The Flack

The week Rodney King Died and All the Newspapers Went Crazy

Posted June 22, 2012 by Mina Durack in Regular Items
FNDP newspapers

What a week! It seemed like everyone in the office was travelling. No one was there when you needed answers. Even you were out of the office a couple of days, yet simultaneously tied to your email at all times, even on planes. Exhausting. You certainly didn’t have time to watch the news or read a paper. But now you want to have a well-earned ale and swap opinions with your pals. What to do? … A solution is at hand.

What to read if you’ve been too busy to read this week.


  • Asylum seekers’ boat collapses near Christmas Island. Three confirmed dead. Ninety people missing, feared dead. Speaking points: I like the way The Australian’s headline is Asylum boat continued despite distressIt’s clearly their fault they sank. I’m surprised it didn’t say, Queue jumpers continued despite distress.
  • Fairfax media gets cuththroat, undertaking to slash 1900 jobs, put up a paywall and change their papers to smaller editions. Meanwhile, Gina Rinehart increases her shares in Fairfax. Speaking points: Andrew Bolt says if the Left is concerned about this they should get off their behind and buy Fairfax themselves. And some cake.
  • Not to be outdone, News Limited announced its own shake up with a yet to be announced number of redundancies and reducing its 19 divisions to five. Speaking points: do you think they conferred about doing it this week? Or do you think some external comms person at News Limited, upon hearing Fairfax’s announcement went, “Schwiiiiiiing!”
  • And just when you thought it was all doom and gloom in media, it’s not for Alan Kohler. His company, Australian Independent Business Media (which publishes Business Spectator and Eureka Report) is to be sold to News Limited for $30 million in cash. Alan Kohler will continue to be an independent commentator on the ABC, which is upsetting people. Speaking points: I’d like to be paid $30 million to remain independent too.
  • Quake measuring 5.3 shakes Victoria. Some walls were cracked. Speaking points: this was pretty exciting. You’ll always remember where you were when this happened. No. Probably not.
  • Early results from the Australian Census show a population of 21.5 million, more people identifying as non-religious, and a 20.5% increase in the number of people who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Speaking points: be afraid – the median Australian is now aged 37.3 years, a sharp rise from 32.4 years in 1991. You are carrying the older folk on your nubile and buff shoulders.


  • Rodney King is found dead in his swimming pool in Rialto. Police think it was an accidental drowning. Speaking points: At the time of his death, King was engaged to marry Cynthia Kelley, who was a juror in the civil suit he brought against the City of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, it was Kelley who found him in the pool.
  • Julian Assange seeks asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London after being released on bail for $200,000. He says he may face the death penalty if extradited to the US where he thinks he has been secretly charged with sedition. Speaking points: it seems a tad hysterical to say, as his mother does, that “there are absolutely no proper legal processes in this case.” Also, um, it’s sexual assault in Sweden that he’s actually facing charges for at the moment. But whatever, facts, hey?
  • Reports surface that Egyptian dictator Mubarack died in prison but other reports now that he has survived a stroke. Speaking points: when I die, I definitely want conflicting reports about it. And for people always to be sceptical of my passing like Elvis or Tupac.
  • US Secretary of Commerce resigns following investigations into his involvement in two hit and run accidents.  Speaking points: this is universal – involvement in hit and run accidents = resignation.

Entertainment & Gossip


  • British people get excited about the horse, Frankel, winning on the first day of Ascot on a 1000m course. This is Frankel’s 11th win and he did it by 11 lengths.   Black Caviar races tomorrow. Speaking points:So You Think also won at Royal Ascot, beating the Queen’s horse in a close race, and even though the Irish train it now, we can still claim it. A lot of people want Frankel to race Black Caviar, also unbeaten, in a match race like some kind of equine thunderdome, even though this is clearly ridiculous as they race over different lengths.
  • Western Bulldogs player Will Minson was severely reprimanded for saying something nasty about an opponent’s mum. Debate has raged around what is acceptable sledging. Speaking Points: Well, it is a divisive issue, but not really. Mum jokes aren’t cool anymore, just ask the NBA.
  • The Wallabies beat Wales in Melbourne last Saturday with a kick after the siren. Third test in Sydney tomorrow. Speaking points: The guy who kicked it is a Kiwi playing for Australia, Mike Harris. Is that a good thing? How kiwi is he? Russell Crowe? Richard Wilkins? Phar Lap?  Maybe suggest a list of Top 5 Kiwis.
  • London Irish Rugby Union club is reportedly offering Brett Stewart $3.5 million to quit the NRL and join the club. Speaking Points: Discuss how clever player agents are at planting these stories right at the time they are negotiating a new contract for their client.
  • Miami Heat are on the brink of winning the NBA Finals with a three-to-one lead over the Oklahoma Thunder.  Speaking Points: If the Heat win try to lessen LeBron’s feel good moment by comparing him to Jordan repeatedly. Also remember Mum jokes are now out of bounds.

Emergency go to subject

Prediction for next week

  • You will think about saving more but feel angry at the banks at the same time.



About the Author

Mina Durack
Mina Durack

Wilhemina (Mina) Durack was born in Lithgow, NSW to Henry and Shirley who, in the absence of sons, forced her into the family business. She became an apprentice blacksmith at the age of 15 but her true passion was Cheese Rolling at which she longed to turn professional. She trained secretly in the Blue Mountains. Despite her parents entering her in the Lithgow St George's Day International Jousting Tournament, she ran away to Gloucester, England where she entered The Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, coming twelfth in 1995 and third in 1996. She struggled to break into the cheese rolling speakers’ circuit and eventually resettled in Fitzroy, Melbourne where she lives with her husband Fred, offering a boutique cheese advisory service. She collects vintage swimsuits and is an avid swimmer and online shopper.