SLEEPY JACKSON

Media Watch is struggling. The once-influential ABC program (it really was, back in the days of Stuart Littlemore) led yesterday’s show with this alleged AFP blooper:

Royal bride to be Camilla Parker Bowles will officially become British queen after fiancé prince Charles takes the throne … Parker Bowles is to marry Prince Charles , who will take the throne once his mother Queen Elizabeth dies, on April 8th …

Spooky host Liz Jackson’s witty rejoinder, as transcribed by the ABC: “Has any-one broken the news to Her Majesty yet? She has 11 days to live.” Well, maybe so, if that comma weren’t present between “dies” and “on”. Here’s the AFP extract in unabridged form; as any-one familiar with punctuation will deduce, the date clearly refers to the impending marriage rather than Elizabeth’s death:

Parker Bowles is to marry Prince Charles, who will take the throne once his mother Queen Elizabeth dies, on April 8, and will initially be titled Duchess of Cornwall, becoming Princess Consort when Charles is king.

Still, the paragraph is clumsy, and was re-worked in subsequent online editions of the Herald Sun and Age (information not disclosed by Media Watch). Jackson next wasted many minutes on a family murder-suicide story that initially blamed the father:

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph had already thrown caution to the winds. The paper was on the streets with this huge front page headline: ‘Father Shoots Family Dead’.

Huge? Huge? The headline was of a standard size for the Telegraph. Anyway, turns out it was the mother who killed her family … and that’s the whole story. Paper blames wrong dead person in case of several dead people. Worthy of comment, yes, but Media Watch cranked on about it for half the show (the transcript ends before the segment’s conclusion) and posts five PDF files at its site to support a case easily made in one sentence. In closing, MW urged readers to examine a two-week old NY Times piece on Bush’s “government propaganda”:

The practice of passing off government and corporate ads as news has moved into television.

Media Watch is seven years behind events. The Washington Post reported in February that similar PR tactics had been employed by the Clinton administration in 1998. This year’s Media Watch is the lamest yet.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/28/2005 at 11:47 AM
    1. Media Watch is struggling. The once-influential ABC program (it really was, back in the days of Stuart Littlemore) led yesterday’s show with this alleged AFP blooper …

      I always get a kick when Australian, British, and Canadian commentators refer to certain persons with such reverence, as if Americans should know their names.

      Ah yes, Stuart Littlemore.  Yes, yes.

      (note to Tim Blair:  I barely know who John Howard is, if he’s not American, just how important can he be?)

      Signed,

      wronwright

      (ok, I got my “DK Lillie brand” kick me sign taped on my back)

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 03 28 at 01:11 PM • permalink

 

    1. I bet you know who Paris Hilton is though. Congratulations.

      Posted by Amos on 2005 03 28 at 01:17 PM • permalink

 

    1. There’s nothing to say that the “on April 8’’ isn’t inside the relative clause by way of apposition, eg.

      When the cows come home, on April 8, the chickens will roost.

      “On April 8’’ is in apposition to “when the cows come home.’‘

      So it’s a humorous ambiguity, strengthened by proximity, that anything but a tin ear would have detected on re-reading when composing.  Typically though, such additional information is edited in without the re-reading for clinkers, and there you are, and somebody is making fun of your stuf

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 03 28 at 01:25 PM • permalink

 

    1. Littlemore was the Tom Baker of Media Watch. I haven’t bothered with it much since that pompous but barristerly take no prisoners bastard exited.

      Posted by C.L. on 2005 03 28 at 02:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. Ah yes, Tom Baker.

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 03 28 at 02:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. Stuart Littlemore?  Anybody else get a mental image of a talking mouse?

      Tom Baker?  Guy with a long, long, long scarf?

      Posted by Achillea on 2005 03 28 at 02:42 PM • permalink

 

    1. Tom Baker? I have no idea who Stuart Littlemore is, but the Fourth Doctor has my allegiance forever. “Have a jelly baby.”

      Posted by Sonetka on 2005 03 28 at 03:24 PM • permalink

 

    1. I used to enjoy watching Littlemore when he presented Media Watch – I thought that he was horribly biased but, at least, he had a certain style. He later wrote a book, “Me and the Media” (?) which I read and found to dreary, turgid and terribly written. Never quite felt the same about Stewy since.

      Posted by Boss Hog on 2005 03 28 at 06:05 PM • permalink

 

    1. This year’s Media Watch is the lamest yet.

      That’s pretty lame.

      Posted by Leigh on 2005 03 28 at 06:18 PM • permalink

 

    1. Don’t worry. Only media types watch Media Botch these days.
      Part blog, part wank.
      Blank.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 03 28 at 06:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. Who watches media Watch?

      Ahhhhh Doctor.

      Posted by rog2 on 2005 03 28 at 06:45 PM • permalink

 

    1. Quick! Rework the site! Remove all references to not-USA!!

      wronwright doesn’t know about stuff!

      Posted by Henry boy on 2005 03 28 at 06:50 PM • permalink

 

    1. Exactly how many times has Mediawatch been on this time round?

      That is a big call for so few episodes but then again timbo was burned by MW and Mr Marr!

      Posted by Homer Paxton on 2005 03 28 at 07:45 PM • permalink

 

    1. Ah yes, Underscore.  Yes, yes.

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 03 28 at 07:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. And what was she wearing? Filmy see-through with a black bra is so tarty- what sort of an example is that to be setting future ABC feminazis? Even Sandra Sully wouldn’t be seen dead in that outfit. BTW- since when has Mediawatch had foreign media follies in its brief?

      Posted by Habib on 2005 03 28 at 08:24 PM • permalink

 

    1. Sounds like your Media Watch is running a little slow.  Maybe Andrea can reset it…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 03 28 at 09:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. For Americans and others:
      Please think of Media Watch as a 15 min. weekly public broadcasting attempt to question the poor standards of national media performance.  Its chief virtue is that is on free TV, its chief fault is that it is either left-biased, an egotists’ soapbox, or just trivial and actually illiterate.

      Do you have anything comparable?
      We Australians are thankful for small mercies as we have few well-funded think tanks to do this, but the blogosphere looks set to take over this role everywhere, and good luck to it…

      Posted by Barrie on 2005 03 28 at 09:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. Habib — Anything to avoid having to talk about Phillip Adams…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 03 28 at 09:49 PM • permalink

 

    1. Amos — Isn’t she that Australian tramp?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 03 28 at 10:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. Barrie, thanks for the explanation.  Actually since I’ve began reading blogs and foreign newspapers, my understanding of things not American have expanded considerably.  Which I suppose is a good thing.  For instance, I could not tell you the name of an Australian prime minister, any prime minister, prior to reading Tim Blair.  Now I know of John Howard and the courage and honor of the man.  You’re fortunate to have such a fine individual as your leader.

      Barrie, I’m not aware of an American counterpart to Media Watch. Of course, if it doesn’t have Paris Hilton in it, who I have heard of, or equally titillating women, then I suppose it doesn’t exist for me.

      Tim’s mentioning of Stuart Somebody-or-Other did remind me of an article I read in the Daily Telegraph (of London).  The article listed the top 10 or 15 British comedians of the past 30 years or so.  I only knew maybe half of them.  Half.

      Doesn’t agree with my list of top British comedians, which start with three or four from Monty Python, Rowan Atkinson, Peter Sellers and the greatest comedian of all time:  Benny Hill.  Them I’ve heard of.

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 03 28 at 11:03 PM • permalink

 

    1. Man, in what alternate dimension is Paris Hilton “titillating”? She’s one of those ancient horrors Lovecraft was on about.

      Posted by Aaron – Freewill on 2005 03 28 at 11:45 PM • permalink

 

    1. Aaron-Freewill — I understand Paris Hilton turned Benny right off women…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 03 29 at 01:37 AM • permalink

 

    1. “That is a big call for so few episodes but then again timbo was burned by MW and Mr Marr!”

      Not such a big call when you look at the individual reports. Even a halfwit could see that if these are the best stories Liz can come up with, they really are struggling.

      And slightly off-topic, but is it really such a clever idea to mock someones name (even in a faux good hearted manner) by adding an “o” to the end of it – when your own name is Homer??
      Really Homo old chap, I thought you were smarter than that.
      🙂

      Posted by Michael42 on 2005 03 29 at 02:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. I dunno what you’re whingeing about wronright.

      Tim Blair is an Australian, living in
      Australia, commenting on an Australian tv program – a tv program which has had a variety of Australian presenters, and which – until now – has concerned itself with Australian media.

      Posted by pog-ma-thon on 2005 03 29 at 02:25 AM • permalink

 

    1. michael42,
      This may come as a big shock to you but calling a person named Tim Timbo in Australia is not mocking.

      I am somewhat bewildered that anyone would even think that.

      Posted by Homer Paxton on 2005 03 29 at 02:26 AM • permalink

 

    1. michael42

      Don’t mind Homer, he’s full of shit.

      Posted by Gary on 2005 03 29 at 03:50 AM • permalink

 

    1. I think Media Watch has jumped the shark with Lizzie at the helm.

      All hands, abandon ship.

      (note the clever use of the comma)

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2005 03 29 at 04:13 AM • permalink

 

    1. I am somewhat bewildered that anyone would even think that.

      wow…and I’m somewhat bewildered that you would take my post so seriously!! (despite the smiley)
      I was just messin with you Homo…er…I mean Homer, in the good ol okker tradition of irreverence.

      Actually,  I’m pretty confident that I understood exactly the true spirit your words were used in, and assuming I’m right, I can say that mine was meant to be taken exactly the same way.
      🙂

      Posted by Michael42 on 2005 03 29 at 04:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. George Harrison supected that the creative spirit of the Beatles passed to Monty Python. Must have been all that study about Karma he did in India.
      Seems like you get rid of one troll or gollum and another bobs up. No prizes for guessing.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 03 29 at 04:34 AM • permalink

 

  1. Homo’s being disingenuous again.

    It is gentle mocking in the sense that it’s condescending and faux familiarity.

    And: burnt by Marr & MW? A little glib, Homo baby.

    Posted by Henry boy on 2005 03 30 at 01:35 AM • permalink