Gerard Henderson: welcome to the blogosphere!

There is an interesting new boy on the block! Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog is sure to be stimulating read because he has a good memory and he knows where a lot of bodies are buried. He has a long and honourable history as a media watcher, starting in 1988 with a print version appropriately named Media Watch, lately published in The Sydney Institute Quarterly. The original Media Watch for some time carried a revealing and amusing series of reviews of the book reviewers by Stephen Matchett.

Gerard kicked off on March 6 with some comments on The Monthly as a debate free zone.

The second issue focussed on the way the ABC interprets the concept of diversity of opinion in broadcasting.

Garard has a great pioneering record, he was one of the first to blow the whistle on the self-serving wage fixing industry, first in the field of systematic media monitoring, and the program at the Sydney Institute which he took over circa 1987 has set a benchmark for disinterested social and political discussion and commentary.

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15 Responses to Gerard Henderson: welcome to the blogosphere!

  1. as set a benchmark for disinterested social and political discussion and commentary.

    Disinterested is right!. You might add uninteresting as well – since that’s the real reason Gerard has lost his gigs with The Age and with Fran in the mornings.

    His droning pontification just doesn’t bring the X factor, that today’s more popular Opinion/Show Business stars have. Yet Gerard doesn’t want to accept the reality and turns on those who he feels have scorned him.

    A bit hypocritical too to criticize The Monthly as a debate free zone and not enable comments on his new blog.

  2. Tambourine Man says:

    Gerard Henderson is a dreary one-track bore whose never-ending complaints about the ABC and Fairfax being hostage to progressive voices are undermined by the fact that both these organs have donated him thousands of hours of air time and hectares of newsprint to air his now predictable grievances. We KNOW what you think Gerard. We’ve heard and read it a thousand times. You are not news.

  3. Patrick Garson says:

    This…. This is ironic, right? No one could seriously hold Henderson in esteem?!

    The man has nothing but a reputation as a hopeless bloviator – the prodigious memory you talk about is only ever employed in airing the foetid morass of Henderson’s ‘golden days’ – some trivial dispute from 1965 about who took the last cupcake at a tea party, and why this means they’re a dangerous idealogue today.

    His pioneering record is only boundary-pushing in further blurring the lines between opinion and news, research and astroturf, personal and official.

    This is a man fighting for the truth, hey, the same guy who refuses to reveal who pays for his two-employee ‘institute’, and insists his (mercifully now) ex-weekly column is a completely separate kettle of fish.

    Also: a blog without comments is not a blog. It’s a web page, but it’s not a blog.

  4. Rafe Champion says:

    Fine, call it a web page. I find his commentary to be evidence-based and illuminating. What would be the point of hosting comments like the above that are so hostile and predictable?

    Being dropped by the Age under its previous management would be a positive sign rather than a negative. As for the ABC “news”, what can you say? You really need to get out and meet some people other than those who claim that nobody they know would vote for the Coalition.

  5. Gummo Trotsky says:

    What would be the point of hosting comments like the above that are so hostile and predictable?

    Good question. Especially when we could be having “…a discussion where everyone agrees with everyone else [Rafe] and a sound ideological time is had by all.“.

  6. Rafe Champion says:

    Let the crtics of Henderson post up comments on specific issues where they disagree with him and then we can debate the pros and cons of particular cases and see how the critics perform when they have to provide evidence and arguments in addition to abuse.

    He is playing a monitoring role and in that capacity he is not obliged to field comments. If you know you have nothing to learn from him, don’t visit. If you think your views are sounder than his, give examples.

  7. Johnboy says:

    Rafe, sorry to hear about your recent loss.

    John Hasenkam.

  8. Johnboy says:

    I always wondered why Rudd chose “The Monthly” to publish his monographs.

    Perhaps this extract from Henderson provides a clue:

    http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/wordpress/

    The Monthly editor Sally Warhaft, publisher Morry Schwartz, editorial board chairman Robert Manne is a rarity in publishing. It is one of the few serious journals in the English speaking world which does not publish a letters or correspondence page in its print edition. This means that those who write for The Monthly are protected from criticism or correction in the published edition. It also entails that there is no debate or discussion in the magazines print edition about the articles which it has published previously.

    Many journals I frequent actively encourage feedback and comment. Given this I cannot regard The Monthly as a “serious journal”.

    Come on Mr. Rudd, put it on a blog so all Aussies can read it. You are our leader, we want to know what you are thinking.

  9. Jacques Chester says:

    I am too tired and too sick to bother with giving warnings, so I am going to delete comments which do not advance discussion and serve only to kick Rafe for the sake of kicking Rafe.

  10. melaleuca says:

    ” … and the program at the Sydney Institute which he took over circa 1987 has set a benchmark for disinterested social and political discussion and commentary.”

    There is no such thing as a”disinterested social and political discussion and commentary” since everyone has assumptions, values and a world view (ie ideology). Having regard to Jacques’ warning I shan’t say what I think about the intellectual capacity of those who suggest otherwise.

    As to Henderson, he is a smart chap but woefully ill-tempered and petty at times. Or in other words he is a bit like me. The last bit that is.

  11. McAnzac says:

    I really don’t understand Gerard’s description of The Monthly as a “serious” journal whether is allows letters or not. It seems to me just another exercise in megaboredom by the usual crowd of pretentious lefties whose raisons d’etre are (a) to publish themselves,. and (b) to prevent the publication of anyone else.

    As for Rudd’s essay, it was worse than pitiful. Does he seriously think he draws his salary as Prime Minister for demonstrating to the world his pretentious, autodicactic ignorance? The time he spent gratifying his ego by writing it he could and should have spent educating himself by listening to the heads of the Treasury, the Reserve Bank, the Productivity Commission and others who actually know something about economics.

    But perhaps we should be grateful – at least during the time he was penning his embarassing, school-boy thoughts he was not actually wrecking the economy with his idiotic policies.

    Go back and read the Premiers’ Plan, Rudd. That got Australia out of the last Depression. Its principles might get Australia out of this one, too, if you have the wit to comprehend them.

  12. Gummo Trotsky says:

    I’ve read the most recent Monthly, and it is a drag. So was the only previous copy of the mag that I bought. Manne’s article could very easily have appeared on a group blog somewhere, and possibly should have. Certainly if you did a search of all the Australian blogs that comment on politics, you’d find a lot of people expressing the same ideas about many of the consrvative commentators he runs through in the article.

    Manne’s passing misreading of Hendo, and Hendo’s verbose response don’t cast much light on any issue except their attitudes to each other – they obviously don’t like each other much. As for the rest, all Hendo is doing is playing the same old boring game of points scoring – particularly in the snarky suggestion that the mag be renamed The Manne.

    The biggest problem with The Monthly is that far from being the serious journal of commentary it aspires to be, it’s not – it’s as stuck in the circular game of shoving heads up bums as any other ‘serious’ news/commentary provider in Oz. Some days I’m optimistic enough to believe we could have something better, but then I remember what became of The National Times.

  13. Patrick says:

    Hey, bloggers left and right unite! My enemy’s enemy.. :)

  14. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    Mc Anzac Australia did not get out of the great Depression.

    The minor commonwealth surplus actually included NEW transfer payments and the States Deficits ( NSW was 14.2m pounds and the overall deficit was over $19m pounds.

    the public sector did not actually get a surplus until 1936 and Don Bradman was captain!

  15. GeoffRobinson says:

    Henderson’s a Liberal Party true believer, of the Catholic sub species which is very economically right but slightly more relaxed about cultural diversity. He has a very high opinion of himself compared to other Liberals but no claims to independent thought whatsoever. I’d rather even someone like Geoffrey Blainey who actually has views of his own however muddled they are.

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