Tim Blair


New Criterion



Tuesday, April 27, 2004
MEDIA WATCH'S DAVID MARR is not so stupid as to write a letter to those left-wing commentators whose offences his programme tip-toes around.

But in a world-wide scoop ABCwatch brings you the transcript of Marr's telephone call to Philip Adams. It took place shortly before Media Watch made passing reference to the latest Gastropodian unacknowledged engorgement of droppings from the New York Review of Books.

Unfortunately we get only one side of this conversation. From the other end of the line we can hear only a drawn-out squishing sound.

Phil, that you? Yes, yes, of course I'm not calling collect. Auntie's paying.

Now Phil, I want you to stay calm. I've got some bad news. Biffer's been under some pressure to make Media Watch throw the odd stone at a left commentator, and he's too piss-weak to tell them go jump.

What's that, why can't we just make an example of the clods in ABC local radio? We've already done that Phil. Won't work again.

No, not Pastor Lane, his mortgage is not big enough. He'd bite back.

Not the pre-schoolers either. No-one's heard of them.

I'm sorry, Phil, I truly am, but it has to be you. Some useless blogger has sent a file of your engorgements to a Board member.

Jesus no, Phil, we can't risk another external review. Look what happened to the last one!

Look, I'll make it short and gentle. Most viewers won't even notice.

And listen to this Phil, I've got this great way to bury our gentle dig at you before the audience has even noticed it.

I'll tail it with a slag-off at one of our usual right-ratbag targets.

No, seriously, Phil, they will notice it. I've invented a new verb. No, not a herb, Phil, a verb. It's 'to albrecht'.

What's it mean? Don't worry, I'll think of something before we go to air.

How about this? "'To albrecht' means to pinch other people's ideas and words without acknowledgment".

Of course no-one will see the link with your hospitable mode of authorship, Phil.

Anyway, it'll be forgotten in a week, just like your columns.

And I promise never to do it again!

As he won't.

And Media Watch's role as yet another left-wing pulpit will never be an item on Auntie's news service.