DR MUMBO’S DIARY: Paris Hilton, old news and undead celebrities

itnews3Respect to IT News who don’t let a little thing like a story being five years old get in the way of them posting it.

They’re reporting the decision by Ninemsn to close its chatrooms “to protect children”. It’s currently second story on their home page.

The only thing is, Ninemsn made the announcement in September 2003. Dr Spin suspects IT News will get their act together shortly and pull the story down, so there’s a screenshot on the right, just in case.

Just one of the clues is that the person quoted in the article is CEO Martin Hoffman, who left in 2006. Since then Nine MSN has been through two more CEOs – Tony Faure and now Joe Pollard.


Dr Spin is starting to worry for the poor hacks at Fairfax, where the silly season really does appear to be taking its toll. What can you do to fill your front page when there’s no news around?  

On Saturday, the Sydney Morning Herald seized upon a somewhat less than water-cooler-moment story. Sydney Grammar School is only increasing its fees by 2% this year.

But on Sunday, at first glance it looked like sister paper The Sun-Herald had come up with something much better for its front page, with a headline warning of a “Government push to triple the crush load on trains“. Turn to page seven though, and it emerges that the state government wants to have no more than 17% of trains carrying a “crush load”. In the latest figures available, 16% of trains are already running with such a load.

Happily, the paper finds space for four paragraphs on the Gaza conflict on page 23.

dragonns5Media booked? Check. Ads designed? Check. Copy written? Check. Spell check engaged? Um…

Congratulations to Melbourne’s South Dragons, who don’t know how to spell DRAGONNS, even when it’s in 200 point and posted throughout Melbourne.


media-mook-deveny5Dr Spin wonders if Media Mook perhaps doesn’t like  Catherine Deveny very much?

 There was a fortunate piece of flatplanning in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph. An ad for urban clothing retailer Ed Hardy just happened to appear beneath a Sydney Confidential piece on Paris Hilton receiving free goodies from the store during her Bongo Virus visit. It was a media investment that would have seemed all the wiser if the article hadn’t described the clothes store as a jeweller throughout the piece.

 And sticking with  the Tele, former Confidential writer Fiona Connolly may just be over celebrities. Writing about Paris Hilton’s visit to Bondi beach, she reveals:

“What I’ve come across over the years are lazy, vacant, hedonistic, self-indulgent, boring people with nothing to talk about but their own dull selves. Many are women with no known talent other than their blown-up boobs, with orange skin and legs so long they resemble transvestites. Others are pill-popping footballers or famous for no other reason than they are career criminals.”

Congratulations to Sky News, who accidentally killed off actor / comedian Sir Norman Wisdom over the holiday period, although he remains with us. Still, there not alone in making that blunder in recent days. The Sun-Herald reports how NSW MP George Souris put out a press release over the holidays commiserating the passing of a prominent mayor who wasn’t actually dead.

Dr Spin has a feeling that not a great deal of close-up picture editing went on by the team at News Ltd’s Sunday Telegraph Escape section in their feature on Australia’s giant plastic tourist attractions. The image of the giant Ned Kelly also includes a sign for Fairfax title The Age.


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