Costello death-watch, ch. 675. To the virtual smoke-filled club rooms of the Spectator Australia, where Peter Coleman is doing laps in the merlot-filled jacuzzi:

“The sacked editor of the Monthly, Sally Warhaft, said that the reason Robert Manne and Morry Schwartz gave her the heave-ho was that she had wanted to publish Peter Costello’s reply to Kevin Rudd’s polemic against those economic conservatives who wear their badge with pride (to coin a phrase).”

The gouty, sorry doughty old cold-warrior writes, “But despair not. Costello and I have now included the prohibited arguments in a new chapter for the paperback edition of The Costello Memoirs, to be published shortly.”

In other words, as with the entire book, Coleman wrote something for future political use, while Costello, his gormless golem of a son-in-law, sat meekly in the corner. Which proves the point of his original exclusion from the Monthy — that the Cheshire smirk is incapable of writing a postcard, much less an essay on his own. Ointment boy! Are, there you are Christian! Mr Peter senior’s bunions need seeing to. — Guy Rundle

VB dumps “hard earned thirst”. VB is dumping its “hard-earned thirst” tagline it has been using for more than 40 years in a bid to attract new drinkers to the brand and revive flat lining sales. David “Nobby” Nobay, creative chairman at Droga5 which is masterminding a major new VB marketing campaign said it was “time to move on” from the perception of VB as being a blue collar worker’s beer. “We have to honour the base of VB drinkers, but at the same time we have to widen the lens. We have to seed a point of view and personality so we become enticing for a new generation. If you are a tradie, you don’t think yourself as blue collar anymore, you think of yourself as an entrepreneur. The landscape has changed and VB need to reflect that change,” he said. — B & T

The latest in quality journalism from the Sydney Morning Herald. The SMH breathless review of the latest Sacha Baron Cohen movie, Bruno, is actually a review of a review done by The Sun in the UK. The entire article is essentially a rehash collection of quotations from the Sun review, “S-x, sushi and a kugelsack of laughs” with a link at the bottom to the Sun. Unfortunately Fairfax messed up their reprint and somehow changed Latoya Jackson, into Janet Jackson. Why didn’t they just reprint the piece in its entirety?

Quadrant magazine screws newsagents. Inside the latest issue of  magazine, the publisher blatantly disrespects the newsagents who are crucial to its business model. here is what they say: “If you bought this magazine from a newsagent, you are missing out on a lot. Subscribers get so much more.” This paints newsagents as expensive, unable to provide the benefits of subscription and a place where one misses out. We don’t ask to sell Quadrant . The publisher chooses to use the newsagency channel, to access our real-estate, to use our labour. They do this because it helps them sell magazines. — Australian Newsagency Blog

“Kosher” search engine launched in Israel. A new “kosher” search engine called Koogle has been launched for orthodox Jews living in Israel, allowing them to surf the net without compromising the religious standards set by their rabbis. Koogle, which is a pun on search engine behemoth Google and a popular Jewish noodle dish, will filter out forbidden material, such as sexually explicit images or pictures of women deemed to be immodestly dressed, and restrict purchases of taboo items including television sets, which are banned in orthodox households. Rabbis encouraged the development of Koogle to meet the needs of the country’s religious communities and to discourage them from using internet cafes. — Guardian

Boston Globe staffers throw pay cut party. Members of the Boston newspaper guild at the beleaguered Boston Globe were given a 23 percent pay cut this week, so the they’re hosting a “Farewell to Fair Wages” barbecue tomorrow afternoon as the cut takes effect. The event will take place in a reporter’s back yard in Milton, Mass. just outside of Boston. It will be a typical suburban shindig where guests can drown their sorrows in “pot luck fare, a kiddie pool, a keg of beer… and hot dogs.” There will also be a bluegrass band. If you were looking for a single anecdote to illustrate the sad collapse of print media, this is it. — Media Bistro

Ling and Lee: face of new journalism? As the journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee complete their third month of detainment in North Korea, it remains rather astonishing that they were there in the first place to report for a fledgling cable channel. Start-up news organizations like Current TV are increasingly sending journalists to the world’s hot spots, putting a spotlight on news stories in new ways. It is, experts say, another consequence of the fragmented media landscape and the declines in international news coverage by traditional outlets. Being unencumbered by a traditional news outlet has its advantages, as the reporters are sometimes free to take more risks. — New York Times

Creepy personalised news service. Still in beta, Daily Perfect offers news aggregation based purely on your name. Type it into the home page, let the wheels turn for a little while, and it comes back with a custom-tailored package of news items and topics (and people of interest to you in the People tab). For a not-common name with presence in a variety of places around the web it works pretty well. If your name is Jim Smith, or if you’re fairly invisible on the Web, probably not so well. You can improve the results by voting topics thumbs up or down. There’s also a books recommendation tab that presumably generates a little Amazon affiliate revenue. Nieman Journalism Lab

Around the world with President Obama. Ever wondered what it’s like to follow the President of the United States around the world? White House correspondent Christina Bellatoni has made a video and it looks pretty intense.


Washington Times

Fox’s axed man blames Scientologists. Fox News bowed to pressure from Kelly Preston, Tom Cruise and other members of the Church of Scientology when it fired columnist Roger Friedman, the entertainment journo is expected to charge in a wrongful termination lawsuit this week. In April, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. announced it had “terminated” Friedman after he wrote on about watching a pirated Internet copy of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Friedman is convinced that was a cover story. — NY Daily News