From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Cory’s back on the horse. Cory “the Beast” Bernardi has sided with Alan Jones and hit out against the treatment of Jones and himself after he linked gay marriage to bestiality (and was fired as parliamentary secretary because of it). Following on from Tips’ lament yesterday that Bernardi’s YouTube channel had not been updated for weeks, the good senator promptly obliged with an episode of his “common sense lives here” telecasts.
Bernardi sympathises with Jones and argues that left-leaning people say all kinds of terrible things and get away with it, while right-leaning people such as Jones and himself are castigated for the slightest of reasons.
“As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, if you’re from the left side of politics it appears you can say almost anything without condemnation, but this rule does not seem to apply from those on the right. Labor ministers have attacked me … they’ve twisted and distorted arguments and words in a quest to gain some minute political advantage,” Bernardi said.
Looking tanned and cheerful (has Bernardi been making use of his extra free time to take a holiday?), he hits out at “abusive and hateful” comments against figures on the right (er, isn’t it hateful to link gay people to s-x with animals?), and calls for the standards of public debate to be lifted and free speech to be defended. Hear, hear, Cory! But are you really the man to lift the standards of public debate?
Don’t ask Dr Snowdon to remove your pancreas. Most MPs’ press releases are pretty useless, but one from shadow Indigenous Health Minister Andrew Laming raised our eyebrows this morning. It exposes “embarrassing errors” in 2011 posters for a government indigenous health program called Live Longer!, including mislabelling of body parts and organs in the wrong position.
Laming lists the errors as; an arrow showing two pancreases, an arrow mistaking the ovaries for the kidneys, an arrow showing the stomach as the lungs, an arrow showing the small intestine as the stomach, the oesophagus (food tube) runs into the lung, the pancreas looks like it is “inside” the stomach, the bladder is sitting on top of the uterus, the left kidney is in front of the intestine, etc.
Crikey contacted Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon’s office, where advisers were busily getting in touch with the department to “try to get to the bottom of it” and figure out how often these posters were used and by whom. And, of course, who stuffed up.
Jones still up at Sunrise for Seven. Forget about Channel Seven joining the list of companies running far away from Alan Jones. Jones was on air this morning for his regular slot, offering another apology for his remarks on the Prime Minister while facing questions from the show’s viewers …
And that’s where he’ll stay — Seven’s spokesperson confirmed to us this morning the bilious comments weren’t made on Seven so “it is business as usual with Alan Jones’ occasional appearances”. It’s worth noting Seven West boss Kerry Stokes was among those who called into Jones’ show yesterday to offer support. We’d heard from a good source it was management that told Sunrise producers to keep Jones on the air, but the official line from Seven is that’s “wide off the mark”.
Wanted: a new boss for opera. A plum gig has opened up at Opera Australia, one of the nation’s largest arts organisations (with the largest government contribution for a single company). CEO Adrian Collette will quit at the end of the year to take up a job at the University of Melbourne after 16 years at the company. Chairman Ziggy Switkowski said today he wants to make sure the “best possible structure and leadership” is in place before he departs. Except some big players to put in a resume.