Our sweet friends at the Sunday Age have given us a plug today, in their anono-gossip column which struggles to stay erect most of the time due to its lack of content or even what passes for gossip or – as it describes it – dirt. It’s a sad tribute to the decline of the newspaper from bad to worse.
It’s the sort of column that should terrorise the notable in Melbourne and is instead just barren and empty of anything. Where there’s an interesting bit of smear, no names are even mentioned. They’re just gutless, like the annoying little high-school weasel bully just before he got body-slammed by the big, dumb kid. (Details to follow tonight on ACA’s special Sunday edition at 6.30PM)
Sources tell VEXNEWS that Stephen Mayneâ€™s matey Michael Bachelard (pictured here, nude, in the paper’s most bizarre attention-grabbing act) filed the attack-story pointing out the profound injustice of us calling Stephen Mayne a â€œreckless internet defamerâ€ after he got caught up in messy litigation for making serious and false claims against a Chinese community nursing home. It will cost ratepayers a fortune, according to recent press reports.
Of course the reason we refer to Mayne that way is that it was his description of us, way back in 2006 when our predecessor publication prompted the resignation of the then leader of Mayneâ€™s now-collapsed People Power party.
Mayne was furious about the loss of the high-profile guy (no-one can remember his name these days) and had a tantrum exceeding all known records at the Templestowe kindergarten he administers. So he called us â€œAustralia’s most prolific and reckless internet defamerâ€ to the pleasure of convicted criminal and sacked Age gossip columnist Lawrence Money. In our world, being called the nation’s best is quite the compliment, which, being generous, we were more than inclined to share around.
These days, Mayne has emerged from his glory days running the Crikey email newsletter work of fiction to being a sleazy local politician, firing up at Chinese community groups in the hope it might help him sure up some redneck Anglo love. His aspirations for Liberal preselection are still the stuff of mirth, even around Nick Kotsiris’s office.
We think it not unreasonable to report on these public events, especially when Mayneâ€™s forked tongue attracts litigation that could cost ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars or impact on its insurance premiums for as long as Mayne is on the council.
In recent exchanges, Mayne, who is always a good sport (or good media manager) by responding to even the most provocative questions from us, accused us of mellowing and was even understanding when our email system ate his lengthy reply to our probes. On the mellow business, no such luck. Bachelard may be yellow, but we’re not mellow.
Amusingly, Bachelard wrote that VEXNEWS is a “website characterised variously as “dirt-dishing”, “rancid” and an “outlet for smear” which demonstrates he knows how to use Wikipedia which describes us as follows:
Its reporting style has attracted criticism from high-profile figures including Collingwood presidentÂ Eddie McGuire called Vexnews an “off-Broadway website”, The Australian has depicted it as “dirt-dishing”, The Sydney Morning Herald as “rancid” and The Age as “an outlet for smear”
According to Wikipedia boffins, some believe those “closely associated” with VEXNEWS wrote that description themselves. We couldn’t possibly comment.