Tim B. Liar
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Pot, kettle, black: Tim quotes the Spectator on ugly lefties. Timbo reckons conservatives are much better looking.

And so, for your delectation: Spectator editor Boris Johnson.
Are the Herald-Sun headline writers having a lend of Andrew Bolt again? His latest is titled 'Justice For Fools', leaving wide open the question of just who are supposed to be the fools - the International Criminal Court, the reader... or Andy himself.

Today, Andrew's railing against 'Greek lawyers' - he uses the word Greek or Greeks nine times - who plan to indict John Howard for war crimes in the ICC. (Why is their nationality so important, Andy?)

After railing at how silly this is, Andy says:
The process goes like this: the ICC prosecutor can extradite Howard for trial only if the ICC thinks the charges against him aren't dumb and our own legal system didn't deal seriously with them. And then our Attorney-General would have to agree to having Howard shipped off. Which a Liberal Attorney General would never do, but a Labor ...?

So it's just grandstanding, you'd think. Or is it?

Well, Andrew, on the evidence you've just produced, yes. As Andrew points out, there are legal hurdles to be cleared before the ICC will consider the charges. And then the Australian legal system has to fail to deal with the issue. And then the Attorney-General has to agree to Howard's extradition. Eyebrow fans can relax: little Johnny isn't about to be seized by a snatch squad and whisked off to a foreign country to face trial.

His crisis evaporating, Bolt suggests that maybe the Labor party would agree to Howard's extradition. Would they? We have no idea. And neither does Bolt. It's baseless scaremongering.

Bolt continues:
The ICC is one of those things born of good intentions, but likely to produce bad results.

Which is odd, as he's just spent a paragraph demonstrating how unlikely those 'bad results' - the trial of John Winston Howard, for instance - are.

But this is our favourite clanger:
Now we've let the ICC judge us, too, with judges drawn from the ICC's member countries, which so far include Muslim nations such as Senegal and Mali, and unprincipled opponents of our liberation of Iraq, such as France and Germany.

That's bad enough, putting our citizens at the mercy of judges from countries that are neither democratic nor friendly.
Usually, Andrew does a reasonable job of disguising his racism and xenophobia just enough for it to be deniable - while leaving enough hints in for the faithful to pick up on. But here, his shift is showing.

This amazing passage is packed tight. Let's unwrap it:
  • France and Germany aren't democratic countries.
  • Nor are they countries friendly to Australia.
  • Furthermore, their opposition to the war against Iraq was unprincipled.
  • Nations' judges should be disqualified on the basis of religion.

    For those keeping count, that's two lies, an unsupported assertion and a racist attack. All in two short paragraphs. What skill. Now you know why they pay Andy the big money.

    Tim Blair is obsessed with breasts.

    We know why.

    It's because every time he looks in the mirror he sees a giant boob.
    Wednesday, July 30, 2003
    Steve weighs in on the right-wingers who hate Timmeh controversy:
    ...Tim Blair is not really trying to be an intellectual, but he does give right wingers plenty of light comic relief.
    If only. The only people who find Tim amusing are Tim, Steve and Tim's comments thread sycophants. And the latter are a bunch of blokes who secretly want to make sweaty man-love to Tim, but are ashamed to admit it. Come out of the closet, lads!
    Few leftists are capable of this, because leftism is not generally conducive to laughter or fun.
    Sure. Meanwhile, Timbo's radio show had so much laughter and fun that it rated an asterisk.

    Blot on the landscape: We'll examine Andrew Bolt's latest column more fully sometime after it goes online this evening. It's particularly silly, even by Handy Andy's standards. But we can't resist commenting on the shiny-haired one's sidebar, which continues the exciting Bolt versus Marr fight - now into round 134 or so.

    Andrew calls David a liar. The precise words are:
    Last week, ABC TV's David Marr told eight falsehoods about me on his Media Watch show, which he has used to attack non-Left [Bolt's capitalisation] media figures 19 times, but his fellow Leftists [sic] just 17.
    (In typical Bolt fashion, the second part of the sentence is about something completely different to the first.)

    Oooh! Take that, you poltroon! Bitchslaps at dawn! Calling someone a liar is definitely defamatory... but Marr isn't likely to sue. Andy's the only one in this fight who's threatened to run to teacher and dob. We think the sight of grown journalists threatening to sue is slightly sad. Let's face it, whenever a journo threatens to sue - no matter how justified they may be - they're sending a clear message: I am a whiny bitch who can deal it out but can't take it.

    The ABC response to Andrew's whinge? Marr is allowed to be as nasty as he wants to be. This is where Andy loses the plot. He paints himself into a corner, demanding that ABC blowhards be held to a different standard to privately-held media blowhards (like Andy, for instance).

    So he'll be giving up that Insiders slot, then?
    Tuesday, July 29, 2003
    Tim Blair, straightman:
    Janet Albrechtsen on the new fundamentalism:

    Often couched in the language of religion, it is in fact deeply rooted in politics. Its adherents, like all fundamentalists, keep their politics of hate simple. Rejecting nuance, ignoring the complex, they present us with the world according to them. If we disagree with them on issues such as Iraq, illegal immigration, a republic or indigenous affairs, our motives are impugned or, worse, we are evil, shameful, depraved. And because there are so many of us who disagree with them, they preach that Australia is an evil, shameful, depraved place.

    The name of this new fundamentalism is neo-conservatism.

    Timbo links to a story about how global warming is already killing people and makes a gag about unfindable weapons of mass destruction. We're not quite sure what the point of all that is, but who cares - it gives us an opportunity to demonstrate where the search for Saddam's WMDs is really at:

    PRESIDENT SKROOB: Tell them to comb the desert, do you hear me? Comb the desert!


    CUT TO: two Spaceballs, combing the desert with a giant comb.


    LORD HELMET: What?

    COLONEL SANDURZ: Are we being too literal?

    LORD HELMET: No you fool, we're following orders. We were told to comb the desert, so we're combing it. [YELLS:] Found anything yet?

    FIRST SPACEBALL: Nothing yet sir.

    LORD HELMET: How 'bout you?

    SECOND SPACEBALL: Not a thing sir.

    LORD HELMET: What about you guys?

    THIRD SPACEBALL: We ain't found shit.
    Monday, July 28, 2003
    Virulent Memes on the Fearless Aunty Killers:
    Yeah, that means you, Andrew Bolt, you can’t expound your half-baked ideas prominently in a high-circulation newspaper and claim you’re being “oppressed” and “muffled” by that big mean dirty brute David Marr. You are the media elite, and you are out of touch. You and Blair and Flint and McGuinness and the rest of the Murpack shock troops piling on top the anti-ABC stacks-on just don’t get it; the only difference between you lot and the cafè society whom you claim to despise is that you enjoy shitstirring and playing the betè noir.

    Tim's omnibus post links to this Mark Steyn column. To which we can only say: can we have some of the drugs Mr Steyn is on? (And what are we to make of this: 'Will small numbers of Iraqi moppets die from cholera? No. OK, very very small numbers? Not enough.'?)

    Oh, and Tim thinks the ABC is eeevil... except when he's on it, of course.

    But really, where's the spleen? Is Tim losing his bottle?
    A Token Lefty notices that some on the right think very little of the Timmerrhoid:
    To be absolutely blunt, it's inconceivable to me that Blair would have been invited to address any serious organisation if it were not for his connections. This belief is based entirely on reading his blog...


    Quadrant's invitation to Blair has obviously only served to reinforce my low opinion of Australia's self-appointed rightwing elite. And mine is not a lone voice. Since my return from America I have met with a number of city people and other businessmen and professionals, nearly all of whom were conservative leaning.

    What struck me was their overwhelmingly negative opinion of our so-called rightwing. The main complaint, and one I fully support, is that the right doesn't do a damn thing, apart from organising dinners. How right they are.

    You see, Blair's been invited to address a dinner put on by Quadrant ('a conservative magazine with as much life in it as the Dead Sea Scrolls'). The topic? 'What's wrong with the ABC?' Well, they won't give Timbo his show back, for a start...

    But wait, there's more:
    Moreover, though Blair can dish it out, in his own crude way, he is apparently unable to take it. When a contributor to Crikey accurately called Blair's commentary shallow, Blair responded by throwing a tantrum and removing Crikey's link.

    A Token Lefty deals with the Tim-Tam Man better than we can - click through and scroll down.

    One thing we might ask though: does Blairly There realise just how disposable he is? He's been hired by the Bulletin purely on his ability to outrage. Fair enough - the Bully's circulation is poor relative to its costs; maybe the editors thought Blair would boost the magazine's profile. Those outraged letters to the editor are proof that someone bothered to read his column all the way through and maintained their rage all the way to the post office - a very long distance indeed.

    But kneejerk knobjockeys like Tim are a dime a dozen. Any fool on the web can - and does - produce that sort of hate-laden prose. The problem with Tim is that he's no great talent. Although the banner on his website proclaims him a journalist, there's precious little evidence available to back up the assertion. Tim does no legwork and has no good sources. He simply regurgitates his predigested blog entries into the mouths of the readers.

    And even then, he gets it wrong - the magazine's already run three corrections. Can the vigilant subbies save the Bully from another backdown... or worse? How long until the magazine gets sick of his low-quality product?

    Tim's regular misrepresentation of the facts has long begged the question: is he stupid or mendacious? On available evidence he's both.

    Context? What's that? Timbo gets angry at Robert Manne:
    Robert Manne should try telling this to the families of 300,000 dead Iraqis:

    As we now know, almost everything we were told about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein was false.

    Except the part about him being a “threat”. Reined in by UN inspections, he would have remained a menace to his own people. Free of inspections, once the UN’s jelly-like will dissolved ... well, who knows? Anyway, problem fixed. No more Unky Saddam. Turn that frown upside down, Robert.

    Is that the best you can do, Tim? Talk about desperate for material - this outrage is manufactured from the scantiest of raw materials. By following the link, we can see the whole of Manne's paragraph:
    As we now know, almost everything we were told about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein was false. When Iraq was invaded, no weapons of mass destruction were deployed. When Iraq was conquered, not a single weapon of mass destruction was discovered. No link with al Qaeda was found.

    Manne is talking about the threat to the west - he never denies that Saddam was an evil dictator, etc etc. (How can he deny something he never once mentions?) Pathetic, Timmeh. And from a man who calls the ABC biased...

    Tim wanted David Marr to apologise on air to the breakfast TV hosts he insulted last week. Not likely. Oddly enough, Blair asks other people to apologise for rudeness... and then goes on to crack a gag at the expense of Rachel Corrie, a peace protester killed by an Israeli army bulldozer. Droll.

    And while we're on the topic of Media Watch, Timbo doesn't mention MW's response to Andrew Bolt's latest temper tantrum - a response which more or less dares Andy to sue.
    Thursday, July 24, 2003
    Tim doesn't like gun laws much*. Because, you see, guns allow you to defend yourself against criminals who attack you. As in this recent US example:
    Davis, 41, a former police officer, was carrying a concealed 9mm handgun, but police officials said he never had a chance to draw his own weapon during the 2 p.m. attack.

    *Yeah, he doesn't like Michael Moore much either. But the linked piece is sadly - and unusually - lacking in fat jokes.
    Friday night is fight night: Timbo-lovin' Andrew Bolt and Timbo-hatin' David Marr go at it hammer and tongs. Each accuses the other of being able to dish it out but not take it. Oh, and Andy's claiming he's incompetent instead of malicious - quite amazingly, Bolt wants Marr to prove what Bolt's state of mind was*. Can David's mind-reading powers penetrate the lead-lined HWT towers? Will Andy's ABC apology actually appear? Pass the popcorn!

    *Yes, we're aware that malice would be relevant if Marr was suing Bolt for defamation. But he isn't: so far, the only person waving threats of litigation appears to be Bolt.
    Content-free Friday? So far today, Timbelina has had little to say. There's some casual racism, a smalltown reporter complaining about the way Reuters butchered her story, an en passant stab at the BBC and yet another gag about Michael Moore's obesity. All we need is another whine about the ABC to complete our Timbo Bingo card...
    He sure does churn it out: yesterday, Tim started blogging at 1.13am and finished at 3.47pm. Today, he started at 12.23am. Even if we assume Tim's clock is an hour or so off - as it seems to be - those are mighty long hours he's putting in.

    Cranking that much out must really hurt his hand.
    Wednesday, July 23, 2003
    Blair lies again:
    Australian actors are so talentless and unpopular that they’ll all be out of work unless government regulations protect them, Claudia Karvan admits...

    Except that she doesn't. Tim's telling yet another porky. Here's the totality of Karvan's quotage from the linked story:
    CLAUDIA KARVAN: The regulations that we have in place for our industry are totally crucial. I mean, they're just not something that can be negotiated in any degree whatsoever, because the fact of the matter is, I don't think we would have… we almost wouldn't have an industry if we didn't have the regulations we have and I wouldn't have a job. I wouldn't be earning a living.


    CLAUDIA KARVAN: Up against an industry like America, it already has 90 per cent of our box office, for example – film box office. Really, we can provide about 25 films a year because of the subsidies. If we just rely on the private sector to produce films it's going to be really slim pickings.

    Not once does she mention actors being 'talentless' or 'unpopular'. Or, indeed, anything close. In fact, she doesn't mention actors at all - except to say that if the local industry went under she, personally, would not have a job.

    With Timbo, always follow the link. It often puts the lie to the words that surround it.
    In a world first, Timbo has a go at Robert Fisk without making one single beating gag. How long can this new-found sensitivity last?
    Matt's unhappy we link to him. Sorry Matt, just giving credit where it's due. More generally, we'll read and link to whatever we want. More generally again - people take this whole thing far too seriously. We don't take it all that seriously - because, after all, that'd involve taking Tim Blair seriously.

    Update: Matt's post seems to have been deleted.
    And yeah, He-Tim's Bulletin column is up. Number of primary sources? Zero. Well, one if you count the Uniting Church spokesman Blair made up.
    While we're on the topic of the ABC, Herald-Sun blatherer Andrew Bolt has yet another anti-Aunty screed in the paper today (but not online yet). The ABC is biased, he says. 'You know it's of the left,' he says; 'I know it.' Well, it must be true then - obviously, only commie scum need proof.

    Andy also has a go at SBS for being able to 'find enough ethnic accents to transmit around the clock on both radio and television'. Gee Andy, could that be because that's what SBS is, you know, supposed to do?

    The rest of Andy's hateful page full reduces to two points: he doesn't like David Marr having a go at him and he wants a conservative host on TV or radio (not that he's wanting the job, no sir, not at all... he's mentioning how Insiders is dandy because it's got him on purely in passing).

    On the first point - well, Andy has a full page twice a week to defend himself. And on the second - sorry Andy, but they tried already. And kids, you know it: Tim Blair is not getting his radio show back.

    Update: heeere's Bolty!
    Tim links to a BBC debunking of the Private Lynch story... and some photos of the Homecoming Queen's parade. Cute. Of course, he still thinks that the BBC is the 'home of the feebs' - and can't resist taking yet another gratuitous swipe at the ABC. Tim, please believe us: no matter how much you whinge, you are not getting your radio show back.
    Tim's commenters want to know how much this costs to run. That's easy: nothing. As they could have figured out for themselves. And in the same thread, there's a call for 'calm debate' of the Timbotron's 'ideas'. Sure. As soon as Timmy produces an actual idea, we'll debate it.
    What have we done? We only started watching yesterday, and already there's a watcher watching us and a watcher watching them. Graham rounds it up.
    Tuesday, July 22, 2003
    Oh, and while we're rounding up bits'n'pieces from around the place, here's Graham Freeman:
    n the middle of the hegemony of the blogosphere
    lives a brave little blogger whom we all admire.
    With his long wooden pipe,
    fuzzy, woolly toes,
    he lives in a blogger-hole and everybody knows him

    Timbo! Timbo! Timbo Baggins
    He’s only three feet tall
    Timbo! Timbo! Timbo Baggins
    The bravest little blogger of them all

    Hmmm... when we said earlier today that 'no-one else is consistently doing it' - 'it' being making fun of Timbo - did we speak too soon?

    An oldie but a goodie - a token lefty eviscerates Timmeh (scroll down):
    Genius columnist in The Bulletin, Australia’s weekly news magazine, Tim Blair shows off his piercing intellect and laconic wit:

    Hot topic of the week: media diversity. Easy to see why, too; one Australian media organisation has media outlets in every state, plus additional networks that broadcast nationally. This Orwellian empire presents an almost complete lack of diversity. For the sake of Australian democracy, the ABC must be broken down and sold off.

    No coincidence at all, of course, that Blair was dumped last year from the national broadcaster for boring the hell out of listeners with his warped and self-satisfied, try-hard comedic worldview.

    Shorter generic Aussie pundit:
    You are unpopular, therefore wrong. Never mind that Howard et al misled you, argue Geoff Honnor and Paddy McG. The Australian public don't care, so we should just drop the issue.
    Matt points to Janet Albrechtsen - or mini-Coulter, as we like to call her - attacking the high court:
    As a matter of public policy, the law should not commodify the birth and life of a child such as Jordan into a dollars and cents calculation. As a matter of public policy, the law should not encourage parents to come to court, to denigrate the birth and life of a child such as Jordan, to boost their damages. That promotes a conflict between parental self-interest and the selfless moral and legal obligations parents have to love and nurture their children.

    The law should protect a child such as Jordan from having to learn that each birthday present, each Christmas gift will be paid by a doctor responsible for his birth. That his school fees, his food, his clothing, the added cost of taking him on a family holiday with his two sisters will be borne by the doctor.

    THAT most profound of public policy reasons – the protection of children – is more important than punishing doctors or compensating parents. [Our bolding.]

    But Janet, surely making public policy is judicial activism, and therefore conservative anathema?

    Only when it suits, apparently - in this case, the court's failure to make policy is 'judicial activism at its most audacious' and 'a grand job of exposing why judges make such lousy law-makers'.

    Janet's position is, at best, incoherent and, at worst, mendacious. We're prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt until definitive proof emerges as to whether she really is that stupid or not.
    As part of his ongoing tirade against Media Watch, Professor Bunyip discovers that host David Marr wrote a letter to Alison Broinowski. The Bunyip reasons: Media Watch ran a segment debunking Herald-Sun wingnut Andrew Bolt's attack on Broinowski. Marr has written to Broinowski. Oooh! Vast leftist elites conspiracy! Tinfoil hat! Of course, Marr's producer has also written to Andrew Bolt several times. Does that mean he's in bed with Andy?
    Tim's commenters are a lovable lot. Here's an example of the standard of discourse Mr Blair promotes:
    Most Iraqi hospitals with anything worth looting were probably Baathist-only preserves, and thus deserved any looting they got.
    Posted by: T. Hartin at July 23, 2003 08:07 AM

    If you feel the need to voice your whole-hearted agreement with Mr Hartin's sound thinking, email him here: zgolem@yahoo.com

    Update: Timbo's chorus has now been reduced to identity theft. Poor little loves.
    Quick, look over there: Graham Barrett practices the venerable art of misdirection in today's Age:
    Anyone arriving late in the debate over Iraq would think that George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard must be very bad men after apparently confecting a case for going to war against Saddam Hussein.

    All this talk of breaching international law, lying to the public, "sexing up" intelligence, hounding a weapons adviser into committing suicide and other acts seems distressing and damaging.

    No wonder hundreds of thousands of protesters turned out on the streets of Western cities before and during the war to exercise their disgust at intervention, carrying banners reading "War criminals!"

    So, before these leaders confess and resign, how would we define their crime? It was to remove from power a tyrant who modelled himself on Stalin and over the course of a quarter of a century attacked Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Israel, tried to exterminate his own Kurds and Marsh Arabs, savaged his Shiite majority, generally tortured, raped and murdered hundreds of thousands of his own citizens, funded various terrorist organisations, defied 17 United Nations Security Council resolutions and posed a continuing threat to his own people and regional security.

    No, it wasn't. It was misleading their people into war.

    (And let's take a quick look at the opening pars: Graham talks about 'coming late' to the debate - yet goes on to reference protesters before and during the war. Which is it to be? And you have to love 'all this talk' being 'distressing and damaging'. Diddums.)
    Timbo slags the BBC journo at the center of the Kelly/sexed-up dossier scandal for getting some facts wrong while reporting from a war zone and not apologising for it. Timbo, on the other hand, knows all about apologising - by his own count the Bulletin has run at least three corrections to his column.

    That's three out of the 20 we can see on the archive page - an error rate of 15 per cent.
    Valiant war veteran Tim Blair, wounded in action in Vietnam, links to former CIA director James Woolsey, who reckons the War On Terror is 'a war to the death' - apparently Timbo loves this phrase, as he renders it in bold - 'like the war with the Nazis, and we should understand that it will have to be fought that way.'

    Timbo goes on:
    Or we could just sit around like idiots and argue about African uranium.

    Because, of course, truth is an entirely unimportant value.

    What are we supposed to be fighting for again?

    Watcher blogs are, of course, desperately unfashionable. But we're going to give it a go anyway. Who are we watching? For a start, Australia's most prolific wingnut, Tim Blair - thus the name of this blog. But we'll also be having a look at Timbo's happy little circle jerk of bloggin' mates. Hell, we may even look at the loonies over at The Australian's editorial page - even if it does have all of three readers (including Tim). Andrew Bolt might get a mention, too. We'll see.

    Why? Because no-one else is consistently doing it. Blair and his mates are consistently perpetuating ludicrous falsehood without anyone pointing and laughing.

    How? Robustly. This is not one of those polite weblogs. We intend to respond to Blair in the same manner he criticises others: aggressively and personally. But we will use facts in our arguments - something Timbo doesn't seem to bother with, despite advertising himself as a journalist.

    And for how long? We'll see. Maybe a week. Maybe a month. Maybe longer. Maybe shorter. We'll find out if this project is, in fact, as entertaining as it appears on the surface...

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