Like all lapsed Catholics, I still have a guilt complex: guilt drilled into me from priests and nuns and Christian Brothers, guilt from committing a mortal sin, ranging from thinking impure thoughts to telling lies in confession. It was a long time ago. These days the greatest guilt of all comes from a recurring nightmare … Continue reading I’m dreaming of a fallen Trump
“Who the hell is Leslie Seymour?” That’s what journalist and broadcaster Ray Martin asks facetiously in his foreword to the autobiography of Les Seymour, his long-time mate, and it’s a fair question. Unless you’re a veteran journo or a media junkie, you may not have heard about cameraman extraordinaire, Les Seymour. All he’s ever done … Continue reading Leslie Seymour: The Everywhere Man — Have Camera Will Travel
“What do you call a fart in the bathtub?” It was a question I asked award-winning columnist of The Australian, author, snake lover and bagpipes player, James Jeffrey (Photo above The Australian), a decade or so ago. The answer, of course, is “Gorp,” the sound of a fart in the bath. James liked it and … Continue reading Strewth! A magnificent memoir of home truths
Sam Chisholm, sales director and former head of Channel Nine, Managing Director of BSkyB, and television executive extraordinaire, was also known as a legend in his own lunchtime. But lunches were special to journalists and tv executives in those days. My best mate, Cliff Neville, who died in 2012, was the supervising producer of Nine’s … Continue reading Sam the Man: A tenacious titan of television generous to a fault
Sorry about the headline, but I wanted to get your attention. It comes from Psalm 22.1: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The psalm Christ recited on the cross. My cross is much less of a burden. It's just trying to decide if it's worth going through more than 30 years of … Continue reading Dear Diary: Why hast thou forsaken me?
“Welcome to the world of BLEEP.” That was a former executive producer calling to congratulate me on being appointed supervising producer of the Channel Nine Sunday Program in the mid-90s. Yes, the missing word is rude and banned from most conversations, even frowned upon by social media outlets. But the congratulatory call was also close … Continue reading A journalist’s memoirs: From minefields to Mandela
It’s taken me a while to read Speechless, a lovely book about speechwriting by James Button, Walkley Award-winning journalist and author and son of John, a senator and a former minister in the Labor Governments of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. It’s not only a story about speeches but a father and son relationship, the … Continue reading The Buttons: Speechless but never at a loss for words
Jimmy Breslin was called the guru of shoe leather by his colleagues because he used a lot of it. Even in his late seventies and early 80s, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist still climbed stairs because, as he put it, “the story is never on the first floor.” Breslin was a reporter’s reporter, much loved in … Continue reading Jimmy Breslin: ‘Thanks for the use of the hall’