We start the year disinterring the professional corpse of ousted Age gossip columnist Lawrence Money who while not allowed regular entrance to the expensive new left-wing newspaperâ€™s offices still writes for the troubled journal from time to time.
Moneyâ€™s real views â€“ we discovered to our shock when he was allowed to write a little-read blog â€“ are paleo-conservative, quietly endorsing Pauline Hanson on a variety of issues including Muslims, immigration and such. VEXNEWS reported the unpleasantness with genuine surprise as Money did his best at a Bruce Ruxton impersonation (without the military service) in his eventually shut-down â€œModern Timesâ€ blog on the Ageâ€™s website. While still writing for The Age full-time, Money kept these views hidden under a rock with other reptiles.
When heâ€™s not arguing that immigrants are â€œmongrels,â€ he believes gays should be â€œconvertedâ€ or â€œcuredâ€ of their sexuality, he argued, in a piece condemned as homophobic and poisonous. He wrote:
What business is it of the gay rights people to harrass a homosexual who feels he/she wants to live a heterosexual life? If a peaceful church organisation wants to help them open the door, itâ€™s none of the gaysâ€™ damn business.
For whatever reason, it is Lawrenceâ€™s business though. He also disputed that gays and lesbians are the victim of any discrimination these days:
LAWRENCE: Stigma? When Ellen DeGeneres came out on international TV the ratings for her show soared. Elton John has never been more popular. What stigma? I’d say that heteros bend over backwards to welcome gay people these days –but you might get the wrong idea!
What a charmer. We are not exactly the vanguard of left-wing activist journalism here but discrimination still exists proven if nothing else by Lawrence Money hate-speech.
And we mention all this because it shows that despite its left-wing pretensions, itâ€™s clear the Age is willing to use even the most odious bigot if heâ€™ll assist their beseiged cause.
Itâ€™s an arrangement that suits Money too – aving burned bridges at News Ltd â€“ he remains a committed Fairfax company man and can occasionally return to the feed bowl for a few morsels.
The homophobeâ€™s column appeared in the Age on Saturday reviewing the year in the media, occupying much of a page. Just when occasionally persecuted minorities thought they were safe, it was not to be:
Straight from the Two Ronnies this one. Browser found it over a Reuters report from an athletics meet in Oregon in July: ”Tired Gay succumbs to Dix in 200 metres.” Brought back cherished memories of the commentary from the cricket at The Oval in 1976: ”The bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willey.”
The reason the lamentable column appeared though was that it attempted to spread the Agedâ€™s line on a few issues. In between kind words for 3AW hosts and a spirited defence of Sunday Age columnist (and sacked Herald Sun editor) Bruce Guthrie (best man at conflict-of-interest Lawrence Moneyâ€™s wedding), he issued a stream of corporate propaganda that it would not have been out of place on the North Korean governmentâ€™s always-amusing website.
He claimed â€“ despite all evidence to the contrary â€“ that The Australian only re-breaks The Ageâ€™s stories. He claimed the Age ran the Australian version of theÂ Wikileaks story exclusively and fed it out to other Fairfax outlets and yet it is clear enough the author â€“ ex-Labor staffer Philip Dorling â€“ works closely with the Sydney Morning Heraldâ€™s editor Peter Fray.
With Lawrence entering his dotage and The Ageâ€™s river-of-gold classifieds dried up, the big question is: when will the money run out?