Ms Tips often enjoys the weekly email from Australian Financial Review editor Michael Stutchbury sent to subscribers of the paper, but we found last Friday’s edition particularly revealing when Stutch recounted speaking at the launch of Spectator editor and AFR columnist Rowan Dean’s new book, Way Beyond Satire.

Stutch wrote: “The upstairs room in Sydney’s Pyrmont Bridge Hotel was pumping, with the Australian Spectator editor’s fellow Sky News identity, Paul Murray, in full flight and a crowd that included David Flint, Keith Windschuttle, Bronwyn Bishop, John and Nancy Stone and new NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet — but also state Labor leader Luke Foley.”

If that line-up isn’t “pumping” enough for you, Mark Latham was also there, and the “upbeat mood” was “pro-Trump, Malcolm-sceptic, politically incorrect and conservative-identifying”. The write-up gives a bit of insight into what Stutch thinks of Dean, who he calls the paper’s “leading deplorable”:

“Called up to speak, I said that Dean had become the leading deplorable for our Nancy boy finance sector publication following Latham’s controversial 2015 departure. I regurgitated Fleur Anderson’s line about Cory Bernardi no longer identifying as a Liberal.  I half-mentioned how Latham himself had been known to bag fellow columnist Dean as a right-wing nutter. And I lamely suggested that, while Trump had demolished the cultural Left, the conservative Right was surely becoming fertile ground for satire. Not sure that registered!”

As a side note, Dean’s book of columns is published by Wilkinson Publishing, which also published Andrew Bolt’s latest, Worth Fighting For, and will soon publish Australian cartoonist Bill Leak’s collection of cartoons titled, Trigger Warning. Looks like the outfit might be a competitor to Connor Court publishing, which has almost had a monopoly on the weird and wonderful of the Australian political publishing world.

Peter Fray

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