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The Magpie

Saturday, January 7th, 2017   |   81 comments

The Year Ahead … Will One Notion Continue To Be Australia’s Political Petri Dish?

Of course it will. What fun!

pic by Liam Kidston (Brisbane)

Pic by Liam Kidston, Brisbane

The Magpie returns to cyberspace today after his break – and so does ace ‘toonist Bentley – to try to keep the bastards honest for another year. If the past couple of weeks is anything to go by, it’s going be all uphill – and no mayor jokes please, just had brekky.

On the international scene, the media boo-boo of 2017 so far (doesn’t take long, does it?) goes to American heavyweight, the Washington Post.

And an alarmed ‘Pie reports on why we may have seen the end of Santa … his arrival next year is in severe doubt, and it’s nothing to do with animal liberationists or the Allied Little Helpers Collective Union (North Pole branch).

We also have a great ‘spot the cat’ pic to test your eyesight/sobriety/patience.

Over the break, though, it’s been the usual suspects … The Astonisher and their magic maths and their quaint idea of news, The Dudley Do Nothings, who reckon Port Moresby is a better way to get to Asia that Cairns – no, seriously- they do – and the man who put the ‘twit’ in Twitter, Donald the Trumpet.

And that’s where we’ll start …

The New Chumpion Of Social Media

Rumor has it that when a reporter accused Donald Trump of intending to ‘rule by fiat’, he loudly denied it, saying if it wasn’t made in America, no way he’d have anything to do with it, ‘and besides, the Eye-ties can’t even run their own country’.

The big debate now is whether, when in office, he will ‘rule by Twitter’, preferring early hours rambling to set both policy and the news cycle for the following 24 hours. Clever ploy if the media plays along with it, which they do, mainly because they just haven’t the nous to ignore much of his blustering and dishonest flapdoodle. And his inveterate tweeting is just another thing that Congress wants to eyeball this ultimate shyster about. Bentley reckons there a cartoonish parallel coming up in the congressional hearings on that point.

Looney Tunes copy

Other small matters also under scrutiny will be just when and why did the orange haired suck-up apparently become Putin’s bitch.


But all in all, The ‘Pie and Bentley will have a lot of fun with Trump until he actually presses the wrong button in the presidential loo late one night – then we will all go to shit.

Peter Schrank inThe Guardian summed up the global jitters nicely.

Screen shot 2017-01-04 at 6.16.55 PM

The Term ‘Cock-Up’ Comes To Mind

The Trumpet’s inauguration is going to see more than 50,000 women attending to make it known that they ain’t too pleased with his neanderthal attitudes to sheilas … errrm, oops, that should be ‘to those of the female persuasion’.

The Washington Post’s weekly magazine Express thought this worthy of a cover story, with a clever-clogs suitable illustration to get the point across. They came up with this …

wrong express cover

There equal amounts of howling rage and howling laughter, and the Express made a grovelling apology and righted the wrong with this expensive re-print …

Right express cover

As said, literally a cock-up.

Even When The Astonisher Gets A Number Right (Rare), They Still Manage To Get It Wrong

Indignation to no avail about the sloppy ill-service of kiddy journalism dished up by the Townsville Bulletin, The ‘Pie can now but laugh along at their goofiness. Donning its mantle of peoples’ champion, the Astonisher decided to do a silly season hammer job about kiddy crime.


A worthy subject that has regularly filled the pages for the past year. It was a standard rehash of a story with new stats  that was basically right, but what wasn’t right was the graphic accompanying the pics and text.


Car thefts ‘down’ from 3639 in 2015 to just 1002 in 2016? Not only is that arse about but it looks even sillier that those maths represent a 78.39% drop in offending.

One feels it’s going to be a long year.

 All The News That Fits 

Not that they’ll need any extra journos – indeed, might even give a few the heave-ho, now that Rupert owns virtually all print media in Qld. (Is Mt Isa still the only hold-out?) As previously predicted, we are starting to see space filled up with totally irrelevant Cairns and Mackay stories to fill the wide open spaces left by the absence of advertising. And why would they need more journos, when completely undisguised PR fluff is being presented as news … like this during the week.

Screen shot 2017-01-07 at 2.31.14 PM

That is simply no more than a straight out ad for Wellness magazine. Which is owned by guess who? This should at the very have carried a notation that it was an advertisement.

Wellness indeed. Makes you sick, doesn’t it?

Carpark Conferences – It’s All A Cultural Thing, You Media Idiots!

During the break, the Bulletin’s most prolific reporter, Freddy Facebook, came up with a ripper yarn about indigenous folks dookin’ it out in public carparks. The paper then had the temerity to publish the evidence on the front page. This brought a swift and stinging rebuke local tribal Kadaitcha-man known only as ‘The Les of Garbutt’ in the Text The Iditor column.

Front page of paper just goes to show lack of cultural awareness in the community, these fights are about settling disputes and are better with just 2 combatants then whole family groups. Les

The innate wisdom shines through with all the insight of a balanced Gracelyn Smallwood comment promoting racial harmony. The mystical ‘kadaitcha man’ used to sneak around in moccasins made of feathers which hid his tracks. These blokes were commonly called Featherfoots. The ‘Pie opines that the other end of The Len’s anatomy would also deserve the word ‘feather’ attached to it.

But The ‘Pie is with ‘The Les of Garbutt’ on this one, because the media is generally so insensitive – although The Bulletin’s cartoonist may just have been short of black ink when he backed up the front page and squeaking iditorial with a lame depiction of two WHITE kids having a dust-up. That’s an insult on any number of levels, including to The Len, who may well file suit for ‘cultural appropriation’.

If he does, he might also like to cite a national matter of cultural appropriation, when he gets someone to read the item about Rod Cullerton below.

Misundertsanding Rod Cullerton

One Nation is a political petri dish, culturing exotic cells and experimenting with mosses from the political wishland of fruit loops and the dangerously disordered. All under the quavering eye of the mad scientist herself, Pauline Hanson. And none are so exotic as One Notion senators Malcolm Roberts and Rod Cullerton.

Senator Malcolm Roberts ... bringing shame to both Queensland and the name Malcolm.

Senator Malcolm Roberts … bringing shame to both Queensland and the name Malcolm.

Roberts, who represents the interests of the Planet Zog and tin foil manufacturers, was neatly summed up by a NZ politician Kelvin Davis during the week when he said of Roberts “He’s a climate-change conspiracies’ theorist; he’s a racist and probably the saddest thing about his entry into Australia politics, spending so much time in Canberra, is he has denied a village somewhere in Australia of its idiot. What he is saying is absolutely nuts.’

There is nothing to add to that.

Rod Cullerton 3

Then there’s Rod Cullerton, who deserves more than a petri dish … he is worthy of his own entire laboratory of alarmed scientists frantically ringing the producers of Catalyst.

We are told that Petri dishes are incubated upside-down to lessen the risk of contamination from airborne particles settling on them, and upside down is exactly how ex-One Notion and now independent senator Cullerton found himself when there was a spontaneous and violent reaction on the steps of a WA courthouse from fellow resident of the petri dish, a One Notion wannabee.

But the incident was a sad harbinger of the year to come, from those latte sipping, tofu munching elite in the media. Talk about culturally insensitive. When Rod got up, it was clear to any culturally aware Aussie that when he ripped off his jacket (‘one of my favorite jackets’ he later confirmed) it was the time-honoured signal of seeking what we all know as a ‘carpark conference’. These discussions, often involving a fascinating sequence of looping and weaving dance steps, is the cultural manner in which white fellas have always discussed and rationally debated their differences. This has been part and parcel of white culture for as long as we have been here.

But what does the bloody media do? They all suggested that because Rodney had scrambled up and taken off his jacket, he was ‘squaring up’ with the intention of indulging in what Seven Perth coyly termed fistcuffs (sometimes heard as the incantation ‘I’m gunna punch the frigging tripe outta ya, ya mug’). Senator Cullerton clearly wanted only to talk and seek answers, but the media had to sensationalise a prominent citizen’s ancestral rites, didn’t they?

For shame, media, for shame.

PS While Senator Culleton was at hospital to check on an injured wrist, he also underwent a brain scan. Doctors found nothing.

The Good News Of The Week Is That Bridget Woods Is ‘Excited’.

The’ Pie is always happy to hear when a gal is excited, not that it has much to do with him personally nowadays (nothing, in fact.) While waiting for a proper job to come along, Bridget Woods wiles away her time as something called the Tourism and Events Manager of Townsville Enterprise aka the Dudley Do Nothings.

Bridget Woods TEL's Bridget Woods trying to find Port Moresby

TEL’s Bridget Woods trying to find Port Moresby

She was commenting in one of the regular Astonisher non-news stories that which began

Townsville Airport has begun to spruik connections to The Philippines ahead of the start of flights to Papua New Guinea at the end of March.’ And as we know, the boss of Townsville Airport is the gormless Kevin Gill, who in his spare time is the board chairman of Townsville Enterprise … and therefore Ms Wood’s superior – please note: this is one of the extremely rare occasions the words ‘Kevin Gill’ and ‘superior’  appear in the same sentence.

The story is a straight PR pitch for the airport and the new service, but the ludicrous is never far away when TEL, Gill and The Astonisher get together. Ms Woods managed a very lukewarm endorsement of Cowboys home games as a draw for the service, venturing she thought it ‘a very promising timetable’. Which is as it may be, but things quickly went off the runway when we read:

Ms Woods said connections to places such as The Philippines would help open Townsville up to more international opportunities. We’re very excited about the follow on connections from these routes,” she said.

Now it always nice to know when someone from TEL – usually CEO ‘Little Patty’ O’Callaghan – is excited about what invariably is something SOMEONE ELSE has done. But this sort of enthusiasm merits the question: do you seriously think someone wishing to go to the Philippines would fly to Port Morseby and then on to Manila, when they can simply get to Cairns and fly direct to Manila on a regular PAL flight? Or even by-pass the unpleasant aspects of PNG and get to the marginally more desirable Darwin for a quick hop, step and jump north?

If anyone at the Astonisher thought of this question, they were most certainly told not to ask it.

If Townsville is to have the bright future the paper fatuously predicts in 2017, a priority will have to be a re-structuring of Townsville Enterprise into a professionally-led outfit that isn’t cowed by the narrow self-interests of a stacked boardroom. Come to think of it, same applies to the Townsville Bulletin.

And good bloody luck with that. 

Have We Seen The Last Of Santa?

Probably. Seems job dissatisfaction could take its toll.


But worse, he could face restricted reindeer power next year. It is not often spoken of, but the latest inclusion into harness, Rudolf, joined Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen when one of their original team went missing while servicing the shacks on the hunting country of West Virginia ‘Dunno what happened to to this day. But even after all these years, I still miss old Vension,’ Santa said in a recent interview.

But there may be even worse news for old chubby-chops next year, as The ‘Pie can exclusively report here.

Another Pussy Hunt

See how long it takes you to spot the moggy.


Have a great 2017. Comments now open, tell us all what’s been happening. And you can get Nest’s year off to a bright start with a donation to help the blog along. How To Donate button below.

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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