GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 615

25 November 2022

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  • Q+A – YET ANOTHER ANTI-COALITION PILE-ON

Media Watch Dog  fails to understand why some senior members of the Coalition – Liberals and Nationals alike – continue to go on the low-rating Q+A program, which is soon to be shunted from Thursday to Monday night.  For political conservatives, there is invariably a downside to going on the program but rarely an upside.

Take last night’s Q+A, for example. The designated topic was “The Value of NDIS” – the National Disability Insurance Scheme – and the panel was something of a left-of-centre stack comprising the Albanese government’s NDIS minister Bill Shorten, Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John and disability rights campaigner and former Labor Party activist Elly Desmarchelier – plus Coalition shadow minister Stuart Robert and PwC chief economist Amy Auster. Stan Grant was in the presenter’s chair.

The Melbourne audience consisted of the usual Q+A Green-Left contingent plus disability activists, most of whom were critical of the previous Coalition government of which Stuart Robert was a member.  In short, Robert was on a hiding to nothing.

Now the role and cost of the NDIS is a big issue in Australia.  However, rather than commence a discussion on the NDIS, Q+A executive producer Erin Vincent called in a Zoom question from a certain Edmund Doogue. Here’s how the program commenced:

Edmund Doogue: My question is for panellist Stuart Robert. Were you paid directly or indirectly for your assistance to lobbying firm Synergy 360? If not, why did you do it?

Stuart Robert: Well, surprise, surprise, Stan. Every time I turn up, there’s always a gotcha moment…

You can say that again.  The issue involved a story in Nine newspapers that, when a backbencher in the Coalition, Robert had (allegedly) acted improperly in introducing what he called “stakeholders” to contacts – without the exchange of money.  No definite evidence was provided to support Shorten’s case and he conceded that Robert had not acted corruptly.

You can understand why Minister Shorten (Labor) and Senator Steele-John (Greens) got stuck into the Coalition frontbencher Robert. But the first shot in anger was fired by Stan Grant who accused Robert of being “disingenuous”.

Then the pile-on commenced with Grant, Shorten and Steele-John leading the charge, egged on by the audience. In fact, the attack on Robert – who defended himself well in a very difficult atmosphere – went for close to ten minutes – that is 17 per cent of the program, which was advertised as being focused on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Finally attention turned on the NDIS – with Robert appearing to get less air-time than his Labor and Greens colleagues.

At the very end, Grant called a question on the Victorian State election.  Supported by the audience, Shorten, Steele-John and Desmarchelier barracked for Labor or the Greens – and Ms Auster who was kind-of neutral.  With the program ending Robert got a mere 20 seconds to state a case for the Coalition. It was that kind of Q+A.

By the way, Q+A is advertised as the program where the audience and viewers ask the questions. Last night, presenter Stan Grant asked no fewer than 23 questions.  Enough said.


Can You Bear It?

  • AMANDA MEADE CRITICISES LACK OF DIVERSITY AMONG TV NEWS PRESENTERS WHILE OVERLOOKING HER OWN OVERWHELMINGLY WHITE COMRADES AT THE GUARDIAN

Did anyone see Amanda Meade’s tweet on 23 November following the report by Media Diversity Australia that Australian TV news presenters are mostly white? Ms Meade is The Guardian Australia’s media reporter.  In case you missed it, here it is:

Does Comrade Meade have no self-awareness?  Have a look at The Guardian Australia’s dramatis personae. Here they are:

Lenore Taylor – Editor

Katharine Murphy – Political Editor

Adam Morton – Climate & Environment Editor

Amy Remeikis – Political Reporter

Josh Taylor – Reporter

Sarah Martin – Chief Political Correspondent

Mike Bowers – Photographer-at-Large

Not much diversity among this lot.  They’re all of European background and white – and, by the way, all leftists.  Yet, the Guardian Australia’s very own Comrade Meade wants to draw attention to the lack of ethnic diversity among Australian TV news presenters. Can You Bear It?

  • NINE’S SNEERING ALL-BLOKE CBD COLUMNISTS BAG BUCKINGHAM PALACE’S (ALLEGED) LACK OF GENDER DIVERSITY

While on the topic of a certain lack of self-awareness, how about the CBD column which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 23 November?  Now, as avid Media Watch Dog readers know, CBD – which also appears in The Age – has little to do with the Central Business District of Sydney or Melbourne.  In fact, CBD’s current authors Kishor Napier-Raman (he of the modern day Hyphenated-Name-Set) and Noel Towell rarely discuss business. Rather they focus on leftist sneering about people and institutions they do not like.  They call it business journalism. Others would regard it as invective-laden gossip.

On 23 November, CBD sneered at the fact that former prime minister John Howard OM AC is in London for a meeting of the Order of Merit – at the invitation of King Charles III.  Here’s how Napier-Raman and Towell commenced their daily sneer under the heading “Howard’s palace lunch date with the King’s men”.

Ardent monarchist and former prime minister John Howard will no doubt be delighted when he pops in for lunch at Buckingham Palace with King Charles and the members of a very exclusive club he joined a decade ago. Howard is a member of the “Order of Merit” (yes, we thought it sounds vaguely Harry Potter-ish too), a group founded in 1902 by King Edward VII described by palace officials as a “special mark of honour conferred by the sovereign on individuals of exceptional distinction in the arts, learning, sciences and other areas such as public service”.

How about that?  CBD sneers at an organisation formed in 1902 as “vaguely Harry-Potter-ish”. Yet the SMH  is always banging on about how it was founded in 1831 – well before young Harry was a glint in anybody’s eye.

The CBD piece concluded as follows:

There should be a lot to talk about [at the Order of Merit get-together] but can we ever-so-humbly suggest his majesty consider dragging the order’s membership into the 21st century? Of the 24 members, just five are women, with the former speaker of the UK’s House of Commons, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, probably the best known of them.

For the record, Amanda Wilson was the first woman editor of the Sydney Morning Herald – she took up her job in 2011 which only lasted for 18 months. The first female to become an OM was Florence Nightingale – in 1907 – over a century ago.

Sure, only five out of the 24 Order of Merit members are women – about 20 per cent.  But CBD ignored the fact that four of the last eight OM members are women.  Which raises the question – does the Monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland need gratuitous advice about gender-diversity from Comrades Napier-Raman and Towell?  Especially since CBD’s two reporters are blokes – that is 100 per cent.  Let’s hear it for a sheila to co-write Nine’s CBD column. Come to think of it, Buckingham Palace might be able to provide Nine management with some advice about how to work towards gender equality with respect to its CBD column. Can You Bear It?

[Er, no.  Not really – now that you ask.  By the way, does the CBD have a Melbourne helper?  In its piece on 16 November, CBD claimed that the ABC – which, along with the SMH, purchased a table at The Sydney Institute’s Annual Dinner (which was attended by 760 people) – two days earlier was “punted to the back of the room”.

Well, as Gerard Henderson pointed out in the SMH’s Letters Page on 17 November, the ABC table was at the back of the room but only four places away from the Main Table which was in the centre of the room.  The SMH printed Hendo’s letter.  But The Age censored it.  In spite of the fact that in The Age, CBD asserted that the ABC table was “punted to the back corner of the room”.  This was totally false and contradicted CBD’s SMH version. The ABC table was nowhere near any corner.  More fake news, Melbourne Age style. – MWD Editor.]

  • ALL QUIET ON THE NORMAN (SWAN) FRONT

 Perhaps the biggest Australian media story of recent times was the sort-of apology by ABC fave Dr Norman (“I haven’t practised medicine for some four decades”) Swan.  As Media Watch Dog readers know, the ABC’s doctor-in-the-taxpayer-funded-house, who identifies as “Australia’s most trusted doctor”, diagnosed the cause of death of former Labor senator Kimberley Kitching and former Test cricketer Shane Warne without having treated either of them.  Needless to say, the diagnoses were COVID-19 related – despite the fact that Kimberley Kitching had not had the virus and there was no evidence to link Shane Warne’s sudden death with COVID-19.

In time, ABC management acknowledged that Dr Swan’s comments on News Breakfast on 15 November had breached the ABC’s editorial standards. Your man Swan apologised to the family of the late Kimberley Kitching and, later, to the family of the late Shane Warne. When initially asked by The Australian’s media writer Sophie Elsworth whether he had apologised to the family of the late Shane Warne, Norman Swan passed the enquiry on to ABC Communications which, as is its wont, did not communicate with Elsworth. It was a “no comment” comment.

In any event, it seems that Dr Swan has gone under the bed – as the saying goes.  Jackie’s (male) co-owner did not hear or see him in his usual ABC weekly slot on ABC TV News Breakfast (on Tuesday 21 November).  Moreover, there was little movement on the ABC Coronacast podcast which Swan co-hosts.

In his regular segment on ABC RN Breakfast on Monday 20 November, your man Swan did not volunteer any information on his Kitching/Warne howler. Patricia Karvelas directed the final question to him on this issue. Swan apologised to both families but did not mention that Kimberley Kitching had not had Covid-19.

The ABC promotes the ABC TV Media Watch program – presented by Paul Barry, which has only ever had left-of-centre presenters – as the leading analysis of media in the Australian nation.

How strange, then, that Paul Barry and his executive producer Timothy Latham made no reference whatsoever on Media Watch to their ABC comrade Norman Swan on 20 November. MWD is used to the ABC cancelling political conservatives.  But here the ABC cancelled ABC fave Norman Swan – it would seem – to protect him from embarrassment. Can You Bear It?

[I note that Paul Barry discussed the Norman Swan case in the occasionally juvenile “Media Bites” segment – which is uploaded online on Thursdays.  But there was no reason to avoid covering the Norman Swan BIG STORY on the main ABC TV Channel – where the program is made available on ABC/iview and the ABC produces an official transcript.  For the record, Paul Barry criticised Norman Swan – but not on his free-to-air TV program where, on 20 November, Comrade Barry directed fire at his familiar targets – News Corp and Donald J. Trump.  Yawn.  – MWD Editor.]


A REPORT FROM THE LAND OF A WELL-EARNED-BREAK

  • FOUR CORNERS FIRST OUT OF THE STARTING GATE IN THE W.E.B. STAKES

It was around Gin & Tonic Time on Monday 21 November when what presents itself as Australia’s leading current affairs program – the ABC’s Four Corners – put out this tweet advising that there would be no Four Corners that evening:

So, there you have it.  The ABC receives a taxpayer handout of over $1 billion a year and yet its leading program went on holidays – er, what journalists call a Well-Earned-Break (aka W.E.B.) – on 14 November and will not be back in action until early February 2023.  That is, a WEB of around 12 weeks.  Or about a quarter of a year.

It was planned that the ABC – in the place of Four Corners – would run a documentary on the footballer Israel Folau who effectively lost his career when he quoted from the New Testament (or was it the Old Testament?) about sinners going to Hell if they didn’t repent. This upset a lot of the Twitter mob – even though they don’t believe in Hell or God’s commandments.  But there you go.

In the event, the promised two-part documentary on Folau – which had been widely promoted – was not ready to go to air. So, the powers-that-be at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster reached into their sack of old movies and ran a documentary on Australian racing driver Peter Brock – which it had shown as recently as 2020 – in the 8.45 pm slot.

Meanwhile, the ABC has not shown the BBC’s docudrama on the moral crusader Mary Whitehouse titled Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story. Mrs Whitehouse was opposed to pedophilia, among other things, when it was oh-so-fashionable among the left intelligentsia of its day half a century ago. This was around the time that the ABC chairman Professor Richard Downing declared that “in general, men will sleep with young boys”.

This is something which the ABC will not mention in its continuing coverage of historical child sexual abuse.  It can only be assumed that current ABC management does not want to dwell on the fact that the left intelligentsia in Britain and Australia (including BBC and ABC types) half a century ago declared that Mary Whitehouse was a nutcase and that showing Filth might discredit her critics.  Then and now.


  • COMRADE DEE MADIGAN SUPPORTS LABOR’S LEGISLATION

As avid MWD followers of politics will be aware, this week the Coalition challenged Julie Collins, the Minister for Small Business, to name one small business which supported the Albanese government’s industrial relations legislation.  MWD cannot recall whether any business came forward and made a commitment to Minister Tony Burke’s IR legislation.  Until, Jackie’s male co-owner saw this tweet, at Post-Luncheon Drinks time on 24 November, from MWD fave Dee Madigan:

So there.  Dee Madigan runs a small business and supports the government’s IR changes.  But, hang on a minute. Is this the very same Dee Madigan, Creative Director of Campaign Edge, who worked on the Labor Party’s 2022 Federal campaign and is a regular panellist on such ABC TV programs as Gruen and The Drum?  Sure is.  And Dee Madigan supports Labor’s industrial relations legislation. Quelle Surprise!


TOP OF THE MWD BLOG

  • A MEDIA WATCH DOG DECLARATION ON CRANBROOK SCHOOL, TRACY GRIMSHAW, HUGS AND HAND-HOLDING

Jackie’s (male) co-owner assures readers that this edition of Media Watch Dog contains not one reference to the current dispute at the Cranbrook School in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill (over something or other) which has received wide coverage in the Sydney media of late – nor any analysis of how it came to pass that departing presenter Tracy Grimshaw of Nine’s  A Current Affair decided not go in for a hug with her likely successor Allison Langdon as she (Grimshaw) left Nine’s studio last night.

The reason being that MWD does not give a toss about co-education and regards hugs, social kissing and hand-holding (which takes up two places on any street) as crimes against courteous behaviour.  So there.


EDITORIAL

  • THE ABC’S VERY OWN CONSERVATIVE-FREE-ZONE PROBLEM

As Media Watch Dog readers know, the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone without  one conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets. ABC management and some ABC journalists deny this – but no one has been able to name one conservative on one prominent ABC outlet. Not one.

This represents a problem for Australia – since the taxpayer funded public broadcaster has become a conservative free zone by censoring – read cancelling – conservatives.  This is detrimental to the public debate in Australia which is diminished by the lack of political diversity on the public broadcaster.  But it is also a problem for the ABC – as prominent Melbourne-based ABC broadcaster Virginia Trioli hinted at recently, apparently without being conscious of the consequences of her position.

Presenting the Mornings program on ABC Radio Melbourne 774 on 22 November, in the lead-up to the Victorian State election on 26 November, Virginia Trioli had this to say:

Virginia Trioli: But I think the point needs to be made again this morning, even if briefly, that I need to ask where the leaders are. Where are they right now? – in relation to significant accountability interviews on a program like this. Because we’ve been told pretty much not to expect the premier [Daniel Andrews] to appear on this program at all –  we’ve only got a few days left – at all, during this entire campaign. Which is both a shock and disappointment to me in all my years of broadcasting, [I’ve] never had that.

And even with a Federal government that was demonstrably hostile towards the ABC, the then prime minister would always turn up for an interview at some stage during the election campaign. And we’re certainly not getting any access to anyone on the other [Liberal Party] side, either. And no joy at all, with all our many requests to speak to [Opposition leader] Matthew Guy. So I guess with a [opinion] poll like that, and I guess I understand why they [Labor] might be running scared now. But the question has to be asked: Where the hell are they?

It’s a good question – but Virginia Trioli seems oblivious of the answer. As the ABC has increasingly become a conservative free zone, it has increasingly lost a large portion of its one-time politically conservative audiences.  Some have moved to Sky News, others to free-to-air commercial outlets and more besides.  Those political conservatives who have died in recent years for the most part have not been replaced by like-minded people as ABC viewers/listeners.

Moreover, as the Australian left has become increasingly intolerant of those who disagree with them – they have rallied around the ABC – which is not only a conservative free zone but the home-ground of the Green Left.  This can be seen or heard by, say, tuning into Q+A’s live audience or hearing listener feedback on, for example, ABC Radio National Breakfast or listening to the anonymous comments which are read out on ABC Radio’s current affairs programs.  Also, in between elections, ABC’s coverage is focused on the left’s fave topics – such as climate change, LGBTIQ+ rights, the republic and so on – to the exclusion of other matters. This has led to political conservatives increasingly abandoning the public broadcaster.

And here lies Ms Trioli’s problem. The Victorian Labor premier Daniel Andrews does not need to appear on ABC Radio 774 in the lead-up to an election since he would essentially be only talking to the Green Left who will either vote Labor or for the Greens (directing their preferences to Labor).

Likewise with the Liberal Party. The Victorian Opposition leader Matthew Guy does not need to appear on ABC Radio 774 since its audience is essentially Green Left – and unlikely to vote for the Coalition.

Virginia Trioli is a talented interviewer who performs fairly and professionally when interviewing politicians during election campaigns. However, there is no upside in a premier or an Opposition leader being interviewed by Ms Trioli – since a good performance is unlikely to win new voters. But there is a downside – since any mistake will receive coverage on other media outlets.

La Trioli’s question to Daniel Andrews and Matthew Guy is “Where are you?”. And the answer appears to be: “We’re not where we don’t need to be.”

That’s the ABC’s conservative free zone problem as it affects the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.


NEW SEGMENT: INSIDE OUTSIDERS

Following the enormous success of Media Watch Dog’s  “Outside Insiders”- it has been put to Jackie’s (male) co-owner that he should occasionally write an “Inside Outsiders” segment about the Sky News’ Outsiders program.  It is assumed, apparently, that Hendo has some particular insight into such right-of-centre types like Rowan Dean, James Morrow and Rita Panahi who present Outsiders every Sunday morning.  MWD will do its bit – but is not certain that anyone can get inside the collective mind of the Dean/Morrow/Panahi trio.

  • OUTSIDERS ON PAUL KEATING, KARL MARX AND MORE BESIDES

One of the features of the “Outside Insiders” is MWD’s count of the interruptions by presenter David Speers of his guest each week – if it happens to be a Liberal Party or Nationals type.  Your man Speersy does not interrupt Labor, Green or Independents as much as Coalition types. For example, Speersy interrupted Opposition Senate leader Simon Birmingham on 19 occasions on Sunday 20 November. In the previous week, Kate Chaney – a Teal Independent who defeated the incumbent Liberal MP for Curtin – was interrupted on a mere three occasions.

But MWD digresses.  On Insiders, presenter David Speers’ interruptions are focused on his guests.  Whereas on Outsiders, the presenters interrupt each other.

Let’s go to the part of the Outsiders program of 20 November when discussion turned on the Victorian State election to be held on 26 November:

Rowan Dean: Well, I’m hoping Victorians are sitting there very quietly with their baseball bats, and they’re gonna actually do what needs to be done and clean –

James Morrow: [interjecting] Cricket bats, please, it’s Australia.

Rowan Dean: – that [Labor] mob, uh, right out of government.

Rita Panahi: Of course, you’re talking figuratively, because, you know, we’re gonna have –

Rowan Dean: [interrupting] Of course, I am.

Rita Panahi: – some…

James Morrow: [interjecting] Oh yes –

Rowan Dean: I’m actually – I’m actually quoting Paul Keating.

Rita Panahi: Thank you.

Rowan Dean: Paul Keating talking about –

Dean/Panahi in unison: [interrupting] – not inciting –

Rita Panahi: – hate or violence. Very clearly.

Rowan Dean: Mr Keating, who I have a lot of respect for, certainly his ability to use colourful language in parliament. I was referring to that, obviously, when he used exactly that phrase to talk about a Queensland election.

Pause for a correction.  According to contemporary reports, it was Queensland’s Labor premier Wayne Goss who referred to voters sitting on their verandahs, baseball bat in hand, waiting to (figuratively) clobber Paul Keating.  Not the other way round. But there you go.

Later on, discussion turned to Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, whose political background is a member of Labor’s socialist left faction.  Ms Panahi said that despite his socialist left background, Andrews cosied up to “billionaires” and “the top end of town”.  The discussion continued:

James Morrow: What did – what did Karl Marx say – what did Karl Marx say about capitalists selling communists the ropes which they will use to hang them?

Rita Panahi: Yeah.

James Morrow: Now, that is exactly what’s going on here.

Rowan Dean: But I – I think it is that to an extent, James. But it’s worse than that. The marriage of authoritarian political parties with powerful corporate interests has a name.

Rita Panahi: Mm.

Rowan Dean: That name’s not communism. That name is fascism, and we saw it in the 1930s in Europe.

Correction. It is not clear that any Marxist or Bolshevik ever said words to the effect: “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them.”

It is a clever statement which, along with the numerous derivatives, has usually been associated with Vladimir Lenin – and not Karl Marx. However, the word usage cannot be found in the collective works of Lenin or Marx.  As to fascism – well that existed in parts of Europe in the first half of the 20th Century.  It is not applicable to contemporary societies – not even on Outsiders  at Hangover Time on a Sunday morning. Stand by for more segments of Inside Outsiders.


“WE WARN THE KAISER” SEGMENT

  • IN WHICH QUENTIN DEMPSTER WARNS TWITTER SUPREMO AND THE WORLD’S RICHEST MAN, ELON MUSK, TO BEHAVE WELL AND DECARBONISE NOW

Jackie’s (male) co-owner has long been a fan of the Paul Boller/John H George tome They Never Said It – which provides a list of some of the better known quotations of dubious authenticity.

The term “We Warn The Kaiser” is almost certainly of apocryphal nature. It is said, by some to have originated in an Australian country newspaper around the time of the outbreak of the First World War – when an editor gave a firm warning to Kaiser Wilhelm in Germany about what might happen if he doesn’t abate Germany’s military plans.

Media Watch Dog was reminded of the alleged “We Warn The Kaiser” moment on reading this tweet from former ABC star Quentin Dempster on Monday 20 November.

So, there you have it. Comrade Dempster will stay with Twitter as long as Elon Musk accepts his ethical responsibilities as a free social media proprietor, re-employs dismissed staff and helps us decarbonise to sustain the global biosphere.  That’s all folks.

Well, Kaiser Musk has been warned by Comrade Dempster.  As to decarbonisation and all that, Lucy Macken reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 12 November that your man Dempster has his Sydney, Millers Point, Victorian Italianate terrace up for auction on 17 December – it has a purchase guide of $6 to $6.6 million.

Meanwhile Mr and Mrs Dempster, according to SMH, are planning to spend more time developing an olive grove and small vineyard at their retreat at The Winged House at Table Cape near Wynyard in the north west of Tasmania.  Which suggests that the Dempsters seem likely to be responsible for quite a few carbon emissions as they travel to and from Wynyard – while warning Elon Musk on the need to decarbonise.


The Guardian has been an avowedly left-wing newspaper since its creation in Manchester in 1821.  It has never sought to deny or disguise this fact.  The Guardian Australia  was established in 2013 – it has continued the ideological stance of its mother paper in Britain in being a product of the left intelligentsia.

  • MURPHAROO AND PK IN UNITY TICKET CRITICISM OF ANGUS TAYLOR

Media Watch Dog  has no objection to the appearances of Guardian Australia  journalists on ABC programs – no fewer than five appear regularly on ABC TV Insiders panels – since it invariably makes for good copy in MWD.  It’s just that the ABC does not provide similar access to conservative journalists.

An example of The Guardian/ABC Axis in action occurred on 24 November. As is her wont, ABC Radio National Breakfast presenter Patricia (“Please call me PK”) Karvelas gave a soft interview to a Labor minister – in this instance Tanya Plibersek, the minister for environment and water.

There followed an interview with Opposition treasurer Angus Taylor.  It ended with PK taking on Angus Taylor about the Coalition’s view on the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Let’s go to the transcript:

Patricia Karvelas: Just on another issue before I let you go Angus Taylor, which is in the news again, next week, the government will look at legislation to change the Referendums Act ahead of a proposed vote on the Voice to Parliament. The Liberal Party hasn’t said if it supports the plan. Do you think it should be an individual decision for all MPs?

Angus Taylor: Well, look, we’ll wait and see. We’re working our way through this and, you know, discussing this with colleagues. We haven’t come to – landed at a view on it. And at the right time, we’ll have more to say.

Patricia Karvelas: What’s your view? Do you think there should be an individual decision, given there are such diverse views in your party room?

Angus Taylor: My view is we should work through the issue methodically, systematically and get to a sensible outcome. We’ll let you know –

Patricia Karvelas: I’m going to ask one more time – because you’re not answering my question –

Angus Taylor: Well I am answering it –

Comrade Karvelas still wasn’t happy with the answer and asked the question on another two occasions. She received the same response – not surprisingly since what the Shadow Treasurer said was correct – namely, that the Coalition had not yet made up its mind on how to approach the issue.

Immediately after the Taylor interview – PK interviewed Katharine (“Malcolm calls me Murpharoo”) Murphy in her regular Thursday political commentary slot on RN Breakfast. Murpharoo is The Guardian’s political editor. She described Angus Taylor’s comment on the Coalition’s current stance on The Voice as a “wildly excruciating moment”.

So, there you have it.  Angus Taylor receives a tough interview from Comrade Karvelas where he explains the Coalition’s position.  But then, after the interview is concluded, Comrade Murphy is given the opportunity to describe Angus Taylor’s performance as a “wildly excruciating moment” – a criticism concerning which he had no right of reply.

To be sure, The Guardian/ABC Axis in action.


THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE-ABC LINK

  • THE LEFT-WING AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE’S RICHARD DENNISS IMPLIES THAT HE KNOWS WHO ATTACKED FRIENDLYJORDIES – BUT PRODUCES NO EVIDENCE

While on the topic of The Guardian/ABC Axis there is also a comradely co-operation between the taxpayer funded public broadcaster and the avowedly left-wing Australia Institute.

The Australia Institute’s senior staff, executive director Richard Denniss and deputy director Ebony Bennett, appear regularly on ABC TV’s News Breakfast’s “Newspapers” segment.  No staff from such right-of-centre think tanks such as the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA) and the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) have similar slots. But, then, the ABC is a conservative-free-zone which happens to be in the business of cancelling – read censoring – political conservatives.

On 24 November, Comrade Denniss received a soft interview from presenters Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar.  The segment concluded with a discussion of an attack on the home of left-of-centre activist Jordan Shanks-Markovina, commonly known as Friendlyjordies.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Richard Denniss: …not only did his house catch on fire, it looks like it might have been an arson attack and the neighbouring property caught fire in suspicious circumstances, I think the night before.

So when you realise that, you know, this is a man who has called out what he and others saw as problems with the behaviour of a former New South Wales Police Commissioner, a former Deputy Premier. You know, this is, this is not what we expect to happen in Australia. And of course, Friendlyjordies – the producer there was investigated by a special unit of the New South Wales Police Force, a task force dedicated to fixated persons. Let’s hope the New South Wales Police Force put at least that much effort into finding who it was that tried to set – well set fire to his house which luckily he wasn’t in. But I don’t think the people that set fire to it knew he wasn’t home that night.

Michael Rowland: It’s pretty awful stuff.

What a load of absolute tosh.  At this stage, Comrade Denniss, like all the other commentators, has no idea as to the circumstances surrounding the apparent attack on Jordan Shanks-Markovina’s property. None whatsoever. Sure, Friendlyjordies has political enemies on the far right – but also on the far left.

But the Australia Institute’s executive director was allowed to speculate at length about an incident concerning which he had no special insights, implying that right-wing militants were involved, without any pushback from Denniss’s comradely mates Lisa Millar and Michael Rowland.

 

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Until next time

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