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Menu – the logic

14/06/2013

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What a week huh! After spending most of Wednesday kicking the PM over blue ties and menus, Thursday came and journalism in this country came to an almighty crash into itself. But more on the Howard Sattler thing at another time. Here I want to discuss…. THE MENU!!!

So there was this tweet from the MP from North Sydney that got this ex chef a retweeting.

badtastemenu

I put the full menu in for a reason. I wont do a forensic analysis of the timeline other than this is how I was following this all.

The Menu (a retweeting from a previous post) began to do the rounds early in the morning. A reporter contacted Mal Brough and from my understanding, since this contact was via phone, the reporter read out the menu description to Brough. He acknowledged it to be authentic (later he retracted this saying he was confused). Now not only did Brough say it was a real menu, Brough proceeded to recall an exact date. The date of what we discover was a LNP fund raiser.

So we have Mal Brough not only seeming to confirm the menu just by the verbal reading of it, he associated a function to the event.

Fine. This was followed by a spate of pressers condemning the menu. First Mal. Then the Qld LNP, who in their release said they condemn ‘a menu card used at an LNP event’. Note the use of the word USED.

Come prime time TV news time and for some reason, an email addressed to Mal Brough from the restaurant owner was released by the office of Tony Abbott. This is interesting on so many levels. One. Mr Brough is not a elected MP. He is in fact only pre-selected. So why is the leader of the opposition releasing this? Mr Abbott claimed it was because the restaurant does not have a press office. But Mr Brough does not? And if it had to go to the federal parliament, why not Joe Hockey as he was the guest speaker?

So many questions. None of them answered.

Now the email itself is not what any one in their right mind could even come close to an apology. Unless your name was Mal Brough. Apparently it was a mock up of his genitals on a plate that night. Allegedly. The author, the restaurant owner, took responsibility for the menu. He said that it was a fun menu that was never seen outside he and his son. And now about 23 million Australians. He said what must have happened was the menu that was only supposed to be for him and his son was somehow seen by someone not he or his son. That person then photographed it with the permission no doubt of the copyright holder and placed it on facebook.

Enter the ex chef who first saw it closer to the event. He says he contacted some people he knew and were still working at the restaurant. They said it was real. So began tweet attempt one.

And in response to Joe Hockey’s role model statement that he never will respect the Prime Minister or ever had, the menu was back in the internet laneways.

Now Abbott wants to put a line under all this. He also came up with pun of the day – the menu was in bad taste. Oh the wit! The sharp razor wit! But before we can draw a line, lets examine what we have here.

To sum up. According to the restaurant owner this menu was not seen by anyone other than he and his son. And the facebook page owner if not same son. Brough insisted that not only did he NOT see the menu in question, he did not recall seeing ANY menu on any table. Joe Hockey also did not see any menus.

Lets examine this. Brough has never seen the menu. In fact he did not see any menu. Yet when the menu read to him, he recognised it. Not only that, he recalled an associated date with the menu that he has never seen. So how did Brough recognise it? Brough said he was confused. But not confused enough to not recall the date.

Secondly, Sunrise had a scoop and did not know it. Probably still dont. http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/video/watch/17581303/penny-wong-slams-bad-taste-menu/ In this video, the report starts with a cross to the restaurant where the reporter gives the early morning wrap. So at this stage the story is the menu was never used. And never shown. Okay. So when the reporter says she talked to two staff, I pricked up my ears.

According to the reporter, the restaurant owner was asked about a response to a post on the hoopla about what was an alleged ex employee. No one by that name they told her. Owner repeated that no menus were on the table. Really? See the reporter said she then talked to two staff. Neither DENY menus where on the table. When pressed, the reportedly responded, ‘What do you think? Read between the lines’. This scoop was then lost in a political spat with Penny Wong including a question on if the PM should apologise. Sheesh.

In analysis conclusion, staff do not deny menus on table. But Brough and Hockey and the owner do. Imagine paying $2000 a head and not getting a menu? But lets give  Brough  the benefit of the doubt. No menus! Not even ones with no sexism in them. Did you spot the hole? Brough has now not only never seen THE menu, he did not see ANY menu. Yet recognised the menu over the phone via description. Pretty amazing if he had never seen it.

But ignore all that. Apparently this was a mock menu. But look at the menu. It was clearly designed for a political function. Note comments on eating all your greens. The liberal wines on offer etc. This is a menu that would only ever have ONE function. A political event. Its not a standard menu. So they created this one off menu that they can never use any where else but on that night in that restaurant for that event, and they opted on not using ANY menu at all on the night.

Lets ignore the who did who, who saw what. The point I make is this menu was specifically made for one event but apparently not used. But that is not the issue. The issue is someone had indeed taken time to craft a sexist menu, just for fun. And in remorse, they apologised to Mal Brough.

The other thing I find odd is the lack of pictures of the night. Where are they? Surely if you are gonna host the Shadow Treasurer in your restaurant, you want to be pictured with them. Such a picture could tell us stuff like if there were indeed menus on the table or not, despite not being able to read it.

So did you work there that night? Have you got a photo to share? Send me a note on twitter! @ashghebranious.  Tell then, let me entertain you with misogyny that would have gone down a treat with that menu that no one apparently saw. (Click on video at your own risk!)

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A. Ghebranious                      June 2013

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