Berg v Henderson

For those of you who don’t know Gerard Henderson runs a blog at The Australian where he pretends to be a bitch female dog called Nancy who comments on the passing parade. This column used to be at the SMH but they axed it and for reasons I can’t quite work out (pity? affirmative action?) he soon got a gig at The Australian peddling the same guff.

Anyway he has taken a disliking to Chris Berg. Why he would consider a smart, intelligent and articulate person as a threat I couldn’t possibly comment on, but there you have it.

So Chris and I have a book out on the ABC. I appeared last week on Outsiders to promote the book and Chris appeared on the Bolt Report to promote the book. Both appearances caused twitter storms. Me with a statistic that ABC journalists were almost 5 times more likely to vote Greens than the general population and Chris with this statement (emphasis added):

Chris Berg: So the Labor Party believed that the new services provided by, particularly the Murdoch press if you will, the Murdoch press was providing this right-wing, or commercial bias or whatever it was. And the Labor Party felt that they needed a countermeasure to that. So they insisted that the ABC set up a news service. And that news service is specifically non-commercial. It’s specifically non-right and it’s specifically left.

All the luvvies on twitter went wild. Didn’t the great Satan Berg know the ABC was set up in 1932, under the then Lyons government? Blah, blah, blah.

It turns out Gerard Henderson has gone wild too. This is what “Nancy” had to say.

What a load of absolute tosh. Chris Berg does not know that when the ABC was set up in 1932 Joseph Lyons was prime minister of the United Australia Party government. The UAP is the predecessor of today’s Liberal Party of Australia. A full discussion can be found in K.S. Inglis’ This is the ABC: The Australian Broadcasting Commission 1932-1983 (MUP, 1983) and Anne Henderson’s Joseph Lyons: The People’s Prime Minister (New South, 2011).

That latter author – Anne Henderson – is Mrs Nancy.

Like all people with a feeble grasp of history Nancy knows dates but not stories.  Even worse, Nancy purports to make claims about a book that he clearly hasn’t read! If Nancy had read the book, he would know that at page 29 the story is set out:

Nevertheless, in 1932 the ABC was just a shadow of what it was to become, producing programming that was rebroadcast by the A-class stations. The first major change to the ABC was giving it the power to create original journalism. For its first decade in operation the ABC relied on the newspapers for news-gathering that it would subsequently broadcast. Labor however claimed that this reliance meant that the biases of newspaper proprietors were being transmitted through the national broadcaster. In a bill passed just before the 1946 federal election, the Chifley government required the ABC to gather its own domestic news itself. The opposition claimed that this was an attempt to bias the imminent election in the government’s favour. Robert Menzies objected that the bill had been ‘literally shuffled through the Parliament in the small hours of the morning on the last day of the session’. Nevertheless, the bill passed parliament.

In fact, let’s actually quote Sir Robert Menzies’ objection to the Australian Broadcasting Bill 1946:

… the central proposal of the bill [is] that the commission should establish an independent news service … Why, then, is the proposal put forward? Quite obviously it is because the Government believes that through a government instrumentality it can establish a news service of its own. The news collected will not be objective, but in ways and means suitable to the government of the day. This is not a case being put up for objective news gathering. It is quite the contrary.

Now Nancy may wish to google the dates and the Chifley government – but I am confident that the Chifley government was a Labor government and Labor was in power in 1946. Bob Menzies was in opposition. True the ABC was set up in 1932 – but it didn’t have its own news service at that time. Perhaps if Nancy had read K.S. Inglis’ This is the ABC: The Australian Broadcasting Commission 1932-1983 (MUP, 1983) he would have known that already.

If he had read our book Nancy would know we have a longer discussion of this point at pages 53 and 54:

In the debate over the 1932 bill, the Labor member for Kalgoorlie, Albert Green, warned of the ‘chains of newspapers … obtaining such a stranglehold over the eastern part of the Victoria, and disseminating its propaganda through the stations that it controls’. The private monopolisation of radio—‘one of the most revolutionary additions to the pool of human resources’—was constantly invoked by Labor members throughout the early debates. This concern, they felt, was more than just theoretical. The 1931 election loss showed, they felt, that the private media was systematically biased against the Labor Party, and a public broadcaster would be able to right that wrong.

Control of the wireless was the high ground of the political contest during the interwar years. In New South Wales the Lang government had sought to establish a state government radio network that would resist what Labor saw as the Nationalist Party-dominated private media. As Green, the most forthright of the Labor members on this point in the 1932 debate, put it:
“Some B class stations are controlled by newspaper combines, which use them to broadcast only one political opinion. I had hoped that the air would be free to all, and that at election time every party would be given an opportunity to express its opinions over the air. Unfortunately that has not been our experience. Certain newspaper combines are endeavouring to obtain a monopoly of B class stations, and I sound the note of warning that sooner or later some government will have to tackle the very difficult, but necessary task of dealing with the problem of metropolitan B class stations. Nothing short of a complete national scheme will do.”

In this sense, independence was understood by the Labor Party as being pro-Labor—or, at least, not anti-Labor. The 1942 inquiry into wireless reiterated this concern, arguing that public broadcasting was needed ‘to prevent the service from being used for improper purposes’.

So when Nancy claims:

As to Chris Berg’s idea that the ABC was set up by the Labor Party in 1932 to provide balance to the Murdoch press (i.e. the newspapers controlled by Keith Murdoch) – well it’s one of the great media howlers of our time.

That is a lie – Chris made no such claim.  Maybe this is why he still appears on Insiders – able to manufacture untruths about his betters while citing books he clearly hasn’t read.

What actually happened in 1932?

Nancy says that Lyons’ predecessor, Labor PM Scullin, “had other things on his mind than establishing a national broadcaster” and that the ABC was “a relatively conservative institution” in its early decades.

If one were to actually read Inglis as far as pages 17 – 18  you would learn that the Scullin government introduced a bill to establish the ABC into parliament “on the very day that government was defeated in the House of Representatives”. And “A Bill differing little was introduced [by the Lyons government] on 9 March, and after some vigorous debate and some amendment the Australian Broadcasting Act became law on 17 May 1932”. Oh dear.

Was the ABC a conservative policy as Nancy claims? Again no. The legal historian Geoffrey Sawer described James Fenton, the postmaster general who brought the bill through parliament, as speaking “more like a Labor man than a U.A.P. man”. (Australian Federal Politics and Law 1929-1949, MUP 1963 p. 54).

Bottom line is this – Nancy has misled The Australian readership as to his understanding of the events he is discussing. He has misled his readership as to what Chris Berg was saying. He has not read our book, he has not read Inglis. Presumably he has read Mrs Nancy’s book.  Pretty poor effort.

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75 Responses to Berg v Henderson

  1. mh

    Maybe this is why he still appears on Insiders …

    Anyone worth listening to that appears on Insiders does not get a regular gig, or gets banned. Piers Ackerman was banned.

  2. RobK

    Thanks Sinc. Well done.

  3. woolfe

    Maybe this will appear in the letters to Nancy section with the appropriate apology?

  4. struth

    What did you send to him?

  5. NB

    Nancy and Miss Lead.
    (misled)

  6. The BigBlueCat

    I thought Nancy died …. sorry, passed to the other side. Maybe the American psychic John Edwards misheard what was being yelped.

    Henderson has an item on his Media Watch Dog blog that quotes Berg on Bolt’s program. It’s interesting to compare stories ….

  7. jock

    Knickers. Knot? Boy you guys must have glass jaws.

  8. The BigBlueCat

    … but I digress … both Davidson/Breg and Henderson want the ABC to be either privatised, shutdown or have political balance restored. The reason is because of clear bias, and not the back-story of who did what.

    This issue must be that today’s ABC shows considerable political and cultural bias, and therefore does not enact its obligations under its charter. While I’m not saying the ABC has to be conservative, or be progressive-free, but it must exhibit a bias-free commentary of political and cultural matters that evenly presents both sides of the debate, rather than as it does now support a progressive agenda and denigrates the conservative one.

    I personally feel the ABC is left-of-centre, which means:
    a) the left sees no issues, and sometimes a bias to the right
    b) the hard-left sees the ABC as too conservative if not outright tory
    c) those right-of-centre will see a bias to the left on most issues
    d) those on the hard-right will claim the ABC is downright Socialist if not Communist!

    Isn’t the above what we see on a day-to-day basis? To many, the ABC is not far enough to the left! And to others, way too far to the right. It all depends on perspective, which is why independent inquiries into political bias at the ABC can never be objective.

    Complaints about Faine, Adams, Trioli, Snowcone, Alberici, the Chaser boys, Harmer, Kelly, et al are all correct – but they are really bad actors in this theatre. What we need are better ways to knock their arguments and methods to hell-in-a-handbasket, not shut the ABC down (or sell it off).

  9. Senile Old Guy

    Yes, gave up reading Henderson a while ago. He became repetitive, predictable and boring.

  10. Tintarella di Luna

    Good on you Professor and Chris Berg, Gerard’s such a know-all it’s good to give him some real push-back. I hope Outsiders does a little Outsiders Outsourced on this one.

  11. Marcus

    *grabs popcorn*

    Next Friday’s going to be fun. Could be the start of the next Paterson/Lawson dispute.

  12. pbw

    Sinc, this is very bitchy. Poor Nancy died quite a while ago now, and she has been replaced by Jackie. Have you no heart?

  13. .

    In the debate over the 1932 bill, the Labor member for Kalgoorlie, Albert Green, warned of the ‘chains of newspapers … obtaining such a stranglehold over the eastern part of the Victoria, and disseminating its propaganda through the stations that it controls’. The private monopolisation of radio—‘one of the most revolutionary additions to the pool of human resources’—was constantly invoked by Labor members throughout the early debates. This concern, they felt, was more than just theoretical. The 1931 election loss showed, they felt, that the private media was systematically biased against the Labor Party, and a public broadcaster would be able to right that wrong.

    Laughable, paranoid bilge.

    They were stupid then, and they are stupid now! The Lyons could be late, but they’d always be stupid!

  14. .

    jock
    #2745243, posted on June 23, 2018 at 2:51 pm
    Knickers. Knot? Boy you guys must have glass jaws.

    Nope.

    The analogy you are looking for involves glass houses and stones.

  15. Sinclair Davidson

    Sinc, this is very bitchy.

    Oh nonsense. I toned it down.

  16. nerblnob

    BBCat:

    a bias-free commentary of political and cultural matters that evenly presents both sides of the debate, rather than as it does now support a progressive agenda and denigrates the conservative one.

    A non-biased news organisation would not include “commentary”, just the who, what, where and when.

    The internet provides more than enough commentary for free.

    The ABC’s bias is not just about what view it takes of an issue, but what it thinks are the issues and features relentlessly.

  17. Viva

    Do you really want to pick a fight with Gerard Henderson? The exchange of letters could go on for years.

  18. manalive

    Maybe this is why he still appears on Insiders …

    Gerard Henderson praises the ABC with faint damn.
    As a student at Melbourne University he was president of the DLP club, it is difficult to place his views in the current political spectrum (IMO).

  19. nemkat

    The legal historian Geoffrey Sawer described James Fenton, the postmaster general who brought the bill through parliament, as speaking “more like a Labor man than a U.A.P. man”.

    He was a former Labor man, one of Scullin’s Cabinet who left the ALP with Lyons in 1931 over the reinstatement of Theodore as Treasurer.

    Good to see someone with stature getting stuck into Henderson and his bullshit.

  20. Empire 5:5

    Fair enough, but why flash Jackie the chinks in your armour?

    After all, you’re both, more or less, on the same side.

  21. Squirrel

    “Nevertheless, in 1932 the ABC was just a shadow of what it was to become, producing programming that was rebroadcast by the A-class stations.”

    Sounds interesting – on the principle that everything old is (eventually) new again, let’s start by taking the funding for original programming and putting it up for bids by commercial networks, etc., and then take out the money for buying overseas productions (mainly BBC, with some ITV and American network programs) and return that to the Budget bottom line, and what would be left (officially at least), would be news/current affairs and regional.

    Keep the regional stuff in some shape or form because “market failure” blah, blah, blah… and then all you’ve got is a news and current affairs operation which reflects the prejudices and obsessions of the inner-city/lefty-globalist/identity-gesture politics crowd, with a bit of police rounds, celebrity goss and fluffy duck trivia thrown in for the oldies and the yet-to-be-indoctrinated kiddies. We can only wonder how well the latter would rate without the likes of Peppa the Pig and Midsomer Murders to lure in the middle Australia viewers.

  22. nemkat

    As a student at Melbourne University he was president of the DLP club, it is difficult to place his views in the current political spectrum (IMO).

    He’s a Reactionary, no belief, other than his always being right.
    Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce are thereabouts as well.

  23. Pyrmonter

    @ Sinc – we’ll done for calling ‘Nancy’, a DLP activist in conservative clothing. (And certainly no liberal. or Liberal)

    @ Dot: consider how cartelised news production was in 1932. Green’s concerned were hardly that far fetched, however irrelevant they are in times of mummy blogging and unrestricted access to the BBC, NYT WSJ, FT, DW, ornfor that matter, RT.

  24. I gave up on Henderson some time ago and he’s just another reason why I won’t subscribe to the Oz. Where is the editorial checking of facts etc? The Oz is no better than all the rest.

  25. Marcus

    Gerard Henderson praises the ABC with faint damn.

    Not true. I don’t think there’s actually anyone who does a better job of skewering the ABC for their bias, groupthink and double standards than Henderson in the country.

    Just because he’s AC (Always Courteous) when he does it doesn’t mean he’s going easy on them.

  26. feelthebern

    I’m a tad off Gerard at the moment.
    He got in a stoush with Bramston a couple of years ago that went on & on.
    Sometimes Gerard has to realise some people have researched topics better than he has.
    This case with the ABC might be the same situation again.

  27. nemkat

    Henderson has no issues with the existence of the ABC, just with it’s biases.
    If the biases were corrected in line with his thoughts, then he would have no issues at all.
    Of course, he’d have to manufacture some other issue to keep the joke alive.

  28. Tezza

    I admire Chris Berg and think his In defence of freedom of speech is masterly. But his comment on Bolt was pretty sloppy and very prone to misuse by the left. I can see why Gerard Henderson felt the need to straighten out the timeline.
    Whatever might be said at greater length in your doubtless admirable book, Chris’s comment taken alone, almost justifies ABC left wing bias by asserting that left wing bias is what the ABC was set up to do. I often hear green-left people to this day arguing that if the ABC is biased, that’s only fair and necessary in a democracy because Murdoch is the devil incarnate. Chris’s comment, taken alone, gives such people succour.
    Surely the politically relevant point is that the ABC’s charter requires it to be apolitical, and it pretends that it is, but in reality it is screamingly left, well to the left of the Labor party.
    Incidentally, Gerard Henderson is obviously well aware of Ken Inglis’s 2 volume history of the ABC, which he cites.
    Surely you guys can understand that Henderson and you are on the same side, and there is nothing to be gained by internecine warfare. Better to let this little fracas die down, not exacerbate it.

  29. woolfe

    Tezza,
    You haven’t been on the Cat very long have you? Escalate, always escalate.

  30. Sinclair Davidson

    Henderson is not on “our” side.

  31. nemkat

    Surely you guys can understand that Henderson and you are on the same side, and there is nothing to be gained by internecine warfare. Better to let this little fracas die down, not exacerbate it.

    Henderson is a million miles from the Centre.
    What’s his opinion on Mass Immigration, Family Reunion, and the Refugee Intake?
    You won’t see his dog talking about that.

  32. Eddystone

    Gerard Henderson has gone wild too.

    Let’s face it Sinc, you’re just looking to update your entry in Nancy’s Jackie’s quote list.

  33. Infidel Tiger

    You’re going to need a bigger mail box once the tedious pedant reads this Sinc.

  34. Death Giraffe

    Henderson is not on “our” side.

    ..
    He isn’t a libertarian rainbow unicorn botherer?
    Damn his eyes.

  35. Biota

    Interesting backstory Sinc. One can see the seeds of the ABC’s leftism in the early Labour motivation for establishing a voice to counter the right news media. It’s embedded in their DNA.

  36. C.L.

    Brilliant demolition of a very lazy Gerard Henderson.

  37. Death Giraffe

    You should all bloody well concentrate less on the origins of the ABC and more on it’s demise.

  38. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Agree with Nerblob – the issue with the ABC is agenda setting not just perspective on the issues raised. Good to see you looking for some historical accuracy there Sinc. Personally I find Gerard Henderson rather dull but that’s just me. Hairy says he likes the ‘bit of a curmudgeon’ style. You must be getting old, I disapprove back to him. 🙂

  39. Spring is coming

    Ladies ladies , pls put the hand bags down.

    Sorry should be

    Persons persons pls put the European carry all’s down.

    Stick to the main point. Sell it , cut it or shut it down.

  40. nemkat

    The main point is that Henderson is a bully and he’s been called out.
    It does look like his opposition to the ABC is only skin deep, though.
    Which begs the question:
    Where’s he really coming from?

  41. stackja

    LABOUR BROADCASTING
    https://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/9563022

    In 1925, Albert Willis, the president of the NSW ALP and chairman of the Labor Daily, predicted: ‘Eventually, H.G. Wells’ prophecy of news and propaganda being freely poured out at the people from great speaking machines must be realised … LABOR MUST GET IN FIRST.’ Visiting the United States in 1923–24, Emil Voigt, who headed the research bureau and wireless committee of the NSW Trades and Labour Council (TLC), had been impressed by Calvin Coolidge’s ability to address two million people at once during the presidential campaign. The TLC opened 2KY, housed in the Trades Hall attic, in October 1925. The station presented lunchtime talks on politics and economics, with trade union offices and some factories installing radio sets for workers. It was always available, without charge, for broadcasts by state and federal Labor.

    2KY is now called Sky Sports Radio which has been broadcasting the best of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing to a state-wide audience for more than 34-years of its now 86-year history.

  42. Snoopy

    Green’s concerned were hardly that far fetched, however irrelevant they are in times of mummy blogging and unrestricted access to the BBC, NYT WSJ, FT, DW, or for that matter, RT.

    Most ‘News’ these days comes shaped from one of three sources; AP, Reuters or AFP. A lot of the opprobrium directed at news outlets should be directed towards those agencies, instead.

    Opinion comes from Journolist.

  43. Bruce in WA

    Henderson is not on “our” side.

    Plus 1000

    Superficially, you may think so. But read a bit more deeply into what he writes.

    He ain’t no “friend”.

  44. Paridell

    No one need subscribe to the Oz to read Media Watch Dog. A much superior version, complete with graphics, is published simultaneously on the Sydney Institute website.

    Wouldn’t Nancy be flattered? Jackie has clearly not made much of an impact in her absence – at least, not on Sinc.

  45. Beachcomber

    I remember back when I still watched Insiders; on his frequent appearances Henderson would tell Scrotum-Face and the couch communards that Wayne Swan was ‘a very fine Treasurer’ and ‘doing an excellent job in difficult circumstances’. This was so the ABC viewer-drones would see him as a sensible and non-biased ‘conservative’, disdainfully aloof from the petty partisan politics. Stopped reading his tedious, self-absorbed Media Watch Dog years ago.

  46. Amadeus

    I’ve generally had the impression that Gerard is constantly cranky that he can’t get a permanent taxpayer sinecure in the hundreds of thousands, like the “big guns” at their ABC. Good heavens, they even pay Juanita Phillips and Therah Ferguthan more than Gerard…

  47. sabena

    Sinclair,
    Don’t expect an apology from Gerard Henderson-I expect In next weeks edition he will try and justify himself.

  48. kc

    Take your seats for the great pie fight. Next friday will be fun.

  49. You should all bloody well concentrate less on the origins of the ABC and more on it’s demise.

    ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ – George Santayana

  50. miltonf

    Could never understand Nancy’s hysterical defense of Peanut Head’s actions when he ran the AWU.

  51. bollux

    For Gods sake Sinc, it’s “misled”. If you can’t spell, how can you comprehend?

  52. Robber Baron

    Boy you guys must have glass jaws.

    I have found that PhD’s have some of the thinnest of skin on the planet. They can’t take criticism. Academics and so-called elites are the worst. We should be laughing at them, rather than taking them seriously.

  53. Cynic of Ayr

    Dislike or rubbish Henderson all you like, but he’s NOT a Lefty.
    But, Look at yourselves! Sinc and Commenters here are displaying extreme Lefty characteristics…
    You’re eating your own!

  54. Paridell

    The graphics include of course the colourful banner of Media Fool of the Week, which set this whole thread rolling.

  55. Dr Fred Lenin

    More funding for the alpbc is needed ,the workers there are grossly underpaid and overworked in their struggle to impose “fairness”on the illiterate politically undereducated population . Several suggestions to improve our alpbc are ;
    Supply funding for them to acquire fauxfacs and incorporate it into the co op .
    The commercial channels are in trouble so supply finance for the alpbc to acquire them all .
    Commercial radio is a mush mash of politically incorrect anti socialist nonsense ,supply funding to acquire them all .
    Then the whole media industry would be in safe u.n.communist hands and dissent stifled .
    We are devising a plan to rationalise the internet too using the Chinese model .
    What a Brave New World we envision ,a perfect world .
    This was a leak from comrade turnbull office ,we all know he lurves the alpbc.

  56. J.H.

    Gerard isn’t usually this tardy in criticizing something….. He really should have read the book instead of relying on someone else mis quoting portions of it… Bad journalism Mr Henderson. Very unbecoming of you Gerard.

  57. Helen

    Geez, Sinc, by not fact checking Gerard’s dog’s name, you have unleashed 10,000 years of letter exchcanges.

    NANCY is DEAD, DEAD, DEADER than DEAD.

    Now Jackie rules the kennel.

    I am afaid this slip up throws your whole tantrum into the dog house.

  58. nemkat

    He really should have read the book instead of relying on someone else mis quoting portions of it…
    That’s mighty generous of you, seeing that there is no evidence that that happened.
    He’s attacked Chris Berg, his reasons are spurious, his facts wrong, and the beneficiary is the ABC, which he’s spent years criticising over it’s staffing arrangements.

    I’d say he’s coming from way out on the Far Right, you may as well call it Fascism, the ideopogical home of his mentor, Santamaria.
    Albanese was also talking up Corporatism last week, maybe it’s making a comeback?

  59. Habib

    The demented bollocks touted by the ABC represent the view of a consistently 8% or less of the primary vote in elections at every level, the percentage only increases in areas where the irrational and sanctimonious hold sway (coincidentally around 8-10% of the adult population are clinically insane). If it must exist, and is supposed to be representative, no more than 8% of content should reflect Green Left Weekly editorial policy. It should also have about 70% monster truck racing, strippers and beer shows. I’d almost support its retention, especially as in that case it wouldn’t need public finding.

    Has the ALP ever been responsible for anything beneficial in this benighted nation’e history? The clinging to socialism and protectionism is why this is such a third-rate backwater. The fourth rate people are the main cause of course.

  60. Old School Conservative

    On a minor point:
    As avid readers are aware, the late Nancy (2004-2017) did not die. She merely “passed” on to the Other Side. Hence MWD has been able to keep in touch with her – with the help of the American psychic John Edward. And so Nancy’s “Courtesy Classes” continue – albeit from the “Other Side”.

    I have found Gerard to be quite fastidious in his analysis of ABC bias, and errors in commentary about the RC into child abuse. He calls out errors of fact quite frequently and gives chapter and verse of the correct facts. He skewers FitzSimons with regularity and mocks the ABC complaints process with a dry wit. His criticisms of Guthrie and Scott are consistent. He defends Menzies with historical accuracy. When his errors are pointed out, Gerard corrects them.
    If he is wrong re Berg, I’d cut him some slack.

  61. Empire 5:5

    Sinclair Davidson
    #2745395, posted on June 23, 2018 at 6:17 pm
    Henderson is not on “our” side.

    Ah, OK.

    I’ll move him from the “weaponised pedantry” to the “trebuchet ammo” column then, shall I?

    While I’m at it, anyone else from the Popular Peoples’ Front of Judea who requires reassignment? I’ve been lax on local admin this year.

  62. johanna

    Gerard does some good work, but he also has completely irrational biases and dislikes which taint his content. And, I agree with someone upthread who said that his ‘media watch’ column is becoming very boring. A lot of it is Gerard reviving ancient grievances.

    Nobody cares, Gerard.

    A case in point is that Gerard loathed Simon Haines on sight, and has ever since trashed the Western Civilisations project. Yep, his visceral response to Haines has coloured his response to the entire project.

    Therefore, I am not surprised by this episode. Personalia has long trumped facts in Gerard’s world.

    Sad.

  63. Roberto

    I thought Nancy died

    Yes, Nancy died and Gerard Henderson has a new dog. He lives around the corner from me and I see him walking it all the time.

  64. tgs

    I have found Gerard to be quite fastidious in his analysis of ABC bias, and errors in commentary about the RC into child abuse. He calls out errors of fact quite frequently and gives chapter and verse of the correct facts. He skewers FitzSimons with regularity and mocks the ABC complaints process with a dry wit. His criticisms of Guthrie and Scott are consistent. He defends Menzies with historical accuracy. When his errors are pointed out, Gerard corrects them.
    If he is wrong re Berg, I’d cut him some slack.

    Agree, he does stray into pedantry relatively often but is still generally good value.

    Though some weeks MWD is a bit dull. What is interesting to Gerard isn’t always interesting to the average punter.

  65. Clam Chowdah

    I gave up on Henderson some time ago and he’s just another reason why I won’t subscribe to the Oz. Where is the editorial checking of facts etc? The Oz is no better than all the rest.

    That’s bullshit.

  66. Clam Chowdah

    Henderson is not on “our” side.

    That sounds vaguely sinister. Have you taken up veganism?

  67. Paridell

    you may as well call it Fascism, the ideopogical home of his mentor, Santamaria.

    BA Santamaria was not a Fascist. The idea is ludicrous. Santamaria was a militant anti-Communist, but ideopogically, as you put it, he was a conservative Catholic.

  68. nemkat

    Santa wasn’t a Fascist, eh?
    This is extracted from his Wiki entry; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._A._Santamaria
    Santa also lied about his WW2 Exemption from Military Service, he mistaenly believed the records had been destroyed.
    He completed his Master of Arts degree with a thesis entitled “Italy Changes Shirts: The Origins of Italian Fascism“. Santamaria was a political activist from an early age, becoming a leading Catholic student activist and speaking in support of Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War. He also supported and wrote about Benito Mussolini, but denied he had been a supporter of fascism.

  69. Paridell

    So what? It was a rare bird on the Right who did not speak in favour of Franco’s forces during the Spanish Civil War. You’re not under the impression that Franco was a Fascist, are you? (And I know that there was a Punch cartoon with the punchline, “But Simon, the Fascists have all the sun!”)

  70. nemkat

    The Catholic Falange in Spain weren’t Fascists?
    Give me a break.
    Santa was all Lovey Dovey about what wonderful blokes Franco and Mussolini were right thru the 30s.

    Of course he had to trim his sails a tad after 1945, but his Politics never changed.

  71. nemkat

    Anyway, back to Henderson v Berg.
    The ABC is a typical Fascist monolith, it was conceived and built in Fascism’s heyday.
    Henderson was just paying tribute to his origins, he’ll also come out for Albanese, who has nailed his colours to Corporatism’s mast the other day.Henderson has now got to double down on Berg to try to salvage the shreds of his tatty credibility.

  72. Paridell

    BA Santamaria was a Fascist and the ABC is a typical Fascist monolith?

    I think you’re in the realms of fantasy again here, Jones.

  73. stackja

    I have the book now. Am reading.

  74. Paridell

    Last week’s Media Watch Dog, Issue 411, has mysteriously disappeared from the Sydney Institute archive. Has someone sued? It is however still available at the address of the issue itself.

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