GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG
ISSUE – NO. 642
7 July 2023
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PATRICIA KARVELAS’ PUB TEST FAVOURS PUBS IN INNER-CITY LEFTIST ABODES
News has just come through that Patricia (“Please call me PK”) Karvelas – presenter of the ABC Radio National Breakfast program which is experiencing a dramatic decline in ratings – has quit Twitter. How will Elon Musk ever recover after hearing such news from the Antipodes? Media Watch Dog hears readers cry.
How do we know this news is worthy of a run in Media Watch Dog’s hugely popular “Stop Press” segment? Well, PK announced the intel herself in a tweet that went out at 7.09 this morning. So it must be important news. It was soon followed by Comrade Karvelas’ announcement on her radio program. Here’s the tweet:
So I’m done here I’m on threads
Same name bye #auspol
— Patricia Karvelas (@PatsKarvelas) July 6, 2023
Well, the (communications) world surely will never be the same again now that PK has dumped the right-of-centre Mr Musk and moved on to the left-of-centre Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads.
Not long after delivering this BREAKING NEWS on RN Breakfast, Comrade Karvelas interviewed Bill Shorten, the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services in the Albanese Labor government. Discussion centred on the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme, including the possibility that findings may be made against ministers of the former Coalition government. Let’s go to the transcript:
Patricia Karvelas: Will those senior Liberal figures, including Scott Morrison, be allowed to charge taxpayers for their legal fees, if they challenge today’s findings?
Bill Shorten: That’ll be a matter for the attorney-general. But as these were tasks, however poorly executed by them in government, I imagine there’s set precedent and principle for them to have recourse to legal advice. Yes.
Patricia Karvelas: Yeah. Okay. How does that look? How do you think people view that?
Bill Shorten: Well, it’ll be up to people to judge.
Patricia Karvelas: What do you think? You’ve got, you’ve got your finger on the pulse. You know how people feel about things. Doesn’t, doesn’t – I don’t think it would pass whatever pub test you want to apply.
Bill Shorten: Well, if a journalist at the ABC was sued – government public servants do have the right to support. They [the former ministers] haven’t been found guilty of anything yet….
Quite so. It is standard operating practice of Labor and Coalition governments alike that, if legal action is taken against ministers concerning the administration of their official duties when in office, then taxpayers’ money is used to cover reasonable costs in defending themselves.
Minister Shorten’s decision to raise the case of the ABC with PK was significant. It reminded Breakfast listeners – if listeners there still are – that Comrade Karvelas’ employer paid some $200,000 of taxpayer dollars to one of PK’s ABC besties. Here’s what happened.
Last year, Andrew Laming (the former LNP member for Bowman) sued the ABC’s Louise Milligan, who had posted “Laming upskirts” on her personal Twitter account. The allegation was totally false. The case resulted in Dr Laming being awarded $78,000 in damages, which was paid by the taxpayer-funded broadcaster – not by Ms Milligan. With legal costs added, the Milligan tweet cost the ABC about $200,000. There is no record of Comrade Karvelas complaining about this use of taxpayers’ funds on this occasion. Perhaps PK believes that the ABC’s use of taxpayers’ funds in this instance passed the “pub test”. Maybe it did – if PK drinks at an upmarket drinking hole in, say, Fitzroy North in Melbourne’s Sandalista Central.
By the way, Dr Laming took his legal action after Louise Milligan declined his offer to accept an apology for her howler without monetary compensation. Apologies had been given by the likes of Derryn Hinch, Sarah Hanson-Young, Kristina Keneally and, eventually, Lisa Wilkinson. Comrade Milligan held out – and the taxpayer covered the cost of her error.
The lesson from today’s RN Breakfast? It’s this. According to The Thought of PK – the result of any pub test is determined by the location of the pub in question.
ABC SPORT IGNORES THE ASHES CRICKET SCORES TO TWEET A RECYCLED JOKE MOCKING JOHN HOWARD
As avid Media Watch Dog readers well understand, the ABC is heavily into recycling. Or, at the very least, the advocacy of same. Hence the promotion of such programs as The War on Waste which was presented by Craig Reucassel. He is one of the Chaser Boys (average age 481/2).
It seems that, due to the impact of Comrade Reucassel and others, the urge to recycle has moved all the way into the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s Sports Department. How else to explain this tweet which ABC Sport sent out on Friday 30 June?
One of the country's most inspiring and successful leaders, and a former politician watching the cricket at Lord's.
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) June 30, 2023
How recycled can a joke get? – where the photograph shows two men and one of them is boosted while the other one is mocked.
Here is former Australian prime minister John Howard (left) and Ange Postecoglou (right). Mr Howard won four elections and became Australia’s second longest-serving Prime Minister and Mr Postecoglou is a successful soccer (aka football) coach in Europe – most recently of Celtic in the Scottish Premier League. He is not very well known in Australia since soccer finishes last among the male football codes in terms of crowd attendance – behind Australian Rules, Rugby League and Rugby Union.
The (recycled) joke being that – surprise, surprise – your man Howard is a much less successful and inspiring leader than your man Postecoglou. How funny is that? By the way, has the ABC Sport Department got nothing better to do than attempt to mock John Howard when the Australia v England Ashes tests are underway? Which raises the question: “Can You Bear It?”
[Er, no. Now that you ask. I doubt that ABC Sport would have recycled this “joke” – which appears to date back to when Moses was a boy – if Julia Gillard had been photographed attending a sports match in London. – MWD Editor]
KATHY LETTE DARTS BACK TO HER PUBERTY BLUES DAYS TO COMMENT ON CRICKET EQUIPMENT IN THE SMH BUT NOT IN THE AFR
Media Watch Dog’s view is that a reader can never get enough of the work of Australian-born author, and world-leading punster, Kathy Lette. That’s why the male co-owner of the late Jackie (Dip Wellness, The Gunnedah Institute) prefers to read pieces by the London-based Ms Lette that are published in Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald rather than in Nine’s Australian Financial Review.
Following the conclusion of the Second Test match at Lord’s in London, a few English gentlemen, replete with claret-stained egg-and-bacon silk ties of the Marylebone Cricket Club, apparently along with hyphenated names, confronted the Australian XI at the Lord’s pavilion at lunch. Ms Lette saw fit to write a piece about this for the SMH and the AFR which was published on July 6. The heading in the SMH was “Take the long view of cricket, not the Long Room’s” whereas the AFR ran with “Lord’s, a level field for dodgy behaviour”.
What’s the point of telling us this? MWD hears avid readers cry. Well, it’s this. It was essentially the same column in the print editions of both newspapers – give or take a few edits here and there. But let’s commence at the beginning. This is how the column fired off – with K.L. writing about the subject she knows best. Namely, HERSELF:
I was never a big cricket fan. Hell, I’ve had marriages that have lasted less time than a Test match. It seemed like the sport’s version of tantric sex where the only thing that gets sticky is the wicket.
Somewhat coarse don’t you think? But you get the idea.
Now, apart from being perhaps the world’s leading writer of puns in the English language, [Are there puns in other languages? MWD Editor], Ms Lette is also a star name-dropper. So, in the piece in Nine newspapers, the readers (if readers there are) learn that the Australian-born republican – who loves sucking up to the Monarchy in Britain – met her “dear friend” Stephen Fry and jeweller Theo Fennell and comedian Adam Hills at Lord’s. Wow!
Ms Lette went on to write about the on-field dispute when a Pom was stumped by an Aussie in controversial circumstances – and how she had to undergo a vowel transplant to hide her Sydney background and momentarily remove her kangaroo earrings as she moved around Lord’s and – zzzzzz. Does it really matter?
Not really, is the truthful answer. However, the Lette Rave did provide an insight into the respective editorial standards at the SMH (editor Bevan Shields) and the AFR (editor Michael Stutchbury). Below are two Letteisms which appeared in the SMH but were apparently spiked in the AFR:
As with most women at the time, my secret thoughts were along the lines of, “Man fiddles with balls” … is it really such a shock?
This was a reference to the 2018 scandal when some Australian Test players were involved in ball tampering to help bowlers swing/spin the cricket ball. And then there was the penultimate sentence of the concluding paragraph as covered in the SMH but spiked by the AFR:
I’m just so glad I can retrieve my kangaroo earrings from the bin, so I can hop back to Lord’s on Saturday to watch the women’s match from the presidential box. I doubt there’ll be any ball-tampering – because women don’t have um – wait. Perhaps I need another Stephen Fry tutorial.
MWD does not believe that Ms Lette needs another Stephen Fry tutorial. Not at all. But she would be well advised to attend Nancy’s Courtesy Classes re which see MWD passim ad nauseam. In the meantime, someone needs to tell Ms Lette – and the SMH editor – that this type of (sexualised) humour is just so Year 12. Can You Bear It?
MICHAEL ROWLAND & INALA COOPER THINK IT’S OKAY FOR ANTI-OIL PROTESTORS TO PEACEFULLY DISRUPT THE TENNIS, SURE IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT NO ONE CAN DISRUPT NEWS BREAKFAST
While on the topic of good manners, did anyone watch the Newspapers segment on ABC TV’s News Breakfast on 6 July? Emma Rebellato (standing in for the sick Lisa Millar) and Michael Rowland were the presenters, and the commentator was Inala Cooper. Ms Cooper is the director of Murrup Barak at the University of Melbourne.
Initially discussion turned on childcare, followed by school exams (the trio was against them), followed by the cost of renting, followed by the Just Stop Oil protest at Wimbledon. This protest was the recent occasion when what Green/Left comrades would usually depict as a “pale, male and stale” old bloke ran onto the arena and threw confetti and small jigsaw pieces on the grass court. Then the demonstrator took off his jacket to reveal a “Just Stop Oil” t-shirt. Apparently overlooking that oil is involved in the manufacture and transport of confetti, jigsaw pieces, t-shirts and the like. But there you go.
When the topic turned to the protest – which disrupted a tennis match being played by Australian Daria Saville to her disadvantage – the following discussion took place:
Inala Cooper: ….everyone has a right to protest, as long as no one is harmed in the process of it. Play was stopped, and yes there was disruption. But, like I said, that’s the whole point of this.
Michael Rowland: They achieved – they certainly achieved that.
Inala Cooper: Mm, that’s right.
Michael Rowland: And their argument is, as you touched on, how else are they going to concentrate the minds – albeit briefly – of people who may not think about what they argue is the rapid destruction of the planet if they didn’t take action like this?
Inala Cooper: Absolutely, and they’re using events like the Ashes and Wimbledon because they have such massive audiences…. So, look I – I support everyone’s right to protest peacefully. And like I said, as long as it’s not physically harming anyone. And they certainly got a big audience with this one.
So, there you have it. It’s okay for “Just Stop Oil” protestors to disrupt Wimbledon, to the disadvantage of players and spectators alike, provided the demonstration is peaceful. That’s the Cooper/Rowland position.
MWD sees fit to advise that it is impossible to gauge how the likes of Comrade Rowland would react if a pro-oil demonstrator – peacefully – entered the ABC Melbourne studio (where News Breakfast is filmed) in inner-city Southbank and threw, say, oil on the ABC’s cameras and floor during a Rowland/Cooper friendly exchange. After all, the protestor wouldn’t be physically harming anyone (to evoke the Cooper test).
It won’t happen because – unlike Wimbledon – the ABC has all-embracing security which prevents demonstrators from entering the building.
So, the Cooper/Rowland duo can give tacit support to anti-oil protestors at Wimbledon, sure in the knowledge that pro-oil demonstrators would not be able to interrupt their friendly chats on ABC TV News Breakfast. It’s called an unpleasant double standard. Can You Bear It?
QUELLE SURPRISE! ABC PRESENTERS AGREE THAT AUSTRALIANS DO NOT LIKE BEING TALKED DOWN TO
While on the topic of Comrade Rowland, how about this exchange with media advisor Steve Carey on the program’s Newspapers segment on 3 July? Let’s go to the transcript:
Michael Rowland: Let’s move to The Australian, on its front page, the latest on the debate over the Voice referendum.
Steve Carey: And when I was in here last Monday, we were talking again about the, you know, the [“Yes”] vote had slipped. And this to me is very much about a softer sell…The Australian, they’re basically saying [in the heading]: “Yes campaign calls to supporters, young and old in low-key voice rallies.”…. I mean, we’ve had a lot of fierce debate, a lot of stuff from both sides. To me, pulling it back a little bit and letting people consider themselves what they want is not a bad way to go. Because when I was running a newsroom, one thing I did learn pretty quickly was that people don’t like to be talked at and yelled at.
Michael Rowland: Yes.
Lisa Millar: Yes, that’s right.
Yep, that’s correct and so on. But what a metamorphosis. Presenters in a conservative free zone that is the ABC have been talking/yelling at viewers/listeners for eons about what they should believe. So much so that – as Calum Jaspan reported in Nine newspapers on 3 July – ABC management has issued editorial guidelines instructing journalists not to advocate for particular causes.
This is, in fact, a direction from ABC management to ABC journalists not to campaign for the “Yes” case in the forthcoming referendum about putting an Indigenous Voice to parliament and the executive in the Constitution.
Shortly after the directive was issued, the highly opinionated Comrade Rowland decided to tell viewers that people don’t like to be talked and yelled at. A sudden conversion it would seem. Can You Bear It?
In this segment Media Watch Dog looks at First World Problems in a land partly populated by well-heeled non-dog dogs and well-off and highly educated members of the leftist inner-city Sandalista set with their fake concerns along with their fake canines. [Good critique – owners and ex-owners of Queensland Heelers should stand united against fashionable non-dog dogs and their pretentious owners. – MWD Editor.]
IN WHICH LEFTIST LUVVIE JANE CARO CALLS ON “TRUCULENT TURDS” AND OTHERS TO SAVE HER EV PROBLEM
As avid readers are only too well aware, on the night of the May 2019 election – when it was evident that the Coalition had won – the leftist luvvie Jane Caro sent out this tweet at around Post Dinner Drinks Time:
So there you have it. In May 2019, Comrade Caro was proud to declare to her Twitter followers (if followers there were) that 51 per cent of adult Australians, who had preferred the Coalition to Labor in the election, were truculent turds.
Step forward some four years later and Ms Caro reached out (as the cliché goes) to all Australians – truculent turds included – to help out in resolving a First World Problem. Here’s her cris de coeur issued to anyone and everyone on 3 July:
Dear Twitter, drove my new BYD Atto EV to Canberra. We cannot find a charging station anywhere that is operational and non Tesla. We checked our hotel had them but they failed to tell us for Tesla only. Can anyone help? This is everything you worry about when u buy an EV!
— Jane Caro (@JaneCaro) July 3, 2023
What a crisis. Jane Caro drove her brand new BYD Atto electric vehicle (estimated price $50,000) to Canberra only to find out that her hotel had no charging facilities for her car. Hence the shout out “Can anyone help?”. It seems that Comrade Caro’s crisis was such that she was even prepared to accept help from “truculent turds”.
For his part, the late Jackie’s (male) co-owner was quite shaken by the Caro evocation about the plight of an affluent Australian – which led to her comment: “This is everything you worry about when you buy an EV!” As avid readers are well aware, MWD just loves it when leftist luvvies throw the switch to the exclamation mark to make a point!!!!!
Just when mere mortals are worrying about the escalating cost of energy, food, rent and interest payments – Jane Caro is complaining about the inability to charge her virtue-signalling new EV at a swish hotel in Canberra.
Verily, a First World Problem.
THE GUARDIAN/ABC AXIS – WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THE LEFTIST AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE
The 30 June 2023 edition of MWD featured an appearance by Polly Hemming, who bears the titled of Director of Climate Change and Energy at the left-wing Australia Institute. Ms Hemming had, on 20 June, sat as a panellist on ABC TV’s The Drum, during which she claimed that Australia sees little benefit from our minerals sector. This hopelessly false claim went unchallenged on the program. In commenting on the appearance, MWD had this to say about Ms Hemming’s future on the ABC:
Staff from the left-leaning Australia Institute are a fixture on the conservative-free ABC. Even better, Ms Hemming bears the title of Director of Climate & Energy Policy, practically guaranteeing her a standing invitation to appear on the taxpayer-funded public broadcaster.
Perhaps the late Jackie’s (male) co-owner should take up fortune telling – as only five days later, on 5 July, Ms Hemming returned to the ABC. This appearance was on ABC TV’s News Breakfast for the program’s Newspapers segment – in which the presenters plus a guest discuss “what’s making news in print and online this morning”.
The first story off the rank was from, you guessed it, The Guardian and concerned, you guessed it, climate change. Cue Ms Hemming and presenter Michael Rowland running the usual ABC/Guardian/Australia Institute line – in essence “we’re all doomed and it’s all the Australian government’s fault”. This transitioned seamlessly into the next article discussed, this time from the Sydney Morning Herald, but, once again, concerning climate change.
Presenter Emma Rebellato introduced the final story with the line “We’re going to head now to The Guardian”. It seems Ms Rebellato had forgotten that they had just left it. Apparently, the ABC’s idea of a discussion of “what’s making news” is to have a staff member from a left-wing think tank on to discuss articles from The Guardian – another example of what MWD has called The Guardian/ABC Axis.
As avid readers are well aware, a certain William (Bill) Thompson – a Melburnian who identifies as the ABC’s Southbank Correspondent – set up the “Outside Insiders” video segment some years ago. This is a print edition of the Bill Thompson initiative to report on the ABC TV Insiders program. Mr Thompson remains in situ in Melbourne but Insiders has fled Melbourne and, consequently, will now be loosed from the troublesome Bill Thompson.
MR SPEESY GOES (BACK) TO CANBERRA
Media Watch Dog is wary about making predictions – especially about the future (as the saying goes). However, Gerard Henderson was of the view that David Speers – who left Sky News in Canberra to become presenter of the ABC TV Insiders program based in Melbourne – would soon tire of journalistic life in Hendo’s hometown.
Speersy – as he likes to be called – enjoyed the political gossip and consequent bonhomie that is part of Parliament House Canberra, the seat of the Canberra Bubble. Melbourne, on the other hand, is a large and busy city.
Your man Speers left his Sky News job in Canberra to be relocated to Melbourne where he commenced presenting Insiders in 2020. In short, he lasted a mere three years there. Speersy moved back to Canberra last year. And, not long after, Insiders moved to Canberra.
On 5 July, ABC Communications released a statement which read in part:
ABC national political flagship program Insiders starts a new chapter this weekend with anchor David Speers presenting the first program from its new base in the nation’s capital. This Sunday’s episode will be the first from the recently upgraded ABC Canberra studio after a huge logistical effort over the past two weeks.
In addition to his Insiders hosting duties, the ABC has asked Speers to take on an expanded role in our federal political coverage and within the ABC’s Canberra Parliament House bureau as ABC News’ National Political Lead.
“It’s terrific to have the program that’s all about the nation’s politics now based right in the centre of the action,” Speers said. “As Australians wrestle with hugely important issues around the cost of living, housing, climate change, the Indigenous Voice, and many others, the Insiders team will be on the ground to help them navigate how the policies and politics are impacting the nation and people’s lives. “I’m also really pleased to have an expanded presence within the bureau. The ABC Parliament House team is a powerhouse of incredibly talented and dedicated journalists.
Well, he would say that. However, Insiders was set up in Melbourne in 2001 in a move to demonstrate that the ABC was not Sydney-centric with its political news emanating from the Canberra Bubble. Now Insiders has junked Melbourne and Speersy has headed back to the Canberra Bubble. The question remains – will the program become more boring now that Mr Speers has gone (back) to Canberra?
This overwhelmingly popular segment of Media Watch Dog usually works like this. Someone or other thinks it would be a you-beaut idea to write to Gerard Henderson about something or other. And Hendo, being a courteous and well-brought up kind of guy, replies. Then, hey presto, the correspondence is published in MWD – much to the delight of its avid readers.
There are occasions, however, when (the late) Jackie’s (male) co-owner decides to write a polite note to someone or other – who, in turn, believes that a reply is in order. Publication in MWD invariably follows. There are, alas, some occasions where Hendo sends a polite but does not receive the courtesy of a reply. Nevertheless, publication of this one-sided correspondence still takes place. For the record – and in the public interest, of course.
GERARD HENDERSON AND PROFESSOR JEREMY GANS
In his column in The Weekend Australian on 1-2 July 2023, Gerard Henderson referred to Melbourne Law School Professor Jeremy Gans’ comments on the High Court’s decision in George Pell v The Queen. Professor Gans was of the view that more content from his tweets should have been cited. He made the same comment with reference to some of his tweets which have been cited in past issues of Media Watch Dog. Henderson wrote to the professor early on 7 July. Now read on:
Dear Professor Gans
I refer to my column in The Weekend Australian on 1-2 July titled “Two standards of justice in the Garden State”. As you will be aware, I argued that there appears to be two standards of justice in Victoria.
The focus was on the decision of the DPP Kerri Judd KC to prosecute Cardinal George Pell – despite the lack of witnesses or forensic evidence. And the decision of Ms Judd not to prosecute anyone with respect to the Lawyer X case and Victoria Police – despite a 5000 page brief of evidence prepared by Geoffrey Nettle, the Special Investigator of the Office of the Special Investigator.
As you know, Mr Nettle was one of the High Court justices who delivered the unanimous decision in George Pell v The Queen which quashed Pell’s conviction.
My attention has been drawn to a tweet you put out on 1 July concerning my column which read as follows:
@jeremy_gans Jul 1
“Shortly before the judgment was delivered, Melbourne Law School professor Jeremy Gans tweeted that all seven judges “were really on top of the factual details … way more than … Judd”.”: https://theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/two-standards-ofjustice-in-victoria/news-story/46c451d805a5e9650625352729be83a8
No link to the tweet, and that’s a big pity.
You’ll see that Henderson omitted my self-deprecation.
But he also omitted the very next tweet…
As you are aware, I write for The Australian’s print edition – and my column also appears online not long after. Like other print newspapers, The Australian does not publish links. As you know, the full tweet which I referred to was as follows:
@jeremy_gans Apr 6, 2020
Fourth, the next day we learnt that the answer was: no! Every judge asked Kerri Judd incredibly detailed questions about the evidence, especially the various ‘alibi’ and ‘timing’ witnesses. They were really on top of the factual details, way more than me… and Judd.
I note that you have not said that I misquoted you in my column. Your essential point is that I omitted your self-deprecation. You also expressed the view that I should have included this tweet you put out immediately following the one quoted above:
@jeremy_gans 5:53 PM · Apr 6, 2020
(By the way, I DON’T think Judd did a bad job. The judges’ questions were about what they were interested in, but Judd couldn’t have known that going in and could scarcely know every line of a VERY complex case, while simultaneously arguing the Crown case. But..)
In response to your tweet of last Saturday, I make the following points:
- I regarded the Twitter thread you put out on 6 April 2020 as both valuable and perceptive. Its value was re-enforced by the fact that you have always been objective when discussing the charges against Cardinal George Pell.
- I acknowledge your self-deprecation. It is somewhat unexpected in an academic of your standing. However, my criticism was directed at the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions and the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd KC. It was not focused on you – in either a positive or negative way.
- I quoted you as a well-qualified academic lawyer whose opinions are of value. For this reason, I was not interested in the fact that, as you acknowledge, your predictions in this case were off the mark.
As I understand it, you attended the hearings of George Pell v The Queen in the High Court of Australia. However, your situation was dramatically different to that of the Victorian DPP who chose to argue the Crown’s case in the High Court.
Kerri Judd KC had access to the transcripts of the hearings in the Magistrates’ Court, the District Court – both of the first trial (where there was a hung jury) and the second trial (where Pell was convicted after the jury was out for four days) – along with the hearings in the Victorian Court of Appeal. Also, Ms Judd had access to all the witness statements along with the full video and transcript of the complainant’s evidence in the first trial (as you know, a video of his evidence was shown in the second trial). The complainant’s comments in court have never been released to the media or the general public.
And then there is the fact that the DPP had the assistance of staff from the OPP. Even so, the following exchange occurred early in the hearings – as I document in my book Cardinal Pell, The Media Pile-On & Collective Guilt:
Nettle J: ….There was also some evidence I think from the complainant that there were other priests in operation on the day, those days. Is one entitled to infer from that that other priests would have processed in with the altar boys into the priests’ sacristy and have then begun to unchange, as Monsignor Portelli said that they did?
Ms Judd: I do not think it was ever definite that there were other priests on those days and
Nettle J: The complainant said that there were other priests on those two days.
Ms Judd: There would have been. McGlone said certainly for one of the days – there is a lot of material here.
Nettle J: There is a lot.
Kiefel CJ: You are not the only one who has a lot of material, Ms Judd, but you are supposed to be taking us through it efficiently.
Ms Judd: I am trying to take you through it efficiently.
Nettle J: Perhaps you can leave that to later, if it would suit you. You go ahead on your own pace.
Ms Judd: I have got a lot of helpers. I just have to know which one to go to….
It was not an impressive performance by Ms Judd – and it was unusual for a Chief Justice to dress down a DPP in such a manner. There were similar exchanges with other justices (including Nettle J.) where Ms Judd failed to adequately explain the prosecution’s case.
- The fact is that, on reading the transcript ofGeorge Pell v The Queen, it does demonstrate that all seven judges of the High Court were really on top of the factual details of the case – way more than Kerri Judd KC. Which is what you tweeted about on 6 April 2020.
- Certainly, later in your thread, you tweeted that you did not believe that “Judd did a bad job”. That’s your opinion. In my column, I quoted your assessment of the capacity of all seven judges to get across the factual details of the case in a way that far exceeded Ms Judd’s capacity. That’s a different point. Having read the transcript of the hearings, I regard the DPP as having put in a poor performance. She even changed the Crown’s position during the hearings.
- In my view, the essential problem with Kerri Judd’s performance is that she was unable to explain how the alleged crimes could have taken place. But that’s my opinion. In my column, I cited you saying that all seven judges were “way more” on top of the factual details of the case than Ms Judd. I concur with this analysis.
- I note that in yourTwitterthread of last Saturday you also refer to similar comments I made about your assessment of the Victorian DPP – in an interview on the IPA blog in April and in my Media Watch Dog blog in June. I stand by both comments as correctly summarising your assessment of the performance of all seven High Court judges in George Pell v The Queen – when contrasted with that of Kerri Judd KC.
- As indicated earlier, my essential criticism of Kerri Judd KC’s decision not to lay charges in the Lawyer X matter turns on an apparent double standard as to what was convincing evidence in that case – compared with that in the Pell Case. Geoffrey Nettle, in his capacity as head of the Office of Special Investigator, believed that there was sufficient evidence to get convictions in the Lawyer X case. Kerri Judd disagreed – but she took a much weaker case against Pell and failed (with Nettle J. as part of the Seven to Zip High Court decision.)
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In conclusion I should state that I do admire the role you take as a law professor in explaining certain legal cases to the general public.
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Until next time.
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