(Above: cheesy ABC Media Watch graphics, which made the pond feel like Alice)
There's probably not much point arguing with him now that he's left, but what the hell, the pond will do it anyway ...
You see last night Jonathan Holmes turned into a shill:
An accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others.
Act or work as such a person: "your husband in the crowd could shill for you".
Which is to say that in his final episode of Media Watch, The good, the bad and the end of an era, he proposed
...the stories broken in the mainstream media provide us with our talking points, with the raw material that holds our society together. The ABC and SBS are valuable institutions – but they can’t, and shouldn’t, do that job on their own.
So my parting plea is this: whatever your politics, or your preferences, and even if you’ve never bought a newspaper, start subscribing to at least one media website: whether it’s the Herald Sun or New Matilda, Crikey or the Sydney Morning Herald, old media or new, pay just a little to keep real journalism alive.
Now the pond understands Stockholm Syndrome. After a heavy week of reading the commentariat and the reptiles at the lizard Oz, the pond feels like wandering the streets, telling any passing stranger how it's all fucked, how we're all doomed, what a disaster it all is, and how only the minions of Fairfax and Murdoch can lead us to truth and light and understanding ... and how climate science is a gigantic fraud perpetrated on the masses as a monstrous hoax ...
Usually the mood passes, without innocents being harmed, but here's the Holmesian point.
You see, Holmes cites the example of the Sunday Terror publishing the alleged nude photos of Pauline Hanson as one of the most egregious examples of bad journalism in his time at Media Watch.
Who can argue? While the pond has no time at all for Hansonism, by the time of publication, she was irrelevant, and there was absolutely no justification for publishing the photos ... even if they'd been genuine.
So how does the average punter respond? Say oh never mind, boys will be adolescent boys, perhaps stop buying the rag for a week, and then pick it up again as if nothing had happened? What's the odd fraudulent nude photo between friends?
Well the pond isn't like that. Long ago the pond sent the Daily and Sunday Terror off the field. Not a sin binning, not a one match ban, but a lifetime exiled from the game. Way too much head kicking, eye gouging, and did we mention it promotes thugby league?
That's the only punishment the average punter has, which is to withdraw patronage, refuse to flash the cash. Occasionally it's possible to forgive, if not forget, but what's the point of forgiving a tabloid? Nude photos of Pauline Hanson are in their DNA ...
Apart from that, the pond already feels burdened by a drain on the exchequer.
You see the pond helps - in an ever so 'umble way - to pay for the ABC and SBS, and it also helps pays for commercial television, whether it likes it or not.
Not by watching, but if you happen to wander into a major retail institution, like Coles or Woolworths, or purchase a major brand, chances are their advertising money has ended up helping support the dross that is called current affairs on the wretched FTA channels.
Yep, one one or another, there's a slice of the pond's cent at work helping finance The Bolt Report. That's what happens if you like to cut your muesli with cornflakes (no safer a habit than cutting heroin with baking soda). The thought immediately induces a sense of nausea ...
With the other outlets, still reliant on hard copy but with a dawning sense they've totally stuffed digital, the crucial issue remains. How do you reward or punish or express a view?
Do you subscribe to the lizard Oz, and then spend your days, nights and weekends writing angry letters and online comments regarding the malicious falsification and devious misrepresentation of climate science that litters the rag - behaviour Holmes himself remarked on only the week before?
Or do you say you're as mad as hell and you're not going to take it anymore and the reptiles at the lizard Oz can only prise a subscription from the pond's dead cold hands ...
You see, news is news, it's out there in abundance, and opinion is the main selling point, but the pond has absolutely zero interest in the opinion pieces of the commentariat, except as a really perverse hobby and a source of comedy routines for the pond.
Is it worth reading an exposé of Eddie Obeid if the price is to be exposed to the thoughts of Paul Sheehan?
What about that wretched prattling Polonius, Gerard Henderson, doing his predictable routine this Tuesday?
Now the alleged Fairfax paywall remains relatively low-profile and invisible. You can click on Single and atheist an issue for voters, as are gay unions, and read as much as your churning, heaving stomach can stand.
But what if you knew that you'd helped subsidise this sort of tosh? Is it possible to live with yourself?
Why even the header for the piece is offensive, because it should have said: Single and atheist an issue for some voters, including prejudiced bilious gits like Gerard Henderson, as are gay unions.
What's even more appalling is that Henderson spends his time trampling on Gillard for no particular reason or benefit, his only feeble excuse that sneering Bill Heffernan and snickering Mark Latham did it, and sniggering raffish newspapers did it to Billy McMahon way back when.
It says something profoundly offensive about Henderson that he proposes Gillard should have lied, or dissembled, or gilded the lily:
Oh the shocking, shameless hussy.
She also declared that she was an atheist. For someone who was brought up a Baptist, this seemed an unnecessary affirmation since it would have been so easy for Gillard to state that she was agnostic. The problem is that some atheists present as what British historian Michael Burleigh has termed ''sneering secularists''.
An unnecessary affirmation? To say and do what you believe, instead of staying locked in a closet, because next thing you know you'll be tagged a sneering secularist?
As opposed to a sneering, snickering common gossip Catholic?
And so it's on to more innuendo, and the usual repetitive drone of Henderson blathering on about inner city elites:
There is evidence, which some Labor MPs spoke about off the record, that Gillard's non-married status and atheism were political problems, especially among migrant groups in the suburbs and regional areas.
The Australian Financial Review's Phillip Coorey was one of the few members of the Canberra parliamentary press gallery to raise this sensitive matter. On June 24 he wrote: ''A good proportion of voters had a problem with an atheist female prime minister knifing a church-going family man and moving into The Lodge with her boyfriend.'' Kevin Rudd could face a not dissimilar problem, now that he has embraced same-sex marriage.
Yes, they get you coming and going, with the relentless pressure to turn into conformist sheep who refuse to disturb the muddy water by making unnecessary affirmations. When lying - calling yourself an agnostic when you're actually an atheist - is so much better ...
What's even more provocative and offensive is Henderson's notion that Gillard should have done a Helen Clark or an Anna Bligh, because indulging in a shotgun wedding or racing to the church and putting on a thin veneer of respectability makes political sense.
Yes, and no doubt it's wonderful that the Obeids show the splendours and respectability of a decent suburban life, just wanting to get ahead a little like all families ...
And so to the usual Henderson conclusion, about those 'leets:
Unlike ABC1's Media Watch, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News employs social democrats and conservatives on its main programs. On the Fox News Watch program last month, left-of-centre Kirsten Powers commented on a Pew Research Centre report that the US media was overwhelmingly supportive of same-sex marriage.
Powers had no problem with this. But she did point out that ''most newsrooms are located in urban environments where people tend to be pro-gay marriage''.
In Australia, most marginal electorates are located in socially conservative environments, far away from inner-cities, where same-sex marriage is not universally endorsed.
Actually it's not universally endorsed at the Sydney Institute, which lives in the heart of Sydney at Phillip street ... and where twittery and the sustaining of fear and loathing and division is a way of life ...
So there you have it Mr. Holmes. If the pond followed your advice and subscribed to Fairfax it would be directly supporting the weekly odious expression of Gerard Henderson's thoughts.
Now the pond cannot tell a lie, no matter how much Henderson urges it to lie or dissemble or pretend it's not a happy part of Newtown, or for that matter it truly is hard to believe that the Sydney Institute does all its best work at its real headquarters in Penrith and Blacktown ...
Hell will freeze over - should there be such a thing as hell, or even a more amiable, less intense purgatory, as only Catholics insist, without any justification in terms of scripture - before that happens.
Now forget that idle chatter about supporting "real journalism". Where's that axe, for the pond finds it very hard to tell a lie ...