Saturday, February 7, 2009

Michael Duffy, Chinese Charity, and the decline of the Sydney Morning Herald

Over at The Sydney Morning Herald, our favorite loon, the man after whom these files were proudly named, the lead footed, rice boy speeding, ticket collecting Michael Duffy, spends a long column on strange doings in a Chinese charity, entitled Pan's labyrinth: how controversy brought conflict to a Chinese charity.

In it, the Duffster does his level best to imitate Steve Liebmann doing an episode of Crime Investigation Australia, and doubtless it will appeal to those interested in the Chinese community, Hurstville doings, and charity politics (it also happens to be a re-heating of a story Duffy did back in 2006 entitled Fourteen years' jail for blinding charity chief - ain't Google wonderful?)

The main pleasure online in reading it is to see that while on the front page the column is credited to Duffy, inside the byline is given to Peter Hartcher. Ever since they sacked the subbies and reduced standards in the Herald, there's never a day goes by that some silly error pops up just like their silly pop up ads. The slow, turning on a spit, death of a newspaper with a once proud tradition and respect for accuracy is always a painful thing to watch, so pardon me if I pull the curtain on the Duffster, grab an ice block from the fridge, slump in front of the box, and plunge the world into a carbon crisis by turning on the air con.

Let's get back to Duffy when he reassures us all by explaining how this enervating heat is just the natural consequence of eating too many dim sums. 

Yep, it's too hot to rate such an exotic column - let's just give him 0 for his resemblance to Steve Liebmann, and 11 for his ongoing interest in charity gossip, and 2 for making sure the only attention paid to the Chinese community concerns a scandal involving madness and eye-gouging blindness (especially as Duffy starts by saying One of the curiosities of Sydney is the almost complete lack of knowledge outsiders have of what goes in the Chinese community, despite its size and importance. So let's get into the eye gouging, hey Duffster, being a concerned and culturally sympathetic scribbler, but what would I know, since I've always taken Ivan Milat as a key sociological indicator of life in the Campbelltown community)

PS and a 10 for anyone who notices when or if the Herald ever notices and fixes the by line attribution online.

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