The Art of the Australian Insult

Howard’s end
November 19, 2008, 1:54 am
Filed under: Politicians | Tags: , ,

“One word to describe John Howard? History.”

Sean Woodland Huskisson, letter to the Sydney Morning Herald in response to an article by Gerard Henderson in response to the ABC series The Howard Years. In contrast, George Fishman of Vaucluse is clearly a Howard fan:

“Oh good. The Howard haters are back. Their empty lives have meaning and purpose once more.”

The Olympic spirit
August 5, 2008, 3:25 am
Filed under: Aussie Aussie Aussie, Sport | Tags: , ,

Comments by the Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates, in his quest for more funding lest Australia slip down the medals table, drew several negative responses from readers of the Sydney Morning Herald, who felt that Coates was not exactly promoting the Olympic spirit:

“Shock! Horror! John Coates says Australia won’t net the same number of medals as in Athens four years ago. Apparently this is something Australians should be distressed about. I thought the Olympics was about participation and friendship, not which country wins the most medals. What an appalling culture we are breeding.” Rose Panidis.

“The gold medal for naked self interest and breathtaking cynicism goes to John Coates.” Stuart Miller.

“Perhaps some federal programs, such as rescuing the Murray-Darling, or carbon emissions reduction schemes, could be pruned or canned to find this money. Then we can watch those all-important medals rolling in.” Joan Brown.

As for the televising of the games:

“I hope the ABC proves there is more life than sport and jingoism.” Robert Pallister.

“Three days until the opening ceremony and I’m sick of the Olympics already.” Steve Barrett.

Round 2 to the SMH

It’s so good to see those paragons of journalist integrity, The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald indulging in a bit of mutual bitch-slapping. The Australian has been given to editorialising about the disgracefully biased editorial stance of the SMH, especially in relation to its coverage of World Youth Day. Here Mike Carlton ponders the implications of the latest attack by The Australian:

“Writing for the Herald, you become accustomed to the Oz offering helpful advice on how we could do it so much better. Barely a day goes by without an improving homily from Holt Street. As everyone knows, at News Ltd they are the custodians of all that is pure and good in journalism, and those of us who have so fallen from grace that we can grub a living only at Fairfax or the ABC acknowledge this with humble respect.

Last Saturday The Australian surpassed itself. An editorial reproving us for our coverage of World Youth Day scaled Old Testament heights of fury. The gist of it seemed to be that if a priesr shoves a hand down your Speedos you only have yourself to blame for going swimming with him in the first place. It was quite a puzzle. And it went on like that all week. I can only think that Rupert Murdoch must be making a takeover bid for the Vatican.”


 The SMH offered the sort of bitchy riposte not typically encountered in editorials:


“An indulgence, dear reader. We note that The Australian newspaper – self-proclaimed heart of the nation”  – has taken to purloining large slabs of commentary from your Herald.

Barely a day goes by without extracts from our commentators, editorial or letters page getting the cut and paste treatment. This, we assue is for two reasons: first, a shame;less attempt to enliven and diversify its monochromatic opnion pages; second, the Oz has a lot of columns to fill, being largely unencumbered by what it might consider the intrusion of advertising.

We are flattered and enthused. So in this new found spirit of plagirasim, er co-operation, we scanned the Oz for anything of interest to discerning Herald readers. Sadly, we drew a blank, But always happy to help, we offer this editorial for Monday’s cut and paste.”


I can’t wait to see how The Australian responds. My money’s on a sniffy comment about how they won’t stoop to the SMH’s level etc etc.