The Ma’am With The Golden Smarm

The Nine newsroom has been decimated by Palaszczuk poachings over the last 18 months, with her government hiring up to a dozen of Nine’s most senior talent believed to have been seduced by six-figure salaries – some reputedly in excess of $200,000, and significantly above what they were on at Nine.

Chief political reporter Lane Calcutt; executive producer of the 6pm news bulletin, Cullen Robinson; senior reporters Natarjsha Kramer and Shannon Marshall-McCormack, and Gold Coast correspondent Charlton Hart have all recently disappeared into the web of Palaszczuk’s industrial-scale spin machine.

It was wrong for Frank Sinatra to underprice journalists in Australia as “buck and a half” hookers.
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26 Responses to The Ma’am With The Golden Smarm

  1. Lee says:

    Most journalists in Australia work for the Greens/Labor for free.

  2. Lee says:

    Last I heard, Dictator Dan employs well over a hundred spin merchants to promote his terrible legacy.

    A job well done doesn’t need propagandists.

  3. Fred says:

    This is why journalists are so soft on Dan Andrews and other state premiers. They don’t want to ruin their future employment prospects.

  4. twostix says:

    What’s the point in being a ruling class if you can’t help rule the people?

  5. twostix says:

    Hardly anyone in the civilised business attire classes disagrees with labour on anything anymore. They’re true believers on all fronts.

    The question is who captured whom though?

  6. Buccaneer says:

    Quid pro quo?

  7. C.L. says:

    Not in the true sense, Bucc. That implies the journalists will do Palaszczuk favours in return for handsome remuneration. In fact, they’re happy to do her endless favours anyway. This is more like a Higgins payout. A bonus.

  8. NFA says:

    And Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson laughs at ‘the chooks’ and the corrupt Queensland ‘political’ systems.

  9. Fat Tony says:

    What NFA says…

  10. Rockdoctor says:

    Beattie used to do the same with CM. In fact I seem to remember most of the columnists at one stage had done time as an ALP spin doctor but referred to as media advisors. Beattie has been a protected species for years despite his rotten government, Bligh got off relatively unscathed and Palace”chook” is still continually treated with kiddie gloves. The latest gaffe will be yesterdays news in a day or two.

    Now contrast that to the treatment meted out to Newman. Newman may have made numerous mistakes but never given a chance.

  11. Entropy says:

    twostix says:
    30 May, 2023 at 3:19 pm
    Hardly anyone in the civilised business attire classes disagrees with labour on anything anymore. They’re true believers on all fronts.

    The question is who captured whom though?

    corporatism is a shared and close relationship between Big Government, Big Business, and Big Union. A happy little triumpherate. They go to the same private schools and universities, and marry each other.
    The real question is, at what point does corporatism reach its natural end: fascism?

  12. Entropy says:

    Eg Olivia Wirth (Qantas) married Paul Howes (AWU).

  13. C.L. says:

    Now contrast that to the treatment meted out to Newman. Newman may have made numerous mistakes but never given a chance.

    They didn’t just get rid of Newman. They hounded the Chief Justice out of office after one year. Nothing like that has ever been seen before.

    They go to the same private schools and universities, and marry each other.

    I remember a great piece in The Australian (IIRC) in relation to CJ Tim Carmody etc which revealed all of the intermarriages between and within the ALP and the Queensland legal fraternity. It was quite something.

  14. NFA says:

    what C.L. says…

  15. Christine says:

    It’s good to know their treatment of Tim Carmody hasn’t been forgotten.

  16. Entropy says:

    Yes that whole episode was rather despicable. He wasn’t part of the club.

    There were a few DG picks that weren’t appropriate though. Old army mates etc.

  17. Entropy says:

    I would note both parties major parties appoint their mates to the bench. The problem in Qld is that with mostly ALP governments for the last thirty four years it has become more than intimate.
    This is the latest CM coverage of this issue in 2022: Court of Comrades, meet the ALP buddies on the bench.

    Queensland Labor has routinely handed plum judicial postings – including several Supreme Court bench appointments – to legal figures with strong links to the party, including spouses and close friends of MPs.
    The Saturday Courier-Mail has obtained an explosive dossier compiled by a senior member of the legal fraternity which identifies at least 17 appointments to lucrative roles that have gone to people with enduring connections to the ALP.
    The revelations come after Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman recently made notorious former magistrate Bernadette Callaghan – who at times infuriated victims of crime groups during her 16-year career on the bench by handing out lenient sentences – head of a panel which plays a key role in the appointment of new magistrates.
    Ms Callaghan, who made headlines for her soft sentencing of criminals – including letting a thug who coward-punched a victim unconscious walk free without even a conviction – was a Labor Senate candidate, long-time member of the party’s Socialist Left and senior union figure.
    The state government has staunchly maintained it has a “robust policy” of using an independent panel to help make judicial appointments. While the Chief Justice of Queensland and one District Court judge said it would be expected that some judges would have had involvement with political parties as “private citizens”, that would discontinue if they were appointed to the bench.
    The dossier also cites the appointment late last year of barrister and Labor Party donor Kerri Mellifont QC to the Supreme Court bench and as Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal president.
    Ms Mellifont, the wife of state Labor MP Peter Russo, was secretly hired in 2018 to provide legal advice on controversial private emails involving Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
    Ms Mellifont, whose father was a Labor life member, donated $3700 to the party between 2017 and 2020, Electoral Commission of Queensland records show.
    The new chairperson of the Supreme Court appointments panel is former judge Ros Atkinson. Ms Fentiman was once her associate.
    The Courier-Mail is not suggesting the appointments were not based on merit.
    “It’s not just relatives and friends … it’s much more subtle and surreptitious than that,’’ a senior judicial source said.
    “You’ve got Labor law firms, partners, employees, former associates. It’s a labyrinth of associations.’’
    A magistrate earns $368,000 a year until retirement at age 70, when superannuation will be paid at 60 per cent of that salary, while Supreme Court judges are paid $433,012 a year and enjoy perks including a jurisprudence allowance of $35,008, with which they attend overseas legal conferences.
    Supreme Court and District Court judges, on retirement, get 60 per cent of their salary as a pension.
    Judicial sources have also raised the issue of Ms Fentiman last year appointing her aunt, Kerry Magee, already a magistrate, to a Children’s Magistrate role.
    In her maiden speech in 2015, Ms Fentiman paid tribute to “my Aunt Kerry, who was one of the first women to become a partner at a large Gold Coast law firm. She was my inspiration to study law.”
    Ms Fentiman also appointed Megan Power, sister-in-law of the sitting Logan Labor MP Linus Power, a magistrate in July, while Mr Power’s wife Jacqueline was in 2019 appointed Industrial Commissioner at the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
    Along with Ms Mellifont, several other appointments have strong connections to Mr Russo – a high-profile criminal lawyer before he entered politics.
    His former partner in law firm Russo Mahon, Megan Mahon, was announced as Legal Services Commissioner in 2019 by then attorney-general Yvette D’Ath.
    Two barristers thanked by Mr Russo in state parliament for helping in his 2015 campaign – Labor left activist Eoin Mac Giolla Ri and former Bar Association president Peter Davis – have since been elevated to judicial postings.
    Mr Mac Giolla Ri became a magistrate in June, while Mr Davis – who quit as Bar Association president a day after the Newman government appointed Tim Carmody chief justice – was appointed to the Supreme Court bench in 2017 and became President of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission on May 8, 2020.
    Mr Russo thanked Mr Davis and his wife Belinda for “making sure that my volunteers on election day were fed and watered”, while he said Mr Mac Giolla Ri had gathered supporters to his campaign functions.
    Federal Labor MP Milton Dick’s close mate Julian Noud – the first friend he thanked in his maiden speech to parliament – was appointed a magistrate in January 2020.
    Mr Noud, who is well known to be active in Labor Party circles, formerly worked at Labor law firm, Sciaccas Lawyers.
    Louisa Pink, who was the Labor candidate for Moggill at the 2015 election, was appointed a magistrate in April 2016, and Mark Nolan, appointed a magistrate in 2017 and then to the Children’s Court last year, is a former WA Labor state secretary and was a director of the company commissioned to co-ordinate Labor’s 2012 Queensland election campaign.
    Gregory Lynham, who was appointed a District Court judge in April 2017 is the cousin of then-cabinet minister Anthony Lynham.
    The dossier lists appointments dating back 16 years including Fleur Kingham, who was made a District Court judge in 2006 by Linda Lavarch and then elevated to president of the Land Court during the first term of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government.
    Ms Kingham is a long-time Labor figure, whose husband David Barbagallo quit as Ms Palaszczuk’s chief of staff in 2019 amid a scandal over a $267,500 government grant to a company in which he was a shareholder and director.
    At the time Ms Palaszczuk insisted his departure had nothing to do with the scandal and Mr Barbagallo was ultimately cleared of corruption by the CCC but found to have failed to properly declare his interests.
    The legal appointments have also included both a close friend and one-time mentor of Ms Palaszczuk.
    Brian Kilmartin was appointed a magistrate by Labor’s then attorney-general Kerry Shine in December 2006, two months after Ms Palaszczuk, then a rookie MP, told state parliament he was “my mentor for admission as a solicitor”.
    Also in her maiden speech, Ms Palaszczuk said: “I wish to make a very special mention of my university friend Mark Bucknall.”
    Mr Bucknall was appointed a magistrate in 2011.

    Blah, blah, blah
    The Law Society of Queensland did not respond to a request for comment.

  18. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    She’s probably been better than most Layba critters, but it’s increasingly looking like she’s left the Qld helf system to wither and suffer and die. So much for the ALP being the pardee of helf. I wonder whether the voters will notice Labor’s lies about such things?

  19. Petros says:

    They are too stupid to notice, Bruce. That is the problem.

  20. Buccaneer says:

    So more, what goes around, comes around, which is kind of quid pro quo, but more oblique. I’d note, that no journo is going to upset a potential future gig too much particularly if it’s the most lucrative gig in town. And it doesn’t take too curious a person to realise that success dependent on fealty rather than merit is a far easier path.

  21. Eyrie says:

    The real question is, at what point does corporatism reach its natural end: fascism?
    Australia got there a while back.

  22. Entropy says:

    If the ALP government wins the next election (and thanks to their new and massive resources tax, it has money at Scrooge McDuck levels), the left faction would move against Palaszczuk within a year. It would reckon it is its turn. Imagine Steven Miles, Premier.

  23. bollux says:

    Entropy,I reckon it’s the mens turn, but is Steven Miles a man? I have never seen such a simpering idiot in all my years, never mind as Deputy Premier.

  24. C.L. says:

    Now now. Miles has a PhD in trade unions.

  25. Lee says:

    Miles has a PhD in trade unions.


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