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Tips and rumours

Apr 14, 2014

Tips and rumours

It's getting awkward between Ten and News Corp ... Young Labor's conference split ... George Mega v News over 'ethnic' claim ...

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From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Ten romances News Corp … We’re hearing rumours that certain parts of News Corp are under pressure from Lachlan Murdoch to give special help to Channel Ten to boost its terrible ratings. (If you haven’t been tuned in, Lachlan was director of Ten Network but stepped down recently to become father Rupert’s heir apparent at News Corp, aka non-executive co-chairman). Anyway, are some bright sparks at News being asked to work overtime to come up with good ideas for the Ten PR team? If you know more, drop us a line.

… but will News Corp take it over? The talk from the Australian networks and producers at television conference MIPTV in Cannes last week was the resigned acceptance that Ten will be taken over by News Corp/Foxtel in the next year or so, and that meant program producers would have to deal with yet another set of managers at Ten. By the way, there was a lot of talk about a new Israeli show at MIPTV called Game of Chefs, whose its final episode in Israel earlier this year had a 50% market share on the night. It was one of the hot picks of MIPTV All Australian networks have looked at it, but there’s been no decision yet. Will Nine bite to fill out its reality roster? It’s weak on food.

Young Labor v Young Labor. As Labor tries to remould itself for the 21st century, the party’s young apparatchiks are at each other’s throats about the form their party should take. It’s now up to Young Labor president Edward McDougall, a Right-aligned John Robertson staffer, to find a way to breach the gulf that exists between his faction and the Young Labor Left’s 50 or so delegates, who walked out of the weekend’s national conference in Canberra to hold their own event after their conference proposals, submitted in January to the AYL executive, weren’t taken up.

Crikey has a copy of the agenda (justification here, schedule here) for the alternative conference, which focused on climate change, homelessness, student activism, foreign aid and asylum seekers. The Young Left invited all conference delegates to their alternative conference, saying it was “closer to our vision of an AYL conference that fits these aims” of transparency, representation and growth for Young Labor. The Left rejoined the main conference for an address by frontbencher Tony Burke, but walked out halfway through, according to a Labor Right source.

The Left and Right always fight during the conference, but that’s sort of the point — the conference is a chance to hone the debating skills of the nation’s next batch of Labor politicians. For the Left to walk out is virtually unprecedented, Crikey has been told. The Right and Left could patch things up at the next national executive conference. “There’ll be a bit of a bust-up and a few yelling matches, but everyone will at some point sit down and try to make it work,” one delegate told us. If they fail, it’ll end up at with Labor’s national executive, who no doubt will not appreciate being called in to mediate. Crikey will be keeping an eye on this. If you know the inside story, get in touch.

Stringing the bastards up, anti-vax style. First-term Newman government MP Jason Woodforth is known for his anti-fluoride views — he has called fluoride “toxic poison” (as opposed to all those other poisons) and wants it banned in Queensland. Woodforth also claims to want a balanced debate about vaccination, he says. Today he provided an indication of the kind of vaccination debate he endorses when he twice linked on Twitter to a piece by “Dr Mark Sircus”, a self-described “acupuncturist, doctor of oriental and pastoral medicine” …

In the piece Woodforth linked to, the aptly named Sircus calls vaccination poisoning of children and laments: “In the fight against vaccines we are not yet showing high-grade marks, not demonstrating the quality of consciousness that would organize like Gandhi or Martin Luther King would. We are not pouring out into the streets or demonstrating in front of vaccination clinics, not doing many things that need to be done to bring this sad chapter of human history to a close.”

Elsewhere, however, Sircus has been more forthright. “String the bastards up,” he demanded in 2011:

“For all those who are for the death penalty, my message will be clear. I am calling for the conviction and the worst possible punishment under the law for certain people in government who are in the medical field. There seems to be no limit to what our present society will accept. We are letting the bankers and the shysters on Wall Street destroy western civilization, allowing them the fattest paychecks on earth as a reward. And we are letting doctors in white coats inject poisonous heavy metals into babies and paying them well for it.”

Well done to dogged opponent of the anti-vax wingnuts, Peter Tierney for spotting it.

News in Mega-mistake. One of the country’s finest journalists, ex-Australian scribe George “Mega” Megalogenis, has taken umbrage at being branded an “ethnic commentator”:

Mega, who writes weighty and well-researched pieces on economic and demographic issues, as well as politics, is annoyed by this piece from The Australian on Friday. In it, self-appointed Media Watch Dog Gerard Henderson gave fellow News stablemate Rita Panahi the coveted “five paws” award for taking on “other Australians who presume to speak for members of ethnic minorities” (in Gerard’s own words), including Megalogenis. In the Herald Sun story in question, Panahi wrote this:

“It’s a common mistake to assume all ethnic minorities must be on the same page on a particular issue. One would hope that author and journalist George Megalogenis would appreciate the complexities of the migrant population a little better than most …”

This raises an interesting issue about what “ethnic” means. Megalogenis was born in Melbourne, so is more Australian than Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott (both were born in the UK). Is it fair to label him as a person who “presume(s) to speak for members of ethnic minorities,” as Hendo did? And does “ethnic” mean “has a non-British surname”? Ms Tips has heard stories of Australians with Chinese heritage who get spoken to slowly and clearly in shops — even though their families have lived in Australia since the 19th-century gold rush.

The snags are on Rupert. Well, this is sure going to change those vegans’ minds. Rupert Murdoch — who, it must be said, is showing very good health at age 83, so he’s doing something right — wants them to go back on the meat pies.

Is Rupert right about Bill? We did some detective work — there’s a tantalising recent pic here of Clinton having lunch, but you can’t tell what he’s eating — but most of the media appears to still think he’s vegan (he apparently made the choice after having heart trouble). Daughter Chelsea told HuffPo last month he was “probably the world’s most famous vegan“, although The New York Times reckons he’s not and hasn’t been for quite a while. There are wicked rumours of him being spotted eating salmon. Perhaps Rupert has spotted Bill wolfing down a meaty lunch in secret? We’re not sure if any senior Australian pollies are vegetarians/vegans. If you know, drop us a line.

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to boss@crikey.com.au or use our guaranteed anonymous form

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6 comments

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6 thoughts on “Tips and rumours

  1. ange

    Oh Crikey, i rely on your news for sanity in an insane world, and have subscribed for many years now. But i am very tired of your Anti anything to do with rational debate about vaccination. I too am a Chinese Medicine Doctor, i studies for 8 years at RMIT both a bachelor of Science in Human Biology and a Bachelor of Chinese Medicine. It involed detailed studies in immunology in which i studied hard and with an open mind. In face Traditional Chinese Medicine were one of the very early vaccinators as they would blow a pinch of ground small pox ‘scab’ over a baby to innoculate against the disease. However there are major issues with the industry and the abuse of anyone who says ‘enough’ to the expodential increase in the number of vaccines given. The immune system has developed over billions of years, and in just the last 20 years, we have gone from 6 vaccines that were routinely given to more than 30, administered in just the first five years of life. Too much, too early and too close together is my professional opinion. We have also seen a rising in numbers of anaphalactic children to common foods that cannot be explained, and 1 in 100 Australian children deing diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder. 1 in 100. These conditions have an immunological associations that are still being investigated, with the latest research in Physchobiotics being just one area in what is a complex combination of too many vaccines, abuse of anti biotics and too much sugar and processed foods. No, not a simple one cause, but many interrelated factors that are impossible to be teased out one by one unless healthy debate is allowed. Why do you continually abuse the questioning of vaccines? And just o be extra clear, i am not anti at all, just not so many, not so young and not for diseases that are easily treatable. Crikey needs to continue to allow rational debate, not ridicule it. I expect better of you.

  2. Don

    @string the bastard up. it is interesting to see (again), Crikey taking a vested point of view about an issue, instead of reporting the facts or even the story, as in “Well done” and previous editorial omments.

    regarding vaccination, the fact-free rabid “wing-nuts” are those who blindly and so madly and rabidly follow the drug industry and their cohorts in the medical industry to demonize anyone who actually objects to all or most vaccination for any number of valid reasons.

    with Crikey cheering from the sidelines. such an independent investigative publication.

    seeing that the drug companies spend billions upon billions upon billions on ‘marketing’ each year (2001. US drug companies alone 15.7 BILLION. that pays for a lot lobbying, a lot of disinformation, a lot of ‘paid for’ commentary.)

    and the paucity and stupidity of their argument is that they cannot answer a simple logical question.

    “If vaccines work, as we the tax-payers are paying billions for, why are unvaccinated people any danger to those vaccinated?”

    or

    “Why do people who have had the flu vaccine get the flu more than those who haven’t it?” Ditto whooping cough (and more dangerous variant).

    or

    “Why when we were kids, measles, mumps, chicken pox, no problem or danger, in fact just the opposite?”

    The answer, folks, is MONEY. Lots and lots and lots of OUR money given to drug companies.

    And, as a statistician myself, the long term historical data shows that for all the more dangerous diseases – polio, et al – that the incidence of the disease was falling rapidly before the vaccine was ever user. And other such inconvenient stats.

  3. Don

    our increasing impression is that Crikey is moving towards the centre, and not just that, but becoming ‘me too’ MSM.

  4. CML

    Re: Young Labor… My observations are that the so-called right and left in the Labor Party are growing further apart. Not exactly a good case for mediation by anyone.
    My prediction is that unless the ‘right’ grows a brain and returns to the foundation principles of the Labor party in the near future, a split of l955 proportions is looming. IMHO, that means the current ‘left’ will team up with much of the Greens philosophy, and many on the ‘right’ should join the Liberal Party, where they belong.
    We simply cannot have fasc+sts like WA Joe representing the Labor Party in the parliament. Nor can we have the likes of Marn Ferson and company, dropping a bucket of sh++ on the Labor Party every time they open their mouths.
    I, for one, do NOT believe these people are representative of the Labor Party membership/supporters.

  5. zut alors

    Crikey, it’s bad enough that he owns 70% of the nation’s newspaper print media so why do you continually run stories or items about Murdoch?

    We read Crikey, in part, to avoid his thoughts & policies. Please, let it rest, spare us.

  6. klewso

    Ten under Fuxtel – “Game of Drones”?

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