JA should be disciplined for Lleyton compliment

G’day Crikey.

This one’s for Patrick Fitzgerald.

The one I heard recently was during “Li’l Lleyton” Hewitt’s last game in the French Open, he was throwing his racquet around, arguing with the umpires and generally behaving like a goose, and John Alexander in the commentary box was heard to say, “Lleyton is playing with much maturity.”

Is there any truth to this? And why hasn’t JA been sacked yet?

Honestly, the way that the Australian tennis hierarchy protect goons like this, you’d think that it was normal for Australian sportspeople to act like spoilt children.

Lleyton Hewitt and Anthony Mundine represent the worst in Australian sport.


CRIKEY: Lleyton is a pratt sometimes but he’s also quite young and an amazing player so we probably should cut him some slack.

Nasty Delia Delegate is a sheila

Delia Delegate – have the courage to show your face and the grace to give credit where it is due. Bill Shorten has boldly acheived more for his members in the AWU than most officials dare dream about. He has gone about this with intelligence, strength and ingenuity. Your smarmy negativity does nothing for either Bill or Greg and only serves to hurt the people we claim to represent, the workers and battlers of our community. And by the way, I don’t believe you are female ….

Cait Ellis

CRIKEY: Crikey hasn’t got a clue as to the identity so your guess is as good as mine Cait.

Pathetic NSW opposition explains soft on Carr gallery

Hi Stephen

The Sydney lobbyist obviously doesn’t know the NSW Press Gallery very well.

Never thought I would find myself defending some elements of the NSW Press Gallery, but here goes.

The Carr Giovernment made it quite clear in 1995 it did not want anybody from the NSW Press Gallery and set-up a rigorous selection system to screen applicants for Ministerial media positions.

It has only been in recent times that this rule has been relaxed.

Steve Chase (ex ABC) was at the time of his appointment to the Education and Training Department, the only radio journalist in the Gallery, who consistently broke stories. Damned good appointment.

Anonymous lobbyist doesn’t know his Minister’s very well. Danny Blyde (ex Channel 9) actually works for the Deputy Premier, Andrew Refshauge.

Justin Kelly (ex 2UE) wasn’t in the Press Gallery long enough to offend anyone before heading off to his ill-fated time with Peter Ryan. He jumped before Ryan was pushed and is now at 2GB.

As for Megan Miller going to the office of the new Police Commissioner – quite an interesting appointment.

The general level of non excitement at the NSW Press Gallery is a reflection of seven years of an Opposition that has been undergoing intensive deep sleep therapy. The NSW Coalition is a policy free zone and has been under the past two leaders (Collins & Chikarovski). It is showing few signs of waking under its current leader.

As Carr has said in Parliament in recent weeks, Brogden is saddled with the same bunch of lazy non-performers as Greiner, Fahey, Collins and Chikarovski.

Until someone kick starts the Opposition in NSW, we can expect the same level of disinterest from the Press Gallery.


CRIKEY: Weak oppositions are usually a reason for a press gallery to redouble their efforts to keep the government accountable but this is not happening in NSW. Maybe they need the opposition to start spoon-feeding them.

Malcolm Long was the answer for Aunty

I just cannot understand the silence on Malcolm Long’s great suitability
for running the ABC. I suspect it is because the qualities he brings –
vision, integrity, strong personal ethics, commitment to public
broadcasting and media experience are not recognised as they are foreign
to most of those interviewing him. Sure, people talk about the unions at
SBS and they talk about the man who ate his lunch in his office and
didn’t do the blokey David Hill thing when he was second in charge, but
with Hill there he didn’t need to. Given the world’s best accountant is
Deputy, the staff issues can be managed easily. Long has everything the
ABC urgently needs.

Of course television has always been resistant to the man that oversaw
the development of the various radio networks, surely the great success
in recent years at the ABC. And of course they were all a bit pissed off
when their man, Red Kez OBrien didn’t get up. But surely they all know
they need Long to give them the long term future desperately needed for
the ABC.

Mates who have seen his consulting work in the past couple of years can
be in no doubt of his deep and visionary understanding of the changing
and converging media environment. What is obvious is the fact that he
also understands the new revenue streams that are possible and how to
properly exploit content without compromise.

In an environment of static, sorry, decreasing funding, surely this adds
to his desirability for even Kroger’s mate the treasurer and his hard
heads. And in the policy free zone that is Senator Alston and his team,
surely this is the chance to get some of that work done for free. In the
national interest.

The Coalition always says they have to talk to their enemy (ABC) to
reach their friends (the voting punters). Have they not made the
connection that treating the ABC as a plaything for cheap politics is
not smart politics – viewers and listeners of the ABC do not forget this
sort of interference.

Subscriber 1961

CRIKEY: Mal obviously didn’t play his politics too well and would have been too big a threat for Closet McCloset.

Richard Carlton a disgrace


Carlton was disgraceful with Pell last night. He has always been a thug and
he proved it again on Sunday night. He has so little fear of
misrepresentation that he should go into politics. Some of his reports from
the middle east for instance have been atrocious.

As far as I can tell, the only people required to not talk about the offer
of compensation were those who refused it in order that later court
proceedings (should they occur) would not be predjudiced. If they chose to
take the money they were free to talk about it. Strange hush money that.

He also singled out one family from the approx. 100 paid compensation so
far. He never accused Pell of trying to cover up 100 people – just this one
family. Doesn’t that strike you as a bit strange?

Also the so called “keep quiet letter” from the lawyers was a standard
letter from the Lawyers outlining the compensation process set up by the
Church – a process taken up by over 100 families all of whom have presumably
been sent the same letter. Assuming that some choose to go via the courts,
it has probably been sent to more than that.

Pell should also take up poker. He has the greatest poker face I have ever
seen – no wonder people described him as emotionless.

Carlton, like the guttersnipe he is, lined Pell up for a shirt front and
managed to avoid the facts in his run up.

Tim Noynek

CRIKEY: Pell was certainly mad in agreeing to an interview and if you dance with Carlton you’re a brave man.

NSW press gallery too soft


Your piece on the NSW Parliamentary Press Gallery is spot on. Even those that work in the media acknowlege that there is no one asking Bob Carr the hard questions. If NSW Press Gallery had been doing their job properly Carl Scully and John Aquilina would no longer be ministers. Quentin Dempster is almost a caricature these days and the front page of both Sunday papers is always the result of the ‘leaking of a report by a Government/Oppostion source’. ( Read: A special briefing by a Press Secretary)

The Federal Press Gallery is almost as ineffectual. They way they were led around by the major parties on ‘The Magical Mystery Tour’ during the Election campaign, and the way they were conned in the ‘Children Overboard’ affair indicates a Press Gallery that is too close to the people thay should be scrutinising.

Remember Laurie Oakes savaging of Admiral Chris Barrie, yet you never see Laurie rip into the either the major political parties like he did with the hapless Admiral. Laurie has the perfect forum every Sunday morning to subject our political leaders to the scrutiny they deserve, but does does he do it? He like many of his colleagues,doesn’t want to bite the hand that feeds him, and in Laurie’s case it has fed him such tasty morsels as the Shane Stone memo. But Laurie is not the only one.

The NSW Police disbanded the specialist squads like The Armed Robbery Squad, when they thought they were getting too close to the people they should be policing. Perhaps the media proprietors should adopt the same approach and inject some new blood into the Parliamentary Press Galleries.

Regards, Greg

CRIKEY: We’ll be monitoring the NSW gallery leading into the state election next March and would encourage other “Greg’s” out there to send in their thoughts.

Birmingham’s $117,000 – bigger than the Birmingham 6 by far

I’m too lazy, but Crikey might like to check whether the fact & quantum of Birmingham’s hard-earned but liberal largesse may not have been available via whatever version of “the public record” exists in WA. Presumably the financial doings of such august bodies as the Lands Valuation Administrative Tribunal and the Centenary of Federal Celebrations Committee are published – or at least are FOI-able? Well, maybe not; but if they are, then all the learned gen’leman is complaining about is public information being made public. If the info is supposed to be secret, then of course Crikey should be visited by ASIO et al & his sand-groper henchman made to pay the price of such sordid treachery as telling the public how its purse is spent.

Lazy Eastern Barrister

CRIKEY: Totally agree LEB, he sounds rather precious.

Claim your copyright payments folks

Dear Stephen,

Great to see you working closely with CAL and spreading the word about
unclaimed copyright payments.

The rights of authors and journos are close to my heart, some say I get
obsessed about protecting the legitimate interests of copyright
creators. Felt you should know that two of the lawyers on the CAL board
actually represent the interests of authors/creators, which of course
are many of your sole subscribers.

The Australian Society of Authors nominates two members to the CAL board
and author members get to vote another one of their own. The ASA was
pleased that two of these author representatives are two of the
country’s leading copyright and entertainment lawyers: Michael Frankel
(Michael Frankel & Company) and Shane Simpson (Simpsons Solicitors).
Both have been incredibly active since joining the board, both strong on
corporate governance (something close to Crikey’s heart I know) and I
would think your readers would value their diligence and good work.

They give generously of their time to look after the rights of
creators. Both Shane and Michael provide enormous pro-bono support
for other organisations like the Arts Law Centre (who provide free legal
advice to copyright creators and artists across the board) and a range
of individual artists. And they both are bloody good lawyers!

If any journalists would like to have their say about both the ASA
nominees and the author representative on the CAL board, then joining
the ASA is a pretty good option! (www.asauthors.org)

Virginia Gordon
Public Affairs Manager, Australian Society of Authors
. . and individual Crikey subscriber

CRIKEY: We don’t often run plugs like this but unclaimed copyright is an issue dear to our heart and we support the sentiments.

The Andrew Carroll sacking

Dear Crikey,

Perhaps you saw, a couple of weeks ago, Media Watch commenting on the
court ruling in Brisbane saying local ABC mgr Chris Wordsworth had been
unjustifiably beastly to the local morning radio jock. They only got
half the story. I queried them thus:

“I was surprised you didn’t go into the background of ABC manager Chris
(ex-manager, perhaps?) Wordsworth. His last job was as press sec to John

Moore, former Minister of Defence. Moore is big in the Libs,
particularly in Qld. As I recall, state managers (while no longer quite
as godlike as they were once) are a board-approved appointment. Was
Chris nominated as a job for the boys? And no wonder he didn’t want free
kicks for Peter Beattie during an election campaign!

John S

PS I got a reply back saying they wouldn’t run anything they couldn’t
confirm. Picking up a phone and asking anyone in the gallery could have
confirmed Chris’s background. A bit of a lizard. But a bloody sight
better than his Peter Reith replacement.

CRIKEY: A couple of people have made representations that we have been too tough on ABC Queensland state director Chris Wordsworth. Firstly, he is said to have not been looked after by Howard’s office like most of John Moore’s staff when the Defence Minister got eased out. Secondly, the press release that went out on the Andrew Carroll matter carried his name but was not written by the lad. The ABC in Queensland has long been a workers’ collective so it is not surprising a former Liberal staffer and journalist is copping all sorts of fear and loathing.

Delia Delegate off the rails

Dear Crikey

As one who has enjoyed Crikey’s political and corporate exposes, it is with some
reluctance that I feel compelled to respond to one of your recent pieces.

I don’t know who “Delia Delegate” is but she’s definitely been fed a line about myself.
Almost everything in her article relating to me was untrue.

Yes it is true I was the Labor candidate in Syndal in 1988 and proudly so. But as
anyone who has been around in the Labor Party for more than five minutes would
know, that certainly wasn’t Labor’s high water mark. In fact we nearly lost
government. Our campaign in Syndal received the largest swing to Labor in any
opposition held seat. I wouldn’t have thought reducing the margin from over
1,000 votes to around 100 was a massive failure. But obviously “Delia” was on
another planet to the rest of us.

I’m also glad to read that “Delia” is a literary buff. Unfortunately, she must be relying
on a second hand bucket job rather than what the rest of us do – read the book first.
My book on the 1997 UK election was no apologia for the Labor Right or Tony
Blair. It was a serious academic study, based on my Masters Thesis that was marked
by Professor Stuart McIntyre, the well respected academic, public advocate and
supporter of the Labor Left. If “Delia” had opened the book and maybe even got to
the conclusion, she might have noted my criticisms of New Labour and concerns at
poll-driven policy agenda’s.

As to my industrial experience and the work of my union, the CEPU, good old “Delia”
has got the wrong end of the pineapple again. A lifelong unionist, I’ve been in the
forefront of union campaigns to stop privatisation and save jobs and services for the
community. I ran the Firefighters Union’s successful campaign to stop Jeff Kennett’s
push to privatise the Melbourne Fire Brigade. And I’m currently coordinating the
CEPU’s successful national campaign to stop the Howard government deregulating
Australia Post.

I can’t see how “Delia’s” colourful description of me could apply to someone who has
helped save thousands of workers jobs and basic services for the community.
Obviously, “Delia” has another – less than transparent – agenda to run. I’m not saying
she should run mine but I am saying she should get her facts right for a change.

Apart from that, “Delia’s” article was a quite amusing report.

Yours, Jim Claven
National Industrial Research Officer
CEPU Communications Division

CRIKEY: The indepth machinations of Labor machines politics is all a bit beyond Crikey give our Liberal roots but we’re more than happy to help facilitate this debate so keep sending in excellent rebuttals such as this one bruvvas.

Rugger is in great shape

I’m a little late commenting on this, but just had to say that I enjoyed
Crullers analysis of the ARU annual report and current financial/player
position, with the following reservations. I’ll preface this by saying that
I’ve played competitive rugby here, and in NZ and SA over the years, so I
think I’ve got a good grip on the rugby culture in all three countries:

1) His worries about the broadcasting deal post 2005 are unfounded. While
rugby union is still a minor winter sport in OZ, it is the biggie in both
NZ & SA. The pay TV services in both those countries pay megabucks for
rugby of all kinds all year round. In addition, Crullers probably doesn’t
realise that the TV rights for southern hemisphere rugby almost didn’t end
up with Uncle Rupert at all – there was a huge bid from a rival consortium
back in 1994 that came very close to succeeding and there will be similar
bidders around in 2005 which will keep the revenue up. Rupert has made a
pile of dough out of the 10 year deal by on-selling coverage of super 12
and tri-nations to hordes of pay-tv networks around the planet…far more
than he’ll ever make internationally out of ARL or AFL footage, so he’ll be
keen to win again as well.

2) Crullers points about the relatively small increase in player
participation here recently are spot on. Australia, with a population six
times greater than NZ has far less registered players than the land of
sheep, and also less than SA which, although it has a population slightly
larger than Australia, has a white population similar to NZ and that’s
significant because rugby is essentially a white mans sport in SA. In other
words, Australia has been fighting well above its weight in international
rugby of late, and it probably can’t go on due to lack of player depth
coming through.

3) Crullers also mentioned the prospect of a fourth super 12 team in OZ as
though it was still a goer…

“The ARU is pushing for a fourth Australian team in the provincial
competition, which reflects the fact that the Aussies have the depth to
consistently match it with the South Africans (no great accomplishment at
the moment) and Kiwis…”,

but that idea is dead in the water thanks to the Kiwis right of veto to any
expansion, and probably deservedly so. Why, I ask rhetorically? Well, the
rugby talent in OZ is spread over just three teams and what a great three
teams they were this year…but this was the only year in the last seven
where they’ve all been competitive, and if there was a fourth team how
would you staff it? Two choices only…you either dilute the talent of the
other three OZ teams to create the fourth, and/or you import players from
elsewhere (read NZ, SA or, god forbid, the UK). Either way, you weaken the
local scene and reduce the chances of having all your teams as competitive
members of the competition. Don’t believe me? – look at the SA teams.

The Bulls from SA should only be called by that name because they’re as useless
as tits on one, and yet their core is the Northern Transvaal province which
is hugely steeped in rugby history and talent. The thing that’s screwed
them up is that the available SA talent couldn’t support four teams at this
stage with the good players spread so thinly. The same thing would have
happened here if a fourth team had been created. The Kiwis did us all a
favour by squashing it although they should have had the guts to do it at
the beginning of discussions on the subject, so that the bad blood of the
past few months didn’t eventuate. And just think about this….the Kiwi
teams have won Super 12 in 6 of the 7 years of its existence when their
talent has been spread across five teams. Just think how powerful they
might have been if that talent had been scrunched into only four or three
teams…like Australia.

Brian Williams

CRIKEY: All good points Brian and many thanks for the quality feedback.

Singapore right about super


Your assessment of the negatives of the Singaporean government running a universal super scheme for workers is very negative. I think your third correspondent got it right.

Although I am largely a supporter of the free market, there are some, several, er… many areas which ought to be the responsibility of government, and superannuation is foremost of these. One of the most fundamental roles of government ought to be to provide a secure and predictable life for its trusting subjects in those areas where it can and where the free market can or will not. We workers should be able to know with certainty what will happen to our retirement funds so that we are not at risk of arriving at retirement to find that we are unable to support ourselves as we had expected. The free market in general does not provide this, and the free market under this government in particular gives us every reason to fear for our super.

Having lost a goodly portion of my own super through the collapse of HIH, and a further sum of around $5000 (not including points) in the collapse of Ansett, I have good reason not to want to trust my life to the survival and good judgement of a company run for profit. There is no way any of us can choose the “best” super fund, and certainly no way we can be sure we are not going to lose some or all of our savings in the 40 or so years between starting to save and when we get to use it.

The solution is for government to provide a universal, government guaranteed super scheme. Which of course is what the Singapore, French and other governments do. As a result they are better off than we are.

Sincerely, Julian Robinson

CRIKEY: Interesting point. Whilst it is probably wise for the government to mandate super accumulation and possibly even stand behind it, there is no need for government appointees to directly manage the money because that’s when you get politically-driven investments such as those undertaken by Singapore in China.

Eddie’s conflicts laid bare

Bouqets to Journo Fitzgerald for the article on Eddie McWired.

Fitz has summed up situation to a tee. In short:

* McWired IS a good “caller” – no debate here.

* The perception of bias is there nonetheless and if McWired was half a smart as he seems to be, he would avoid those few matches at which the B&W were at – simple really; and finally

* McWired’s “shooting of the messenger” – i.e. the Poll – and then Telstra’s and the AFL’s spinelessness is the major issue here.

The last point is where Lil’ Ed has basically despoilt his own straw.

Henry Root

CRIKEY: Agree that the demonstration of McGuire’s power over the AFL is the big issue. There is little doubt he is now the most powerful man in football.

Stadiums subsidising Rupert


A parochial note from the Central Coaster about corporate welfare, but which concerns all NSW and Australian taxpayers who’ve all forked out. Northpower Stadium (just near Gosford Station, near the new WorkCover building — but that’s another story of government seeking to win votes…) was built at a cost of over $30 million (a couple of million from local ratepayers and about $14 million each from Federal and State governments of opposite persuasions, eager to shore up support in this marginal electorate). The stadium was to provide a home for a rugby league team which needed to establish an out-of-Sydney presence in order to stay in the rugby league competition. There was never any guarantee that the team would stay in Gosford, let alone in the competition (and there still isn’t). History has been rewritten since to make out the stadium was a community resource, but the fact is that it was a handout to a struggling team in a competition owned by one of the very richest men in the world — at a time when the competition itself was in some danger.
Crikey might try the same ploy, by asking the local council for $30million to build a purpose-built headquarters because you may set up a newspaper office (then again, maybe not) — just mention words like “Good for the local economy — will boost employment — will revitalise city centre”.

The Central Coaster

CRIKEY: Totally agree that this was an absolute outrage. Why should $28 million of taxpayer’s money go towards helping Rupert stuff rugby league.

Top five reasons why Stan Zemaniac should not be on Melbourne radio

5) He is a patronising chauvanist. He calls women contributors “Sweetheart” & “Darling”.

4) He does not know a thing about Melbourne’s geography. He couldn’t find Flinders Street on a map.

3) He is a simplistic reactionary who reduces debate to either “for” or “against”. Black or white.

2) He has poor technical broadcasting ability. His style is comparable to that of a volunteer broadcaster at a community radio station.

1) He is driving down 3AW’s ratings.

CRIKEY: Well said, sack the buffoon now Tony Bell.

Blatant Footy Show plugs


I’m guessing you didn’t see the Footy Show last night (I was channel-surfing, honest). Wizard Home Loans’ top banana Mark Bouris got the pluggety-plug treatment for SEVEN WHOLE MINUTES. I sat in amazement as $10k plus a cheap and overly thin book titled ‘How to Create Wealth’ (no comment needed) were given sickeningly gratuitous airtime all in the name of charity and graced with references from Eddie such as ‘nice guy’ and ‘good-looking’. The “Ahhhhhhh, that’s why” came when Eddie revealed that the one who loaned the cash to start up Wizard was none other than good friend, Mr Rich List #1 Himself. Such a shame that most people are unaware of the subtle minutiae of the advertising industry these days.
So many character references – is Mark Bouris on trial for something? Or it could be part of a CV?

Keep it up, Student ‘Freeloader’

CRIKEY: Of course, Mark Bouris is one of James Packer’s best mates and Wizard is part of the Packer stable these days.

Has Hillary been sued yet?

Dear Hillary Bray,

Have you received your writ yet? 🙂

Someone is obviously missing the real stories here in the West. Your observations on the Opposition’s leadership here were so off track, you just lost your credibility – some folks were joshing about that today (your lapse in accuracy, that is). May I suggest that whoever was feeding you the non-stories was being naughty? The Lib team appear to be pulling together and the Katies, Cheryls, Johns and Mikes of that world seem to be doing heaps more than your missive suggested.

Nevertheless, today during question time John Quigley MLA, Member for Innaloo (yes, that’s right) and the former lawyer who was recently reprimanded by his colleagues in the legal profession for saying nasty things a couple of years ago when he shouldn’t have, was spotted reading crikey.com during Question Time!! Isn’t it edifying to know that Crikey is more popular with the rank and file than having to listen to the gesticulating and garrulous Gallop.

Bemused and bewitched (by crikey),

West Australian Lib

CRIKEY: No writ yet and not even a threat so it must be all 100 per cent accurate.

Rupert way too dominant in newspapers

Stuart Mackenzie has failed to address the huge monopolies that already exist in the Australian media which is already over the top.

Why should News Ltd be allowed to own 70% of the print media in Australia? Indeed, in Queensland News Ltd owns every daily newspaper except a few mainly regional papers they were forced to divest in 1991 together with most suburban weeklys.

The papers run a highly political agenda which stops consumer groups from having any input into such issues as legal reform if it means attacking the performance of government ministers if that particular political party happens to be in favour at the time.

Our free speech in the print media in Queensland is being determined in New York or elsewhere and it is hard to comprehend why the government is not reducing this monopoly instead of increasing it to TV and radio.

As a result the Queensland legal system is by far the worst in Australia and the government just thumbs its nose at the public because of the media protection afforded it.

Regards, Bob Bond

CRIKEY: Good point Bob, I reckon the ACCC should be given powers to force divestiture and Rupert should be required to go back below 50 per cent of Australia’s newspapers.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

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If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey