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Is David Marr being paid to write hatchet jobs on his ideological enemies?

October 8, 2013

Is David Marr being paid to write hatchet jobs on his ideological enemies?

A portfolio of David Marrs’ Quarterly Essays

The question needs to be asked when a pattern starts to form around the subjects of David Marr’s recent Quarterly Essays.

To understand what the Quarterly essay is you need to understand why it exists. The Quarterly Essay is a Left Wing magazine printed by the Left Wing Black Inc. to promote their world view. Hence you will not find many flattering portrayals of conservative views, let along conservative leaders. Instead, it has an overwhelming sense of loyalty to the usual fashionably left-wing causes and fawns over leftwing leaders as if they are gods. Criticism, of Left of centre leaders and parties, is permissible so long it is from a position much further left. The impression that Black inc publisher leaves is one that only those on the extreme left would embrace.

For the rest of the world who are not so ideologically fanatical and sit somewhere around the middle in politics, the Quarterly Essay is little of interest. The people who do find it interesting are part of the same left-wing choir of people or to people who are unaware that the Quarterly Essays are basically left-wing polemics dressed up serious academics. Despite having footnotes and references they are still just polemics with footnotes and references.

Understanding the left bias does better explain why so many subjects are treated in such an imbalanced and contorted way.

For example, we have a list of provocative titles like:

Quarterly Essay 48
After the Future: Australia’s New Extinction Crisis
Tim Flannery

Quarterly Essay 47
Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott
David Marr

Quarterly Essay 44
Man-Made World: Choosing between progress and planet
Andrew Charlton

Quarterly Essay 43
Bad News: Murdoch’s Australian and the Shaping of the Nation
Robert Manne

Quarterly Essay 37
What’s Right? The Future of Conservatism in Australia
Waleed Aly

Quarterly Essay 32
American Revolution: The Fall of Wall Street and the Rise of Barack Obama
Kate Jennings

Quarterly Essay 31
Now or Never: A Sustainable Future for Australia?
Tim Flannery

Quarterly Essay 28
Exit Right: The Unravelling of John Howard
Judith Brett

Quarterly Essay 26
His Master’s Voice: The Corruption of Public Debate under Howard
David Marr

One David Marr’s many publicity pictures

You may note that David Marr is a regular writer for the Quarterly Essay, possibly because he consistently panders to their world view.

Essay 26 penned by David Marr tries to claim that former Prime Minister John Howard has “cowed his critics, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC, gagged scientists, silenced NGOs, censored the arts, prosecuted leakers, criminalised protest and curtailed parliamentary scrutiny.”

He was conspicuously silent when the previous Labor government drew up actual law to control the media.

In Essay 47 Marr infamously tried to bring a number of unsubstantiated accusations about Tony Abbott university days. Despite having subsequently been shown to be devoid of any evidence Marr continues to ignore any possibility of being wrong. Marr’s interpretation of Tony Abbott’s youth is thus:

“loudmouth bigot” when at university; “the homophobe”; “the blinkered Vatican warrior”;  “the rugger bugger”; “the white Australian”; and “the junkyard dog of parliament”.

You can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of pattern to Marr’s thinking.

Inexplicably David Marr was given an award for this eerror-filledattack on one of his political enemies. Why Tony Abbott agreed to be interviewed by Marr is baffling.

Marr’s latest subject for the Quarterly Essay is his old ideological enemy Cardinal Pell. Strangely no one at Black inc. seemed to think that asking someone to write an analysis on their ideological enemy was improper. Hell no, hatchet jobs are their business and no one writes a better hatchet job than David Marr.

Cardinal Pell. Was Marr hoping to take the opponent’s bishop off the ideological chessboard?

Even before starting his essay Marr already held Cardinal Pell in contempt. Most if not all of Marr’s criticism stemmed from the fact that Cardinal was just too catholic for his liking.

“Dr Pell’s view of homosexuals is spiteful and horrible.”

“I don’t think it’s compassionate to say the kind of hateful things that the Church and Dr Pell says about homosexuals, about some women and people who practice ordinary forms of birth control.
The hatred is so powerful.”

In Marr’s universe you either give blanket support for his Gay Activist Lifestyle or you are the incarnation of evil. Case closed, no question and don’t doubt his pontificating.

The Quarterly Essay penned by David Marr is called “The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell“. (Note that he chooses not to use the correct title for the Cardinal).

The Essay has already drawn criticism not just for its blinkered one eyed view of his subject but also for the number errors it contains.

Writing in regular column Media Watch Dog Gerard Henderson has found numerous stupid mistakes that should have been avoided by better research. He takes aim at what he calls David Marr’s “Howlers and Sneers”.

Despite several requests Cardinal Pell refused co-operate with David Marr to be interviewed for the essay.

Here are some examples of Marr’s style as noted by Gerard Henderson:

▪ David Marr refers to John Paul II as the “new pope, Jozef Wojtyla” (Page 51). John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla and he always used Karol as his first name until he became Pope in 1978.

▪ David Marr’s insistence that “those close to Cardinal Pell eat and drink well”. (Page 57).

▪ This is how David Marr described Cardinal Pell’s arrival at the Victorian Parliament on 27 May 2013.

No one rose when the cardinal entered. He was in civvies: black suit, white shirt, no jewellery

Video footage available via Youtube clearly shows this to be false.

▪ David Marr concludes his Quarterly Essay by describing George Pell as “a company man of uncertain empathy” who “has the consolations of friendship, music and a good cellar” (Page 88).

As a summation of Cardinal Pell by Marr:

 But Pell is entirely different:
“As I read the man, listen to him and watch him in action, I wonder how much of the strange ordinariness of George Pell began fifty years ago when a robust schoolboy decided, as an act of heroic piety, to kill sex in himself.” What does he have in return for this sacrifice? “He has the consolations of friendship, music and a good cellar…”.

As an assessment it is extremely condescending. There is no effort on the part of David Marr to try and understand what actually motivates someone to join a religious order. Ironically David demands that everyone should understand his motivations as a ‘gay’ activist.

After the release of the latest Quarterly Essay the ABC contacted Cardinal Pell whose reply was:

“A predictable and selective rehash of old material. G.K.Chesterton said: ‘A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. Marr has no idea what motivates a believing Christian.”

What is with all this Marring?

In returning to my headline you have to wonder who keeps puting up the cash to support David Marr’s hatchet jobs. Why is he continually treated like some kind of profit when his essays contain errors and unsophisticated, paranoid and ideologically driven rants? Perhaps we need to think harder about David Marr’s own motivations before we believe what aspersions he casts about other. Perhaps David Marr looks at the world like a giant ideological chessboard. He wrote negatively about his ideological enemy John Howard. He rumour mongered about his ideological enemy Tony Abbott. Now he has returned to another ideological enemy Cardinal Pell. Was Marr hoping to take the opponent’s bishop off the ideological chessboard?

If this is so then David Marr is in the same league as the old hatchet writers of the former Soviet Union.

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