LOOKS LIKE we done got ourselves an old-fashioned media feud a'happening! Peter McEvoy, Executive Producer of Media Watch, has sent a snippy e-mail to Gareth Parker, prompted by Gareth forwarding my grouchy list of Fairfax/ABC flaws unexamined by his program:
A good tip is an accurate report of what was published. It contains enough detail to make it possible to locate the story, segment or broadcast … Unfortunately most of Tim's tips don't fall into this category.
Some of his tips are simply speculations: it may be "apparent" to Tim that Christopher Hitchens has been dropped by Late Nite Live for taking a hawkish position on September 11, but according to the program producers Hitchens has been too busy promoting his new book to appear.
Trusting soul, isn't he? Generally people promoting books spend more, rather than less, time on radio and other media. It probably didn't occur to McEvoy to contact Hitchens for an explanation; why bother when the nice Late "Nite" Live people have already cleared everything up?
Other tips are too dull or too late, and most are just too vague to check.
A short explanation here: Gareth sent McEvoy the list, not me. It was a post – part of last week's Media Watch blog debate – not a detailed, linked, dated collection of tips. I'd planned on sending Media Watch a more comprehensive list before being beaten to the punch (which was entirely my fault). That said, if McEvoy wanted more information on anything he received – which tips were too vague, by the way? – he could've e-mailed me. Or, to be fair, I could've sent the details as a follow-up e-mail.
In any case, most weren't too vague to check. Has Media Watch heard of Google?
Media Watch rarely criticises "bias" because this elusive quality is usually in the eyes of the viewer: Tim for example seems to think people who disagree with him are "biased".
What is McEvoy talking about? Media Watch criticises bias all the time. It criticises the Nine Network for biased coverage of Packer family court cases. It criticises News Ltd for biased coverage of News Ltd business deals.
I notice you've withdrawn your accusation that Tim is obsessed with Media Watch: you shouldn't. Believe it or not he included us in his little newspaper column last week.
Believe it or not, an ABC lifer producing a 15-minute once-a-week TV show calls my column "little".
The column was actually about the UN but he managed to fit Media Watch in. That's obsession.
Sorry, L'il Pete. I was unaware of the rule change. All my columns from here on will be about one subject only.
Starting with you.