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Essential Reading

The Nose Has It

zeg foley smallNew South Wales goes to the polls tomorrow, with the latest polls suggesting Labor leader Luke Foley's union-assisted efforts to gain a boost by opposing privatisation of the electricity system just isn't working.

For Zeg's Take, follow the link below.

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Going Fission with Obama

obama kham

The Times of Israel reports:

Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for “Death to America” on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a “historic opportunity” for a nuclear deal and a better future

Worried in Washington? Not President Obama:

I believe that our nations have a historic opportunity to resolve this issue peacefully — an opportunity we should not miss,  Obama said.

The first two nuclear weapons deployed against an enemy were named Fat Man and Little Boy by their builders. When Iran goes nuclear the mullahs might want to consider calling their bomb Community Organiser as an acknowledgement of the little hindrance they have received from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Iran Watch has the latest appraisal of Tehran's progress via the link below.


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The IPCC's Great Pretender

jpyAs weather wallah Rajendra Pachauri slinks in his singlet from the public stage, shoes in hand and boxers bold with hearts and lipstick kisses, the IPCC's leading aspirant to the  post of climateer-in-chief is presenting himself as the candidate who will turn on the lights. Apparently, in case you missed earlier bulletins, there is a climate crisis and all life might end, or possibly just get very wet , so Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (above) is pledging himself to  keep the world better informed about what, for 18 years, hasn't been happening. Expect to hear a lot more about polar bears instead.

Tony Thomas wrote on Ypersele for Quadrant Online in October, and there is more from Hilary Ostrov, who recalls the Belgian's inspired reaction to the Climategate emails. Exposing the climate community in all its bitchy, bent  ugliness was a sinister plot by Big Carbon, he said, to make climate scientists look bad.

Ostrov, a Canadian, blogs at  The view from Here, available via the link below


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A funny kind of innocence

moss excerpt

Late last week, upon the release of the Moss Review, which examined the state of affairs at the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, the ABC reported:

The review also cleared 10 Save the Children staff from any suggestion that they coached the detainees into self-harming to embarrass the Coalition Government.

The ABC summation includes many helpful links, just to frame the review's findings in the correct perspective. Two links remind us that Prime Minister Abbott was beastly to Gillian Triggs, while another directs visitors to an earlier ABC report detailing the Human Rights Commission president's own findings, the thrust of which is that the Prime Minister is beastly to everyone else as well. A further link reminds us that Ms Trigg's compendium of suffering was lavished by the ABC's with sympathetic coverage. This morning (March 23), Radio National's Fran Kelly was telling Australia that the 10 Save the Children workers had been "exonerated"

For some reason the ABC neglected to link to the Moss Review itself, which can be found in full here.

If Quadrant Online visitors click on the illustration atop this item, the section of the executive summary in regard to the fired Save the Children workers will be easily read.

"Cleared", the ABC says, "exonerated" even. Unless the Macquarie Dictionary folks, the crew which   re-defined "misogynist" as "Tony Abbott" to accommodate Julia Gillard's abuse of the language, have convened another late-night session, what the Moss Review did say, and quite emphatically, was that the Immigration Department erred in a matter of procedure and protocol.

Rather than ordering the ten off the island itself, the Moss Report advises that the bureaucrats should have contacted Save the Children directly and asked their administrators to remove the contract employees on whom suspicion of incitement and fabrication had fallen.

Why would the department have had its suspicions? Because fellow contractor Wilson Security, responsible for keeping order in the Nauru camps, told it so.

And what might have deepened Wilson's shadow of doubt?

Well, there were all those breathless accounts of "children as young as eight" sewing their lips together, reports which Moss specifically refutes. Other press reports are substantially corrected or, more often, simply noted as "cannot be confirmed". If there is ancillary wisdom to be gleaned from the Moss Review, it is its confirmation that that all things published by the Guardian or uttered by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

And then there is this. Again, click on the image:

moss excerpt 2 stc reportedPlease notice the last sentence: the girl, who couldn't identify a leering man of whom she declined to complain, was reported as a "a victim" without her knowledge by a Save the Children operative.

And finally, this screen grab from the report: At least one of those Save the Children workers -- "cleared' and "exonerated", according to the ABC -- was flinging profanity via Facebook at then-Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.moss excerpt 3

The full Moss Review is available via the link below. It will make fascinating reading unless you are an ABC or Guardian reporter, in which why bother? It's the narrative, not the facts, that matter.



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Family values at Their ABC

colvin minorWith all the pink slips handed out to journalists over the past few years, scoring a regular cheque from the national broadcaster is the dream of many an unemployed, irredeemably ink-stained wretch. The ABC pays well, certainly in comparison with Centrelink, and many newsroom hacks with sound professional skills -- the nous, for example, to be wary of news "tips" alleging that the RAN is torturing illegal aliens with hot mufflers -- must take in the national broadcaster's current output and wonder just how one goes about getting a foot in the door. Many observers would agree the ABC could use a dash of just-the-facts objectivity.

True, position-vacant ads appear from time to time, although usually only once. The request for applicants pictured below, for example, sought someone to lead the newly authorised Fact Check Unit -- a job that went to Russell Skelton, by happy co-incidence the only applicant who happened to be the husband of News 24 hostess Virginia Trioli. At other times, ABC recruiters place what must be a uniquely subjective emphasis on previous employment. After presiding over the Sydney Writers' Festival, organiser Chip Rowley slipped into the job of The Drum's editor-in-chief, also briefly advertised. Girlfriend Anne Summers must have been tickled pink to learn of her paramour's success in a fresh field of endeavour, especially delighted that the ABC would be moving the operation from Melbourne to Sydney. No need for this happy couple to endure a long-distance love affair.

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Media Watch, as noted this week by Quadrant Online, picked up a researcher who had joined the ABC after a career as a deep green publicist, some might say 'activist', for a left-wing group co-founded by The Greens' Lee Rhiannon. The trade tricks he learned while studying and writing with Wendy Bacon at UTS must have impressed his interviewers no end.

Now Tim Blair reports on another young man making his way in the world, also with the help of the ABC. This time it is a hip dude called Will Colvin, whose surname might sound familiar to Radio National listeners, as he is the son of presenter Mark Colvin. As Blair notes via a link to an article by Colvin minor published on an obscure website, the youngster boasts how little work he did during a previous career phase as a journalist at news.com.au. It wasn't that his bosses didn't want him to write stories and edit items, quite the opposite in fact. It was a simple case of inspired and deliberate bludging, as he shamelessly describes:

"...that was the day I decided my job at news.com.au could change from 'writing things, sub-editing things and doing website production' to 'doing absolutely no work at all and seeing how long I could get away with it'."

Colvin minor didn't much like his bosses, you see, nor Rupert Murdoch either, so it was like a revolutionary act or something, man! The item has drawn scathing comments from readers of the Mumbrella site, some wondering how, when eager journalists are losing their jobs right and left, he felt no shame in accepting a salary while being deliberately and slyly unproductive. Colvin minor makes no bones about it, however. His little memoir even comes with a photo of him making rude gestures at the camera, plus a video clip in which he shouts obscene abuse at News Corp's HQ in Surry Hills, Sydney. Unlike ABC recruiters, the building remains unimpressed.

So, where does a lazy, deceitful, work-shy lad find an income once he is done with teaching Rupert Murdoch a thing or two? Here is a little snippet from his CV and please notice the bit Quadrant Online has underlined:

"Over the past few years he’s honed his practice, recently becoming a regular voice on the ABC’s infamous media watchdog Media Watch."

Yes, it's another inspired recruitment by the crew at Media Watch, a show watched by many good journos, some of whom still have jobs. That segment of the Media Watch audience might reckon Colvin minor has handed the ABC a story on a plate. No need to waste taxi vouchers chasing an elusive quarry, as he is just down the corridor doing those snarky voice-overs that, as he puts it in his CV, do so much to make compere Paul Barry's showpiece the "infamous" production that it is.

Stay tuned, taxpayers, your ABC will certainly want to cover this little beaut of a yarn. Isn't that right, Mr Barry?

Colvin minor's full memoir -- "All the Ways I Wasted Rupert Murdoch's Money" -- can be read in full via the link below.

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Mark Scott's Black Madonna

black madonnaDid you settle down in the comfy chair last night and relax with the ABC? Oh, such a night of rip-roarin' rib-ticklers! Being a Wednesday, when the national broadcaster reckons we can all use a good laugh, it was comedy, comedy, and more comedy -- QI, Shaun Micallef  makes funny faces, Judith Lucy wobbles and whines and, to cap it off before the running joke that is Lateline, there was Black Comedy, a video ghetto where Indigenous mirthmasters get 30 minutes to pump out gags in the grand, stereotypical tradition of Jacky "Mine Tinkit They Fit" Pelaco. That's how far we've come, folks!

mine tink itWednesday is Hump Day, you see, midway through the working week, so glumly equidistant from the last and next episodes of Insiders, when Barrie Cassidy and his Sunday Stooges play Gerard Henderson for laughs -- their own, anyway.

So let us give thanks that ABC producers have so many mates prepared to brighten the bleak midweek in return for small change. It must be small change because ABC tweeter-in-chief  Mark Scott is adamantly opposed to putting on the record just how much those "commercial arrangements" are draining his Abbott-ravaged billion-dollar budget. We can guess he doesn't wish to embarrass his stars with numbers that show how little their output is worth. Six figures here, seven more over there -- nothing significantly larger than the coinage you would find down the back of Mr Scott's office sofa. And anyway, the favoured funsters' ratings must be cause enough for embarrassment in themselves. Why add insight to penury by exposing how much they take home to inner-city hovels in Fitzroy, Balmain, Elizabeth Bay and the like?

Nothing is without its perils, however, and last night's lineup provided just such an example when Quadrant Online's telly went very peculiar mid-way through Black Comedy. All that evening's earlier laughs must have shaken a wire loose or something because a skit that began with the Virgin Mary figuring out how she could sell Joseph on the notion that it wasn't his kid  -- that's her in the screen grab atop this post -- suddenly shape-shifted into a bloke called Mo-something-or-other debating with a companion whether it is better to rub against a nine-year-old or a twelve-year-old.

The punchline was that, rather than make an either/or decision, the duo decided blokes with big beards should be entitled to enjoy both those youngsters, plus two more apiece besides.

Quadrant Online would love to share that edgy, transgressive, taxpayer-funded exercise in fearless fun but the iView version of Black Comedy, which can be viewed via the link below, doesn't include it. Then again, maybe the skit was never in the show at all. Maybe QOL's laughter-rattled television was picking up signals from a parallel universe -- a place where the national broadcaster's so-so-courageous comedians beat up on targets other than those 100%-guaranteed to turn the other cheek.

The Virgin Mary skit can be found at the 18-minute mark of Black Comedy via the link below.

Next week on the ABC's Wednesday laugh-a-rama: Buddha, you fat bastard!

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The Howard Era

Edited by Keith Windschuttle, David Martin Jones and Ray Evans

Essays by Tony Abbott, James Allan, Chris Berg, Ian Callinan, Sinclair Davidson and more.

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