16 September 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.




 Last night Paul Murray introduced his Paul Murray Live program with clips of what some Federal politicians and others had said yesterday about One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson’s first speech. Included among the talent were Keysar Trad, Ali Karri, Linda Burney, Senator Richard Di Natale and Senator Derryn Hinch – whom young Mr Murray (affectionately) called “Dad”.  Here’s what “Dad” had to say about Senator Hanson’s claim that Australia is being “swamped by Muslims” and her call to ban the immigration of Muslims into Australia. Let’s go to the PML transcript:

Derryn Hinch:  We didn’t ban all Catholics when the IRA were blowing up restaurants in London.

Paul Murray: Now, with the exception of “Dad”, most of those people didn’t know what they were talking about…

In fact, your man “Dad” had not the foggiest idea of what he was talking about. In his ignorance, the Human Mumble overlooked the following facts.  First, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IPA) was a secular – not a Catholic – organisation.  Its aim was to drive Britain out of the island of Ireland.  The IRA had no wish to create a Catholic theocracy in Ireland. From its formation early in the 20th Century, IRA members were, variously, excommunicated from the Catholic Church or criticised by the archbishops and bishops of the Irish Catholic Church. Third, the IRA targeted Britain and Ireland. It did not commit any terror acts outside the British Isles and was never a threat to Australia.

Thank God, that the self-proclaimed Human Headline’s door-stop interview re the One Nation leader was brief.  On Tuesday your man Hinch exceeded the 20 minute limit for first speeches by over 25 minutes.  His 45 minute-plus rambling address was just that – a 45 minute-plus ramble.



As a general rule, The Australian has covered the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses To Child Sexual Abuse in a more objective manner than either the ABC or Fairfax Media. Particularly with respect to the Catholic Church.   However, Dan Box’s report in today’s paper contains a number of errors of commission and omission.

Headed “Cardinal ‘knew of abuse for a decade’”, Dan Box’s story claims that “George Pell was told about child abuse committed by a pedophile Catholic priest [Fr John Farrell] a decade before a police strike force was set up to investigate the man’s crimes, a royal commission has heard”. The report continued:

One of Farrell’s victims, who cannot be named, wrote to Cardinal Pell in 2002 when he was archbishop of Sydney “to bring to your attention the ­severe and prolonged sexual abuse I ­suffered” as an altar boy in the early 1980s. The letter, tendered in evidence, names Farrell and says “I’m seeking further ­explanation of the manner in which the Catholic Church handled the incident” and its treatment of the priest.

Evidence before the Royal Commission indicates that the victim  CPD wrote to the (then) Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, on 1 June 2002 stating that he had been sexually abused by Farrell.  Archbishop Pell replied on the day he received CPD letter, 18 June 2002.  George Pell’s reply is a public document which can be read here

In his letter of 18 June 2002, Archbishop Pell:

▪ Expressed sorrow and regret to the victim and his family.

▪ Immediately referred the letter to the Professional Standards Resource Group which administered the Catholic Church’s Towards Healing program.

▪ Explained the Catholic church is divided into archdioceses and dioceses and that Farrell (who had ceased to be a priest by mid-2002) was a priest of the Diocese of Armidale.  The Archbishop pointed out that he had no jurisdiction to deal with the matters raised by the victim but advised that he had contacted the Bishop of Armidale to draw his attention to the matter.

▪ Encouraged the victim “to immediately report the matter to the Police”.

▪ Offered the victim “the help of the Church for the future”.

It is difficult to imagine a more appropriate response by the Archbishop of Sydney concerning the activities of the pedophile priest Farrell in the Diocese of Armidale.

Moreover, contrary to Dan Box’s report in Friday’s Australian, Cardinal Pell is not “under investigation by Victoria Police over child abuse claims he has described as ‘utterly false’”.  It is understood that Cardinal Pell has not been interviewed by Victoria Police with respect to child sexual abuse.

Can you bear it graphicFRAN KELLY’S (ACTIVIST) DENIAL

ABC Radio National Breakfast presenter Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly is currently on what journalists like to call a Well Earned Break. Mere mortals, on the other hand, take holidays.

In any event, lotsa thanks to the avid reader who drew MWD’s attention to what Ms Kelly said on Two Grumpy Hacks: The Podcast (which she shares with Patricia Karvelas) on 6 September 2016:

Fran Kelly: When you are doing the interviews like I am, you have – there’s not so much of that you’re letting out there in public.  I’m more grilling people than letting my own views come through.  Though people would not necessarily agree with that.

Spot on. Talk about a lack of personal awareness. In her interviews on RN Breakfast, Fran Kelly frequently shows her (leftist) activist side – as MWD readers will only be too well aware.  For example, Fran Kelly invariably interrupts conservative interviewees but rarely those of the green/left side of politics.  It is in these interruptions that the RN Breakfast presenter’s own views frequently come through.  Loud and clear.

There are also occasions when Ms Kelly’s personal – read activist – views are evident in the form of leading questions.  Take, for example, this question directed at Dr John Church – the oceanographer and one-time CSIRO climate scientist about the CSIRO, global warming and all that stuff. The date was 4 August 2016:

Fran Kelly:  Can I just ask you finally and briefly then, are you in any doubt that this change of heart from the government and this reinstatement of funding and jobs is because we have a prime minister now who is a, an inherent, an adherent to action on climate change?

 John Church: I would expect that that’s a large part of this change, yes.

How about that for a leading question?  In fact, it was the CSIRO management, not (then) Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who decided to re-allocate resources within the CSIRO away from the monitoring of climate change – and towards the mitigation of and adaption to climate change.  This decision was subsequently – and recently –  reversed. But it was not Tony Abbott’s decision in the first place.

Fran Kelly’s final question to John Church invited him to criticise Tony Abbott and praise Malcolm Turnbull – despite the fact that the initial decision to re-allocate resources within the CSIRO was made by its chief executive officer Larry Marshall.

And Fran Kelly reckons that she does not let her own views come through during interviews. Can you bear it?


While on the topic of Radio National Breakfast, consider the case of regular RN Breakfast commentator Paul Bongiorno.  When Network 10’s political editor in Canberra, Bonge was regarded by the Coalition as the journalist in the commercial media – among the Canberra Press Gallery – most hostile to the Liberal Party and the Nationals.

So it came as no surprise that, when he was pushed sideways by Channel 10 to the vague position of contributing editor, Bonge soon obtained an influential commentary slot on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster which is a Conservative Free Zone. This in spite of the fact that Paul Bongiorno’s media career is, well, underwhelming.  Bonge has rarely broken stories and he has never written a book or even a memorable article about Australian politics (which he covers) or journalism.  His current weekly column in Morry Schwartz’s The [Boring] Saturday Paper is, well, boring.  In short, Bonge is no Paul Kelly or Laura Tingle.

These days Bonge delivers a green/left rant on Radio National Breakfast most Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a slot which he shares with the mild-mannered and empirical Michelle Grattan who comments on the news rather than declaring what the news should be. This is what Mr Bongiorno had to say about the proposed same sex marriage plebiscite last Tuesday:

Paul Bongiorno:  …What we know is the plebiscite is designed to delay and defeat marriage equality. What we know in Australia is that it is against the law to discriminate against anybody in terms of their gender or sexual orientation. And the core, or the base, argument against same sex marriage is that it is not of the same sort or of the same kind or of the same value as a heterosexual marriage.

Now, in Australia, we also have freedom of religion. So you can believe what you like about the definition of marriage. But we’re a secular society – so we have freedom from religion. So what, what the debate is about now, is saying “We want to bring [Australia] into line with a view that’s shared by many comparable countries around the world”. That people who want to contract an exclusive lifelong commitment as a civil contract, they will be able to do so and their love will be recognised. Those who oppose that say that their love is of a different kind, it’s dangerous and some will even tell you it’s perverse.

Bonge’s green/left rant was arrant nonsense.  There is no evidence that the same sex marriage plebiscite is an attempt “to delay and defeat marriage equality”.  That’s just Paul Bongiorno’s green/left opinion.  If the plebiscite legislation passes through the Parliament and a poll is held, as planned by the Turnbull government, on 11 February 2017 then same sex marriage could be legal by the middle of next year. Assuming, that is, that the opinion polls are correct in predicting a comfortable “Yes” majority throughout Australia.

The discussion continued about the plebiscite.  As the transcript shows, Bonge was so intent on proclaiming his cause that he did not listen to the question directed to him:

 Hamish MacDonald : Bill Shorten invoked the issue of sort of mental health of young LGBTI Australians, used the word “suicide” – about which we are so careful in public of using, used that in parliament. The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, says Bill Shorten is trivialising and playing politics with mental health. Has he overstepped the mark? Given how cautious we must all be in talking about those sorts of issues?

 Paul Bongiorno: Yes, the Archbishop has overstepped the mark.

 Hamish MacDonald: Ah, I meant Bill Shorten.

 Paul Bongiorno: No, he hasn’t.

 Hamish MacDonald: Why?

Paul Bongiorno: Because, as you heard on AM, there is plenty of evidence that gay youths and homosexual people are vulnerable. And what we’re inviting here is a harsh judgement on who they are. Now, this is one of the big advances over the last 30 years –  particularly in Australia but around the world. People’s homosexuality is who they are, not what they have chosen to be.

There is nothing wrong with Paul Bongiorno’s view on same sex marriage. It’s just that it amounts to advocacy – not analysis. In the political commentary slot on RN Breakfast, Michelle Grattan provides analysis.  Certainly her position is influenced by her views – but she attempts to be objective.  Not so Paul Bongiorno. He uses his RN Breakfast slot to advocate, often in an emotional state.

Last Tuesday Bonge failed to acknowledge that some members of the LGBTI community support a plebiscite as the most efficient means of legislating for same sex marriage.  For example, according to media reports, this is the position of former Greens leader Bob Brown.  Bonge failed to even address this matter in his Tuesday rant.

The ABC is a Conservative Free Zone without one conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or on-line outlets.  The constant leftist ranting of Paul Bongiorno on RN Breakfast underlines the lack of balance within the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.  The self-proclaimed Friends of the ABC do not much like Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.  But there are many more left-of-centre paid regular contributors on Fox News than there are right-of-centre paid regular contributors on the ABC. Can you bear it?


While on the topic of breakfast, did anyone see the chief-executive officer of CPA (aka Certified Practising Accountants) Alex Malley doing the “Newspapers” segment on ABC 1’s News Breakfast on Wednesday?

Mr Malley must have one of the best known faces in Australia.  For airlines travellers, that is.  It is virtually impossible to enter an airport in Australia without being confronted by a large mug-shot of your man Malley plugging his boring tome The Naked CEO.  This is paid advertising, you see.

Indeed the CPA’s CEO has become one of Australia’s leading media tarts.  There is the advertising on billboards along with the product placement within book shops.  Earlier this year – or was it last year? – the CEO (clothed on this occasion) paid for his own series of interviews on Channel 9.  And, following a hint made by the ABC’s very own Michael Rowland, it seems that the ABC may be considering giving the CPA’s CEO a show of his own. Spare us, oh Lord.

Last Wednesday, Alex Malley used his time available on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster to – once again – tell politicians that they cannot do their jobs.  He used to bag Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. Then he bagged Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey. Now he bags Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.  Sometimes you wonder why your man Malley does not get down from his airport bill-board and go into politics. There he could fix things up and do what he claims to do among his group of suburban accountants.  That is, lead – for God’s sake. Yawn.

However, last Wednesday the boring Alex Malley departed from his boring The Naked CEO mantra – about the need for strong leadership and all that stuff – to answer a question on the US presidential election. Another subject, apparently, on which Mr Malley claims expertise.  Let’s go to the transcript to see what he had to say:

Michael Rowland: Let’s look now at the battle to be leader of the free world, the US presidential election. The Australian has the latest twists and turns on that. Focusing on Hillary’s problems at the moment.

 Alex Malley: This is great article because what it’s talking about is that the Democrats are rummaging through their by-laws in the event that Hillary’s condition doesn’t get better or worsens. They don’t really seem to have a model that allows them to change the candidate. Or at least no structure for that. So they’re already starting to talk about Bernie Sanders and others who might be able to step up, Joe Biden. So that’s interesting.

Also last night on Lateline Emma Alberici interviewed this new Independent who’s come from nowhere who’s being funded by Republicans. And he was incredibly articulate. It was quite a change to what we’ve seen. So the theory being that, if he can win a couple of electorates and no one gets a majority, then there’s some other institution which determines which one’s president. Like it’s only in America —

 What a load of tosh.  For starters, the interview to which Alex Malley referred was not by Emma Alberici on Lateline but Zoe Daniel on 7.30.  The Independent candidate was Evan McMullin. Evan who?  Mr McMullin has been in the US presidential race for less than a month.  Really. Moreover, if Mr McMullin really has a chance on Tuesday 8 November he wouldn’t be wasting his time talking to Australian television.

As to the US presidential system, it is not all that complicated. As avid readers know, electors vote for representatives who will attend the Electoral College and formally decide who will be president.   Whichever candidate wins a majority of delegates in each state (not electorates) takes all those votes – weighted according to the population of the various states – to the Electoral College.

The idea that the Democrat and/or Republican delegates in the Electoral College would hand the presidency to an Independent like Evan McMullin who won, say, two states is just bizarre.  Yet Alex Malley got to put this ludicrous scenario on News Breakfast and was taken seriously.  Can you bear it?


While on the topic of ignorance, consider the case of Sun-Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons. In “The Fitz Files” last Sunday, the Red Bandannaed One had this to say about Mother Teresa of Calcutta – who was canonised by Pope Francis in Rome last weekend:

So Mother Teresa has been announced by the Pope as a saint?  It is rare that I comment on a pronouncement of the Vatican, but circa January 1981, I met the Nobel Prize winner, briefly at her orphanage in Calcutta, in the company of two South American businessmen, both of whom fell to their knees and started kissing her hand. With my own ears I heard her say, “Get up, get up, I am not a saint, I am not a saint”. Does that count for anything? I know, maybe “humility”, as the Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne said to me. But she sounded genuine. If she was a saint, she didn’t seem to know it at the time.

If the Red-Bandannaed One knew anything about the Catholic Church’s teachings on sainthood, he would know that there is one stand-alone qualification for canonisation. To wit, you must be dead.  Or “passed away”, as the parlance has it. Or “crossed to the other side of the Jordan”. Or “kicked the bucket”. Or whatever.

In 1981 Mother Teresa was not dead.  She has been since 1997.  So Mother Teresa was not eligible for sainthood “circa January 1981” when Fitz met her. And Fairfax Media pays for this sludge.  Can you bear it?

[Er, no. By the way, I note that The Red Bandannaed One has still not provided the address of the “$30 million mansion in Rome” in which he claims Cardinal George Pell resides.  Consequently, he has not been able to claim the $20,000 for the Australian Republican Movement which is available if the (alleged) address is supplied. I also note that despite Sydney Morning Herald’s  editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir’s claim to correct all Fairfax Media errors, Fitz’s assertion about Cardinal Pell’s abode remains uncorrected on the Fairfax Media website – MWD Editor.]




While on the topic of what James Joyce termed “The Dead”, here is what Sydney Morning Herald literary editor Susan Wyndham had to say about Richard Neville – who died [Don’t you mean “passed” MWD  Editor] on Sunday 4 September 2016 – in her column in last Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald :

As we farewell the great cultural disrupter, Richard Neville, who died aged 74 this week, I remember warmly the time he could have cost me my job. In 1987 I was the young editor of Good Weekend magazine and commissioned staff writer Ginny Dougary to interview Neville and his old friend Richard Walsh over dinner…. My Dinner with Richard [story] was lively, funny and profound, showing how the two in their 40s had moved on from their 1960s taboo-smashing days at Oz magazine into mainstream media …

The day after the magazine went to press I was told the Herald’s editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, had read the story late at night and, horrified that Neville had twice used the word “f—” (which I left spelt out), had tried to stop the presses – too late and too expensive to pulp the issue. I heard no more about it, but I realised the let-it-all-hang-out values I had absorbed as a teenager, thanks to the Richards and co, were still ahead of their time. Neville admitted to “a twinge of guilt” about the angry, hippie hedonism of his youth and his book Play Power….

Interesting, albeit self-censoring. According to Susan Wyndham, around 1987 Richard Neville admitted to a “twinge of guilt” about what Ms Wyndham described as “the angry, hippie hedonism of his youth and his book Play Power”.  Just a twinge, apparently.

However, the Sydney Morning Herald’s  literary editor covered for the late Richard Neville. The problem with Play Power is not that it revealed Neville’s hedonistic youth. Rather, in Play Power  the Oz co-founder outed himself as a pedophile who – in his late twenties – had a quickie with a 14-year-old London school girl.  This is the very behaviour which has seen Rolf Harris convicted and imprisoned in Britain.

Imagine what Susan Wyndham and her besties at Fairfax Media and the ABC would say about a Catholic or Anglican priest who boasted in 1970 about engaging in under-age sex.  Just imagine.  However, according to Ms Wyndham and friends, Richard Neville’s time as a pedophile is to be despatched to the memory hole, having been downgraded to mere youthful “hippie hedonism”.  Can you bear it?

[For more on this topic, see the hugely popular “Correspondence” section this week – MWD Editor.]

five paws graphic 


 On ABC Radio National’s The National Interest last night, Tom Switzer interviewed John Howard who presents the documentary Howard on Menzies: Building Modern Australia.  This will air on ABC 1 at 7.40 pm on Sunday 18 September and Sunday 25 September.

Howard on Menzies is written and directed by Simon Nasht and produced by Ruth Cross. However, John Howard’s views are heard throughout the program.

Highlights of the former prime minister’s interview with Tom Switzer turn on:

▪ John Howard’s rejection of David Day’s assertion that in 1941 Robert Menzies wanted to become prime minister of Britain and that there was considerable support in Britain for him taking over from Winston Churchill.

▪ John Howard’s affirmation that the Menzies government was saved at the 1961 election by the first preferences of the anti-communist Democratic Labor Party.

As avid readers will know, both of the above matters are common themes in MWD.

Tom Switzer: Five Paws.

The timing of the Howard on Menzies program provides an opportunity to run – once again – the David Day vs Anne Henderson Scoreboard.



There has been huge reader interest in last week’s SCOOP that there could have been more than two signatories to the minority report of The Climate Change Authority’s Special Review on Australia’s Climate Coals and Policies: Towards a Climate Policy Toolkit which was released on 5 September 2016.


Sure, the names at the end of the minority report were “Professor Clive Hamilton AM” and “Professor David Karoly” (who does not seem to have an AM).  For the record, David Karoly is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of  Earth Science and the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne.  And Clive Hamilton is, it’s coming, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics – a joint centre at Charles Sturt Centre and the University of Melbourne. Before that, he was executive director of the leftist Australia Institute.  In 2012, your man Hamilton was the (unsuccessful) Greens candidate in the 2009 Higgins by-election in Melbourne.

[In view of the need to conserve resources, why do these two professional chaps at taxpayer subsidised universities have such ponderously long titles? MWD Editor]

So, at first glance there are just two names attached to the minority report. However, as MWD mentioned last week, there might have been two and a half signatories, perhaps even three.

You see, the leftist Clive Hamilton has another self.  He’s a chap called Jacob.  Clive outed Jacob in an interview with Caroline Jones on the ABC Radio National program The Search for Meaning on 27 February 1994.  The conversation took place soon after the publication of Clive Hamilton’s book The Mystic Economist.  At the time, Ms Jones was the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s leading in-house luvvie.  She gave your man Hamilton the softest of soft interviews. And so it came to pass that the leftist professor relaxed and revealed lotsa stuff about himself. And, er, Jacob.

Early on in the interview, Clive Hamilton went on and on promoting his piss-poor book The Mystic Economist – despite the fact that the segment was supposed to be critical of consumption.  Professor Hamilton – shortly after classifying consumption as being about “neurosis” and “meaninglessness” and “a response to a mass sense of inauthenticity in our lives” – told (any) listeners that The Mystic Economist was “available in ABC shops and good book stores”. Get the hint?

After the anti-consumerist urged ABC listeners to consume his book, there was a music interlude.  Soon after, your man Hamilton told Caroline Jones how he became an atheist at age eight.  [How frightfully interesting – MWD Editor]. He then revealed that he re-found a belief in God on Sunday 26 February 1989 at age 36. [Ditto. MWD Editor]. Let’s go to the transcript as your man Clive speaks at incoherent length about the subject he knows best – namely, HIMSELF.

….One day…I was suddenly – from the blue, from nowhere – I was struck by what was a truly life transforming experience. An event which was so powerful that I was truly compelled to confront everything I believed and felt about the world and myself. This was on Sunday the 26th of February 1989 and there’s no question it was the turning point. I now divide my life into two parts – one before that day and one after.

And on that day, somehow I was just split open, the boundaries dissolved and I was just absorbed into the universal energy which mostly we’re not aware of but which is pulsating and buzzing all around us all of the time and I saw that we, each of us, is nothing more than a concentration of that universal energy and the boundaries which we have around us keep that bit of energy separate from the universal energy. And if we let those boundaries dissolve, we become the universe. An extraordinary experience, it cannot be grasped intellectually.

Then the learned professor spoke about the influence on him of the psychologist Carl Jung and how he (your man Hamilton) came to meet his Other Self.  Who turned out to be a chap called Jacob.  Let’s go back to the transcript:

….the time arrived for my dramatic and searing confrontation with my shadow which…is the darkness within each of us which we try constantly to suppress because it’s so terrifying. I’d gone on a silent retreat….Out of the blue one day, or perhaps I should say out of the blackness one day, appeared the figure of my shadow. He’d shown himself, somewhat obscurely, several times over dreams in the previous months – I realised subsequently – especially in one where this figure appeared as a murderer and an abuser of women. And I had learned and absorbed and accepted from Jung that every character that appears in our dreams, no matter how horrible and unpalatable that character might be, is an aspect of ourselves. That which we reject most vehemently lurks in us as our shadow selves.

To which, Ms Jones offered this remark: “Mmmm, it’s a terrifying idea”. To which Nancy’s (male) co-owner responds: “Mmmmm, it sure is”. Then the learned professor spoke about his conversations with the murderer and woman abuser Jacob:

…I entered into a dialogue with this figure who appeared before me – and I spoke to him. This is a Jungian technique, which sort of happens spontaneously. And he told me that his name was Jacob. And from his mouth spewed the most foul salvo of abuse at the world, at the, you know, that was imaginable. And I was racked by overpowering emotions, almost more than I could bear. I was frightened of this creature, particularly because I knew that it was inside me, it was part of me. And yet I’d come far enough to understand that I had to draw it all out and to try to integrate this creature, this character, back into my own psyche. And so I talked to Jacob and calmed him down and befriended him and ultimately forgave him for being part of me; a very, very powerful process. But then the next day something truly astounding happened.

The very next day, Monday 27 February 1989, Clive attended an evening Eucharistic service where someone read a passage from the Bible which referred to a Biblical character named – yes, you’ve guessed it – Jacob. And this Jacob had also wrestled with a man  in the night.  It was at this very time that Clive (and, perhaps, his very own Jacob) found his very own God.  Or perhaps god.  As Professor Hamilton told Ms Jones:

…It became crystal clear to me, if there’d been any doubt up to that point, that the official scientific view of the world – that everything that happens to us is a random series of unconnected events – it became apparent that that view is manifestly false.

All of this explains the pertinent question in last week’s MWD.  Was the (alleged) minority report to the Climate Change Authority’s Special Review signed by David Karoly and Clive Hamilton?  Or by David Karoly and Clive Hamilton and Jacob (as the other half of Clive)?  Or by David and Clive and Jacob (in full persona). We’ll keep you advised if MWD hears from, er, Jacob or Clive.




Nancy’s (male) co-owner is mightily pleased by the attention given to his book Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man (MUP, 2015) by the Sandalista set.

Thanks to the avid reader who provided the following intel.

      • On 5 September the “Tips and Rumours” segment in the leftist Crikey newsletter revealed the following BIG STORY under the heading “APH Book Club” – where APH translates as Australia Parliament House:

George Brandis charged the taxpayer to read his colleagues’ and mate’s [sic] books, as well as Gerard Henderson’s biography of B.A. Santamaria. In the release of politician’s [sic] entitlements…our elected officials claimed back from the Department of Finance many books written by the politicians themselves.

For example, George Brandis purchased Greg Sheridan’s When We Were Young and Foolish, a biography by Sheridan of his time as a student with Tony Abbott, Bob Carr, and Malcolm Turnbull. He also bought a copy of the book on Tony Abbott’s undoing — Battleground: Why the Liberal Party Shirtfronted Tony Abbott, along with Christopher Pyne’s memoir A Letter to My Children. Brandis was one of two MPs — the other being Labor’s Jacinta Collins — to use taxpayer dollars to buy Gerard Henderson’s Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man.

Crikey chairman Eric Beacher is always lecturing-at-large about declining media standards.  Yet Crikey published this anonymous piece which incorrectly stated that George Brandis and (unnamed) others bought “many books written by the politicians themselves”. This is nonsense.  Also the anonymous Crikey scribe complained that a Liberal Party frontbencher and a Labor Party frontbencher purchased a copy of Gerard Henderson’s Santamaria biography. Shucks.

Then last Saturday’s leftist house-journal, The [Boring] Saturday Paper printed this by Richard Ackland on 10 September 2016:

You were crazy if you didn’t snap up a Father’s Day copy of Gerard Henderson’s Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man, as recommended by Gadfly last week. The offer was an unbeatable bargain at $60 because now we find the same book on Amazon for $983.23….

Thanks to your man Ackland. If anyone wants to buy Gerard Henderson Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man it can be purchased at the “discounted” price of $60 – involving a saving of over $900 –  when compared with Amazon’s best price. See 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).


As avid readers are aware, MWD in recent years has been (obsessively, yes) focused on a couple of matters pertaining to Oz co-founder Richard Neville.  Namely, his boast about having sex with a 14-year old school-girl in his piss-poor book Play Power (1970). And his enabling of pederasty when presenter of the ABC Radio Lateline program in 1975 – where he received backing from (then) ABC chairman Professor Richard Downing.  See MWD passim, ad nauseam.

The occasion of Richard Neville’s recent death presented a timely opportunity for Gerard Henderson to discuss these matters in response to the overwhelmingly favourable obituaries about Mr Neville. It’s called putting the truth into hagiography. Hendo did so in his column in The Weekend Australian last Saturday – see here.

On reading the column, a certain David Stark wrote to Gerard Henderson requesting guidance as to how to find Mr Neville’s pedophile boast in Play Power.  This is a fair request since the book is a literary shambles, which does not contain an index. Being a courteous kind of guy, Gerard Henderson AC (Always Courteous) tries to answer all correspondence to the best of his ability.  He did so again on this occasion.  Now read on – the only deletion to the correspondence relates to personal comments of no interest to the reader.

David Stark to Gerard Henderson – 13 September 2016

To Gerard Henderson,

Having been at school with Richard Neville, I read with interest your birthday article in last weekend’s Australian.

Would you please advise me on what page of Power Play Neville boasted of having a “hurricane f..k……”   

David Stark

Gerard Henderson to David Stark – 14 September 2016

I refer to your note of yesterday.

How wonderful to hear from a one-time school mate of Richard Neville. It’s always good to make contact with Knox Grammar School graduates.

As you will be aware if you read all of my column in The Weekend Australian last Saturday, I did not write that in Play Power Richard Neville boasted of merely having a “hurricane f–k”. Rather, I wrote that he boasted of having a “hurricane f–k” with a “moderately attractive, intelligent, cherubic fourteen-year-old girl from a nearby London comprehensive school”.  In other words, on his own admission, the late Mr Neville was a pedophile.  He was also an enabler of pederasty in his capacity as presenter of the ABC Radio Lateline program in 1975.

In response to your specific query, in my copy of Play Power (Paladin, 1971) the quote cited above can be found at the top of Page 60.  This appears early in the chapter titled “Group Grope”.

You may, or may not, be interested in the fact that none of Richard Neville’s friends and associates have contested the accuracy of the quote.  For example, I have not heard from the likes of Richard Walsh, Geoffrey Robertson or Andrew Clark.

Best wishes

Gerard Henderson

David Stark to Gerard Henderson – 16 September 2016


Thanks for your reply.  While it is no excuse, Neville explained that he was drug affected when he had a “hurricane f—k with a moderately attractive, intelligent, cherubic fourteen-year-old girl from a nearby London comprehensive school”.  Being drug affected, and if he drug affected the girl, in my opinion makes his action even more reprehensible.

Neville was in his final year at Knox when I was in first year of the Upper School, but in ’63 I started studying Commerce at UNSW, so became very aware of his antics, which he adopted to try and change society’s thinking – the times indeed were a-changin.  About 10 years ago I met him for the first time at a conference where he was the guest speaker, as a futurologist, after which all went on a bus trip when I sat beside him and introduced myself as a former Secretary of the OKGA,[Old Knox Grammar Association] and told him why a former Headmaster, Dr Couper had resigned.

Not being a listener of ABC Radio Lateline program in 1975 (or at any time), I am not aware of him being “an enabler of pederasty”.  As Pauline would say – please explain…


David Stark



Thanks for your note. I agree that the fact Richard Neville claimed to have taken drugs is no excuse for underage sex with a school-girl around half his age.

As to your “please explain” request. When presenter of the ABC Radio Lateline program in 1975, Richard Neville invited three pederasts into the ABC studio to rationalise their sex lives. That’s enabling behaviour to me.

Best wishes



Mr Stark’s letter provides a valuable opportunity to update MWD’s Scoreboard on Pedophilia and the ABC.




* * * *


Until next time.