GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 480

6 December 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 – Patricia Karvelas misses Naomi Wolf’s Howl(er) but Insiders’ Sam Clark picks up the scent

  • MWD Exclusive – Malcolm Turnbull (allegedly) seen shopping for new leather jacket ahead of return to Q&A

  • Can You Bear It? Tony Jones bags his executive producer Peter McEvoy while banging on about his role as a 60-something Greta Thunberg; Nine Newspapers’ Neil McMahon on the rise of “Kiwi envy” and the (fictional) sinking of Tuvalu; SMH believes that Chris Bath & Myf Warhurst (who?) are page one news

  • The US[ELESS] Studies Centre – USSC impeachment panel considers whether President Trump will continue to “ruin life for everybody around the world”

  • New Feature: Quelle Surprise! – Mark Humphries’ shock/horror confession that he does not like Donald Trump

  • An ABC Update – ABC’s Stephanie Ferrier declares that she “knows nothing” about the ABC’s very own case of historical child sexual abuse because it occurred near Gosford; Breakfast with Sammy J  yet another leftist comedian gets yet another ABC presenter gig

  • The Cliché in the Room: An Elephant’s Perspective – The return of the ABC’s dreaded empty chair

  • Hinch on Hinch – Hinch says goodbye to Hinch

  • Documentation – Louise Milligan loses objectivity while discussing the Pell case on twitter with Gay Alcorn & Greg Barns


  • PK MISSES NAOMI WOLF HOWLER – BUT NOT INSIDERS’ SAM CLARK 

On ABC TV News around Gin & Tonic Time yesterday, interviewer Patricia Karvelas spoke to American author and activist Naomi Wolf who made the following comment about Minister Angus Taylor:

Naomi Wolf: …Angus Taylor has made misstatements about me in very public forums. Misstating that I was among graduate students at Oxford in 1991 who were campaigning against Christmas, he made this claim in his maiden speech to your parliament and that’s a very public forum, it’s an important forum. It’s not true –  and uh The Australian Financial Review, another important news outlet had a big feature about him in which, uh a detailed and lengthy story which is not accurate was published. And to their credit they are correcting it right now. Which I appreciate. But the version that came out that has stood uncorrected and that would have been signed off on by this member of parliament’s communications office….

And so it went on.  It so happened that ABC TV Insiders’ executive producer Sam Clark must have watched the interview – he put out the following tweet:

This is the most important contribution to the public debate from a resident of Melbourne in eons.  Sure Mr Clark has been subjected to a certain degree of social media rage.  However, his comment about Ms Wolf’s evident lack of knowledge about how daily journalism works is important.

The AFR article was written by Aaron Patrick and published in the Australian Financial Review, under the title “Angus Taylor lured into politics then left to languish”, on 30 December 2014 – when Mr Taylor was a backbencher.

The idea that Aaron Patrick would have required a member of Angus Taylor’s office to have “signed off” on the AFR article before it was published is, well, nuts.  Journalism does not work like that – as Naomi Wolf should know, having been an adviser to Al Gore and Bill Clinton.  Which is why Patricia (“Please call me PK”) Karvelas should have corrected the comment on air.


  • MALCOLM TURNBULL ON Q&A – A RETURN OF THE POINT PIPER LEATHER JACKET?

Isn’t it great that former Coalition prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will be returning to the ABC Q&A program on Monday, apparently in born-again Miserable Ghost mode.  As avid readers will recall, when in New York in late 2018, following his replacement as prime minister by Scott Morrison, Mr Turnbull referred to former prime ministers who engage in the public debate as “miserable ghosts” – and vowed and declared that he would never be such a (ghostly) figure.

The final Q&A for 2019 takes place on Monday. It is also the final one to be presented by Tony Jones and produced by Peter McEvoy. It consists of Malcolm Turnbull (who is challenging John Hewson for the role of the former Liberal Party leader who is most critical of the current Liberal Party), Labor leader Anthony Albanese, feminist Sisonke Msimang, Indigenous activist Pat Turner and Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt.

All the panellists are critical of the Morrison government to a greater or lesser extent. As befits the ABC’s reality as a Conservative Free Zone, there is not one conservative on the panel. Not one.

And precisely what is MWD’s EXCLUSIVE? – Jackie’s (male) co-owner hears you cry. Well, it’s this.  One of Jackie’s Eastern Suburbs mates reckons she saw Mr Turnbull near the St Vincent de Paul shop in Paddington in search of a leather jacket – apparently of the style that he wowed Q&A audiences with when he was seeking to replace Tony Abbott as Liberal party leader all those years ago.  Here’s hoping that Malcolm Turnbull found a faux-leather vegan jacket that fits, since the real-thing leather jackets are a thing of the past among the sandal-wearers of Point Piper.


Can You Bear It

  • TONY JONES BAGS HIS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PETER McEVOY WHILE BANGING ON ABOUT HIS ROLE AS A 60-SOMETHING GRETA THUNBERG

While on the topic of Tony Jones and Q&A, did anyone read Aaron Patrick’s “Lunch with the AFR” in last Saturday’s Australian Financial Review?  Dressed in fashionable dark glasses – and more besides – Mr Jones chose Bar Zini in fashionable inner-city Pyrmont for the occasion.  As Aaron Patrick commented:

Coincidentally, it [Bar Zini] is a favourite of another famous Sydney journalist often accused in these hyper-partisan times of anchoring his media institution on the left – Ross Gittins, the much-loved Sydney Morning Herald economics editor.

How very ABC/Sydney Morning Herald (a part of Nine Newspapers) in an inner-city kind of way.  The much loved Mr Jones chose to dine at the much loved Bar Zini much favoured by the much loved Mr Gittins. After some references to Tony Jones’ wife, ABC TV journalist Sarah Ferguson and his days as a student at St Paul’s College when an undergraduate at Sydney University almost half a century ago [Groan. – MWD Editor], your man Jones got around to talking about Q&A – as reported by Mr Patrick:

Jones missed one of the more controversial [Q&A] episodes, on November 4, when members of an all-woman panel called for police forces to be abolished, rapists to be killed, held capitalism responsible for poor nursing homes, and declared “f— the patriarchy”. ABC chairman Ita Buttrose disapproved of the language (which fill-in host Fran Kelly didn’t control), and ordered the episode taken down from the internet, according to Jones, who never got to see it.

Because the show was filmed in conjunction with a Melbourne feminist conference, the ABC wasn’t entirely responsible for selecting the guests, Jones says, although the main protagonist, Egyptian-American Mona Eltahawy, has wielded the f-word on Q&A before. “I think they probably should have chosen a panel with more balance on it,” he says. “I felt terribly sorry for Fran. I know what it’s like to be at the centre of a whirlwind of criticism.”

Interesting eh?  The Q&A panels are essentially chosen by the program’s executive producer – the leftist Peter McEvoy.  So Comrade Jones’ comment that the 4 November panel lacked balance was, in effect, a criticism of Comrade McEvoy.

It would seem that Tony Jones’ latter-day conversion to acknowledging the fact that Q&A panels need “more balance” has had little effect.  Next Monday’s panel, for example, contains not one conservative.  See above.

All good – and, yes, boring – lunches must come to an end.  Here’s how the meeting of minds at Bar Zini ended:

If Jones had asked, I would have told him that I regarded the [Q&A] episode as cheap sensationalism, but quite entertaining. If it was offensive, it was for a lack of substance, not the language. We’re here to talk about Jones’ opinions, not mine, and I ask about his own philosophy. “I think I plot a middle course,” he says. What cause worries him most? Climate change, he answers with barely a pause.

As Jones details his history of exploring global warming on air, and orders a coffee, I finish off my bowl of pasta. I look over, and point out that he hasn’t. “Pasta is fattening,” he says. Damn, he got me again.

Yeah. A devastating response, to be sure. But how lucky is your man Patrick? He had the opportunity of hearing Comrade Jones go on and on about his history as a global warming activist. At this stage, Jackie’s (male) co-owner would have been ordering another bottle of Patina Rosé. Can there be anything more boring than yet another Tony Jones lecture about his campaign to prevent global warming while flying around the world emitting lotsa carbon dioxide in the process. Can You Bear It?

  • NINE NEWSPAPERS’ NEIL McMAHON RECKONS THAT TUVALU WILL BECOME AN OPEN-AIR SWIMMING POOL AND SEES “KIWI ENVY” ALL AROUND

While on the topic of the Sydney Morning Herald as a left-wing newspaper due to the ideological influence of Ross Gittins, did anyone read the piece by Neil McMahon published in the SMH online on Tuesday? – the morning after the Q&A night before.  Here’s how it commenced under the title “Q&A examines a phenomenon afflicting modern Australia: Kiwi Envy”:

On Monday night Q&A went to Fiji, and amid debate over the pressing question of climate change the focus eventually shifted to that other phenomenon afflicting modern Australia: Kiwi Envy. It has been particularly pronounced since the election of global icon Jacinda Ardern, whose disarming political charm and boldness has left many Australians gazing forlornly across the ditch and wondering: what happened to us?

What a load of absolute tosh. Now Jackie’s (male) co-owner well understands that Q&A goes live-to-air in Eastern Australia at around Post-Dinner Drinks Time. So it’s easy to forget what was said on the program.  In fact, on Monday there was only one Australian on the panel – Minister Alex Hawke – and virtually no Australians in the audience in Suva.  What’s more, no one discussed Kiwi Envy – whatever condition that might be.

It’s possible, just possible, that some comrades in some Sydney Morning Herald various soviets want to pack their Che Guevara tee-shirts along with their sandals and travel to The Land of the Farting Cow (re which see Issue 479). But any such movement has not even been reported in Nine Newspapers.  As to Comrade McMahon’s claim that “many Australians” are “gazing forlornly across the [Tasman Ocean] ditch” – well they don’t have to gaze. All they have to do is buy a one-way ticket out of Australia to New Zealand on Air New Zealand. That’s all.

Comrade McMahon’s article continued:

New Zealand, you see, has announced plans for a special humanitarian visa to help people displaced by climate change, which on current projections is going to upend our own backyard first. Tuvalu, for instance, might disappear altogether this century. What to do about the ensuing crisis of displaced people?

This is pure mythology. The RMIT ABC Fact Check is hardly a hangout for global warming sceptics. However, in its update on 21 December 2018 titled “Is the Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu growing, and not sinking as Craig Kelly says?” – Fact Check supported Liberal Party MP Craig Kelly’s statement that Tuvalu is growing rather than shrinking.

In view of this, it is quite easy for New Zealand, which takes far fewer refugees than Australia on a per capita basis – to offer a special humanitarian visa to help people right now allegedly in danger of drowning in Tuvalu.  The point being that few if any such visas will need to be issued any time soon.  As to Comrade McMahon’s view that New Zealand is some kind of Sandalista Promised Land – all MWD can (loudly) say is – Can You Bear It?

  • THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD BELIEVES THAT CHRIS BATH & MYF WARHURST – WHO? – ARE PAGE ONE NEWS

While on the topic of the Sydney Morning Herald, it was Hangover-Time on Saturday when the print copy of the SMH landed on Jackie’s kennel.  The noise woke Jackie’s (male) co-owner who – through blurred vision – examined the front page.  The banner drew attention to two stories. Namely, the Good Weekend feature of “Who Mattered: People that Defined 2019” and – wait for it – “Chris Bath and Myf Warhurst resign from ABC: Page 17”.

Who are Chris Bath and Ms Warhurst? – MWD hears its avid readers cry.  Well Chris Bath is reasonably well known due to her days at Seven and Network 10.  But Myf Warhurst is not so well known. In any event, both presented low rating programs on ABC Radio – namely, Evenings (Bath) and the 12.30 pm Myf Warhurst show, due primarily to the time slot of each.

It seems that Ms Bath (genuinely) wants to spend more time with her family and the ABC (genuinely) wants to spend less time with Ms Warhurst.  Or something like this.  All dreadfully dull – except for those personally involved.  But the powers-that-be at Nine Newspapers seem to believe who presents low rating programs on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster is at the top of the mind of its readers and worthy of a puff piece on Page 1 of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Saturday edition.  Can You Bear It?


THE US[ELESS] STUDIES CENTRE

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.

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.

  • LOTSA CONTEMPT FOR TRUMP VOTERS AT TAXPAYER FUNDED USSC IN FAR-AWAY AUSTRALIA

As avid readers are aware, on 26 November the United States Studies Centre held a seminar titled “Impeachment: The Insiders’ Guide”. As would be expected from the US[eless] Studies Centre, the panel – which comprised USSC chief executive Simon Jackman and his colleagues Charles Edel, Gorana Grgic and Bruce Wolpe – contained only critics of President Donald J. Trump. [Interesting. This sounds like an ABC panel where everyone agrees with everyone else in a left-of-centre kind of way.  – MWD Editor.]

Towards the end of the function, a woman in the audience made the following comment:

Audience member: From my perspective as an Australian, I’m not so concerned about whether Trump does or doesn’t get impeached. As to whether Trump continues to ruin life for everybody around the world by being re-elected – that to me is a much more urgent thing.

And the statistics that you gave about his sort of voters who won’t abandon him whatever he does. I’m just wondering, do you have any idea of any vulnerability that may appear that would persuade these people that he’s not for them? He hasn’t delivered on what he’s promised them – and they don’t seem to have noticed that. And I’m just wondering if there’s anything that anyone could conceive of that could even be brought about to make these people actually fall away from him.

What a mouthful.  First up, the audience member threw the switch to hyperbole by claiming that President Trump “continues to ruin life for everyone around the world”. Yep, “everyone”.  This despite the fact that she acknowledged President Trumps has “voters who won’t abandon him” – even though, apparently, they have had their lives ruined by the US President. As apparently has “everyone” else in the world.

Then the very same audience member threw the switch to disdain by referring to Trump supporters as “these people”.  How snobbish can you get?  Then she asked the USSC panel what could be done to make “these [Trump supporting] people” fall away from him.

The appropriate response would have been for one or more panel members to say – courteously, of course – that the life of many Americans has improved during the Trump presidency.  This includes African-Americans and women who have benefited by the increase in employment and the decrease in unemployment.  Also a panel member might have suggested that “these people” who support the President are not ignorant fools who need advice by the Trump-haters at the USSC in far away Australia.

So, what was the response?  Dr Grgic responded that it was unlikely that President Trump would be forced to stand down by the Senate following an impeachment. Earlier in her response, she said that Trump could only be damaged by an economic crisis. Dr Jackman (for a doctor he is) and Dr Edel (for a doctor he is also) and Mr Wolpe said nothing.  And so the evening ended in contempt for around half of US voters.


  • MARK HUMPHRIES’ SHOCK/HORROR CONFESSION THAT HE DOES NOT LIKE DONALD TRUMP

What a stunning performance by Mark Humphries – ABC TV’s 7.30 resident comedian – on the ABC TV One Plus One program last Friday.  Jackie’s (male) co-owner just loves it when ABC types interview other ABC types about their performances on the ABC. So this made his day.

Towards the end of the program, interviewer Melanie Tait asked your man Humphries how he went about his work. Let’s go to the transcript:

Mark Humphries: My co-writer Evan Williams and I are just trying to make each other laugh. We sort of start with that. If it’s something we enjoy – we hope it’s something that other people will enjoy.  So that’s really the extent of it. It’s really him and I in a room and we have a shooter-editor who brings it to life. I don’t think we put too much thought into how the audience will react because I think you’d go mad trying to imagine what that audience is like.

How about that?  Mark Humphries does not care much about how the audience will react to his humour – because it’s not worth bothering about what your audience is like. [Perhaps that is why Humphries’ sketches aren’t very funny. Just a thought. – MWD Editor.] In other words, Mr Humphries is in the comedy business to provide an opportunity for him to laugh at his own jokes.

But it was not until a bit later that Humphries revealed some BIG NEWS about his attitude to President Donald J. Trump:

Melanie Tait: Mark, in a world where there’s larger than life political leaders – like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump for example – does that make your life easier or harder?

Mark Humphries: It is harder, I think.  Trump especially is one that Evan and I now more or less don’t touch. Unless we’ve got – unless there’s like an Australian angle to it, or we come up with something that we think is a unique take, it all feels a bit redundant. The news cycle moves on so quickly with Trump – and yeah, it’s quite difficult to come up with anything more ridiculous than what he’s already said. Sorry to anyone looking for traces of bias – I don’t like Trump.

Hold the front pages and so on.  Here is the left-wing comedian employed by a Conservative Free Zone telling viewers – if viewers there were – that he does not like President Trump. Quelle Surprise!

[I doubt that anyone at the ABC likes President Trump. Perhaps you should have put this in your hugely popular Can You Bear It? segment.  Just a thought. – MWD Editor.]

  • ABC’S STEPHANIE FERRIER DECLARES THAT SHE “KNOWS NOTHING” ABOUT THE ABC’S VERY OWN CASE OF HISTORICAL CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE – BECAUSE IT OCCURRED NEAR GOSFORD

There was significant interest in the report in Issue 478 that the ABC has now spent $25,960 of taxpayers’ funds on seeking outside legal advice on how to handle the Jon Stephens case. This is in addition to the in-house costs involving the work of ABC Legal. As MWD and News Corp readers will know – and as those who get their news only from the ABC and Nine will not know – in 2017 Jon Stephens pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of an underage male while on official ABC duties on the NSW Central Coast in 1980.

It seems that ABC reporters are also not aware of the ABC’s very own case of historical child sexual abuse. Thanks to the avid reader who drew MWD’s attention to the doorstop interview between Bill Thompson (of self-proclaimed “Outside Insiders” fame) and ABC TV journalist Stephanie Ferrier. Let’s go to the transcript of the “doorstop” interview that took place on 29 October 2019:

Bill Thompson: Did I see you in the ABC this morning, by any chance?

Stephanie Ferrier: Yes, you did.

Bill Thompson : Can I ask you if you’ve heard of this guy, former ABC producer Jon Stephens, who was jailed for abusing a child producer –

Stephanie Ferrier : No –

Bill Thompson : – a child presenter.

Stephanie Ferrier : I don’t know anything about it.

Bill Thompson : Could I leave that with you [hands SF a sheet of paper] and maybe you can find out about a former ABC children’s TV producer who was – he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a 14 year old boy.  And you might ask why the ABC hierarchy has never reported this nationally and whether they approached the victim whose name is [redacted] to offer compensation or an apology.  Anyway –

Stephanie Ferrier : I’m not suggesting that the ABC hasn’t reported it.  I just haven’t seen it.

Bill Thompson : Go on ABC News search and see if you can find any report.

Stephanie Ferrier : [referring to sheet of paper] It’s the Central Coast – I’m a Melbourne reporter.

Bill Thompson : It’s an ABC staffer. Have a look at the ABC website and see whether they have ever reported that. Pleasure talking to you.

So there you have it.  Stephanie Ferrier believes that an ABC Melbourne reporter is entitled to be completely ignorant of a case of historical child sexual abuse – because it occurred on the NSW Central Coast.  This would be the same as saying that an ABC Sydney reporter would be entitled to be completely ignorant of a case of historical child sexual abuse – because it occurred in, say, the Victorian city of Ballarat.  Yet the ABC has devoted large resources to covering historical child sexual abuse in places like Ballarat – which it has reported widely throughout Australia.

  • YET ANOTHER LEFTIST COMEDIAN GETS ANOTHER ABC PRESENTER GIG – AS IT’S IN WITH SAMMY J. ON BREAKFAST – AND OUT WITH JACINTA PARSONS AND SAMI SHAH

As avid readers are aware, the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone without a conservative presenter, producer or editor of any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets.  Also the ABC is continually blurring the line between reportage and comedy. Hence the increasing number of stand-up, sit-down and lie-down comedians who get gigs on prominent ABC programs.

Just when you thought you would be safe from sneering comedic leftists getting gigs on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster – guess what?  ABC management has just appointed a 36-year old man who calls himself “Sammy J” – aka Sam McMillan – as presenter of the influential Breakfast show in Melbourne.

So – from early 2020 – it will be Breakfast With Sammy J – or possibly Breakfast with Sam McMillan (although this sounds a bit dull).  It’s the appointment of yet another leftist to a prominent role at the ABC – further cementing the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s position as a Conservative Free Zone.

Your man J has taken over the Breakfast slot from co-presenters Jacinta Parsons and Sami Shah.  How about that?  The public broadcaster, which is always banging on about the need for gender and racial diversity, has replaced a white sheila and a Pakistan-born bloke with a white-as-a-cricket-scoreboard-in-a-red-ball-cricket-match guy.

And what about Ms Parsons and Mr Shah?  Well, this is what ABC Melbourne manager Dina Rosendorff had to say about their fate:

They are both extremely talented broadcasters and communicators. They have brought a fresh new sound to Breakfast along with a whole lot of new listeners. There is absolutely no way we would want to lose their skills.

Which raises the point. If Breakfast co-presenters Shah and Parsons brought a “fresh new sound” along with a “whole lot of new listeners” to Breakfast – why were they dropped by ABC management?  Especially since Breakfast rated well in the most recent ratings survey.

It would seem that the ABC’s management’s desire to push more left-wing comedians into what were once serious ABC programs is behind the appointment of Sammy (“I used to be Sam”) J (“I used to be McMillan”).


  • THE RECYCLED EMPTY CHAIR AS RECYCLED CLICHE

The ABC is replete with journalists who refuse to answer questions – despite the taxpayer funded public broadcaster belonging to the Right to Know Coalition.  Yet ABC journalists – like many others of their craft – get mightily upset when someone declines to answer their questions in a pre-arranged sit-down interview.

Last night on 7.30, presenter Leigh Sales complained that Minister Angus Taylor “has repeatedly refused an interview”. The transcript of this part of the program is headed “Angus Taylor declines to be interviewed on 7.30”.

Well that’s pretty clear, then. 7.30 wants Angus Taylor to appear on 7.30.  And the minister has declined the invitation.

However, last night 7.30’s executive producer decided that the program’s viewers – if viewers there were – are so dumb that they needed Mr Taylor’s absence illustrated.  And so they went for the usual cliché of the EMPTY CHAIR – see the screenshot from last night’s 7.30 below.

An Elephant Comments for MWD: “Being possessed of a good memory – indeed some say we elephants never forget – I can remember the ABC rolling out an empty chair to illustrate the fact that a Liberal Party politician had knocked back an interview request.  I reckon the year was 1969 – half a century ago.  Alas, I can’t remember whether the ABC used the same chair (and cliché)”.

[Next time a journalist declines to answer a question from Jackie’s (male) co-owner perhaps MWD should show a pic of a bed with the implied suggestion that someone is under it.  At least such an image is not yet a visual cliché.  From an Elephant’s perspective, at least. – MWD Editor]


There has been overwhelming demand for more news on the “Spin a Yarn” segment — presented by Derryn (“I got a whopping 2.8% of the primary vote in the 2019 Senate election in Victoria”) Hinch on Sky News every Thursday. After Dark, of course. Towards the end of the program, a turn-table determines what (boring) story The Human Mumble will tell about famous people who have had the privilege of meeting the even more famous Hinch.

According to your man Hinch, the idea of the turn-table came from Canberra Press Gallery journalists Annika Smethurst (News Corp) and Rob Harris (Nine Newspapers). MWD does not doubt this. However, MWD believes that the journos were pulling Hinch’s leg in getting him to tell yet more of his oh-so-boring and inconsequential stories about himself. It’s just that The Human Mumble does not understand when people are laughing at him. It’s a narcissistic trait.

  • IN WHICH ROB HARRIS & ANNIKA SMETHURST QUERY DERRYN HINCH ABOUT HIS SUCCESS IN (MEDIA) LIFE & LOVE

Gerard Henderson does not like it when anyone loses a job.  So it was sad to watch the final show of Hinch on Sky News last night.  Mr Hinch had the good grace to acknowledge that he had been treated well at Sky News and that he did not appeal to many Sky News viewers.

Certainly MWD is going to miss Derryn Hinch’s Hinch especially since it provided lotsa copy.  Mainly, the “Spin a Yarn” section which, last night, featured actress Rachel Griffiths. However, before the wheel was spun the following exchange took place between The Human Mumble and journalists Rob Harris and Annika Smethurst.

Rob Harris: I’ve got one of your great books The Fall and Rise of Derryn Hinch: How I Hit the Wall and Didn’t Bleed I think it’s called. In that book it’s got a wonderful statistical analysis of your career and how many times you’ve been sacked – how many times is it tonight?

Annika Smethurst: Where are we up to? [laughs]

Derryn Hinch: I think it’s 17.

Rob Harris: Is that including the Senate?

Derryn Hinch: Yeah I think it’s 17 including the Senate. I think it was 15, the Senate makes it 16 and this makes it 17. So there we are.

Annika Smethurst: Over 60 years that’s –

Derryn Hinch: Over 60 years yeah. It’s like people saying “you’ve been married so many times”. Well, when you amortize them over all those years it doesn’t look quite so bad. Well, look while I’ve got you here just quickly-

Annika Smethurst: [interjecting] You’ve been married so many times Derryn you’re going back through them again [Hinch laughs]. You’re now dating someone you were engaged to years ago.

Derryn Hinch: Well that is true, 37 years ago –

How about that? Then it was time for “Spin a Yarn”. After which Mr Hinch made a brief comment about Ms Griffiths – at the end of which Ms Smethurst declared:

Annika Smethurst: I’ve heard that story before but I can hear it a thousand times over – because I just love the chain of events that led to that. I think it’s wonderful.

Yep. That’s the problem with your man Hinch’s yarns – people have heard so many of them before. Ms Smethurst wants more of the same – but many a soul will go to the ends of the earth to avoid another Hinch yarn.

But not MWDHinch will be missed.  Let’s hope Sky News replace him with Ross (“I knew Marcus Aurelius when he was a boy”) Cameron.  MWD needs good copy at Dinner Time to put into MWD at around Lunch Time before MWD goes out around Gin & Tonic Time on Friday afternoons.  Over to you “Boris”.


IN WHICH PELL ANTAGONIST LOUISE MILLIGAN LOSES OBJECTIVITY IN AN ATTACK ON JUSTICE MARK WEINBERG

There was considerable interest in last week’s Correspondence segment which carried Gerard Henderson’s correspondence of March 2019 with Louise Milligan, the author of Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell.  The correspondence revealed that Ms Milligan appears to be of the view that George Pell has a collective guilt – covering not only the crimes with respect to the two victims concerning whom he was found guilty of historical child sexual assault. But also all the crimes by Catholic clerics committed against child victims – and the alleged crimes committed against complainants when they were children.

Last week’s correspondence indicated that the ABC reporter is an activist journalist who is inclined to demonstrate a lack of objectivity.  This is evident in the Twitter thread yesterday when Louise Milligan bought into the discussion about Pell-antagonist Derryn Hinch’s view that Tony Abbott should not have visited the Cardinal in the Melbourne Remand Centre earlier this week.  It seems that Cardinal Pell will remain there until the High Court considers his case early next year.

For overseas readers unfamiliar with Australia – it should be pointed out that neither journalist Gay Alcorn nor lawyer Greg Barns are conservatives or known supporters of Pell.  Here’s an example – in which Louise Milligan loses it when she attacks Acting Justice Weinberg of the Victorian Court of Appeal.

You can find a copy of the full thread: Here

 

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Next Friday will be the final Media Watch Dog of 2019. MWD will resume on 31 January 2020.

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