Due to the huge response to the death of David Hookes, there were
rather slim picking for this week’s final Yoursay, but here are the
thoughts of the few people who managed to tear themselves away from the
Hookes coverage:

A brief comment on Crikey’s coverage

While your bagging the other media for being obsessed about Hooksie,
may be you too could lower the coverage as well. It seems you guys are
obsessed about the obsessive.

And when contributors write in to Crikey, as a reader I’m very
uncomfortable with the anonymous tag lines you let readers use (it’s
actually why I lapsed my subscription last year). You do good stuff.
But the silly tag lines make me wonder if stuff is being made up or if
contributors are too gutless to list their name.

Would an alternative
be for you guys to editorialise any contribution that a readers is too
shy have their name against?

Alex Dunnin (and this my real name)

Nutty Dan gets some good job offers

I love Dan, but would it be possible for him to join the Canberra press
gallery?  I’m starting to feel a bit desperate about the amount of
bullshit Johnny & Co. are getting away with and if The Lord of the
Rungs wins next time he’s sure to continue the avalanche of
I-am-never-wrongisms so I feel Dan is sorely needed in the nations
capital.  Or how about a replacement for the Parrot?  Imagine
the competition withering with fear…


CRIKEY: Check out a fine example of Dan’s work here: Dan McNutt on Steve Waugh

Not all of The Oz is right

Agree to a certain extent about the Oz (tragically) moving to the
right. However you’ll find that this is mainly through the opinion and
editorials pieces.  The likes of Sheridan, Albrechtsen, Divine and
their Howard/Bush sycophant friends.  The general reporting is
usually OK, as long as you can use your own brain.  It’s a pity
that the Fairfax broadsheets are not much chop, and surely they can
remove the work experience kids from the type setting job.

Brett Gaskin
Sydney NSW

Does Howard really have any pull in the US?

There’s something missing here!  Alex Fishnets was in LA pushing
all things Oz (even Rupert is spotted in the audience).  At the
very same time Molly is getting the finger at the local airport for
ticking the wrong box (careless, but not exactly Osama). Alex is shown
on the news here telling us all he tried his best, but “you know how it

The question is, why didn’t Alex just dial his mobile and get John to
ring his absolutely very very best mate George and get him to tell the
local neo-nazis at LA airport to haul off? Molly is one of the good

This is the self same John who is about to ring his very best friend
George to persuade him that a free trade agreement is possible? 
Pull the other one.

James the cynic

Poor programming choices at the ABC

I sent this to Radio National’s breakfast team late last week. Needless to say, there has been no reply.

I drive to work in Melbourne from 5.30-6am. My mood is lifted — my day
is set up — by the BBC sitcoms and game shows: Just a Minute, Quote
Unquote, Hancock’s Halfhour, My Word and the Goons. They change from
time to time, but are always a delight.

Now I read that from January 26 they are to be replaced by repeats of
the “best of” from Peter’s interviews from the previous day.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but won’t those who are up and about from
6.30am, breakfasting and getting the kids off to school, have heard the
interviews the day before? If not, if they have missed them, are they
going to get up an hour earlier to listen? Of course not, and I am sure
you are aware of that.

The answer must be that RN can no longer afford to buy decades-old BBC
light entertainments. And why would that be? Budget cuts by our
shortsighted, narrow-minded government, the worst Australia has had for
more than 60 years, governing by keeping the electorate ignorant and
afraid. (Sorry for the polemic. It just sort of slipped out.)

It’ll be ABC-FM classical music for me from now on.

Disappointed, to say the least. I am yours,


A quiet end to 3AK and quiet start for SEN

A 72-year chapter closed at 12.00 midnight on Sunday 18 January 2003
when 3AK closed down and was replaced with SEN 1116AM Sports
Entertainment Network.


Given the cavalcade of heavyweight stars on SEN one would think that
making an impact leading up to the changeover and day one would be a
priority. Where are the billboards, the painted up trams, full-page ads
in the (at least) Herald Sun, the skimpy promotional girls and so on.
Nada. Not a thing.


The dying hours of 3AK, according to MediaFlash website, went like this:


“Roland Rocchiccioli closed 3AK with a six-hour program. What could
have been an impressive retrospective tribute to a station with a
72-year broadcasting history, turned into a personal performance, with
the flamboyant actor offering a TWO-HOUR reading of his one-person
play….The 11pm-Midnight hour was taken with Rocchiccioli taking calls
of what listeners thought of Rocchiccioli. One-time AK identity Ray
Lawrence (now at Eastern FM) managed a few minutes of air-time to
reflect on 3AK and its ‘Beautiful Music’ phase. MD Ron Hall had the
last word on-air: “Good Night”….”


Indeed.  The David Hookes incident set a somewhat unfortunate stage on
which to launch SEN. It will be interesting to see what happens over
the coming year with SEN.


Steven Haby

Box Hill

Is David Hicks a mercenary?

The Commonwealth Government say that there are no laws that David Hicks
can be tried under but I believed there are anti mercenary laws (going
back to the Frazer/Hawke era). I checked with the Attorney Generals
office and they confirmed verbally that these laws are active however
they only apply to those that served with a revolutionary/non
government army (like the KLA in Kosovo; as Hicks may have done) but
does not apply to those that fight for a foreign government (like the
Serb government in Kosovo). As the Taliban were the government in
Afghanistan one assumes that Hicks is not breaking our laws either so
therefore why is he at the US concentration camp in Cuba.

This is an unacceptable situation. If our government is to make
mercenary activity unlawful then it should be for all such acts. At the
moment any Australian fighting for a foreign government that attacks
Australia is immune while an Australian fighting for Fretlin in East
Timor ten years ago would have been libel to prosecution. Sometimes the
revolutionaries are the good blokes like the KLA in Kosovo. Foreigners
joining the ADF must loose their former citizenship and be Aussies
before they join our armed forces including those from British
Commonwealth nations. Mr Howard please explain?

Adrian Jackson

Progressive Liberalism Organisation

On Commonwealth superannuation

I am not a subscriber but I have been advised of the content of a
“blast” in your newsletter about the unfunded nature of Commonwealth
public servants superannuation.


First up let me tell you that I have a “vested” interest in the subject
under discussion, as I am a former Commonwealth public servant. 
Usually I would refrain from comment but this time I think your
comments (if I have heard them correctly reported) go a bit far.


The contentious question and relative size of unfunded superannuation
liabilities is closely related to how the figures are calculated. 
No other item in the budget context is given in the context of unfunded
liabilities (take for example defence spending or spending on age
pensions).  If figures for other high cost budget items were
quoted using a 50-year time frame (as applies to Commonwealth
superannuation) the unfunded liability would again come out at billions
of dollars.  Why not look at the figures on an annual expenditure
basis like other budget items?  This is at least a more realistic
way to compare the budgetary costs.


Bob Steins

Channel Nine just can’t get it right

I have just been watching the Channel 9 preamble before the start of
the one day game today (22/01/04). As usual Simon O’Donnell (the
anointed successor) and Richie Benaud (who just wont let go of the
reigns) are introducing the game and plugging the “David Hookes
Memorial Special”, which

will screen “after the cricket tonight”.

Meanwhile the Indian and Australian teams, the umpires, team officials
and spectators are observing a minute’s silence in memory of the late
David Hookes. Finally Richie and Simon stop talking and Channel 9 cuts
to the minute’s silence for about 10-20 seconds and shows only the
Australian team.

This shows a complete lack of respect as Channel 9 obviously thought
that a plug for their own show was more important than allowing
television viewers to join in this emotional moment. Simon O’Donnell
then had the gall to say something like “That was a minute’s silence
observed for David Hookes” when any viewer would know that he and his
partner talked through most of it!

Also, while I am on about Channel 9, I still do not understand, as a
viewer in Central Australia (SA), why the news has to be shown at 6pm
thus forcing us to miss 1/2 an hour of cricket. So far this means that
we have missed Australia reduce Zimbabwe to 5/17 and Australia race to
0/49 off 6 overs against India.

Why can’t Channel 9 show the news at 5:30 in the lunch break when they
have a captured audience who tune in for the last ten overs of the
innings, especially when two of these games have been played on a
Sunday. Surely this is a perfect time to play around with your
scheduling and allow people to see the whole game. Oh well, at least we
don’t have to sit through ACA after the news any more (like we had to
for the 2002/03 season and before).

Keep on keeping on


For comments on David Hookes click here – Yoursay on Hookes and the media