First a little good news.
The Bolter and his wretched report barely cracked the 100k mark last Sunday - 105k for his first outing and 99k for the repeat. By way of contrast, Insiders did 167k, 94k and 51k for its various Sunday outings. (here)
Remember in the good old days when the Bolter was keen to boast how he was doing over the public broadcaster?
Amazingly even The Observer Effect managed 109k. There's clear evidence Ten would be better off running Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom or the Octonauts (both 250k for five city metros on multichannel ABC2)
The Bolter is now what the pond likes the think of as charity publishing - you keep a show on at a loss because someone on the board thinks the basket case is really a deserving charity case.
Maintain the rage! Bring back Video Hits!
Meanwhile, Media Watch was once again singularly entertaining, reporting on how the Daily Terror cheerfully picked up a story about aliens in the ether, and celebrating Alan "the parrot" Jones squawking in error about climate science under the apt, self-referential header Rubbish in, Rubbish Out.
The pond hadn't thought of the Lord of Monckton in ages, and how pleasing to learn he's still keeping company with the parrot and Bob Carter, all of them squawking away like a flock of Major Mitchells ... lah de dah, la la la ...
So many loons, so little time, which is why the pond appreciates it when a reader points out another member of the pond, in this case Jamie Briggs getting indignant, and proving once again - if confirmation was needed - that the Adelaide Hills are in a class of eccentricity all their own - as you can check by reading Uniting Church backing for Inverbrackie detention centre angers Federal Government.
Never mind that it's a nonsense - Briggs talks about saving $40 million while the federal government is busy pissing billions against the gulag wall - it's the spirit of denialism that's alive and well in the hills.
The pond was so moved by Monsieur Briggs - it's surely just a coincidence that his name is a play on the word "brig", which perhaps is better than a play on keelhaul - that we headed off to his website, only to find a kind of time machine preserved in aspic:
Shadow parliamentary secretary for supporting families?
Yep, that's the header this 1st day of October, more than a few days after the 7th September election.
Things move slowly in Mt Barker, that's a fact, and clearly Monsieur Briggs' website moves at the same speed. Now there's a man who only needs copper for his connectivity. You can join him in the social media stone age here ...
But enough already, because today is a day for righteousness, boasting, preening and celebration.
Usually the pond is Uriah Heep-like in its modesty and forbearance, but we just have to mention that last Tuesday we were shattered that Gerard "prattling Polonius" Henderson had failed to address the matter of the Pellists and David Marr.
We predicted the smell of sardines would be irresistible to Polonius, and what do you know, knock the pond down with a feather, sure enough today the fiercely independent Fairfaxians have published yet another bulletin from the Sydney Institute defending the Pellists.
Never mind that it's late to arrive, as dated as a Jamie Briggs blog. It's what you can expect of Hendo's copper-wired mind, and happily the pond is looking forward tonight to the bottle of red it won.
But what a narrow squeak, saved only by a belated, narrow-minded squeak.
Well if you've saved your Fairfax hits, you can click for free on All smoke and no smoking gun: Cardinal Pell was quick to act on abuse claims.
Indeed, indeed, to be sure, to be sure, yes, yes, yes, the entire Catholic church was astonishingly reactive, active and procactive in the matter of all its scandals, and swept nothing under the carpet, and Cardinal Pell is a wonderful man, an astonishing human bean, and ...
Once again, it seems that the deviants and the perverts at the ABC are responsible, in their vile soft way, for people refusing to accept this modest truth:
Following the publication of his Quarterly Essay last week, titled The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell, Marr received numerous - and overwhelmingly soft - interviews on the ABC. On September 23 he told Philip Clark on Radio National Breakfast that ''these two old followers of Bob Santamaria, now a cardinal and a prime minister'' are part of a political movement which ''is running the country in 2013''.
Earlier in the interview, responding to Clark's claim that Pell is ''the prince or spiritual adviser to the leader of our country Tony Abbott'', Marr commented: ''It's a dream. It's a Medieval dream.'' Not really. It's a journalistic beat-up.
Indeed, indeed, to be sure, to be sure. Which is why you won't find any mention of Tony Abbott disremembering a visit with George Pell, as celebrated by The Chaser lads - how Hendo hates the lads - and still available on YouTube here.
Nor will you find Hendo quoting Tony Abbott on the matter of Bob Santamaria:
My first contact with what turned out to be the Santamaria movement was a school friend’s invitation, back in 1976, to attend a weekend course on the issues we might face at university. It was never entirely clear who had issued it or who was organising the conference but it was an impressive speakers’ list and some instinct whispered that this was not an opportunity to be missed. I arranged to tag along and have been under the Santamaria spell ever since.
At times, I recoiled a little from the single-minded intensity of the activists I met. Still, some of them became more than friends. We came to share a brotherhood born of holding the same values, debating the same issues, confronting the same challenges, and suffering the same defeats. For Santamaria and those influenced by him, it wasn’t enough to have a point of view: it had to pass the highest ethical and intellectual tests.
It wasn’t enough to have a sound philosophical position: it had to be applied to real life. “What is to be done?” was the one Marxist-Leninist interrogatory he took rigorously to heart. The result, at least for those close to him, was a life of constant intellectual and political struggle against the conventional wisdom of the day that almost inevitably seemed to fall short of his bracing ideals. There are people from that conference, and all the others like it, in positions of intellectual leadership right around our country. It is a tribute to his influence and authority that, even now, it would be invidious to name them. Some are notional political opponents between whom there’s the bond of trust that comes from sharing an intellectual trench on a hostile battlefield.
In the famous Melbourne University debate about the Spanish Civil War, he declared: “when the bullets of the atheists struck the statue of Christ outside the cathedral in Madrid, for some that was just steel striking brass. But for me, those bullets were piecing the heart of Christ the King”. He could engender a thrill in the heart that was part patriotism, part Christian idealism and part “fighting the good fight”. I was lucky to know BA Santamaria for the last 22 years of his life, to have attended diligently to his writing and speaking over that time and to have been the beneficiary of the occasional private lunch and long phone call. I am honoured to have been asked to help launch these memoirs as there are many whom he knew better and loved more. Perfectionist that he was, I’m fairly sure that I would have been a disappointment to him. Still, hardly a day passes without recalling his example and its challenge to do more, better. (sadly Abbott's launch of BA Santamaria's collection of letters has fallen out of sight on Abbott's website but you can find it in google cache here)
Hardly a day passes, from the horse's mouth so to speak, back on 30th January 2007.
When confronted with inconvenient truths it's important to be economical with the truth.
Now Abbott has been consistent and open in acknowledging Santamaria as an inspiration - calling him "a philosophical star by which you could always steer" and "the greatest living Australian" - presumably becoming one of the great dead Australians on his death. (The Whirling Dervish)
So why does Polonius indulge in this bit of historical revisionism, which verges on Monckton-ish denialism?
Santamaria's influence was exaggerated by his supporters and opponents alike. Abbott is not the Catholic that the secularist Marr believes him to be. Nor is Pell. As the Cardinal said last week: ''Marr has no idea what motivates a believing Christian.''
Who knows, but the last few pars by Polonius are rippers of bile and barely repressed, seething hatred:
Andrew West in the Religion and Ethics Report was one of the few ABC journalists to challenge Marr's thesis. West suggested to Marr that his criticism of the Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse stems from a small l-liberal point of view and a rejection of mainstream Catholicism.
No, no, say it ain't so, please tell the pond that David Marr doesn't think the Catholic church is a load of superstitious, but still dangerous, and deadly to gays, old rope ...
West has a point. In The Prince, Marr concentrates on Pell's celibacy. Marr told West that ''it was the celibate Church that gave paedophiles safe haven''. This does not explain why paedophilia is widespread outside the Catholic Church. What's missing from The Prince is that the overwhelming majority of sexual child abuse cases in the Catholic Church have involved attacks by men on young boys.
And you know what that means. It's nothing to do with the Catholic church warping sexuality, it's all to do with warped homosexuals ...
So it goes, and so, courtesy of Polonius, we continue to get ample evidence that the church and its apologists simply don't get it.
Poor old Pope Francis. He tried to tart up the church with a few nice words about gays, women, contraception, and its cruel obsession with rules, but at the heart of the beast remain the Pellists and their apologists, of the Polonius kind, and it's easy to see that the spirit of B. A. Santamaria lives on in the land and politics and in the church, with the latest reminder the treatment doled out to a gay and women-friendly Melbourne priest - Church dumps rebel priest.
There are many other aspects to Polonius's apologetic excuses for the Pellists - the clerical crimes date to long ago; Pell was a victim of "mocking questions" from a bipartisan collection of Victorian MPs, as if that trial was somehow remotely comparable to the abuse of children by people placed in a position of trust and power over them; and talk of how Pell did more than most, as if doing little or nothing was somehow enough; and so on and on, in the way apologists seek to work to diminish the victims and bless the oppressors for the fine work they've done ...
No doubt Marr will strike back, but what's the point.
You may as well try to explain the finer points of climate science to the parrot ... because all you'll ever get is garbage in, garbage out, defensiveness in, defensiveness out ...
(Below: more Martin Rowson here)