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Thursday, May 13, 2010

STONEVILLE: "79 years ago one of the two major reasons I am here arrived, pink, chubby, and ineffably beautiful," Payton L. Inkletter relates joyously

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
13th May 2010

Thursday: Day three of being in the throes of a cold, thus explaining my miserable state.

I finally got through to the birthday girl, my Mum, who turns 79 today, and whose phone was hot by the time I got through, with an endless procession of wellwishers beating me to it. I was looking forward to going to dinner with her and sister Mary, and nieces Alice and Elizabeth, but I decided against it for two reasons: I dare not pass the cold on to Mum, and I am feeling rotten.

I spoke to my darling wife close to dark when she and her consanguineous family were near Busselton in the bush having refreshments. I warned her to beware the Busselton Tiger, with its well known predilection for soft Pommie female flesh, and is very active at dusk. Ah, absence does make the heart grow fonder…

I spent much of the evening in the Player recliner watching Aunty, with Cadbury asleep on my lap. She is a feline cherub, innocent, chubby, soft, smooth, and indescribably gorgeous. Yes, if we do give her to Jessi and her fiance, I will have to carry out my threat to leave a day before, after donning sackcloth and ashes, and, laden with milk powder, a can, and dates, wandering the hills for forty days, inconsolable, mixing the milk from puddles; if it doesn't rain, I'll use my tears.

Late evening I had a call from niece Alice, and we had a very mutually helpful long chat; she had just returned from the dinner with the birthday girl, her last living grandmother. Alice has been highly validating of me for decades, and it means a great deal to me.

Wow, let me commend Tony Jones, aka SilverToes, aka Tojo, for his sartorial splendour in his role as Lateline anchor tonight! He consistently dresses superbly, and consistently ditches the white shirt conservatism of most, and gets away with it very well. The photo here should prove my point.

The (Tony) SilverToes aka Tojo (Jones) Assay: His first interview was with Minister for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Small Business Craig Emerson, and it got robust fairly quickly and remained so. I give them both an even score, with Mr Jones getting a tad precious when Mr Emerson didn't answer the question asked from the outset, but while I note the valid frustration of journalists being thrown the non sequitur, almost a hundred per cent of politicians are doing it, so what else do we expect? If we the audience actually heard answers to the questions asked we'd probably all have coronaries on the spot.

And journalists are often as bad as their prey, the politicians, by asking loaded or damning questions, and Mr Jones asks plenty of these, as do most journos. Take this for example: Tony Jones: "Are you saying that they (every major mining company) are economically illiterate or simply that they're lying?" Well, odds strongly are, Mr Emerson was saying neither. So it’s a bit precious of journos to complain that they are not being given answers to their questions when so many of their questions are so loaded.

I'm not saying that journalists shouldn't ask such tricky and shock jock questions, for they can be a legitimate device to extract information or telling responses, such as the feather in the cap that Kerry O'Brien aka Kezza the Great won last night when he got Kevin Rudd throwing a moderate tantrum on The 7.30 Report; what I am saying is, don't get precious when politicians employ the non sequitur, particularly when you are a journalist with a track record of asking impossible, damning, or loaded questions. Better still, strive to be a journalist who remains good natured and uses wit and humour to expose the craftiness and evasion of the average politician, always. Easier said than done, I'm certain.

Anyway, thank you Mr Jones and Mr Emerson for a fast moving and very male contest.

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