The Best of The Rest of The Worst of The West

Now The Worst of Perth has only been running for less than two weeks, but two suggestions keep coming up consistently, The Convention Centre, and The West Australian Newspaper. Both have been a little too easy as targets, and it has been far more interesting driving around Morley looking for Perth’s worst letterbox.

But OK, give the people what they want. I will get to the CC, but as far as The West goes, it is “accepted wisdom” that the rag is one of the world’s worst newspapers, but why? I’m not going to do all the work. You tell me.

Perhaps it would be more interesting to look at the personnel individually. Give me your vote on The West’s worst. Apart from the occasionally excellent Alston, and a very few others like former political writer and Walkley Winner Steve Pennells (whatever happened to him?), the rest are a richness of embarrassment.

My worst has got to be Paul Murray, former editor, current columnist, and now (gawd help us) a blogger. Apart from an email where he accused me of having “no life skills”, (this from a man who doesn’t appear to have the life skills to refuse a fourth donut), my main objections are Murray’s (or should I say Teh Paul’s) grinding folksy tediousness, never using one paragraph when 5000 words will do. Here’s the beginning of today’s blather,

“There is an old Western Australian saying that might soon go on the endangered list: A nice feed of fish. For generations it’s not only been part of our…”

Sorry, what day is this? if it’s Wednesday, I must have dropped into a coma for a day.

But over to you. Who’s it to be, Murray, Casellas, Naglazas? If you’re not going to complain here on The Worst of Perth, you might as well stop whining and put up with it.skeletonsm.jpg

A West reader who tried to get to the end of a Paul Murray piece.

About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
This entry was posted in worst journalist, worst newspaper and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to The Best of The Rest of The Worst of The West

  1. Rothwells says:

    Many years ago Naglazas reccommended (it is widely assumed maliciously) the execrable French new wave film Contempt, one of the most inept and boring films of all time at the outdoor cinema at UWA. I doubt anyone who unfolded their blankets and uncorked their chardonnay that night has ever forgiven him or taken anything he says seriously since then.


  2. Trader Horn says:

    Where do you start? Just read any of the big papers weekend editions. It takes you the whole weekend to read tham. Then look at the West on Saturday. 5 minutes and it’s finished and in the bin.


  3. Trader Horn says:

    And the worst thing, is that they all actually believe it is a good paper. Really. I sincerely believe Murray doesn’t even know how embarrassing he is. But have you tried reading michelle Philips? Don’t.


  4. P Crackpot (Bedford) says:

    Mark Duffield from the West Australians sports department for conjuring Ben Cousins firstly as “The Spiritual leader” of the Eagles, only to then super-size him later in the season to “The Messiah”!!!

    Truly abominable journalism!!


  5. lazyaussie says:

    Hey Cracky P! Forgot about The Dalai Cousins. Gold! You’ve definitely hit your head on the nail with that one.


  6. lazyaussie says:

    After today’s events, We need a new spiritual leader. Well called Mark Duffield.


  7. Cimbali says:

    Can our new spiritual leader be that guy who fell nine stories onto a corrugated iron pergola in Scarborough this morning, wearing only his undies – sustaining only deep cuts and no broken bones?

    “…and so the words of scripture were fulfilled – They looked upon the one they had pierced, and elsewhere – Not a bone of his shall be broken.”

    It is quite clear he is the messiah and I’d follow him anywhere, except to Scarborough (see worst beach)!


  8. meccano says:

    Do we really need a new spiritual leader? Doesn’t todays events fulfill the scriptures? Jesus hung out with criminals and prostitutes – was arrested and crucified was even quite good with his hands, Mark Duffield [St Mark] seems to be the only one proclaiming the Good News.


  9. P Crackpot (Bedford) says:

    The way Freo’s Jeff Farmer keeps raising his hands in the air every bloody time he scores a goal, I reckon he’s definitely been trying to tell us all something – He wants the job!!!

    vote 1 Jeff “Side Door” Farmer for Spiritual leader!!


  10. lazyaussie says:

    I see him more as A Great Helmsman. What’s the story with Rear View Farmer? Very quiet. Perhaps he’s keeping out of the way in case Mark Duffield anoints him as the next Grand Poobah.


  11. Pingback: Wall Breaking News! « The Worst of Perth

  12. Cimbali says:

    Although I no longer read The West, I would like to nominate Stephen Scourfield (Travel Editor) as WOP journo. Every article in the west mentions the name of the paper at least three times as they are busy patting themselves on the back with their own trumpets, but Scourfield manages to go one further and get himself into every one of his stories.
    He always mentions what good friends he is with the manager or the chef or the owner of whatever place he is discussing and there is always a ” last time I was in Prague…” kind of sentence in every story. I figure if he comes over as a prat in his own writing then there is not a lot of hope for him. I notice he has now written a novel which I imagine is as autobiographical as the rest of his writing.


  13. lazyaussie says:

    Was it some kind of nightmare, or did he dabble in poetry too. One of those turkeys did. I will find out.


  14. Cimbali says:

    he certainly looks like a dabbler


  15. AV says:

    Bethany Hiatt, hands down.


  16. lazyaussie says:

    I haven’t noticed her enough to be offended yet. The West seems to have a deliberate policy of gathering together a group of Australia’s worst writers, so maybe she’d stand out more in less incompetent company. Have you got an example AV?


  17. AV says:

    Yes–aside from the editorial pages, her “reportage” was the chief vehicle for the West’s hysterical and one-eyed campaign against outcomes-based education and the Curriculum Council. (Her husband teaches at Mazenod, and is a member of PLATO, or so I’ve been informed by someone who used to work there.)


  18. lazyaussie says:

    MAZENOD! That’s my school. Truly one of the world’s crappest!


  19. The Phraser says:

    13, Yeah, it was Scourfield (Stephen) – he was the leader of the writer’s block.


  20. Pingback: Worst Billionaire? « The Worst of Perth

  21. Pingback: The Worst of The West Australian « The Worst of Perth

  22. skink says:

    I used to write to the West on a regular basis, generally berating them for being a “pissant parochial rag”, but eventually my wife insisted I stop because it was affecting my blood pressure.

    Three years ago I made a New Year’s resolution never to buy it, never to read beyond the front and back page if I saw it lying a table, and certainly never to read the letters page. I recommend you all do the same.

    The final straw was a five page feature they did on “riots” at teh Australia Day fireworks. They did an indignant rant about drunken hoons in pitch battles with police, but did not have a single photograph or eyewitness reporter. One million people sat around with cameras and mobile phones waiting for the fireworks, and the West cannot get a reporter to the scene or obtain a single photo.

    Their entire story was based on the police and abulance logs for the evening, and an interview with one poor lad who got glassed, and on the basis of that they wanted to ban the event.


  23. skink says:

    my other favourite example of how inept the West is was the great story about the Pink Floyd pig:

    During a concert by Roger Waters in Perth last February, their huge inflatable pig was daubed with “Free David Hicks” graffiti. It was then mischievously released and flew across the Perth sky chased by the police until it crashed into a swimming pool in someone’s back yard.

    Brilliant story: topical and funny, with possibly the best photo opportunity ever.

    did the West cover the story?

    did the West get a photo?

    what do you think?


  24. I used to write many letters too, trying to write the most crackpot and crazy things they would publish. We had a competition over who could get the most letters in. There was an extensive points system. Unfortunately the real letters and editorials are more crackpotian than anything we could think up. Mens Contrafraternity for fuck’s sake! They did run TWOP in inside cover a few times though.


  25. Plastic Glasses says:

    Is there hope on the horizon?
    I stopped buying The West quite a while ago. Seems as if it is just a newspaper written by a small clique group of privileged Western suburbs people about the life and attitudes of a small group of privileged Western suburbs people. It’s so parochial. I can’t believe the paper has a monopoly in Western Australia. They should just be honest about being a tabloid and get really trashy instead of use their limited IQ to tackle “real” issues. It’s a paper that is so biased and written to advance the careers, lives of a very small group of people. Sure there’s newscontent that they get from places like AP or Reuters, but with the internet, you can get these articles and more upadted versions on-line. Though I must say, I do get the West sometimes just to see what’s on sale, where the good bargains are and to line my kitty litter.
    Let’s hope Kerry Stokes makes some positive changes.


  26. I don’t think stokes is going to be a white knight, but everyone is just so sick of how crap the paper is that they don’t care. The online version is a joke with Teh paul Murray as a blogger. Total rubbish.


  27. Plastic Glasses says:

    just had a look…what a joke! My god…this explains where my in-laws get some of their funny ideas from. It’s really dangerous having a guy like that run a newspaper, when there’s no alternative mainstream press and there’s some pretty simple people around. It’s really scary. God I hope they do something with this b.s. paper and this … can’t think of another word..dickhead.


  28. K.Lo says:

    Naglazas sucks… have you seen his latest review of ‘Australia’? Gosh… So much for helping your own country…


  29. He’s supposed to be reviewing films, not helping his country. The shorts for Australia looked frighteningly bad.


  30. poor lisa says:

    It’s a film, not a cricket team K.Lo.


  31. skink says:

    I enjoyed Naglazas’ review – I quoted from it gleefully

    I also enjoyed this review from the Times in London:

    “Australia the movie, however, has one huge problem. It stars Nicole Kidman. Big mistake. Big, big mistake. At a stroke, the world’s female cinemagoers will say as one: “I’m not going to see it if she’s in it.”

    Kidman is one of those women who turns other women off. And no, not just because she’s pretty and we’re jealous. It is because we perceive, and men don’t, that she’s one of the most overrated actors in the world, a woman who has been the kiss of death in practically every movie she has starred in.

    Kidman is exquisitely accomplished at being awful. Did anyone see Cold Mountain? The sweeping American epic (note: another epic) foundered on the rocks of her gormless mirror-gaze. She can’t act. Instead, she drifts around films like a lost porcelain doll, looking frozen, brittle and vapid, staring at the camera with her oh-golly-look-how-I’m-looking-interesting blue eyes. “


  32. David Cohen says:

    She was ace in To Die For, the film where she played a ruthless media worker.

    “Larry is a nice guy, you know? But he just doesn’t know a thing about television.”


  33. Bento says:

    I thought she was good in BMX Bandits.


  34. David Cohen says:

    Yes Bento. And don’t forget Vietnam, four years later.

    So in fact, dear readers, her corpus is quite credible.


  35. skink says:

    I think that she was good in ‘to die for’ playing a ruthless heartless ambitious bitch who will do anything to further her career, because she had something to draw on.

    otherwise shit.

    I thought she made a convincing neurosurgeon in “Days of Chunder”


  36. Rolly says:

    “It is because we perceive, *and men don’t*, that she’s one of the most overrated actors in the world”
    Bloody Hell, Skink! More inverse sexism!
    She’s no favourite of mine.


  37. skink says:

    Forbes Magazine rates ‘Cole as the Most Overpaid Movie Star in the World:


  38. poor lisa says:

    I was puzzling over why Keith Urban (I had never heard of him until he married her, yet he is a big enough star to have a crack habit! Wonders!) looks so unearthly weird until I consulted my hairdresser, who authoritatively advised that it’s because he uses way too much hair straightener.

    I’m with the masses, she WAS good in To Die For. That was, like, 12 years ago, around the time Baz Lurman last made a watchable film. They’re well matched.

    The only respect the Times review gets it wrong is in singling out female movie-goers. It’s clear that men can’t stand her either (rolly and I are reconciled!). How did she get to be so overpaid?


  39. Rolly says:

    “(rolly and I are reconciled!)”
    Only because you’re after my money and sparkling intellect!
    (It would hardly be for my body.)


  40. Rolly says:

    “It’s clear that men can’t stand her either….”
    That’s too broad a generalisation. It should be “….some men……”.
    I’ve a mate who thinks that she’s the ant’s pants and would early like to get into hers.


  41. My Ning says:

    To some of the above: Nicole was totally excellent in Dogville and Nagalazas is easily one of the country’s best living film critics….


  42. poor lisa says:

    No it’s the caravan baby!


  43. Rolly says:

    Roll on!


  44. Scurrilous says:

    “Australia” is really just “The African Queen” and “Pearl Harbour” cobbled together and crossmarketed with a tourism campaign.

    It worked for New Zealand so it could be good for us.

    Hopefully we will come off looking better than we did after “Evil Angels”.


  45. Nell says:

    To Michelle Phillips,
    Sorry to read of your retirement, though well deserved! I have enjoyed reading your column over the years when I have had access to the “West” newspaper. I have had many a giggle during these readings,. Your parting comments brought a roar of laughter & was a catalyst for some interesting debate at the breakfast table! Precious!
    Thank you & Enjoy your retirement!


  46. Really? She always came across as a sort of nasty Pam Casssselllas. I did note with amusement that she accused readers of not having a sense of humour. I think that might have been you Michelle. Has anyone read her blog yet? The address was in her last column.


  47. Cookster says:

    Can’t find it, but this might suffice:

    Hard to believe that she was also in the Mamas & Papas.


We can handle the worst

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s