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.