Greg Sheridan catches up on Hamas. What an extraordinary genius Greg Sheridan is! On Saturday, he wrote: “The failure to understand that Islamist terrorism is a religious, ideological movement, with a coherent if grotesque world view, is one of many failures of Western commentators. Reading the Islamists’ documents would be a good place to start in remedying that so far abject failure.” Actually, Sheridan, the failure isn’t that of genuine commentators and scholars but of neo-Con pundits like yourself whose focus isn’t on promoting an understanding of such groups but rather on generating as much hatred for them as possible. HAMAS has been around since 1987. Even a novice like myself has known about the HAMAS Charter for over a decade, which I first read back in 1993 when its English translation was published in the Journal of Palestine Studies. The same journal in 1995 published a major study of HAMAS. Now, in 2008, Sheridan has discovered the HAMAS charter. He’s also been chosen as one of our “best and brightest” to sit on his 2020 Summit committee to discuss “Australia’s Future Security and Prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world”. — Irfan Yusuf

AFL’s expansion push – ratings don’t lie. The AFL reckons it is going to get another team into Sydney and the Gold Coast by around 2012. They are fooling themselves if they and their supporters in the Melbourne media reckon that will happen. Yesterday’s Swans vs. Port power game was shown direct into Sydney on a brilliant afternoon: sunny, 27 degrees. Just 70,000 people watched and 129,000 in Adelaide. Friday night’s game between Collingwood and the Brisbane Lions was shown direct into Brisbane by Seven and averaged just 96,000. The Brisbane Broncos North Queensland Cowboys NRL game in the same city that night was watched by 327,000. The Swans-Port Adelaide game on Seven yesterday was actually a Foxtel broadcast as Seven was concentrating on the Essendon-Geelong game in Melbourne where the bigger crowd are: 328,000 watched that game in Melbourne which wasn’t all that brilliant given the size of the Melbourne market. The Collingwood game on Friday night averaged 474,000. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Gladiators thundered into top possie with 1.847, million, followed by Seven News with 1.579 million and Police Files Unlocked at just after 7.30pm following Gladiators with 1.571 million. CSI on Nine at 8.30pm for two hours (it was a cross with Without A Trace) averaged 1.551 million. 60 Minutes averaged 1.404 million and Nine News averaged 1.326 million in 6th spot. Seven returned My Name Is Earl at 8pm with 1.244 million while Ten’s Sunday episode of So You think You Can Dance Australia averaged 1.234 million. Grey’s Anatomy averaged 1.138 million for 9th and 10th was the 7pm ABC News with 1.007 million. East of Everything on the ABC at 8.30pm did OK with 1.007 million. Ten’s The Biggest Loser at 6.30pm was hit by Gladiators and averaged just 974,000 people. Brothers And Sisters on Seven around 9.30pm, 962,000, Animal Emergency on Nine at 6.30pm, 949,000 and RFDS at 7pm on Nine, 890,000: both not good. Robin Hood on the ABC at 7.30pm, 778,000.

The Losers: Losers? Rove? Even though it was first up last night on Ten at 9pm, the 777,000 would have disappointed everyone seeing how strongly he finished 2008 and the flow of publicity during the summer. Perhaps Rove should have been back from week one. Even though Gladiators got the numbers for Seven; it makes us all losers in that so much money has been spent for a program that doesn’t advance the cause of TV one bit. Seven’s Grey’s Anatomy isn’t a loser, but its starting to look a bit light on for viewers. Advance warning: Tuesday night 9.30pm Nine’s Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been sent to the great flop house in the sky and replaced by Ladette to Lady.

News & CA: Seven and Nine used their football lead-ins in Sydney and Melbourne to win both markets with the AFL and NRL. But Seven won Brisbane by over 120,000 viewers, won Perth, but lost Adelaide. Ten news averaged 645,000. World News Australia, 202,000. In the morning Weekend Sunrise, 426,000, Early Sunrise, 216,000. Landline on the ABC, 217,000. Insiders on the ABC, 174,000, Sunday from 7.30pm, 143,000. Inside Business on the ABC, 129,000, Offsiders at 10.30am, 128,000. Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 39,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 30.4% (23.8%) from Seven with 29.3% (27.2%), Ten with 20.8% (25.5%), the ABC with 15.1% (17.2%) and SBS with 4.3% (6.7%). Nine won everywhere bar Melbourne where Seven snuck home. In regional areas WIN/NBN averaged 34.4% for a clear win over Prime/7Qld with 27.6%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.5%, the ABC with 14.0% and SBS with 5.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Well there’s nothing original you can say about Gladiators on Seven, because it’s, well, not original. Expensive, bigger than Centrepoint, and lightweight stuff at best, much like 60 minutes last night which is struggling. Andrew Denton has once again shown up the inadequacies of 60 Minutes (and Today Tonight and A Current Affair) by offering somebody an opportunity to talk expansively (and not in scripted form). No chequebook was involved. Simple stuff really but beyond 60 Minutes’ understanding. Rove returned and fitted in on a Sunday night. It’s a pity Seven doesn’t have someone like him, or Nine. East of Everything deserves a second look next week to see if the pace and storyline picks up. It has to, there are only six eps. Tonight has Andrew Denton on the ABC, at 9.30pm; the second series of Sea Patrol on Nine at 8.30pm, Nine also has The Power of 10 starting at 7.30pm. Ten has So You think You Can Dance Australia and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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