A heartfelt open missive to Parnell Palme McGuinness

Parnell, sweetness, what the fuck are you on about?

I’m referring to your recent email to us here at The Bug. (above)

And here I sit, ashamed for not having the courage to identify myself! Ouch! Not prepared like lesser mortals to stick their necks out and risk their livelihoods. Double ouch! A cowardly columnist devoid of plebeian openness! Ouchy wouchy wouch!

For the record then, Parnell, my name is Gordon-Brown. Don Gordon-Brown.

Broke retired pensioner who for some 16 years tried to keep Rupert Murdoch less dishonest in the inner-Brisbane newspaper marketplace with a community paper, The Independent. No livelihood to risk whatsoever from pumping out The Bug in recent years with a very, very talented long-term journo mate. All done for the sheer joy of writing.

Funny name, isn’t it. No, not Rupert’s. Mine. But then again who am I talking to about funny names?

Still, there it is, Parnell, slap bang at the end of the article you’ve emailed us about. It’s called a tagline in journalism for your interest. Been there since the day I penned it.


We gave you a mighty serve in another Glass House column that wasn’t bylined as it was a joint effort by Bug staff (yes, all two), but the one that’s gotten a burr under your saddlebag certainly had my name on it. I also generally stick a tagline on my one-eyed column pieces such as this one to go with my handsome visage.

Much of The Bug is satirical silliness that doesn’t warrant letting our readers know who penned it.

But how you missed my tagline beggars belief, it really does.

In my five decades plus in journalism, I tried hard not to make a mistake that made me look bad. Didn’t always work but I gave it my best shot.

But you dead set have made yourself look like an absolute gold-standard goose of berejiklian standard with this reply of yours, seeing the thrust of most of it – and pretty personal shit it is, too – is based on a falsehood.

So my best advice to you from now on? Please open both your eyes before you hit the keyboard.

I’m not saying you don’t have a future at Nine Entertainment. Keep writing stuff from a myopic-like, far-right perspective and The Bug’s suspicion is that you’ve got a regular gig for as long as you want it or at least until after the election. Say hello to Peter for us.

But if you want to move from PR hack where throwing around fancy words like “blebeian openness” doesn’t do too much harm, try to look at things with both eyes wide open, okay? The best columnists at least try to look at things from all sides. Or they used to until writing what the boss wants to read gained traction over recent times.

Parnell, let all that you see sink in and you might even start writing readable and engaging columns based on some semblance of fairness and balance, the sort of journalism that is sadly slipping quickly away from the two Herald mastheads.

And in the hope that you are still reading, cop this!