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Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Now this is news... Charles Firth is building a Web site to "focus on news and current events" with a "humourous bent" (this last written by Asher Moses, a reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald). The Manic Times will compete with mainstream news outlets, says Firth. Moses transcribes an interview on page two of the story.

The site is up but still unpopulated. Firth, best known for The Chaser's War on Everything and, most recently, seen on that program talking with Americans on the dizzy streets of the U.S.A., "was coy about his plans" in an email exchange with Moses.

Firth, it appears, is the brother of Labor MP for Balmain, Verity Firth.

Asked "Who do you see as your competition?" Firth answered "You".

"Will there be any influence from The Chaser?" asked Moses. Firth answered "It will be badly sub-edited with shotload of typis." It "will seek to fill a gap that Firth and his team believe exists in political reporting by mainstream publications", Moses reports.

And will it be launched before the end-of-year election? I checked the title with Google and it's not been spidered yet. But there's a post on the CNNNN LiveJournal site with 13 comments. An eponymous blog is totally unrelated.

"With wit like that this project can ONLY succeed," said didz on the LiveJournal site, in response to email question nine. Apart from the fact that most of the commenters support Kevin Rudd, there is precious little worth reading online at the time of posting.

Wait for the launch, expect an explosion of results. There is a www.manictimes.com site with some offbeat content but, as Moses says, the only way to divine what's up Firth's sleeve is to go to www.manictimes.com.au and use the 'View Source' function.

"A Sydney centric New South Wales based multi-media publication," says the 'Description' meta tag. There's not really much to explain Firth's aim and the guys on The Chaser mentioned nothing about the new site tonight. There's also nothing on the ABC Web site.

Sigh. Just have to wait.

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