ISSUE – NO. 409

8 June 2018



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.

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  • Stop Press:  Scott Stephens’ Anders Breivik Blunder & Van Badham Pines for Gough Whitlam

  • Media Fool of the Week: Mike Carlton Scores

  • Can You Bear It? Mike Carlton (Again); Jonathan Green; David Williamson & Erik Jensen

  • Sandalista Snobbery Space: Sophie Black Bags Kim Kardashian

  • National Redress Scheme: The Sunday Age’s Many Howlers

  • Jackie & the Whistleblower: An Early Glance at the Sky News (Cameron) Extra Run-Sheet

  • ABC Update: Anti-Catholic Sectarianism and the Public Broadcaster – Including Jacqui Lambie, Viv Waller & Louise Milligan

  • History Corner: Jon Faine Shoots Himself in the Foot on the First World War

  • Documentation: The ABC Bags Former Chairman Maurice Newman but Makes Many False Claims in the Process


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Here is what Scott Stephens, editor of the taxpayer funded ABC’s Religion & Ethics website, chose to print in his online publication yesterday.  It was an article written by A. Dirk Moses, Professor of Modern History at the University of Sydney, titled “Western Civilisation and Conservative Hysteria”.

In what was essentially a rant against the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation in general (whose proposal to support a degree at the Australian National University has been rejected) and conservative Catholics like Greg Sheridan in particular – the learned taxpayer funded professor had this to say:

How to account for the hysterical discussion? Why would an otherwise level-headed commentator like Greg Sheridan commence his column in The Australian with the extraordinary statement that the ANU’s decision “is a pivotal moment in modern Australian history”? Do members of the right-wing commentariat think that Western countries are succumbing to a poisonous cocktail of multiculturalism, Muslim immigration, political correctness and cultural Marxism that dilutes the white population and brainwashes young people at school and university? It seems that, much like Anders Breivik and Steve Bannon, they do. We are on the precipice of disaster, they seem to believe.

Now, Anders Breivik is a convicted mass murderer with extreme right-wing views.  Mr Sheridan has never been convicted of a crime and does not hold extreme right-wing views. Yet not only did Scott Stephens accept Professor Moses’ defamatory rant for publication – he even rewarded it with the “Editor’s Choice” gong.

Professor Moses’ rant now contains the following note: “Note: This article has been edited to remove a reference to Anders Breivik.”  That’s all.  It does not say why the Breivik name was removed – or by whom.  There is no apology for equating the views of Greg Sheridan with those of a thug and committed mass murderer.

Needless to say, Dirk Moses received support from leftist ranter Mike Carlton and the ABC’s Matt Bevan who is part of the Conservative Free Zone that is Radio National Breakfast.


What a stunning performance by The Guardian Australia’s Van Badham on The Drum last night as she looked back in happiness on Australia in the three decades between the mid-1940s and the mid-1970s and had this to say:

Van Badham:  In fact, the golden era of the Australian economy – which was between 1944 and 1975 – was based on the Curtin white paper or on full employment, which backed government initiatives to maintain full employment. That is when we generated the wealth we live in today. Saying “if wages go up we won’t be able to employ people” is nonsense.

What a load of absolute tosh.  Sure Australia was a relatively prosperous nation from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s.  But Australia was a different country half a century ago.  And the idea that Australia’s economic “golden era” ended when Gough Whitlam ceased being prime minister in late 1975 – well, this clearly shows that Comrade Badham has no idea about the economic disaster that was the Whitlam government.

Both Bob Hawke and Paul Keating are on record as saying that Labor learnt from the Whitlam government’s mistakes and that Whitlam’s economic failure drove them to bring about economic reform when Labor returned to government in the early 1980s.  As to the statement that if wages go up Australia will not be able to employ people – what serious person has ever said this?  Comrade Badham just made this up.

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It was 6.41 am last Wednesday – Hangover time up Avalon Beach way – when Mike Carlton learnt about the death by suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade inside her Park Avenue apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

That morning ABC News Online led with the story under the headline: “Kate Spade, fashion designer, found dead in her New York apartment at 55”.  It reported that the New York Police Department was investigating the death as an “apparent suicide”.  This was the occasion for the Sage of Avalon Beach to fire up on Twitter – as the following tweets document:

Mike Carlton‏ @MikeCarlton01

This is the lead story, the top headline on the @abcnews app this morning. Really. Am I missing something here ?

Juanita Phillips‏  @Juanita_Phillip

Replying to @MikeCarlton01 @abcnews

I think so. If it was a sportsman or rock musician you wouldn’t question it as a lead. The fact it is a famous woman (even though you and many men may not be aware of her) is solid grounds for it to lead.

Mike Carlton‏ @MikeCarlton01

Famous for making handbags ? There’ll be global mourning, from the Urals to Tierra de Fuego…

Juanita Phillips‏ @Juanita_Phillip

Remember Versace? Huge story. And how many people care about overpriced designer clothes?

Mike Carlton‏ @MikeCarlton01

I give up, he said with a heavy sigh. I have never understood the atavistic, even mystical connection between women and handbags.

ABC newsreader Juanita Phillips is correct. In a news sense, fashion is as important as sport or the arts. In any event, who cares that Mike Carlton has no interest in handbags?

And then there is the matter of suicide.  It soon became evident that Kate Spade – who was suffering from depression and anxiety – hanged herself sometime after apparently learning that her husband of many years wanted a divorce.  She left behind a 13 year old daughter.

A tragic occurrence on any analysis. Except up Avalon Beach way where Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton thought it was a you-beaut time to follow-up a woman’s death by telling the world about his attitude to handbags.

Mike Carlton: Media Fool of the Week.

Can You Bear It?


While on the topic of Mike Carlton, lotsa thanks to Tim Blair for the reminder that he posted on his blog on 26 May 2018 about the changing story of Mike Carlton and the grapes of thirst.

Here’s what your man Carlton tweeted to Chris Kenny at 9.20 pm on 2 May 2018:

Mike Carlton‏ @MikeCarlton01

Replying to @chriskkenny

So obsessed are you with the ABC, sunshine, that it may have escaped your notice: I don’t drink. I’ve kept that to words of one syllable so as not to confuse your addled brain. But feel free to keep repeating the Gerard Henderson libel if it makes you happy.

And here’s what your man Carlton tweeted at 12.22 am on 16 March 2018:

Mike Carlton @MikeCarlton01 @MikeCarlton01

Autumn on Pittwater. Cooking bucatini all’ amatriciana, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks on Spotify, a glass of Pinot Noir. All I need now is a wife, who is working late – again – to make sure you get @4corners on Monday.

So Mike Carlton doesn’t drink alcohol – except when he does.  Can You Bear It?


What a touching story by the sassy Caroline Overington [I understand she is younger than Madonna – MWD Editor] in The Australian on Wednesday. Ms Overington drew attention to the trauma at the Meanjin office at Melbourne University when the journal’s editor, MWD fave Jonathan (“Proudly the ABC’s sneerer-in-chief”) Green, discovered that he had been – shock/horror – culturally insensitive.

You see, your man Green (a Melbourne inner-city luvvie who presents Blueprint for Living on ABC Radio National each Sunday) decided to jump on board the fashionable “Me Too” cart. He did so by placing “#too” over the last five words of Meanjin so that it became #MeToo with the “anjin” deleted.  This was the illustration for the cover story by Clementine (“Kill all men”) Ford.

The problem was that, as culturally sensitive avid MWD readers [Are there any others? MWD Editor] will be aware, Meanjin is the title of the leftist journal which was established in Brisbane in 1940 by leftist scribbler Clem Christensen.  But “Meanjin” is also the Aboriginal name for Brisbane – and, consequently, should not have been messed with.

Needless to say, it was not long before someone took OFFENCE.  Indigenous writer Amy McQuire tweeted: “Given the destruction of land, cultures and language is fundamentally tied to violence against Aboriginal women…it feels weird to see Meanjin crossed out in this way.”

What to do?  Like a good Carlton luvvie, your man Green went into Mea Culpa mode – declaring: “I regret it.  It’s a reminder of my privilege to not see what now seems so obvious. It’s also a reminder that the human stocks of this magazine could be enhanced by a broader range of backgrounds and mindsets in the editorial process.” [Could it be that your man Green intends to step down – I hope not. – MWD Editor.]

Perhaps Jackie’s (male) co-owner lacks a certain sensibility.  However, he does not see a causal connection between the tragedy that is male violence against Aboriginal women and the cover of Meanjin magazine.  But there you go.

It was not long before there was a luvvie pile-on.  Ms Ford and Anna Spargo-Ryan (whose name is also on the cover of the current issue of the journal) declared how ashamed they were about their own insensitivity in not immediately understanding the problem. They now realised that Meanjin’s cover is “part of the ongoing trauma of whiteness in the country and the multiple different forms that colonisation continues to take”.

Both decided not to accept payment for their articles – and, instead, to donate their fee “to a service that benefits Aboriginal women”.  However, the bloke Harry Saddler (who has an article in the current edition of Meanjin) declared that he would have done the same – except that he has dental surgery looming and needs “the money”.

This is understandable – but regrettable.  How to get the equivalent of Mr Saddler’s Meanjin tithe paid to the good cause?  MWD recommends that Jonathan Green should be put in the stocks at Melbourne University and all Meanjin readers compelled to pay $1 each to throw lentil-filled sandals at him.  That should raise a couple of hundred bucks – and relieve (white) guilt along the way. Can You Bear It?


While on the issue of cultural sensitivity and all that, MWD notes the report in The Australian on Tuesday that the Beijing production of David Williamson’s play The Removalist has been shut down by Chinese authorities after just one performance at the Beijing Foreign Studies University.  It seems that the powers-that-be in China were concerned that the depiction of police violence in The Removalist (which premiered in Melbourne in 1971) might make some of the locals reflect on China’s very own.

MWD is not into censorship.  But Hendo would have appreciated it if someone Down Under had spiked The Removalist  before he had to sit through all that staged violence all those years ago.  Now Mr Williamson and friends are presenting Australia as a cesspit of police violence to the Chinese. Really.  Can You Bear It?


There was enormous interest in last week’s MWD which featured an analysis of the literary sludge that is Erik Jensen’s pretentious – and 10,000 word long – essay in the June 2018 issue of The Monthly.  His profile of Melbourne literary luvvie Helen Garner, titled “Hotel Golf”, contained the following break-out:

“This is the first time I’ve had two martinis in 16 years”, Helen says one afternoon. “But they’re quite small. And I feel like a drink”.

Well now. How profound can you get? Moreover, the drink – or, rather, drinks –  took place in the up-market Everleigh in luvvieville Fitzroy. Of course.

A (literary) avid reader in Melbourne sent Hendo the following critique of your man Jensen’s “Hotel Golf” piece :

I wouldn’t mind if his profile on Garner were a good piece, but I think it’s one of the most tortured, nausea-inducing pieces of writing I’ve ever read. It’s totally unnatural. You can see what he’s trying to do in matching the hard boiled style with the attempted candour of the piece, but the whole thing falls short. It is uncomfortable and unpleasant to read.

Quite so.  But Mr Jensen reckons that “Hotel Golf” is equal to the best writing he has ever done – as his tweet demonstrates:

Erik Jensen @ErikOJensen Jun 4

The long essay I wrote on Helen Garner is out from behind @THEMONTHLY paywall. It’s one of the best things I’ve written – Helen on anger, therapy and hot policemen. Read it here:

In another tweet, the editor-in-chief of The Saturday Paper declared that “his favourite passage” from his very own essay contained the following paragraphs:

If she [Helen Garner] wasn’t a writer, she says she would be a policewoman. She reads The New York Review of Books with a red pen in her hand and underlines the misplaced modifiers.

At a set of traffic lights she stops next to a police car and admires the officer’s forearm as it rests out the window. It is thick, with ginger hairs down its length. The lights change and she realises she is staring. “I thought, ‘Jeez. Get a hold of yourself, Hel.’”

She goes to a health spa where she sometimes rents a room to finish books. It is closing because it is not fancy. There are three men there, fasting. They have their bloods taken every day and cannot wander far in case they collapse. Helen says the food is very good….

Gee wizz.  Ms Garner is obsessed with misplaced modifiers in The New York Review of Books. [Misplaced what? – MWD Editor]. And Erik Jensen proudly asserts that this is one of the best things he has ever written.  As MWD opined last week, your man Jensen lacks a certain self-awareness. Can You Bear It?


Evelyn Waugh’s Snobbery Scoop

As avid readers will recall, in MWD Issue 57 Matt Canavan drew attention to that part of Evelyn Waugh’s novel Scoop in which the snobbery of the leftie journalist Pappenhacker was revealed. Here is the relevant section:

“See that man there, that’s Pappenhacker.”

William looked, and saw.


“The cleverest man in Fleet Street.”

William looked again. Pappenhacker was young and swarthy, with great horn goggles and a receding, stubbly chin. He was having an altercation with some waiters.


“He’s going to Ishmaelia for the Daily Twopence”

“He seems to be in a very bad temper.”

“Not really. He’s always like that to waiters. You see he’s a communist. Most of the staff at the Twopence are – they’re University men, you see. Pappenhacker says that every time you are polite to a proletarian you are helping bolster up the capitalist system. He’s very clever of course, but he gets rather unpopular.”

“He looks as if he were going to hit them.”

“Yes, he does sometimes. Quite a lot of restaurants won’t have him in.”

Sandalista Snobbery Space is devoted to recording the snobbish views of the Pappenhackers of our day – including the snobbery of the sandal-wearing intelligentsia.


As the saying goes – this is going to hurt MWD more than it hurts Sophie Black.  You see, Ms Black is one of MWD faves – as is many a graduate of Star of the Sea, Gardenvale in Melbourne.  Like Germaine Greer and Rachel Griffiths – both of whom have made appearances in MWD over the past decade.

Sophie Black is now head of publishing at the taxpayer funded Wheeler Centre in Hendo’s old town of Melbourne.  Previously she was an editor-in-chief of the Crikey newsletter.

Each Friday, panellists on ABC TV’s The Drum are invited by presenter Dr Julia (“Why won’t conservatives like Janet Albrechtsen come on my show”?) Baird to reflect on the week. Last Friday, Sophie Black looked back on seven days and seven nights and could not get over the fact that President Trump met Kim Kardashian at the Oval Office in the White House last week.

Avid MWD readers are used to reading about leftist sandal-wearers whining about the fact that Donald J Trump was elected president of the United States. However, Ms Black objected on The Drum that Ms Kardashian had been invited to the White House – presumably on the grounds that she is intellectual trailer-trash (to use an American idiom). Let’s go to the transcript:

Julia Baird: Sophie just doesn’t need an introduction to talk about Kim Kardashian – or any excuse whatsoever.

Sophie Black: Wow, what a segue. [laughing]

Julia Baird: Yeah, sorry about that.

Sophie Black: Well, I don’t think I was alone when I read the headline “Kim Kardashian meets with the President at the White House to discuss prison reform” and thought it was an Onion headline.

Then I saw a photo of both of them in the Oval Office. I checked that it wasn’t photoshopped, then realised it was real – and I lamented the state of humanity. Now, a lot of people did that. But then there was another subset of undeniably younger people who rushed to Kim’s defence and seemed to take her very seriously. And this baffles me. I feel like a nanna who doesn’t understand things and wants to box the ears of the younger generation. I want to know why I should take Kim Kardashian seriously. Please somebody tell me. Please @ me. This is a public appeal.

Julia Baird: Is it she can speak to the President, they speak the same language – they’ve both done reality, are into celebrity? Maybe he would listen to someone like her?

Sophie Black: Maybe. And look, you know, she’s be to commended for taking up the issue of one woman who’s been in jail for decades now. And she’s fighting the good fight for her. But I can’t help but be cynical about her motives and be cynical – and how is this nothing more than, or anything more than, the latest plot point in Kim Kardashian’s character development?

So there you have it. Kim Kardashian visits Donald Trump at the Oval Office in Washington DC – and, in Melbourne, Sophie Black laments the state of humanity.  So much so that Ms Black wants to box the ears of the younger generation who take Kim K. seriously.

The fact is that the American presidents meet prominent Americans. For example, President John F. Kennedy met Judy Garland inside – and Marilyn Monroe outside – the White House.  President Richard Nixon entertained Elvis Presley in the Oval Office as did President Gerald Ford with respect to George Harrison.  All without any long term damage to HUMANITY.

In any event, Kim Kardashian was on a serious errand – to secure the release of African American Alice Marie Johnson who has spent over 20 years in prison following drug trafficking convictions and was not eligible for release on parole.

Good causes aside, as far as Hendo is concerned – it’s all a matter of the famous meeting the famous.  In this instance, President Trump has 52.5 million Twitter followers while Kim Kardashian has over 60 million. Meanwhile a whole 13,325 representatives of humanity follow the Wheeler Centre’s publishing head Sophie Black on Twitter.


Last week MWD drew attention to an error by AM presenter Sabra Lane when introducing a report on 31 May 2018 concerning the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Ms Lane asserted that “more than 60 per cent of sex abuse survivors who gave evidence to the Royal Commission reported that abuse happened in Catholic run institutions”.

This statement is totally false. It appears that Sabra Lane may have been reading from ABC talking-points since exactly the same error was made by Jane Norman (ABC Online, 30 May 2018), Erin Cooper (ABC Online, 31 May 2018), Mornings with Leon Compton (ABC Radio Hobart, 31 May 2018) and Patricia Karvelas (ABC Radio National Drive, 30 May 2018).  No doubt there were other such instances.

Robert Fitzgerald, a member of the Royal Commission who is a critic of the Catholic Church with respect to its response to child sexual abuse, provided the relevant statistics at the Catholic Social Services Victoria Conference on 23 February 2018 in Melbourne.  Mr Fitzgerald said that “nearly 62 per cent of all people who notified the Royal Commission of abuse in a religious setting were abused in a Catholic institution.  [Emphasis added].

Now this is a shocking figure, if it is meaningful. But the claim has meaning only if it is comparable with non-Catholic institutions. The fact is, in the 20th century, Catholics were about 25 per cent of the Australian population. However, since the Catholic Church ran its own systemic education system, Catholics must have accounted for about 80 per cent of children educated in a religious setting in Australia. Also, Catholics had a much higher percentage of orphanages and hospitals than other institutions that operated in a religious setting.

In other words, the comment by Sabra Lane and her ABC colleagues – which has not been corrected – is wrong.  It is not true to state that more than 60 per cent of sex abuse survivors who gave evidence to the Royal Commission reported abuse that happened in a Catholic institution – since this figure takes no account of those who reported abuse in government and secular institutions.

The danger of uncorrected howlers was evident The Sunday Age’s editorial last weekend headed “Child abuse redress scheme falls short”. It was replete with errors.

Error 1 – Paragraph 3

The Sunday Age falsely asserted that of the estimated 60,000 people who will make a claim under the national redress scheme, “more than 60 per cent were abused in Catholic institutions”.  See above.

Error 2 – Paragraph 3

The Sunday Age claimed that survivors “have but 90 days to accept an institution’s offer” under the National Redress Scheme set up by the Commonwealth and State Government. In fact, an applicant has at least six months to accept an offer and this can be extended.

Error 3 – Paragraph 4

The Sunday Age agrees with the view that it is deeply troubling that certain people with criminal convictions will not be eligible for redress. In fact, under the bill, there is no such automatic exclusion.

Unsupported Assertion – Paragraph 5

The Sunday Age editorialised that “the Catholic Church…has been shown to have spent far more money protecting employees who have raped and otherwise sexually abused children, rather than on protecting and adequately compensating survivors”.

The Sunday Age provided no evidence for this unsubstantiated allegation.  Nor did it address the record of other religious institutions along with government and secular institutions in this instance.  It was yet another example of anti-Catholic sectarianism in a Fairfax Media newspaper.

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It remains to be seen whether the ABC or its Fairfax Media mate will ever correct their howlers in this instance.  Don’t bet on it.



Lotsa thanks to the whistleblower who has provided Jackie’s (male) co-owner with the schedule for Sky News next Tuesday (12 June) night on the brand new Foxtel channel titled “Sky News with Extra Cameron”.  It reflects the growing influence of Outsiders and its co-presenter Ross (“I’m a Marcus Aurelius/Vladimir Putin/Xi Jinping fan boy”) Cameron.

6 pm Credlin: With a special appearance by Ross Cameron.  A titan intellectual cage fight as Ms Credlin tells Mr Cameron what he should be thinking while Mr Cameron tells Ms Credlin what she should be thinking.

7 pm The Bolt Report – presented by Ben Fordham: Surprise guest Ross Cameron will explain to viewers (i) why Russia’s opponents shot down MH17 over Ukraine with a missile belonging to the Russian Army, (ii) why the Skripals in Salisbury poisoned themselves in order to frame Vladimir Putin, (iii) why political freedom is most prevalent in China, per courtesy of the Chinese Communist Party and (iv) why Marcus Aurelius (121AD – 180AD) really matters.

8 pm Jones & Co:  The “co” on this week’s Jones & Co is Marcus Aurelius – who appears on pre-record from the Other Side, per courtesy of American psychic John Edward.  Hear Mr Aurelius describe Ross Cameron as “the greatest mind since Marcus Aurelius”.

9 pm Paul Murray Live: Paul Murray fires-up with a terrific panel comprising Ross Cameron, Ross Cameron’s mum and Marcus Aurelius (per courtesy of John Edward).

10 pm Paul Murray Overtime:  This program will be devoted to a discussion of socialism and Marxism.  Starring Bronwyn Bishop (who condemns all socialists and Marxists) and Ross Cameron (who condemns all socialists and Marxists – except for your man Putin and your man Xi).

11 pm Heads Up:  Presenter Janine Perrett’s panel (comprising Ross Cameron and Ross Cameron’s mum) gives a heads up to tomorrow’s newspapers with focus on any reference to Marcus  Aurelius in print or online.

12 pm Outsiders: Starring Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean. A repeat of last Sunday’s 9 am Outsiders program.

1 am Outsiders:  Starring Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean. A repeat of last Sunday’s 10 am Outsiders program.  Including a discussion between Mr Dean and witty newsreader Jaynie Seal about books neither they nor Mr Cameron have read.

2 am Outsiders: Starring Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean.  A repeat of last Monday’s 8 pm Outsiders program.

3 am Outsiders: Starring Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean. A repeat of last Thursday’s 8 pm Outsiders program.

4 am Sleep-time: In which Outsiders viewers frequently experience a continuing nightmare whereby eternal damnation in Hell involves Satan (assisted by Marcus Aurelius) condemning all inhabitants to watch endless repeats of Ross Cameron’s rants on Outsiders.



On Sunday 27 May, former senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie put in a disastrous profile performance on Channel 7’s Sunday Life program.  Rating numbers went through the floor as Ms Lambie described her search for “Mr Right” – which included a focus on sex toys and the like. Groan.

After such a stunning performance – was it any surprise that Ms Lambie’s next television appearance was on the increasingly facile Q&A program? And so it came to pass that the former senator appeared on Q&A last Monday. The populist Lambie was a bit of a fave with the majority leftist (baying) audience.

She received greatest support when bagging the Catholic Church.  Let’s go to the transcript when discussion turned on the National Redress Scheme following the report of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse:

Jacqui Lambie:  Do you mind if I say something….As for the institutions, I can tell you what, it’s taken them long enough to come up and at least say – First of all, their apology was way too long. They just sat there as if nothing was happening. And then they’re still out there crying because they’ve to sell some of their churches up or whatever. Well, you know what? Suck it up. It was your fault these people are living in the nightmares they’re living. So if it means you have to sell some of that property off, then you have to, because you have to pay for your sins. Somebody please tell the Catholic Church that.


Q&A proclaims that it is into fact-checking.  However, presenter Tony Jones said nothing in response to Jackie Lambie’s fact-free rant.

Ms Lambie’s focus on the Catholic Church was absolute tosh.  First, the Catholic Church was the first institution in Australia (state, secular or religious) to set up a redress scheme for victims of child sexual assault.  It did so in Melbourne in 1996 and in the rest of Australia the following year.  These redress schemes included the issuing of apologies.

Second, it is true that in Tasmania – Jackie Lambie’s home state – the Anglican Church has stated that it will have to sell some churches to pay financial compensation to victims of child sexual abuse.  However, the Catholic Church in Tasmania has said that it will not have to sell churches to fund compensation. Ms Lambie just made this up.

Yet Tony Jones did nothing to correct Jacqui Lambie’s anti-Catholic sectarian error fuelled rant.  And the audience rewarded her ignorance and prejudice with resounding applause. That’s Q&A.


While on the topic of the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s anti-Catholic sectarianism, consider the recent statement from lawyer Viv Waller – who appears on the ABC regularly to discuss matters relating to historic child sexual abuse, especially in the Catholic Church.

On Monday, Louise Milligan sent out the following tweet concerning Viv Waller’s view on the National Redress Scheme which currently is supported by all Australian governments – except Western Australia.

Louise Milligan‏ @Milliganreports


‘I’ve come to learn over 22 yrs of practice that no level of cynicism in relation to Catholic Church is inappropriate..Ppl need to know value of rights they’re signing away..We’re telling ppl they should see redress as option of last resort.’ Lawyer Viv Waller on #Redress scheme.

Ms Waller’s statement re the Catholic Church’s (alleged) overwhelming cynicism was tweeted by ABC Four Corners reporter Louise Milligan. It seems that both Ms Waller and Ms Milligan forgot that the National Redress Scheme has been set up by the Commonwealth, Territory and State governments.  It is not a creation of the Catholic Church, although the Catholic Church – along with some other religious institutions – has agreed to be part of the National Redress Scheme.

If victims and/or complainants do not want to join the National Redress Scheme and wish to take action in the civil jurisdiction – they can do so whether or not they spent time in a Catholic institution.  Viv Waller and Louise Milligan should know this.



Thanks to the Melbournian who drew MWD’s attention to an interview between ABC Radio 774 presenter Jon Faine and Sydney based lawyer-historian Jeff Kildea.  It took place on Mornings with Jon Faine on 17 May 2018.

As avid readers are aware, Jon Faine excels in presenting himself as an interviewer who knows more about any topic than his guests and listeners combined.  And so it came to pass when your man Faine interviewed Dr Kildea about his 2018 Knox Public Lecture which was titled “What Price Loyalty? Australian Catholics in the First World War”.

The presenter introduced the segment for discussion by stating that the topic had been “much misunderstood and indeed in some quarters misdescribed” at the time of the First World War (1914-1918). Jon Faine then went on to state a number of his own misunderstandings and misdescriptions about Australian Catholics during 1914-1918.  Particularly with respect to Archbishop Daniel Mannix, who arrived in Melbourne in 1913 and became the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne in 1917.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Strike 1 : In Which Jon Faine Confuses Dr Mannix’s Position on Conscription During  The First World War with His Attitude to The War Itself

Jon Faine: One hundred years ago Archbishop Mannix was fighting against conscription and telling loyal Irish heritage Catholic Australians not to fight in World War One.

Jeff Kildea: Well that’s not quite right. He [Dr Mannix] was against conscription but he wasn’t against voluntary enlistment. So he wasn’t telling them not to fight – he was against the compulsion, forcing people to fight.

Strike 2: In Which Jon Faine Misunderstands Dr Mannix’s Position on the First World War in 1914

Jon Faine: He – at the start – my understanding is that at the start of the war he [Dr Mannix] wasn’t that enthusiastic about it.

Jeff Kildea: No that’s not right either, Jon. At the start of the war he [Dr Mannix] supported the Australian commitment to that war and hoped that as a result that the forces of the British Empire would be successful.

Strike 3: In Which Jon Faine Underestimates Support By the Irish for the Allied Cause in 1914-1918

Jon Faine: There were Irish Catholics fighting against the Crown in Ireland – and Irish Catholics [in Australia] being asked to fight for the very same Crown their brothers their fathers their families were involved in the opposite dispute on the other side of the world.

Jeff Kildea: And again, I’d have to beg to differ. 200,000 Irishmen fought for the British Army in the First World War. Most of those being Irish Catholics from the South. And in Australia there were thousands of Irish Catholics who enlisted. In fact, Irish Catholics enlisted in proportion to their numbers in the population.

So there you have it.  The all-wise Jon Faine’s propositions to Jeff Kildea about Catholics in Australia and Ireland in 1914-1918 had to be corrected three times.  Since Mr Faine does not embrace those who disagree with him [Could you be referring to your good self? – MWD Editor] don’t bet good money on Jeff Kildea being invited back on the ABC 774 Mornings with Jon Faine program in Melbourne any time soon.


Maurice Newman, who was ABC chairman from 2007 to 2012, wrote a column for The Australian on 31 May 2018 titled “Climate Propaganda Parades As Science On Your Leftist ABC”. It commenced with a return to the past when Mr Newman was ABC chairman in 2005:

In 2005, then federal treasurer Peter Costello and his media ­adviser had a private “off the ­record” dinner with three members of the parliamentary press gallery, including Michael Brissenden of ABC TV’s 7.30 Report. It was agreed the treasurer could speak openly and without attribution. In the lead-up to the ­November 2007 federal election and in the context of a predicted tight poll, Brissenden contradicted Costello’s understanding in what appeared to be a partisan act.

Brissenden did himself no favours when, to the cameras, he implied that he had notes of the dinner. In fact, according to media reports at the time, what he bran­dished were collective, wrongly dated notes, initiated by another journalist. Shortly after, Brissenden conceded he had brandished a note that was drafted by Paul Daley.

ABC management never properly investigated the matter but, post-election, relocated Brissenden to the Washington bureau, proving once again that, at the ABC, no one gets demoted for pushing leftist political and cultural causes.

Maurice Newman’s account of the events of 2005 was accurate.  The incident was documented by Gerard Henderson in his article in Issue 34 of The Sydney Institute Quarterly titled “Dining Out With The ABC – A Warning” – see here. The reference was to a dinner in 2005 attended by (then) treasurer Peter Costello, his staff member David Alexander and three journalists – Michael Brissenden, Paul Daley and Tony Wright.

As is its wont, the taxpayer funded public broadcaster went into denial and posted a response to Maurice Newman’s article on its website on 31 May 2018.  It commenced as follows:

The Australian has today published an opinion column by former ABC Chairman (2007-2012) Maurice Newman, headlined “Climate propaganda parades as science on your leftist ABC”, in which he reaches his familiar conclusion that “justification for public broadcasting (is ceasing) to apply”.

Unfortunately, on his way there Mr Newman makes a litany of incorrect and misleading claims concerning the ABC, journalist Michael Brissenden, Four Corners and the 5 March Four Corners report “Weather Alert”. The ABC would like to correct the record. We note that all of this information was provided to The Australian prior to publication….

٠ The anonymous ABC statement then made the following claim about Maurice Newman’s inaugural paragraph:

It was not agreed that the Costello dinner was off-the-record. In fact, each side had different understandings of the basis on which the dinner was held, and the journalists involved originally thought it was for reporting “on background”. They ultimately agreed at the time to keep it off the record. The first breach in that – where one of the reporters indicated that Mr Costello had revealed he was preparing for a leadership challenge – came not from Michael Brissenden but from one of the other journalists present, published in The Bulletin. Mr Costello went public to deny it and claim The Bulletin’s report was untrue. In those circumstances, Mr Brissenden felt it was ethically justifiable to reveal he had also been at the dinner and heard Mr Costello make the comments.

This statement is false. At the very least there was an agreement that the dinner was “on background” – which clearly meant that it was not to be reported. Peter Costello and his staffer David Alexander have always maintained that the dinner was “off-the-record”. In either case, the dinner discussion was not to be attributed to Peter Costello. However, Paul Daley and later on Michael Brissenden and Tony Wright broke the agreement.

Contrary to the ABC’s assertion, in his Australian article Maurice Newman did not say that Michael Brissenden made the “first breach” on the on-background agreement.  Only that he did attribute comments to Peter Costello which he had promised not to do – which is true.

٠ The anonymous ABC statement made the following claim about Maurice Newman’s second paragraph:

These were the notes that all the journalists present had agreed were an accurate record of the dinner.

This statement is not accurate.   This is what Michael Brissenden said on the 7.30 Report on 14 August 2007:

We all still have notes of that discussion. Here’s mine.

The clear implication of Mr Brissenden’s assertion was that he had his own notes of the discussion.  He just made this up.  The three journalists compiled a record of the dinner sometime after the event – which they dated as Saturday 5 March 2005. In fact, the dinner took place on Thursday 2 June 2005.  As Barrie Cassidy said later: “There is a big difference between March and June in Canberra….no matter how many glasses of wine you have.”

However the notes of the occasion might be described – they were not “an accurate record of the dinner” since they did not even contain the correct date. The anonymous ABC staffer just made this up. Also, Peter Costello was later to claim that the note did not refer to Michael Brissenden’s criticism of an ABC colleague at the dinner.

٠ The anonymous ABC statement made the following point about Maurice Newman’s third paragraph:

The ABC examined the issues exhaustively at the time, including inviting public feedback. We then reviewed and rewrote our guidance around dealing with sources. The new guidance note was issued in 2008. We also put out a media release.

This statement is not true.  The ABC never examined the issues “exhaustively at the time”. It never explained why Mr Brissenden showed a note to camera which he falsely implied was his own.  Nor did the ABC explain why Michael Brissenden and his colleagues Paul Daley and Tony Wright were so hopelessly wrong about the date of the dinner.

It seems that ABC management was so desperate to criticise its former chairman Maurice Newman that a statement it issued which was not fact-checked.

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Until next time.


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