11 November 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. 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.

  • Stop Press: Derryn Hinch on the 9/11 Style Shock of Donald Trump; Lateline Gives False Prophets Another Run
  • Nancy’s Highlights of the US Presidential Election Campaign – with “Magnificent” Contributions from David Marr, Paul McGeough, Chas Licciardello, John Barron & Friends, Wendy Squires, Mia Freedman & Julian Burnside
  • Can You Bear It? Derryn Hinch’s “Let’s Shoot Her” Joke: Leigh Sales Lets Gillian Triggs Off the Hook; Cate Blanchett Reads All About the Homeless; Peter FitzSimons Planned Ahistorical Cruise Down the Seine
  • Correspondence: Mohammed El-leissy Helps out on Section 18(c) of the Racial Discrimination Act



Did anyone watch Paul Murray Live last night? Following an insightful editorial by Murray, aimed at dispelling the leftist myth that Donald J. Trump was not legitimately elected as United States president, a large part of the show was devoted to the absolute tosh that the left put out in response to the Republican victory in the US presidential election on Tuesday. The only problem was that the author of one of the most ridiculous tweets was a guest on PML. Namely, Senator Derryn Hinch – who Paul Murray likes to call “Dad”.

Shortly after it became evident that Trump had won, The Human Mumble put out the following tweet:


So Senator Hinch believes that Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton had the same surprise effect as the Islamist attack on New York in 2001. The fact is that no one predicted that Islamist terrorists would attack the World Trade Center in 2001. However, Donald Trump was always in with a chance – some sort of chance – to win the 2016 presidential election. So there is no comparison – unless Hinch was so naïve as to believe that Trump was unelectable.

If, say, the above tweet had been put out by Greens’ Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, then Paul Murray would have bagged her comprehensively. But last night your man Murray let “Dad” off very lightly. However, at least fellow panelist Rita Panahi was game enough to say that the Hinch tweet was nonsense.


ABC1’s Lateline appears to be becoming increasingly superficial. Take last night’s program, for example, which went to air on ABC’s main channel at around 11 pm – after a repeat of Kevin McCloud’s Escape to the Wild: Chile. Yawn. This repeat will be re-repeated some time in the future. Yawn Plus.

First up, Lateline interviewed former prime minister Kevin Rudd on US president elect Donald Trump. Mr Rudd gave Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull advice about how to handle Trump. How frightfully helpful. Earlier in the evening, 7.30 interviewed former prime ministers Paul Keating and John Howard on the very same topic. Perhaps tonight 7.30 could interview Bob Hawke and Lateline could interview Julia Gillard. Just a thought. And what about Tony Abbott?

Then it was time to interview a group of Americans living in Australia. As MWD Issue 338 documented, on 19 October 2016, Lateline’s David Lipson interviewed a group of Americans Down Under in the lead-up to the election. Three out of four were Hillary Clinton voters and one – the registered libertarian Cardwell Lynch – was undecided at the time although possibly likely to vote for Trump. It seems that the Lateline producers could not find one American in Australia who supported Trump and/or intended to vote Republican.

Caitlin Wagner, Ritu Clementi and the oh-so-loquacious Jim Coy predicted a comfortable Hillary Clinton victory while Cardwell Lynch thought Trump would win.

So, last night, Lateline faced this dilemma. What to do with the previous talent – 75 per cent of whom were hopelessly wrong about who would win the 2016 presidential election? Easy – invite them into the Lateline studio to analyse the campaign. And so Ms Wagner and Ms Clementi and the oh-so-loquacious Mr Coy – all started running the Hillary Clinton line again with only Mr Lynch offering a different view. Cardwell Lynch said that he would have voted for Bernie Sanders – but preferred Trump to Clinton and, consequently, voted Republican.

So there you have it. Lateline could not find one Donald Trump supporter in Australia prior to the election and found only one Trump voter after the election. Interviewer Matt Wordsworth forgot to remind the Democrats that the election was over as they banged on about why Ms Clinton should have won.


Has there ever been a time in the history of personkind when so much tripe was uttered before, during and after a US presidential election? Probably not – as the following case studies suggest.


▪ David Marr

It’s Sunday 6 November and the following exchange takes place on the Insiders’ couch.

Barrie Cassidy: And all of that is interesting theoretically yes but politically she [Hillary Clinton] hasn’t said that she won’t accept the result of a democratic election, she doesn’t prefer Vladimir Putin to Barack Obama.

David Marr: She’s not a bigot, she not a liar, she not a fantasist, she doesn’t have absolutely impossible plans to cleanse America of billions of illegal immigrants. One of the things about this election – and we’re going to be going over this for a decade to try and work out what it says about America.

Maybe. Or perhaps just David Marr will be doing this work. In any event, David Marr’s claim that Hillary Clinton’s “not a liar” seems somewhat at odds with the following facts:

– Ms Clinton said that she had just one mobile phone which she used for her work and private emails. In fact she had over a dozen.

– Ms Clinton said that there was nothing marked confidential on her private emails. False.

– Ms Clinton claimed that she never used sent or received classified material on her private server. False.

– Ms Clinton claimed that on arriving in Bosnia during the Yugoslav Wars she had to dodge sniper fire at an air base. In fact she was greeted by girls handing out flowers.

And so on. Yet your man Marr reckons that Hillary Clinton does not tell whoppers.

▪ Paul McGeough

This is how Paul McGeough, Fairfax Media’s man in America, foretold the election outcome in the Sydney Morning Herald on 9 November 2016 – just hours before the polls closed in the United States. The heading was – wait for it – “How will Trump handle being a loser?”

Today, Americans will awake from a nightmare. Donald Trump will not be their president. But relief will be short-lived. It will be more a “ha, ha, gotcha” moment appropriate to a lingering Halloween mood; because Trump is likely to be a sore loser, ready to inflict serial new nightmares on the US before he’s done with politics.

What’s all this based on? The losing part is a gut feel, supplemented by the late polling and high turnout numbers in early voting, especially on a Latino surge that is especially ominous for Trump. And those nightmares to come? That’s based on what I suspect will be Trump’s inability to walk away without attempting to make it into something else.

On Thursday 10 November your man McGeough’s piece in the SMH was titled “Clean sweep: Trump storms to victory on wave of anger.” Paul McGeough declined to admit he had erred in predicting a comfortable Clinton victory. He asserted, without evidence, that there had been a “stunning late surge” to Trump. And he wrote that “global markets were in a panic” and went along with the view that there would be “chaos” in the markets. All absolute tosh. And Fairfax Media pays lotsa money for this analysis.


Chas Licciardello

ABC News 24 commissioned Chas Licciardello – one of the Chaser Boys (average age 421/2) – to comment on the election. At 12.30 pm on Wednesday your man Licciardello declared that there was “very bad news for Trump in Pennsylvania”. Maybe there was – but Trump won the state. Mr Licciardello is but one of many comedians who are commissioned to do serious political commentary on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.

John Barron and Friends

John Barron co-presented the US election coverage with Sara James on ABC News 24. Two panellists were invited to discuss the election. One, Bruce Wolpe, used to work for the Democratic party on Capitol Hill. The other, Barbara Heineback, used to be a press officer to former Democratic First Lady, Rosalynn Carter. Making the discussion a Republican Free Zone on the ABC, a Conservative Free Zone.


Wendy Squires

Age columnist Wendy Squires was one of the first leftists to do a spiel from the psychiatrist’s couch about Trump’s victory over Clinton. This is how she commenced her column at Fairfax Media online at 10.18 pm on Wednesday evening:

I am woman, hear me sob. For today’s US election has broken my heart. Surely, I believed we had made some progress. I knew feminism has a way to go but the world was ready for a female President. Especially one with such experience, such conviction and such a sexist, narcissist, megalomaniac oaf as an alternative.

I believed, or make that hoped at least, that Donald Trump was an aberration, a distraction that we would look back in horror on. He was the close call we all would be relieved to see put back in his penthouse box, his ego broken, his scary bluster a hot wind that was extinguished by good sense.

But no. I have watched today as I did 9/11, with my hands over my eyes in shock, disgust and horror and cries of “this can’t be happening!” on constant rotation. But it has….

I have already witnessed Sarah Palin gloating, Pauline Hanson sending her regards, Julie Bishop attempting to hose down the catastrophe. I don’t think there is much more I can take. There are events in history that deserve a black line put through them and I believe this is one of them. America should be ashamed. For ignorance has triumphed over reason. To every woman who voted for Trump, I say good luck. Because you have voted against equality. And you will now have to pay for your folly…

So there you have it. Wendy Squires reckons that anyone – particularly any woman – who does not support her view on the desired outcome of the US presidential election – is ignorant. Just ignorant. Why? Presumably because Ms Squires regards her morality as greater than others. That’s why.

And that’s why she can’t take it anymore. Moreover, like her mate Derryn Hinch, Wendy Squires reckons that watching the outcome of a democratic election is much the same as watching 3000 individuals being murdered in the Twin Towers. By the way, Fairfax Media also pays good money for this sludge.

Mia Freedman

On her Mamamia blog, Mia Freedman comes to realise that the leftist sisterhood only knows leftist feminists (of both female and male genders). This is part of her oh-so-public download about her grief at the election of Donald Trump – and the advent of what she terms the trumpocalypse – yesterday. This particular confession was headed “I live in a bubble”:

Every single one of my Facebook friends opposes Trump, is appalled by him. Their feelings range from disdain and derision to bemusement and horror. Me too. Throughout this campaign, I’ve sought out media that supports my view of the world: tolerant, in favour of equality and progressive. Each morning, I’ve been going to Twitter and looking up the accounts of some of my favourite US political pundits, like Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer, who used to work for Obama, to see what they have to say. I’ve nodded along with them. They’ve made me feel better. I read articles that chronicled his failings as a human and a politician. I nodded along. I shared those articles with my like-minded friends. They liked them. We nodded along.

I retweeted people I agree with. People who called out Trump for the racist, bigoted, misogynist he is. I shared polls that said Hillary was going to win and I steadfastly avoided media like Fox News who I found to be distressingly biased. This all made me feel good. But it wasn’t reality. There’s a whole America – perhaps a whole world – I know (or choose to know) nothing about. I thought people like me – who cared about equality and tolerance and social justice and fairness – were the majority. I thought there were more of us than them. It turns out there isn’t. Or if there is (I’m clinging onto this), the fact that voting isn’t compulsory in the US means the angry people were more motivated to come out and vote. It turns out hate Trumps love.

What a load of absolute tosh. But at least Mia Freedman has acknowledged that she lives in a leftist bubble where everyone agrees with everyone else in a leftist kind of way. Just like the ABC or Fairfax Media or The Guardian or The Saturday Paper or The Monthly or Robert Manne’s Ideas and Society Program at La Trobe University.

Julian Burnside AO QC

Meanwhile, as you would expect, the catastrophist Julian (“I love flashing my post-nominals”) Burnside AO QC has used the presence of President-elect Donald

Trump to forecast the end of the world. Why not? Here’s what your man JB AO QC had to say via a tweet:


Andrew Bolt & Greg Sheridan applaud Trump’s silence on climate change in victory speech. Idiots: deny climate change = kill your grandkids.

So it seems that, according to JB AO QC, the end of the world is nigh and will take place around 2116 or thereabouts. Your man Burnside is not the first to predict the end of the world but, if he is correct this time, he could be one of the last.



Paul Murray Live presenter Paul Murray likes to call Derryn Hinch “Dad”. Much the same way that your man Murray once liked to call leftist consultant Dee Madigan “Darl”.

On Thursday 3 November, Young Paul asked “Dad” to report on his experiences the previous Tuesday at the Melbourne Cup. It so happened that, at Flemington Racecourse on Cup Day, businesswoman Gina Rinehart fell down. Believe it or not, Senator Derryn Hinch of the Hinch Justice Party attempted to make a joke of – wait for it – women having accidents. And even violence against women. How shocking is this? Let’s go to the transcript:

Derryn Hinch: I was at the Emirates marquee and it was very pleasant. And I met Gina Rinehart for the first time and we had a little chat. And she said: “We can’t talk too long Derryn or people will think we’re talking about Kidman.” And I said: “Well, just tell them we’re talking about Nicole.”

Here Paul Murray laughed loud and long at The Human Mumble’s joke. And Derryn Hinch laughed out and loud and long at his very own joke – which had already been reported by Joe Aston in the Australian Financial Review’s “Rear Window” column that very morning. There is the issue of who should be able to purchase the Kidman cattle station in Central Australia. And then there is Nicole Kidman. Good one – the first time round, at least.

Then your man Hinch attempted to joke about women falling down stairs and a former colleague’s call for a certain socialite Lillian Frank (born 1936) to be shot. Funny, eh? You be the judge:

Derryn Hinch: I wasn’t there when she [Gina Rinehart] had her fall and those stairs were very steep I’ll grant that for her. But it reminded me of a story from the mid-1980s when the doyenne of the Melbourne Cup, Lillian Frank, was there. And Lillian fell down a stalled escalator right next to a champagne bar – and she tried to negotiate it and tripped and fell down very badly. Gashed her leg very badly, the old funny hat went all eschew. And I was standing next to Doug Mulray at the top of the escalator. And Mulray shouted out: “Put a screen around her and shoot her.”

At this stage, Mr Murray and Senator Hinch laughed uproariously at the call by one-time TV presenter Doug Mulray for someone or other to kill Ms Frank at the Flemington Racecourse. Behind a screen, of course.

Finally, your man Murray piled on the praise for Dad’s humour and stories – as the transcript indicates:

Paul Murray: Your stories are awesome. I love you. This is one of the many reasons why, if you know, my belief is – before all of you die – you should have a chance to have lunch or dinner with Derryn. The stories are fantastic. God, love you.

So, there you go. Have lunch or dinner with Senator Hinch before you die. [It would be somewhat difficult later on – MWD Editor] and hear him laugh at women falling down stairs and at one of his long-luncheon mates once urging that Ms Frank be shot. Can you bear it?


A pic of Derryn Hinch with fellow violence-against-women-and-children campaigners. Apparently, the Senator confines his “jokes” about women and violence to Paul Murray Live


While on the topic of Derryn Hinch, at least your man Hinch has expressed reservations about the current interpretation of Section 18(c) in the Racial Discrimination Act.

Professor Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, was interviewed on Section 18(c) by 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales on Monday. 7.30 viewers are used to Ms Sales aggressively criticising politicians alleging this or that error. However, Ms Sales let the learned professor off the hook on Monday. Let’s go to the transcript covering the early part of the interview:

Leigh Sales : As Sabra Lane just reported, the Human Rights Commission has said that the bar for accepting complaints is too low but you have the power to throw out complaints that are trivial, vexatious and lacking in substance. Why didn’t you do that sooner in the QUT case?

Gillian Triggs: Perhaps I can first explain that the Commission is bound to accept any complaint that is in writing that alleges a breach of the discrimination law. So the first obligation is to accept the complaint and then to investigate it and conciliate it.

On that particular matter and I have to remind you that this is still before the Federal Court against the university and one student and others but what we did was do what we normally do which is investigate the facts, get a sense of what each of the parties is saying and then attempt to conciliate the matter. And in good faith we tried for 13 or 14 months. Normally we conciliate about 76 per cent of matters within three or four months. That’s normal.

Leigh Sales : And why did it take so long?

Gillian Triggs: Well, I think this one was difficult because the parties took different points of view. There were a number of students that had said different things and so the issues in relation to each of them was different.

It’s true that the conciliation process in this matter took some 14 months. But it is also true that Professor Triggs and her colleagues at the Australian Human Rights Commission did not advise the Queensland University of Technology students that a complaint about them had been made – until some 14 months after the complaint was received. This was a lengthy, unprofessional and, so far, unexplained delay.

By not nailing Gillian Triggs on why this delay occurred, Leigh Sales let the AHRC president off the hook. Politicians interviewed on 7.30 seldom if ever receive such a free kick from Ms Sales. Can you bear it? [By the way, I understand that ABC News did not report the decision by the Federal Court to throw out the case against the QUT students in its bulletins last Friday and Saturday night. – MWD Editor.]


What a wonderful morale boosting report by Ebony Bowden in last weekend’s Sunday Age titled “Blanchett and Bryce team up for hope”. Ms Bowden reported that actor Cate Blanchett, along with former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce, had been a judge of the Brotherhood of St Laurence literary award titled The Hope Prize. The ten short-listed entries, all written by homeless authors, have been published in book form by Simon & Schuster under the title Hope: An Anthology. By the way, The Sunday Age did not give Dame Quentin her Dame Quentin title.

Ms Blanchett told the Sunday Age that the stories in Hope: An Anthology are “utterly illuminating”. She added: “In a lot of them, there was a sense that you were invited into a very private, undisclosed, interior monologue. Their situations are all so tenuous.”

Sure are. In which case, Cate Blanchett might open the doors of one of her many homes and make the life of a couple of the homeless, well, less tenuous.

According to a report by Alexandra Spangaro, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald “Domain” section on 18 January 2016, Cate Blanchett and her husband own a Sydney CBD apartment, a Berowra Waters retreat and an Elizabeth Bay investment apartment. Oh yes – they also own the English manor Highwell House in Crowborough, East Sussex (re which see MWD Issue 308).

Plenty of room to accommodate some Aussie and Brit homeless. Yet, rather than offering a home to the homeless, Cate Blanchett reckons that the most appropriate path to a home for the homeless is via, yes, great works of art and literature including, perhaps, witnessing a fine performance by Ms Blanchett. This, according to the Aussie thespian, can be a catalyst for change:

All great literature, all great works of cinema, painting, photography – whatever – you feel ambushed by it in some way. It describes an experience other than your own. Somewhere between the story and yourself, you are changed by it. So I think it’s very rare that you see a collection of short stories from the perspective of people who are refugees, asylum seekers or homeless, and I think the perspective has an incredible power to change.

Perhaps. But perhaps not the incredible power to get a room with a view at, say, Highwell House. Can you bear it?


While on the topic of temporary accommodation, who intends to go on the Seine River Cruise with Peter FitzSimons as advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend? The 11 day cruise down the Seine with the Red Bandannaed One will include visits to what the advertisement called some of France’s most celebrated sites – the Somme battlefields of World War One and the Normandy beaches, site of the Allied invasion of German occupied France in 1944.peter-fitz-seine-cruise

Included in the deal is not only “your own butler” and “E-bikes” but also “regular lectures from Peter FitzSimons”. These days Fitz tends to talk and write mostly about the topic he knows best. Namely HIMSELF. For example, the Red Bandannaed One led off his Sun-Herald column on 30 October, titled “I am a much better husband stone-cold sober”, with the sentence “My name is Peter FitzSimons and I am not an alcoholic….” In which Fitz told us all (once again) that he had gone off the turps and lost weight. [Pity, really. I can see that MWD has not quite recovered from the fact that Fitz and Mike Carlton have given up the grog. It certainly makes their tweets less interesting – MWD Editor.]

It’s not clear what The Red Bandannaed One will tell his guests about World War I. These days Fitz, who seems to write a book every six weeks, deigns to speak with authority about Australia’s contribution to the Allied victory in the Great War. However in his book Gallipoli (2014) Fitz ran the Paul Keating line that “at Gallipoli they [the Australians] fought for England and lost”. Whereas at Kokoda, in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War, “they [the Australians] fought for Australia and won”.

This statement is profoundly ignorant. As Robert Stevenson demonstrates in his book The War With Germany Volume III: The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War, Australia had a vested interest in an Allied victory and the consequent defeat of Germany. Fitz’s view that in 1914-18 the Australian Imperial Force fought “for England” is absolute tosh. Yet those travelling with the Red Bandannaed One down the Seine in mid-2017 will have to pay at least $7345 to hear Fitz’s ignorance about Australia’s involvement in the First World War. Can you bear it?

[Er, no. I wonder whether, while in Europe next year, the Red Bandannaed One will travel to Italy in order to locate the “$30 million mansion in Rome” where he claims Cardinal George Pell resides. As avid readers will be aware, Gerard Henderson will give $20,000 to Peter FitzSimons’ much beloved Australian Republican Movement if he can provide the address of this (alleged) residence – MWD Editor.]


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, last week’s “Can You Bear It?” carried an account of the “Newspapers” segment on ABC’s News Breakfast program on 3 November 2016.

There was a discussion on what’s-not-at-all-wrong with Section 18(c) of the Racial Discrimination Act. Commentator Mohammed El-leissy said that there was nothing at all wrong with Section 18(c). And co-presenters Virginia Trioli and Michael Rowland agreed with the man who likes to call himself “Mo” that there’s-not-much-wrong-at-all with Section 18(c) – since Section 18(d) provides a defence in certain circumstances.

It so happened that Mo believed that Hendo misunderstood what he said on News Breakfast in MWD Issue 340. Gerard Henderson responded that Mohammed El-leissy’s comments were poorly expressed in the first place. Now read on.

Mohammed El-leissy to Gerard Henderson – 5 November 2016

Hi Gerard,

Just wanted to draw your attention to the quote in last week’s Media Watch Dog, published in The Australian online, which you have misunderstood

Mohammed El-leissy: But we’ve got to think about – what’s the purpose of criticism? It’s fine to criticise Muslims or Indigenous people or whatever. But you’ve got to do it with a purpose of changing. Not simply just criticising. They [i.e. the critics of 18(c)] don’t offer any alternative.

I wasn’t referring to the critics of 18c as you have implied. I was referring to people that criticise racial groups. If you are criticising someone it shouldn’t just be because you’re attacking them for the sake of it, but rather to change behaviour. So when Bill Leak rightly and legitimately creates a cartoon about an Indigenous father that can’t remember his son’s name and is negligent in his responsibilities towards that child – Bill doesn’t offer any alternative options to that indigenous father in how he might improve him situation. Thus I don’t see it in good faith but rather criticism for the sake of it – and of course at a racial minority as opposed to an individual.

I’m not asking you agree with me, but hope you can correct the record given you have literally put words in my mouth.



Gerard Henderson to Mohammed El-leissy – 8 November 2016


I refer to your email of last Saturday. I note that you believe that the words I put in square brackets in the following quote led to your message being misunderstood, viz:

Mohammed El-leissy: But we’ve got to think about – what’s the purpose of criticism? It’s fine to criticise Muslims or Indigenous people or whatever. But you’ve got to do it with a purpose of changing. Not simply just criticising. They [i.e. the critics of 18(c)] don’t offer any alternative.

I put the words in square brackets – meaning that they were my interpretation of your words – because your message was unclear. It’s always dangerous to use words such as “they”, since they are inherently vague and non-specific. If you had been more precise on News Breakfast last, no problem of interpretation would have arisen.

The problem is that your explanation in the email of what you said does not make any sense. Your point is as follows:

I wasn’t referring to the critics of 18c as you have implied. I was referring to people that criticise racial groups. If you are criticising someone it shouldn’t just be because you’re attacking them for the sake of it, but rather to change behaviour. So when Bill Leak rightly and legitimately creates a cartoon about an Indigenous father that can’t remember his son’s name and is negligent in his responsibilities towards that child – Bill doesn’t offer any alternative options to that indigenous father in how he might improve him situation. Thus I don’t see it in good faith but rather criticism for the sake of it – and of course at a racial minority as opposed to an individual.

In response, I make the following points:

▪ The people you now claim “criticise racial groups” are a minority to those who criticise Section 18(c) of the Racial Discrimination Act. So I do not understand how I could have misunderstood your News Breakfast comments.

▪ It makes no sense to say that all criticism should be aimed at changing behaviour. For example, it is legitimate to criticise a murderer even if you do not expect him or her to change behaviour.

▪ Your point re Bill Leak’s cartoon is meaningless. You assert that in the cartoon – which featured a good indigenous policeman returning a delinquent indigenous child to his bad indigenous father – Bill Leak did not “offer any alternative options to that indigenous father in how he might improve his situation”. But he did. The message of the cartoon was that if the father took an interest in his son then the boy might not be a delinquent.

You don’t see Bill Leak acting in good faith. Others – including some indigenous Australians – hold a different view. This is a matter of debate and discussion. You see Bill Leak’s cartoon as criticism of “a racial minority as opposed to an individual”. How, then, do you explain the fact that the good policeman in the cartoon is Indigenous? If Bill Leak’s criticism was directed at “a racial minority” then he would have drawn a white policeman. He didn’t.

By the way, if you are in Sydney with 30 minutes to spare give me a call and drop around for a coffee.

Best wishes


Until next time.

One of my bête noires is Gerard Henderson. And I try not to let him provoke me. I turn the other cheek – both facial and posterial. But this week he said something which just made me furious.

Phillip Adams on Late Night Live, 20 September 2016

If Gerard Henderson is on #insiders tomorrow I’m going to start drinking at 9.01 am

– @annalise108 via Twitter, 30 Jul 2016, 6:30 PM

“[Gerard Henderson is a] whining rodent”

– Bruce Haigh, former diplomat and regular ABC panelist

“[Gerard Henderson is a] cretinous turd”

– Rohan Connolly via Twitter – 12 July 2016

“It’s always nice to be mentioned in your pedantic, predictable and self-absorbed Friday web rant”

– Stephen Mayne, via email, Bastille Day, 2016

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