Jul 082011

Spotted a link to this subject on Twitter this arvo, courtesy of @latikambourke.

Hendo, or Gerard Henderson, doyen of the conservative cabal, preacher of the conservative faith and exponent of all things ‘right’ has this bile-ridden website called Media Watch Dog. Clearly, it’s a jealous jibe at Auntie’s much longer running and certainly much less vitriolic Media Watch. Gerard likes to have his say because if you listen to & read his rants, it’s clear that no-one ever gives him a chance outside of his own space. Maybe is he changed his tune from repetitive ideologue to something more centrist commentator he might get a following, but that’s another much longer tale.

Have a read of the latest load of lugubrious literature and you’ll see precisely what I refer to.

Mike Scrafton’s Back – Pity About His Memory:

Gerard has a big whinge about dear old Auntie’s Leaky Boat doco which was on ABC1 last night, and followed by a special, one-off QandA program dedicated solely to the subject of asylum seekers, boat-people, fear_and_loathing, John Howard, Peter Reith et al. I’m personally amazed there’s nothing written about that part of the evening, but I digress.

Gerard obviously doesn’t like Mike Scrafton. Google ‘Mike Scrafton’ and you’ll get plenty to fill in any void in your understanding. Gerard takes Victoria Midwinter Pitt – the writer and director of the doco – to task because she had the utter temerity to include that distastefully unfaithful former public servant in her exposé. The man was clearly a liar, AND a drunkard….or his lady friend at dinner that night was/is a lush, or someone was, according to Gerard. What Scrafton stated about what he’d told Howard is clearly a lie. Was then, is now, according to Gerard. He doesn’t provide any proof, but why should he have to?

Moving on, because we don’t want to belabour the bleedingly obvious, do we? There’s a whinge about someone I’ve never heard of being written up in some Melbourne rag talking about their snip. Who cares? Then there’s a directionless, but never the less obviously much needed parry & thrust at Laborite, Bob Ellis, which frankly makes as much sense as the Ellis pieces it tries to detract from. I believe it’s yet another bleat about Auntie ABC and her attendant court of ‘lefties’ (whatever that means) writing whatever their socialist hearts desire on publically funded webspace. Can’t have that, you know! Public broadcaster actually allowing the public she serves to utilise the space they pay for, oh no!!

Then we move on to John Quiggin’s Rant. For those who don’t know, John Quiggan is a much respected economist and lecturer in same at Queensland University. Also a blogger and noted…..yes, you guessed it….’leftie’. Bottom line with Gerard’s rant about what he claims to be Prof Quiggan’s ‘rant’ is that Gerard disagrees with John’s opinion. Does the taxpayer fund Prof Quiggan? Who’d know because Gerard never provides any proof, just bald claims, but when you’re right….well, you’re right, aren’t you? Bruised ego there, Gerard?

And then, oh dear me, yet ANOTHER economist needs taking down a peg. Saul Eslake, no less. Clearly, Saul isn’t a Catholic, or if he is, Gerard thinks he shouldn’t be talking obliquely acidly about the Church anyway. But wait…..there’s more. There’s the fact that this Eslake upstart….PFFFFT!, economist indeed….takes issue with and dares to criticise (that’s what ‘bag’ means) Gerard’s man in Canberra, Tony Abbott. Well, Johnnie Howard isn’t there anymore and one simply must have an idol in the big house, so the Mad Wanna-be Monk is it. I reckon it’s a fair critique, frankly. With an attitude of NO! NO! NO! and don’t-mention-workchoices-‘cos-it’s-dead-buried-and-cremated what else are economists supposed to presume of Mistarabbit?

Then we have a gripe about GroupThink in……*GASP*…….the public broadcaster. Look, sit back, take a few breathes and think about getting yourself a brandy before reading on.

GroupThink in the ABC? Is there, Gerard? What about GroupThink at the Sydney Institute, or the Institute for Public Affairs, or the H.R. Nicholls Society, or Menzies House? Seriously, dear, dear Gerard, isn’t it time you looked honestly at yourself and realised just what a goose you’re putting yourself up to be?

I’ll skip the next two bleats because they meant even less to me than the bit further up where some guy got the snip & told the world about it. The last paras are sheer delights, showing Gerard off at his bile-driven, ideological best. The tenor of the last bit of this whiney piece of bloggery reminds me very much of the conservative party attitudes displayed in 1990’s BBC drama, “House of Cards”. You’d have to have seen it to understand what I mean. Gerard reminds me of a faux version of Francis Urquhart, willing to do whatever it takes to ensure his side always wins, rightly or wrongly, let no-one stand in his way.

The last paras deal with – again – what Gerard sees as ‘leftie’ bias on the public broadcaster, specifically, The Drum which appears on ABC24. Gerard actually making the effort to watch these shows must be his form of self-flagellation. He clearly hates doing so, but does so in the off-chance he might catch a publically-funded employee, like Marius Benson, in an ideologically warped circular disagreement. Amusingly, Gerard deliberately avoids stepping into what the elephant in the room left behind by not backing up one of his own in Peter Reith, by providing categorical supporting evidence for what Reith stated.

“Can I take you back about 25 years ago when there was hardly an economist in Australia who would stand up and support the argument that we needed to change our industrial relations system to provide more flexibility and therefore higher productivity.”

‘hardly an economist’, which infers there were some. How many? Not exactly the same number, or more, than those who wouldn’t stand by coalition policy of the time? That’s what Reith was referring to, without actually saying so. Reith was attempting to claim that what he & Howard attempted to foist onto the IR theatre in 1997-98 was justified, despite what those damnable economists who didn’t exist might have thought. No provable support from Gerard, only accusations and brickbats aimed at those ‘lefties’ on the panel for daring to argue their point.

It’s clear, as your read on through this painfully pusillanimous set of attacks against Peter Lewis and ABC News Radio presenter, Marius Benson, that Gerard simply doesn’t have any regard at all for these gents on a personal basis. How dare anyone dare to state their opinion, much less their beliefs, on the public broadcaster and especially so when those opinions and beliefs don’t match those of Gerard Henderson!! Is it any wonder that those who watch Henderson’s antics, even those his own side of the divide in The Australian, to the effect of wondering if dear Gerard is really all there. Reading through those purposely worded vitriolic challenges to perceived ideological enemies, who probably don’t care a fig either way, say a lot more about Gerard Henderson than the man himself ever could. Frankly, I think the man is to be pitied, not ridiculed.

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