ABC pulls MP Pyne attack piece, apologises
The ABC's news analysis – read, Left-wing opinion – site The Drum has apologised, via editor Jonathan Green, to Liberal MP Christopher Pyne for an attack piece by staff writer Marieke Hardy first published on Monday. The Hardy piece has also been deleted. (Scroll down to read Hardy's piece retrieved in whole from Google cache and preserved for posterity before it disappears down the memory hole.)
Anyway, Green is something of an apology specialist having taken on board, during his tenure at Crikey the notorious Pure Poison crew (aka PP boyz), Green in March 2009 apologising to Andrew Bolt. That apology later followed with an apparently legal action-induced apology to Tim Blair.
In the latest apology Green notes an error in judgement on his part:
Mistakes happen in daily publishing. Sometimes things see the light of day that on reflection ought more properly have been cut, re-written or dropped altogether. I take the view that while it’s regrettable to make the error in the first place, it’s never too late to both apologise and do what you can to correct the situation.
Strangely, Green does not seem to learn from his errors; his editorial judgement is not improving. It's no wonder then that he moved from Crikey to the ABC.
Marieke Hardy writes in The Drum on Monday, 27 September 2010:
I have had a great deal of time lately to think about Liberal MP Christopher Pyne. It was his appearance on last week's Q and A that really cemented the process ("But... but... you didn't cut Chris Bowen off mid-sentence," he bleated to Tony Jones in his shrill little voice, causing a nation to, as one, silently pray for him to get attacked by a large and libidinous dog on his walk home), which led me to hold a few fact-finding conversations with various 'demographics' as I take my role as ABC opinion holder/commentator/taste-maker intensely seriously which you would probably be able to tell by my many searing political insights over the previous nine months.
Opinions on Christopher Pyne seem to vary, from "I despise his crinkly hair"* to "Seriously cannot watch Christopher Pyne. Parseltongue on television gives me the creeps"** to "When Chris Pyne says 'Kumbaya' I taste a little vomit in my mouth"***. It seems that nobody in the whole of Australia likes him. Which leads me to presume that perhaps there is nobody in the entire world who is loathed by Australia more than Christopher Pyne and that's why I took it upon myself to conduct the following experiments.
1. Does Australia despise Kyle Sandilands more than Christopher Pyne?
It's getting kind of tedious hating on Kyle Sandilands these days. I mean, when someone loudly announces to a table of dinner party companions: "You know who I just abhor? That fat-headed beard man from the radio," it's hardly bound to make waves socially. Every few months or so Kyle will say something about fat chicks or rape victims and everyone will fall over themselves trying to say how much they detest him, but it's not necessarily interesting. You want to be controversial? Try telling a crowded bar that Hamish and Andy suck. Those two are like the untouchable twin Jesus brothers.
VERDICT: Australia hates Christopher Pyne more than we hate Kyle Sandilands.
2. Does Australia despise India more than Christopher Pyne?
Boo! Hiss! The brown people ruined our special sporting event and went to the toilet in our athlete's sinks! Let's lynch 'em! And so forth.
My favourite thing about the Commonwealth Games crisis in India was yesterday reading the hugely dramatic sentence, "England's hockey and lawn bowls teams were whisked off to five-star hotels where they will stay until next week," in the Sun Herald. Five-star hotel for a lawn bowls team? Shouldn't they all be in those Formula 1 buildings where you have to sit in a plastic chair in the shower?
Anyway, despite all the chaos and filth and occasional bout of shitting in sinks India seems to have redeemed itself with the industrial cleaning hoses and help from the New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie who seems to be single-handedly in there himself with a bottle of Draino and a Brill-o-pad. Let's all look forward to a jolly, incident-free Games shall we?
VERDICT: Australia hates Christopher Pyne more than we hate India.
3. Does Australia despise Brendan Fevola more than Christopher Pyne?
Fevola, the recently benched AFL player whose name is usually preceded with the words 'Disgraced footballer' 'Deranged drunkard' or 'Complete twazzock who made such a stark raving idiot of himself at last year's Brownlow Medal count even Brynne Gordon was embarrassed on his behalf', lately made the front pages by allegedly showing his flaccid penis to 'a mother of four' which seems a misguided exercise as she's clearly seen at least one in her life on a previous occasion. It's difficult, though, to hate someone who is so thick they probably eat their own hair gel. He's just like a misguided Labrador, isn't he? The li'l penis-flashing scamp.
VERDICT: Australia hates Christopher Pyne more than we hate Brendan Fevola.
4. Does Australia despise Kanye West more than Christopher Pyne?
Look, the truth is I'm probably stretching things for the sake of my otherwise watertight and wholly structured journalistic argument here. Nobody hates anybody in the whole world more than they hate Kanye West. He is a legitimate douchebag. Christopher Pyne is a douchebag in many ways, but those ways are more suburban and fey than innate. I'm happy to be argued out of this when Christopher Pyne shoves Julie Bishop out of the way during a lengthy Question Time and trills in that aforementioned cadence "Listen Julie, Imma let you finish... but Rob Oakeshott's decision speech was one of the greatest of all time" and everybody tries to collectively kick him in the nuts.
VERDICT: Australia hates Kanye West probably just as much as we hate Christopher Pyne.
And what can we draw from this? Firstly that Christopher Pyne should probably release a hit single soon or flash a mother if he's going to survive another year in politics without people simply walking up to him on the street and swatting him with a dirty glove. Still, I'm yet to explore part two of this particular experiment which involves Lara Bingle, Matthew Newton, and the family of missing toddler Keisha Abrahams. So there's hope for you yet Christopher Pyne! I say this with affection, mind.
* My father, who very rarely has an unkind word to say about anybody's follicular challenges, be they comedic or otherwise. Interesting side note: Michael Kroger also has crinkly hair.
** My friend Benjamin Law. At first I thought he was calling Christopher Pyne 'parsley tongue' which I found very droll. "He does sound like he's talking through a mouthful of parsley," I chuckled to myself, "what a strange and clever analogy". Then I googled the term and realised Ben was making a Harry Potter joke. Less left-of-centre, but equally as amusing.
*** Someone on Twitter who calls himself Abe Frellman and clearly suffered through CP's appearance on Insiders yesterday morning. Send your fruit baskets of condolences to the appropriate address.
Marieke Hardy is a writer and regular panelist on the ABC's First Tuesday Book Club.