Not sure if many can still stomach it but I watched ABC Insiders this morning. The main reason being to see what they would make of Bill Leak's passing. Bill was a regular contributor to the Talking Pictures Segment and appeared a number of times on the show. Given Bill's long connection to the program and his significance to Australian media and political life I thought it might have been appropriate to devote the "Talking Pictures" segment to him. Perhaps Warren Brown or Peter Hoysted (aka Jack the Insider) could have added some personal recollections about this Australian Legend.
Instead in this warped ABC world, there was nothing in that segment said about one of Australia's leading political cartoonists over the last 20 years. NOTHING. Instead to add insult ABC gave the guest spot to a hopelessly ordinary comedian; Mark Humphries, who helps out on The Feed, a low quality SBS "comedy". Humphries seem to be fond of that light weight Politically Correct form of "satire" that picks on easy targets and is not likely to offend anyone. It's that asinine, blow in the breeze type of "satire" common on government funded channels of late that's quickly forgotten and leaves as lasting impression on the world as a footprint on the beach. Hardly biting, hardly satire, hardly funny (but we all pay for it).
In August last year using tax payers money, the Feed broadcast what it described as "the most sublime takedown of Bill Leak's racist cartoon". This piece starred the aforementioned Humphries and side kick Jan Fran. The superficial analysis and level of ignorance demonstrated in this "satirical" skit is astonishing. It takes a great deal of intelligence, research and knowledge to produce good satire, the sort Bill produced day in - day-out. One of the keys being a kernel of truth. But there is no kernel of truth in the notion that Bill Leak was racist in anyway. The misrepresentation of his opinions and cartoons by these lightweights perhaps a testament to the long term failure of our education system to teach critical thinking. Unbelievably SBS describe this as "simply brilliant". It's simply crap; crap that we paid for with hard earned tax dollars. The perpetrator of this crap the person chosen by ABC for the Talking Pictures segment a few days after Bill's death. The insult is palpable.
But Insiders didn't stop there. Following the briefest of mentions of the sad news by Barry Cassidy and a very short 30 second clip, Laura Tingle, perhaps having raided Michelle Grattan's wardrobe of spotty dresses and grannies teeth pearl strands, struck a new low with perhaps the worst eulogy ever made.
Perhaps they will make up for it next week?
See also With Friends Like Laura Tingle... at Quadrant.