Alex misses the cue on Jews

ABC announcer Alex Sloan.

Questions are being asked and formal complaints raised about ABC 666 morning presenter Alex Sloan’s failure to hit the dump button when her guest, the British actor Miriam Margolyes, in town for her one-woman show “Dickens’ Women”, had this to say on air:

Sloan: Many people describe it [Dickens’ Fagin character] as an anti-Semitic description. What do you make of those?

Margolyes : No, I don’t believe that at all. I don’t think that he was anti-Semitic. Look, I’ve said this before. People don’t like Jews. And sometimes I’m not surprised. Because I don’t like some of them either – especially not the way Israel’s treated Palestinians. No, of course I don’t….

Sloan, who was clearly in awe of Margolyes, said nothing in reply, which isn’t surprising given the local ABC website describes Sloan as interviewing “one of her all-time favourite actresses today – the wonderful, the fabulous, the witty and fantastic Miriam Margolyes”.

“CC” has seen at least one formal complaint to local ABC chief Andrea Ho and Sydney-based managing director Mark Scott.

Actor Miriam Margolyes.

National commentator Gerard Henderson, in issue 126 of his Media Watch Dog column (thesydneyinstitute.com.au/media-watch-dog) says: “It’s okay for Ms Margolyes to say that people do not like Jews. But imagine the outrage if the British thespian had said something like this: ‘People don’t like Muslims and sometimes, I’m not surprised because I don’t like some of them either, especially not the way Saudi Arabia’s treated Christians.’ Just imagine.”

Margolyes, who is of Jewish background and lives in Australia, is currently applying for Australian citizenship.

The comment in question from the February 21 interview can be heard at around 4min 33secs here: abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/02/21/3435900.htm?site=canberra&program=canberra_mornings

New baby, new start

ANNABELLE Pegrum is a grandmother, again! Her daughter Elisabeth Judd gave birth to a baby boy named Cole on February 22. Weighing 4.4kg and nine days late, Annabelle says “both mum and baby are healthy and wonderful – we are all very happy”.

Cole joins big brother Liam, 2. It’s definitely a close family; Annabelle and Elisabeth have also joined forces to create a new company in strategic policy, planning and design called Pegrum Judd.

G-G for high tea

Governor-General Quentin Bryce

GOVERNOR-General Quentin Bryce is set to make an appearance at the Hats and Gloves High Tea for Malkara Special School at Government House on Friday, March 23.

Her husband, Michael Bryce is the patron of Malkara but at last year’s Hats and Gloves event, the GG was out of town. The high tea is run by the Friends of Malkara fundraising committee.

Contact malkarahatsandgloves@gmail.com

 Get walking, kids

AND we wonder about child obesity… 40 years ago, 80 per cent of Australian children walked or rode a bike to school, but today the number is thought to be less than 20 per cent, despite the fact that most children still live within two kilometres of the school gate, according to Scott Whiffen, Ride2School program director. The national Ride2School Day is on Friday, March 23.

Unexpected old boy

Stephen Conroy... schoolboy to senator.

LABOR Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy has a Canberra past. He emigrated here with his parents from England in 1973 and attended Daramalan College, in Dickson.

The Catholic school is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with reunions of staff and students. In 1962 Daramalan started with 246 boys and today has grown to become Canberra’s largest, single-campus secondary school with more than 1460 boys and girls from Years 7 to 12. Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo is also an old boy.

Tweet city

OUR mag loves Twitter; and according to advertising agency Grey Canberra, so do 38,000 Canberrans!

In Grey’s recent social media monitor, there’s more pro rata Twitter users in Canberra than anywhere else in the country.

Currently, 13.7 per cent of Canberra residents use Twitter, compared to less than 10 per cent elsewhere.

How big is the public service in Canberra again? #justsayin

Moving along… The report also showed 73 per cent of the ACT’s Twitter users access their stream weekly, while 18 per cent – more than 6500 people – use it daily.

And 40.7 per cent of Canberra users say Twitter is an important way for them to stay in touch with news and information.

Well “CC” has a tip for those people! Follow us 

Jim Hacker requests…

“CC’s” collective heart skipped a beat when we got an invitation from “The British Prime Minister and his Cabinet Secretary” to a “spot of lunch” lunch at Parliament House next Tuesday.

But all was not what it seemed when we noticed the Prime Minister is one Jim Hacker and his Cabinet Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby – the leading characters in the legendary television series “Yes, Prime Minister” and of the more recent stage show of the same name, which opens at Canberra Theatre, March 21-24.

Despite the promise that “in the fullness of time and taking into consideration the broad scheme of things, it is felt the… visit will facilitate a meeting of mutually beneficial reciprocity that will ultimately be to everyone’s advantage”, the RSVP is to Coralie Wood, one of the sharpest publicists in town.

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