We thought that A Current Affair was a shoe-in for this week’s Wankley Award. Their story on diet queen Mandy Carter was a pearler.

She’s chaining herself to a treadmill for two weeks. “Cos I figure, if I can stay on a treadmill for 14 days straight, then surely people can stick to my healthy eating plan for 14 days.”

It had all the hallmarks of a good, cheesy, bottom-of-barrel-scraping story. Ordinary Aussie mum with two kids. Token expert. Weight loss. Mean neighbours. Puns (“weighed down by her obesity”, etc).  Handcuffs. Even Tracey Grimshaw had on her “Good Lord, it’s come to this” face.

Crikey was disappointed that, despite investigative journalists being on the scene, no-one asked the most vital question: how is Mandy going to go to the bathroom? For that omission alone, it was lined up for the Wankley…

And then on the day of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation the Herald Sun‘s Andrew Bolt worked himself into a righteous lather, staking again his claim as the arch contrarian of Australian journalism. The Wilson Tuckey of the commentariat, if you like.

In one article, the self-appointed guardian of The Right managed to: 

  • insult the “stolen” generation, children “we actually saved” (who is “we” by the way, white man?)
  • insult the “jubilant intelligentsia”
  • call Rudd a communist
  • call the ABC’s Jon Faine pro-totalitarian
  • bait feminists (hey, why not?)
  • imitate an agitated sheep

Bolt … back on form and a worthier Wankley winner than any number of handcuffed dieters.

Peter Fray

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