The Age would not be The Age, if not some editorial hack would turn up to discredit a pleasant event. The hack is Michael Shmith, whom The Age styled as “a staff writer”, but who was until recently a senior editor of The Age, and the event was The Prince of Wales‘ and The Duchess of Cornwall‘s visit of the Australian High Commission in London to mark Australia Day and pay tribute to those who had lost their lives in the Queensland floods.
"Thank heaven we can still make Charles chuckle at our character-building ways“, remarked Michael Shmith in today's Age, only to continue “the legendary regal wit of the-prince-who-really-wants-to-be-Neddy-Seagoon-but-no-one-has-the-courage-to-tell-him-he-isn't was well on display, attracting (according to The Age correspondent) ‘roars of laughter and an ovation from the gathering’
"'If you want to develop character, go to Australia.' This remark might have thrilled a room of 500 guests who thought the Prince of Wales was funnier than Mr Bean (there are points in common, after all), but I found it quaint,“ claimed Michael Shmith.
Michael Shmith loves to point out, that he is something of a "royal expert", when it comes to royal protocol:
"... I saw, when covering the Queen’s Australia tour five years ago..."
"... I once saw the late Princess Margaret informally mingling ..."
"... I remember a reception in Perth six years ago, when the prince [Charles] spoke wistfully.“
His article contained barely 670 words, but he could fiddle in three royal encounters. What a sacrifice this republican journalist must have endured, that he remembered them so well!
Michael Shmith could be a nice man in real life – his dislike for the Australian Royal Family is his personal choice. He should be spared to write on them. Nobody would ask a journalist who hates football, to cover sport events. And someone who finds tennis boring, would never be sent to report on a tournament. The same goes for the arts, museums or religious festivals - why send someone there, when he or she only suffers while writing on the matter? Only when it comes to royal events, The Age seems to be unable to find anyone among their staff and/or free lance writers who enjoys the royal pomp and cirstumances. Is among The Age's editorial staff not a single journalist who is able or willing to write an article or a report that is not part of a smear campaign?
Poor journalism, really poor journalism.
PS. It seems, the editorial staff is poor on foreign language skills. Why did no-one point out to Mr. Shmith that the equivalent of a "pommy bastard" used by rude French people on Germans would be "boches" and not "Bosch". Monsieur, redoublez la classe!