Thursday, 8 July, 2004
Crikey is banned by the Herald Sun but we believe in free speech and don’t ban anyone. Therefore, check out this amazing 6000-word spray against Crikey by News Ltd business commentator Terry McCrann. It is the most comprehensive attack on our little website since we launched in February 2000. Enjoy.
You are what is known in polite circles as a complete f*ck.
I’ll lay aside the way you’ve betrayed the trust of seemingly everyone you’ve worked or slept with — you seem happy enough to personally broadcast to the world your betrayals on both fronts in some sort of bizarre branding exercise.
Your continuous malicious distortions of what I write are an altogether different matter. If I were generous, I might accept it was the product of blind inchoate rage, sparked by some imagined slight or injury.
I’m not. The way you pick out words, twist and distort meanings, project things completely and obviously out of context, leave out the 95 per of a column that would make it impossible for you to “prove” your point, ignore columns that don’t “fit” your agenda: all go to demonstrate quite deliberate, cold-blooded behaviour. That you set out to lie about what I write, with the objective of doing me damage, on the assumption you can ‘get away with it’ because recipients of your malicious attacks are not going to put your words side-by-side against my column.
Well, I intend to do exactly that. I’ll use three “case studies”, to enable your readers to if they so choose, to make their own judgment. And to see whether I’ve been altogether too gentle with that opening epithet.
It’s long, but I suggest they treat it as the “gift that keeps on giving”. They can download it or save it, and dip into it from time to time to “savour” your dishonesty and lack of the slightest shred of journalistic integrity.
Let’s start with your email of June 24 when you wrote that “Whilst every other commentator accepted the logic of S&P’s decision (to exclude News Corporation from the Australian stock exchange indices) McCrann described the rationale as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘inexplicable nonsense.'” From which you proceeded to unrestrained personal abuse.
What you claimed I wrote was totally untrue. Those comments that you picked out, as you know only too well, were NOT directed at the rationale/logic of the overall S&P decision – to shift NewsCorp from the Australian to the US indices.
But only to the argument made by S&P for the specific rejection of the ASX compromise proposal for handling the transition from the local to the US indices. That NewsCorp came out of the S&P/ASX 50 – to avoid the double counting in its global index – but was left on a gradually reducing basis in the S&P/ASX 200.
S&P argued that to do what the ASX wanted would mean “automatic inclusion” in the S&P/ASX mid-cap 50 – the index comprising stocks that are tiny compared to NewsCorp.
It was to that “automatic inclusion” argument, and only to that, which my comments of “ridiculous” and “inexplicable nonsense” were directed. Using a gentle play on the word ridiculous. Here are the relevant sentences, untouched (up) by your hands. Which of course – given your customary distortion – were not included in your original abuse of me.
“The ASX agreed to NewsCorp leaving the S&P/ASX 50 index of the very biggest companies when it entered the US and the S&P 500 index.
“But wanted it to stay – albeit on a gradually reducing basis – in the S&P/ASX 200 index which is the key one used for benchmarking of fund managers. This would have essentially met everyone’s needs.
“As the S&P/ASX 50 goes into the S&P global 1200 index, and which includes the S&P 500, it would have avoided double counting of NewsCorp.
“And it would have left a sensible option for Australian instos, in a key stock, precisely at the point at which long-term investors were going to be rewarded by the positive dynamics of the shift to the US.
“S&P’s reason for rejecting this was inexplicable nonsense. That membership of the S&P/ASX 200 but not the S&P/ASX 50 would mean ‘automatic inclusion’ in the S&P/ASX mid-cap 50.
“And with NewsCorp being the elephant surrounded by 49 very small corporate animals, that would be as Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly says, ridiculous.
“It’s the S&P logic which is ridiculous. No, News Corp would not ‘have to’ go into the mid-cap 50. It could be only in the 200, with one stock being adjusted at every index turnover point.”
Although I have a sense that trying to explain to you, why the S&P argument is plain dumb, would be comparable to trying to explain to a three year-old why they can’t drive a Formula One car in a Grand Prix – the certainty of being met by puzzled completely uncomprehending petulance – let me try anyway.
Imagine a car – four wheels, engine, steering wheels, the lot – that is going to be removed from the car section at the motor show (the S&P/ASX 50), but is intended to stay in the overall show (the S&P/ASX 200). Do you think there would be a lot of sense in saying that would therefore mean “automatic inclusion” with the motorbikes? Two wheels, different engine, no steering wheel, and something less than the lot – the equivalent of the S&P/ASX mid-cap 50?
This was the only context in the column in which those words were used. In fact, I made no specific comment at all – positive or negative – on the overall S&P decision shifting NewsCorp from the local to the US indices. Or the logic, rationale, argument, whatever, underlying that overall decision.
Although any fair reading of the column would conclude that I had no disagreement with the obvious logic. NewsCorp shifts from Australia to the US, obviously it will shift from the local indices to the S&P 500. The real issue is the timing of the transition in removing the stock from the 200 index. To wit, as I wrote: “But it opens the door for a sensibly, more extended withdrawal period.” Hardly ranting and raving against it, as you maliciously and falsely tell your readers. And something which even David Blitzer, the overall S&P index head, in a rather confused series of pronouncements has now come to accept.
The bulk of my column was directed at simply explaining the S&P decision, in particular the beneficial changes compared with its initial, hasty and ill-conceived comments in April that it would say nothing until shareholders had voted on the proposal.
What a surprise (sic) you made no reference to my opening paragraph – which generally tells readers what the column is about. Especially so in my case, as I don’t beat around the bush.
So what did it say? “S&P has cleared away most of the uncertainty over the index treatment of News Corporation if it moves to the US.”
That really sounds like my column is going to be directed and directed ONLY at abusing S&P for a “ridiculous” decision that was “inexplicable nonsense.”
You spent most of your email abusing me for claiming that the share price would go down if shareholders did not endorse the shift to the US. Now where on earth could I have got the idea that the share price would go up because of the shift; and so by simple logic, would go down if the shift were rejected?
Perhaps from this person who wrote when the proposal was announced in April under the headline: “News soars on Wall Street plan”
“Rupert Murdoch has this morning been vindicated in his plan to take News Corp to America after the company’s preferred non-voting stock soared 77c to $11.68 and the ordinary stock gained a more modest 17c to $12.33.”
I wonder who wrote that? Why it was YOU, Stephen Mayne, in Crikey.com.au.
Are you seriously going to try to now argue that the shift to the US would not send the share price higher than it would otherwise be? That what happened, in a single day in April, is not indicative? As you clutch at any straw, around the fall in the Aussie dollar, to abuse me?
Apart from your usual practice of dishonestly manipulating the figures to ‘prove’ your point. In order to show the NewsCorp share price had not risen over the period, measured in US dollars, you used the price AFTER the S&P announcement on the index had sent it down 5-6 percent. This was precisely my point!
Just taking the rise in the NewsCorp prefs – the main beneficiary of the proposed change and the security of greatest interest to the instos – from immediately before the announcement of the domicile shift, to the day before S&P indicated what it would do, gives an increase, in US dollars, from $US32.62 to $US33.34 – not the “small fall’ you claimed.
Yes that might translate to only 25c a NewsCorp share, not $2. But that’s looked at out of two contexts. What was happening to the share prices of OTHER media stocks in the US; and the fact that NewsCorp’s share price had risen into the original announcement, as there was clearly some sense of some ‘good news’ about to break.
If we take a starting point of mid-March – and use the average of a few days, so unlike you, I don’t cheat – the US dollar price of the NewsCorp prefs rose about 9.5 per cent until just before the S&P statement on the indices. While the average of its three major peers – Time Warner, Viacom and Disney – had FALLEN 2 per cent over the same period.
That translates to a relative increase of around $1.30-1.35 per NewsCorp pref. I think, I’m on rather safer ground claiming that rejection of the shift would send the share price down – my substantive point – in both Australian and US dollar terms. The crucial measure is the likely fall, relative to what it would otherwise be if the shift took place.
Are you incapable of understanding what is obvious to everyone except you? That a shift to the US and into the S&P 500 will boost the NewsCorp share price – proved by the very argument over the indices? Do I have to show you comparable PEs? What the overwhelming majority of analysts say? You want to make an even bigger fool of yourself? Go ahead. Make my day.
You rant as usual “it is complete rubbish for McCrann to say ‘there is absolutely no argument against the shift.'” As if, I’m somehow pushing this pro-NewsCorp line against all logic.
How many commentators do you want me to produce, who, sensibly and unavoidably if they are not possessed by rage like you, have written exactly the same?
One example, the Financial Review’s Chanticleer columnist John Durie, writing on June 25, AFTER the S&P decision. “The migration to the US is logical and in the longer term (as in more than a couple of months trading) will clearly benefit all shareholders.”
Apart from anything else, why haven’t you lashed him, for pushing such a “blatantly” pro-NewsCorp line?
You paint my comments as a concerted campaign – in your usual abusive, completely false, “We all know that Terry McCrann is the most blatant mouth-piece for Rupert Murdoch’s interests” way. So I therefore wonder how many commentaries I wrote on the subject from April 7, when I wrote on the original announcement, until more than two months later on June 19?
In the 60 or so newspaper columns I wrote over that time – often with multiple subjects per column – and the ten or so commentaries on the Nine Network’s Business Sunday, I wrote exactly zero columns/commentaries on the NewsCorp shift. To stress, NOT ONE SINGLE COLUMN on the S&P issue. Some campaign.
Over that time I wrote just one column on NewsCorp of any description – on its results. What a surprise. In the 30th or so paragraph of that column, I posed the question whether the instos would vote for the shift – in the context of the way the numbers showed the huge shift in NewsCorp’s business to the US with the acquisition of DirecTV.
And why did I write a column on the subject on June 19, in the Weekend Australian? Which as per usual, you have chosen to ignore, because you couldn’t pick out even one or two words, to twist and distort to abuse me.
To exclusively break the news that S&P was about to go public on how it would handle the NewsCorp shift. That it would backtrack completely on its statements in April that it would make no announcement at all BEFORE shareholders decided the issue. A vow of silence that was going to cause serious, unnecessary and unacceptable uncertainty, whatever S&P’s actual decision might have been.
The column correctly predicted all that followed the next week, and praised the emerging common sense. One prediction proved incorrect. NewsCorp would not be included in the 200 index, as sought by the two ASX representatives on the five-man index committee. That was after the committee was over-ruled by S&P’s New York based index chief David Blitzer.
But how incorrect has that actually proved? In April Blitzer said NewsCorp would have to come out immediately. He then said it would come out in days, perhaps a couple of weeks; most recently he’s indicated it would be months. Which gets very close to the ASX desired position, and what I wrote in that Saturday predictive column.
Which concluded: “”Properly structured – by S&P – the shift (to the US) should provide an additional layer of benefit to Australian instos, as they maintain an ability to keep investing in the stock, while its shareholding base is broadened in the US.”
After I’d written: And “This brings us to the longer term: should – will – News retain a presence in the local ASX indices? Here the most sensible response is that just as the flag used to follow trade, so index weighting should follow liquidity.”
Sounds like raging pro-NewsCorp bias again, doesn’t it just. Odd, how you never include paragraphs like these, in your comments that purport to tell people what I’ve written.
But you enthusiastically sneer at what I wrote on April 7, when the move was announced. “It’s a great and exciting day for Rupert Murdoch and all the family – the culmination of one 50-year journey and the start of another. It’s a huge day for all shareholders in the New Corporation. It’s also an important day for Australia, for all Australians, securing one of our two key links to the dynamic growth industries of the 21st century.”
Oh dear, how could someone possibly write that. About someone starting with a single newspaper in Adelaide in the early 1950s; building to a $70 billion global media company; and now about to do what no other Australian-bred company had ever done – fully-list on the New York Exchange as one of the top companies in the financial capital of the world.
How could anyone possibly suggest that was “great and exciting” for Murdoch. That, like or dislike Murdoch, it’s been an extraordinary story, culminating in formal recognition in the world’s top financial forum. Like, like, well, Australians winning Oscars in Hollywood. I await you sneering at anyone in Australia recognising and applauding those achievements.
Why haven’t you sneered at the Financial Review which wrote in an editorial (June 24) – and you’ll excuse me, if I part from your usual ‘standards’ and quote it directly: “Rather than lamenting that Rupert is finally doing a runner and attempting to hobble him, we should delight in the fact that the S&P 500 is to get its first Australian-grown company.” Sounds suspiciously similar to my “biased’ comments.
And, again from that AFR editorial: “Neither should fund managers threatening to block NewsCorp’s move go through with it – this would be precisely the wrong response to the challenges of globalisation, which has done local markets more good than harm.”
So, it wasn’t a huge day for shareholders? When YOU wrote on that VERY SAME DAY about Rupert being vindicated by the value of the shares going up over $4 billion? Hmm. So I’m a sycophantic mouthpiece for writing it was “great and exciting”, you’re a self-described independent commentator for writing Rupert’s move was “vindicated”. And if not huge, what’s all the fuss over the S&P indices about?
As to the last sentence, trying to explain it to you would take us back to three-year olds and F1 cars. And I really can’t be bothered.
So let’s turn to the National Australia Bank, and more deliberate lies by you. A veritable stream of abusive, completely untrue, deliberate distortions.
Although we’ll pick out one, your email of April 20, they’re all of a kind. You wrote: “McCrann somehow argues that all seven blokes (the seven directors that had moved to sack dissident Cathy Walter) should quit the board because one director has turned corporate terrorist.”
What did my column actually say that morning? And let’s again do the unusual of quoting the opening paragraph where I generally write what I intend to write.
“National Australia Bank chairman Graham Kraehe now has only one course of action. He must call off the proposed extraordinary general meeting and agree with dissident director Cathy Walter that they both leave the board, presumably immediately.”
Somehow I can’t see in there, me saying that all seven should quit and let, by implication, Walter win. Rather, very specifically, that Kraehe AND Walter should go together.
What was my reason for arguing that? Which was so impossible for anyone to work out? And which, as usual, you didn’t see any ‘point’ in actually mentioning in your email?
In contrast to your deliberate distortion and omission, it was set out very clearly, and very specifically. Because NAB had announced on the preceding Friday a shock profit downgrade and its share price had been sliced $2. As I argued, the brawl which had been a directorial indulgence had now become completely unacceptable.
Let’s do what you don’t do, quote my actual words: “Can Kraehe – and indeed every other non-executive director INDIVIDUALLY – put his hand on his heart and state sincerely that another four weeks, at least, of corrosive bitter brawling is in the interests of the bank?”
The only reference to the seven quitting – in fact. ALL of the non-executive directors, including Walter – was at the end of the column: if they allowed the brawling to run so damagingly all the way to the EGM. Because to do so, clearly against the interests of the bank and its shareholders, would announce “they should all go.”
Another paragraph, to which of course you did not refer in your rant about me being “the most biased pro-Walter advocate” was where I wrote: “Of course it could be terminated by Walter quitting. And of course she has to go, but not after another four weeks of brawling.”
“Failing her immediate departure, the chairman has to terminate it. And the only way that seems possible, is if he agrees to go with her.”
To you, in your own words, this is all a baffling mystery. How could someone possibly argue that Kraehe should negotiate a peace deal with Walter, the main elements of which were calling off the EGM and both agreeing to leave the board? And do so, because that was in the interests of the bank?
Err. Except that this is what ultimately actually happened. But it took another three weeks of corrosive brawling to get there. And which must have still been a complete mystery to you when it did happen. I’d say that column of mine did exactly its job – properly analysing the situation and pointing the way to the solution.
And let me pre-empt your obvious attempt to slither out: Yes, Kraehe is not going ‘immediately’, but some time in 2005. That’s what a ‘negotiation’ is all about, and if I‘m so pro-Walter why didn’t I attack it? That he HAD to go now!
That email of yours perfectly if unintentionally captured your raging bias against me. The way you combine deliberate distortion and, I presume, unintentional stupidity. When you claimed that I was “breathtakingly inaccurate” – to stress, for actually predicting the only sensible course of action, that was in fact ultimately followed.
How was I inaccurate, in your eyes? Because as your wrote, “at one level News Ltd says the Coalition of the Willing should be tough with terrorists and stay the course, yet when it comes to NAB McCrann somehow argues that all seven blokes should quit the board just because one director has turned corporate terrorist.”
Great, withering logic Stephen. Because oranges aren’t purple, cars without wheels are monkeys.
First, YOU define her as a “corporate terrorist.” Then you argue I HAVE to argue that corporate terrorists should be treated like real ones that cut off people’s heads. Not because I have argued that we should be tough on terrorists but because News Ltd so argues?
Just wonderful Stephen. A perfect advertisement for the ‘quality’ of your work.
Your ranting about my supposed advocacy for Walter has been ‘based’ – if we can use that word loosely – on the claim that we are ‘great mates’. A claim that would be puzzling to Walter if she ever had the misfortune to read your ravings, as it is completely untrue.
No doubt it springs from some shred of memory about some contact I had with her when you were at the paper. Well, strangely for ‘mates’ we’ve never had any social contact of any description, ever; in the last three or four years, before this erupted, I had probably spoken to her twice – bumping into her at functions like the cocktail party to farewell former ASIC chief David Knott.
And the first time I spoke to her, or tried to speak to her, in the NAB affair was AFTER the other directors formally made the brawl public with their announcement that they wanted her to go.
At no point, in any of your ravings about my columns on NAB, have you ever engaged with what I’ve actually written. Discussed my substantive comments on the over-reaction to the forex loss, the question marks over both the APRA and PWC reports, the damage being done to the bank, and many more. Obviously, mounting any sort of rational argument is beyond your talents; irrational raging, distortion and smear is your brand.
And how strange, in all those ravings that you’ve never been able to ‘fit in’, or see the point of mentioning, just in passing, that if I’m this “most biased pro-Walter advocate”, it means I must be virulently anti-Kraehe.
Now apart from NAB where have we heard that name before? Yes, at Southcorp, but also, bear with me, it’s coming to me…as a director of NewsCorp!
So on the one hand, I’m this slavering mouthpiece for Murdoch and NewsCorp. Yet at the same time, I’m attacking – in your estimation, like no other commentator – someone who until recently was sitting with Murdoch around the NewsCorp board table!
Is there a little problem there? Or does it show that I call it as I see it, and usually correctly, irrespective of the relationships? Including those that exist only in the deep (sic) recesses of your mind?
The fact that you’ve never chosen to mention this awkward little puzzle, in all your attacks on me over Walter, exposes you for the liar and journalistic cheat that you are. As you not only lie about me, but also cheat your readers out of the truth.
And then there’s Ziggy, your ‘gotcha’, and the great Greenwood-McCrann-Chisholm-Packer-Murdoch-Howard – have I left out anyone? – Conspiracy to “get’ Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski and his chairman Bob Mansfield.
We could write a book about your ravings, irrationalities, and contradictions on Telstra; and still not get to your specific spiteful lies about my columns. To read your pompous raging about the immorality of board leakers elevates hypocrisy to new levels from someone who betrays trusts like crossing the street, and invites others daily to follow his ‘example’. But let’s make do with a chapter.
Ross Greenwood breaks the story in the Bulletin and on the Nine Network that Mansfield and Switkowski wanted Telstra to buy Fairfax and were rolled by the Telstra board. You explode. The leaker IS – no buts – Telstra director Sam Chisholm. It’s all part of a Packer-Murdoch plot to get Switkowski, because they fear the power of a Telstra-Fairfax combination. When I suggest the leak could have started in Canberra – a subtlety that passed you completely by – that merely serves to ‘prove’ the conspiracy. In this case, because I do a weekly commentary on Nine’s Business Sunday.
Your underlying assumption – for the purposes of this discussion only, as there is absolutely no coherence in anything you wrote about the issue generally and my commentaries in particular – is how could anybody argue for Switkowski and Mansfield to go, except as part of a conspiracy?
Let’s explain how that was more than obvious. And introduce a few facts along the way that sit uncomfortably with your ravings.
At the height of the dot-com boom, Mansfield and Switkowski wanted Telstra to buy Packer’s Nine Network. That was rejected by the Telstra board on a 10-2 ‘vote’ – in quotation marks because no formal vote was actually taken; no prizes for guessing who the two were.
What’s odd about what I have just written? Apart from the 10-2 vote, it all broke into the public arena at the time. It was LEAKED! And guess what? Chisholm wasn’t on the board then!
I don’t recall you raging then about how outrageous it was for someone to leak from a board; that boards can only work if that doesn’t happen; that the leaker should be hunted down and expelled. Perhaps you can reference your crikey at the time that did all that.
Another little awkward problem with your current ‘thesis’. The Fairfax proposal leaked AFTER it had been rejected by the Telstra board. What exactly was there to stop?
How could anyone argue that Mansfield and Switkowski should go? I wonder. Let’s see.
Mansfield and Switkowski wanted to pay an absurd sum to buy Packer’s Nine Network. They are comprehensively rolled by their board.
They turn instead to Asia and the dot-com enthusiasm. A deal proposed by Switkowski and bludgeoned through the board by Mansfield, that will lose Telstra a few billion dollars.
The duo proposes selling arguably Telstra’s most profitable asset, Yellow Pages. Rejected by the board. They want to buy Fairfax. Rejected. Hmm. I wonder how anyone could possibly argue they should go?
And so to digress to my ‘backflip’. Calling for Switkowski’s sacking on the Fairfax debacle, and later noting he is a very good CEO of a telco and should not go – after he has accepted the new strategy imposed by the post-Mansfield board to just run a telco.
Hmm. I wonder if anything has changed? Switkowski wants to play Murdoch or Packer. His board keeps saying no – the one time it says yes, it costs billions. He should go. Then he commits to doing the job that he’s actually very good at doing. What a surprise, that I might endorse his staying. Especially as the chairman Mansfield has been sacked; and it’s always better that any new chairman gets to appoint a new CEO. It would no longer be sensible for Switkowski to go immediately.
None of this of course, makes it into any of your rants against me. But how does this make any sense, in your ludicrous projection of how I work? That I must be biased against Switkowski, or running someone’s agenda? Incidentally, in your bizarre characterisation of ‘mates’, although I would not be so presumptuous as to claim it, Switkowski would in your terms be more of a ‘mate’ than Walter. And yet I argued he should be sacked? Are you now going to accuse me of disloyalty?
At the start of this, Chisholm ‘was’ the leaker and had to be sacked from the Telstra board. At the end, Mansfield was effectively sacked and Chisholm is still there. Was the whole Telstra board in on the ‘conspiracy’?
Err. Actually no. As I argued in two columns in the Weekend Australian, Mansfield’s approach to Howard before the Telstra board discussed the Fairfax proposal was fundamentally improper and possibly illegal under the Telstra Act.
Why doesn’t it surprise me, that neither of these columns nor any of my substantive arguments managed to make it into your Crikeys? If I was being generous, I’d conclude that you didn’t understand them; that your eyes glazed over and you mouthed a silent huh? To yourself; and moved on.
A conclusion that is born out, incidentally, by your total incomprehension, recently displayed, that the foreign investment law for TV is different to that for print media.
However the Telstra board agreed with me. Mansfield was fundamentally compromised and had to go. Have you wondered why there haven’t been any other resignations, in sympathy, or agreement with Mansfield?
Obviously not. That would require the sort of mental processes, which your brain is self-evidently not quite up to. If we can ignore your spiteful bias.
As evidenced by your big picture conspiracy. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to you that if the conspiracy were to make sense, it would want Telstra to take over Fairfax. It would mean the entire capital city print media, the top free-to-air TV network and the bulk of pay-TV would all be inside the Telstra-NewsCorp-Packer ‘family’.
If there is a conspiracy, and Chisholm is the key player, in the surreal world you inhabit, the entire media and its advertising dollars could be carved up behind the closed doors of Foxtel (owned 50 per cent by Telstra, 25 per cent each by NewsCorp and Packer’s PBL).
I’m intrigued. You don’t seem at all troubled by Mansfield going to John Howard secretly and asking for his approval to take over Fairfax. What you presumably think is the prime ‘independent’ news organisation in the country, would become owned by a company 51 per cent owned by the Government. And which has commercial relations with Packer and Murdoch.
And you are outraged when that fact is made public. Presumably then, you would have been unfussed if Howard had given his approval – with a list of journalists he thought could be dispensed with in Telstra’s obvious desire to make Fairfax work better. And that anyone ‘leaking’ such a list would be behaving outrageously.
And don’t try to slither out of your stupidity by trying to claim that I ‘must’ be conceding cause for concern, or that Mansfield ‘had to’ get Howard’s approval. He did not – and arguably it was illegal for him to ask.
You seriously (sic) seem to think that Fairfax would have been ‘reborn’ under Telstra’s bureaucratic ownership. Again, that just serves as another stunning demonstration of your unique combination of malicious bile and stupidity. I suppose that now Telstra has bought the Trading Post – it’s fallback to buying Fairfax – it’s going to stuff the Trading Post with quality journalism.
Do you understand: it’s all about ADVERTISING? Telstra couldn’t give stuff about the journalism; and I think it’s a fair presumption that Packer and Murdoch would be more than happy to encourage such an attitude.
Now Stephen, I think there’s a pattern in all this, but I’m not quite sure what it is. Let’s try to work it out.
NAB. I call for Kraehe and Walter to agree a deal to both leave the board and to call off the EGM. None of the other columnists are doing so, and that’s the eventual outcome.
Explanation: I’m ‘attacking’ Kraehe because I’m a mouthpiece for NewsCorp and he’s a NewsCorp director, Huh? That one doesn’t quite seem to fly. Alternatively, I’ve analysed the situation and predicted what had to happen before my competitors. Again, unlike those competitors, I write it directly and clearly without pulling punches. Something I’ve been doing for 30 years.
NewsCorp. I argue the logic proffered by S&P for not leaving it in the 200 index on a reducing basis ultimately presumably to zero, is ridiculous. You’re right, none of the other columnists did. The eventual outcome is that it WILL be left in the 200 index, on a reducing basis, for an extended period. Blitzer moving from ‘no comment at all’, to taking it out immediately, to a number of days, then weeks, and now to who knows how long.
Explanation: I’m attacking ridiculous ‘logic’, which is shown to be ridiculous and is effectively abandoned by the very person spouting it, because I’m a mouthpiece for NewsCorp. Or, I’ve analysed the situation and explained it to my readers.
Telstra. I call for Mansfield to be sacked as chairman. Again, I’ve got to say you were right, that none of the other commentators were doing so. And he, err, is subsequently sacked by his fellow directors. Nobody supports him by resigning with him.
Explanation. That damned NewsCorp conspiracy is, well, damm powerful. Or as I argued in two columns, it was fundamentally improper for Mansfield to consult the prime minister about taking over Fairfax before putting it to his board. And the board agreed. With me
I’m afraid you’ve ‘got me’ again. There I go analysing a situation and predicting where it will go, way ahead of the other columnists.
Presumably you’d like me to stop it. To not have written that Fox-Lew would never complete their acquisition and relaunch of Ansett; that it was a cruel fraud on those Ansett employees who thought they were going to get jobs.
Yep. You’ve got me again. None of the other columnists were writing that – your ‘favourite’ would confidently predict Singapore would fly in to re-launch Ansett. I hope nobody’s waiting at the check-in. Maybe I only wrote that stuff because I was a member of Ansett’s Golden Wing club.
Again, I obviously shouldn’t have written last December – drat, there we go again, way, way ahead of any of the other commentators – that there was only one possible conclusion to the battle for the NSW TAB. Its takeover by Tabcorp. Maybe I only wrote that because I have a Tabcorp phone account.
That I should not have written, also last December, that the Reserve Bank’s latest interest rates rise was likely to be the last for a considerable period – indeed quite possibly for all of 2004. When all the other commentators and the ‘experts’ were confidently predicting there would be further rate rises early in 2004. Paraphrasing the old Ford ad: have you seen a rate rise recently?
Or indeed back in mid 2002; when I wrote that those two rate rises were likely to be the only ones for an extended period, as they were – the next rise only came 17 months later. When again, all your favourite commentators and all the experts were predicting more to come before the 2002 year was out.
Shall we go on? I could write a book on what I’ve got right. You dumb fuck. I know you find it hard to comprehend, but I see my job as telling my readers the truth and alerting them to where things are going, as best and as earliest as I can.
This was emailed to you on the evening of Wednesday July 7. Let’s see how long you take to put it up on the website and send it to your email readers or direct them to it. Or whether you will repeat your coward’s response to my last correction; which you sat on for two weeks before posting, to separate the response from your original lies.
Let’s also see whether you try to make it as unreadable as you can, by jumbling up the paragraphing. And then how long you leave it on the website; as you’ve had your major abuse up for 14 days and still counting.