Tiananmen Square: Don’t mention the massacre

“We meet here to mourn this tragedy and to share the grief of those who have lost members of their families, their loved ones and their friends, and to express our profound sympathy to the Chinese-Australian community that has expressed its outrage at the massacre in Beijing.” That was Prime Minister Bob Hawke speaking at … Continue reading Tiananmen Square: Don’t mention the massacre

A tale of two septuagenarians: A Queen reigns over the ABC while a Cardinal simmers in his cell

This is a tale of two septuagenarians: one a journalist, the other a Cardinal. You know which one should come first. It was 1981, and Ita Buttrose was the Murdoch recruit, the new editor-in-chief of the Sydney Daily and Sunday Telegraph, after a sterling career as an editor for Sir Frank Packer for the popular … Continue reading A tale of two septuagenarians: A Queen reigns over the ABC while a Cardinal simmers in his cell

Leslie Seymour: The Everywhere Man — Have Camera Will Travel

“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

Sam the Man: A tenacious titan of television generous to a fault

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

Comic duo Laurel and Hardy’s moments to remember: Tales of Hollywood stranger than fiction

Laurel and Hardy were two of my favourite comedians. Every year on Thanksgiving, a US TV network played one of their old films. We laughed at their jokes and slapstick, with perfect timing and the sheepish face of Stan Laurel and the exasperated reactions of Oliver Hardy providing moments to remember. What brought back that … Continue reading Comic duo Laurel and Hardy’s moments to remember: Tales of Hollywood stranger than fiction

The Buttons: Speechless but never at a loss for words

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