Have you heard? Conservative voices are being silenced in the Australian media. Cancelled. De-platformed. Muted by those PC lefties.
Fear not, Alan “chaff bag” Jones is on a mission to “give voice” to the silenced.
The Australian reports the former 2GB host – who reportedly cost the station millions in advertising revenue after suggesting the prime minister Scott Morrison should deliver New Zealand’s leader Jacinda Ardern a few “backhanders” and “be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat” – is flirting with a comeback.
He says he fears the “cancel culture warriors” and wants to represent those who don’t have a voice. Jones has been stuck on mute since leaving 2GB, with just his columns in the Australian and the Daily Telegraph and a regular gig on Sky News to voice his opinions.
It comes as Jones’s 2GB successor, Ben Fordham, suffered a blow this week, losing the top spot in the Sydney radio ratings for the first time in 18 years. The crown was snatched by KIIS 1065’s Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O.
Amid the reportage on radio ratings, Sandilands very quietly backed a return by the demure Jones in the tabloids.
And just to prove that it’s impossible to tune in to conservative voices now that cancel culture is in full swing, Steve Price, Nick Cater, Prue MacSween and Andrew Bolt have also been loudly heard decrying woke, PC activists.
The silence really is deafening.
Australian media companies have celebrated NAIDOC week, many embracing the theme of Heal Country!
NITV and SBS have been running a huge list of First Nations content and the ABC had a keen focus on Indigenous storytelling, including compelling local acknowledgements of country on ABC radio and the extraordinary Tjitji Lullaby and My Name is Gulpilil on ABC iview.
Channel 10 used traditional Aboriginal names in its Sunday night weather forecast.
And somebody had to ask – is it all just lip service?
Banks on it
The Morrison government’s women problems continued this week as the former Liberal MP Julia Banks hit the headlines with shocking allegations of her treatment by her former colleagues, and her memorable description of the prime minister as “menacing, controlling wallpaper”.
Her freshly printed memoir, Power Play, also peels back the dank curtain on the occasional symbiosis between politicians and the Canberra press gallery.
In the book she reveals how in 2016, while still in the party, she found out how the Liberal party sometimes operates after giving a speech on female quotas.
“I was soon fielding calls from Murdoch journalists who said they had been newly briefed by ‘senior Liberal sources’ that I was ‘a bully’ and a ‘nasty woman’,” she writes.
The media often “gets weaponised” as politicians “feed the press the narrative they want to create”, she says.
“The power of men in politics is compounded by their relationships with their favourite journalists (particularly inside Rupert Murdoch’s monopoly).”
Meanwhile, the ABC revealed on Friday that former Liberal parliamentarian Kate Sullivan has detailed a sexual assault allegation against a male colleague to the Ms Represented podcast. She told the podcast the incident took place in 1983 or 1984, when she was on the Coalition frontbench.
Sullivan said she decided to tell her story after Britney Higgins came forward with her own allegation of sexual assault. “She gave me the courage to talk about it,” she told the ABC.
The name’s Bond
News Corp wunderkind Caleb Bond, variously known as the “young fogey” and Rosie Waterland’s boyfriend, is on the move from Adelaide to Melbourne.
He’s well known as a journalist, columnist, and Sky News commentator – and he splits an ash-rolled goat cheese as often as he splits opinion.
While Bond was at the Advertiser he started the Thursday cheese club tradition, offering a delightfully curated board to fellow journalists and visiting politicians alike. There is a hotly denied rumour he once chased an aspiring prime minister to the lifts while calling him a “fromage-eating surrender monkey”.
And he plans to restart the cheesy tradition when he moves to the Herald Sun in a few weeks.
“It might be a good time to revive it. It is a good civilised break among the hustle and bustle of the newsroom,” he says. “The next challenge is to pair wine with the cheese. We’ll see how long it takes HR to notice.”
Bond has been at ease causing discomfort ever since he started writing conservative-with-a-splash-of-libertarianism opinion columns as a 17-year-old.
“If you don’t like cheese, I probably don’t want to know you anyway,” he says.
An Australian journalist has earned global scorn for her commentary on an athlete’s fingernails.
Claire Lehmann, the founder of online “free thought” magazine Quillette, tweeted a picture of US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson with her hair streaming behind and finger pointing forward.
(Richardson was controversially banned from the US Olympic team for using marijuana).
“Not sure whether the nails are real or fake, but in case you didn’t know very strong nails & hair can be a side effect of steroid use,” Lehmann tweeted.
Outlets around the world were quick to point out that – besides the ridiculousness of judging someone by their manicure – Richardson’s nails are fake. “Lehmann’s speculation was completely unfounded, and frankly ... downright ignorant,” TMZ writes.
“A significant number of white people love to be involved in Black people’s business, and it never really works out well,” Black America Web writes, linking to a range of online reactions.
An unrepentant Lehmann tweeted a picture of herself holding a pink cocktail, with the comment: “Cheers to being uncancellable”.
The Daily Mail reported this week that some heated Aussies thought prime minister Scott Morrison’s curry recipe was, well, cooked. Morrison had shared a Facebook post showing off his prep work.
“After almost a month away it’s nice to get back home to Sydney with Jen and the girls and this little guy (Buddy). Saturday night is curry night, so will be back in the kitchen this afternoon to make one of the girls’ favourites,” he writes.
Daily Mail readers thought the final version of his lamb dish did not match the ingredients he had set out.
In true Daily Mail style, social media posts were turned into a story, with one claim the meal was “staged and fake”. Crikey reporter Cameron Wilson then did the hard yards, getting in touch with chef David Thompson to check the recipe.
A spokesperson for the chef said it could indeed be the genuine article, but the PM possibly overcooked the potatoes which then disintegrated into the curry.
Then it really did get real, with Gourmet Traveller weighing in to the #CurryGate controversy and giving the original massaman recipe.
“No pork-barrelling here,” Gourmet Traveller writes on Instagram.
“You’ve got to give a go to have a go and as far as curries go, this one’s a goer.”