We are heading, make no mistake, into something of a John Howard moment. The luxuriant mini-series biodoc (like All The Rivers Run without horses. Or John English. Or Penne Hackforth Jones for that matter) begins tonight on the telly and there will be a collective moment of reflection — nostalgia for some, therapeutic release for others.

Will the former PM use this moment to resume something approximating a public life?

Certainly the weekend’s foray to the studios of SkyNews (on relay to Fox News in the US) could be a sign: 

One thing is certain, the ABC is putting all its cross-promotional might behind plugging The Howard Years. Never mind what the former PM and his crew might have had to say about the ABC back in the day, the Corporation certainly seems to be onside now. Take a look at these mentions from Media Monitors. Of the 531 broadcast items relating to The Howard Years, 392 were on the ABC:

ABC Central Coast

19

ABC 702 Sydney

17

ABC 936 Hobart

12

ABC Broken Hill

12

ABC Upper Hunter

11

ABC Mid North Coast NSW

10

ABC South East NSW

10

ABC 720 Perth

9

ABC 774 Melbourne

9

ABC Illawarra

9

ABC New England North West

9

ABC North Coast NSW

9

ABC Riverina

9

ABC Western Plains NSW

9

ABC 612 Brisbane

8

ABC 891 Adelaide

7

ABC Central West NSW

7

ABC Northern Tasmania

7

Radio National Newcastle

7

Radio National Sydney

7

ABC Darwin

6

ABC Newcastle

6

ABC South Western Victoria

6

Radio National Hobart

6

ABC 666 Canberra

5

ABC Central Victoria

5

ABC Gippsland

5

ABC Goldfields WA

5

ABC Goldfields/Esperance

5

ABC Goulburn Murray

5

ABC Kimberley

5

ABC Midwest Wheatbelt

5

ABC Mildura Swan Hill

5

ABC South Coast WA

5

ABC South East SA

5

ABC South West WA

5

Radio National Melbourne

5

Radio National Perth

5

ABC Ballarat

4

ABC Capricornia

4

ABC Great Southern WA

4

ABC North & West SA

4

ABC Riverland SA

4

ABC West Coast SA

4

ABC Western Victoria

4

ABC1 Adelaide

4

ABC1 Tasmania

4

ABC1 Melbourne

4

ABC1 Perth

4

2UE

3

ABC Central Australia

3

ABC Far North

3

ABC North Queensland

3

ABC North West Qld

3

ABC North West WA

3

ABC Tropical North

3

ABC Western Queensland

3

ABC Wide Bay

3

ABC2

3

Radio National Canberra

3

Radio National Adelaide

3

Radio National Darwin

3

Radio National Brisbane

3

ABC1 Sydney

3

ABC1 Darwin

3

ABC1 Brisbane

3

ABC1 Canberra

3

1071 AM

2

2AD

2

2BH

2

2CC

2

2CH

2

2CS FM

2

2DU

2

2GB

2

2GF

2

2GN

2

2GZ

2

2HAY FM

2

2HD

2

2LF

2

2LM

2

2LT

2

2MC FM

2

2MG

2

2MIA

2

2MO

2

2NZ

2

2PK

2

2RE

2

2RG

2

2TM

2

2VM

2

2WEB

2

2WG

2

2XL

2

3BO

2

3GG

2

3MA FM

2

3SR FM

2

4AM

2

4GC

2

4GR

2

4LM

2

4MK FM

2

4ZR

2

5SE

2

6AM

2

6KG

2

6MD

2

6NA

2

6PR

2

6SE

2

6TZ

2

6VA

2

7AD

2

7BU

2

7SD

2

ABC Southern Queensland

2

Channel 7

2

Easy Listening 1089AM

2

Easy Listening 531 AM

2

Easy Listening 639AM

2

Easy Listening 846 AM

2

HEART FM

2

MIX 92.7

2

Radio 97

2

5AA

1

ABC Gold & Tweed Coasts

1

ABC Sunshine & Cooloola Coasts

1

Central GTS/BKN Broken Hill

1

Central GTS/BKN Port Lincoln

1

Central GTS/BKN Port Pirie

1

FOX FM

1

Hot Tomato

1

Prime Albury

1

Prime Ballarat

1

Prime Bendigo

1

Prime Gippsland

1

Prime Mildura

1

Prime Shepparton

1

Prime Swan Hill

1

Prime Warrnambool

1

SKY News Australia

1

SPORT 927

1

Triple M

1

WIN Mt Gambier

1

WIN Riverland

1

The Howard Years? Maybe. The Howard week? Absolutely.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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