Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, September 27, 2004
Auntie's random email response-generator has been working overtime, as reader RM found out when commenting on the contribution to The Insiders programme of the Australian's Samantha Maiden.

Samantha's existence was at first denied, and then the enquiry was redirected to The Age newspaper.

This surprises me. I have always thought Insiders one of Auntie's more organised operations.

You know exactly what to expect. There, next to host Barrie Cassidy, are the two more liberal journalistic guests.

Furthest away from Cassidy, backed by a darker back-drop, is the token slightly-more-conservative member of the media pack. Or even Piers Akerman.

The political task of the two inside Insiders is to help show just how distant from the Cassidy centre are the views of the token slightly-more-conservative outsider. They do this by the usual objective journalistic means of out-numbering him, interruption, and ridicule.

Nicely done.

Still, it's by far the best political discussion available on ABC radio or television.