GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 521

6 November 2020

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Stop Press

  • ABC REPORT OVERLOOKS FACT THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY NEVER ACCEPTED THE LEGITIMACY OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY

What a predictable ABC TV 7.30 program last night.  Covering the 2020 United States presidential election, Leigh Sales interviewed Bloomberg columnist Tim O’Brien (a Trump critic) and John Bolton (another Trump critic, albeit of the Never-Trumper Republican kind). There was also an introductory piece by ABC reporter Philip Williams – who spoke to two Trump critics (Michael Bitzer and Paul Strauss) and one Trump supporter (Rick Gates). So, all up, it was four Trump critics as against one Trump supporter. That’s balance 7.30 style.

Media Watch Dog just loved this exchange between your man Williams and Paul Strauss who was incorrectly introduced as a “Washington Senator”. In fact, he is a shadow senator for the District of Columbia.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Sen. Paul Strauss, Democratic Senator: Well, the United States doesn’t have a presidential election. We have 51 separate contests and –

Philip Williams: Washington Senator Paul Strauss’ tyres are bald from laps around the political block but he’s never seen a president talk and behave like Donald Trump after an election. Do you expect that President Trump will ever say:  “Yup, I lost, fair and square”?

Paul Strauss: Probably not. You know, we have had a history in this country of a peaceful transition of power. There has always been a graciousness and a celebration that the democratic system is bigger than any one person.

What a load of absolute tosh. It seems that the Washington DC based Democratic shadow senator for the District of Columbia has a short memory.  He appears to have forgotten that more than a third of Democratic Party members in the House of Representatives boycotted President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.  How gracious was that? Also Democratic Party parliamentarians protested at the inauguration of Richard Nixon in 1973 and George W. Bush in 2001.

Then, the day after the Trump inauguration,  there was the Women’s March where millions of Americans protested at the Republican Party’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. Not very gracious.  And then, in February 2017, Democratic Party representative Maxine Waters called for Trump’s impeachment.  Not really an example of graciousness in defeat.

The fact is that the Democratic Party never accepted the legitimacy of the Trump presidency. Comrade Williams should know this.

  • TOM GLEESON’S HARD POINT ABOUT THE ABC AS AN ISOLATED LEFT-WING BUBBLE

According to Media Watch Dog’s young stand-up advisers, Tom Gleeson, of ABC TV Hard Quiz fame, is the only funny comedian on the ABC payroll.  But your man Gleeson is not only into jokes. Sometimes his humour contains a central truth.  As is this comment on Hard Quiz last Wednesday (4 November) when providing the answer to a question involving “founder’s effect”.  MWD can’t remember what the question was – but it doesn’t matter because the (truthful) humour was in the response.  Here we go:

Tom Gleeson: The correct answer is “founder’s effect”. As in the founders of America. So genetic drift is when traits vary by chance, not because they’re an advantage. And the founder’s effect is when a small group of individuals is isolated from the larger population and their genetic traits become overrepresented. It’s like what happens at the ABC, everyone drifts to the left because it’s an isolated bubble that doesn’t get much contact to the outside world.

You can say that again. What Tom Gleeson describes as the ABC’s left isolated bubble is what MWD describes as the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s Conservative Free Zone.

  • HOW THE ABC’S GREEN/LEFT AUDIENCES CANNOT TOLERATE DIFFERENT OPINIONS FROM THEIR OWN

That was an interesting discussion on ABC Radio National Breakfast this morning between the feisty former Republican communications director on Capitol Hill Tara Setmayer and the feisty Republican strategist Adolfo Franco who has worked for George W. Bush and the late Senator John McCain.  Ms Setmayer is a Trump critic and Mr Franco is a Trump supporter.

The discussion was great radio. Except for the Sandalista Green Left ABC audience which increasingly demands that anyone it disagrees with should be silenced.  The hostility of the ABC audience Twitter and text warriors has led to a number of conservatives being de-platformed by the ABC.

Hamish Macdonald, who presents RN Breakfast on Fridays, is no conservative.  But following the Setmayer/Franco exchange this morning he felt the need to say that conservative voices have to be heard on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster:

Hamish Macdonald: Lots of texts from you regarding that interview with two Republicans before the news at 8 o’clock – clearly there are strong opinions within the Republican Party about the best approach for them at this point in time. As always happens when we do interviews with anyone that sort of represents the Trump point of view, we get a wave of harassment and abuse on the text line. So just a reminder, please do keep it polite if you can. An example of one text that’s just come in: “The ABC cannot air or be part of spreading misinformation by simply stating it’s a different opinion. This form of journalism is what adds to fake news and the broader distrust of general media – if you choose to air lies and misinformation you should state this is not fact and stop asking people to stop texting abuse. You bring it on yourself.”

I’d simply say that there is no excuse for abuse. We of course need to report the Trump perspective in all of this, it is part of what is happening and unfolding in the United States right now. If we don’t reflect the position that’s being put by the Trump campaign currently, we would likely be accused of not covering the story properly. I appreciate that anxieties are running high and emotions are kind of reaching a peak in the United States, but please just understand we do try to bring you all perspectives on these issues. I do realise that at times claims are made that are not factually correct. We do our best to jump on that whenever possible, ask for facts or in fact evidence of voter fraud, which I did repeatedly during that interview. So I just say, if you are texting in please just keep it a bit respectful. If you want to do any of that other stuff maybe keep it for Twitter or some other part of your life.

Hamish Macdonald responded strongly to the calls by intolerant Green Left ABC listeners/viewers. But the fact is that some ABC producers and presenters are intimidated by left-wing intolerance. That’s why some prominent conservatives in Australia are rarely if ever heard on the ABC – due to de-platforming by the withdrawal of invitations. And it’s why the ABC remains a Conservative-Free-Zone.


MWD Exclusive

THE HON JENNIFER COATE AO, THE COVID-19 HOTEL QUARANTINE INQUIRY & THE BURDEN OF PROOF – A NEW STANDARD

By and large, the Melbourne-based media has been soft on Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews’ handling of the disastrous escape of COVID-19 from quarantine hotels on his watch which has had a deleterious effect on Victorians.  There have been notable exceptions – including The Australian’s Rachel Baxendale, Sky News’ Gabriella Power, Peta Credlin and Andrew Bolt plus the Herald-Sun’s Alex White and James Campbell. There were also a few critical assessments by Age journalist Michael Bachelard but the ABC’s reportage was remarkably soft.

In the week beginning 21 September, key political and public service figures gave evidence to the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry. 7:30, the ABC’s key current affairs program, did not report on the story on Monday 21 September or Tuesday 22 September. This was criticized by Chris Mitchell in his column in the Australian on 21 September and by Gerard Henderson on Sky News’ The Bolt Report on the Tuesday 22 September. 7:30 covered the story on Wednesday 23 September but not on Thursday 24 September – when the (then) Victorian Health Minister gave important evidence. During this week, many a politician and public servant gave evidence of the “I can’t remember” genre.

As Sky News’ Peta Credlin has demonstrated in recent times, the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry – headed by former Family Court judge The Hon. Jennifer Coate AO – has decided not to call and/or recall some key witnesses and has not insisted on the production of all relevant material, including phone records, of some of the key players in the hotel quarantine failure.

The message to the Inquiry from counsel assisting was along the lines that no person or persons made the decision to hand responsibility for hotel quarantine to private security companies – but, rather, that creeping assumptions were made that this was a job for private security and not Victoria Police or the Australian Defence Force.  And so hotel quarantine was handed to private security without anyone specifically deciding to enter into a $30 million contract to engage private contractors.  It just happened – or so we have been told, so far at least.

Consequently it appears possible that, in turn, the Coate Inquiry will find that no one in particular was responsible for the breach of hotel quarantine security.  Despite the fact that Daniel Andrews, Victoria’s socialist left premier, is known for his attention to detail and micro-management.  To many Victorians it is inconceivable that Premier Andrews did not know what was happening on the fatal day – when the decision with respect to private security was made.

In her previous job, Jennifer Coate was a member of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In this capacity, she was one of three commissioners who made findings on inquiries into Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat (Case Study No 28) and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne (Case Study 35).  Ms Coate’s fellow commissioners in these two case studies were the Hon Justice Peter McClellan and Commissioner Andrew Murray.

In its reports on Case Study No 28 and Case Study 35, the Royal Commission found that Cardinal George Pell – when he was a priest in Ballarat, later, a bishop and archbishop in Melbourne – was aware of specific offending by Catholic priests but did nothing to act against the offenders.  The Royal Commission also found that, when a relatively young priest in Ballarat, Pell had been consulted about moving the pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale from parish to parish in the Ballarat diocese.

As those who have read the findings of the Royal Commission’s Case Study 28 and Case Study 35 will be aware, there is no specific written documentation or independent witness evidence to support the Royal Commission’s findings with respect to Cardinal Pell.  Indeed, what evidence exists is in Pell’s favour with respect to the move of Ridsdale from parish to parish by Bishop Mulkearns of Ballarat and concerning Pell’s time in Melbourne.

In making its findings hostile to Pell, the Royal Commission simply declared that Pell’s account was “inconceivable” and/or “not tenable”. The Royal Commissioners, including Jennifer Coate, also found that Pell “should have” or “must have” known of pedophile priests and/or that it was “likely” that he knew or he “should” have or “ought to have” known. That’s all.

If Jennifer Coate is consistent – then it would be expected that she will use the same attitude to evidence and the burden of proof with respect to the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry as she did when a member of the Royal Commission. This would entail, for example, that Ms Coate consider whether Premier Andrews’ position that he does not know anything about who made the decision to engage private contractors to oversee Hotel Quarantine be declared “inconceivable” and “not tenable” since, according to the evidence, he “must”  or “should” have known – or that it is “likely” that he did know.

The COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry is not a royal commission.  Pell appeared voluntarily for 20 hours under cross-examination before the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission (comprising Jennifer Coate and others) insisted on the production of documents and the cross examination of witnesses.

In spite of this, the Royal Commission was not able to find evidence against Pell beyond reasonable doubt or even on the balance of probabilities.  Consequently it made findings on the basis of opinion only having dismissed his position as, variously, implausible or not tenable.

The question is whether the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry (which does not have the powers of a royal commission) will be as soft on Premier Daniel Andrews as large sections of the media in Victoria.  Following the evidence, it would seem implausible that the micro-manager Daniel Andrews would have known nothing about how his government gave a $30 million contract to a private security firm as the COVID-19 crisis was taking place.  Time will tell – as the cliché goes.


Can You Bear It?

  • THE LEFTIST INTELLECTUAL ROBERT DESSAIX LOOKS DOWN ON THE “COMMON” PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN “GHASTLY” SUBURBS

Wasn’t that a frightfully interesting interview with Hobart-based Robert Dessaix in the “Hindsight” section of last weekend’s Sunday Life magazine published in Nine Newspapers’ Sunday papers. The section read as follows: “What I Know About Women/Robert Dessaix/Occupation – Author/Age-76/Status – In a relationship/Best known for his autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace.”

It turned out that your man Dessaix spoke primarily to the Sunday Life’s   Robyn Davidson about his birth mother (Yvonne), his adopted mother (Jean), his first erotic kiss (with a girl at the Australian National University – who was “quite pretty in a slightly Indian looking way”), a woman (unnamed to whom he was married for about 11 years) and a Russian girlfriend called Natasha (whom he suspected had been planted on him by the KGB). Indeed, women are “the great friendships” in Comrade Dessaix’s life – apart, that is, from his partner of nearly four decades Peter Timms.

However, MWD is primarily interested in what the fashionable leftist intellectual of Hobart Town has to say about status, place and all that.  Here it is:

I met my birth mother, Yvonne, when I was in my 40s. I’d fantasised that she was French upper class, but in reality she came from some ghastly suburb in Sydney. I have never said this aloud, but I thought that at some level she was a bit common. It’s not that she was a bad person; she just didn’t measure up. I didn’t come to love her; I came to like her. She died from cancer a few years after we met.

So there you have it, according to Comrade Dessaix – he of the Sandalista Set – his mother was not only “a bit common” but also came from “some ghastly suburb in Sydney”. How snobbish can you get?  Can You Bear It?

[Er no.  Not really – now that you mention it. As I understand it, your man Dessaix, er, upgraded his name from that of his adopted mother (i.e. Jones) to that of his birth mother (i.e. Dessaix) after he became Dr Dessaix (for a doctor he is).  It seems an appropriate step for someone who presented Books and Writing on ABC Radio National and went to live in Melbourne’s Sandalista  Central in Fitzroy North before moving (presumably) to that Sandalista stronghold in Hobart North. – MWD Editor.]

  • NINE’S LUVVIES CARA WATERS AND KARL QUINN OPPOSE SALE OF FESTIVAL HALL TO CHRISTIANS

Lotsa thanks to the avid Melbourne reader (recently released from lockdown) who drew attention to some responses to the article in The Age of 29 October 2020 titled “By God’s grace: Festival Hall sells to Hillsong Church for $23M”.

The Age reported that Festival Hall in Melbourne – which was re-built after a fire in 1955 – has been a venue for the 1956 Olympic Games, music festivals, boxing matches, political meetings and more besides. Performers at Festival Hall over the decades include the Beatles, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland (music), Lionel Rose, Johnny Famechon and Anthony Mundine (boxing) and even Cardinal Josef Mindszenty at a meeting where speakers included B.A. Santamaria and the Hobart poet James McAuley.

Now Festival Hall is a heritage-listed building – so it cannot be demolished.  A consortium of media and entertainment groups contracted to purchase the property – but the deal fell though because of COVID-19 and all that.

So Community Venues Limited stepped up and closed the deal – for around $23 million. A good arrangement, it would seem.  But not to some Nine Newspapers’ types currently employed by The Age and/or The Sydney Morning Herald.

Here’s what the Nine comrades at The Age Soviet tweeted in the wake of the news:

Now Cara Waters is the technology and start-ups editor at The Age  and the Sydney Morning Herald. And Karl Quinn is the senior culture writer at The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

So here’s the situation. Festival Hall is sold – there is a willing seller and a willing buyer.  However, since the property was sold to a Christian group the sale is mocked by Nine’s Comrades Waters and Quinn. But what would have been the response of Waters and Quinn if Festival Hall had been sold to, say, a Buddhist or Muslim religious group? Surely not a critical one. Can You Bear It?

  • MIKE CARLTON JUST CAN’T UNDERSTAND AROUND 70 MILLION AMERICANS (WHO HAVE NOT HEARD OF HIM)

Wasn’t it great to hear from Mike Carlton – the Sage of Avalon Beach – last Thursday?  This is what your man Carlton tweeted in Siesta Time:

It turns out that around 70 million Americans voted for Donald J Trump. However, according to Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton, they’re all fools. Then, after Gin & Tonic Time and Post-Dinner Drinks Time, your man Carlton put out this tweet:

It would seem that the Sage of Avalon Beach failed to anticipate that Joe Biden was still in the race when he despatched this “there, my friends” message on Wednesday evening at around post-dinner drinks time.  Also the one-time journalist Carlton – who presents himself these days as an historian – forgot all about  the Democratic Party’s President Lyndon Baines Johnson who won the November 1964 election in a landslide.  Can You Bear It?

  • EMMA SHORTIS’ PROJECTED DEMOCRAT FLIP IN TEXAS FLOPS

Wasn’t it great to have RMIT University’s Emma Shortis back doing the ABC TV News Breakfast “Newspapers” segment yesterday? – especially since it was a live appearance in the ABC’s Southbank studio in Melbourne rather than a virtual one from her abode in Melbourne Sandalista land.

The last time Dr Shortis (for a doctor she is) was on News Breakfast, she predicted that the Democratic Party might be able to “flip” Texas in the US congressional election which took place at the same time as the presidential election.  Let’s go to the transcript:

David Speers: Now, we’ve been focused of course on the US election race, but I guess a lot of us often forget that it’s not just a decision on who’s going to be in the White House. There are a lot of decisions made on election day in the United States. And the New York Times is looking at what’s going on in Texas.

Emma Shortis: That’s right…this article on Texas I think is really interesting. Because it’s showing…Democrats are actually thinking that they might be able to flip Texas, this kind of deep red Republican state….

Lisa Millar: A brave woman wading into area that normally Nate Silver has as his prerogative.

Sure Emma Shortis was brave – and wrong.  It was a case of “don’t talk about Texas” when Comrade Shortis appeared on News Breakfast yesterday and the focus turned to – you’ve guessed it – climate change.

Emma Shortis: So the United States officially withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement today. They of course served notice several months ago, 12 months ago now, and announced three years ago in 2017. But it’s become official today. And it’s, I think, a reminder that the machinery of government continues – even despite what is happening.

David Speers: It just – it seems nuts. Whatever you think about Paris. You know, they [the US] technically withdraw today when Biden might have actually won the election today, because he’s committed to putting them back in. The timing is what’s nuts.

Emma Shortis: Exactly, it is nuts. And the US, they can sort of go back to Paris if they want, and Biden has said that he will do that. But you know it’s another reminder at what is at stake for not just the US but the world.

Turn it up. It’s not easy for a nation to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.  No nation was allowed to give notice to quit the agreement until three years after the ratification which took place on 4 November 2016.  Notice was given by the US on 4 November 2019 – and the US could exit a year later. Which it did.

Yet according to Comrades Speers and Shortis, it was “nuts” for the US to quit the Paris Agreement the day after the November 2020 election – despite the fact that the process had been put in place three years before as President Trump fulfilled an election promise. Can You Bear It?

  • FRAN KELLY’S DIET COKE & HAMBURGER CONFUSION RE THE WHITE HOUSE

Here is Jackie’s (male) co-owner’s fave exchange in Australia during the US presidential election. It took place on Wednesday morning (Australian time) when Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly interviewed Jonathan Swan (of Axios) on the ABC Radio National Breakfast program:

Fran Kelly: What’s the mood like in the capital today?

Jonathan Swan: Well, I was just by the White House earlier this morning, there’s already a crowd gathering there. It’s going to be – I mean, if you walk around downtown Washington, all the stores are boarded up, there’s boarding everywhere which was not the case in downtown Washington in 2016… So there is a real sense of foreboding and tension and that there could be eruptions of violence if the results – frankly, go either way. But certainly if there’s a Trump victory there would be high likelihood, according to law enforcement, of unrest.

Fran Kelly: If there’s a Trump victory?

Jonathan Swan: Correct.

Fran Kelly: Who would be causing the unrest if there’s a Trump victory?

Jonathan Swan: People protesting the election of Donald Trump….

Well fancy that. Comrade Kelly did not anticipate that there might be ANTIFA-style demonstrations if Donald J. Trump won which could lead to attacks on the White House.  It would seem that Comrade Kelly was of the opinion that authorities were boarding up the White House to prevent Trump supporters knocking down the fence and demanding that President Trump share a Diet Coke and a hamburger with them. Can You Bear It?


NEW FEATURE – JOURNALISTS INTERVIEWING JOURNALISTS

AUNTY’S DAVID & LISA INTERVIEW AUNTY’S LOUISE ON THE ABC AND GIVE HER BOOK 7 OUT OF 5 STARS

As readers are aware, MWD just loves it when journalists interview other journalists about journalism and other matters.  And so it came to pass on Friday 30 October 2020 when ABC TV News Breakfast co-presenters David Speers and Lisa Millar interviewed ABC TV Four Corners presenter Louise Milligan about her new book Witness: An investigation into the brutal cost of seeking justice (Hachette Australia).

By the way, MWD always predicted that your man Speers would be given more work at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster than initially announced.  At Sky News, David (“Call me Speersy”) Speers did three hours of live television on a weekday, plus a Sunday one hour program plus specials and the like.  The ABC works at a slower pace than Sky News – so it’s no surprise that Speersy sought more work at the ABC than just Insiders and a bit else.  Currently he is filling in on News Breakfast  on weekdays before doing Insiders on Sunday.

But MWD digresses.  Following the publication of her book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell (Melbourne University Press, 2017), Louise Milligan received a series of soft interviews on the ABC and at left-friendly literary festivals.  She never had the intellectual courage to front up at an interview, discussion or debate with a supporter of Pell and/or a critic of her book Cardinal.  And she refused to answer questions in defence of her book – including with respect to her sources and scholarship.

So far, it has been much of the same with Witness.  Ms Milligan has received soft interviews with her ABC colleagues Fran Kelly (on Radio National Breakfast –  29 October), Virginia Trioli (ABC Melbourne 774 Mornings – 29 October), Cassie McCullagh (ABC Radio Sydney 702 On Focus – 27 October) and ABC TV News Breakfast.

MWD is yet to get though all of Witness.  It is a turgid read of 375 pages.  There are 18 chapters but no sub-headings.   There are neither photographs nor illustrations.  And there is no index.  In short, it’s not an easy read.  MWD will return to Witness  after wading through Milligan’s laborious prose, provided the end of the world does not come first.

In the meantime, MWD observes that the author has managed to project HERSELF into Witness – by reason of the fact that she gave evidence for one day in the committal proceedings in the Victorian Magistrates’ Court in the case of The Police v George Pell on 27 March 2018.

Most of those who witnessed the exchange between Pell’s barrister Robert Richter QC and Louise Milligan in the Magistrates’ Court – or who have read the transcript – would have got the impression that both the formidable Richter and the formidable Milligan held their own.  For example, neither Lucie Morris-Marr nor Melissa Davey – who, like Milligan are Pell antagonists – mentioned in their coverage of the Pell proceedings that the Richter/Milligan exchange was in any sense unusual or newsworthy. Or that Richter had somehow wounded Milligan, mentally or physically.

However, Milligan now presents herself as some kind of witness victim – who is traumatised by Richter in a not dissimilar way to some complainants alleging sexual assaults in trials are traumatised by their cross-examination experience. This was picked up – in a sympathetic way –  by David Speers and Lisa Millar in their interview with the author of Witness on News Breakfast. Let’s go to the transcript:

Lisa Millar: But what about yourself? I mean, you went through the process, you were a witness in a very high-profile case, how did it affect you?

Louise Milligan: It was unbelievable, I have to say. I mean, I have a law degree. I have been covering courts for 20 years as a journalist. I had the whole ABC behind me. I had a publisher behind me. I had a lawyer in court. And yet it was absolutely crushing being cross-examined. I understand that they have a job to do, but I felt that it was way beyond what it should have been.

And the next day, I lay in bed, I couldn’t – I couldn’t move. And you know, it’s embarrassing to say that as an investigative reporter –  that you know – that you were so traumatised by this process. It wasn’t I was running through in my head what he [Richter] had said – it was a physical trauma. And the whole day I just lay there and thought of these people who come forward to talk about rape, who come forward to talk about child abuse [and] who we expect to bring perpetrators to justice. We can’t do this to these people. We have to have a better way.

David Speers: Well, Louise, you know, once again, you’re shining a light on a real issue of problem in our justice system. And the book’s called Witness, well done on it.

So there you have it.  Louise Milligan is a tough-minded journalist not afraid to ask tough questions of others or to run campaigns against alleged pedophiles and more besides. However, she maintains that some court-supervised questions by Robert Richter QC led to her suffering “physical trauma” to the extent that she just lay in bed for a “whole day”.  This despite the fact that during her cross-examination by Robert Richter, Louise Milligan was supported on occasions by the magistrate and the crown prosecutor and she was not in court as a complainant in a sexual assault case.

All of this suggests that ABC journalists do not ask hard questions of other ABC journalists. Indeed on 27 October, two days before her discussion with the author of Witness, Lisa Millar put out this tweet in support of Louise Milligan – and Ms Milligan responded with a couple of symbolic kisses.

By the way, Louise Adler heads Hachette Australia – and she endorses Witness.  Quelle Surprise!

In any event, as initially stated, isn’t it great when the likes of Speersy and Lisa interview their colleague Louise, ask her soft questions and rejoice in her responses?  Bravo. xx

Also neither Lisa Millar nor David Speers asked their ABC colleague how it came about that none of the multiple allegations against Cardinal Pell in her book Cardinal  led to any convictions – all were thrown out by the Magistrate or the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions or quashed by the High Court.  Perhaps they were worried that such a direct question could have led to Ms Milligan experiencing physical trauma causing her to lie down the following day. Can You Bear It?


NEW FEATURE: A “WELL EARNED BREAK” REPORT

IN WHICH RAF EPSTEIN HAS A W.E.B. ON MELBOURNE CUP EVE

As avid readers are aware, according to many media types, journalists take WELL EARNED BREAKSor W.E.B. – while the rest of us have holidays.  It would seem that such worth-affirming terms make many a journo feel better.  Look at it this way – the toiling masses get time off – but journalists really earn their breaks.

Lotsa thanks to the Melbourne reader who advised MWD of an announcement by Dilruk Jayasinha last Monday (2 November) that Ali Moore would be presenting the Drive program on ABC Radio National 774 that very day – since Rafael (“call me Raf”) Epstein was taking a “well earned break”.

Now Monday 2 November happened to be the day before the Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 3 November.  So Raf’s well-earned break seems more like a long weekend in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup. But there you go.


Media Fool Of The Week

MALCOLM FARR STEPS-UP WITH A HITLER/NAZI COMPARISON

These days it would seem that Malcolm Farr has left The Guardian where he was for a while and is now into freelance journalism – in addition to his appearances on the ABC TV Insiders program where he is an occasional panellist.

It appears that the leftist Comrade Farr has yet to receive the (common sense) memo that it is foolish to evoke Adolf Hitler or the Nazi totalitarian regime in an attempt to score a point in a debate within a Western democracy.

It so happened that the relatively newborn Australian version of the Conservative Political Action Conference met in Sydney on Tuesday.  Apparently, in an attempt to raise laughs, members of the media attending the event were given a pass which read: “CPAC Australia – Fake News Pass”.

A good joke? – you be the judge.  But the attempt at humour upset the oh-so-serious Malcolm Farr who threw the switch to Twitter and drew comparisons with – wait for it – the Third Reich.

For starters, it’s not at all clear that the likes of Alan Jones and the Liberal Party MP Craig Kelly had anything to do with the Fake News Pass – since they were speakers at the conference, not CPAC organisers.

But the real “joke” here is Comrade Farr’s comparison between a Fake News Pass and an (alleged) “Sieg Heil” entry pass to a function in Nazi Germany.  So Comrade Farr equates Fake News, a term popularised by President Donald J. Trump, with a term used by Germans and Austrians in the 1930s and early 1940s to acclaim the Nazi totalitarian mass murderer Adolf Hitler. How historically ignorant can a journalist get?

Malcolm Farr: Media Fool of the Week.

 

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Until next time.

 

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