Here’s what our readers thought about the idea of Paddy McGuinness writing for Crikey:
Firstly, this is what we sent around to our 5200 subscribers and 10,300 freeloading alertees on Thursday afternoon about an offer from Paddy McGuinness:

Can Paddy McGuinness balance Crikey bias?

Many colourful characters have written for Crikey over the years, under their own names and sometimes under others, and yet we were still surprised to receive this offering from former-Fairfax man, Paddy McGuinness.

McGuinness wrote:

Dear Crikey

FYI, I am finally free of the declining Fairfax empire. How about a running commentary for Crikey on how the mediapack handles the election campaign? As you are no doubt aware, I am not nearly so worshipping of the hacks as yourself. Nor do I share the dopey prejudices which you and others (with Christian being the least worse offender) purvey. It might add some balance.

Regards,

P.P.McGuinness
Editor, Quadrant

CRIKEY: It’s very generous of Paddy to offer his services to balance Crikey’s prejudices during the election campaign, but what do our readers think of this addition of the Crikey crew? Send your thoughts into [email protected] and we might even generate a special yoursay on the topic.

It certainly has. We’ve had more than 100 responses and have packaged up the best of them here, starting with all the Paddy fans out there.

The Pros of Paddy as a Crikey columnist:

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Am a little stunned at the anti-Paddy league in Yoursay today. Surely hearing all opinions, whether extreme or moderate, is a crucial part of an election campaign and, for me, it is usually one of the most interesting. I don’t just want to read material that only backs up my view, I want to get angry as well!!

Given the way in which your site and newsletter can publish immediate reactions to all stories, having comments from someone like Paddy should surely spark a high level of input and therefore a better quality debate. And, more importantly for me, what better way for me to be prepared with nicely researched and packaged opposing views and (hopefully) sparkling wit when my father’s loony right wing passion starts flying around after the third bottle over lunch? I just know that the Crikey army will give me all the facts and scuttlebutt that I need to make a pleasant afternoon of political argument. Bring it on!

Fi

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Why not get Paddy on board, balanced by a lefty such as Dicky Neville, Tim Dunlop or Mike Carlton. On alternative days they could fisk each other’s work. I note the anti-Paddy forces are strong on abuse, featherweight on rational criticism. You know the type: “I hate Little Johnny cos he’s so…so…um,… little.”

Slatts

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Paddy is undoubtedly one of the sharpest minds in Australian journalism. There is little doubt that Crikey has veered dangerously to the left in the last couple of years in particular, almost to the point that it is increasingly hard to distinguish its line on the major issues from that of most of the painful leftish outpourings of the Fairfax press or the David Marr end of the ABC. This is an important election and you owe it to your readers to provide a wide-ranging selection of perspectives. Give him a go!

Tony M

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One of the great delights of the Crikey website is the wonderful diversity of well-informed political, economic and business contributors (and editorial staff) with their variety of views and prejudices which provide a spectrum of colour.

While I do not agree with Paddy’s assertion that some of the editorial staff exhibit “dopey” prejudices, nevertheless I think the addition of regular Paddy commentary would be a great counterpoint to some of the insider informants such as Boilermaker Bill and Lisa Liberal and add another layer of colour.

David

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Having recently renewed my subscription to Crikey (rather reluctantly), I was thinking as I read through today’s dross that it is finally time to quit and ask for a refund. At one time Crikey was a worthwhile and sometimes amusing read. Aside from the occasional interesting “insider gossip”, those days seem long gone.

P.P McGuinness is one of the country’s finest journalists and his sharp analysis of the performance of the media during the election campaign would certainly be something to look forward to. Who knows, Crikey may even learn a thing or two from McGuinness about objective media analysis.

Andrew

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Bring on Paddy. He often amuses, more often infuriates but is mostly worth it for a differing perspective.

Don the Liberal voter

(PS Why is Paddy sucking-up to Christian?)

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Absolutely 1st class idea. Start him immediately. Not that I find fault with Crikey, biased or otherwise, but I believe he is an extremely talented, high quality and experienced journalist.

Ross

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Crikey, ya gotta do it, and you will. Even when he’s wrong (more than half the time) he’s colourful; and he’s experienced. Sign him up for the campaign, and measure the hits at the end of it.

Cheers, Hugo A

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Paddy once very highly praised a short story of mine in the OZ – so much so that several other writers went bile green and picked very nasty fights with me the next time we met.

But that isn’t his fault.

I’ll always be grateful to Paddy, however much our politics may differ. Give him space, I say.

Lucy

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I think it would be quite a coup d’etat as Roy and HG would say, ” By Crikey! Too many respected commentators in one newsletter are never enough!”

Rupert M

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I think it’s a great idea. Can I presume that he will counter your sometimes childish prejudices, with an equal load of his, very often, bewildering prejudices.

In the meantime can you please (for the love of God) stop using the word “LIKE” when you obviously should use the word “AS.”

The Linguist

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You would have to go a long way to find someone as arrogant as the maniacal McGuinness, that’s for sure. I agree with him though, he doesn’t tend to share the dopey prejudices that you and (to a lesser extent) Christian display. He displays prejudices of far greater breadth and are much dopier, so if you are looking to expand the breadth and dopiness of your prejudices, Paddy’s your man.

Perhaps I could read him during the election campaign, but any more than that would make me reconsider whether to continue the subscription.

Andrew L

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Paddy’s (un?)intentional pisstakes of right wing commentary always filled me with mirth when I read them in the SMH. So it pleases me to see that his departure from the SMH does not also see him lose his wit: Paddy bring balance! Beautiful! Crikey! You’ve got to let him do it!

Mr Proper

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Go for it. Crikey is a broad church – he is a respected writer. I’d be happy to either read his wisdom or skip his drivel depending on the day 😉 . If nothing else, his views will stimulate debate – which is why we all love Crikey.

Michael

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Go for it – you can’t lose, and it will add something to crikey..

Rob

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Yes Crikey, grab the offer so you guys won’t appear so insular, dopey and pro Labor (Christian excepted).

I know it is hard to generate stuff day after day but you guys obviously know nothing about policy options and financing health and education. Your articles are just reactive and ‘off the top of the head’ to these issues.

Give us someone who actually has a knowledge of international trends and solutions being implemented in other countries and who understands that data has a place in analysis of the claims which will be made by both lots.

We know you just can’t help yourself in your heavy petting with Labor and the ABC etc so you may actually convert some ‘ho hums and there he goes again’ into paid subscribers.

But then again you have to buy shoes for the kids like the rest of us and depending on your readership you may not want to pee off your loyal band of lefties who subscribe now. Whatever.

Stephen B

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Take PP McGuinness on. He is infuriating and interesting.

Richard from Balmain

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Yes, please. It would be good to have a mature perspective on such an important election as this one. Seriously, Stephen, thus far the
election coverage in Crikey has been pretty ordinary, with trivial ad hominem attacks virtually all that you’ve been running.

Who gives a damn what rusted-on Labor Party people think about Howard? Mike Seccombe for crissakes? You just have to be joking. I mean, you go on about Howard’s alleged lies, yet publish the opinion of the one journalist who was actually proven to have told at least one blatant lie prior to the last election.

Similarly, I don’t want to read ad hominem attacks against Mark Latham either. I want Crikey to deal with the issues, not the people. I don’t want ‘balance’ if all that means is an even number of Liberal and Labor apologists involved in a slanging match. I want considered, intelligent debate about the issues.

Is that too much for a subscriber to ask for?

Mike B

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Paddy McGuiness, is so inaccurate, so unable to do his research properly and so unreliable, it might be a laugh to have him do the balance. However, the danger is that someone might just take him seriously. Give it a go but with large tablespoons of salt in the mix.

Penelope T

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I want Paddy!
I want Paddy!
I want Paddy!
I want Paddy!
I want Paddy!

Mind you, I am starting to look like him, so maybe not too much of ‘im.

Michael the Victorian public servant

The Cons of Paddy as a Crikey columnist:

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PP McGuinness would seriously compromise the veracity of you excellent communications, if as a subscriber in my second “season” I would tender the advice to steer clear of the dreaded PP. If PP is a subscriber then let him submit comments as all of us dedicated Crikey supporters can, and you in your infinite wisdom may publish them in our sealed section on the basis of merit. But PLEEEEASE think long and hard before deciding. I enjoy reading Crikey daily because it balances the bias of “news” that PP and his ilk disseminate for the media moguls, don’t sleep with the enemy!

Subscriber Tom

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No, no, no.

This clown infested the Herald with all the wit and subtlety of a Crown-of-Thorns starfish for far too many years.

Are you so desperate for copy?

The man has no redeeming features whatsoever, of all his appalling claptrap his habit of picking on poor harmless would-be writers attending classes at writing centres was the most offensive; Sort of like stealing from the crippled kiddies collection boxes.

He typifies the repulsive old farts wandering the streets of Balmain these days, like a dog with mange he should be either put down or kept out of sight for good.

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Good God! You’ll be offering Phillip Adams to us next. Please do not clog my email box with boringly predictable McGuinness diatribes. If I feel a need to have my prejudices reinforced I will start buying newspapers again. Keep Crickey for fresh, iconoclastic reporting. McGuinness ceased having fresh or challenging ideas a long time ago.

Mitch

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Please, please do not infect your output with the tired diatribes of this ageing and out-of-touch right-wing bigot. We have more than enough of those thanks, with the likes of Bolt, Buckley and Madame Shanahan. Leave him to the privatisation worshippers of whichever mining-company funded neocon mag will have him.

Kevin

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Whilst I would rate Paddy slightly higher than Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt, I would not recommend putting him on the payroll. A voluntary contribution however might well be interesting. A balance with a column from Mungo might be an interesting counterpoint.

Greg D

CRIKEY: Don’t be stupid, of course we won’t be paying a millionaire like Paddy.

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I read you because it is not the same old crowd of columnists endless recycled around the dailies. If you want an alternative voice, find someone new and young.

James G

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One of the reasons so many journos and pollies subscribe to Crikey (not including the freeloaders) is because it offers an alternative to the garbage Paddy and his ilk have been feeding the readers for far too many years. Keep Crikey fresh, vital alive. Say no to Paddy! It’s interesting he’s coming forth at election time … is he concerned that not even Crikey – hardly a left-leaning e-zine – will beat the drum for the Libs?

Mr Mitchell

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“Dear Boss,

Don’t use him, I think he’s a hack! My once only dealings with him inform this view.

Back in the halcyon days when Uni’s needed numbers to get grants and students didn’t pay, I was doing an MA at Flinders Uni on Arts Management. Paddy wrote a piece on the subject in the AFR quite contrary to the concept I was postulating and, it seemed to me, he quoted many stated “facts” which were quite opposite to the findings of my research data.

I wrote, letting him know what I was about, and asking for references to whatever background material he had from which he had formed his view. He didn’t bother to reply. Nor to my follow up letters, either.

That makes him a hack, in my view; as in no integrity to his piece and no professionalism in him, in my view.

I’m doing my best!

The Shed Man”

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Paddy’s column was always good for a chuckle before getting to the serious business of reading the sports page. But why recycle an old columnist from another paper… Paddy’s only good for name calling and he already has his own magazine. If you need another columnist why not give the space to someone new.

Derek

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I have just subscribed to your newsletter because I have felt you have reasonable credibility. If you’re thinking of hiring Paddy (or even letting him write for free), then you might as well get Andrew Bolt on board. Barf. Puke. Spew. Bleat. Can I get my money back? Reading the Hun is a major effort—so I don’t usually buy it. But I’ve bought Crikey because I thought I’d enjoy reading it. Please don’t contaminate my pleasure.

Cheers, Bill Wig

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I am prepared to pay for a Crikey subscription as its actually something different to the blinkered right wing bollocks provided by News Corp, and because Crikey actually possess journalistic credibility. If Paddy works for you, you will be reducing both your credibility, and your level of differentiation from the mainstream.

Ben

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You must be joking. The only good thing about Paddy being in the SMH was that I could save time by not reading half a page of the paper whenever he appeared.

David N – subscriber (while Crikey offers an independent news source but not if it becomes an outlet for rightwing ratbags)

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Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

It is possible to let McGuinness slide into irrelevance you know. Go on, be the only media outlet that actually knocked him back. I subscribe to Crikey precisely because it is a bit different. Why not commission a column by Eva Cox, or Alan Jones? I hear he’s very popular on the wireless.

How can an ex-Marxist turned old fart who lives in Balmain add any stability or balance? He has his own media outlets, and he can set up a website if he wants to. See how far he gets. As far away from Crikey as possible, hopefully. Yeh, he’s a character, but you don’t have to indulge him. He’s very boring and too lazy to do any research. Stuff him!

Andrew E

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I almost never read to the end of a McGuinness newspaper article. He writes things which are offensive to me and (I assume) intentionally offensive to people like me. The well written superficiality has always lead me to assume that he is clever enough to be pandering to his readers rather than actually believing everything he writes.

If you want to put him on your web site that is a business decision for you, but if you put the sort of guff he has written in newspapers into
your subscription email I will probably unsubscribe.

Frog Mouth

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Paddy with no prejudices – what’s he been on! His plodding, predictable diatribes are very dull and surely his fan base must be dwindling. I couldn’t wait for him to finish at Fairfax – he should do a Mungo and retire to a beach somewhere – maybe Cable Beach in Broome. I’d have to de-subscribe – you’ve got a good style and balance as it is.

Roger

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No, no, no!

That fat free-loader? Don’t disgrace yourself!

Paddy’s survived on rumours of actual work he might ( stress “might” ) have done 20, 30 years ago with Bill Hayden; since then his “contributions” have been verbal diarrhoea, no logic, no research, for which he’s been outrageously overpaid such as Hilmer & Co.

Paddy’s “learning” impresses only the sort of person who’s never read more than one and a half books (with small type & no pictures) in his/her life.

Please, Crikey Boss, don’t give this bludger a platform; you’ll only reduce your credibility – and my pleasure in subscribing – if you do.

Perturbed Subscriber (begging again, don’t let Paddy Poo, even metaphorical, damage my Crikey!)

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McGuinness is typical of the ranting right in his claim to “balance”. Conservative hacks and politicians always think everyone has an ideology but them. McGuinness has an ideology: it’s the tired old bourgeois individualism that he’s been hacking around for ages. These self-aggrandising right-wing types make me want to spew. Tell him to sling his hook and peddle his conservative tosh somewhere else.

Steve from Melbourne Uni

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It’s bad enough having to put up with all the self-opinionated, right-wing, boringly predictable columnists in the Murdoch press. We don’t need an old fart like Paddy writing for Crikey.

Twiggy

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Thumbs down. Crikey at least tries for balance and accountability. I can read McGuinness style guff in the Murdoch toilet papers.

Mike, Canberra

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I have endured the ravings of dear old Paddy for many years as he slowly heads towards the retirement home. I subscribe to Crikey for fresh views and comment (sometimes unsubstantiated) and don’t feel the need to indulge Paddy.

Tony B

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So the tart couldn’t even do a back flip and stay at the Fairfax trough. Let him die old putting stuffy old fart of a rag – that doddering old men from last century read.

It’s your magazine and if you want to pollute it with Paddies lunatic ravings then go ahead.

Just as long as you balance it with a bit of Mungo from dead Anthony territory and you could have a good show. But even Mungo would probably gag at being put on the same mantle piece as Paddy the Pig. Mungo like Mayne is a nice person. Paddy is not a nice person.

Simon