Some Rupe-speak slips out

media dinkus

Had to, Speesie? Really?

Here’s what ABC TV’s Insiders host David Speers had to say when reporting on how the morning’s media outlets had covered Black Lives Matter rallies around the country: “…. the whole thing was largely peaceful but in Sydney some police had to use capsicum spray on a group of protesters at Central Station.”

HAD TO. As in the police were made to, or heaven forbid, forced to use the spray against the small crowd who were enjoying a chant on the concourse.

To be fair to Speers – as Media Glasshouse always is to all journalists – he was reporting on what the papers said but as we can see from the top graphic, the sub at the Sunday Herald Sun didn’t qualify the use of the spray.

And we’ll half apologise to Speers if the body copy used the words “had to”. We are not going to spend one red cent with that senile, flaccid-arsed, money-hungry, ethically barren, far-right-wing New York prick to find out.

But if Speers had read any of the criticisms levelled at the use of the spray in the lead up to the program, he perhaps would have been wise to take the “had to” out.


We at the Media Glasshouse have enormous respect for Michael Rowland who racked up 10 years with ABC TV’s News Breakfast late last week.

But on today’s (Monday’s) program, he talked about “the murder of George Lloyd”. There’s probably not too many in Australia who disagree with that, except for those people who drive around with Aussie flags hanging out of their ute windows or vote One Nation, but it’s a sloppy habit to get into it.

No biggie, the Glasshouse accepts, given it’s an overseas case but it really should be good practice for any journalist, vastly experienced or just starting out, to choose words wisely for the next time an Australian is heading for trial charged with murder.

We are reminded of the trial of Oscar Pistorius in South Africa, where an Australian TV network reporter breathlessly told of how the trial had been shown pictures of “the murder weapon”.

Judge, dismiss that jury and send them home. A guilty verdict has been delivered  by the media!


1oxpolepossieShould someone’s head role, we mean roll, over this heading in today’s edition of our glorious national broadshit The Australian? (pictured)

Nah. Not really. It is after all correct use of the word pole in a story about a poll.

But that’s our point. We think it’s maybe just a tad awkward given that the state premier concerned is from a family of Poles.


In previous editions of our Media Glasshouse we have considered the scarcity of advertising support around funeral notices, or what are now called “tributes”, in Brisbane’s daily turdbloid The Courier-Mail.

Take a look at a randomly selected page from last week (pictured). There’s more than a full tabloid page devoid of any ad support.

1xcmailtribs050620Just where are all the notices being published about people whose deaths and funerals were previously recorded in its pages?

The ever shrinking number of listings has not just happened as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and its impact on funeral services. It’s been going on for some time as our previous stories show.

The printed version of the Courier was spared in the recently announced list of News Corp hard-copy newspapers soon to be dumped in bin of Australian journalistic history.

But for how much longer?