GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG – ISSUE NO. 252
21 NOVEMBER 2014
The inaugural issue of “Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch” was published in April 1988 – over a year before the first edition of the ABC TV Media Watch program went to air. Since November 1997 “Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch” has been published as part of The Sydney Institute Quarterly. In 2009 Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog blog commenced publication.
- Stop Press: Mark Scott’s Condescension Towards Malcolm Turnbull; Quentin Dempster Promotes Anti-Abbott Demo; ABC Promotes Go-Get Cars; The Age Promotes Paola Totaro’s Political Sludge
● MARK SCOTT TALKS DOWN TO MALCOLM TURNBULL
Nancy’s (male) co-owner turned on ABC News 24 last night to catch up with the repeat of The Drum only to find that the powers-that-be at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster had decided to cover ABC managing director and (alleged) editor-in-chief Mark Scott’s testimony to the Senate Estimates Committee. So The Drum and other news coverage was junked for the night.
Nice Mr Scott’s apologia to the Senate hardly warranted extensive live coverage on ABC News 24. But it was fascinating nevertheless. You see, Mark Scott dismissed Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s view that the role of the ABC managing director and editor-in-chief should be split. Throwing the switch to condescension, Nice Mr Scott declared:
Mark Scott : The Minister should seek to understand how the editor-in-chief role works. And I’m happy to explain that to him if he asks because he did say last night that he wasn’t quite sure what it meant. I think the Minister then should reflect on that.
If the Minister then feels that he wants to raise that issue with the board, he should write to the board, as of course he is entitled to do, and then the board should meet and the board should consider it and then the board should respond to the Minister if the Minister writes in that way on that matter or any other matter. I think that’s the appropriate process.
How condescending can you get? Mark Scott invariably disappears under the bed whenever a controversy concerning the ABC arises – and passes matters to his numerous spinners in the ABC Sydney headquarters in Ultimo, to the ABC complaints bureaucrats in Canberra, to the Board or whatever. It’s little wonder that Malcolm Turnbull does not understand what the ABC’s editor-in-chief does since Mark Scott has never acted forcefully as editor-in-chief in over eight years at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.
Indeed, Mark Scott has consistently failed to act as ABC editor-in-chief. He has refused to handle such matters as The Chaser Boys’ (average age 381/2) defamation of Chris Kenny or 7.30’s (unfunny) comedy about the political consequences of the downing of MH17 over Ukraine. And more besides. And yet Mr Scott has decided to lecture the Communications Minister about the role of the ABC’s editor-in-chief. Not a smart move.
● QUENTIN DEMPSTER PROMOTES ANTI-ABBOTT DEMO ON THE ABC
According to Nice Mr Scott, the ABC is advertisement-free. Not so this morning, when 7.30 NSW presenter Quentin Dempster appeared on ABC Radio 702’s Mornings with Linda Mottram program and plugged a demonstration against the Abbott government which will take place in Sydney tomorrow. Let’s go to the transcript where Mr Dempster and Ms Mottram were discussing the impact of the possible end of the 7.30 State based programs which take place in the various states each Friday night:
Quentin Dempster: This is the real difficulty about [the ABC’s] strategy and regional coverage of Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. We’re lucky in Sydney. We’ve got more media, more diverse media, although we’re desperately worried about the loss of quality journalism out of the Fairfax outfit. And News Corporation [has] also downsized because of the digital revolution.
So to have another blow like this for relevance in localism is going to be a very big blow. And of course, needless to say, everybody’s very upset about it. There’s a rally on at Town Hall Square at 12.30 tomorrow.
Linda Mottram: Just a little spruik there. Quentin thank you so much. We very much appreciate and value your input.
How about that? Quentin Dempster uses the taxpayer funded public broadcaster to rally the troops to demonstrate against cuts to ABC funding. Mr Dempster is worried that 7.30 NSW, which he presents, will be junked by ABC management. Currently, the not-so-talented Mr Dempster receives around $300,000 a year to present 30 minutes of television a week. So it is no surprise that your man Dempster wants 7.30 NSW retained. However, it is a surprise that Nice Mr Scott allows ABC presenters to use the taxpayer funded public broadcaster to flog demonstrations against an elected government.
● “GO GET” PROMOTES “GO GET” ON THE ABC
While on the topic of the advertising-free ABC, did anyone see the 7.30’s segment on the attitude of young Australians to cars? Presenter Mike Clay focused on the alleged attitude of inner-city youth to develop the theory that young Australians have ended their love affair with cars.
The 7.30 producer made it possible for Bruce Jeffreys of Go Get CarSharing to be filmed in front of a car bearing the “Go Get” logo and flog his product.
Nice (free) advertising if you can get it. But this promotion took place on the public broadcaster which declines to mention the names of companies which have naming rights to sporting grounds and entertainment centres – e.g. Ethiad Stadium in Melbourne along with ANZ Stadium and the Allphones Arena in Sydney – but is willing to allow the car-share industry to promote its product on 7.30.
● THE GUARDIAN-ON-THE-YARRA GOES FERAL
The only article on Page 1 today in The Age is a piece by the London-based Paola Totaro titled “Abbott a flat earther: Tories”. The Page 1 story spills to Page 4 and then there is a two page report from Ms Totaro from Pages 18 to 19. Sensibly, the Sydney Morning Herald did not run this tosh in its printed edition today. Ms Totaro attempts to establish that “Prime Minister Tony Abbott is… ‘eccentric’, ‘baffling’ and [sic] ‘flat earther’ according to a group of senior British Conservatives”.
The so-called “senior British Conservatives” named are Lord Deben (aka John Gummer), Tim Yeo and Gregory Barker. Both Mr Yeo and Mr Barker will step down from the House of Commons at the next election and Lord Deben quit the House of Commons at the 2010 general election. Deben currently is chairman of the Sancroft International environmental consultancy among other such organisations. In other words, Lord Deben is an activist in the climate change debate.
Paola Totaro runs the simplistic line that the Tories in Britain are saving the earth while the Liberal Party in Australia under Tony Abbott is busy destroying it. Her analysis is as crass and silly as this. Needless to say, The Guardian-on-the-Yarra’s London reporter did not report the view of one British conservative who dissented from the Deben/Yeo/Barker position. Nor did she justify her ridiculous assertion that this trio are currently “senior British conservatives”. No wonder The Age has lost so many of its traditional conservative-inclined readers and advertisers. It seems that The Age has morphed into the Melbourne Office of the Green Left Weekly.
● MARK LATHAM’S SELF-AWARENESS DEFICIT
In his “Relativities” column in last Saturday’s Weekend Australian Review, failed Labor leader Mark Latham returned, once again, to the topic he knows best. Namely, HIMSELF – plus his obsessions.
The Lair of Liverpool commenced with the first person singular in the first sentence, viz: “In recent weeks, I’ve been intrigued….”. In a short piece, the Sage of Mount Hunter used the word “I”, “I’ve”, “my”, “me” and “our” on no fewer than 22 occasions. Yup, almost two dozen times.
The occasion was a whinge about an alleged invasion of his privacy by Sharri Markson in November 2007. Yes folks, a mere seven years ago. Mr Latham has covered this matter previously and, consequently, there was little new in his piece.
But you have to admire the Lair of Liverpool’s hide. As the old saying goes – he has more front than Mark Foys’ (Sydney version) or Myer’s (Melbourne version). In last Saturday’s column, your man Latham criticised News Corp publications in general and some of its journalists in particular. His piece included this gem:
Today, Markson is the media editor for The Australian, lecturing others on media ethics. This is how it works at News Corp. Any ruse, any lie, any invasion of privacy is acceptable in the name of publishing voyeuristic information. And then the reporter is promoted – in Markson’s case, posing as an arbiter of industry standards.
This from the very same Mark Latham who in The Latham Diaries gave new meaning to the “invasion of privacy”, the publication of “voyeuristic information” and whoppers aplenty. In the Latham Diaries, the Lair of Liverpool:
▪ named a married male Labor MP (with a child) and a female lobbyist whom he asserted had a “long-running relationship”. This voyeuristic claim was false.
▪ named a female journalist with whom he “once had a fling”. A clear invasion of privacy.
▪ named a former senior Labor staffer who had an affair with the wife of a then senior ALP operative, who was also named. Another voyeuristic invasion of privacy.
▪ referred to his first wife, whom he named, as “the witch”. In follow-up publicity for The Latham Diaries, Mark Latham told journalist Bernard Lagan that his ex-wife was a lesbian. Latham just made this up.
Then in his Australian Financial Review column last Thursday, Latham continued to engage in privacy invasion and voyeurism when he declared that a young woman – whom he named – had “a psychoneurotic disorder: externalising personal feelings of desires and deficiency into the demonisation of children”.
The Sage of Mount Hunter accused the named mother of two of “popping pills…instead of facing up to the responsibilities of adulthood”. And he used the word “I”, “my”, “I’m” on 15 occasions. Can you bear it?
[No. Not really. But your man Latham can’t be expected to live on a lousy taxpayer funded superannuation scheme of a mere $78,000 per year (fully indexed). He needs AFR’s money and can’t be blamed if Michael Stutchbury and Co print his ego-fuelled anger in what is called “The Fin”. – Ed]
● JULIAN BURNSIDE’S (ALLEGED) SELF-ESTEEM DEFICIT
An avid MWD reader has drawn attention to Julian (“I flash what I term my post-nominals”) Burnside AO QC’s intervention in the forthcoming Victorian State election.
You see, your man JB AO QC has sent out a “Dear Richmond Voter” letter to the inner-city electorate of Richmond – urging voters to support the Labor Party candidate Richard Wynne. For once, Nancy’s (male) co-owner and JB AO QC are on a unity ticket – in that both want Labor’s Richard Wynne to prevail over the Greens’ candidate Kathleen Maltzahn. But this is not the point [Perhaps you should get to the point – Ed].
In this letter, JB AO QC uses three names. The top of the letter contains the name “J.W.K. Burnside QC”, the letter is signed “Julian Burnside AO AC” and it is authorised by “J. Burnside”. Fancy that. [Gee. Doesn’t “J Burnside” appear naked without his post-nominals? – Ed]
In his “Dear Richmond Voter” letter, JB AO QC declares that Richard Wynne “shares my values of compassion, equality and social justice”. Fancy that. In view of this, it’s a wonder that your man Burnside has not sold his multi-million dollar pile in Hawthorn and swum across the Yarra River to live in Richmond and vote for Mr Wynne. Perhaps he will do so before the next election.
According to a MWD’s avid reader, this is the third occasion in which Julian Burnside AO QC has written to the voters of Richmond – from Hawthorn – urging them to vote for Richard Wynne – under the title “J. W. K. Burnside QC”. MWD’s avid reader considers Burnside’s use of his middle initial as a display of “mid-nominals” – so to speak. Good one, don’t you think?
In a sentence which runs the risk of giving pomposity a bad name, JB AO QC told Richmond voters:
Perhaps it is naive, but I think that the qualities of the individual candidate are a very important consideration when voting.
Well, thanks for the good advice. Obviously, JB AO QC believes that his political opinions are of such importance that he is entitled to send unsolicited voting advice to the electors of Richmond. Yet during his recent lunch with Mark Dapin, which was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 8-9 November 2014, JB AO QC declared that he has “very low self regard”. Can you bear it?
● MARK DAPIN’S OVER-COOKED FOOD CRITICISM
While on the topic of “Lunch With Julian Burnside”, this is what Mark Dapin wrote about his lunch with JB AO QC at “Mark Best’s new Pei Modern restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel” – following JB AO QC’s award of the leftist Sydney Peace Prize:
Burnside was educated at Melbourne Grammar. He did not enjoy it, and did not feel he was popular.
“Goodness,” he says, suddenly, looking down at his plate. His entree of Clyde River rock oysters with grilled sea foam has been served in its natural habitat, a bed of about two dozen small rocks. It seems an aggressively literal interpretation of the idea of rock oysters, and I might hesitate before ordering, say, mud crab.
My dish is burrata, kohlrabi with egg yolk jam, and has been sculpted into a shape like Sydney Opera House after a seaquake.
Unfortunately, the cheese is quite springy, and the cabbage also possesses a surprising elasticity , making it the perfect launch pad for the burrata milk, which I effortlessly (although accidentally) flick across the table at Burnside. Two teardrops of white cheese land to the right of his left lapel, about a centimetre above his Order of Australia pin. I only admit this later, when I start to worry the Sydney Peace Prize winner will go out into the world wearing cheese. Burnside studied law at Monash University.
What a load of tosh. JB AO QC’s Clyde River rock oysters were an “aggressively literal interpretation of the idea of rock oysters”. Can you bear it?
[By the way, I thought that Nancy’s dinner last night – of cooked lean mince on a bed of gastro intestinal low fat canine round things – seemed an aggressively literal interpretation of dog food. Fortunately it contained no elasticity – surprising or otherwise. – Ed]
● GEOFFREY ROBERTSON CONFUSES ASIO & ASD
An avid MWD reader has advised that Geoffrey Robertson did not have a plum-in-his-mouth accent when he attended Epping High, in suburban Sydney, during the 1960s. Now, alas, he has what Nancy’s (male) co-owner depicts as an “Epping Accent”. This is the way the likes of Australian-born North London dwelling expatriates speak when attempting to disguise the fact that they want to school in Epping, Sydney.
This is what your man Robertson QC had to say in his “Diary” piece in last week’s The Spectator Australia :
Under the new Foreign Fighter’ [sic] laws, we will not be told about ASIO’s secret ‘intelligence’ operations – such as hacking the cellphone of the Indonesian President’s wife or bugging the Timor Leste cabinet office under the cover of an aid programme. Our media must at all times maintain the belief that Australian Intelligence is intelligent.
This is a pretty dumb comment when you think about it. Geoffrey Robertson does not understand the difference between the Australian Intelligence Security Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). The former is concerned with national security; the latter with international surveillance.
It was ASD– not ASIO – which was involved in the alleged Indonesian and East Timor intercepts. To paraphrase Robertson QC, “Pompous gits with Epping accents must at all times be aware of the distinction between ASIO and ASD – especially when they present themselves as experts on intelligence matters”. This is the word – according to Nancy’s (male) co-owner.
● BEN ELTON’S ERROR-RIDDEN Q&A SHOCKER
This is how ABC 1 advertised last Monday’s Q&A program:
On Q&A, with the government’s decision on ABC funding imminent, he [Malcolm Turnbull] says the ABC can cut costs without losing programs: “The ABC and the SBS for that matter can’t be exempt”. She [Tanya Plibersek] says it’s a broken promise, and he’s [Jonathan Holmes] the former Media Watch host now defending Aunty. Together, they join Sarrah Le Marquand from News Corp and British comedian turned Australian resident Ben Elton.
What a hoot. The idea that long-term ABC operative Jonathan Holmes is “now defending Aunty” is just a joke. As was the implication that your man Elton would be anything but an Abbott hater during his ABC gig.
And so it came to pass. Malcolm Turnbull said on the program that Holmes was “just making things up” with his claim that the Abbott government had a “secret policy” on the environment. Malcolm Turnbull also told Elton that he was engaging on a “Tony Abbott…hate feast”. [Perhaps, Mr Turnbull deserved a prestigious Five Paws Award – Ed].
After praising former Greens leader Bob Brown, Ben Elton alleged that Tony Abbott was using the electorate’s negative assessment of Brown to advance his own policies.
Let’s go to the transcript:
Ben Elton: Nobody expects the individual in the street to be able to volunteer to put 20 years ahead economy in the same context of their economy tomorrow, when they’re trying to feed their children. That’s why we have leaders. That’s why we ask for leadership from our politicians.
Now, it seems to me that Mr Abbott has consistently followed. He’s taken very easy choices, like demonising the carbon tax, which was a phrase that was used over and over again. Never once did I hear him actually discussing the reason we are talking about emissions. Another: we have this extraordinarily good idea, an obvious idea, the world is one globe. Developing nations, particularly with low-lying land, are about to be engulfed by a series of tsunamis. There’s a suggestion that the first world should form a fund to perhaps help, since we all live on the same planet and these actions are happening from our carbon burning.
Immediately Tony [Abbott] has got his line: “It’s a Bob Brown bank. I will say that over and over again. I won’t engage the issues. I won’t discuss it, I won’t look at the morals, I won’t look at the science. I will say, Bob Brown, Bob Brown, Bob Brown, and hopefully enough of a percentage of the electorate in our first past the post system will listen and go, oh, yeah, Greenie tree-hugger and I know what you’re talking about. Fair enough.” That’s a lot of old rubbish.
Tony Jones : Okay. All right.
No, it is not alright. Ben Elton was engaged in an anti-Abbott rant. And he got his facts wrong. Australia does not have a “first past the post system”. Britain has first past the post voting. Australia, on the other hand, has the single transferable vote electoral system – usually referred to as preferential voting.
Yet Ben Elton got to pontificate on Q&A without understanding Australia’s electoral system. And Q&A presenter Tony Jones not only failed to correct him but implied that what he said was “right”. It wasn’t. Ben Elton’s contribution to Q&A’s stacked panel last Monday was a load of tosh.
RICHO’S JACQUI LAMBIE CONFUSION
Many thanks to the avid reader who bought MWD’s attention to Graham Richardson’s appearance on Paul Murray Live last Monday.
Your man Richardson whinged and whinged about the Senate electoral system – especially as it applies to Tasmania. And Richo whinged in particular about Jacqui Lambie who won the sixth (and final) Senate spot in Tasmania at the 2013 Federal election where the Palmer United Party achieved a primary vote of 6.6 per cent.
How could this have come about? Well, here’s the answer.
▪ The situation in which all States have the same number of senators was determined at Federation in 1901 – see Section 7 of the Constitution. When Richo was a senator and a minister in the Hawke Labor government, he did not attempt to amend the Constitution with respect to the Senate representation.
▪ The Chifley Labor government introduced the current proportional representation electoral system for the Senate. The PR system took effect from the December 1949 election. In other words, the proportional representation electoral system – which made it possible for Lambie to be elected in Tasmania last year – was introduced by a Labor government. Richo should know this.
In 1984 the Hawke Labor government extended the number of Senators for each State (including Tasmania, of course) from 10 to 12 – or six each term of the House of Representatives. This took effect from the 1984 election. Previously it had been 10 – or five each election. This lowered the quota from around 17 per cent to around 14 per cent and happened to facilitate the election of minor parties and Independents at certain elections – including the half Senate election of September 2013.
In other words, under the system prevailing between December 1949 and December 1984, Tasmania would have elected five senators. On the 2013 figures, this would have consisted of two Liberal Party, two Labor Party and one Australian Greens senators. However, due to the Hawke government’s 1984 changes, there were six senators elected in Tasmania in 2013 – and Lambie won the sixth position. Richo should know this.
For the record, the Liberal Party opposed Labor’s Senate changes in 1984. Labor’s legislation passed with the support of the Nationals. Richo should know this.
And where was Graham Richardson in 1984? Er, he was a Labor Senator for New South Wales and a highly influential operative within the NSW Labor right-wing. Gerard Henderson was told by the late NSW Federal Labor MP Dick Klugman that the decision to increase the number of senators from 10 to 12 in each state in 1984 was driven by the desire of the NSW Labor right-wing to resolve internal disputes concerning pre-selections – both in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The decision to increase the number of MPs in the House of Representatives required that the Senate numbers be increased as well. In other words, more parliamentary seats for the Labor faithful.
In 1984, the Hawke Labor government also introduced group ticket voting for the Senate. This made it possible for minor parties and Independents to trade preferences to the detriment of the major parties. This also helped Jacqui Lambie to be elected on the final allocation of preferences. She received a preference flow from the Liberal Democrats which polled 2.3 per cent of the primary vote in Tasmania. Without this, the Liberal Party of Australia’s Sally Chandler would have won the sixth position.
So, who is primarily responsible for the Senate electoral system which made it possible for Jacqui Lambie to be elected as a senator for Tasmania? Well – the Australian Labor Party in general and Graham Richardson and his NSW Labor right-wing mates in particular.
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 Nancy’s (male) co-owner 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 hundreds of thousands of readers.
There are occasions, however, when Nancy’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 missive 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.
As hundreds of thousands of avid readers are aware, The Guardian Australia’s deputy editor Katharine Murphy put out the following tweet on 6 June 2014 at 4.33 pm – when that issue of MWD was “hot off the press”. Here is Ms Murphy’s tweet: “Without in any way wanting to breach anyone’s human rights or free speech – why do people write emails to Gerard Henderson?” It’s a very good question. Thankfully, not everyone follows Katharine Murphy’s wise counsel.
JONATHAN GREEN’S HENDO OBSESSION REACHES A NEW LEVEL OF FICTION – ON ABC1’s NEWS BREAKFAST
Gerard Henderson to Erin Vincent – 20 November 2014
I note that I received two mentions in Jonathan Green’s appearance on the Newspapers segment on News Breakfast this morning. The first was trivial (like a lot of Mr Green’s comments this morning – including his references to Paddington Bear, sex and marmalade jam.)
However, the second reference was a sneer and a ridicule. Here is what Jonathan Green said following his reference to Andrew Bolt’s column about what Tony Abbott should do:
Michael Rowland: Right, he’s a bit concerned, Andrew Bolt [about the Abbott government]?
Jonathan Green: He is. He’s a deeply worried man. He devotes an entire page to this.
Virginia Trioli: He should stop auditioning for the job and just go and be media adviser. Don’t you reckon?
Jonathan Green: He – like Gerard Henderson [who] wants a breakfast shift on the ABC – Andrew Bolt very much wants to be Tony Abbott’s media adviser.
Virginia Trioli: Go for it Andrew.
Now, this is a totally false comment. I have never desired – or been offered – a breakfast shift on the ABC. Mr Green – whom I barely know and who has never had a personal conversation with me – just made it up.
As indicated, I have never shown the slightest interest in applying for a breakfast gig on the ABC. I’m too busy and, in any event, the ABC would never offer me such a position. For the record, I have only been asked to appear on News Breakfast on one occasion in the last five years – I declined the invitation. This certainly does not support Mr Green’s undocumented assertion that I am seeking a “breakfast shift” on the ABC.
The fact is that in the past seven years my appearances on all ABC outlets would average one a month – mainly on Insiders.
If Jonathan Green sees fit to refer to me on News Breakfast – as is his wont – he should at least make an attempt to check his sources. Attempted ridicule is the lowest form of criticism.
Can I expect a correction/clarification tomorrow? Over to you.
By the way, it was nice to catch up at the Melbourne Press Club’s Media Hall of Fame dinner. I also had a pleasant conversation with young Mr Rowland and La Trioli.
Erin Vincent to Gerard Henderson – 20 November 2014
I hope you are well.
Thank you for your email and for clarifying that you have no intention to join us on News Breakfast.
In my view, it was apparent that Jonathan Green was making that particular comment in jest, however I will make sure your position is clarified on air tomorrow morning.
It would be a pleasure to have you on the program. Please let me know if you are ever in Melbourne and I will gladly accommodate you for a newspaper review. Until then, I will continue to enjoy your contributions on Insiders.
I am pleased you are watching News Breakfast so closely. I also enjoyed catching up with you at the Hall of Fame event – looking forward to seeing you again in the near future.
Gerard Henderson to Erin Vincent – 20 November 2014
Thanks for your prompt reply.
Jonathan Green’s comment this morning was just another sneer by someone who proudly acknowledges that he is the “ABC’s Sneerer-in-Chief”. It was not a comment made in jest since it was not in any sense funny.
Some ABC types cannot accept that the public broadcaster can be criticised legitimately without some hidden agenda on the part of the critic. In the past, I have been told that I want to be i) ABC Chairman, ii) ABC Managing Director and iii) now an ABC breakfast presenter.
I enjoy watching News Breakfast. Especially the newspaper segment which provides material for my Media Watch Dog blog. However, I do not want to appear on the program – despite your kind offer.
I look forward to the on air clarification tomorrow morning.
Let’s keep in touch
Gerard Henderson to Erin Vincent – 21 November 2014
Thanks for running the correction/clarification on News Breakfast this morning.
I do appreciate the invitation by you – repeated by Michael Rowland on air today – to appear on News Breakfast. However, I believe that commentators can spend too much time on the electronic and social media. Hence my (courteous) refusal.
Take your man Jonathan Green, for example. Yesterday he appeared on News Breakfast at 6.45 am. Then at 8.34 am he posted a piece on The Drum website. Then at 1.10 pm he was on ABC Radio 702 with James Valentine – on a weekly gig which is officially titled “Babbling On”. Mr Green babbled on with Mr Valentine for 20 minutes – about absolutely nothing. Then he sent out a tweet bagging the Coalition on the ABC. On Sunday he will present Sunday Extra on Radio National.
Taken together, Jonathan Green had nothing of substance to say across the electronic, print and social media over the last couple of days. It’s all mere words and sound.
Unlike Mr Green, I’m not inclined to appear constantly on television or radio. I’m just not such a media tart.
PS: There is no need to respond to this.
Until next time – keep morale high.
“Oh Gerard. You total clown.”
- Jonathan (“Proudly the ABC’s Sneerer-in-Chief”) Green on Twitter, Friday 3 October 2014, 4.31 pm [Mr Green must be an obsessive avid reader to respond so soon. – Ed]
“Good morning. All the gooder for being attacked (for thousandth time) by silly Gerard in the Oz”
- Phillip Adams via Twitter, 27 September 2014
“What troubles me most is that he [Gerard Henderson] shows such low journalistic standards, yet he is politically quite influential. He is often on Insiders. It’s hard to see why: he comes across as a crank.”
- Kate Durham as told to Crikey, 16 September 2014
“The unhinged but well spoken Gerard Henderson….”
- Bob Ellis, Table Talk blog, 10 August 2014
“Gerard Henderson and Nancy are awful human beings.”
- Alexander White, Twitter, 25 July 2014
“This is my regularly scheduled “Oh Gerard” tweet for every time he appears on #insiders”
- Josh Taylor, senior journalist for ZDNet, Twitter, 20 July 2014
“…that fu-kwitted Gerard “Gollum” Henderson….”
- Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton, via Twitter, 12 July 2014
“[Gerard Henderson is a] silly prick”
- Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton – tweeted Saturday 27 June 2014 at 4.15 pm, i.e. after lunch
“If Gerard Henderson had run Beria’s public relations Stalin’s death would have been hidden for a year and Nikita [Khrushchev] and co would have been shot”
- Laurie Ferguson via Twitter - 22 June 2014 [By-line: Mr Ferguson is a member of the House of Representatives who speaks in riddles.]
“[Gerard Henderson] is the Eeyore of Australian public life”
- Mike Seccombe in The [Boring] Saturday Paper – 21 June 2014
“Without in any way wanting to breach anyone’s human rights or free speech – why do people write emails to Gerard Henderson?”
- Katharine Murphy, Twitter, Friday 6 June 2014
“[Gerard Henderson is] an unhinged prick”
- Mike Carlton, Twitter, Thursday 12 June 2014
“There’s no sense that Gerard Henderson has any literary credentials at all.”
- Anonymous comment quoted, highlighted and presumably endorsed by Jason (“I’m a left-leaning luvvie”) Steger, The Age, 31 May 2014
On boyfriend’s insistence, watching the notorious Gerard Henderson/@Kate_McClymont Lateline segment. GH: What an odd, angry gnome of a man.
- Benjamin Law, via Twitter, Thursday 17 Apr 2014, 11:21 pm
Can’t believe I just spent my Thursday evening with a video recap of Gerard Henderson. I’m a f-cking moron.
- Benjamin Law, via Twitter, Thursday 17 Apr 2014, 11:23 pm
“[Gerard Henderson is an] unhinged crank”
- Mike Carlton, via Twitter, Saturday 29 March 2014, 4.34 pm
Complete stranger comes up to me: that Gerard Henderson’s a xxxxxx.
– Jonathan Green via Twitter, 8 February 2014
“[Gerard Henderson is] a sclerotic warhorse, unhelpful to debate, unwilling to think…a wonderful study in delusion…ideologically-constipated.”
- Erik Jensen, editor of Morry Schwartz’s The Saturday Paper [forthcoming], 23 November 2013
“The last time Gerard Henderson smiled was in 1978, when he saw a university student being mauled by a pitbull.”
- Ben Pobjie, via Twitter, 13 October 2013 [Editor’s Note: Mr “Why Can’t I Score an
Invite on Q&A?” Pobjie is wrong. In fact, the year was 1977 and the dog was a blue-heeler – like Nancy]
“I think Henderson is seriously ill. There’s enough there for an entire convention of psychiatrists.”
- Mike (“I’ll pour the gin”) Carlton (after Pre-Dinner Drinks tweet to Jeff Sparrow), 8 October 2013
“Wrong, you got caught out, off to Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog for you!”
- Tim Wilson tweet to Jonathan Green and Virginia Trioli, 8 October 2013.
“Nancy as ever will be the judge”
- Jonathan Green to Tim Wilson and Virginia Trioli (conceding to the arbitral authority of Nancy), 8 October 2013
[Gerard Henderson’s analysis of the ABC] is absolutely simplistic.”
- ABC managing director Mark Scott talking to ABC presenter Jonathan Green on ABC Radio National Drive, 2 May 2013.
“Oh my God; you’re as bad as Gerard Henderson.”
- Dr Peter Van Onselen (for a doctor he is), The Contrarians, Sky News, 20 September 2013.
“The nation mourns Gerard Henderson. He’s in perfect health.”
- Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 2 July 2013 (favourited by Virginia Trioli)
“Old Australian saying. ‘He wouldn’t know a tram was up him unless the bell rang’. Wholly appropriate to Gerard Henderson”
- Phillip Adams, via Twitter, 7 May 2013
“I said publicly once that I thought that Gerard’s views on the ABC came not from his brain but from his spinal cord”
- Tim Bowden as told to Phillip (“I was a teenage Stalinist”) Adams, Late Night Live, 11 June 2013 – Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday.
“Gerard Henderson is a crank”
- David Marr at the 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival (as reported by Mike Carlton)
“The great Australian media nutter Gerard [Henderson is an] ungrateful bastard”.
- Mark Latham, Q&A, 10 June 2013.
“[Gerard Henderson] is a moral dwarf …Gerard, pull your head in”
- Professor Sinclair Davidson, 24 April 2013.
“[Henderson] You are mad. In the 18th century you would have been caged, with the mob invited to poke you with sticks.”
- Mike Carlton, 5.23 pm (Gin & Tonic Time) 25 March 2013
“I like to think of Gerard [Henderson] as the Inspector Clouseau of forensic journalism”
- David Marr, ABC News 24 The Drum, 21 March 2013.
“[Media Watch Dog is] not a moan, more of a miserable dribble”
- Peter Munro, 21 March 2013
“You are a fool, Henderson, a malicious and mendacious piece of shit… Now F_ck off”
- Mike Carlton, 11 March 2013 (Hangover Time).
“[Gerard Henderson is] an internet pest”
- Dr (for a doctor he is) Jeff Sparrow, 26 February 2013.
Jonathan Green: “Nancy, will be taking notes, I suspect”
Michael Rowland: “Nancy…yes. We’ll get a nice write-up on Friday. Good morning as well, Gerard. Thanks for watching, by the way.”
- ABC 1 News Breakfast, 18 October 2012
“Gerard [Henderson] is a complete f-ckwit”
- Malcolm Farr, via Twitter, 29 June 2012 (circa pre-dinner drinks)
“What a haughty flapping half-arsed buffoon he [Henderson] is”
- Bob Ellis on his Table Talk blog, 8 May 2012 (before breakfast)
“We’d better be careful what we say, just in case Gerard’s offsider pooch Nancy is keeping an eye on us for his delightfully earnest Media Watch Dog”
- Tom Cowie of The Power Index, Crikey 20 January 2012
“Henderson…What a pompous, pretentious turd you are.”
- Mike Carlton, Saturday 13 August 2011 (after lunch)
“Go to the Sydney Institute Media Watch Dog website to marvel at [its] work”
- Mark Latham The Spectator Australia 11 June 2011.
Media Watch Dog – “disgraceful”, “sick”
- Professor Robert Manne, April Fool’s Day 2011.
“Before going further can you write to confirm that these emails are private correspondence and not for publication”
- ABC News Radio’s Marius Benson, 11 March 2011. He did go further – see MWD Issue 86.
“I realise this makes me practically retarded, but until five minutes ago I thought Nancy was Gerard Henderson’s wife, not his dog.”
- Byronbache via Twitter, Monday 7 February 2011
“Gerard Henderson is big enough to take care of himself, but that doesn’t stop us worrying about him from time to time. Lately it’s Hendo’s tendency to self-harm that has us losing sleep. For example, peruse the correspondence he’s published in his latest Media Watch Dog blog… There’s a part of us that just wants to ask: “Hendo, are you OK?”
- James Jeffrey’s “Strewth!” column, The Australian, 8 November 2010.
“Media Watch Dog on Fridays…is a sort of popular read in the Crikey office”
- Crikey’s Andrew Crook on ABC 2 News Breakfast, 24 September 2010.