From the Crikey grapevine, it’s the latest tips and rumours…

Nine gets two for one, times four. While journalists at the former Fairfax newspapers prepare to share offices with their new Nine Entertainment colleagues, and other teams are “consolidated”, Ms Tips has noticed the names of Nine’s on-air personalities creeping into the recently-acquired papers. Nine’s political editor Chris Uhlmann has been popping up in the pages of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review, including a recent column that managed to work in a reference to Nine’s mega hit Married at First Sight.

Nine’s Sydney sport broadcasters have also been creeping into the SMH. Phil Gould and Andrew Johns have both made it into the Herald. Gould, a Nine veteran, was a rugby league commentator in the Fairfax papers for a number of years until Nine jerked the reins and pulled him back to the network to be writer for its own sports websites and was given an expanded on-air role. Now Fairfax is in the fold, he is back.

Nine’s Neil Breen has also been appearing in The Sun-Herald. The former editor of The Sunday Telegraph (owned by News Corp) lately writes a column for his former competitor.

The Ramsay Centre for kids who can’t read good and who wanna learn to do other stuff good too. Look, in most cases Ms Tips would steer clear of shaming someone for grammar issues. But in most cases, the culprit isn’t claiming to be a last guardian of the glories of Western Civilisation. So, with that in mind, take a glance The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation’s twitter feed.

The Ramsay Centre is committed to “advance education by promoting studies and discussion associated with the establishment and development of western civilisation, including through establishing scholarship funds and educational courses in partnership with universities”. And yet, when discussing such noble western achievements as the Strand Bookstore in New York, the descriptions are dashed off with all the same care for coherence and grammar as a YouTube comment: 

“The Strand in New York City was once a bookstore part of a 5 block stretch of what was once known as ‘Book Row’ and has remained the final bookstore standing among that strip. With 18 miles of books, it may have taken a few of its competitors along the way.”  

The worst (since deleted — so they do read these back?), describes Van Gogh’s The Starry Night thus: “[it] is a realistic landscape is painted with exaggerated strokes. Commonly interpreted to explore themes of religion, hope and mental health, it is one on the most reproduced works, and appears commonly in our modern world. #art.” Yikes.

PFA spreading? There is probably a word in German for the combination of interest and worry with which Ms Tips read the following story in Reuters: “The curious case of tainted milk from a Maine dairy farm.” This story strongly suggests that perfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAs) have appeared in the fertiliser used on dairy farms in Maine and that they have possible spread across up to 95 sites in the US. According to the piece “the state regulators and health experts are investigating whether the contamination could reflect a much broader problem for farms that used similar methods to fertilise their land”.

PFAs have made the news in Australia in recent years and are in the fire-fighting foam used at a number of Airbases — Williamstown in the Hunter, Amberley near Ipswich, Katherine in the NT, and various airports — and have caused problems in the surrounding areas. Are we about to find out PFAs have spread similarly in Australia? Know more? Get in touch with us anonymously

Joyce is no gun. Yep, former deputy prime minister and combination of an eggplant emoji and a landmine Barnaby Joyce is the best retail politician in the country, we’re frequently reminded. While the focus this morning falls on One Nation’s attempt to extract money from the National Rifle Association to push for deregulation of gun ownership in Australia, it’s worth remembering that Joyce, just yesterday, seemed to quietly push for the same thing while telling the SMH that the Nationals needed to “shift to the right” to counter the rise of parties like the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers. Like his observation that he’d written his book for “predominantly white” audiences, the call came in the midst of a series of other observations

They believe you have too much regulation on tree clearing. Too much regulation on the ownership of firearms, too much regulation on everything you do on your land. They believe an urban constituency assuages their guilt by putting further restrictions on regional people

And, just like his whistle about white people — and, well, so much of what he says — Ms Tips can’t help but wonder just who this “great retail politician” is actually pitching to? 

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