People will look back in many years and reflect on the sheer enormity and joy of being at the first ever Crikeys – the media awards that really cut to the chase of our blessed industry.
It was a glittering yeah, yeah, wank, wank .get on with it.
The Demtel Man Tim Shaw kindly agreed to MC the affair and did a fine job with absolutely no preparation. Remember old Steak Knives, Demtel spent $35 million on his head in the 80s turning him into one of the best known faces on television.
A former electrical repairman, Big Tim has now climbed new heights and is a director of the NRMA.
He’s also about to launch www.TimShaw.com.au so check it out and grab him as your next MC because he did a great job for us.
The good thing about Big Tim, apart from the fact he can talk under wet cement, is that he can laugh at himself. He dished out sets of Steak Knives and Crikey tee-shirts to some of the winners and shamelessly promoted himself and his new web venture in a way only someone with a front as big as Myer could do.
Tim was also involved in the prize for the “Most Disgraceful Media Sacking of the Year”.
Fortunately for him he was only the victim. The perpetrator was that thoroughly decent fellow John Singleton who sacked Steak Knives from his weekend gig on 2GB two hours after he’d voted against Singo getting a $2 million NRMA advertising account.
The Crikeys were always going to attract an interesting crowd inviting anyone to come through the Crikey.com.au website.
We had a couple from the MEAA, including Federal President Chris Warren. A few PR flaks turned up including Sue Cato, Ian Kortlang’s former wife and current best friend, who is now off running Chris Clark’s ad agency Pure Creative. Suzanne Blake, Emma’s mum, was another surprise attendee and we also had CSR’s PR man there, perhaps with one eye on the AGM come July 24 which will be chaired by good old Ian Burgess.
Plenty of journos from The Oz turned up including the two Westies, but Crikey’s biggest fans, Piers Akerman and Col Allan, were nowhere to be seen and we won’t name the four who turned up from the Telegraph just in case Col is tempted to run a silly vendetta.
Col would have been proud to see everyone chanting the words behind his legendary G.O.S.P.E.R headline as the Tele picked up the award for jackboot journalism. I still reckon they should not have wimped it and dumped Reptile from the second edition. It would also have been better if they’d realised the nature of the story two days earlier when Evie Gelastopolous broke it. Whoever was responsible for burying it back near the Telegraph’s business pages should have a good look at themselves. Was it you Col?
One Rehamer snuck in and hid in a corner and two chaps from rival firm Media Monitors showed. We were delighted to see Julian and Craig from The Chaser and they astutely used the evening to distribute copies of their latest thoroughly entertaining edition.
Then there were the punters. Keen shareholder John Johnson came from Adelaide, our SOCOG-bashing letter-writer delighted in mysteriously introducing himself as “Dan” to everyone and Maurice from Wollongong Uni turned up to secure the interview for his PHD on web publishing.
Paula’s friends swelled the crowd somewhat and because there were quite a few non-journos present we only read out about 20 award categories.
This allowed me to sneakily not announce I’d won the disloyalty award for dumping on past employers. My vain attempts to give it to John Singleton for bagging The Eye was over-ruled by everyone and when Radio National mentioned it the next morning I was unable to cull it from the list of winners we published on Tuesday.
I probably should have been shortlisted for most overexposed prize too, but happily palmed this one off to Eddie McGuire. The “I Award for Columnists” could also have gone to your self-obsessed publisher because I use I all the time. Aye. But the punters were happy with the choice of The Australian’s Emma Tom – as was everyone from The Oz who mostly can’t stand her.
It was a little surprising to see how much media interest there was in the awards. Amanda Meade carried a small piece in The Australian’s Media Diary and the Courier Mail also picked it up after the Media Tart award went deservedly to Queensland Premier Peter Beattie.
Radio National, JJJ, RRR in Melbourne and ABC Perth all had us on for interviews and the feedback from listeners appeared good. Maybe there is real public appeal in bagging journalists.
Anyway, enough prattling and putting our positive spin on things, check out the list of award winners below and then check out a few of your emails in response.
The Crikeys: Who Won
Winners Of The Crikey Awards Announced On May 22 In Sydney
The I Award For Columnists
Winner: Emma Tom, The Australian.
Commendations: Corrie Perkin (Sunday Age) Richard Glover (SMH) Helen Razer (The Age)
Most Grovelling Apology
Winner: The Australian to Optus CEO Chris Anderson over a hard-hitting Mark Westfield column. Westfield was not even consulted about the grovelling apology which retracted most of the comments.
Most Litigious Dickhead
Winner: Alan Jones, 2UE, for constantly threatening and suing Fairfax.
Commendations: Kerry Packer, Rene Rivkin, Jeff Kennett
The Don’t Report On Your Proprietor Prize
Winner: News Corp papers around the globe for sycophantic coverage on China and negligible coverage of Rupert’s marriage to Wendi Deng.
Failed Campaign Prize
The Australian’s pro-republic stand which included an unprecedented front page editorial.
Weakest Interview Of The Year
Winner: 3AW’s Neil Mitchell after the Bolte portrait finished up in Jeff Kennett’s house and he refused to ask any tough questions.
Commendation: The Herald Sun for its exclusive with Jeff Kennett during the state election which billed itself as “tough” but involved questions such as “Are footy fans being looked after?”
The Beat Up On Your Proprietors Enemies Prize
The Daily Telegraph after the digital TV decision for “KPTV” and “PM’s son in death house”.
Most Ridiculous Front Page Story
Hobart Mercury about couple using a microwave to have sex at a party. Pic was of microwave with bum marks on top..
Most Inappropriate Media Director
Winner: Michael Kroger at the ABC given his Liberal and Packer connections.
Commendation: The Packer associates on the Fairfax board, most notably Sir Rod Carnegie given his family’s investment in Text Media.
Biggest Stuff Up On Air.
Channel Ten’s live cross from Colonial Stadium where security guard jumps reporters.
The Fly Around The World Junket Award
Bruce Mansfield from 3AW thanks to Lauda Air
Best Newspaper Letter
Howard’s fail fashion test
“I was appalled by the lack of style displayed by the Howards in the picture accompanying Stephen Koukoulas’s article (‘Costello’s chance: don’t just sit there – do something’, AFR, May 2). John Howard looks like a sack of potatoes and wears a Vodafone advertisement! Mrs Howard looks far from elegant, but was conscious enough to have her face obscured.
I appreciate they do not have much to work with, but while they are representing us overseas they should try harder.”
The Most Disgraceful Cash For Comment Trophy. Winner: Star City for complaining about John Laws mentioning the Dalamangas death at the casino.
Commendation: Walker Corp for paying Jones and Laws vast sums to spruik the Woolloomooloo finger wharf development and selling them a penthouse each.
The Both Sides Of The Street PR Backflip Award
Ian Kortlang for advising on AMP demutualisation, GIO on its takeover defence and then new AMP CEO Paul Batchelor.
Most Shameless Spindoctor Award.
Ken Hooper, Nick Greiner’s former chief of staff, for pretending to be a community group against Westfield’s competitors at the Arnotts biscuits site in Sydney.
Biggest Lie Told To The Media
SOCOG denying that tickets had been set aside for the rich
Most Tarnished Celebrity Manager
Joint winners: John Fordham for promoting John Laws’ cash for comment and Harry M Miller for promoting Alan Jones’ cash for comment.
The Shoot The Messenger Award For Political Media Bashing
The Person Most In Need Of A Good Spin Doctor
Most Ingenious Method of Avoiding Unpleasant Media Attention.
Cheryl Kernot and the Red Wig.
Most Consistently Unpublished Letter-Writer
The Senator for Fashionable Causes, Natasha Stott Despoja
The Disloyalty Award For Bagging Your Own Outlet(s).
Stephen Mayne for dumping on The Age, the Herald Sun, the AFR and Jeff Kennett on jeffed.com.
Commendation: John Singleton for dumping on The Eye.
Minister For Picture Opportunities Award
Amanda Vanstone at every Federal Police drug bust
The Dish It Out But Can’t Take It Award
Ray Martin for moaning about John Safran and Shane Paxton going through his garbage.
The Take Anyone’s Moulah PR Prize.
Winner: IPR Shandwick for accepting $80,000 a month from Carlos the fugitive Mexican banker and for representing disgraced Coles Myer CEO Brian Quinn on his release from jail.
The Self-Appointed Bullshit Lobby Group Award
Ray Regan from the Tax Accountants Association who once gave a doorstop from hospital bed when recovering from a hernia operation.
Biggest PR Department Award.
Telstra with something approaching 50 spinners and support staff.
The stupidest cut to editorial resources prize
Channel 10 for closing Perth studio and having newsreaders in Sydney.
The Lachlan Murdoch Internet Luddite Award John Cowley for refusing all Courier Mail journalists internet access and the Daily Telegraph where the internet reporter has no terminal access
The Kelvin McKenzie Stick It Up Your Punter Prize For Jackboot Journalism.
The Daily Telegraph for “GOSPER: Greedy, Obstinate, Selfish, Pompous, Egotistical, Reptile”
The Overexposed Prize
Winner: Eddie McGuire for calling the footy on Triple M, hosting The Footy Show on Nine, penning a column in the Saturday Herald Sun, hosting “Who wants to be a miyonaire” on Nine and having an opinion on everything as Collingwood President.
The Shameless Vanity Prize for TV
Sam Newman for his facelift.
Most paranoid press secretary
John Howard’s spinner Tony “Whose was the arsehole quote” O’Leary.
The Media Tart Award
Winner: Peter Beattie who at least admitted it.
Commendations: Alan Fels and Tim Costello
Most Unpopular Editor With Staff
Winner: Col Allan, Daily Telegraph
Commendations: Glenn Burge, Financial Review. Brian Crisp, Sunday Times in Perth.
Holier Than Though Media Hypocrisy
Paul Murray for bagging commercial radio when editor of The West Australian and then becoming a 6PR shock jock
The Look After Your Directors Prize
The West Australian for not reporting the 38 houses severely damaged by the $500 million Northbridge tunnel done by a company owned by WA News director Harold Clough.
Media Misjudgement Prize
Winner: Kevan Gosper for Sophie’s torch carrying
Commendation: ABA chairman David Flint for attending the Packer wedding whilst investigating the FXF Trust and being interviewed by John Laws on the Republic whilst conducting the cash for comment inquiry.
Most Disgraceful Media Sacking
Winner: John Singleton for sacking Tim Shaw from his weekend shift on 2GB two hours after the Demtel man, as an independent director of NRMA, voted against Singleton Ogilvy Mather winning a $2 million NRMA advertising account.
A few late emails came in suggesting alternative winners so let’s have a look at some of them.
Dear Crikey, a few suggestions.
The Media lazarus award – Fred Brenchley
The overexposure prize – Stephen Mayne
Sycophancy to totalitarians prize – Greg Sheridan (easily)
The teflon award for surviving media assaults – Kevan Gosper
Oblivion to public opinion award – Kevan Gosper, Paddy McGuinness (dead-heat)
Most inappropriate director or a media outlet – Michael Gill
Columnist most deserving of dismissal – Paddy McGuiness
Shit in your own nest award – John Singleton for The Eye
Yours, foreign correspondent
You forgot the award for the most shameless self promoter in the press photography game.
Andrew Meares who as Sydney Morning Herald deputy pictorial editor, gives himself all the best assignments, including the Fiji coup. Most unpopular with the rest of the photographers
Regards, News Ltd snapper
reading through your list of awards, I notice the categories seem to be very worthy, but quite specific. They’re the equivalent of ‘Best make-up’ or ‘Best lighting’ at the Academy Awards.
On all awards nights, there is always one that caps the evening.. The best actor or Gold Logie.
Can I suggest you create such a grand category and call it the “Jonesey”, and award it to the individual voted the “Most shameless media reptile of the year”.
The award itself could be a sneering face cast in bronze.
As for who should get the award, I believe is should be a vote by the members of the Crikey Academy, or the individual’s peers.
More strength to your efforts in keeping the bastards honest.
What about the Most Consistent Butting In on Interviewee Award. And the winner is Fran Kelly of the ABC.
Stupidest front page: about a month ago, The West Australian devoted its front page to a “head lice outbreak”, if you can believe it.
Most shameless celebrity manager: Harry M Miller by a nose from Max Markson.
Most oblivious to public opinion award … and the winner is …. Kevan Gosper.
Biggest defamation payout award: If the figure is correct, Emma Tom (by country mile) while at Fairfax.
Stupidest question asked? ABC TV reporter Duncan Huntsdale to NSW cricket captain Steve Waugh after Brett Lee had cleaned up WA in Sheffield Shield match: “Steve, is it fair that Brett Lee bowls so fast to the tailenders?”
The ubiquitous Roland Perry to the same Brett Lee on Allan Border Medal night: “Brett, I saw Ray Lindwall bowl and you remind me of him. What do you think of that?”
That’s all folks. Send in your emails to [email protected] and stay tuned for a Crikey awards night later in the year in Melbourne that will cover all of the 1990s.