Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Graeme Samuel = Jonathan Shier?

Michael West, a business journo with The Australian, does a nice bit of ante-upping today. As I am so-o-o not a business-pages buff, I’ll also take this opportunity to alert fellow business-pages novices that Michael West is NOT to be confused with Mark Westfield, also a business journo with The Australian.

Apart West’s being from being a miles-better writer (IMO) than Westfield, the latter – unlike West – is rather litigation-happy on his own account , as well as being something of a defamation magnet for his employer.

I mention the latter because it seems to show that Rupert & Co can be quite forgiving as an employer – showing a quality of mercy that Michael West may soon have to throw his own self at the feet of.

You can read West’s short, sweet and self-contained piece of ante-upping here. I don’t need to add that much myself – Graeme Samuel’s (presumably accidental) punchline is priceless; even better than that apocryphal (?) quote from the IBM CEO of a few decades ago, about there only being a world market for five-or-so computers, ever.

Graeme Samuel’s unwitting comic brilliance aside, his controversial appointment otherwise is already becoming depressing similar to that of Jonathan Shier at the ABC. By bloody-mindedly appointing “its” man in both cases, the Howard government has now guaranteed between six and 24 months of instability at the ACCC, during which time the media will, quite rightly, unremittingly mock Samuel. For his part, Samuel's only joy will be the chance to take a few minnows out before he, the big whale, is inevitably beached.

I only hope that West, as an obvious pioneer of the Mocking of Samuel, doesn’t get taken out as such a minnow. Not that I’m saying that he’s a minnow in the journalistic sense . . . but, you get what I mean. As to West’s journalistic prowess, here’s another example. This piss-funny column also provides the answer to what Paul Watson is doing furtively trawling the business pages, anyway. It’s not that I’m some kind of a perv getting off on the latest oil futures indices, or otherwise loitering with prurient gaze, I swear – I’m actually browsing there with completely wholesome intent.

Update 14 August 2003

Today’s Australian editorial manages to stand by its man, while still making some conciliatory gestures towards Graeme Samuel*. I’ve also fixed the previous misspelling/pluralisation of Samuel’s and Shier’s names. (I don’t know what came over me yesterday – I must have a latent fixation on ess-apostrophe-ess constructions)

* URL valid for 14 August 2003 only.

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