Interview - Ted Shaft: Your Shafted

Interview: Ted Shaft - Author of - 27th May 2003

What's your background?

My background definitely is not in media! Even though I have worked in Advertising on and off for about 15 years, it has mostly been in the computer graphic/printing area. By not being in the media I feel I am qualified to take current events and report them without the rules and boundaries that has smothered a lot of reporting that we see. I don't really give a hoot what I report… as long as it is true and fits YourShafted's format. I can't upset any boss who might have an affiliation with some self interest or personal agenda etc. Probably the opposite of the little Aussie battler, Eddie.

How did "Your Shafted" come to fruition?

I went out one day to work, got 2 parking tickets, a fine for going through CityStink without an e-Noose, my favourite TV show was replaced with a replay of some really bad Bloopers type show, without notice and then I came home to do another 5 hours of unpaid work. I knew I was being Shafted so I decided to do something about it.

What are your aims and objectives?

To have fun! Also, if I can hang serious amounts of shit on the bucketheads who make my life miserable (like councils, politicians, basic service providers, rednecks etc) , or put in print what millions of us really think about the powerless situations that confront us each day… then I'm achieving YourShafted's goal.

What is right and wrong with Crikey Media?

Crikey is the epitome of independent journalism… just on steroids! I admire Crikey a lot and even though a tad too political for the mainstream, he still applies the blowtorch very well. Crikey has published quite a few of our letters usually about the "Apeman", Zemanek when he was on 3AW. Stephen Mayne really puts the wind up those who count and that makes Crikey an important pseudo media and political watchdog.

What are some of your main success stories?

Definitely the Stan Zemanek Quotes. Even since he has run away back to Sydney, this section still pulls some of the highest hit rates. Funny enough, the most read stories are about everyone's mate, Eddie McGuire.

Who in the media do you respect and why?

Crikey, Doug Aiton, John Hindle, Andrew Denton, Ellen Faning and a lot of ABC radio announcers especially ABC news radio. These guys are in the media and never flinch at reporting or taking a swing at issues that effect their bosses or subjects close to them. I have always enjoyed the more unobtrusive TV/radio presenters like Doug Aiton and John Hindle who come across as an easy touch but when they need to, they can rip their interviewee apart.

What political parties or members do you respect, and why?

I hate all politicians. They really are the pits of society. I once was a loyal Labour voter, barracking for my team since I was young, influenced by my Labour voting father. My favourite player was leading goal kicker, Captain Keating and Centre half forward, Bob Hawke was also one I loved watching… kicking and punching. I eventually realised I was a one eyed fan and I would always barrack from them whether they were right or wrong. So I quit following Labour and then I could clearly see that the goal posts moved so much, it was impossible to see who was kicking goals for their team and supporters or they were just in it for themselves. I don't even vote anymore.

What political parties do you not respect, and why?

None. When your 2 main choices are parties lead by Crean or Howard… there is not much hope!

What is the worst case of Australian political scandal you care to share?

Whitlam-Kerr, Children overboard and anything Peter Reith touched.

What are some of Australia‚s worst cases of "trial by media"?

Without doubt, Lindy Chamberlain. The media and Northern Territory police should have to pay her at least $100 million compo. It was the most disgusting, corrupt criminal case in Australia's modern history.

What do you think are the best and worst traits of John Laws, Alan Jones and Derryn Hinch, and why?

The first 2, Laws and Jones are criminals. They should have been locked up during the cash for comment enquiry. Especially Alan Jones, who is so self obsessed with being morally correct that he probably doesn't even realise how silly he looks when he lays blame on others for various things. Jones is really a can short of a six pack. Hinch is different. Not my cup of tea, but still he is a journalist in the true sense and when he is not on his soap box, can come up with the goods as well as anyone. Not as sleazy as Laws and Jones.

What news media websites do you visit?

CNN, ABC, The Age, The Herald-Sun, Crikey, Hinch, Notgoodenough oh and of course, Media Man.

What was the last book you read?

I can't remember. I think Hazel Hawke's bio. It was really boring.

What TV programs and radio stations do you listen to, and why?

My TV is limited to The Movie Show, Buffy, 24, The Bill and Media Watch. If I catch them, Foreign Correspondent, 4 Corners and any current affairs/news shows on the ABC or SBS.

My Radio is switched between ABC news radio and ABC Melbourne (774). I sometimes listen to 3AW, 3AK, 2UE & 2GB to get a bit of gossip. I listen to Doug Aiton on 3AK when ever I am out driving that time of night.

What's wrong with "Reality TV"?

It's so damn boring.



Your Shafted

Crikey Media

ABC Media Watch

Australian Broadcasting Corporation