Alan Howeâ€™s columns usually vanish without trace. Compared with the Herald Sunâ€™s thorough and diligent Andrew Bolt, he appears to have little following and thereâ€™s usually not much response in the comments on his columns, nor in the letters page. As we previously reported, he comes up in Herald Sun confidential internal market research as one of its least popular regular contributors.
But itâ€™s not because Howe doesnâ€™t try to urinate in the collective swimming pool of public opinion with occasionally bloody excretions denouncing individuals and even majority groups like women. His words of hate are sometimes plainly repulsive and worrying. Reviewing as many of the columns as our strong stomach could tolerate shows an incredible contrast between his blunderbuss and their precision-fire of Bolt. Whether you agree or disagree with Boltaâ€™s conclusions, the painstaking research is always there. In Howeâ€™s case, itâ€™s just a painful series of clichÃ©d thoughts and hackneyed generalisations sucking up to those he thinks can help him, kicking down at anyone else. Heâ€™s a poison dwarf in a hurry, who doesnâ€™t like facts or any sense of decency get in the way of his non-stories.
And thereâ€™s more. The VEXNEWS Investigations Unit is slowly trawling through the garbage bin of Alan Howeâ€™s life of trash, sleaze and indolence. What weâ€™ve pieced together already does not make a pretty picture. Check back regularly on this page for unpleasant updates as we trawl through years of unresearched, bitter invective, muck and crap to reveal the vile thoughts of chair-man (because he rarely leaves his) Alan Howe.
In the mind-numbing quotes from Howeâ€™s past, he is revealed as aÂ hateful man with more prejudices and misconceptions than centimetres of height, even when his own companyâ€™s publication The Australian reported on his sacking as Sunday Herald Sun editor, the journalist couldnâ€™t avoid telling it how it is. Itâ€™s as good a place as any to open batting:
ALAN HOWE THE BULLY
Alan Christopher Howe is impatient, abrasive, obsessive, unpredictable, mischievousâ€¦ruthless, ambitious and unforgivingâ€¦ A former assistant editor of The Australian and rarely lost for a word or two, he once told a reporter who’d failed to deliver a specific Howe request for a story: “I just want you to die. Never speak to me again.” (The Australian, 27 October 2005, page 17)
ALAN HOWE ON HIS BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AFTER 12 YEARS EDITING SUNDAY HERALD SUN
If you ask me what my biggest single achievement was I think it was getting [the band] Daddy Cool to reunite (The Australian, 27 October 2005, page 17)
Says it all really. And while heâ€™s unpleasant in general, his views on women are noteworthy and speak for themselves without name-calling from VEXNEWS:
ALAN HOWE ON WOMEN JUDGES (9 August 2011)
There is a trend I have identified before that I believe is undermining our justice systemâ€¦Soft sentences are being appealed against by manipulative and evil men, and too often they are shown further leniency. Curiously, it is often women magistrates and judges who are to blameâ€¦ women are more likely to go soft on crime, even unforgivable sex crimes carried out by appalling men deserving many years in jail. The Hall of Fame for Light Sentencing is a crowded place, disproportionately populated by the few women who have worked their way into Victoria’s exclusive old boys’ legal network.
Look at the lenient sentences handed out by women judges and magistrates – even for sex offenders. (14 March 2010 â€“ live blog online) Are girls good for the guilty? We know men’s and women’s brains are differentâ€¦ these physical and chemical qualities affect cognitive functioning. When I first suggested Victoria’s women judges might be more lenient, Attorney-General Rob Hulls saw redâ€¦ Human females are more empathetic; males more dominant and aggressive. (Women have) a natural bias towards leniency in sentencing – one that would be exposed if we bothered to properly monitor our systems of justice. (9 August 2010)
ALAN HOWE ON WOMEN
Four decades after Germaine Greer’s numbingly dreary, poorly written guide to the new lives awaiting women, our streets are filling with female eunuchsâ€¦She’s hardly alone. Last week Lara Bingle provided us with stunning evidence that it is women who are tugging hardest on the reins that hold back their gender. (14 March 2010)
ALAN HOWE ON WHY MUMS SHOULDN’T BE PRIME MINISTER
I DON’T want a mum as prime minister. Not unless the offspring are just about off her hands. You just don’t find mums in the top political jobs. And there is a good reason for that: they are — or should be — too busy. Look at Australia’s most powerful women, Julia Gillard and Julie Bishop, and the world’s most powerful woman, Condoleezza Rice, and the woman who may soon take that title, Hillary Clinton, and I’ll throw Christine Nixon into the mix. They have just one child between them…Feminists will quickly offer three premiers who were mums: Carmen Lawrence, Joan Kirner and Anna Bligh. But none ever won an election; they were simply given the posts by their parties. Herald Sun 28 February 2008
ALAN HOWE ON BREAST CANCER FUNDING
I’d have to agree that in some ways men are treated poorly. Look at the funding made available for breast cancer as opposed to prostate cancer. Yet which is the more deadly? (14 March 2010 â€“ live blog online)
ALAN HOWE BULLYING COLLEAGUE JILL SINGER:
Singer might admit to being more than of a relatively advanced age, but I wouldn’t let that stop her making a further contribution to the gene pool. I’ll even pay my taxes to help. She also thundered that, through IVF, we are paying to create a faulty gene pool. Crikey, Jill. Let’s round them up and gas them. People with German-sounding surnames were doing that in the 1940s. (4 April 2011)
ALAN HOWE BULLYING COUNTY COURT JUDGE FELICITY HAMPEL
Delicate petalâ€¦ (7 February 2010)
ALAN HOWE ON JULIE BISHOP
the childless Deputy Leader Julie Bishop (14 March 2010) (There are very many references by Howe to Bishop being childless)
And it’s not just the number, but the quality of women we elect or who make it to senior management. If the standard bearer of the right for women is to the most senior Liberal woman in the land, Julie Bishop, then women have a problem. (14 March 2010 â€“ live blog online
ALAN HOWE ON THE SYSTEM BEING BENT IN FAVOUR OF WOMEN
It wasn’t that long ago that we had differential retirement ages for men and women. How did that make sense? (14 March 2010 â€“ live blog online)
ALAN HOWE ON WOMEN BEING UNGRATEFUL FOR HIS HELP
I saw a woman struggling with a pram trying to cross over the gutter to get over the road a while back and so I offered to help – and was abused for my efforts. Won’t be doing that again. (14 March 2010 â€“ live blog online)
ALAN HOWE ON HOW EASY WOMEN GET IT FROM THE COURTS
I think most people would agree with that (that women get an easy ride from the criminal justice system) and there are certainly cases where the courts appear to have taken a more lenient view when it comes to women – just look at the drunk Mum in Moe who received – yet another – suspended sentence. (14 March 2010 â€“ live blog online)
ALAN HOWE ON WOMEN:
Women often let themselves down as they seek to be treated as equals.
ALAN HOWE ON LENIENT SENTENCES (Keep in mind when Alan Howe was found guilty by a female magistrate of offending the Children and Young Persons Act, the magistrate failed to impose the maximum penalty of 2 years in jail and ordered that he pay a few thousand dollars to the Royal Childrens Hospital and even ordered that a conviction not be recorded. Lenient sentencing if ever there was an example)
I reckon the judiciary might have got carried away with perhaps a pompous notion of independence and is no longer reflecting community standards, as they are obliged to do. As the DPP says, we must see some maximum sentences handed down. Very few are. Too often sentences are suspended or served concurrently. That’s nonsense. The judiciary is failing us. It is up to us – through our pollies – to tell them so. We have some very good maximum sentences on the books – LET’S APPLY THEM! (August 9 2010 â€“ live blog online)
ALAN HOWE ON STITCHING UP HIS MATE TIM MATHIESON ON WEDDING YARN
Hang on, what marriage announcement? I’d spoken to Mathieson for hours and he never mentioned it. Sod it. I’ve missed the story again! (23 May 2011)
Tim Mathieson reveals he wants partner and Prime Minister Julia Gillard to be his wife (15 May 2011 â€“ Sunday Mail)
Tim Mathieson wants to wed PM Julia Gillard (16 May 2011 â€“ Sunday Herald Sun)
‘I’d like to ask her’ First Bloke says he loves PM and may pop the question (15 May 2011)
ALAN HOWE ON SYDNEY
Sydney is a shallow place reduced to defining itself by a couple of structures that have always struck me as tinselly screeches for attention. It is a city where you can become a legend by writing on the footpaths with chalk. Sydney has delivered Australia’s worst prime minister, Billy McMahon, and its most corrupt politician, former premier Sir Robert Askin. In Sydney, raped 14-year-olds are fair game to be ridiculed on FM radio. Sydneysiders can use the term ‘beach culture’ with no intended irony. It is no surprise to find its contribution to our country’s great debates has been minimal and that the towering figures of our democracy have never emerged from there.
ALAN HOWE ON THE FRENCH
untrustworthy (14 March 2010 â€“ live blog)
ALAN HOWE ON AUSTRIANS
It seems that you’d be taking a punt marrying an Austrian. The country itself has often displayed a nasty arrogance, in deep denial of its sins. And its famous menfolk are too often created in that same image: there was Adolf Hitler, of course; and then lying racist Kurt Waldheim, who not only once was president of his country but also Secretary General of the United Nations; and now we have Arnold Schwarzenegger. (23 May 2011)
ALAN HOWE ON PAKISTANIS
He (a digger) was almost certainly killed by Pakistan, our Commonwealth “brothers” to whom the concept of noble is foreign. Pakistan is a wretched, ungrateful and perhaps ungovernable country (30 May 2011)
ALAN HOWE ON AFGHANS (6 June 2011 â€“ live blog online)
Barbaric people with the morals of sixth century misogynist goat herders they may beâ€¦ Let them live violent, backward lives – and let’s move in occasionally – or, with drones even everyday – and kill their leaders. These will mostly be educated men. There won’t be too many of them.
ALAN HOWE ON LOCAL COUNCILLORS (24 Jan 2011)
(Victoria has)â€¦far too many councillors, among whom are some of the most obtuse, petulant and selfish busybodies known to ratepayers.
ALAN HOWE CLAIMING MILITARY SERVICE IN VIETNAM (6 June 2011)
We fought back and more of them died than us, but they had made their point.
(Howe didnâ€™t serve in Vietnam.)
Despite deploring Afghan misogyny. Howe appears to believe women are genetically incapable of properly serving on the judiciary because they are wired to give lenient sentences, as above..
ALAN HOWE ON BRENDAN NELSON AND LYING
A liarâ€¦.He knew it was bad. Lying is not a mistake; it’s a character flaw, and they mostly recur. But when it’s known that you are prepared to lie, others will find it easy to lie to you.
ALAN HOWE LYING ABOUT ANDREW LANDERYOU (17 July 2008, Herald Sun)
Background: One of the B-list celebs Alan Howe brown-noses is serial political candidate Les Twentyman, who is also a fundraiser for a charity whose activities are not adequately explained. Cynics believe Twentyman is the principle beneficiary of it. When Twentyman went troppo over our predecessor publication’s tough but fair reporting of his most recent political candidacy, especially our fair and balanced reporting on his million-dollar near-waterfroont luxury home and sent his poor missus in to apply for an intervention order, Howe weighed in, not on the side of a journalist speaking truth to hypocritical power but on the side of the politician. Howe’s was a disgraceful effort, unworthy of anyone claiming to be a journalist.
Falsehood #1: Police… are rightly taking keen interest in the events around the failed campaign by Les Twentyman for the Kororoit by-election.
Truth: Victoria Police took no interest in the by-election campaign or our reporting of it. The only time they did was when we dobbed in one of Twentyman’s thugs who unsuccessfully attempted to beat us up after Twentyman withdrew his intervention order application. No charges were ever laid against Twentyman or the cowardly loser involved in the attack.
Falsehood #2 Already, Twentyman has obtained an intervention order against political blogger Andrew Landeryou, who published pictures of (Twentyman’s) house on his website, along with detailed descriptions of the rooms inside, and even art on the walls. There were also apparent threats of more revelations about the Twentyman house and his lifestyle.
Truth: Twentyman never did obtain an intervention order. He merely applied for one and then withdrew the application when it became clear he wasn’t going to get it. They are, of course, all too easy to obtain. And thrown around courts like confetti. In his case, it was such an outrageous ask that he dropped it. Our coverage of Twentyman’s luxury estate was perfectly legitimate given that his candidacy was based on the lie that he was a western suburbs battler when the truth is he’s a professional fundraiser and property millionaire with enormous Clifton Pugh portraits of himself on the walls. It’s a very nice place that was then conservatively with a million. Good luck to him, we said at that time, but spare us the Mother Teresa act.
Our descriptions of his home were in fact based on published reports in local Leader newspapers, from Twentyman’s own boastful big mouth. And “apparent threats of more revelations” is made to sound like it’s a sinister thing. Here at VEXNEWS, we’re always threatening more revelations about subjects of investigation. That’d include Alan Howe, at least until we get sick of him or his high-priced legal team trample on the free speech rights they normally give speeches about to the Melbourne Press Club and sue using a process that only the rich Alan Howe denounces can use.
We never bothered seeking an apology from Howe for his lies. Why bother? We can take a little unfair kicking every now and then. We don’t mind it. What we have objected to is that it’s not really fair-game to attack my old man just because I dared respond to Howe’s lies with truth. In one notorious case, Howe even strong-armed Shelley Hadfield into pouring a bucket of slime on my Dad, too ashamed to put his own by-line to it. She was just obeying orders, it later came out, from Howe. The truth always comes out eventually, especially when the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit is involved. We thought Howe’s conduct was disgusting, stomach-churning stuff. And enough to make me realise that, in Alan Howe, we are dealing with a uniquely odious menace to decency. The pap in his columns, which we admit to not normally reading, makes it clear that he spreads his misery to many targets.
When Alan Howe gets called to account, what’s his response? To suppress and attack our free speech, our right to express an opinion about his work and his personal conduct, seemingly contradicting what’s meant to have been his life’s work of reporting news, divulging secrets, troubling the powerful with truth and generally maximising accountability. It’s quite a remarkable situation he’s got himself in, isn’t it? The hypocrisy doesn’t end there.
TOUGH ON CRIME ALAN HOWE’S BRUSH WITH THE LAW
AFTER receiving its first criminal conviction in 50 years of television, Channel Seven has been ordered to pay $50,000 to charity over the broadcast of a report about a teenage boy “divorcing” his mother. Channel Seven’s Melbourne news director Steve Carey, national executive producer of Today Tonight, Craig McPherson, and former Sunday Herald Sun editor Alan Howe were found to have individually broken the law.
Section 26 of the Act prohibits the publication of a child’s identity and other parties involved in any Children’s Court proceedings, and attracts a maximum sentence of two years’ jail or a fine of $10,481 for individuals and $52,405 for an organisation…. Mr Howe, whose employer the Herald and Weekly Times was hit with eight criminal charges, was unable to say whether he had been legally warned against disclosing the boy’s identity. He told The Age that “the matters are before the court and, as such, are sub judice, but I can confirm we are defending the charges.” (The Age 10 October 2005)
CHANNEL 7 and the Herald and Weekly Times have lost appeals against convictions and $50,000 fines over the naming of a 14-year-old boy who “divorced” his parents. They also rejected appeals by former Sunday Herald Sun editor Alan Howe, Seven’s Melbourne news director Stephen Carey and Today Tonight executive producer Craig McPherson, who were placed on good behaviour bonds over the same story. (24 September 2008 Herald Sun)
The judge heard character references for Howe from Labor party figures Kevin Rudd and Bill Shorten, and Australian Democrats founder Don Chipp. Howe’s employer, the Herald and Weekly Times, was convicted of breaching the Children’s and Young Persons Act and placed on a two-year good behaviour bond. (18 May 2006 The Australian)
ALAN HOWE ON THE WEALTHY
Very bad can people (sic) win suppression orders. Often, so can very wealthy ones. Often they are one and the same. (9 August 2010 â€“ live blog online)
ALAN HOWE ON FREE SPEECH â€“ DOES HE PRACTICE WHAT HE PREACHES?
I don’t believe we had ever received a suppression order on a suppression order until about eight years ago. They are more common now. The can be a manipulative device to hide the identity of the guilty. Keep in mind the Herald Sun (expensively) fights them all. And we regularly win. We’ll keep fighting for all Victorians – even members of the judiciary! (9 August 2010 â€“ live blog online)