From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Let them drink coffee. James Jeffrey, maestro of Strewth, has a light touch that makes the column. His holiday fill-ins — selected on the Peter Luck/Grant Denyer principle of never being replaced by anyone who could do the job full time — less so, and there’s none heavier than Christian Kerr, who sees it as another outlet for class war. Thus today’s first mention of “latte” occurred in story one, line four. Material thin on the ground already?

Who referees the referees themselves? Kids’ football is so vicious because the stakes are so low. In the Mornington Peninsula league in Victoria, they’ve banned scoring from the games, not because the kids cut up rough, but because the parents do. Even that wasn’t enough to head off an ugly stoush when the wife of Footy Show star James Brayshaw was (falsely) accused of cheating while taking a turn as goal umpire. There were altercations, and Brayshaw had to step in. Must be something they put in the lattes* served from vans at the well-heeled league.
*now we’re doing it

Frosty relations getting frostier. The Chinese newspaper and website China Daily has begun to publish excerpts from the confessions of Japanese war criminals from World War II, which have been released by the Chinese government’s State Archives Administration. China Daily, seen as a mouthpiece for the Chinese government, published an editor’s note on the first article saying the files had been released by the government to “offer a clearer picture of history”. The release comes at an interesting time, with tense relations between Japan and China further strained by the Japanese government’s decision to re-interpret the country’s pacifist constitution.

Queensland is pretty in pink. Following yesterday’s announcement by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman that people charged under the state’s anti-bikie gang laws won’t have to wear pink jumpsuits in prison, one entrepreneur decided to help the government out by placing this ad on classified website Gumtree. The seller was listed as “The Qld LNP” and offered 5000 pink jumpsuits as a trade for “a decent attorney general”. Unfortunately the listing has been taken down, but we do look so good in pink…

Lambie gets out the ruler. Ever wondered what Jacqui Lambie wants in a man? The list of criteria is quite short, but her man can’t be.

The preference whisperer’s whispers. What’s Glenn Druery’s game? The “preference whisperer” is now technically on staff for Senator Elliott Goble- … sorry, Ricky Muir, of the Insert Party Name Here Party. So why is he telling anyone who’ll listen that Muir is “really timid”? Misdirection? Or has Muir chosen badly in those closest to him?

Claws out. Daily Telegraph scribe Annette Sharp, of the curiously apt Twitter handle @InSharpRelief, spent yesterday afternoon compiling a list of female television personalities she deemed more successful than Sunrise host (and Mel Doyle replacement) Sam Armytage. Armytage’s sin? Giggling during news broadcasts, allegedly, but it wasn’t anything she did that appears to have unleashed the latest round of derision.

Here’s the story so far. On Friday morning, as the Sunrise team tuned in, as all journalists did, to the tragedy aboard MH17, Annette Sharp tweeted that days like this showed “Mel Doyle was missed from Sunrise“. She followed it up with: “There’s only so far giggling and flirting can take you when presenting tragic news”, and added Armytage’s Twitter handle (in case anyone was confused about whom she was snipping at) for good measure.

In the write-up of the tiff that made the Oz‘s Media Diary section on Monday was a line that said Armytage was “arguable the most successful woman on television”. It’s not clear whether this line was paraphrasing Sunrise exec producer Michael Pell (interviewed for the item) or was Oz media editor Sharri Markson’s own estimation. Whatever it was, it was all the fodder Sharp needed.

Suggestions by Sharp and others included Tracy Grimshaw, Jane Kennedy, Lisa Wilkinson, Chris Bath, Virginia Trioli, Magda Szubanski and Ita Buttrose. All impressive women, but isn’t this all a bit unnecessarily mean?

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Peter Fray

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