Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Breakthrough! Mayor Mullet and Vern Shogun Veitch show a united front to smack down – would you believe – the Townsville Bulletin. And they did a good job of it, too.

Yes, the Daily Astonisher’s blatant beat-up and childishly posturing editorial about the council budget went one fantasy too far, and forced a comical climb down the next day.

And The ‘Pie takes a squizz at some of the more amusing moments in sporting commentary of the past week, including what must be the most hilarious mixed metaphor of the year. It’s all here in a mid-week nest at

Sometimes, readers of the Daily Astonisher could be excused for imagining they are instead reading a resurrected Mad Magazine with Alfred E Neumann as editor.
Goof .... err, Anthony Templeton

The Astonisher’s cast of Disneyland characters has been extended beyond Lendl 'Mickey Mouth' Ryan and now includes the appallingly ill-informed and/or biased youngster Anthony Templeton as Goofy. In an hilarious attempt to stir up the local natives, it certainly appears that he and his editor Lachlan ‘Harry Potter’ Heywood don’t read their own paper.

Under a mystifying the-sky-is-falling headline  ‘Council Feud Delays Budget – Ratepayers In Limbo’ , cadet reporter Templeton wrote: The council will now bring down the Budget some time in August, instead of the July 27 deadline which had been widely publicised.

He then gurgled on about delays beyond
Anthon ... err ... Goofy.
 this date would cost the council money (true) and put it all down to ‘infighting’ from what the paper for purposes of sensationalism insist on calling ‘opposition councillors.’ As usual in this particular terminology, the paper has yet again blithely ignored reality – how can an 8 to 3 majority be ‘the opposition’? But the meaning of words has always been a bit of a lottery for the paper generally and Master Templeton in particular – remember ‘curfew, Anthony?
Then editor Lachlan ‘Harry Potter’ Heywood chimed in with one of his Year 10 essays known in the paper as 'the editorial', parroting much of what Goofy had said in his story and scolding and threatening and squeaking away like the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. The message was what norty little councillors they were, scrapping away enough to cause costly delays and cost ratepayers dearly.
But hang on, sports, in all your implied personal agendas of various councillors sending the budget into a deep and costly overtime, did you miss what the then Minister for Local Government Paul Lucas had to say in your own paper on January 31 this year.
 ‘Mr Lucas said the Government had extended the deadline for when Queensland councils had to submit their budgets.The council has until the 29th of September to hand down its budget and the only reason the CEO would want it brought down on the 30th of June is so that he can get out increased rates notices for the new financial year," he said.
Anna's still walloping our wallets even today.

And it might be apposite to remind some of those foam-flecked ranters and Forest Gumpers among the wailing Greek chorus of The Astonisher's letter writers that any costive delays sit squarely on the shoulders of Anna Bligh. Her calling the state election on a date that required local government elections to be delayed was – as it was with Beattie and forced amalgamation - Blight’s final contemptuous finger to the electorate, since it was so unnecessary the outcome so obvious no matter what the date.

But back to The Astonisher’s fictional reporting, in which any hard but fair negotiations became ‘in-fighting’ and any reasonably stated dissension became ‘a feud’. The clear inference was that this was going to drag on for weeks, rate notices would come out late and closer together, and the council would be losing money (at the rate of $150,000 a week).

And that was too much even for Mayor Mullet. She and Vern Veitch (who was known as Uncle Fester until he became the-power-behind-the-throne ‘Shogun’) decided to show a united front to put the Bulletin in its place. The afternoon of the day the story appeared – Tuesday - the mayor and the deputy put out a joint media release which, although couched in polite and formal terms, completely refuted the Bulletin’s report.

This is the release:
Mayor Jenny Hill said budget deliberations were continuing to bring the city’s budget down in the week commencing 30 July.
 “We are on track to bring the budget down in the original timeframes that were set after the election,” Cr Hill said.
 “The Councillors are aware of the timeframes we have to bring the budget down and we will ensure that it remains on track.
 “We are working closely with the administration to ensure the budget delivers the best possible outcomes for our community.”
 Deputy Mayor Cr Vern Veitch said the council was still working toward the timeframe that was initially agreed upon.
 “We are still on track to bring the budget down in the time period we initially stipulated after election was put back five weeks by the Queensland Government,” Cr Veitch said.
 “The delayed election meant that the budget would have to be pushed back to late July or early August and that’s what we are going to achieve.”

 Just to rub salt into the wound, Madam Mayor and the deputy doo-dah received wide coverage on television and radio, by which time The Mullet was able to announce that all negotiations were completed. The budget will be tabled in council on either August 1st or 2nd

The unspoken back message was that the Bulletin's report was crap. And the timings were such that they couldn't wriggle out of that fact.

Not that they didn't try -  in the manner of shysters everywhere (motto: ’When you being run out of town, make it look like you’re leading the parade’) Mr Templeton duly reported these matters with a straight bat in Wednesday’s paper, but one hopes he had the decency to blush. In true News Ltd fashion, nary a hint at how the original story was such a fictionalised cluster cock-up.

And they wonder why people regard the paper as so socially toxic that many say they are reluctant to even wrap fishes and chips in it. 

Now onto other matters, and as the above nincompoopery testifies, and 
as The ‘Pie has said many times, it’s a funny old thing, this language lurk.

And over-reach isn’t the sole preserve of the Astonisher, it also infects the electronic media, too – especially in sports coverage. Attempts to get away from the hum-drum and cliché ridden tsunami of words that is sports commentary frequently results in pause giving moments.

In last weekend’s game between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders, a TV commentator believed that the Titan’s fortunes had swung around because the coach had made a crucial replacement. Our man in the box opined about the fresh player ‘He’s been really effective after being injected by coach John Cartwright.’  One would certainly hope so, given the prohibitive street cost of galloping elephant go-fast.

Now that is either good insider info or clunky commentary, but the image of a cleanskin like Big Johnny Cartwright donning a nurse’s pinny and ramming a needle into the hairy nether regions of one of his beefy charges pales into insignificance next to the little snippet of analysis during the otherwise mind-bogglingly excellent and expert coverage of the Tour de France bike-race-cum-travel-documentary. This one wins selection into the Sporting Mixed Metaphor Hall of Fame.
SBS's Mike Tomalaris

At the end of stage 14, SBS’s Mike Tomalaris was reviewing the days events with a guest expert who'sname The 'Pie didn't catch but he is a former Aussie cyclist. They were musing over possible future moves for one particular cycling team. Our expert got a little over-excited when talking about an emerging champion on that team. They agreed that this champion in waiting was a likely future Tour winner, but the guest expert reckoned there’s a lot of work to be done by team management before this happens. He offered this sage advice:’ They need to get all their ducks lined up, but I hope they don’t put all their eggs into him.’   No doubt ‘him’ is of the same opinion, and would make cycling a tad uncomfortable, depending on where the eggs were inserted.

The ‘Pie’s suggestion is that all those eggs and a few hard boiled ones should be forcefully inserted into the Neanderthal nitwit who scattered tacks over a section of the road during Sunday night’s stage.. There were twenty punctures – three alone to Cadell Evans and even tour leader Bradley Wiggins suffered one. One rider came down so heavily he fractured his collarbone.

The one positive to come out of one the lowest of acts was that it inspired one of the highest acts of sportsmanship. When Bradley Wiggins (a Pom no less) realized that sabotage was afoot, and not just bad luck, he ordered his team – at that stage controlling the front of the main peleton – to slow down and let Evans catch up the couple of minutes he had lost. Wiggins and his team management decided the fairest thing to do was that he, Evans and the two others in the top four finish together, thus is effect having the overall times exactly as they were at the start of the stage. The Magpie likes to think that Wiggins sporting grace was due to having an Australian father. However, that might also explain his bad manners in press conferences in the past couple of weeks.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar and a winsome young thing of The 'Pie's acquaintance, with whom he will discuss possible activities later in the evening. These will include, in the event that one doesn't keep up with the other, the importance of letting ther laggard catch up so both can finish at the same time. It's the sporting thing to do. Please.  


  1. Conan the GrammarianJuly 18, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    My most recent favourite sports-talk piece of 'WTF?' was uttered by Phil Gould last week, describing a nimble try-scoring player as "quick between the ears". Vintage Gus.

    As we approach the Olympics, I ask can Darrel Eastlake be produced from the crypt to again do his legendary womens' weightlifting commentary?

  2. Well 'Pie you are so right about the antics of the cubby reporter. He is obviously both ill informed AND very biased! Of course in typical Bully fashion... the sensational "EXCLUSIVE" crap non-story got the front page headlines and the truth the next day tucked away on page 7.Good news doesn't rate!!

  3. Yeah, Conan, Gus is a godsend to folk like us.The 'Pie's favourite, reported in a long gone column was his comment about pre-kicking fidgets of a superstitious player. Gus was of the opinion that 'it's unlucky to be superstitious'.

    1. Conan the GrammarianJuly 20, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      "but if they can score more points than the other mob, they could win!" (Not sure if this was Gus, or another of the Nine boys, but it's always good for a laugh at Casa Conan.)

  4. And this would be the same Anthony Templeton who serves up his weekly juvenile drivel under the so called "column " Tempo's Trap. What utter garbage about nothing - evident in his lack of life skills and experience.

  5. Experienced Bully readerJuly 19, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Speaking of Bully columns, why do most of the so-called journos who wite them think the rank and file of Townsville are interested in their personal lives. And for that matter, what credentials do the Baby columnists have in matter maternal? Given their age they certainly don't have much experience.

  6. Was he the turkey who did a column complaining about people talking drunken crap to him when he goes to the pub? If so, what a pathetic little cockalorum he must be.

    These people who annoy him so much are probably just taking the mickey - either that or desperate to stop the immature pissant from talking about himself.

    His admonishment for them to stay out of "his" pub just reeks of unbridled arrogance.

    I just wish some of the strutting, self-important nobodies would stay out of the establishments I patronise.

    (I know you are reading this)You go to a pub, you meet other people in the pub, you hear crap, you talk crap. Facts of life, my young chum. Don't like it? Don't go to a pub. And, for God's sake, in future do it alone in the shower like everyone else.

  7. Is this the same paper that chrisafulli stalked for every comment before the election?
    Drivel is right, biased, opinionated and laughable is others that come to mind.

  8. after reading the garbage that this self centered little twerp has put into print about people staying out of "his" pub, the first thing that came to me and others reading this arrogant drivel, is that he may come to regret having his picture associated with the column lest some "drunk" come and give him the character adjustment he is in such desperate need of. wake up you clown. more life experience will show how wrong you are. Enjoy your next chardy in the wine bar son.

  9. Whathesaid OncebeforeJuly 22, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    A personal favourite of Master Templeton's exquisite ability to eke out the essence of what readers want was his recent spray at the way North Queenslanders present phone numbers in print. Dear Lord, how did that get past his own self-assessment of what classifies as well invested journalism, let alone the Editorial meeting?
    Surely there were some comments similar to: "You've got to be F#@&ing kidding! You spent the afternoon on that drivel?"