catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

The Mayne Event

with 63 comments

As I think most people know by now, at last night’s Walkley Awards, News Ltd hack Glenn Milne assaulted Crikey hack Stephen Mayne. This produced some unintentional comedy, as Milne – aka ‘the Poison Dwarf’ – comes up to Mayne’s navel, the latter being about the same height as Glenn McGrath. Below the fold you can watch a YouTube of this event, but before you go there you may wish to tarry awhile above the fold. There’s been comment all over the blogosphere about this – the best so far is over at LP. I’d recommend a visit, if only to read Kimberella’s acidic remarks.

Milne called Mayne ‘a disgrace’, and accused him of making stuff up. After Milne had been forcibly ejected, Mayne quipped that Milne was a ‘former senior journalist, sponsored by Foster’s’. It was pretty poisonous, although it went some way towards showing that the comments Mark Latham made about journalists in his Diaries may well be true. I’ve blogged on the lack of accountability characteristic of most media elsewhere, and made plenty of comments that well illustrate my extreme cyncisim about members of the ‘profession’, not to mention the ‘profession’ itself. Interestingly, the media has been nowhere near as outraged in its reporting of Milne’s gaffe as it would have been had – say – Shane Warne been the offender. Over at LP, Pavlov’s Cat made the astute observation that a woman who did something similar – a woman like me, say – would be pilloried for all time.

I think it’s time to call the media on their group asshattery. We on the right – and I suspect it will be left to us righties – need to point out that the press has worn out its welcome, gone past its use-by date. We need to point out that a significant number of people in this wide brown land crack open a few beers every time some journo buys it in the third world. It’s beyond politics, now. It’s beyond belief.

These are the boozers who think they’re better than Shane Warne or Mark Latham. They also think they’re above you and me.

UPDATE: There’s no need to hop over the fold now; a much better quality clip of the incident is available here.


Written by Admin

December 1, 2006 at 9:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

63 Responses

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  1. Sorry people, couldn’t resist. Target rich environment…


    December 1, 2006 at 9:43 pm

  2. Tim Blair is supporting Milne. Maybe something to do with Blair’s new job as Opinion Editor at the Tele?

    I guess something had to happen to make the Walkleys interesting! It’s just a kiss-in for Luvvies anyway.


    December 1, 2006 at 10:24 pm

  3. SL
    I’ve substituted your YouTube code with another one. The one you were using was blocking reading and writing comments – at least for this microsoft user.

    Jason Soon

    December 1, 2006 at 10:36 pm

  4. I don’t condone violence, but Mayne is an annoying git

    Jason Soon

    December 1, 2006 at 10:37 pm

  5. They’re all gits. Over at LP Liam suggested I’d have still cleaned Mayne up minus my trusty .410 and a pocket full of cartridges. However, had I managed to bust in with that much ammo, I wouldn’t have confined my attention to Mayne.

    /Joke, people, but the fundamental truth still holds: with (very few) exceptions, all journos are tossers.


    December 1, 2006 at 10:40 pm

  6. Mayne’s a shit head, but no ones deserves to get beaten up for that.

    Anyone know what caused it?

    It’s interesting how Mayne didn’t stand his ground though. He didn’t have to fight him, all he had to do was not run off like that as it made him look like a coward. Pathetic.


    December 1, 2006 at 11:03 pm

  7. I think Tim Blair noted that the papers were reporting it as if Milne had pushed Mayne to the floor whereas what really happened was that Mayne jumped off the platform himself.

    Jason Soon

    December 1, 2006 at 11:05 pm

  8. Mayne said this in today’s Crikey (sounds like an excuse to me, but then, like Yobbo, I’ll keep punching on because 99 times out of 100 I’ll win):

    Some shock jocks have said I should have stood my ground and jobbed Milne, but despite being a foot shorter than me he has stacked on the weight and had the potential to land a powerful haymaker. Besides, I’ve never actually thrown a punch at anyone and wasn’t about to start with Glenn Milne.


    December 1, 2006 at 11:07 pm

  9. Let’s put up Yobbo up against Milne, that’ll fix things.

    In fact let’s put Yobbo up against both of them.


    December 1, 2006 at 11:11 pm

  10. I’d handle both as well, JC. One fat, one anorexic, both unfit middle-class pundits against someone who can actually blue because for some of us life isn’t easy.

    Alternatively, I’ll lend Yobbo my Win (I’m keeping the Remy) for next year’s Walkley’s.

    /Once again, joke, people. And if you don’t think I’m funny, find another blog.


    December 1, 2006 at 11:18 pm

  11. One fat, one anorexic, both unfit middle-class pundits

    That’s funny

    Sl you know what sent the fat off on the skinny one?


    December 1, 2006 at 11:20 pm

  12. Probably because he’s fat, untalented, needs blue pills to get a boner (along with Shane Warne’s hair-growing agency to look younger than he really is). Mayne, by contrast, is tall and gangly and doesn’t have to work very hard to look half decent.

    Plus Mayne has a very good tailor (the same bloke makes His Honour’s clothes).


    December 1, 2006 at 11:24 pm

  13. err, sl, your last comment makes me nervous. I’d consider editing it out or agreeing to cop the libel suit yourself when it arrives 😉

    Jason Soon

    December 1, 2006 at 11:45 pm

  14. scepticlawyer, given your background, your despise for journalists is understandable.

    However the only way to change this is.. not to buy or read what they write. If you don’t advocate restricting press freedom, that is.

    In my view, blaming the media (or politicians, for that matter) for all the ills is wrong. They are the mirror of society, so to speak.


    December 1, 2006 at 11:45 pm

  15. Absolutely, Boris. They’re all scum. As long as everyone undestands that, all will be well.


    December 1, 2006 at 11:51 pm

  16. If he wants to prove that under oath, that’s his call, Jason 😉

    In any case, he won’t lose his job. The Australian media is far too interested in protecting its own. Which is why I don’t pay for anything they write. As I’ve said elsewhere, the sooner the MSM loses its revenue to the blogosphere, the better.


    December 1, 2006 at 11:54 pm

  17. I was speculating, skepticlawyer, about your choice of ammunition, but now that you’ve gone into it I’m curious: just what is the appropriate weight and power shot for hunting journalist?


    December 1, 2006 at 11:56 pm

  18. And it should also be very clear that I’m taking the piss. These people need to be mocked and humilated. If they’re going to go around comparing me to Martin Bryant or paying whores to get footage of Shane Warne having a root, then they can cop a bit of a touchup elsewhere.


    December 1, 2006 at 11:57 pm

  19. What you suggested is too ‘weighty’, Liam. There are a range of other possibilities… 🙂

    Hint, people – THIS IS A JOKE!


    December 2, 2006 at 12:01 am

  20. “Besides, I’ve never actually thrown a punch at anyone and wasn’t about to start with Glenn Milne.”

    Thats fair enough I suppose.

    But what Milne was saying. This ‘Unsubstantiated’ business.

    Is Maynes rag generally full-of-shit?

    I mean I know there is a leftist slant to it. But I’m not worried about that. But is it an accurate paper?

    Or does anyone know what Milne was pissed off about… I know its booze and migraine pills but is there something else thats pissing him off?

    Does anyone know any specifics?


    December 2, 2006 at 12:32 am

  21. Both publications are equally bad, GMB. The difference is that Mayne is honest abuout Crikey’s weaknesses, while Milne has rather outdated views about the accuracy of the 4th Estate.


    December 2, 2006 at 12:42 am

  22. I don’t know either of these guys. I’ve heard Mayne a lot on late night live (Philip Adams) though.

    And I’ve thought he was pretty smart.

    And Crikey is after-all a small business. And I have some regard for people who start their own business.

    That takes a bit of moxie I think. To cut loose from the man and do your own thing.

    (Probably takes more courage then punching a drunk guy whose angry with you when you are just not angry…

    Its not easy to get angry on queue you know. Dudes can be knocking you around and your anger quotient can fail you.

    Knowing that I try to stay angry all the time. A bit like the Taiwanese armed forces in a relentless state of readiness.)

    So my natural tendency is to go easy on both these guys.

    But if Crikey is getting about slandering conservatives then that would tend to piss me off after awhile.

    It would tend to slowly chip away at my natural admiration for the small-business entrepreneur.

    Skeptic? They still giving you a hard time?

    I’ll hassle them and keep hassling them even if they cease and desist. And I won’t stop until these guys actually burst into tears.

    Reports will have to come to me that grown men are actually weeping.

    But just generally, how good a magazine do conservative/libertarians consider Crikey to be?

    On LNL Mayne seems to be a smart guy. But is he habitually unfair to people?


    December 2, 2006 at 12:55 am

  23. Right, thanks SL.

    My computers on a go-slow these days an d I didn’t get your comment.


    December 2, 2006 at 5:48 am

  24. “I don’t condone violence, but…”

    Your comment has the flavour of the “I’m not a racist, but” category Jason.

    The character of Mayne and Crikey has absolutely zip to do with this incident. The only issue is Milne’s behaviour which was totally beyond the pale. He should have been charged with assault (regardless that Mayne won’t make a complaint), drummed out of his professional organisation (I suppose that’s the Journalists Union), and sacked from News Ltd. Fat chance of course.

    Keep up the good work Helen. You’re become one of the very top bloggers. You have an uncanny ability to see the real issues.


    December 2, 2006 at 7:55 am

  25. Ta muchly whyisitso. My nephew accuses me of thinking too much, so I finish up offloading the surplus on Catallaxy!

    Seriously, though, media accountability is a large issue, burbling away just under the surface of Australian society. I suspect it’s akin to the views many working class Australians have of multiculturalism, which Hanson blew wide open. At some point, an incident will occur that will have the same effect on public perceptions of the press.


    December 2, 2006 at 11:31 am

  26. “Skeptic? They still giving you a hard time?

    I’ll hassle them and keep hassling them even if they cease and desist. And I won’t stop until these guys actually burst into tears.”

    Graeme, you really remind me of Marv from Sin City …

    Jason Soon

    December 2, 2006 at 11:35 am

  27. “Seriously, though, media accountability is a large issue”

    Sorry SL, I don’t see this as an issue at all. No more than any other business, it is accountable to their owners (shareholders) and clients. And journalists are as bad (or good) as all of us.

    Unless we are talking about accountability for violent assault of course:-)


    December 2, 2006 at 12:49 pm

  28. I have no problem with the media being accountable to their shareholders and clients. I do have a problem with them enjoying legal protections no other corporation enjoys. As I pointed out in the earlier post (linked above), the media are immune from s52 of the Trade Practices Act.

    The rationale for this exemption is that media bodies are ‘something more’ than common or garden corporations. If journalists are like the rest of us, and corporations are like any other corporation, then any legal rights enjoyed should be identical.


    December 2, 2006 at 1:03 pm

  29. I thought it was hilarious ! Milne was clearly mongreled, and Mayne wasn’t, so he clearly prevailed by having the last laugh (or comment at least). It’s interesting how this is all covered up – As SL notes, if it were Warnie, it would be page one stuff, everyone would have anecdotes on how it happened, heaps of background, interviews with those present etc etc. Instead, apart from the video footage, silence.

    My firm belief is that many journos have 5% of the facts, and make the rest up. These people increasingly work not to inform and explain, but to titillate and gain the admiration of their peers. And they truly see themselves as players. As a result, political debate is dumbed down. I would however draw a firm distinction between journos who work for the domestic media, and the more serious “correspondent” type scribes, who are usually motivated more about bring untold stories to the world, than by impressing their collegues with just how cool they are.

    And as for the Wankley Awards, aren’t they just the Logies for the Society for the Uncovering of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (especially in relation to the evil HOWARD and BUSH and anyone not on the Labor left)?


    December 2, 2006 at 7:09 pm

  30. Yair, Jimmy, I think you’re right. I’ve always been amazed at just how seriously they take themselves. When I had my time in the media sun, inevitably they’d record their ‘hard-hitting interview’, then turn off the dictaphone and pump me for writing and publication tips.

    At the time, I saw this as an extension of my teaching role and did everything I could do to help. Only later did I realise that I was dealing with a bunch of talentless hacks.


    December 2, 2006 at 9:09 pm

  31. Mayne has sold out of (which is just an on-line version of the MSM despite some early promise). What was interesting about the video was how much of girls blouse Mayne is. The instinctive reaction to run away was telling.


    December 3, 2006 at 12:03 am

  32. This is never going to stop until I actually punch someone.

    I should become a journalist. It’s the only profession left where punching on is still acceptable.

    I would have backed in Milne by the way. Maybe isn’t stupid, weight is everything in a boxing match.

    I think you have to give Milne credit for keeping alive one of the great journalist traditions: getting wasted amongst your peers. There are very few jobs around nowadays that allow that sort of thing.

    The world needs a good punch on now and then. If world leaders were allowed to settle grudges with boxing there would be less wars.

    Bush vs Hussein would have been much better for both sides.


    December 3, 2006 at 5:33 am

  33. You’d hope that the whole incident turns up in one of those ’20 to 1′ exercises in a few years. It’s got to be good enough for that.


    December 3, 2006 at 11:01 am

  34. Yobbo….you’ve obviously never been to a lawyer’s christmas party.


    December 3, 2006 at 11:32 am

  35. only a juvenile would have punched Milne

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 3, 2006 at 11:46 am

  36. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Milne was pissed, end of story…’s hardly a sacking offence. Milne will be reminded of it often enough….as for it being an assault …..yes technically so but …..


    December 3, 2006 at 12:07 pm

  37. If I were his boss, I wouldn’t sack him. What matters is his work, he’s not a PR guy.

    Jason Soon

    December 3, 2006 at 12:12 pm

  38. …’ll just reinforce his reputation as a hard-hitting journalist !


    December 3, 2006 at 12:25 pm

  39. I’d sack him. Anyone other than a footy player who goes the biff in front of that many cameras has got to be a couple of sangers shy of a picnic.


    December 3, 2006 at 1:42 pm

  40. a new twist in the story – Landeryou claims the credit

    Jason Soon

    December 3, 2006 at 3:19 pm

  41. Milne claims Mayne never checks his facts.

    I remember Milne claiming Janet Howard put forth Hollingworth’s name for GG.
    Only problem was H was a bells and smells Anglican which Janet isn’t into not to mention being quite liberal in a few theological points.
    If he had checked some facts he wouldn’t have written such drivel.

    He also wrote about the non-existent Latham bucks night video.

    He obviously is not into facts either

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 3, 2006 at 3:45 pm

  42. As I said earlier, they’re all equally bad. Mayne is blessed with honesty but he’s as big a grub as the other bloke. Landeryou may be onto something but I suspect the Milne dirt was originally dished by Mark Latham.


    December 3, 2006 at 4:22 pm

  43. “If I were his boss, I wouldn’t sack him. What matters is his work, he’s not a PR guy.”

    He’s a “journalist” therefore he’s a PR guy.


    December 3, 2006 at 4:25 pm

  44. Exactly, whyisitso. Journalism is essentially rewriting a bunch of press-releases. You just frigg with the adjectives if you want a given side to look bad.


    December 3, 2006 at 4:27 pm

  45. actually Milne is the PR guy for Costello.

    Mayne is exactly Jase’s kind of guy economic and social liberal

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 3, 2006 at 5:42 pm

  46. “Mayne is exactly Jase’s kind of guy economic and social liberal ”

    Do you always live in this Bizarro world where black is white and night is day and Clinton is a Friedmanite, Homer? No he isn’t.

    Jason Soon

    December 3, 2006 at 5:45 pm

  47. I don’t want this to sound like a love-in Helen, but you’re so right about adjectives. They are the tool with which journalists flavour their so-called news stories to promulgate their own opinions. Most adjectives are highly value-laden. How often have we seen news stories with lines like “The appalling Pauline Hanson said yesterday that…”


    December 3, 2006 at 5:53 pm

  48. well he has changed since I shared coffee with him or perhaps he has been trying to win votes

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 3, 2006 at 6:18 pm

  49. I don’t think Mayne is bad. As investigative journalist he has dug deep into the dirt in many cases. I am sure somewhere he may have written some inproven things. But for Milne to talk about this is just a bit rich.

    I don’t think punching has anything to do with journalism at all. I don’t think such behaviour is or should be allowed in any workplace. Jason obviously thinks otherwise.


    December 3, 2006 at 7:59 pm

  50. interesting that Crikey and People power are particularly different.

    Also Crikey are upfront when they make mistakes.

    Any other media have to be dragged kicking and screaming into admitting a mistake.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 3, 2006 at 8:05 pm

  51. He was drunk, Boris and it wasn’t a workplace. If his behaviour is an indication that he’s unlikely to do his work well in future either because
    1) politicians are not going to allow him into their press conferences because they’re afraid he’ll punch them OR
    2) it’s an indication of a more long term deficit in being able to write stories
    then you might have a point.

    There’s no indication of this. He was drunk, he and Mayne have bad blood and he lost it. It was a once off.

    His output and his capacity to keep producing that output is the only thing that would matter to me as a boss.

    Jason Soon

    December 3, 2006 at 8:16 pm

  52. Oh. don’t be silly Jason. Of course it was a work place. He wasn’t invited there because of his hobby. His behaviour reflected badly on his employer who is apparently “disciplining” him. Not enough in my view, but that’s their business.

    What he does on these public occasions is part and parcel of his “output”. What you’d do if you were his boss is of course up to you, but most employers would count it as a large negative and their reaction I guess would depend upon his net value to them.


    December 3, 2006 at 8:25 pm

  53. agree with Whyisitso.
    He is at a function representing News Ltd.

    I have known people sacked for less indeed printers sacked for a lot less.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 3, 2006 at 8:32 pm

  54. No, He wasn’t at a function representing News ltd. He was there representing himself.

    But he does have a problemwith news limited though. A big firm doesn’t want to carry unecessary baggage. He’s a dead man walking.


    December 3, 2006 at 9:21 pm

  55. Why do you think News Ltd is disciplining him then, JC?


    December 3, 2006 at 9:51 pm

  56. W
    Didn’t know they were, but I am not surprised and they should, as they have no choice. He cooked his soup so now he’s gonna have to eat.

    Big firms can’t let that sort of behaviour get passed them as they have no choice.

    I would fire him if I were editor.


    December 3, 2006 at 9:56 pm

  57. still don’t see what the big deal is.
    are they selling less papers because of his conduct?
    are they going to get less scoops because of his conduct?

    They are disciplining him probably because they must be seen to be doing something. It’s a token thing.

    Now there is a point beyond which conduct which is irrelevant to his skills as a journalist are a relevant consideration and that arises because of public opprobium.

    If a journalist were found to be for child sex for instance but was otherwise a fine journalist. That would be a sackable offence because at some point the stigma of keeping someone into kiddy fiddling (even if only theoretically) on the payroll would cost them sales.

    But drinking too much and losing your temper? Come on. As long as he’s not a multiple offender it shouldn’t be an issue.

    Jason Soon

    December 3, 2006 at 10:01 pm

  58. Jason

    I don’t disagree with your premise, but that’s not how big firms operate. They expect certain mimimum standards outside the office. Trying to attack another journalist while the action is showing on TV is gross misbehviour. In fact it was a shocking thing to do, no matter how much Mayne deserves a thorough biffing for being a dickhead.

    In any eveent if they don’t fire him , manangment will then worry about staff discipine.

    Again, if I were editor the first thing I’d do is fire him the following morning.

    How would Murdoch live this down? Here he his supporting this candidate and that one, talking to presidents etc. and he has an idiot trying attack another journalist in full glare of the camera. His reputation forces him to fire the fool.


    December 3, 2006 at 10:12 pm

  59. If someone goes to the pub and gets involved in a punch-up, it’s none of his employer’s business. If he’s lucky he’ll have a fat lip. If he’s unlucky, he finishes up in court as well.

    However, the Walkleys are at least semi-official. Airfares and accommodation are paid for by the company. You just can’t have senior staff running around doing this sort of crap at that sort of function.


    December 3, 2006 at 11:42 pm

  60. It is like me at a conference reception. If the company pays for my travel then this is part of my work, even though fellow scientists may not remember which university I represent.

    I agree though that if this is one-off then this should be excused.


    December 4, 2006 at 3:23 am

  61. Milne committed a crime (assault) with oodles of witnesses. Why hasn’t anybody asked Police Commissioner Nixon why they haven’t arrested him? Don’t give me bullshit about Mayne not making a complaint. It was a crime. It doesn’t need a complaint.


    December 4, 2006 at 7:46 am

  62. Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 9:19 am

  63. JC, he was there as Glen Milne journailst from News Limited, Sundat Telegraph in particular.

    He is a goose who has apologised.
    Case closed

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 4, 2006 at 9:47 am

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