September 04, 2004


The Australian's Imre Salusinszky resumes his battle with Margo the Ridiculous:

Dear Margo,

You have banned any discussion of "postings overboard" on Webdiary. I understand and accept that. However, I assume the scandal can be mentioned in passing when a thread of discussion arises to which it is clearly relevant. And so let me say I am utterly gobsmacked that in your postings this week you continue to address themes of truth and trust in government and journalism.

You see, I had simply assumed that, after The Australian revealed you as a journalist prepared to mislead your own readers, and willy-nilly abandon your own code of ethics, you would quietly drop the whole subject of truthfulness and move on to other themes. Indeed, had you done so you would have heard no more from me. But you appear to combine an unusually high level of self-absorption with an astonishing lack of self-knowledge.

Don't you see how closely your behaviour in "postings overboard" mirrors that of John Howard in "children overboard", a scandal also uncovered by The Australian? You and Howard both mislead by omission rather than commission: that is, by concealing what you know from voters/readers, rather than by the telling of straight-out lies. For two whole days -- July 26 and 27, 2004 -- you treated your readers like puppets, just as John Howard treated voters in the final days of the 2001 election campaign.

Showing yourself as more than a match for the PM in the "plausible deniability" stakes, you permitted a long discussion of your "throwaway comment" about the "fundamentalist Zionist lobby", a debate in which you claimed to be "inexperienced", while concealing the fact you had already published a much more detailed theory about the lobby's power to choose the next Prime Minister of Australia, as follows: "Far from protecting Jewish people against future atrocities, the Fundamentalist Zionist lobby is actually promoting anti-Semitism by its actions and tactics. Neither major party in either country is game to protest, because the power of the lobby is such that careers can be ruined. It is becoming increasingly obvious that John Howard is the lobby's strong choice to win the election, and that means big money and big power will be behind him."

Can you seriously claim that this statement, under your name, would not have massively shifted the terms of the debate you stage-managed on July 26 and 27?

In short, Margo, you still don't appear to get it. Your little deception has changed everything, as far as your credibility on issues of transparency and truth is concerned. You went back and secretly altered the public record in order to mislead readers regarding your true opinions. Those actions constitute the single most serious ethical breach I have witnessed in 25 years in journalism.

Imre Salusinszky

Margo hasn't replied to this e-mail. C'mon, girl! Free the mind to use the brain!

In related news, remember how only a few years ago the Australian Democrats were seen as hip and cool? Take a look at their latest work and be stunned by the absolute crapness.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 4, 2004 09:07 AM

As well as Imre's criticisms, mad Margo's column this week beggars belief. She has continued to beat up the Scrafton affair, making ludicrous statements, though when new facts came to light, retracted nothing.

She has latched onto the ongoing Wentworth saga, as have her employers, like a greenie clutching at a tofu sandwich.

Even her banner ad claims that 'labor won the week', an astounding fact given that both her and her 'paper' have spoken nothing of Latham at all this week, it has been Howard and any opportunity to inflate comments and incidents in any way they can.

There is no way that the SMH can be regarded as being a place of legitimate journalism.

Posted by: nic at September 4, 2004 at 10:32 AM

Newspoll has Coalition ahead in key marginal seats.

If that's Labor winning the week, I'd love to see the Coalition winning the week.

Posted by: Quentin George at September 4, 2004 at 12:45 PM

Love the third-rate "Warumpi Band-style" reggae in the background- so '80s, like evything else about the Democretins. Bye, losers, and don't let the senate door hit you on the arse on the way out. You can console yourselves with the swimming pool full of other people's money you'll recieve when you piss off- maybe failed Democrat senators will stay true to their beliefs and donate their super to a needle exchange, public hospital fundraiser or urban renewal project in Redfern? About the same time I give birth.

Posted by: Habib at September 4, 2004 at 04:51 PM

Why would anyone vote for the Democrats? They are a complete waste of taxpayers money and that Not Happy John link is total crap.

Posted by: John P at September 4, 2004 at 09:36 PM

Yes, Margo's ramblings this week has been gobsmacking in the total denial of the facts (well more than it normally is at least). It really has been flat-earth type stuff.

When Brandis nuked Scrafton's credibility with the phone records, Margo then attempts with zero basis to question the credibility of the phone records.

Margo, for fucks sakes, if she had a brain cell, it'd be lonely.

Posted by: tc at September 5, 2004 at 02:09 AM