GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG
ISSUE – NO. 627
17 March 2023
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ENTITLED ABC COMRADES PLAN TO STRIKE AGAINST THEMSELVES – BUT WILL ANYONE KNOW?
The Age today carries a story by Karl Quinn that ABC Radio 774 in Melbourne “has slumped to its worst radio ratings on record attracting an average share of just 5.8 per cent of listeners in the first survey of 2023”.
Radio 774 is the home of such “stars” at the taxpayer funded broadcaster as Sammy J, Charlie Pickering, Sabra Lane, Virginia Trioli (currently on leave), Ali Moore, Richelle Hunt, Jacinta Parsons, Raf Epstein, David Lipson and so on. The average 774 audience is a mere 30,000 listeners. Meanwhile 3AW has an 18.1 per cent audience share. And ABC barrackers claim that the ABC is Australia’s most trusted news source.
Meanwhile, as Sophie Elsworth reported in The Australian yesterday, the ABC’s unionised staff will strike between 7 am and 8 am and 3 pm and 4 pm on Wednesday 22 March. The stop work will take account of shifts – so that no ABC employee will lose more than one hour’s pay. ABC employees want 6 per cent wages increases for three years plus a $1500 sign-on bonus – despite the fact that they are already employed.
ABC managing director David Anderson has taken charge of the negotiations. It is not clear if Mr Anderson understands that, in view of the declining ratings, it would not matter much if the organisation closed down for long periods – except for staff engaged in emergency broadcasting.
Part of the ABC’s problem is that, as a Conservative Free Zone, it has lost so many of its traditional conservative viewers/listeners over the years without gaining younger left-wing types to replace them. Where else did Sky News’ viewers come from?
As the Communist Party used to say about staff collectives, or soviets: “You can’t strike against yourself”. Mr Anderson would be well advised to hold his own in the negotiations and not make further concessions to the ABC staff who feel entitled to receive more taxpayers’ money. It is to be doubted whether most Australians will know that members of the ABC staff collective have logged off their computers on 22 March for an hour or so.
ANTOINETTE LATTOUF WRITES ABOUT ANTOINETTE LATTOUF IN THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
The (male) co-owner of Jackie (Dip. Wellness, The Gunnedah Institute) just loves it when columnists write about themselves. So it was with some delight that Hendo opened today’s Sydney Morning Herald and saw Antoinette Lattouf’s column titled: “I’ve given up drinking and I’m feeling pretty smashed”. The online title was “I’ve given up drinking and I’m pissed about how I feel”. Reading Lattouf on Lattouf brightened up the day at Hangover Time this morning. This is how The Thought of Lattouf commenced:
I haven’t had an alcoholic drink in 21 days, 16 hours, 12 minutes and 24 seconds. But who’s counting? Well, OK, I clearly am. Such a long time without a drink (now 21 days, 16 hours 12 minutes and 30 seconds) essentially makes me an expert on sobriety, and the well-trodden teetotaller trajectory dictates I must now share details of my booze ban to anyone within earshot. You’re probably familiar with the sort of smug over-sharer I’m talking about….
Yes, indeed. But does anyone give a toss whether Ms Lattouf has given up the grog? MWD doubts it. And what about the suggestion that the writer is not counting the days, hours, minutes and seconds since she had her last alcoholic drink? Clearly she is – since the column ends with the claim that it’s now “21 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 21 seconds…”. [I note, by the way, that the columnist wrote 20 words in 6 seconds. How about that? – MWD Editor.]
It turns out that Comrade Lattouf is giving up the grog as part of her “40 day sacrifice for Lent”. Good thinking. For his part, Hendo is giving up reading the Lattouf column for 40 days and 40 nights.
[I assume that this is the very same Antoinette Lattouf who said on Q+A on 11 March that Australia is into neo-Nazism. Really. See today’s “Q+A Moment” segment. Note that this was said after the Lenten season commenced so it was not a matter of the Gin & Tonic talking. – MWD Editor.]
ANOTHER TAXPAYER FUNDED LITERARY FESTIVAL LEFTIST STACK WITHOUT A CONSERVATIVE IN SIGHT
Today’s Sydney Morning Herald carries the news that the Sydney Writers’ Festival is back – after what journalists like to call a Well Earned Break (due to COVID and all that). The story was written by Nine Newspapers’ books editor Jason Steger – who mainly writes for The Age.
As avid readers have pointed out, for a man who identifies as a literary type, Steger’s article contains lotsa cliches. For example, Comrade Steger’s report commences:
After three years of pandemic-forced cancellations, interruptions and inconvenience, the Sydney Writers’ Festival returns in May, its literary eyes focused firmly on the future.
The Festival’s “eyes” would hardly be focused firmly on the past – would they? And then there is this Stegerism:
When novelist Mohsin Hamid was in Australia last year, he suggested more writers should be looking ahead. That remark made Ann Mossop, new artistic director of the festival, prick up her ears. She decided that an important way to think about the future was to engage with different versions presented imaginatively.
All very literary to be sure. But what does this mean? And did she really prick up her ears?
MWD will return to the 2023 SWF in the next issue. For the moment it seems the SWF’s new artistic director Ann Mossop has followed in the footsteps of her predecessor and set up another literary festival leftist stack with a little help from NSW and City of Sydney taxpayers.
Of the Australians involved in political/social/economic/literary discussion, MWD cannot even find one political conservative in the line-up. Can you? Here’s MWD’s little list:
Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Wil Anderson, Mohammad Awad, Matt Bevan, Bryan Brown, Robbie Buck, Barrie Cassidy, Annabel Crabb, Sophie Cunningham, James Curran, Brigid Delaney, Osman Faruqi, Richard Fidler, Richard Flanagan, Clementine Ford, Helen Garner, Richard Glover, Stan Grant, Saul Griffith, Helen Haines, Wendy Harmer, Simon Holmes á Court, Shane Jenek (aka Courtney Act), Erik Jensen, Michael Kirby, Benjamin Law, Adam Liaw, Paddy Manning, David Marr, Maeve Marsden, Kate McClymont, Rick Morton, Katharine Murphy, Sam Neill, Andrew Quilty, Teela Reid, Margot Saville, Niki Savva, Julianne Schultz, Mike Seccombe, Tracey Spicer, Jason Steger, Yumi Stynes, Norman Swan, Grace Tame, Laura Tingle, Don Watson, Michael Williams, Tim Winton, Alexis Wright, Clare Wright
More of this next time when MWD may make some modest proposals about how to have a literary festival where almost everyone does not agree with almost everyone else on almost everything in a comradely kind of way. Stay tuned.
LENORE TAYLOR APPARENTLY NOT AWARE OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ASYLUM SEEKERS WHO DIE AT THE HANDS OF PEOPLE SMUGGLERS
Wasn’t it great to see The Guardian/ABC Axis back in action on Sunday 12 March on the ABC TV Insiders program? ABC TV’s David Speers was in the presenter’s chair. The Guardian Australia’s editor Lenore Taylor was on the three-person panel. And The Guardian Australia’s photographer-at-large Michael Bowers had his regular slot presenting the “Talking Pictures” segment. That is, 50 per cent of the Insiders team were from The Guardian/ABC Axis.
As MWD readers know only too well, The Guardian was established in the 19th Century in Manchester as an avowedly left-wing newspaper – and remains so today from its London base. Like the ABC, The Guardian Australia is also avowedly left-wing.
When it came to Insiders’ “Final Observations” segment, Comrade Taylor had this to say:
Lenore Taylor: Um, it was quite arresting this week to see [British prime minister] Rishi Sunak standing at a podium that said “Stop the boats”.
David Speers: Mm.
Lenore Taylor: Um, it’s not clear whether the UK’s Rwandan solution will actually ever happen. But if it does, we could probably give them some advice about the potential human cost of it.
David Speers: Thank you all very much for joining us this morning.
Yep. Thanks very much. Like so many ABC comrades, when Guardian comrades criticise the Australian Labor Party they invariably do so from the left. On Insiders on 12 March, The Guardian Australia’s editor was fanging both the Coalition and Labor from the left for establishing offshore processing for asylum seekers. This policy was initiated by Coalition governments and eventually adopted by Labor. In the United Kingdom and most of Europe, asylum seekers are termed migrants.
To Taylor, apparently, the “potential human cost” turns on off-shore detention and settlement in other countries – and the resultant denial of a potential to become citizens and the like.
Apparently, Comrade Taylor is ignorant of the fact that over 1000 asylum seekers drowned at sea attempting to enter Australia during the Rudd/Gillard Labor governments. Just as migrants/asylum seekers have been drowning of late attempting to enter the United Kingdom from France.
It would seem that Lenore Taylor is more concerned about the human rights of asylum seekers who make it to the shore – than the human rights of the children, men and women who die when being ferried on unsafe boats run by people smugglers. Which raises the question: Can You Bear It?
PATRICIA KARVELAS UNDER WATER WHEN INTERVIEWING MALCOLM TURNBULL ON SUBMARINES
As avid Media Watch Dog readers know, Malcolm Turnbull seems to have an open invitation to be interviewed by Patricia (“Call me Professor PK”) Karvelas on ABC Radio National Breakfast anytime he wishes. Or so it appears.
The former Liberal Party prime minister usually gets a soft interview from the learned professor at the key time of around 7.40 am. Your man Turnbull invariably uses the occasion to fang his former Coalition colleagues from the left-of-centre – and, occasionally, the Labor government from the same perspective.
And so it came to pass that MT was interviewed by PK on 16 March – the morning after the formal announcement that Australia would purchase nuclear-powered submarines, and more besides, under the AUKUS agreement – formally titled the Australia United Kingdom United States Nuclear-Powered Submarine Pathway.
It comes as no surprise that Malcolm Turnbull opposes AUKUS – after all, it was initially negotiated by former Coalition prime minister Scott Morrison (MT calls him “Morrison”) with US President Joe Biden and former United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson in September 2021. Current Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton was defence minister at the time.
Australia’s embrace of AUKUS entailed the sinking of the decision by the Turnbull government to purchase conventional submarines from France. There is a general agreement in defence circles that the French subs were a bad idea. For starters, they were not nuclear-powered. Indeed, the idea was that the French nuclear-powered submarines would be converted into conventional ones for Australia’s use. This has never been done before.
It’s not clear whether Professor PK is so engrossed in her academic duties at RMIT University in Melbourne that she was unprepared for this discussion. Anyway, she let Turnbull get away with this comment:
Malcolm Turnbull: The reason I strongly preferred the French approach was that France’s submarines are, you know, better suited to us in terms of cost and size and crew size and so forth. And we’ve talked about that before, I think. But most importantly, their navy use low enriched uranium. They use uranium enriched to the same level of a civilian nuclear power plant. The American and British naval reactors use weapons grade uranium….
It is the most dangerous substance on the planet…. So, the attraction of the French approach, which I might say the Chinese use too, is that you can have – you could have a civilian nuclear industry, a naval nuclear propulsion using low enriched uranium and with the same supervisory, you know, regulatory regime [as a civilian nuclear power plant]. And – and, you know, people can move between the two. That’s not going to be possible for us because of the nature of the reactors that we’ll be using and the fact that we –
Patricia Karvelas: [interrupting] Okay.
It was not okay at all. The Turnbull government never proposed that Australia should construct nuclear-powered French submarines. Rather, it wanted the French to redesign a nuclear-powered submarine and turn it into a conventional powered submarine.
Indeed, at Page 344 of his book A Bigger Picture (Hardie Grant, 2020), Malcolm Turnbull looked to the medium future and maintained that by then “the gap between conventional and nuclear capacities would be sufficiently diminished that a switch to nuclear submarines, for Australia, isn’t justified”. He argued that “accepting the French submarine bid at least gives us a potential option to a nuclear design in the years ahead”. But the Turnbull government never made a commitment to nuclear powered submarines.
Sure it was relatively early on a Thursday morning. But PK never queried Malcolm Turnbull on his failed memory in this instance. Can You Bear It?
AMY REMEIKIS IN HOWLER-LAND CONCERNING THE ALP AND MILITARY CONFLICTS
Soon after, MWD fave Amy Remeikis – a Guardian Australia wage slave who deserves a pay rise NOW – occupied The Guardian Australia’s regular Thursday slot on RN Breakfast. She filled in for Guardian Australia’s political editor Katharine (“Malcolm calls me Murpharoo”) Murphy who, presumably, was on AUKUS business somewhere or other.
Comrade Remeikis ignored the Malcolm Turnbull howler mentioned above. Instead, she ran the line of former Labor Party prime minister Paul Keating that the AUKUS agreement was a disaster. In his National Press Club speech the previous day, Mr Keating had criticised senior figures on the Labor left (Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong) and Labor right (Defence Minister Richard Marles) for their support for AUKUS.
Indeed, The Guardian Australia’s political reporter channelled the Keating speech declaring:
Amy Remeikis: Traditionally, Labor is against these sort of jingoistic sort of techniques, also against, you know, war in general. I mean, what he [Keating] said about Labor’s former leaders and their, how they’ve handled war, has been absolutely correct…I think that there is certainly a lot of unease within Labor’s true believers that we have so unquestioningly, it seems, hooked our wagons to this deal and to this program.
What a load of absolute tosh. Not all Labor leaders were “against…war in general” whatever that might mean. Labor supported Australia’s involvement in the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War and the First Gulf War. Certainly Labor opposed Australia’s commitment in the Malayan Emergency, the Vietnam War and the Second Gulf War.
MWD believes that the fault here lies with The Guardian Australia’s leftist editor Lenore Taylor and her management team. If only employees like Comrade Remeikis received better pay they would have more moolah to purchase, say, the official histories of Australia’s military conflicts and not spread ignorance. By the way, Professor PK did not correct the Remeikis howlers. Can You Bear It? [Good point. I note that Paul Keating himself did not maintain that Labor is against war in general. Perhaps Ms Remeikis spends too much time with The Guardian Australia soviet. – MWD Editor.]
TONY WINDSOR LOOKS AT NEW ZEALAND FOR A LEAD ON HOW TO HANDLE CHINA
While on the topic of AUKUS and all that, did anyone see this tweet from ABC fave and former anti-Coalition Independent MP Tony Windsor?
As the clouds of war are on the horizon I ask myself one question?
What would New Zealand do?
— Tony Windsor (@TonyHWindsor) March 14, 2023
And the answer is – well, probably put up the white flag over the Land of the Long White Cloud.
There is a view that the Five Eyes intelligence alliance – comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States – should be retitled the “Four Eyes” agreement. The point being that New Zealand does not pull its weight when it comes to defence and intelligence cooperation.
That New Zealand can spend so little on defence and intelligence turns on the fact that the nation relies on Australia to secure its sea lanes and air lanes. In this sense, New Zealand also depends on the security of the region provided by the United States – as expressed through the Australia-United States defence alliance.
An alternative answer to Tony Windsor’s query about what New Zealanders would do if war clouds approached – borrow umbrellas from Australia and the US just in case the clouds break. Can You Bear It?
The Melbourne based Saturday Paper – publisher Morry Schwartz, editor-in-chief Erik Jensen – goes to press on Thursdays at around Gin & Tonic time and arrives in inner-city coffee shops much to the delight of sandal-wearing leftist luvvies at around Hangover Time on Saturday mornings.
The Saturday Paper identifies as a newspaper. However, due to the time between printing and publication, it contains no news. In view of this, Gerard Henderson reads it on Mondays. After all, what’s the hurry? Needless to say, The Saturday Paper is published in Collingwood – close to Sandalista Central in nearby Fitzroy North.
MIKE SECCOMBE RECKONS THAT THE ABC’s NON-STRIKE WAS MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN A REAL STRIKE
The [Boring] Saturday Paper arrived in inner-city coffee shops on Saturday 11 March – with the lead-story titled “Inside the ABC business model: ‘There has been self-censorship’.” The article written by Mike Seccombe – who presents as The Saturday Paper’s national correspondent – appeared under a large pic of ABC Chair Ita Buttrose who received only one brief mention in the story. Here’s how Comrade Seccombe’s piece commenced:
A 40-minute strike might not seem the most resolute industrial action, particularly when it is called off at the last minute, but the non-strike by more than a thousand staff at the ABC this week was much more significant than it first appeared. At the most basic level, it was important because it was the first time in 17 years that staff at the national broadcaster had determined to strike.
How about that? The ABC staff strike, scheduled for 7 March, was a non-strike since it was cancelled at the last minute. Even so, according to your man Seccombe, this non-strike “at the most basic level” was “much more significant than it first appeared”. Really? How could a threatened strike which never occurred be significant? And how could a non-strike be more effective than a real strike? Comrade Seccombe did not say.
As covered in MWD of 10 March (Issue 626), the threatened strike for Tuesday 7 March was cunningly planned to coincide with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s announcement about interest rates – which takes place on the first Tuesday of the month. It would seem that the shop-stewards at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s shop seemed to believe that if ABC comrades at the ABC Soviet downed computers on 7 March, the good people of Australia would not know about the RBA’s cash rate decision. Talk about self-delusion.
Now, according to The Saturday Paper, the ABC would-be strikers may really strike on Saturday 25 March – the date of the NSW election. The cunning plan seems to be to deprive ABC’s ever dwindling viewers of news about the election. Overlooking the fact that most Australians don’t give a toss about who is governing NSW – and that the ABC is not Australia’s only news source.
Your man Seccombe went on to say this about the (possible) 25 March Battle Plan:
Given this context, the union strategy becomes clearer: last Tuesday’s aborted 40-minute action was, as we said at the top, a much bigger event than it appeared. It was an opening salvo fired by some of the union troops as they waited for reinforcements to arrive.
Turn it up. There was an “opening salvo” on 7 March in which no guns were fired. And now there is a wait for “reinforcements to arrive” despite the fact that there is nothing to reinforce – it’s not quite the second day of the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Nevertheless, this was frontpage “news” in The [Boring] Saturday Paper.
Mike Seccombe went on to whinge about how the comrades at the ABC Soviet need more money from the taxpayer (apparently over $1 Billion annually is not enough) and quoted former ABC star Quentin Dempster about how he still feared “Murdoch intimidation”. This despite the fact that whatever criticism of the ABC appears in The Australian or on Sky News – the ABC remains a Conservative Free Zone without one conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent TV, radio or online outlets. Which would suggest that Mr Murdoch’s alleged intimidation has not had any desired effect.
According to Schwartz’s (Delayed) News, ABC Alumni front man Jonathan Holmes, said that the ABC is reluctant to risk legal action. Quelle Surprise! – in view of the fact that ABC managing director David Anderson is on record as saying that the ABC puts programs to air that make allegations against individuals which do not meet any standard of proof – criminal or even civil.
But MWD did like the account of Comrade Holmes, a one-time ABC leftist presenter, who now heads the pompously titled ABC Alumni, of an (alleged) self-censorship at the public broadcaster:
The unwillingness to risk legal action, says Holmes, “probably aligned to poverty: frankly, not wanting to run up huge bills” [sic]. He suggests management had in the past discouraged reporting on certain issues. Before the 2019 bushfires, for example, “news management … felt that climate change was a kind of inner-city preoccupation, and wasn’t helping them get traction in the regions”. “Indeed,” he says, a former director of news “used to give a pep talk to people about how we’ve … got to stop allowing the critics to say that we’re a bunch of inner-city sandal-wearing lefties”.
How about that? Could the said (anonymous) one-time ABC Director of News have been an avid MWD reader – and aware of Jackie’s (male) co-owner’s critique of the ABC’s inner-city focus and the fact that it is “replete with inner-city sandal-wearing leftists”? This was the only interesting comment in an otherwise boring edition of The [Boring] Saturday Paper.
[Interesting. Perhaps due to anticipated (enormous) reader demand you should bring back your one-time highly popular “Sandalista Watch” segment. By the way, did you think of giving Comrade Seccombe a “Media Fool of the Week” award for his non-news Page One lead in Morry Schwartz’s tome? MWD Editor.]
COMRADE HUMPHRIES RECEIVES A DEMOTION
Mark Humphries returned to 7:30 on Thursday 16 March for yet another unfunny satirical sketch. At the start of the program his appearance was teased by presenter Sarah Ferguson:
Sarah Ferguson: Welcome to 7:30, later in the show our semi-resident satirist Mark Humphries is in the navy, but first…
It would appear that your man Humphries has received a demotion, downgraded to a mere semi-resident satirist. Perhaps this change in title reflects the fact that, for reasons unknown, Humphries has never quite managed to stick to his sketches’ theoretical fortnightly schedule. At least he has not taken to pretentiously calling himself an investigative humourist like his sometime collaborator Dan Ilic.
Any viewers who stuck around till the end of the program in the hopes of sharp semi-resident comedy would have been severely disappointed. The sketch poked fun at the joint Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) nuclear submarine project. Most of the jokes revolved around the submarines taking many years to develop and build – or the acronym AUKUS sounding strange when said aloud. Even well into Gin & Tonic Time these gags fell short.
Comrade Humphries skilfully avoided any direct criticism of the current Labor government, though he did manage to take a very light jab at former Labor PM Paul Keating. Perhaps Labor prime ministers become fair game for ABC satire once they’ve been out of office for decades? Or maybe it’s only if they become critical of Labor? After all, Mark Latham has been a fair target for Humphries for years.
As is often the case with Humphries, the sketch devolved into an excuse to play dress up, with Humphries donning multiple costumes. Such a weak effort seems unlikely to earn Humphries a promotion back to the exhausted position of resident satirist.
PAUL BARRY CRITICISES NINE NEWSPAPERS’ ALLEGED SCAREMONGERING ON CHINA – BUT OVERLOOKS THE ABC’S
In the 13 March episode of Paul Barry’s Media Watch, Barry scolded the Age and Sydney Morning Herald’s coverage of our apparently upcoming war with China in its recent three-part “Red Alert” series. The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Nine News told readers: “Australia faces the real prospect of a war with China within three years that could involve a direct attack on our mainland, but Australia’s defence force is woefully unprepared…”
Nine put together a panel of experts to beat the drum on the idea of an imminent war with China. As Barry said “There was no contrary view and no shading of the possibilities.” An interesting comment from your man Barry, who as Media Watch presenter tends to lay down the law with no discussion, debate or right-of-reply on air. Media Watch airs on the ABC, which is a Conservative Free Zone.
Barry’s “War with China?” segment detailed the articles by Nine and criticism of the coverage from other media outlets. Not featured, however, was the ABC’s global affairs editor’s John Lyons’ recent articles for ABC news online headlined “What would war with China look like for Australia”. Part one was published on 20 February followed by part two on 21 February.
With opening lines such as “If Australia sleepwalks into a war with China, as many analysts fear is happening right now, then amid our strategic slumber we should at least ask one question: what would war with China mean for Australia?” and “Australians could wake up one morning to the news that we are at war with China”, the Lyons articles surely deserved a mention in Barry’s segment.
Lyons’ two-part series featured interviews with Professor Hugh White, (former Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence in the Department of Defence), Admiral Chris Barrie (once Australia’s most senior military leader as Chief of the Defence Force from 1998 to 2002), Allan Behm (former head of the International Policy and Strategy Divisions of the Defence Department) and Professor Clinton Fernandes (former intelligence officer in the Australian military).
John Lyons informed readers that the group has “more than 100 years of high-level military and strategic experience between them”, should their expertise be doubted. He asked all what a potential war with China would look like, and the group detailed a series of scary scenarios – including that “economically, financially and personally it is likely to impoverish us all; it may even kill most of us if it goes nuclear”.
While the questions were focused on the practicalities of war in the region and not the likelihood, it is all very doom and gloom. Only Chris Barrie offers readers some reassurance, referring to much of the China/war talk as “overblown rhetoric”, and in the event of war, that Australia may be able to defend itself due to “geographic good luck”.
When commenting on Nine’s chosen China experts, your man Barry referred to Peter Hartcher as a “well-known China hawk” and reminded viewers of Peter Jennings’ frequent predictions that war with China is coming.
No comment however on the ABC’s decision to roll out well-known China alarmist Hugh White to weigh in. White has been predicting a war with China since as early as 2005, when he wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald that “we may face …[a] naval battle this year … between the US and Chinese navies”. Then in 2012 Professor White suggested that Australians should not be “too surprised if the US and Japan go to war with China” in 2013.
Media Watch Dog doubts that Paul Barry will advise his readers next week about the False (so far at least) Prophet White.
Q+A ON THE ROAD TO BEING AS BORING AND SELF-RIGHTEOUS AS THE DRUM
As avid readers will recall, Media Watch Dog was of the view that the appointment of Stan Grant as the presenter of ABC TV’s Q+A program was a good move. MWD’s line was that your man Grant was more likely to control the baying leftist mob that pervades most Q+A audiences – especially when the program is filmed in Melbourne. Alas, this has not proved to be the case and Q+A is becoming as boring, and inconsequential, as ABC TV’s The Drum. Really.
Also, Stan Grant has become boringly preachy. Moreover, many Q+A panels are flat due, primarily, to the fact that they frequently are bereft of prominent Australians. It would appear that some well-known Australians will not appear on the program. And then there is the fact that the ABC has “cancelled” quite a few political conservatives who do not get the opportunity to decline an invitation because they are not invited in the first place.
The “highlights” of Q+A on Monday 13 March consisted of yet another appearance by British socialist activist and singer-songwriter Billy Bragg. It’s difficult to imagine that a leftist Australian singer visiting Britain would be invited on the BBC TV’s Any Questions? program, on which Q+A was modelled. The highlight of the program occurred when Comrade Bragg praised the British taxpayer for paying for his apprenticeship as a rock ‘n’ roller. Apparently, he was on the dole at the time.
Stan Grant used the Q+A bully pulpit to editorialise against the proposed Stage 3 tax cuts which he (falsely) claimed will go to “the richest people in the country” – overlooking the fact that they will also benefit middle income earners and prevail against bracket creep at a time of high inflation.
Comrade Grant also complained that the ABC is “still predominantly a white-managed, white-run organisation”. And so it is. But he did not mention the fact that ABC’s leading presenters are overwhelmingly white – in spite of the fact that they are wont to call for ethnic diversity in other areas of society.
What’s more, Stan Grant said nothing when panellist Antoinette Lattouf suggested that Australia is into “neo-Nazism”. Yet another lightweight comparison between democratic Australia and the Nazi totalitarian dictatorship in Germany between 1933 and 1945.
And then there is the Q+A survey. This is the result of the (leading) question on AUKUS which viewers were asked to vote on at the beginning of the 13 March program – as announced by Stan Grant:
Stan Grant: Let’s bring you the results of our online poll now. Remember we asked you…”Can we afford to spend $200 billion on nuclear submarines for war that may or may not happen?” 62 per cent ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ 30 per cent. ‘Unsure’ 8 per cent.
That’s just push-polling. No one has suggested that Australia should spend money “for war”. The idea of security is to prevent war. Little wonder that around two-thirds of the Q+A audience (if there was one) ran the left-wing line against AUKUS in such numbers.
LAST MINUTE NEW SESSION FAILS TO OVERCOME 2023 ADELAIDE WRITERS’ WEEK LEFTIST STACK WHICH HEARD FROM A SCORE OF PANELLISTS FROM THE ABC
Media Watch Dog was the first media outlet to reveal that the 2023 Adelaide Writers’ Week (AWW) was yet another literary festival leftist stack. See MWD Issue 622, 10 February 2023. The AWW this year was directed by leftist publisher Louise Adler. Gerard Henderson also wrote about the 2023 AWW in his Weekend Australian column of 25 February. As in previous years, the AWW was essentially funded by taxpayers.
The essential criticism of the Adler directed literary festival was its lack of balance on the Middle East – with seven Palestinian critics of Israel on the program but not one Israeli and not one high profile public supporter of Israel.
Among the Australian contingent discussing issues at the AWW, MWD could not find one political conservative. Sure, former Liberal Party cabinet minister Amanda Vanstone was in the line-up. Ms Vanstone would not describe herself as a political conservative. In any event, her role was to chair a session on cooking.
All up, there were seven prominent former Labor Party parliamentarians or staffers in the AWW line-up – Steve Bracks, Bob Carr, Gareth Evans, Maxine McKew, Anne Summers, Wayne Swan and Don Watson. Plus Greens Bob Brown and Sarah Hanson-Young along with Simon Holmes à Court from Climate 200 which supported Teal Independents running against Liberal Party MPs at the 2022 election. Oh yes, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus also scored an AWW guernsey.
It would seem that, in reaction to criticism of the AWW leftist stack and in a desperate attempt to achieve some diversity, Comrade Adler set out in search of some non-ALP/Green/Teals types to appear on the program. How do we know this? Well, here is a tweet which Bob Carr sent out on 8 March which included a pic of (from left) Carr, Laura Tingle and Gareth Evans:
Five Premiers @adelwritersweek: Carr Bracks Rann Marshall Malinauskas. Brandis too. Gareth spoke in forum chaired by Laura Tingle. Nice to see SA Governor Frances Adamson at sessions. pic.twitter.com/v1ikJTdV5Z
— Bob Carr (@bobjcarr) March 8, 2023
It was known that Messers Carr and Bracks were on the original program – as was South Australian Labor premier Peter Malinauskas. It is understood that former Labor South Australian premier Mike Rann did not talk at AWW. So what about former Liberal Party premier of South Australia Steven Marshall and former Coalition attorney-general George Brandis? Your man Brandis seems to have been called in at the last minute when Comrade Adler decided to dilute the criticism by holding an additional function to, wait for it, debate the lack of debate at the 2023 AWW. Or something like that.
The new session, titled “The Public Square”, was chaired by Bob Carr. The Adelaide journalist David Penberthy, a critic of the AWW’s unbalanced line-up, was scheduled to appear but withdrew. The panel included Brandis (who would not regard himself as a political conservative) along with such left-of-centre types as David Hare and Sarah Ferguson. The Jewish American novelist, Shalom Auslander was also on this panel. He is a known critic of the Israeli government and did not speak out against the anti-Semitic comments which had been made by a couple of panellists prior to the 2023 AWW.
In the event, the last-minute program change could not alter the fact that the 2023 AWW was another occasion when the left got hold of bucket loads of taxpayers’ money and invited their leftist ideological mates to an occasion where everyone essentially agreed with everyone else in an essentially left-of-centre kind of way.
Your Taxes At Work.
Until Next Time