Entries can now seek rectal glory!

The work of two mainstream Australian journalists – one a well-known politics writer; the other a still unidentified production sub – have been released by a review panel for consideration in the uncoveted The Bug‘s Media Glass House Arse-Licker of the Year award for January.

Both were sent for review for similar reasons; both were short, sharp contributions far different from the usual gut-churning, vomit-inducing coit-ringers that usually dominate the monthly award.

For example, Des Houghton’s essay in Brisbane’s The Sunday Mail declaring Scott Morrison his Australian of the Year for 2021 is still regarded by many as a rolled-gold certainty for this month’s award, which may very well be renamed in his honour.

The review panel was tasked with considering whether a short, sharp tweet from The Daily Telegraph’s Samantha Maiden qualified for judging consideration as it was not a commentary piece as the Torygraph’s political editor.

Likewise, they had to rule whether a single solitary effort by whoever cooked up the heading “Defying gravity” (below) for a five-page creampuff piece by the SMH’s Deborah Snow on Scott Morrison warranted possible Arse-Licker award glory because a body of sycophantic brown-nosing is normally regarded as essential for an award tilt.

Winning entries usually really, really pong of poo. Des Houghton’s current effort stinks to high heaven.

Of Maiden’s tweet, one of the review panel judges said: “It’s a beautiful little tweet, really, to be honest. It more or less shouted out: if you work for News Corp and are stupid or brave enough to criticise the Morrison government, you’d better rope in Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party too.

“You could see it writ large in Maiden’s thoughts as she tweeted, which is a shame in some ways considering she’s one of the few journalists at News Corp Australia who can actually spell ‘journalism ethics’ and ‘code of conduct’.

And what was Labor’s crime that made Maiden so, so terribly let down, considering the story de jour at the time really was about the Morrison’s government’s abject failure in mid-2021 to heed warnings from a number of organisations on the urgent need to access sufficient Rapid Antigen Tests to cope once the nation opened up to Covid?

Well! While Morrison steadfastly protected the right of private enterprise to make a decent bob selling RATs, Albanese had called for the tests to be affordable. Read: anyone who couldn’t afford one should get them free. Well, that’s what most people would read. Not Maiden, apparently.

In a very short time, Labor firmed up the policy to say the RATS should be free for all. Weren’t they weak to dither so long? Might have been wasting time costing the idea?

Naturally, The Daily Telegraph immediately got stuck into Labor, plucking a monstrous cost to taxpayers of that policy out of their own right-wing rectum and splashing it all over the place. The paper around the same time applauded Morrison for a real policy flip, making RATs possibly free to six million Australians if they jumped through a number of difficult hoops. It seems such spending is only an affront to taxpayers’ pockets if Labor is doing it.

Is that really why Maiden was pissed off? Labor took far too long to formulate a policy that her employer could then savagely attack it over?

Every day, Maiden must wake up feeling so, so honoured to be working for a news organisation committed to balanced and fair political reporting.

The review panel also thought the heading (below) on Snow’s piece was an absolute rip-snorter that made absolutely no sense whatsoever, unless it was meant somehow to convey the overall thought that Morrison as a master marketer and campaigner with God on his side was still standing and a real election-winning prospect despite a year of mishaps and missteps and recent horror polls.

The same review panel member said of those two simple words: “It’s an effort of breathtaking Engadine Maccas quality.

“If anyone in journalism can give us any fucking logical explanation for its use, or what the fuck it’s supposed to mean, please let us know. We’re totally in the dark here.”

“We can only assume the sub thought he was working for NewsCorp and considering where the Herald mastheads are heading, that’s quite understandable.”