New ABC Media Watch EP. The ABC has appointed the executive producer of Fran Kelly’s Radio National Breakfast program, Tim Latham, as Media Watch‘s new executive producer. Latham, who has steered the agenda-setting radio show behind the scenes for eight years, replaces ABC veteran Lin Buckfield, who is moving to New York.

Having worked in various ABC radio roles for 15 years, Latham is a newcomer to television. He said in a statement:

“It has been a great eight years with Breakfast, and I’m really proud of the show we have created. This is an opportunity to do something different, and I am looking forward to working with Paul Barry and the Media Watch team and of course not getting up at 4am every day. I’m also looking forward to making the change from radio to television; 2014 is a critical year for the media as all mediums try to make sense of the changing landscape.”

Matthew Knott

Sheehan, Bernardi against tyranny. Sydney Morning Herald columnist Paul Sheehan, ever the contrarian, attempted the impossible today: defending Cory Bernardi. And he didn’t hold back, either, describing the “parade of bigotry” in response to Bernardi’s attack on “non-traditional families” as “despicable” — including the coverage in his own newspaper:

“All week, Fairfax Media has published a string of negative reporting, commentary and remarks about Bernardi, yet in this coverage no one has even pretended to have read the book. If they had, they would see Bernardi quotes a plethora of studies and that it was a British Family Court judge, Sir Paul Coleridge, not Bernardi, who came up with the phrase that traditional families should be the ‘gold standard’ as the best protector of children’s welfare. Based on his Family Court experience, the judge said family breakdown was the root cause of most social ills and warns: ‘What is a matter of private concern when it is on a small scale becomes a matter of public concern when it reaches epidemic proportions.'”

Bernardi, at least, was impressed:

Now there’s an endorsement you want …

Video of the day. Nobody’s watching, but the smartest thing on breakfast television this morning was the start of a week-long series devoted to mental health on Channel Ten’s ratings-ailing Wake Up. Showrunner Adam Boland is a public sufferer; he’s using his show for worthy awareness-building …

Front page of the day. The front-page splash for the death of Ariel Sharon in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post included this message:

“THE JERUSALEM POST management and staff mourn the passing of former prime minister ARIEL SHARON and extend condolences to his family.”