Anne Summers Killed Off Veteran Political Journalist Mungo MacCallum - While He Was Still Alive Drinking Coffee

Mungo MacCallum has risen. Photo: Pan Macmillan

If there’s one thing Twitter loves, it’s death, especially a famous death.

Small sparks are soon retweeted into blazing wildfires of farewell.

Today, the veteran political commentator, author, journalist and larrikin Mungo MacCallum, died, killed by Dr Anne Summers while he was actually eating scrambled eggs at a cafe in Mullumbimby with his wife, Jenny Garrett. He was 72.

Mungo was getting quite a nice send off from former colleagues with fond memories of late nights in the non-members bar at Canberra’s old parliament house, the love flowing across the internet from ageing hacks and lefties. A number of prominent journalists, taking Summers as gospel, retweeted the news.

Business Insider was shocked. As a former north coast resident, who’s enjoyed Mungo’s company, anecdotes, beers and laughter, as well as publishing his political columns, we rang to check the details of his sudden demise with former colleagues at The Byron Shire Echo.

Mungo was across the road with The Echo’s co-founder, David Lovejoy, about to tuck into scrambled eggs at a Mullumbimby cafe.

No doubt also was saddened by news of his own demise, Mungo would have spoken in glowing terms about his long and colourful career, were it not for the fact that he was diagnosed with throat cancer earlier this year and the subsequent surgery left him literally speechless.

Conscious that your humble correspondent had a potentially Walkley Award-winning scoop on his hands, he tweeted the news.

The hashtag #MungoLives was soon trending on Twitter.

The Echo joined in with Mungo holding Monday’s Herald.

And the man who once described John Howard as an “unflushable turd” was proving to be equally adept at staying afloat.

MacCallum’s wife, Jenny Garrett, told Business Insider that it’s been a while since she’s seen her husband’s normally irrepressible smile as much as today. It’s been a tough year treating his cancer, but MacCallum was not yet ready to prove Summers right.

He’d compiled a crossword this morning and recently released a new book, The Whitlam Mob, about the era of the ALP leader who dubbed the author the “tall, bearded descendant of lunatics”.

MacCallum did, however concede that perhaps it was karma, having once as a journalist prematurely killed off the fearless Asian war correspondent Kate Webb before she finally met her maker.

Summers conceded her error on Twitter:

Jenny Garrett said they’d welcome flowers from Summers, so Mungo can enjoy them while still alive and kicking.

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