GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 535

26 March 2021

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PM MORRISON SPEAKS TO NINE’S TRACY GRIMSHAW LAST NIGHT – BUT NOT TO LEIGH SALES

Hell has no fury like a TV presenter scorned.  ABC TV presenter Leigh Sales led off last Tuesday with a whinge about Scott Morrison. Here it is:

Leigh Sales: Since the Brittany Higgins story broke a month ago, 7.30 has invited the Prime Minister for an interview more than 13 times. He did five interviews with 7.30 last year and is regularly available so we have no complaints generally. But that does make it surprising that on a day when Scott Morrison says he wants to speak to women and persuade them that he hears their concerns, that he’s once again unavailable to appear on prime-time television to speak to our hundreds of thousands of female viewers….The offer to join 7.30 any night remains open.

7.30 illustrated its scorn explaining its whinge by showing that hoary media cliché – the empty chair. Both on air and in a tweet.

Now here’s a question. Why should the Prime Minister go on 7.30 when Laura Tingle, its political correspondent, has accused him only recently of “ideological bastardry”?  As far as MWD can work it out, the PM has not appeared on 7.30 since then. Who can blame him?

Let’s say the PM appeared  on 7.30 last night. According to the program’s format, he would have been interviewed by Ms Sales. This would have been followed by a discussion between Leigh Sales and Morrison-antagonist La Tingle about the interview.  This, in turn, would have been followed by the 7.30 “satire” segment (which airs every second Thursday) – starring Mark Humphries (usually) and co-written by Comrades Humphries and Evan Williams. As usual, last night’s satire, titled “Scott Morrison’s message to women”, sneered at and mocked the Prime Minister.

Apparently, 7.30 reckons that Mr Morrison should front up to hostile territory to face the wrath of Comrade Tingle and the sneering ridicule of Comrade Humphries.  The PM had the good sense to say “Not on your nelly” – or words to that effect. Instead Mr Morrison spoke to ABC Radio AM presenter Sabra Lane yesterday morning – and to Nine’s A Current Affair presenter Tracy Grimshaw last evening.

This made sense.  For starters, A Current Affair outrated 7.30 by around 90,000 viewers.  Moreover, it is not clear how influential ABC current affairs programs are these days.  If 7.30 changed voter intentions, Australia would have had a green/left government for at least the last decade.  A Current Affair, on the other hand, appeals to Australians in the outer suburbs – unlike the ABC whose appeal is to inner-city types.  In this sense, A Current Affair is more influential than 7.30.

So, the Prime Minister would be well advised to leave 7.30’s vacant chair vacant – and focus on Nine, Seven and Sky News for television appearances.

[Correction: As 7.30‘s executive producer Justin Stevens pointed out on Twitter, 7.30 outrated A Current Affair on Thursday 25 March. The figure given above was for Wednesday 24 March. A Current Affair generally outrates 7:30 but did not on Thursday due to being relegated to digital channel Gem in Queensland to make way for the NRL.]


Can You Bear It?

  • FRAN KELLY, JACQUELINE MALEY & KAREN MIDDLETON GO MUTE WHEN SCOTT MORRISON IS WRONGLY BLAMED FOR LIBERAL MEN BEHAVING BADLY

Media Watch Dog just loves it when journalists interview other journalists.  It’s just so comfortable.  And so it came to pass that ABC Radio The World Today on Wednesday saw ABC journalist Rachel Mealey interview ABC presenter Julia Baird about the allegation of a rape in Parliament House along with reports of men behaving very badly and the Morrison government’s response to same.

Earlier that very morning, on ABC Radio National Breakfast, ABC Journalist Fran Kelly, interviewed journalist Samantha Maiden (news.com.au), plus journalist Jacqueline Maley (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age) plus journalist Karen Middleton (The [Boring] Saturday Paper).

The topic turned on what the program described as Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “emotional intervention” on Tuesday – which it said “has failed to quell the fury around the sexual harassment and assault crisis engulfing the Federal government and national politics”. Needless to say, it was that kind of “discussion” much beloved of the ABC where essentially everyone agrees with essentially everyone else on essentially everything.

Following a clip of the Prime Minister discussing the possibility of the Liberal Party introducing quotas for female representation in the Commonwealth Parliament, the following exchange took place:

Fran Kelly: So, there’s the Prime Minister saying –  he said also, he’s open to quotas. Sam, is that the same as the Prime Minister saying he will move to make this happen?

Samantha Maiden: No, it’s not. But I mean, it’s a fairly strong signal. I note that there’s reports this morning that there’s quite a bit of a backlash to that idea. And certainly, he seems to have suggested it, in the past. What a pity that he didn’t do more to get more women in Parliament before the last election. Perhaps there would be less men masturbating on desks, if that had occurred.

What a load of absolute tosh – which neither Comrade Kelly nor Comrade Maley nor Comrade Middleton bothered to correct.

The incident referred to – which was revealed by Peter van Onselen on Network 10’s The Project and in The Australian – did not occur on Scott Morrison’s prime ministerial watch.  Rather, it appears to have taken place primarily when Malcolm Turnbull, not Scott Morrison, was prime minister.

Now, Mr Turnbull is no more responsible for such disgusting behaviour than Scott Morrison would have been if the practice had commenced in, say, 2019 or 2020.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that the fact that there were not many successful female candidates in the May 2019 election has nothing to do with what occurred before Scott Morrison replaced Malcolm Turnbull in August 2018.  It would seem that Comrade Maiden just made this up. Can You Bear It?

[I note that The Age’s Chip Le Grand has tweeted this yesterday:

Interesting, don’t you think? – MWD Editor]

  • FEMINIST COMRADES SAMANTHA MAIDEN & SHALAILAH MEDHORA AVOID GIVING STRONG SUPPORT FOR CONSERVATIVE MP NICOLLE FLINT

While on the topic of Samantha Maiden, has anyone noticed that when Labor Party female parliamentarians are subject to misogynistic attacks as they go about their parliamentary duties they are invariably supported by feminists? And properly so.  However, when it comes to Liberal Party female parliamentarians this is not necessarily the case.

Viewers of Insiders on Sunday would have noticed that the Canberra Press Gallery journalists Samantha Maiden and  Shalailah Medhora were not fully supportive of Liberal Party MP Nicolle Flint, the Member for Boothby, who was harassed by left-wing organisations during the May 2019 election campaign.  The details, for those not familiar with the case, are covered in this week’s “An ABC Update”.

You be the judge about this matter – as Samantha Maiden (news.com.au) and Shalailah Medhora (ABC Triple J Hack) criticised Ms Flint for not acting responsibly in speaking about her case (Maiden) and politicising the issue (Medhora).

Let’s go to the transcript:

David Speers: Sam, I know you’ve been digging into this. What really went on in relation to Nicolle Flint?

Samantha Maiden: Well, the first thing that went on is she was clearly deeply traumatised and upset by this, and continues to be, and that is quite clear. I think my concern worth looking at it is a couple of things. One is how clear the links were between the stalker and the other players – whether it was the GetUp! or the Labor Party. But what really alarmed me when I dug into it is that there have been a number of things that have been put on the public record under Hansard that are incorrect.

David Speers: By Nicolle Flint?

Samantha Maiden: By Nicolle Flint. And for example, last night, I went and had a look at her evidence to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters that she gave that evidence late last year. And during her evidence, she said that this man is repeatedly referred to as “the stalker”. Now this is David Walsh. He’s no longer with us. He was terminally ill he died of cancer. And she says in his – in her evidence – he was charged. Now he was never charged. He was cautioned by police. That information has laid on the public record in Hansard now for, I don’t know how long, six months or so. It needs to be corrected. Parliamentary privilege comes with responsibilities. And those responsibilities include, I think, you know, not saying that someone’s been charged with a crime when they haven’t.

Talk about a beat-up.  Flint’s stalker was cautioned by SA Police – not charged.  Okay, but he was not cautioned for, say, picking flowers.  He was cautioned that he should not stalk Flint. Yet, Ms Maiden seems to regard it as alarming that Ms Flint said that her stalker was charged (when she should have said cautioned) – as if this somehow affected the conservative Member for Boothby’s experience.

And then it was Shalailah Medhora’s turn to criticise Ms Flint:

Shalailah Medhora:  I would just back what Sam [Maiden] was saying. One thing that I wasn’t sure of from both her (Ms Flint’s) speech and her subsequent op-ed was the real link with Labor.  I couldn’t really see that.  And the difficulty is –  in that in saying she didn’t want to politicise the issue – she has effectively politicised the issue. Obviously, like you said, women in public life, not just politics, in the media, I mean, Sam will tell you that we’ll go off this show and we’ll have a stack of tweets, people criticising our hair, our intelligence, our alleged political allegiances, whatever it is. It’s an issue that women have been talking about for a really long time…

As pointed out, Boothby was hotly contested at the May 2019 election and Ms Medhora is asking Insiders viewers to believe that the Labor Party was unaware of the campaign against Nicolle Flint – which was reported in the media at the time. Moreover, Medhora equated the Twitter crowd making personal comments about her hair and so on with the real-time intimidation which Ms Flint faced.

Which suggests that the likes of Samantha Maiden and Shalailah Medhora are willing to go to the barricades when left-wing women like Julia Gillard are subjected to attacks.  But when it comes to conservative women, they are variously “alarmed” at Flint’s errors (Maiden) or content to criticise Flint in trying to “politicise” her own political persecution (Medhora). Can You Bear It?

  • THE SATURDAY PAPER’S PAUL BONGIORNO LINES UP WITH THE LEFTIST GETUP! AGAINST CONSERVATIVE FEMALE MP NICOLLE FLINT

However, it is not only the female feminists who are hard on conservative women. So are some self-proclaimed male feminists.  Like Paul (“I used to share digs with Gerald Ridsdale but I don’t talk about it much”) Bongiorno – he of the leftist The Saturday Paper and the leftist The New Daily.

This is what Bonge had to say following a soft interview between RN Breakfast presenter Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly and GetUp!’s campaign director Ruby-Rose O’Halloran on 18 March 2021.

So there you have it. Comrade Bongiorno reckons that Nicolle Flint, who was harassed by GetUp! operatives during the 2019 election campaign and after, has been mounting a “politically motivated smear campaign” and there’s nothing to see here with respect to GetUp!’s intimidating behaviour towards Ms Flint. So it’s all Nicolle Flint’s fault, apparently.  Talk about a rationalisation for GetUp!’s tactics.  And this from a professed male feminist like Bonge. Can You Bear It?

  • NINE’S BRISBANE TIMES’ EXCLUSIVE ON MUSSOLINI – OR IS IT?

Thanks to the avid reader who drew Media Watch Dog’s attention to this breaking (historical) news in Nine’s Brisbane Times on Tuesday – namely, that “in his lifetime, just four people managed to launch successful assassination attempts against Benito Mussolini, the infamous dictator who brought Italy into World War II and inspired Adolf Hitler”. MWD notes that, according to the authoritative Brisbane Times, no one sought to assassinate Mussolini after he died. But, apparently, four people succeeded in assassinating him when he was alive.

It’s not clear whether the Brisbane Times counted the very successful attempt by Italian Partisans who, in April 1945, executed the fascist leader along with his wife Clara Petacci – and hanged their bodies upside down in the village square in the village of Giulino de Mezzegra, near Milan.  This was not mentioned in the Brisbane Times – so perhaps there were five “successful attempts” to assassinate Mussolini. Can You Bear It?

[Er, not really. But isn’t it possible that the Brisbane Times has taken a leaf out of MWD’s book (to coin a phrase) and gone into John Laws Style Deliberate Mistake territory?  Just a thought – MWD Editor.]

  • JONATHAN GREEN ON THE DEATH OF WESTERN SYDNEY AND THE RISE OF TOMATO-FRIENDLY NORTHERN MELBOURNE

While on the topic of upside down endings – wasn’t that a fascinating discussion by Jonathan (“Proudly the ABC’s sneerer-in-chief”) Green on his quaint Blueprint with Jonathan Green program around Hangover Time on ABC Radio National last Saturday.  Jackie’s (male) co-owner occasionally listens to your man Green’s discussion about esoteric matters of interest to the inner-city left when walking the said Jackie on the morning after the Friday night before.  The program used to be called Blueprint for Living – but the “living” seems to have been dropped. Fair enough.  After all, there are enough eco-catastrophists on the program to warrant the title “Blueprint for Dying”.

But MWD digresses.  Last Saturday’s BWJG  was compelling listening – especially for those compelled to walk a canine in the heavy rain with an ear-piece attached. Here’s what happened on Blueprint last week – before Hendo turned it off.

The inner-city living Comrade Green – who pushes all the ABC’s favourite ideological buttons – discussed “The Australian nightmare: Western Sydney’s urban heat”. He interviewed a certain Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, a tree physiologist no less, who is an associate professor at the very hot – in the thermometric sense of the term – Western Sydney University.

Needless to say, as befits the Blueprint with Jonathan Green narrative, the learned tree doctor essentially said that due to urban microclimate – which has produced some 50 degree days in Western Sydney during certain days of summer – the place is doomed.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Jonathan Green: What you suggest, though, is logical and elegant. And you can clearly see the sense of it. And yet set against that is what I suspect is a profound Australian resistance to going up and the profound Australian affection for that sort of flat development, for backyards, for big places built to the limits of their blocks, to that endless urban sprawl is the thing that we’ve become used to and perhaps become the desire has become the Australian dream. How do we rephrase that?

Sebastian Pfautsch: Well, I keep being on public record now, that I rephrase it as the “Australian Nightmare” that that is this dream and what it became. Because when you think about what you’re really doing is not only investing into built infrastructure that maybe in 30, or 40, or 50 years is barely worth the penny that you needed to build it because nobody will buy it off you because nobody wants to live in a place that is that hot.

So, there you go.  By 2050 or so, nobody will want to live in Western Sydney – according to the learned professor. This left Hendo wondering about how people live in parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Here are some facts.

According to projections by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, reported by the left-wing Australia Institute, Western Sydney historically averages around one day of 40+ degree weather per year. Under current emissions policies, this is projected to rise to around two days by 2030 and to four days by 2050 and to 12 days by 2090.

By comparison, the average daily high during the summer in Dubai is currently around 40 degrees.  Yet many people want to live in Dubai (population 4 million).  Work that out –  if you can.

And then Comrade Green did an exclusive which the ABC titled “Raising an urban farm”. You see, the Blueprint with Jonathan Green supremo discovered that a soviet of sandal wearing inner-city leftists are cultivating a market garden in Bellfield, north of Melbourne, near the Darebin Creek. They were identified as Kirsty and Charlotte and Patrick – see pic below.

It would seem that this group of “urban farmers” discovered that a local school had some unused land of around two acres – or was it two hectares?  As the Radio National blurb put it in all seriousness, “Jonathan paid a visit to the site and was humbled by the amount of spinach a small farm could produce”.  Yes, humbled – by spinach. In fact, what is called the Farm Raiser project produces mainly tomatoes – but more of this later.

Kirsty told Jonathan (who, when he is not visiting urban farms in the north of Melbourne, spends time hunting foxes) that projects like Farm Raiser “could be used to feed our communities and offer education”. And, for years, provide “a bit of a carbon sink and filter water” and all those kinds of things.  Whereupon Comrade Green declared “there’s enough here to feed the suburb”. Really.

Just imagine this.  According to Comrade Green, the good people of Bellfield (turn right at Northcote, if possible) can live off Farm Raiser’s two acres with tomato juice for breakfast, ground spinach for lunch and fried tomatoes for dinner.  A vegan utopia, no less.

There was, however, one serious problem. As Kirsty told Jonathan, Melbourne’s summer has not been hot enough this year.  Or as she put it – “not as hot as you would like with the tomatoes”.

Don’t panic.  MWD has a solution.  Re-locate Farm Raiser to Western Sydney where tomatoes will grow fast in 50 degree summers.  And re-locate Western Sydney to the north of Melbourne’s CBD where, apparently, the summers are cooler.  And the ABC reckons this stuff is worth airing. Can You Bear It?


ROLL-UP, ROLL-UP, FOR THE 2021 SYDNEY WRITERS’ FESTIVAL – A LEFTIST STACK BROUGHT TO YOU BY COMRADE MICHAEL WILLIAMS & NICE MR SCOTT

There was enormous interest in Gerard Henderson’s column in The Weekend Australian on Saturday titled “Right is wrong at the left-stacked Sydney Writers’ Festival”. So much so that avid Media Watch Dog readers have asked for more.

But first a reflection.  As MWD has pointed out ad nauseam, the idea of a writers’ festival is that a soviet of leftists and left-of-centre types get together, get a bucketload of taxpayers’ funds and invite their comrades to an ideological gig where essentially everyone agrees with essentially everyone else on essentially everything – in a leftist and left-of-centre kind of way.

The number of Australian leftists and left-of-centre types lined up to address the 2021 Sydney Writers’ Festival on social and political issues was too large to be cited in Hendo’s column last Saturday. Here is a fuller list.  And the question is – can you, avid reader, pick a conservative?

Emma Alberici, Julia Baird, Caroline Baum, Sophie Black, Linda Burney, Julian Burnside, Jennifer Byrne, Peter Carey, Barrie Cassidy, Annabel Crabb, Andrew Denton, Kate Ellis, Anton Enus, Mehreen Faruqi, Osman Faruqi, Nick Feik, Richard Flanagan, Tim Flannery, Jan Fran, Helen Garner, Nikki Gemmell, Richard Glover, Kate Grenville, Eleanor Hall, Rebecca Huntley, Jane Hutcheon, Bridie Jabour, Erik Jensen, Paul Kelly (the singer, song-writer), Thomas Keneally, Malcolm Knox, Ramona Koval, Benjamin Law, Scott Ludlam, Sarah Macdonald, Jacqueline Maley, Paddy Manning, David Marr, Kate McClymont, George Megalogenis, Karen Middleton, Louise Milligan, Rick Morton, Kerry O’Brien, Bruce Pascoe, Tanya Plibersek, Margaret Pomeranz, Craig Reucassel, Mike Seccombe, Sami Shah, Tim Soutphommasane, Jeff Sparrow, Jason Steger, David Stratton, Norman Swan, Wayne Swan, Chris Taylor, Laura Tingle, Virginia Trioli, Christos Tsiolkas, Don Watson, Marian Wilkinson and Clare Wright.

Well, MWD cannot find a conservative among this lot.  If anyone listed above reckons they are a conservative – then MWD is only too willing to publish a correction next issue. But don’t hold your breath – as the saying goes (or went).

The core funders of the 2021 SWF are the NSW government, the City of Sydney and the Commonwealth government (via the Australia Council for the Arts). Mark Scott is the chairman of the SWF Board – and ultimately responsible for the appointment of the 2021 SWF’s artistic director. Believe it or not, the 2021 SWF has a total staff of 24. MWD well remembers the days when Nice Mr Scott presided over the ABC and, despite promises to make it more diverse, allowed the ABC to remain a staff collective controlled by its leftist and left-of-centre employees.

Michael Williams is the artistic director of the 2021 SWF.  His background is the taxpayer funded Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne – it received $25 million seed funding from the Victorian Labor government and is essentially a centre for left-of-centre books, left-of-centre writers and left-of-centre ideas.

Comrade Williams commenced at the Wheeler Centre in 2009 and became its director in 2011.  He took over this position from Chrissy Sharp (who is now the SWF’s chief executive officer and a member of the SWF board – now fancy that?).  As might be expected, Michael Williams is an ABC Radio National presenter and a Guardian writer/broadcaster. In other words, part of the left soviet Down Under.

And so it came to pass that the 2021 SWF program, with respect to political/social/economic issues, resembles the Conservative Free Zone that prevails within the ABC and The Guardian.

Here are MWD’s fave 2021 SWF sessions:

I DON’T HOLD A HOSE MATE:

LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY

April 29, 4-5pm

Carriageworks, Bay 17

As the world faces extraordinary crises, Shalailah

Medhora is joined by David Marr, Kate McClymont,

Louise Milligan and Nick Feik to ask: who’s in charge?

And where does the buck stop?

The reference to “I don’t hold a hose mate” relates to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s remarks during the 2019-20 bushfires in Australia. The mocking title suggests that the panel will not regard Scott Morrison as an accountable leader. Ms Medhora and Ms Milligan are ABC employees, David Marr writes for The Guardian, Kate McClymont is a Sydney Morning Herald journalist and Nick Feik edits Schwartz Media’s The  Monthly. Enough said. Not a conservative among this lot of comrades.

WOMEN IN POLITICS

May 2, 12.30-1.30pm

Carriageworks, Bay 20

Labor MP Kate Ellis (Sex Lies and Question Time),

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, former Independent

MP Cathy McGowan (Cathy Goes to Canberra) and

national treasure Annabel Crabb talk about the harsh

cost of the gender divide in politics, with political

reporter and historian Clare Wright.

There you have it. A discussion on women in politics consists of a former Labor Party MP (Kate Ellis), a current Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi and a former Independent MP Cathy McGowan (who won her seat from the Coalition). There is not a woman from the Liberal Party or the Nationals on the panel. And both Annabel Crabb and Clare Wright are left-of-centre types.

THE OTHER C-WORD

April 29, 12-1pm

Carriageworks, Bay 22

Journalists Paddy Manning (Body Count), Craig

Reucassel (Fight for Planet A) and Marian Wilkinson

(The Carbon Club) focus the conversation on the

defining crisis of our time: climate change.  With

Rebecca Huntley.

All three panel members are eco-catastrophists and Dr Huntley has conducted research for the Labor Party. Not much debate will take place here.

SWF GREAT DEBATE: HOW GOOD IS AUSTRALIA

May 1, 6-7pm

Sydney Town Hall

Some of the country’s finest thinkers enter the arena to debate: how good is Australia? Featuring Elaine Crombie, Don Watson and Benjamin Law in the affirmative corner, and David Marr, Annabel Crabb and Nakkiah Lui in the negative, under the unsparing eye of MC Jennifer Byrne.

Supported by the City of Sydney.

So Comrades Crombie, Watson and Law are in the Affirmative Corner. And Comrades Marr, Crabb and Lui are in the Negative Corner. Since the “Great Debate” contains a question not a proposition – it is not clear what each side will argue.  But it really doesn’t matter much since all six debaters essentially agree with each other in a left-of-centre kind of way.

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For MWD, another SWF “Highlight” can be found at the Session 85 where “renowned scientist” (and eco-catastrophist) Tim Flannery will interview other eco-catastrophists about “the next steps for climate action”. This is the very same “renowned scientist” who predicted in 2007 that the rains which fall in the future will never fill our dams. MWD understands that SWF has obtained a Noah’s Ark from the recent floods in Eastern Australia for use by Comrade Flannery if, once again, his prophecy is discredited and the floods return around SWF time.

In short, the 2021 Sydney Writers’ Festival is a leftist stack – paid for by taxpayers and rate payers – and endorsed by Nice Mr Scott (soon to take over as Vice-Chancellor of Sydney University.)

Your Taxes at Work.


Media Fool Of The Week

STEP FORWARD THE KOUK RE DOUBLE STANDARDS OVER Q&A

Last night’s Q&A was most unusual – in that there were some genuine debates between the panellists – Stan Grant, Bruce Pascoe, Sam Mostyn, Gigi Foster, Adam Creighton, Thomas Piketty – and not everyone agreed with everyone else.

Not surprisingly, this upset some leftists in our midst.  In particular Stephen (“Please call me The Kouk”) Koukoulas who sent out a stream-of-consciousness (or perhaps unconsciousness) tweets objecting to the presence of Adam Creighton on the panel. Here they are:

It would seem that The Kouk believes that the Q&A audience is so stupid that they cannot work out where various panellists are coming from.  Also, The Kouk reckons that calling Adam Creighton a “foul freak” is clever. How dumb is that?

And then there is this point.  It’s true that Q&A presenter Hamish Macdonald did not tell viewers (if viewers there were) that Adam Creighton once worked for Tony Abbott.  But nor did Macdonald tell viewers that Sam Mostyn once worked for Paul Keating.

So The Kouk reckons that it was a “massive oversight” for Q&A not to mention Mr Creighton’s Abbott connection. But it was quite okay for Q&A to fail to mention Mostyn’s Keating connection.

Stephen Koukoulas – Media Fool of the Week.


  • UNCORRECTED HOWLERS ON INSIDERS BY SHALAILAH MEDHORA AND PETER HARTCHER

These days Insiders is ABC TV’s main, if not only, current affairs program.  Sure 7.30 does some current affairs but it also focuses on life story matters. The ABC junked its Lateline program in October 2017. Lateline was once the ABC’s serious current affairs program and was essential viewing for followers of Australian politics.  It has not been replaced – creating a void in late night viewing on the public broadcaster.

In view of this, it would be expected that Insiders engage panellists for its discussions who are well-informed and get their “facts” correct.  If not, it would be expected that presenter David Speers would correct errors when he hears them – or that executive producer Sam Clark would advise Speersy of howlers through his ear piece.

Alas, this did not occur last Sunday when the panel consisted of Peter Hartcher (Sydney Morning Herald/The Age), Samantha Maiden (news.com.au) and Shalailah Medhora (ABC Hack). Let’s go to the transcript and pick the howlers with respect to some of the issues discussed.

First up, discussion turned on Nicolle Flint, the Liberal Party MP for Boothby, who has recently announced that she will not contest the next election on account of the harassment she suffered in May 2019 at the hands of the left-wing GetUp! organisation and sections of the trade union movement. Both groups wanted Labor to prevail over the Coalition in Boothby and targeted Flint in a vicious and misogynistic way.

This is what Shalailah Medhora had to say, in part:

Shalailah Medhora: …one of the things I would really have liked to have heard from Miss Flint was what her own party was doing about that. I would like to think that if I was subject to horrible, vile abuse in my workplace, that my employer would be taking it seriously. And it’s something that she didn’t really mention much – what was her own party doing to try and stop this happening?

Turn it up.  Nicolle Flint, as an elected Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives, is not employed by the Liberal Party.  MPs are employed by the Commonwealth of Australia. It would be a bit like saying that  Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese are employed by the Liberal Party and the Labor Party respectively.

Then discussion turned to Attorney-General Christian Porter:

David Speers: Is it tenable for him [Christian Porter] to resume his duties?

Peter Hartcher: Politically I don’t think so. In a court of law, or in the technicalities of the administration of his portfolio, you could make a case – you could technically try to navigate a way through. But this is not a court of law. This is the Attorney-General, the minister representing and administering the entire justice system. I don’t think it’s tenable that an accused rapist can remain in office without any resolution of the question of whether he is a fit and proper person – not whether he’s committed the crime or not.

Christian Porter is not an “accused rapist” in any legal sense of the term. A complaint was made to NSW Police by a person named Kate with respect to an alleged rape in 1988 when she was 16 years old and Porter 17 years of age.  Kate withdrew the complaint and died, by her own hand, the following day.  At this stage, NSW Police closed the case.  Consequently, at law, Mr Porter is not “accused” of anything.  Mr Hartcher just made this up.

Yet both howlers went to air without anyone on the panel – or in the production room –  proffering a correction.

  • PHILLIP ADAMS AND THE CASTRATION OPTION

Avid reader Terri has told MWD that she has complained to the ABC about comments made by MWD fave Phillip Adams AO etc on his little wireless program Late Night Live on Monday.  It was the Monday night segment where the ABC’s Man-in-Black interviews the ABC 7.30’s political correspondent Laura Tingle.  Let’s go to the ABC’s recording from which this transcript is taken concerning the men-behaving-badly incident in Parliament House:

Laura Tingle: …The Prime Minister’s Office has announced that one person has been sacked. And in fact, the Prime Minister says the reports are “disgusting and sickening and the people who come to work in this building are better than this”. Well obviously, they’re not. And uh he’s very outraged about it and his government has terminated the person identified in this issue. But I mean the point is

Phillip Adams: [interjecting] I think it’s time to adopt the Chinese Imperial Principle myself

Laura Tingle: Which is?

Phillip Adams: But that’s probably a minority view – [cut]

Laura Tingle: [Laughing] Yeah well we won’t go there Phillip. But anyway…

It would seem that the ABC has censored our man Adam’s remarks. According to Terri, he proposed “two separate and inventive ways to mutilate the genitals of miscreant male staffers in Parliament House….”. Terri, a mother of sons, objected to the violence involved if such a proposal were implemented.

It seems we may never know the precise details of Comrade Adams’ less-than-modest proposal.  But a surviving tweet indicates that Terri is on to something here and it appears to be castration:

So there you have it.  A self-professed man of peace urging justice by the knife.

We’ll keep you informed. But since the ABC’s complaints unit rejects some 97 per cent of the complaints it considers, MWD reckons that your man Adams will live another day and that Terri’s concerns will be dismissed.


NEW SEGMENT: MOST SNOBBISH ADVERTISEMENT ON COMMERCIAL TV – AS JUDGED BY JACKIE (DIP WELLNESS, THE GUNNEDAH INSTITUTE)

Jackie, who spends much of her life on a comfortable couch, has become an avid TV watcher.  As such she is well qualified to assess both programs and advertisements alike.  Especially since Jackie has a Dip. Wellness form The Gunnedah Institute, which provides a special insight into something or other.

This week, MWD asked Jackie to nominate the most snobbish, status-conscious ad currently showing on commercial TV.  She nominated this – about Macquarie Group Limited, the home of “Good (i.e. well-off) Borrowers”, who happen to be, er, a “little different”.

Voiceover: There are those out there who value their homes a little differently. At Macquarie, we call them “good borrowers”. They understand the home loan helps them progress in life and doesn’t stop them from living it. If you look at your home the same way, we’d like to welcome you into ours. So you can say “I bank with Macquarie – the home of good borrowers”

[The ad can be viewed on YouTube]

Lights. Camera. Action. The advertisement commences with a mother/mother-in-law visiting a home equipped with a large swimming pool. If the house is located in a mainland capital city (which is implied), the joint would be worth at least $2.5 million.  At this stage the family is all-white and the camera focuses on a photo of an all-white family.

The bloke proudly shows his mother/mother-in-law around his pile.   Then night falls and an expensively dressed woman of colour appears with a well-candled cake and three generations sit around a table near the well-lit pool.

The message seems to be that only the well-off value their homes – as distinct from, apparently, the hoi polloi. So, if you look at your home as something that helps you “progress in life”– then MACQUARIE BANK NEEDS YOU!  However, if you’re a no hoper who doesn’t value your home like the well-heeled family with the candled cake –  then you are not welcome at Macquarie– which happens to occupy a commercial pile in Martin Place, Sydney.

You see, Macquarie Bank is synonymous with GOOD BORROWERS – as distinct from, presumably, the riff-raff who borrow from other banks.

Jackie (Dip. Wellness) Comments:

As a Queensland Heeler – and let’s face it, we are mongrels at heart – I was grievously offended by Macquarie’s advertisement.  I recognise that I would never be invited into such a perfectly tidy designer house – I mean, does anyone live in it? – and never get to swim in the sparkling pool. This in spite of my Dip. Wellness from the Gunnedah Institute.

But does Macquarie Bank need to rub in its wealth-focus so much?

My question is: Rather than flashing the abundant wealth of its wealthy clients – perhaps Macquarie Group Limited should just put a large “NO RIFF RAFF” sign on its webpage.  At least it would help us Queensland Heelers who are used to the old sign: “Please Don’t Ask For Credit: A Refusal Often Offends”.

Now my (male) co-owner has reminded me that it’s Gin & Tonic Time.

 

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Until next time – after Easter.

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