||Issue No. 138||31 May 2002|
Interview: The Star Chamber
Politics: The Odd Couple
Media: Audiences Before Politics
International: The Off-Side Rule
Economics: The Fake Persuaders
History: Terror Tactics
Poetry: Food, Modified Food
Review: Spiderman Spins Out the US
Satire: England's World Cup Disaster: Star Hooligan Breaks Foot
The Locker Room
Week in Review
In Defence of Latham
Swans A Pathetic Con-Job
Week in Review
He Who Pays The Piper
State funding of political campaigns should be high on the Australian agenda as fellow "democracies" highlight the favours expected, and received, by private benefactors.
Nobody is surprised when George Bush repays the arms and oil industries, not to mention the gun lobby, but what the hell is Tony Blair's New Labour up to?
The Blairites are going out of their way to cuddle up to British pornographer, Richard Desmond, who initiated the relationship with a secret $260,000 donation.
Labour banked the cash eight days after giving Desmond the ministerial nod to take over national dailies, the Daily Express and Daily Star.
Prime Minister Blair ignores concerned electors by further endorsing Desmond, sending media manager Alistair Campbell to his 50th birthday bash and then inviting the man himself to dine at No 10.
Perhaps, good Social Democrat that he is, Blair is impressed by Desmond's commitment to equal opportunity as expressed by titles such as Horny Houswives, Big Ones, Asian Babes and Mega Boobs.
Libs Fail ABC
In another example of the media becoming the news, your ABC resists political pressure from Michael Kroger and the Victorian Libs by appointing former accountant, Russell Balding, managing director.
Kroger and his allies, Alston, Costello et al, had enlisted the help of one Alan Jones to push the case of a certain Trevor Kennedy.
No disrespect to one-time Kerry Packer sidekick Kennedy, who made himself a late nomination on the eve of the appointment, but why would the ABC listen to the bunch who foisted the appalling Jonathan Shier on them in the first place?
Their central contention that Australia's non-commerical network, set up to the fill the void left by private radio and television, should be run by an operator from the commercial culture, has always taken a bit of getting to grips with.
Chalk one up for the UN. It took one of their inspections to get the mob running the Woomera Detention Centre to accept that inmates actually had names.
The Alpha Numeric code by which they have traditionally been known was finally replaced by names and, just for good measure, the accommodation units were painted, fake turf was rolled out, 1500 trees were planted, razor wire was removed and the standard of food improved.
All this within hours of UN inspectors arriving on site.
Philip Ruddock's Immigration Department insists perceptions of UN influence are merely an accident of timeing.
In a Spin
Sounds like the spin the Governor General must have been looking for when he committed taxpayers to a $13,500 spend on getting him off his child sex abuse hook. Instead, as Labor Senator John Faulkner pointed out he scored "an own goal of Escobar proportions".
Turns out that GG Hollingworth, and his daughter, hatched the plan to hire a Melbourne-based PR man to try and undo the damage he had done, all by himself, on that infernal ABC.
Remember those infamous words: "There was no suggestion of rape or anything like that, quite the contrary. My information is rather that it was the other way round."
The Hollingworth's took their case to the $250 an hour man and released a long statement claiming the GG had misheard or misunderstood the question. Trouble was, a subsequent transcript showed this was untrue.
Hollingworth, a former Brisbane Anglican Bishop, joined the Japanese whaling industry, Coles embezzler Brian Quinn and fleeing Mexican banker, Carlos Cabal, on the Melbourne PR man's high-profile client list. At least the other three didn't ask you and I to foot the bill.
NOTE: Andres Escobar was the Colombian defender murdered soon after returning home from the 1994 World Cup finals where he had scored an own goal in a crucial match.
Eddie Pole Axed
The AFL removes a poll from its website after complaints from another media personality with mixed allegiances.
Channel Nine commentator Eddie McGuire, who doubles as Collingwood president, complains about a poll seeking views on his performance in the commentary box.
The poll runs after widespread talkback criticism of McGuire's efforts during a Port Adelaide-Collingwood match.
With responses indicating 75 percent support for the contention McGuire had been biased towards Collingwood, an AFL staffer orders that other fans be denied the opportunity to state a view on the issue.
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