Mr Ms. Dennis Shanahan clearly doesn’t venture into foreign policy too much. His attack today on Australia’s anti-whaling stance refers to New Zealand Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick. “Mr Chadwick” is said to have told Shanahan that “his Government had given up plans to pursue Japan over whaling in the international court.” New Zealand’s Conservation Minister is indeed Steve Chadwick, but it’s a Ms, not a Mr. Ms Chadwick — full name Stephanie — is also Minister for Women’s Affairs. Shanahan wasn’t alone, however – Shadow Foreign Minister Andrew Robb’s office also got it wrong, but quickly corrected their press release. The Australian’s version  remains uncorrected. — Bernard Keane

The night SBS declared Dave Hughes as mufti of Australia. SBS broke the news last night that Australia’s 360,000-odd Muslims now have a new Mufti. Last night’s premiere episode of Salam Café saw Dave Hughes dressed up in ceremonial robes and a turban and declared mufti by compere Ahmed Imam (whose dad, coincidentally, is current mufti Fehmi el-Imam). Sheik Hughsy left the live audience in hysterics. SBS picked up this community-based show from Channel 31, where the show picked up a bunch of Antenna Awards in 2006 including Best Program on Community TV. The show features a panel of talented young Victorians including a couple of brilliant young stand-up comics, three charming hostesses, an author and that son-of-a-mufti I mentioned earlier. The show was filmed before a live Melbourne audience, though rumour has it they’re filming some shows in Sydney. One panel member is no stranger to mainstream TV. As a university student, ophthalmologist Dr Ahmed Hassan raised eyebrows among conservative community leaders by appearing on and (if my memory serves me correctly) winning a “Red Faces” segment on an episode of that Channel 9 classic Hey Hey! It’s Saturday. Back then, the idea of using popular culture to break down stereotypes was a little too cutting-edge for the middle-aged men that ran Australia’s mosques. But times have changed. At least they have in Victoria. A fair few stars of this show hold senior positions on the Islamic Council of Victoria. And with Sheik Hughsy as their spiritual leader, it looks like mufti day has just hit the big time! — Irfan Yusuf

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Judy Davis: Her and her floodlight shadows. Golden Globe and Emmy winner Judy Davis is suing Nationwide News over a series of articles The Daily Telegraph published concerning her attendance at a 2006 Leichhardt Council meeting convened to discuss erecting floodlights in a park near Davis’s home in inner Sydney. Nationwide News also publishes The Australian. She claims the newspaper defamed her by implying she was a selfish and hypocritical child-hater. Davis told the court she was a very private individual, adding she felt “very invaded” when she was approached by a journalist about her appearance at the council meeting. She denied causing a “frisson of excitement” at the meeting. “I don’t cause a sensation,” she said. “If it was true, then every time I go to Woolworths, things are happening that I’m not aware of. I go shopping at Woolworths once a week. I go to the butcher, I go to the greengrocer and, as a local resident, I have occasionally gone to local council meetings. It is not only my right as a citizen but I think, at times, also a duty.” — The Australian

NY Mag — from print to online. Larry Burstein, the publisher of New York Media, is a vital part of the team that’s made New York’s Internet counterpart, NYMag.com, one of the earliest success stories for magazine brands transitioning online. By selling the site’s Ellie-winning content, he and his team have created a moneymaking venture currently employing 40 staffers. Below, he talks about why selling print and the Web is really the same thing, the difference between a Web presence and a Web business, and the Lohan pics. — Mediabistro

Too newsy Television news has taken criticism from every direction imaginable. It is accused of being too far left, or too far right, or too shallow, or too consumed with profit, etc. Now the Federal Communications Commission has settled the argument. Television news is too newsy. The FCC’s latest satire-defying ruling has declared that the gossip-mongers at TMZ, and the God-casters at Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, are “bona fide” news providers. In arriving at that ruling, the Commissioners had to conclude that there would be no overt political partisanship in the news content from these parties. — News Corpse blog

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Seven News was tops with 1.547 million, followed by Nine’s new 8pm program, Search And Rescue with a very good 1.439 million. Today Tonight averaged 1.433 million in 3rd, with the last episode of a Melbourne-less Underbelly averaging 1.417 million (and probably would have some 2.2-2.3 million last night, and deservedly so). Seven’s Home and Away averaged 1.231 million at 7pm, and Nine News was 6th with 1.208 million. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.199 million, A Current Affair was next with 1.141 million and Spicks And Specks was 9th with 1.116 million. Big Brother was 10th with 1.098 million (and was Ten’s most watched program – it was all downhill from there). Fire000 at 7.30 on Nine averaged 1.084 million, Hell’s Kitchen on Nine at 9.30pm, 1.076 million, The New Inventors on the ABC at 8pm, 1.050 million, the repeat of Two And a Half Men on Nine at 7pm, 1.046 and Ugly Betty on Seven returned with 1.028 million viewers. Half the debut audience last year and was beaten in the second half, from 8pm by The New Inventors, and in the first half by Big Brother.

The Losers: No one really last night. Another night when choice was offered to viewers and they accepted. Canal Road was sad looking last night. Just 386,000 on Nine somewhere around 10.30pm. Even though Hell’s Kitchen did OK for Nine at 9.30pm with 1.076 million, it is a pale imitation of the Kitchen Nightmares. Ugly Betty – not quite a loser but…

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. The 7pm ABC News in Melbourne had more viewers than the 6pm Nine News and got within 8,000 on Seven News. The 7.30 Report averaged a strong 970,000, Lateline, 274,000, Lateline Business, 153,000. Ten News, 821,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 355,000. Nine’s Nightline, 186,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 171,000, the late News at 9.30pm, 199,000, Dateline at 8.30pm, 188,000. 7am Sunrise 388,000, 7am Today still over 300,000 for another day with 306,000.

The Stats: Nine won 6pm to midnight All People with 30.3% (28.8%) from Seven with 27.1% (29.6%), Ten with 20.5% (20.7%), the ABC with 17.4% (16.6%) and SBS with 4.8% (4.3%). Nine won all five metro markets and leads the week, 30.0% to 26.2% for Seven. In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN for Nine with 32.3% from Prime/7Qld with 26.5%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.7%, the ABC with 15.6% and SBS with 5.9%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The last Underbelly screened and it should have gone for two hours. It was sparse, well written, strongly acted, but not enough. More. I wonder if the writers were just tired and over it. The voice over at the end should have been updated to point out that Mokbel was in Greece, that Williams had won his appeal against his 35 year sentence. But they are quibbles. Nine will now have to deal with life after Underbelly, just as Ten is struggling some nights with life after The Biggest Loser and So You Think You Can Dance Australia. Tonight its Gordon Ramsay again and The Footy Shows. In terms of cynical programming, SBS is repeating Inspector Rex (again, it must be seven times?) at 8.35pm after the silliest defective show on TV, Stockinger (from Austria, and no incest jokes please) at 7.30pm. Ten returns the US program Don’t Forget The Lyrics. I’d urge you to forget this show .

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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