid reader who reminded MWD of the comment made by Channel 7’s Mark Riley on Insiders on 14 February 2016. Your man Riley said of National Party leader and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce that “his language is as florid as his face”.

    Nancy’s Advice: Most of us learn at primary school not to make personally demeaning put-downs about individuals we criticise.  What matters in this context is Mr Joyce’s language – not his face.  I note that Mark Riley does not make personal comments about his colleagues in the Canberra Press Gallery and the (alleged) colour of their faces and so on. Reference to a person’s (alleged) florid face is just abuse. Mr Riley should know better.

    Case Study 2 – Niki Savva’s Insensitivity to Enuresis Sufferers

     On 18 February Niki Savva commenced her column in The Australian as follows:

    Angry white male conservative commentators wetting themselves with excitement because they think Malcolm Turnbull is on the skids need to calm down.  Or book in for some scans.

    Nancy’s Advice: It’s not wise to assume that those who take a different position to your own have a medical condition which requires medical tests, treatment and the like. Believe it or not, sometimes even those in the best of health can come to different positions from your own.

    Also bed wetting – or Enuresis – is a serious medical condition which primarily affects young boys (of all ethnic backgrounds) not just (unnamed) angry white male, conservative commentators.  And middle-aged women are more likely than their male counterparts to suffer urinary conditions.  Ms Savva would be well advised not to commence her columns with offensive clichés.


    five paws graphic



    The modern Western world seems replete with people giving, or receiving, awards.  In a highly competitive field, Nancy’s Five Paws Award comes in just behind the Nobel Peace Prize and the Academy Awards (aka the Oscars) as the most prestigious gong going around.

    This week Chris Uhlmann receives MWD’s Five Paws Award for his article in The Weekend Australian last Saturday titled “There was a time when journalists backed free speech”.

    The ABC’s political editor related how he had created a storm on the Twittersphere recently when he suggested that Australia’s 28th prime minister Tony Abbott was entitled to address the socially conservative Alliance Defending Freedom in the United States. Commented Mr Uhlmann:

    That some who lit torches with the mob were journalists says a lot about the state of the media. These reporters have appointed themselves the prefects of progressive verities. That is disturbing because when journalists parade as pointers to moral true north then check your bearings, we have drifted badly off course. Yet I had naively hoped that free speech was one of the few things on which journalists in a democracy could agree: neutral ground in the culture wars. I had long feared this was not the case and so it proved.

    Chris Uhlmann quoted such leftist heroes as Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) and Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) as advocating intolerance of opposing views and made reference to the Frankfurt School of recent memory.

    With reference to the debate in Australia Uhlmann wrote:

    Tolerance is the totem of our age, a bumper sticker of virtue. Yet hidden in its many meanings is the doublespeak of defining what will be taboo. It is now considered tolerant to demand silence from nonconformists. When the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission says the Catholic Church has a case to answer for robustly defending its views on marriage and the family, then we have seen a glimpse of the Marcusian future. And it is just one gust of the gale buffeting a society hollowed out by its intellectuals.

    I hoped to remain indifferent to the inevitable change in marriage laws. But that will be impossible if those who cast themselves as oppressed seek to become oppres­sors. If offending the new ruling hegemony is prohibited then I stand with the right of the minority to disagree. Stripped of their fashionable clothes, what’s striking about the tolerance police is how similar these new moralists are to the old. They pursue heretics with an inquisitor’s zeal, blinded by the righteousness of their cause.

    Chris Uhlmann: Five Paws

    Can you bear it graphic



    Did anyone see the appearance of Nick Bisley (executive director, La Trobe Asia) on the ABC TV News Breakfast’s “Newspapers” segment on Wednesday?

    Let’s go to the transcript where your man Bisley is discussing the 2016 Defence White Paper – which was released not long after the discussion took place:

    Michael Rowland: How do you see the Defence Department meandering its way through those treacherous shoals in coming years?

    Nick Bisley: Well I think they’re not meandering, actually. We haven’t seen the exact text but certainly what’s been trailed in the media so far has been a forthright statement that the region is dangerous. That China is a challenge and a threat – particularly language around China’s militarising the South China Sea. And I again haven’t seen it, but suspect this is going to be quite sharp and sharply taken in Beijing. And there’s some stories floating around that a Defence official is being dispatched to China to sort of do some damage limitation.

    Virginia Trioli: That’s the one-two step of democracy. So the public language is a little more – well I won’t say pugnacious but forthright –  and then someone’s sent over to say “Look you know, don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry; we kind of have to say that, but, you know – ”

    Nick Bisley: [interjecting]: We kind of have to say that to get the crazy right of Liberal Party happy or something along those lines but –


     Michael Rowland: Your words.

    What a load of tosh.  The 2016 Defence White Paper continues Australia’s long-standing bipartisan attitude to China. The tone of the White Paper has nothing whatsoever to do with the so-called (alleged) “crazy right” of the Liberal Party. In fact, one of the most vocal critics of China’s foreign policy is Labor’s Senator Stephen Conroy.  Dr Bisley (for a doctor he is) just made this up.  Your man Bisley is an academic at La Trobe University. Can you bear it?



    While on the topic of taxpayer subsidised academics, how about the piece by Professor Jenny Hocking in Crikey yesterday titled “What’s she hiding? The secret documents that detail the Queen’s involvement in the Dismissal”.

    Dr Hocking (for a doctor she is) reckons that her piss-poor book The Dismissal Dossier: Everything You Were Never Meant to Know About November 1975 (MUP, 2015) breaks new ground.  Not so – as documented by Gerard Henderson when he reviewed the latest Hocking tome in the February 2016 of The Sydney Institute Review Online – see here.

    The best thing about Hocking’s latest tome is that the author does not state the ludicrous conspiracy that the CIA was involved in the Dismissal (this is Crikey’s Guy Rundle’s obsession)  The worst is that Dr Hocking invents a conspiracy of her own about the (alleged) involvement of Buckingham Palace in the decision of Sir John Kerr to dismiss Gough Whitlam’s Labor government on 11 November 1975.

    Jenny Hocking is under the illusion that in her taxpayer subsidised biography of Gough Whitlam she revealed that Justice (as he then was) Sir Anthony Mason advised the Governor-General about the Dismissal.  In fact, this was revealed by Gerard Henderson in January 1994 – over two decades ago.

    Nowadays Dr Hocking is banging on about the yet-to-be-released letters which Kerr sent to the Palace in 1975.  It makes sense to release this correspondence – but it is most unlikely to reveal anything that we do not already know.

    The truth is that Kerr sacked Whitlam – no one else was involved.  Not the CIA. And not Buckingham Palace.  The only “scoop” in Hocking’s most recent taxpayer subsidised tome is her allegation that Sir John Kerr was “obviously drunk” after lunch on 11 November 1975.  Her evidence?  Absolutely, zip.  The Monash University academic just made this up. Can you bear it?


    Great Media Uturns



    While on the topic of the Canberra Press Gallery, consider Australian Financial Review political editor Laura Tingle’s comment at the end of Insiders on 7 February 2016 – where she enthusiastically welcomed the “incredibly refreshing” Malcolm Turnbull – who had been interviewed earlier in the program:

    Just an observation – which is that it was incredibly refreshing to hear an interview where the entire conversation wasn’t “Labor taxes”. And I think the prime minister mentioned Labor about once in the conversation about GST. You know. Phew.

    Yeah, phew – you beaut – and all that.  That was Sunday 7 February 2016 – where La Tingle praised new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull by contrasting him with his predecessor Tony Abbott. To demonstrate the “Phew” point, La Tingle threw her hands in the air as if fanning her face.

    And this is what the very same La Tingle had to say in the AFR last Tuesday:

    With Treasurer Scott Morrison having had a one-car collision on economic policy at the National Press Club last week, the opposition went into question time with him in its sights. But they quickly had to change gear and start shunting the prime ministerial car instead, as Malcolm Turnbull repeatedly seemed to drive himself into the tax policy crash barrier.

    In rapid succession, the Prime Minister appeared to rule out making any changes to the capital gains tax discount on property, or to negative gearing, and slipped up in talking about the capital gains tax treatment of foreign investors. The tax reform options – and the means of funding income tax cuts – seemed to be disappearing one by one before our eyes.

    Now, many voters, particularly voters with negatively geared property investments, might have been reassured by the Prime Minister’s words, or perhaps were suitably alarmed by the spectre he painted of what would happen if Labor got hold of the economy. “Mr Speaker, every measure they propose is calculated to drive our economy into the ground!” he told the House. Coming from a Prime Minister who pledged to talk intelligently to voters rather than scare them, it was an unfortunate line of attack….

    The government is dealing with a debate that has jumped the fence. We are no longer in the territory of the budget bottom line or tax reform. We are arguing about equity and ambition. Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison might eventually turn this in their favour, but first they have to reverse out of the dodgem car pile-up.

    So on 7 February Laura Tingle went into fully expressive “Phew” mode on the Insiders couch when she welcomed Mr Turnbull’s disinclination to criticise Labor. And on 23 February Laura Tingle bagged Mr Turnbull’s inclination to assert that Labor would “drive our economy into the ground”. Phew.

    La tingle


    La Tingle pro-Malcolm Turnbull “Phew” Moment



    As avid MWD readers are aware, Paul Murray – and Paul Murray Live guests – plus Derryn Hinch – and Hinch Live guests – frequently criticise comments made by Gerard Henderson about their obsession with Cardinal George Pell.

    Despite instructions from Sky News management, both Paul Murray and Derryn Hinch have refused to give Hendo a right of reply on their programs.  This is a stark contrast to MWD – which has published correspondence from Mr Hinch (see Issue 273) and is willing to do so with respect to Mr Murray.

    Hinch Live must be the most boring news and current affairs program on free-to-air or subscription television.  Many of the guests on Hinch Live have little of substance to say.  Moreover, no presenter in the Australian electronic media speaks in such a disjointed and mumbling manner as your man Hinch.  So much so that it is difficult to do transcripts of Derryn Hinch’s incoherent and rambling form of expression.   [Perhaps he could do an elocution course.  Does Nancy conduct these – along with her most successful Courtesy Classes? MWD Ed]

    Paul Murray Live, on the other hand, is usually interesting – especially considering that it is run on a small budget.  It’s just that when Derryn Hinch joins the PML three person panel, he increases the level of boredom on PML by at least 25 per cent and the level of mumbling by 75 per cent.

    And so it came to pass on Wednesday when Derryn Hinch, Sarrah Le Marquand and Dee (“I’m the daughter of a Catholic clergyman”) Madigan comprised the PML panel. Believe it or not, Paul Murray had almost got through a whole 60 minutes of live television without mentioning George Pell or Gerard Henderson.  But then, with one minute to go – the inevitable happened.  Let’s go to the transcript – in which Hendo get a mention and Hinch demonstrates, once again, his inarticulate speech:

    Paul Murray: What’s going to win best picture on Monday at the Oscars?

    Sarah Le Marquand: Oh best picture is a tricky one, actually, Paul. I would like to see Spotlight win best picture – it deserves it.

    Derryn Hinch: So would I.

    Paul Murray: A great film.

    Sarah Le Marquand: It deserves it.

    Derryn Hinch: I’d hate to see –  di Caprio, I don’t think di Caprio should get best actor but it was one of those –

    Sarah Le Marquand:  He will though.

    Derryn Hinch: He will but he shouldn’t. I mean, God I got bored.  I, I, I, I quite enjoyed it but Jeeze it was boring. Spotlight was a brilliant film, that could have been shot in Melbourne, that’s the sad part. That’s the sad part.

    Sarah Le Marquand: Yeah. Yeah absolutely.

    Paul Murray:  I agree.

    Dee Madigan: Oh don’t – we’ll get the letter from Gerard, again.

    Derryn Hinch : Oh Gerard! Yes.

     Paul Murray: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.  [Here Paul Murray waved to the camera as everyone agreed with everyone else and laughed heartily]

    And now for some facts. Spotlight is a well-made film concerning clerical child abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston in the United States.  The shocking story was revealed in the Boston Globe – commencing in January 2002.  In March 2002, Cardinal Bernard F. Law, the Catholic Archbishop of Boston from March 1984 to July 2002, admitted that he had covered up the sexual assaults of Fr John Geoghan, among others, against boys.

    Derryn (“Yes, I’m prejudiced against Pell”) Hinch, Dee Madigan and Paul Murray – in their collective ignorance – seem to be unaware that the Archdiocese of Boston and Archdiocese of Melbourne are not connected in any way.  The Boston Globe broke the clerical child abuse story some six years after Archbishop (as he then was) George Pell set up The Melbourne Response to handle allegations of child sexual abuse in the Melbourne archdiocese.  Pell acted in 1996, three months after becoming Archbishop of Melbourne.  Law made admissions after the clerical child abuse scandal was broken by Boston Globe – 18 years after he became Archbishop of Boston.

    It follows that Cardinal Pell is not Cardinal Law and the Archdiocese of Boston is not the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Contrary to the implication in Hinch’s on-air ramble, Spotlight could not have been set in Melbourne any time after mid-1996 (that is, two decades ago) since the issue of clerical child sexual abuse had been publicly acknowledged by Archbishop Pell in 1996 and by his fellow Australian archbishops and bishops the following year.

    Gerard Henderson would be happy to advise the presenters of Paul Murray Live and Hinch Live of the facts – if either had the intellectual courage to invite him on their Sky News programs. Don’t hold your breath.

    CorrespondenceThis 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).


    Last Friday morning, as documented in MWD Issue 304, Gerard Henderson received an email from Philip Reed, the chief executive officer of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In an unusual intervention by a public servant in the public debate, Mr Reed alleged that Gerard Henderson had made “an error” when interviewed on 7.30 on Wednesday 17 February 2016.  No such error was made – as documented in Gerard Henderson’s reply on 19 February which was published in last week’s MWD. For the record, 7.30 declined to follow Mr Reed’s implied suggestion that it should correct the (alleged) error.

    Gerard Henderson asked Mr Reed whether he has “publicly rebuked any other commentator who referred in any way to the Royal Commission”. When no reply was received to what was, after all, a simple question – Gerard Henderson wrote again to Philip Reed yesterday. So far no response has been received.  We’ll keep you informed if Mr Reed answers Gerard Henderson’s straightforward request for information.  Here is the latest development:


    Gerard Henderson to Philip Reed – 25 February 2016

    Dear Mr Reed

    As you will recall, I replied to your email dated 19 February 2016 on the same day.  My email of Friday 19 February 2016 received an “out of office” response from Ingrid advising she worked Mondays to Wednesdays and a number was provided. So I asked my personal assistant to check with your office on [phone number deleted].  Lalita Mathias was informed by Louise that my email was received.

    As you are aware, in my email of 19 February 2016 I asked you whether you “have publicly rebuked any other commentator who has referred in any way to the Royal Commission”.

    This is a simple question to answer – a “yes” or a “no” will do. If the answer is “yes”, I would be interested in the number of times you have contacted a commentator or commentators alleging that a person or persons made erroneous comments with respect to the Royal Commission.

    Also, in the light of your references to the Most Rev. Dr Phillip Aspinall and Dr Peter Hollingworth, I would be grateful if you could advise me of the number of hours each person spent in the witness box of the Royal Commission.  As I understand it, Dr Aspinall has made four appearances and Dr Hollingworth has made two appearances.

    I would be grateful if you could provide the above information by midday tomorrow (Friday 26 February 2016).

    Yours sincerely

    Gerard Henderson


    * * * * *

    Until next time.

    * * * * *




    “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