GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG
ISSUE NO. 362
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: Aloysia Brooks’ Wollongong Ph.D Detailed & Louise Milligan’s (Apparently) Confident Prediction Revealed
- Can You Bear It? Lisa Wilkinson & Charlie Pickering on President & Mrs Trump’s marriage; Paul Barry’s Very Own Fake Impeachment News; ABC Media Watch Supports Free Opinion – Provided It’s Not Broadcast; Two Doctors in the Aly/Carland House & Michael Rowland on Dr Burchill’s “Tip” Fashions
- Media Fool of the Week: Tony Jones’ Stunning Performance on Q&A
- Nancy’s Five Paws Award: Graham Richardson on Jon Faine’s Ignorance of North Queensland & Geoffrey Horgan SC on How the Media has Poisoned the Cardinal Pell Inquiry
- The US[ELESS] Studies Centre – David Smith Dismisses Virtually All Republican Party Congress Representatives as Lazy, Non-Thinkers re Israel
- Correspondence: Rafael Epstein Helps Out re the ABC and Quadrant Magazine
- THE CASE OF ALOYSIA (“THERE’S NO WAR ON BEES”) BROOKS’ DOCTORATE OF PHILOSOPHY
Great story by Kylar Loussikian in today’s Daily Telegraph.
You see Aloysia Brooks, the estranged partner of one time Osama Bin Laden fan David Hicks, has gained her Ph.D. from Wollongong University in the School of Humanities and Social Enquiry. MWD’s research reveals that the topic was, wait for it, The Annihilation of Memory and Silent Suffering Inhibiting Outrage at the Injustice of Torture in the War on Terror in Australia. Wow. A must read, to be sure.
MWD has yet to devour this must read by Dr Brooks (for a doctor she now is). According to the Daily Telegraph, the thesis contains such gems as:
Although evidence clearly demonstrates that state terrorism causes many more deaths than non-state terrorism does, terrorist acts perpetrated by the state are given far less attention in the mainstream media. More people die in car accidents, from domestic murders and bee stings in Australia than terrorist attacks. One could hardly imagine a war on bees occurring any time soon, and therefore, it can be concluded, that the counter-terrorism laws have been largely politically driven, rather than as a result of the need for legislation against new criminal acts.
Good point worthy of a doctorate, don’t you think? Look at it this way. Lotsa people die as a result of drinking Gin & Tonic. But when did the Coalition or Labor ever go to war with tonic – or even gin? What a double standard.
Nancy’s (male) co-owner predicts a brilliant career for Dr Brooks in the groves of academe. After all, her Ph.D. thesis could be even more important than that cited by the late Geoffrey Fairbairn titled: “The Economic, Social and Political and Defence Implications of the Construction of Women’s Public Lavatories in the Wagga Shire: 1896-1898”.
The late Mr Fairbairn would surely have loved the Brooks thesis. Especially since the learned doctor was close to her sources – for a time at least – since they included Mr Hicks himself.[I now know why you try to hide your Ph.D. And I see your point that if everyone received a doctorate at birth, taxpayers need not have helped to fund Dr Brooks’ research which drew attention to the fact that Australia has a War on Terror but not, alas, a War on Bees. The lady should have been called “Doctor” from birth – and foregone the thesis. MWD Editor.]
- LOUSE MILLIGAN’S CONFIDENT PREDICTION RE CARDINAL PELL
According to Nancy’s spy at the leftist stack that is the Sydney Writers’ Festival, yesterday’s 3 pm session on the Catholic Church titled “Crimes of the Father” was a huge success with a “house full” outcome. [Maybe. But does anyone other than members of the Sandalista Set have the time to attend literary talk-fests on a weekday afternoon? MWD Editor.]
Naturally, at a taxpayer funded event of this kind which is supported by the ABC and Fairfax Media, the focus was on Cardinal George Pell.
David Marr (who has written a hatchet job on Pell) interviewed Louise Milligan (who has also written a hatchet job on Pell) along with Tom Keneally (who has endorsed Ms Milligan’s hatchet job on Pell) plus James M Miller (who seems destined to write a hatchet job on Pell).
The Sandalista Set loved it – as David agreed with Louise who agreed with David who agreed with Tom who agreed with David who agreed with James who agreed with David who agreed with Louise who agreed with herself. Or something like that.
However, it appears that no one discussed the real EXCLUSIVE in Ms Milligan’s Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell (MUP, 2017). At Page 277 of Cardinal, Ms Milligan writes that the two men – who have alleged that they were improperly touched by (then) Fr Pell in Ballarat some four decades ago – “will” be “cross-examined by an expensive criminal Queen’s Counsel”. [Since most expensive QCs are not criminals – it seems that Ms Milligan was referring to barristers who work in the criminal courts. MWD Editor.]
Not “may” or “might”. But “will”. So, Ms Milligan is saying that Cardinal Pell WILL be charged by Victoria Police and that he will defend the charges with the help of expensive QCs.
How does Louise Milligan know this? Apparently, David Marr did not ask her that at the Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Pell-Hating session yesterday. Could Ms Milligan have had a leak from Victoria Police? Interesting – especially since Louise Milligan has admitted that her book is written from the point of view of the complainants.
- LISA WILKINSON & CHARLIE PICKERING SPECULATE ON THE TRUMP MARRIAGE
Nancy’s (male) co-owner finds comedian Tim Gleeson very funny. Apart from that, ABC TV’s The Weekly with Charlie Pickering has become an old-fashioned sermon in a church on Sunday rather than an occasion for humour. The likes of presenter Charlie Pickering and his side-kick Kitty Flanagan are invariably preaching about good causes and ridiculing those who are not fellow members of the Sandalista Set.
Last week Cardinal George Pell was a target for what passes as humour on The Weekly – indeed the artificial laughter machine on the set was turned up a notch or two. Yawn. And then there was the usual, and oh-so-predictable, put-down of President Donald Trump. Yawn.
On Wednesday, believe it or not, your man Pickering and his guest, Channel 9’s Today co-host Lisa Wilkinson, were experts on – wait for it – the Trump marriage. Really. Let’s go to the transcript as the presenter asks his guest – who happens to have interviewed Melania Trump in New York’s Trump Tower some years ago – about the state of the President and the First Lady’s marriage:
Charlie Pickering: I’m curious, what sense did you get of their relationship?
Lisa Wilkinson: Well, the impression that I got [of Mrs Trump] was somebody who was quite nervous. Somebody – given the history of Donald, his marriages – could be replaced at any given moment. Although it’s been fantastic to see in the last 24 hours – Donald keeps reaching for her hand and she keeps swatting it away. So maybe there’s been a power shift.
Charlie Pickering: It’s like this tiny little soap opera playing out –
Lisa Wilkinson: [interjecting] It’s great.
Charlie Pickering: – all across the Middle East.
Lisa Wilkinson: He could bring peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis but he’s never sorting this out.
Charlie Pickering: Screwing up the marriage right as we speak.
So, your man Pickering reckons that the state of the Trump marriage is a soap opera playing out “all across the Middle East”. Really. And Ms Wilkinson reckons that President Trump will never sort out his marriage – a proposition with which her interviewer agreed. Really. Why – because they don’t hold hands in public. Really.
And how about Lisa Wilkinson’s comment that, when she met Melania Trump some years ago, she observed that Mrs Trump was “quite nervous” that she could be replaced by another – given the history of Donald J. Trump’s marriages. And this from Today’s co-presenter whose on-air presenter, Karl Stefanovic, has just “replaced” his wife of some two decades and appears increasingly in the media with his trade-in. Can You Bear It?
- PAUL BARRY’S FAKE (IMPEACHMENT) NEWS
MWD suspects, just suspects, that the Wilkinson/Pickering gossip about the state of the Trump marriage will prove to be more fake news. In the tradition of the prediction of so many journalists and commentators that Hillary Clinton would win the US Presidential election last November. As Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway has said, the biggest fake news of the campaign was the claim that Donald J. Trump could not win.
It’s likely to be much the same with the expectation – hope? – that President Trump will be impeached. This is the cover of The Sunday Age last weekend – foreshadowing the likelihood of a forthcoming impeachment.
Fairfax Media and ABC types who hope longingly for a Trump impeachment should take a Bex and have a good lie-down. As veteran journalist Bob Woodward – who reported the Watergate matter – said on MSNBC last week, journalists should stop “binge drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid”.
However, Paul Barry did not heed the Woodward message. The same day as the Sunday Age headline – which was accompanied by a Paul McGeough story that President Trump had ‘fled’ Washington DC – Mr Barry, who spends lotsa time lecturing others on journalistic standards, put out this tweet:
The reference was to the notoriously unreliable Patribotics blog which had declared:
EXCLUSIVE: House Judiciary Committee is considering Articles of Impeachment against the President of the United States.
Of course, it was just fake news. Moreover, as The Australian’s “Cut & Paste” editor pointed out on Tuesday, the Patribotics report contained the so-called information that “the Supreme Court notified Mr Trump that the formal process of a case of impeachment against him [Trump] was begun before he departed the country on Air Force One” on his current overseas trip. The fact is that the US Supreme Court has no role whatsoever in initiating impeachment procedures with respect to an incumbent president. Mr Barry should know this.
Clearly, Patribotics just made up the Trump impeachment “news” and your man Barry went along for the ride – in spite of the fact that he had “no idea” whether or not the story was true. Can You Bear It?[Er, not really. By the way, here’s Nancy’s most recent tweet:
Here’s hoping it is liked and re-tweeted. – MWD Editor]
- READ ALL ABOUT: ABC TV MEDIA WATCH SUPPORTS BOTH FREE SPEECH AND CENSORSHIP
While on the topic of Paul Barry – wasn’t his a stunning performance on the ABC TV Media Watch program on Monday? Mr Barry – who is invariably banging on about freedom of expression and all that – did a hatchet job on Shia Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi. Let’s go to the transcript where your man Barry bangs on about the sheikh – who happens to oppose terrorism and who has called for the reform of Islam. Let’s go to the ABC transcript of the segment – it’s headed “`Fake’ Sheikh of shock”:
But now to more serious matters and a self-styled Australian “Muslim leader” whom some in the media can’t get enough of…. So, who is this man, and why were locals in Sydney’s Lakemba so outraged?
Well, Mohammad Tawhidi, who describes himself as an Imam of Peace, is tabloid TV’s Muslim of choice and a hero to conservatives, thanks to comments like this three weeks ago, on Sky’s Outsiders.
Tawhidi who set up and heads the Islamic Association of South Australia was propelled to fame last year by Today Tonight as the “Sheikh of Shock”, after he called on fellow Muslims to speak out against terrorism…
But he caused an even bigger stir when he claimed, again on Today Tonight, that Islamic extremists were planning to set up a caliphate in Australia and rename local streets after murdering Islamists… The chance of that happening? Around about zero. But that didn’t stop Tawhidi telling Andrew Bolt, how unpleasant the caliphate’s punishments would be, especially for Australian Muslims who cheated on their taxes —
So, was that a cue for the media to stop taking him seriously? Not at all. Despite his outlandish claims, Tawhidi has been built up by the media as a good Muslim, the acceptable face of Islam. Making headlines for suggesting that Halal certification threatens the Australian way of life. Or for supporting Pauline Hanson’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration. Or for backing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s call to forcibly shut down all Muslim schools and colleges in Australia. Predictably, these pronouncements have made him plenty of enemies and at least as many friends:
Common sense to some, perhaps, but not to most Australian Muslims, who are not extremists, yet want to keep the things they hold dear, like their own schools, their freedom of movement, their own certified food. And their own sacred texts, one of which Tawhidi told Andrew Bolt he wants banned….
Tawhidi is particularly unpopular with Sunni Muslims, because it’s their book he wants banned. Tawhidi, you see, is a Shia Muslim, and traditionally an age-old enemy [of the Sunnis]. Tawhidi has also attacked Sunnis on Facebook, calling their sacred texts “monkey teachings” and describing Sunnis as “followers of an alcoholic, rapist caliph”. Tweets in his name have been even more abusive and obscene although Tawhidi claims they are fake. Meanwhile, Australia’s Imams’ Council has told One Path Network that Tawhidi is a Fake Sheikh and not a genuine Imam. But the media doesn’t seem bothered by all this, because as Chloe Patton – an expert on Muslim studies observes – the Sheikh of Shock is just too good to pass up….
Now we’re not saying Tawhidi has no right to his opinions. But the media really should not be giving him a megaphone. Nor should they be presenting him as a voice of reason and the Imam of Peace, when it’s clear that some of his views are divisive, offensive, abusive and just plain crazy.
So there you have it. According to the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s media preacher, Tawhidi has a right to his opinions. But not to have them published or aired in the media. Can You Bear It?
- TWO DOCTORS IN THE HOUSE
How wonderful that Dr Susan Carland has announced that her husband Dr Waleed Aly has become a Doctor of something or other. Dr Carland’s tweet last Monday carried the memorable message “Dr Waleed Aly!”. To which Nancy’s (male) co-owner responds: “You beauty!!!!!!!”
For the truth is that MWD many moons ago predicted that your man Aly would be doctored. In the words of the New Testament – and so it came to pass that the prophesy [of Hendo] might be fulfilled.
Nancy can barely wait to be replenished by the wisdom of the learned doctor’s treatise at Monash University which is titled “Towards a structuration[sic] theory of global terrorism”. It sounds as interesting as your man Aly’s Andrew Olle Lecture of recent (boring) memory.
Meanwhile, MWD is proud to report that Nancy’s Ph.D. dissertation is soon to go to her examiners. Its working title is: “Towards an understanding of a structuration theory of why academics run with titles that are so incomprehensible.” When it is completed, Nancy’s (male and female) co-owners will be delighted to declare Dr Nancy!!!!
- MICHAEL ROWLAND COMMENTS ON SCOTT BURCHILL’S “I’M OFF TO THE TIP” FASHION SENSE
You read it in MWD first. Nancy’s (male) co-owner has frequently referred to the fact that Deakin University academic Scott Burchill appears on the ABC TV News Breakfast’s “Newspapers” segment when he is on his way to the tip. And dresses accordingly. See MWD passim ad nauseam.
You get the impression that Dr Burchill (for a doctor he is) leaves his Ute outside the ABC studio at Southbank in Melbourne, drops inside to do a gig about the news of the day, and then heads off to unload lotsa junk at the tip. Hence his dress code.
On Tuesday, your man Burchill appeared on News Breakfast in a leather jacket, dark top and pants and “I’m-off-to-the-tip” runners. Which led to the following exchange – after the Deakin University senior lecturer’s unmemorable comments on President Donald J. Trump in the Middle East. Yawn. Here we go:
Michael Rowland: Don’t you think he’s [Scott Burchill’s] dressed like a TV detective? He’s got the leather jacket, the dark menacing outfit.
Virginia Trioli: You know which one he reminds me of?
Michael Rowland: Who?
Virginia Trioli: One of my favourites…The shambling shambolic Colombo.
Scott Burchill: Oh no.
Virginia Trioli [Laughter] You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?
Scott Burchill: You know I’ve got a gabardine coat in the car, don’t you, that I switch into as soon as I leave.
Virginia Trioli: Stains all over it.
Michael Rowland: I can smell you from over here – have you got a favourite TV detective?….
Scott Burchill: Yeah Kojack was one of my favourites.
Virginia Trioli: Oh Kojak, yes!
Michael Rowland: The hairline is a bit Kojak-esque.
Virginia Trioli: No, it’s not.
Scott Burchill: Come on.
Virginia Trioli: No, no. You have more hair than Kojack – is what I’m saying.
Scott Burchill: I’m going straight to my defamation lawyers after this.
Virginia Trioli: Good luck with that. Hey, truth is a defence, my friend.
Scott Burchill: Really? Oh dear, now you tell me.
Virginia Trioli: Nice to see you, thanks so much.
Michael Rowland: Think about that on the way to the tip, my friend.
Virginia Trioli: Morning, Gerard.
Yes, Good Afternoon, La Trioli. It was great to watch the discussion on Scott Burchill’s dress sense (for want of a better term) led by Mr Rowland last Tuesday. But why does the News Breakfast team always have to schedule the learned doctor’s appearances on his tip-day?
Why not put his “Newspapers” gigs on some public holidays when the tip is closed in the morning? Like Good Friday or Anzac Day. Preferably the former, since few newspapers are printed on Good Fridays. That would be easier on viewers’ eyes. Unless, of course, Dr Burchill turned up in his bespoke Deakin University pyjamas. Can You Bear It?
STEP FORWARD Q&A’s TONY JONES
There was approving laughter on Q&A last Monday when American theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss (falsely) declared “you’re more likely to be killed by a refrigerator, in the United States, falling on you” than by what is termed Muslim terrorism.
Despite presenter Tony Jones’ constant call for the audience to fact-check comments made by Q&A panellists, he let this one through and followed it up with a howler of his very own. Directing a question to The Sellout author Paul Beatty, Mr Jones said:
Tony Jones: Now, I want to bring in our other panellists. I mean, I suppose, if you’re a young black American – you’re more likely to be killed by a policeman.
What a load of absolute tosh. If you are a young black man in the United States, you are much more likely to be killed by another black American than by a police officer. It seems that Tony Jones is totally unaware of black-on-black murderous violence in, say, South Chicago.
And there was more. Earlier in the program, Mr Jones verballed President Trump by declaring that the President said to former FBI director James Comey: “Can you please go soft on this investigation” concerning alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. At this stage, this is an allegation made against Trump – not a fact. Moreover, Tony Jones said nothing when Lawrence Krauss asserted that President Trump also said to Comey: “Will you be loyal?”
Once again, there is no proof that any such words were spoken by Donald J. Trump to the (former) FBI director. This is a contested conversation – which the Q&A presenter should have known.[Interesting – I note that Tony Jones has yet to produce evidence to support his assertion on Q&A on 18 July 2016 that there was a group of “Croatian Catholic extremists” engaging in terrorist acts in Australia in the 1970s. See MWD Issues 332 and 342. No person of Croatian origin was charged with terrorist offences at the time and the official history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation indicates that ASIO was suspicious that the terrorist attacks that occurred could have been the work of the communist Yugoslav Secret Police – MWD Editor.]
In response to overwhelming reader demand, the hugely popular segment returns this week. And the winners are Graham Richardson and Geoffrey Horgan.
- Richo Nails Jon Faine’s Wilful Ignorance
This is what Richo had to say in The Australian last Wednesday about the proposed Adani mine and ABC Melbourne Mornings presenter Jon Faine:
Re-election for the government is largely reliant upon the Premier’s popularity. As I write this column a Labor victory in Queensland is virtually certain but that would depend on Labor hanging on to all the seats it holds in Far North Queensland. While interviewing Josh Frydenberg on ABC radio on May 15, John Faine had this to say: “… Why are you determined to spend $1 billion helping a coal mine that everybody else is opposed to? Every imaginable group from farmers to greenies, who are united in their opposition have nothing in common, loathe each other, oppose each other, but they’re united in opposing this one.”
This is the best example of southern ignorance about anything that happens north of Rockhampton. It is the reason so many people in the north still crave a separate state for themselves. Support for the Adani mine in the north is massive. In Townsville, rocked by both the end of the mining boom which meant the loss of so many fly-in, fly-out miners and the closing of Queensland Nickel by the financially stricken Clive Palmer, Adani represents hope. Now that is a commodity in short supply up there.
In inner-city seats such as the one occupied by [Queensland deputy premier Jackie] Trad, coal is a dirty word. The fact that Australian coal is the cleanest in the world and would replace the high-sulphur coal now burnt in India is ignored by the Greens and the left. It is one of the reasons that the Greens’ vote has plateaued at 10 per cent for a decade. Up north, they want jobs not gibberish. They want hope not despair. If the Left and Trad rock the boat on Adani, they risk handing government over to an Opposition which will give Adani a much easier run and ensure its success with minimal environmental controls.
Graham Richardson: Five Paws
- Geoffrey Horgan SC on the Opprobrium towards Cardinal Pell and the Media Poisoning of the Public’s Mind
This is the letter, published in The Australian on 24 May 2017, by former senior Victorian Crown prosecutor Geoffrey Horgan SC:
No fair trial for Pell
I write of concerns expressed by organisations and individuals as to whether Cardinal Pell, should he be charged, could receive a fair trial in Victoria (“Pell publicity an abuse of process, warns Pearson”, 20/5).
I was a crown prosecutor in Victoria for nearly 20 years until my retirement a few years ago. I prosecuted many high profile cases.
Never have I seen such vituperation and opprobrium directed against anyone as I have seen in the press directed against Cardinal Pell over many months, if not years. While criminal lawyers would always say that no person can be untrialable, it seems to me that there is no chance Cardinal Pell could ever receive a fair trial, so poisoned has the public’s mind been.
That result is tragic both for the Cardinal and his accusers.
Geoffrey Horgan, Kew East, Vic
Geoffrey Horgan SC: Five Paws.
IN WHICH DAVID SMITH DEPICTS THE REPUBLICANS AS LAZY AND IGNORANT ON ISRAEL
Along with everyone else at the United States Studies Centre, Dr David Smith (for a doctor he is) predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 US presidential election. And, along with everyone else at the taxpayer subsidised US[ELESS] Studies Centre, your man Smith is opposed to President Trump. That’s balance – University of Sydney style.
In spite of the fact that the USSC “expert” was so wrong about contemporary America, he’s got a gig on Richard Glover’s Drive program on ABC Sydney (i.e. 702). It’s called “Trump Tuesday”. Here’s what the expert had to say last Tuesday:
Richard Glover: It’s not easy, Middle East peace.
David Smith: It’s not easy. Now Trump has always been very interesting on this. Because in the primaries – unlike every other Republican who took the official, sort of Likud line that Palestinians can’t be negotiated with – Trump always said: “Oh no, they can be; I can do this deal; this is the biggest deal in the world and I can do it.”
Now most commentators, outside the US Studies Centre, accept that the Republican Party contains some very smart men and women. But David (“I was hopelessly wrong on Trump”) Smith reckons that all Republicans except for one have taken the “Likud line” promoted by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In other words, no one in the Republican party – apart from Donald J Trump – has the ability to form their own views on the Middle East. Unlike geniuses like Dr Smith Down Under.
This is an example of the absolute tosh taught at the taxpayer subsidised US[ELESS] Studies Centre.
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 Gerard Henderson 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 avid 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).
- GERARD HENDERSON AND RAFAEL EPSTEIN re THE ABC & QUADRANT MAGAZINE
Gerard Henderson rarely gets invited on the ABC Sydney or ABC Melbourne or ABC Radio National – which has the advantage of not having to decline invitations. He reckons that he makes one such appearance on each outlet each year. So it came as some surprise when ABC Melbourne’s Drive presenter Rafael Epstein invited Hendo onto his program last Wednesday.
News had broken that Quadrant Online (which is separate from Quadrant magazine) editor Roger Franklin had made a foolish, insensitive and repugnant comment about the Manchester terrorist attack. Following last Monday’s Q&A program – where neither the presenter nor any of the panellists regarded Islamist terrorism as a threat to Western societies – and in the immediate aftermath of the Manchester homicide/terrorist attack on Tuesday morning (Australian Eastern Time) – Roger Franklin posted an article on Quadrant Online which initially contained the following paragraph:
Life isn’t fair and death less so. Had there been a shred of justice, that blast would have detonated in an Ultimo TV studio. Unlike those young girls in Manchester, their lives snuffed out before they could begin, none of the panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.
Now Gerard Henderson has never had any formal contact with Quadrant. And, as mentioned above, he rarely appears on ABC Melbourne (i.e. 774). So he was surprised to receive an invitation to go on the Drive program in his old home town – perhaps in the expectation that he would defend the indefensible. In any event, the 774 Drive program has a habit of accepting anonymous calls from Sandalista Land where conservatives are bagged without being given a right-of-reply. So it is hardly an attractive offer – after all these years.
Hendo’s father used to say that he did not come down in the last shower – while conceding that he might have come down in the one before that. Remembering his old man’s dictum, Hendo – confident that he had not come down in the last shower – declined the (kind) invitation, as the saying goes. Now read on:
Rafael Epstein’s Voice Message to Gerard Henderson – 24 May 2017
G’day Gerard, it’s Rafael Epstein at the ABC in Melbourne.
Just wondering if you want to join us to talk – um to talk about the Quadrant article. Don’t know if you feel you’re willing to. I have spoken to Roger Franklin – he didn’t want to come on air though and we’ve tried Keith Windschuttle.
I’m just wondering as a ABC observer and a Quadrant observer you’d care to share your thoughts.
Gerard Henderson to Rafael Epstein – 24 May 2017, by text
My response to your phone message is as follows:
- Naturally I condemn Roger Franklin’s paragraph in Quadrant Onlineon Tuesday.
- I have no formal connection with either Quadrant or the ABC.
- It is true that I am an “observer” of both the ABC and Quadrant. However, I’m not asked on the ABC to “share my thoughts” about the public broadcaster. It follows that I do not believe that I should “share my thoughts” about Quadrant on the ABC. I will probably cover this matter in my Media Watch Dognext Friday.
- I note, in passing, that I’ve probably been invited to appear on ABC Melbourne only a couple of times in the last decade.
Rafael Epstein to Gerard Henderson – 25 May 2017
I’d like to compare the anger at Roger’s piece with the anger about Yassmin Abdel Magied’s ANZAC Day Facebook post. Interested?
Gerard Henderson to Rafael Epstein – 25 May 2017
If I was even an occasional commentator on 774, I would be willing to oblige. But I don’t see why I should give up valuable time today to state my views re this issue on the public broadcaster rather than publish them in my Media Watch Dog Blog or in my Weekend Australian column.
Hope the program goes well.
Rafael Epstein to Gerard Henderson – 25 May 2017
No worries Gerard. Let me know when you’re next in town
Until next time.
Until next time.