There is little chance that David Marr, practitioner of quality journalism, will go unfeted at this year's Walkley Awards presentation, the annual glad-rag get-together where sharp-dressed members of a down-at-heel industry honour the best journalism by their fellow union members, as those who are not in the ALP-affiliated Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance must hand over hefty fees to enter and none seems ever to collect a gong. In 2014, Marr was nominated twice -- once for yet another piece in The Guardian on the bestial treatment meted to asylum seekers in Australia's care (yawn), and yet again in the Walkley Book Award shortlist for his between-the-covers chronicle of a conservative Catholic prelate, The Prince, Faith, Abuse and George Pell. On cue, the ABC gave the book lots of free airtime and promotion.
Needless to say, Marr's perspective on Pell is more than somewhat critical. As Gerard Henderson notes in his latest Media Watch Dog:
"In his hatchet job ... Marr made reference to the fact that Fr Pell (as he then was) 'noticed nothing' when in 1973 he 'moved his things' into St Alipius Presbytery where (then) Fr Gerald Ridsdale also lived. The implication in The Prince is that Pell should have noticed that he was sharing accommodation with a child sex abuser."
Funny, isn't it, the things that catch the eye and don't?
In the last days of his employment at Fairfax, Marr wrote with what some might regard as a note of sympathy for two gay dads who had seen their adopted six-year-old taken away by US child-welfare authorities, the accusation being that they were renting out the lad to fanciers of man-on-boy action. Quoted in the very first paragraph as protesting their innocence of abusing the child, the duo enjoyed further column inches in Marr's report to explain their sorry situation (emphasis added).
"The men blame their predicament on innocent visits to three men in the US, New Zealand and Germany, who, to their complete surprise, turned out to be collectors and producers of child pornography. All three were arrested last year...
... Asked to explain their serial contacts with child pornographers, one of the men said: 'These are three people out of 20 people we know. You never know who you pick. You never know who you're with. You never even know if the person you're married with is something as well. We would never hurt our child.' "
Further, by way of explaining how they had come to visit so many molesters with lad in tow, Marr quoted one of the gay dads thus:
"The two men took the boy to [a German paedophile] in October 2010 because, they say, he knew of some interesting castles. They travelled together..."
The picture atop this post is of the men with their apple-cheeked stock in trade.
Unlike Cardinal Pell, whose mere sharing of a Ballarat address with molester Gerald Ridsdale (and, just coincidentally, with former priest-turned-Labor-megaphone Paul Bongiorno) warranted a raised-eyebrow mention in Marr's tome, the gay dads were subsequently convicted and sent away for extended stretches behind bars. Unless it has escaped Google's attention, there is no record of Marr covering those verdicts and sentences.
And therein, perhaps, Pell's greatest mistake. Had he actually abused small children, rather than simply sharing a roof with a pederast who was, presumably, circumspect in revealing his predations, the Cardinal might today be receiving more sympathetic treatment in the press. Alternately, if like Bongiorno he happened to be on the side of those leftist angels, he might also have seen his ignorance of a housemate's secret crimes passed over with barely a mention.
The Walkley Awards will be doled out late this year. Expect Marr to have dinner jacket and cumberbund neatly pressed and all ready to go.
His original report on the rent-a-boy dads can be read via the link below.
Link to this post
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has had a few words to say about Joe Hockey's latest budget. Trouble is, apart from his promise to re-instate a carbon tax, those thoughts came across as a muffled muddle.
As Zeg notes, that's what happens when you help to dig a monstrous hole, stand proudly at the bottom of all that debt, and lecture those on higher, firmer ground about their fiscal and moral deficiencies.
The US military gets a bad rap from time to time, accused by the likes of Edward Luttwak of preparing for the last war while forever being caught on the hop by the present one, lambasted by congressmen for buying $600 toilet seats and, of current interest to Australian taxpayers, for pumping billions of dollars into gold-plated hangar queens. One thing on which the US military cannot be faulted, however, is the good manners of its military colleges' students. President Obama's visit this week to the Coast Guard Academy, where he welcomed graduates to their country's service, makes the case.
In the Middle East, evidence of US impotence is rampant. How ever did ISIS manage to stage a full-fledged victory parade, in broad daylight no less, without seeing its festivities dispersed by loads of laser-guided bombs? Obama may know the answer to that; then again, maybe not. With this President, any cause that demands more than a bombardment of TelePromptered cliches probably isn't going to get off the ground. So Obama dodged mentioning that situation, and the mess in Libya, plus the likelihood of a nuclear-armed Iran, and a good many other of his ongoing debacles.
Instead, he identified the real enemy: catastrophic climate change.
To their immense credit, not one of the Coast Guard graduates laughed out loud.
Obama's defence of warmism and its rent-seekers can watched in full via the link below.
As a climate sceptic, Nigel Lawson (above) is precluded from airing his views on the BBC, where the science is settled and those who question it are banished.
There is not much to be said for the ABC, but our national broadcaster, every so often, allows a heretic to slip through the thicket of likemindedness and settle for a brief spell behind the microphone. One such example of this rare event takes place in the latest broadcast of Between the Lines with host Tom Switzer. Their conversation makes compelling listening.
Follow the link below to hear Lawson and Switzer discuss the upcoming doom-a-rama confab in Paris where -- Gaia be praised! -- there is next to no chance of a meaningful accord.
At around 8am this morning (May 21), the Facebook page where The Age promotes itself posted a short item linking to sensational allegations featuring in that newspaper's coverage of Victoria's ongoing child sex-abuse inquiry, now sitting in Ballarat. Above, a screen grab of the Facebook item.
"Die Pell" is the heading -- and it remained the heading until the link was taken down more than an hour later. Somehow no one noticed those two prominent words -- or, if they did, deemed the sentiment to be fair comment. The fact that Fairfax has dispensed with experienced subs and editors, replacing them with cheap-to-hire hipster youths, might just have something to do with it.
Age editor Andrew Holden prefers to believe the Facebook page was hacked, but has instituted an internal investigation to assure himself that no Age reporter was responsible for such unauthorised editorialising. That possibility, he told 3AW's Neil Mitchell, was unthinkable.
Unthinkable, perhaps, but only to the likes Holden, who must never read his own paper. That is one thing he can be said to have in common with millions of other Melbournians.
Follow the link below for another Age story that has disappeared without trace: the bodies of murdered infants alleged to have been buried in the grounds of what was once a Ballarat orphanage.
Fairfax Media's Peter Hannam used to be billed as the publisher's "carbon economy" correspondent, but as there is no carbon economy to correspond about he now goes by the more straightforward appellation of "environment editor". As it is official policy at The Age and SMH to deny both credence and column inches to those loathsome sceptics, this must be a rather undemanding job: Take a little dictation from the warmist du jour. Regurgitate on the printed page. Repeat until the receiver arrives. This last must surely happen soon, given those newspapers' ever-shrinking circulation base and former advertisers' understandable reluctance to invite the sort of people who still read Fairfax papers into their stores.
Those true believers are likely more peeved than usual today, as they will have swallowed every word of Hannam's scoop that government "subsidies" to Big Carbon are costing the world's poor "more than $200,000 per second". According to the story, this information comes from the International Monetary Fund, as the line reproduced at the top of this item clearly states. If the IMF says that, who can doubt it?
Actually, the IMF doubts it.
In the very same IMF report Hannam cites and right up at the top, where even the mere moderately astute might have noticed it, there is the prominent and black-bordered advisory reproduced below:
Click on the image to make the text fully legible and you will see the disclaimer that "views expressed in IMF working papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board or IMF management."
And if you have just filled your car's tank with petrol and might be wondering who is getting those subsidies when consumer taxes represent such a huge chunk of the per-litre price, it works like this: Carbon emission are (allegedly) doing great harm and this damage can be valued in dollars. Therefore, because this (alleged) damage is not being repaired, those unspent dollars amount to a subsidy.
Take it from the warmists: Not only is the science settled, so is the accounting.
The IMF's disavowed report can be read via the link below.