16 December 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: Fitz Sans Bandanna at ARM Dinner
  • A Seasonal Note to Avid Readers
  • Hendo’s Christmas Reading List
  • Can You Bear It? Tony Jones Now Officially a Fiction Writer with respect to (alleged) Catholic Croatian Terrorists; Julia Baird sees Fascists Under the (American) Bed; Simon Jackman’s US[Less] Studies Centre’s Anti-Trump Rant
  • MWD Exclusive: Royal Commission Unlikely to Enquire Into Media – Including the ABC’s 1975 Pederasty Scandal
  • Nancy Speaks to Ross Cameron & Peter FitzSimons about their Brilliant Selves – Including a Resume of Fitz’s Next Tome
  • New Feature: Report from Luvvie Land – Starring Drusilla Modjeska
  • Nancy Modest Proposal: Give Everyone a Doctorate at Birth
  • The Flann O’Brien Gong for Literary Sludge: Lisa Gorton Scores Again
  • A Wendy Harmer Moment: In Which Ms Harmer Agonises Over How much Reward to Pay for a lost Mobile Phone
  • Correspondence: Mark Colvin Helps out (Sort of) re the ABC as a Conservative Free Zone and his “I” Centred Memoir



Did anyone see the stunning performance by Peter FitzSimons on the Sky News Switzer program last night? Presenter Peter Switzer spoke to Fitz on three topics in the following order: (i) his wearing of a Red Bandanna at age 55, (ii) his book on weight loss and (iii) his book on Villers Bretonneux. Yawn. Fitz explained (at length) why he wears a red bandanna. Yawn squared. Let’s go to the transcript:

Peter Switzer: Thanks for coming in.

Peter FitzSimons: I thought you might say “but you know him as the loud mouth with the stupid red rag around his head.”

Peter Switzer: Well I kind of thought I’d say, but everyone wants to know why you wear it and I’ll ask that question.

Peter FitzSimons: And the broad answer is – I don’t quite know; it surprises me but I like it and I’m too old to care that most people don’t.

Peter Switzer: It looked good on Agassi. Agassi had one of those didn’t he?

Peter FitzSimons: Did he? I don’t know.

Peter Switzer: Here’s a question I have for you Pete: Do you wear it to your son’s parent-teachers night?

Peter FitzSimons: Yes I do.

Peter Switzer: Okay

Peter FitzSimons: My sons are out [of school] now, my daughter’s out but I do wear it out.

Peter Switzer: They tolerate you doing it –

Peter FitzSimons: I don’t wear it like, I won’t, when the Australian Republican Movement we host the Prime Minister on Saturday night. I won’t wear it for that because it would distract from the moment.

Peter Switzer: So for everyone else you want to be a distraction? You are like, you’re like a human disrupter.

Peter FitzSimons: No no, I wear it when I’m totally relaxed when I’m you know like that, but I don’t want, I want, we want all the attention to be on the Prime Minister so you want something like that.

So there you have it. The ARM’s 25th Anniversary bash will be a Red Bandanna Free Zone on Saturday since Fitz does not want to detract attention from the PM. How courteous, don’t you think?

* * * *

For those wishing to understand The Thought of Fitz – see Nancy’s interview with Peter FitzSimons and Ross Cameron in this issue.


Media Watch Dog, having outlasted most news and current affairs programs on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster, is about to go on what journalists like to call a Well-Earned Break. MWD’s W.E.B. will conclude in time to re-commence operations on Friday 3 February 2017. [I can barely wait. – MWD Editor.]

Thanks to the many of MWD’s avid readers who sent in material over the year. This was used whenever possible – the use sometimes depends on the availability of transcripts/podcasts. Thanks also to those who picked up mistakes – including the John-Laws-Style-Deliberate-Mistakes. MWD works with a skeleton staff and this blog does rely on readers.

MWD wishes its avid readers a Happy Christmas/Hanukkah.

Keep Morale High during the Festive Season.


Inspired by John Daley, the chief executive of the taxpayer subsidised Grattan Institute, who puts out a Christmas Reading List for the Prime Minister each year (which no prime minister reads) – here is Hendo’s Christmas Reading List for the current Festive Season:

  • H.F. Wade C.SS.R, How To Be Liked By Others, Liguori Publications, circa 1960.

Hendo reads, and re-reads, this helpful tome. He still has no friends but feels that he is getting close. Thanks to Father Wade.

  • Peter Bower, The Superior Person’s Little Book of Words, Methuen, 1979.

An essential guide to anyone who plans to read any of the poet Lisa Gorton’s reviews. Contains such gems as “gralloch”, “caduceus” and “xanthippe” – re which see this issue’s “Flann O’Brien Gong for Literary Sludge”.

  • Pierre Bayard, How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, Bloomsbury, 2007 (Translated from the French by Jeffrey Mehlman).

A useful (literary) tool for anyone planning to present a (literary) program on Radio National. Thoroughly recommended by Dr John Daley (for a doctor he is) who finds it valuable when drawing up the Grattan Institute’s pretentious Christmas Reading List for the Prime Minister each year.





In his Australian column on Tuesday, Troy Bramston surveyed some political books scheduled for publication in 2017. His piece included the following intel:

Two journalists have turned novelists. Tony Jones is working on a fictional account of political terrorism in the 1970s (Allen & Unwin) and Michael Brissenden promises his own terrorism novel, The List (Hachette).

How about that? So your man Jones is working on a fictional account of political terrorism in the 1970s. Why would he bother? Tony Jones has already engaged in a fictional account of political terrorism in the 1970s when he made the following claim on Q&A on 18 July 2016 concerning (alleged) Croatian terrorism in Australia in the 1970s:

Pauline Hanson: We have terrorism on the streets that we’ve never had before. We’ve had murders committed under the name of Islam, as we have the Lindt Cafe, Curtis Cheng and the two police officers in Melbourne, right? So this has happened. You have radicalisation —

Tony Jones: Can I just — I’m sure that — Pauline, I’m sure the fact-checkers will be on to this. But when you say we’ve never had terrorism in this country before, that’s simply not the case.

Pauline Hanson: Not to —

Tony Jones: In the 1970s there were multiple bombings by Croatian Catholic extremists. This has happened in Australia before. It’s not the first time. We should at least get that straight.

Since this (fictional) comment was made, your man Jones has not been able to name one Catholic Croatian terrorist who operated in Australia in the 1970s and engaged in “multiple bombings”. Not one. Moreover, Tony Jones’ claims are inconsistent with the findings in Volume 2 and Volume 3 of The Official History of ASIO. For example, in Volume 3, titled The Secret Cold War, John Blaxland and Rhys Crawley wrote that the conviction in 1979 of the Croatian Six for attempting to bomb Sydney’s water supply was a “wrongful conviction”. As Blaxland and Crawley wrote:

The conviction of the Croatian Six resulted from a deliberate YIS [Yugoslav Intelligence Service] operation to portray the Croatian-Australian community as extremists and terrorists and increase public support for Yugoslavia.

Tony Jones concedes that the Coalition Six were framed. However, he still maintains that there were Catholic Croatian terrorists operating in Australia between 1970 and 1978 – but fails to name names. This is not surprising since there were no convictions in this period and ASIO acknowledged that at least some attacks on Yugoslavian property in Australia at this time were made by Yugoslav secret agents in order to discredit Croatians.

Tony Jones does not need to work on a fictional account of political terrorism in Australia in the 1970s. He has already done one. On Q&A no less. Can you bear it?


While on the issue of journalists and fiction, did anyone hear Fairfax Media and ABC journalist Julia Baird interviewed by Margaret Throsby on ABC’s Midday program yesterday? First up, Dr Baird (for a doctor she is) declared that the role of journalists in exposing truth “has been very much confronted this year”. Let’s go to the transcript:

Margaret Throsby: But in today’s world – and I don’t want to sound like a, like too pessimistic. But in today’s world if you expose truths people immediately start saying: “Well what, you know, are they true?” This post-truth world idea. What do you think about all of that? This, I mean the American election has been extraordinarily interesting to watch. A journalist friend of mine said the other day: “Look, it’s a disaster but God, what a fantastic time to be a journalist because it gives you a lot to sort of think about and read about”. Do you think that sort of thing? Or do you think of America as being sort of like, lemming-like going over a cliff, or what?

Julia Baird: Oh, I think it’s a perilous time. I think what concerns me is the demise of the expert – the attack on expertise. Of the scientist, saying they’re partisan. Of the lawyer, saying they too are partisan or driven by something else. Of the journalist, who by the very act of just reporting and exposing is accused of being partisan – whereas that’s a craft. And that worries me because we’re heading back to a time of superstition. If we aren’t listening to experts, you know, when we’re actually casting aside the basic enterprise of empiricism. That to me is really worrying. Part of it is the warping of this new frontier which has happened online. But I still think that you just have to keep at it.

What a load of tosh. As Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign director, has said – the biggest untruth of the 2016 United States presidential campaign was the claim, made by all too many a journalist, that Donald Trump could not defeat Hillary Clinton. Or, in terms of current terminology, that Trump had no path to victory.

Contrary to Dr Baird’s view, the craft of journalism failed miserably in the 2016 US presidential election campaign. Many a journalist was into superstition – by believing what they wanted to believe. Namely that Trump would suffer a massive defeat. This included Paul McGeough, a fellow Fairfax Media journalist, who declared Clinton the winner even before the polls had closed.

The Throsby/Baird intellectual love-in concluded as follows:

Margaret Throsby: Why do you think it’s happened? Why do you think Trump marched straight into the White House?

Julia Baird: Oh well there’s so many questions to that. I think that there’s been – I mean years ago Stephen Colbert was talking about a “truthiness”.

Margaret Throsby: Truthiness? Meaning like kind of an elastic concept of the truth?

Julia Baird: Yeah, yeah that’s right. And now it’s become just completely – yeah like it’s a question of opinion. And when you – there’s also this ugliness in debate. I think what’s extremely clever, and I’m not saying that Trump will lead to the rise of fascism. But there’s certainly conditions which allow for, you know, fascists to operate in – if we look back in through the history of Europe. Which is about denying the credibility of journalists and of the media and of academics and immediately slandering them. And that to me is a worry.

So there you have it. According to Julia Baird, Donald Trump will not necessarily lead to the rise of fascism. But in Trump’s America, conditions will be conducive to fascists. To Dr Baird, it seems, fascism comes about when non-journalists deny the credibility of journalists and academics. Even those who – as in predicting the outcome of the 8 November election – are hopelessly wrong. To Julia Baird, a contemporary fascist appears to be someone you don’t like. Can you bear it?


While on the topic of the craft of journalism, thanks to the avid reader who drew MWD’s attention to the “2016 Election Watch” which took place at the taxpayer subsidised Sydney Opera House on 3 September 2016 as part of the taxpayer subsidised Festival of Dangerous Ideas. The function was co-sponsored by the taxpayer subsidised United States Studies Centre at the taxpayer subsidised University of Sydney.

In fact, not one “dangerous idea” was heard as three left-of-centre commentators bagged Donald Trump and looked forward to a Hillary Clinton victory on 8 November. Rather, all the views heard were intellectually fashionable left-of-centre opinions. Norman Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute) essentially agreed with Shanto Iyengar (Stanford University) who essentially agreed with session chairman Simon Jackman (of the US[less] Studies Centre) who essentially agreed with Norman Ornstein.

The panel, with encouragement from the audience, laughed and sneered at Trump while all but avoiding Clinton. Trump was referred to as a racist and corrupt. Predictions (false as it turned out) were made that Trump would lose votes among African Americans and Hispanics (in fact, he won more support among these communities than Mitt Romney did in 2012).

Simon Jackman declared that a Trump victory would be a catastrophe for the United States. Norm Ornstein said that it would be extremely frightening and Shanto Iyengar agreed. Ornstein said that the Republican Party would be like Iraq if Trump lost. Iyengar compared conservative commentator Fox News contributor Laura Ingram with ISIS (the so-called Islamic State). The audience sneered in unison. The following “jokes” were told:

Simon Jackman: I’m reminded of the old joke about playing politics with the radical right is like making love with a bear. You don’t stop until the bear’s had enough. That’s as good as I get.

Norman Ornstein: Well of course Trump now is, as our journalists say, pivoting a bit. Today meeting in Detroit with a black pastor, he has said, in fact, a couple of weeks ago he said: “I don’t know where people get this idea, look at the number of African Americans at my rallies in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.” And then his campaign manager had to tell him that they were coal miners.

Wasn’t Simon’s bear joke a real hoot? No wonder he is chief executive of the US[less] Studies Centre. And what about Norm’s Black & White Minstrel Show update?

The Festival of (so-called) Dangerous Ideas just loved the anti-Trump “jokes”. Needless to say, no jokes were directed at Hillary Clinton. It was all a taxpayer subsidised left-wing stack. Can you bear it?



The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is due to report to the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments by the end of 2017.

So far, the Royal Commission has not investigated how the media, as an institution, responded to any instances of child sexual abuse. This despite the fact that BBC star Jimmy Savile (1926-2011) has been revealed as one of the worst pedophiles in Britain in terms of known male and female victims. The BBC acknowledges that, as an institution, it failed to respond properly to Savile’s offending – some of which occurred on BBC premises.

According to the Royal Commission, it is unlikely to examine the media during its final public hearings – as the following correspondence attests:

Gerard Henderson to Philip Reed (CEO, Royal Commission) – 12 December 2016

Dear Mr Reed

I would be grateful if you could advise me whether, before it reports to the government, the Royal Commission intends to inquire into the institutional responses of the media – including the ABC – to child sexual abuse.

As you may or may not be aware, in 1975 the ABC ran a program by a self-confessed pedophile which was soft on pederasts and did not adopt a duty of care to the victims of their crimes.

I would be grateful if you, or your staff, could advise me, by the close of business on Wednesday, whether this matter is likely to be inquired into by the Royal Commission before it concludes it hearings.

Yours sincerely

Gerard Henderson

Ingrid Van Steenwyk to Gerard Henderson – 13 December 2016


Dear Mr Henderson

It is unlikely that the media will form the subject of the Royal Commission’s final public hearings.


Ingrid Van Steenwyk

Media & Communication

Gerard Henderson to Ingrid Van Steenwyk – 13 December 2016

Dear Ms Steenwyk

Thank you for your prompt response to my letter to Mr Reed.

Yours sincerely

Gerard Henderson


If Justice Peter McClellan and his fellow commissioners do as the Royal Commission’s staff suggests, this means that – inter alia – there will be no investigation into the ABC’s role as an institution which once facilitated the view that there is nothing wrong with pederasty provided the boy victims are (alleged) willing participants. This view was espoused and rationalised by two well-known Australians in the mid-1970s, at a time when pederasty was rife within small sections of Australian society. Namely:

Richard Neville (1941-2016)

Richard Neville was a self-confessed pedophile. In his 1970 best-selling book Play Power, Neville boasted about having a “hurricane f_ck” with an underage school girl in Britain. Despite this admission, when he returned to Australia, Neville obtained a position as a presenter at the (then) ABC Radio program Lateline (on what is now titled the Radio National network).

On 14 July 1975, Richard Neville presented a Lateline program titled “Pederasty”. He invited three self-declared pederasts into the ABC Studio in Sydney to discuss their sexual preferences – two of the pederasts were friends of Neville, one of whom suggested the program. No other view on pederasty was heard. Neville also interviewed a couple of the men’s victims. The ABC did not adopt a duty of care with respect to the victims – who, if they are alive, would be aged in their mid-50s today. In recent times, ABC chairman Jim Spigelman has said that the current ABC has no responsibility for what took place at the ABC four decades ago. The Royal Commission has not accepted such an excuse for a failure to adopt a duty of care with respect to such institutions as churches, secular institutions, businesses and government departments.

Richard Neville was quoted in The National Times on 25 July 1975 as saying that the pederasts on his “Pederasty” program were not child molesters since the boys (allegedly) were willing participants in the sexual activity with men.

This matter was referred to in K.S. Inglis’ history of the ABC titled The Is The ABC. Dr Inglis did not have access to a tape of the “Pederasty” program – despite having access to the ABC’s files for his book – since the “Pederasty” tape was destroyed by a person or persons unknown.

  • Richard Downing (1915-1975)

Lateline’s “Pederasty” program caused tension within the ABC. ABC managing director Talbot Duckmanton was uncomfortable with what Richard Neville had done. However, he was overruled by ABC chairman Richard Downing – who was broadly supportive of the “Pederasty” program having been aired on Lateline.

On 19 July 1975, Professor Downing was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald as having said that “in general, men will sleep with young boys”. The same edition of the Sydney Morning Herald published a letter by Richard Downing – signed in his official position as Chairman of the ABC – urging Australians to “understand” the urges of pederasts. Neither in his reported comments nor in his letter, did Professor Downing acknowledge that pedophilia was a crime.


Without question, Richard Neville’s one-sided “Pederasty” program – and the defence of the program by ABC chairman Richard Downing – would have given comfort to pederasts in particular and pedophiles in general.

No prominent Australians have been so sympathetic to, or understanding of, pederasts as the one-time ABC presenter Richard Neville and the one-time ABC chairman Richard Downing.

Yet the Royal Commission, in its wisdom, seems unlikely to enquire into the institutional response of the ABC to this controversy of four decades ago or to the ABC’s contemporary refusal to adopt a duty of care to any surviving victims of the pederasts interviewed on Lateline. Likewise, no other section of the media will be inquired into with respect to their responses to any cases of historical child sexual abuse.

It’s a surprising decision. It’s difficult to imagine that the Royal Commission would have ignored a program on the “Catholic Hour” Radio program in 1975 in which a priest presenter sympathetically interviewed three pederast clerics. Or that the Royal Commission would have said nothing if the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney had told the Sydney Morning Herald in 1975 that “in general, clerics will sleep with young boys” and urged all Australians to “understand” the urges of clerical pederasts. But there you go.


Just before Nancy headed off for what journalists like to call a Well Earned Break, she managed to speak to two of the great intellectuals of our time. Namely, Ross Cameron (current star of Sky News) and Peter FitzSimons (historian extraordinaire and Fairfax Media columnist). Once upon a time, people talked to one another. Now they engage in conversations. This conversation took place in Nancy’s kennel last Saturday afternoon – around Gin & Tonic time.

Nancy: I’m a simple canine from the RSPCA’s Yagoona Pound in Sydney. My type used to be called strays or pariahs – but now we have been upgraded to the title of “rescue” dogs. Even though it’s us who have been rescued. This is by way of introduction to say that I am truly humbled that you both agreed to have a conversation with me. Especially since you are so learned – having been schooled at Knox Grammar on Sydney’s North Shore and gone on to graduate from the University of Sydney. What a mind – multiplied by two. Over to you Ross and Fitz.

Ross: The pleasure’s mine. I’m Australia’s expert on anthropology – as I demonstrate on Paul Murray Live every other night. So I never miss an opportunity to talk to an animal since we are all mammals and we all need to eat and fornicate (although not at the moment beyond our mammal species). I’m aware the DNA difference between an ape and a human is minute and we share DNA with dogs too, I’m sure, even ones who graduated from the Yagoona Pound. We’re even closer to canines who grew up around Knox Grammar School at Wahroonga, of course, but I don’t want to hold that against you.

Fitz: Think nothing of it. Beauty. It’s great to be in conversation with you. Super. It’s not often that a bloke gets in conversation with a dog. I’m not sure about all that DNA crap that Ross is talking about. As far as I can see, what you and I have in common is that we both wear a red bandanna to attract attention. It works. I’m so tall at times that my headwear even stops the traffic. Get it?

Nancy: Speaking as a new age feminist, how do you males view sheilas?

Ross: Well, if you go back to the Peloponnesian Wars, no, perhaps, even further. I would like to pay a compliment to the Sumerians who hung out in Mesopotamia which is near where the Tigris and the Euphrates meet since without them we wouldn’t think and I wouldn’t be on Paul Murray Live. However, let’s start at the Garden of Eden since it’s a fact of life as we know that humanity starts when Adam says to Eve: “Honey, how about a f_ck?” And Eve replies: “Okay.” I’m not sure that Adam would have popped the question if Eve had been a 4 rather than a 10. But she wasn’t – and he did. It’s man’s quest for, and conquering of, women that explains all about life, thank God, and it explains why the female of species is the dominant force in the universe since without them men would have nothing to lust for and would sleep all day and die.

Fitz: Pig’s arse. I used to think this way when I was at Knox. But at uni I resided at Wesley College. We were all gentlemen there and learnt how to respect women. So much so, I would never refer to a sheila as “gorilla”. I use this term instead to describe an aggressive security guard of colour attached to the South African cricket team – since I believe that this is a common word used to describe male bouncers Down Under. But never a sheila. I have learnt from a young age to respect women since without the female of the species there would be 50 per cent fewer readers to buy my books. By the way, have I told you about my latest work How the Aussies Creamed the Piss-Poor Kaiser on the Somme 1916-1918 (published by the Red Bandannaed Press)?

Nancy: You’ve both got a high profile. How did you get this?

Ross: Well, as an Evangelical Christian, I like to think I’m close to God or rather, God’s close to me. I do lots of workouts at the gym so, when I go on Paul Murray Live, I can manage all these mouth and hand contortions while I’m speaking. I find that if I start the answer to every question with a reference to the Peloponnesian

Wars, viewers soon focus on my mouth and hands and that works for me which is why I have the best known face on Sky News.

Fitz: Yes. No. Look, I do many a workout. But my problem is that I’m very, very tall. This has led, when I’m talking, to people looking at my chest. I want them to look at my brain since it contains all this wisdom, including the knowledge that no Australian Rugby Union star has both played fewer tests and written more books than yours truly. So I bought a red bandanna. Now people can’t take their eyes off the red rag on my head, under which is located my grey matter.

Nancy: What would you regard as your most important contribution to Australian life?

Ross: These days I interpret Australia to itself – commencing with the Peloponnesian Wars with an occasional reference to the Sumerians. I have a bully pulpit at Paul Murray Live since Paul tends to feel a bit threatened by people who know more than he does – which is quite a big number. So he rarely interrupts me when I talk about the human condition – which goes all the way back to when Adam gave Eve one in that garden of – I’ve forgotten its name for a minute.

Nancy: It’s the Garden of Eden.

Ross: Yeah, thanks. I believe I will be best known as the philosopher who invented this philosophic truth – namely “I root, therefore I am”.

Fitz: I’m a bit like Ross. Except that I am not a philosopher. I now write history books telling Australians about how no one really understood anything about history until I came along. I’m now writing a 500-page book every month, I think. I have a writing gang-of-five. They do all the basic work essentially from secondary sources. Then enters Fitz – and I put a “Wham” up the front of each chapter along with a “Bam” at the end of each chapter. And if the assembled facts are not interesting enough – I make up my own facts. I challenge anyone to read my history of Villers-Bretonneux and tell me that what really happened on the Somme in 1918 differs from what I invented about the Somme in 2016. I call it self-faction – a mixture of someone else’s facts and my self’s fiction.

Nancy: What particular tactics have you used successfully that have made it possible for you to project your views within such institutions as Paul Murray Live and the Australian Republican Movement?

Ross: Well, before I go on Paul Murray Live I talk to God even though he doesn’t talk much to me although that’s possibly because I have more things of interest to say than He does (and He is a he). Any rate, I talk to God, the Evangelical God – not the Catholic God since my father warned me off the superstitions of wafer-swallowing transubstantiation believing Catholics. On one occasion during our sessions, God got a word in edgeways and told me about the Sumerians and I have used this to inform the world’s mammals about where we came from after Eve said “sure” in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Nancy: You mean the Garden of Eden.

Ross: Sure.

Fitz: I learnt the tactic of historical research while on tour with the Wallabies. In his book Campo: Still Entertaining (2003) my former teammate David Campesie wrote that the blokes didn’t want to room share with me on account of personal hygiene matters. What would Campo know? He has written only one book. Pathetic. That’s as many as I write in a month. Campo complained that when I entered a motel room I emptied my bag all over the floor and walked around my stuff until it was time to leave. What’s wrong with that? This is how I write history. I throw all my secondary sources on the floor and pick up a fact here and there. Then I add my whams and bams and now I am Australia’s leading historian who wears a red bandanna.

Nancy: I know you’re both very busy. Thanks for being so generous with your time. One final question. What is the future of Australia?

Ross: Well, I’m very hopeful that, after two glorious terms in the White House, Donald Trump will become an Aussie and end up in The Lodge. So that’s why I bought a Donald Trump cap and tee-shirt and did the Dance of the Seven Trump Tee-Shirts on Paul Murray Live when Donald won. It was a sensation I have been told. We need to be led by strong men but, unfortunately, all the men I know are piss-weak. Except for Donald Trump and Sky News boss Angelos Frangopoulos – the greatest man since Jesus Christ and Donald Trump – who spends enormous energy repelling the hordes of people who want to invade Sky News, fire me and end the viewers’ agony by censoring all references to the Sumerians and the Peloponnesian War. One final rant – don’t you reckon that my fellow panellist, the gorgeous Dee Madigan – whom I love like a sister – looks even better with straight hair and isn’t it great to see how the likes of Dee keep Eve’s tradition alive so that where there’s a temptation there’s a Ross?

Nancy: I’m not sure. I prefer short hair myself.

Fitz: I’m a bit more pessimistic. Take the republic for example. I am chairman of the Australian Republican Movement. For the life of me, I can’t work-out why the dickheads I abuse every week in my Fairfax Media column will not get behind me and back the republic. You know what I mean. Believers who are attracted to the Ghost in the Sky, Liberal Party voters, Nationals voters, right-wing Labor Party types, the Land of Hope and Glory set and the like. And those who regard red bandannas as only suitable for cleaning out blocked drains. Lunatics all. If only these fools would back the ARM, I could be president of the Republic of Australia tomorrow.

Nancy: We better leave it there. I’m not feeling well and urgently need a G&T – just for the tonic, of course.



As he left Nancy’s kennel after the interview, the Red Bandannaed One dropped a piece of paper. It was Fitz’s orders-of-the-day to the researchers working on his new book on the explorers Robert O’Hara Burke (1821-1861) and William John Wills (1834-1861) – tentatively titled “Burke and Wills”.


▪ I’ve been contracted to write (yet another) book – this one on Burke and Wills. Wacko. I can hear the credit cards being processed already.

▪ First, find out who Burke and Wills were. I assume they’re both dead.

▪ Write a first draft of 150,000 words. 75,000 words for Burke and 75,000 words for Wills. Get it to me by New Year’s Eve. I will work on the text in early 2017 adding a “Wham” here and a “Bam” there for effect. Should be ready for publication on Mother’s Day. I assume that both these blokes had mothers so this should have some special appeal.

▪ If the facts are boring, make up some facts – for atmosphere. For example, say that Burke or Wills wore a red bandanna when they crossed the Red Desert. If they didn’t cross the Red Desert, pretend they did.

▪ See if either Mr Burke or Mr Wills ever met Cardinal George Pell. If so, could he have had something to do with their deaths? I suspect he did – which is why George Pell headed to Rome to live in what I have claimed is a “$30 million mansion”. This isn’t true – but it did create interest when I made the claim in Fairfax Media’s Sun-Herald.

▪ Did you note how much weight I’ve lost? It makes my brain heavier, with respect to the rest of my body, than would otherwise have been the case and contributes to my self-esteem. [Continues for 571/2 pages.]



Every now and then, one of the Leftist Luvvies amongst us elects to write about his or her life. Invariably this has the unintended consequence of giving the other half (or more) an insight into life in Leftist Luvvie Land, which is invariably subsidised by the taxpayer by means of a public sector or university job or a research grant and the like which makes possible attending taxpayer funded literary festivals and taking the occasional taxpayer subsidised sabbatical leave.

This was the case when novelist and one-time Meanjin magazine editor Sophie Cunningham (nee Medd) wrote Melbourne (New South, 2011). The dust jacket told Ms Cunningham’s personal story when it referred to her time as the editor of Meanjin magazine – then based at the University of Melbourne – in Parkville, between 2008 and 2011, declaring: “During that time she worked about 100 metres from where she was born – a typical Melbourne story.”

So the reader was asked to believe that in 2011 it was “typical” for Melburnians to work within 100 metres from where they were born. Which makes it difficult to explain why Melbourne’s freeways and arterial roads are so congested each morning as the locals travel to work from one suburb to another suburb or from the suburbs to the city and its environs. Not everyone who was born in Parkville lives in Parkville. Moreover, not everyone lives in Parkville – even if this is not evidenced when glancing at Melbourne. But life is different in Luvvie Land.

Gerard Henderson reviewed Sophie Cunningham’s Melbourne in the Sydney Institute Quarterly, Issue 40, March 2012 – see here. It turns out that Ms Cunningham’s concept of the City of Melbourne commences and ends at inner-city Brunswick to the north, inner-city St Kilda to the south, inner-city Hawthorn to the east and inner-city Footscray to the west. Oh yes, there was an occasional road trip to the vineyards of Eltham in the east. Moreover, Ms Cunningham’s visit to St Kilda was a rare event – since it required that she and her fellow Luvvies cross the Yarra River from north to south. The lived-experience was a bit like Neil Armstrong’s visit to the moon, a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Fortunately, the writer Drusilla Modjeska has recently provided a fresh insight into Luvvie Land – this time from a Sydney perspective. Her book Second Half First: A Memoir (Knopf, 2015) is a well written and engaging work – it was short-listed for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Non-fiction. It’s just that Second Half First gives an insight into a life which those Australians who are not part of the literary set would not understand without memoirs like this.

Chapter 1: The House on the Corner

Second Half First commences with Drusilla Modjeska revealing that, on the eve of her 40th birthday, she could no longer live with her male partner, Ross. When DM told Ross this, he replied that this was ironic since he had just told Elean (his lover) that he was planning a “time of monogamy” with DM. A fine gesture, to be sure – since DM, Ross and the rest existed “at the tail end of an era, a sub-era, of free love and sexual revolution”. Ross was an academic – as was DM. As was Elean. In time, academic Ross, having left academic Drusilla, linked up with academic Elean and settled in Brooklyn – and moved from teaching Marxism to media studies (presumably from a Marxist perspective). What a metamorphosis.

Around this time, DM lives in inner-city Enmore and tends her garden – “parsley, rosemary, a lemon tree”. She eats many a lentil. DM mixes with such Luvvies as the late academic Axel Clark and novelist Helen Garner and writer Murray Bail. DM soon links up with Garry, another academic. Garry lives in a Zen centre. No surprise here. DM becomes friends with Sophie, who also has been dumped by a bloke. Sophie, too, is an academic. In time both DM and Sophie go to a therapist.

DM reflects that World War I was a “senseless war”. Meaning, it seems, that when Imperial Germany invaded Belgium and France in 1914 – Britain, France and their allies should have put up the White Flag and given the Kaiser what he wanted. DM supports the view that the problem with Margaret Thatcher was not that she was a woman who wanted to be a man but that she was a woman who wanted to be a general – a male general, of course. That’s right-thinking feminists for you. Or, rather, left-thinking feminism,

DM moves to a flat in Bondi and obtains a tenured position at the University of Technology, Sydney. Visitors to her Bondi apartment include publisher Hilary McPhee. A certain Ben makes appearances – but DM is not yet ready to talk about him. Novelist Hazel Rowley also makes an appearance. Later DM mentions that Ben is a married antique furniture restorer with a wife and children. It turns out that your man Ben seems to be the only non-intellectual who DM knows.

On Page 91: DM reflects that “the fundamental premise of existentialism” is “the challenge to create meaning for the meaninglessness of existence”. Well now. On Page 93 DM writes:

Why was it…that our generation of feminists – clever, able women who had never known war or hunger, had had all the benefits of university education – made such a hash of it with men (and women, too, often enough).

Good question. Alas, DM’s query is not answered.

Chapter 2 – Making Shapes Square Up

DM commences analytical psychotherapy three times a week for several years. DM expresses contempt for the kind of life she would have lived had she remained in England – rather than migrating to Australia as a young woman:

If I’d stayed, would I have married a solicitor and lived in the suburbs that stretched along the railway lines out from London, a portly husband and a brace of daughters in tartan dresses? And if I had, would I have written? Would I even had had the idea? Or, without writing, would I have followed in Poppy’s [i.e. her mother] footsteps, straight into the psychiatric hospital?

Which raises the (non-academic) question – what’s wrong with tartan dresses? By now DM has moved to a “house near a park on the edge of Sydney’s inner harbour”. It’s in Birchgrove, apparently. DM looks back on her time in Papua New Guinea as one of a group of long-haired, left-wing, anti-racialist research people. DM wonders why she and her ilk “chose dangerous men”. DM refers to her ex-husband “poor, kind Nick” and wonders “why was there a problem?” DM reports that she had apologised to Nick many years after the marriage ended. It seems that your man Nick was, well, just too nice and “kind” for DM since the likes of DM “chose dangerous men”.

DM reflects on men – men unlike, apparently, “poor, kind Nick”:

A friend of mine became pregnant just as she turned forty; it was a surprise both to her and the man with whom she was in a relationship she thought good enough for the raising of a child. He was thrilled at the prospect of being a father, but not, as it turned out, by the reality of a dependent child and a mother who worked. The child was barely two when he left the house, and not much more than three when he left the country. No more pick-ups from preschool, no more baths and stories while the mother, my friend, worked late. His inner child, this man said, couldn’t handle a real child; the choice, he explained, had to be for his own growth and a time of travel – was that so hard to understand? Truly. It’s a good thing there are gun laws, or there could be a lot of dead men on our streets. This is not an isolated story; extreme, I admit, but wind it back a bit, substitute a reason less laughable, and who cannot bring up examples?

How about that? DM believes that France and its ally Britain should not have fired a shot in anger when Germany, having invaded neutral Belgium, marched on Paris in 1914. However, she can see good reason why deserted women should shoot no-hoper blokes on our streets. It’s a case of The Kaiser: 3; No Hoper (academic) bloke: Zip.

Chapter 3 – A Dangerous Road

DM returns to Papua New Guinea – with a research grant to write about the nation at the time leading to independence. At the time, DM is a fellow at the University of Sydney. DM has a new man – a Jeremy who happens to be a literary editor and a no-hoper. But she chooses not to say much about him. Except that, early in the courtship, they discussed the comma – in Birchgrove, no less. Fancy that. It is not clear whether DM and Jeremy ever discussed the full-stop in Birchgrove or, say, Balmain. Perhaps this issue might be disclosed in any future memoir by DM.

DM describes the First Gulf War as the “first Bush war” when “American ground troops went into Iraq”. Absolute tosh. In the First Gulf War, the United States and its allies – with the approval of the United Nations – drove Saddam Hussein’s Iraq out of Kuwait in 1990. There was no invasion of Iraq. Apparently DM believes that Saddam Hussein was entitled to invade and conquer Kuwait. DM expresses the shame that asylum seekers/refugees are held on Manus Island. She expresses no concern at the 1200 or more asylum seekers who drowned before the camps on Manus Island and Nauru were established in order to stop the people smuggling trade.

Chapter 4 – Now

DM reflects how she once said that if the wharves on Sydney Harbour were turned into luxury accommodation she would leave Sydney. They were. She didn’t. DM writes about the proper placement of semi-colons and commas. Verily, a challenging life.


Drusilla Modjeska’s Second Half First provides – unintentionally perhaps – an insight into the life of the writer/intellectual. Apart from her one-time friendship with antique restorer Ben and her good work in setting up the Sustain Education Art Melanesia (Seam) which supports “all forms of literacy” in a Papua New Guinea community – she has no interaction with anyone other than members of the inner-city intelligentsia. The author seems never to talk to anyone but academics/artists/ writers/editors/actors and the like. DM’s life – and that of her colleagues – seems to entail an endless reflection of life in general and the self in particular. Moreover it is lived around a few suburbs in Sydney with occasional visits to Britain and Papua New Guinea. In this sense, the second half of Ms Modjeska’s life resembles the first half (i.e. once she became an adult). Here’s hoping for another revelation into Luvvie Land by DM – perhaps titled “First Half Second: A (Second) Memoir”.


nancy modest proposal


This increasingly popular segment of MWD is inspired by the Irish satirist Jonathan Swift’s attempt to relieve the plight of the Irish under British control with certain suggestions which he proffered in his writings. As a consequence of such irreverence, your clergyman Swift never attained his due rank within the Church of Ireland (i.e. the Anglican Church in Ireland). But that’s another story.

An avid reader who happens to be a dental surgeon and – consequently – uses the “Dr” pre-nominal, has written to MWD in the following terms:

Dear Gerard,

May I suggest that when you refer to someone as Dr, rather than your usual (for a doctor he/she is) that you actually give their qualification with their core training?

For example, Dr John Smith (PhD agriculture) or Dr Betty Smith (PhD Economics). These background beginnings are important indicators of credibility and methods of thinking.

Kind regards

An Avid Reader

This got Nancy’s (male) co-owner athinking. These days there are medical doctors, dental doctors, veterinary doctors as well as doctors of everything else from sociology to criminology to sexology and more besides. What to do?

Here’s Nancy’s Modest Proposal

In view of the fact that about half the population seem to be doctors of one sort or another – and the other half are not – let’s call everyone “Doctor”.

Soon after birth, every child should be given a birth certificate by the government – along with a doctorate (honoris causa) from the nearest university to the place of birth. Consequently, everyone born after this date should be called “Doctor”. As in Dr Scott (“I like going to the tip before I appear on News Breakfast”) Burchill, Dr Mike (“I used to pour the gin”) Carlton, Dr Wendy (“I’m an old-fashioned socialist”) Harmer, Dr Phillip (“I was a teenage commo”) Adams and Dr Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly. Get the idea?

This would also assist in the current debate about gender, transgender and the like. Asked: “What is the name of your child?” – a parent would only need to reply with the gender-neutral name “Doctor”. After a while the question would cease to be asked.

Moreover, someone who has just injured his or her left knee at the ABC Christmas knees-up would be required to be specific. As in: “I need to see a doctor of medicine”. Or someone hurt in the Culture Wars would be required to declare: “I need to see a doctor of philosophy.” And someone offended in the Clash of Civilisations would need to declare: “I need to see a doctor of divinity who resides in the vicinity.” This could be challenging – but it could ensure that first-respondents arrive more quickly that would otherwise be the case.

A Modest Proposal – here’s hoping it works.



As avid MWD readers will be aware, this segment is inspired by the Irish humourist Brian O’Nolan (1911-1966) — nom de plume Flann O’Brien — and, in particular, his critique of the sometimes incoherent poet Ezra Pound. Your man O’Brien also had the good sense not to take Eamon De Valera, the Fianna Fail prime minister of Ireland, seriously.

The Flann O’Brien Gong for Literary or Verbal Sludge is devoted to outing bad writing or incomprehensible prose or incoherent verbal expression or the use of pretentious words.

Nancy’s (male) co-owner just read the Melbourne poet Lisa Gorton’s latest novel The Life of Houses which was co-winner of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction. Truly, a wonderful work. However, as avid readers well know, MWD is not such a fan of Lisa Gorton’s reviews. Like this one which appeared in Fairfax Media’s newspapers on 5 December 2016 – in response to a request to nominate the books in 2016 that a particular reader loved. This is the entry of Dr Gorton (for a doctor she is):

Lisa Gorton: There are times when Helen Garner is the only author I want to read. Restlessly honest, with a sharp eye for detail, her style is by some rare art at once crystalline and conversational. Everywhere I Look (Text) is a memorable essay collection. In Position Doubtful (Scribe) Kim Mahood describes returning to the place of her childhood, a cattle station in the Tanami Desert. Mahood’s account of mapping that country with its traditional owners is sometimes lyrical, sometimes elegiac, sometimes grouchy, often funny and always alive to complexity. Ellen van Neerven’s poetry collection, Comfort Food (UQP), is a great debut, her voice warm, down-to-earth and original. Walter Benjamin’s The Storyteller: Tales Out of Loneliness (Verso) collects his short tales, dream interpretations and fables, and is intimate and full of magic.

Crystalline? Elegiac? What do such words mean? Especially with reference to a book about mapping.

MWD closes this Flann O’Brien segment with a very new Australian poem (see below):

Literary Criticism

By Flann O’Brien

Of Poet Ezra Pound

My grasp of what he wrote and meant

Was only five or six %

The rest was only words and sound —

My reference is to Ezra £

Inspired by your man O’Brien, this is Nancy’s literary effort for today:

Literary Criticism

By Nancy

Of Poet Lisa Gorton

My grasp of what she wrote and meant

Was only five or six per cent

Lisa’s reviews are so opaque

A sense of them I cannot make

Nancy Ezra MWD 116


Last Monday listeners to ABC Radio 702’s “Mornings with Wendy Harmer” were confronted with an issue of the what-to-do? genre.

Referring to the 702 Christmas knees-up held the previous Friday evening, Wendy (“I’m an old fashioned socialist”) Harmer told listeners that she had left her mobile phone in the back of the taxi when arriving home on the Northern Beaches. She contacted the taxi driver who returned it to the ABC Ultimo studio.

The socialist Harmer went on and on and on about what kind of reward she should give the taxi driver – whom she described as a man of Indian Sikh appearance. In the end, it seems that it was to be a lousy $50 gift card. The socialist Harmer appeared quite shocked when it was suggested that the generous amount of $500 was closer to the mark.

Verily, a Wendy Harmer Moment.


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).


Thanks to ABC PM presenter Mark Colvin for making it possible to run a Correspondence section in this MWD’s last issue for the year. For a while, things looked somewhat difficult. But then – possibly possessed by the need to plug his book Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a Spy’s Son – the spy’s son came good. Here we go:

Gerard Henderson to Mark Colvin – 14 December 2016


My attention has been drawn to a tweet which you sent on 1 December.

For the record, I never wrote that the ABC remains a Conservative Free Zone because Tom Switzer is not a conservative.

What I wrote is that the ABC does not have a conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets.

Tom Switzer does not present any prominent show on the ABC.

If you reckon that the ABC is not a Conservative Free Zone how about naming the conservatives involved in presenting, producing or editing prominent ABC outlets.

Just the names will do.

Keep morale high.


Mark Colvin to Gerard Henderson – 14 December 2016

Dear Gerard,

I’ve read enough Media Watch Dog correspondence to know that those foolish enough to reply tend to be sucked into a Stygian vortex of Jesuitical hairsplitting and passive-aggression, so this will constitute my only response.

Should you wish to know my views, they are contained in a rather good book, Light And Shadow, Memoirs Of A Spy’s Son, (MUP, $32.95, all good bookshops.)

Happy Christmas reading.


Gerard Henderson to Mark Colvin – 16 December 2016

Dear Mark

Lotsa thanks for your (somewhat intemperate) reply. You have made it possible for me to run a Correspondence segment in the final issue of Media Watch Dog for 2016.

I won’t be able to sleep tonight after being accused of sucking avid readers “into a Stygian vortex of Jesuitical hairsplitting and passive-aggression”. I don’t know what a Stygian vortex is. I sure hope it’s not a terminal condition. As to the Jesuitical hairsplitting – all I can say is that the Jesuits I have met are not very jesuitical. I guess you are on about Counter-Reformation times – but that was centuries ago and some Catholics at the time were prepared to tell the occasional whopper rather than being hung, drawn and quartered by Elizabeth I and her minions. Wouldn’t you?

Returning to the point, I asked you to support your tweet of recent memory to the effect that the ABC is not a Conservative Free Zone – by naming one conservative presenter, producer or editor of any prominent ABC television, radio or online outlet. Just one. You have not done so.

Instead you referred me to your book Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a Spy’s Son. As you know, your memoir does not discuss whether or not the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone. Indeed you don’t use the word “conservative” with respect to the ABC and you rarely use the word “left” or “left-wing” in this context.

I have read what you describe as your “rather good book”. Indeed some issues ago it won MWD’s prestigious Five Paws Award for your latent conversion from the fashionable leftist line that Vladimir Petrov was not a significant intelligence operative when he defected from the Soviet Union’s Embassy in Canberra in 1954. You described your leftist past as “callow and arrogant”. It seems to me that, with respect to these matters, you are not in total remission.

On my count, your book contains one reference to John Howard and none to Tony Abbott – both of whom expressed views in line with the proposition that the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone.

However, on my count, in Light and Shadow you have used “I” – the first person pronoun – on around 1500 occasions. Which works out at about five times a page. Well done.

Lotsa love

Gerard Henderson

* * * *

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