It isn’t even punching down because he couldn’t land a blow

Liz Storer: We shouldn’t be involved in the [Russia/Ukraine] war, period. This is NATO’s war, NATO started it, they poked the bear, they pulled the lever, they knew exactly what Russia would do in response. They did it anyway. Let the US bankrupt itself as it’s very effectively done funding this war because we all know its own motives, own reasons for doing what it’s doing. Putin has always said he wanted to restore the boundary of the original USSR.

That’s why NATO knew what they were doing. The point of the matter is, Australia is not a member state of NATO. Neither should we be…Our entire lifetimes, our Australian military has never gone and fought proper wars. What it does is behave as the US’s sidekick. Why are we in Afghanistan? Oh, because the Americans are in Afghanistan. Why are the Americans in Afghanistan? Oh, protecting its own interests and benefiting greatly. I think a lot of everyday people on the street who haven’t just completely drunk the very simple Kool-Aid of “Russia bad everyone must up arms”, for goodness sake, before people started waving around the Ukrainian flag, we all knew it was one of the most corrupt countries on the face of God’s green earth.

Judging by Henderson’s sophomoric ad hominem, I assume he was incapable of refuting ‘The Late Debate’ co-presenter’s courageous, spirited and accurate analysis. Not only does he compare Storer to the most-watched essayist of American politics in the world today (thinking that’s an insult), he also compares her to John Pilger (a rogue too old for the Sky straight-talker to know about). Then he invents a fake quotation based on a neocon myth that’s almost as moth-eaten. “Give it to Putin,” Henderson imagines her saying – on being told the Russian President was about to invade chunks of Europe to rebuild the USSR. There is, in fact, no evidence Russia has any plans afoot to invade the West. There is a Mount Elbrus of evidence proving the United States means to control Europe’s political, cultural, economic and military dispositions.

“Let’s go to the transcript,” Henderson had begun, “which has been somewhat altered to make Ms Storer’s comments more coherent.” No, that’s not why he added an ellipsis. Suspicious, I tailed the trio. Let’s instead go to the Sky video which proves that Henderson has redacted Storer’s citation of Greg Sheridan’s “brilliant” column of 6 June in which he also criticises the tag-along sycophancy of Australian military deployments. That’s five strikes for Hendo: historical denialism, belittlement in lieu of a rebuttal, shooting himself in the foot during the commission of condescension, a sackable misuse of quotation marks and shiftily doctoring a transcript.

I happen to like and respect Henderson. He is a veteran scourge of the media’s smug doormen and a first-rate author of biographies and histories. Unfortunately, however, the Pavlovian reaction of culture warriors of his vintage to new America’s drums of war – all the whee with LGB! – bespeaks a generation of otherwise admirable minds hopelessly flummoxed. Liz Storer is right. The Russo-US Proxy War in Ukraine is not noble and it certainly has nothing to do with Australia – except as another opportunity for Canberra to play Stepin Fetchit at the behest of Washington. But old men always fight the wars they know best: yesterday’s. Henderson is backing lawless Joe Biden’s axis of democracy wreckers to settle a score with Leonid Brezhnev.

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7 Responses to It isn’t even punching down because he couldn’t land a blow

  1. C.L. says:

    Related: New Zealand radio journalist suspended over pro-Kremlin propaganda.

    New Zealand’s public broadcaster has stood down one of its journalists and launched an investigation after the digital sub-editor rewrote stories to include pro-Russian propaganda.

    RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson has apologised for the “pro-Kremlin garbage” published on the broadcaster’s website and announced a review of processes for editing online stories.

    “We’re feeling shocked and stunned,” Mr Thompson told NZ TV. “Personally, I’m so gutted by it. We’ve let our audience down. I need to make sure we have a robust process.”

    The journalist in question admitted that he had been changing wire stories from the Reuters news agency for at least five years.

    “I subbed several stories that way over the past number of years, in fact, since I started [at] Radio New Zealand,” they said in a statement. “And I have done that for five years and no one has tapped me on the shoulder and no body told me I was doing anything wrong,” he said.

    In one example, a story about the Ukraine war was changed to describe Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan revolution that toppled a pro-Russian president as “violent” and to claim Russia’s annexation of Crimea came “after a referendum.”

    [Correct – C.L.]

    “Russia annexed Crimea after a referendum, as the new pro-Western government suppressed ethnic Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine, sending in its armed forces to the Donbas,” the copy read.

    [Correct – C.L.]

    Another on the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam described the Maidan revolution as a “coup”

    [Correct – C.L.]

    RNZ has released a list of 15 stories that had been subject to pro-Kremlin editing and Mr Thompson said the broadcaster would continue to check thousands more.

    “I think this is a time for us working together to fix the problem. There have been breaches of our editorial policy. It’s really disappointing,” he said.


    By Anne Barrowclough in The Australian

  2. Franx says:

    There is a murkiness in the article which hides the fact that it is the RNZ boss who is apologising for the ‘garbage’ and not the subeditor. As for the subeditor, he is merely explaining that he has been subediting in the same way – accurately, going by the examples and as noted in the parentheses – for five years. The message, then, and despite the article’s surface intention, is not that the subeditor is a propagandist but that the message that the the subeditor is a propagandist is propaganda designed to control the population by scapegoating. Sad tactics.

  3. C.L. says:

    Yes, it’s the now ubiquitous ‘propaganda’ propaganda.

  4. Ed Case says:

    Hendo doesn’t take comments for good reasons.

    My Pet Peeve is his hanging shit on Ezra Pound, who was one of the good guys, in every issue.

  5. dover_beach says:

    Well put, C.L. The reflexive retort that any criticism of US foreign policy sounds ‘leftist’ is intellectually lazy.

  6. Cassie of Sydney says:

    I know Hendo and when I bump into him, I often subject him to a good rant, which he finds entertaining. Gerard is great on most things, but he’s not perfect. I like Storer…and Bernardi tries to question the official Ukraine propaganda.

    Sheridan is just a nauseating dribbler, a mediocre one at that, who should be put out to pasture.

  7. jupes says:

    Yes, Cassie, Sheridan is nauseating dribbler and a deep-state sycophant, however every now and again he is spot on. His excellent description of the ADF below, being one such example.

    It arose from the overwhelming desire of the defence establishment, and the governments it served, that the ADF should never go into combat or even be capable of combat.

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