Trolled over: ABC pulls Insiders, News Breakfast off Twitter

There’s a small but vocal group of Australians who spend their Sunday mornings working themselves up into a state over the ABC’s Insiders program and dealing with their feelings by going on the computer and saying mean things to the Insiders Twitter account.

Angry birds: The ABC is scaling back its Twitter presence.Credit:John Shakespeare

They are the same people who got far too angry about interviews on the ABC’s News Breakfast, with the vitriol so bad that co-host Lisa Millar left the site more than a year ago. Which is why this column was suspicious when the Twitter accounts for Insiders and News Breakfast both announced they would be winding up in the next week, along with the ABC Politics account.

Maybe the underpaid producers had enough of copping barely intelligible insults from anonymous accounts all day. Perhaps Aunty was reacting to the diminished relevance of the platform after Elon Musk’s ill-fated takeover.

An ABC spokesperson told us to stop our fretting, saying it was all in the name of consolidation.

“We’re closing some of the ABC News program accounts and consolidating our activity in our main Twitter account, @abcnews, which has by far the most activity, followers and engagement with audiences,” they said.

“This is a better use of resources while still serving audiences on this platform.”

Still, given internal chatter about the overwhelming vitriol directed at these accounts had been going on for some time, we can’t say it’s a great shock, or loss, to anyone.


There’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to hard-launch a new relationship. No social media post is too cringe, because everyone is being cringe. If things fall apart soon after, you can be forgiven for simply getting swept up in the magic of the Hallmark holiday. There is almost no risk.

Feeling the paean: Emma Isaacs has taken to verse.

This year, our favourite hard launcher was Business Chicks founder Emma Isaacs. Fresh from sacking a bunch of employees at the cult-like women’s networking company, Los Angeles-based Isaacs revealed her relationship with “poet, brand humanist and creative strategist” Azure Antoinette.

Antoinette calls herself “the Maya Angelou of the Millennial generation” – a bit of anonymous praise evidently received from someone with a limited grasp of literature – and Isaacs’ Valentine’s Day tribute was suitably florid and poetic.

“You are my return, my respite and my resuscitation back to life,” she wrote.

We wish them a happy life of girl bossing together.


CBD’s fevered mind is racing with possibilities after Reserve Bank governor Phil Lowe’s much-hyped appearance before Senate estimates on Wednesday, where he was grilled by, among others, shadow finance minister Jane Hume.

The senator from Victoria pointed out what she called “an amazing” piece of legislation that was news to us, but not to Lowe.

Turns out that Section 11 of the Reserve Bank Act, the bit that covers “differences of opinion with government on questions of policy”, enables Treasurer Jim Chalmers to more or less go to Governor-General David Hurley and ask the King’s man in Canberra to direct Lowe to do Chalmers’ bidding.

Phil Lowe has revealed a little-known interest rate fallback for the treasurer.Credit:James Brickwood

“That’s been the case since 1959, and that provision has never been used,” Lowe told Hume, “and it’s my view that it would be a retrograde step to ever use it.”

We bet it is.

Now, things would have to get a lot more desperate on the interest rate front for Chalmers to consider such a move.

But it’s worth remembering, in the event of a run of bad polls, that Hurley has shown himself in the Scott Morrison secret ministries affair to be, let’s say, open to suggestion.

One for the back pocket, Jim, with thanks to Jane.


Fun fact: Long before David Southwick rose to the lofty heights of John Pesutto’s deputy leader of the Victorian Liberals, he had another life as Melbourne’s leading DJ for bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs and 18th and 21st birthdays among the city’s Jewish community.

Southwick – who was also known to spin sets at Chapel Street nightclubbing institution Chasers before he got into politics – looks like he’s going to resurrect his long-dormant “DJ Dave” persona, for one night only.

Zionism Victoria is calling it “the biggest comeback since ABBA reunited” when Southwick takes to the turntables at the group’s Israel Independence Day party on April 26 – but only if a fundraising goal of $10,000 can be reached, with the cash going to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Israel.

David Southwick will soon be back behind the turntable.Credit:Eddie Jim

Zionism Victoria executive director Zeddy Lawrence is calling on community members to conjure their best memories of Southwick’s sets from back in the day.

No doubt he’ll be inundated.


Teal independent MP Allegra Spender has joined the surprisingly long list of federal politicians floating blissfully above the housing crunch affecting most of us. Spender has parted ways with a holiday home on Great Mackerel Beach, an exclusive hamlet in scenic Pittwater, just north of Sydney, that’s accessible only by ferry.

Allegra Spender has sold her million-dollar shack at Great Mackerel Beach.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The recently sold property was one of two owned by Spender and her Canva executive partner Mark Capps at Great Mackerel Beach – they bought another place there just days after the last election.

And the duo have made a juicy profit – the two-bedroom beach shack bought for $535,000 in 2017 went for a little over $1 million.

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