GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 549

9 July 2021

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  • THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD AND THE COALITION’S WOMEN PROBLEM

Some confusion surely in today’s edition of the Sydney Morning Herald when it comes to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and women – and Nine Newspapers’ chief political correspondent David Crowe.

But first some (recent) history. On Tuesday, the SMH ran a page one exclusive by David Crowe titled “Women voters abandon Coalition”. Your man Crowe commenced his exclusive by stating that “women have swung against the Coalition in a powerful rebuff to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, cutting the government’s primary vote from 41 to 37 per cent among female voters since the last election”. David Crowe wrote that “the swing is strong enough to threaten Mr Morrison’s hold on power”.

The analysis was carried on Resolve Survey with a margin error of 1.9 per cent with respect to the female vote.  In view of this, the SMH’s  Page One heading on Tuesday seems somewhat overstated.

It’s much the same in today’s SMH where David Crowe’s column is titled “PM”s fate now hinges on women”. The sub-heading is as follows: “The Coalition needs to reverse a diabolical problem with the female voters who could toss it from power.”  Except that your man Crowe’s article doesn’t quite say this.  But his conclusion does state: “In fact, the female vote for the Liberals seems to be at its lowest in three decades.  Morrison is in dire trouble in the next campaign if that keeps up.”

But dig deeper into the Resolve Political Monitor (RPM) which is conducted by Resolve Strategic on behalf of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and the message is not so clear. Here are the figures:

June 2021 Monthly Survey

Q:  How would you rate Scott Morrison/Anthony Albanese’s performance as prime minister/opposition leader in recent weeks? (women only)

Morrison:

Very good: 16%, Good: 29% = Combined 45%

Poor: 21%, Very Poor 18% = Combined 39%

Undecided: 15%

Albanese:

Very good: 3%, Good: 26% = Combined 29%

Poor: 29%, Very Poor 14% = Combined 43%

Undecided: 28%

 

Q: Preferred PM (women only)

Morrison: 44%

Albanese: 21%

Undecided: 35%

From this, MWD draws two conclusions. First, if the Prime Minister has a women problem – so does the Opposition leader.  Second, if the Coalition has a women problem and still leads the Resolve Poll on the primary vote by 39 per cent to 35 per cent – then Labor must have a men problem.

  • DR KATIE ALLEN’S SENSIBLE ADVICE ON ASTRA

Unfortunately the comments by Liberal MP Katie Allen – who described herself as an empiricist and scientist – were heavily interrupted by presenter David Speers on Q&A last night. Quelle Surprise!!

However, Dr Allen made some important points. She described AstraZeneca as a vaccine that has been taken up in Britain and is providing the backbone of vaccinations to the world – with the backing of the World Health Organization. She also stated:

Katie Allen: I have to say, the media has made very clear the side effects of AstraZeneca. They haven’t made clear some of the other effects of Pfizer in the same way. So, look, at the end of the day, I would say, please, go and get vaccinated. And to be honest, both of them are good at preventing death and that’s the point about this vaccination program.

Good advice – and worth checking out on iView or by means of the official Q&A transcript.


Can You Bear It?

  • JANE CARO LOOKS AT THE POSTIIVE SIDE OF THE PANDEMIC

Is there any journalist so out of touch as the ones who really like being locked down at a time of pandemic?  In Media Watch Dog last week, reference was made to the declaration, in the Sydney Morning Herald no less, by the inner-city leftie journalist/academic Jenna Price that she really appreciates a lockdown or two.

It’s interesting – that those who just can’t get enough of lockdowns are invariably well off and well-educated types who live in fine houses/flats/apartments and can entertain themselves by reading, say, Proust (if such can be classified as entertainment) and have ready access to social media, computers and the like. Their lifestyle is quite different from the less well-off and less educated who sometimes live lives of quiet desperation – as the saying goes – in the suburbs and regional areas in crowded homes with children who cannot attend school due to COVID-19 and all that.

MWD reflected on all this after reading Jane Caro’s column titled “Gift of gratitude” in Nine’s Sunday Life magazine last weekend. Now Comrade Caro spends lotsa time talking about the subject she knows best – HERSELF. So anyone who cares to know, does know that Ms Caro has a home in the city and a farm in the country and should be able to handle a lockdown or two.

But, as readers of Ms Caro’s occasional Sunday Life column will know, she’s loving her time right now. Comrade Caro told readers, if readers there were, that she has found herself having “such moments of gratitude recently” and suggested that this might be “a positive effect of the weird COVID world we now occupy”.  You see, Jane Caro’s friendships seem to have gained a degree of calm and acceptance.  She went on – and on:

Maybe COVID has helped many of us – not just those of us who are growing old – to reassess our priorities and to stop chasing false gods.  Many people have had to accept a smaller income and a check to their ambition, and we’ve all had to accept more realistic and achievable goals. No one’s life is as glamorous as it once was.  No longer do we boast about travelling to exotic places on social media (I was once a serial offender)….

It would seem that Comrade Caro believes that, pre-COVID 19, Australians spent their lives travelling and boasting about their visting exotic places overseas. Sure, she acknowledges that “for some people, particularly those who have lost relatives or their jobs, COVID has been a disaster”.   Even so, according to the Sunday Life columnist:

Perhaps this pandemic is helping us learn something that previously only old age was able to teach us.  Namely, to be grateful for what we’ve got rather than always striving to get more.

Alas, Jane Caro is blissfully unaware that many have not got much at all – and even less at a time of pandemic.  Can You Bear It?

  • AMY REMEIKIS RUNS LABOR’s TALKING POINTS ON RN BREAKFAST

Wasn’t it great to hear Media Watch Dog fave Amy Remeikis in the political commentary spot on ABC Radio National Breakfast on Wednesday?  MWD just loves it when there is further consummation of The Guardian/ABC Axis – so it was a pleasure to listen to The Guardian’s political reporter talk to RN Breakfast presenter Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly.

The ABC’s program note tells the story:

The extended Sydney lockdown has reminded everyone how vulnerable Australia is, and highlights two of the Federal Government’s failures: the vaccine rollout and hotel quarantine. Guardian Australia political reporter Amy Remeikis joins RN Breakfast to discuss the latest developments in Federal politics.

The only problem was that Comrade Remeikis didn’t really discuss the latest developments in Federal politics. Instead she ran the Labor Party’s talking points line about COVID-19 (as she had when on Insiders a couple of weeks ago).  Having told Comrade Kelly that she had “nailed it” with her introduction, Comrade Remeikis declared that the COVID-19 lockdowns in Greater Sydney have:

…really turned attention to what has been two of the Federal government’s failures in, during the pandemic and the response.  And that has been vaccination and quarantine.

Overlooking the fact that the Federal government is not responsible for the health and police departments of the States, Amy Remeikis ran the line that leaks from quarantine hotels in the various States was the Commonwealth’s responsibility.  And she did not advise as to how the Commonwealth could have obtained more supplies of the Pfizer vaccine from the European Union than has been allowed so far.

Instead the Morrison government, in the view of The Guardian’s political reporter, is engaged “in a little bit of paralysis”. How surprising is that?  The Guardian’s political reporter goes on RN Breakfast and bags Scott Morrison in a Green Left kind of way.

And there was time for some more bagging of the Coalition when Comrade Kelly referred to an article in – guess what? – The Guardian by Sarah Martin about the Nationals’ (alleged) poor choice of its NSW Senate candidate in the forthcoming election. And then Ms Remeikis spoke about the Coalition’s “women’s problems”.

Jackie’s (male) co-owner couldn’t take it anymore and – having heard all this before from Labor and the Greens – decided in frustration that it was time to put out the cat.  Alas, that didn’t work – since no such entity exists.  So he had another Berocca and raised this question: Can You Bear It?

  • COMRADES MILLAR AND ROWLAND REGRET THE LACK OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY – EXCEPT AMONG ABC PRESENTERS

Did anyone see the ABC TV News Breakfast  “Newspapers” segment on Tuesday when the following exchange took place between presenters Lisa Millar and Michael Rowland and guest commentator Jieh-Yung Lo?

Lisa Millar: Now speaking of fantastic women [i.e. Julie Bishop] doing amazing things, how about our Olympic team?

Jieh-Yung Lo: Very excited to see a history-making Olympics team – second largest contingent sent to an Olympic Games, but also the largest number of percentage represented by women. 53 per cent of our Olympic team will be women. And with a number of headlines this morning, showing photos of our fabulous –

Lisa Millar: There was that photo in particular – the, it’s the swimmers. They’re in Cairns sort of cutting loose before they head to Tokyo. Clearly, you know, it’s a great photo of fit young, happy people.

Michael Rowland: Gold medals winners, that’s what it’s a photo of, Lisa.

Lisa Millar: It’s been used in a lot of newspapers. But gee, there’s something about that photo Jieh?

Jieh-Yung Lo: Oh, absolutely. And it made me think about Liz Cambage’s comments a couple of months ago about the lack of diversity around how our Olympic team has been portrayed. In addition to being the largest, women’s contingent, there’s also a record number of indigenous athletes, 16 of them representing the green and gold in Tokyo. So it would have been great if any promotional image included that diversity as well….

Needless to say, Comrades Millar and Rowland nodded in approval in response to Jieh-Yung Lo’s criticism of the lack of ethnic diversity in the photos of the Australian 2021 Olympic team.

But hang on.  There was more diversity in the pics of Australia’s 2021 Olympians shown on News Breakfast  on Tuesday than there is among the key presenters of ABC news and current affairs programs.

Have a look at this lot below.  The only colour in their collective faces would occur if they stopped at the entry of the ABC headquarters in inner-city Sydney (Ultimo) and Melbourne (Southbank) and landed head first in a bucket of red paint left over from a meeting of an ABC staff collective soviet. As MWD commented in Issue 501, the ABC’s main presenters are so white they could fulfil the role of a white sight-screen behind a fast bowler in a red ball cricket match.

  • DOES GUY RUNDLE REALLY WANT MS FUNK BLOWN UP IN SPACE?

As avid Media Watch Dog readers will recall, writing in Crikey on 25 June 2021 (MWD Issue 547), Guy Rundle declared his wish that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos “will explode in space”. The reference was to Comrade Bezos’ forthcoming trip to be launched by his space exploration company Blue Horizon – which is scheduled for 20 July.

Now, Comrade Rundle is MWD’s fave Marxist comedian – so we do not want to be too critical. But it was disturbing that your man Rundle conceded that, if his wish happens to eventuate, “five other people would also go down in flames”. Or, perhaps, up in flames – who knows?

The Marxist comedian’s view was that such a space explosion “would be bad for the five other people on board but they’ll never know what happened” – but be worth it all the same in view of the greater good.

Now the Marxist Karl Marx was a bit of an end-justifies-the-means kind of guy – and this could have influenced Comrade Rundle. But what’s nice Peter Fray, Crikey’s editor-in-chief, doing running Comrade Rundle’s death wish for others?

In any event, it’s surely a time for a Rundle update, now that it has been announced that a female aerospace pioneer who has waited 60 years to “rocket away” will join Comrade Bezos space flight. It is the 82-year old Ms Wally Funk, a one-time NASA pilot who did not make it into space because she is a woman and female astronauts were not accepted by NASA at the time. Does Guy Rundle really want the octogenarian Wally Funk blown to pieces on 20 July? In which case the question is – Can You Bear It?


ERIK JENSEN’S THE SATURDAY PAPER – OR IS IT “THE SUNDAY PAPER”? – AN UPDATE

For eons now, Media Watch Dog has referred to The [Boring] Saturday Paper.  After all, it is printed on Thursday and finds its way into inner-city coffee shops – when they are not locked down – on Saturday mornings.   By which time it’s a newspaper without news – since all stories are at least two days old.   For his part, Jackie’s (male) co-owner reads publisher Morry Schwartz’s printed contribution at Gin & Tonic Time on Mondays – after all, what’s the hurry?

It was late on a Monday afternoon recently when Hendo put down his glass and opened up TSP’s “Gadfly” – or “Diary” – column, now written by Sami (“I know that I’m paid to be funny, but…”) Shah. From memory, Comrade Shah’s recently exhibited thigh-thumping wit about – wait for it – John Howard’s eyebrows or some such. How funny can you get?

MWD understands that TSP’s editor Maddison Connaughton recently departed and the full editorial role has been taken over by editor-in-chief Erik Jensen. The paper is still boring – but last Saturday it actually ran four stories on the front page. How exciting is that?  Well done Erik.

The University of Canberra’s Digital News Report: Australia 2021 has recently been released by its News & Media Research Centre.  This will be discussed in next week’s MWD.  In the meantime, MWD re-produces Figure 8.10 Political Orientation of Audiences of Online News Brands.  This looks at the political orientation of online newspapers judged against the political orientation of Australian audiences who get news from online news brands.  It suggests that these publications are more leftist than their readers.

Not surprisingly, The Age, The New Daily, Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, Crikey, The Conversation and The Sunday Paper  are on the far left of the political spectrum.  Hang on.  The what?  What’s The Sunday Paper?

Alas. It seems that The Saturday Paper is so boring that the five University of Canberra academics, who put together the Digital News Report: Australia 2021, find The Saturday Paper so forgettable that they call it “The Sunday Paper”.  Maybe they read it on Sundays.  In which case it’s possible that, channelling Hendo’s reading habits, next year’s document might find “The Monday Paper” on the far left of Figure 8.10.


EDITORIAL

  • THE ABC’S REJECTION OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT Q&A’s UNBALANCED SEGMENT ON THE HAMAS-ISRAEL CONFLICT SHOWS UP ITS COMPLAINTS PROCESS AS A FARCE

As avid readers are only too well aware, Media Watch Dog has always advised ABC viewers/listeners not to complain to the Canberra-based ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs department – which handles complaints about ABC programs – since it’s just a waste of time.

For starters, the so-called independent ABC department is staffed by ABC employees.  Whatever they might be independent of, it’s not the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.

And then there is the fact that ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs dismisses over 95 per cent of the complaints it considers.  To use a biblical phrase, a camel has a better chance of passing through the eye of a needle than a complainant has of getting a complaint against the ABC presenters and producers upheld by the ABC bureaucrats located in Canberra.  To clarify, the Eye of the Needle was a narrow gate into Jerusalem which posed problems for lotsa camels  carrying large loads – as those who follow the Gospel of Matthew (19:24) will understand.

But MWD digresses, once again.  As readers will recall, MWD’s “Stop Press” for Issue 543, 28 May 2021 was headed “Another leftist Q&A Stack – This Time with Israel as a Target”.  Reference was to the Q&A panel for the previous evening which comprised – in the ABC’s chronological order – human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, actor and performer Mitch Tambo, Liberal backbencher Dave Sharma, Labor frontbencher Ed Husic and Palestinian Egyptian Muslim writer and academic Randa Abdel-Fattah. Hamish Macdonald was in the presenter’s chair.

One of the designated topics for the program was “The Israel-Hamas Conflict”. There were two Muslim Australians on the panel, Ed Husic and Randa Abdel-Fattah, but no Jewish Australians.  Four out of five panellists were overly critical of Israel in the recent conflict between Hamas in Gaza, and Israel – which began after Hamas commenced firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel. Dave Sharma, an Australian of part Indian Hindu heritage, who has served as Australia’s ambassador to Israel, was the only panellist not to bag Israel to a greater or lesser extent.  He concentrated, instead, on giving a balanced analysis of the conflict.

Now, it might be thought that so obvious a stack would have made it possible for the ABC’s complaints department to drop its rejection rate from over 95 per cent to, say, 94 per cent – by upholding a complaint against Q&A on this occasion.  But, no. Instead the ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs bureaucrats in Canberra doubled down and declared that “there’s nothing to see here” – or some such – about Q&A on 27 May 2021.  Here’s what Denise Musto – Investigations Manager, ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs – wrote to those who complained on 25 June – some four weeks after the complaints were received:

Dear ____

Thank you for your email regarding the Q&A episode Trauma and Truth-Telling.

Your complaint has been investigated by Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit which is separate to and independent of program making areas within the ABC.   We have considered your concerns and information provided by the program, reviewed the content and assessed it against the ABC’s editorial standards of impartiality. We observe the segment on the Middle East presented two audience questions from the Israeli perspective and that a range of views were presented by the panellists, each of whom rigorously and passionately debated the issues surrounding the recent outbreak of violence.  While Randa Abdel-Fattah and Jennifer Robinson criticised aspects of Israeli government policy, Australia’s former Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma MP eloquently addressed and contested the claims of Ms Abdel-Fattah and provided an informed perspective on Israel’s actions and decisions.

We are satisfied it was made clear that Ms Abdel-Fattah’s view was strongly contested, that the opposing view justifying Israel’s actions was prominently presented and the challenging nature of the discussion would have been insightful and illuminating for the program’s audience.   For these reasons, we are satisfied that a range of principal relevant perspectives were presented on the issue, and that no one view was unduly favoured over any other in the broadcast.

Nevertheless, the program has explained to Audience and Consumer Affairs that it approached the Israeli Embassy to invite Ambassador Jonathan Peled to participate in the program, but he was unable to travel to Sydney for the recording.  The Embassy recommended the program contact Mr Alex Ryvchin, the CO-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, who also declined an invitation to participate as an expert audience member, who would be invited to contribute to the segment by asking a question and expressing his perspective from the audience.

Your reaction to the broadcast has been brought to the attention of ABC News management. The ABC Code of Practice is available online…. Should you be dissatisfied with this response to your complaint, you may be able to pursue the matter with the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Yours sincerely

Denise Musto

Investigations Manager

Audience and Consumer Affairs

What a load of absolute tosh.  Contrary to what Denise Musto asserted, Randa Abdel-Fattah and Jennifer Robinson did not criticise “aspects of Israeli government policy”. They criticised the very existence of the state of Israel – each described Israel as an “apartheid” state.  Also Ms Musto overlooked the fact that Ed Husic and Mitch Tambo also criticised Israel.  A convenient omission – don’t you think?  Sure Dave Sharma disagreed with some of the claims of The Four – in his role as a Morrison government backbencher who has considerable knowledge of the Middle East. But Mr Sharma did not engage in polemical attacks of the likes of Ms Randa Abdel-Fattah or Ms Robinson and he did not question the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority.

Moreover, during “the Israel-Hamas” segment, Dave Sharma had 20 per cent of the speaking time – compared with Randa Abdel-Fattah (27 per cent), Jennifer Robinson (21 per cent), Ed Husic (19 per cent) and Mitch Tambo (13 per cent). Yet, according to ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs “a range of principal relevant perspectives were presented on the issue”. This is just an example of denial.

Certainly, two Jewish Australians – Dr Suzanne Rutland and Malcolm Bersten – were invited by Q&A producer Erin Vincent to ask a question from the floor.  They did – but were given no opportunity to reply as four out of five panellists bagged Israel’s role in the Gaza-Israel conflict.

It would seem that the Q&A team has no understanding of the concept of condescension. Why would the Ambassador of Israel agree to sit in a Q&A audience and ask a question, without a right of reply, to a panel stacked with critics of the Israeli government?  No ambassador should be expected to agree to such a proposal. Ambassador Peled would have been asked to make a comment and then sit mute in the audience, which was overwhelmingly hostile to Israel, as he was bagged by the likes of Randa Abdel-Fattah and Jennifer Robinson. In this sense, Alex Ryvchin was wise not to be set-up in this way by the Q&A team.

Suzanne Rutland came to realise her mistake in agreeing to make a comment from the audience.  She emailed Q&A executive producer Erin Vincent on the morning after the program stating that she was “sorry” that she had “agreed to participate in the program”.

The fact that ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs believes that the Q&A program of 27 May 2021 was an example of the ABC’s “impartiality” demonstrates that the current ABC complaints procedure is a farce.

In conclusion, it is notable that Q&A has never invited such articulate Jewish Australians as the former MP Michael Danby or Jillian Segal to appear on its program as panellists. The only Q&A invitation which Dr Colin Rubenstein received coincided with a Jewish religious holiday and he was not able to appear. That occurred in 2012. Dr Rubenstein has not been invited since then. The lesson seems to be that Q&A does not want to hear the views of Jewish Australians who broadly support the security views of the Israeli government of the day.


  • IN WHICH SPEERSY PULLS THE INTERRUPTER SWITCH – APART FROM GREENS LEADER ADAM BANDT

Question:  How does an Australian politician get a soft, interruption-lite interview from presenter David (“Call me Speersy”) Speers on the ABC TV Insiders’ program?  Answer: Hang out with the Green Left or, better still, become a Greens parliamentarian.

Writing in his “Media” column in The Australian on 20 June 2021, Chris Mitchell commented that the Greens leader Adam Bandt received an oh-so-soft interview on Insiders when he appeared on the program on 13 June 2021.  Mitchell wrote, when discussing the inability of the ABC to scrutinise the Green Left:

Viewers I know were stunned at Insiders host David Speers’ tame interview with Greens Leader Adam Bandt last Sunday week.  Famous for interrupting his   guests, Speers gave Bandt a free run.

You can say that again. David Speers introduced the interview segment by showing clips of Defence Minister Peter Dutton stating that Australia is open to increasing the number of United States Marines who are based in the Northern Territory.  Speersy told viewers that this is an issue which “we might come back to” in the program.

Guess what?  This was the first question asked – as the transcript demonstrates:

David Speers: Adam Bandt, welcome to the program.

Adam Bandt: Morning David.

David Speers: Should Australia host more US Marines in the Northern Territory?

Adam Bandt: No, uh, it would make Australia less safe….

Talk about an umpire/referee handing out a soft free kick or shot in front of a goal.  Comrade Bandt happily banged on about the Morrison government “gearing up for a khaki election” and had a go at the government’s handling of COVID-19, asylum seekers, China and so on.  Comrade Speers said nothing when Comrade Bandt alleged that the Coalition could be involved in taking “the world to the brink of annihilation”.

Speers then asked soft leading questions to Mr Bandt about (i) the Australia-US relationship, (ii) whether the US Marines in the Top End have been a problem, (iii) how Australians should approach China, (iv) climate change (v) COVID-19 vaccinations, including in developing countries and so on and did not question his responses to any extent.  Speersy did not even challenge his guest when Comrade Bandt declined to oppose the European Union and some nations hurting Australia with carbon tariffs – apart from Speersy saying that the Greens’ leader’s position might be thought of as “a bit strange”. That’s all folks.

Oh, by the way, David (“The Interrupter”) Speers only interrupted Adam Bandt on four occasions. Foreign Minister Marise Payne was Speersy’s guest on Sunday 20 June.  She was interrupted eight times – that is, double that of the Speers/Bandt interview. The following week, Sunday 27 June, it was Labor’s shadow climate change minister Chris Bowen in the (virtual) interview chair.  He was interrupted on 12 occasions.

And then it was Finance Minister Simon Birmingham last Sunday. Early in the interview, the mild-mannered Birmingham was interrupted after just 22 words when he was responding to a 74-word Speersy question. All up, Minister Birmingham was interrupted 11 times.

David Speers – Top Media Interrupter of the Week.


A DR NORMAN SWAN MOMENT

  • OUT OF WOOLIES – AND ON TO NETWORK TEN

Did anyone catch Dr Norman Swan on Network 10’s Have You Been Paying Attention? on Monday night?

Norman Swan, who recently lamented that his newfound fame stops him from being able to “creep around Woolies” unnoticed, appeared on the program to answer a few questions and take yet another opportunity to plug his new book.

When Swan was asked by host Tom Gleisner “Who’s your favourite chief health officer?”, he responded “I think Brett’s doing a great job. I think they’re all doing quite a good job”.

That’s right. Norman Swan’s “favourite chief health officer” is Victoria’s Brett Sutton. An odd answer considering Victoria’s multiple failures when it came to managing COVID-19 outbreaks. Failures the Victorian Government acknowledged with a board of inquiry that was also a failure as it did not find who was responsible for key decisions that led to the outbreak. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Tom Gleisner’s question was “Who’s your favourite chief health officer that presided over government procedures that resulted in the unintentional death of 800 people?”

Believe it or not, your (doctor) man Swan’s answer was met with applause from the audience and panel of comedians – aside from comedian Ed Kavalee, who did not appear to be in agreement.

Caption: Network Ten’s Have You Been Paying Attention? Panel on Monday night: (From top left) Ed Kavalee, Denise Scott, Lloyd Langford, Celia Pacquola and Andy Lee. All except Ed Kavalee appear to be members of the “I stand with Dan (And Brett) fan club.


As avid readers are aware, the late Nancy (2004-2017) did not die. She merely “passed” on to the Other Side. Hence MWD has been able to keep in touch and seek her advice about behaviour, courtesy and all that – with the help of the American psychic John Edward of Crossing Over fame. Your man Edward has demonstrated a first-class ability to communicate with the dead, albeit not so much with the living. And so, Nancy’s “Courtesy Classes” continue – albeit from the “Other Side” in a post-mortem kind of way.

  • IN WHICH CRIKEY’S PETER FRAY IS DEBUNKED FOR POTATO-HEAD SHAMING

Recent times have seen the demise of fat-shaming, body-shaming and the like. But what about head-shaming? As in references to, say, an alleged potato-head kind of guy?

The is how Crikey editor-in-chief Peter Fray introduced his “Crikey Daily” editorial on Monday:

I figured the idea of Peter Dutton as PM would prove an interesting talking point, but I didn’t expect such a visceral reaction to Bernard Keane suggesting it [last Friday] …Today we’re publishing a selection of your letters on the prospect of a potato prime minister.

Nice Mr Fray’s reference was to a Bernard Keane article in Crikey on Friday 2 July 2021 titled “Spud time. The case for a potato-led recovery: it’s time for Peter Dutton to step up”.

Which raises the question – why is a once-was-nice guy like Comrade Fray into “potato-head” shaming? And what’s wrong with potatoes? Without the basic spud, Jackie’s co-owners and others of Irish background would not be here today. How insensitive and discourteous can a Crikey editor-in-chief get?

Peter Fray – it’s off to Nancy’s Courtesy Classes for you.

 

 

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Until next time.

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