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Last updated on August 3rd, 2017 at 11:21 am
The ABC’s Monica Attard interviews veteran SMH political columnist Alan Ramsey. We begin with Ramsey’s response to a question about Canberra journalists’ tendency to cheerlead:
Alan Ramsey: Absolutely, absolutely, I just think it’s less likely to happen to me but it does, of course it does.
Monica Attard: A lot of people think that you got it wrong because you were basically blinded by prejudice, your hatred of John Howard.
Alan Ramsey: Oh goodness, come on, I mean look, do you know, look …
Yes. Look. Ramsey—who admits to finding himself lately making “mistakes, silly mistakes. What some people from time to time call ‘a senior moment’—next tries to cope with Attard’s inquiries into a particular column published earlier this year:
Monica Attard: Well, let’s just deal with that very very briefly because there has been some criticism from Paddy McGuiness in March.
Alan Ramsey: But that’s Paddy.
Monica Attard: He had a go at you for shoddy journalism, he took you to …
Alan Ramsey: Now hang on, he, no he had a go at me for what he called ‘lazy journalism’. Get it right Monica.
Monica Attard: That’s right.
Alan Ramsey: And what he attacked me for was because I edited a 2500 word speech down to 750 words and I ran it into the paper and I said, “Here is a speech you should read, here is a speech that should tell you everything you need to know about the Bush administration”, and Paddy went bonkers. I introduced it with one paragraph at the top and said, “If this speech doesn’t terrify you it should, god help the rest of us.” And then I ran the 750 words now I’d edited out 2500 words and I’ll tell you what, it was a great piece of journalism.