ISSUE – NO. 462

2 August 2019

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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 – Nelly Thomas’s no-births solution to global warming; Jon Faine overlooks ABC’s very own “wage theft” 

  • Can You Bear It? Scott Burchill; Derryn Hinch; Debbie Cuthbertson (re Peter Fox) & Farrah Tomazin 

  • Great Media U-Turns of our time – David Marr’s differing positions on tax minimisation 

  • Media Fool of the Week – Comrade Quentin Dempster’s howlers re Hendo & BOF (aka Barry O’Farrell) 

  • Jackie’s Recycling Depot – Paul Barry’s Media Watch recycles Annabel Crabb’s Insiders whimsy 

  • John Laws-Style “Deliberate Mistake” Segment – Jeremy D. scores by remembering young Louis Cambridge and his position in Mrs King’s Royal Family tree 

  • Correspondence – In which The New Daily’s Quentin Dempster goes under the bed but The Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade helps out

* * * *


How appropriate that just before news broke that a barefoot Duke of Sussex (aka Prince Harry) has delivered a sermon on the evils of climate change to a group of Hollywood A-listers in Sicily – the ABC TV News Breakfast program discussed the Duke’s intention not to father more than two offspring with his Duchess.  The good news, climate wise, is that according to the MailOnline, only 114 private jets flew into Palermo for the occasion.  Not too bad when you think about it.  After all, it could have been 124 jets.  But some attendees rocked up in their luxury yachts.

Co-presenter Virginia Trioli was on to the big story with the help of her colleague Michael Rowland.  Guests were Nelly Thomas (who was described as a comedian) and The Weekly Times’ Ed Gannon.  Highlight of the discussion was this reflection about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – and more besides:

Virginia Trioli: Alright, first of all do you believe them when they say that’s the reason they are having two kids?

Nelly Thomas: I totally believe them.

Virginia Trioli: Oh you do? Okay.

Nelly Thomas: Yeah I totally believe them. I think, I think they’re sincere – whether their sincerity is well placed or not. I mean it’s a thing – speaking of things and not things – climate change.

Virginia Trioli: Yes.

Nelly Thomas: And you can’t do anything worse for the environment than have children in the First World. I mean really – the amount of resources that we consume.

Michael Rowland: That should be on an ad. [Laughter]

Virginia Trioli: Ed’s going to be rolling his eyes so hard he’s going to get ice-brain.

Nelly Thomas: And we were friends before this discussion.

So there you have it.  Nelly Thomas, in serious mode, reckons that people in the First World should not reproduce as a way of saving the planet.  There are simpler ways of reducing emissions.  Ban all private jets and close down the ABC.  That should help – for starters.  MWD will keep you advised about any future important contributions to the public debate by Nelly Thomas on this thing, that thing or maybe the other thing.


What fun that the soon-to-retire presenter of Mornings with Jon Faine on ABC Radio Melbourne got stuck into ABC TV 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales yesterday for an (alleged) soft interview on Wednesday night with MadE Establishment supremo George Calombaris for underpaying staff in his restaurants.  The fact is that Ms Sales does lotsa soft interviews with subjects she likes.  Who can forget the 7.30 presenter’s soft interview with former FBI director and current Trump-hater James Comey on 19 April 2018?  [I can. There was nothing in it to remember, except for the sucking-up. Even so, perhaps you should analyse it sometime. – MWD Editor]

For all his (administrative) faults, the celebrity chef’s company did self-report its underpayments to the relevant authority – although, according to The Australian’s Margin Call column, only after contact was first made by the Fair Work Ombudsman. In any event, the situation with MadE Establishment is not all that different from that of the taxpayer funded public broadcaster – Mr Faine’s employer for now.

As has been previously reported, the ABC advised the Fair Work Ombudsman some months ago that it had underpaid some casual employees over some years.  MWD understands that the cost of refunding the underpayments will hit hard at the ABC’s budget. It appears that the errors took place during the time of ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie and perhaps Nice Mr Scott.

MWD is not aware of any high-profile ABC presenter, producer or editor who has protested against ABC management – at the behest of the toiling (casual) masses at the public broadcaster – concerning this injustice.  It’s not too late for your man Faine to take up this cause – until he hangs up the microphone on Friday 11 October 2019. Stay tuned.

Can You Bear It


Wasn’t it great to see Deakin University senior lecturer Scott Burchill once again doing the “Newspapers” segment on the ABC TV News Breakfast segment on Wednesday?  Dressed up for a visit to the Tip – and draped in black – Dr Burchill (for a doctor he is) looked the part.  After all, News Breakfast is filmed in inner-city Melbourne.

It seems that there was not a lot of news on Wednesday – which no doubt explains why your man Burchill spoke at (some) length about the (apparent) unwillingness of children to leave their parents’ home.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Paul Kennedy:  Now what have you got against people staying longer at home, with mum and dad?

Scott Burchill: Well, my daughter is sitting not far away, so I have to be very careful what I say here. But the report came out today saying that, what is it, at least over a half of Australians living – under the age of 30 – are not leaving home. And the reasons put are because of housing prices obviously. But also because of the collapse of marriage.

Paul Kennedy:  Yeah.

Scott Burchill: So, I don’t know, there’s going to have to be some really clever thinking here. My view is, you wait for the kids to go out during the day, get the locksmiths in, change all the locks, then when they come home in the afternoon and knock on the door, turn all the lights off, don’t respond, just go under the bed.

And so it went on. And on.  And on. The learned doctor recommended, as a way to remove children, (i) changing the locks, (ii) doing constant renovations or (iii) giving children the house and going out in the backyard to live in a tent.

This is “news” brought to you by the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s News Breakfast program. Can You Bear It?


Wasn’t it great to see Derryn Hinch (aka “The Human Mumble”) back in his Human Headline mode on Sky News’ Hinch last night?  MWD can’t recall much about the program – it was, after all, Post-Dinner Drinks Time. But who could forget the ending when – at the invitation of Canberra Press Gallery’s Annika Smethurst and Rob Harris- your man Hinch mumbled about his brush with fame with Diana, Princess of Wales.  And how he made a clever comment which Diana was (allegedly) too dumb to understand.  Yawn.

It seems that the presenter of Hinch has agreed to participate in a Canberra Press Gallery game whereby journalists spin a wheel which stops on one of his favoured stories.  Then Mr Hinch is required to talk about the topic without notice.  This is how it went last night:

Annika Smethurst : We’ve got a story about Princess Diana.

Derryn Hinch: Oh I see, now I, well I should explain to people I don’t know, you do this you guys.

Annika Smethurst: Yes.

Derryn Hinch: I don’t know who it’s going to land on. Alright Princess Diana, umm. When she and Charles came to Australia in the 80’s, I think this was, when they came here umm I was president of the Variety Club so they had the world premiere of the movie Burke and Wills. So uh I escorted her to it and in those days we didn’t realise how skinny she was or whether she was bulimic or anorexic and I remember getting out of the car and I’m walking behind her. I was counting the vertebrae on her back ‘cause her bones were sticking out so prominently. I remember as I walked into the theatre, the other one, so I’d met her a few times in three days.

The next day we were at a cocktail party at Government House and they walk in – Charles walks one side of the room and Di walks the other side of the room and they work half each.  And I ended up standing, Phillip Adams and I suddenly standing talking to Princess Di and I’m thinking now what am I going to say to her now? I didn’t have a clue but anyway Phillip said, “what do we do?”- ‘cause he used to write TV reviews, he said – “and what do you watch on the television, marm?”. Right and she said, “Oh I watch Dallas and Dynasty because I like to see how the other half live.” And I said “you are the other half”. [Laughing] And whew went, went straight over her, straight over her head. So there we were.

Yes, there they were.  What your man Hinch does not understand is that what “the other half” is to him was not “the other half” to Diana. It seems that since he left the Senate – after achieving under 3 per cent of the primary vote in Victoria at the 18 May federal election – Mr Hinch has been reverting to his journalistic days of old.  How else to explain his move back to gossip and all that – and his reference to the late Diana’s vertebrae?

By the way, thanks to the avid reader who drew MWD’s attention to this Twitter stream last Wednesday.

Lucie Morris-Marr @luciemorrismarr

For those asking – the media have still not been informed of a date for the #georgepell appeal decision. Could be any day now. As one legal source said; “It’s bound to take time as it’s one of the most complex and difficult appeals in Australian history.” #pell #cardinalpell

12:09 PM · Jul 30, 2019·Twitter for iPhone


Peter Fox  @Peter_Fox59

It’s a given

Derryn Hinch @HumanHeadline

Replying to




I have a solid reason for thinking I know the outcome. Won’t risk contempt right now but will explain when the decision finally comes down. Maybe give me a call..

So, there you have it. The Human Headline boasts that he knows the outcome of the Victorian Court of Appeal’s decision in George Pell v The Queen. But he won’t tell anyone except Pell antagonist Lucie Morris-Marr of the leftist New Daily – and only if she gives him a call.  Can You Bear It?


While on the topic of George Pell v The Queen, it’s worth remembering that in The Age on 6 June 2019 – with reference to this case – Peter Fox was referred to as “the Newcastle detective whose career was destroyed by blowing a whistle on such crimes” as historic child sexual abuse.  The story was written by Debbie Cuthbertson.

This is not the case – as the Nine Newspapers’ reporter would know if she had done some fact-checking in this instance.  The facts are discussed at length in MWD Issue 378, 15 September 2017.

Detective Chief Inspector Fox (as he then was – although on sick leave at the time) became famous following a series of interviews he did on the ABC in late 2012.  Namely with Tony Jones on ABC TV on Lateline (8 November 2012), Emma Alberici on Lateline (12 November 2012) and Fran Kelly on ABC Radio National Breakfast (13 November 2012).

In interviews in 2012, Peter Fox essentially alleged that there had been some form of conspiracy between NSW Police and the Catholic Church not to properly investigate cases of clerical child sexual abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

A special commission established by the NSW government found that there was no evidence to support Peter Fox’s claims and that he exhibited a lack of objectivity.

It is true that Inspector Fox campaigned about historic child sexual abuse in the Hunter region – especially with respect to the Catholic Church.  It was not true that his career was destroyed by whistleblowing with respect to such crimes.  It seems that Ms Cuthbertson is one of those journalists who simply believe what they are told. Can You Bear It?


It seems that Nine Newspapers’ The Age is obsessed with the Catholic Church.  How else to explain the story in last weekend’s Sunday Age by Farrah Tomazin titled “Archbishop grilled over nun snub”?

Ms Tomazin reported that Peter Comensoli, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, has been accused of censorship because he stopped Sister Joan Chittister – who was described as “a US author, feminist and advocate of church reform” – from taking part in the 2020 National Catholic Education Conference in Melbourne. This decision apparently upset a certain John Meneely in the Ballarat Catholic Education Office.  Let’s take up intrepid reporter Tomazin’s report:

“I am very saddened to say that while our organising committee strongly supported the inclusion of Sister Joan as a speaker at the conference, the Archbishop of Melbourne has failed to endorse her inclusion,” John Meneely, the Ballarat Catholic Education Office deputy director, wrote in a June 1 email seen by The Sunday Age. “I am presently seeking explanation for his reasoning.”

But the archdiocese has been silent ever since, fuelling anger that it was seeking to suppress the views of a nun who had repeatedly called for the empowerment of women and lay people in the church. Others have contrasted Sister Joan’s treatment to the support Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher recently gave to former rugby star Israel Falou’s[sic] right to free speech.

Hang on a minute.  Sure, Anthony Fisher, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, has backed Israel Folau’s right to free speech. But he’s not paying any money out of Church funds in support of this cause.  Now let’s go back to Farrah Tomazin’s story:

…The Sunday Age has seen correspondence between Mr Meneely and Sister Joan’s office showing they had agreed on April 29 to a 60-minute speech at the conference, covering the topic “Listen to what the spirit is saying”. A fee of $11,700 had also been negotiated, along with business- class airfares and hotel accommodation to attend the Melbourne event.

 Ah.  It would seem that the cost of bringing Sister Joan Chittister from the United States to Melbourne would be in the vicinity of $30,000 – by the time her business class fare plus hotel accommodation plus speaker’s fee was paid out. And, as The Age has reported only recently, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne is in financial difficulties.

Why spend some $30,000 to hear a critic of the Catholic Church when you can get a local for no cost?  And what about Ms Tomazin’s moralising about such matters when her employer Nine is busy cutting its own costs?  Can You Bear It?


  •  David Marr on why it is important that well-off Australians do not arrange their affairs so as to minimise their tax obligations – and, as a consequence, cut the amount of revenue that could be used by a government to increase Newstart. As told to Insiders last Sunday:

David Marr: The momentum [for raising Newstart] is coming from business, it’s coming from economists, it’s coming from charity, it’s coming from various other interest groups.

 Karen Middleton: The governor of the Reserve Bank.

 David Marr: The governor of the Reserve Bank. But I think we do need to be practical and sensible here, because what really counts at the moment is the prospect of a surplus. And you can’t both pay five or six billion dollars to top up the investment incomes of people who have arranged their affairs so they don’t pay any tax on their investments, and increase Newstart. Because increasing Newstart by $75 [per week] which seems to be what people are talking about, that’s going to cost about $3 billion dollars, and topping up the income of the wealthy is going to cost 5 or 6 [Billion Dollars]. So you’ve got to choose.

– David Marr, Insiders, 28 July 2019

  • Colleen Ryan on why it was important for a well off Australians like David Marr to arrange their affairs so as to minimise tax obligations:

Redundancy plans [at Fairfax Media] were a non-stop newsroom conversation topic, and every day brought new revelations about who was going. Big-name journalists like David Marr, Hamish Macdonald and John Huxley, who were close to sixty-five, really had no choice.

Under the tax rules for redundancy payments, there is favourable treatment for those aged under sixty-five, but for anyone older, a redundancy payment gets treated like a bonus – it’s taxed at the top marginal rate. For some, this could make a difference of $80,000 or more in tax.

“When do you turn sixty-five, David?” [Fairfax Media journalist Matthew] Moore asked. “Tomorrow” was the reply. Marr had to go that day, Moore explained, or he would come under a different tax regime. It was already 3 p.m. By 5 p.m., Marr was gone. The next day’s SMH bid him farewell.

– Colleen Ryan, Fairfax: The Rise and Fall (MUP, 2013)

Your man Marr now works among the sandal wearers at the leftist Guardian Australia advancing the cause that the well-off should be taxed higher and that all retirees in receipt of franking credits should be taxed in spite of the fact that this money has already been taxed.

Media Fool Of The Week


As documented this week in MWD’s hugely popular correspondence segment, The New Daily’s political editor Quentin Dempster did a rant about Gerard Henderson at Hangover Time last Sunday- which led to the following exchange with former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell:

Both references to Gerard Henderson were hopelessly wrong and written without fact-checking. Quentin Dempster, formerly of the ABC, is political editor of The New Daily. Enough said. But don’t miss Hendo’s missive to QD – to which there has been no response. [Could your man Dempster have gone under the bed? Just a thought. MWD editor]

Disraeli is said to have commented that everyone loves flattery but when it comes to the Royal Family you need to lay it on with a trowel.  MWD is on constant flattery watch – and is conscious of the saying that imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Hence this segment which monitors re-cycling in the media.


The male co-owner of Jackie (Dip Wellness – The Gunnedah Institute) fully supports re-cycling. Why, every Wednesday night his yellow bin is packed with bottles to be re-cycled which once contained Gin or Tonic.

However, Hendo was surprised to learn that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster is so into re-cycling that it has taken to re-running amusing segments.

In closing the ABC TV Insiders program last Sunday, presenter Annabel Crabb made the following comment – following which part of a Sky News interview with Labor Party MP Matt Keogh (conducted on 25 July) was played:

Annabel Crabb:  Thanks to the panel. Both parties are trying to limit the amount of time their MPs spend sharing their views on 24-hour news networks – and sometimes the universe has ways of helping them to do just that. We’ll leave you with this – thanks for watching.

Annelise Nielsen: Now, joining us live here in Canberra is Matt Keogh, Labor MP for Western Australia. Matt, thank you so much for your time.

Matt Keogh: Great to be with you.

Annelise Nielsen: What do you make of the super debate happening on the Liberal side of things?

Matt Keogh: Yeah, well, it’s division central in the Liberal Party, yet again, and now it’s superannuation because they’re –

Kieran Gilbert: Matt, apologies, we’ve got to interrupt, you’ve got to go to vote. You’ve got to go to the House of Reps –

Matt Keogh: I’ve got to go do my job –

Kieran Gilbert: We’ll talk to you soon.

Matt Keogh:  I’ll be back –

Annelise Nielsen:  Now, we’re going back to Matt Keogh, who had to abruptly leave our studio to go for a division. Did you make it?

Matt Keogh:  I made it. I’m back….

Kieran Gilbert: Matt Keogh, we are gonna interrupt you now. We’ve got to go to the Prime Minister.

Matt Keogh: Well, OK –

Kieran Gilbert:  This interview, this interview is not meant to happen.

Matt Keogh: Another time.

And so it happened that Matt Keogh’s interview with Sky News was interrupted twice. The first time by a division or quorum in the House of Representatives, the second time by a media conference by the Prime Minister. Which was a fun way to conclude Insiders.

However, on Monday ABC TV Media Watch played the same grabs from Sky News as Insiders had run the day before plus  a couple of others – and then concluded with this (lame) joke by the presenter:

Paul Barry: Having clocked up 60 seconds on air across two interviews, it’s clearly time he made his answers even shorter.

So there you have it.  Paul Barry’s Media Watch has total staff of nine. And it concluded its program on Monday with the same idea that Insiders had concluded its program on Sunday. Is this just lazy journalism – or does none of Comrade Barry’s team watch Insiders?  In other words, is Aunty’s Media Watch  media watching?

One of the most challenging tasks for avid readers each Friday – after lunch, of course – is to find a John-Laws-Style-Deliberate-Mistake in MWD. If there is one.

As avid MWD readers will know, Hendo is not into pedantry and does not focus on the written typos and verbal misstatements of journalists – since everyone makes them.  Not so some other scribblers.  But deliberate mistakes are still mistakes – and need to be corrected.

Yesterday the following note was received from avid reader Jeremy D.

Dear Gerard

Man may have set foot on the moon in 1969, but of greater significance is the fact that I believe I have come across an error, emanating from your lips. Let me paraphrase that – I believe that I may have unearthed a John Laws-esque Deliberate Mistake which I would be happy to seek your clarification, if required. [I believe that is a fairly decent qualification].

Listening to the podcast of The Bolt Report, where you appeared on Tuesday 30 July 2019, I enjoyed the scintillating repartee between you and Andrew Bolt about our new Duchess of Wokeness, otherwise known as the Duchess of Sussex. Although I do concede that Andrew Bolt was the first to utter the potential inaccuracy, it is clear that you followed.

I refer to your statement that the Duchess (of Sussex) “is married to the fifth in line to the British throne”.

Of course, it is evident that Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, is sixth in line to the British throne. First in line is Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, followed by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and then his three children – George, Charlotte and Louis.

I look forward as always to tomorrow’s Media Watch Dog.

Kind regards

Well done Mr D. A John Laws-Style “Deliberate Mistake”, to be sure. This was a huge challenge since it was expected that young Louis might be discounted, so to speak, in view of the dictum that a third Sussex child might not only destroy the planet but also Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate. Sure this is a super-sized cottage but still would not withstand a Noah tempest experience caused by emissions.

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 was published in MWD – much to the delight of its avid readers.

There are occasions, however, when Jackie’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.

On 20 June 2019, ABC TV’s 7.30’s executive producer Justin Stevens wrote to Hendo and stated – with evident irony – “you have a habit of publishing private email correspondence like this”. Quite so – and so it came to pass that his emails were published in Issues 455 and 456.  For his part, Jackie’s (male) co-owner reckons it’s a bit much for journalists who spend a large part of their professional life receiving leaked information – including private correspondence – to lecture others about good manners with respect to the handling of private correspondence.

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, on occasions, Ms Murphy herself (See MWD Issue 297).


Like many a journalist, The New Daily’s political editor Quentin Dempster just makes things up. Most recently the claim that Gerard Henderson supported the attempt by National Party Queensland premier to become prime minister. Hendo pointed out Dempster’s howler. But your man Dempster went under-the-bed and did not respond. Unless, of course, he missed the email. Here we go:

Gerard Henderson to Quentin Dempster – 1 August 2019


My attention has been drawn to a tweet which you put out at 10.37 am on Sunday 28 July 2019 concerning my appearance on Insiders last Sunday.   According to my young friends, I trended on Twitter when Insiders was on air – no doubt you contributed to this. In any event, this is what you had to say:

Quentin Dempster @QuentinDempster

Dr Gerard Henderson @insiders rarely stands up for integrity in government. His partisanship always seems to override the need for probity.  He supported Joh and was puce with indignation when @barryofarrell honourably resigned over NSW ICAC evidence about that bottle of Grange.

In a mere 42 words you made two false statements. Quite an achievement for the political editor of The New Daily, don’t you think?  Here are your howlers – along with my responses:

▪  It is wilfully false for you to claim that  I “supported Joh”. The reference is to the former Queensland National Party premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the “Joh for PM” movement of some three decades ago.

You just made this up.  If you had done any research – or if you had checked with me – you would know that I was a critic of Joh Bjelke-Petersen and I opposed the “Joh for PM” movement.  You should correct this. I thought the “Joh for PM” movement was both foolish and destined to fail – and was I correct on both counts. But I do not expect that you will make a correction re this – since long time ABC journalists rarely correct errors, still less make apologies.

For the record, I wrote about my position on Joh Bjelke-Petersen in my Sydney Morning Herald column on 3 May 2005. Clearly you have not read it – somewhat lazy, to be sure.

▪ If you had done any research you also would know that my statement in support of former NSW Liberal Party premier Barry O’Farrell on Lateline on 16 April 2014 was found to be correct by the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

On Lateline on 16 April 2014, Kate McClymont – without a skerrick of evidence – accused Barry O’Farrell of not telling the truth when he appeared before ICAC in the lead-up to his resignation as NSW premier.

The ICAC Report of 4 August 2017 – titled Investigation Into Dealings Between Australian Water Holdings Pty Ltd and Sydney Water Corporation And Related Matters had this to say:

When he gave evidence on 16 April 2014, Mr O’Farrell had no recollection of receiving the wine. There is no evidence to the contrary.  The Commission is satisfied that there was no intention on Mr O’Farrell’s part to mislead the Commission on either occasion that he gave evidence. Mr O’Farrell gave further evidence, which other evidence bears out and the Commission accepts, that he never acceded to any request from Mr Di Girolamo or anyone else to give AWH special assistance.

In short, Kate McClymont made a false statement on Lateline. Your comment that I was “puce with indignation” when Barry O’Farrell resigned is mere hyperbole.  The fact is that my judgment on this matter was accurate – and subsequently supported by ICAC.  You should correct this false statement.

Gerard Henderson


Last Sunday, Gerard Henderson made his third appearance for the year on the ABC TV Insiders program – much to the annoyance of lotsa ABC TV viewers who belong to the ABC’s Sandalista Set. Lotsa whom complained.   The cause was taken up by The Guardian Australia’s  media (leftist) in residence. Now read on:

Amanda Meade to Gerard Henderson – 1 August 2019

Hi Gerard

Would you care to comment on why you did not disclose your relationship with Louise Clegg? [The reference was to the Corrections & Clarifications segment which appeared on the ABC’s website last Tuesday – see below.]



Gerard Henderson to Amanda Meade – 1 August 2019

I am busy at the moment and will answer your query when I have the time.

I note in passing that you did not even acknowledge my reply (dated 17 July) to your query of recent memory.  Perhaps you and your editor Ms Taylor might benefit from attending Nancy’s Courtesy Classes – which are frequently referred to in my Media Watch Dog blog, which comes out (after lunch, of course) every Friday.


Amanda Meade to Gerard Henderson – 1 August 2019

Your response was not a proper response.


Gerard Henderson to Amanda Meade – 1 August 2019


You asked me a question and I provided an answer. This seems like a “proper response” to me.

Gerard Henderson AC (aka Always Courteous)

Gerard Henderson to Amanda Meade – 2 August 2019


I refer to your email of 1 August 2019 asking me whether I would “care to comment” on why I “did not disclose” my “relationship with Louise Clegg” when I appeared on the ABC TV Insiders program last Sunday.  Your then referred me to this note which was placed on the ABC website in the Corrections & Clarifications page on Monday:

On the July 28 edition of Insiders, the panel discussed Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s interest in a company called Jam Land Pty Ltd. The company is the subject of an Environment Department investigation. Mr Taylor and his wife, Louise Clegg, hold an indirect interest in Jam Land Pty Ltd via an investment company of which they are directors. It has since come to our attention that Mr Taylor’s wife, Louise Clegg, is a board member of The Sydney Institute. Gerard Henderson is the Institute’s Executive Director. Mr Henderson accepts that he should have declared this association during the program but says he was unaware of Ms Clegg’s indirect interest in the company at the time of broadcast.

In response to your query, I make the following responses:

  1. As I have explained to Insiders, I believe that it is an old-fashioned view that women should be linked with the commercial activities of their spouse or partner in all instances.   However, I am prepared to go along with this – since this appears to be in accordance with ABC’s best practice.

Speaking for myself, I have never mentioned – for example – that The Guardian Australia’s editor Lenore Taylor is married to a journalist or referred to her views in relation to his.

  1. Contrary to your claim, I do not have a “relationship” with Louise Clegg – whatever that might mean.
  1. Louise Clegg is one of a number of board members of The Sydney Institute. As with other boards – like the ABC’s, for example – The Sydney Institute’s board does not run The Sydney Institute. That is the role of the Institute’s full-time staff. Perhaps, as a journalist without apparent business experience, you do not understand this.
  1. As you may or may not know, the topics for discussion on Insiders each week are determined by the program’s executive director in consultation with the presenter. This is not the decision of panel members.
  1. When, last Sunday, the issue of Angus Taylor’s interest in Jam Land Pty Ltd was introduced, Louise Clegg was the last person on my mind. In any event, I had no knowledge about Ms Clegg’s apparent interest in Jam Land Pty Ltd. Why should I? Moreover, as far as I am aware, this has not previously been referred to in the media.  For the record, I only referred to Angus Taylor after Ms Crabb, Ms Middleton and Mr Marr had commented on the matter.
  1. As to associations, if I am to refer to Ms Clegg every time Mr Taylor is mentioned – then, in my view, all journalists should declare their associations with politicians when talking about politicians. Including those who leak to them and those with whom they have, or have had, relationships or associations of one kind or another. By the way, what is your view on this in your capacity as The Guardian Australia’s media correspondent?
  1. As you will be aware – but did not acknowledge in your correspondence – the comrades at The Guardian Australia have led the pile-on against Angus Taylor.  David Marr continued the attack on Insiders on Sunday – with the apparent support of fellow panellists Karen Middleton and presenter Annabel Crabb.  I expressed a contrary view – since I regard Mr Taylor’s apparent financial interest in the issue under discussion as miniscule and of no moment. I would have said this even if I had never met Mr Taylor’s wife.

It seems that you prefer those ABC panels where virtually everyone agrees with virtually everyone else on virtually anything. Like an edition of The Guardian Australia – when you think about it. I believe that Insiders has succeeded over the years because it has encouraged a diversity of views on its panels.

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Keep Morale High – in a Guardian-Sandalista kind of way. I look forward to your response to the question I raised in Point 6 above.

Good morning.

Gerard Henderson

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Until next time.

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