Mungo Wentworth MacCallum

Mungo Wentworth MacCallum (born 21 December 1941[1]) is an Australian political journalist and commentator.

Mungo Wentworth MacCallum
Born (1941-12-21) 21 December 1941 (age 78)
OccupationPolitical journalist and commentator
Spouse(s)Jenny Garrett


He is the son of Mungo Ballardie MacCallum (1913–1999), a journalist and pioneer of television in Australia, and Diana Wentworth, a great-granddaughter of the Australian explorer and politician William Charles Wentworth (1790–1872). MacCallum's father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were also called Mungo MacCallum. He is a nephew of William Charles Wentworth IV (1907–2003), who was a Liberal member of the House of Representatives (1949–1977) and a strident anti-communist. MacCallum and his uncle, while agreeing on certain questions, were fundamentally of different political inclinations. He was once described by Gough Whitlam as a "tall, bearded descendant of lunatic aristocrats".[2]

MacCallum was born in Sydney and educated at the elite Cranbrook School, a short walk from where he lived with his mother and father in his grandmother's house in Wentworth Street, Point Piper. After leaving school, he went to the University of Sydney, where he obtained a BA with third-class honours.

Writing careerEdit

MacCallum is also known for his strongly centre-left, pro-Australian Labor Party views, being critical both of the conservative Liberal and National Parties, and of the far left (e.g., communists) who attack Labor for its cautious reformism. From the 1970s to the 1990s he covered Australian federal politics from the Canberra Press Gallery for The Australian, The National Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, Nation Review and radio stations 2JJ / Triple J and 2SER. He currently writes political commentary for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) current affairs and news analysis program The Drum,[3] frequently writes for the magazine The Monthly, and contributes political commentary to Australia's national Community Radio Network, columns for the Byron Shire Echo and The Northern Star, and a weekly cryptic crossword for The Saturday Paper.

He has also authored several books, including Run, Johnny, Run written after the 2004 Australian federal election. His autobiographical narrative of the Australian political scene, Mungo: the man who laughs – is currently in its fourth reprint. How To Be A Megalomaniac or, Advice to a Young Politician was published in 2002 and Political Anecdotes was published in 2003. In December 2004, Duffy & Snellgrove published War and Pieces: John Howard's last election.

On Monday 8 September 2014 a minor sensation was caused when the misinformation of his death was announced in a tweet on the social media site Twitter.[4] The matter was clarified within the hour but, equally within the same hour, a trending hashtag #mungolives had sprung up on the same site.

MacCallum is a resident of Ocean Shores, on the north coast of New South Wales.


  1. ^ Austlit Public Author Browse
  2. ^ Mike Seccombe, "Watcher full of wry", Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald, 10–11 November 2001, p. 13
  3. ^ "Mungo MacCallum". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  4. ^ Reports of Mungo MacCallum's death greatly exaggerated | Sydney Morning Herald , 8 September 2014 |

Further readingEdit

  • Pratt, Mel (1973) Interview with Mungo Wentworth MacCallum, Federal political correspondent Mel Pratt collection at the National Library of Australia


External linksEdit