Never mind the lesbian kiss, Home and Away indulges in a bit of the old ultra-violence. Last month, tabloids and conservative groups worked themselves up into a right old lather about — gasp! — the prospect of two women (two women, people!) kissing on TV soap Home and Away. Or, as the Herald Sun preferred to dub it, ‘GAY TV FOR KIDS’ (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Cynical souls would suggest the hullaballoo — and subsequent reports that the kiss would be censored — was a convenient gift for Channel 7‘s publicity department. Well, last night was the night. Two women kissed on screen at approx 7:25pm as dozens of women protested at Melbourne’s Federation Square against that erroneous rumoured censorship.

But why — amid all the kiss ‘controversy’ — does it appear those tabloids and conservative groups don’t care about the disturbing violence depicted on last night’s episode of Home And Away? Before that kiss, viewers had witnessed an assault and graphic attempted murder by a rapist on character Joey Collins. Luckily, Joey’s love interest — cop Charlie Buckton (Charlie’s a she) saved the day, bursting in to save a terrified, gaffa taped Joey from being drowned in a bath. What about THE KIDS everyone’s so concerned about watching that?! — Neil Walker

A new life for Life: Time Inc launches photo site. Life went through several incarnations as a print magazine, most recently, and least iconically, as a weekend newspaper supplement that lasted three years. Now the brand is being resurrected yet again, this time in a way that combines the nostalgia it evokes with what just might prove to be a more forward-looking business model. Today marks the launch of, a photography site rich in features and functionality and created as a partnership between Time Inc., which published the magazine, and the giant photo agency Getty Images. — Portfolio

Esquire‘s latest cover stunt: a mix-and-match flip book. First Esquire‘s October issue came with a battery-powered cover that blinked and flashed. Then the February issue had a flap on the cover with an ad inside. Now the May issue of Esquire, on sale April 10, is coming perforated to split into a flip book that will let readers play mix and match with the facial features of President Barack Obama, George Clooney and Justin Timberlake. — Advertising Age

Your Hotelicopter ride isn’t going to happen. Want to enjoy the five-star hotel experience while noisily chugging jet fuel in the skies far above the plebian masses? Well, tough, because the Hotelicopter, the “world’s first flying hotel,” which began appearing in tech blogs over the past few days, was quickly outed as a fake. It’s apparently a viral marketing stunt for Yotel, a premium lodging chain located inside European airports. But if you’re still in the mood for high-elevation hoax lodging, may I recommend this North Korean monstrosity? — AdFreak

HQ Imaging blackmail works. HQ Imaging retouched the heads of New Zealand’s leading creative directors on to bodies in compromising photographs. The photographs were then sent to the creative directors in question, with a simple threatening note…”you’d be wise to retouch with us.” RESULT: A 50% increase in business:


Here’s Rupert’s last hurrah: Twitter. Rupert Murdoch’s promises to Jon Miller must have been huge. I’ll bet it took nothing less for Murdoch to get Miller than a commitment for News Corp. to become the most aggressive acquirer in the digital market. Facebook is beyond even News Corp.’s budget. So the prize is Twitter. There may not be anything less than Twitter that can distract Wall Street from News Corp.’s stubborn and, at this point, unnatural newspaper fetish, and, as well, convince it, for one last hurrah, that Rupert isn’t…well, gone. — Michael Wolff Off the Grid

Why ebooks must fail. Clearly ebooks aren’t free — they are perhaps as expensive or in some cases more expensive than print — yet they do not create large, short term cash flow to cover their costs. Ebooks, if successful, will sink the trade publishing industry. And therein lies the dilemma… how does the publishing industry fund the creation, editing, design, production, marketing, e-warehousing, and sales of ebooks, if the income isn’t there? How do ebooks cover the huge advances needed to buy books if we cannot generate the cash, especially at their extremely low, discounted prices, cover the advances that an entire industry has come to require? The answer is that ebooks, alone, cannot. — Black Plastic Glasses

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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