I am completely gob-smacked by tonight’s Four Corners interview with Marcus Einfeld, the $77 parking fine former federal court judge. Watching it reminds me of the lie-spirals I occasionally found myself caught in back in primary school, but on a terrifying scale. Most compelling, however, was watching Four Corners’ reporter Sarah Ferguson ruthlessly pound him with straight-to-the-jugular questions… mostly, “do you regret not paying the parking fine?” Anyway, this reminds me of how much I love hardline (“fierce”) ABC journalists, which I will now rate in order of admiration:

1. Leigh Sales
2. Liz Jackson
3. Sarah Ferguson

4. Ali Moore
5. Emma Alberici

8 responses to “

  1. We do not love the same people.Leigh Sales loses marks for me because Gerry Simpson reviewed her book – <>Detainee 002<> about David Hicks – and described it as “unfairly balanced” or somehting – meaning that she was too fair to the authorities who behaved despicably. I still haven’t actually read the book… But Gerry Simpson seemed cool that time I recorded him giving a speech. His review is here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/book-reviews/detainee-002-the-case-of-david-hicks/2007/05/11/1178390533929.html?page=fullpageAnyway, Leigh also lost marks with me for thinking an horrendously boring and slightly fawning interview with Henry Kissinger was a good idea/worth flying to Washington for, and for her tin-eared Germaine Greer interview on Lateline last year. I don’t love her. Liz Jackson – I kind of love her for the Mohammed Haneef Four Corners she did, but kind of don’t love her for the Four Corners she did on the 2006 violence in East Timor – for which she maddeningly won a Walkley but which I remember Helen Hill talking about on my radio show as an example of the woeful level of misunderstanding that plagues much Australian journalism about East Timor. Sarah Ferguson I wanted to like – she is Tony Jones’ wife. But she lost me with her Tiwi Islands education story, criticised here:http://www.crikey.com.au/Media-Arts-and-Sports/20080620-Four-Corners-one-sided-tale-of-Tiwi-education.htmlAnd finally, Emma Alberici. I do love Emma Alberici. I fondly remember her chasing Lachlan Murdoch down the street one time, peppering him with questions. What I most remember is that she wasn’t flustered at all, even with the running and the thinking. She had such amazing poise. But that is not a photo of her. These are:http://images.google.com.au/images?q=emma%20alberici&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wiNo, that photo is Ali Moore. And I don’t really love her either.Um, bye.

  2. Ah yes, Ali Moore, of course. I do also love Emma Alberici, so I’ll give her position #5. But I think your facts-based approach to respect is different than my fierceness scale. For example, I particularly like Leigh Sales because her introduction triggered this horrible green guide letter-writing campaign about how horrible and high-pitched she was. That combined with her no-nonsense interview style (no Tony Jones schmoozing or lip-pouting) puts her at #1 for me. And the thought of Sarah Ferguson and Tony Jones together terrifies me. I can’t actually imagine what she would see in him. Surely she’d think he was too much of a poser?You like Tony, right?

  3. Yes I like Tony. He’s not perfect. But he’s mostly good, I think. Actually, I can’t remember the details that flesh out this position – I just remember that I maintained a fiercely pro Tony view in our arguments about Tony v Maxine. I still think I am right about that one.Also, I think I am a sexist or something. Anyway, I do credit Leigh Sales for her no-nonsense style – it just bugs me at times when she deploys the no-nonsense style to pursue a nonsense tack.However, she was an infinitely better Washington correspondent than Mark bloody Simkin. Every time I watch his reports, I yell at the TV, ‘GET SOMEONE ELSE. HE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. HE JUST REPEATS WHAT’S ON OTHER NEWS. THIS NEWS AGENCY SAID THIS. THAT SPOKESPERSON SAID THAT. TA DA! IT’S NOT ABOUT FINDING THINGS OUT. OH HOW MUCH LONGER?’. Me doing that is pretty much a nightly occurrence.

  4. Not sure where to start because I am filled with responses on this hot topic. I like Leigh Sales for her fierceness and for her ‘I’m kind of irreverent on ABC and I just don’t care cos this is how I am’ attitude which she seems to exude with just a look on her face. I haven’t read her book though (even though I worked at MUP, her publisher – actually that’s exactly WHY I haven’t read it. Still ridding myself of that place’s toxicity). I cannot stand Tony Jones (I will never, ever forgive him for his condescending and inherently sexist ‘bookclubs everywhere’ remark about Doris Lessing on Lateline) but I dislike Sarah Ferguson on her own merits – that Tiwi Islands story was appalling. Love Liz Jackon but I don’t know enough about East Timor to understand the faults of her story and will defer to Elanor’s wisdom on that one. I don’t know Emma Alberici but will now keep an eye out for her. It took me awhile to warm to her slightly subdued style but I now really like Tamara Oudyn who does Stateline and sometimes weekend ABC news (although Ian Henderson is my favourite ever – love the wide ties and the Julius Caesar haircut) http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/vic/I cannot abide by the horrible, plastic surgery-ed blonde barbie doll who occasionally pops up on the weekend though. Can’t even remember her name – she is too phone-sex in her delivery and I have to turn her off. Anyone know her name?

  5. I’m still scratching my head about the blonde barbie doll… I did a google image search but all I could fine was creepy photos of Jo Hall (increasingly soft-focus)…

  6. Sayles is an awesome interviewer.But I have a soft spot for Emma Alberici for some reason. She was the correspondent in London during the G20 and I was strangely proud and excited to see her asking a thoughtful and relevant question to Barack Obama during a press conference. She was wearing a really great outfit – some sort of jaunty suit. I should find a picture of it.

  7. It was hilarious though when ABC news had this really leisurely cut to show Emma Alberici ask the question of Obama — as if they were screaming out “we did it!”, “we did it!”… She did look appropriately profesh though…

  8. Emma Alberici is number one on every objective scale, by every objective measure. The woman is sublime, objectively.

    I cannot discern a single flaw.

    David Ward

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