July 22, 2003


Media Watch presenter David Marr last night deemed the hosts of Channel Sevenís Sunrise program -- a typically light, goofy, early-morning commercial TV show -- to be fuckwits.

Itís difficult to work out why. Their crime seemed to be that they quickly removed from the program a guest who used that word, and followed it up with a chat about inappropriate language.

Whatís Marrís fucking problem? The fucker got all fucked up when Miranda Devine described fuckwad terrorists as "cockroaches". And now heís calling people fuckwits? Fuck him.

Marr also defended Alison Broinowski, the woman who believes that beer caused the Bali bombing:

She's not saying we deserved this atrocity. She's saying bigots and xenophobes in Asia THINK we deserve it. There's a difference ...

And thereís a BIG difference between Marrís belief and Broinowskiís reported statements:

Her view is that the Bali bombing that killed more than 200 people, 89 of them Australians, on October 12 last year was Indonesia's response to Ockerism and the bossy, all-the-way-with-Dubya tone of John Howard's foreign policy. The book, About Face, does not say Australians deserved what they got in Bali but suggests, as Broinowski makes clear, Australia "invites the region's contempt".

She puts it this way: "The dead and injured in Bali may have been the victims of Canberra's ventriloquistic mouthing of Washington's world view, or of their Western appearance and lifestyle, or of the longstanding hostility of many Indonesians towards Australia, or of all these." At the end of 230 pages, mostly a history of Australia's links with its northern neighbours, the conclusion is: "Certainly, those Australians who didn't know or care about how their country was perceived in Asian countries were brutally reminded that it mattered."

According to Broinowski, beer-swilling (seen as eccentricity when Bazza McKenzie got on the turps in London in the '60s) is an insult likely to provoke violence when Australians hit the bars of some Asian countries. She quotes a syndicated Malaysian journalist, Rashid Rehman. After Bali, he described the targeted Sari Club as filthy and reeking of beer, sweat, drunken foreigners, and smoky air "jagged with Strine".

All that may be true, but was it the reason the club was bombed and so many Australians killed and maimed? Broinowski suspects so.

Whereís her condemnation of Indonesiaís "bigots and xenophobes"?

Posted by Tim Blair at July 22, 2003 05:04 AM

Why does anyone listen to that fuckwit Marr anyway, when he's so obviously in the business of excusing his compatriots and attacking his ideological enemies (something a "watchdog" shouldn't even have to begin with)?

Posted by: Mike G at July 22, 2003 at 05:13 AM


It's time for all of us in the A and B classes to stop watching any ABC news or current affairs programming, or at least restrict ourselves to one of the ABC 5 minute newscasts per evening. In that way the wally's at Gore Hill might get the message that no-one of any importance cares what they think.

Posted by: Toryhere at July 22, 2003 at 08:37 AM

OK, I think I've got this.

We should stop being pathetic sycophants, kowtowing to the USA, and snuggle into our Muslim neighbourhood. To do this we need to

1) Turn our backs on USA
2) Renounce our culture and values
3) Adopt Islam, which probably means turfing democracy
4) Stop dancing and drinking beer
5) Oh, and Johh Howard should stop being "bossy". That costs lives.

Then maybe they won't blow us up. But what if they enjoy doing it?

Posted by: The at July 22, 2003 at 09:13 AM

Dude, Sunrise is very bad television and, yes, the hosts are indeed fuckwits. Are you only defending them because Marr doesn't like 'em?

Posted by: Bon Scott at July 22, 2003 at 10:31 AM

Oh, and you've said nothing about the core of Marr's complaint about Bolt: that Bolt was factually incorrect.

Posted by: Bon Scott at July 22, 2003 at 10:32 AM

what? someone on this page bag andrew bolt? you've come to the wrong place if you want to see that.

Posted by: jb at July 22, 2003 at 11:03 AM

Sounds like an anti semitic slur to me. Are you sure of the spelling?

Posted by: Charles at July 22, 2003 at 11:05 AM

Bon Scott, you ecvidently have not bothered to read the article you so mindlessly criticise.

Tim describes Channel Sevenís Sunrise program as "a typically light, goofy, early-morning commercial TV show" -- hardly a defence.

And this story makes no reference to Andrew Bolt at all.

Why are you such a fuckwit?

Posted by: Indole Ring at July 22, 2003 at 11:18 AM

Gee, Marr really sparked your ire with his savage rebuttal of your rebuttal of his rebuttal of that Daily Telegraph article eh? Enemies for life huh?

Both of you are idiots, more interested in ideology than truth.

Posted by: Joffa at July 22, 2003 at 11:27 AM

How was Bolt incorrect?
He called Broinovski a grant fed artist. She has been fed grants as acknowledged by Marr. Therefore she is a grant fed artist.

On the issue of Sunrise. Media Watch is supposed to be a serious program monitoring serious failings in our media, not to identify bad shows and call the hosts fuckwits. This after criticising the Block for being too commercial, and some obscure radio commentator for not pronouncing Laskar Jihad properly. What's next? Showing up Big Brother for Gretel Killeen's shocking dress sense and calling her a tart?

The show is piss poor and not worth watching.

Posted by: pezza at July 22, 2003 at 11:38 AM

that this story didn't mention Andrew Bolt was, i believe, the point of Bon Scott's argument.

as for the 'fuckwit' thing - this reminds me of tim's complaint a little while back about how no lefties have a sense of humour - Marr exhibits one, and tim is all upset.

Posted by: jb at July 22, 2003 at 11:42 AM

I have just tipped all my "Wild Turkey" down the sink, adopted the moniker "Habib" and beaten my female partner for being a filthy harlot for sleeping with me when we aren't married in the eyes of the prophet. By Allah, I'm looking forward to all those black eyed virgins, and I have Alison to thank for pointing me in the true path, except I now can't talk to her, as she deserves to be stoned to death for showing her uncovered face in public. (And this has nothing to do with Sharia law either- have you ever SEEN her? What a pooch).

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 22, 2003 at 11:52 AM

Alison Broinowski (nee Woodruffe) is married to a guy called Richard Philip Broinowski - so perhaps Bolt was not so wrong to call him Phillip [sic] in the Hun on June 2. I wonder if Marr knows Old Man Broinowski's middle name?

Mrs. Broinowski's most popular book is 'The Yellow Lady: Australian Impressions of Asia,' which was published in 1992 (a second edition was published in the late 90s). In TYL she argued that the people who invaded Australia (and their fuckwit descendents) have misunderstood Asia ever since they set foot on Aussie dirt. Except for the right sort of Australians (i.e., Australians like Alison), Aussies have and continue to be ignorant about Asia, and arrogant and insensitive to boot. Old Ma Broinowski speaks excellent Japanese and like a lot of white Australian lefties who speak an Asian language are insufferable. It's worth pointing out that most of the leftwing ranters who decry Australian ignorance of Asia don't speak an Asian language. Ever wondered about that?

Posted by: Bon Scotties at July 22, 2003 at 11:55 AM

Scotties wrote: "Old Ma Broinowski speaks excellent Japanese and like a lot of white Australian lefties who speak an Asian language are insufferable. It's worth pointing out that most of the leftwing ranters who decry Australian ignorance of Asia don't speak an Asian language. Ever wondered about that?"

No, but I wonder what your point is. If they do, they're insufferable; if they don't, they're ignorant. Gee, they can't win. Anyone would reckon you'd just constructed a poorly-thought-through straw man - then promptly demonstrated its shoddy construction.

Not me - I'm sure there's some kind of Zen point in there somewhere. Kindly enlighten, master.

Posted by: Bon Scott at July 22, 2003 at 12:09 PM

I used to think that Our Tim's ridicule of David Marr was, as usual, overemphasising his faults for comic effect. Then I read the Media Watch transcript just now.

Crikey bloody charlie! Marr really has cast off the mantle of journalistic objectivity, hasn't he! With all the important news going on in the world, how can he and his smarmy producers possibly justify ripping into an opinion column, regardless of it's political stripe? It's OPINION, you sanctimonious dickwad! It's not supposed to be even-handed, or fair!

How in the bloody name of hell did Media Watch become this travesty, after such a long and occasionally laudable history of finding the IMPORTANT flaws in the news media?

I remember the infamous 'Barcelona' incident, and the Martin Bryant photograph scandal, and compare it to this, and feel sick.

Posted by: Andrew D. at July 22, 2003 at 12:45 PM

Dear Mr Scott,

Your correspondence on the issue of Mrs. Broinowski and towheaded arguments has arrived at a particularly awkward moment. My secretary is fellating me, but Iíll do my best in ardorous circumstances.

OMG, temps like this shouldn't be set loose on the business community...

On second thoughts, I canít be bothered with silly tossers like you right now. Perhaps later.



Posted by: Bon Scotties at July 22, 2003 at 12:52 PM

Allow me to plug myself here. I believe I was the first journalist in Australia to report the 'jagged Strine' attack on Australia and Australians remarks that Ms Broinowski is now famous for regurgitating, and which, some months later, has subsequently become a forum for debate (people really should keep up.)
To wit, on October 23, 2002 - http://bulletin.ninemsn.com.au/bulletin/eddesk.nsf/All/CFC5DA396D76D33BCA256C5800838A16!open

I did so then with the background of 1)having spent a night of excess with the writer some years earlier in HK, which raised, for me, issues of hypocrisy on his part (enough said there), and 2)having spent a very difficult week in Bali from 12 hours after the first explosion reporting the bombing aftermath (another plug for the earlier week's story - http://bulletin.ninemsn.com.au/bulletin/EdDesk.nsf/All/AAE7B31E81550750CA256C51006B1019 )
I believe I then reported Rashid's remarks in the proper context, and nothing has changed my view since. I'm not sure Broinowski (in particular), Bolt (perhaps wilfully) or indeed some of the contributors to this thread can claim likewise.
Rashid received an avalanche of outraged correspondence (including from me) following that inflammatory (as it were) column in Malaysia's (government-controlled) New Straits Times. He saw saw fit not to respond to them, as far as I am aware. Interestingly, soon after the airing of that column, an Australian diplomat in KL saw fit to invite Rashid on a tour of Malaysia with the visiting Australian writer Peter Carey. That trip prompted something of a mea culpa of a column from Rashid in the NST that basically gushed that Australia and Australians weren't so bad after all, I guess if they were all as smart and accomplished as Carey, who Rashid clearly regarded as his intellectual equal and fellow traveller in the world of letters. Except that Rashid, a published author, isn't a Booker Prize winner. But he is an idiot.

Eric Ellis


Posted by: Eric Ellis at July 22, 2003 at 12:53 PM

Eric: interesting comments, particularly on Rashid who is - as you say - an idiot. I've enjoyed your reporting on various places over the years (I remember you wrote about China years ago when you where based in Hong Kong). However, I hadn't read either of your Bulletin pieces and I enjoyed them too. Thanks for the links.

One thing: in 'Bali's Demons' you wrote:

[Luh Ketut Suryani] neverthless believes the bombings were a "good thing", divine retribution for the louche paradise lost that Bali has become. ... It is good for us that Australians will not come to Bali. Our people can go back to their land, to their [rice] padi."

And then your closing sentence in "Ground zeo Kuta" was, "No one's going to come back to this dark place for a very long time."

I met an anthropologist in Hong Kong who parroted Suryani on this: she told me that the bombings were good because it would enable villagers to return to their fields and their traditional beliefs. I thought she was full of shit and told her so, thus ending any hopes I harboured of joining the academic dinner circuit. This was in the heady days when everyone thought people wouldn't return to Bali. But people have returned. I don't know the stats on this, but I and many others from Hong Kong have taken advantage of some of the cheapest deals around to spend long weekends in Bali this year. Things seemed to be picking up and it's not the case - as far as I could tell - that the tourism industry has collapsed. Have you written anything on what's happened in Bali subsequently? Have people gone back to their villages? Some might have, but village life isn't exactly the dream many who don't live in them believe. My guess is that people who lost jobs as tourist numbers dived went looking for work elsewhere (not that there's much hope of that in Indonesia right now).

I'd be interested in your views on this.

Posted by: Preston Whip at July 22, 2003 at 01:32 PM

Thanks for your note, and kind words. Yes, I have written about those topics you raise. You can see some of the stuff at my archive site www.ericellis.com/indonesia.htm, including what I hope is the definitive anatomy of the bombing and prelude, also in the Bulletin in March, Allah's Assassins, at http://bulletin.ninemsn.com.au/bulletin/EdDesk.nsf/All/2968850F453C62D8CA256CD800046316 (its a plug-plug-happy day today!) Interestingly, much of the stuff reported in that story has subsequently been aired as evidence in the trial, as indeed have some of the Koranic extracts.
I'm not sure people have returned to Bali, certainly not in the numbers pre-Oct 12. Its running at about 40% as far as I am aware. I have written in various articles that they would progressively over the year and that is happening, spurred on by the very competitive deals offered around the region you have availed of. Bali is about the world's most delightful holiday destination right now and as I'm sure you would've found, the lack of tourists has improved the environment dramatically. But I don't think it was worth paying for that with the lives of 202 people.

Posted by: Eric Ellis at July 22, 2003 at 01:48 PM

I didn't have time to watch all of media watch last night, so I might have missed it- but did they pick on Phillip Adams' latest plagiarism scandal?

Posted by: wilbur at July 22, 2003 at 01:51 PM

Apologies for not linking to those pieces earlier, Eric.

Posted by: tim at July 22, 2003 at 01:57 PM

I'm sorry, Preston, I missed your q about village life. Yes, many people have gone back to the village as the ethnocentric Suryani suggested but I suspect its now a bit like the experience of the mayor of the village where my wife and I have a vacation house. Pre-Oct 12 he ran a tour company, which collapsed but he had to eat and feed his family so he returned to his family padi, still worked by his 60 yr-old Dad. His dad was toiling away au natural as it were but the mayor developed bad blisters from the scythe and had to lather his legs with leech repellent, such was the length of time (20 yrs) he'd been away. And in doing so, being a neat example of how Bali (Asia?) has been transformed from an agrarian society to quasi-industrialised. That was last November. I saw him a month ago and he'd cranked up the Kijang and was running a few tourists around again, but doing a bit of betting on the cockfights to supplement the income.
Another phenom has been the rising level of petty crime on the island, house-breakings and the like, particularly on resident Westerners. Its about trying to get money and Westerners are conspicious walking banknotes. Balnese say its not Balinese who are responsible, but "Muslims" from Java, who have been the first to be laid off as the economy deteriorated.

Posted by: Eric Ellis at July 22, 2003 at 02:01 PM

Thanks Eric, I'll take a look at the article and your archive site. Your figure of 40% is sounds about right. I endorse your final comment completely. Thanks again. Preston.

Posted by: Preston Whip at July 22, 2003 at 02:01 PM


Bolt is replying to Marr. And I think he may be sending the lawyers in next, judging by his tone.

Posted by: wilbur at July 23, 2003 at 02:32 AM

Ditto on Wilbur's comment. Only to add to make it super clear Bon Scott, it is Media Watch which played rough with the truth, it made false satements on what Bolt wrote on Brionowski, alleging he had smeared Brionowski, and misrepresented what she said.

I no longer watch ABC TV, nor listen to its radio outlets ( there is, any case, a reasonbly good business sponsored FM classical music station I listen to instead).Funding ABC by theft otherwise called taxation, to view a station which runs a communardo line only reminds one of the immorality of the theft which makes the `lifestyles' of the communards at ABC at all possible.

Posted by: d at July 23, 2003 at 09:36 AM

Re Marr's incoherent defence of Broinowski: It's a typical pinko tactic to say something really mean and provocative, then immediately declare "but that's not what I said". With people fulminating around them they can calmly claim to have the moral high ground, and/or to possess a more "sophisticated" analysis. The young, the stupid and the already indoctrinated will always buy it.

Posted by: Matt at July 23, 2003 at 11:24 AM

Strange that for her "About Face" (2003), Alison Broinowski should have shared a title with Col. David H. Hackworth's 1989 bestseller, "About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior". Both books are about Asia, Hackworth's primarily about the Korean and Vietnam wars. His latest book is aptly titled "Steel My Soldiers' Hearts". Perhaps we can look forward to a similar title from Dr Broinowski.

Posted by: Keith McLennan at July 23, 2003 at 12:43 PM

Didn't David Marr have some information on Lionel Murphy that he did not disclose which would have been detrimental to Murphy? Some story Diamond Jim told him,I'm sure.But lefties always stick together,no matter what.

Posted by: Peter Fisher at July 27, 2003 at 07:05 PM

er, isn't the point of having a bar to encourage beer swilling?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 28, 2003 at 12:07 AM