The False Australian

I was thinking that this was worthy of a topic unto itself.

Headline: False Australian article leaves Gillard seeing red

The link: Gillard angry over Australian article

Friction between the Murdoch press and the Federal Government has escalated in the wake of an incorrect article about Prime Minister Julia Gillard published in yesterday’s Australian newspaper.

The article led to an embarrassing apology from the newspaper, which acknowledged that not only were allegations about Ms Gillard “untrue” but that no attempt had been made to contact her for comment before publication.

The article, written by journalist Glenn Milne – but later repudiated by the newspaper – claimed Ms Gillard had been unknowingly implicated in a “major union fraud” while she was working as a lawyer in Melbourne before she entered parliament.

Milne reported on allegations that concerned “the embezzlement of union funds – not disputed – and later the subject of a court conviction by a former boyfriend of Gillard, Bruce Wilson”.

At the time Mr Wilson was an official with the Australian Workers Union.

Milne alleged that “as a solicitor acting on instructions, she set up an association later used by her lover to defraud the AWU”.

“But she has strenuously denied ever knowing what the association’s bank accounts were used for,” Milne added.

Milne wrote that he had originally written the story in 2007 but was prevented on legal advice publishing another allegation.

“What the lawyers would not allow to be reported was the fact that Gillard shared a home in Fitzroy bought by Wilson using the embezzled funds. There is no suggestion that Gillard knew about the origin of the money,” Milne wrote.

Ms Gillard has strenuously denied the claims.

The article was published in The Australian yesterday, both in the newspaper and online, but by 9.30am the online version had disappeared to be replaced by an apology.

The apology read:

“THE AUSTRALIAN published today an opinion piece by Glenn Milne which includes assertions about the conduct of the Prime Minister.

“The Australian acknowledges these assertions are untrue. The Australian also acknowledges no attempt was made by anyone employed by, or associated with, The Australian to contact the Prime Minister in relation to this matter.

“The Australian unreservedly apologises to the Prime Minister and to its readers for the publication of these claims.”

Angry calls
ABC News Online understands Ms Gillard made angry early-morning phone calls to The Australian’s publisher, John Hartigan, and editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell after which the article was pulled.

It is understood Ms Gillard had phoned Mr Hartigan on Saturday after another Murdoch journalist, Andrew Bolt, had written on his blog of ”a tip on something that may force Gillard to resign”.

It began: ”On Monday, I’m tipping, a witness with a statutory declaration will come forward and implicate Julia Gillard directly in another scandal involving the misuse of union funds.”

No such witness has come forward.

It is believed Mr Hartigan has assured Ms Gillard that no News Limited journalist was planning to write any such story about her – but he apparently had not checked with The Australian.

Today, Bolt’s blog read cryptically: “No politics until further notice. Principles to weigh up. Faith to keep. Sorry.”

It was later updated to promise that “after discussions I now feel free to speak my mind. So I shall. In tomorrow’s column.”

Ethics questioned
Asked about Milne’s article, Ms Gillard described it as “a false report in breach of all known standards of journalism”.

“They’d made no approach to me to seek a comment or to check what was asserted,” she told a press conference.

“They clearly realised they had done the wrong thing and published a retraction as a result, so the only question here really is how is it that a false allegation about the Prime Minister is published in The Australian newspaper without anyone from The Australian contacting me or my office for a comment?

“This is a question of ethics and standards for The Australian.”

Editor of The Australian, Clive Mathieson, told ABC News Online that Ms Gillard’s “claim of inaccuracies” is being looked into.

“We are investigating the Prime Minister’s claim of inaccuracies in the story. As the correction points out, we regret that the PM was not given any chance to respond to the allegations.”

He said Milne “will remain a contributor to the paper”, adding that “the bulk of the allegations in the column have been a matter of public record for a long time”.

‘Pedantic’
But Mr Hartigan this afternoon returned fire, saying Ms Gillard’s comments are “disappointing” and “pedantic”.

“The Australian withdrew the Glenn Milne opinion piece yesterday morning, acknowledged that some of the assertions in it were untrue and apologised to the Prime Minister,” he said.

“The apology and acknowledgements were also carried on all other News Limited websites.

“The Prime Minister’s further complaints today were pedantic. While The Australian acknowledged no attempt was made to contact the Prime Minister’s office, comment is rarely if ever sought in relation to opinion pieces. This is a widely understood and accepted practice in journalism.”

108 comments on “The False Australian

  1. There seem to have been a joint venture between Bolt, Milne and Steve on 2UE to ensure the greatest impact of the ancient allegations.

    It is confusing, because it appears that the PM was living in her own home at the time.

    I know the alleged boyfriend was investigated. Was he ever convicted. I have looked but none of the articles go passed saying it was alleged he was guilty.

    The other concern I have is the part that Menzies House MAYBE played in this little escapade. If they were not involved, they were ready to join in.

  2. “No politics until further notice. Principles to weigh up. Faith to keep. Sorry.”

    PRINCIPLES? PRINCIPLES? Evidence please Mr Bolt. The last time anybody looked, you were completely devoid of them. Have you had a transplant?

    This mob makes the Borgias look like paragons of moral rectitude!

    The PM may have walked past the site of a murder. Well, I’m not saying she committed it, buuutt….. nudge, nudge, wink,wink!

    Jesus wept!!!!!!

  3. It is not hard to guess what Mr. Bolt will be writing about. Lack of freedom of speech.

    He cannot talk about Aboriginals because of court action. I wonder what else is on the barred list.

    Someone should tell him, most are not interested in hearing what is in or on his mind.

    They are more interested in truth and facts.

    His opinion is of little interest.

  4. It is interesting after Bolt saying he wouldn’t blog today he got 443 well wisher blogs. Man what a huge audience. He was still fighting the good fight on radio though today.
    Tomorrow will be so interesting hearing about Gillard ……..

  5. They have been a matter of public record. Is that a defence when they have also been denied. Does that mean they are fact.

    “..Mr Hartigan, chairman and chief executive of News Ltd, owners of news.com.au, said the Prime Minister’s comments were disappointing.

    “The Australian withdrew the Glenn Milne opinion piece yesterday morning, acknowledged that some of the assertions in it were untrue and apologised to the Prime Minister. The apology and acknowledgements were also carried on all other News Ltd websites.

    “The Prime Minister’s further complaints today were pedantic.

    “While The Australian acknowledged no attempt was made to contact the Prime Minister’s office, comment is rarely if ever sought in relation to opinion pieces. This is a widely understood and accepted practice in journalism.

    “All of the company’s journalists abide by a code of conduct which is enforced strenuously by editors.”

    The Australian’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell said: “The bulk of the allegations in the column have been a matter of public record for a long time.”

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/julia-gillards-comments-about-the-australian-are-pedantic-disappointing-says-john-hartigan/story-e6frfkvr-1226125773872#ixzz1WVGq9JLr

  6. ‘The Prime Minister’s further complaints today were pedantic.’

    I still find it amazing that they find someone complaining about being slandered by them as ‘Pedantic’?

    I think it just sums up the moral bankruptcy evident within the organisation

  7. Apologies for being absent..huge huge lightening storm with all the boom crashy things, about to go back and hide under the bed.

  8. Min! – you big wuss! I love thunderstorms (until they start bringing down gum tree branches on my roof and through my back doors – but i haven’t experienced that here since the mid 80’s.)

  9. “And it does raise in me the question: I’m the Prime Minister of the country, I can get up on Monday morning and get the mobile numbers for people like the editor of The Australian newspaper and make a call to get something like that clarified.

    “I do really wonder what happens to an Australian, perhaps someone who lives in the Illawarra or one of the suburbs of our great cities who for whatever reason is caught up in a news story and has a false allegation made about them and no one’s bothered to contact them about it either.

    “How do they actually get it fixed given they’re not in the same position as me to make calls to the editor of The Australian newspaper?”

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/julia-gillards-comments-about-the-australian-are-pedantic-disappointing-says-john-hartigan/story-e6frfkvr-1226125773872#ixzz1WVVJjIST

    Hartigan if this happened to some ordinary person, oh that is right ordinary people in the UK have had this happen to them and after many years and many investigations the truth is finally being exposed.

    Pedantic One may be called pedantic when he/she points out corrections in unimportant details. Hartigan- Unimportant- inferring the PM is a crook.

  10. Two points, if writing an opinion piece, facts should be verified before going to press, and the smalmy, sometimes delusional, Andrew Bolt had the sleazy lying article on his page for many hours after it was deleted from The Australian.

  11. Maybe standing up for ones self is what the public is waiting for. I believe that was Mr. Rudd’s biggest failure.

    I have been disappointed that the PM has taken so long. I thought it was just me.

    Last nigh on QandA, one of the guest made the comment that we have something or other Abbott (Can’t recall the adjective) on one side and the gutless wonder on the other.

    Maybe this is how many see Labor.

    “…Destroying opposition leaders is brutal work and it is a relief to see the Prime Minister realise finally that it is an essential part of her job. Some pests can’t just be swatted away: there comes a point where you have to get out some strong and smelly chemicals and blast them to kingdom come (starting with some Old Testament can really get the blood moving!). She finally got up on her hind legs in Question Time last week, and she really gave it to Milne…..”

    http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/08/swallow-it-up.html

  12. Ok, I’ve had 4 years of height jokes…but at least I’ve still got the keys to the cellar and NOBODY is getting ’em back until you know who says when.

  13. So it is alright to repeat lies if they are in the public arena, even if it is the media that put them there in the first place.

    It is said that Milne has had his piece ready for two years.

    It is alright to conspire so the lies and misinformation causes the most damage.

  14. You’ll always find plenty of cuddles at the Café Min 😉

    Now who was that sweet talker I engaged last time I wanted to relieve you of share with you the keys to the cellar 😆

  15. Now be gentle..giving due regard to the fact that I’m Asperger’s. Can someone put it in point form, preferably in sequential order so that I can understand what the heck is happening.

  16. Bacchus, darlin’ it’s a date then. 😀 I think that the boss might be out of range at present, but I’m sure to find out if he’s not…

  17. So when Julia was a union lawyer, she was having a live in affair with a fraudulent union official, she (as the union lawyer) set up the fund that he stole from. He went to gaol for his fraud. She was a partner with Slater & Gordon- a prominent law firm – at the time.
    No doubting the fact of this.
    Is it a conflict of interest to be having an affair with the head of the union that you are acting for?
    Was Julia “young & naive” in her mid 30s?
    Is Julia a good judge of character?

  18. TomM, I married a good for nothing. That must mean by your rules, everything else I did or do in my life is suspect.

    Is it be different that Mr. Abbott show lack of judgement when he thought his girlfriend was pregnant and he skipped overseas, demanding the baby be adopted out.

    By the way when did you stop bashing your wife.

  19. Actual facts? Old gossip which is no secret and in the public arena. Why bring it up at this time. Old gossip based on little truth.

  20. There is no basis for your stupid, continual repetition.

    Whereas there is a legitimate basis for questions about the ethics of Craig Thomson, and the judgement of Julia.

    But you didn’t even know that Julia’s boyfriend was convicted and sentenced to gaol for defrauding a fund that Julia set up.

    So I really don’t think you are particularly informed about the subjects you comment on with such authority.

  21. “There is no basis for your stupid, continual repetition.”

    What in the hell are you doing if it is not stupid, continual repetition?

    Any repetition I do is caused by replying to your repetitive comments.

  22. I’ve not said she is a criminal, I’ve said she set up a fund for her union boss client, who was also her live in boyfriend. Her live in boyfriend/client was convicted of fraud and sentenced to gaol for stealing from the fund that Julia set up.

    That’s all just fact. But you’d probably prefer if it wasn’t. You also apparenty weren’t aware of these facts.

    You really don’t like this type of information, most barrackers find it inconvenient.

  23. No doubting the fact of this – no, all on the public record…

    Is it a conflict of interest to be having an affair with the head of the union that you are acting for? – I don’t know, is it? You seem to repeatedly assert that it is – are you representing the Ethics Committee of the LIV?

    Was Julia “young & naive” in her mid 30s? – So unlike you to gild the lily Tom /sarc… 21 years ago, in her early 30s, she was younger and more naive than she is now at almost 50…

    Is Julia a good judge of character? – Was Julia a good judge of character 20 odd years ago? – who knows. Is she now? – definitely has better character and is a better judge of character than ToM 😉

  24. TomM, I did know. I do read. I also pointed out to some on these sites that what was being raised has been denied in the past.

    It is not a crime to have a boyfriend that ends up in trouble.

    There is NO evidence that says the PM was aware of his behaviour at the time. The Opposite is true.

    I do know that Labor politicians are not perfect and make mistakes. They are human beings. I also know that Liberal politicians are also not perfect, they also make mistakes.

    Libel and defamation is also a crime.

  25. These allegations were dealt with by Julia Gillard in 1995 ToM – A point you seem hell-bent on glossing over – come on ToM, come clean. Why?

  26. Sorry, TomM, I was not certain that he had been convicted. I apologize for that. I definitely knew he was accused of the crime. I definitely knew that the PM was connected to him.

    Sorry, I, unlike you is also not perfect.

  27. I am aware of all the facts.

    It is not the first time I have heard of them.

    I was aware of them before the last election.

    What I had not taken in whether the bloke was convicted or not.

    Mainly because I did not see it as important.

  28. No, TomM, I do not prefer it wasn’t. Because I do not see why it is important. I do not believe what the PM did years ago is any of my business.

  29. TomM, how many times over how many years is a person expected to deal with gossip.

    What is to be gained by rehashing it again.

  30. Gossip isn’t based on facts, you lot just hate facts when they don’t reflect favourably on Julia..

    Julia really has never responded to tough questioning about this issue, she’s only participated in friendly profile pieces.

    It will be interesting to see whether questions are asked in parliament. That would be fun.

    Her lover was hanging around Julia’s house, while it was being renovated. He was sloshing with money illegally obtained from a fund Julia set up! Hilarious.

  31. The desperation of the “rightoids”, led by barrackers like ToM, is becoming more and more palpable as they become more and more desperate to destroy the Gillard government.

    They must be extremely worried about what happens after even more legislation is successfully passed through the parliament to the advantage of Australians in general.

    Maybe they’re worried that the sheeple that have been hoodwinked by the Abbott crusade will soon begin to see through the BS being spouted?

  32. Interesting that yomm is more interested in ancient history (17 years in the making) instead of looking at what one of our leading newspapers is doing to the journalistic code of ethics by re-printing smear campaigns and false allegations and pretending now that they are the victim

    The story is about our media yomm, not the failed smear from moralistically bankrupt alcoholics

  33. Her lover was hanging around Julia’s house, while it was being renovated. He was sloshing with money illegally obtained from a fund Julia set up!

    Interesting piece of slander there ToM – Would you be able to defend it if necessary?

  34. There is an urgent need to analyse the media’s systemic failures, not just because a democracy can only function when the media play their role ethically and truthfully, but also because misrepresentations, once published, have lasting cognitive consequences.

    Much research on how people update their memories shows that, well, it shows that people do not update their memories.

    If people are told that Joe Blogs is a suspect in a jewellery theft, then a subsequent retraction — “Joe is no longer a suspect” — will often remain ineffective. Although people will recall the correction, their behaviour in response to inference questions reveals continued reliance on the false initial information. People will still nominate Joe when asked whom the police should interview in connection with the theft.

    Misinformation sticks in people’s memories, even when they acknowledge a correction, and even when they earnestly seek to discard a memory they know to be false.

    http://theconversation.edu.au/selling-climate-uncertainty-misinformation-and-the-media-2638

    Pertinent to what has happened in the last couple of days at the oo I reckon

  35. What’s slanderous?

    I think that’s all on the record.

    He stole enough for his pocket money to be described as sloshing.

  36. I’m going to do something plainly ridiculous here..I’m going to play music. I have often said that I can’t sing for toffees, but here is one that I can sing as it doesn’t have a huge range.

  37. Very thin ice with the defamation laws there too ToM… There’s what’s on the record and then there’s the inference you’re obviously attempting to draw…

  38. Slander is all RWDB’s have…

    Bolt Some of them are normally quite skilled (or well advised) at avoiding saying things directly Tom…

  39. I thought I’d pop in because Pip said I was telling fibs, but offered no explanation.
    ——————————-
    Min, I’ve not told CU to think anything. I only object to the stupid, personal question repeated every time we have any exchange.

    I don’t reflect on CU’s personal life in the same manner, only on the quality of their contribution. You should chide CU for all the repetitive personal commentary.
    …………
    There is no thin ice. I’ve not made any comment that isn’t factual. But barrackers hate inconvenient facts.

    Particularly when they concern Julia.

  40. TomM, because something is on the record, does not mean that you can repeat it if it is not true. That is slander or libel.

    Why do you think the Australian withdrew Milne article and apologise to the PM

    Do you think they did so because the PM asked them too.

    No, they withdrew it because they do not want to be sued,

    Bolt is in the same position and he does not like it.

    You, as I said, are running close to the wind. You could end up in trouble. .

  41. Ok ToM, exactly what is the Prime Minister’s crime. Hearsay, innuendo and hot juicy gossip not permitted.

  42. barrackers hate inconvenient facts.

    How do you come to that conclusion? Nobody here has denied any facts – just your attempted inferences drawn from them… Fibs come in many forms, and I suspect you’re an accomplished master. Keep trying ToM. The RWDBs are looking a little lame atm…

  43. I’ve no said Julia has committed any crime. Quite the contrary.

    She’s showed some very poor judgement. Her claim to be “young & naive” when in fact she was in her 30s, a partner in a major law firm, a vigorous union advocate, a left wing activist… is crap.

    That was a stupid, disingenuous claim made only a few years ago. She cannot help being disingenuous.

  44. Yes, I expect questions to be asked in the cowards castle. It will not be fun. It will be a lowering of parliamentary standards.

    I will bet you none of the brave MP’s will say anything outside the cowards castle. They have not the guts.

    How Mr. Abbott is going to do that and fight the carbon pricing legislation which is due to be introduced..

    I do know, can only do one thing at a time.

    I hope Mr. Abbott keeps the stupidity up. What will occur, is what has happen for the last year. Mr. Abbott performs his stunts, while the PM gets on with the business of parliament and getting her bills through.

  45. ToM, so Julia when she was in her 30’s committed no crime other than her poor choice of a bloke. I can relate to this 🙄

  46. TomM, don’t you think if the PM had done anything wrong, after up to 20 years, enemies in the union movement or the Coalition would have got her.

    This is a smear operation and nothing more.

  47. TomM, you prove to me that you have not bash your wife.

    I will believe that the PM can prove she innocence of what you are charging her with.

    Yes, I have repeated it again because you have not fave me an answer.

    Do you realise if the PM does decide to sue, she does not have to prove her innocence. The Australian will have to prove what they say is true.

  48. Min, I am sorry if I upset you but I have only asked TomM a question.

    I am only asking him to do what he is demanding of the PM and Mr. Thomson.

  49. TomM, you believe you have the right to defame someone because they are Labor. TomM. what is good for the goose, is good enough for the gander.

    It does not feel good to be put on the spot, does it.

  50. Min, CU is being personal and offensive again.

    Please tell her off.
    ———–
    CU, I’ve only posted facts, which you don’t like.

    You on the other hand, just make stuff up as a distraction.

    Your commentary is quite shameful.

  51. TomM, you do not need Min to tell me off.

    You do well enough yourself.

    You are offensive without realising it.

    It is not manly to call on a lady to defend you.

  52. CU, nope I’m not upset and I cannot see where I’ve stated that I was or am. When I’m p’d off I do just that..

  53. TomM, I have not made stuff up.

    I only disagree with you.

    In this case, I disagree passionately.

    I am allow to do that, am I not.

  54. ToM, stop being a pain in the derrier. I’ve known you for how long..4 years. So stop teasing..I know you, you’re laughing while you wrote that.

  55. CU, no don’t worry about ToMM he’s just after some HOT SEX and was told that this is the place to come to.

  56. 4 years! and now most agree that my comments about the unsavoury union affiliation with the ALP were right.

    No, I’m not after that! I’ve got the exotic dancers ensconsed, so I’ll be busy for the remander of the evening.

    Good night

  57. Must be time for a nightcap Min – a Mateus for you? I could go a WT & ice seeing as TB hasn’t been around these parts much lately to turn over the stock 🙂

  58. I agree with you at last TomM. The political arm of Labor ahould separate from the industrial arm.

    I suspect that we have different reasons for the separation.

    I have had this belief since the 1980’s.

    We are the only country that I know that combine the two.

    I believe both would be stronger if this come about.

  59. yomm still thinks that Julia Gillard’s alleged lack of judgement in her personal life 17 years ago is somehow a bigger issue than a national broadsheet printing slanderous lies about the Prime Minister of the country in the present.

    I think that there highlights just how ‘partisan’ he is or isn’t. And also, where his morals truly reside

  60. And the Blot has gone on the attack by claiming the “victim” tag. He even goes so far as to thank his employers by standing up for free speech.
    He extends the “victim” tag to News Ltd accusing the PM of forcing News Ltd to overreact. So according to Blot the apology was only an overreaction.
    So the victim thanked his employers, the same employers who value free speech, for allowing him to write his piece.
    Plenty of victims in News Ltd no doubt Blot has pulled the heart strings.

  61. So in the lead up to the commercial news shows on TV this morning I hear a promo that emphasis “a former PM gives Julia Gillard a spray”. So I wonder who this form PM is and note they yet again don’t refer to Gillard as the PM but do address a former PM with respect.

    Turns out the former PM is Howard, and yet again he’s trying to rewrite history.

    What stood out for me was his statement that he remembers politics being just as brutal in 1975. I don’t think he realised the implication of what he had stated.

    It means if what he says is true and politics was as brutal in 1975 as it is now, then from 1976 until now it has been mostly civilised and it has taken Abbott to regress politics in this country and brutalise it.

    What Howard didn’t realise was what he was attempting to portrpositive positve, that is the return of brutal politics, is really a negative and that we as a nation had more than three and half decades ago moved away from that type of nasty and unproductive politics. It also proved something we had been saying about Howard’s reign for a long time in that he had a very easy run through more than a decade and was given the kid glove treatment, something he still gets to this day. He is the only one of the CoW that is not being made to account for his decision using lies and deceits to illegally invade Iraq.

  62. portrpositive?

    That’s a first for WordPress. I did not type that when compiling the post and had checked the post before submitting it and that wasn’t there. After a computer rebuild I am temporarily using IE instead of my favourite Firefox and I wonder if that was an IE glitch. Anyway that should be “portray as positive”.

  63. So where’s Bolt’s witness with stat dec?

    Not that proof is any bother for TomM, except if it’s allegations against the Liberals then you have to have iron clad evidence from dozens of witnesses, video footage, voice recordings, original documents and confessions. Even then being the one eyed barracker he is it would not be enough to condemn the Liberals, he would make excuses for them or do his usual, “quick look over there at Labor”.

  64. Yes, bolt is avoiding all reference to the false allegations, and trying to make it look like the PM is trying to ‘stifle dissent’

    In fact, all she is doing is saving the oo from an expensive lawsuit. It is what can happen when you MSU 😉

    I wonder what dolts opinions are in regards to free speech when reminded of Grog and the journo who the oo’s editor was going to sue for tweeting what was said?

  65. Tom R may this be the reason Bolt the victim and Hartigan the victim of a Petulant PM are on this current attack.

    “The Gillard government has a fortnight to decide whether to hold an inquiry into the regulation and ownership of the media after the Greens leader Bob Brown gave notice last week he would seek to establish one.

    Senator Brown’s motion on Thursday went unnoticed amid the furore over allegations against the Labor backbencher Craig Thomson, but a decision will now be made against the backdrop of a bitter dispute between the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and News Ltd over false claims in a column published in The Australian newspaper on Monday.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/pm-to-make-call-on-media-inquiry-amid-news-dispute-20110830-1jk87.html#ixzz1WYVT1CcX

    Yesterday the Prime Minister used the terms ethics and standards, so will we now hear all the shock jocks and the murdoch “. In this way the media may bring about an inquiry all by its own, as more politicians, like their counterparts in the UK, decide the media has had too much power and influence.

  66. left out the bit

    all the shock jocks and the murdoch press call on the public to revolt against the government for stopping “fee speech”

  67. Pip, you sometimes wonder if the oo caved in as easily as they did so that if the PM does go ahead with the enquiry, they can try and claim it is in retribution for this epsiode.

    I would argue that they should in retribution for hundreds of articles 😉

  68. Gee I am good today not fee but free, so last para again.

    Yesterday the Prime Minister used the terms ethics and standards, so will we now hear all the shock jocks and the murdoch press call on the public to revolt against the government for stopping “free speech”. In this way the media may bring about an inquiry all by its own, as more politicians, like their counterparts in the UK, decide the media has had too much power and influence.

    Still when it comes to the Milne article the Free speech may become Fee speech if the PM sues. To be given an assurance that a defamatory article is not going to run and then have it appear in one of the News Ltd group papers may boost the damages. Add to this that the blot reckons the australian was bullied into pulling the story and apologising, oh well may have interesting times ahead.

  69. Okay Tom R, as you can see I am really with it today as well. time for me to go for now have a good day.

  70. Stephen Mayne gives an account of the latest smear campaign against the PM.

    Past comments about AWU embezzlement
    http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2011/08/29-1202-7942.html

    August 30, 2011
    In light of News Ltd pulling and apologising for Glenn’s Milne’s column, this package tracks what The Australian, Glenn Milne and Julia Gillard have said about the embezzlement of AWU funds by the PM’s former partner Bruce Wilson.

    Today Andrew Dolt is back and it’s all about the PM’s poor judgement in her choice of partner !

    No link from me, why give him another online click.

  71. No, the allegations of poor judgement is just s smokescreen for the real allegations that they are making.

    The insinuation is that she benefit from the stolen money. That is more than an allegation of poor judgement.

    Why do the right hate the left so intensively. They hate the politics, they hate the people. They hate the politicians.

    The right is quick to call for violence. They are quick to defame and denigrate.

    Th truth is that we are only talking about different ways of looking at things. Most want the same for the country.

    Labor has shown over decades that it is willing to take the hard steps to keep this country strong. Steps that at the time was in conflict with it’s ideology base. The dislike of Mr. Keating by many Labor supporters that felt he had ignored Labor beliefs. Time has proven he did what was needed.

    Both parties at the end of the day do what is needed. If they overstep the mark, the voters correct the mistakes by voting the Opposition into power, as they did when Mr. Howard went too far with WorkChoices.

  72. Min thanks for the AFR link. After reading the Laura Tingle report I phoned my locally based ALP Senator to offer support for a media inquiry.

  73. CU the conservative voters hate the Labor Party because they believe that only people of “quality” matter in our society. If you are poor or disadvantaged it is your fault and you should try harder.
    What I don’t understand is when the poor and disadvantaged support the conservative side of politics, a group of people who wouldn’t give them the time of day.

  74. TomR, I wonder what dolts opinions are in regards to free speech when reminded of Grog and the journo who the oo’s editor was going to sue for tweeting what was said?

    That has backfired beautifully as Grogs Gamut/Greg Jericho now has a much higher profile. 😀

  75. Tim Dunlop highlights perfectly the ‘hipocrisy’ of hartigan and his paper

    To understand how stupid Hartigan’s claim is, you only have to look to how key people at News Ltd reacted in regard to another matter of defamation.

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2864816.html

    Unfortunately, this story has been hidden by Labors ineptness with their lawyers, but I still hope htey do continue on hte path they started down

  76. Tom R,
    the following piece in that article spelled it out perfectly regarding the hypocrisy of Mr. Hartigan.
    Murdoch’s arrogance and grandiosity has rubbed off on his editors !

    To understand how stupid Hartigan’s claim is, you only have to look to how key people at News Ltd reacted in regard to another matter of defamation.

    That case involved the editor of The Australian, Chris Mitchell, and journalism academic, Julie Posetti. Posetti had tweeted a conference speech by journalist Asa Wahlquist who used to work for The Australian. Mitchell claimed the tweeted information was wrong and announced that he would sue Posetti.

    Mitchell’s lawyers sent Posetti a letter seeking redress. It included the following comments:

    It is apparent that Ms Wahlquist did make some of the statements whilst at the conference.

    In any event, your election to publish the material in the form of Tweets without seeking to verify the material with our client has led to you being liable for those publications.

    Yes, that’s right. One of the things that concerned the editor of The Australian was that Posetti didn’t contact him for verification. And that was in regard to the live tweeting of a conference speech!

    And yet we now have John Hartigan claiming that one of News Ltd’s most senior journalists wasn’t really obliged to contact the PM about his now-discredited claims because it is “a widely understood and accepted practice in journalism” that “comment is rarely if ever sought in relation to opinion pieces”.

    Talk about double standards.

  77. Further to the hipocrisy. I will just copy this comment in its entirety

    Mark James :

    31 Aug 2011 8:38:41pm

    Of course, Bolt and News Limited will frame this as an attack on free-speech. The Murdoch press simply loves free-speech, especially when the Murdoch press is freely doing the lying, the vilifying and the misrepresenting.

    However, the Murdoch doesn’t much care for free-speech when those speaking freely pose a challenge to its own vested interests.

    So, an editorial in The Australian in March 2009 freely demanded Julia Gillard “should follow her boss’s lead last year and shut up.” http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25123773-16741,00.html

    Another editorial in The Australian (June 10, 2009) freely told Bob Brown “put up and shut up”.

    “Eccentrics and extremist” (The Australian’s term for those advocating action to mitigate climate change) were freely told to “shut up” in another editorial on January 4, 2010. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/earth-mother-has-no-answer/story-e6frg71x-1225981254183

    And then, of course, if shouting critics down or outing them doesn’t do the trick, the Murdoch press will freely use courts and legislation to silence critics and kill damaging information.

    2009. An injunction against the OPI to prevent a report being made public about the investigation of a leak to The Australian about a raid on terror suspects.

    2010. The Australian’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell’s threat to sue Julie Posetti for defamation.

    2011. The threats of legal action against Melbourne Storm fan, Ron Gauci.

    So, as the Murdoch press continues its character-assault on those who would prefer the mainstream media to report honestly and in accordance with journalistic standards and ethics, let us remember that this champion of free speech is, in fact, the silencer par excellence.

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2864078.html

    They obviously don’t have mirrors at the oo

  78. Tom R, ltd news owns 70% of the Australian media, 99% of which has been ranged against the Labor governments, and the Unions for a long time.
    When they are criticised for that they ignore facts, as shown above, and resort to outright lies to protect themselves.
    A lot like young James and the old foreigner in the UK really.

  79. Tom R, there was also the ‘outing’ of Grogs Gamut for no logical reason; the problem for them now is that GG/Greg Jericho has a much higher profile, and his forensic analysis of the news, which is distorted by ltd news, is very enlightening and welcome.

  80. CU, I wonder if Mr Hartigan would consider it pedantic to complain if there was a similar smear campaign being conducted against him? I bet he’d squeal like a pig. Dingbats can dish it out but they can’t take it. You only have to listen to the high pitched squealing from Dolt and Anal if they cop a bit of their own medicine!

    High time for an enquiry into Ltd News in this country. Considering the orders for the despicable conduct of employees of the Evil Empire came from the Emperor and his spawn. And the PM should sue the @rse off Ltd news into the bargain.

    Speaking of dingbats and hypocrisy, I wonder if they’ve got any comments on the rapist Sir Liealot? He was accused of sexual assault. It’s on the record, after all. Of course he denied it, but he’s such a liar, you can’t possibly believe anything he says.

    No smoke without fire! I wonder how many other women he’s assaulted? Of course no evidence is required; gossip, innuendo and distortion is all that’s needed.

    ……barrackers hate inconvenient facts.

    Well if you ever actually provided anything but lies, gossip, innuendo and distortions, ToM, we could stop pointing and laughing and treat you seriously. Quoting chunks of Dolt, Anal, Ltd News and Sir Liealot is hardly likely to be regarded as truthful by anyone with even a single functioning brain cell.

    Is Julia a good judge of character?

    Rumour has it she thinks you’re a w@nker, so I’d say she’s a very good judge of character.

    “a former PM gives Julia Gillard a spray”

    Sprayed by the Rodent, ME? Hide of a rhinoceros. Does he think we’ve forgotten his abysmal record. Perhaps he needs to be reminded.

    Pip, Dolt’s idea of free speech is slandering and defaming people and squealing like a stuck pig if he’s challenged. He and Anal are very good at bullying, but if they’re challenged go crying for mummy.

  81. “comment is rarely if ever sought in relation to opinion pieces. This is a widely understood and accepted practice in journalism.”

    Hartigan on editorial practice.

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