OUTSIDERS

Former Melbourne Age editor Michael Gawenda, now based in Washington, is surprised:

What has been surprising, at least to an outsider, has been the outpouring of venom against what conservatives label the “mainstream liberal media”, the charge the media is unpatriotic, agenda driven, inaccurate, immoral, out of control. Not on America’s side.

Those who’ve been paying attention may be surprised that Gawenda is surprised. In other media news, an Age dissident sends the following note to Professor Bunyip about Gawenda’s successor:

No-one here has a clue what’s going on anymore, except that Jaspan doesn’t know, either. It’s a #$*#ing asylum. The Business section gets buried, then resurrected, and it’s musical chairs with people too. The latest development is the veteran editor who just got turfed out of his office so imported deputy editor David Dick can have it. The Poms have insulated themselves from everyone who knows Melbourne, and our new 2-I-C knows even less than his boss does. Apart from arse-kissers, the rest of us keep our heads down. Try to tell the little fool where he’s going wrong and you’ll be on his suspect list of leakers.

Jaspan’s problem: he isn’t Australian. People need to be Australian. Greg Sheridan reports:

In mid-March one of the most remarkable diplomatic scenes involving Australia took place in the White House. Our outgoing ambassador to the US, Michael Thawley, went there with his wife to pay his scheduled farewell call on the President.

Thawley was in for a surprise. Instead of a momentary grip and grin, an extraordinary scene unfolded in the Oval Office. After a few minutes the President said he had a couple of others who wished to farewell the Australian. He went out and returned with Vice-President Dick Cheney,
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, national security adviser Stephen Hadley, White House chief-of-staff Andy Card and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers.

As Orrin Judd says: “Some relationships matter and some don’t. That with Australia does. That with, for example, France doesn’t.”

Posted by Tim B. on 05/21/2005 at 12:54 PM
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