Members of the VEXNEWS Investigation Unit have alerted us this evening to speculation that Monsieur Andrew Jaspan (rhymes with Petain), the illustrious former Editor in Chief of The Age Titanic, has been short-listed for the editorship of the West Australian newspaper.
The vacancy occurred last year after some-time billionaire Kerry Stokes was appointed Chairman of WA Newspapers, he sacked long-time popular incumbent editor patriot Paul Armstrong and replaced him with a chap Bob Cronin on a temporary basis. Cronin is reputedly referred to by surly staff as “Cronin the Barbarian.”
At the Aged, Andrew Jaspan championed the cause of Earth Day to the point that even his lefty newsroom gagged at the propaganda fest, vigorously campaigned against the deepening of a channel for container ships in Port Phillip Bay, sacked popular conservative commentators and promoted the least funny highest paid columnist at The Age, alleged comic feministe Catherine Deveny. Her job is said to be under siege under the new editor Paul Ramadge who is keen to make economies by slashing her pay. Or her throat. Jaspan’s declared mission was to make The Age like The Guardian by the Yarra, and large chunks of the latter appeared cut and paste in the former.
The Age was dying anyway, its classifieds dependent model guaranteed that. But Jaspan’s veering of the paper to the strident left hastened its demise and pushed genuine sales through the floor in Melbourne’s genteel suburbs where The Age was once a way of life and an expression of where good eastern suburbs middle-class folk saw themselves in life. Now they don’t want to know. Their readership is increasingly concentrated in the inner-city and has reputedly dropped away drastically in the east.
It is hard to conceive how Jaspan’s bizarre enviro-left policies would go down in the Wild West, where men are men and the crookedest show in town is the Corrupt Commission.
We’ll soon find out whether the whining Pom Jaspan goes west. If they end up employing the lefty who helped drive The Age off the cliff it is currently falling off, it would be an astonishing development and a massive commercial mistake but those who’ve dealt with the Jaspan insist he talks a good game even if the paper he presided over was a cause of considerable shame.
He practically charmed the pants off Ron Walker, the current Fairfax Chairman, who has many faults but being a lefty is not one of them.
But The West in another world, with many still wanting to be a separate nation that would trade with a massive current account surplus, and its newspaper reflects its unique approach to life. That ever reliable source of left-wing doctrine, Wikipedia says of The West Australian:
The West is politically populist, with strong conservative leanings.
Heaven help them if they actually appoint the smooth-talking Pom leftist. All hell will break loose.
Media insiders tell VEXNEWS though that the number of proven editors who can put together a newspaper is actually very small and that the Jaspan while committed repeated atrocities at The Age is quite the commercially focused individual who will probably be saying exactly what Stokes wants to hear about the bottom line.
We’ll do our best to dig up the other names in contention and say a little prayer for them.
UPDATE: We hear also that Jaspan had been interested in applying for a position running the state government’sÂ Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, which exists to prove to the state’s creditors that we have more money than sense. Â Its Chairman, email newsletter publisher Eric Beecher, who hates Jaspan, made it clear that his enemy would not be permitted to darken his door. Doesn’t it give you a warm inner glow when state government appointees like Beecher use their positions of public trust to carry out private vendettas? We can agree about his target, if not his methods. Minister Kosky needs her head read if she’s appointing Crikey officials to state government sinecures.
PICTORIAL UPDATE:Â With VEXNEWS, not only can you read aimless gossip about former newspaper editors looking for work, you can also see them in action too.