By Daniel Lang - Managing Director
It was a good week for...
Staff at the Australia's public broadcaster, the ABC.
There has been plenty of concern for the direction of the ABC under Justin Milne and Michelle Guthrie, but this week the two most senior figures at the public broadcaster have moved on and given old Aunty the chance to start fresh and ensure it remains the must trusted deliverer of impartial and unbiased political coverage in the country.
With Milne and Guthrie out the door, concerns over the editorial and content direction of the ABC, including seemingly genuine concerns that Milne was directing or at least attempting to direct the firing or removal of on-air talent on the basis they were unpopular with the sitting Liberal party prime minister, will hopefully abate and the broadcaster can get back to doing what it does best, providing quality locally-produced content.
Milne's close personal friendship with Malcolm Turnbull had seemingly played a significant role in decisions or requests made by the now former Chairman. Speaking from New York, Turnbull denied contacting Milne or anyone else at the ABC to request specific journalists or presenters were ditched.
Guthrie herself also ended her time with the ABC in a fairly unpopular position given her lack of fight against budget cuts and a perception that she wasn't there to back staff.
Special bonus mention for New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern who was right on top of her game on Stephen Colbert's The Late Show. Ardern is an effervescent and charismatic leader and has reinvigorated a flagging centre-left across the ditch.
It was a bad week for...
It's never a good sign for a conservative prime minister or party leader when Andrew Bolt uses his semi-coherent ramblings to disagree with you or bring down your ideas, so ScoMo will be a little perturbed with the latest dish from the media personality in The Daily Telegraph.
Bolt used his Telegraph column to savage Morrison's calls for a specific national day to 'celebrate' Aborigines and take the heat off concerns Australia Day now represents to many people a time of sadness and mourning.
No matter which side you fall on when it comes to the debate around January 26th, it's hard to see anyone lining up behind the prime minister and getting on the bandwagon of a second day which would appear at best tokenistic and shallow and, at worst, an insult to those who have expressed legitimate feelings over what Australia Day means to them.
Bolt labelled the suggestion straight up "bad," before going on to note a slew of different occasions which he claims have not dulled the "deliberate offence-taking."
Say what you will about ol' ScoMo, he might be the architect of some of Australia's harshest immigration policies and he may have done his level best to avoid a Royal Commission into the banking sector and voted to slash weekend penalty rates, but the hardest part of his whole schtick to swallow is his attempts to try and make himself more appealing to the broadest majority possible.
It'll take more than a few baseball caps and a run around passing a footy to turn this dud into a leader.
Check it out...
In case you missed it, The Pioneer Australia has landed itself a new managing editor for pop culture.
I have known Bo Nicholson for some time and can attest to his wonderful command of the English language and his passion and knowledge for all things movies and music.
Bo's first piece, a brief look at a number of movies in Australian cinemas today is illuminating and a great place to start if you're headed to the flicks sometime over the coming long weekend.
Watching and waiting...
While the first big story of this week was dealt with on Tuesday night when the NRL judiciary took an excruciating age to decide Billy Slater had not committed a shoulder charge when tackling Cronulla's Sosaia Feki and could in fact play in this Sunday's NRL Grand Final, we're still sweating on the fitness of Rooster's halfback Cooper Cronk.
Cronk ended last week's win over South Sydney with a 'severe rotator cuff injury' and remains in distinct doubter for the decider this weekend.
A chance to slip the boot in...
I've always said you know you're doing well when your rivals are talking bad about you.
It's one of the key reasons I can't wait to work out who our rival here at The Pioneer Australia will be, just so I can obsessively reload their Twitter feed until I see a few snide remarks.
The ABC is engulfed in a fair donnybrook right now and the direction of the broadcaster remains unclear but it must comfort those still standing at old Aunty that for-profit media like The Daily Telegraph still feel the need to throw jabs and try and cut down what the broadcaster does so well.
In an attempt at a humourous cut-down, Tim Blair called the affair a "Billion-dollar soap opera" and called it's offerings "increasingly boutique" before suggesting if you didn't watch it or listen to it you were one of a "massive number of Australians."
Give me the good old ABC over Mr Blair any day of the week.
By Daniel Lang - Managing Director
Welcome to the weekly wrap of the interesting news doing the rounds across the weird, wonderful web.
It was a good week for...
Fans of terrible trophies.
We all have them, those dodgy, cheap generic trophies that were handed out for the most minor achievements of our youth. The faux 'gold' atop what's supposed to be a marble-styled plinth which were made to make us feel a little better about forcing mum and dad to shell out hundreds in rego fees, but the latest trophy to surface takes the cake.
Full credit to Scott Morrison, the winner of Australia's most recent prime ministerial musical chairs, he might be a terrible human, but he leans right into his role.
Morrison, the man who spouted the 'stop the boats' line which became the mantra on which Tony Abbott's leadership was developed on, clearly takes a perverse pride in his efforts to deny legitimate refugees and asylum seekers a chance of finding a new life on Australian soil.
A New York Times journo who sat down with ScoMo made the discovery which was later verified and captured by an AAP photographer.
Morrison really does have a trophy in his office of a boat with the phrase "I stopped these" emblazoned on it.
Let that sink in.
An election and a clean out of the once proud Liberal party cannot come soon enough.
It was a bad week for...
The former prime minister and current member for Warringah has held the safe seat for the Liberals since he took the seat from fellow LNP member Michael MacKeller way back in 1994 but he could be under serious pressure to keep it moving forward.
Grace Irvin, a lawyer who lives in the electorate has started an online campaign to oust the long-serving minister and it appears to have gathered some serious momentum as the safe conservative seat grapples which serious shifts in social thinking.
The seat voted overwhelmingly in support of legalising same-sex marriage during the Turnbull government's plebiscite and appears at odds with Abbott's more old-school conservative views. The fact he was so openly against same-sex marriage reform was not taken lightly in the affluent northern beaches area either.
Throw in Abbott's likely hand in the political assassination of Malcolm Turnbull, the man who ousted Abbott himself from the gig and the people of Warringah are facing some serious political thinking over the next few months until a federal election is called.
A recent pre-selection meeting saw 30 of the 100 members take a stand against Abbott which is clearly not a majority, but is a big number given his public face and place within the LNP over the years.
Give it a listen...
I'm not breaking any ground when I suggest rapper Eminem is amongst the most well-known and respected artists of his generation and that folks my age (read rapidly approaching 30 and feeling old) are rather partial to a few of his better known hits.
That said, I finally got around to grabbing a copy of his new album 'Kamikaze' which was released back in late August and I have to put my hand up, it's a tremendous album.
His tenth studio album, there's little denying Eminem's street cred these days, but this latest release is wall-to-wall bangers.
Picture credit: The Independent
Worth a watch...
It definitely isn't as well known as other Hank Azaria projects like The Simpsons or Sex and the City, but if you're into a little dark comedy and racy jokes with a good story and compelling protagonist, check out IFC's Brockmire starting Azaria, Amanda Peet and Tyrel Jackson Williams.
Set around the crumbling life of former Big League Baseball announcer Jim Brockmire, you'll try to remain composed as his life drifts after he finds his wife engaged in, well let's just say it's far more on the dark side than merely an extra-marital affair.
Jackson Williams is amazing as Charles while Amanda Peet plays the unique Jules in all her glory.