Being fooled by the internet — you know it makes sense. When Slammin’ Sam Kekovich speaks people listen. It’s why he’s the face of Australia’s Meat and Livestock marketing campaigns, an ESPN commentator and a favourite for sportsmens’ nights and corporate speeches. So here at Crikey we were interested when we received the following email this morning of a speech allegedly made by Kekovich at the AFL’s Centre Square Grand Final day event, which had been reported by Peter FitzSimons in the SMH:

My fellow Australians,

I’ve been invited here to talk to Centre Square, in these big marquees on Punt Road Oval. And speaking of Punt Road Oval, let me tell you something for nothing — Jack Dyer would be spinning in his grave if he could see the place right now. Full of a bunch of Collins Street corporate criminals, Chapel Street designer cats and Toorak poodle rooters who have about as much interest in football as Paris Hilton has an interest in astrophysics.

Captain Blood didn’t break every bone in his body and commit multiple acts of on-field heroism and homicide so he could see his beloved home ground turned into an over-priced pre-match party for chardonnay-swilling spivs and their assorted hangers-on attending their one footy match of the year, whilst tens of thousands of hard-working honest battlers who love the game and love their team are denied the chance to attend the greatest game in the world.

I’ve had a gutful. Whilst this bunch of Armani-wearing, Audi-driving, Prada-carrying try-hards monopolise priceless vantage points in the MCG, millions of genuine footy fans who have followed their team through thick and thin have to make do by watching the game at home or down at the local pub, whilst the Melbourne spivocracy get to sit on their fat posteriors in a marquee and wouldn’t even know the way to the MCG without a tour guide.

Since most of you haven’t attended a single match this year and know nothing about football, let me give you a few tips — Geelong wears blue, Hawthorn wears brown, and in case you were wondering, there’ll be no fashions on the field at half-time, and no, the Lexus Centre across the road is not a prestige car dealership.

Centre Square is not only unfair. Centre Square is not only inequitable. Centre Square is downright un-Australian! And so are all of you! In fact, I bet you’re all so un-Australian that you all hate the Anzacs, you booed Cathy Freeman, and you want to cull cute cuddly koalas because one of them once jumped out in front of your Range Rover on the way to Mount Hotham.

But it’s not just you who are at fault. I also blame the AFL — those out-of-touch, opera-loving elitists at AFL headquarters who are responsible for this unconscionable abomination need to take a good hard look in the mirror. That is if they can handle the sight of moral and spiritual bankruptcy staring back at them. I also blame the government. Our new Prime Minister has clearly failed his first test of leadership if he thinks it’s acceptable to allow an event like this to go ahead without a pre-emptive strike by the SAS.

The PM is doing nothing to ease the squeeze on working families on the bottom rung of the ladder of opportunity who just want to see their team in the Granny. But he’d better get his act together and do something about it, or millions of angry footy fans will do it for him. Revolutions have been started and governments have been overthrown for lesser outrages than this. And people ask why we need capital  punishment.

So cut off your silver tails, tear up your fur coats and get fair dinkum. Our great Australian game is the greatest game in the world — the game of the people. Not some once-a-year marquee p*ss-up for an overpaid, over-dressed pack of passionless corporate cretins who only turn up for the free chardonnay and then spend the actual game looking about as interested and excited as a line of Easter Island statues.

So don’t bother coming across to the MCG this afternoon, because you’re not welcome. The next train out of Melbourne leaves Richmond station in 10 minutes — so make sure you’re on it. Or, better still, under it.

So don’t be un-Australian — everyone here in Centre Square can get stuffed!

You know it makes sense. I’m Sam Kekovich.

The problem here is that these aren’t Kekovich’s words.

In fact this wonderful little diatribe comes from a poster at the popular AFL forum, BigFooty, who goes by the name Football Invective. You can see Football Invective’s original post here. And it has to be said that he or she have captured Kekovich’s tone pretty well — well enough to fool at least one of Australia’s most prominent sports columnists. — Leigh Josey

Biggest VP debate audience ever. The debate between Vice presidential candidates, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden topped their leaders first debate figures with 69.9 million people tuning in across the US. The Nielsen figures showed that it was the most watched vice presidential debate ever, according to ratings issued on Friday. In Australia 152,000 watched the debate on the ABC on Friday and 48,000 on SBS. It was also the largest TV audience for any nationally televised political debate in the US for the last 16 years, going back to a debate between President George H.W. Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton and independent Ross Perot in 1992.

Nielsen said Fox News had its biggest ever audience with 11.1 million viewers, CNN 10.7 million and MSNBC had 4.4 million viewers. Among the free to air broadcasters, ABC led with 13.1 million people, followed by NBC with 12.8 million and CBS 11.1 million. In total the debate ran live on 11 FTA and cable networks. The debate easily beat the first Obama-McCain debate which averaged 52.4 million people. They meet Wednesday, our time in their second debate. The audience for the three way debate in 1992 attracted 69.9 million viewers, but proportionately won a much larger share of the TV audience which was 60 million viewers smaller than it is now, according to Nielsen. — Glenn Dyer

Seven wins the week. An easy win to Seven last week with 29.9%, the same as the previous week, from Nine with 26.1% (27.1%). But the ABC snuck home into third with 19.4%, (17.8%, a season high for the state broadcaster. It pushed Ten to fourth with 19.1% (20.0%0 and SBS was fifth with 5.5% 5.2%). Seven won all five metro markets and won Monday through Friday. Nine won Sunday and Saturday from 6pm to midnight in the All People category. The ABC finished ahead of Ten on four nights, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. — Glenn Dyer

Bath’s in demand. The Nine Network is attempting to poach Seven’s second Sydney news reader, Chris Bath. Bath reads Seven’s news on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Bath’s contract is up early next year and Nine News and Current Affairs boss has been attempting to woo Bath to Willoughby, trading on claims that she is unhappy at Seven and especially with Ian Ross being signed to read until the end of next year. But is she all that unhappy? News of her wooing by Nine will help her in any dealings she has with Seven over her new contract. But the news of Nine’s interest in Bath will not go down well at Willoughby where Sydney 6pm reader, Mark Ferguson is under pressure, as is the network’s host of A Current Affair, Tracy Grimshaw.

As interesting as all this is, the most tantalising move in TV last week was detailed in this email from Today Tonight boss, Craig Mcpherson:

Nicola Williams is leaving the Seven Network after 17 years.

From her days at Real Life to the turbulent times when Today Tonight started, Nicola has played a significant role in the growth of the 6.30pm timeslot.

Nicola is leaving for family reasons. I know I speak for all those who have worked with her in thanking her for all her efforts and wishing her the very best for the next chapter in her life.

John Choueifate will take over Nicola’s role when she leaves on November 27. As Supervising Producer of Today Tonight, his responsibilities will include the running of our Melbourne office.

John has worked in senior positions at News Limited, Channel 10 and Channel 9, most recently as news director of Channel 9 Sydney.

The pair of us started together as copyboys at News Limited. I have a very healthy respect for John’s management skills, news sense and story judgement.

He is a welcome addition to the Seven Network and Today Tonight.

John will start on Monday October 13. He will spend the first week in Today Tonight’s Sydney office. The following Monday, he’ll join Nicola in Melbourne.

— Glenn Dyer

Nick Denton on those layoffs. I have some bad news. Here’s the heart of it: we are cutting 19 of our 133 editorial positions and suspending bonus payments at the start of next year. With the savings, we are increasing base pay and hiring 10 new people on the most commercially successful Gawker sites. But I know that’s scant consolation for the colleagues we’re losing and for those of you who have been enjoying the bonus windfalls from breakout stories. You can guess the reason for these brutal measures: the recession. . — Gawker

Ground Hog Day journalism. The old building block of journalism — the article — is proving to be inadequate in the current onslaught of news. I’ll argue here that the new building block is the topic. The story was all we had before — it’s what would fit onto a newspaper page or into a broadcast show. But a discrete and serial series of articles over days cannot adequately cover the complex stories going on now nor can they properly inform the public. There’s too much repetition. Too little explanation. The knowledge is not cumulative. Each instance is necessarily shallow. And when more big stories come — as they have lately! — in scarce time and space and with scarce resources, each becomes even shallower. We never catch up, we never get smarter. Articles perpetuate a Ground Hog Day kind of journalism. — BuzzMachine

Subtle SEO work I’m a big fan of optimizing headlines for search engines so they can be found, but sometimes sites go too far. At the moment, there are unverified rumors crawling around the Internet that actor James Earl Jones died. So I did a search on Google News. Check out this piece of work I found on a news site called the Post-Chronicle: “James Earl Jones died? Death, Dead, No longer living?” — Journalistopia

New digital book Sony announces that its new Reader model, the PRS-700, will feature an interactive touch screen, which will let users change pages by moving their fingers across the display, and a virtual keyboard to type up notes. The device will also have an LED reading light that will permit visibility in areas of inadequate lighting. The new Reader version is fashioned after the PRS-505 model and will contain the same features, such as a high-resolution electronic display screen, pre-set text sizes, multiple file format support, an expansion tool to boost storage space as well as an internal memory that can contain 350 digital books. — The Editors weblog

Peter Fray

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