ISSUE – NO. 690

19 July 2024

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Media Watch Dog just loves it when Kirsten Diprose does the Newspapers segment on ABC TV’s News Breakfast.  She invariably presents as someone who lives on a farm in Victoria’s western district.  Fair enough.  But no one seems to mention that Ms Diprose is a former full-time ABC journalist who currently not only co-hosts a podcast but also occasionally co-hosts ABC Radio Melbourne’s The Conversation Hour.

Kirsten Diprose is yet further evidence of the fact that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster is a bit like the Hotel California – you can check out of the ABC but you can never leave.

Let’s go to the transcript – covering the start of the Diprose Report on 19 July:

Emma Rebellato: Well for a look now at what’s making news in print and online, we are joined by a rural podcaster and PhD candidate at Deakin University, Kirsten Diprose. Kirsten, good morning.

Kirsten Diprose: Good morning Emma.

Emma Rebellato: Okay, so our top story, it’s all about Joe Biden, today. Of course, Donald Trump as well….

How about that?  No mention was made of the fact that Comrade Diprose is a continuing ABC journalist – only that she is doing a Doctorate of Philosophy.  It was not long before Dr Diprose (for a doctor she surely will become) had this to say about the US presidential election campaign:

Kirsten Diprose:  …I’ve been looking at the media in America, so obviously there’s this flurry of reporting on various Democrats and previous supporters, but The New York Times is also doing this look at the Trump campaign and how his rhetoric has changed since his first campaign, his presidency and now this campaign. And it really looks at how it’s actually become a lot more extreme, that he’s really running this line of how the Democrats are running some sort of conspiracy to take control and become an established voting class that you’ll, you know, be unable to get rid of. That Americans will be unable to get rid of. This, of course, is not really backed by any evidence, but that is his line, and it will be interesting to see whether he changes his tune or changes his line….

So, there you have it.  The soon to be learned doctor reckons it is worth reporting that an anonymous writer in the Trump-hating New York Times reckons that the former US president is becoming more extreme and conspiratorial. What’s the evidence for this?  MWD hears avid readers cry.  Well, Kirsten Diprose does not have any. Quelle Surprise!  Here’s hoping that her Ph.D. thesis contains more substantial evidence. Otherwise it will be a case of the continuing Ms Diprose.

This reminds MWD of the interview between Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly on ABC Radio National Saturday Extra on 13 July.  The leftist Kelly was interviewing the left-liberal E.J. Dionne of the Brookings Institution in Washington DC.

This was Comrade Kelly’s entry into the debate about the document Project 2025 which has been put together by the politically conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington DC.

Fran Kelly: Meanwhile, Donald Trump watches on from the sidelines, because this is a contest looming in November, and even with all this distraction, the Democrat machine is cranking up against Donald Trump and the Republicans. And the Project 2025 manifesto, in particular, which Democrats are saying is Trump’s plan for office. It’s actually written by the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation. It says some pretty radical and pretty scary stuff, quite frankly, I think. But last week, Donald Trump said he’s got nothing to do with Project 2025 and disagrees with lots that’s in it. How dangerous is this for Donald Trump at the moment? –

E. J. Dionne: I think his reaction shows that he knows it’s dangerous…

Comrade Kelly is supposed to be a presenter at the ABC.  It’s not her role to express an opinion as to whether Project 2025 – which runs for some 900 pages – consists of “scary stuff”.  As it turned out, the left-of-centre E.J. Dionne (who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and writes a column for the Trump-hating Washington Post) concurred with Comrade Kelly that Project 2025 is “quite radical”. Fancy that. However, there is no evidence that a Trump administration would implement any recommendations of Project 2025.

The Kelly/Dionne interview provided yet another example of the lack of viewpoint diversity at the ABC – in that Fran agreed with E.J. – and E.J. agreed with Fran.


David Speers has announced that his guest on Insiders on Sunday 21 July will be Teal Independent for Goldstein – and former ABC journalist – Zoe Daniel.  She is one of a number of Teal Independents who get interviews – invariably soft ones – on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. This despite the fact that the Teals do not hold the balance of power in the House of Representatives.

On ABC Radio National Breakfast on 19 July the following exchange took place:

Patricia Karvelas: Who’s your guest on Sunday, David?

David Speers: Talking to the independent MP Zoe Daniel on Sunday morning, who, of course, spent a fair bit of time covering the Trump presidency. Bit to discuss there.

Comrade Daniel was the ABC Washington Bureau Chief between December 2013 and December 2019. In other words, she has had no direct knowledge of US politics for some four years. As reported in MWD previously, the “highlight” of Comrade Daniel’s time in the US capital occurred in November 2016 when she interviewed her two children for the taxpayer funded public broadcaster back home. One said “Holy crap” when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. The other was reported to be a fan of the leftist Democrat Bernie Sanders. Frightfully interesting, don’t you think?

It remains to be seen whether the Daniel offspring will rock up on Sunday to be interviewed by Speersy (as he likes to be called) along with their mother. Here’s hoping they do. It could make Insiders less boring than is often the case.


Imogen Crump is very much a Media Watch Dog fave. She presents as the editor of Pursuit, the University of Melbourne multi-media news website.  A former ABC employee, Comrade Crump provides further evidence that the taxpayer funded public broadcaster is a bit like the Hotel California as described in The Eagles’ song – in that you can check out of the ABC but you never leave – re which see Stop Press.

And so, it has come to pass that Imogen Crump is but one of the primarily left-of-centre commentators who rock up at an ABC studio somewhere or other and do the “Newspapers” segment on ABC TV News Breakfast program every now and then.

On Tuesday 16 July, Comrade Crump spoke to co-presenters Emma Rebellato and Lisa Millar in the ABC’s Melbourne studio in inner-city Southbank. Let’s go to the transcript from the start:

Emma Rebellato: And let’s start with Donald Trump. It’s a bit hard to escape at the moment.

Imogen Crump: I know, I wasn’t actually going to do this story because obviously you’re talking to Michael [Rowland]. It’s wall to wall coverage. But what’s really interesting to read in some of today’s papers are the comment sections from readers of the papers. So, getting an insight into how Australians are looking at this. So, as I was going through, I was just kind of reading through the comments. And they’re interesting in themselves as, like I said, just an insight into what people are thinking. So, you know, all sorts of people.

Sounds impressive, eh? But not in reality. The Pursuit editor referred to the contributions of people she named as “David” and “Robert”. What Comrade Crump did not say is that all three commentators had sent letters to The Age in Melbourne, a left-of-centre paper based at the 656 Collins Street Soviet.  Ellie’s (male) co-owner used to call The Age “The Guardian on the Yarra River” – until the original socialist thing came to Australia in the form of The Guardian Australia.

In any event, individuals who get a run on The Age’s Letters Page do not give an insight into how Australians are looking at anything – but might give an idea about what academics and staff at the University of Melbourne are on about.

For those avid readers who are interested, “David” described Donald J. Trump as “notable for his carnival barker flair and propensity to lie, steal, cheat and commit criminal acts with gusto”. That’s all.  And the anonymous guy (in fact he is named “Brian”) described the former United States president as “a multiple civil case fraudster, a jury-convicted election conspirator, an election denier, an insurrection promoter, an avowed retribution seeker and a confirmed believer in presidential immunity from the law”. That’s all, folks.

And then there was “Robert” who, in a somewhat vague letter, criticised the left along with the right.  Unlike “David” and “Brian”, “Robert” did not fang Trump.

From all of the above, the editor at the taxpayer subsidised University came to this conclusion:

Imogen Crump: I mean, it’s a, it’s an historical relationship we’ve got right with them [the United States]. But I think more than that, it’s, you know, the way we’re power-structured in the West. We are somewhat beholden to the US, and whatever, whatever is happening in the US is going to have an impact on us. The same with the UK, same with the Asia Pacific. But we do seem, you’re right, very invested in the US, but I think particularly over the last six years or so more so since Trump originally got into power, there’s that real “what is going on over there” feeling, and people have genuine questions.

What a load of absolute tosh.  Comrade Crump went on ABC News Breakfast to draw a conclusion about the attitude of “people” to the Australian-American alliance with reference to two Trump-haters who wrote to The Age.  Can You Bear It?

[No. Not really – now that you ask. It would seem that the Melbourne University editor is unaware of the interest in Australia in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. I note that Comrade Crump seems to believe that Australia is “beholden” not only to the US but also to Britain and the Asia Pacific (which takes in not only Japan and South Korea but also China and North Korea).  Turn it up. – MWD Editor.]


While on the topic of Nine’s left-of-centre newspapers, did anyone read the Sydney Morning Herald’s editorial on Monday 15 July? – just a day after the attempted assassination of former United States president Donald J. Trump. This is what the SMH editor had to say under the heading “Gunman took aim at values of democracy”:

He [Trump] is the third president to have been attacked by a gunman since John F. Kennedy was killed in 1963. The world has reacted with horror. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined many leaders in condemning the attack, saying there was no place for violence in the democratic process. “This was an inexcusable attack on the democratic values that Australians and Americans share and the freedom that we treasure,” he said. “We must lower [the] temperature of debate. There is nothing to be served by some of the escalation of rhetoric that we see in some of our political debate, political discourse, in the democratic world. It’s a phenomenon that’s not unique to the United States.” The Herald agrees.

Fine sentiments indeed – as stated on Page 20 of the SMH’s edition of 15 July.  But, hang on a minute.  There was also this on Page 21 of the very same newspaper.  It is a letter from Natalia Bradshaw of Potts Point in Sydney – which states in full: “Of course the Democratic Party is battling about this huge issue of whether or not to let Biden continue to lead: the Democrats are far more principled than the current Republicans are, who are allowing an unhinged maniac to represent them and their party.”

So, there you have it.  The SMH editor believes that “we must lower the temperature of debate”. But the SMH Letters editor runs a letter on the same day which refers to Donald J. Trump as an “unhinged maniac”. Which suggests that the SMH editor does not know what the SMH’s  Letters editor is doing. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.  In any event – Can You Bear It?


Raf Epstein, who presents ABC Radio 774’s Melbourne Mornings program, has one thing in common with his colleagues at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.  Namely, he has censored Gerard Henderson’s Cardinal Pell, The Media Pile-On & Collective Guilt in both its original and new updated editions and “cancelled” its author. Indeed, Comrade Epstein told Hendo that it could not possibly find a place to cover his book on his program – which runs for two and a half hours, five times a week. Apparently, there wasn’t time. Really.

Lotsa thanks to a long-lost Melbourne comrade who listened to your man Epstein interview Shane Patton, the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, on Tuesday 16 July.  Let’s go to the transcript where Comrade Epstein talks to Commissioner Patton about the nefarious activities of the construction branch of the Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union – CFMEU:

Raf Epstein: Have you [Victoria Police] failed though? If it takes the media to pull this stuff together, does it mean that federal watchdogs, federal police and state police, you have failed to pull it together?

Shane Patton: Well, Victoria Police can only act when we have matters referred to us. We don’t go actively trawling through union business or conduct with procurements or anything unless it’s reported to us. So no, we haven’t failed at all.

Raf Epstein: Does that mean – because this accusation gets made as well, are you turning a blind eye because it’s too hard, too difficult, don’t want to look at it?

Shane Patton: Oh, well, no. Not at all. As I said, Raf, very, very happy to investigate any criminality that’s reported to us….

Shane Patton’s comment is not true – as Raf Epstein would have known if he had glanced at Gerard Henderson’s book.

As pointed out in Chapter 1 of Cardinal Pell, The Media Pile-On & Collective Guilt, Detective Superintendent Paul Sheridan told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 28 March 2018 that Victoria Police set up Operation Tethering – aimed at investigating Cardinal George Pell, in March 2013.  This was over a year before Victoria Police received its first complaint alleging that Pell had committed an act of historical child abuse.  It came from a man who had been discharged from a psychiatric hospital the previous day – and was soon dropped.

Shane Patton was the deputy commissioner of Victoria Police at the time Operation Tethering was set up – and he later led the Victoria Police team which interviewed Pell in Rome in October 2016. Sheridan said, under oath, that Operation Tethering was set up to investigate whether any crimes committed by Pell had gone unreported. In other words, Victoria Police acted against the Cardinal before any matter concerning Pell was reported to it.

Due to his ignorance of the Pell Case, Raf Epstein did not challenge Commissioner Patton when he (incorrectly) declared on Melbourne Mornings that Victoria Police can only act when it has matters referred to it – and that is why Victoria Police had not investigated the alleged criminal behaviour of the CFMEU.  How hopeless is that?  Which raises another question:  Can You Bear It?



On the evening of Friday 12 July, Mark Humphries made his debut on the 6pm bulletin of Seven News Sydney. The three-minute segment is called the “6:57 News”. Avid readers will recall that Mark Humphries – who, in the late Barry Humphries’ term, identifies as a comedian – produced satirical sketches for ABC TV’s 7.30 program from 2018 to 2023. These sketches generally took one of two forms – either bashing the right from the left or, less often, bashing the left from even further to the left.

In a shocking turn of events, former-Comrade Humphries’ first effort for Seven News managed to avoid taking a left-wing political position, instead focusing on questions around Joe Biden’s age. Sure, this is hardly a new or brave stance to take at the current time – even the ABC has had to begrudgingly admit to Biden’s age issue. And Humphries did throw in one pointless jab about Donald Trump being a convicted felon to end the sketch. Still, it seems likely an ABC version of the sketch would have featured some joke about Rupert Murdoch or Peter Dutton, so some restraint was shown.

Aside from the politics, the sketch was around par for the course among Humphries’ efforts. Biden’s age is a topic that has been joked about endlessly and Humphries did not bother to come up with an original angle on it. Perhaps his only new contribution to the genre was a comparison to the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a reference so dated the film was released shortly after Joe Biden, who was then in his mid-60s, was first elected as Vice-President.

MWD will keep readers up to date on Mark Humphries’ continued efforts to produce comedy outside the public broadcaster.


Gerard Henderson regards David Marr as a bestie, sort of. Why, Hendo still remembers his conversations when he and your man Marr appeared on the ABC TV Insiders couch a couple of times a year in previous decades.  What’s more, Ellie’s (male) co-owner was invited to speak at David Marr’s “wake” on the occasion of his 75th Birthday in July 2022. Except that it wasn’t quite a wake, Hendo was not there in person, and Comrade Marr wasn’t really dead. But then, the ceremony commenced not long after Gin & Tonic Time.

But Media Watch Dog digresses. As avid readers will be aware, David Marr took over Phillip Adams’ little wireless program Late Night Live last Monday. To some extent, this was a disappointment for Hendo.  After all, he had appeared on LNL in 1990 (when interviewed by Vivian Schenker) and again in 2015 (when interviewed by Phillip Adams AO, AM, Hon DUniv (Griffith), Hon DLitt (ECU), Hon DUniv (SA), DLitt [sic] (Syd), Hon. DUniv (Macquarie), FRSA, Hon FAHA.  1990, 2015 – the next LNL appearance was due in 2040. But, alas, the ABC’s Man-In-Black hung up his microphone.  An opportunity lost. Such is life – as the saying goes.

In his column in The Weekend Australian Magazine on 29 June, Comrade Adams wrote that the words “Such is life” were the last utterance of the murderer/bushranger Ned Kelly before he was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880.  However, as the Library of Victoria’s “Ned Kelly Information Sheet” records, these words attributed to Ned Kelly “are now strongly contested and dismissed as invented”. [Please don’t tell Comrade Adams. – MWD Editor.]

Recently, LNL has presented as an Australian Football League team announcement – viz: “In David Marr, Out Phillip Adams”.  However, the importance of ABC executive producers is evident in this changeover.  In that LNL early in the week was just like LNL (aka Late Night Left) the previous week. Here’s why:

  • Monday 15 July. The left-of-centre David Marr interviewed (i) the left-of-centre Laura Tingle on Australian national politics, (ii) the left-of-centre Bruce Shapiro on United States politics after the attempted Trump assassination and (iii) the left-of-centre Andrew Fowler concerning his critique of Australia’s decision to purchase nuclear-powered submarines from the United States/Britain to replace the Collins Class submarines. Namely, AUKUS. Your man Fowler supported Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to purchase conventional subs from France.
  • Tuesday 16 July. The left-of-centre David Marr interviewed the left-of-centre Ian Dunt and the left-of-centre Ros Taylor on British politics in the UK after the general election.

Among the highlights of the discussion were these:

– (i) Dunt described US vice presidential Republican candidate J.D. Vance as a “lunatic and racist”; (ii) Dunt described the UK electoral system as “deranged”.  He added: “It’s the kind of system you’d invent if you were drunk one night at 2 am – but once, you know, in the cold light of day, you would not rationally pick this system. However, it’s one that we have….”

That’s true – it’s the system Britain has.  And it’s also the electoral system that made it possible for Britain to play a key role in the defeat of Nazi Germany – commencing when Britain and the Commonwealth nations virtually stood alone against Nazi Germany in the early years of the Second World War.  The United States was neutral, and the Soviet Union was an ally of Nazi Germany (the Nazi-Soviet Pact and all that) and France had been defeated.

– Ros Taylor described the manifesto of Nigel Farage’s Reform Party as a joke.

– David Marr compared Reform’s tactics with Australia’s Coalition. Let’s go to the transcript:

David Marr: That’s exactly the strategy of the conservative opposition in Australia. They have abandoned – they have abandoned the progressive, educated inner-city, wealthy and are pursuing – are pursuing unhappy people in the suburbs.

And there was this exchange:

David Marr: Am I right, looking at the maps, that London was entirely Labour except for one Independent seat? Is that correct?

Ian Dunt: Oh, there’s a great big patch of Lib. Dem. [Liberal Democrats] support as well. Yes, London is now a very, very, basically a uniformly left-wing city with almost no sign of any right-wing representation whatsoever.

David Marr: Isn’t that extraordinary?

Ian Dunt:  As it should be.

So, there you have it.  David Marr referred to the “progressive, educated, inner-city wealthy” and compared them to the “unhappy people in the suburbs”.  And Ian Dunt reckons that London should be “basically a uniformly left-wing city”.  [Surely, avid MWD readers in the suburbs are not unhappy. MWD Editor.]

In short, LNL is under new management. But it remains absent any viewpoint diversity.

As avid readers are aware, the late Nancy (2004-2017) did not die. In modern terminology she merely “passed” on to the Other Side. Hence MWD has been able to keep in touch and seek Nancy’s advice about behaviour, courtesy and all that – with the help of the American psychic John Edward of Crossing Over fame.  As avid readers are aware, your man Edward is soon to visit Australia.


Lotsa thanks to the “Media Diary” segment of The Australian on Monday 15 July for drawing attention to the punch-up, of the literary genre, between Maher Mughrabi (a senior writer at Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age who was formerly Nine Newspapers’ foreign editor) and Peter Hartcher (Nine Newspapers’ international and political editor).

On 6 July, Peter Hartcher’s Nine column was titled “Payman is the Hanson of the Left”.  He criticised the decision of Fatima Payman to quit the Labor Party and sit on the crossbenches as an Independent.  Senator Payman believes that the Albanese Labor government should be more outspoken against Israel in the Israel-Hamas conflict – which the terrorist group Hamas commenced on 7 October 2023 when it broke a cease-fire and invaded southern Israel.

Your man Mughrabi has worked on such newspapers as The Independent, The Scotsman, The Daily Mail and the Khaleej Times in the UAE.  He also writes for the leftist Arena Journal in Australia.

It so happened that Comrade Mughrabi took exception to the Payman/Hanson column by the mild-mannered Mr Hartcher.  Throwing the switch to anger, Mughrabi headed to LinkedIn where he described your man Hartcher’s piece as “lazy”, “rubbish” and “nonsense”.  In other words, what Media Watch Dog would describe as “absolute tosh”.   But there was more. According to Media Diary’s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth, Angry Maher also said that Peter Hartcher’s column had disappeared up Mr Hartcher’s bum. Really. How rude can an angry Nine Newspapers’ senior writer get?

It was not long before Angry Maher was hauled before the beak (to borrow a saying popularised by P.G. Wodehouse) at Nine.  Whereupon Mughrabi was directed to take down his post – Nine management having decided that his comments were “inappropriate”.  In short, Nine declared victory by a TKO (Technical Knock Out) by Hartcher – even though no punches were delivered.

In the meantime, Angry Maher – it’s off to Nancy’s Courtesy Classes for you.

[Good move – but a bit late I’m afraid.  I note that the occasional Keffiyeh-wearing Mughrabi appeared on ABC’s Q+A program on 27 May.  As I recall, Angry Maher rudely dominated the panel. All of whom criticised Israel to a greater or lesser extent but no one more aggressively than he. I note that it took the ABC a long time to produce a transcript of the program.  Could this have been to minimise criticism of Q+A’s lack of viewpoint diversity in this instance?  Just a thought. – MWD Editor.]

The Keffiyeh-wearing Maher Mughrabi as depicted in The Australian Online – 15 July 2024



While on the topic of the keffiyeh-wearing Maher Mughrabi, Media Watch Dog notes that he is on the speakers list at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas which will take place at the taxpayer subsidised Sydney Opera House over the weekend of 24-25 August 2024. The 2024 festival is also receiving taxpayers’ funds from the Commonwealth (Creative Australia) and the NSW Government (Create NSW).

As MWD has written in the past, this taxpayer subsidised gig is not really about “Dangerous Ideas” at all.  Rather it, as a rule, proclaims fashionable left-wing views and pretends that they are “dangerous”.  A really “dangerous idea” would be, say, “Donald J. Trump is good for America”.  But The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is not into this kind of “danger”.

The 2024 festival’s lack of balance is reflected in the participants.  There are a couple of social democrats on the list but no evident conservative.  Most of the Australian participants on the non-fiction speakers/moderators list are of the left. Including, in order of participation, Narelda Jacobs, Verity Firth, Matt Bevan, Yumi Stynes, Fran (“I’m an activist”) Kelly, Antoinette Lattouf, Lizzie O’Shea, Benjamin Law and Louise Adler. You get the picture. Not a conservative among this lot.

And then, there is this segment:

Tolerance is a Wasteland – Palestine and the culture of denial

Speaker: Saree Makdisi (USA)

Chaired by: Maher Mughrabi

There you have it. Maher Mughrabi, an avowed critic of Israel, will chair a speech on the topic “Palestine and the culture of denial” by Saree Makdisi – another avowed critic of Israel. This is how the blurb advertising the session commences:

For some people, the image of Israel, as a shining example of liberal democratic ideals, may have been smashed by the Netanyahu Government’s response to a new round of violence unleashed by Hamas on 7 October 2023. Yet, for Palestinians, the positive image projected by Israel has always been a “convenient myth’” that has allowed the dominant powers within the international community to turn a blind eye to their plight. Professor Saree Makdisi argues that Europe and America, in particular, are complicit in a historic wrong….

That’s not a dangerous idea.  Rather Professor Makdisi’s views are fashionable in virtually all Western universities – including the University of Sydney – along with literary festivals, festivals of allegedly dangerous ideas and so on.  In any event, no other view on the Israel/Hamas conflict will be heard at the Festival of (so-called) Dangerous Ideas – other than criticism of Israel and its allies.  In other words, there will be no viewpoint diversity.

Your Taxes At Work.


“You Must Remember This” is based on the chorus line in the song As Time Goes By which was popularised by the film Casablanca. It is devoted to reminding the usual suspects of what they and/or those they supported once wrote or said or did – and have (sometimes conveniently) forgotten.


On Monday 15 July, Media Watch Dog recorded ABC TV’s Four Corners program Retribution: The Battle for Democracy on Donald J. Trump and all that, in the anticipation that it would be another hatchet job on the former United States president. Which it turned out to be.  Gerard Henderson will discuss this in his column in The Weekend Australian on Saturday 20 July.

So, Ellie’s co-owners decided to watch something live that was also fresh and interesting.  To wit, Sky News’ The Australian: 60 Years of News. It was hosted by Chris Kenny and featured a world-exclusive interview with Rupert Murdoch by Sky News’ CEO Paul Whittaker.

MWD was particularly interested to see how Rupert Murdoch (born 1931) performed.  The answer was very well indeed – in response to short questions by Whittaker, who allowed Murdoch time to respond.  The interview was interruption-free since the interviewer was interested in Murdoch’s views rather than his own next question.  Some of Australia’s best-known presenters could learn from Whittaker about what makes for good interviews.

But MWD digresses – once again, alas.  MWD’s immediate interest was to see how Murdoch performed in 2024. In view of the fact that Margaret Simons, of the Centre for Advancing Journalism at Melbourne, said this on 1 February 2006: “Kerry Packer is dead; within ten years it’s likely that Rupert Murdoch will die too…probably before too long.”  In short, Dr Simons (for a doctor she is, albeit of the non-medical kind) said it was “likely” that the emeritus chairman of News Corp “will die” before February 2016 if not earlier.  Clearly, Comrade Simons is no threat to the reputation of your man Nostradamus (1503-1566) who (as admirers of Leon Trotsky used to say about the Bolshevik) was so far ahead of his time that some of the predictions have yet to be fulfilled.

It’s a long story – which led to correspondence between Henderson and Simons – and believe it or not – can be found on the Crikey website titled “Letters from Gerard”  [Strange title – since there were also “Letters from Margaret” – MWD Editor.]

In her 2007 book The Content Makers: Understanding the media in Australia (Penguin Books), Simons referred to a speech which she gave at The Sydney Institute in 2005.  In fact, it was in February 2006.  This was one of many errors in her account that are documented in the correspondence – which suggests that Comrade Simons needs a fact-checker with respect to her memory.

After her speech at The Sydney Institute, Gerard Henderson AC (aka Always Courteous) suggested that it would be courteous for Margaret Simons to tone down her comment about Rupert Murdoch somewhat before it was published in The Sydney Papers.  Hendo’s (courteous) point was as follows:  “Apparently, you do not understand that it is rude to predict the death of someone, without any evidence as to their current medical condition”.  The (male) co-owner of Nancy (2004-2017) said he would hold the same position if the learned (non-medical) doctor said the same about her (then living) bestie Malcolm Fraser (1930-2015).

By the way, the advancing journalist also claimed that Henderson had asked her to “say that Murdoch would pass on” at some time or other.  Bollocks.  Hendo maintains that some individuals “pass” in football games – while other individuals die.

And so it came to pass that on Sky News on 15 July Rupert Murdoch presented as well and truly alive – having outlived Margaret Simons’ prophecy.

You Must Remember This.


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Until Next Time.

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