GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG – ISSUE NO. 343
25 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: It’s Official – The Age Turns Green/Left
- Can You Bear It? Fitz’s Gorilla Moment; Hugh McDermott’s Vietnamese Confusion & Robert Manne’s Foolish Admission
- MWD’s Scoop: At the PM’s Literary Awards with the Poetic Lisa (“I had a grandfather”) Gorton
- Nancy’s Legacy Issues: Featuring Professor Manne’s Still Unclaimed $20,000 Reward
- Sandalista Watch: All Sandaled Up, Scott Burchill Defends “His” ABC and Bags Noel Pearson
- A Reading from the Green/Left Gospel According to Bonge (continued) – In which Paul Bongiorno Rails Against Peter Dutton on the ABC
- Documentation: The Naivety of David Marr’s The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell (Black Inc, 2014)
THE AGE & SMH – GREEN/LEFT OR JUST LEFT
MWD is a great supporter of the printed word – newspapers, journals, books and the like. Consequently, the continuing decline in the sale of printed newspapers is a matter of concern. Newspapers are good for society and competition is good for newspapers.
At the end of his gig on the ABC 1 News Breakfast “Newspapers” segment this morning, one-time Age editor Michael Smith commented on newspaper print sales for the June-September 2016 quarter. All papers are finding it tough – but none more so than Fairfax Media’s The Age (down 9.3 per cent) and the Sydney Morning Herald (down 8.7 per cent). The Australian was down 3.6 per cent. However, in the period 2013 to 2016 digital sales of The Australian increased by 10.4 per cent – i.e. around 81,000 sales. The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald have ceased providing details of their digital sales – which suggest that they are disappointing.
Michael Smith also pointed out that in recent years the Fairfax Media metropolitan dailies have gone increasingly to the left. Presenter Virginia Trioli said, correctly, that The Age was now more Green/Left than left.
As MWD has argued, over many years Fairfax Media’s management and editors have allowed their journalists to sneer at traditional readers and advertisers from a left perspective – with attacks on believers, parents who send their children to non-government schools, political conservatives, businesses and the like. Is it any wonder that many of Fairfax Media’s small but still significant conservative readers abandoned The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald?
A couple of examples illustrate the point. On 10 November 2016, The Age editorialised that the US presidential election was a “sick joke” and that the biggest support for Donald Trump was among “uneducated white men”. How snobbish can you get? According to The Age, men in the United States and elsewhere who cease formal education after leaving school are “uneducated”. What a load of tosh.
Today’s Age editorial is a rant against Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. According to The Age’s editorial writer: “Peter Dutton has sought to rewrite history in a disgraceful appeal to prejudice. In broad strokes, he set out to besmirch the legacy of migration to Australia during the Fraser years, by claiming ‘the reality is that Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in’.”
The reference is to the Lebanon Concession which the Fraser government implemented in late 1975 and abandoned on 30 November 1976. In other words, Malcolm Fraser himself acknowledged that the Lebanon Concession was a mistake four decades before Peter Dutton made his statement on The Bolt Report.
No wonder so many former buyers of Fairfax Media newspapers are abandoning The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. After all, the Green Left Weekly does the same job for a fraction of the price.
CAN YOU BEAR IT?
- THE RED BANDANNAED ONE’S INSENSITIVE “GORILLA” MOMENT
Nancy’s (male) co-owner was watching the Sky News sports program the other night when, lo and behold, The Red Bandannaed One made an appearance. Peter FitzSimons was flogging his piss-poor book Victory at Villers-Bretonneux (See MWD 342) along with his new book on weight loss titled The Great Aussie Bloke Slim-Down. Yawn.
It was all oh-so-boring until Fitz referred to Zunaid Wadee, head of security with the visiting South African cricket team, as a “gorilla”. It seems that Mr Wadee had been involved with an Australian journalist in a skirmish – hence Fitz’s rebuke. According to MWD’s contacts, the name Zunaid Wadee has an Indian Muslim derivation.
So here you have Fitz – a strong supporter of Section 18(c) of the Racial Discrimination Act and a constant critic of perceived racial insults – referring to a member of the South African cricket team of non-Anglo-Celtic ethnicity as a “gorilla”. Can you bear it?
- HUGH McDERMOTT’S VIETNAMESE CONFUSION
While on the topic of Sky News, what a stunning performance on Paul Murray Live by NSW Labor MP Hugh McDermott last night. Dr McDermott (for a doctor he is) was discussing Malcolm Fraser’s Lebanon Concession which admitted a number of Lebanese (90 per cent of them Muslim) under the refugee intake in 1976. This immigration subsequently increased due to family reunions.
In a desperate attempt to criticise Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, your man McDermott said that there had been criticism of Irish, Greek and Italian immigration along with Christian Maronite Lebanese immigrants in the 20th Century.
Dr McDermott just refused to accept that Peter Dutton was addressing only the immigration from Lebanon which occurred during the Lebanon Concession between late 1975 and late 1976. Towards the end of the discussion, Hugh McDermott threw the switch to hyperbole – claiming:
Hugh McDermott: Well, they said the same about the Vietnamese in the ‘70s as well – they would get the communists coming in… It’s ridiculous.
Hugh McDermott provided no evidence for this assertion. The Vietnamese refugees who came to Australia in the late 1970s were fleeing the communist regime in Hanoi. No one said that they were communists. Your man McDermott just made this up. Moreover, McDermott seems to have forgotten that the one-time Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam objected to Vietnamese coming to Australia since he described them as “f-cking Vietnam Balts” – meaning that they were as anti-communist as the Baltic States which had been invaded by the Soviet Union during the Nazi Soviet Pact in 1940.
So, Comrade Whitlam said in 1975 that Australia should not accept Vietnamese refugees because they were anti-communist. And Comrade McDermott said on Sky News last night that the (alleged) opposition to Vietnamese coming to Australia in the 1970s turned on the claim that they were communists. Some confusion, surely. Can you bear it?
- ROBERT MANNE’S FOOLISH ADMISSION
The latest edition of that left-wing house journal The Monthly arrived yesterday. It contains a “Comment Piece” by Robert Manne titled “Malcolm Turnbull: A Brief Lament”. For those who may not have ever read your man Manne’s website, Professor Manne has twice been voted Australia’s leading public intellectual. Really.
MWD eagerly read Robert Manne’s piece to learn something insightful about the Prime Minister. Guess what? Professor Manne now admits to being “a fool” for once believing in Malcolm Turnbull. The problem – according to the La Trobe University academic – is that Mr Turnbull has changed his approach on climate change policy and the republic to accommodate facts and political realities. It’s called politics.
For over four decades, Robert Manne taught politics at La Trobe University. Yet he has never worked in politics – either in government or in opposition or for a minister/shadow minister or a backbencher. And he has never worked in the public sector or the private sector. Nor, apparently, has Robert Manne ever belonged to a political party for a lengthy period.
Robert Manne’s entire career has been in the taxpayer funded or taxpayer subsidised tertiary sector without any first hand understanding of the reality of politics. And now he’s discovered that politicians like Malcolm Turnbull react to realities and adapt to their support base. What a discovery – at three score and ten, or so. Can you bear it?
ROBERT (“WHAT A FOOL I AM”) MANNE FAILS TO CLAIM $20,000 REWARD FOR PRODUCING JUST ONE (ALLEGED) DOCUMENT
As the end of the year is nigh, MWD will bring readers up to date with the status of MWD’s Legacy Issues. In view of the fact that Emeritus Professor Robert Manne has outed himself as a “fool” in the current issue of The Monthly, it’s appropriate to check out the status of the $20,000 that he has been offered by Nancy’s (male) co-owner to provide a document. Just one document.
As avid readers will be aware, the reward is for Robert Manne to provide evidence for his (undocumented) assertion that Gerard Henderson attempted to get him sacked as an Age columnist – in 1993 or maybe 1995 or perhaps 1998, or could it be 1999 or something like that – and it has been increased to $20,000.
The breakup of the award is as follows:
$8000 to be provided by Hendo for Robert Manne to donate to an asylum seeker cause of his choice.
$8000 to be provided by Graham Jeffs from Perth Neurosurgery to provide a “restful holiday” for Mr and Mrs Manne in the interests of motivating Mr Manne to provide the evidence.
$4000 to be provided by Hendo to round-up the number.
Now, here’s the back story. 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”.
So, according to Robert Manne, there are at least three copies of the (alleged) “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 bad memory. Or, alternatively, Professor Manne just made up his “dossier” claim.
Avid MWD readers will be the first to know if Robert Manne claims the $20,000. But don’t hold your breath. It seems that Australia’s “leading public intellectual” has a clear recollection of an event that never happened. It’s called delusion.
Stand by for more of Nancy’s Legacy Issues in next week’s MWD.
SCOTT BURCHILL DEFENDS “HIS ABC” AND BAGS NOEL PEARSON
By popular demand, the “Sandalista Watch” segment (which used to appear in The Sydney Institute Quarterly) rises from the dead in MWD. This segment is devoted to what George Orwell had to say about sandal-wearers. In his 1937 book The Road to Wigan Pier, 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.
* * * * *
What a wonderful sight to behold. The reference is to the appearance of the leftist Deakin University senior lecturer Scott Burchill on the ABC1 News Breakfast program last Tuesday. As avid readers will know, every now and then Dr Burchill (for a doctor he is) drops in at the ABC Melbourne studio in Southbank on his way to – and dressed for – the tip and does the “Newspapers” gig:
The only difference this week was that your man Burchill was wearing a large knee support. He advised viewers that it was manufactured in Iceland which he declared has a problem with inter-breeding due to its small population. Really. Fancy that. Go on, etcetera. The leftist academic was wearing – wait for it – SANDALS. Yes, Sandals. He was also bearded and had been refreshed in the ABC’s Green Room with fruit juice.
Nancy’s (male) co-owner was so distracted by the sight of the sandal-clad and knee-supported learned doctor that initially Hendo did not listen to what was discussed in the Newspapers segment. Hendo was also concerned about how – in his present condition – your man Burchill was going to successfully dump a load at the tip after his appearance on the telly.
As it turned out, Hendo began to focus on the Newspapers segment just around the time when the ABC began to focus on the issue which the ABC regards as the most important. Namely, the ABC itself.
Let’s go to the transcript as discussion turns on the speech by Noel Pearson in which he accused the ABC of racism by engaging in a policy of low-expectations with respect to Indigenous Australians:
Virginia Trioli: Ah now look, this is an interesting one. Noel Pearson had made a huge attack on the ABC yesterday. Very angry he was – and speaking with great ferocity about how the ABC is racist – in it wanting and, in a sense, almost profiting from Indigenous Australians living in misery. That’s what we need in order to have something to report on. And he accuses us of a low-balling racism as a result of that.
Scott Burchill: Yes, he called the country’s miserable racist national broadcaster.
Virginia Trioli: It was very rough.
Scott Burchill: It was very rough and I think misplaced. The idea that you can make – as you know the critics of the ABC like to generalise across thousands of employees, as if they all – group think which applies to everyone. And I think – whilst Mr Pearson’s very, very good at publicity seeking and generating interest – some of his comments are just a little off the mark and this is one of them.
Virginia Trioli: You don’t think there’s any point perhaps in his argument that we don’t concentrate enough on either success stories or the brighter stories of indigenous Australians?
Scott Burchill: Well, that might be a criticism of the media generally rather than the ABC. But in recent times we’ve – the ABC – has, what, employed Stan Grant.
Michael Rowland: Yes, he was on the show yesterday talking about a very positive story about the rise of the Indigenous middle class.
Scott Burchill: Yeah, and he’s knocking off the 7.30 show on a Friday evening with his own show. So has no one’s ever satisfied by the performance of the media in these areas but I think to generalise across the whole ABC and give us all – the place – a whack like that is a bit unfair. I’ve seen some reporting of the Aboriginal affairs by the local commercial media and you just don’t want to go there, I can tell you.
How about that? The sandal-clad academic, who is employed by the taxpayer subsidised Deakin University, refers to the taxpayer funded public broadcaster with such words as “we’ve” and “us”. Which demonstrates that leftist academics regard the ABC as a (taxpayer funded) home away from their (taxpayer subsidised) home.
Moreover, Dr Burchill declared that Noel Pearson’s criticism of the ABC’s approach to Indigenous Australia was “misplaced” without saying why it is. And your man Burchill reckons that the ABC’s coverage of Aborigines in the past must be okay since it will employ Stan Grant in the future.
It seems that, last Tuesday, Scott Burchill came flocking to the cause of the progressive ABC like bluebottles to a dead cat (as George Orwell might have said).
AT THE PM’S LITERARY AWARDS WITH DR LISA GORTON
There was enormous interest in last week’s “MWD Scoop” segment – which featured a chance meeting between ABC chairman Jim Spigelman AC QC and Gerard Henderson AC (aka Always Courteous) in Sydney at the Business Council of Australia’s Annual Dinner recently. So much so, that avid readers have called for more such scoops. Being a courteous kind of guy, Hendo is always happy to oblige – circumstances permitting. Hence this segment.
Gerard Henderson is chairman of the Judges’ Panel for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Australian History and Non-Fiction. In this capacity, he was present in Canberra’s National Library of Australia on 8 November when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the winners in the various PMLA categories.
The gong for fiction was announced first. The joint winners were Lisa Gorton (for The Life of Houses) and Charlotte Wood (for The Natural Way of Things). Both writers made brief speeches which included a recognition that their book was difficult to read. Ms Wood also gave the audience a lesson on this and that – the usual sort of thing when a leftist author on a grant gets a chance to preach to a captive audience. Yawn.
Dr Gorton (for a doctor she is) gave a much more appropriate address in which she spoke inter alia about what her grandfather would have thought about her award. This surprised Nancy’s (male) co-owner. After all, most of us have two grandfathers. Which one did the doctor-on-the-platform have in mind?
It turned out that Lisa Gorton is the granddaughter of John Gorton, the one-time prime minister of Australia. Fancy that. Since Dr Gorton is a former winner of MWD’s Flann O’Brien Award for Literary Sludge (for her incomprehensible review of a biography of the poet John Kinsella – see MWD Issue 312, 29 April 2016), Hendo thought that a post award congratulation was what the doctor ordered. So to speak. The conversation went a bit like this:
Gerard Henderson (extending his hand): Congratulations. Well done about the prize and thanks for not burdening us with a lecture on political morality tonight – unlike your co-winner.
Lisa Gorton: I’m surprised. The only time we met previously, I extended my hand and you refused to accept it.
Gerard Henderson: I have never done that in my life. In any event, I don’t recall the occasion. I suspect you have a clear recollection of an event which never happened. It’s what Justice Peter McClellan has called the “fallibility of memory”.
Lisa Gorton: Also, you gave me Media Watch Dog’s Flann O’Brien Award for Literary Sludge. I like O’Brien’s work, but –
Gerard Henderson: Oh, come on. Media Watch Dog is not always that serious. Moreover, why would I refuse to shake your hand?
Lisa Gorton: Because you hate my grandfather.
[Here, being a courteous kind of guy, Hendo did not take the opportunity to ask as to which grandfather the doctor was referring. He guessed the relation, correctly as it turned out.]
Gerard Henderson: I didn’t hate your grandfather. I only met him once and he was very polite and helpful. Why would I hate John Gorton?
Lisa Gorton: Because you worked for [his enemy, former prime minister] Malcolm Fraser.
Gerard Henderson: I never worked for Malcolm Fraser. I only worked for a junior minister in the Fraser government from 1976 to 1979. Where did you get the idea that I was on the personal staff of, and worked for, Malcolm Fraser?
Lisa Gorton: I read it on Wikipedia.
Gerard Henderson: Just as well you write fiction and poetry.
At that stage, Hendo decided it was time to head to the bar for a morale boosting Gin & Tonic.
A READING FROM THE GREEN-LEFT GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BONGE
When John Howard was prime minister, the Prime Minister’s Office regarded Channel 10’s Paul Bongiorno as the most left-wing journalist in the commercial arm of the Canberra Parliamentary Press Gallery. So it came as no surprise that, when Bonge became a mere contributing editor for Channel 10, the Conservative Free Zone that is the ABC snapped him up for bi-weekly political commentary on ABC Radio National Breakfast. He shares the spot with Michelle Grattan. Bonge also writes a boring column for The [Boring] Saturday Paper.
Unlike colleagues of a certain age in the Canberra Parliamentary Press Gallery, Paul Bongiorno has made little mark as a journalist in a long career. He has broken few stories, and – unlike Michelle Grattan, Paul Kelly, Laurie Oakes and Niki Savva – Bonge has not written any significant books or essays.
These days Mr Bongiorno uses the facilities provided to him bi-weekly by the taxpayer funded public broadcaster to rant and rave on Radio National Breakfast. He is uncritically interviewed by Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly – a case of the Green/Left talking to the Green/Left. Here are the latest examples.
Let’s go to the transcripts as your man Bongiorno rails against the (factual) statement that Malcolm Fraser’s government in 1976 made a mistake in admitting so many Lebanese Muslims under the Lebanon Concession – which Mr Fraser himself junked on 30 November 1976. The background is explained in Gerard Henderson’s article in The Australian yesterday – see here.
- Tuesday 22 November 2016
Fran Kelly: You heard Chris Bowen’s quite passionate response there to the comments from the minister Peter Dutton in the House yesterday – when Peter Dutton was pressed in Question Time about his suggestion that Malcolm Fraser erred in allowing Lebanese Muslims to settle in Australia back in the 70s. Let’s hear the minister’s answer…
That’s the minister in parliament. Paul. He was armed with some stats – 22 of the 33 people charged with terror related offences are second and third generation Lebanese Australians. What did you make of this pretty strong response from the minister?
Paul Bongiorno: Well I thought it was um – well not to put too strong of a word on it – I thought it was appalling. The fact of the matter is he should call it out when people are breaking our laws, he should call it out when things are going against the integration and the cohesion of Australian society. But is the way to do it to attack people who are born here? Who are the sons or grandsons or daughters of immigrants? The success of an immigrant society is that we bring in people who are foreigners and we integrate them so they become part of us. Not this “us and them” stuff. That is divisive and it’s dangerous. Furthermore, it goes directly counter to the sort of messages that we’ve been getting from Malcolm Turnbull ever since he became prime minister. He’s on about cohesion and inclusiveness, because do you know what, this is the best way to isolate extremists, and to defeat them.
- Thursday 24 November 2016
Fran Kelly: Paul a couple of quick questions, Bill Shorten we heard there saying that Peter Dutton is risking cooperation with the Muslim community. Now everyone has to be careful with these issues, of course. Do you agree with some who say that it’s Bill Shorten that’s overreaching here now and inflaming this?
Paul Bongiorno: Well no, I don’t. And the proof of the pudding here is simply- have a look at the reaction from the Lebanese community and other ethnic communities. They are hurt, they see it as a smear. Now it is true that the minister has to some extent tried to row back in the parliament by pointing out that he’s not going to allow criminal elements whether they be Vietnamese or Lebanese or whatever be allowed to besmirch the good migrants, Lebanese, Vietnamese, whoever, who work hard, raise their families and are good citizens. But the damage has been done there’s no doubt about that.
In both these interviews, Bonge is not discussing what the news is. Rather he is lecturing-at-large about what the news should be. In a Green/Left kind of way. Needless to say, no conservative has a bi-weekly slot on any prominent ABC Radio National program.
THE NAIVETY OF DAVID MARR’S THE PRINCE: FAITH, ABUSE AND GEORGE PELL (BLACK INC. 2014)
On 31 October 2016, the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released the submissions of Counsel-Assisting Gail Furness SC concerning Case Study 28 and Case Study 35. They turn on the Catholic diocese of Ballarat and the Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne respectively. The timing of the release of Counsel-Assisting’s submissions to Royal Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan AM was made without consulting the lawyers of Cardinal George Pell who is mentioned in both submissions.
A fair-minded assessment of the Royal Commission would hold the view that Ms Furness was a hostile cross-examiner of Cardinal Pell and that Justice McClellan did not discourage this approach. The Royal Commission’s findings with respect to Case Study 28 and Case Study 38 are expected in the first half of 2017.
The evident hostility of Gail Furness QC towards George Pell provides useful criteria against which to judge David Marr’s very own hostile interpretation of Cardinal Pell. The reference is to the second edition of his monograph on George Pell. Namely, David Marr: The Prince – Faith, Abuse & George Pell (Black Inc, 2014). The fact is that much of David Marr’s case against Cardinal Pell collapses when reference is made to evidence heard by the Royal Commission and to Counsel-Assisting’s submissions to the Royal Commission.
HOWLERS IN DAVID MARR’S THE PRINCE
The essential problem with David Marr’s The Prince turns on the author’s naivety. Put simply, when it comes to critics of George Pell – David Marr assumes that they have excellent memories and are completely rational. Also, David Marr believes virtually everything the police say – when it applies to Cardinal Pell, at least.
There are some 11 evident howlers in The Prince – with the possibility of more to come. Here they are. As avid readers will note, the howlers in David Marr’s The Prince turn on his naivety in believing what he wants to believe.
▪ Howler Number 1 – Page 8
David Marr writes:
…the pressure on the [Ted] Baillieu government [in Victoria] to hold an inquiry [into clerical child sexual abuse] became irresistible when the Age published a confidential report accusing the Catholic Church of protecting paedophiles and showing little sympathy for their victims. Victoria Police linked forty suicides in the state to abuse by half a dozen priests and brothers alone. Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson wrote: “It would appear that an investigation would uncover many more deaths are a consequence of clergy sexual abuse.” Baillieu was moderately brave. He announced not a royal commission but a parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations.
For a man with a self-proclaimed interest in human rights, David Marr has a surprising gullibility when it comes to accepting, at face value and without checking, police evidence. As John Ferguson reported in The Australian on 25 July 2015, Victoria Police has only been able to identify one confirmed suicide with church-related abuse. Leading Senior Constable Tania Siegemund provided the following critique of Sergeant Carson’s claim (which was endorsed uncritically by Marr) in an internal report dated 1 November 2012:
There are significant limitations to the data supplied by Detective Sergeant Carson, which have resulted in a significant number of the nominated premature deaths for review remaining unable to be verified, as the persons of interest are unidentifiable. These include the identifying particulars of individuals such as dates of birth, full names and addresses, details of alleged offences or offenders and years of alleged childhood sexual abuse. It was not possible to identify 18 of the 43 persons in the report, as per the data limitations and intelligence gaps discussed above.
Of course, one suicide related to clerical child sexual abuse is appalling. But the point here is that Victoria Police in 2012 grossly exaggerated the situation. And David Marr accepted Victoria Police’s claims without checking. In short, he did no independent research.
▪ Howler Number 2 – Pages 8-9
David Marr writes:
[George] Pell said he was willing to appear [at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry]. As public hearings were about to begin in October 2013, Victoria Police attacked the Catholic Church again, this time accusing the Melbourne archdiocese of hindering investigations, protecting priests, silencing victims and failing to “proactively seek out” offenders. They also attacked the process Pell had put in place in Melbourne in the 1990s to inquire into abuse and compensate victims. [As Victoria Police’s submission to the Victoria Parliamentary Inquiry stated.]:
Victoria Police has serious concerns regarding the terms of this inquiry process and its appearance as a de facto substitute for criminal justice. As noted on its website, the Melbourne Response has made a number of ex-gratia payments to victims. In spite of this, it has not referred a single complaint to Victoria Police.
Once again, David Marr naively accepted – without checking Victoria Police’s claim – that under the Melbourne Response, which was set up by the (then) Archbishop of Melbourne George Pell in 1996, not a “single compliant” was referred to Victoria Police.
This statement was incorrect. As Peter O’Callaghan submitted to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry. [Note the punctuation has been altered to facilitate comprehension] :
Of the 304 relevant upheld complaints that have been made to 30 June 2012 (only two of which were made by complainants who were children at the time of their complaints):
(i) 97 [complaints] have been reported to the police (87 were reported prior to and 10 were reported subsequent to a complaint being made through the Melbourne Response). (ii) 115 [complaints] were made in respect of offenders who were already dead at the time of the complaint. (iii) 9 [complaints] were made in respect of offenders who resided overseas at the date of complaint. And (iv) 4 [complaints] were made in respect of offenders whom the complainant could not identify.
Of the remaining 79 complaints: First, 76 complainants were encouraged by me to go to the Police (and at least 25 of these complainants expressed some reluctance to do so). Second, there is no express encouragement to go to the Police located on the file of the remaining 3 complainants. However, one complainant was provided with the Melbourne Response brochure which contained an encouragement to go to the Police; one complainant had their complaint accepted without the need for a hearing; and one complainant made a complaint that was unlikely to constitute criminal assault.
Peter O’Callaghan QC’s submission rebutting Victoria Police’s evidence concerning the Melbourne Response has not been refuted by (now) Commissioner Graham Ashton or anyone else at Victoria Police. In its report, the Victoria Parliamentary Inquiry found that Peter O’Callaghan’s submission was essentially correct. The report stated:
Although Victoria Police directed these criticisms at the Catholic Church’s Melbourne Response, the Committee concluded they are equally applicable to other organisations that have adopted a similar approach. These approaches are discussed in Chapter 21 of Part F. We should note that many of the matters that Victoria Police raised before the Committee in justifying its criticism of the Melbourne Response come from a shift over the last few years in the police approach to investigating and collating information about historical sexual abuse complaints. Previously, if an offender had died or a victim could not give enough detail of an historical offence, police were unlikely to take the matter any further or have any use for the information provided by a victim. It is important to recognise that it was only relatively recently that Mr Peter O’Callaghan QC, the Catholic Church’s Independent Commissioner, became aware of Victoria Police concerns about the reporting of historical criminal abuse. As far as the Committee is aware, Victoria Police made no complaint to the Catholic Church about the absence of reports to them flowing from the Melbourne Response process, and made no request for a review of the Melbourne Response protocol in the period 1996–2009. Significantly, in materials that the Melbourne Archdiocese provided to the Committee, it is evident that Mr O’Callaghan QC and representatives of the Melbourne Archdiocese and Victoria Police had cordial relations and were working together on a protocol in 2009. There is no suggestion in these materials that Victoria Police did not enter into a protocol at that time (2009) on the basis that the Melbourne Response’s ‘processes were fundamentally flawed’. Rather, Victoria Police was no longer entering into formal protocols with any organisations.
In short, David Marr’s assertion that – under the Melbourne Response – no complaints were referred to Victoria Police is simply wrong. He naively accepted what Victoria Police said.
▪ Howler Number 3 – Pages 9-10
After repeating the Victoria Police allegation that the Archdiocese of Melbourne has not referred a single complaint to Victoria Police, David Marr continued:
This was damaging. That police in Victoria were no longer willing to protect the Catholic Church – as they had, vigorously, for a long time – was a key to the breakdown of old understanding across Australia that the church could be left to look after its own. Pell was affronted by this volte-face. He shrugged off calls for his resignation. Then in early November a disgruntled detective chief inspector from Newcastle, Peter Fox, turned on the church in New South Wales in an open letter to the [then NSW] premier, Barry O’Farrell. Peter Fox wrote:
I have investigated so many sexual assaults in my thirty-five years of policing I’ve lost count. Having spent most of those years at the coal face I have seen the worse society can dredge up, particularly the evil of paedophilia within the Catholic Church…. I can testify from my own experiences that the church covers up, silences victims, hinders police investigations, alerts offenders, destroys evidence and moves priests to protect the good name of the church. None of that stops at the Victorian border…the whole system needs to be exposed; the clergy covering up these crimes must be brought to justice and the network protecting paedophile priests dismantled. There should be no place for evil or its guardians to hide.
When Barry O’Farrell announced a modest inquiry into police work in the Newcastle region, there were frustrated cries from all sides for a royal commission….
At the time, Peter Fox became something of an ABC hero and received extremely soft interviews on Lateline by Tony Jones (8 November 2012) and Emma Alberici (12 November 2012) and also from Fran Kelly on Radio National Breakfast (15 November 2012). Peter Fox used the occasion (when talking to Emma Alberici and Fran Kelly) to criticise the Catholic Church in Australia in general and Cardinal Pell in particular (who he referred to as “Mr Pell”). The fact is that, when Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell had no responsibility for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
Following all this, the (then) Premier of New South Wales – Barry O’Farrell – set up a Special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the police investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. The special commissioner was Margaret Cunneen SC.
In her report, Ms Cunneen made the following finding concerning Peter Fox:
The Commission considers…that Fox has lost much of his capacity for objectivity about matters pertaining to the [Maitland-Newcastle] Diocese. In his report dated 25 November 2010, which he prepared for senior police, he described himself as “objective but passionate”. Although he undoubtedly remains passionate about child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church, he has lost much of his capacity to approach such matters with the detachment required of an investigating officer. The Commission’s report describes numerous instances reflecting this lack of objectivity – for example, his assertion of collusion in the police statements of certain church officials taken in 2003 (dealt with in Chapter 18). As noted in Chapter 20, this lack of objectivity in connection with matters involving the Diocese and related police investigations is such that, on matters of controversy, Fox’s evidence must be approached with caution.
So Margaret Cunneen SC listened to Peter Fox in person and expressed concern about his “lack of objectivity”. David Marr listened to/watched Peter Fox on the ABC and believed every criticism he made of Cardinal Pell and the Catholic Church. That’s because Mr Marr believes what he wants to believe where Cardinal Pell is concerned.
▪ Howler Number 4 – Page 18
David Marr refers to George Pell’s shared accommodation with the pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale when he [Pell] returned to Ballarat from Europe in 1973:
When young Father George Pell moved his things into the presbytery in 1973, that corner of Ballarat was one of the most dangerous places in Australia for children. Already living in the presbytery was Father Gerald Ridsdale, chaplain at the little primary school standing on the other side of the church. He was raping the children. All four members of the staff, all Christian Brothers, were abusing the children in the school. They would not be exposed for twenty years. George Pell, back from his studies in Rome and Oxford, noticed nothing.
This is the familiar “I knew nothing” – or “he knew nothing” – smear directed at someone who allegedly is not telling the truth. David Marr was not aware at the time of writing The Prince that fellow journalist Paul Bongiorno (when a priest of the Ballarat diocese) also once shared accommodation with Ridsdale in Warrnambool.
On 21 May 2015, Paul Bongiorno told Fran Kelly on the ABC Radio National Breakfast program, in answer to a pre-arranged question on the morning that the Royal Commission’s hearings on the Catholic diocese of Ballarat commenced, about his previously unpublicised relationship with Ridsdale. Mr Bongiorno made the following point:
Paul Bongiorno: … I grew up in Ballarat. I went to Ballarat Catholic schools — St Patrick’s College and Drummond Street, run by the Christian Brothers. And I was inspired by what I heard and by the lives of men — both priests and brothers — by the ideals and the values that they had in terms of social justice and human welfare and well-being and belief in God, to go off and become a Catholic priest… I know Gerald Ridsdale. I lived in a presbytery with him in Warrnambool. I’ve had the victims approach me to appear for them in court cases. Let me tell you this Fran, I had no idea what he was up to. And when people look at me quizzically, I say: “Well look, let me tell you this. There are married men and women now who sleep with their husbands and wives who don’t know that their husband or wife is having an affair.” Let me tell you that Ridsdale never came into the presbytery in Warrnambool and said: “Guess how many boys I’ve raped today?” They hide it. It was certainly hidden from me…
Since Paul Bongiorno’s revelation, David Marr has not sneered that Bongiorno “noticed nothing” when he was associated with Ridsdale in Warrnambool. It seems that, once again, Marr has one standard for Pell – and another for Bongiorno and others.
▪ Page 34 – Howler Number 5
David Marr writes:
One afternoon in 1974, in the changing sheds of the town’s Eureka Stockade swimming pool, Green was talking to a few schoolfriends when Pell appeared and began to change into his bathers. Green had seen Pell often around the school and thought him a big figure at St Patrick’s. To this day he wonders where he found the courage to talk to the priest as he did. “I said, ‘You should really do something about what’s going on at St Pat’s.’ He asked, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Brother Dowlan is touching up the little boys.’ Pell replied, ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ and walked out.” Green is now putting his name to this episode. When the Age ran an account that did not name him in 2002, Pell replied: “At a distance of twenty-eight years, I have no recollection of any such conversation. If I was approached and thought the stories plausible, I would have informed the Christian Brothers. I do not remember hearing rumours about Dowlan at that stage, a man I hardly knew.”
It is true that Gail Furness SC has submitted to the Royal Commission that Tim Green’s testimony is plausible. It is also true that Tim Green told the Royal Commission that when the (alleged) conversation took place, he (Green) had his back to George Pell and did not notice when George Pell left the changing room. David Marr did not refer to this fact in The Prince – which suggests that he did not quiz Tim Green about the circumstances of the alleged conversation which took place over four decades ago.
▪ Howler Number 6 – Page 50
David Marr writes about (the then) Bishop Pell’s handling of the pedophile priest Peter Searson in the Melbourne parish of Doveton.
A delegation of teachers came to Pell to complain about Searson in 1989. Whatever Pell did behind the scenes, the priest remained in the parish and at the school.
According to evidence provided to the Royal Commission, the delegation of teachers which saw (then) Bishop Pell in 1989 complained about industrial relations at Searson’s school – not Searson’s offending against children. Yet the clear implication in Marr’s The Prince is that the delegation complained about Searson’s sexual offending. Once again, David Marr did not check what he accepted as facts.
▪ Howler Number 7 – Pages 61-62
David Marr supports the high-profile claim told by David Ridsdale (Gerald’s nephew) to 60 Minutes on a number of occasions that George Pell attempted to bribe him not to report Gerald Ridsdale’s offending against him to Victoria Police. This was a most serious allegation against Pell. This is how David Marr covered the matter:
So he [David Ridsdale] turned to Bishop Pell. Their families were friends. He [David] had grown up in Ballarat calling this man George. He thought of him as a powerful man in the church who could do something tactful and effective about his uncle. In early February 1993 he rang Pell in Mentone…
David Ridsdale was stunned by Pell’s response when he picked up the phone. “His reaction was so totally unexpected,” he would tell 60 Minutes a decade later. “He didn’t respond to anything I said. He sort of cut me off.” Pell seemed angry and somehow blaming his young caller for causing his distress. He remembers Pell saying: “David, you have a young family, you will have to make purchases like houses and cars.” David was confused. “All of a sudden I just stopped and went, ‘George, I’m totally lost. Can you please tell me what you were trying to say here?” He has never since wavered in his claim that Pell replied: “I want you to know what it will take to keep you quiet.” David was furious. “It changed everything,” he told 60 Minutes. “I said, ‘F-ck you and f-ck everything you stand for,’ and I hung up.” Then he rang the police.
He also spoke that day to his sisters [Patricia Ridsdale and Bernadette Lukaitis]. One, Bernie, remembered him saying Pell wanted to know what it would take “to make it go away.” Trish remembered her brother saying: “The bastard tried to offer me a bribe.” Pell does not deny offering David Ridsdale assistance of some kind, a gesture he believes was misunderstood.
In her submission to the Royal Commission, Counsel-Assisting Gail Furness submitted that there is insufficient evidence to support David Ridsdale’s account of his phone conversation with George Pell in 1993. As the Counsel-Assisting has written:
It is submitted that Mr Ridsdale’s evidence of his conversation with Bishop Pell is a true account of what he believed occurred during that conversation. The evidence of Ms Ridsdale and Mrs Lukaitis is however not direct evidence of Mr Ridsdale’s conversation with Bishop Pell.
Cardinal Pell gave evidence that in the conversation he offered Mr Ridsdale his assistance and expressed his desire to help. It is possible that when Bishop Pell spoke to Mr Ridsdale and offered his assistance, in a conversation in which Mr Ridsdale had spoken of his desire for a private process, Mr Ridsdale misinterpreted Bishop Pell’s offer of assistance.
Given Mr Ridsdale gave evidence that he expressed a desire to Bishop Pell for a private process, it is not likely that Bishop Pell would then have thought it necessary to offer Mr Ridsdale an inducement to prevent him from going to the police or public with his allegations. Cardinal Pell gave evidence that the time of his conversation with Mr Ridsdale, he was aware that police had spoken to [Gerald] Ridsdale in connection with child sexual abuse allegations, which makes this further unlikely.
For these reasons, it is submitted that the evidence is not sufficient to establish that in their telephone conversation in early February 1993, Bishop Pell sought to bribe Mr Ridsdale to prevent him from going to the police or from going public with allegations against his uncle.
Once again, David Marr simply accepted what David Ridsdale said – as if Mr Ridsdale is possessed of a perfect memory. This in spite of the fact that Justice Peter McClellan himself has previously warned of the “fallibility of memory”.
▪ Howler Number 8 – Page 77
At Page 8 David Marr has written that Victoria Police “attacked the process Pell had put in place in Melbourne in the 1990s to inquire into abuse and compensate victims” [i.e. the Melbourne Response]. However, on Page 77 David Marr writes:
When designing the Melbourne Response, Pell’s people negotiated a formula with Victoria Police which appeared in the brochure: “All complainants have a continuing and unfettered right to go to the police and the Independent Commissioner encourages them to do so if the conduct complained of may constitute criminal conduct.”
So, according to David Marr, Victoria Police in 2012 properly attacked the Melbourne Response. But at Page 77 Marr concedes that the Melbourne Response was set up in co-operation with Victoria Police. This contradiction is not explained in The Prince.
▪ Howler Number 9 – Page 105
Here David Marr writes about the relationship between John Howard and George Pell:
The two men had come to matter a great deal to each other. Pell’s oldest political loyalties were to the DLP, but when the party collapsed Santamaria had directed his followers to cross the bridge to the Liberals. It was not altogether comfortable for either party, so it mattered a great deal for Santamaria’s people when Howard reconciled with the old man at the very end. Pell was at the bedside as Santamaria lay dying.
This is absolute tosh. The anti-communist Catholic activist B.A. Santamaria never directed “his followers to cross the bridge to the Liberals” when the Democratic Labor Party was formally wound up in 1978. In fact, in the late 1970s and 1980s quite a few former DLP supporters joined the Labor Party. Santamaria was critical of the Coalition governments headed by Malcolm Fraser and John Howard. Moreover, Santamaria advised Tony Abbott not to seek pre-selection for a Liberal Party seat in the House of Representatives since he felt it was not worth joining the Liberal Party and that Liberals did not like such Catholics as Abbott and himself.
▪ Howler Number 10 – Page 154
David Marr cites with approval the (then) Deputy Police Commissioner of Victoria Graham Ashton saying this to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry in October 2012:
If a stranger were to enter the grounds of a church and rape a child, then the rape would be immediately reported to the police and action expected. But if that stranger happened to be a member of the clergy such as a priest, the matter, under the current experience, would not be reported…I would not be doing my job today if I did not tell you that the overwhelming view of investigators from Victoria Police who deal with these matters on a daily basis is that it is the reputation of the church that creates that point of difference.
Once again, David Marr accepted at face value a police statement. In fact, there is no evidence in recent times of the rape of a child on Catholic Church property by a priest or brother in Victoria not being reported to Victoria Police. Once again, David Marr’s gullibility is revealed by his wish to accept – without questioning – Victoria Police’s view.
▪ Howler Number 11 – Page 155
David Marr continued:
… Peter O’Callaghan would accuse police of giving a “false and misleading” picture of years of cooperation and of failing to give due weight to his own efforts to encourage victims to take their complaints to the authorities. But he could only show about ten of nearly 300 Melbourne victims went to the police after first approaching him. And only four of those seem to have done so with his “encouragement”. O’Callaghan would cite no occasion on which he took the initiative himself. Reporting the criminal behaviour of a priest was always left up to the victim.
Contrary to the implication in The Prince, there is no incompatibility between the two statements. In October 2012, Graham Ashton was referring to a contemporary crime – where the victim is a child. With respect to Peter O’Callaghan, David Marr was referring to historical cases where the victim of clerical child sexual abuse was once a child but now an adult.
▪ Howler Number 12 – Page 168
David Marr refers to Cardinal Pell’s appearance before the Royal Commission in Sydney in the following terms:
What he faced, and what the crowd had queued to see, was the strangest imaginable thing: a civil inquiry run by a Supreme Court judge into the state of a cardinal’s soul.
This is pure hyperbole. Justice Peter McClellan has no remit of any kind to enquire into the state of Cardinal Pell’s “soul” or that of anyone else. Indeed, it is not at all clear whether Peter McClellan believes in such an entity as a soul.
▪ Howler Number 13 – Page 182
In his final chapter, David Marr’s writing indicates that he supports the following comment:
Those who admire him [Cardinal Pell] forgave him his testimony [at the Royal Commission], as they always will. But his testimony enraged many Catholics who had learnt to endure the man. That he was going [to Rome] tempered their rage. But there were many who echoed David Ridsdale’s verdict: “Pell is a power-hungry, ladder-climbing opportunist.”
What David Marr has never reported – in his writings in The Guardian or elsewhere – is that David Ridsdale is a convicted pedophile and that Gail Furness SC has submitted to the Royal Commission that there is insufficient evidence to support David Ridsdale’s claim that George Pell once tried to bribe him. Yet David Marr made much of this allegation in The Prince. The problem is that, due to his hostility to Cardinal Pell, David Marr is willing to accept, without checking, virtually any anti-Pell position. How naïve can you get?
* * * * *
Until next time.
Endorsements of MWD
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