One of the few light moments during the black Saturday fires was clicking on to the weeklytimes.com.au for updates, only to discover the worst-designed website in the world, an orange and white (Why? Why?) extravaganza, running off a bakelite server in Reg’s shed. Some saw touching innocence; Gerard Henderson saw a challenge. And lo it came to pass that the “Media Watch Dog” blog was created.
Admit it, he had you at Gerard, didn’t he? It was that space age font, wasn’t it, last seen on the outside of a roller disco in 1977? Or the sudden abandonment of it for Times New Roman (underlined — very important). Media Watch Dog. Shouldn’t that be Watchdog? Or are we meant to watch the dog? It’s hard not to, the way he’s staring out at us.
Is he meant to look like he’s backing away from us into the dark, or has the designer* not yet mastered the contouring tool? Why has GH chosen an ugly white mongrel as his symbol?**
If the second phrase is a description of the picture, shouldn’t it read “an ugly white mongrel in the dark” beneath the phrase “Gerard Henderson’s”? Or, Gerard Henderson’s Little Bitch? Now that’d get hits, at least until Conroy’s sieve is introduced.
Anyway, leaving aside the clipart sketch pad on the other side, there are three entries, the first of which is an interminable catalogue of an hours-long stretch of Radio National — including the chilling news that UK leftist (and Phillip Adams contributor) Bea Campbell used to refer to East Germany as “the GDR” (nooooooooo!) — followed by a rehash of the Manne-Henderson letters exchange that was prompted by Henderson’s surreal refusal to admit that, as a member of the NCC in the ’60s, he was supporting a group that supported some nasty regimes, both of which (posts, not regimes) run to a coupla thousand words, which suggest that he hasn’t got the hang of this bloggering thing yet.
The final post is a shorter, nastier piece on Age columnist Catherine Deveny, currently conducting a guerrilla campaign within its pages, against editors who — to put it diplomatically — seem to have a problem with an op-ed columnist who did that rare thing, and actually brought in readers.
Deveny drives the right wild, because she’s as popular as Bolt, funnier than Tim Blair, and replaced a well-known columnist (with a year or so’s gap in between) who had regarded the space as his freehold real-estate, whose thinktank was named after a city that wasn’t Melbourne, and who was removed (or so it is said) when the British editor asked staff if this “Doc” Evatt was likely to sue, and was told probably not, and why. Any clues yet?
Answers please to the comments roll of Gerard Henderson’s Scared Little Dog. Be the first!
And watch out for my forthcoming cameo appearances in Gerard Henderson’s SMH column, his little bitch, his Sydney Institute notes, his speech to the Taree RSL, his…
*and if the designer is a Henderson child under the age of 18, I apologise. It’s a credible first effort, it’s better than I could do, you have been let down by the quality control standards of your boss.
**If this is the Henderson family dog, further apologies. There are no ugly dogs.