Bevan shields himself from criticism


Social mediocre reacted with understandable rage and disbelief after Saturday’s edition of The Sydney Morning Herald ran a heading in both hardcopy and online form that suggested it was time for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to “dare the snipers”.

Coming the morning after Japanese ex-prime minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead, it was such a tasteless, potentially dangerous and highly unprofessional editing blunder that The Bug phoned the SMH’s editor Bevan Shields earlier this morning demanding to know how on earth it had happened on his watch.

We reprint that conversation unedited.

The Bug: You were a shit staff writer so it stands to reason that you’ve turn out to be a shit newspaper editor as well? And aren’t we now getting enough evidence of that?

Shields: Hey, that’s a bit unfair! I assume you are referring to that dreadful heading the SMH ran in its hardcopy form and online yesterday. (shown at top)

The Bug: We are. How on earth could you have let that through?

Shields: I simply didn’t see it. And if I had seen it, I don’t know whether I would have got involved anyway as it would have looked okay to me at first glance.

The Bug: Seriously?

Shields: Of course not. I meant to say that if I had seen it, I would have immediately stopped it dead in its tracks and the sub-editor would have been cautioned, very, very strongly. Do you really think I’m the sort of person who turns a blind eye to shabby journalism in the hope that any criticism will die down thus allowing us to continue muddling through?

The Bug: Yes. So why didn’t you see it?

Shields: I was away on Friday night.

The Bug: On strike?

Shields: Exactly! No! Wait! Of course not. Strike? Who said I was on strike?

The Bug: Some of the staff said you told them to say that.

Shields: Well that’s plainly ridiculous. I’m the editor, for fuck’s sake. Why would I be on strike! And who said that anyway? We have some sheilas on staff who claim to be heterosexual but who we know punt from the Paddington end. Maybe I should put up a staff notice exposing them? I might get Andrew to write a col….

The Bug: Please don’t do that. So, where were you then?

Shields: I had to leave the office early with a migraine.

The Bug: Really?

Shields: No. I accidentally got locked in the executive lavatory and by the time security got me out it was too late to stop that awful heading being published in paper form and online.

The Bug: So it was not so much a locked out but a locked in?

Shields: Not with you there, sorry….

The Bug: Forget it. Is that your final excuse?

Shields: No! I tread on my glasses and couldn’t read page proofs as they came through?

The Bug: That’s possible, we suppose.

Shields: My monitor froze? I can make up other excuses if you want.

The Bug: While you think some up, how many more shit decisions do you think management is going to tolerate before you get a well-deserved boot from being editor here?

Shields: Despite your pointed and unfair negativity typical of a woke left publication not the least bit interested in reporting facts as this interview clearly shows, I think I’m perfectly safe here.

The Bug: And why’s that?

Shields: Pete …

The Bug: Peter Costello?

Shields: That’s right. Peter Costello thinks I’m made of the right stuff and while I might make the occasional small error of judgment that I often fail to pick up – at first, anyway – he knows I’m an inspiration to all the journalists here at the SMH because I right very, very well. Always have.

The Bug: You mean write, don’t you?

Shields: Didn’t I just say that?