6 May 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.

  • Editorial: The ABC and the Budget
  • Media Fool of the Week: Jon Faine rationalises Stonings
  • Report from Red Bandanna-Land: Exclusive Report on How the Press Council Corrected The Fitz Files
  • Can You Bear It: Niki Savva’s Abbotphobia & Nicholas Reece’s Submarine Misunderstanding
  • Dishonest Journalism Update: The Age on Cardinal Pell and the Royal Commission
  • Nice Mr Scott Leaves the ABC Extolling the Conservative Contribution of Eoin Cameron (Eoin Who?)
  • The Aunty Balance Clock: Updated
  • Nancy Courtesy Class: Why Peter Beattie Should Not Have Called a Female Liberal a “Bitch”
  • Correspondence: Len Loveday Helps out on Peter FitzSimons & Hendo Writes Another Missive to the Gutless Wonder Fitzy



Is Mike Carlton still on the wagon? You have to wonder following the tweet he sent out after Scott Morrison brought down the 2016-17 budget on Tuesday. Enraged at the treatment of the taxpayer funded public broadcaster, Mike (“I used to pour the gin”) Carlton sent out the following tweet:

mike carlton barbarians tweet

So there you have it. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison preside over a budget which gives the ABC an annual handout of over $1 billion. And your man Carlton believes that they are cultural barbarians.

It seems that the Friends of the ABC were expecting that the Turnbull government would be more friendly to the ABC than the Abbott government. This is consistent with the view found among the left that Tony Abbott presided over the Abbott Clerical Fascist Dictatorship.

As Gerard Henderson pointed out in his column in last Saturday’s The Weekend Australian (see here) Tony Abbott wanted to ensure greater political diversity within the ABC. Malcolm Turnbull’s view is that the public broadcaster is essentially a left-wing outfit and nothing can be done about it. However, the Prime Minister believes that much can be done to improve the ABC’s productivity – since he regards it as a bloated taxpayer-funded organisation. Mr Turnbull is known to compare the ABC unfavourably with Sky News and the commercial free-to-air channels in so far as efficiency is concerned.

Now ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie is intent on ensuring “more diversity” in both the ABC’s “staff and culture”. If cultural diversity is important – then so is political diversity.

The ABC is well regarded within the Coalition due to its presence in rural and regional Australia. However, the public broadcaster’s capture by inner-city leftists does not advance the public broadcaster’s cause within the Coalition and sections of the Labor Party. It is sometimes overlooked that one of the most fierce critics of the ABC’s left-leaning disposition in the Federal Parliament is Michael Danby – the Labor MP for Melbourne Ports.

The Friends of the ABC regard what they see as inadequate funding for the public broadcaster as a product of the likes of John Howard and Tony Abbott. But, when it comes to funding, Malcolm Turnbull has been tougher on the ABC than his predecessors. He was Communications Minister during the Abbott government and has overseen more cuts as prime minister. In any event, if the ABC cannot make do with a $1 billion annual handout – it needs substantial internal reform.



Nancy’s (male) co-owner is currently in the Northern Hemisphere on work commitments. That is, not a Well Earned Break. So this issue relies more than usual on tips from MWD’s avid readers. Like this one.

Jon Faine, who hosts Mornings with Jon Faine on ABC Radio 774 in Melbourne, is your typical guilt-ridden, sandal-wearing, inner-city-living leftie member of the left intelligentsia. So he goes out of his way to criticise conservatives at home and in such nations as the United States and Israel abroad. And he is forever looking for an excuse to defend any groups who are hostile towards Western democracies. Let’s go to the transcript of the exchange which occurred on Mornings with Jon Faine yesterday:

Jon Faine: Morning Damien.

Damien: Thank you Jon. Listen, I have a Sunni Muslim friend and I’ve known him for a long time, you know a couple of years – model citizen, great family guy, loves his AFL, you know, really typical Aussie guy. I spoke to him about stuff the other day and he’s adamant that stoning is the best punishment for adultery.

Jon Faine: Hmmm.

Damien: So I was just shocked. I was – what would you do in that situation?

Jon Faine: What did you do, Damien? What did you say to him?

Damien: I just laughed it off as if he was just sort of joking but he was dead-set serious.

Jon Faine: But Damien, why is that any different to people in the orthodox Jewish community for example who have some bizarre beliefs – or people in the Hillsong or rather happy-clappy Christian communities who – all sorts of – who have all sorts of bizarre beliefs. They just live their lives. It’s not as if they [Muslims] put them into practice.

Damien: That may be true Jon. But I am specifically wondering what you might do in that situation?

Jon Faine: Well, I’d say “that’s pretty wacky” and say “who do you think will win on Saturday?”.

Damien: So you would just brush it off as nothing?

Jon Faine: No, not nothing. But I’ve got friends who – it doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything they say. It doesn’t mean that you suspend your friendship with them because they entertain some weird and wacky view on a particular issue.

Damien: Yes but is that a “weird and wacky” view to him? It’s a mainstream one – like if you ask – I reckon if you ask some of your Sunni callers what their views are on Sharia law punishments, you are going to get so much obfuscation. You know, they are not going to talk straight up about it.

Sally Warhaft: [to Damien] It’s a terrific question you ask. [to Jon Faine] I think it is more serious than “that’s weird and wacky” and who do you think is going to win? I am really surprised that you would put those two things on par because it’s violent. What’s behind that is a deep seated belief – I think if you want to have wacky beliefs about whatever religion, that’s fine but a deep seated belief that stoning, presumably your wife – it’s only women – for adultery is just a wacky belief, I think that’s different. It’s violent.

Jon Faine: Damien.

Damien: I think that’s different. You can’t just bring up Scientology and say that is analogous to what I’m talking about. As Sally is saying, we’re literally talking about putting someone in a hole and throwing stones at them till they are dead. Like what do Scientologists believe? Is it anything like that? You tell me?

Sally Warhaft: It’s like somebody saying if your wife commits adultery it’s okay, you know, to wack her around a bit. It’s just not okay. It’s not wacky – it’s just –

Jon Faine: Sorry, he’s [Sunni Muslim] not doing it. He’s not saying he thinks we ought to –

Sally Warhaft: But I’m saying –

Jon Faine: it’s his reading of his religious –

Sally Warhaft: Jon, if somebody said to me fully that “if my wife committed adultery it would be okay for me to hit her” – if somebody said to me that was their belief, I would take them on about it. I absolutely would.

Jon Faine: Yeah, you take them on. No one’s arguing about taking them on. But does it mean you cut them off or they got no right to exist in society? No. They are just an adherent to a religious view that includes extremist attitudes on a particular aspect of life and there’s – I totally agree, there’s no place for it in a civilised, developed world. But people in different religious beliefs have the views that are completely wacky and weird.

How guilt-ridden can you get? The uber-liberal Jon Faine classifies the sharia practice of stoning adulterers (most often females) as, variously, “bizarre”, “weird” and “wacky”. That’s all. And he reckons that it is akin with “some bizarre beliefs” in orthodox Jewry and fundamental Christianity.

What a weak response. The Faine Fudge ignores the fact that no section of the Jewish or Christian faith proclaims killings for “sins of the flesh”. Just extreme Islam.

Jon Faine is in the tradition of the leftist intelligentia which rationalised the barbarities and killings of the West’s enemies. Such as Joe Stalin’s communist Soviet Union and Mao Zedong’s communist China. Now, the contemporary Western intelligentsia rationalises the barbarities of militant Islamism.

What’s next? Looking forward to hearing Jon Faine describe public beheadings of alleged infidels as bizarre, weird and wacky. It’s easy to hold such views if you live on a taxpayer funded salary in a Western democracy where your own body is protected from attack by defence, security and police agencies.

As the late George Orwell was wont to reflect, such statements of the like made by Jon Faine are so foolish that they could only have been uttered by an intellectual.


As readers of the Correspondence section in MWD Issue 312 will be aware, Fairfax Media belatedly published a correction concerning Peter FitzSimons’ untruthful comment that, under the Melbourne Response set up in 1996 by (then) Archbishop George Pell to handle clerical child sexual abuse, there had not been one referral to Victoria Police. The howler was first revealed in MWD on 11 March 2016. Needless to say, your man Fitz has not apologised for his howler and declined to enter into correspondence about it. What a gutless wonder.

In recent days MWD has discovered the background story to this matter:

٠ On 13 March 2016 a certain Michael Hains lodged a complaint with the Press Council of Australia concerning The Fitz Files of 6 March 2016. The complainant stated that it was wrong for Peter FitzSimons to claim that not one referral was made to Victoria Police under the Melbourne Response.

٠ On 30 March 2016 Mr Hains received a letter from the Press Council advising that, following his complaint, contact has been made with Fairfax Media and a correction made to The Fitz Files. This resolved the matter. The correction was published in the Sun-Herald on 20 March 2016.

٠ For some reason or other, in his letter to Gerard Henderson – which was published in MWD Issue 312 – Stuart Washington did not state that Fairfax Media was dragged kicking and screaming to correct The Fitz Files due to the intervention of the Press Council. How about that?


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Newsflash: For more on Fitzy’s refusal – with Fairfax Media’s apparent endorsement – to correct another of his Cardinal Pell howlers see the hugely popular “Correspondence” segment in this issue.

Can you bear it graphic


What a stunning performance by Niki Savva – author of The Road to Ruin: how Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin destroyed their own government on Insiders last Sunday.

Before the segment when Michael Bowers analyses the cartoons and photos of the week on “Talking Pictures”, Niki Savva criticised Tony Abbott – who had recently been interviewed on The Bolt Report. Asked by Andrew Bolt about whether he might become Liberal Party leader – and prime minister, again – Australia’s 28th prime minister described himself as a “has been”. Now, let’s go to the transcript:

Barrie Cassidy: He [Tony Abbott] used the term “has been, has been”.

Niki Savva: “Has been”.

Barrie Cassidy: That’s fairly convincing.

Niki Savva: And soon people will say “never was”. And “never will be”. I think, you know, really, I mean, Tony Abbott is dead. He doesn’t know it. And the Del-Cons, as Miranda Devine beautifully calls them, they don’t accept it and will never accept it. But that’s the reality of it.

Since many Australians would have no idea about what Ms Savva was on about, here’s a useful translation. The so-called “Del-Cons” are “Delusional-Conservatives”, who refuse to accept Mr Abbott’s replacement by Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister.

Soon after, in her final comment for last Sunday’s Insiders, Niki Savva made the following point:

Niki Savva: If Malcolm Turnbull hadn’t wrested the leadership from Tony Abbott last year, we wouldn’t be debating whether Shorten can win the election but by how much.

So there you have it. Just before “Talking Pictures”, Ms Savva predicted that “soon” people will say that Tony Abbott “never was”. And yet, a few minutes later, she was banging about a man who “never was”. How obsessive can you get? Can you bear it?


Thanks to the avid reader who drew MWD’s attention to what a busy time media tart and Melbourne University academic Nicholas Reece had last week.

Your man Reece appeared on Sky News late in the evening of Tuesday 26 April and on ABC 1 early in the morning of Wednesday 27 April. Who knows? Perhaps he camps out for the night in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens – a location close to both Sky News and the ABC – ready for the next media invitation.

On Paul Murray Live, the former ALP operative and one-time Julia Gillard staffer, supported the Turnbull government’s decision to build 12 submarines in Adelaide. However, he queried why the subs would be conventional – rather than nuclear – powered. On PML, Adelaide-based journalist Tory Shepherd advised Mr Reece that one of the reasons for the decision to construct conventional submarines is that there are few Australians who are qualified to handle nuclear technology.

As if he had not listened to Ms Shepherd, Nicholas Reece made exactly the same point about nuclear subs when interviewed the following morning on ABC 1’s News Breakfast as he had on PML the night before. [Perhaps he does not listen to the women – MWD Ed].

It seems that the Melbourne University academic is unaware of the fact that there are few Australians qualified on nuclear science. More seriously, Nicholas Reece seems unaware that conventional submarines can operate readily in shallow waters – unlike nuclear subs. Some of the oceans surrounding Australia are relatively shallow – including the Taiwan Strait. Certainly, the United States has expressed an interest in Australia having conventional submarines – since, in any joint action, they would complement the US’s nuclear subs.

And there is another issue. Is Mr Reece suggesting that many of his Labor Party mates would feel comfortable about a nuclear submarine docking anywhere close to the sandal-wearing inner-city areas of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Fremantle? MWD doubts this. Which suggests that Nicholas Reece has not thought through this proposal.

However, don’t expect Mr Reece to take any notice of the facts about submarines anytime soon. He’s got an academic theory – and that’s good enough. Can you bear it?



As documented in MWD last week, the special one day hearing of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was something of a dud. The Royal Commission summoned a special hearing on Wednesday 27 April to hear evidence from former employees of the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne.

This followed Cardinal George Pell’s evidence to the Royal Commission in March 2016 that he had been misled by the Catholic Education Office (CEO), when he was an auxiliary bishop of Melbourne during the late 1980s and early 1990s, concerning the pedophile priest Peter Searson.

As documented in MWD Issue 313, four former CEO officials gave evidence to the Royal Commission on 27 April. Namely Monsignor Thomas Michael Doyle, Peter Charles Annett, Allan David Dooley and Catherine Agnes Briant. All four denied that they had misled or deceived (then) Bishop Pell concerning Searson’s criminal offending.

While the media reporting was not favourable to Cardinal Pell – it was not dishonest. The ABC, The Australian, Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald reported that CEO’s former officials denied that they misled George Pell.

However, none of the above media outlets reported the central evidence of Monsignor Doyle, Mr Annett, Mr Dooly and Ms Briant. Namely, that not one of this group said that they had told Pell about Searson’s pedophile actions. This information was provided to Archbishop Frank Little – but not to (then) Bishop Pell.

Only The Age was completely dishonest in its coverage of the Royal Commission’s 27 April hearing. This was Rachel Browne’s report – published in The Age on 28 April under a report that a priest had been found guilty in the Victorian County Court of raping a boy.Rachel Brown Priest Found Guilty The Age

How dishonest can a media outlet get? The heading: “Pell ‘repeatedly told’ about abuse: staff” and the words “repeatedly told” were in single quotes. Ms Browne’s report contained the following statement:

The commission has heard evidence Holy Family school [Doveton] parents and teachers, as well as Catholic Education office staff, repeatedly raised concerns about the risk Father Searson posed to children.

The Age’s headline was totally dishonest and Rachel Browne’s report completely misleading. If Ms Browne had attended the Royal Commission hearing on 27 April, she would have known that Monsignor Doyle and other former CEO employees specifically said that they did not tell (then) Bishop Pell about Searson’s offending against children. This is evident from the transcript of the hearing which is on the Royal Commission’s website.

An accurate Age heading would have been: “Pell not told about child abuse: staff”. And an accurate report by Rachel Browne would have read: “The commission heard evidence that Catholic Education Office staff did not raise concerns directly with George Pell about the risk Searson posed to children.”

But “The Guardian-on-the-Yarra” was not interested in the truth. Instead, The Age told a wilful falsehood about George Pell. This provides another example of The Age’s anti-Catholic sectarianism in general – and its hostility to the theologically conservative George Pell in particular.



Mark Scott finally retired as ABC managing director and (so-called) editor-in-chief last Friday. Nice Mr Scott’s final interview was published in Crikey last Friday. It was quoted in a thoughtful piece by Crikey’s media reporter Myriam Robin.

Along with other reporters, Ms Robin found that Nice Mr Scott only became angry when journalists asked about what MWD has termed the ABC’s Conservative Free Zone. That is, the reality that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster does not have one conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or on-line outlets. Not one.

As avid MWD readers will be aware, in the recent past Mark Scott has disputed the depiction of the ABC as a Conservative Free Zone by citing Radio National programs hosted by Amanda Vanstone and Tom Switzer. Neither person hosts a prominent program – very few Australians listen to Counterpoint or Between the Lines which are broadcast in non-peak times on the low-rating Radio National.

Writing in the Fairfax Media newspapers on 6 April, former ABC 1 Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes described Scott’s use of the Amanda Vanstone/Tom Switzer defence as “little better than mockery”. Also Mr Holmes pointed out, correctly, that neither Ms Vanstone nor Mr Switzer is “more than mildly right of centre”. Current Media Watch host Paul Barry was also less than impressed by Mark Scott’s line that Vanstone and Switzer provide balance to the ABC.

When interviewed by Crikey, Mark Scott dropped the Vanstone/Switzer defence. Instead he located another ABC conservative – believe it or not, a certain Eoin Cameron. Let’s go to the Crikey report of last Friday:

The problem, [Gerard] Henderson says, is that Scott never got himself directly involved in important or controversial editorial appointments. Given this, Henderson cannot understand how Scott could call himself “editor-in-chief”: “My criticism is he’s never run the place. It’s run by various little groups who run their own thing. The editor-in-chief doesn’t really get into anything. And they promote their own and move their own, and Scott never got involved in those crucial decisions.”…

Scott grows clearly impatient when Crikey puts Henderson’s criticism to him; it seems one he’s heard often before. “We have taken advantage of digital media to put more voices to air, host more debates, to have a detailed discussion of a broader range of perspectives than ABC ever did. We have worked assiduously to review and make sure we cover a broad range of issues that are important to Australians everywhere, and that we’re not narrow in our content. We remain very vigilant.”

But are the ABC’s leading voices too often inner-city liberals who do not reflect the breadth of Australian political perspectives? Some, like Fairfax columnist (and former Media Watch host) Jonathan Holmes, have made that argument. “The evidence doesn’t back that up,” Scott said, pointing to the fact that the ABC puts people like Eoin Cameron to air. (The recently retired Perth host was a Liberal party politician.) “Some critics, frankly, their schtick is attacking the ABC. They do it in a predictable way. I never see evidence of great legwork. Some aren’t particularly fair.”

How about that? In April 2016 Mark Scott cited the fact that one-time Liberal Party MP Eoin Cameron had a program on ABC Metropolitan Radio as evidence that the ABC has conservative presenters.

In fact, Eoin Cameron presented a morning program on Perth local station ABC 720 which mainly played music. Eoin Cameron was not an out-and-proud conservative during his ABC days. Not at all. However, such ABC metropolitan presenters as Jon Faine and Wendy Harmer are out-and-proud leftists. In any event, Mr Cameron no longer works for the ABC.

So there you have it. Mark Scott dismissed the claim that the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone by citing the name of a low-profile former ABC presenter in Perth. Pretty pathetic, eh?

And, now, a final update. Here is the final publication of MWD’s most popular “What A Difference A Decade Makes” visual:

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And here is our going-going-gone production of MWD’s hugely popular Mark Scott Clock update.


This hugely popular segment is dedicated to holding ABC managing director and (so-called) editor-in-chief Mark Scott to account for his promise – made on 16 October 2006 – that, under his watch, there would be a “further diversity of voices” on the ABC.

  • Number of weeks since Nice Mr Scott promised greater diversity on the ABC – Total: 496 weeks.
  • Number of conservative presenters/producers/paid regular commentators/editors on prominent ABC Radio/ABC TV/ABC Online outlets – Total: Absolutely Zip

When it comes to the issue of attempting to ensure some political balance at the ABC on Mr Scott’s watch, it’s now well and truly past midnight.
clockface mwd mark scott



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

This is what Sky News contributor Peter Beattie said on Paul Murray Live on Friday 22 April – see here. Here’s a transcript:

Paul Murray: Alright Peter [Beattie], your thoughts as a former politician but obviously as a Labor man?

Peter Beattie: …I don’t know Sophie Mirabella but she looks like an absolute bitch.(Laughter) I’m sorry. She looks dreadful. She absolutely looks dreadful. I don’t know –

Paul Murray: She’s not – but okay, yeah.

Peter Beattie: No no no – but I’m talking about appearances and perceptions in politics matter. She just looks like she’s a dreadful person…

For the record, panellists Peter Berner, Stuart Booking and Kristy McSweeney said nothing in response to Peter Beattie’s misogyny.

Nancy’s Advice: As a female dog, sure, I’m technically a bitch. However, it is discourteous to call a human female a bitch. To me, bitch is a description. To the likes of Ms Mirabella, “bitch” is an insult. Mr Beattie should know better.

Imagine what the Sandalista Class like Dr Anne Summers (for a doctor she is) would say if a former conservative politician called a left-wing woman “a bitch”. But when it comes to conservatives like Sophie Mirabella – the left can say what it likes. Shame Peter Beattie, Shame.

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).


Unlike many media outlets – including John Barron’s ABC Fact Check Unit – MWD is always willing to acknowledge errors, including John-Laws-style-deliberate-mistakes.

So MWD is happy to correct a typo in the “What A Difference A Decade Makes” screen shot – which documents how Mark Scott failed to live up to his 2006 promise to provide greater diversity to the ABC. This was drawn to MWD’s attention by an avid (albeit critical) reader L.B. (“Call me Len”) Loveday.

The correction to this deliberate mistake provided Hendo an opportunity to bang on again about Peter FitzSimons’ error-filled attack on (then) Archbishop George Pell’s Melbourne Response – which was set up in 1996 to handle complaints of clerical child sexual abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Thank you Mr Loveday. Now read on.

L.B. (Len) Loveday to Gerard Henderson – 1 April 2016

Mr Henderson,

How prescient to know what Nice Mr Scott will concede later this year, October 2016, but why would he look about 10 years younger than that he did last month?


L.B.(Len) Loveday

L.B. (Len) Loveday to Gerard Henderson – 29 April 2016

Mr Henderson,

It is now 28 days since I alerted you to an major error in MWD Issue 309, 10 days longer than it ” took Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir and SMH editor Stuart Washington to correct one particularly egregious error by Peter FitzSimons”.

All you would need to do is change a 1 to a 0 and it would be fixed; now that should not be too hard.


L.B. (Len) Loveday

Gerard Henderson to L.B. (Len) Loveday – 3 May 2016

Mr Loveday

I overlooked your earlier email re this matter. I noticed the error myself last week and intend to correct it soon.

The error came about when the original screen-shot was corrected to replace one error and a new error was introduced. The young casual who does the screen shots was sick last week but should be available this week. So the correction will be made.

I try to avoid “deliberate mistakes”. But sometimes corrections are an easy way of re-stating a point. In this case, for example. On Friday I will be able to run – for the final time – the Mark Scott Score-Board. Come to think of it, I will also give the Nice Mr Scott Clock a final outing.

One final point – about your hyperbole. I do not believe that what is an obvious typo – 2016 for 2006 – is a “major error”. Especially since the correct date, i.e. 2006, was provided in the text above the screen-shot.

You seem to believe that an incorrect date is as “major” an error as Peter FitzSimons’ recklessly false claim about Cardinal George Pell. As you will be aware, The Fitz Files alleged on 6 March 2016 that under the Melbourne Response, set up by (then) Archbishop Pell in 1996, not one instance of clerical child sexual abuse was referred to the Victoria Police. Mr FitzSimons alleged that I supported such an outcome.

In his wilful ignorance, Peter FitzSimons was not aware that the Melbourne Response was set up in co-operation with Victoria Police and with the support of the Victorian Government at the time. Under the Melbourne Response, numerous cases of clerical child sexual assault were referred to Victoria Police. The Fitz Files would know this if its author did any research.

Peter FitzSimons – gutless wonder that he is – simply refuses to acknowledge my email correspondence on this issue. Despite the fact that he (falsely) accused me of supporting a procedure to handle clerical child sexual abuse in which no cases of criminality were forwarded to Victoria Police.

And yet you believe that a minor typo of little consequence in MWD is as “major” an “error” as Peter FitzSimons’ recklessly false claims about the Melbourne Response in the Sun-Herald.

Turn it up.

Gerard Henderson

L.B. (Len) Loveday to Gerard Henderson – 3 May 2016

Mr H,

Hyperbole, and that is what it was ” is a figure of speech that uses an exaggerated or extravagant statement to create a strong emotional response”.

Certainly achieved the “strong emotional response”, although not as I’d expected – I’m a novice at anything but plain words; I’ll stick to them in future.


Gerard Henderson to L.B. (Len) Loveday – 6 May 2016

Mr Loveday

Thanks for your note.

As to the “hyperbole” matter. Well, I don’t rely much on dictionary definitions.

But I just happen to believe that the assertion that an obvious typo (2016 for 2006) is a “major error” comparable to a (false) claim that a prominent Australian covered up child abuse is hyperbole.

The point is that your emails did contain “plain words”. The point about your words was not that they were plain but that they contained an exaggeration.

Keep Morale High – and keep reading MWD.

Gerard Henderson AC (aka Always Courteous).


As avid readers will be aware, the Sun-Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons has not attended Nancy’s Courtesy Classes. Hence, his rudeness is not responding to, or even acknowledging, Hendo’s emails.

MWD assumes that Fitzy’s rudeness is just that. The alternative is that The Fitz Files just made up the allegation that Cardinal George Pell lives in a $30 million mansion in Rome.

We will keep you informed if Fitzy ever gets around to stumping up the evidence for his claim. Or if Darren Goodsir and Stuart Washington (of the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald) ever get the courage to insist that Fitz’s error be corrected. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, here is Hendo’s (latest) unacknowledged letter to The Bandannaed One. Here we go:

Gerard Henderson to Peter FitzSimons – 3 May 2016


I’m off to Rome soon. So I would much appreciate if you could provide the address for the “$30 million mansion” in Rome in which you claim Cardinal George Pell resides. (Your Sun-Herald column of 24 May 2015 refers).

I would just love to take a selfie of myself in front of the Pell “mansion”. If all this works out, I promise to send you a copy of such a photo which can be reproduced in “The Fitz Files”.

I know you must be aware of the location of this mansion – since I find it hard to believe that you just made up the claim that Cardinal Pell “lives in a $30 million mansion in Rome”.

Over to you.

Gerard Henderson

cc: Darren Goodsir

Stuart Washington


Until next time – keep morale high.

My oh my. Poor, blithering Gerard “Gollum” Henderson will be incandescent with rage after that Media Watch. The silly prick.

Mike Carlton via Twitter, 15 Feb 2016, 9:44 PM

Gerard: You are hopeless…

– David Marr, 12 February 2016

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 Jan 2016,

Poor mad Gerard is obsessed. I expect he had an unhappy childhood, always the last to be chosen…

Mike Carlton via Twitter, 25 Oct 2015, 3:27 AM

Sometimes I think of Gerard Henderson like a Japanese holdout, lost in the jungles of Borneo, still fighting the war 20 years after it ended

– Erik Jensen,via Twitter, 16 Oct 2015, 4:50 PM

Gérard Henderson brain missing. Small reward

– Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 10 Oct 2015, 11:16 AM

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

“[Gerard Henderson is a] professional filing cabinet”

– Leftist scribbler Jeff Sparrow, Crikey, 13 August 2015

Leaving the house to avoid listening to GHenderson on @774melbourne

– Jonathan Green via Twitter, 31 July 2015

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

– Adam Brereton via Twitter, 31 July 2015

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

– Louise Pascale via Twitter, 31 July 2015

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

– MNihilon via Twitter, 31 July 2015

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

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

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

– David Marr to Gerard Henderson, 1 June 2015

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

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

Gerard Henderson’s friday self-harm update is here

– Adam Brereton, via Twitter, May 15, 2015

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

– Guy Rundle in Crikey, 14 May 2015:

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

– Ben Pobjie, via Twitter, 8 May 2015

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

– Adam Gartrell, via Twitter, 8 May 2015

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

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

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

– Lenore Taylor, via Twitter, 22 February 2015

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

– Mark Scott via Twitter 19 February 2015 at 1.10 pm

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

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

Oh Gerard. You total clown.”

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

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

– Phillip Adams via Twitter, 27 September 2014

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

– Kate Durham as told to Crikey, 16 September 2014

“The unhinged but well spoken Gerard Henderson….”

– Bob Ellis, Table Talk blog, 10 August 2014

“Gerard Henderson and Nancy are awful human beings.”

– Alexander White, Twitter, 25 July 2014

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

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

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

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

“[Gerard Henderson is a] silly prick”

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Katharine Murphy, Twitter, Friday 6 June 2014

“[Gerard Henderson is] an unhinged prick”

– Mike Carlton, Twitter, Thursday 12 June 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

“[Gerard Henderson is an] unhinged crank”

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

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

– Jonathan Green via Twitter, 8 February 2014