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100 Fresh Disciples – Greg Sheridan takes aim at the ABC and shoots himself in the foot

April 21, 2020 - 17:05 -- Editor

When it comes to defending the paedophiles that the Catholic Church has educated, trained, endorsed and sent out amongst ‘the flock’, News Corp is in a class of its own.

Whether it’s the dead-head brigade of loons on SkyNews after-dark, the predictable opinions sprinkled with selective facts in publications like the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph, the Courier Mail, or the national broadsheet The Australian. The Australian is such a poor performing paper that if you break its national circulation down it averages out to about 11,000 readers per state or territory. There are local municipal papers with better readership stats.

News Corp has a long line of opinionated cheerleaders to trot out as ‘defenders of the faith’ whenever a member of the catholic clergy is in the news concerning the sexual assault and rape of children. A frequent occurrence.

This week we saw another one of their disciples come out and have a crack at the ABC whilst on the ABC’s own Insiders program. This time is was Greg Sheridan from the Australian.

Last week Sheridan let go of whatever weak grasp of reality he once had. Maybe the fumes from all that hair dye finally got to him? Maybe it was the excitement of the High Court quashing George Pell’s conviction on a technicality? Perhaps he drank too much of the communion kool-aid?

Whatever it was, Sheridan showed his journalistic credentials last week in an opinion column of biased drivel. Apparently, in Sheridan’s strange world the ABC is abusing its power by not inviting his mate, Gerard Henderson on TV to review a book. Yep, it got that bad.

Hey Greg, Malcolm Roberts called. He wants his brain back.

Sheridan with his book God Is Good For You. Just like a band-aid is good on a bleeding anus Image- The catholic leader

Then to start the new week, in the final seconds of Insiders, leaving no time for discussion, Sheridan took a shot at the ABC. A saying about shotguns and the side of a barn comes to mind because Sheridan couldn’t have missed more if he’d been drunk, blindfolded, facing the wrong way and standing on his head. His words were not only devoid of fact but wildly biased and hypocritical.

Below are Sheridan’s words on Insiders (please note the grammatical error in the second last sentence is Sheridan’s, not mine)

“So David, I want to be very unpopular, and raise a very difficult issue.

I think the ABC was tremendously unfair to George Pell over the last five or six years and I think the leadership needs to reflect on this. In particular the point I’d make is that the effect of the ABC, even if not its intent, is very often monolithic. The current affairs and news take a set against someone, all the non-specialist journalists follow the lead of their specialist colleagues, and then you get the comedy and satire programs, Tim Minchin singing come home Cardinal Pell with its line “I think you’re scum”. Now I think that is wrong, and the ABC is so powerful that it needs to do better in terms of internal balance. With great power comes great responsibility and I think they just, this is beyond the culture wars. They need to reflect on the disparity and power between this giant corporation and a single individual they attack.”

He should have stopped at I think the ABC was tremendous.

The ABC’s coverage of allegations related to Pell always included a statement that Pell had not responded to requests for an interview or comment. If the lack of Pell’s version or opinion made coverage unfair it was certainly not because the opportunity wasn’t presented to him. Sheridan’s own opinion piece , entitled “ABC’s groupthink on George Pell a sin against journalism” (catchy title) in the Australian last week singled out journalist and author Louise Milligan with five paragraphs dedicated to discrediting her. I thought I’d ask Sheridan if he afforded her the same opportunities that the ABC has repeatedly offered George Pell.

So, on Monday I emailed Sheridan the below;

I’m currently writing an article and ethics require me to request a response.

In your editorial published in The Australian titled “ABC’s groupthink on George Pell a sin against journalism”, there are five paragraphs related to Louise Milligan’s book and work.

I have two questions related to this.

  1. Did you approach Ms Milligan for comment before your editorial was published?
  2. Do you think not approaching a subject for a response is a sin against journalism?

A response from Sheridan has not been forthcoming.

Fortunately though,  Louise Milligan responded to his comments in a thread on Twitter.

When Sheridan speaks of journalists and staff taking a ‘set against someone’ I think it actually reflects the mind-set at News Corp more than it does the ABC. A journo runs something based on hunch and rumour, a News Corp pile on ensues, the cartoonists mock the victim, and the clowns at Sky after dark can’t help themselves and like dogs sniffing another dogs vomit, they join in the fray for their handful of viewers.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Emma Husar.

Sheridan seems to prefer the Xi Jinping style of investigative journalism. Don’t investigate complaints against those he deems beyond reproach.

Interesting that the only person Sheridan singled out with his sook on Insiders about the ABC is Tim Minchin about his song “Come Home (Cardinal Pell)”.

Tim Minchin – Apparently Greg Sheridan forbids him from having an opinion on Pell Image –

Interesting because you don’t need a journalism degree to discover Tim Minchin isn’t an ABC employee. The song that has upset Sheridan so much was released on YouTube by Minchin himself, first aired on commercial television, and was recorded to raise money so some victims of sexual abuse and rape by Catholic priests from Pells diocese could go to Rome to make their case directly. Any extra funds raised were going to survivors of clergy abuse. It had nothing at all to do with the ABC.

In a sane and just world, Tim Minchin is allowed to have an opinion about somebody and has the freedom to share that view. Sheridan seemingly prefers a North Korean style system where freedoms of opinion and expression stretch only as far as he and his clandestine Catholic cohorts deem worthy.

While it is true that Minchin has made several appearances on the ABC, so too has Sheridan. I wonder if in Sheridan’s mind that makes them both ABC employees?

Sheridan’s little ‘sooky-la-la’ moment concluded with him saying that the ABC needs to ponder the “disparity and power between this giant corporation and a single individual they attack.”

Sheridan says this without irony and with a straight face.

Sheridan’s employer, News Corp, has never pondered this disparity themselves. Not when they deleted messages off a dead child’s phone in the UK, leaving a mourning family utterly distraught and potentially hampering a murder investigation. And not when they gang up on the ‘single individual’ involved in this case, the complainant known only as J.

Sheridan of massive multinational News Corp accusing ABC of bully tactics

J  didn’t have the might of News Corp to support him, quite the opposite. J’s allegations were ridiculed and torn apart by News Corp journalists, columnists and all their hangers-on.

J was alone because his co-complainant had used drugs to cope with his anguish and died as a result. J was alone because there was no multinational media behemoth to sing his praises, only a few trusted journalists courageous enough to share his story. J was alone just as he had been as a scared child.

The ‘single individual’ Sheridan refers to is ‘Team Pell’. This includes George Pell himself, the number three person in the richest religious organisation the world has known, with his team of QC’s and barristers beside him, former Prime Minister’s endorsements, a huge Catholic lobby and the full weight of News Corp’s bias brigade in full swing.

Sheridan’s anti-ABC bias clouds any judgement and completely blurs any chance of self-reflection.

The ABC didn’t invent allegations against Pell or any of his friends and colleagues that now grace our prison system for their depravity.

Sheridan may want to defend the institution that protected paedophiles for years, he has a right to. As for me, I’ll carry on supporting the journalists that have the guts to investigate them.

Sheridan said on Sunday he ‘wants to be unpopular’.

Well, congratulations Greg.

Just keep ignoring that massive log in your eye.
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