3 June 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 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. Between November 1997 and October 2015 “Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch” was published as part of The Sydney Institute Quarterly. In March 2009 Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog blog commenced publication.


TSI review ad







So the ABC’s (Green Left) Vote Compass is at it again. Today Vote Compass ran the-end-of-the-world-is-nigh rant on climate change by eco-catastrophist Jake Sturmer.

As usual, the taxpayer funded public broadcaster rolled out Dr John Hewson – in the pretense that he is a true-blue Liberal Party supporter and political conservative.

This is what the ABC considered should be quoted from John Hewson’s rave-to-camera:

John Hewson: Tony [Abbott] had the opportunity to go all over the country, day in day out, scaring people. Whyalla will close, women will go barren – whatever it is, you know. He got away with arguing anything he liked on the basis that they never tried to counter-act that at all. And they never tried to market why they [i.e. Labor]  were doing it and linking it with the science and trying to educate the electorate.

What a load of absolute tosh. Tony Abbott never said that the introduction of a carbon-tax would lead to a situation whereby “women will go barren”. Dr Hewson just made this up – and the ABC’s Vote Compass went along for the disingenuous ride.


Stop press meets 5 paws award



What a great Twitter exchange between Comrade Senator Lee Rhiannon BSc Hons UNSW, Dip Revolution, The Lenin School, Moscow.


Rhiannon-Ward (1) 

Ian Farrow: Five Paws






Last Saturday’s’ The Weekend Australian Magazine contained the first interview given by newly appointed ABC director and editor-in-chief Michelle Guthrie. Written by Megan Lehmann, the piece was titled “We Can Do Better”.

It remains to be seen. However, it is likely that the talented Ms Guthrie, over time, will be subsumed into the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s existing left-of-centre culture.

Michelle Guthrie has been very successful in business – at News Corp and Google and more besides. However, the ABC is not really a business. It survives on account of the fact that – every three years or so – the ABC managing director, along with the ABC chairman, head off to Canberra with a very large bucket – and an extra one in the hope that such is needed. Whereupon the Commonwealth Government fills the bucket with lotsa taxpayers’ money. Whereupon the ABC managing director and chairman head back to corporate headquarters in Sydney’s inner-city Ultimo and spend the taxpayers’ moolah. It’s not that difficult.

According to Megan Lehmann’s account, the new ABC managing director has just experienced a hand-over period of a month or so. This involved “visiting ABC offices in each of the capital cities, accompanied by her predecessor [Mark Scott] and a team of executives”. Ms Guthrie asked staff about “the first rock concert they attended” and she, in return, was “deluged with warm welcomes and sausage rolls”. [This is unclear. Were both the welcomes and sausage rolls warm? Or just the welcomes? Or just the sausage rolls? – MWD Editor.]

It seems that – in the tradition of Nice Mr Scott – Michelle Guthrie will continue to let the various ABC cliques – or soviets – have their own way. This is indicated in The Weekend Australian profile:

“I must admit, I’m more a listener than a talker,” Guthrie says when I ask her whether she leans more toward being an introvert or an extrovert….Though she doesn’t consider herself an introvert, she values their input. “Just because people don’t speak up doesn’t mean they don’t have something to say,” she says, adding that her experience of East Asian cultures was that both men and women were often hesitant to come forward with opinions. This troubled her then, and the ­prospect of it troubles her now.

“I feel that, particularly in a senior role, if you talk then everyone assumes [they have to do what you say] rather than anything else. I’m not the repository of all great ideas, I can tell you. I really feel that the ideas are all in there – you can see the work that’s being done in each of the [ABC] offices. I just need to get out of the way.”

So ABC staffers should feel free to say no to the boss? “I don’t want people to agree with me, I want different views,” she says, adding that she enjoys playing devil’s advocate in meetings. “I think you end up with much better decisions when you have different views. I want to make sure that is there throughout the organisation.”

Different views. It’s part of the diversity push the Chinese-Australian Guthrie flagged in an email to staff on her first official day in the job, effectively making it her mission statement. “I think diversity is just the way she looks at the world; it’s in her DNA,” says [Janine] Stein. On his way out the door, Scott belatedly voiced his regret that the ABC did not reflect the ethnic diversity of modern Australia and, indeed, the news and current affairs face the ABC turns to the public, in the form of presenters such as Tony Jones, Leigh Sales, Barrie Cassidy, Sarah Ferguson, Michael Rowland and Virginia Trioli, is predominantly white.

“There were other things in my statement!” Guthrie laughs, before going on to explain that diversity in staffing and content is “hugely important” to her. “Australia has fundamentally changed in terms of cultural diversity,” she says. “If you really think about making sure we are relevant to all Australians, then that requires us to be reflective of all Australians.”

The ABC has copped flak from various quarters for being overly “reflective” of left-wing opinion. “I don’t see that as true at all,” Guthrie says. “People view any organisation from their own biases and my sense is that we do a very good job in covering the gamut of opinion. But I always think we can do better. That’s why I’m very conscious of making sure we are very reflective of the Australian population. I feel we do have a lot of editorial processes in place and we just need to make sure we adhere to them.”


So, according to Ms Guthrie, when running the ABC it is necessary for the highly paid managing director and editor-in-chief “to get out of the way”. As to Michelle Guthrie’s commitment to make the ABC more diverse – well that was what Mark Scott said when he took up the ABC’s top position a decade ago. He failed to deliver on his promise in any respect.

If Ms Guthrie really believes that the ABC should be “reflective of all Australians” then she should cover both cultural and political diversity. However, it appears that the new ABC supremo is only committed to cultural diversity. This despite the fact that the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone without one conservative presenter, producer or editor in any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets.

Michelle Guthrie dismisses out-of-hand the suggestion that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster is reflective of left-wing opinion. That’s just “not true at all” she claims. In which case, why does the ABC not employ any conservatives on any of its key programs? Ms Guthrie is already in denial about this – following hand-over briefings from Nice Mr Scott and many a sausage roll from ABC staff, who invariably employ and promote their own slot – independent of the ABC managing director and editor-in-chief.

There is a non-sequitur here. If it is fit and proper that the ABC should have a diversity of presenters – of Anglo-Saxon, West and East European, Asian, Middle Eastern and African backgrounds – why not have political diversity when it comes to presenters, producers and editors as well?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is very much an ABC fan. He believes that it is essentially a left-wing entity but regards this as reflective of journalism itself. However, when it comes to management, Mr Turnbull is more critical of the public broadcaster than his predecessor Tony Abbott. Put simply, the Prime Minister regards the ABC as bloated – compared to commercial television and radio.

It was Malcolm Turnbull who, as Communications Minister in the Abbott government, oversaw the cut in the ABC’s budget in 2014. And it was Malcolm Turnbull who, as prime minister, declined to give the ABC what it wanted in its current round of begging for taxpayer funds.

The likes of Michelle Guthrie and ABC chairman Jim Spigelman will still get their ABC bucket loaded up with lotsa taxpayers’ money. But they are unlikely to find the need for a supplementary bucket during the time of the Turnbull government.


Can you bear it graphic 



What a stunning performance by lawyer and former Age journalist Michael Magazanik – who did the “Newspapers” gig on the ABC 1 News Breakfast program yesterday.

Your man Magazanik chose to comment on a story in The Australian that the radical Marxist Roz Ward has been suspended by La Trobe University. Ms Ward was the co-founder of the controversial Safe Schools program. According to reports, Ms Ward was suspended by the taxpayer subsidised university for “serious misconduct over media commentary on her private Facebook page.” For the record, this is what Roz Ward posted on Monday 23 May:

Roz Ward, 2 June 2016: Now we just need to get rid of the racist Australian flag on top of state parliament and get a red one up there then my work is done.

Michael Magazanik chose to take up The Australian’s story in his comments on News Breakfast. Let’s go to the transcript:

Michael Rowland: Let’s go to The Australian, it has an interesting story on the suspension, from a Melbourne university, of the “Safe Schools” founder.

Michael Magazanik: Pretty gleeful story one would think. The News Corp papers, particularly The Australian, have been after Roz Ward for some time.

Virginia Trioli: They got a scalp.

Michael Magazanik: Yeah, they got a scalp – she’s a fairly easy target. It’s interesting, though, how they’ve got this scalp. Roz Ward is the architect of that Safe Schools program which is controversial. She has put a Facebook post up in which she’s referred to the Australian flag as racist. La Trobe University stood her down, pending an investigation.

She said it [the flag] was racist and ought to be replaced. Now take away the word “racist” and that’s a mainstream political view. There are many politicians in the Federal Parliament seeking election now and would say we ought to replace the Australian Flag.

She’s called it racist and that’s why she’s been stood down. It’s interesting, isn’t it? Because there is nothing illegal about desecrating the flag in Australia. In the United States, the Supreme Court has said repeatedly it would be unconstitutional to ban flag burning or desecration – yet she’s been stood down for that. The Australian of course, you know, has managed to – they’ve chased her and they’ve found somebody else. They’ve had another go at the Safe Schools program, they’ve found somebody to give them a quote that it’s, you know, which has delighted The Australian – queer theory, sort of academic driven lot of BS. So they’re banging an old drum. But you have to wonder at the wisdom of the university standing down an academic for the use of that one word in the midst of a political debate about a flag.

What a load of tosh. It’s misleading to assert that if you take away the word “racist” there is nothing wrong with what Ms Ward said. This avoids that fact that she has not been suspended by La Trobe only because of the use of that one word. Also, contrary to Michael Magazanik’s claim, Roz Ward did not merely state that the Australian flag was racist and should be replaced. She said that the Australian flag was racist and should be replaced by a red flag. Note the difference. The red flag is a symbol of international communism – which had its various manifestations in Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao Zedong’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and North Korea.

So you had a taxpayer subsidised employee saying not only that the Australian national flag is racist but also that it should be replaced by the communist emblem which has prevailed over the murder of tens of millions in such nations as the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia and North Korea.

As to Mr Magazanik’s assertion that The Australian “chased somebody to give them a quote” critical of Roz Ward – well, that’s tosh too. The quote came from gay rights activist Rob Mitchell who reckons that, under Ms Ward, the Safe Schools program has gone over-the-top. Rob Mitchell said that Roz Ward’s Safe Schools has “been transformed into a queer theory sort of academic-driven load of bullshit”.

So La Trobe University did not suspend Ms Ward for engaging in a debate on the flag. And Rob Mitchell is not just “somebody”. Michael Magazanik just made this up. Can you bear it?



Did anyone hear the soft interview which Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly had with Australian Conservation Foundation’s Geoff Cousins on Tuesday? The segment was produced by environmental activist and ABC employee Gregg Borschmann.

The excuse for the (soft) interview was the release of the ACF’s first environmental score-card of the 2016 election campaign. Needless to say, the Coalition scored a mere 11 per cent while Labor achieved a bare pass of 53 per cent. It seems that the ACF marked the Greens at 105 out of 100.

Geoff Cousins used the occasion to bag Prime Minister Turnbull and forewarned that the ACF would run a full page advertisement bagging the Prime Minister in this week’s issue of The Wentworth Courier. Gosh. Golly. Let’s go to the transcript where discussion turned on the Great Barrier Reef whose predicted imminent death has been much exaggerated by the likes of Mr Cousins:

Geoff Cousins: As David Attenborough said just recently, the biggest risk to the Great Barrier Reef is climate change. And the only way that Australia can make any contribution in that area and indeed the rest of the world as everybody agreed in Paris, is to leave fossil fuels in the ground. That’s the pre-requisite, that’s the number one thing you have to do. Because all the other measures that also need to be done, they can’t really have any significant impact if we keep digging up coal and we slow down and impede progress to renewable energy.

And where, I hear you ask, was Geoff Cousins when interviewed by Fran Kelly. Well, you see, he was in Spain. Presumably your man Cousins did not row to Spain. He got there per courtesy of fossil fuel – the very fuel that Mr Cousins wants left in the ground. Can you bear it?

manners maketh the canine nancy's courtesy class 


Why is that left-wing academics and journalists turn up for interviews dressed as if they are on the way to the tip or have spent the previous evening sleeping rough in the park? It can’t be the affordability of suitable interview-wear, since most leftist scribblers are professional types who are quite well off. Perhaps it’s just (intellectual) fashion.

On Tuesday here is how Scott Burchill togged-up to be interviewed by Michael Rowland and Virginia on ABC’s News Breakfast. Jacketless, shirtless and unshaven. And here’s how Erik Jensen, editor of The [Boring] Saturday Paper, fronted up on the Sky News’ The Bolt Report on Monday 20 May. It seems that Mr Jensen lives in a comb free and razor free zone.

Nancy looks forward to Dr Burchill (for a doctor he is) and Mr Jensen enrolling in her hugely popular Courtesy Classes. Due to high demand, additional classes have been scheduled to accommodate the demand.

Comrades Burchill and Jensen will be advised – courteously of course – that there should be a discreet break between rising from bed and appearing on the telly


Comrade Burchill

Comrade Burchill talks to Michael Rowland and Virginia Trioli on his way to the tip last Tuesday morning. MWD is unaware if he was wearing sandals.

Erik Jensen

Erik Jensen talks to the Bolta last Monday week having spent the weekend in a local park buying unsold copies of The [Boring] Saturday Paper












Sandalista watch

In his 1937 book The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell defended “the ordinary decent person” against “the intellectual, book-trained socialist”. He wrote that the latter:

“… type is drawn, to begin with, entirely from the middle class, and from a rootless town-bred section of that middle class at that. …It includes…the foaming denouncers of the bourgeoisie, and the more-water-in-your-beer reformers of whom [George Bernard] Shaw is the prototype, and the astute young social-literary climbers…and all that dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come flocking towards the smell of ‘progress’ like bluebottles to a dead cat.”

While on the topic of sandal-wearers, thanks to the avid tan-shoes-and-pink-shoe-laces MWD reader who drew MWD’s attention to the advertisement which is running in Sandalista Central The Guardian:


summer sandals


Your taxes at work

What an awesomely lightweight piece in The New York Times on 30 May by the American Roger Cohen. Titled “Australia Does Anxiety” you man Cohen threw the switch to hyperbole.

Roger Cohen who was a guest of the leftist stack that was the 2016 taxpayer subsidised Sydney Writers’ Festival used his time Down Under to interview a number of fellow leftists he met at the leftist love-in. Namely Tim (“We’re all doomed”) Flannery, David (“I’m saving energy by foregoing hair-cuts”). Smith of the leftist inclined and taxpayer subsidised United States Study Centre at Sydney University.

The Cohen piece was littered with evidence-free exaggerations. Here is one of them:

In the United States, there is the affectation of industriousness. People like to make it appear they work all the time. In Australia, as the environmentalist Tim Flannery observed, there is the affectation of effortlessness. People are determined to make it appear they are not working too hard. Sometimes that is the case.

Garbage. The available evidence suggests that Australians are a hard-working lot.

Then there is Roger Cohen’s predictable – SWF endorsed – view of the former prime minister Tony Abbott:

 Indeed, Abbott, a loudmouth with a loony streak, was in some ways a precursor of Donald Trump. His slogans had three words – “Stop the boats” (immigrants), “Ax the tax” (climate change)…

Calling someone a “loudmouth” and a “loony” is just abuse. A New York Times columnist should be able to do better than this. Also the idea that Tony Abbott was a precursor of Donald Trump is ridiculous. For example, Mr Abbott supports free trade whereas Mr Trump is protectionist.

This is how the Sandalista Set works. It invites Roger Cohen to the 2016 SWF which is a left wing stack born of taxpayers money. Your man Cohen speaks to other leftist SWF guests. Then he returns to the Northern Hemisphere and bags Australia in the international New York Times. That’s how your taxes work.


David Smith – a principal supplier of fatuous advice to the fatuous Roger Cohen who wrote a fatuous article about Australia in the New York Times. Dr Smith (for a doctor he is) is employed by the taxpayer subsidised, and primarily left-wing, United States Studies Centre at Sydney University.


Lies the Fitz Files Told you


There has been a huge interest in last week’s announcement that Gerard Henderson will give $10,000 to the Australian Republican Movement – if ARM chairman Peter FitzSimons will provide the address of the “$30 million mansion in Rome” in which he claims Cardinal George Pell resides. This assertion was made in the Sun-Herald on 24 May 2015.


But, alas, no response from The Red Bandannaed One himself or from Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir or SMH managing director Stuart Washington. This despite the fact that Mr Goodsir and Mr Washington claim that SMH and its Sunday version the Sun Herald always correct mistakes.


For more information about the “Why Won’t Fitz Claim the $10,000 Award” saga see this week’s “Correspondence” section.




The interest in last week’s $10,000 reward has raised massive excitement at the fate of MWD’s long-standing $16,000 offer to Professor Robert Manne to provide evidence of his (undocumented) assertion that Gerard Henderson attempted to get him sacked as an Age columnist in 1993, or 1994, or perhaps 1996 – or something like that. Here’s the story so far:

As avid readers will be aware, Gerard Henderson has offered Robert Manne $8000 for an asylum seeker charity of his choice if he can produce a document he claims to have. Graham Jeffs, an avid reader from Perth Neurosurgery, has offered to match Hendo’s offer dollar for dollar – “in the interests of motivating Mr Manne” (See MWD Issue 272). Dr Jeffs is happy if Professor Manne uses his $8000 for a “restful holiday” or another good cause.

This should be easy money for Robert Manne whose website attests that he was twice voted Australia’s leading public intellectual – or some such. An intellectual, public or private, should be able to locate a document that the said intellectual claims to possess – particularly when multiple copies are allegedly involved.

And now for some background. In June 2011, Robert Manne alleged that in 1993 Gerard Henderson had sent a “dossier” to Paul Austin – in his capacity as The Age’s opinion page editor – demanding that Manne be sacked as an Age columnist. In fact, Austin was not working at The Age in 1993. So Manne moved the year forward to 1995. No luck here either, since Paul Austin did not become The Age’s opinion page editor until 1998. Therefore, it seems that the learned professor settled for 1998 or possibly 1999 – who knows? He certainly has not withdrawn the claim.

Robert Manne also alleged that Hendo sent a copy of his “dossier” to Morag Fraser (who is a friend of Robert Manne). But your man Manne did not say why Hendo would send a “dossier” critical of Manne to Manne’s “bestie”, Ms Fraser. Robert Manne also said that Paul Austin gave him a copy of the “dossier”. As previously indicated, all of this (allegedly) occurred in 1993 or perhaps 1995 or perhaps 1996 or perhaps 1998 or perhaps 1999 – or whatever.

So, according to Robert Manne, there at least are three copies of the “dossier” in existence. Paul Austin has the alleged original. Morag Fraser has an alleged copy and Robert Manne himself has another alleged copy. It’s just that no one has produced a copy of this document and Hendo’s (detailed) filing system demonstrates that no such “dossier” was ever written.

If Robert Manne persistently fails to produce the alleged “dossier” – it can only be assumed that he has a clear “recollection” of an event which never happened. Or, alternatively, Professor Manne just made up his “dossier” claim. It’s called self-delusion, or worse. Or perhaps just bad memory.

In any event, as Gerard Henderson indicated during his discussion with David Marr at The Sydney Institute’s forum on “The Art of Argument” on 10 February 2016, the award for stumping up the evidence has been increased to $20,000. In the hope that an extra $4000 will jog Robert Manne’s memory or a concession that no such event ever occurred. So now the break-up of the $20,000 reward for evidence is:

▪ $18,000 from Hendo to Robert Manne’s favourite asylum seekers advocacy group.

▪ $8,000 from a Perth Neurosurgery for Professor Manne to use on a “restful holiday” and

▪ $4,000 from Hendo as a third and final offer to motivate the Professor to find just one copy of the (alleged) fax which Gerard Henderson sent to The Age sometime in 1990s. Just one out of the alleged three copies.

Robert Manne – Over to you.




The Robert Manne/Gerard Henderson correspondence contains an important message. Professor Manne is highly intelligent. What’s more, he is not evidently dishonest. Also, Robert Manne’s work as a historian suggests that he has a reasonable memory in so far as significant events of the past are concerned.

However, in this instance, Professor Manne has a clear recollection of an event that never happened. Gerard Henderson never called for Manne’s sacking as an Age columnist in the 1990s and there is not a skerrick of evidence to support Manne’s claim.

Fast forward to the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Justice Peter McClellan – along with Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC – have taken very seriously accounts of witnesses who have made claims about what they said to someone about child sexual abuse in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. In many cases, there is no supporting evidence that such conversations took place and the accounts of when and, in some instances, where the (alleged) conversations took place have been discredited.

This is not to suggest that victims of child sexual abuse and their associates are deliberately inventing conversations where they told a third party about a pedophile. Not at all. However, it is a demonstrable fact that memory is fallible. Very fallible.

This has not stopped such opponents of Cardinal George Pell in the media (including Peter FitzSimons, Derryn Hinch, Paul Murray, Dee Madigan) along with Network Ten’s The Project, The Saturday Paper, Fairfax Media and sections of the ABC from accepting, without query, the evidence of victims of child sexual abuse regarding what they claimed to have told George Pell about the pedophile Gerald Ridsdale up to half a century ago.

Justice McClellan and Ms Furness have been sympathetic to such testimony – and aggressively harsh on Cardinal Pell who has denied that certain conversations ever took place with respect to him. Cardinal Pell’s evidence has been described as “implausible” – without any evidence cited to support such an undocumented assertion.

However, in an article in the Australian Law Journal in 2006 titled “Who is telling the truth? Psychology, common sense and the law”, Justice Peter McClellan warned about what he termed “the fallibility of memory”. The likes of Peter FitzSimons would be well advised to read what Peter McClellan once wrote about the fallibility of memory – as recently as a decade ago. And so would Robert Manne.

In his 2006 paper Justice McClellan:

▪ said there is a difference between “real truth” and “perceived truth” and that in time perceived truth becomes a reality.

▪ supported the view that most liars can fool most people most of the time and rejected the view that most people can detect falsehoods.

▪ argued that young children are significantly more likely to be overconfident about the accuracy of their positive identifications than older people.

▪ stated that there is evidence from psychologists that people are more likely to believe the testimony of an attractive or likeable witness than an unattractive or unsavoury witness.

▪ commented that hesitation may not indicate a lie but it might indicate that a witness is not 100 per cent certain about the evidence they are giving – even if they honestly believe it is truthful.

▪ warned about the ability of a person to implant a false memory in the mind of another.

▪ mentioned that false memories of trauma are possible.

▪ reflected that the reality is that our memories are unstable and malleable and that even without external influences memory will fade over time and

▪ acknowledge that memories may also be altered by post-event factors.

Towards the end of his speech, Justice Peter McClellan made the following points:

From a judicial perspective, it is particularly important to recognise the susceptibility of memory to suggestion. It is not necessarily true that what is learnt in the cradle lasts till the grave. We forget much more than we remember. What we do remember may persist, but it will often change just as much as we do. Only rarely, if ever, will a person go to the grave with a clear and unaltered recollection of what happened yesterday, let alone of something that happened years before in their youth….

The real danger in relation to a child’s evidence may not be the child’s memory per se, but the fact that a child is more susceptible to suggestion than an adult. The most troubling aspect of memory – be it a child’s memory or an adult’s – may be its vulnerability to suggestion….

I doubt whether many psychologists realise the extent to which the law operates upon assumptions which they may question or disagree with. The need for a constant dialogue between the lawyer and the psychologist is apparent. Our objective must be wherever possible to ensure that the perceived truth is the real truth….

Justice McClellan’s speech can be read here*.



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).



 It’s hard to imagine a more inappropriate person to head the Australian Republican Movement than journalist and author Peter FitzSimons.

The ARM cause (which MWD supports) can only succeed if the ARM can embrace a fair percentage of the conservative base in Australia. However, ARM chairman Peter FitzSimons is on record as opposing the kind of Coalition voters who support the likes of John Howard and Tony Abbott. Also Fitz is a raging anti-Catholic sectarian who has waged a vindictive campaign against Cardinal George Pell. By the way, George Pell is a republican.

As avid readers will be aware, following the intervention of the Australia Press Council, Fairfax Media was forced to correct one recklessly false assertion made by The Fitz Files against Cardinal Pell.

Now Peter FitzSimons and his media mates have gone “under the bed” and refuse to either provide evidence to support The Red Bandannaed One’s assertion that Cardinal Pell “lives in a $30 million dollar mansion in Rome” or withdraw the assertion.

Last week Gerard Henderson offered $10,000 to the ARM if Fitz can come up with the evidence. Fortunately a letter this week from ARM convenor Stephen Dametto made it possible, in the words of a dreadful cliché, to continue on this journey. Here we go:

Peter Fitzsimons’ ARM Convenor Stephen Dametto to Gerard Henderson- 2 June 2016

Dear Gerard

Peter FitzSimons has been clocking up the kilometres lately, taking the ARM’s positive vision of an independent Australian republic to all corners of New South Wales and beyond. Next, Peter will be back in Sydney making the case for an Australian republic at two separate events.

The first is a pre-election forum hosted by the ALP Candidate for Warringah, Andrew Woodward, at the Balgowlah RSL on Monday 13 June.

The second is an ARM Forum to be held at the Blacktown Workers Club on Wednesday 15 June.

These events are a great opportunity to hear the ARM’s Chair on the latest developments in the journey toward an Australian republic as well as meeting fellow members and supporters of the Movement. We’ll look forward to seeing you at Balgowlah RSL or Blacktown Workers Club – or both if you are feeling really keen! Full details are as follows: …..

Please RSVP via reply email to this address. And if you know someone who you think would be interested in hearing from Peter on behalf of the ARM, please do bring them along as well!

Stephen Dametto
NSW Convenor
Australian Republican Movement


Gerard Henderson to Peter Fitzsimons’ ARM Convenor Stephen Dametto – 2 June 2016

Dear Stephen

Lotsa thanks for your email of 1 June 2016 inviting me to hear The Red Bandannaed One address the Australian Republican Movement at either the Bankstown Workers’ Club (13 June) or the Balgowlah RSL (15 June) – or both.

I regret to advise that I will not be able to attend either function. I have other things to do on Monday 13 June. It’s not that I will be celebrating the Queen’s Birthday – but, after all, a public holiday is a public holiday. And I have another commitment on 15 June.

On the assumption that both ARM functions are fund raising occasions, I might be able to help out – albeit in my absence.

As I indicated on my Media Watch Dog blog last Friday, I will donate $10,000 to the Australian Republican Movement – if ARM chairman Peter FitzSimons will provide the address of the “$30 million mansion in Rome” in which your man Fitz maintains Cardinal George Pell resides. It’s a pretty good deal. $10,000 from me for one address in Rome.

I trust that you will bring this matter to the attention of Peter FitzSimons. Despite the fact that I am a financial member of the ARM, The Red Bandannaed One refuses to acknowledge my email correspondence. Which is somewhat discourteous, don’t you think?

Darren Goodsir, The Sydney Morning Herald’s editor-in-chief, has assured me that it is his policy that all errors published in The Sydney Morning Herald or The Sun Herald are corrected as soon as they are drawn to his attention.

Fairfax Media has refused to make a correction with respect to Peter FitzSimons’ allegation that Cardinal Pell “lives in a $30 million mansion in Rome”. So, I can only assume that Peter FitzSimons knows the address of the (alleged) Pell Rome abode.

In which case, all Fitzy has to do is give me the address – and I will contribute $10,000 to the Australian Republican Movement. Easy money, when you think about it.

Over to you – and go for it.

Best wishes

Gerard Henderson


cc:      Peter FitzSimons

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