FAIR SUCK OF THE SAUCE, ONE NATION
“I’m not sure it gets much better,” the ABC’s Jonathan Green noted, “than One Nation being taken down by Al Jazeera.”
Me neither – and not for nothing is Al Jazeera such a respected news organisation. Its undercover sting exposing One Nation operatives going after money from the NRA was first-class.
The only problem was that because Al Jazeera’s operational headquarters are in Qatar, it made it possible for Pauline Hanson and her endless acolytes to deride it as an “Islamist organisation” – as if the prevailing religion of Qatar had anything at all to do with the sheer, staggering venality on display by the One Nation leadership, as they tried to go after foreign money. (Seriously, you acolytes, if the naked grab for money in return for offering to visit American gun culture on Australia is not enough to make you abandon support for One Nation, just what would it take?)
The truth was pointed out on Wednesday, by the Al Jazeera producer who organised the sting, Peter Charley, in an interview with Michael Usher on Channel Seven. “Oh, it is totally an Australian production,” Charley said. “It was filmed by an Australian cameraman, I’m as Australian as they get, born and bred in Australia, Roger Muller is Australian, the editor, all the people who worked on it are Australian.” Well done the lot of yers!
THE MONEY’S ON JONES
You will recall, perhaps, TFF’s item in this spot last November, regarding the division in Fairfax/Macquarie/Nine ranks as to whether the contract of Alan Jones would be renewed or not. Back then Jones was at the beginning of a furious rearguard action to be extended one more time and at the moment, it looks like he will be successful. There is still no contract signed as there remain a few sticking points – most pertinently, how much of the pain Jones must bear should he defame someone again – but it will likely go ahead, with remuneration somewhere around an annual $4-5 million mark, for the next two years. There will likely be an announcement within the next fortnight.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Let me make it clear to the Australian people, I have never sought donations, or guidance, from the NRMA.” — Pauline Hanson, at her Thursday press conference, gives the National Rifle Association some roadside assistance.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
An outraged Pauline Hanson says she has heard the claims made by Al Jazeera, and will confront him about it personally. — The Shovel @TheShovel
“I think it [the Christchurch massacre] is such a tragedy, and yet it has the other side. It has brought people together. It doesn’t matter what their race, or anything. People, they suddenly realise, we’re all one. We care for each other.” — John Sato, 95, who lives in the east Auckland suburb of Howick and took three buses to get to a march against racism. Sato, whose mother was Scottish and father Japanese, was one of only two Kiwi-Japanese recruited into the New Zealand army during World War II. After the march, police took him home and waited until he got in the front door.
“I understand what I did was wrong.” — Egg Boy apologising for egging Fraser Anning.
“An MP said it would actually take a massacre in Tasmania to change the gun laws in Australia. Haven’t you heard that?” Have a look at it. It was said on the floor of Parliament.” — Pauline Hanson to al-Jazeera’s Rodger Muller, while he posed as a representative of “Gun Rights Australia”.
“I will be the first to admit, we’d arrived in America, we got on the sauce, we’d had a few drinks and that’s where those discussions took place – not with any potential donors, no one but Rodger Muller, Steve Dickson and myself.” — Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff, James Ashby, denying that he and One Nation’s Queensland leader Steve Dickson travelled to the US to solicit money from the National Rifle Association, instead arguing they were there to learn about campaign technology. No, really.
“Who among us hasn’t got so pissed we’ve flown to America and lobbied the National Rifle Association for $20 million?” — James Jeffreys in The Australian.
“I would say it’s close to treason.” — Senator Derryn Hinch summing up the One Nation debacle. Soliciting foreign money, in the hope of corrupting the democratic will on an issue as important as gun control? I’d say it’s close, too.
“Please take a punt and see someone you don’t know. I would really strongly encourage you to see somebody who does not look like you.” — Comedian Hannah Gadsby, speaking at the launch of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival and promoting diversity.
Peter FitzSimons is a journalist and columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald.