Friday, June 17, 2005


Mickey misses mark. Makes mess of mauling

You’ve got to feel sorry for poor Peter Mickelburough over at Australia’s favourite newspaper The Herald Sun. Mr. Mickelburough, we’ll call him Mr. Mick to save you wasting your precious day with all those extra syllables, was all fired up yesterday, rubbing his hands together with glee because he’d got the whiff of another story of Bracks government nepotism.

Mr. Mick’s specialty over at The Herald Sun is the Bracks “jobs for the boys” story. It’s his favourite, and The Herald Sun bosses know that when they let Mr. Mick off the leash he’s going to turn up dirt on Premier Bracks.

Today though Mr. Mick, lets call him Mickey because we’re coming to know him quite well now, had already started with the big Bracks Bash headline and the killer introductory sentence:

Wife of union boss on board

THE wife of a prominent union boss has landed a $20,000-a-year job with the Bracks Government.

It was lucky I wasn’t driving when I read this, because I might have just stopped reading right there, and been left with the impression of another scoop by Mickey exposing another Labor mates racket. But unfortunately I read on.

We find out next that it’s some job on a Board, and that the wife in question is Deborah Beale, spouse of none other than Australia’s future Prime Minister Bill Shorten.

Strange, I thought. What’s the Herald Sun doing attacking Mr. Shorten. Just as Andrew Landeryou will tell you that The Age is aligned with the Left factions of the ALP, it is well known that The Herald Sun, is aligned with the Right factions of the ALP, and that Herald Sun big nob Andrew Bolt, and Mr. Shorten are mates, via mutual mate Senator Stephen Conroy.

And then, Mickey’s lovingly crafted savaging falls completely in a heap as he is forced to reveal that Ms. Beale is the daughter of former Liberal MP, Julian Beale, and further, that Opposition Leader Robert Doyle had no problems with the appointment because Ms Beale is eminently qualified for the job.

So everyone’s happy. Ms. Beale, Future PM Shorten, Doyle, Bracks. Everyone that is except Mickey who was simply unable to finish his article the way he wanted.

Our advice to Mickey, is to obtain enough information to get the headline, and leave it there. Start digging too deep and you reveal too many cross currents, too much complexity, too many things that undermine the power of those first few sentences.

We suggest in future Mickey that you go with your instincts. Instincts are cleaner and more satisfying than those pesky facts, and they pay more too. Go-on Mickey, take the plunge, we know your gagging for it - Become Andrew Bolt.

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