From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Dasher dropped. Last night marked the Sydney launch of BuzzFeed political editor Mark Di Stefano’s diary of his time on the campaign trail of the 2016 federal election, What a Time to Be Alive. There’s no word on whether any union officials offered him cocaine at the launch, but we’re sure we’ll find out in the book’s sequel. While yesterday morning Melbourne University Publishing was still holding onto the hope that embattled Senator Sam Dastyari would be on hand to help launch the book, it didn’t take long before a new press release was issued saying that Labor MP Terri Butler would be replacing Dasher to do the honours. Also announced this week, Chris Mitchell’s new tome, Making Headlines, will be launched at the end of the month by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney. We hope that Mitchell’s boss Rupert Murdoch (who features on the cover — possibly, maybe photoshopped — behind a copy of The Australian) makes an appearance, but we wouldn’t bet on it. We hope for Mitchell’s sake he doesn’t meet the same fate as Di Stefano: having to find a fill-in speaker when the first hides from the media after a scandal. Turnbull isn’t having a lucky run at the moment, so it’s possible.

Now hiring: punching bag. Apply within. What a job. The Australian Bureau of Statistics is looking for a new media manager to add to its team. After the failure of the census, surely the only way is up?

ABS Media manager ad

What’s a ‘leppo’? While many of us may not be able to point to Aleppo, Syria, on a map, we at least know that it is a city that has, for years, borne the brunt of the Syrian civil war, leading to high numbers of refugees fleeing the violent conflict between the Syrian government, rebel forces and Islamic State. US presidential candidate Gary Johnson failed to remember this, however, in an interview on MSNBC with journalist Mike Barnicle. Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, says he had a mind blank in this exchange with Barnicle:

Barnicle: “What would you do if you were elected about Aleppo?”

Johnson: “About …?”

Barnicle: “Aleppo”

Johnson: “And what is Aleppo?”

Barnicle: “You’re kidding.”

Johnson: “No.”

Johnson later claimed that he thought the reporter was using an acronym he wasn’t familiar with. Right.

Getting into the swing of spring. A caller to 3AW this morning reveals that one of Melbourne’s leading racing club has found a novel way to reduce the stress of its employees in the lead-up to the Spring Racing Carnival, by installing a swing in the office garden. Apparently it’s to avoid meltdowns. No word on what is on offer for the horses to reduce their stress.

Hateful lefties. Last night on The Bolt Report, editor of Spectator Australia Rowan Dean claimed that in the debate about legalising same-sex marriage, hate speech had only come from those on the Yes side. “So far the only hate speech we’ve really seen is coming from those on the side of gay marriage, of legalising it, who vilify Christians and others who are opposed to it,” he told Bolt. This came just hours after Greens Senator Janet Rice posted a screenshot of a man saying “you and your kind will not be allowed, nor tolerated to brainwash our kids and sexually groom them”.

janet rice tweet

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