GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 608

7 October 2022

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  • PREMIER DANIEL ANDREWS AND CATHOLICISM – A MOVABLE FEAST

On 6 October, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews made a “Faith of our Fathers” stance when he declared:

I am a Catholic. I send my kids to Catholic schools. My faith is important to me. It guides me every day.

On 1 August 2020, Daniel Andrews was reported by Melissa Fyfe in The Good Weekend as saying that he rarely attends Church and: “I’ve never been really one to pray to the Church. I pray to God. It’s a very different thing.”

MWD is not aware of any Christians, including Catholics, who pray “to the Church”. Many Protestants would regard this as idolatry, while all Catholics would regard it as a waste of time to pray to bricks-and-mortar or, indeed, timber. But there you go.

  • A LEFTIST IDEOLOGICAL LOVE-IN ON RICHARD GLOVER’S JOURNOS’ FORUM

Now here’s a confession.  Media Watch Dog found “The Journos’ Forum” – on ABC Sydney Radio Drive with Richard Glover on Thursday evenings at around Gin & Tonic Time –  so dull that its existence was temporarily forgotten.   However, on 6 October, on the way to the local bottle shop Hendo turned on ABC Radio Sydney 702. Guess what?  “The Journos’ Forum” is extant and continues to be an occasion where journalists agree with each other on almost everything.

On 6 October, Comrade Glover presided over a discussion [Don’t you mean conversation? –  MWD Editor] on three topics. The panel comprised – in the order of which they appeared – Michael Pascoe (editor of the leftist trade union online rag The New Daily), David Marr (formerly of Fairfax, the ABC and The Guardian who now presents as a journalist and author) and Gemma Acton (7 News finance and business editor).

First up, your man Glover asked his panel what they thought about the NSW Coalition government’s proposal to raise the level of the Warragamba Dam to mitigate against flooding. Comrade Pascoe disagreed with the decision and bagged NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. Comrades Acton and Marr concurred. Then the topic turned to the proposed Stage 3 tax cuts.  Comrade Marr declared they were a bad idea.  Comrades Pascoe and Acton concurred.

Then the discussion turned on Andrew Thorburn’s exit from the Essendon Football Club over comments made by a pastor of The Church on the Hill a decade ago about abortion and homosexual sex.  Comrade Marr criticised Thorburn and his church.  Comrades Pascoe and Acton concurred.

Er, that was the so-called discussion – with Comrade Glover not disagreeing with the prevailing consensus.  Enough to drive a canine owner to drink.

  • MICHAEL ROWLAND’S SOFT INTERVIEW WITH GREENS LEADER ADAM BANDT

Did anyone hear Michael Rowland’s soft interview with Greens leader Adam Bandt on ABC TV News Breakfast on 7 October?  Comrade Rowland allowed Mr Bandt to bang on in opposition to the proposed Stage 3 tax cuts which are scheduled to take effect in mid-2024.  In his criticism of the Albanese government, the Greens leader said that the tax cuts were for politicians and billionaires on three occasions and mentioned billionaire Clive Palmer on four occasions. Yawn. He failed to acknowledge that the proposed reforms also favour individuals who earn significantly less than politicians.

At the end of the interview, Comrade Rowland gave Adam Bandt the opportunity to bag One Nation’s Senator Pauline Hanson for her attack on Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi.  But the News Breakfast presenter did not query the Greens leader about where he stands on the alleged bullying by Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe of a number of Indigenous leaders in 2021.  It was that kind of soft interview. But imagine what Michael Rowland would have said if a Liberal Party leader had declined to take decisive action in response to an allegation that a prominent Liberal had bullied a female Indigenous elder. Just imagine.


Can You Bear It?

  • MIKE CANNON-BROOKES RECKONS THAT AUSTRALIA SHOULD CHANNEL, WAIT FOR IT, INDIA IN REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS

Media Watch Dog just loves it when a member of what Paul Keating was wont to call the Hyphenated-Name-Set gets a run in the Australian media.  On 26 September, Jackie’s (male) co-owner – when walking the said canine – tuned into ABC Radio National’s Saturday Extra program.  As avid readers know, this is presented by MWD fave Geraldine Doogue.

It turned out that Lisa Singh, CEO of the Australia India Institute, was taking part in “The Pick”.  This is a segment where two commentators tell listeners (if listeners there are) about their picks in the area of books, podcasts, media and the like.  Former Tasmanian Labor senator The Hon Lisa Singh – to use her official title – recommended the podcast In Conversation with Mike Cannon-Brookes and Suhasini Haidar which was recorded in September at the Australian Indian Leadership Dialogue.

Ms Singh was oh-so-impressed about what M C-B, the co-CEO of Atlassian, had to say about reducing carbon emissions.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Lisa Singh: …I think the two takeaways for me from this podcast without giving it all away, is the fact that Mike really addresses Australia’s responsibility to cut carbon emissions by looking at India’s. So you know, Australia’s population he says is, you know, close to Mumbai’s population. But Australia’s carbon emissions are about 50 per cent of India’s emissions. Which means, per capita, carbon emissions in Australia are about 40 times higher. And I think, you know, a lot of Australians don’t see India in that sense. And the other component he really draws on – instead of us as a country being the primary exporter of fossil fuels, it’s time for Australia to really start thinking about ourselves as an energy exporter….

Geraldine Doogue: Very interesting…

Quite so.  Frightfully interesting, to be sure.  But The Hon Lisa Singh did not state that India is currently constructing about eight thermal coal-fired power stations while Australia is presiding over the exit of electricity being produced from coal.

And then there is the carbon emissions of the Hyphenated-Name-Set guy. Your man Cannon-Brookes resides in Fairwater – Australia’s most expensive house (worth about $100 million) located at Point Piper in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.  Mr and Mrs Cannon-Brookes own some 20 other abodes – including quite a few near the ocean, despite warnings about rising sea levels and all that due to climate change.

According to Lisa Singh, Mike Cannon-Brookes wants Australia to follow India’s lead in cutting carbon emissions.  Perhaps M C-B could lead by turning Fairwater into public housing and basing Atlassian in the slums of Dharavi in Mumbai where some of the hard-working men and women of India live.  But don’t hold your breath.  In the meantime – Can You Bear It?

Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Point Piper Home

MWD’s Recommendation for a Suitable Piece of Real Estate if Mike Cannon-Brookes Decides to Reduce his Carbon Emissions by Moving to Mumbai’s Dharavi Slums

  • PK THROWS THE SWITCH TO GREEN/LEFT IN ADVOCATING THE JUNKING OF THE STAGE 3 TAX CUTS

Patricia (“Call me PK”) Karvelas is one of those activist, Green/Left journalists who is forever pushing causes, from the left-of-centre perspective. Hence her current campaign to convince the Albanese Labor government to drop the already legislated Stage 3 tax cuts which are scheduled to come into operation as far away as 2024.

During the Coalition government of recent memory, PK invariably gave tough interviews to Coalition ministers, replete with interruptions. So much so that many declined to come on the program – including Prime Minister Scott Morrison.  Since Labor’s victory in May 2022, Comrade Karvelas has invariably given soft interviews to Labor ministers – except when disagreeing with Labor policy from a Green/Left perspective.

And so it came to pass on 4 October, when PK interviewed Tanya Plibersek, the Minister for Environment and Water – who has no responsibility for economic policy, including taxation.  But PK wanted the Minister to distance herself from Labor’s policy to honour its election promise and implement the Stage 3 tax cuts in due course.

Early in the interview, PK used the problems faced by the Truss Conservative government in Britain today to campaign against Australians receiving tax cuts in about two years’ time.  The ABC Radio National Breakfast  presenter asked the same question – that is, made the demand – on four occasions.  Then the following exchange took place:

Tanya Plibersek:  Patricia, you can ask me in six different ways –

Patricia Karvelas:  And you know I will, Tanya Plibersek. I have a way of asking in six different ways.

Tanya Plibersek:  Yeah.

Patricia Karvelas:  So maybe those tax cuts aren’t fit for purpose. Is that the –

Tanya Plibersek:   We made a commitment. Or –

Patricia Karvelas:   Well, you did.

Tanya Plibersek:  Well, we made a commitment.

Patricia Karvelas:  Okay. So, let me ask this question: do you stick to a commitment without any review if dramatic changes have happened to the economy?

And so it went on. And on.  PK asked another four questions in addition to the two cited above.  Namely, ten in all.  Tanya Plibersek is an experienced and articulate politician – who is unlikely to say what she does not want to say, irrespective of how many times a question is asked in more ways than one.  In short, Comrade Karvelas got nowhere promoting her cause.

If PK is so convinced that she has political solutions to Australia’s economic problems – perhaps the taxpayer funded journalist should join the Greens and proclaim her various causes in, say, the Green Left Weekly. In the meantime MWD asks  – Can You Bear It?

  • NINE’S PETER HARTCHER FORGETS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET

Just when Jackie’s (male) co-owner was nodding off with boredom on the morning of Sunday 2 October – as the ABC Insiders’  ground on with essentially everyone agreeing with essentially everyone else on essentially everything – suddenly there was a flicker of interest.  It occurred when David (“Call me Speersy”) Speers threw this question to panellist Peter Hartcher who happens to be the political and international editor of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

David Speers: How politically challenging is this period going to be for the government?

Peter Hartcher: Well, they’re [the Labor government] not going to be able to keep that promise [to reduce energy prices by $275 a year]. That’s for sure. So that’s an invitation that the Opposition is going to take, as you said “We’re going to make full use of it” – and who wouldn’t? The, it’s a complete muddle. I mean, you know…it was households, followed by state governments and corporations that led the transition in spite of Federal policy. Now they’re doing it with the assistance of Federal policy. But there’s, we’ve got this accumulated jumble. And the federal government’s got their rewiring the nation plan. And they’re now negotiating with the states. What infrastructure is going to be rewired, how, when and who’s going to pay for it. But that’s a years’ long process, and there’s going to be lots of blips and interruptions. In the meantime, prices inevitably will go up and come in spinner.

Your man Hartcher reckons that the Commonwealth government – during the prime ministerships of John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison – did little or nothing about reducing carbon emissions. And that this move was led by households – presumably by installing solar panels.

What a load of absolute tosh.  The RET – Australia’s Renewable Energy Target – was introduced by the Howard government in 2001.  It was primarily responsible for initiating the move towards the creation of wind turbines and getting solar panels erected on Australian homes.  Sure, households made the decision to move to solar energy. But they were motivated by the government subsidies they received by doing so.  Also, government requirements led to energy companies having to source a significant amount of the electricity they produced from renewable sources.

The Grattan Institute’s Tony Wood said on the ABC’s Q&A program on 16 June 2022 that Australia has done well in moving to renewables compared with other nations.  He is a supporter of renewables and an advocate of Australia reducing carbon emissions. Contrary to Hartcher’s claim – this was not done in spite of Federal policy prior to the election of the Albanese Labor government.

It has been Australia’s relatively rapid move to renewables that has put pressure on coal-fired power stations since it has made it difficult for them to sell energy between dawn and dusk during days when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.  Since coal-fired power stations run 24 hours a day, the surge in renewables has adversely affected the business model of traditional energy companies. The exit of coal from Australia’s energy markets is likely to contribute to an increase in energy prices.  Whether or not Peter Hartcher’s spinner comes in – whatever that old fashioned term may mean in this context.  What is certain is that the pro-renewables policy of successive Federal governments has had an impact on Australia’s transition to renewables – not just households, State governments and corporations. But one of Nine’s leading journalists seemed to forget this when on the Insiders’ couch.  Can You Bear It?

  • BRILLIANT LORD OF LORDY, “BRILLIANT” LORD SUMPTION THROWS THE SWITCH TO HYPERBOLE ON Q&A

There were no Liberals or Nationals on the Q&A  program which aired on 6 October. Sensible when you think about it because Coalition MPs invariably have to take on a bevy of leftist panellists along with a baying Green/Left audience mob and a presenter who does not protect them.

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi was the audience fave followed by Francis Awaritefe, former Socceroo payer and chair of the Professional Footballers  Australia.  Then there was Labor minister Amanda Rishworth who was criticised from the left.  There followed economist Alan Oster who spoke primarily about economic matters.

And then there was former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Jonathan Sumption.  It would seem that the ennobled one was there to give conservatives a bit of a boost.  Stan Grant declared that the noble Lord has “been described as the brain of Britain”.  How about that?

For sure, Lord Sumption made some reasonable points about Ukraine, pandemic lockdowns and more besides.  But he told the audience that he was opposed to Brexit, described President Trump as “an overt racist” and referred to the Truss Conservative government’s policy on taxation as “economically illiterate”.  This is the type of “brilliant” analysis that can be heard any day of the week at your local fashionable coffee shop or pub.  Can You Bear It?


  • ABC RECRUITS ABC LEFTIST ACTIVIST (COMRADE FRAN KELLY) TO HOST NEW ABC CHAT SHOW WITH MAINLY LEFTIST GUESTS

It seems that the ghost of opera singer Nellie Melba (1861-1931) pervades ABC headquarters in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Ultimo. As Media Watch Dog  understands, Nellie Melba made so many come-backs that it was only when she went into Rest in Peace mode that Australians finally accepted that the diva had permanently shuffled off this mortal coil.

It was not long ago – December 2021, in fact – that MWD fave Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly was given a rapturous farewell as presenter of the ABC Radio National Breakfast program. But on Friday 7 October, she was back presenting the new ABC chat show called, wait for it, Frankly.  It is anticipated that Leigh Sales, who stepped down as 7.30 presenter on 30 June 2022, will soon do another “Melba” and be given a new ABC program.  MWD will keep you informed about this (Melba) moment when it occurs.

What is for sure is that the return of Comrades Kelly and Sales will not change the reality that the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone without a conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent TV, radio or online outlets.

According to Craig Mathieson’s report in Nine’s The Guide on 3 October, Frankly (which will air at 8.30 pm on Fridays) will be a politician-free chat show and contain “30 minutes of incisive conversation, good humour and a musical guest”. Here is Comrade Kelly’s pitch:

I want to bring all the bits of me to this and I can’t believe I’ve been given a chance.  People mostly know my work as a journalist covering the news, so I will have interviews that go somewhere – it’s not just a fluffy show – but it also has a bit of fun to it. We’ve had a couple of rough years; they’ve been hard and are still hard. I think people will welcome a half hour or so of warm and generous TV.

Now, Fran Kelly is a very, very serious comrade who is on record as describing herself as an “activist”.  In the past, she has shown scant signs of being into “fun”.  But we shall see.

The format of Frankly  is said to be similar to the BBC’s Graham Norton Show.  As Craig Mathieson describes it:  “Host appears, introduces first guest to the couch, second guest joins, third guest joins, musical act performs”. Yet Comrade Kelly told The Guide that Frankly is not an Australian version of the BBC show (which runs for an hour). How about that?

Frankly appears to be the concept of Nick Hayden, the ABC’s head of entertainment.  As avid readers may recall, your man Hayden was the executive producer of the ABC Tonightly daily show starring young Tom Ballard.  Comrade Ballard is (yet another) leftist who – in Barry Humphries’ term – identifies as a comedian.  Ballard’s Tonightly provided great copy for MWD and its passing was deeply regretted by Jackie’s (male) co-owner.  But it was a dud – and even the taxpayer funded broadcaster put Tonightly  out of its misery and junked the program early.

The ABC TV promo for Frankly  depicts Comrade Kelly, dressed in Phillip Adams black, declaring: “I’ve got plenty of questions with people that will blow your minds.”  This may be the case with some stoned viewers – but Comrade Kelly didn’t “blow” any minds when preaching leftist causes for a decade and a half on RN Breakfast.

Talking to your man Mathieson, Comrade Kelly looked back to her Friday evenings after presenting a week of RN Breakfast:

On Friday nights I’ve often sat on the couch looking for something and sometimes found it and sometimes didn’t. I think this will work. I think people will like to kick back and hang out with these smart, terrific people. I think it will be good company.

As for Comrade Hayden, he had this to say:

The mission for the show is aligned to the ABC charter.  We want it to be entertaining, but we also want people to take something away from it and learn from it.

There you go.  Comrade Hayden wants to “learn” viewers (if viewers there are) about what they should know and believe in a leftist kind of way.  Groan.  How entertaining will that be?

And what about Frankly’s forthcoming funny/smart/terrific guests?   Well, according to The Guide, the guests will include musician Tim Minchin, comedian/actor Magda Szubanski, actor Richard E. Grant and former footballer Adam Goodes, plus Thai cave rescue diver Dr Richard Harris. There is not a conservative among the Minchin, Szubanski/Grant/Goodes quartet while Dr Harris has no known political stance.  MWD understands that the leftist rocker Jimmy Barnes will be an early Frankly  musical guest.

So there you have it.  The ABC decides on a brand-new chat show headed by a self-declared leftist activist – and the early advertised talent resembles a leftist stack. Quelle Surprise!

[The inaugural episode of Frankly will be reviewed in the next issue. – MWD Editor.]


  • ANDREW HORNERY LOOKS BACK IN APPRECIATION AT THE FRONTLINE ROLE OF ST VINCENT’S HOSPITAL IN THE 1980s WAR ON HIV/AIDS

It’s a common view these days that traditional Christians – and especially traditional Catholics – are hostile to homosexuals.  Which partly explains why Catholic nuns – who are also called sisters – have been frequently mocked by radical homosexuals in Sydney’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parades.  This occurs when, usually, angry men appropriate the traditional habits of nuns/sisters – replete with rosary beads – and sneer at those they are impersonating as the enemy of gay men and women.

A different – and welcome – perspective was provided in Andrew Hornery’s “Private Sydney” column in the Sydney Morning Herald on 1 October – under the heading “`Queer’ history museum took love and dedication”.   Here’s how the piece commenced:

Having survived the AIDS/HIV pandemic of the early 1980s in this city, men like David Polson know a thing or two about stigma, hate and discrimination, as well as acts of extraordinary grace, unconditional love and compassion.

If all goes to plan, sometime in January Polson’s long-held vision will be realised, and Sydney will have its first “queer” history museum, a community showcase, outreach and educational venue called Qtopia, which will include exhibits featuring Ward 17 South at St Vincent’s Hospital and the Sisters of Charity nuns who defied fear and hysteria and turned it into Australia’s historic frontline in the war on AIDS.

An appropriate – and overdue – recognition.

Andrew Hornery: Five Paws


Jackie’s (male) co-owner just loves it when journalists interview other journalists about journalism.  And Jackie (Dip Wellness, The Gunnedah Institute) gets really excited when journalists use journalism to talk about themselves. Considering the frequency of such occasions, this is likely to be a regular Media Watch Dog  segment.

  • IN WHICH RICK MORTON DECLARES ON THE DRUM  THAT HE IS LOSING HIS MIND – BUT NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE

Thanks to the avid Media Watch Dog reader who drew attention to ABC TV’s The Drum on 23 September.  At the end of the program, presenter Ellen Fanning made it possible for panellist, The [Boring] Saturday Paper journalist Rick Morton, to talk about himself.  It was a pre-prepared occasion – as is evident by the fact that your man Morton’s soliloquy was printed on the screen as he delivered it in both LARGE and small type.

Let’s go to the transcript as Comrade Fanning encourages her panellist to talk about his newsletter which is titled, wait for it, Nervous Laughter.

Ellen Fanning: So it goes without saying – in order to excel in a career, it takes a lot of work, regardless of where you do it, and a lot of time – and with that comes the risk of burnout. It’s something our panellist Rick Morton has been musing on in his new newsletter Nervous Laughter.

Rick Morton: I just did it then. [Laughter]

Then it was Comrade Morton’s moment to talk about – yes, himself – and Give Narcissism a Chance.

Rick Morton: Journalism has ruined me, and I do not know if I can keep doing it. My brain is addled and social media has done the addling. Not in a moral panic kind of way. It’s just on all the time, and I am weak-willed. Were it not for Twitter, I would probably be back on the pokies, however. So who can say whether I am worse off. Sometimes I wish I was born to a middling family in the 1700s so I can just become a priest and use the time to read and write. But then I remember general anaesthetic wasn’t discovered until a century later. And also I am gay and that did not go over super well [in the 1700s]. It may seem odd that in order to combat the burnout I feel in my career and my life, I am establishing a newsletter. So it is. But until I marry someone independently wealthy or get defamed, capitalism is all I have.

[Laughter from panel]

Pretty funny, eh? Well, fellow panellist Margy Osmond took it seriously – declaring “Thank you for letting me into your life.” Yep – thanks indeed.

Comrade Morton went on to tell viewers how he spent his “entire twenties just working, working, working, working partly because of the fear of not ever having money”. And then, lo and behold, when he got into his thirties he obtained some money, with the help of a book deal, and felt able to sit back and declare: “Holy s-it…I’m tired.”  Soon after he added: “I’m tired” and, later, “I’m out of juice”.

At this stage, a viewer might have asked your man Morton why – if he is so tired and so out of juice – he spends valuable waking time by going on The Drum.  In any event, The Saturday Paper scribbler, went on – and on:

Rick Morton: The problem is I can’t stop. So like, I because I, it’s like hustle culture. People joke about it now. People millennials, my age, are like, you know, hustle and grind, hustle and grind, capitalism. We’re all working five or 10 jobs, possibly 17, we’re trying to see all of our friends while making money on the side. You know, maybe checking your social media, we’re all on BeReal, like losing our minds. I’m losing my mind.

On learning that Comrade Morton was losing his mind, Hendo headed off to re-fuel his diminishing Gin & Tonic. When he returned, another leftist panellist – to wit, retired comedian turned lawyer Corinne Grant – was talking about herself and how she “flogged” herself when a performer.  She declared – channelling Morton – that life should be more “than work and social media and BeReal and…”.[Does it really matter? MWD Editor.] The Drum  ended with Rick Morton getting stressed about life being so stressful. Groan.

Jackie (Dip. Wellness) comments for MWD:

I was going to comment at length about Comrade Morton’s self-indulgence in talking about himself.  But I’m tired and out of juice.  So tired – since I have 57 jobs in my watchdog capacity and spend lotsa time on BeReal.  But I’m happy to appear on The Drum – if invited – to talk about “hustle and grind” capitalism as it exists in the canine world. I reckon I’m losing my mind, which might help to land an invitation from Comrade Fanning and her executive producer.


RAF EPSTEIN AND THE ISLAND OF IRELAND – A FURTHER CLARIFICATION

As Media Watch Dog  readers will be aware, the 23 September edition took issue with this comment which ABC Radio Melbourne presenter Raf Epstein made on ABC TV Insiders on 18 September.

Raf Epstein: What’s really interesting to me is how much of a role the Sovereign, the new King, can actually have in the thorniest questions that this country has. When King Charles the III was in Belfast, he shook hands with the Irish head of state. That’s never happened between the two heads of state in Belfast.

MWD acknowledged in the previous issue that Comrade Epstein’s comments may have been misrepresented – but stood by the claim that there was nothing new in the Sovereign of Great Britain and Northern Ireland meeting the head of state of the Republic of Ireland.  It was pointed out that, on an official visit to Ireland in 2011, Queen Elizabeth II met and shook hands with President Mary McAleese.  Likewise when the Irish President Michael Higgins met the Queen at Windsor Castle on an official visit to Britain in 2014.

Lotsa thanks to the avid reader who has drawn attention to the fact that Mary McAleese visited the Queen at Hillsborough Castle – where the Royal Family stays when visiting Northern Island – on 8 December 2005. That’s almost two decades ago.

In short, there’s nothing new in the head of state of Northern Ireland (the Sovereign) and the head of the State of Ireland (the President) meeting in Ireland, England or Northern Ireland. MWD believes that viewers would like to know this – if they do not know already.

 

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Until next time.

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