From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Canavan can’t. This morning, Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan gave a lesson in how not to hold a completely different conversation to the one your interlocutor is having. The ABC’s Kim Landers attempted to ask Canavan about the Adani coal mine — something that is actually in his portfolio — to no avail:

KIM LANDERS: Were you aware of this investigation into the Adani Group?

MATT CANAVAN: Well before I get to that question Kim, can I just thank you for having me on your program because I have been very disappointed in the ABC’s coverage of this issue in the past week.

Your reports have been nothing but fake news.

KIM LANDERS: Let me put some of these specific points to you then. Were you aware of this investigation by the intelligence arm of the Indian Finance Ministry into the Adani group?

MATT CANAVAN: Well as I said before I get to that — in all of your reports this week, you’ve had no views from people in North Queensland, so it’s very good to be joining you as a Minister for Resources but it’s even better to be joining you as a proud resident of North Queensland.

I’m looking out at the Great Barrier Reef right now, I’m lucky enough to have a view from my house –

KIM LANDERS: – it sounds lovely. So if I can direct you to back to my question then –

MATT CANAVAN: – one of those days Kim, one of those days Kim it makes you thank God that you were born in Queensland. But up here people need jobs. Later today I’ll go to work and the biggest issue will be jobs. The biggest issue will be how do we get jobs and Adani and this project will create jobs. But none of your listeners or viewers, this week on the ABC would get that point of view.

Landers managed to get another few questions with vaguely on topic answers before Canavan said:

“It’s unfortunate that the ABC had an unhappy milestone recently with more than 50% of your staff are based in Sydney, maybe that does colour your reporting on issues like this? I’m currently trying to fight you taking another video journalist out of Rockhampton. In fact there will be no video journalists from Maroochydore to Townsville. It’ll be flyover country for the ABC.”

In answer to that, ABC journo at Toowomba Isobel Roe tweeted: “There’s actually at least 7. Me included.”



Right-wing cause celebreCanberra police say the attack on the offices of the Australian Christian Lobby overnight was not “politically, religiously or ideologically motivated” and that there is no threat to the public after a man drove a van full of gas cylinders into the lobby group’s Deakin offices.

But of course a sober, measured response will make no difference to the readers of right-wing websites around the world that have picked up the story. It has gone as far as Breitbart, which wrote, “The Australian Christian Lobby describes itself as seeking ‘a compassionate, just and moral society through having the public contributions of the Christian faith reflected in the political life of the nation.'”

It’s also been reported in FaithWire, the Sun and Fox News, which finished its report with a reference to an incident in Beijing and the Berlin Christmas Market attack:

“The Canberra crash comes just hours after a minivan drove into a farmer’s market in Beijing, killing at least four people. The driver had been detained in that episode, and authorities had not yet determined if the minivan driver deliberately aimed for the crowd.

“The Canberra and Beijing incidents also came two days after a truck driven by an Islamic extremist drove into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12.”

It’s also made it to some more fringe websites, including Townhall and Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children in the US, which asks if the attack could be by jihadists. Comments on the article posted on Breitbart all blame Muslim immigration for the incident, even though nothing is known about the driver except his age.

Get f*cked. The Advertising Standards Bureau has ruled that a billboard reading “F*ck, that’s delicious” breached advertising standards, despite SBS’ protestations. SBS has put up billboards advertising Viceland, its new TV channel, including the show F*ck, that’s delicious, which according to SBS’ response, “follows rapper and bon vivant, Action Bronson as he travels the world meeting like-minded pleasure-seekers and eating his fair share of food”.

SBS defended the use of the asterisk and the word itself by claiming that it was used colloquially:

“The poster does not contain strong or obscene language. SBS understands that the word ‘fuck’ is considered to be strong and offensive to some people. However, while the word used in the poster alludes to the swear word, it does not refer to it in full. The impact of the word is lessened by the use of the asterisk in place of the ‘u’, and the context of the poster. The word is used in its colloquial sense, as an exclamation of pleasure. This is in keeping with the character of the program and the presenter. The phrase is not presented in an aggressive or sexual manner.”

The Ad Standards Board didn’t buy it, and said the poster breached standards, but as the campaign has already finished, the ruling won’t result in posters being taken down.

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Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey