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‘Mad Monk’ Meets Monckton: Australian Headline of the Year

On August 9 2010, The Melbourne Age reported the results of adjudication by the Australian Press Council on a complaint concerning the article “Mad Monk Meets Monckton”, which reported on a meeting between Opposition leader Tony Abbott and FoGT correspondent Lord Monckton the day after the release of the Opposition’s much-heralded mining promotion climate-change policy.


The complainant alleged that the photograph exaggerated the symptoms of Viscount Monckton's Grave's disease and that the newspaper had not published her letter of objection. The Press Council dismissed the complaint, since other letters had been published and the photograph did not, in the Council’s opinion, place gratuitous emphasis on Monckton's medical condition.

Perhaps surprisingly, there is no record of any complaint by supporters of erstwhile ‘Mad Monk’ Mr Abbott, advocate of the
iron sun theory and proponent of non-physics broadband; they apparently appreciated any coverage linking him to someone that made him appear relatively sane. Neither is there any record of a complaint by Mr Abbott’s political opponents about a headline that could only increase his popularity among his core supporters in the run-up to the election.

FoGT congratulates The Age on its journalistic balance and the Press Council on its sense of humour. And vice-versa.