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 – weekendedition.com.au

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.

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

  1. Funny how the sell off the ABC crowd tell us that nobody watches it any way and aftercThecGeorgevOell saga it all of a sudden has become a media behomoth that threatened a man af god

  2. An accurate riposte to Sheridan’s truly awful appearance on Insiders. Rumour has it Minchin is contemplating some kind of legal recourse. This article, plus Paul Barry’s wrap up on Media Watch on April 20, keeps the pressure on these old fogeys. Cheers, H.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with this article. Sheridan infuriates me and insults my intelligence every time he opens his mouth.

  4. Well done…now we’re talking, get into the bastards.

  5. Why was Sheridan on Insiders in the first place? Insiders panelists are usually journalists who try to be impartial. Impartiality has never been one of Greg Sheridan’s obvious strong points either politically or religiously. Sheridan is a partisan commentator and always has been.

  6. I will never forget a time on The Drum when Sheridan thought a comment had been made by the presenter and went into a great anti ABC rave, totally overboard as usual, after he had finished, I think it was Julia Baird, said that it was a comment from one of the panelist, no apology just a chirlish silence from Sheridan. Really hoped he wouldn’t be back after that.

  7. sky buffoons. never let the truth get in thier way!

  8. It really scares me that this time in our history so many evil people have so much control over so many stupid people. How much longer can this go on ??

  9. I read Sheridan’s Op Ed and shook my head in disbelief, if he wants to be taken seriously (for a start) he needs to stop believing in Sky Fairies. Also I went to leave a comment on the article … but Oh No …. News Ltd weren’t allowing anyone to comment on the article …. I wonder why?

  10. Just to fill in the spaces – but not just in the vacuous recesses of the “give-me-a-child-until” thinking of Sheridan’s – has our Gregory ever proffered an opinion on “Climate Change” other than one tainted by scientific evidence?

  11. I don’t like Greg Sheridan and I do not like his basic ideology, but that does not make him always wrong. Like the rest of us he is broken but can have insight. I too have been concerned about the standard of reporting at ‘Auntie’. I only watch the ABC and occasionally SBS and I have noticed that the journalistic standard has deteriorated over the last couple of years. I was particularly struck by the Sara Ferguson expose on the Catholic Church. It seemed to me that her reporting was strongly influenced by her personal abhorrence of the people she interviewed. Although this is a very understandable behaviour, as a Transition Worker and someone who has had conversation with a child sex offender, I found her inability to remain objective was rather abhorrent in itself. At no point can we condone the behaviour of those who harm children however they are still human beings with their own histories. I personally find calling someone ‘scum’ as Tim Minchin did of George Pell as abhorrent as George Pell’s arrogance and inability to grasp the gravity of the situation he was a part of. And as to the satirical comedy that the ABC proudly airs, I personally love it, but we all need to remember that it can be very distressing for those it is aimed at and people who care for them (whether ‘justified’ or not) and when the boot is on the other foot (and we all do things that deserve ire and ridicule), we would be the strongly indignant. Everyone has the right to have an opinion but no-one has the right to denigrate another. I found that the author was a little disingenuous as I suspect he would be the first to protest at the Right’s use of hate speech, yet here he is supporting the use of the like. I can think of a few old fashioned sayings like ‘people in glass houses….’ and ‘removing planks of wood before critiquing specks…’ Yes, Greg Sheridan can be awful and fooish, but his behaviour, nor the behaviour of George Pell and the Catholic Church, justify subjective journalism and emotive attacks that would be roundly condemned if the opposition tried them.

  12. My criticism is not based on Sheridan always being wrong, nor have I accused him of that.
    I agree with you that some of the standards have dropped at the ABC, certainly, Insiders is a glowing example of that.
    However, I don’t believe that Aunty’s coverage in relation to Pell or their investigations into the catholic church has been anything other than exemplary. They have always sought the opposing view and given the opportunity for a right of response to those facing allegations. Ferguson didn’t need to be objective in her interviews with Bernard McGrath and Vincent Ryan and didn’t need objectivity as both men were convicted paedophiles, guilt was established, not in question.
    I don’t pretend to be anything other than judgemental of those who lobby on behalf of an organisation that has spent so much time, money, and effort to hide the pedophiles within it while preaching morality. That is my right.
    Hate speech is something that is ill-defined however I don’t think taking the piss out of someone’s lies and hypocrisy would count or even come close to being hate speech, otherwise MediaWatch would be taken off the air.
    I am aware of the specks and logs saying, I actually used it in the piece.
    I find it remarkable that someone like Sheridan or Gerard Henderson can say something along the lines of “I’m the first to condemn the child abusers within the church” but nobody ever asks when they have done so unprompted. Instead we only hear from them when they are attacking investigative journalists for exposing pedophiles, criticising the police force for bringing charges, and questioning courts when they are found guilty.
    Actually we do have a right to denigrate each other as long as it’s not defamatory. I can call someone an idiot, but I can’t call them a thief.
    I do plenty to receive criticism and ire, and I’m quite happy to cop it on the chin and do so often.
    That’s the beauty of not having a glass jaw

  13. Accepted that we think differently, Peter. But I cannot use such language of others. I also think we need to separate the hierarchy of the Catholic Church (any church or religion) from the people who attend and many, many priests and nuns who are the salt of the earth. I intensely dislike ‘religion’ (as opposed to ‘faith’) and am appalled at the atrocities that have been perpetrated by the adherents of all religions. However that does not negate the amazing work done by the majority who have chosen to work within institutions, no matter how flawed, because that allowed them the freedom to pursue their dreams of a better world. It is a flawed place, the society of humans, and to make it better we not only need to expose the evil, but also the good and not allow the former to taint the latter. True justice, annoyingly, includes both mercy and wisdom or it is not real. This is a hard road to walk, but if we face the brokenness in ourselves before (or as) tackling the brokenness in others, it is much easier. Go well.

  14. Sadly there are many issues the media wont report on because they show influential people in a bad light. These cases should be reported and placed on the public record so unsuspecting citizens can be better informed when they are confronted with similar issues. One of these is dealing with the justice system which at times persecutes the victims of crime to protect the perpetrators.

  15. The crushing irony of Sheridan accusing the ABC of being monolithic on…wait for it…an ABC program.

  16. I begin with this observation. Through my life, I have been a bigot. At the time of my bigotry, I failed to recognise it, but with time, I was educated to know better. The point is that all of us are potential bigots, and none of us know own bigotry until after the fact. Over the years, good people have been bigoted against homesexuals, ethnic groups, Lindy Chamberlain, Angry Old White Men. Is progressive politics bigoted against catholic priests? I guess we’ll know in 10 years.

    I tend to agree with Sheridan. Over the past decade, the ABC has become progressively insular, and the behaviour of its senior journalists often resembles the antics of the in-crowd of adolescents.

    Two recent examples:
    1. Seven minutes after Insiders ended, Annabel Witness tweets “Greg Sheridan appears to think the
    @timminchin Cardinal Pell song was an ABC commission. What? Wasn’t it a fundraiser, produced independently by Minchin?”

    Minutes later, this or similar is retweeted by the rest of the cool kids – including the usually disciplined Michael Rowland, the admirable Patricia Karvalas and the slightly deranged Ellen Fanning. Others did also.

    Really? Couldn’t one of them address the substance of Sheridan’s complaint? Why use the lawyer’s trick of attacking Sheridan’s credibility for what was at worst, an imprecise use of words.

    It is difficult to dispute that 7:30 Report gave tacit endorsement to Minchin’s song. This is the headline the report ran under “Australian comedians supercharge an online campaign to help abuse survivors confront Cardinal George”. The hen-pecking attacks on Sheridan did nothing but prove his point, which was that the ABC reporters gang up on individuals

    2. Whether you believe Pell or not, one implication of the High Court decision was that the Victorian legal system was unable to give a person a fair trial. Pell was probably the most notorious Victorian since Ned Kelly.
    Could it have been that the jury was influenced by the media? The ABC have been foremost in prosecuting Pell by media. Surely, someone at the organisation would think to run a story that asks how can a notorious individual get a fair trial in a state where there is no option for trial by judge alone.

    Sheridan is correct. The ABC, like The Australian, is progressively insular and mono-dimensional.

    Here is a good exercise to prove this. Try grading the following media organisations from left to right. Guardian, The Project, ABC, Nine Newspapers (to which I subscribe), Nine and Seven News, Herald Sun, Australian. Horrifyingly, the ABC is now further to the left than Nine newspapers. That can’t be right.

  17. Wasn’t the Herald Sun running the Pell story fairly hard at one point? Does that make them part of the bigoted conspiracy? Where are the Pell defenders and apologists now the RC findings have been made public?

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