GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 585

29 April 2022

* * * *

* * * *

  • ABC’S DISAPPOINTMENT AT APPARENTLY FAILING TO HOST A LEADERS’ DEBATE

Interviewed by Chris Kenny on Sky News’ The Kenny Report  on 28 April, Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated that he was willing to do a leaders’ debate with Network Seven on 5 May hosted by Mark Riley and with Network Nine’s 60 Minutes  on Sunday 8 May. This follows the successful Sky News’ People’s Forum  involving the Prime Minister and Opposition leader Anthony Albanese on Wednesday 20 April 2022. This implies that it is likely that the ABC and Network Ten will not be hosting a leaders’ debate in 2022.

It is not clear that Network Ten was interested in such an event.  However, the ABC certainly still is. Let’s go to the transcript of ABC News Breakfast  on 29 April 2022 where ABC presenter Michael Rowland interviewed ABC Insiders  presenter David Speers about the ABC’s involvement, or non-involvement, in a leaders’ debate in May:

Michael Rowland: I know the ABC through you and our boss, David Anderson has written to both parties wanting a debate on the ABC. But given what the Prime Minister said yesterday, is that it for us? No prospect of the ABC?

David Speers: No, well he hasn’t said no to debate on the ABC. …I’m not going to criticise our mates at other networks, you know, they all do a terrific job. But, you know, our pitch is very much squarely focused on the fact that it is the public broadcaster, it would be available on main channel, News Channel, radio, iview, you name it. But importantly, the ABC reaches all these regional areas, you know. And this contest is very much about those regional areas. The Prime Minister, the Opposition leader, keep telling us that. We reach those areas that a lot of other networks don’t.

Michael Rowland: They simply don’t.

It’s understandable that the ABC is disappointed in that it now seems unlikely that it will host a leaders’ debate in 2022.  After all, one of the reasons the ABC recruited David Speers from Sky News in 2020 turned on the belief that he was the type of compere who would be acceptable to the leaders of the Coalition and Labor alike.  As it turned out, Speers became engulfed in the fashionable left-of-centre orthodoxy that pervades the public broadcaster and is of no particular attraction to the Liberal Party under the leadership of Scott Morrison.

In his recently published monograph Now More Than Ever: Australia’s ABC, David Anderson (the ABC managing director and editor-in-chief) wrote that “the federal election is always a big deal at the ABC”.  And so it is.  But being on the ABC is not necessarily a big deal for Australia’s political leaders. After all, the ABC rates third when it comes to news – behind Network Seven and Network Nine.  And then there is the fact that the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone without a conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets.

ABC management has allowed Laura Tingle to remain as 7.30 chief political correspondent throughout the 2022 election campaign – despite the fact that she has accused the Morrison government of “ideological bastardry”.  And it expects that the Prime Minister will automatically rock up for a leaders’ debate hosted by the ABC following invitations from Messrs Anderson and Speers.

Sure, it’s possible that the PM might change his mind. But as of Friday 29 April this seems unlikely.

  • SARAH FERGUSON’S 7.30 APPOINTMENT – A REWARD FOR FAILURE ON PRESIDENT TRUMP & CARDINAL PELL

The ABC remains a Conservative Free Zone following the appointment of Sarah Ferguson as presenter of 7.30 – which the ABC describes as its “nightly current affairs flagship”. According to the public broadcaster’s statement of 29 April, Ferguson will “join chief political correspondent Laura Tingle and an outstanding team”.

Well it would say this, wouldn’t it?  However, the reality is that it’s difficult to think of any issue concerning which Ferguson and Tingle would disagree.  Both are left-of-centre journalists of long standing with intellectually fashionable left-wing views.

The appointment of Ferguson is another example of an ABC employee appointed by ABC management to an ABC senior position – which is sure to make the ABC Team delighted.  It’s a further manifestation of the ABC as a staff collective.

Believe it or not, the ABC’s official statement on the appointment contains praise for Ferguson by the very ABC men who appointed her.  Namely, ABC managing director David Anderson, ABC Director News Justin Stevens and ABC Head Investigative and In-Depth Journalism John Lyons.  In short, the Anderson/Stevens/Lyons trio agree with their own decision. Quelle Surprise!

According to David Anderson, Ferguson’s journalism has “set an unparalleled standard”. According to Justin Stevens, she is a “forensic investigative journalist”.  And according to Lyons, she is “brilliant”.

However, in recent years Sarah Ferguson has presented the seriously flawed – and highly expensive –  three part Four Corners  series on President Donald J. Trump and the 2016 US presidential election titled “Trump/Russia”. This was promoted by the ABC as “the story of the century”.  However Ferguson’s conspiracy theory that Trump collaborated with Vladimir Putin and Russia to win the 2016 election was just that.  The conspiracy theory was an example of fake news in action.  As MWD put it in Issue 454 on 7 June 2019:

The ABC could have saved a lot of money waiting for The Mueller Report – i.e. the Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, III.  It found no collusion between President Trump and Russia – in spite of the fact that Mr Mueller and his Special Counsel team (which comprised many Hillary Clinton supporting Democrats) are no fans of President Trump.

In early 2020 Ferguson presented another expensive three-part series on ABC TV titled Revelation which also involved considerable overseas travel.  This focused on child sexual abuse – with special attention to the Catholic Church in general and Cardinal George Pell in particular.

There was nothing new in Revelation’s first two episodes.  The third episode was devoted to Pell and consisted of allegations – devoid of documentary evidence or witness testimony – that Pell was guilty of child sexual abuse in the Ballarat area close to half a century ago.  None of the allegations which Ferguson presented to ABC viewers as fact got before a court, so weak was the evidence.

Gerard Henderson, who had some correspondence with Ferguson, covered this issue in his book Cardinal Pell, The Media Pile-On & Collective Guilt (Connor Court, 2021) at pages 275-281.  The ABC – along with The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald – has censored this book and declined to report or review it. Keith Windschuttle and Frank Brennan – who have also written books on the Pell Case following the High Court’s unanimous decision to quash Pell’s conviction –  have been similarly “cancelled”.

The following comment appears in Gerard Henderson’s book in a caption under a photo of Sarah Ferguson standing outside St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney:

ABC management moved Episode 3, titled “Goliath”, of the Revelation documentary forward (from the scheduled Tuesday 7 April) to Thursday 2 April 2020 to place it before the High Court’s decision in Pell v The Queen. “Goliath” – presented by Sarah Ferguson and written by Tony Jones – contained vile allegations against Cardinal Pell by Bernie, whom Ferguson described as “an extraordinarily compelling witness”. The High Court of Australia has held that, in both criminal and civil cases, it is unwise to place emphasis on the demeanor of litigants or complainants. Bernie declined to give evidence at the committal proceedings of The Police v Pell. The fact that Cardinal Pell comprehensively refuted all of Bernie’s allegations when interviewed by Victoria Police in Rome was not mentioned in the body of either the original showing of “Goliath” or in the re-cut version which is on the ABC’s Iview.

So there you have it. Sarah Ferguson has been responsible for two dud TV documentaries – on President Trump and Cardinal Pell respectively.  And she has been rewarded for such failures with a promotion to present ABC TV’s leading current affairs program. And the ABC wonders why it is held in such disregard by some Australians.

Whatever the problems the ABC has will not be resolved by Sarah Ferguson’s appointment to 7.30.  But, surprise/surprise Laura Tingle does not concur. She tweeted this at 8.12 am on 29 April 2022:

Enough said.


Can You Bear It?

  • ABC CHASER “BOY” MR JULIAN MORROW LOSES LEGAL CASE BUT THE ABC DID NOT REPORT THE JUDGE’S DECISION

Once upon a time Julian Morrow – one of the leftist “Chaser Boys” (average age 481/2) – was Australia’s leading foot-in-the-door journalist. Identifying as a comedian, your man Morrow was wont to gatecrash functions and confront his conservative targets camera in hand demanding a response.  The aim was to ridicule The Chaser Boys’ “victims” by public harassment. This was much-loved by the sneering leftists in our midst as they watched the “Boys” on ABC TV.

These days Comrade Morrow makes up one of the oh-so-many leftist presenters on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. He presents Radio National’s Sunday Extra on Australia’s very own Conservative Free Zone which does not have a conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets.

In recent times, your man Morrow has been performing in the NSW Supreme Court in a civil case in which he was the plaintiff and his former business partner Nick Murray the defendant. As Liam Mendes reported in The Australian on 14 April, Morrow’s company Giant Dwarf was in a joint venture with Murray’s company Cordell Jigsaw. Morrow sued Murray for breach of contract and defamation.  He won $35,000 in general and aggravated damages for defamation – a small amount for a successful defamation case. However, Morrow lost his main action against Murray. Judge James Stevenson found that Morrow had acted in breach of his director’s duties and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by reason of his failure to disclose a commercial opportunity to Murray.

Your man Morrow presented to the court affidavits from the likes of Kristina Keneally, Norman Swan, Phillip Adams and many more who testified to Mr Morrow’s good character.  They seem not to have enhanced his chances of a legal victory.

Jackie’s (male) co-owner just loved the TV footage of your man Morrow trying to avoid the camera after the Supreme Court judgment and declining to respond to questions.  This is what Morrow and his fellow Chaser Boys used to do to others not long ago.   But now the boot was on the other foot.  Or the foot was in the other boot.  Or something like this.  By the way, the ABC News did not report the fact that ABC presenter Morrow had lost a high profile case in the Supreme Court of NSW.  Can You Bear It?

  • BARRIE CASSIDY WONDERS WHY HE BOTHERS TO TWEET – SO DOES MWD

It’s time for ABC management to junk Stan Grant as the occasional presenter of the ABC TV Q+A program.  The problem is that, unlike other Q+A  presenters such as David Speers, Virginia Trioli, Hamish Macdonald and Tony Jones, he can control the baying leftist mob that is the usual Q+A audience. Moreover, he does not often interrupt and gives the occasional conservatives on the panel a fair go.  This is no good for MWD – since it provides scant copy for Jackie’s (male) co-owner.

After watching Q+A last night, MWD noticed that it was followed by Barrie Cassidy’s One Plus One where Baz usually interviews someone who is not a conservative. It could be that last night’s program was a repeat.  But Comrade Cassidy’s very appearance on ABC TV suggested that the one-time Bob Hawke press secretary still has a connection with the taxpayer funded public broadcaster in his retirement.

In view of this, avid readers might be interested in this exchange between Comrade Cassidy and Liberal MP for Goldstein Tim Wilson on 28 April:

So there you have it.  Barrie Cassidy (ABC Retd) is still fighting Liberal Party MPs like Tim Wilson – who is being challenged in Goldstein by Simon Holmes à Court Independent Zoe Daniel (ABC Retd).  The Liberal Party member for Goldstein was referring to the statement by Rebekha Sharkie, the Independent MP for Mayo.

Comrade Cassidy wondered out loud why he bothers tweeting like this.  So do lotsa MWD’s avid readers. Can You Bear It?

  • ABC NEWS BREAKFAST FAVE SCOTT BURCHILL’S CHE GUEVARA BROMANCE EXPLAINED

There was enormous interest in the previous issue of Media Watch Dog which carried news of what the leftist Scott Burchill – who has risen to the position of honorary fellow (in something or other) at Deakin University in Melbourne (or perhaps somewhere else).

The thought of Dr Burchill (for a doctor he is) was cited with reference to when he did the Newspapers gig on the ABC TV News Breakfast  program on 19 April 2022.  Avid readers had not the slightest interest in the fact that on News Breakfast  Comrade Burchill has called the result of the 21 May election – around a month before it will be held.   Not in the least. That’s just channelling the late and unlamented Bob Ellis – The (False) Prophet of Palm Beach.  But they were interested to know more about the book which is invariably behind your man Burchill (on his left) when he appears on News Breakfast seated in front of his disorderly bookcase.

It is John Lee Anderson’s tome Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life which, as MWD recalls, is a somewhat friendly interpretation of the Argentinian-born Guevara (1928-1967) who became besties with the Cuban communist revolutionary and dictator Fidel Castro.

It seems that Comrade Guevara is well regarded in the Burchill abode – since he invariably has the communist revolutionary photo-portrait visible to the News Breakfast audience (if audience there is). So the question is – what kind of chap was Guevara that he seems to be so honoured by a Deakin University honorary fellow?

Well, Guevara was known to have overseen executions at Castro’s prison in La Cabana.  According to an American Experiences article (published by the US Public Broadcasting Service – PBS), Comrade Guevara oversaw some 500 such killings.

MWD currently cannot locate a copy of Anderson’s sympathetic biography. But according to American Experiences, the Cuban human rights activist Armando Valladares alleged that Guevara took a personal interest in the investigation and torture of political prisoners.  Oh yes, Comrade Guevara was also something of a homophobe – as befits Cuban communism.

So there you have it.  Next time Comrade Burchill appears on News Breakfast via Zoom from his home with a pic of Che Guevara on his left – some MWD readers will know more about the pride of his (somewhat disorganised) library.  As the saying goes – with heroes like Che – Can You Bear It?


As avid readers will recall, in MWD Issue 57 (11 June 2010) Matt Canavan drew attention to that part of Evelyn Waugh’s novel Scoop in which the snobbery of the leftie journalist Pappenhacker was revealed.

Waugh’s line was that a wealthy communist, university-educated chap named Pappenhacker believed that the best way to undermine the capitalist system was to be rude to the members of the proletariat.  This would make them angry and help to bring about a revolution. Sandalista Snobbery Space is devoted to recording the snobbish views of the Pappenhackers of our day. On this occasion, Paul Bongiorno.

  • THE HIGHLY EDUCATED BONGE MOCKS QUEENSLAND’S (ALLEGED) “REDNECKS”

It was around post-dinner drinks time on 24 April when The [Boring] Saturday Paper’s most boring columnist sent out a tweet:

These days Bonge is increasingly an angry man.  It’s unhinged to accuse Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Peter Dutton of “bashing the crap out of China”. This implies that China’s leader Xi Jinping is a placid kind of fellow who has no interventionist interests in the South China Sea.  So much so that your man Bongiorno is annoyed that “Morrison won’t appease China” – whatever that might mean.

Now, as avid readers will know, when training for the priesthood, Paul Bongiorno (born 1944) obtained the degrees of STB and STL from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. His education was paid for by the Catholic Archdiocese of Ballarat – from money put on the collection plate at Mass on Sundays by the men and women of the Catholic diocese of Ballarat.  Many of whom would have been of modest means and with limited formal education.

And yet, at nighttime in his comfortable Canberra residence, Bonge is wont to refer to “many” Australians and their families who earn a living by virtue of coal mines in Queensland (the revenues from which help to fund Bonge’s superannuation) as “red necks”.  By which insult Bonge means the men and women who work in the coal industry.

What’s more, for all his education (funded by the Catholic Church which he now criticises), Comrade Bongiorno STB, STL should be able to do better than to depict those he looks down upon as “red necks”.  After all, the term “redneck” was coined in the United States and is generally used to characterise white people, of working class origin, in the American South whose necks got red while working in the sun.  You know, the kind of folk the highly educated Hillary Clinton condemned as “deplorables”.

Paul Bongiorno is not only a snob. He’s an alienated snob.


  • POLITICAL “INSIGHTS” BY THE GUARDIAN’S (VERY) POLITICAL EDITOR MURPHAROO

There is enormous dispute among avid readers as to whether the Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin or the Bolshevik dictator Josef Stalin coined the phrase “worse is better”. But then, perhaps neither did.

In any event, MWD holds the view that worse is better when it comes to the ABC. In that the existence of The Guardian/ABC Axis – as part of the ABC’s Conservative Free Zone – invariably provides great copy for Jackie’s (male) co-owner when he puts together MWD around Hangover Time on a Friday morning.

The bad news is that, of late, there have been fewer Guardian  and ABC comrades together on the ABC TV Insiders couch since MWD drew attention to The Guardian/ABC Axis. Here’s hoping that this is only a momentary change. The good news is that every Thursday morning The Guardian/ABC Axis is consummated when the ABC’s Patricia (“Please call me PK”) Karvelas interviews The Guardian’s Katharine (“Malcolm calls me Murpharoo”) Murphy on ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program.

MWD’s fave session this year occurred on 11 April – not that long after April Fool’s Day –   when Murpharoo told PK that the 2022 election “is there for someone to win and someone to lose”.  Wow (as the saying goes). Who would have known this?  In case there was some confusion, The Guardian’s (very) political editor added “Scott Morrison will win it, or Anthony Albanese will.” Go on – alas, she did.  Murpharoo added: “Albanese will either do that [convert support into hard votes] over the next six weeks or he won’t.”  Well I never – and so on.

And there was more [That’s great to hear – MWD Editor].  Murpharoo went on to declare that “who wins this coming battle” will turn on whether the Prime Minister or the Opposition leader “can launch” their “message best”.  Golly, gosh.  It was surely worth getting up around Hangover Time to learn all this.

Comrade Murphy went on to say: “When we [journalists] went around the country in 2019, we were surprised – voters were so negative about [then Labor leader] Bill Shorten”. Fancy that.  It’s sure a wonder, then, that so many journalists – including Murpharoo and PK – predicted a Shorten victory in 2019. But there you go.

The PK/Murpharoo exchange on 28 April was equally helpful. The Guardian’s political editor essentially bagged the Coalition and went soft on Labor. Murpharoo twice delivered ironic laughs when talking about the Coalition and referred listeners to an article in that very morning’s Guardian Australia  which (allegedly) demonstrated that Morrison had made a false claim. So here was The Guardian’s  political editor praising The Guardian. Quelle surprise!  PK did not demur.

The Guardian/ABC Axis in action.


YOUR TAXES AT WORK

  • DAVID MARR & JANE CARO TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 2022 SWF’S “I WAS WRONG” SESSION

There has been enormous interest in Media Watch Dog’s coverage of the 2022 Sydney Writers’ Festival – chair Mark Scott, artistic director Michael Williams – which is yet another taxpayer funded leftist stack.  See MWD passim ad nauseam.

Of particular interest is the 2022 SWF session titled “I Was Wrong” which features the leftists David Marr (The Guardian Australia)  and Jane Caro AM[sic] (Nine’s Sunday Magazine).

Now, in the past,  both comrades have been reluctant to admit to past errors.  Indeed, in reviewing David Marr’s collected works My Country: Stories, Essays and Speeches (Black Inc, 2018), Gerard Windsor  wrote that only once in 582 pages did your man Marr “admit to his mindset being challenged”.   Moreover Comrade Caro frequently expresses the view that all those who disagree with her are idiots – which is hardly consistent with an “I was wrong” position.

So here’s a challenge for both comrades.

Will Comrade Marr admit that, in The Guardian and during numerous ABC performances, he got the Cardinal George Pell Case hopelessly wrong? This is documented in Gerard Henderson’s Cardinal Pell, The Media Pile-On & Collective Guilt (Connor Court, 2021) which both the ABC (editor-in-chief David Anderson) and The Guardian Australia (editor Lenore Taylor) have effectively censored from being reported or reviewed in their respective outlets. Marr made false predictions about the outcome of George Pell v The Queen  in the High Court of Australia – but has not publicly recognised his false prophecies.

And will Comrade Caro concede that if she really regards her fellow Australians as “truculent turds” (Caro’s tweet of 18 May 2019 refers) then it was hypocritical for her to accept a gong as a member of the Order of Australia?  In short, why would Comrade Caro want to receive an honour in a society from which she is alienated because it is replete with truculent turds?

MWD advises avid readers that it is unwise to make predictions – especially about the future.  But it seems unlikely that either comrade will make a True Confession at the SWF about a past wrongful misdeed.

By the way, there was also considerable interest in MWD’s 21 April issue where it was pointed out that  Comrade Williams has assembled three “experts” to analyse the result of the 21 May election.  Namely Barrie Cassidy (ex-ABC), Fran Kelly (ABC) and Niki Savva (Nine).  This trio got the outcome of the 2019 election hopelessly wrong. Still, with taxpayers covering all costs – who cares?


DOCUMENTATION

  • THE ABC ONCE AGAIN TRIES TO PASS OFF ITS VOTE COMPASS AUDIENCE SURVEY AS REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL AUSTRALIANS – IT ISN’T

As mentioned in last week’s MWD, the ABC has revived its audience survey Vote Compass for the 2022 federal election. The tool, which can be accessed through the ABC News website, asks respondents to rate their views on a series of policy questions and then compares those views to the policy positions of the political parties – for this election just Labor, the Coalition and the Greens are included.

As it has in past elections, the ABC is pretending these results can be interpreted as representative of all Australians. Like scientific opinion polls – conducted by firms like Newspoll, YouGov and Ipsos – the Vote Compass results are weighted by various demographic factors like sex and age to produce a result matching census data. The ABC claims this creates an unbiased attempt to measure the views of the electorate. However, this ignores the major differences between the methods.

For a traditional poll, demographic weighting is necessary because certain kinds of people are more likely to answer the phone and complete a polling survey. For example, if you did not “weight for age” the polling sample would likely end up significantly older than the Australian electorate which would bias the results. Vote Compass is attempting to use the same methods to remove the bias introduced by the fact that the respondents are choosing to access Vote Compass through the ABC News website.

But these are not comparable problems because there is no political dimension to whether someone is likely to answer a phone or internet poll when contacted by a pollster. Whereas whether someone regularly reads the ABC News website has an obvious political dimension to it, given the ongoing hostility between the ABC and the Coalition government. Even if it is not accepted that the ABC has a left-wing bias, the fact is that many people believe it does. And this makes the ABC News website a strange place to solicit responses to a political opinion survey.

Additionally, the responses people give when asked about a certain policy question could obviously be influenced by what news coverage they had consumed prior to the survey. For a scientific poll, the news coverage most recently consumed by the respondents would vary wildly. They may have just watched the ABC evening news or The Project or The Bolt Report or have recently been reading The Australian or The Age or The Saturday Paper or have listened to Patricia Karvelas or Phillip Adams or Ray Hadley. The point being that their media consumption should be close to random. On the other hand, Vote Compass respondents are very likely to have been – immediately prior to taking the survey – reading about the election on the ABC News website. This bias cannot be removed with weighting or any other method.

Another difference between Vote Compass and the scientific opinion polling is that because Vote Compass does not attempt to directly measure voting intention, it cannot be proven wrong on election day. Newspoll’s final opinion polls were remarkably accurate at the 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 federal elections before producing a miss at the 2019 election, for which it received considerable criticism from the media. When the votes are counted for the 2022 election, we will be able to draw conclusions about the accuracy of the opinion polls being conducted by firms like Newspoll, Ipsos and Essential.

On Friday 22 April, it was reported on the ABC News website that Vote Compass has revealed that 29 per cent of Australians nominate climate change as the issue most important to them at the election, more than any other issue. Unlike polling of voting intention, this sort of issue polling cannot fail on election day. If Labor wins the ABC can say “Vote Compass was right, voters threw out the government for not doing enough on climate change”. And if the Coalition wins, the ABC can say “Vote Compass was right, Labor should have made bolder promises on climate change”.

Despite these shortcomings the ABC seems committed to passing off Vote Compass as an accurate measurement of sentiments in the Australian electorate. Whereas, in fact, the ABC’s Vote Compass is a measurement of Australians who have a relationship with the ABC.


NEW FEATURE: MOST SEXIST COMMENT OF THE MONTH – AS JUDGED BY JACKIE (Dip. Wellness, The Gunnedah Institute)

Due to overwhelming demand – and in the interest of gender awareness and all that – Jackie has been entrusted by her (male) co-owner to assess the most sexist comment in a calendar month. Jackie is judged to be ideal for the task – being a prominent canine of female gender and possessing a Dip. Wellness.

  • ABC’S PATRICIA KARVELAS RAISES CONCERN ABOUT THE WIFE OF ZALI STEGGALL’S EX

On Monday 18 April 2022, ABC Radio Breakfast  presenter Patricia Karvelas interviewed Zali Steggall, the Independent MP for Warringah, on the forthcoming election in which she is being challenged by the Liberal Party’s Katherine Deves.  This is how the (soft) interview concluded:

Patricia Karvelas: Just on another election matter.  Katherine Deves has employed your ex-husband’s wife as a campaign advisor.  Do you see that as a deliberately provocative move by your opponent? [Note: I understand that this is an honorary position – not that of an employee. – MWD Editor.]

Zali Steggall:  Look, I think it’s either a deliberately, deliberately provocative move by either the person in question or my opponent.  I think at the end of the day, where my primary concern is, it makes it extremely difficult for my children. And I think family and extended family especially in separated situations should not be involved in this way.  So I think, again, it comes back to the moral compass and integrity and values of Ms Deves and the Liberal Party to think that’s okay because I think that sets a new low.

Patricia Karvelas: Thank you so much for joining us.

Zali Steggall:  Thank you.

How about that?  According to media reports, Ms Steggall was married to David Cameron between 1999 and 2006.  That is, the union ended around 15 years ago. Yet Comrade Karvelas suggested that the fact Ms Deves has employed the wife of Mr Cameron 15 years after his marriage to Ms Steggall ended might be seen as “deliberately provocative”.   And Ms Steggall declared that this appointment says something about not only Ms Deves’ (alleged) lack of a “moral compass” and “integrity” but also the Liberal Party’s values.   Moreover, in the parlance of the modern cliché : “It’s not okay.”

Jackie (Dip Wellness, The Gunnedah Institute) comments for MWD:

Turn it up. What the Karvelas/Steggall unity ticket is suggesting is that it’s not okay for a woman running in an election against another woman to seek assistance from the wife of her ex. And this at a time that we females should not be judged with reference to our current or ex-blokes. Whatever happened to female liberation?  Shouldn’t us sheilas be ridding society of such sexism?


BORING FOR AUSTRALIA

As avid readers will recall, Jackie’s (male co-owner) has always been a fan of British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-90) since he read Muggeridge’s 1940 book The Thirties. Writing in the New Statesman on 11 February 1956, Saint Mug (as he sometimes was called in later life) had this to say about the British Conservative parliamentarian Sir Anthony Eden: “He is a Disraeli hero who has moved into a service flat, or perhaps a deep shelter; a Bertie Wooster who has turned from the Drones Club to Toynbee Hall.  As has been truly said, he is not only a bore but he bores for England.”  This segment is devoted to those who – as citizens, residents or visitors – bore for Australia.

  • MEDIA WATCH  THROWS THE SWITCH TO TRIVIA

Despite having a Well Earned Break on Easter Monday (while what Paul Barry likes to ridicule as “Sky News After Dark” was presenting normal programs), ABC TV’s Media Watch was duller than ever on Anzac Day.  Here’s why.

  • Presenter Paul Barry introduced the program with a clip of Sky News’ Jonathan Lea being interrupted while travelling on a campaign bus by a roll-call for Labor’s shadow minister Jim Chalmers. Frightfully interesting, don’t you think?
  • Then Media Watch did some political analysis about the 2022 election campaign. Early on, Comrade Barry found that the Herald-Sun had made an (obvious) error in a pie-chart and also dropped the “p” in Labor Party. Pretty serious stuff, eh?  Also a couple of little known members of the Twitter/Facebook tribe had commented favourably on Labor frontbencher Jason Clare. Really. Oh yes – a number of media types had also used the word “boo-fest” about Anthony Albanese’s appearance at the Byron Bay Music Festival.  Hold the Front Page, etc.

Then it was on to Sky News’ The People’s Forum on Wednesday 20 April 2022 and evidence of another “dodgy graphic”.  Gosh.  Followed by some commentary about possible additional leaders’ debates in the election campaign which contained no fresh analysis. For the most part, Comrade Barry’s election commentary was old news which lacked any fresh insights.

And then Paul Barry demonstrated that The [Boring] Saturday Paper was perhaps not so boring after all.  He maintained there is no evidence in support of the claim of Lisa Parkes that she had rescued a family during the Northern Rivers floods of recent memory.  As MWD recalls, The Saturday Paper  ran the story on 13 March 2022 with a pic of Ms Parkes in, er, swimming attire.  It would seem that the likes of Comrade Erik Jensen and Rick Morton did not properly fact-check the Ms Parkes’ claim.

For its part, MWD doesn’t care.   At least Rick Morton wrote a front-page story for The [Boring] Saturday Paper which wasn’t boring.  And that’s worth a Walkley Award, surely.  It would seem that Paul Barry likes The Saturday Paper  when it is boring.

By way of conclusion, Paul Barry demonstrated over and over again that Nine News Adelaide had technical problems on 20 April and had to run a lifestyle program along with Nine News from Melbourne instead of Adelaide news.  Yawn.

So there you have it. Media Watch  presenter Paul Barry and his executive producer Timothy Latham have a total of about 10 staff and a mere 15 minutes of TV time to fill each week.  Yet at a time of conflict in Europe, political controversy in the United States, tension in the South Pacific and an election in Australia – the Media Watch team cannot rise above non-news and trivia.

[That’s a bit harsh. Have you considered that if Media Watch had a total of 15 staff (instead of 10) to put together 15 minutes of media analysis each week the program could be a bit more interesting? Just a thought. – MWD Editor.]

 

* * * *

Until next time.

* * * *