Friday 24th of May 2024

reviving the fight in the aussie press...



Smith’s Weekly was one of Australia’s patriotic newspaper-style magazines.


One of its founder and chief financier was Sir James Joynton Smith, a prominent Sydney figure during WWI, who organised fund-raising and recruitment drives for soldiers to go and die on the front lines. Its other founders were Claude McKay, a theatrical publicist, and journalist Clyde Packer, father of Sir Frank Packer, grandfather of media baron Kerry Packer (and Clyde packer) and great-grandfather of James Packer, the casino-man who’s doing a splashy landing at Barangaroo.


Mainly directed at the male (especially the few ex-servicemen returned after the war) market, Smith’s Weekly mixed sensationalism, satire and controversial opinions with sports and finance news. It published many short stories, cartoons and caricatures. One of its running features was the unofficial history of the Australian Imperial Force, with cartoons and contributions from returned soldiers that helped promote the “digger” as an easy-going individual with a healthy disrespect for authority.


Its main opposition was “The Bulletin”, a weekly that started earlier than Smith’s and went on for one hundred years of publication till January 2008. Both weeklies were “waving the Australian flag” with a certain medium right-wing ideals mixed with “larrikinism”, though The Bulletin’s main creator, Archibald, was in favour of an Australian republic since the beginning.


Smith’s Weekly worked especially to ensure that promises made to soldiers during the war were not swept aside in peacetime. In these days PTSD was not assessed but men affected by shellshock or death of mates were dismissed as bludgers by “experts”. Staff cartoonists associated with this feature included Cecil Hartt, Frank Dunne and Lance Mattinson.


Smith’s Weekly became a trail-blazer in investigative journalism. It is credited with dealing a fatal blow to the New Guard — a paramilitary fascist offshoot from a conservative tradition that was “defending loyalty to King and Empire, sound government, law and order, individual liberty and property rights”. This is the extreme-right mantra of the eggheads of today, invading the world.


One of Smith’s Weekly’s innovations was the first “Miss Australia” beauty contest in partnership with Union Theatres Ltd. Prizes to the winner included a trip to America with 500 pounds spending money, a screen test and paid speaking engagements. 


Poet Kenneth Adolph Slessor, became the Editor. Cartoonists such as George Finey, Emile Mercier and Stan Cross strutted their wares with great flair, thus Smith’s Weekly was a launching pad for a couple of generations of outstanding Australian journalists and cartoonists. Three horror stories, first published in Smith’s Weekly by the well-known “Witch of the Cross” in Sydney, Rosaleen Norton, were later reprinted as Three Macabre Tales.


In July 1932, Smith’s Weekly published allegations against a man, in regard to extortion and being a police informant. These allegations were proven “fake news” and the daily newspapers blasted Smith’s Weekly for it. It never really recovered from this loss of reputation.


During World War II, Smith’s Weekly survived by once again supporting the men at the front, but at war’s end rising costs and lack of capital accelerated its decline. The last issue appeared in October 1950. 


One of the fascinating adventure of Smith’s Weekly was its support for female cartoonists, who to say the least have been few and far in between in this fair country.


Joan Morrison’s cartoons, published in Man and Smith’s Weekly, were of sassy glamour girls that came to be known as ‘The Morrison Girl’ that exploited a form of gentle sometimes reversed “sexism”. During WWII these cartoons were popular pin-ups among the troops. Joan Morrison and Mollie Horseman were the first female cartoonists appointed as permanent staff of Smith’s Weekly in 1929.

Morrison was born in England, but her family moved to Tasmania when she was three. At a young age, she was published in local newspapers, including the Tasmanian Mail, to which she contributed an annual decorative panel even for a few years after leaving Tasmania. The Triad published one of her piece in its Children’s Page before she moved to Sydney to study art under Rayner Hoff at East Sydney Technical College. Joan specialised in sculpture. Art in Australia of March 1927, mentioned that Morrison’s sculptures — along with works by Vic Cowdroy , Mavis Mallison, Mollie Rohr and Coral White — ‘had a fresh and original outlook which invested it with considerable interest’. At East Sydney Technical College, then 15, she met Norman Lindsay who encouraged her to illustrate her first book. Her illustrations of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales were published in the Triad in April 1927 edited by Hugh McCrae. A serial, ‘Little Bo’ by Madeleine Honey illustrated by Morrison, began in Australian Childhood on 20 June 1930. By 1930 she was also doing humorous drawings for the Sporting and Dramatic Magazine and illustrations for the Sydney Mail. 


These days, due to lack of respect for feminism and adequate space for proper revolutionary journalism and cartooning, there is basically only one female cartoonist in Australia: Cathy Wilcox. She has been at it for quite a long time with her very personal soft style, but in my modest appraisal she is quite irregular in hitting the mark like say a Moir on the political front and I know she can do better... One could think that she has to go soft, backpedal and delicately sit on the left of the fence, like an Annabel Crabb sits on the right-hand side, all due to the demands of the “Independent Always” shrinking middle ground right-wing press like the SMH... being forced out of business by the rabid right of the Murdoch empire.


Morrisson did little political cartoons though. Some of her most controversial subjects of the 1940s were of Sydney nude beaches which foresaw the likes of Reef Beach which were closed to nude bathing after a certain Rex Mossop could spy naked bodies on the sand from his cruiser, “The Moose” using x10 binoculars. Rex, a former League player, a famous world champion of totology, was also famous for his mantra that “too many Australian men are pathetic specimens: short of wind, flabby, beer-gutted and most of them, too weak to knock a sick girl off a toilet...

I must say I met Rex a few times and we had our arguments exposed like nude bods in the sunshine... His piggy chauvinism would go down well in “the Debate” — that of marriage equality which Trumble initiated because he is a pathetic male specimen full of wind. But it was when a right wing nutter, Dr Peter Macdonald, decided to run for the seat of Manly — and did a deal with the residents to rid ‘their’ beach of naturists —  he was duly elected to Parliament, the campaign against naturists took on religious zealotry. 


Smith’s Weekly also exposed how “theatre critics” often asked actors and actresses for favours in exchange for favourable reviews... Here comes to mind the Hollywood saga of Harvey Weinstein for roles in his movies...


The world is full of sociopaths, psychopaths and lunatics. We should wonder how we managed to get where we’re at, without wiping off life out of the planet entirely. But we’re working on it though. Napalm was too localised. Now with the glorious brain of a Turdy Abbott, we can let the planet burn to a crisp and with the Donald erratic legwork we can see some atomic destruction on the horizon. It appears that it’s a race between folly and lunacy — as to which will destroy the earth first. 


This is why we need more cartoonists like Gus Leonisky — and all the cartoonists ever employed by the SMH to come back firing altogether in special daily editions of this Sydney Morning Herald journal. Time for Cathy Wilcox to release her true inner anger with more punch, as I know she is capable of. Time to resurrect Smith’s Weekly and the republican Bulletin, with more colours and less of the white Australia policy. Time to move with the times and expose the religious nuts of all creeds and credos — from the Christians to the Muslims, while affording them their religious freedom which they deny to their brainwashed submissive subjects. We need a grand revolution led by proper scientists, not those idiots who sleep with government directives designed to muzzle proper scientific knowledge, like the Ian Plimer and Lord Monckton.


Science is not a question of opinion, but of accuracy in the bracketed field of uncertainty. Cartooning is a different kettle of smelly fish, but needed nonetheless. Onwards cartoonists of the world — those like Bruce Petty, not the Warrens of the right-wing merde-och press. The planet needs your revolutionary skills more than ever!


a quid's worth...

molnar's pageant

chinese influence...

A leading Australian publisher claims the threat of Chinese Government retaliation is the reason it cancelled plans to print a book which further exposes Beijing's influence on Federal Parliament and other parts of society.

Key points:
  • Publisher concerned about "potential threats" and "possible action" by Beijing
  • Book closely examines the Chinese Communist Party's activities in Australia
  • Cancellation comes amid heightened debate over growing influence of China


Prominent Charles Sturt University academic Clive Hamilton said Allen & Unwin was ready to publish his manuscript Silent Invasion, but last week informed him it could no longer proceed because it was worried about defamation action.

"Allen & Unwin said that they were worried about retaliation from Beijing through a number of possible avenues including legal threats, orchestrated by Beijing, and they decided it was too big a risk and so therefore pulled the plug and returned the rights to me," Professor Hamilton said.

Silent Invasion closely examines the Chinese Communist Party's activities in Australia, and Professor Hamilton said it had already been significantly edited by lawyers.

"We have no doubt that Silent Invasion is an extremely significant book," the company wrote to the author in a confidential email to the author on November 8, which has been seen by the ABC.

The publisher said it was concerned about "potential threats to the book and the company from possible action by Beijing".

In the email the company explained: "The most serious of these threats was the very high chance of a vexatious defamation action against Allen & Unwin, and possibly against you personally as well."

Allen & Unwin was "an obvious target" for "Beijing's agents of influence", the publisher added.

read more:


Allen and Unwin used to be the publisher "of the left" with no fears... But this was a long time ago...

another woman cartoonist/illustrator et al...


03: Ruth Peyser<br><small>illustrator and filmmaker</small ...

25 Sep 2016 ... Ruth Peyser is a graphic and web designer, filmmaker, and illustrator living in New York City. She graduated from Sydney College of the Arts (Australia) in Graphic Design in 1977. In addition to her thoughtful and inventive approach to design, she has a vast knowledge of the latest technologies in web, print ...

My old steam-driven computer can explore the link... Please do... and pay some cash to Wikipedia on my behalf if you feel like it... Read from top.


the end of the guardian?...

A bombshell Guardian claim that US President Donald Trump’s campaign manager secretly met with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange lacks any verifiable sources, standing solely on its authors’ reputations. Is that enough?

Written by Luke Harding and Dan Collyns and published earlier this week, the article claims that Paul Manafort secretly met with Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, unseen by security cameras and unnoted in security logs – not once, not twice, but three times.

In the total absence of verifiable information, the story has come to be judged by the credibility of its authors. Harding has been hailed as a reputable reporter and the story as a slam-dunk by a range of figures, from journalists who have previously flogged tall tales from Christopher Steele’s salacious “Trump-Russia dossier,” to professional Russia-haters at the Atlantic Council and #Resistance Twitter activists.


Read more:


Read from top. I placed this article link in this set of comments, because of Smith's Weekly sad demise, despite having been a good paper... 

"In July 1932, Smith’s Weekly published allegations against a man, in regard to extortion and being a police informant. These allegations were proven “fake news” and the daily newspapers blasted Smith’s Weekly for it. It never really recovered from this loss of reputation.

During World War II, Smith’s Weekly survived by once again supporting the men at the front, but at war’s end rising costs and lack of capital accelerated its decline. The last issue appeared in October 1950." 

Is this the fate of The Guardian? Pushing shit uphill? At this stage one cannot trust what Harding has written. Someone called Seth Abramson wrote a twitter piece: "THE GUARDIAN's Luke Harding isn't just anyone—he's been the top journalist on Trump-Russia collusion for 2+ years. He wrote a book on it. And THE GUARDIAN having a description of what Manafort was *wearing* means he was caught by the embassy's cameras. Ignore WikiLeaks' denials".


Oh.... Yes if one knows a man from another one, one can be assured that men tend to wear the same thing day in and out. A shirt, a tie, a suit or whatever the wearer usually wears — say the same leather jacket or bells and whistles around the neck.

Caught by the embassy's cameras? Are you kidding? Sure one can also know that one can "fabricate" such vision, but it has not been seen by anyone — and a visit by Paul Manafort to the Embassy-Hole of Assange WOULD HAVE MADE NEWS, HEADLINES ETC as to who was THAT visitor, considering that Assange is more or less monitored by the media and the police 25 hours a day — and I mean 25 hours as well as monitored by supporters, discreetly anchored across the street. Relentless. There would be no need for embassy camera recordings to tell anything we would not know. 

And Harding might come up with names for his "sources". And this would mean ZIP, NADA, NOTHING to the veracity of the story. And Harding knows it. 

But all we can say from our little castle is that The Guardian is going down the shit hole of bad journalism... And this could be the beginning of the end for The Guardian's reputation, though in this case, the Guardian would bank on support from the "right wing" media and on the fact the real left wing media has been non-existent for yonks. So the only alternative is the Russian media that tells the truth according to Wikileaks, though the average Joe is told not to believe a word of it, despite the Guardian having relied on the extreme reliability of Wikileaks in the past... 


The smell of exclusive burning hypocrisy has entered the newsroom at the Guardian...