GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 505

17 July 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 – Norman Swan on the Palace Letters; Waleed Aly’s written sludge; ABC North America Correspondent Kathryn Diss on catching COVID-19 at a Trump Rally she sorta attended

  • Can You Bear It? Lucy Carter’s Fake News about President Trump’s Mask; Phillip Adams praises the ABC for having some critics on its panels; ABC’s recent conservative panellists remain anonymous; Jenny Hocking & Paul Kelly bag the late Sir John Kerr; Alan Jones channels Jenny Hocking

  • A Jenny Hocking Moment – An Anthony Mason “Scoop”

  • An ABC Update – Insiders, Malcolm Farr, John Lyons & Jon Faine go soft on Dan Andrews

  • New Segment: Howler Corner – Crikey misdates and misquotes one of the Palace Letters

  • Quelle Surprise! – George Conway Hates Trump per courtesy of Nine’s Sun-Herald

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STOP PRESS Heading

  • NORMAN SWAN TALKS ABOUT LETTERS THAT HE, APPARENTLY, HAS NOT READ

There’s nothing quite like ABC Radio Sydney’s Drive with Richard Glover’s “Journos Forum” – which goes to air every Thursday evening at 5:30 pm. That is, Gin & Tonic Time.  Last night, three experts came together to give the rest of us a lesson about what is – or was – going on in our lives.

Early on, the panel discussed the Palace Letters. It comprised Nine Newspapers’ Peter Hartcher, ABC Radio National’s Norman (“Call me doctor”) Swan and The West Australian’s Lanai Scarr.  Richard Glover was the presenter.

Early on, Dr Swan demonstrated his knowledge – or lack thereof – of the Palace Letters which were released on Tuesday.  This was your man Swan’s first contribution:

Norman Swan: I don’t think he [John Kerr] mentions Barwick and the advice from Barwick anywhere in the letters, does he? Peter, I don’t see that.

Richard Glover: No I don’t think he does

Peter Hartcher: Yes, he does….

In fact, Chief Justice Garfield Barwick is mentioned in Sir John Kerr’s key letter to the Palace dated 11 November 1975 and elsewhere.

Later on, Norman Swan commented:

Norman Swan: Well, her Majesty was going to be very unhappy if Gough asked for Kerr to be sacked.

Richard Glover: Yes, she would not be – she would not be amused.

In fact, if – when prime minister – Gough Whitlam had asked for John Kerr to be dismissed,  the Queen would have accepted the advice of the prime minister. That’s how the system works.  As it turned out, Gough Whitlam requested that the Queen dismiss caretaker prime minister Malcolm Fraser and re-commission him (i.e. Gough Whitlam) as prime minister.  See Sir Martin Charteris to Sir John Kerr, 17 November 1975.  But by then Mr Whitlam was Opposition leader and could not advise the Queen to do anything in a constitutional sense.

Well done, Norman Swan. Well done Richard Glover. You may not have read the key Palace Letters but you did provide copy for today’s Media Watch Dog.

  • WALEED ALY’S WRITTEN SLUDGE ONLY CITES THE (MYTHICAL) ACHILLES

Did anyone read Waleed Aly’s piece in today’s Nine Newspapers titled “Virus shows us who’s in charge”?

Fascinating topic, to be sure.  But, as it turned out, Dr Aly (for a doctor he is) did not mention the name of a single person in his piece. Apart, that is,  from your man Achilles and his (alleged) wounded heel.  This is how the piece ended – some time after stating that “Our ‘mastery’ has become our Achilles heel”:

For now we’re still trying to re-establish life as it was, with the same business models, the same lifestyles, and, for now at least, the same basic social and working arrangements. That’s not judgment: I do it just as much as anyone else because it happens as though by reflex and it is difficult to imagine anything different.

We might give lip service to some idea of a “new normal” to be discovered some day, but we don’t yet believe it in our souls. We haven’t clocked just how profoundly our assumptions about the world are being shaken, how the fault lines we’ve ignored until now are being activated.

That’s what is so affronting about the thought of tightened restrictions and secondary lockdowns. We’re face to face with our own fragility and we don’t like what we see, if we even recognise it at all.

Brilliant analysis, to be sure.  Of the kind that Waleed Aly engages in when he is at his gigs at Monash University and the ABC Radio National – no doubt. But what does it mean? And could your man Achilles understand such tosh? That’s if he had ever existed.

  • ABC NORTH AMERICA CORRESPONDENT KATHRYN DISS ON CATCHING COVID-19 AT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S TULSA RALLY – OR MAYBE NOT

Yesterday morning, readers of the ABC news website were greeted with the following headline:

Days after covering Trump’s Tulsa Rally, I woke up with all the coronavirus symptoms

The article, by ABC North America correspondent Kathryn Diss, begins:

I’m not sure where I crossed paths with COVID-19. But five days after we got back from President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I hit a brick wall.

Well Ms Diss may not be sure where she crossed paths with the virus, but it is clear from the headline and lead paragraph that readers are meant to assume it was at President Trump’s Tulsa Rally on 20 June. After a lengthy first-hand account of the process of getting a COVID-19 test in the US, we are presented with an interesting detail concerning Ms Diss:

We went to cover Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa because it was a critical juncture in this country’s history, but chose to stay outside the venue, to reduce the risk of exposure.

So, around 900 words into the article we suddenly learn that Ms Diss did not even enter the venue of the rally where we have been led to believe she contracted the virus. She goes on to note:

All in all, I don’t regret covering the event because the reality is, this virus is so virulent, I could have picked it up anywhere – including at my own supermarket.

Quite. For the record, MWD wishes Kathryn Diss all the best for a quick recovery from the virus.

The article also included the following claim about the United States:

I have now experienced first-hand several of the critical failures in the response that has seen the world’s wealthiest country secure an unenviable title: worst in the world for coronavirus deaths and cases.

While the US does have the highest total cases and deaths it is not the worst on a per capita basis among the Western nations. For instance, in deaths per capita, the US trails Belgium, Britain, Spain, Italy, Sweden and France. A fact Ms Diss does not bother to note before conferring on the US the title of “worst in the world” when it comes to COVID-19.


Can You Bear It?

  • LUCY CARTER’s FAKE NEWS SNEER AT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S MASK-WEARING STYLE

It seems these days that, in Sandalista Land, President Donald J. Trump just can’t take a trick.  Just consider the exchange between guest commentator Lucy Carter and co-presenters Paul Kennedy and Lisa Millar on the ABC TV News Breakfast’s  “Newspapers” segment on Monday:

Paul Kennedy: Donald Trump wearing masks over the weekend, has he seen the light, or does he see political advantage in this?

Lisa Millar: It was a one-off, I think. It was Walter Reed Military Hospital in DC. It was – the veteran’s hospital. They said to him: “You’ve got to wear the mask there.” I do not think we’ll be seeing that again for a while.

Lucy Carter: And not to mention there were some photos published where he was actually wearing the mask incorrectly and actually had his nose poking out.

Lisa Millar: Right.

Lucy Carter: So, it appears that he wasn’t even doing the mask wearing properly on what does look like the only time he’s going to do it.

So there you have it.  President Trump is so hopeless, according to Lucy Carter that he cannot even put on a facemask without his “nose poking out”. Shucks.  And Comrade Carter reckons that this is “the only time” the president will wear a mask.  How does she know this?  And then there was the reference to “some photos” about the alleged nose poke which viewers were not shown.  While all this mocking was going on – neither of the ABC’s co-presenters was wearing a mask.

The “photos published” that Lucy Carter refers to was one blurry image posted by Trump haters on Twitter – see below.  It was not published outside Twitter and cannot be verified – it is likely a photo shopped image. (And a poor one at that – the President appears to have gained  a second nose).

Perhaps Ms Carter was thinking of an image of Joe Biden?

But MWD digresses. Here was Lucy Carter getting into FAKE NEWS about the United States’ president. Comrade Carter is a 4 Corners presenter. Can You Bear It?

  • PHILLIP ADAMS PRAISES ABC FOR HAVING SOME CRITICS ON ITS PANELS

Media Watch Dog just loves it whenever Jackie’s (male) co-owner gets a mention in the Weekend Australian Magazine’s  “Life”  column.  It’s a real honour – especially since it is written by the much honoured Phillip Adams AO, AM, Hon DUniv (Griffith), Hon DLitt (ECU), Hon DUniv (SA), DLitt [sic] (Syd), Hon. DUniv (Macquarie), FRSA, Hon FAHA.

Last Saturday, the ABC’s “Man-in-Black” wrote a piece titled “As Uneasy as ABC”. Here’s how it commenced:

Health Warning. This column is written in support of the ABC so it may well cause apoplexy in some readers. Anyone thus afflicted should turn urgently to columns by colleagues – perhaps by Gerard Henderson or Chris Kenny.

Phillip (“I was a teenage communist”) Adams had the good sense to acknowledge that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster has been not merely criticised by the Liberals – but also by Labor’s Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in times gone by.  However, he failed to recognise that this is not an example of the ABC’s balance – since it comes about because the ABC invariably criticises both the Coalition and Labor from the left. The Conservative Free Zone is the home of the sandal-wearing green/left – not of social democrats and certainly not of conservatives.

Comrade Adams recalled being a compere at a “Save our ABC” rally some years ago which was attended by Malcolm Fraser (in retirement) and Gough Whitlam – “together for the first time since the Dismissal. Holding hands! Arms aloft!”  Your man Adams remembers that this took place in “the Melbourne Town Hall packed to the rafters, the audience overflowing to the Athenaeum”.

Hendo has a different recollection.  He recalls the former prime ministers attending a “Maintain your Age”, in support of The Age, event in the open-air at the Melbourne Fitzroy Gardens – just off Spring Street – circa 1991. And has a photo to demonstrate the occasion:

It’s possible that the Whitlam/Fraser double act took place on more than one occasion for different causes. But, then, memory is a fallible thing.  This is how the Adams’ piece concluded:

You’ll miss us when we’re gone.  Even you, Gerard and Chris. Aunty’s critics will have to find a new enemy to attack, someone else to blame for the collapse of civilisation.

Yep.  Hendo would miss the ABC – but this is unlikely to occur in view of the ABC’s $1 billion annual handout from the taxpayer. As MWD has stated for a long time, it needs the Sandalistas at the Conservative Free Zone for copy every Friday. This is a modern manifestation of Vladimir Lenin’s saying that “Worse is Better”.

Here’s an example. Consider this gratuitous comment by the ABC’s Man-in-Black last Saturday – which has provided copy for MWD today:

The ABC has tried desperately to appease its critics. It opens its key programs to guests who want it closed down and sold for scrap. Appeasement hasn’t helped. Nor has the self-censorship of anxious employees.

How pluralistic can the ABC get?  Why, it even “opens its key programs” to some of its critics who are compelled to pay for the public broadcaster as taxpayers.  Somewhat condescending, don’t you think?  Can You Bear It?

[Er, no – now that you ask.  For the record, Gerard Henderson has never called for the ABC to be closed down or sold for scrap.  And he appreciates the fact that he gets invited on to Phillip Adams’ Late Night Live every quarter of a century. Last time, 2015.  The time before that – 1990.  Apparently Hendo is looking forward to his next appearance on PA’s little wireless program scheduled for 2040.  Either on this earth – or the next. – MWD Editor.]

  • ABC’S RECENT CONSERVATIVE PANELLISTS REMAIN ANONYMOUS

While on the topic of (alleged) ABC critics who (allegedly) appear on the ABC – there was enormous interest in Media Watch Dog’s report last week about what Ita Buttrose said on Radio 2GB (1 July 2020) – namely, that “recently” the ABC has “had quite a few conservatives” on its panels. The ABC chair added that this “has caused some flak” – but that’s another matter.

As avid readers are aware, on 7 July 2020 Gerard Henderson emailed Ita Buttrose – asking the ABC chair to name names.  Who are the “quite a few conservatives” who have appeared on ABC panels “recently” and who caused such flak?

This is an easy question to answer. Except, if Ms Buttrose just made this up –  and few, if any, conservatives have appeared on the ABC panels recently. Whatever the reason, the ABC chair is in “no comment” mode.  This from an organisation whose journalists are always demanding that others answer their (ABC) questions.  Can You Bear It?

  • AN UNUSUAL UNITY TICKET AS JENNY HOCKING AND PAUL KELLY BAG THE LATE JOHN KERR

So, how does a conservative or right-of-centre kind of bloke or sheila get an invitation to state a case on the ABC?  The answer seems to be – criticise someone who is conservative or a right-of-centre kind of person.

This was the situation on ABC TV’s 7.30 on Tuesday, following the release of what were called the Palace Letters – being the correspondence between Governor-General Sir John Kerr and Buckingham Palace.   Including the correspondence before and after Sir John dismissed Gough Whitlam’s Labor government on 11 November 1975.

Michael Rowland was in the presenter’s chair. Two authorities on the Dismissal were interviewed.  Namely, renowned Kerr-hater, the left-of-centre type Professor Jenny Hocking.   And renowned Kerr critic,  the right-of-centre type Paul Kelly.

Paul Kelly said that “there is a profound sense of improper behaviour and shame attached to what the letters reveal in terms of Kerr trusting the Palace and not the Prime Minister”.  He accused the late John Kerr of engaging in a “conspiracy” against the Whitlam government.  And Kelly criticised the former governor-general for misleading Gough Whitlam.

The segment concluded with Professor Hocking declaring “There is no doubt Kerr’s legacy was deeply tarnished, irreparably tarnished, by his action – by the deception he engaged in”.

What a load of absolute tosh.  There is no unanimous view on Sir John Kerr.  The problem is that Michael Rowland and his comrades at 7.30 declined to invite anyone on the program who was prepared to defend the former Governor-General. Can You Bear It?

  • SKY NEWS’ ALAN JONES CHANNELS LEFTIST HISTORIAN JENNY HOCKING

While on the topic of Remembrance Day 1975, on Monday 13 July 2020, on his Sky News program, Alan Jones reflected on Governor-General Sir John Kerr’s dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government on 11 November 1975. It was the night before the release of what have been called the Palace Letters.

On Tuesday 14 July, the evening of the release of the Palace Letters, Alan Jones told Peta Credlin that he was in Parliament House on Remembrance Day 1975.  It seems that he was working for the Nationals at the time.  In his discussion with Peta Credlin, Jones provided details about the excitement of the occasion.

However, on the previous night, your man Jones had adopted a position closer to that of the leftist historian Professor Jenny Hocking. In other words, he emerged as a critic of Sir John Kerr and a supporter of Professor Hocking’s conspiracy theory that the Queen knew about the Dismissal in advance. Let’s go to the transcript:

Alan Jones: This could be bombshell stuff. There are twelve hundred pages of previously classified material. Speculation suggests that they will reveal what the Queen knew about the dismissal. And her involvement in the decision by the governor-general to dismiss prime minister Gough Whitlam in 1975. Now the number and volume of correspondence is extraordinary. But one thing I’m sure will be clear. The Queen has been the monarch since February 1952. At the time of this crisis she’d had 23 years in the job. She’s a stickler for constitutional propriety. It seems to me the secrecy surrounding these letters and the reason they’ve been kept from the public may have much more to do with the behaviour of Sir John Kerr than with the response of the Queen.

Kerr was an enigmatic figure. Originally one of the junior people in the Labor Party who fought communist infiltration. One of what was known as “the Groupers”. In later years he yearned to be well regarded by the establishment. The sacking of Whitlam, who appointed Kerr, makes very interesting historical reading. I suspect the letters will confirm the urgency of what Kerr was seeking to do. A well-planned coup. In the end, it gained him no favours from either side of politics. Kerr in fact decided Whitlam’s political fate – which only confirmed in the minds of the Labor people that he was, to them, a bad choice for the office of Governor General in the first place.

Alan Jones worked for Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser between 1978 and 1981.  As such, unlike many commentators, he had first-hand experience of government.  What’s missing from this analysis is any reference to what the governor-general should have done when Malcolm Fraser’s Liberal Party led Opposition blocked supply and the Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s Labor government intended to govern without supply.

There is no evidence that Kerr planned anything in advance.  When neither Fraser nor Whitlam moved by 11 November 1975, he dismissed the latter and appointed the former as caretaker prime minister pending a double-dissolution election – which Labor or the Coalition could have won.

This is not a “coup” in any sense of the term. It seems that – for some unknown reason – on Monday night Alan Jones decided to channel the leftist historian Jenny Hocking. Can You Bear It?


A JENNY HOCKING MOMENT

While on the topic of Dr Jenny Hocking (for a doctor she is) – you have to admire how she handled the collapse of her conspiracy theory that the Queen (aka Mrs King) was involved in Sir John Kerr’s decision to dismiss the Whitlam government in November 1975.  The learned professor had said that Elizabeth II was deeply involved in Kerr’s decision – a conspiracy theory debunked by the release of the Palace Letters, which Comrade Hocking had sought.  So Professor Hocking went into denial and nit-picking.

Writing in Nine Newspapers on Wednesday, early on Jenny Hocking was critical of the fact that Kerr wrote at length to the Queen about political developments in Australia. In fact, he never wrote to the Queen – only to her private secretary Sir Martin Charteris. Then, towards the end of the piece, Hocking complained that Kerr did not write to the Palace about the fact that he spoke to High Court judge Sir Anthony Mason before the Dismissal.  This is what she had to say:

This is just the first day of viewing these extraordinarily significant letters and there is much still to see and even more to assess. As we delve deeper into them, just as important as what is in the letters will be what isn’t there – the gaps, the events and people who should be but aren’t. Like the then High Court justice Sir Anthony Mason for instance, Kerr’s secret guide and confidant whose role remained secret for 37 years. It is a remarkable thing that among the hundreds of pages of Kerr’s letters to the Queen, he fails to tell her about the central role of Sir Anthony Mason in his thinking. That omission must raise questions about the completeness, if not the reliability, of what Kerr was telling the Queen.

This is absolute nonsense.  Professor Hocking likes to claim that she revealed the fact that in late 1975, Sir John spoke to Sir Anthony in her book Gough Whitlam: His Time, which was first published in 2012 – i.e. 37 years after the Dismissal in 1975.

The fact that Kerr consulted Mason before the Dismissal was revealed by Gerard Henderson in an article he wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald on 8  January 1994.  This is covered in Chapter 9 of Gerard Henderson’s book Menzies’ Child: The Liberal Party of Australia. It was first published in October 1994 – some 18 years before Jenny claimed her Anthony Mason “scoop”.  Menzies’ Child is mentioned in the endnotes to Gough Whitlam: His Time – as are his articles published in the SMH on 8 January 1994 and The Australian on 30-31 January 1988.

It seems that Jenny Hocking makes up a lot of stuff.  In her book The Dismissal Dossier she asserts that Sir John was “obviously drunk” when he dismissed Whitlam on 11 November 1975. However, Kerr’s behaviour on that day – as revealed in the Palace Letters – indicates that he was on top of his job and performed more professionally than Mr Whitlam. For example, after the dismissal, Gough Whitlam went off to lunch at the Lodge and did not tell his colleagues in the Senate that he had been sacked. Meanwhile, after lunch, Kerr wrote a two-page typed foolscap letter to Sir Martin Charteris.  It did not read like the letter of an “obviously drunk” person.

Clearly, Professor Hocking is a pro-Whitlam player in the events of 11 November 1975 – not a professional historian.


  • INSIDERS, MALCOLM FARR, JOHN LYONS AND JON FAINE GO SOFT ON VICTORIAN PREMIER DANIEL ANDREWS

Lotsa avid readers have commented on the fact that the ABC types have been oh-so-soft with their commenting on the inept handling of COVID-19 by the Australian Labor Party government in Victoria.  As MWD  readers are aware, Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, is a key player in the left faction which controls the Victorian ALP.  A few examples illustrate the point re the taxpayer-funded public broadcaster:

The introductory video clip to the ABC TV Insiders program (executive producer Sam Clark) last Sunday ran – as usual – for about three minutes. No surprise that it focused on the serious resurgence of COVID-19 in Victoria. What was surprising, however, turned on the fact that no mention whatsoever was made of Victoria’s incompetent handling of quarantine in general – and how the virus escaped from the Melbourne hotels.

Unlike NSW, the Andrews’ government declined the Morrison government’s offer to provide Australian Defence Force personnel. Consequently, unlike in NSW, the ADF was not used to supervise security at the various hotels which were holding persons who had arrived from overseas in quarantine for 14 days.

Also, unlike NSW, Victoria did not use its police force in a supervisory role over the process.  Instead, presumably in a gesture to trade union mates, private security firms, employing unionised staff, were contracted for the task. The security guards were not properly trained for the task –  some received as little as five minutes’ training.

The result was a disaster as, unlike in NSW, COVID-19 escaped from quarantine areas and played a significant role in the surge of infections which have occurred in Victoria in recent days.

Flick back to Insiders.  After its don’t-talk-about-the-Victorian-quarantine-breaches introduction, the following exchange took place. This was the offering from journalist Malcolm Farr:

Malcolm Farr: Well in Melbourne, of course,  the hotel quarantine system wasn’t optimal – and a former judge is going to be inquiring into that. There will be a reckoning. And there should be, because it’s important not just for Melbourne but for all of Australia that we find out what went wrong. But let’s remember that private security officers were used in Sydney as well, without the ghastly results of Melbourne.

Turn it up.  What a cop-out etc. It seems that Comrade Farr is unaware of the fact that in Sydney private security guards worked under the supervision of Australian Defence Force and NSW Police personnel.  In Victoria, however, it seems that no such authority was in control.

Malcolm Farr would have known this had he read the Saturday press in Melbourne.  For example, Patrick Carlyon’s “Breaches on the Front Line” article in Saturday’s Herald-Sun and John Silvester’s “Naked City” column in Saturday’s Age titled “Lockdown: How we stuffed it up” told the (disastrous) story.

Comrade Farr reckons it’s okay to wait for the report by a retired judge in September to find out what went wrong with the hotel quarantine system.  This makes it possible for the left’s hero Daniel Andrews to avoid answering questions by journalists, politicians and others about the disaster. And The Guardian’s  scribbler is going along with this.

The previous Thursday (9 July) the issue was discussed on ABC Radio on the “Drive with Richard Glover” program. During the “Journos Forum” segment, John Lyons – who is head of investigative journalism at the ABC – was asked this question:

Richard Glover: John Lyons, who deserves the blame for what’s happened in Victoria? Is it just bad luck, or is it to do with this somewhat strange decision to leave the most crucial part of the decision to private contractors?

Believe it or not, John Lyons responded by saying that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was “responsible” for the lack of security when passengers disembarked from the Ruby Princess in Sydney on 19 March.  He did not remind listeners that this incident occurred in the early morning, under the supervision – it appears – of NSW Health. The NSW premier was not involved in the decision.  Daniel Andrews, on the other hand, was the premier who declined Morrison’s offer of assistance with respect to the ADF and was the leader of the government which decided to hand quarantine security to private firms.  John Lyons concluded:

John Lyons: ..I think there’s a certain amount of the ideological element to the viciousness of the attack from some quarters on Daniel Andrews. He’s made some mistakes. But don’t forget he was criticised two months ago relentlessly for being too tough on COVID, for having borders closed, for wanting to close borders, and wanting to have lockdowns. Now he’s being criticised for not moving fast enough. I think, in the middle of a pandemic, it’s very difficult for us to know the full truth of who is to blame.

That’s nonsense. No one is criticising Mr Andrews for “not moving fast enough” on COVID-19.  He’s being criticised for presiding over an incompetent process.  It seems that the head of investigative journalism at the ABC is not too keen on investigating Daniel Andrews.

And then, soon after, Richard Glover interviewed former ABC Radio Melbourne 774 presenter and current Age columnist Jon Faine. Comrade Faine kicked off by suggesting that “normal human beings” do not work for “the Murdoch media”. How about that? The discussion continued:

Richard Glover: Isn’t it true – the quarantined people themselves would have taken it more seriously if they’d been supervised by ADF people or police officers?

Jon Faine: Maybe, maybe not. The police aren’t perfect. The ADF’s not perfect. It comes down to accountability. You can set up any rules you like but it’s the culture and how you create a culture of vigilance in this immediate environment. You know, nobody’s ever done this before – they’re staying in a luxury hotel, we’ve got food being delivered to the door: “Oh mate, can I just get out for a smoke”, “Oh look that’s my cousin in the next room can we just play cards together?”. “Yeah that’s pretty harmless” and on it went.

Richard Glover: Okay, but none of that happened in Sydney

Jon Faine: Yeah, and that’s what I’m saying. It’s about the culture that’s created. Whether it’s to do with the type of uniform these people were wearing, or whether somehow things got rotten from the start. Well that’s what the judge is going to have to find out.

Your man Faine went on to say that “it’s not a perfect world”. Well, thanks for that.  And he then praised Daniel Andrews for declaring that the “buck stops with me” and that he takes absolute responsibility for everything that has happened in Victoria. Except, er, for the fact that he won’t talk about COVID-19 escaping from the Victorian quarantine system.

It seems that, like John Lyons, Jon Faine is not too interested in investigating perhaps the biggest story in Victorian politics for decades.


NEW SEGMENT – HOWLER CORNER

CRIKEY  MISDATES AND MISQUOTES ONE OF THE PALACE LETTERS

Did anyone read David Hardaker’s piece in Crikey on Tuesday titled “Palace letters show how much the Queen knew about the Dismissal”?  Early on your man Hardaker had this to say:

They [the Palace Letters] also reveal that in early October, six weeks before Whitlam was dismissed, Kerr discussed with the palace the possibility that Whitlam might ask the Queen to dismiss Kerr. [Emphasis added]. To prevent such a scenario from occurring, Kerr did not warn Whitlam of his intent.  Kerr wrote: “If in the period of 24 hours in which [Whitlam] was considering his position he advised the Queen that I should be immediately dismissed, the position would then have been that either I would be, in fact, trying to dismiss him while he was trying to dismiss me – an impossible position for the Queen.  I simply could not risk the outcome for the sake of the monarchy.” [Emphasis added]

In fact, Sir John Kerr’s letter to Sir Martin Charteris (quoted above) was written on 20 November 1975 – that is over a week after the Dismissal.  Not in early October 1975 – six weeks before the event. This completely changes the meaning of what Sir John wrote.  Moreover, the final sentence in the quote – viz: “I simply could not risk the outcome for the sake of the Monarchy” occurred before the sentence which commenced: “If in the period of say twenty four hours…”.

Your man Hardaker does some good work for Crikey.  But he needs a brief course in getting crucial dates correct and in not distorting quotes.


 

  • GEORGE CONWAY HATES TRUMP

Last weekend the Sun-Herald ran a piece by Trump-hater and  Washington DC lawyer George Conway which was originally run in the Trump-hating Washington Post. It was titled “Trump dysfunction laid bare by his niece”.  This was a reference to the book by Donald J. Trump’s Trump-hating niece Mary L Trump.

So, per courtesy of Nine’s Sun-Herald, George Conway took 800 words to say that President Trump is a sociopath who will lose the 2020 presidential election.  Really. Quelle Surprise!

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Until next time.

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