Bolt’s brilliant career

Hey Stephen, Just because you had an indifferent career
here at the Herald Sun and Bolt is having a brilliant one, what about
getting over it?

John Kiely

CRIKEY: John Kiely is of course the opinion page editor at the Herald
Sun and some readers may remember his name from a Media Watch episode
where he was exposed for writing a letter to The Age criticising the
behaviour of Melbourne judge Jelena Popovic in the defamation case lost
rather spectacularly by the Herald Sun’s star columnist Andrew
Bolt. See the Media Watch transcript here.

Bolt and the truth

I was interested in your correspondence about Andrew Bolt. I read his
articles in the courier mail on Sunday and find his articles the most
fiercely pro neo-con that is pro bush and Israeli and he is also anti
worker and the worse sort of racist you can find. Because the
newspapers are propaganda machines for the right wing they give bolt a
full page to peddle his filth and wont even publish readers letters
that are against his views. The first rule of these rats is to ignore
contrary views and if that don’t work ridicule them and then they shout
conspiracy theories. Well Mr Bolt the truth will come out one day
and 9/11 will be proved to be a neo-con sponsored and organised event.
If we had any newsmen with any decency they would uncover the truth and
expose bush and company for what they are. Dick Burden


Bolt on Sheikh Hilaly

I’m sorry – but this time your attack on Bolt can be summed up in one
easy word – wrong! You may not like Bolt, and many people don’t,
but this time Bolt is right.

Sheikh Hilaly is an apologist for terrorists. He has blatantly and
clearly encouraged young men to become suicide bombers. He has failed
to condemn terrorism and regularly preaches hatred towards Israel and
the west.

Yasser Soliman and the rest of Australia’s Islamic community repeatedly
fail to condemn Sheikh Hilaly – anytime they are asked about his
pro-terrorist comments – they make excuses saying that Hilaly doesn’t
speak English well.

The problem is that he makes his comments in Arabic! The translation
was crystal clear – including comments that: “the September 11,
2001 attacks in New York were God’s work against oppressors.”

Of course – in English – Hilaly denies it. He speaks with two tongues – one story for Arabic and another for English.

Soliman needs to come out in plain English and condemn Hilaly’s
comments, condemn terrorism, condemn suicide bombers. Then and only
then, will the Muslim community cease to be singled out and portrayed
in a bad (terrorist) light – as so many letters to the editor recently
complain about.

Sorry Crikey – Bolt is right on this one – and you should recognise that.


Good news story from Iraq for Andrew Bolt

Is this the sort of reporting Andrew Bolt would like to see the ABC run
on Iraq? My favourite quote is this one: “Also, contrary to headlines
that claim there are problems with Iraq’s internal law enforcement,
more than half of Iraqi police officers have not deserted.”

The rest of it is here: Coalition – Vast Majority of Iraqis Still Alive


John Coates and drugs in sport

Summing up his hatchet job on John Coates, Hugo Kelly says: “So
it is that the drugs issue is secondary to the political power play.”

That may be true for John Faulkner, whose otherwise-praiseworthy
motivation would generally only be political, but in cycling Coates is
dealing with a sport that has been an embarrassment for some years, at
least partly because of the bizarre characters involved in competing,
coaching and administering it.

But the other, bigger current problem with cycling is drugs – the Tour
de France over several years has consistently been the focus of great
speculation about doping and disqualifications of riders, so the
Olympics surely must attract similar attention as most of the leading
riders also compete there.

The Olympics are two months away – is the Australian team going to be
clean? As a cyclist I don’t want to be embarrassed about the leading
Australian players in my sport. Isn’t that about a bit more than
a political power play? Does it matter how the matter reaches the
public arena?

It’s not good enough for your so-called “man in Athens” (isn’t he
supposed to be a Canberra correspondent?) to say that “everyone knows
about it” – I carry no brief for the Olympic aristocracy, but Coates
and others must be dreading these issues and their propensity to come
up every four years.

Better here, now than in Athens.

Arnold Ziffel from Hooterville

CRIKEY: Check out Hugo Kelly on Who’s behind the cycling drug bust? here.

Hillary and questions of hysteria

Of all commentators, we would expect Crikey to be more cautious when
quoting media sources and not accidentally spread unfounded slurs about
Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Wilderness
Society. But Hilary Bray relied on Reader’s Digest’s quotes from Dr
Tino Fenech of Griffith University, implying greens spike trees and
commit other violent acts.

The old tree spiking story is hysterical paranoia. No credible
environmental organisation in Australia resorts to violence. We win our
campaigns peacefully and truthfully, which is why the public support
our campaigns so strongly.

Unfortunately for Hilary, Dr Fenech has contradicted the article she
relied on and says, “I did not refer to Greenpeace or any other group
by name as having done such an action and I had no intention of this
being implied.” (For a fuller retraction, see your August issue of
Reader’s Digest!)

Next time Crikey considers running negative Institute of Public
Affairs-style propaganda about the credibility of eNGOs, it might be
better sticking to the facts instead.

The facts about environmental credibility are definitely worth putting
on record. According to the NSW EPA’s study “Who cares about the
environment in 2003?”, 89% of people in NSW believe that national
environment or conservation organisations are reliable sources of
environmental information. This is a small but statistically
significant increase from 83% in their 2000 study.

The EPA study ranked the trust level for business at only 37%, despite
the fact that responsible companies such as the alternative energy
sector tell the truth about climate change.

A study by Taylor Nelson Sofres in 2004 shows that 97% of Australians
believe that the climate is changing. What is really going on in
the credibility stakes has nothing to do with mistrust of eNGOs and
everything to do with Australians’ common sense support for the
environment and eNGOs.

The corporations who lack a social and environmental conscience have
lost the argument on climate change and are dragging down the
credibility of the whole business sector. Negative conservatives are
responding to public concern about climate change by shooting the

The IPA and the inimitable Tasman Institute before it, have been trying
for over ten years to drag the credibility of eNGOs down to the dismal
level of the corporations and governments responsible for wrecking the
global climate. Their negative campaign to drive a wedge between
Australians and the eNGOs they support has failed.

The vital global shift to positive energy solutions requires support
from everyone with a constructive attitude to the future, Hilary Bray


Dan Cass
Greenpeace Australia Pacific

CRIKEY: Read Hillary on Greens and questions of trust here.

Naked Empress in Court

The laziness of those deemed to be legal reporters in Melbourne has
been laid bare. Their reporting on the appointment of Diana Bryant as
Chief Justice of the Family Court has lacked basic reporting of what
has happened during her time as founding head of that disgraceful
monument to former Federal Attorney-General Daryl Williams, the Federal
Magistrates Court.

This catch-all court where Mags jump from hearing complex and emotional
family law matters to refugee cases and urgent applications for bail,
has cost millions to set up and has a list of delays longer than the
Olympic buildings in Athens.

One Magistrate complained bitterly at the start of a hearing that he
had 24 judgments still to write. Eight months later those involved in
this particular matter still await a decision. The Maggies say they
have no control over their lists so they cannot move cases through
quickly and efficiently.

Lawyers working in the area say that delays are outrageous and quote the old adage about justice delayed being justice denied.

Williams sacked experienced Registrars of the Family Court because he
couldn’t stand its chief, the prickly Alastair Nicholson, a long-time
critic of the Federal Government’s of children, and gave their jobs to
the Fed Mags, some of whom came from commercial practices and were
hopelessly at sea in Family Court issues.

The only piece was of relief was that a dull weekend without any footy
in Melbourne was enlivened by the publication of fulsome praise for Ms
Bryant by the solicitors’ trade union cum lobby, the Law Institute, and
the barristers’ ditto, the Bar Council. The naked Empress of William
Street was described as being covered in glory as an excellent
administrator. If only it were so!

A Legal Correspondent

Pascoe and Centrelink

Further to your item “From pokies to chief magistrate” (Sunday) has
anyone else noticed the further irony that John Pascoe was (and still
is?) the Chairman of Centrelink? I was a recipient of the dole (sorry,
“NewStart Allowance”) at the time I read of this in the Financial
Review sometime last year, and I couldn’t help but notice that Mr
Pascoe was paid rather more than the dole to flit around the country
going to a few meetings a year for Centrelink. Clearly he was so hard
up with only his income from being a managing director at law firm
Phillips Fox, Chairman of Aristocrat, and various other directorships
that he needed a bit of a helping hand from our friends at Centrelink
to make ends meet.

I think the irony of being Chairman of both Centrelink and Aristocrat Leisure is fairly obvious.

Alex Stivala

Begging the question

This isn’t related to an error of fact, but an error of English usage,
which is a topic on which I’m unforgiving (“pedant”, I hear you
say!). One of my pet peeves is how the expression “begging the
question” gets abused by journalists and commentators and all sorts of
folk who should know better. Lo and behold, I’m two stories into this
morning’s Crikey, and I’m confronted by:

“All of which begs the question: when it comes to policy and pitches, is Labor being smart and subtle – or stupid?”

Despite it commonly being thought to mean “demanding the obvious
question”, the expression “begging the question” comes from the world
of debating and logic and refers to “the fallacy of founding a
conclusion on a basis that as much needs to be proved as the conclusion
itself,” which can consist of either arguing in a circle or simply
restating as a premise the desired conclusion – eg. “Telepathy cannot
exist because direct transfer of thought between individuals is

The Pedant

Labor’s four-eyed monster

Mark Latham really does need some new glasses. His present glasses make him look sinister.

Arthur Hawley

7.30 Report and suicide

I am stunned that the 7.30 Report should tell their audience how easy
it is to suicide by popping 20 Panadol tablets. Did you know
that? I certainly didn’t but now that I know it is now my preferred
method of suicide.

Will the 7.30 Report have a graph on a future program showing the
increase in death by Panadol subsequent to this marvellous release?

Will the ABC accept responsibility for a single suicide? Should the ABA
investigate to see if they were paid a commission by Panadol?

Bloody hopeless journalists.

Geoff Russell

Channel Nine ruins Wimbledon

Could we please have comment on Channel Nine yet again ruining a
sporting event. Wimbledon Sunday night. While they played the
longest movie ever seen on a Sunday night and then provided a delayed
telecast which I rather think they pretended was live, Foxtel was
forced to show the dregs. Yes, it transpires Wimbledon does have

Don’t want to show live tennis, Channel Nine? Fine. But then let Foxtel
do it. Tonight we should be able to watch two potentially wonderful
games: LH vs Moya followed by MP vs Henman. When I rang up Channel Nine
earlier today asking if they were going to ruin Wimbledon again
tonight, their deadpan answer was that they hadn’t decided yet. Great.

Please note I am not a rabid sportswatcher. But we have to take our
chances, and Australia might have to wait another 20 years before
seeing the likes of LH and MP again.


Peter Fray

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