Australian Satirical Magazine Finds Satire Too Challenging, Drops Pretence, Goes Full Racist Instead


So we launched a Pozible campaign to get the writer of the story a vasectomy. For obvious reasons. Chris Graham explains.

Trying to explain to a largely indifferent non-Aboriginal population why black faces are needed in newsrooms around the country is challenging at the best of times. But we can’t explain it any better than the Burdekin Herald intended not to, in a story published this week entitled, ‘Help the Herald buy an Aboriginal’.

“We heard the New Matilda blog is running a Pozible campaign to fund the employment of an Aboriginal cadet,” a writer identifying himself as ‘Kevin Andrews’ writes pens for the Burdekin Herald.

“New Matilda wants to raise 30,000 dollars to hire Rick McGray the younger brother of respected journalist Jenny McGray, who incidentally also writes for the New Matilda.

“Jenny McGray says her brother is more than qualified to be New Matilda’s token Aboriginal because he is ‘interested in politics’.

“This is all part of New Matilda’s admirable goal of placating white guilt. You see, hiring a 17-year-old who has no qualifications, just because he is Aboriginal, is the best way to go about not profiling Aboriginals. Instead of paying for this new cadet out of their own pockets, they are asking the community to donate 30 grand.”

Where to start.

Firstly, the name of our (finger’s crossed) future cadet is Jacob McQuire, and he is, indeed, the younger brother of Amy McQuire, a former journalist at New Matilda who still occasionally files stories (for free), and is unarguably the nation’s most respected Aboriginal print journalist.

Secondly we don’t do ‘token Aboriginals’. And the Burdekin Herald should probably avoid using the term as well, lest people mistake the publication for an off-shoot of Stormfront.

Thirdly, we are, as the Herald suggests, appealing to our readers and supporters to help fund the position – it’s called ‘building a business’. The difference between us and other media outlets is that we tell people precisely how we’re planning to use the money they invest. Outrageous, I know.

And finally, Jacob is enrolling in a journalism degree next year… hence why we’re trying to offer him a cadetship. Cadets don’t have “experience” – that’s why we call them “cadets”.

Had the Burdekin Herald stopped there it would merely have been an ignorant and offensive attempt at satire, with no laughs and more gaffes than a Tony Abbott press conference.

But some bright spark on the subs desk obviously did a scan of the article and decided that if the story was going to get the attention that the class clowns of Burdekin covet, they needed to up the redneck quotient. Hence this:

“We think that a black guy will also help the Burdekin Herald deliver cutting edge Aboriginal news to our readers. Because if we are going to be serious about reporting on Aboriginal affairs, there is no better way to do it than hire a white middle class Aboriginal. So please, help the Herald buy an Aboriginal. Aboriginals are cool.”

Wow. If you’re not sure you’re going to get a laugh, just attack the identity of a proud Darumbal 17-year-old by being a racist douchebag. Well played, Kevin.

The ‘white middle class Aboriginal’ comment – that’s pretty much the reason why more Aboriginal faces are needed in newsrooms… to combat the comfortable Australian bigotry that is a hallmark of media and Australian society more generally.

Aboriginal people tell Aboriginal stories better than anyone else. That should be obvious to all and sundry. Which begs the question why so few Aboriginal people are given a start in the media, and why any media outlet would p*ss on an attempt to do so.

Unless, of course, you accept that the Burdekin Herald is not really a ‘serious’ satirical publication, rather it’s just a bunch of meth rednecks churning out fart gags and masturbation jokes because they’ve got nothing better to do.

So… if you want to help New Matilda take on an Aboriginal cadet from March 2016, our Pozible campaign is here.

There’s less than 48 hours left on the campaign, and we’re close to our goal, so sharing this story on social media – and tagging in family and friends – will help us get there.

And wouldn’t it be ironic if this yarn went viral, and the Burdekin Herald actually helped us raise the $30,000? (And if we exceed it, every cent raised will go towards employing more Aboriginal cadets and/or journalists at New Matilda… if we raise $60k, that’s two cadets, if we raise $100k… we’ll employ a video journalist as well).

Payback is a strong Aboriginal tradition, so we’d also like to offer some to the Burdekin Herald, for helping promote our fundraiser.

The good folks at Pozible have approved a campaign to raise $10 million towards hiring the world’s best micro-surgeon to perform a vasectomy on ‘Kevin Andrews’. This, of course, is to prevent him from passing on any more of ‘them racist genes’ to future generations of satirists. You can support that campaign here. We highly recommend the accompanying video.

In short, this is a fundraiser for all of humanity, by ridding the world of at least one future racist.

Admittedly, New Matilda’s track record in the field of vasectomies for racist writers is not all that extensive. We have, in the past, ‘torn the odd journo a new one’. But we’ve never actually organised a vasectomy. However, rest assured that what we lack in experience, we will more than make up for in enthusiasm.

The only real obstacle to success that we can see with this campaign, is an unwillingness on the part of ‘Kevin Andrews’ to have a vasectomy performed on him.

We plan to overcome this with the use of alcohol, which we’re reliably advised ‘Kevin’ is rather partial too.

If, by some freak of nature, we actually raise the $10 million, then we’ll donate whatever is left over from Kevin Andrews’ vasectomy (which we estimate will be precisely $10 million – a worker from a nearby abattoir has agreed to do it for a cartoon of beer) to a charity of the donor’s choice.

In closing, please help us get Kevin Andrews a vasectomy, because we think that vasectomies for people like Kevin Andrews are cool.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.