(Image: Adobe)

No laughing matter So, over the last month Melbourne emerged from a year of misery and lockdowns to resume one of its great cultural institutions: the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (minus the international element this year, for obvious reasons). And yet, to read one of the city’s two daily papers you’d barely know it was going on.

We had a look through the Herald Sun for references to the MICF and we found only two stories mentioning the actual festival — one an intro to the event, and one a combination of two reviews. But this is a major event in the city the Hun serves — why such muted coverage?

Previously the festival and the paper enjoyed a much sunnier relationship, with the Hun partnering with the festival and featuring full guides to the acts (which didn’t always go great…).

It surely couldn’t have anything to do with the following, could it?

We asked the Hun if the commercial partnership arrangements had anything to do with the muted coverage, but they didn’t get back to us before deadline.

Skyfall A while back, reading former Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi’s website — just after he put up a paywall (!) — we described his writing as “like the most basic guy in your office started a blog”. So it follows that the adverts for his new spot on Sky News radiate “the most basic guy in your office got a topical show”. Three words: James. Bond. Themed.

If you can’t bring yourself to click the above click, it features Bernardi mimicking the gun barrel opening of the Bond series, turning around and looking serious at the camera and being handed a martini (because the world is a “cocktail of misinformation” you see). We hear Bernardi intoning the kind of portentous culture warring we’ve come to expect, like “if we don’t fight now, there’ll be nothing left to save”.

Because it’s always a good sign for one’s ability to engage with the topics of the day in a fresh and unpredictable way that producers know certain phrases will 100% occur during a show that hasn’t been made yet.

Wine o’clock It seems in the world of conservative political messaging, cocktails are good and wine is bad. Crikey’s Bernard Keane wrote a whole column yesterday about the hypocrisy of Morrison attacking people in “inner-city wine bars” for wanting to address climate change while sipping champagne with business luminaries at a five-star Sydney CBD hotel.

But it turns out Morrison doesn’t have to go all the way into the city for a nice sparkling. As News Corp journalist Eliza Barr points out, he can just pop downstairs from his electorate office to the Croydon Lane Wine & Tapas Bar, which we’re told specialises in boutique wines and delicious cocktails.

Good Society Why can’t Canberra’s spinners tell it straight, even when it’s a fair cop? The government’s Good Society sex education and consent initiative was shellacked from one end of the country yesterday with a ferocity rarely seen, forcing the department to take down material from the site.

Yet it appears that this outrage was always part of the plan. “In response to community and stakeholder feedback, two videos have been removed from The Good Society website,” the department assured angry / bemused / flummoxed Australians using its peculiar brand of passive-aggressive PR language. “The website is designed to be a live and dynamic resource, with content added, removed, and modified, to ensure it remains current and appropriate.” Talk about not really addressing the point.