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The Magpie

Saturday, December 27th, 2014   |   24 comments

The Astonisher ends the year on an award high, snaffling the Janus Two-Faced BUMM Chalice for 2014 for the spectacular effort of decrying lawless youth, while at the same time promoting and encouraging it.

And has the Bulletin cracked, realising its relentless, one-sided campaign folr a super stadium may need more debate – and political will?

Being that time of year, not a great deal to report, so it’ll be short and swe … err, well, it’ll be short.

And we’ll have a little retrospective of the best of Bentley in 2014.

But first, although we talked about this in the comments section during the week, let’s revisit the latest community-spirited effort from the Bulletin aka the Daily Astonisher … and astonish it did.

The Janus Two Faced BUMM Chalice

The Janus Two Faced BUMM Chalice

It transpired during the week that groups of dim-witted local ‘yoofs’ have been gathering in local Townsville parks for a bit of anti-social biffo. Although the paper gives the initial impression of all-in mob violence and some sort of gang warfare, it seems it is nothing of the sort – just some organized bare-knuckle tomfoolery between two willing opponents, urged on by their developmentally-delayed peers. This from the on-line story.

From the Bulletin website.

From the Bulletin website.

The reporter is our old mate Matthew Dunno Dunn

Matthew Dunno Dunn after a hard day at the keyboard.

Matthew Dunno Dunn after a hard day at the keyboard.

– if you can call it reporting when all one does is trawl around social media then make a couple of phone calls. But Dunno feigns indignity and outrage at what he describes as ‘a disturbing video (which) has had more than 20,000 views on Facebook in 48 hours’. That’s a lot olf people peering at one video, more than our reporter would ever get. Sounds like a clear case of Dunno suffering a bad case of ‘peering envy’. He also speaks disapprovingly of the crowd’s ‘jovial cheering’ when a participant is knocked down ‘multiple times’. We also get this bit of priceless journalistic hypocrisy:

‘Queensland Police Acting Commissioner Paul Taylor said the police took the issue very seriously and would be working to identify, and take action against, those involved. “We are trying to prevent assaults and anti-social behaviour, so it’s frustrating when people use social media to facilitate activities that could potentially lead to serious injury or death,” he said.’

Hypocrisy? Well, it turns out it isn’t just ‘social’ media facilitating such activities. Because what does this ethically challenged reporter, urged on by the Bulletin, do? He posts the link to the video he has just roundly condemned, thus greatly enhancing a social media clip that Comissioner Taylor believes could end up in ‘injury or death’.

But hell, it’s just on the Bulletin website, where we know very few readers go – unless they are given a reason to do so. Well, hang on a minute – this from Wednesday’s paper itself, they just couldn’t help themselves.


They even describe the video as ‘shocking’ but that hasn’t stopped the paper from urging people to seek it out on line. What The ‘Pie saw of it, it was hardly ‘shocking’ in terms of actual violence, just a couple of wannabee powder puffs indulging in a sort of half-hearted girlie-slap mincing about the park.

But the issue here is the paper saying how terrible, anti-social and illegal it all was then urging people to view something not even attended or witnessed by a Bulletin reporter or photographer. Intrepid stuff, folks – a promotion worthy of legendary Don King. Wonder what the coppers thought of the urging of illegal activities from the journalistic sidelines.

It a breath-taking example of the News Ltd double standards that the Townsville Bulletin revels in, and it would be interesting to hear any justification from Iditor Pinocchio Heywood for this little adventure into cynicism. It’s almost worth a complaint to the Press Council, which nowadays can deliver a very public rap over the knuckles for this sort of sleazy, quasi-illegal and decidedly unethical behavior.

But perhaps Iditor Heywood wasn’t in any shape to make a sober decision about the issue, not if this was a shot of him at the Astonisher’s Christmas hi-jinx.

Lachy, that you?

Lachy, that you?

Certainly looks like him, but on closer examination, it seems the photo came from the New York Post (to illustrate a bought-in bullshit fluff story about office Christmas party pitfalls). Hey, wait a minute, wasn’t Lachy in New York recently visiting his newest bestie Roopy Murdoch. Maybe they had an early knees-up there, and so maybe it could actually be our boy. It would certainly account for a lot of things if that turns out to be the case. Better watch out, old son, in News Ltd, being drunk in the workplace is a sackable offence.

But there’s a good chance Pinocchio is on hols, and someone less obsessed with editorial agendas is writing the editorials … could be Tony Raggatt, following up on his well-reasoned column about transparency in the privatisation of the Townsville port. Seems it could well be, because on Friday, the Astonisher carried an editorial of vacuous guff about the local economy, but it contained this noteworthy line:’ The state election should deliver several major projects for Townsville, possibly even the $316million integrated stadium and entertainment centre.’

‘Should deliver?’ – ‘possibly even?’

Just four words, but do they signify that reality is sinking in in Flinders Street West? Or did this just slip past because the iditor is away, or on the turps, or both? 2015 is going to be the most intriguing of years.

Moving on …

So many other people have so many things to say about so many political matters of the year just gone that he ‘Pie is falling back on the old dictum that one picture is worth a thousand words. Thus the old bird’s only comment on the politics of 2014 is …

naughty-statues-huta-stupidity-head-up-their-ass-peopleHowever, Bentley has had a bumper year all round, but some of his best have been his take on politics. Here’s a small retrospective of our talented ‘toonist take on political life in 2014.

The issue of asset sales was a recurring theme on the state level …


… and then the bribe …

stadium copy

And the federal scene provided even more scope for Bentley’s insights, none better than this succinct summing up …

snatch copy

The advent of powerful minor party players became a fact of life – not that they were always on the ball …

Rip Van Palmer copyDealing outside the standard powerplayers caused all sorts of headaches for Wingnut Abbott and Not So Jolly Joe Hockey, but they did some deals, and just when they seemed on top of it …

dance w hans fin

The brilliant Bentley will back again in the New Year.

But if it wasn’t politics, it was sex that grabbed the attention of the tabloids. Not that they had to work too hard at it, fate worked in their favour, what with Jacqui Lambie’s public plaint for someone wealthy and well-hung in her life and pants, Craig Thompson getting his wrist-slap come-uppance for his rorting rumpy-pumpy, and even the family-friendly Macy’s Parade in New York getting mythical characters into a fantasy sex act before startled on-lookers.

Macy's parade

Bit exotic.

Last week’s snippet about military life amused quite a few people, so perhaps this might raise a smile.

A soldier based at Lavarack was on Middle East duty when he received this letter from his girlfriend.


Ricky was mightily unhappy about this rebuff, but, hey, he’s an Aussie soldier, so he’s resourceful if nothing else. So when he calmed down, he went around his mates, seeking any spare photographs of their girlfriends, sisters, ex-girlfriends, aunts or cousins. He even got a few from fellow female soldiers. He then posted all 57 snaps, along with the picture of the unfeeling Becky, accompanied by this note.


Finally, while we swelter away in the southern climes, it’s a chilly Christmas and New Year north of the equator, with everyone looking forward to the return of sun and warmth. Well, not everyone, it’ll be a sad time for some.


Happy 2015, everyone … onward and ever upward.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.

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