GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG
ISSUE – NO. 477
15 November 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: All Quiet on the False Prophecy front as Laura Tingle, Judith Brett & Leigh Sales Talk About Scott Morrison’s Quiet Australians; Rachel Corbett &The Project panel fail to mention #MeToo disclosure failures by Tracey Spicer & the ABC
Can You Bear It? Annika Smethurst & David Shoebridge forget about the Protestant Reformation; Daniel Ziffer astonished by bushfires in bushfire-prone Turramurra on News Breakfast; Thom Woodruff stumbles on News Breakfast with a little help from Lisa Millar
An ABC Update: The ABC’s quest for diversity yet to reach the managerial floors; a 0.1% cut at the ABC junks 2020 radio coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games
The US[eless] Studies Centre: The Useless USSC Now Giving Useless Advice To The Coalition Government & The RBA
History Corner: Christopher Patten Gives FDR & Joe Stalin Credit For The Defeat Of Nazi Germany And Downplays Winston Churchill’s Role
Correspondence: Charles Edel of the United States Studies Centre helps Out
ALL QUIET ON THE ABC (FALSE PROPHECY) FRONT AS LAURA TINGLE, JUDITH BRETT & LEIGH SALES TALK ABOUT SCOTT MORRISON’S QUIET AUSTRALIANS
As avid readers are aware, being a journalist or commentator means never having to say you’re sorry, to re-work the famous line from the 1970 film Love Story (starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal).
The reference is to the segment on ABC TV 7.30 last night as Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “Quiet Australians” starring 7.30 chief political correspondent Laura Tingle and La Trobe University emeritus professor Judith Brett.
Now, what binds La Tingle and Dr Brett (for a doctor she is)? MWD hears you cry. Well, both were hopelessly wrong about the outcome of the May 2019 election. The former declared on 7.30 on the Thursday before the election, that the Labor Party under Bill Shorten’s leadership “will” win the election. And the latter wrote in the May 2019 issue of The Monthly that the Liberal Party “must be hoping that enough of its supporters are as morally bankrupt as it has become, happy to trade the planet’s and their children’s future for a pocket-full of silver”. Dr Brett depicted those who would vote for a Scott Morrison led Liberal Party as morally bankrupt racists.
However, neither of this pair ‘fessed up last night that they thought Scott Morrison would lose the 2019 election. Rather they set out to tell 7.30 viewers – if viewers there were – why the Coalition won. Laura Tingle travelled outside what she conceded was “the Canberra bubble” to meet Quiet Australians at or near Toowoomba, Parramatta and Ballarat. The program was oh-so-nice to these Coalition voters and did not put it to them that they were self-interested racist bigots. La Tingle concluded her report as follows:
Laura Tingle: In the great Australian tradition, the quiet Australians want to give Scott Morrison a go. They’re happy the Government seems reasonably stable but believe the Government could be doing more.
Then, after the filmed segment, La Tingle was interviewed by her bestie Leigh Sales about the Coalition’s victory, the Quiet Australians and all that – without anyone talking about the fact that virtually the entire ABC political commentator team thought that Bill Shorten would be prime minister after the election.[Perhaps you should have run this in your hugely popular Can You Bear It? segment. Just a thought. No offence meant. By the way, I recall that it was not so long ago that Comrade Brett was co-editor of Arena Magazine – which commenced life as a Marxist journal of opinion and matured into a journal of left opinion. In view of this, it’s remarkable that many believe that Dr Brett is a friend of, and expert on, the Liberal Party. But, there you go. – MWD Editor.]
THE PROJECT TEAM FAILS TO MENTION THE UNAUTHORISED DISCLOSURES BY #METOO’s TRACEY SPICER AND THE ABC
Did anyone see The Project on Network 10 last night – with a panel comprising Rachel Corbett, Peter Helliar, Peter Van Onselen and Lisa Wilkinson? The main guest was the American Tarana Burke – who commenced the #MeToo movement in 2006 to help female survivors of sexual harassment and violence.
Ms Burke is in Australia to receive the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize – which she will share with Tracey Spicer who has spearheaded the #MeToo movement in Australia. Both women addressed the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.
Here’s a grab from the discussion on The Project:
Rachel Corbett: Obviously the power of the #MeToo movement is this idea of providing a safe space for people to stand up and say this has happened to me too. What advice would you give to someone who’s struggling to come out with their story?
Tarana Burke: Don’t. I think if you are struggling to come out with your story then you should really think hard about if it’s time or not to come out with your story. There is nothing that says that people have to tell their stories. There’s nothing that says that people have to say or declare “me too” in order to be a part of the #MeToo movement. And I think struggling with whether to come forward or not is a perfect indication that you may not be ready.
It’s a big deal to disclose, it’s not a small thing to let the world know about some of the worst things that ever happened to you – because people aren’t really careful with our stories, they aren’t careful with our feelings and you can open yourself up to a lot of things. So I think struggle is a sign that you should respect what that means and really consider what it’s going to do to you and how it’s going to take a toll on your life before you make that decision.
People who want to tell their stories need to know that telling your story doesn’t have to mean that it has to be big and public and has to be validated by hundreds of people. Telling your story can be writing it in your journal, it can mean telling it to one friend, you know, it can mean writing a poem or drawing a picture. I think we have to shift this idea that telling your story is that start of publicly and being validated by tons of people is what it means to heal or there is some kind of heroism in that. And I just don’t believe that.
I think that survivors need to get the stories out of their bodies, meaning you have to say it out loud. Tell yourself in the mirror, if you don’t have the courage to tell a lot of people go into a quiet place and tell the story to yourself first. Because most of us don’t even tell it to ourselves, we don’t even want to think about it, we lock it away in a place and we put it on a shelf and we don’t think about it again. Be gentle with yourself, take your time and it’ll come out the way it’s meant to come out when it’s meant to come out.
That’s pretty clear then. The key figure behind the #MeToo movement advised that victims of sexual abuse should determine a place and a time they choose to speak about their story and warned that “people” are not really careful with the stories of others.
How strange, then, that no one on The Project’s panel mentioned the fact that a preview version of a documentary produced by Southern Pictures for the ABC was shared with media outlets, featuring confidential disclosures that numerous women sent to Tracey Spicer regarding rape and sexual harassment. The women – whose names and faces also appear – had no knowledge of the documentary or that Ms Spicer had shared the information they sent to her.
And yet the Corbetts, Helliars, Van Onselens and Wilkinsons of this world proclaim the need of the masses’ Right To Know – except when The Project decides that it is not their right to know.
ANNIKA SMETHURST FORGETS ABOUT THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION AND DEPICTS THE PROTESTANT FRED NILE AS A PAPIST
MWD just loves “The Sauce” column by political gossip-talkers Annika Smethurst, Linda Silmalis and Miranda Wood in The Sunday Telegraph each week. However, comment is warranted on this bit of gossip which appeared on Sunday 3 November 2019 concerning an exchange in the New South Wales’ Legislative Council:
He may be a proud Christian, but not even Upper House MLC The Reverend Fred Nile completely trusts the Pope. During a parliamentary debate on climate change, Greens MLC David Shoebridge accused Mr Nile of making “ridiculous assertions”. These included declaring that the “majority of scientists” did not agree climate change was occurring. “Even the Pope is against you, Fred,” Shoebridge exclaimed, noting Pope Francis’ well-known views on the matter. Nile’s response? “The Pope is not a scientist”.
It could be that like Mr Shoebridge, Ms Smethurst and her colleagues are not aware of the Protestant Reformation of some five centuries ago. [That’s possible. I’m more of a Counter Reformation guy myself. – MWD Editor.]
In which case they should become aware that the Rev Fred Nile is a Protestant who has never completely trusted the Pope. And that Pope Francis is a Catholic – even though he is a Jesuit. Martin Luther, John Calvin and all that lot split with the Pope circa 1517 – which is a long time ago. It’s understandable why a Greens politician like David Shoebridge MLC might be totally ignorant of the last 500 years of Christendom. However, a Bendigo-born sheila like Ms Smethurst should know better. Can You Bear It?
DANIEL ZIFFER FIRES UP ABOUT FIRES IN SYDNEY’S TURRAMURRA – IN WHITE HOT IGNORANCE
Jackie’s (male) co-owner just loves it when a true believer ABC business reporter Daniel Ziffer does the “Newspapers” gig on ABC TV News Breakfast. You see, he is a sartorial counterpart of Dr Scott Burchill – who drops in to do the gig dressed to go to (and from) the tip. Whereas Mr Ziffer presents in a fine grey suit, light-blue shirt and dark-blue tie – as if he is on the way to a job interview.
When your man Ziffer appeared on News Breakfast on 8 October, he referred to the lead story in The Australian that very morning which read “Denialists are to blame for high power bills, Turnbull”. Except that, rising early in the morning, the ABC’s intrepid business reporter read the headline as saying “Dentists are to blame for high power bills, Turnbull”. Fancy that.
In any event, Comrade Ziffer thought that his misreading of a headline at Hangover Time was news. And so he tweeted about it. Yawn. And discussed the matter on News Breakfast as the transcript demonstrates:
Lisa Millar: Can I just check? Did you say it’s so early in the morning that you read that headline as “Dentists are to blame for power bills?”
Daniel Ziffer: And I just couldn’t work out why. I mean, look, it’s early and everyone waking up, good morning. And I just thought, what have they done?
Lisa Millar: I’m a bit concerned about our choice of papers guest. But anyway, you’ve got a little bit of time here to redeem yourself….
And so it came to pass that your man Ziffer was invited back on to News Breakfast to do the “Newspapers” gig on Wednesday – well dressed as usual. [Perhaps there are quite a few taxpayer jobs available in the Socialist Republic of Victoria and it’s interview season. Just a thought. – MWD Editor].
Mr Ziffer was once a producer for now retired ABC Radio 774 presenter Jon (“There’s an ‘i’ in Faine”) Faine. So it’s not surprising that he’s an eco-catastrophist who is under the delusion that Australia alone can reduce global warming – even though Australia amounts to just over one per cent of total global emissions. On Wednesday, Comrade Ziffer got all steamed up about the fact that there had been a bush fire in the Sydney suburb of Turramurra. Let’s go to the transcript:
Daniel Ziffer: Look, it’s an astonishing situation that will continue for some time. I was thinking about it earlier – you spoke to a reporter in Turramurra in Sydney. And to give people a sense of where that is, Turramurra from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is only as far – if you’re in Melbourne – as from Bourke Street Mall to Chadstone. Or if you’re in Adelaide, from Rundle Mall to Elizabeth. So these are not what we’re probably used to in fire situations – kind of far flung or regional centres or country towns. You know, this is really close parts of Australia’s largest city – as well as the many other fires that we’re seeing at the moment.
Lisa Millar: And I think the figure that sort of came home to me was the fact that some of these embers could jump forward 6 to 8 kilometres from fires. So people thought they were relatively inner-city but they had bush that was so flammable around them and – just goes like that.
Daniel Ziffer: Yeah, it’s very difficult when people have not experienced bushfires or they’re in areas where they’re more aware that the risk is there….]
Clearly the Melbourne-based Daniel Ziffer does not know much about Sydney – especially Sydney’s North Shore. In the area of Turramurra and its surrounds, there were bushfires in 1913, 1957, 1994 and 2002. In the 1994 fire, some 20 houses were destroyed – compared with none on Wednesday. Moreover, if Comrade Ziffer had bothered to do a Google search before going on air on Wednesday, he would have discovered that the Ku-ring-Gai Council and the NSW Rural Fire Service rate many parts of Turramurra as a “bush-fire prone area”. Lazy, ignorant, albeit well-dressed, journalism to be sure. Can You Bear It?
AN UNDIPLOMATIC THOM WOODRUFF STUMBLES ON NEWS BREAKFAST – WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM LISA MILLAR
While on the topic of News Breakfast, what a stunning performance by Thom Woodruff on the program yesterday. Your man Woodruff was a guest on News Breakfast in its early years before he got a United Nations appointment in New York or some such and confined himself to visits to his home-town of Melbourne. In recent times, however, he has made some appearances on News Breakfast – so he must have embraced this wide brown land again. Apparently, he’s head of something called the Independent Diplomat.
Interviewed by Paul Kennedy and Lisa Millar yesterday, Thom Woodruff:
٠ Asserted that, as a country, Australia does not have a debate on climate change. He told Paul Kennedy “you can’t mention climate change in Australia”. What a load of absolute tosh. In fact, it’s difficult to find a news or current affairs report on the ABC which does not focus on climate change.
٠ Criticised Andrew Bolt’s column in yesterday’s News Corp papers on Cardinal George Pell. Mr Woodruff commented: “Bolt…makes it clear, with a floor plan of the chapel in Ballarat, that he’s walked through that he and he himself thinks that there’s therefore zero chance of Pell having been able to commit the crimes that he’s been found guilty of already”. In fact, the site in question is not a “chapel in Ballarat” but rather St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. How ill-informed can a commentator be on the topic he/she chooses to discuss? The Woodruff howler was not corrected by either presenter.
٠ Suggested that if President Donald J Trump had visited Australia in December 2019 and made an appearance at The Presidents Cup in Melbourne no one would have turned up at a golf course to watch him. Comrade Woodruff’s evidence? Zip. His prejudice? Lotsa.
Then the following exchange took place:
Thom Woodruff: [Cameron] Stewart makes the point I haven’t heard before – which is that the First Lady apparently was lobbying behind the scenes for the trip to still go ahead. Which is interesting.
Lisa Millar: For her to come? Or for her to have some alone time?
This is just a sneer. What would Lisa Millar, or almost anyone else, know about the relationship between the President and the First Lady? Zip. Can You Bear It?
THE ABC’S QUEST FOR DIVERSITY YET TO REACH THE MANAGERIAL FLOORS
As documented in last week’s MWD, the ABC’s TV program for 2020 continues the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s reality as a Conservative Free Zone with plenty of documentaries and prominent programs presented and produced by leftists and left-of-centre types. But not one headed by a conservative.
In launching the ABC program for next year, Michael Carrington (who goes by the title “ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist”) stressed that the contemporary ABC is all about – you’ve guessed it – DIVERSITY. This is what Comrade Carrington had to say:
In a world overrun by global media giants, Australian stories have never been more important. Equally, the ABC has never been more essential to the Australian people. In 2020, the ABC will be the engine room of Australian creativity, putting more Australian faces, voices and stories on screen than any other broadcaster. The stories we share will speak to and for all Australians, firing their imagination through bold content and creativity. We will engage new audiences by increasing the diversity of our programs and people, on and off screen, sparking meaningful change in how we see ourselves and each other.
So Comrade Carrington and the ABC management are intent on “increasing the diversity” of ABC’s “programs and people”. But how’s diversity going among the very people in management who preside over the ABC’s quest for diversity? –MWD hears you cry. Here’s how:
[Gee wiz. This lot are so white (and non-diverse) that they could make up a white Sight Screen at the Red Ball Test Cricket game. – MWD Editor.]
A 0.1% CUT AT THE ABC JUNKS 2020 RADIO COVERAGE OF THE TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES
This week Judith Whelan, the head of ABC Radio, announced that the ABC would cease live-streaming of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Apparently, this is a cost-cutting exercise. For commercial radio rights for the 2020 Olympics amounts to $1 million. That is, a whopping 0.1 per cent of the ABC’s $1 billion annual budget.
As Brodie Carmody reported in The Age last Wednesday, ABC Radio 702 presenter Virginia Trioli said this to Ms Whelan: “Just adding that [i.e. $1 million] up quickly in my head, that’s about the cost of four middle managers at the ABC. There are many of us who could name a few of those that could be winnowed out”. La Trioli went on to suggest that axing the Olympic radio broadcasts was “an ultimate political chess move” to embarrass the Coalition government – due to the popularity of the Olympics. Ms Whelan did not concur.
Meanwhile the ABC continues to spend many millions a year on its ABC Life outlet – which covers such essential matters as “Is it ever OK for men to wear shorts in the office?” The article was written by Patrick Wright – whoever he might be – in the current issue.
It turns out that fashion designer Tom Ford reckons that “a man should never wear shorts in the city – shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach”.
While stylist Julian Burak reckons that “typically, in the work place, shorts have been more casual and haven’t fallen into that office dress code” – but they might be well received “if jeans and t-shirts are staples in your workplace”. So there you go. Or not. But your man Burak reckons that shorts should never be worn with black work shoes. A handy fashion tip, to be sure.
What would we do without the ABC and ABC Life in particular? Blokes would not know whether to wear trousers or shorts – or neither of the above.
THE US[ELESS] STUDIES CENTRE
(USELESS) TRUMP-PHOBIC USSC NOW GIVING (USELESS) ADVICE TO THE COALITION GOVERNMENT AND THE RBA
As avid readers are only too well aware, Professor Simon Jackman (the head of the United States Studies Centre) said in November 2016 that no one at the USSC expected that Donald J. Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. He also ‘fessed up that no one at the USSC supported Donald Trump. David Smith, who suffers from Trump-phobia, is a USSC staff member who appears regularly on ABC Radio in Sydney as the USSC’s “expert” on the US. In short, the taxpayer funded USSC is close to being a Republican Free Zone replete with Trump-haters and Clinton/Obama admirers and left-of-centre types – but no one who broadly supports the Trump administration. Now read on.
The United States Studies Centre was set up in 2006 with a bucket load of taxpayers’ funds – to the tune of $25 million from the Howard government. The USSC’s powers-that-be at the time said that no more public money would be required. But in early 2018 the USSC went back to the taxpayers’ trough and scored another $12 million, this time from the Turnbull government. The USSC is also supported by the taxpayer funded University of Sydney, where it is based.
So how is the USSC’s money being used? Here’s how. On 6 November 2019 Stephen Kirchner, who was described as the director of trade and investment of Sydney University’s United States Studies Centre, wrote an article in The Australian Financial Review titled “Treasurer shouldn’t let the RBA off the hook so easily”. Here’s how the piece commenced:
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has declared that “after careful consideration” and consultation with the Reserve Bank and Treasury, the government will not change its agreement on monetary policy with the RBA. This is unfortunate, because it continues a pattern of inadequate public deliberation on the framework for monetary policy in Australia at a time when the Reserve Bank is underperforming its inflation, employment and welfare mandates.
Dr Kirchner (for a doctor he is) proceeded to give gratuitous advice to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Reserve Bank Governor Dr Philip Lowe about inflation, interest rates and all that. He even declared that “it is questionable whether the [Coalition] government understood the significance of what it agreed to [with the RBA] in 2016”. How condescending can a USSC academic get?
Your man Kirchner concluded that Treasurer Frydenberg SHOULD have ordered “an independent review of monetary policy” and SHOULD have “reverted to the Labor Party’s 2010 agreement as an interim measure to reprioritise the inflation target pending the outcome of the review”.
Yawn. Here was yet one more academic giving yet more advice to the Coalition and the Reserve Bank. And telling the Treasurer that he SHOULD follow what the Labor government did in 2010. Groan.
In any event, what’s this got to do with the United States Studies Centre? – MWD hears avid readers cry. And did the Coalition give some $37 million to the USSC for it to proffer unsought advice on the Australian economy?
For the record, this is the USSC’s Mission Statement:
The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney is a university-based research centre, dedicated to the rigorous analysis of American foreign policy, economics, politics and culture. The Centre is a national resource, that builds Australia’s awareness of the dynamics shaping America — and critically — their implications for Australia. We do this by teaching students, conducting research and bridging the gap between academic ideas and public policy problems from an Australia-US comparative standpoint.
So, according to the USSC’s Mission Statement, “the Centre is a national resource that builds Australia’s awareness of the dynamic shaping America”.
What a load of absolute tosh. In fact, it is a manifestation of Trump-phobia that also employs academics who try to tell the Australian government what to do.
Here’s some (gratuitous) advice from Jackie’s (male) co-owner. The United States Studies Centre SHOULD stick to its knitting. This SHOULD mean that Comrade Jackman SHOULD be aware that “the dynamics shaping America” includes the Trump administration. Here MWD’s lesson endeth.
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For more about the ongoing lack of balance at the taxpayer funded USSC see this week’s (hugely popular) Correspondence segment.
CHRISTOPHER PATTEN GIVES FDR & JOE STALIN UNDUE CREDIT FOR THE DEFEAT OF NAZI GERMANY WHILE DOWNPLAYING WINSTON CHURCHILL’S ROLE
Geraldine Doogue is one of Australia’s best interviewers. And Christopher Patten – the former Conservative Party MP, former Governor of Hong Kong and Chancellor of Oxford University – usually talks sense. But not last Saturday when he was interviewed by Geraldine Doogue on ABC Radio National’s Saturday Extra.
The topic was: “Where have all the good leaders gone?” Towards the end of the interview, Christopher Patten had this to say with respect to United States president Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945) and British prime minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965):
Christopher Patten: By and large, when you look at the balance of what FDR was doing, you’re entirely correct to say that he comes out way ahead on moral as well as utilitarian grounds. He helped to save the American economy – he therefore helped to save the world economy – in the 1930s and beyond. And he helped to save democracy by taking part in the Second World War on the side of the allies of freedom. I think in a very real sense, of course, Churchill played an important part in securing victory in the Second World War. But the war was above all fought by American economic strength and Russian sacrifices.
Hang on a minute. The Second World War commenced in September 1939, following Germany’s invasion of Poland.
So, what was the United States doing in September 1939? Well, it was neutral, that’s what. Moreover, President Roosevelt went to the 1940 US presidential election promising that no American boy would be sent to fight a war in Europe.
And what was the position of the Soviet Union (or Russia as Mr Patten called it) in September 1939? Well, in August 1939, the Soviet Union (led by Josef Stalin) was an ally of Nazi Germany (led by Adolf Hitler) following the signing of the Nazi Soviet Pact on 23 August 1939
In September 1939, British prime minister Neville Chamberlain declared war on Nazi Germany. The Commonwealth dominions – Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand – followed suit. Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as British prime minister in May 1940 and led the nation during the Battle of Britain against the German Air Force.
The Soviet Union became an enemy of Germany only after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in late June 1941. And the United States became an enemy of Germany only after Germany declared war on the US in December 1941. FDR was a reluctant supporter of democracy in this instance – until early 1942, that is.
If Britain and its Commonwealth allies and dominions had lost or surrendered to Nazi Germany in 1939, 1940 or any time up to July 1941 – Adolf Hitler’s Nazis would have won the war. At which time the US would have been neutral and the Soviet Union would just have ended a two-year alliance with Nazi Germany which made it possible for Germany to invade large parts of Poland.
And yet Christopher Patten – who should know better – reckons that the Second World War was above all fought and won by the United States and the Soviet Union – and that the role of Britain, under the leadership of Winston Churchill, was not central to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Moreover, it is not at all clear that FDR’s New Deal saved the US economy in the 1930s. In fact, Britain and Australia recovered more rapidly in the 1930s than did the United States (which experienced another Depression in 1937-38).
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).
CHARLES EDEL AND GERARD HENDERSON re THE TAXPAYER FUNDED UNITED STATES STUDIES CENTRE ON POLITICAL BALANCE
As avid readers are aware, for around a decade MWD has been on the case of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. It is Gerard Henderson’s contention that the left will invariably take over any political institutions that conservatives establish on a university campus. In its final years, John Howard’s Coalition government funded the USSC with the laudable aim of promoting Australian-American relations. However, in no short time the USSC became a bit like the ABC – namely a Conservative Free Zone. It has some able staff, along with some plodders. However, it lacks political diversity and is currently a hang-out for Democratic Party supporters along with quite a few Trump Haters.
Earlier this week Hendo was surprised to receive an invitation from the USSC to attend a seminar on Impeachment. Now read on
Charles Edel to Gerard Henderson – 11 November 2019
Anne & Gerard:
I had wanted to extend an invitation to the launch of our new report. Covering both the history and contemporary implications of impeachment on the U.S. political system and American foreign policy, I thought this might be of interest.
Hoping that our Events Team sent out an invitation your way, but if not, wanted to pass this along in case of interest.
Hope you are both well and having a meaningful Remembrance Day.
Senior Fellow & Visiting Scholar
United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney
Gerard Henderson to Charles Edel – 15 November 2019
Thanks for your note – and for the invitation to the launch of the USSC’s report Impeachment: The Insider’s Guide at 6 pm on 27 November 2019. We have a clashing function at The Sydney Institute and Anne and I will not be able to attend. For the record, I did not receive an invitation from the USSC’s Events Team to this function. As far as I am aware, I do not receive invitations to USSC events. Your invitation was a first.
I very much appreciated your recent address to The Sydney Institute – at the suggestion of your friend Bruce Wolpe. I would like to hear what you and Bruce have to say about Donald J. Trump, Impeachment and all that – and will read the USSC report in due course. However, I note that – as usual – the USSC’s program lacks balance. Here is a reminder of the Impeachment: The Insider’s Guide publication and panel:
▪ Professor Simon Jackman – he said in November 2016 that he, along with all his USSC colleagues, were not supporters of Donald J. Trump. Also, Professor Jackman was hopelessly wrong in predicting the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, despite the USSC claiming expertise with respect to the United States.
▪ Dr Charles Edel – as I understand it, you are a Democrat. No problem here – if the panel was balanced.
▪ Dr Gorana Grgic – as I understand from her occasional media appearances, she is a critic of President Trump.
▪ Mia Love – sure Ms Love is a Republican, but of the “Never Trump” genre.
▪ Bruce Wolpe – a former Democratic staffer in the US Congress.
Which raises the question – cannot the USSC find even one supporter of President Trump to put on the panel? Especially since President Trump has a good chance of being re-elected in 2020. The fact is there is more political balance on many of Rupert Murdoch Fox News’ panels than there is on the taxpayer funded USSC’s panels.
Here’s hoping we can catch up before you return to the US.
The Sydney Institute
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Until next time.
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