Read the piece from The Australian HERE.
Read the piece from The Australian HERE.
Not serious, but worth a giggle…
Below is an email that could have been sent to Craig McLachlan from the numerous women who’ve accused him of sexual harassment. Even though the accusations are from just four years ago, there is no written record.
I’ll tell you now that this email has been Bcc’d to six other cast members – three women and three men. They won’t find it a shock as they know my concerns and expect the email. The email is date stamped so acts as a record of correspondence. Isn’t it great to live in 2014!
If you feel ‘set-upon’ or uncomfortable with this, you could forward my email to management so that they can act as your ‘eyes and ears’ just as my six colleagues are acting as mine. I’d invite that.
I’ve made it clear to you on three occasions now that your inappropriate words and actions are not welcome. I hate it. While I think you’re a great actor, I’m not in any way attracted to you. Your sexual remarks during performance and physical contact are not wanted. I’ll be clear. Don’t make any physical contact nor utter any words that aren’t in the script.
Yes, it’s 2014 and Rolf Harris has just been jailed for five years. The women in his case are clearly after his paintings and the royalties from his songs. I’m not like that. I don’t want this to become a media circus to attract broadcast ratings and I’m not after money. This is also not a gender based anti-male thing. I just don’t appreciate your non-scripted words and actions.
I will not be taking your behavior to management at this time. However, if it continues after the 11/9/2014, I will have no hesitation in reporting your behavior to management with the support of my six colleagues.
There will be no one-to-one discussion on this matter between you and I. Any attempt at private communication outside of scripted lines will be deemed harassment. Mobile phones are capable of recording and did you know there is a new phone app that records video to the cloud? Amazing.
I sincerely hope you take this seriously.
Christie Whelan Browne (and the rest)
PS: If you don’t get this it’s because I thought my career and the dollars it would bring were more important and gee, every man (or woman) has their price. Didn’t Thomas More say that?
Cory Bernardi is a funny guy. A very funny guy. He’s likeable in a down-homey kinda way that reminds you of country town museums or Chiko rolls – both things that reflect the Australia that used to be, not the Australia we know today.
While we know what the news tells us about young Cory, he tends to have a few skeletons in the closet he’d rather us not know about. I guess it’s like the nasty secrets in a country town museum or even worse, the secrets inside a Chiko Roll.
Since at least 2012, Bernardi has been the Australian representative to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is funded by big business (corporate members) and consists of politicians (nearly all Republican), business representatives and ‘Task Force’ members who work on special projects. Young Corey is one of these.
The membership, activities and communications of ALEC are secret and closely guarded, yet a couple of US journos have managed to infiltrate the membership base – no doubt to Bernardi’s horror. The public interest group ‘Common Cause’ has also won legal battles to reveal members, yet the activities and plans of ALEC are strictly confidential. Hard to know, easy to guess.
At ALEC we see big business working alongside politicians to help draft laws that will benefit them. The ultra-conservative ‘Lawyers for Civil Justice’ are members and a terrific help here. Corporate members include tobacco, oil and pharmaceutical companies. It also includes the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The NRA uses ALEC to get laws passed that benefit weapon manufacturers and the NRA agenda. Reducing the restrictions on gun ownership and fostering the ability to bear weapons in ‘open carry’ is typical NRA conversation. If the NRA had their way, every high school student would carry a gun. So would every teacher.
This isn’t covert stuff, but widely known in American political circles. Businesses like Glaxo Smith Kline, Exxon Mobil and News Corp all belong to and use ALEC to the max to foster their business aims. Don’t believe me? The full list of all members can be found HERE.
Interestingly, big companies like Amazon, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and McDonald’s and are all ex members who were either barred due to their beliefs or voluntarily withdrew their membership and support. Some ex members like the grain exporting giant Cargill deny ever having been a member. Evidently it’s just bad PR.
Yet young Cory jets off every year to strut his stuff on the ALEC stage, support the NRA killing machine and bring back wonderful ideas on how Australia can be more like America. He’ll jet off in July to the next ALEC AGM and come back with lots of good stuff there’s no doubt. Gun ownership will be high on his list as will conservative civil law reform. It will be the lawyers, guns and Cory Bernardi show! As Warren Zevon said in his 1978 hit ‘Bring lawyers, guns and money’, … “Get me outa here!”
Why both sides of politics has let this human firecracker even get on a plane let alone represent Australia at one of the biggest conservative talk fests in the world is the question we should be asking. What’s worse is that we the taxpayer pay for this jaunt.
So Cory, one of your skeletons is out of the closet and I guess there’s more to come. After the Sandy Hook school massacre in 2012 I tried to get some Aussie journos interested in your little hobby and a couple were. I think a few more will be now.
For immediate release
19th November 2016 – 8am
The 3rd test team to play South Africa starting on 24th November in Adelaide has been named with some surprises signaling a change in direction for Australian cricket.
The team is Steve Smith (C), David Warner (VC) Usman Khawaja, Buddy Franklin (WK), Tim Cahill, Mitchell Starc, Israel Filou, Steven Bradbury, Nathan Lyon, Black Caviar, Cooper Cronk and Digger the Staffy x Cattle dog (12th man).
With two non-humans in the squad Cricket Australia expects some raised eyebrows from traditionalists but Chairman James Sutherland states the selection is entirely within the rules.
“There is absolutely nothing in the rules that forbids including non-humans in the squad. There are rules about gender but no mention of species. Both Cavo and Digger are males and are fitting in well with the others. We’re expecting big things from both of them.
“Black Caviar is extremely intimidating in the field – especially when fielding at short leg. Digger is very fast in the outfield and returns the ball with tremendous enthusiasm.” Sutherland said.
The squad will commence training at Rosehill Racecourse before flying out in two shipping containers on Wednesday.
Perhaps Steven Bradbury, the Gold Medal winning Aussie Speed skater from the 2002 Winter Olympics was the biggest surprise of all. He has been chosen for his ability to come back from last to win at all costs.
“I’m delighted to be chosen and am going out today to buy a bat. I’m taking big Davey Warner with me to help choose and we’re looking forward to shopping together.” Bradbury said.
Other newcomers like Cahill, Cronk, Folau and Franklin have been watching footage of games from the 1970’s involving stars like Doug Walters, Max Walker and Greg Chappell in order to learn the game quickly and properly. Israel Folau has been particularly taken with the skills and demeanor of Doug Walters who he is trying to emulate in every way.
“I never thought I’d take up smoking and drinking but I’ll do anything for Australian Cricket. Dougy was doing 40 cigs a day when he scored a century in both innings against the Windies. If that’s what it takes I’ll do it.” Folau said.
Tickets to the game go on sale on Monday wth CA adding a new ‘pet friendly’ seating zone for fans of Digger and Caviar to watch their debut.
Media Contact: Phil Dye 0412 678 179
Hopefully these 10 points will help. If you want to ignore them, that’s OK. You’ll just continue to get what you’ve already got.
Phil Dye is an educator at the University of NSW, a media trainer for social causes or not for profit and a social commentator. He has written three books and made more than 300 mistakes.
My three Schapelle Corby headline predictions for 2014 follow. With big TV and Magazine dollars floating around, you can be sure the ‘exclusive’ is not limited to one single media event, but a ‘calendar of sensations’.
All headlines and lead sentences will also be on my ‘Musings’ Facebook page. Please share the this post with friends. If anyone is willing to place a bet that NONE of these will occur please let me know. Here goes…
In an amazing disclosure, paroled drug smuggler Schapelle Corby admitted to having sex with one of her jailers twice during the first 12 months of her internment. The prison officer, who left the prison shortly after, initially told Corby he could help her in future appeals and parole hearings.
The family of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby have begun legal proceedings in a claim for over half of the supposed $7 million paid to her last March for media exclusives. Yet the family matter, led by sister Mercedes, is likely to lead to a bitter court battle over the millions that are widely known to exist, but can’t be formally accounted for.‘SISTER’S EX-HUSBAND’ with ‘JAILER’ as I believe there’s chance of either happening.)
Ten months after her ‘marriage’ split with Ben Panangian, paroled drug-smuggler Schapelle Corby has wed her sister’s ex-husband Wayan Widyartha in a traditional Balinese ceremony in Kuta. The ceremony was followed by a small gathering of friends in the ‘Envy’ local nightclub in Jalan Pantai. No family were present.
Television began just under 57 years ago in Australia. During those years, what we see on the small (ish) screen had changed dramatically. From the content made especially for TV to the presenting style of personalities to the actual quality of the image, what we see on our TV screens has largely kept up with our changing expectations and standards.
Except for one very important area, and if the TV networks don’t take note, they’ll soon be without advertisers. We all know what that means.
Since television began, the buying and placement of advertising has been based on various criteria. The demographics and psycho-graphics of the viewer are of prime importance. It would be stupid to advertise the Holden Ute in a daytime chat-show for women. It would be wise to advertise consumer products targeting the family shopper. A no-brainer.
Geographic targeting is also obvious. Why advertise membership to the Sydney Swans in Perth?
A large criterion for advertisers is price. I single spot (30 second ad) in the State of Origin or AFL Final will clearly be beyond the budget of most small advertisers. Large viewer numbers + correct target = high price. It’s the way it’s always been and the single reason the NRL and the AFL achieved the billion dollars plus figure in their most recent TV broadcast contracts.
Yet advertisers are now considering one extra criterion, and this is a biggy! While advertisers in the past were content to place their ad anywhere in the program that matched their target and price, the new breed of marketing executive is beginning to look at what products are also being advertised within the same advertising break.
Put simply, it’s not just the program association that’s important, but the advertising association that can colour a viewer’s perception of the product. If a ‘family based product or service is placed beside a ‘non-family’ based product or service, there is a certain ‘guilt by association’ or conflict of interest. Perhaps there’s even implied consent.
In news circles, Julia Gillard does not want her photo taken when she’s standing alongside Chopper Reed. Tony Abbott does not want a happy snap taken when Kim Jong-un leaps up from backstage and pats him on the back.
In the advertising past, most ad associations were either positive or neutral. A negative association was unusual as products or services rarely attracted large consumer anger. That however has changed.
The rise of sports betting and the 2011 law change relating to the broadcast of live odds during sporting events has changed the way viewers perceive a block of TV commercials. Advertisers can no longer assume that every ad will be promoting a product that is either positive or neutral. A very large slice of the Australian population has a negative view of live-odds sports betting. To sit beside the face of Tom Waterhouse in an advertising block colours your brand in a particular way, and to most viewers, that colour is very dark indeed. No advertiser paying thousands of dollars for air-time wants that.
The Australian viewing public is no longer the public of 1956. They are more educated, more selective and more closely linked through social media. An annoyed individual can become an annoyed and active group in a matter of hours. An active group can achieve wonderful things. They can also severely damage a brand and bring it to its knees.
The Facebook page ‘Ban Sports TV Betting’ with over 500 followers recently undertook a campaign against Bunnings Warehouse for placing their advertisement adjacent to a live-odds sports betting ad. The Bunnings defense according to their Marketing Director James Todd was that they had no choice as to who their ad was placed next to. They were correct, yet that is exactly the problem and the problem is growing. Society has changed, yet the TV network’s approach to advertising placement has not.
For TV networks to offer honest advertising value, the concept of ‘guilt by association’ must be recognised. Advertisers must be told who their co-advertisers are before any contact is signed so that marketing executives know their products won’t be sullied by other products, services or personalities bringing a negative perception to the space. It’s a concept the TV networks, already struggling in a highly developed and competitive advertising landscape, cannot and should not ignore.
New Year’s Day in my family has traditionally been about chucking out old clothes. We stuff old T-shirts, shorts, dresses and business shirts into bags to take to the nearest charity bin. It’s a sign of renewal and growth – that by shedding our old skins we’ve moved on from who we were. It’s also an understanding of aging, and that with the progression of years come different tastes and different waistlines.
This year, I gave away a pair of slim-fit jeans I’d never worn. The tag was still on. Bought as an incentive to lose weight, they failed miserably. I remain fat. The jeans remain slim. It was a good idea at the time.
Yet this year we added a new angle to the clothes disposal routine. This year, amid prodding from computer-less octogenarians, we embarked on a ‘Facebook friends cleanse’. More specifically, we decided to research just what ‘friends’ were really friends and if we were actually as popular as we thought.
With many of the family spread across the world, us ‘cleansers’ were mostly over 40 years old. My 17 year old daughter, with over 500 friends would probably have refused to participate anyway. I was proud of my 96 friends and looked forward to reaching my century. I’m a cricket fan and remain largely competitive.
The ‘cleanse’ involved asking three simple questions about our friend’s photos. Question 1. Could we name them? Question 2. Had we ever met them? Question 3. Would we go to their funeral?
What eventuated was not surprising to the octogenarians and disappointing to us young ones. On average, we could positively answer all questions for 30% of our ‘friends’. We smugly knew around 80% of their names and we’d met a staggering 93% of them. The major stumbling block was the dreaded ‘funeral’ question. If 70% of our ‘friends’ died, we wouldn’t attend their funeral.
Now this finding wasn’t so harsh until one of the octogenarians, one who is known for their blunt comments about weight gain and baldness, reminded us that should the research be valid, 70% of our friends wouldn’t attend our funeral either. As one of us had only 12 friends, this left a funeral procession of three people. She optimistically observed that at least the wake would be cheap.
As Facebook starts its eighth year as the world’s most popular social networking site, it’s time to put the concept of friendship and what it means under scrutiny. If attendance at a funeral is at all associated with care and even respect, our New Year’s Day research indicates that we don’t really ‘care’ about 70% of our ‘friends’.
The normally vocal defence to this by those with friends to burn is that many Facebook friends aren’t ‘real’ friends and everyone knows it. ‘Friendship’ is just a term used to help boost our numbers, a term not indicative of real life. Equally not representative is the seemingly endless ‘amazing’ life adventures ‘friends’ seem to have every day – a life where even doing the washing requires a Facebook post; a life where every holiday snap is excitedly posted. For a while I had friend-envy. I thought I was the only one not excited about doing the washing or walking the dog. Now I know better. If they knew that 70% of their friends really couldn’t give a damn perhaps their posts would be less ‘amazing’.
Yet as the younger generation and a battalion of middle-aged wannabees increasingly view Facebook as the necessary life platform, it begs the question as to what these generations are doing on a platform that’s largely not real or representative. As Australia’s magazine sales plummet, perhaps Facebook is replacing them as the place for ‘amazing’ gossip or ‘incredible’ adventures. I’m half expecting a friend to post a fad diet soon or perhaps a guide to better orgasm?
This week we gave four clothing bags to charity. This year, we’ve resolved to shed friends. Not the real ones, yet the ones who like the old clothes or slim jeans, just don’t fit any more or perhaps have never been worn. Perhaps facebook could introduce a special section for newly shed friends, where like our clothes; they could be adopted by others and reused. Now that would be ‘amazing’.
On the ABC TV news recently, the newly bespectacled Juanita Phillips promoted the following ‘7.30’ program by stating that the program would cover four issues concerning Australians. Asylum seekers, the carbon price, the leadership debate and the sort of sex that women really want.
At 7.30, Leigh Sales flagged the program’s bonus segment which was the growing food allergy problem among Australian children. Political Editor Chris Uhlmann then spent seven minutes giving the history of the asylum seeker, carbon price and leadership debates using past footage and interviews. As riveting as it was to see interview grabs from 2007, nothing new was offered.
Five minutes was then spent covering the children’s allergy issue. While a short piece, reporter Nikki Wilson-Smith at least didn’t rely on footage from 2007. The longest segment of the program, a hefty eight plus minutes, was spent with Leigh Sales interviewing novelist Nikki Gemmell about what 7.30 described as “the long awaited follow-up to The Bride Stripped Bare”. Strangely enough Nikki Gemmell is an ex ABC journalist. If the novel becomes a best seller and Ms Gemmell pays off her mortgage, some thanks must go to the 7.30 team. Well done. Copies of the extended interview are also available on the 7.30 program’s website and on Ms Gemmell’s facebook page.
Now I fully realise that Australia is a big place and that many may well see these issues as pivotal in their lives. 7.30 and its predecessor ‘The 7.30 Report’ have a history of quality journalism and they really shouldn’t be questioned.
Yet I will.
If the asylum seeker issue is on the tip of everyone’s tongue I’m prepared to eat my cat. While the issue may be interesting (to a point) and while it does revolve around bigger issues of justice and human rights, it is not a large issue driving everyday Australians. As a matter of fact, it probably isn’t even in the top 40. The leadership debate on the other hand is quite different. The asylum seeker debate at least exists. The leadership debate may not.
Several stakeholders drive the current affairs agenda. On commercial TV, the agenda is driven by owners and shareholders needing to attract viewers who will buy the products advertised in the program. This translates to more advertisers, higher add rates and greater profit. As women are the ones who are often the ‘family shoppers’ and therefore more susceptible to advertising, it’s no shock that issues of family, cosmetic surgery, weight loss, and grocery prices are commercial current affairs favourites. The ratings say so.
On tax-payer funded TV like the ABC, TV not dependent upon ratings to sell airtime, current affairs content is more determined by actual news and public interest. The stakeholders here are often political parties, special interest groups, big business PR consultancies and anyone savvy enough to spin an issue into one of significant news value.
There’s no doubt that Asylum seeker advocacy groups and the opposition have a real interest in escalating the border security debate. A barrage of media releases and media-trained talking heads chatting smartly on an emotional issue offer easy pickings for current affairs producers.
Any leadership debate is nearly always driven by the opposition, a disgruntled government back-bencher or business interests feeling threatened by impending government policy. Issue of National interest? Probably not. Issue of special interest? Most certainly.
While what women want in bed may be a saucy dinner party topic, it’s not a topic of national interest worthy of the ABC’s flagship current affairs program. Ms Gemmell would definitely fit the content profile of ‘Today Tonight’ or ‘A Current Affair’, but not tax-payer funded television. The Gemmell-ABC connection, while probably innocent, is also troublesome. Relevance aside, an eight-minute book promo on prime-time TV by an ex ABC staffer is worth investigation. It’s not the actuality of the relationship that matters, but the perception. We could easily be forgiven for assuming an incestuous connection.
The Australian conversation is about health, education and youth alcohol culture. It’s about our struggling retail sector and the exorbitant wages paid to senior executives. It’s about transport systems, childcare and identity. It’s increasingly about the elephant in the room – our aging population and the potential for 70% of us to live our last years in a nursing home we didn’t choose and don’t like. It’s not about what Kevin Rudd said in 2007 and we’re not all awaiting a new novel.
Perhaps ABC current affairs’ staff should get out more. Perhaps they could be reminded that what interests them may not always constitute the national conversation. Whatever the case, ‘7.30’ should be wary of becoming a ratings driven showpiece. We can tolerate ‘A Current Affair’, but ‘A 7.30 Affair’ will not be an affair to remember.
Postscript: On lodging a formal compaint to the ABC, they replied that “It is a mystery to the ABC what you base your claim on, that this interview does not fall within “the content parameters” of the program. This broadcast contained no unduly frequent or unduly prominent commercial references.”
You be the judge.