Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Astonisher scores another hilarious hit in its running gunfight with the English language, and at the same time, tries to dive for cover from a massive volley of criticism prompted by yet another deceitfully untrue and sensationalized BS story.

Speaking of such matters, it hasn’t been a good week for News Ltd in Queensland all round – the Curious Snail looks good for a right old kicking from authorities over it’s blatant and deliberate flouting of laws regarding the identification of minors – the Townsville Bulletin still awaits the outcome of a similar charge against it in a separate court matter – and Typo Gleeson forced to back down big time on the Gold Coast.

Also ... Dumbo Jumbo is at it again – but The Magpie reckons he has a solution for Ewen Jones’s loose lips.

You can also take a peek American election advert you won’t see imitated on Australian telly any time soon – if your of a delicate constitution, cover your ears when Samuel L Jackson harangues the country to … ummm…  come to its senses (not exactly his words).

Also, perhaps the world’s most unfortunate name, a name to conjure with - and belonging to a woman who studies what!!?! And it is all unblushingly true.

All part of this week’s load of great steaming guano catering to your ever exotic tastes at

It often easy and cheap sport to make merry with certain Asian names translated into English. We all remember the late Cardinal Sin of the Philippines. And the recent pic The ‘Pie ran of the Asian bookstore which might not have what you want because you’re in the Wong Foo Kin Bookstore. As said, easy sport, and for this blog, other examples have to be spectacular to attract the old bird’s beady eye.

And boy, is this one spectacular, and no hoax.

A rose by any other name would smell as - err - sweet?

This pleasant looking woman is an associate professor at the National Insititute of Education in Singapore – and the focus of her current study somehow adds to her name.  The ‘Pie will not reveal her name himself – for fear that he may be leading you on to impure thoughts of niche recreational interests – so check it out for yourself here.

Somehow don’t think the Wrigley’s chewing gum people will be in a rushing to sign her up to promote a new flavor.

And what does … ummm … Ms. Fun study. It appears she has a fascination for a local turtle that urinates through its mouth, as somewhat dryly – if that’s the word – reported in this report. Is there some sort of symmetry there? 

Speaking of unexpected things to squirt out of unexpected mouths, we have had another WTF moment from the member for Herbert, Ewen Jones.

So why does this man .....

.... need one of these ....

or maybe just one of these?
The ball gag, not the gal.

It is clear that our beloved Jumbo Dumbo (DJ for short) has elected for fully-fledged membership of the LNP’s growing regiment of loose cannons (President - Barnaby Joyce). DJ has cultivated a knack of taking a reasonable point and turning it into risible nonsense that must be giving migraines to his fragrant and very capable local PR flack.

Trying to score some political points against a long dead and buried state Labor Party, Dumbo has decried the allocation of the second cancer detecting PET scanner for Townsville as a waste of money (even in the unlikely event that that is true, dissing this extra unit is just plain dumb politics). But then our boy goes into Clive Palmer mode when he describes its acquisition as a ‘sin’. Huh? And of course, he should have been smart enough to know that that word alone would be, and was, an automatic headline for the Daily Astonisher.

Alas, The ‘Pie believes the only answer is the above illustrations. Hasn’t anyone told this holder of a third class pass on the Gravy Train that he needs to do two full terms before he can retire with some ill-gotten retirement gains?

Perhaps the best advice for Dumbo could be the catch-cry of a somewhat confrontational political television ad for the Democrats in the Yew Ess of Eh? 
Bad-mouthing for Obama.

Samuel L Jackson, who seems to be all over the place in sponsorship deals at the moment, has come out swinging – and swearing - for the Democrats and Bazza Obama. This ad has been bleeped, so even if you're who a language-sensitive petal, you can have a squizz. After viewing, try coming up with who could come out with what if there was a similar campaign ad for our own upcoming federal election. (See how to post a comment below). 

On other international affairs, Bentley reckons Joolya’s biggest problem was not the somewhat inelegant swallow dive in India, but swallowing the Indian leader’s ‘goodness, gracious me, no’ blandishments on the use of Aussie uranium.

Back on the local scene, The ‘Pie was initially indignant and alarmed that another journo was trying to muscle in on his turf – that of pointing out the dark underbelly of The Townsville Bulletin – when he read in yesterday’s  (Friday Oct 18) Astonisher this intriguing opening gambit in Amanda Gray’s column:

THERE are times when you see or hear something so monumentally stupid and utterly beyond ridiculous that you feel you just have to share it with as many people as you possibly can.

Ms Gray’s column is not one that generally covers matters of interest to The Magpie, but when she opens a column with The Magpie’s declared credo – his very raison d’ etre – he was forced to read on.

As it turned out, it was entertaining and well argued swipe at some repressed female teacher in itchy tweed knickers who had banned her pupils using the correct words for genitalia – ie penis and vagina.

So Amanda old gal, it appears we sometimes share the same subject matter –discussing the meaning of words like penises and vaginas – you complaining when they are called wee wees and front bums, The Magpie when they are called journalists, editors and financial managers at the Townsville Bulletin.

Either way, we’re both talking about tools.

Sound a bit harsh? Well, here’s a case in point for you to decide for yourself.

Last Saturday, The Astonisher ran this story, the basis of which was a claim that in 18 months time, the old ‘copper wire’ communication system will be shut down and those who had not signed up for the trial National Broadband Network roll-out in Aikenvale and Mundingburra will have no choice but to join the NBN and face much higher charges. This is utter tosh.

But that didn't stop the iditor Lachlan Heywood backing it up in this iditorial. 

Now the eagle-eyed reader, or even Frederick the Visually Impaired will spot the touch of sci-fi fortune telling by reporter Anthony Galloway when he starts his story by declaring this dastardly situation will come about quote” when the old copper network is unexpectedly switched off in 18 months”, unquote.

Unexpectedly? In 18 months time? Bugger, now you’ve gone spoiled the surprise, you rotter Galloway. What a seer .... hey, how about this year’s Melbourne Cup results, me old Marvo the Mystic?

But while that is all very chortle-worthy, the rest of the story is not - pure and utter flapdoodle start to finish – or as Senator Jan McLucas wrote in the letters-to-the-iditor  ‘riddled with errors’.  

The story no doubt achieved its aim of alarming and/or enraging a number among the paper’s rapidly dwindling readership with invented tripe. For instance, we were never told who made any specific claim about charges. That’s because it was all inside the wide open spaces between the reporter’s wet ears. A quote from Senator Ian MacDonald appeared to be a reply to a carefully worded question of a vague general nature, rather than one addressing the specific problem in the two affected suburbs.  All the reliable Macca had to do to get a welcome free kick was to quote the party line that the whole NBN  shebang is an expensive mistake overall – something the coalition – especially Malcolm Turnbull - has been saying for several years.

This story attracted a barrage of angry letters to the paper, one even demanding an apology for the  ‘inaccurate reporting’ of this ‘utter nonsense’.

Well, fat chance of that, but it must have stirred the asbestos dust in Ogden Street enough for this Monday story that virtually confirmed that the Saturday yarn was just pure bullsh-t. It was either sloppy reporting, or just simply selective spin aimed at, as the old adage has it ‘not f-cking a good story with facts’. The proof of this is that everything in Monday’s story was just a couple of phone calls away on the previous Friday when Saturday’s yarn was concocted , but bugger that –please refer to ‘old adage’.

But talk about hanging a lantern over the problem.

The derision of and the paper’s disconnect from the community on serious matters now seems almost complete. The selective nature of the reporting even extends to the latest FIFO editor Lachlan Heywood who earlier this year defensively wittered on about ‘we have been around for 131 years, and we aren’t going anywhere’ and ‘ 64,000 people read us every week Monday to Friday’.

First of all, what’s this ‘we’ business, sport? You yourself have been here but a nano second, and one hopes you do not have the gall to compare the current tawdry publication with what was, until News Ltd got it’s venal claws into it and management started running editorial, a fine regional paper serving its community with respect and ethics. 

And you’re right about the 64,000 readership – but typically what you don’t mention is that a scant 12 months previously, 69,000 people were reading it weekdays, a dismaying drop of 13% under your brief stewardship. And if you go back another year -2010/2011 - Monday to Friday was read by 82,000 people, meaning a whopping drop of well over 20% in just two years. But advertising rates haven’t changed down, have they?

The community has in fact gained about 10,000 new residents in that time, so not going anywhere can be interpreted in another statistical sense? Like backwards.

It is a shame that News Ltd so poorly serves a community out of which it makes an absolute poultice in revenue, courtesy of being the only game in town, and yet still treats it’s readers with such contempt in its news columns.

But the boys down at the print hall will be extra busy soon. News Ltd has sacked all of its print staff in Cairns, and the Cairns Post is to be printed in Townsville next year. More jobs gone from the sharing and caring of News Ltd. But that doesn’t stop the corporate cynicism, by publicly hammering other who behave in the same Ebenezer Scrooge manner.

Cynicism, as Mr Wilde so famously had it, is the condition of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. What else when Telstra announced the sacking of 120 or so staff a couple of months back, the paper huffed and puffed – and had the chutzpah to run this letter:

My husband lost his job a couple of days ago. This is really sad. They have ruined people's lives and their future plans. Just imagine all the workers who work hard for their families. What's gonna happen to all of them now? I hope that Telstra will have the heart be to concerned with their employees on-shore, instead of just mainly thinking of their bulging pockets.
Posted by: J. Ryan 11:06am Wednesday

The ‘Pie will bet that the one third (about 60) News Ltd staff turfed out venal, money-grubbing centralization would like to join Mrs. Ryan in her heartfelt lament, but the ex-paper workers would change the word ‘Telstra’ to ‘News Ltd’ – or more succinctly, North Queensland Newspapers.

But the pooh-bahs of News Ltd couldn't give a toss about all that, and are somewhat more concerned about matters further south which could cost them money.

The Courier Mail could be facing some serious damages – possibly in the six figures area or even more – if authorities have the guts to follow up calls to do them over for their blatant disregard for one of the most entrenched legal and journalistic of prohibitions: that of protecting the identities of juveniles. As Media Watch pointed out this week, that not once but twice, the paper, with the manipulative assistance of the mother, showed untouched front-page pictures of those four girls fighting extradition back to their father in Italy.

But that’s not all the Holt Street boardroom had on the table during the week.  

There was the matter of Typo Gleeson's mega-tanty at the Gold Coast Bulletin, reported here previously. He was, yet again, forced into an embarrassing climb down from his crying-to-mummy ban on reporting anything to do with Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate – all because the mayor had been 'thaying nathty fings about me and me paper, Mummy’.

But this bold piece of arrogance and misplaced self-importance didn’t last long – because it clearly was going to come at a price. Literally. And to Sydney HQ, that is the only unethical part of all this basely unethical – and dopey – ban.
Iditor of GC Bulletin Peter Typo Gleeson

News Ltd HQ in Sydney swiftly issued Typo with a WTFWYT? edict (that’s apparently trendy-speak for What The F—k Were You Thinking – and this is not new territory for Typo Gleeson).

After local business leaders , including some much moneyed but morally deprived developers put the hard word on Sydney‘s shot-callers – one guesses threatening to pull all advertising unless Typo was given a clip around the ear and told to grow up – he backed down big time. Undeniably tail between the legs stuff. As Effie says, how embarrassment!

But in an effort to brown-nose his Sydney bosses, Typo has typically swung the other way, publicly issuing outright porkies to placate developers – and presumably, the controversial Mayor Tate. 

The Southport Spit's beach-front scrub (L)  extends further north
and is untouched - so far.
Typo went way, way the other way, with the paper officially advocating unbridled development, including a cruise ship terminal on the beachside bush land of The Spit north of Seaworld. This last matter has been strongly opposed in some respected quarters, and has previously been championed by – ta da – the Gold Coast Bulletin.  But in his haste to be a good little boy in the eyes of his betters, Typo has decided to label the bush land area in question as a haven for vagrants and paedophiles - ‘vermin’ as he sweepingly put it.

Now this has always been Typo’s weakness - resorting to telling lies which are so easily refuted. Among those surprised about the alleged hotbed of lawlessness on The Spit were the local cops, who clearly stated that there was no evidence in their operations or statistics to support this claim.

What this has done is alienate thousands of average local residents, but then, they don’t advertise in six figure sums with the paper, so they don’t count.

There may be a good argument to put a cruise terminal at The Spit, but that argument will never be helped by the local newspaper editor telling blatant and transparent lies as a make-good for an earlier blunder. 

Ah, well, at least he’s not in Townsville any more.

Enough, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, where the old bird hopes to amuse some comely companion with tales of his trip to the hospital this week for a touch of throat surgery. There may be a column on this sortie into the medical world in the future. He will regale said companion with hoarsely whispered tales of being put under – in the hope that he himself may, later in the evening, put a sympathetic someone under himself. 



1. Click into the comment box at the bottom of the blog (and below existing comments if any) and write your comment. 

2. Click on the menu button next to The Daily Astonisher field below the comment box.

3. Scroll down that menu until you reach 'name' and 'URL'.

4. In the 'name' section type your name or whatever monicker you want to go by (IGNORE the URL box).

5. Click continue.

6. Click publish. 

The 'Pie will then do the rest - checking for legals, taste, language, idiocy - and then publish your gem.



  1. The link to Samuel Jackson's piece didn't work, but it's on the U now:

  2. There is an Popular Amercian Porn Star called Veroncia Avluv

  3. Pie, Always entertaining.

    Firstly, why are we selling uranium to India but can't use it ourselves?

    Why is it so special to secure a spot on the UN council? Rawanda got voted in what's so good about that?

    Also, laughed at typo's pants. His pants always fell down around his arse. The Astonisher ruined many lives and I feel sorry for the reporter who sub did not pick the error of naming the child. We were very stressed by multiple factors while working in there.

    The dead wood which is still working there always floats to the top. Atil should be sacked along with other muppets. Harry Potter makes no magic and Murdoch looks at buying the LA Times while retrenching so many.

    p.s. I'm sure the asbestos dust blew more than Yasi did this week at the Astonisher...

  4. Typo's lies are systemic. This bullying culture was encouraged while working within the ranks. Stories based on favours and lies.. Slow news days, overworked and under paid puppy journalists. Some ego fru fru gal pal journos received additional favours if favoured by Mickey Who...


  5. The Bully's NBN story was nothing but a beat up which "Blind Freddy" could see only to serve up yet another dose and alternative side of the story on Monday. Talk about dragging a nothing story out! Frankly these young inexperienced "journos" know nothing of the journalistic code of ethics - Huh? What's that I hear them say.

    1. The Astonisher's management is counting on that people forget.

      We can only hope they've forgot to register the business so we can say goodbye Kansas.

      As for Typo, I hope he falls but they never do.

  6. Hi Magpie,

    Just letting you know the link to 'this Monday story' isn't the right one - it takes you to the Saturday Oct 13 editorial instead.



    1. Thanks - fixed (I think) if anyone wants to go back and have a look.

  7. Read an astonishing story ,written by Kate Higgins ,about thieves targeting cars at events in Townsville.She writes about cars being broken into ,"personal items are being taken,whilst wallets full of money are being left behind" WTF.Just what kind of crims are we breeding in the north?The Bulletin...truly astonishing.

    1. Actually, what sort of wallet owner have we bred up here? Is there some sort of communal twerpery going around so - according to Ms Higgins - many are leaving fully loaded wallets in their cars. Sounds a bit suss, really, but golly, what a good yarn, eh?

    2. Are the snappers are at it again. Round two of winning best rural pic. Rodeos and camel races are a good way to win awards. Pity the other shooters are forced to work their shifts.

      Some of the past photographers were very poorly treated indeed. Like most of the Astonisher, it's all covered up.. No different to the Asbestos.

  8. Little birdie is always on the ball.

  9. Why not get the Astonisher's staff to make their mega-hit Gangnam Style?

  10. Love one bloggers name for our Federal Member for Herbert - calling him - Spewin' Jones.