Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jess' A Minute, Blondie

BLONDE economist Jessica Irvine tells us… many other loved Australian brands such as Holden and Vegemite were American-owned from the start -- by General Motors and Kraft.”

That would have been news to poor old Fred Walker, of the Fred Walker Cheese Company, who went to his grave in 1935 believing his chief chemist, Cyril Callister, invented the world’s greatest toast enhancer 13 years earlier. Kraft entered a partnership with Fred in 1925 and bought out the company upon the founder’s death.

Jessica is a bit closer, but still wrong, about Holden, which was building bodies for imported GM chasis under contract , as well as doing the odd bit of work for GM rivals. It was in 1931, 75 years after Holden began, that GM took control.

Yes, they are small details. But if a newspaper and featured columnist cannot get the small things right, why should they be trusted on the big ones?


  1. You were doing so well until you got to 'the world’s greatest toast enhancer'. No, no, no. I shall not get into the debate as to why marmalade is the greatest toast enhancer. But let me offer some defence of young Jess.

    Given that we know Americans will put anything in their mouths and call it food (twinkies, Dr Peppers, root beer, cold tea etc.) it is unsurprising that Jess thought the Yankees had dreamt up vegemite.

    On a more serious note, this is what happens when newspapers don't have subbies. The old Mark Twain quote comes to mind, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

  2. Cause it's all about the viiiiiiiiiibe, man.

    I was once interviewed by a journalism student for her assignment project. I asked to read the finished thing BEFORE it was turned in. I didn't get to read it until after. I was misquoted. I will never permit myself to be interviewed again without having a separate record made.

  3. Prof, is Ms Jess an economist or an economics correspondent? There's a big difference.

  4. "Prof, is Ms Jess an economist or an economics correspondent?"

    I believe she studied economics at Sydney Uni so in that case she's definitely not qualified to be an economist.