Thursday, August 7

Hey, I'm back – but look what I missed

Your grumpy old blogger hadn't intended to put so much time into the previous two posts, about the Myall Creek massacre and about the ABC's First Tuesday Book Club criticism of Demons At Dusk. But perhaps it's as well that I did.

If I hadn't been so focused on working up fair, balanced but robust commentaries in those two blog posts. I might have been tempted to wade into some issues that slipped past while my mind was elsewhere.

Just think of the hot water I would have found myself if I'd said I found something disturbing about a man who found Bill Henson's photographs of a young nude girl “revolting” – not as sick as someone who experienced a lascivious charge, of course, but a worry nonetheless.

And what if I'd been tempted to share my mirth at the most incredible diatribe I've read in an Australian newspaper – the Weekend Australian's editorial attacking the ABC and the Sydney Morning Herald for their coverage of the then upcoming World Youth Day and their reporting of the claims of a religious education teacher who fell to pieces after he had sex with a randy priest.

Funny, though, the Weekend Oz saw no need to mention that its owner, News Ltd, was a sponsor of World Youth Day.

Perhaps newspaper editorials should be signed. But whoever penned it, one wonders whether it was approved – or even instigated – by editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell, who made the Courier-Mail look so silly during his Brisbane sojourn when he exposed Manning Clark as a Soviet spy who'd been seen wearing the Order of Lenin.

I even felt a touch of mirth when a story in the Oz's Media section trotted out David Penberthy, editor of News Ltd's Daily Telegraph, to comment on responsible journalism (in fairness, Penberthy did disclose the WYD sponsorship).

Yes, it's a good thing I was too focused elsewhere. Now, have I told you about my experience trying to use the calculator on my mobile phone to work out the best value in two Woolworths' specials on tomato juice? No? Well, perhaps that's next. Do come back.

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