GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 676

12 April 2024

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  • CHRIS UHLMANN JOINS SKY NEWS AND PRAISES ITS DIVERSITY OF VIEWS (WHICH DOES NOT EXIST ON THE ABC)

The big (Australian) journalistic news of the week is that Chris Uhlmann – formerly of the ABC and Network 9 – has joined Sky News as a political commentator.

Uhlmann told The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth on Friday 12 April that “many have noted the [Sky] network…encourages robust, opinionated debate”.   He also referred to the diverse opinions that are on the station including during the 2023 referendum on The Voice – where presenters included Peta Credlin (a “No” supporter) and Chris Kenny (a “Yes” backer).

There was not such diversity of opinion at the ABC, where not one ABC presenter indicated that they supported “No”.  Also, Sky News’ regular contributors include such left-of-centre types as Graham Richardson, Stephen Conroy, Linda Scott, Joe Hildebrand and Nicholas Reece. The ABC, on the other hand, is a Conservative Free Zone without one conservative presenter or regular contributor for any of its prominent news and current affairs programs.

The taxpayer funded public broadcaster sometimes wonders why it is losing viewers/listeners.  The answer, in part, is that so many traditional conservative viewers/listeners have abandoned the ABC and paid a subscription to watch Sky News.

  • SASSY SARA’S MORAL EQUIVALENCE RE THE ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

This is how ABC Radio National Breakfast presenter Sally Sara (who is standing in for Patricia Karvelas) introduced her interview with Coalition frontbencher James Paterson on Friday 12 April:

Sally Sara: The October 7 attacks in Israel have exposed cracks in Australia’s own social cohesion. The war in Gaza has led to the deaths of at least 30,000 Palestinians and of course more than 1,200 Israelis were killed in the Hamas attacks. All this has fuelled ongoing protests in Australia and a surge in anti-Semitism as well as a rise in Islamophobia.

Talk about moral equivalence.  The war in Gaza commenced when the terrorist entity Hamas broke a ceasefire and invaded southern Israel – killing civilians (including children), raping women and taking hostages.  The death of at least 30,000 Palestinians is an estimate of the local Gaza health department which is controlled by Hamas.  Also, Sally Sara did not mention that a large proportion of the Palestinian dead are Hamas fighters killed in war.  Tragically, as in all wars, innocent civilians also die.

Moreover, it is misleading to equate anti-Semitism in contemporary Australia with Islamophobia.  There have been no marches in the streets calling “Where’s the Muslims” (or, perhaps “Kill the Muslims”). And Jewish Australians have not attempted to intimidate Muslim Australians by driving through certain suburbs or demonstrating outside mosques.

Many Jewish Australians no longer feel safe in their own country.  This is not the case with respect to Muslim Australians. Senator Paterson handled the interview well – taking on Sally Sara’s moral equivalence.  But Ms Sara should be able to present greater balance in her journalism.

  • SARAH FERGUSON DEFIES KIM WILLIAM’S CALL FOR FAIR-MINDED REPORTING

Media Watch Dog has constantly argued that the ABC chair and board cannot run the taxpayer funded public broadcaster since only management can do this.  The essential problem is that the ABC is a staff collective – or soviet.

Kim Williams, ABC’s new chair, recently gave an interview with former ABC journalist Monica Attard. It went on her Fourth Estate podcast and was reported in The Australian on 25 March.  Mr Williams told Ms Attard that he had little tolerance for reporters who failed to be objective and stressed the importance of staff always aspiring to be “fair-minded”. He added: “If you don’t want to reflect a view that aspires to impartiality – don’t work at the ABC.”

The evidence suggests that some high profile ABC presenters do not agree with Kim Williams. Here’s how Sarah Ferguson concluded an interview with Israel Defence Forces’ Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner on 8 April.  The colonel said, among other things, that the IDF strike against an aid convoy – which, tragically, killed a number of aid workers including an Australian – was a mistake due to the fog of war.

This is how the 7.30 presenter terminated the interview:

Sarah Ferguson: Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, I am not accepting your view that it’s a mistake. There is a lot further to go with this story but thank you very much indeed for joining us.

This was not a fair-minded response to an interview in which Sarah Ferguson concluded by stating that her opinion – rather than allowing viewers to form their own conclusion. Kim Williams has a big task ahead of him.

 

  • AUSTRALIA’S “MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE” REVEALS STEVE CAREY’S SHOPPING HABITS

The ABC presents itself as “Australia’s most trusted news source”.  Despite the fact that it finishes third behind Network 7 and Network 9 in the evening TV news bulletins.  Which suggests that the powers-that-be at the ABC reckon that a majority of Australians are so stupid that they watch news bulletins that they trust less than the one they trust more – the ABC. How about that?

It was Hangover  Time on Monday 8 April when Ellie’s (male) co-owner turned on the ABC TV Breakfast program about the time of the “Newspapers” segment which airs at around 6.45 am. The guest commentator was Steve Carey who identifies as a media trainer.

After a discussion about nothing much at all, your man Carey looked briefly at the interim report by Craig  Emerson into the proposal that a mandatory food and grocery code of conduct be established.  After a brief analysis of what Dr Emerson (for a doctor he is) was on about – Mr Carey decided that viewers (if viewers there were) were really interested in his shopping life-style.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Lisa Millar: Steve, have you changed your shopping habits at all?

Steve Carey: Oh, definitely.

Lisa Millar: Have you?

Steve Carey: Absolutely.

Lisa Millar: In what way?

Steve Carey: I always, now – look, I know it sounds a bit twee –

Lisa Millar: Yeah.

Steve Carey: – but I actually now look at the specials. I look at “No Brand”, and I look at – where am I going to make the saving? And I actually shop around. So, it actually has changed.

Lisa Millar: I will often go for the odd bods, or whatever they call them –

Steve Carey: Yep.

Lisa Millar: at various stores, with the fruit and vegetables.

Steve Carey: Yeah. They may not look quite right, but they taste [inaudible].

Emma Rebellato: Oh, I love those odd carrots that you get.

Steve Carey: [laughing]

Emma Rebellato: But I’ve also been seeking out farmers’ markets, as well.

Steve Carey: Yep.

Emma Rebellato: Because you can often get –

Steve Carey: [interjecting] Oh, that’s a great idea.

And so, it went on. And on.  And on.  Here was the ABC in full flight as Australia’s most trusted news source – for anyone who is interested in a media trainer’s shopping habits.  It was “twee”, to be sure.  Which raises the question:  Can You Bear It?

  • LECH BLAINE’S (ABUSE-RIDDEN) QUARTERLY ESSAY “BAD COP” ON PETER DUTTON FALSELY IMPLIES THAT SCOTT MORRISON WENT TO A PRIVATE SCHOOL 

Gerard Henderson critiqued the recently released Quarterly Essay in his Weekend Australian  column on 6 April.  Quarterly Essay is published by Black Inc, located in the Melbourne inner-city suburb of Collingwood (aka Sandalista Land).  Comrade Erik Jensen is editor-in-chief of Black Inc publications and Comrade Chris Feik is its editor of Quarterly Essay.

The current Quarterly Essay, written by Lech Blaine, is titled “Bad Cop:  Peter Dutton’s Strongman Politics”.  Comrade Blaine has written for such left-wing publications as The Guardian, The Monthly and Griffith Review along with Quarterly Essay.  You get the picture.  Quarterly Essay is a publication of the left, by the left, for the left.

Quarterly Essay’s “Bad Cop” is a book which can be judged by its cover.  Dutton, a one-time Queensland detective, is presented as a “bad cop” – a pejorative term.  Indeed “Bad Cop” is a hatchet job on the Liberal Party leader.  It commences with a reference to Dutton’s (alleged) “resting death stare” and ends by stating that “the man is small and scared”.

This is just abuse.  The author would have been well advised to delete such unprofessional writing. But Media Watch Dog is pleased Comrades Jensen and Chris Feik did not do so – since your man has provided such good copy for Hendo.

It seems that Quarterly Essay does not employ a fact checker.  In a familiar left-wing put-down of private schools, on Page 3, Blaine refers to Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey as “North Shore private school boys”.  These “boys” were born in 1957 and 1965 respectively.

The author then writes that Abbott and Hockey “were replaced as prime minister and treasurer by Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, GPS boys from Sydney’s eastern suburbs”. Get it?  The implication is that they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths – as the saying goes.

Certainly, Mr Turnbull’s father ended up a wealthy man – and Malcolm attended Sydney Grammar School.  Mr Morrison’s father was a policeman – and Scott Morrison attended Sydney Boys High School.

Some readers of “Bad Cop” (if readers there are) might assume that GPS schools in Sydney are all private schools.  All except one are – the exception is the state (or government) Sydney Boys High School.

By the way, the full title of this group of nine GPS schools is the Athletic Association of Great Public Schools – AAGPS or GPS (as the organisation is commonly referred to).  Here the word “public” reflects the word-usage common in England where the most expensive private schools are referred to as “public” schools.

In fact, it is widely known that Scott Morrison was educated at Sydney Boys High School.  Clearly Lech Blaine did not consult Who’s Who in Australia or even do a web search before implying that he attended a private school. Can You Bear It?

[No, not really – now that you ask.  I note that, on Page 3, Comrade Blaine sneers at the late B.A. (Bob) Santamaria by asserting without evidence that he ran “anti-abortion boot camps”.  This is just anti-Catholic sectarianism.  Perhaps you should publish all of the author’s abuse in “Bad Cop” in your next issue. – MWD Editor.]

  • THE MONTHLY’s SEAN KELLY DECLARES THAT WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN PRIME MINISTERS – BUT THEN WRITES AT LENGTH ABOUT SCOTT MORRISON 

Sean Kelly is a Media Watch Dog fave. Why? – Ellie’s (male) co-owner hears avid readers cry.  Well, it’s this.  Kelly – a columnist for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald – managed to be a media adviser to both Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.  It is known that the former Labor Party prime ministers had a somewhat difficult relationship.  But your man Kelly managed to move from the Gillard camp to the Rudd camp – or was it the other way around?  A political survivor, that’s for sure.

The April 2024 edition of The Monthly (editor-in-chief Erik Jensen, editor Michael Williams) has as its lead story an article by Comrade Kelly headed “How Morrison Changed Politics”.  As would be expected of a leftist commentary in a leftist magazine, this is a hatchet job on a former Liberal Party prime minister by a leftist scribbler.

Sean Kelly writes that the effect of listening to Morrison’s speech “is of constantly being gaslit”.  And the former prime minister is described as “a madman”.  There is more of this in Kelly’s rant.  But it is not long before The Monthly’s essay on Morrison becomes all about John Howard, Australia’s second-longest serving prime minister, and includes a critical reference to current Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton.

Confused?  MWD certainly was. For example, Kelly writes about prime ministers that “we are not interested in who they are, not really”.  Really?  Then why write an article about them?

In fact, Comrade Kelly is so interested in prime ministers that he has written a book about one. The reference is to Sean Kelly’s The Game: A Portrait of Scott Morrison (Black Inc, 2021).  Needless to say, it was a hatchet job.  Which explains why it was endorsed by such Morrison-antagonists as Niki Savva, Barrie Cassidy and Tom Ballard.

As some MWD readers may recall, Kelly was so interested in the man who likes to be called ScoMo that he used to dream about him.  Turn to page 252 of The Game [I doubt that anyone got that far. MWD Editor.] and this is what the author had to say:

In this dream, I interacted with Morrison, but the more notable fact was that, after a little while, people began mistaking me for him.  People would come up to me on the street and ask to have their pictures taken with me; I would have to remove my baseball cap to show them that I was not, in fact, Scott Morrison.  At one point in the dream, I looked at myself in the mirror and I could see why this kept happening: the resemblance is uncanny.

It’s not clear what Comrade Kelly was on about here – or, indeed, what he was on.  It’s one thing to have a nightmare about being Scott Morrison. It’s quite something else to disclose it.

It would seem that Comrades Jensen and Williams are of the view that Morrison is best referenced with respect to nightmares. For example, see the pic below. Kelly’s story in The Monthly is illustrated by James Brickwood’s pic of Morrison as a kind of Dracula in a suit and tie with mad eyes.  Apparently, it is an attempt by The Monthly to prove Sean Kelly’s claim that Morrison is “a madman”.  How about that?  More importantly, Can You Bear It?

Former Liberal Party prime minister Scott Morrison as illustrated by photographer James Brickwood in The Monthly’s April 2024 edition.

 

  • CRIKEY WALKS BACK ITS SUPPORT FOR CHUNDERING IN SOMEONE ELSE’S TAXI

As avid readers may recall, On 14 March 2024 Gerard Henderson AC (aka Always Courteous) criticised an article by Crikey contributor Michael Bradley – who praised the fact that Matildas’ star Sam Kerr had chundered in a London cab.  Your man Bradley is the managing partner of Marque Lawyers. This sludge was published in Crikey on 8 March 2024.

Hendo made the point that it was all very well for the well-heeled Bradley to celebrate Kerr’s vomit – but added that the leftist lawyer did not have to clean up the mess and did not lose money due to the incident.

Thanks to the avid reader who drew MWD’s attention to an article written by Steve Cornelius (who presents as a Crikey reader) in the newsletter on 26 March.  Mr Cornelius, a former Sydney taxi driver, wrote as a vomitee, and not as a vomiter. He had this to say about the impact of vomiting in a taxi cab:

For the cabbie, it’s up there in the C-Range (C for catastrophic). First, they have to clean the stinking cab up.  This effectively means taking it to the car wash so that professional cleaners can do it properly, using disinfectants, fragrant sprays and driers, and long lasting, nice smelling stuff. That takes time to find, especially late at night, and costs a motza. Just as significantly, it robs them of working time, which destroys a day’s pay.  A disaster whichever way you look at it.

Mr Cornelius’ contribution demonstrates just how out-of-touch Michael Bradley and Crikey editor Sophie Black are with those who work in the service industry.  Ask yourself – what would this duo say if someone threw up in the office of Marque Lawyers or, er, Crikey.  Now ask: Can You Bear It?

 

  • ALL DULL ON THE INSIDERS’  FRONT – EXCEPT FOR THE DAVID SPEERS/KAREN MIDDLETON CONSTITUTIONAL HOWLER

For several years Media Watch Dog has maintained that ABC TV’s Insiders  program – which the taxpayer funded public broadcaster presents as “Australia’s flagship political discussion program” – is somewhat dull and predictable.

It would seem that the ABC regards a program where a group of mainly Canberra- based journalists from the Canberra Press Gallery get together and discuss Australian national politics concerning which they invariably agree – from a left-of-centre perspective. In fact, very few of the Insiders panel have been “political insiders” in the genuine sense of the term – since very few have worked inside politics or in the public service. Consequently, they have limited experience about decision making in government.

There is scant disagreement on Insiders – which makes it somewhat predictable.  Sure, there are a few lively types – the zany Samantha Maiden (political editor of news.com.au) comes immediately to mind – and the likes of Jennifer Hewett (Australian Financial Review) and Paul Sakkal (Nine Newspapers) on occasions present unfashionable views.

But, for the most part, Insiders is as flat as would be expected when almost everyone agrees with almost everyone else on almost everything.

Moreover, in 2023 the Insiders panel was replete with antagonists of Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton. The list included, in order of appearance, Amy Remeikis, Annabel Crabb, Bridget Brennan, Dana Morse, David Crowe, Fran Kelly, John Paul Janke, Karen Middleton, Katharine Murphy (who now works for Anthony Albanese), Laura Tingle, Lenore Taylor, Mark Kenny, Niki Savva, Osman Faruqi, Sean Kelly and Shane Wright.

MWD is not aware of anyone on the Insiders “couch” who could be accurately classified as an Anthony Albanese antagonist.  How about that for ABC “political balance”? – in view of the fact that slightly over 50 per cent of Australians support the Albanese government while slightly under 50 per cent support the Dutton-led opposition.

As to Peter Dutton supporters, well, Greg Sheridan, who made a couple of appearances on Insiders last year, supports Dutton on some matters – but opposes him on others.  He is not a barracker for Dutton. So, on last year’s Insiders panels, there were around 16 Dutton-antagonists but not one Albanese-antagonist.

Now Ellie’s (male) co-owner is not an ideological fan of the leftist Crikey newsletter.  But it is appropriate to report that Crikey is critical of Insiders – albeit for different reasons than MWD.  Believe it or not, Crikey reckons that Insiders is too, er, Rupert Murdoch.  This is how Christopher Warren, Crikey’s media correspondent, commenced an article in the newsletter on 26 March:

The ABC’s political reporting is broken. How to fix it? Take the advice given to all budding writers and kill your darlings — starting with the flagship, Insiders.

It’s been sad to watch the program tilt from its must-watch lifting of the lid of Parliament House, with a teaser on what’s likely to happen next, into an after-the-fact laundering of the ABC’s passive acceptance of News Corp’s judgments on what constitutes news.  The Murdoch media innovation was to recognise it could take the semiotics of traditional news — its look and feel — and use them to masquerade the campaigning media voice of the populist right.

Gee, the Murdoch media must be oh-so-powerful.  Despite the fact that in 2023 only about a half a dozen of 40-plus Insiders panellists worked for News Corp – Comrade Warren reckons it sets the agenda of Insiders (producer Samuel Clark, presenter David Speers).  According to Crikey’s media correspondent, News Corp can determine Insiders’ agenda – despite the fact that most News Corp journalists and columnists never get invited on to the program.

Your man Warren wrote nothing about Samuel Clark.  But he did suggest that David Speers is a bit of a lightweight.  And he quoted one-time Australian editor David Armstrong as saying: “He [Speers] is interested in superficial political analysis because he is incapable of delving deeply into policy.” [That may be true.  But is it Rupert’s fault? – MWD Editor.]

Certainly, Speers is no towering presence in the Canberra Press Gallery as were the likes of Paul Kelly, Michelle Grattan and Laurie Oakes at a similar age.  All of whom had written substantial books when they were around Speers’ age. Moreover, all of this trio would have understood the role of the governor-general – unlike your man Speers.

On Insiders on 7 April, David Speers had this discussion on the role of the governor-general with The Guardian Australia’s Karen Middleton. This followed the Prime Minister’s announcement that Sam Mostyn would take up the position as of 1 July 2024:

Karen Middleton: …But to the point of the constitutionality point and the role of the governor-general. I think we’ve seen that come back into focus with the revelations about [Scott] Morrison’s secret ministries – and the questions raised of the role of the Governor-General [David Hurley] there. I’m sure this will be a front-of-mind issue in question to Sam Mostyn and the circumstances surrounding that. I can’t imagine this [Albanese] government would repeat this and the fallout from that. But there is a question about when is a governor-general prepared to push back on a government and what that looks like. And these are all questions that we don’t really sort of have clear answers for.

David Speers: Well, hopefully if the Prime Minister’s been secretly appointed to a ministry the Governor-General might actually let us know about…

Karen Middleton :  I think that was the conclusion the public came to.

What a load of absolute tosh.  The governor-general is entitled to advise the prime minister. But no governor-general  would do – as Middleton and Speers suggested – and let her/his private advice be known to the public at large concerning advice given to a prime minister (which is different from a governor-general’s ability to invoke the reserve powers – as Sir John Kerr did on 11 November 1975).

When the error was made, executive producer Samuel Clark did not send a message to Speers that he and Middleton made a constitutional blunder. Who is to blame for Speers’ ignorance in this instance?  MWD blames Speers.  But Warren would seem to blame the Murdoch media – despite the fact that no News Corp types were on the panel. Fancy that.

 

Media Watch Dog’s Five Paws Award was inaugurated in Issue Number 26 (4 September 2009) during the time of Nancy (2004-2017). The first winner was then ABC TV presenter Emma Alberici.  Ms Alberici scored for remembering the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 23 August 1939 whereby Hitler and Stalin divided Eastern Europe between Germany and the Soviet Union.  And for stating that the Nazi-Soviet Pact had effectively started the Second World War, since it was immediately followed by Germany’s invasion of western Poland (at a time when the Soviet Union had become an ally of Germany). Soon after, the USSR invaded eastern Poland in accordance with the protocols of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

Over the years, the late Nancy’s Five Paws Award has become one of the world’s most prestigious gongs – rating just below the Nobel Prize and Academy Awards.

  • ZANY SAMANTHA MAIDEN STARS WITH A LIVELY PERFORMANCE WHILE  ON A PANEL WITH THE PREDICTABLE DAVID SPEERS

While on the topic of zany Samantha Louise Therese Maiden – here’s what news.com.au’s political editor had to say on ABC Radio National Breakfast slot on Friday 12 April – which she shares with Insiders presenter David Speers. Your man Speers was at his mediocre best (or worst) when discussing Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s speech of 11 April titled A Future Made in Australia.  However, the segment became lively when news.com.au’s political editor weighed in.

Let’s go to the transcript where RN Breakfast  presenter Sally Sara asks Ms Maiden what she (really) thought of the PM’s speech – which was delivered in Brisbane on 11 April:

Sally Sara: … How much substance and detail is there behind this speech?

Samantha Maiden: Not a lot. Maybe there will be more in the Budget. I’ve got to say, I sat down and tried to read this speech this week and it was just full of so much jargon and gobbledegook that I really felt at points that I was going to lose the urge to live. I then basically rang the Prime Minister’s Office and said: “What does this mean?” Like “what are you saying?” It’s like an episode of Utopia – it’s all this stuff about “clear-eyed”, you know, about the economy – what, are you going to be uncleared-eyed about the economy?

And so, to be honest, I was somewhat buoyed by the intervention of the new Productivity Commission chair Danielle Wood who talked about hidden costs of this sort of future made process – And some of the concerns that they have that could divert investment from more productive parts of the economy. Because I thought that maybe my instincts are correct that this is waffle. I mean, this did have the air of political onanism. And I think that your listeners are very highly educated and they’ll know what I mean.

Yes, we know what she means.

Samantha Maiden: Five Paws for being lively and unfashionable.

 

  • IN WHICH COMRADE MIDDLETON STEPS IN FOR COMRADE MURPHAROO AS THE GUARDIAN’s  COMRADE ON ABC TV’s INSIDERS

While on the topic of the Karen Middleton/David Speers exchange on the ABC TV Insiders on 7 April, wasn’t it great to see The Guardian/ABC Axis back in action?

During 2023, Katharine Murphy appeared on Insiders in her capacity as The Guardian Australia’s political editor.  But, as avid readers know, she took up a position as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s media adviser.  Murpharoo, as she likes to be called, was one of the several Guardian journalists on the Insiders’ panel despite the fact that it is a relatively small newspaper.

What to do in the absence of Comrade Murphy?  Well, The Guardian Australia’s editor Lenore (“Sure The Guardian’s founder in Manchester made his money from the slave trade but that was a long time ago”) Taylor reached out (as the cliché goes) and reicruited Karen Middleton from the leftist The Saturday Paper to replace Comrade Murphy on the avowedly leftist The Guardian Australia.  Consequently, The Guardian/ABC Axis did not lose a comrade.

And so it came to pass that Sunday 7 April saw the return of The Guardian/ABC Axis.  

Karen Middleton was on the panel with ABC presenter Speers. And The Guardian’s photographic editor Michael Bowers presented the “Talking Pictures” segment.  That’s 50 per cent of Insiders talent from The Guardian or the ABC.

The Guardian/ABC Axis is bad for the ABC which is already a conservative-free-zone.  But it’s good for MWD since it invariably provides great material. So, Ellie’s (male co-owner) hopes that the ABC Soviet keeps The Guardian/ABC Axis in operation.

 

YOUR TAXES AT WORK

  • QUELLE SURPRISE!  BARRIE CASSIDY HAND-PICKS HIS FAVE JOURNALIST COMRADES FOR A DISCUSSION ON AUSTRALIAN POLITICS

Caroline Overington, The Australian’s literary editor, revealed on Saturday 6 April – the Melbourne Writers’ Festival “has banned all questions from the audience at all of this year’s sessions, regardless of the topic”. This despite the fact, as pointed out in Media Watch Dog on 22 March, the 2024 MWF is another taxpayer funded leftist stack.  Ms Overington reports that “this move comes after writers’ festivals in Perth and Cairns were disrupted by anti-Israel protesters”.

Since most writers’ festivals are leftist stacks it would seem that the MWF is concerned that anti-Israel (including anti-Semitic) demonstrators will put pressure on speakers whom they believe are not sufficiently anti-Israel.

Meanwhile, thanks to an avid MWD reader who provided MWD with the expensive print edition of the program titled Sydney Writers’ Festival May 2024: Take me away.  As previously mentioned, MWD’s fave session is this one on Sunday 26 May:

How about that?  The former Bob Hawke staffer “hand-picked a squad of the country’s sharpest pundits”, all of whom happen to be left-of-centre types and/or antagonists of recent Liberal Party leaders Scott Morrison or Peter Dutton.

There will not be much disagreement as Comrades Barrie Cassidy (ex-ABC), Bridget Brennan (ABC), Amy Remeikis (The Guardian), Niki Savva (The Age & Sydney Morning Herald) and Laura Tingle (ABC) “relive all the thrills and spills of the year in Australian politics”. There is not a conservative among this soviet.  So stand by for “thrills and spills” as Bridget agrees with Amy who agrees with Niki who agrees with Laura who agrees with Barrie who agrees with himself.

Clearly the 2024 Sydney Writers Festival is only prepared to spend taxpayers’ money on left-of-centre talk fests which conservatives are not invited.  It’s a bit like a secular church.

But – It’s Your Taxes At Work.

 

NEW SEGMENT: SNOB OF THE WEEK

  • THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW RUNS LETTER-WRITER’S  (ELITIST) VIEW THAT ONLY THE “EDUCATED” ARE WORTH BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY

On 4 April 2024, John Roskam in his regular Australian Financial Review column criticised Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s decision to appoint Sam Mostyn as Australia’s next governor-general.  MWD does not intend to get into this argument. However, MWD was interested in one letter which the powers-that-be at the AFR chose to publish.  Here’s how it commenced:

John Roskam’s attack on incoming governor-general Sam Mostyn (“Chairman’s Lounge takes over”) was unremarkable, particularly given he is a “senior fellow” at the Institute of Public Affairs. But his claim that “the overwhelming majority of Australians … don’t share [her] interpretation of Australia’s history” was truly startling and offensive to educated Australians….

Stephen Norrish

Culburra Beach, NSW

First, note that the term “senior fellow” was placed in inverted commas as a form of attack.  But Roskam is an IPA senior fellow.  Then there was the claim that “educated Australians” are so clever that they have a certain view on Australian history which equals that of Stephen Norrish of Culburra Beach (on the NSW South Coast).

So, there you have it.  Stephen Norrish Esq, divides Australia into two groups.  First up, there are “the educated” like Mr Norrish. And there are the “uneducated” whose views are not worth listening to.

Apart from the fact that the Squire of Culburra Beach seems to overlook the fact that Roskam is educated – Norrish presents as an educated snob who takes offence at those who disagree with him.  But the AFR ran this tosh on its Letters Page.

[Perhaps you should have placed this in your (hugely) popular Can You Bear It? segment.  Just a thought.  MWD Editor.]

Until next time.