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Mel Gibson’s Jewish cameo

The Australian August 24, 2015 

Sharri Markson

Mel Gibson’s girlfriend was forced to offer an apology for the Hollywood actor’s rude behaviour yesterday, claiming he was “a bit sick”.
Gibson and his beautiful 24-year-old girlfriend Rosalind Ross shocked Jewish theatregoers by turning up to the Israeli film festival at the Verona cinema in Sydney, brushing past patrons without a bodyguard during the Sunday afternoon film sessions.

When Oz reporter Gina Rushton asked him how he enjoyed the film, the greying Gallipoli star ignored her and raised his voice to continue his conversation with Ross. Rushton politely introduced herself a second time but Gibson gruffly demanded: “Who are you?” with a condescending emphasis on the ‘‘you” before marching away from her.

Ross appeared embarrassed and stayed a moment to apologise on behalf of Gibson, who turns 60 next January. “I’m sorry, he’s a bit sick at the moment,” she said.
His appearance at the Israeli film festival was a surprise given Gibson caused international dismay with anti-semitic rants.
Filmgoers Diary spoke to were angered by his presence.

One said: “He was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time and accidentally found himself in the throng of Jewish people at the Israeli film festival.”
It is likely he was there for an onscreen adaptation of Albert Camus’ Far from Men screening at the same time next door.

Uechtritz tip for top job

A leading candidate has emerged for Kate Torney’s ABC role: a blast from the past, Seven’s contributing editor Max Uechtritz.
Uechtritz worked at the ABC for 18 years and was executive director of news and current affairs there from 2002-2004 before he was poached by Nine.
He has since been network ­director of news at Nine, editor-in-chief at Ninemsn and director of programs at Al Jazeera English before joining Seven in 2010.
Uechtritz currently has a contributing producer role at Seven after the investigative network he oversaw was axed in late May.
Meanwhile, Ten news chief Peter Meakin has given some advice to the ABC’s recruiters.
“I got a call from the recruiter and I threw a few names at him but I’m not saying who they are,” he said.
But he isn’t interested in the role himself. “A number of people would have told them that me and the ABC would be a bad fit.”

A meal with Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch enjoyed a private lunch with Scott Morrison on Friday, after dining with Tony Abbott on Thursday evening.
Political sources told Diary Morrison was excited to meet Murdoch, as he had not spent much time with the global media baron before.
Morrison is considered a rising star by many News Corp columnists, so it was understandable for Murdoch to take the opportunity to meet him while in Australia.

Seven execs in spat

Seven chief executive Tim ­Worner and Seven Group Holdings executivedirector David Leckie have had a falling-out, with well-placed sources at Seven claiming the pair are barely on speaking terms.
The relationship has deteriorated recently over speculation Leckie has ambitions to take over Worner’s role and has been questioning his leadership and the performance of the TV business.
While one source said the pair were barely speaking, another said they were seen engaging in “polite banter” on Thursday.
Despite reports, Worner has not signed a new contract with the network. His current contract has a series of rolling options, as disclosed in the annual report, which allows for extensions. It has been extended until 2018, but a new contract has not been inked.
It was also pointed out to Diary that Nick Chan left Seven well before his contract expired.

ABC reveals bias on Gaza

It’s hard for the ABC to maintain it is not biased and does not have a position on the conflict in Gaza when it allows a Palestinian activist to file reports on the situation.

Cathy Peters is a member of the NSW Greens, an executive member of the Coalition for ­Justice and Peace in Palestine and a member of Jews Against the Occupation. The former Marrickville councillor had moved to boycott Israeli products. She now works with Australians for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a coalition of Palestinian organisations.
Peters produced and narrated two documentaries on Israel for ABC Radio National program Earshot on July 27 and July 30.

Only after the programs aired did a disclosure appear on the website and on the audio clips that acknowledged Peters’ association with the pro-Palestinian cause.
The ABC said a review of the documentary was nearly completed and confirmed it did not pay for Peters’ travel to Israel.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff said: “It defies belief that ABC management could seriously argue that Cathy Peters is an objective observer of the Gaza situation.
“Her years of active campaigning against Israel and blatantly partisan reporting, not to mention her pivotal involvement in the notorious BDS resolution at Marrickville council five years ago, leave her integrity on this issue in shreds.”

Kev big news on CNN

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd will be unleashed on an unsuspecting American public when he guest hosts Christine Amanpour’s CNN show on Thursday.
Rudd, who had rock star status in some Queensland suburbs when he was campaigning for the 2013 election, will now have a platform to entertain millions of viewers worldwide.
One of his guests is Sky News host and former CNN reporter Stan Grant, who will speak about racial and indigenous issues facing Australia. “It’s a role reversal because normally I’d be interviewing him,” Grant said of Rudd.
If CNN was going to pick a former Labor leader to host a show, at least they chose K Rudd, and not Mark Latham.

Restaurant awards shock

Gourmet Traveller held its glamorous Restaurant Awards, hosted by Leila McKinnon, on Wednesday, with Neil Perry, Matt Moran and Maurice Terzini among the dozens of high-profile chefs kicking back with a drink.
At last year’s awards, there was controversy when Quay owner Leon Fink expressed his outrage at being beaten by Momofuku in the top restaurant category. This year, the Finks had a better time at the awards but indirectly caused an upset of their own.

There was tough competition in the best new restaurant category with Firedoor in Sydney, Africola in Adelaide and Franklin in Hobart in the running.

However, Bennelong, Sydney, which wasn’t a nominee, was the surprise winner in its new incarnation under the Quay/Fink Group — the successful winner of the tender to take over the Sydney Opera House restaurant.
Editor Anthea Loucas said she owed it to readers to choose the best restaurant, even if the decision surprised some.

Hinch in lap of luxury

Derryn Hinch has always wondered why hotels have more luxurious bathrooms than any of the homes he has lived in.
So, at the age of 71, he embarked on some renovating, spending up to $20,000 on a bathroom and $12,000 on a new bed.
“Like a lot of old journos, we stay in a hell of a lot of hotels around the world over the years and I came to one conclusion: why does every hotel in the world, even three-star hotels, have better bathrooms than we have at home,” he said.

“So I got a designing company and now I have black tiles floor to ceiling, mirrored cupboards, black porcelain sink and it has the best diet gadget in the world, a full-length mirror in the shower, one of those amazing Japanese toilets, the electric ones, bidet — the geisha, I call it — and the shower head is massive.”
Hinch said a friend pointed out that many people spent $40,000 on a car, so why not spend that sort of money on a place you spend so much time in.
This thought process resulted in his purchase of a $12,000 bed, apparently approved by NASA, which is electronic and rises hydraulically at the feet and under the head. “It gets you to a point where you’re suspended in the air.
“It’s some whizzbang bed,” he said. Hopefully it’ll make it easier for Hinch to sleep at night.

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