Reagan: who’s Hillary kidding?

Just read Hillary’s top and tail piece on Ronnie Reagan’s death and
have to stick up for flacks everywhere by pointing out that someone
else would most certainly have written the word’s Ms Bray is
lauding! If she’s compelled to say something nice about RR, maybe
Reagan can be posthumously praised for reading them without Nancy’s

Rebecca Lloyd

CRIKEY: Hillary Bray on Reagan’s D-Day speech

Ronald Reagan anecdote

The late Lewis Young, former editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek magazine
in the US, used to tell an amusing story of his meeting with Ronald
Reagan soon after The Great Communicator won the Republican party’s
presidential nomination. Young was sceptical of Reagan’s economic
policies, believing them to consist of populist generalisations based
on very little substance.

Young turned up for the poolside interview with Reagan, fully expecting
to have his suspicions confirmed that Reagan was a bit of dunce with
little or no grasp of the US economy. Young, a crusty, no-nonsense,
old-school journalist soon found himself charmed by the amiable Reagan,
but more importantly was taken aback to hear Reagan citing very
detailed and even obscure economic statistics in support of his
policies, commenting in great detail not only about the US economy but
the international economy as well.

Prepared to admit to himself that perhaps he had the Gipper all wrong,
at the conclusion of the interview, Young shared final pleasantries
with Reagan, then took his leave. As he walked back to his car, he
heard the rapid footsteps of somebody running towards him. It was
Reagan’s campaign aide who had been present at the interview. The
minder asked if he could have an urgent word. “Please don’t use any of
those statistics,” the breathless aid implored. “Governor Reagan may
have made some of them up.”

Reagan’s poor health record

When pundits are commenting upon Ronald Reagan’s economic legacy, they
should also factor in the extra US$billions his refusal to deal with
AIDS early on has cost the United States, as well as the rest of the
world. Then there are the millions of people who have
died in the US and internationally due to lack of proper information
and items as simple and cheap as condoms.

Many people think George W. Bush’s policies on Iraq have cost needless
American, Iraqi and allied lives. But if needless deaths is
the criteria, Ronald Reagan was the postwar US President responsible
for policies which caused the greatest number of unnecessary US and
international deaths.

Malvern, VIC

The Fin Review duds its subscribers

One of the most expensive papers in the world is duding its clients
again. They have dropped the text version of their daily email letter
in favour of an HTML version.

As a literate computer user this sux. HTML is inherently much more
insecure than simple text and leaves the way open for viruses and
trojans etc. In fact HTML email is a total security hazard.

But that’s not the bad bit. They still send out the daily text
newsletter, it’s just that it says nothing. You are asked to change
your profile with them to receive the (unsafe) HTML version. How? That
section of their website has been down ever since they cancelled the
text newsletter. Hence I have not received a single newsletter since
(two to three weeks. Can’t be more specific). The most absurd thing is
that to access most articles in the newsletter or on the site you have
to be a subscriber. That’s right. The only people inconvenienced by
this stupidity are the subscribers who have had one feature of their
over priced subscription denied to them for the last cupla weeks.

Will I renew my subscription? Probably, but it gets more problematic
each time. They will soon scare me away. Incompetence run riot. May the
God Bacchus favour you. Blessings of Priapus.


Bob Hawke keeping up appearances

Watching Bob Hawke step into the Dubya-Iron Bark spat over the weekend,
my eyes were drawn to his. From my trained clinician’s
perspective, something looks…. altered…. on the face of Labor’s
most successful leader. Far be it for me to criticise Australia’s
most tanned, buffed and coiffed former PM for keeping up his
appearances, but I am professionally curious.

Can someone in the Crikey Army (Elective Medical Services Corps) enlighten me?

Otto Kew

Re: Loopy Pete Singer pops up on the BBC again

(Crikey sealed section – 4 June 2004)

I appreciate you are stretched for time and gratefully accept words
from your readers to help fill the yawning void each day. However
I must protest at the lack of editorial judgment used when placing the
fairly agricultural spray against academic Peter Singer in today’s

Professor Singer’s erudite views on a number of controversial issues
are well known, and your reader added nothing we didn’t already
know. You might not agree with Singer, but as someone who has
taken the time to listen to his arguments and read some of his books,
his ideas are thoughtful and well argued. He poses serious
moral and ethical questions which our society would otherwise continue
to sidestep and this, above all others, can only be a good thing.

I’m interested in being kept up to date about any new ideas or
theories he raises, and am equally interested in hearing arguments
developed by his critics. I do not consider the boofhead drivel
you published today to be in either of these two categories.

Kind regards and best wishes

Matthew Warren

Peter Singer is a great man

Crikey: The snide attack on Professor Peter Singer is unworthy of

Singer is a professor at Princeton (a big step up from Monash) because
he is arguably the most interesting philosopher alive today. He is
certainly not “loopy” and the potted parody of his philosophy of the
sanctity of life is a ridiculous misrepresentation of volumes of
carefully reasoned and argued ideas.

It is possible to disagree with his conclusions while still taking
seriously his bold reasoning. If anyone is loopy it is your stupid,
uninformed, ignorant London correspondent. Perhaps you could find a
better one, or at least throw the despatches from the present one in
the WPB.

Terry Lane

Singer’s oxygen mask applied for free

Your “Life member in London” doesn’t seem to understand that he or she
just gave the “loopy” Mr Singer another free serve of publicity, via
Crikey. If you want to starve him of “mainstream media” time you could
start in your own backyard. I’m sure Mr Singer will appreciate your
“plug”. Personally I think Singer’s views are a mix of very sane
and a little loopy – but nearly always thought provoking. That’s a lot
more than can be said about a lot of the talking heads we get on much
of the “mainstream media” these days.

Philip Carman
Perth WA

Glen Milne and ethics

Interested in your discussion about Glen Milne’s non-journalism work and the ethical problems it throws up.

Jenny Brockie from SBS’s Insight is in a similar situation as she also
does big dollar corporate work. For example, earlier this year
she put in an appearance at the Pharmacy Guild’s Queensland Conference,
sponsored by API.

Having taken the Guild’s money, surely this puts a serious question
mark over her journalistic decisions about how, and indeed if, to cover
pharmacy stories like Woolworths push to get into the pharmacy business?

Could Roger Corbett ever be sure he was getting a fair go should Insight decide to look at the issue?

I think the boundaries should be very clear and strict – especially for
people who want the privilege of working in public broadcasting.


Blatantly biased – is this what “Henry Thornton” is about?

Shame on Crikey for directing me to this clearly tainted piece. The promotion of one article
filled with unashamed bias and it was enough for me to turn away from
this site. I don’t know much about Latham, but based on
this article (and your strong endorsement of it) I am supposed to
believe that the Opposition Leader is some kind of “Darth
Vader”? Just plain evil incarnate? Or do
you forget that Vader ended up saving “the universe”?
Somehow I doubt that Colebatch means the later.

For future credibility, don’t promote tainted bias like this if you
don’t want to encourage any balanced readers out there (and of course
pro-Latham readers) to go elsewhere.

Thornton hits back…

If Mark Latham ends up saving the universe I shall be greatly pleased
… And have you read “As I see it” or “Dogbert’s Diary” in our
politics section?

The Sunday Age’s dodgy letters

Many readers of The Age newspaper are sick of staff opinion columnist
Pamela Bone’s strident pro-war views. Most of her articles are
devoted to justifying the increasingly unjustifiable invasion of Iraq.

This morning in The Sunday Age letters page I was amazed to read a
letters by none other than Pamela Bone, further enunciating her pro-war
views, in case we did not know them already.

How ridiculous! The letters page is supposed to be reserved for
readers and people with no voice in the media, not someone who already
has a regular opinion column in that very newspaper, and who is
employed by that newspaper.

One strike goes to The Sunday Age editor!!

Age reader

Re: Tax bucks, blues and blogs with Hillary Bray

As I read this article I got that feeling that this was a case of
trying to blind us with science. Really some people should be strung up
for their abuse of mathematics. The CIS article is about how the top
25% of taxpayers are paying a bigger share of the total tax take as the
years have gone by. There is also a bit of moaning and hand
wringing about how unfair this is.

As someone rapidly approaching the top tax rate I will jump on a tax
break with both feet but excuse me I do not feel like a victim of an
unjust tax system. I have only had a quick look at the article and it
is full of charts on tax but I didn’t see anything about incomes. Now
perhaps I missed it but would not an explanation of the increasing
share of tax paid by the top 25% be that the top 25% have had an
increasing share of the national income. If the income of the top 25%
increased at a rate faster then the rest then surely the tax they pay
would increase at a proportionately faster rate then the rest as well.
Is this not an unfair attack on the rich but just a sign of a more
unequal income distribution?

As for the talk of how the progressive tax system is so unfair perhaps
we should have a measure of who benefits the most from what those taxes
provide, government and a stable society. Remember the rich have the
money but the poor have the numbers. Come the revolution it is the
numbers that count not dollars. Paying a little extra tax to prevent
that option might just be a sound investment.


CRIKEY: Read Crikey’s story on tax rates from the Centre for Independent Studies

The Gold Coast Bully hits back at Des the Developer

I promised myself that I would stop emailing you cranky responses every
time one of your dodgy Gold Coast ‘informers’ had a go at the Gold
Coast Bulletin.

Hey, we are big enough and ugly enough to take it.

But the latest piece from Des the Developer left me not so much cranky
but hysterical with laughter and convinced this brave, anonymous
contributor has no idea what goes on in our newsroom despite his claims.

What convinced me was the line “Editor Bob Gordon almost choked on his
Tim Tam to see Ron Clark, the bloke who knocked of his star boy, former
mayor Gary Baildon, get such positive treatment (in an editorial).
There was even talk of the GCB taking the unprecedented step of
retracting the paper’s own editorial!”

Hello! Tim Tams in the Bully newsroom? I don’t think so.

In fact, I know where Bob hides the key to his office and I can affirm there are no Tim Tams in there.

Yes, Bob was called away unexpectedly for a few days last week to
attend a funeral but I can assure you he always keeps in touch with
what is going on at the paper.

Not only did he know what stories were going in the paper, he was also
told about the subject and tone of the editorial and had no problems
with it.

So there was no ink hitting the fan when he came back and no Tim Tams being choked on.

Besides, what is not to like about slashing wasteful council spending?

The reason I am breaking my promise to myself to write this is that I
fear Crikey is being used by someone angry at our newspaper’s
unrelenting scrutiny of the local council.

That is our job. Believe it or not, there are no ulterior motives. If
something looks askew we report it and a lot of people are upset about
that at the moment.

Our very determined council reporter Alice Jones has had to endure a
lot of ugly personal attacks because of her revelations about a trust
fund that was set up by some local businessmen to help get several
‘like minded’ candidates elected at the March election. This has
resulted in a ‘power bloc’ in the council.

They hate it but the appreciative feedback from our readers proves we are doing the right thing.

Please print this so the coward with the very suspicious motives who
keeps attacking us for our coverage of council shenanigans knows that
we are behind Alice Jones all the way.

They will not stop us from keeping our readers informed about what is
going on in their local council which also just happens to be the
second largest in Australia.

If we don’t keep an eye on them who will?

Suzanne Lappeman
Political Reporter
Gold Coast Bulletin

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

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