Dr Mumbo

The sad sight of two colleagues tearing each other apart over the battle for leadership

The events of the last week have been painful for Dr Mumbo to watch, as the nation’s right wing leaders have turned viciously upon each other.

He has found himself becoming increasingly saddened at the breakdown in relationship between the two long time colleagues and combatants.

Yes, the falling out between the Australian’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell and News Corp’s columnist Andrew Bolt has been harrowing indeed.

Mitchell: Labelled by Bolt as "the hipster of the Turnbull class".

Mitchell: Labelled by Bolt as “the hipster of the Turnbull class”.

Mitchell kicked things off on Monday, pointing out Bolt’s failure to back new Liberal leader Turnbull, and laying into his readership: “Bolt’s audience includes many conservative retirees whereas The Australians audience is younger, rich, better educated and working in legal, political or the business community.”

Mitchell, however, failed to point out that the Oz’s readers are also more sensitive lovers and better endowed than buyers of tabloid stablemate the Daily Telegraph.

But he did tell his media editor Sharri Markson: “These people don’t read The Tele or Bolt.”


Bolt: Mitchell says his audience is old and thick

Somehow, Bolt, detected in this helpful critique some subtle coded criticism. And he hit Mitchell in his most sensitive spot – over the hotly contested question of just how deeply unprofitable The Australian is.

Worse yet, he used as his outlet, a radio station aligned with News Corp’s bitter enemy, Fairfax Media. Bolt told 2GB’s Steve Price: “If you really got an honest figure out, he is probably spending twenty million a year more on his paper than it actually earns. For that kind of subsidy from the rest of the empire which he disparages, he might actually have a more popular product.”

He added: “I think some of these things lately have been a bit unprincipled and unprofessional.”

Like the worst family divorces, the real victims could be the children. Dr Mumbo hopes that Ms Markson – seen by many people called Chris Mitchell as the world’s best media editor – will still be allowed to go on Bolt’s TV show as one of his regular guests rolled out to agree with him.

Turnbull has, Bolt warned, “set off a civil war within News Corp”.

And most damagingly (and implausibly) of all, Mitchell wanted to be a hipster, Bolt claimed.

When, oh when, will this horrible war come to an end?


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.