Pappenhacker Awards in The Australian

The Murdoch organization’s Antipodean news outlet, The Australian, reports awards to journalists based on a Waugh character, a foreign correspondent named Pappenhacker from Scoop. This is explained in the paper’s column “Media Watch Dog” by Gerard Henderson, starting with a quote from the novel (Penguin Classics, 2011, p. 41):

“…[Pappenhacker is] always [rude] to waiters. You see he’s a communist. Most of the staff at [his paper] the Twopence are – they’re University men, you see. Pappenhacker says that every time you are polite to a proletarian you are helping bolster up the capitalist system. He’s very clever of course, but he gets rather unpopular.”

Henderson describes this as “Sandalista Snobbery” and mentions two recent awards in that category. The first is to a reporter, Richard Cooke (apparently left-wing), who dismisses a more conservative colleague Nick Cater (writing for a Murdoch paper) as a former laundry truck driver. Cooke writes: “In [the Murdoch paper’s] world, Nick Cater counts as a formidable intellectual import, and he’s a former laundry van driver who cut his teeth at the University of Exeter sociology department…” To which Henderson responds:

So, there you have it….  Cooke…looks down on laundry van drivers. Especially Nick Cater, who after graduating from the University of Exeter, drove trucks … and replaced roller towels in bathrooms and the like. Most MWD readers [?] would regard such activity as a valuable contribution to the health of society. But snob Cooke looks down on such employment since he appears to hold truck drivers in contempt.

Another award is issued to a reporter (Jim Stanford), described as a leftist, who concludes a discussion of the growth in Australian demand for personal instructors with this comment: ” … a lot of people in society … are desperate for work and willing to undertake that type of employment.” Henderson concludes his article with this:

So, there you have it. Jim “Pappenhacker” Stanford looks down not only on fitness instructors and beauty therapists – but also on the maids and butlers and chauffeurs of earlier generations. Snob Stanford reckons that a leftist employee at the leftist Australia Institute … happens to be engaged in useful work. However, according to your man Stanford, the likes of therapists, fitness instructors, maids, butlers and chauffeurs are just a waste of space.

Another story in The Australian cites Scoop in assessing the symbiosis between today’s social media and politics.

And in another Murdoch paper (The Times) Alex Massie likens Nicola Sturgeon’s comparative estimates of Scotland and its neighboring states to Mr Levy’s rankings of public schools in Waugh’s Decline and Fall: Leading Country, First-rate Country, Good Country and Country. You will need a subscription to see where the constituent parts of Great Britain will rank.

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