Saturday, September 17, 2011

The measure of the man - departing Townsville Bulletin editor Peter Gleeson's disgraceful low blow - and he's even f ... err, make that ... mucked that up.

This is personal. And serious.

So in this case, I will drop the usual third person persona, and leave you to judge the following for yourself.

I should be flattered, but I'm not.
By resorting to one of the most blundering and boof-headed instances of attempted workplace bullying and harassment, Peter Typo Gleeson has finally acknowledged that The Magpie's Nest has been effective. Effective particularly in raising awareness of what The Magpie believes has been his ineptitude in his role as Townsville Bulletin editor. And effective in exposing his hidden agendas with the insidious injection of political spin into the news columns, rather than just leaving that stuff to columnists and the editorial.

This back-handed endorsement for The Magpie's Nest came in the form of a threatening email he sent to another News Limited employee.

Mr Gleeson's target was someone he does not know and has never met or spoken to, and someone who has nothing to do with the opinions or the facts expressed in this weekly blog.

The targeted person works in Melbourne for News Ltd's newly created national sports hub, and is a highly regarded and experienced specialist with a Masters of Digital Media (Dean's List) from the University of NSW. 
 She has more than 20 years media  experience both here and in the UK. She is a family woman and homemaker with a young son. She has absolutely nothing to do with the opinions, views or facts published in this blog.

She is also my daughter.

Here is how this disgraceful episode unfolded.

A couple of weeks ago, The 'Pie made a humorous reference to News Ltd CEO John Hartigan's lavish praise for Mr Gleeson's time at the helm of the Townsville Titantic aka The Bulletin.
But the light-hearted reference seemingly induced a brain snap in Mr Gleeson, apparently frustrated at every turn with being closely examined for that which he would rather went unexamined - his performance as editor of the Townsville Bulletin, a task I resigned from a well-paid job at the paper to specifically do.
Inexplicably, he sent my daughter an email - this is what she read when she opened News Ltd in-box when she arrived at work after a day off.

 From: "Gleeson, Peter" <>
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2011 15:43:29 +1000
To: Joady Weatherup <>


See your dad has defamed John hartigan, the CEO of the company you work for,
in his latest work of fiction.

Expect a call from mr hartigan. Malcolm was never the sharpest tool in the

Comment: even complete with typos regarding upper and lower case. And just why the News Ltd CEO might make such a call was not explained. One cannot even guess at what he would've had to say. It's doubtful he even knows of this incident and there is no conceivable way that he sanctioned this sinister message.

It is well to remember that the News Ltd HR conduct rules state that it is not what a person intended to convey by a statement, it is how it was received and perceived by the recipient.
By any measure, this was clearly and certainly a threatening message from Gleeson which, somehow in his fevered mind, was aimed, by implication, at cowering me into a less open view of him.
Gleeson may have been under the misapprehension that he was about to bully some 20-something impressionable and inexperienced person. He immediately was alerted to this mistake when, just a few minutes after opening it, my daughter sent this reply, which she cc'd to her boss, Toni Hetherington.

From: <Weatherup>, Joady <>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2011 10:38:39 +1000
To: "Gleeson, Peter" <>
Cc: "Hetherington, Toni" <>
Subject: Re:


I assume you are referring to something dad has done, and I would appreciate
an explanation on what you think this has to do with me?

I also share a sir name with a journo arrested over the News of the World
phone hacking issue, a distant relative, am I to be held responsible for his
views and actions too?

Toni -I am cc'ing you in on this because I view this email as a threat, and
as my manager I am hoping for clarification on whether my position with the
company is indeed under threat because I am to be held responsible for the
actions/views of my father.


Joady Weatherup
Video Program Producer
News Ltd Sports Network
The Magpie's daughter has absolutely no input or influence over the views and opinions in this blog, and never has had. Indeed, she has given her old man the rounds of the kitchen more than once over things in the blog with which she has strongly and stridently disagreed, to the point she now says she doesn't read the weekly missive.
Her reply elicited an immediate back-pedalling response from Gleeson, who may have by this time started the realise the enormity of his action.

From: "Gleeson, Peter" <>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2011 10:54:02 +1000
To: "Weatherup, Joady" <>
Cc: "Hetherington, Toni" <>
Subject: RE:


A threat? That's not my style Joady. I'm sure your position is safe as

Comment: So what was the purpose of the email, and your apparent taking of the name of the highest ranking officer in the company in Australia in vain? Or did he tell you to send such an email?

Anyway, Joady's boss was quite clear on the issue, cc'ing Gleeson her reply to my daughter, in which she was quiet clear that Gleeson was out of line, and that John Hartigan was a smart man who would not ascribe her father's  views to her.
Comment: Although my daughter, a level-headed and industrious employee of News Ltd, has been reluctant for me to put this into the public domain, my advice is that since the matter concerned me, and I am her father, it would be almost impossible for her not to inform me of these matters.
I informed Gleeson via email, along with GM Michael Wilkins and HR manager for North Queensland Newspapers Debbie deKroo, of my disgust with his behaviour. At that time, Joady's wish was to be allowed to just get on with a job she loves - and at which she is bloody good - so I tried to lighten up my outrage by suggesting this was proof of the effectiveness of my blog. But really, there is nothing lighthearted about this.

This protest elicited just an email reply consisting of a string of lame schoolyard jibes from Gleeson.

This is a clear attempt of (albeit futile) bullying and harassment in the workplace. And that is a definite no-no in News Ltd, who clearly take take their responsibilities in this area very seriously indeed. Or so they say. We'll see.

Peter, when you depart The Astonisher - next Friday at a guess - allow me to put aside the professional disdain I have for you to wish you, your family and especially your new bub a happy and productive life.

And it is The 'Pie's sincere hope that your boy bub grows up to enjoy a successful and happy Aussie lifestyle - and may he never be threatened or bullied by a stranger over something you have done.

Malcolm Weatherup


  1. Well said Malcolm and it vindicates your stance against Gleeson for all this time. What a grub and his actions are contrary to what you would expect of an editor let alone a senior manager in a business. I just hope News Ltd takes this further and "re educates" him.

  2. Get stuck into him, Malcolm...

    The slimy toad has proved he's even sleazier than I thought........ and I never though that was possible..


  3. Well 'Pie, he is just that! A very nasty piece of work. This city of ours will be well rid of him.

    His most sanctimonious spurious spouting was the Bully provides "balanced journalism" and that the Bully would 'set the political agenda'.
    That says it all. Good riddance Typo!

  4. Does Joady have a "sir" name because her father is a night or a knight?

  5. Well said, Sir, especially the last para.

  6. It vindicates your position all these months Malcolm and shows Gleeson's true colours. What a grub! I just wonder how the staff at the Gold Coast Bulletin now feel about him coming back!

  7. Re Sir 'Pie.
    i like the idea but In these advancing years, The 'Pie would be lucky to be once a night. But yes, typos are contagious, but I doubt Jo was writing a leisurely note in this instance.

  8. "she was quiet clear that Gleeson was out of line"

    Careful Magpie Mal, those bloody typo creatures have a way of infecting innocent bystanders ;-)

    Loving the blog,

    from the dungeon.

  9. sandybottom - bluewaterSeptember 18, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Well said! It's so often the case with people who are in a position os power to bully and push their weight around.
    It's always interesting with bullies and how they "back down" when confronted. The Bulletin is well rid of this editor and now maybe the paper can return to the glory of old, with serious journalism
    and credibility.....then maybe not so much because Malcolm Weatherup is not there!!

  10. indignant from north wardSeptember 18, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    That prick has finally undone himself. If this isn't taken further by management, there's a really good story for Media Watch. Hopefully, the thick bastard has realised the enormity of his blunder and is shitting himself in anticipation of a call from Hartigan. What is wrong with a company that can promote such a dickhead to a position of power?

  11. Gleeson - even as a bully you are a complete failure. Just bugger off.
    By Grumpy on The measure of the man - departing Townsville Bull... on 9/18/11

  12. I usually hang on the left side of politics and as such don't always appreciated aspects of your blog. But I've got to hand it to you on this one! If someone's being a tool, what comes around goes around. well done. what rotten behaviour.

  13. any word on who will be new ed?

  14. I shouldn't be surprised this hotheaded eejit forgot what happened when he pulled this stunt less than three years ago by sending a couple of stupid, typo-ridden, inaccurate and threatening emails to me shortly before my own departure from the well-named Bully. Back then I presume he got a right bollocking from previous GM Jason Scott; there can be no doubt he was obliged to rehearse his part of a script for the show the two of them subsequently put on for me in Jason's office. Are you sure he's going, Malcolm? Seems too late for the poor old Titanic.