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Satire and the ABC

"I thought Australian politics had become surreal when George Bush and John Howard were seen planting a tree together in Washington and a reporter from commercial television said the two men did it to show how deeply rooted their relationship is.

But we are now entering previously uncharted territory with the argument being advanced in tones of overpowering earnestness that the ABC needs to have balance in its humour. Cut these calls out. They will become to future ages what clippings from Pravda on the official line in humour are to our own.

Yesterday, Gerard Henderson (Opinion, 23/10) brought before us the matter of ABC satirists Clarke and Dawe. It's an open secret that the Government has been worried about them for some time, and why wouldn't they be? They're good at what they do. They go after people with power and say exactly what they think. That, obviously, makes them dangerous. As I see them, Clarke in particular, they're a case of people advancing a long way in the media before those in authority catch on to what they're really on about and by then an audience is watching."

Senior Age newspaper writer takes on Gerard Henderson, the new ABC Guidelines, where the line is to be drawn and the topic of satire. A thought-provoking piece. Meanwhile, isn't it time someone just simply shut-up that self-appointed pontificator Gerard Henderson? Henderson has nothing to contribute to any topic and there is no basis for him either writing for the SMH or speaking on ABC Radio National. And who is the Sydney Institute? - and the faceless people behind it? Enough already!

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