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First jokes, now apologies: The Overington/Newhouse affair gets serious

What are we to make of this little apology on page two of The Australian today, in which Caroline Overington expresses sincere regrets for her “encounter” with Labor candidate for Wentworth, George Newhouse, on polling day?

It is, to put it mildly, a shift from The Oz’s previous stance on issues to do with the Overington/Newhouse encounters, including the extraordinary exchange of e-mails before election day.

Overington and her editor dismissed the first revelations about her e-mails as a joke. Now, it seems, the mood at The Australian has sobered and darkened. Overington is attempting to keep a low profile – and now this apology.

Nobody is talking about the behind the scenes negotiations that surely have taken place, but clearly the lawyers have been involved.

Overington herself says she is bound by a confidentiality agreement, and can say nothing in public about any of it. Chris Mitchell, editor in chief at The Australian, did not return calls asking for comment before Crikey’s deadline. The mobile of George Newhouse himself rings out, and he had not responded to text messages before deadline.

All quiet on the eastern suburban front?

4
  • 1
    George
    Posted Thursday, 6 December 2007 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    I say sacked. Then lashed, put in stocks so the public can throw rotten fruit & vegetables, put in a witches chair & dunked, tied to a stake and burnt. But be reasonable. Show restraint. After that lets put it behind us & wish her all the all the best.

  • 2
    Andrew Ferrier
    Posted Monday, 10 December 2007 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Ms Overington forgot the golden rule of journalism- report the story, rather than being part of it. What is more interesting is the way the Australian is trying to bury the story. If this happened in the UK, Private Eye would have a field day.

  • 3
    fiona
    Posted Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Why is the Australian publishing an apology at all? Surely it’s between CO and Newhouse. They should have sacked her for her outrageously unprofessional behaviour and left it at that.

  • 4
    Libby
    Posted Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately they ignored my suggestion that she be sacked! This tiny ‘apology’ certainly does not suffice. Thank you Crikey for the opportunity to say again … SACK HER !!! ..the only satisfactory outcome. Find some intestinal fortitude Oz

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