GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 493

24 April 2020

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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 – Waleed Aly says the US & UK are ailing nations but fails to mention Spain, Italy or France; Fitz offers a “Riverview” explanation for the resignation of Raelene Castle

  • Can You Bear It? All quiet on the Insiders front re its association with Guardianistas Taylor and Murphy;The ignorance of Crikey’s Glenn Dyer; A look back on David Marr on George Pell; Mark Kenny on the right-wing “terrorists” who overthrew Malcolm Turnbull

  • Great Media U-Turns of our Time – Peter Hartcher on Australia kowtowing to China (or maybe not)

  • COVID-19 and the Media – ANU’s Hugh White on the reputational damage of COVID-19 to the US & China; RN Breakfast brings on a guest to slam Donald Trump without mentioning his volunteer work for the Democratic Party; An Update on failed predictions featuring Dr Norman Swan & Fran Kelly

  • MWD Exclusive meets Quelle Surprise! – ABC censors reporting on the ABC of the ABC’s very own case of historical child sexual assault

  • US[ELESS] Studies Centre – David Smith can’t understand why some Trump supporters want to go to a hairdresser

  • Five Paws Award – Step Forward The Mocker

  • Media Participating in the Pell Media Pile-on (amended list)


 

Stop Press Heading

 

  • WALEED ALY SLAMS THE US & UK – BUT NEGLECTS SPAIN, ITALY AND FRANCE

The Sydney Morning Herald had a dinkus this morning titled “Ailing nations serve as a warning” along with a photo of its columnist Waleed Aly.  Turn to Page 18 and, under the same heading, Dr Aly (for a doctor he is) opined about the “carnage unfolding in the United States and Britain” due to COVID-19 and all that. He compared both nations unfavourably with Australia.

Your man Aly implied that the US and Britain are in political and social decay due to the COVID-19 death toll.  But compared to what other Northern Hemisphere democracy?

Here are the approximate deaths from COVID-19 per million people:

Spain: 473

Italy: 423

France: 335

UK: 276

USA: 151

Australia: 3

New Zealand: 3

So if the US and Britain are in political and social decline – this must be more so the case with Spain, Italy and France.  But such nations are not mentioned in your man Aly’s hyperbolic piece.

  • FITZ’S “RIVERVIEW” EXPLANATION FOR RUGBY AUSTRALIA’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE DECISION RE RAELENE CASTLE

It was as recently as 5 April that Georgina Robinson wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald that there would be “no change for now” in the Rugby Australia chief executive position. This morning Ms Robinson reported that “Raelene Castle’s tumultuous time at Rugby Australia ended last night when she resigned after learning she’s lost the board’s confidence”.

There always seemed to be an element of inevitability about this outcome – in view of Rugby Australia’s poor performances on and off the field in recent times.  It’s invariably sad when someone loses a job – but it happens.

Needless to say, ABC journalists went to Nine columnist Peter FitzSimons for comment. Here’s what the Red Bandannaed One – who appeared on ABC TV News Breakfast this morning without the traditional red rag on his head – had to say in response to a leading question:

Paul Kennedy: Can I ask you whether or not you think that Raelene Castle was held to a higher standard and received more criticism than she deserved because she is a woman who was in charge of a boys club?

Peter FitzSimons: There has been a lot of commentary to the effect that if she’d gone to Riverview and had captained the first 15 in 1978, there would have been – she would have been “one of them” and so forth.

So Fitz is suggesting that a bloke educated at the Catholic private school St Ignatius (Riverview) would have survived as Rugby Australia supremo, in spite of its financial plight and poor on-field performance, simply because he was a bloke. [What about a bloke educated at Fitz’s alma mater Knox Grammar? – MWD Editor.]  Fitz’s evidence for his assertion? He didn’t provide any evidence – and he wasn’t asked for any.  That’s sports journalism, ABC style.


Can You Bear It

  • ALL QUIET ON THE INSIDERS’ FRONT RE ITS ASSOCIATION WITH GUARDIANISTAS TAYLOR AND MURPHY

MWD holds the view that most – if not all – commentators believe what they claim to believe.  In short, left-of-centre types believe in left-of-centre causes.  Ditto with right-of-centre types.

Alas, this is not a universal view.  The Guardian Australia (a leftist online newspaper if ever there was one) and the ABC (particularly such panel programs as Insiders and The Drum) continually bang on about the need for FULL DISCLOSURE to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest.

So it came as some surprise when Malcolm Turnbull revealed, at pages 198 and 199 in his political memoir A Bigger Picture, that he played a key role in the creation of The Guardian Australia and recommended “two senior Canberra political writers, Lenore Taylor and Katharine Murphy (aka Murpharoo)” for key positions on the publication. Currently Comrade Taylor is The Guardian Australia’s  editor and Comrade Murphy is political editor.

Now, being left-of-centre types, it is understandable that, since taking up their Guardian gigs in 2013, Comrades Taylor and Murphy have run left-of-centre commentary and during their appearances on ABC TV programs such as Insiders and The Drum.  The only problem is that neither Comrade Taylor nor Murpharoo publicly declared their history with Malcolm Turnbull until the former prime minister revealed all in his book last week.  This in spite of The Guardian Australia’s constant call for transparency in its campaign against what it terms corruption.

And then there is Insiders – executive producer Sam Clark.  Your man Clark is also often banging on about the need for transparency.  So what happened on Insiders last Sunday?  Did presenter David Speers (on behalf of Insiders) reveal the relationship between Malcolm Turnbull and the two Guardianistas who frequent the Insiders’ couch? Not on your nelly. Not even though both Guardianistas, when on Insiders, were wont to criticise Tony Abbott’s policies while supporting Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal Party leadership.

Now it makes sense for The Guardian to support Mr Turnbull from its left-of-centre perspective.  But if Sam Clark was consistent – the Turnbull/Taylor/Murphy connection would have been acknowledged on Insiders last Sunday. It wasn’t . Can You Bear It?

Meanwhile MWD has got a tip about next Sunday’s program. Malcolm Turnbull will replace David Speers in the presenter’s seat.  And three Guardianistas will be on the panel – Katharine Murphy (from Canberra), Lenore Taylor (from Sydney) and Karl Marx (in the Melbourne studio).  MWD understands that, having risen from the dead, the author of The Communist Manifesto decided to settle in the Victorian Socialist State since he feels at home there and has taken up digs in inner-city Melbourne, close to the ABC’s Southbank studio.

 

  • THE IGNORANCE OF CRIKEY’S GLENN DYER

While on the topic of Insiders, did anyone read “Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings” in Crikey last Monday? This is what he had to say about the previous day’s Insiders:

The ABC’s Insiders had another strong morning with 797,000 national viewers.  We had the gospel from St Greg Sheridan on a News Corp-dominated chat on the national broadcaster. His cynical closing comments about the ABC and George Pell came right at the end with no time left for a rebuttal.

For starters, the description was wrong. David Speers (ABC) was in the presenter’s chair and participated in the discussion. And the panel comprised Greg Sheridan (News Corp), Annika Smethurst (News Corp) and Peter Hartcher (Nine).  In other words, News Corp journalists did not “dominate” the discussion.  Moreover, Mr Sheridan and Ms Smethurst have quite different views on a range of issues.

The reference to St Greg Sheridan is just an anti-Catholic sectarian sneer from a leftist secularist – so just let that pass. The important point here is that Crikey’s media commentator hasn’t got a clue about how Insiders works.

It is true that, in his final comment on Insiders last Sunday, The Australian’s  Greg Sheridan attacked the intensity of the criticism of the ABC concerning Cardinal George Pell going back years. His comment occurred in the brief segment at the end of the program where the three panellists are invited to make a brief final prediction or observation.  The Australian’s foreign editor was the last to make a comment since he was seated at the left of the set and the comments commenced from the right.  That’s all – no conspiracy here.

In his ignorance, Comrade Dyer neglected to mention one central fact. The run-sheet for Insiders each week is set by the program’s executive director Sam Clark.  Now, in the long lead-up to the quashing of Cardinal Pell’s conviction for historical child sexual abuse by a unanimous High Court decision on 7 April 2020, George Pell was on the run-sheet on a number of occasions over many years.

However, for reasons unexplained, Comrade Clark did not put the High Court decision in Pell v The Queen on the Insiders  as a topic for discussion on the run-sheet on Sunday 12 April or Sunday 19 April.  This despite the fact that this is one of the most important cases in Australian criminal law and also raises questions about the involvement of politicians (e.g. Victorian premier Daniel Andrews) in commenting on the legal process.

So, contrary to Glenn Dyer’s conspiracy theory, the reason why discussion on George Pell “came right at the end with no time left for rebuttal” turned on the fact that Sam Clark did not put the topic on the Insiders run-sheet which is followed by presenter David Speers. In short, this was Insiders’ own decision and not part of any conspiracy to give “Saint Greg” a free lunch. It seems that Crikey’s media expert is totally ignorant about how the Insiders show is put together. Can You Bear It?

  • DAVID MARR’S FALSE PROPHECY

While on the topic of George Pell and Insiders, MWD well remembers a (false) prophecy by Pell antagonist David Marr on Insiders in the not too distant past. It was in the days when the Insiders executive producer did put the Pell case on the run-sheet for discussion – unlike Sam Clark in the last two weeks.

David Marr commented on George Pell 2 July 2017 – just after Pell was charged by Victoria Police. Comrade Marr, implying that he had some inside information, told Insiders’ viewers that Pell would be subjected to a “series of trials” none of which could “be reported until the final one is resolved”.

The author of the anti-Pell diatribe The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell predicted that “the public will know nothing of what he’s accused of, or the results of any of these trials, for perhaps four or five years”. Really.

When fellow panellist Gerard Henderson, having struggled to get a word in edgeways, said to The Guardian Australia scribbler: “David, you don’t know that, you have no idea” he was talked down by Mr Marr and not invited by presenter Barrie Cassidy (another Pell antagonist) to put his view.

In fact, contrary to Comrade Marr’s (false) prophecy, there were not a “series of trials” extending for “perhaps four or five years”. Rather there was one trial which, in the end, resulted in an acquittal.  Which speaks volumes for David Marr’s legal insight into such matters.  Perhaps he needs a new (legal) crystal ball. Can You Bear It?

  • MARK KENNY REGARDS MALCOLM TURNBULL’S DOWNFALL AS AN ACT OF TERRORISM – BUT NOT BOB HAWKE’S OR TONY ABBOTT’S

While on the topic of Insiders’ panellists, how’s Mark (“Call me Prof”) Kenny going? – MWD hears you cry. Pretty well, it seems – judging by the learned professor’s Twitter feed.

As avid readers are aware, Mark Kenny’s brilliant career commenced as a junior staffer in the office of a left-wing minister in John Bannon’s Labor government in South Australia.  From there he went to The Advertiser in Adelaide as a journalist and then took the familiar journalistic route from the ABC to (then) Fairfax Media (now Nine Newspapers).

And then, around a year ago, your man Kenny left the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and became a professor of something or other at the Australian National University.  Kenny continues as an Insiders’ panellist and on Twitter – where, on Wednesday, he posted this message:

What a load of absolute tosh.  Here’s an ANU professor stating that if a group of democratically elected politicians decide to change their leader this is an act of TERRORISMTurn it up.

Does Comrade Kenny really believe that the majority of the Labor Caucus who rolled Prime Minister Bob Hawke in December 1991 and replaced him with Paul Keating were terrorists?  And if replacing a prime minister is an act of terrorism – then why did Comrade Kenny say nothing when Malcolm Turnbull rolled Tony Abbott and became prime minister in September 2015?  Why the double standard?

The term “terrorist” in this democratic context was developed by Malcolm Turnbull.  It is a word he used in the lead-up to, and after, his replacement as leader by Tony Abbott.  Mr Turnbull asserts in his book A Bigger Picture that Finance Minister Mathias Cormann also used the term “terrorist” against Peter Dutton (who was challenging Malcolm Turnbull) in the early stages of the 2018 leadership challenge.

There is absolutely no evidence for this claim – beyond Mr Turnbull’s memory. Journalists should be aware that memory is a very fallible thing – in that some people have clear “recollections” of events that never happened.

But MWD digresses.  Apparently Professor Kenny’s ANU students (if students there are) are being taught that anyone who votes in the party room to replace a prime minister is a terrorist. Can You Bear It?


PETER HARTCHER’S KOWTOW CONFUSION

MWD fave Peter Hartcher is Nine Newspapers’ political editor.  In this capacity, The Thought of Hartcher can be found every morning, every night and frequently during the day in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.  MWD can barely wait to read your man Hartcher and watch his frequently erudite appearances on ABC TV.  This year Mr Hartcher was promoted to a seat on the ABC TV Insiders’ couch – since replaced by an appearance via Skype due to COVID-19 and all that.

These days Nine Newspapers’ political editor presents as an expert on what is – and what should be – Australia’s relationship with China.

How strange, then, that Peter Hartcher seems to change his position on China from time to time – as viewers of Insiders’ new man on the couch will be aware.  Here’s a reminder:

  • PETER HARTCHER ON HOW AUSTRALIA KOWTOWS TO CHINA

The government is timid about this because they don’t want to upset the Chinese government. Which has become the basis, the essential reflex into which the Chinese government has trained Australia over decades. Hats off to them, it’s a good trick. We operate now, on the basis as a country, in the position that I call the Pre-emptive Kowtow. Where we live in fear of upsetting the Chinese. A basis on which we conduct no other relationship in the world.

– Peter Hartcher, ABC TV Insiders, Sunday 1 March 2020

  • PETER HARTCHER ON HOW AUSTRALIA DOES NOT KOWTOW TO CHINA

Peter Hartcher: Well, on the point of trust, David, that [Foreign Minister] Marise [Payne] was very reluctant to address directly, the answer is clearly there is no trust. Otherwise the Turnbull government, with Scott Morrison as treasurer, would not have banned Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications gear manufacturer, from Australia’s 5G network. Nor would the Turnbull government, with bipartisan support, have introduced and passed laws against foreign interference and setting up a transparency and disclosure register within the Attorney-General’s Department, designed to force the sort of transparency by threat of a fine and imprisonment, that Marise Payne was calling for. So, let’s just be clear. There is no trust. There is no trust. And any trust has to be forced and verified. I understand that the Chief Diplomat, Marise Payne, can’t actually say that, but that’s the underlying truth….

Peter Hartcher, ABC TV Insiders, Sunday 19 April 2020.

So, now you know whether Australia kowtows to China.  Or perhaps not.


  • MWD EXCLUSIVE MEETS QUELLE SURPRISE!

ABC CENSORS REPORTING ON THE ABC OF THE ABC’s VERY OWN CASE OF HISTORICAL CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT

As MWD readers are aware, in June 2017 one-time ABC TV producer Jon Stephens pleaded guilty in Gosford Local Court to one charge of indecent assault of a male child.  The offence took place in 1981 on a working day when the victim, aged 12, was working for Stephens who was working for the ABC. (See Jon Stephens v R, NSW District Court, 13 September 2017] Stephens was 36 years of age at the time of the crime.  Stephens and his victim Simon Major were working on the ABC TV program Earth Watch.

Stephens was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of six months.  In September 2017, he appealed against the severity of the sentence – which was reduced by the NSW  District Court to six months, with a non-parole period of three months, due to the applicant’s ill health.

Stephens’ conviction at Gosford Local Court was reported in News Corp publications – the Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate, the Daily Telegraph and The Australian.  But it was not reported by the ABC or Nine Newspapers (the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, ). The decision of the NSW District Court to reduce  Stephens’ sentence was reported briefly on one occasion on ABC Radio in NSW – and then dropped completely due to what ABC management referred to as “significant bushfires in both the Hunter region and across NSW”. Really. There was no national coverage at all.

At the time of his death in December 2019, Stephens was facing other criminal charges of historical child sexual abuse in the NSW District Court with respect to two individual complainants.  He successfully sought adjournments to these trials due to medical reasons – and died before the trials could be held.

MWD drew the ABC management’s attention to the hearings with respect to the additional charges – but the ABC declined to cover the cases. Quelle Surprise! So did Paul Barry’s ABC TV Media Watch program. Quelle surprise!

Senator Eric Abetz has been following up Stephens’ conviction with ABC management during Senate Estimates, focusing on the fate of Stephens’ victim Simon Major. Mr Major identified himself as the victim in this case in 2017 when interviewed by News Corp journalist Richard Noone. Some of Senator Abetz’s questions, and the ABC’s essentially non-answers, have been covered in MWD. And now for an update.

On 4 March 2020, Senator Abetz lodged Question 1207 at Senate Estimates requesting an update on the Jon Stephens case. In particular, he asked how much money has the ABC spent on legal representation (both internally and externally) concerning Simon Major and queried why the Stephens case has not been reported by ABC.

On 9 April 2020, Senator Linda Reynolds (on behalf of Communications Minister Paul Fletcher) tabled answers to Question 1207.  The responses were written by ABC management. In doing so, the Minister  confirmed – on behalf of the ABC  – that Mr Major is taking a legal action against the ABC with respect to his assault by  Stephens.   The first part of the ABC’s response to Senator Abetz’s Question 1207 was as follows:

Formal proceedings have been instituted in the District Court against the ABC in relation to the behaviour of Jon Stephens against the plaintiff. The ABC’s legal fees for external Counsel to date have been $25,960 (incl GST). External solicitors (Thompson Cooper Lawyers) have recently been engaged to act on behalf of the ABC in relation to the District Court proceedings. Those legal fees are currently being paid by Comcover. Salaried internal lawyers have been and continue to be involved with relevant investigations and providing instructions to the external solicitors.

So there you have it.  Legal proceedings have commenced against the ABC by Simon Major. Despite having its own Legal Department, the ABC has spent close to $26,000 on external legal advice. At the moment, these fees are being paid by  Comcover Insurance.  It is not clear for how long this will continue to be the case.

Oh, yes.  There was a final answer to Senator Abetz’s question.  Here it is – straight from the ABC:

ABC News editors have not assessed the case to be of sufficient news value to warrant reporting at this stage.

So here is the situation. Victim Simon Major has taken a civil action against the ABC for being sexually assaulted by ABC producer Stephens when he was working for the ABC as a 12 year old. And the taxpayer funded public broadcaster is defending the case – in spite of the fact that Stephens pleaded guilty.  Quelle Surprise!

Moreover, despite massive coverage of some cases of historical child sexual assault, ABC News editors have decided that the case of Simon Major v Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Case Number 2019/00401393)  is not of “sufficient news value” to “warrant reporting at this stage”. Quelle Surprise!


COVID-19 AND THE MEDIA

MWD  is of the view that there is so much media coverage of the novel coronavirus that its focus should be on other issues. Apart, that is, from monitoring the predictions of Dr Norman Swan (who is not an expert in infectious diseases) and Fran Kelly (ditto).  However, in response to reader demand, MWD will highlight some of the more notable COVID-19 media events – including, due to massive public demand, an update of the Swan/Kelly (COVID-19) crystal ball.

  • HUGH WHITE RECKONS THE US’s REPUTATION IS MORE DAMAGED THAN CHINA’s

Australian National University Emeritus Professor Hugh White was interviewed on ABC Radio National Breakfast on Monday. Mr White ran his usual line that China’s economy will soon surpass that of the United States.  He also asserted that COVID-19 is likely to deliver “a bigger hit to America reputationally” than to China.  Really. This in spite of the evidence that the novel coronavirus commenced in China and that Chinese authorities covered up the outbreak for some weeks.

  • FUDGING DAVID W. LEOPARD’s POLITICAL BACKGROUND

This is how ABC Radio National Breakfast announced the appearance on Wednesday of David W. Leopold – a United States lawyer with an expertise in immigration.

#DonaldTrump has been accused of “xenophobic scapegoating” after announcing he’ll order a temporary ban on immigration into the US to combat #COVID_19 Our guest on @RNBreakfast is @DavidLeopold

Your man Leopold certainly laid into Donald J. Trump accusing him of xenophobic scapegoating and all that.  Frightfully interesting to be sure.  Pity, though, that interviewer Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly did not tell her listeners that David W. Leopold was a volunteer operative for the Democratic Party in 2004, 2008, 2017 and 2016. Fancy that.

  • A NORMAN SWAN/FRAN KELLY UPDATE

Avid readers will remember MWD’s coverage of the failed predictions of ABC presenters Dr Norman Swan & Fran Kelly [Issue 492]. As a reminder:

  • Dr Swan tweeted on 21 March that by 29 March Australia would have 7000-8000 cases reported with a possible true total of 70,000-80,000. As of 23 April, Australia had 6,661 reported cases.
  • In a 25 March interview with Health Minister Greg Hunt, Fran Kelly stated that “I know on current projections hospitals will be overwhelmed by mid-April”. This based on a study which estimated Australia’s ICU capacity at 2,229 beds. As of 23 April, there are 152 people admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 nationwide, with 45 in ICU.

This past Monday the ABC’s failed prophets had a chance to discuss their failures of prediction as Dr Swan sat down for a segment with Ms Kelly on RN Breakfast. Indeed the segment did involve discussion of Australia’s remarkable decline in new cases in April, although neither participant fessed up to having predicted the opposite. Instead we received a new prediction from Dr Swan:

Fran Kelly: So these latest numbers are really encouraging. Are we on the way, to quote the Health Minister: “effective eradication”?

Norman Swan: Uh yes, but they’ve got to have that as a clear objective, which they didn’t commit on last we – the prime minster didn’t commit on – to last week. But I think the states are trying to commit to that, particularly Victoria. And yeah we are getting quite close to that, uh West Australia I think there was one case. You’ve got to watch daily cases by the way because there are ups and downs, you’ve got to really look at averages. The one disturbing figure is that we have been trucking along at around 40 new cases each day and that seems to be resistant to going down.

Dr Swan is correct that in the days leading up to his interview on Monday, Australia had averaged around 40 new cases per day. But how has his contention that this number was “resistant” to going down fared? Well, later in the day on Monday, it was announced that Australia had 13 new cases. This was followed by 23 on Tuesday, 12 on Wednesday and 8 on Thursday. That’s an average of 14. So another prediction of Dr Swan’s up in smoke. Perhaps RN Breakfast can have Dr Swan on next Monday to discuss how Australia will never get below 14 cases per day until the prime minister starts following Dr Swan’s recommendations?

The ABC did put out a statement on Monday defending Dr Swan’s role in the ABC’s COVID-19 coverage. It included the following:

[Dr Swan’s coverage] has included setting out scenarios on what might occur as a result of the pandemic given various different assumptions, primarily using international information because Australian data have not been available. This work has been to the highest scientific standard.

That’s true in a sense – except that the scenarios have been exaggerated. Dr Swan’s method seems to be to take statistics out of context to support whatever he is banging on about today and to throw out half-baked predictions on twitter or in interviews and then rarely mention when they fail to come to pass. Hardly the “highest scientific standard”.


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. Now read on.

DAVID SMITH FAILS TO UNDERSTAND WHY SOME TRUMP SUPPORTERS WANT TO GO TO A HAIRDRESSER

The United States Studies Centre’s David Smith has a regular gig on ABC Radio Sydney’s Drive program.  Dr Smith (for a doctor he is) is one of the soviet of Trump-haters at the taxpayer funded USSC and invariably uses his time during his “Trump Tuesday” gig to have a go at President Donald J. Trump and/or his supporters.

Occasional ABC presenter Josh Szeps was in the presenter’s chair for “Trump Tuesday” last Tuesday. Towards the end of the segment, Comrade Szeps had a go at Trump supporters in the US who are opposed to the current COVID-19 lockdown provisions, which are especially harsh in some American states.  Let’s go to the transcript as Comrade Szeps talks about an image which a listener sent him.

Josh Szeps: …on the text line, a listener has sent me, sent me a very funny image. Which says “Prepper for the last 10 years”. And it’s got an image of like a burly guy, who looks like a Prepper, who’s in his basement saying “I can survive like this for 10 months”. And then it says:  “Preppers finally getting a chance in 2020”. And it’s got all of them on the courthouse steps going “I want to go to the hairdresser!” Which is a little –

David Smith: I know, it is amazing! All these people who spent years stockpiling dried beans and ammunition are now really upset they can’t go to Fuddruckers. I mean it’s a, it’s a very strange picture.

First, an interpretation.  A “Prepper” is a “Doomsday Prepper” living in a basement awaiting the end of the world, who intends to vote for Trump in November 2020.  And “Fuddruckers” is a Texan burger chain.

So David Smith joined in the sneer at Trump supporters who are allegedly stockpiling dried beans and ammunition and who demand the right to go to a hairdresser. LOL.  But hang on.  Isn’t it to be expected that Dr Smith (see his official photo below) would fail to appreciate the point in anyone –  Doomsday Preppers included – going to a Hairdresser?

DR DAVID SMITH – HE JUST CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY RIGHT-WING SUPPORTERS OF PRESIDENT TRUMP WANT TO GO TO THE HAIRDRESSER


Media Watch Dog’s Five Paws Award was inaugurated in Issue Number 26 (4 September 2009) during the time of Nancy (2004-2017). Over the years, the late Nancy’s Five Paws Award has become one of the world’s most prestigious gongs – rating just below the Nobel Prize and Academy Awards.

THE MOCKER ON CAPTAIN SCOTT, CAPTAIN TONY & CAPTAIN MALCOLM (WHO CRASHES MANY A LIBERAL PARTY PLANE)

For the best “review” of Malcolm Turnbull’s A Bigger Picture by someone who has not and will not read the book – MWD suggests that avid readers read “I won’t read Malcolm Turnbull’s book, there’s only so much chutzpah I can take” by The Mocker in The Australian Online yesterday.

The review of the fictional book “A Better Pilot” has a pilot named Malcolm crashing his plane in 2009, only to have Captain Tony getting it up in the air again.  Before it was crashed again in 2018 with Malcolm again in the pilot’s seat.  Only now we have Captain Scott to get it flying again in 2019 – after a “Flight of the Phoenix” moment.  Worth a read – it’s more historical and a lot funnier than the real thing.

The Mocker: Five Paws


MEDIA PARTICIPATING IN THE PELL MEDIA PILE-ON (AMENDED LIST)

There has been enormous interest in Gerard Henderson’s “Little List” of current or past media types who were involved in the pile-on against Cardinal George Pell over the years.  As avid readers will be aware, the mention of this Little List on The Bolt Report (7 April 2020) and in The Weekend Australian (11 April 2020) led Lucie Morris-Marr to declare that she had lodged a complaint against Hendo’s work with the Australian Press Council. So far, Jackie’s (male) co-owner has heard nothing about being called up before the (media) beak – to use P.G. Wodehouse’s term.  See MWD last week.

In any event, readers have been providing new names which were previously overlooked. They are in darker font. As the late Dean Martin was wont to say: “Keep those cards and letters coming folks.”  Now here’s the updated list:

Richard Ackland, Phillip Adams, Emma Alberici, Waleed Aly, John Barron, Paul Bongiorno, The late Richard Carleton R.I.P, Barrie Cassidy, The Chaser Boys (average age 481/2), Gorgi Coghlan, Rachel Corbett, Stephen Crittenden, Quentin Dempster, Melissa Davey, Raphael Epstein, Jon Faine, Sarah Ferguson, Peter FitzSimons, Ray Hadley, Wendy Harmer, Peter Helliar, Derryn Hinch, Tony Jones, Fran Kelly, Kristina Keneally, Paul Kennedy, Dom Knight, Hamish Macdonald, Dee Madigan, David Marr, Stephen Mayne, Shaun Micallef, Alex McKinnon, Karen Middleton, Lisa Millar, Louise Milligan, Tim Minchin, Lucie Morris-Marr, Paul Murray (up until Pell was charged), Charlie Pickering, Craig Reucassel, Michael Rowland, Leigh Sales, Chris Smith, Justin Smith, Tim Soutphommasane, Josh Szeps, Virginia Trioli, Jack Waterford and Cathy Wilcox.

As astute MWD readers will note [Are there any others? – MWD Editor] some 28 of the list are ABC types. That’s around 50 per cent.

 

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Until next time.

 

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