Dr Mumbo

Journalism’s ugly truth

Dr Mumbo loves awards nights – they’re always the perfect combination of celebration, commiseration and, if you’re lucky, The Chaser.

A cool reception for Firth

At last night’s Walkley Mid-Year Celebration – which Dr Mumbo notes recognises diversity, independence and emerging talent in Australian journalism – The Chaser’s Charles Firth lamented that attendees were “not hot enough”. 

Dr Mumbo, obviously being the exception to this rule, couldn’t help but think it may be difficult for Firth to get the new award across the line – particularly as The Walkley Foundation has been facing criticism for eliminating some awards from its program.

Nevertheless, Firth, who was presenting the 2017 Freelance Journalist of the Year Award for Media Super, pitched the crowd.

“I just want to pick up on where Angelo from Sky News – that great institution – left off, which is he said ‘This is an opportunity to open a conversation with the industry’. Now I want to do that tonight. I think, looking around the room, I think our industry is not hot enough. Which is why I am announcing tonight – because everyone else seems to have announced some sort of scheme to get you to donate money – I am announcing my tax deductible foundation for the Hot Journalist of the Year Walkley thing. We’ll have a conversation about the trademark on that.

“But, so, the point is that this incredibly not-profit association is all about getting more people with better six packs and better cheek bones into the industry. It won’t be easy, but I am on board to make the tough decisions about who’s hot and who’s not in this industry. It’s all about prestige,” Firth said at the podium.

Not the strongest start, thought Dr Mumbo as he looked around the Darlo Country Club, noting many-a-high cheekbones – but perhaps Firth has a strong finish.

“The point is, I talked to Graham from Media Super who is sponsoring this thing and I’m supposed to shill for in this category, he wanted me to talk about how great Media Super was. And I said to him ‘Look. Why don’t you be my foundation sponsor for my Hot Journalist of the Year category for the Walkleys?’ and he said ‘No’. He said ‘No. That’s a good idea, but I’ll have to take it back to the board’.

“And the point is that – this is my segue into shilling about Media Super. I haven’t really thought this through.

“The point is, no, the point is, he said ‘No’, and that is exactly what you want your superannuation company – like Media Super – to do. I have all my money in Media Super, and I don’t want them to donate to my non-profit organisation Hot Media Super, you know,” he said, before he was cut off by Sky News host Jacinta Tynan.

“That was a terrible segue,” she heckled from the crowd, somehow tapping into Dr Mumbo’s internal monologue.

Firth, pressed on: “Oh yes, you would know good segues. You’re very good at segues. It’s very good. Fuck you.

“But point is, that even though they don’t invest in me because they’re fuckwits, what they do invest in, they do actually invest in our fucking whole industry…Anyway the point is Media Super, what a great company, you should all join.”

Dr Mumbo isn’t sure the award will be on next year’s program, but he is off to work on his six pack – and consolidate his superannuation – in the meantime.


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