Friday 25th of May 2018


radio bitch

Male-dominated talkback radio schedules and Q&A panels aren't outliers in an otherwise gender-equal world - they're representative of how women are routinely sidelined in Australian society, writes Clementine Ford.


During the course of this lecture, I reported the following:

Until recently, there was only one woman in the whole of the country hosting a weekday solo commercial talkback show. Now there are two - Belinda Heggen in Adelaide (who replaced Amanda Blair) and 6PR's Jane Marwick in Perth. I looked at 8 of the largest commercial talkback stations around Australia and found that of 140 presenters whose identities were promoted across all the networks' websites, only 17 were women. 17 lone female voices up against 123 men, on the nation's airwaves week after week.

This was a year ago. Jane Marwick is no longer on 6PR's programming schedule, which is now entirely made up of middle-aged white men. Belinda Heggen is similarly no longer at 5AA, having been replaced by Will Goodings, a youngish white man who finds himself in good company now at a station on which only 10 per cent of the weekday presenters are female - that is to say, one woman in a line up of 10 people. And rather than present her own show, 5AA's Jane Reilly forms one third of the breakfast team.

Updating the statistics over at Melbourne's 3AW is similarly disturbing. Of the 36 presenters listed on 3AW's website, only five of them are women. Of these five women, one is an entertainment reporter; one is an expert in horticulture; one is a health communicator; and the remaining two appear to be general talkback hosts. None of them feature on 3AW's weekday programming, which is wall-to-wall men.

Over on Sydney's 2GB, with the exception of two female presenters on "The Garden Clinic" (following a trend to have women fill roles as gardening experts, entertainment reporters and health professionals in order to bump up quotas), the only evidence I could find of a woman appearing anywhere was on Sunday evenings. Miranda Devine, a journalist whose views I despise but who at least can lay claim to being well known, gets two entire hours to herself on a station whose weekday programming is made up of shows titled, 'The Alan Jones Breakfast Show', 'The Ray Hadley Morning Show', 'The Chris Smith Afternoon Show' and - shaking things up a bit - 'Nights With Steve Price'.

Of course, it may be that a solitary Sunday evening shift suits Devine, and that's perfectly fine. But it doesn't account for the fact that the rest of 2GB's programming schedule seems designed for an audience comprised of people who have never encountered a woman (or a person of colour) in their life.


Dear Clementine...

Yes this is a major issue in Australia — and possibly around the western world... But this problem lies mostly with the two major prongs of the general purpose of commercial talk-back radio... 

One: Selling stuff... Selling consumer goods. 

Two: most consumerism is a patriotic occupation according to the indoctrination of the vile-right wing... If you don't believe in selling holes to China, you're unpatriotic. 

Most radio stations (and most TV spruik shows — there is only one really: Bolt) love their hosts to cultivate prejudices with bitter passion and acid bile, especially against the weak and powerless, and against the "lazy unemployed".

The talk-back shock-jock "needs" to be right-wing or at least be an ultra-conservative right-wing nut who hates anything that has a dash of "social" values... Sure, the Jones and some of the other motor-mouths will enter the social arena from the back door of "charity" — but "charity" died a long time ago when it became structured like "businesses"...

To be a talk-back radio shock-jock, one needs to love freedom with a gun in one hand and a flag in the other. Apart from the rare beast, most of the radio talk back hosts are geared to bash the left and promote the vile-right, while most commercial talk-back shows would also be "anti-feminist", Devine included... 

This is why there is a paucity of PROPER talk-back personnel that knows what they are talking about...

For most commercial radio stations, scientific knowledge is to be avoided at all cost. Science is "too" complex... The commercial stations mostly want simplicity and easy prejudices that any moron can grab to explain their ills. For the spruikers, the concept of science being correct about uncomfortable subjects needs to be fought with "doubt", cleverly crafted illogiscism and stirring emotions.

Most of the fairer members of the talk-back species haunt the ABC and of course are deemed to be lefties by the right-wing lynch mob...  Some of the ABC radio hosts appear to be right wing or, like Fran Kelly, they appear to pander to the right wing in a discreet biased way.

Thus, Clementine, what's the point of having a woman spruiking like Alan Jones or Ray Hadley?...  A woman talk-back radio host needs to be different. But the commercial radio station bosses want to advertise tanks and Mercs, not tampons. 

A women with strong feminism views and a great sense of social values would be rejected by most commercial radio outfits. Most women who profess such views have to be subtle in their approach and be slightly satirically sneaky in presenting ideas in order to stay afloat...

And of course most of the male shock jocks talk-back radio — and here I don't mean the light-weight radio morning crews with one joke a minute and a rowdy female companion — are condescending to women even if they say they're not... Imagine! Our primal Minister voting himself the "minister for Women"!!! Not even Russia would have this caper!... As some school kids in Newtown grilled the PM about him being the "minister for sheilas", Abbott condescendingly weaselled his way around the issue...

The true question would have had to be: "Did you have PMS before the last time you had your period"...

That could have shut him up for a couple of minutes...

Gus Leonisky



philistine abbott...

If you had the inconvenience of listening to the news tonight (16/04/14), you would have heard our shameless Turd-in-Chief, Tony Abbott, talking about the "renaissance" of the timber industry in Tasmania (at least twice)... RENAISSANCE? what a lot of twaddle!... Renaissance is a specific terms to describe the development of an artistic and creative movement a few centuries ago: Painting, music, architecture, new scientific discoveries...

Felling timber for wood-chips is CERTAINLY NOT A RENAISSANCE... Felling timber from pristine forests in this day and age is VANDALISM.


what went wrong?...

You may have noted that I think Fran Kelly (female spruiker on the ABC) on Radio National (I refuse to call it RN) leans towards the Liberals (COnservatives). I could be wrong... This morning talking about the South Australia elections where the result did not go according to the merde-och Newspoll predictions, Fran asks: "what went wrong?"... Hello. Nothing went wrong. In the same breath she mentioned Alexander Downer to explain "what went wrong"... Nothing "went wrong", dear Fran... Analysis of why the result was such is fair enough but not of "what went wrong" and the result is still too close to call. 

We can talk of gerrymanders, of the Tony Abbott factor, of the polls being wrong, of the people telling porkies to the Newspollsters and of other factors that "swayed" the final result... Not "what went wrong"... or "went right" for either of the political parties... 


In Tasmania, on the other hand, what went wrong (I can be biased — I don't work for the ABC) is that Labor tried to distance itself from its allies the Greens... In general, the mediocre mass media make the Greens to bear the responsibility of the Apple Isle having become the Chocolate bribe Island because the Greens try to protect as many pristine forests as possible — because the planet needs trees to protect us against global warming — because Tony Abbott says so but in the same hypocritical breath wants us to cut the trees down... So what went wrong is that the local press waged an anti-conservation agenda and pro cutting trees... and promise of instant jobs worth millions for wood choppers...

Even the ABC, had some Drum article (I won't place the link — it annoyed me) by some dude who sounds fair and balanced because "he's involved in boat building" and needs some of these (now) very rare woods to make planks to continue his ancient craft... Tough titties, fella... The ABC should not be spruiking your wares without a counter-article about the value of standing trees versus floating horizontal timber.


Tasmania is the place where the world "Green" movement (re)-started after a jewel of a lake (Lake Pedder) was destroyed for power and power was about to also destroy the wild Franklin River... Without the "Greens", most ancient forests in Tasmania would have disappeared and been replaced by "wildlife-less" "plantation" timber that need more and more insecticide, herbicide and other chemicals to "survive" as mono-cultures...

So Fran, don't be like your male ego-driven colleagues on radio 2GB, Alan and Ray... See toon at top. Note the toon was changed for political reasons at 12:06 this afternoon...

abbott — a "feminist" like genghis khan is a catholic...

From Anne Summers


I was travelling to London the day Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke at the International Women's Day Parliamentary breakfast, so I missed his announcement that he has converted to feminism.

Having caught up with this news, I want to congratulate him for adopting the principles of equality of the sexes. I would also like to give him some advice on how to ensure his government and policies are, in fact, feminist.

First of all, Mr Abbott, the gender imbalance in your government is truly shocking: just one woman in your cabinet and women only 14 per of your total ministry. In your IWD speech you said: ''It wasn't so long ago as a Sydney-sider that there was a female lord mayor, a female premier, a female prime minister, a female head of state in our governor general, a female monarch, obviously, and indeed the richest person in our country was female.''


First principle to understand, Mr Abbott, is that ''once were'' does not cut it. Women need to be well represented in our current power structures, including your government, not just remembered for when they used to occupy significant positions.

Second, you need to recognise that your ''fair dinkum'' paid parental leave scheme is not going to do what you say it is. You have been badly advised if you really think that it will increase women's workforce participation. The Productivity Commission 2009 report on paid maternity, paternity and parental Leave argued for flat rate payments, rather than the income replacement (up to $150,000 per year for six months) that you propose, because ''the labour supply effects would be greatest for lower-income, less-skilled women - precisely those who are most responsive to wage subsidies and who are least likely to have privately negotiated paid parental leave''.

It also found that most highly educated, well-paid women already have a high level of attachment to the labour force and a high level of private provision, and therefore full income replacement ''would have few incremental labour supply benefits''.

Whoever told you that Australia is one of just two OECD countries not to have an income replacement PPL apparently neglected to tell you that these countries all have contributory social insurance which finances PPL rather than, as you propose, having it come from general revenue, albeit with a corporate tax contribution.

Also, when you remarked that you are ''still'' a strong supporter of the baby bonus ''for people who are not in the workforce - for parents who are not in the workforce'', perhaps you were not aware that your Treasurer announced in May last year that the baby bonus was to be abolished as a cost saving.

The $5.5 billion you save from not proceeding with your PPL would most usefully be redirected towards childcare. As any feminist can tell you, the availability and cost of childcare, far more than PPL, is the major determinant of whether women return to work after having babies.

I would like to know whether, with your new-found feminism, you propose to honour your predecessor Julia Gillard's undertaking, made in 2012, to, dedicate funds, hold an all-parties summit and start enforcing the law on female genital mutilation in Australia.

It certainly did not sound like it in New York this week when Michaelia Cash, your Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, speaking at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, while strongly arguing for eradication of female genital mutilation in Australia, seemed to lamely suggest that it was all just a matter of raising ''awareness''. Not good enough, Mr Abbott.

Then, of course, there's the plan by your Employment Minister, Eric Abetz, to cut ''red tape'' by diluting the gender reporting requirements of large employers that have only just come into force and which were intended to track women's workforce participation and remuneration.

It's hard to think of a more basic feminist principle (apart from the right of women to control their fertility, an issue on which you also need to have a rethink) than ensuring women have the right to participate equally in our economy.

In fact, you told us in your IWD speech: ''The more we can ensure that women are economic as well as social and cultural contributors, the better for everyone.''

So I would urge you to tell Senator Abetz that you will not allow this rollback of a reporting regime that would provide us with a basic measure of women's contribution to the economy. In your ''unreconstructed'' days, when you were the employment minister yourself, you presided over a similar rollback of reporting that then prime minister Bob Hawke had legislated in 1986. We lost a good 15 years worth of measurements as a result of your dilution of those requirements - and maybe it's no coincidence that during that time the gender pay gap has stayed stubbornly at about 17 per cent.

We feminists (and economists, employers and many others) were looking forward to once again having some reliable data on women at work. Now that you are one of us, Mr Abbott, I know you will agree - and do the right thing.

Anne Summers is editor and publisher of Anne Summers Reports. @SummersAnne

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I can't wait for it...

Gus: I can't wait for the repeal of section 18C by George Brandis... When the deed is done, I will be able to call Andrew Bolt a "fair-minded warm-hearted broad-minded generous lover of Labor and of ethnicity left-wing inspired climate change global warming convert".




Professor Langton later backed down from her comments in an interview with Mr Bolt and radio broadcaster Steve Price on 2GB on Wednesday.

Professor Langton told Mr Bolt that while she doesn't think he is racist, "he's playing with racist ideas. He goes too far to the line".

"I will apologise to you," she said.

In his online blog for News Corp Mr Bolt published most of the transcript from the interview, drawing attention to the relevant sentences, and challenging the ABC to "correct the record".

"Langton's slurs devastated me and were false and defamatory. The damage should be repaired as best the ABC can," Mr Bolt wrote.

The ABC, through Q&A host Tony Jones, said on Monday night's show that Professor Langton had since publicly apologised "so as a result the ABC also apologises for broadcasting her remarks".

In September 2011 a Federal Court judge found that Bolt breached section 18C of the Federal Racial Discrimination Act, a law which the government has pledged to repeal.

Section 18C, now known colloquially as "Bolt's law", protects people from "offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin."

Mr Bolt's series of blog posts that were found to have breached the law suggested that "fair-skinned" indigenous people took advantage of their heritage to make political or career gains.

In campaign promises leading up to the federal election last year, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Attorney-General George Brandis said they would repeal section 18C.

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idiots on shock-joke radio...

Morrow was not in the studio, speaking instead to Sandilands and Jackie O by phone. It is believed he is unsure if the hosts themselves knew the segment would involve jokes, or if they expected him to take a more serious tone.

Morrow says that despite running through his lines with the station before going to air, it "obviously wasn't enough to make everyone realise the mix-up that was about to play out.

"I'd be a hypocrite not to take responsibility for jokes I wrote and delivered knowingly, and I'm happy to do that. Unfortunately, jokes are all about context, and today a regrettable understanding meant the context was all wrong."

In a statement to Fairfax Media, the Kiis FM spokeswoman said: "What was heard on air today was due to a miscommunication in the briefing on the tone for the final segment between Julian and the producer.

"We apologise if anyone has been upset or offended by anything that was aired this morning, obviously this was never our intention.

"Our thoughts are firmly with all families who are affected by this tragic disappearance."

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a precious joke on shock-jock radio...

Even on a good night, watching the ABC's Q&A can do your head in: the scripted questions, the inane set-piece responses from politicians, the suffocating level of political debate and ideas.

So it required extra doses of fortifying Prozac to sit through the whole show to get to an apology to Melbourne's professional provocateur, Andrew Bolt.

It was by no means crystal clear that Professor Marcia Langton called Andrew Bolt a racist on the program the week before. She did call him a fool, but he doesn't seem upset by that.

Langton said he had racially abused another fair-skinned Aborigine, Misty Jenkins. Later she ''apologised for causing offence'' to Bolt.

In fact, her ''apology'' was contained in an 18-page document in which she said: ''I should apologise to him because I 'hurt his feelings' and offended him. I did not apologise for my belief or my intention of trying to explain my beliefs … I believe his obsessive writing about the colour of the skin of particular Aboriginal people is malicious and cowardly.''

Some apology. Showing a serious degree of sensitivity, Bolt then demanded an apology from the public broadcaster, which Q&A host Tony Jones duly delivered on Monday.

According to Media Watch, this was even before Bolt flagged defamation proceedings. Maybe Aunty's lawyers wanted to avoid another round of bullying from the government and News Corp.

Already it has the prime minister's dinner guest and Murdoch pen-man Chris Kenny on its schedule of defamation cases, with Tony Abbott saying the ABC should not be ''defending the indefensible''.

''Next time the ABC comes to the government looking for more money, this is the kind of thing we would want to ask them questions about,'' he said.

If ever there was a blatant contempt of court, this is it - threatening a litigant with a monetary penalty if it defends itself in civil litigation. George Brandis must have forgotten the Wran case in which the former premier was found guilty of contempt for encouraging the second jury in the Lionel Murphy case to find the High Court judge not guilty.

It would not be surprising if the ABC applied for a judge-alone trial or a jury of 12 in the Kenny case.

But back to fair-skinned Bolt. He is unhappy with Jones' apology on behalf of the ABC. He wants it to extend to things for which Langton hadn't apologised. It's all too precious for words.

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about deficiencies in truth...


Alan Austin has gone back through the racial vilification judgment against Andrew Bolt to set the record straight.

IS ANDREW BOLT’S INSISTENCE on an apology from Marcia Langton and the ABC the height of hubris and hypocrisy? Has the man no shame?

That, perhaps, depends on our understanding of the findings of the notorious 2011 racial vilification trial in the Federal Court — Eatock v Bolt.

And herein lies Australia’s doom.

Never has an Australian judge’s unchallenged decision been so effectively undermined by the organisation falling foul of the judgment.

The Murdoch newspaper group and its employee Andrew Bolt have comprehensively pulled the wool over the eyes of, not just their rusted-on supporters, but many of their detractors as well.

Even The Guardian this week furthered the myth that the Bolt case was about free speech.

It quoted a parliamentarian in relation to the matter, who was reported as saying:

“Freedom of speech is a God-given right; if we don’t allow things we don’t want to hear then we don’t believe in freedom.” 

The Eatock v Bolt decision, in fact, presents no threat to free speech whatsoever — only to malicious lies.

A group of fair-skinned Aborigines brought the action under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA). They claimed two 2009 articles in Melbourne’sHerald Sun had falsely accused them of pretending to be Aboriginal for financial gain.

Justice Bromberg found in their favour.

He concluded [summary 23]:

“I have not been satisfied that the offensive conduct that I have found occurred, is exempted from unlawfulness by section 18D [guaranteeing free speech]. The reasons for that conclusion have to do with the manner in which the articles were written, including that they contained errors of fact, distortions of the truth and inflammatory and provocative language.”

News Corp did not appeal. Instead, it commenced a vigorous – and highly successful – campaign in the court of public opinion to subvert the judgment.

The following day, the Herald Sun began the counter-attack with its front page declaring ‘THIS IS A SAD DAY’.

Bolt himself proclaimed it a “terrible day for free speech in this country”.

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hating the hate...

I hope Tony Abbott will forgive me if I’m a little sceptical about the “preachers of hate” red card legislation he wants to push through Parliament.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m just a bit cautious when I notice the first time he goes into the plan with Alan Jones on 2GB.

Alan Jones, you might remember, is the man who has repeatedly faced court over claims he incited the Cronulla race riots with his own on air hate speech and who launched a vicious attack on Julia Gillard based on the demise of her father.

I’m also a little sceptical about a Government pushing so-called “preachers of hate” legislation, when it is the same crowd that only recently, reluctantly, backed down on its election promise to amend the Racial Discrimination Act to allow people to promulgate racial hatred and bigotry.

Amongst those preachers of hate Abbott sought to give a green light to rather than a red card were Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt. How handy, then, to be discussing hate speech on the Alan Jones programme — I mean he is, after all, an expert.

In Australia, the last time I remember there being this much fuss over “preachers of hate” speaking in Australia was when Geert Wilders came to our country, despite widespread calls to have his visa application denied. Wilders has many notable followers — including Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people in Norway in 2011; Andrew Bolt; and, of course, Cory ‘The Beast’ Bernardi.

When this particular “preacher of hate” came to Australia, it was Tony Abbott’s former parliamentary secretary, Cory Bernardi, that gave him not the red card, but the red carpet treatment, acting as his guide. Of course, as in reported in IA, he did have other more surreptitious Coalition supporters at his hate-filled events, including the MP who passionately wants the burqa banned — ‘Gorgeous’George Christiansen.

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