The questions they didn’t ask Craig Stevens

After paying Craig Stevens all that money, surely Channel 7 did not ask
the killer question(s). I was waiting for Anna Coren to ask Craig what
were the defining reasons for making his decision, apart from making
sure “a mate” could swim the 400 metres.

Was it because he was only rated 7 or 8 in the world and therefore not much chance of a medal?

Was he concerned that had he swum in those circumstances he would have
returned to a negative reaction from Australians for keeping the world
champion out?

Would the pressure have had a negative affect on his preparation for his other 2 races?

Was it too close to his other races? Seeing as his actual decision was
the worst kept secret in Australia, the TT report was a real

Pooldeck Pedant

Mission Accomplished!

Good to see Howard is following his masters’ Bush stunt by secretly turning up in Iraq; as any loyal lapdog should of course.

He forgot the fake turkey though and shouldn’t he have taken a slab of VB and a few Meat Pies to give to the troops?

I wonder when he is going to don the Fighter pilot suit, go for a
taxpayer funded joy ride and land on a aircraft carrier only to
declare: Mission Accomplished!

Or should this be: Until the Job is Done!

Or should this really say: Whatever, whenever and however you want Dubya!

– All the way with Dubya!

Plagiarism in Action

Howard, makes me sick. How does he have the gall to upstage the people’s ANZAC Day ceremonies for a photo opportunity.

His place is in Canberra, the Governor-General’s in Gallipoli. His press release was spin.

Did he substitute the plastic Bush turkey with our great imitator, the lyrebird?

Make God defend Australia and her Defence personnel. This protest is a matter of conscience.

Yours faithfully
G. Penrose

Greedy Germaine does it again

I can pre-date Liz Jackson on Germaine by a decade. In the late ”70s I
was a feature writer on the old Melbourne Herald and rang Germaine in
Sydney requesting an interview. She told me in no uncertain terms that
she would not provide “free” copy for the paper. As a writer she
demanded to either write something herself for a fee or be paid for an
interview. I pointed out that she was in the country to promote her
latest book so it was a win win. No go, she hung up on me,

Jan McGuinness

Misogyny in the Bunker?

Careful, sweetums. Spraying Annita and Jennifer and Ellen and
Maxine and Germaine all in the space of two days looks a teensy bit
anti-female, after you can let weeks go by between spraying your
favourite male media targets.

And you married to that gorgeous throwback to the Roman marble and
all. Or is it Hillary venting spleen? Is Hillary
female? Or even gendered?



Terrorism and media contempt

After some initial reservations about how draconian Australia’s new
anti-terrorism laws are, the media seems to be doing the Government a
big favour by being as prejudicial in its reporting as you like.

Take the arrest and charging of terror suspect and architect, Faheem
Lodhi last week. Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald interviewed a
workmate and happily reported his comments that Lodhi was continually
accessing websites with information about key public infrastructure in
Sydney with the very heavy inference that he was looking for something
to blow up!

Am I being a bit soft or is that not clear contempt? It would be like
the media quoting the workmate of a person charged with murder saying
he spent a lot of time looking at websites for buying hand guns when
this person’s comments had not been mentioned in court. Lets be tough
on terrorists but surely people are still innocent until proven guilty?

Signed Con Tempt

The West Oz’s makeover

You are far too kind to the West Oz. The predominant new typeface is
very old fashioned and the pages are cluttered. All pales into
insignificance compared to the banal content. The new look was launched
with a front-page story which boiled down to “Woman changes mind” and
that sums up the West – parochial fluff. It is the only paper in 25
years of adulthood which has forced me to read a Murdoch rag. Perth
desperately needs a good daily but the West ain’t it.

Where are the ethics in The Footy Show?

Isn’t it about time that there was some genuine analysis of the ethics
and influence of the Footy Show (AFL Brand)? We’ve already had
the disclosure by Robbie Muir that he was put up to swearing by a
financial incentive and there is every reason to suspect that James
Hird was not personally out of pocket for his recent outburst. Throw in
the fact that Brendan Fevola is paraded as a Carlton role model to
comment on the behaviour of Angwin’s behaviour and you have a very
ordinary benchmark for popular culture.

To be frank the show has reached its use-by date. It’s trading on low
level bogan values such as grog, sex and obscenities with a veneer of
Eddie’s gloss. It’s dumbing down the community and stage-managing
controversies which are pandering to the lowest common denominator!



Observations and comments on TV

I am not passing judgement on any of the shows mentioned so please don’t read any bias into them.

According to media reports, Ian Ross’s Seven News has beaten Jim
Waley’s Nine bulletin a few times. By and of itself this isn’t much but
it does prove the point – Nine can be beaten at 6pm and in other areas
if someone is willing to take them on.

Sunrise consistently beats Today. I think the significance of this
achievement hasn’t been appreciated. By doing this, Sunrise showed that
Nine was beatable. It showed that with the right mix you can do this.
The other interesting points on this are that when Today was the only
breakfast show a few years ago, it was regularly achieving 320-350,000
viewers. So forgetting for a minute that Sunrise now beats them
regularly, they have basically lost about 100,000 viewers in about 18
months. This was pointed out on Crikey a while ago.

If any news service on any network lost that many viewers and was still
heading backwards, how do the producers and hosts hold their jobs.
Darren Wick (Today EP) has been vocal and virulent in his attitude to
his opposition even going so far as to say earlier this year that
“Sunrise is as close as its going to get to us” when it still trailed
by 5-10,000 viewers. Good news Darren, you can’t see them in your rear
view mirror any more. The bad news is they passed you a while ago.

On the up side – the presence of Sunrise has grown the breakfast TV
audience. It now runs about 500-550,000 which is good for both shows.
There’s a bigger market to share and both can probably co-exist for
many years viably and it will always be a to and fro battle for the

Forget the personalities for a minute and just look at the results and ratings.

The reason Nine have taken the Sunrise threat so seriously is that it’s
proved a thin edge of the wedge for them. First Sunrise beats Today.
Now Seven 6pm beats Nine. TT and ACA are relatively close and fluctuate.

Sunrise can take much credit for giving Seven News the confidence to
see what can be achieved if you take a few risks and stick to your guns.

Its a pity Seven can’t translate this success and confidence into other areas of their programming. Maybe that’s coming.

Nine are now forced to make changes and bring in new people to steer
their news programs – enter ABC Max. Target Sunrise and shore up 6pm.
Why is Sunrise such a target? because it has been the one that has
shown the market (viewers and advertisers) that Nine is beatable and
they need to get this confidence back.

Again, I’m not taking sides here – trying to just make observations.
Nine are a class outfit. They’ve demonstrated this year on year in
every category of programs. But times are changing. It’s perish or die.

Today – hold your head up that you’ve been a market leader (although
largely unopposed for many years) for so long. You are still relevant
and there’s still a place for you. I hope you find your niche and get
the formula right. But heads should roll for losing 100,000 viewers so

Sunrise – well done. You have led the way for Seven to show it CAN be
done. Whether you can sustain such innovation and freshness remains to
be seen, but there’s no reason to expect that this will change in the
near future.

The battle for 6pm now begins in earnest. For this first time in
Australian TV history, there’s a contest (again – forget the relative
quality of the products and the hosts) the ratings tell us there is a

Now THIS is reality TV at its best!!

Great Australian Power Sell Off

After reading Crikey’s The Great Australian Power Sell Off, I wondered
if it is possible for someone to total the amounts for all Australian
public assets sold in the last $20 years, the work out a figure for
every Australian citizen. Then if we look at our standing in the
World’s richest nations list, we have dropped dramatically. Then the
question would arise, what happened to the money? Methinks the
money we have been paid is just an illusion.

Leo Sayers

CRIKEY: Read The Great Australian Power Sell Off

Nurses dispute and community health attitudes

I am both lucky and careful with my health and at 51 years I have only
been admitted to hospital (a military one) once overnight in my adult

I am no “jock strapper” but if Australian’s exercise daily, eating
sensibly, drink moderately and don’t take drugs or smoke then they can
do much to reduce hospital admissions and live longer.

I have come to the conclusion that constant hospital users, with
preventible illnesses or self inflicted injuries, should be required to
take out private health insurance as they are a liability to society.

Until this occurs state and federal governments need to employ more
nurses but less clerical public servants, advisers and minders. I
support the Royal Australian Nurses Federation’s 4:1 patient: nurse
ratio industrial campaign. My late mother was and my sister is a nurse;
so I know a bit about it all.

Adrian Jackson (ADF Infantry Officer, retired)
Independent Candidate for Melbourne Ports Federal Electorate

Peter Fray

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