tip off

The minister, the gay sauna and the Seven reporter

The Channel Seven newsroom has split this morning over the ethics of state political reporter Adam Walters’ icky scoop exposing transport minister David Campbell’s “double life” as a bisexual man.

Campbell, whose wife is battling cancer, resigned immediately after Walters informed the government that Seven was running with the story last night. Apparently acting on a tip-off, Walters and producer Steve Barrett had tailed Campbell to the salubrious gay sauna Ken’s of Kensington on Tuesday, using a concealed camera to snag footage of him exiting the premises.

On Wednesday, Seven led its news with a Freedom of Information scoop on the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) report into the hold-up, but absent from the report was any reference to Campbell’s whereabouts. The minister’s private life had been an open secret in state government and media circles for years. So why did Walters decide to pull the trigger now?

On April 20 in state parliament, Campbell was repeatedly questioned by shadow roads minister Andrew Stoner over his movements on April 12 — specifically what he was doing between 11:40am, when the F3 truck smash occurred, and when the RTA’s ‘contra-flow system’ was finally activated later that evening.

Campbell joked and ducked the question: “As I’ve said, I have absolute confidence in the work that I was doing that day.”

A follow-up inquiry by former police commissioner Ken Moroney is likely to shed more light into the minister’s movements. But speculation is now swirling that Walters will reprise his yarn tonight, claiming Campbell may have been at Ken’s while 20,000 motorists sweated in their cars south of Gosford.

In a brief press conference held as Crikey went to press, Campbell said that while his decision to frequent Ken’s had hurt his family, there had been no impact on his professional life in parliament. On the night of the F3 debacle, Campbell said he was at his ministerial offices and his apartment in Potts Point, from where he conducted several media interviews. His office would release a statement with phone records proving his location later this afternoon.

In 2008, Walters famously endured a “short but bruising” stint as the state government’s most senior spin doctor in former premier Morris Iemma’s ‘strategy unit’, where his tryst with Reba Meagher began.

Walters later told the Daily Telegraph, which he would join months later as a staff reporter, that Iemma’s office was “a circus full of clowns” and that he was planning his departure from his first day in the job. The  ill-will began after his planned appointment as Iemma’s communication director was nixed when incumbent Glen Byers announced he would be staying on.

There is also a factional dimension. Walters lost his job in September 2008 after the strategy unit was disbanded under Iemma’s successor Nathan Rees. At the time, Campbell was part of a group of ministers, including Meagher, that had moved against Iemma. While his girlfriend stayed on, the former premier’s treachery had left Walters without a gig.

David Koch picked up on this obvious conflict this morning, producing this amazing exchange on Seven’s Sunrise:

Koch: “Yeah, Adam, he [Campbell] has led a double life. Let me play devil’s advocate here: yes, he should apologise to his family, there’s no doubt about that. But is it a hanging offence? People make mistakes … to be polite you were involved in a similar situation when you worked at state parliament …”

Walters: “Very briefly.”

Koch: “… with a minister and things like that. Private things happened. So, should they have to resign? Yes they’ve got a lot of explaining to do to their family, but shouldn’t it be left at that?”

Walters, who is paid $250,000 a year by Seven, has also been accused of attempting to protect his journalistic integrity by cloaking the headline-grabbing same-sex elements of the story in a sub-plot over Campbell’s use of a “ministerial vehicle”. But as premier Kristina Keneally remarked this morning, ministers routinely use their ministerial vehicles for private tasks, including picking up the kids from school.

  • 1
    John L
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Shame on the Media and paparazzi. Poor Mr C and his wife.

  • 2
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I have big problems with a minister who can lead such a duplicitous life. Be gay if you like but to be gay and be married with children is something entirely different.
    If Campbell can be so thoughtless or indifferent as to hurt and embarrass his wife and adult children like this he is not fit for public office. My reasoning is that if you do that to people that you love (or at least should love) what would you do to people that you don’t.
    Walters might have done this for not so noble reasons and I also hope there is a place in Hell reserved for such people but again unsaid through this is the fact that his homosexual behaviour was well known amongst the press. The fact that he was outed supposedly for inappropriate use of his car as opposed to being outed for the fact that he was pretending to be a family man speaks volumes.
    Are lying politicians who are homosexual protected by a conspiracy within the media? Given the circumstances here it would appear that they are, and that is contemptible because a persons sexual orientation should not have any bearing at all upon what the pubic is told. But it does obviously.

  • 3
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    It’s sleazy journalism more than sleazy behaviour.

  • 4
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    2bob, you are really 2 bob short of a quid mate. Who cares if the man is bisexual? I don’t.

  • 5
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    So much for miss using ministerial cars it is alleged that while Adam Walter’s was dating Reba Meagher, Ms Meagher’s driver was forced to spend the night sleeping in the garage of Governor Macquarie Tower after she forgot to tell him she was taking a cab home - with Mr Walters - after an evening at the Ivy bar. So much for double standards !!! Brisbane Time 6 September 2009

  • 6
    Michael Wilbur-Ham
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I think that a politician’s private life should remain private unless it conflicts with his political stance and actions.

    So the outing of Campbell is wrong.

    Under the Rudd government, fetish porn is refused classification. Even something as mild as spanking is banned.

    Thus, any Rudd minister who engages in any fetish activity has a conflict between their political stance and their private life, and this brings their private life legitimately into the public area.

    I look forward to the media outing any politician who supports fetish being banned but engages in any such activity :=)

  • 7
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Twobob, neither you nor I know anything about the details of Campbell’s relationship with his wife. Why do you feel so free to comment and judge?

    johnfromplanetearth you are absolutely right.

  • 8
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Why are we calling David Campbell, bisexual, only Mr Campbell can say what his sexuality is and who cares. He might just be a straight man who likes to have sex with men.

  • 9
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Two BOB:
    Are you for real, or having 2 bob each way?

  • 10
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Koch flogged Walters with a wet lettuce leaf.

    Any politician, especially a minister, who engages in covert and potentially scandalous activity of any sort is ripe for blackmail or corrupt manipulation of one sort or another and the media is correct to tell the public about it.

  • 11
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    A Witchhunt.

    For anyone who ever went to a brothel, a gay venue, or slept with someone they shouldn’t have.

    Channel 7 has really stooped to new lows. All from a journalist who sleeps with ministers he reports on, and a news director who is a serial drunk driver.

  • 12
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t members of the public just take a leaf out of the Channel 7 book and start stalking who we want to for whatever reason?

    Let’s start with the owner of the network - Kerry Stokes - after all he is nominally a public figure, and a more important one than the hapless David Campbell. Do we think maybe Kerry has anything to be concerned about? Don’t know but I bet he would hate to let anyone with a camera try to find out!

    After that we can move on to the other executives. Seriously, if this started to happen, the gutter trawling on the commercial channels would either soon stop, or alternatively all of us would be trapped forever in some kind of awful, Orwellian reality TV show where the only question was when, not if, we would be publicly humiliated.

    What a crap world we are creating for ourselves.

  • 13
    peter gower
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    after reading all that, I think I need a cigarette …hahaha comedy gold

  • 14
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Ch 7 scumbags, hope they enjoyed, hurting this blokes family.

    I thnk this will impact on 7 as much as Campbell, a lot of people are disgusted in their behaviour.

  • 15
    Peter Wotton
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    The really disgusting factor in this, is the way his private life has been slathered all over the media over something which has no bearing on the way he has carried out his public duties as a minister. You could say he deserves to go because he had been a failure as Transport Minister ( ie F3 closure etc) but Transport has been a poisoned chalice in NSW for a long time.

    Was the “reporter ” who discovered this event the same person who was “enjoying” Minister Reba Meagher’s company while her government driver was left sleeping over night in her government car. But I suppose that does not matter when you grub through other people’s lives.

  • 16
    Gary Johnson
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink


    ((((Are lying politicians who are homosexual protected by a conspiracy within the media?))))

    Like any other politician who got the skeletons in the closet they are protected UNTIL THEY STOP DANCING TO THE TUNE.

    His homosexuality probably had nothing to do with it other than the convenient pretext. If you dig deeper you will find his use by date was up or he suddenly developed a bout of single mindedness….something the BigEnd of town and their minions hate.

  • 17
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I agree with all the above except 2bob! Who set him up as the decider of peoples’ morals or otherwise. Why didn’t David Campbell feel comfortable to ‘come out’ before? As to the reference to family values? There are lots of different families - they include gays, straights, surrogate, etc - it’s just a nonsense. I’m not a fan of this govt or even David Campbell, but I think what this revolting person from ch7 did was shameful, at best! He has my sympathy and understanding! Kristina Keneally had no right to make the comment she did either - chastising him like a child?

  • 18
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    What a shame The Chaser isn’t about these days, I can just see Chas stalking Adam Walters; ruffling through his garbage at night, having an irate Walters calling the cops in his no doubt very butch jim jams….

  • 19
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    This whole thing trumps gutter journalism.

    It’s sewer journalism.

  • 20
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Lets not forget the Peter Meakin who ultimately handled this nearly killed 2 policeman as he tried to evade a RBT unit. They actually had to jump off the road and consequently he is a bonafide and proven criminal unlike David Campbell.

    What scum would surface if people started to delve into the lives of these moral crusaders. I challenge another news source to go out and get some juice on Meakin and Walters, just another couple of dirty crooks prowling Sydney looking for their own gratification. I doubt any reporters have the courage to report on real scumbags lest they put themselves on the line. Pathetic.

  • 21
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink


    @@@@@ neither you nor I know anything about the details of Campbell’s relationship with his wife. Why do you feel so free to comment and judge?@@@@@

    As an athiest you sure do impress me.

    As someone who sometimes has their head in the sky, I would rather spend an eternity with athiests like you, than spend one single moment with goody - two - shoe - hypocrite - religionists who judge without knowing either context or circumstances that effect peoples lives in what they do….and I am proudly heterosexual.

  • 22
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    @MIKE - Couldn’t agree more! Isn’t it heartening to read these messages, and I’ve also been listening to the ABC radio - the majority think the same as those here. Makes me feel that we have grown up!

    You know what else bugs me? Someone will speak of another person, and then say, ‘he/she is gay you know’? I could scream! They don’t do it re heterosexual people! ‘And that’s relevant because…..?’ is usually my response. I’m heterosexual too, what has that got to do with anything is another response!

  • 23
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Should we now do a little expose’ on this Walters guy ? Citizen journalists unite.

  • 24
    Michael Wilbur-Ham
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink


    A few of the above comments suggest to me that what is being said on commercial radio might be rather different than what was said on the ABC.

  • 25
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    @LIZ45 - you said: “I agree with all the above except 2bob! Who set him up as the decider of peoples’ morals or otherwise”.
    Yet when it was Troy Buswell in hot water over an affair you were very quick to be the “decider of peoples’ morals”:
    “What a grotty little man?(sorry fellas) he is!”
    “I defy anyone to support this grub, or feel sorry for him”


  • 26
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    JBJ - I was not referring to his affair when I called Troy Buswell a “grotty little man”? It was his ‘chair sniffing’ that disgusted me. He also admitted to not being honest about his revealing of spending tax payers dollars - no such accusations of any kind, either via his use of his car has been made against David Campbell. I’ve also not heard of him behaving in this disgusting manner to a female or male member of his govt.

    What’s not grotty about Buswell’s behaviour? You think ‘chair sniffing’ the seat of a female colleague OK do you, or snapping another woman’s bra strap OK too? - one action was grotty, the other was an assault? Then he lied!Says more about you than anything I might say!


  • 27
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    The point was you are a hypocrite.

  • 28
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I wondered why I don’t have the same reaction to this as I did to the allegations against the default SA State Premier Rann.

    Then I realised. Campbell admitted (whether sooner OR later) this. Rann has consistently denied any misdemeanor.

    Which of course could be the truth…………..

    Campbell and his family can now deal with this. And no one else.

    ( However IF Campbell was indulging himself in matters not relating to office on the day of the traffic snag-if?- ; then it did impact on his office).

  • 29
    Catherine Bannister
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    You know what I love about Australia? We have a gay sex scandal, and everyone knows the bad guy is the one who reported it! Imagine the sort of press he’d get in America. I’ve got to say, Kristina Keneally’s good too, asking for compassion. Hope she survives the election, whatever happens.

  • 30
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Campbell’s whereabouts during the F3 fiasco has yet to be revealed. His pathetic attempt to dodge that question in parliament has opened him up to the type of scrutiny that, as a highly paid minster, he rightly deserves.

  • 31
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    JBJ - My point was, that in my view, there’s no comparison to these instances. I was disgusted by Busell’s behaviour to women - he hasn’t done anything to make me change my mind. He agreed that his behaviour was grotty. Campbell’s situation is not even remotedly the same. You think I’m a hypocrite, OK - I don’t! You apparently also believe in being very selective in what section of my comment you quoted from - you know damn well what I was referring to. I don’t give a toss if he and a Greens person have an affair - he lied about govt monies etc. I still didn’t think he was a grot for that, but his earlier behaviour - he shouldn’t have been allowed back on the front bench. Just goes to show what the Premier’s attitude to women is too! And yours?

    ELAN - Phone records have apparently shown, that Campbell was either at work or at his apartment in Sydney ringing media outlets and RTA people about the accident that day - he was not ‘out on the town’?

  • 32
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    From the SMH: “The one page of phone records show that between 5.51pm and 6.33pm Mr Campbell was at his ministerial office in Farrer Place, in central Sydney.
    Calls were then made between 6.41 and 10.14 from his Potts Point apartment in Sydney’s east.”

    This answers nothing.

    The crash occurred at 11.40am and traffic was snarled for the next 8 hours. What we want to know is where Campbell was for 6 of those 8 hours between 11.40am and 5.51 pm.

  • 33
    Stevo the Working Twistie
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    It’s a sad commentary on the state of our society that we had to wait for a gay sex scandal to get rid of the guy. Why couldn’t we just get rid of him because he is a muppet? Where he was during the Great Traffic Jam of 2010 is not even the issue. If the processes had been set up properly it wouldn’t have mattered if Campbell was getting a Back, Crack & Sack on Oxford Street at the time.

  • 34
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    They’ll all muppets, notice lately how no politician state or federal is worth a pinch of goat sh*t ?

  • 35
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    ^ Yep, plenty of people wanted to know why “I have absolute confidence in the work that I was doing that day” Campbell wasn’t called to account for not being front and centre on that day.

    The sad fact is that the dregs of NSW Labor are so deficient of talent that Keneally (with the appropriate permission of her puppet masters) couldn’t have sacked Campbell even if she wanted to.

  • 36
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    It is grotesque that this David Campbell NSW politician was not forced to resign on his record-or lack thereof- as a state parliamentarian.

    The media vultures had to attack a man, a man who was known to be bisexual, and accepted as such, a man with a wife who is desperately sick.

    His wife would have known him to be bisexual. So what was the big deal? By descending to gutter level, if one can find a gutter lower than the one inhabited by the gutter press, Adam Walters has now made sure Campbell’s children and friends all suffer in what appears to be a fit of malicious sluttiness.

    What is wrong with this country? We used to be bigger than this

    It’s the sort of thing which makes me wish I was a Christian, just so I could switch to Atheism in protest.

    If there was a God he would make sure Adam Walters gets leprosy.

  • 37
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Venise, we are still living in Howardsville I am afraid, it might take another decade to get out of it.

  • 38
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Channel 7 News tonight is throwing it back onto the Premier as a way of justifying the way they have handled the story. Several times they threw to her statement of ‘appalling’.

    The other line they are heavily promoting is that his sex life left him open to corruption and that is also a reason to break the story the way they did.

    You see Channel 7 were protecting the good citizens of NSW.

    Sorry 7 you really have lost me as a viewer of what you laughingly describe as credible news.

  • 39
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    VENISE - Yes, it’s true about the NSW govt, and prior to that time, when David Campbell was Mayor of Wollongong! As a person living in an adjoining city, I’m certainly pretty angry with the NSW govt. But that doesn’t excuse this behaviour, and I can’t understand why some people can’t differentiate. Just because the govt is on the nose, and Campbell wasn’t a good minister doesn’t excuse the behaviour of the ch7 person - won’t call him a journalist!

    I’ve also read on another site, that Adam Walters has an issue with the fly on his own trousers?????

  • 40
    Michael Wilbur-Ham
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink


    This is not Howardsville. We have moved on.

    As well as banning gay marriage, abysmal treatment of asylum seekers, etc etc

    we have an attempt at banning all x-rated content on the web (which is now RC content - but who knows what might will be added next to the RC category), and we now have a customs service that enquires about carrying porn.

    This is not Howadsville, it is Ruddsville.

  • 41
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    All things Howard was espousing and the censorship of the web was based on Howard proposed policy.

    But a very poor “look over there, Rudd” MWH.

  • 42
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Michael Wilbur-Ham - Excuse me, but what does RC stand for? Restricted content? Roman Catholic? What exactly. I hate it when people ‘speak’ in initials, it’s rude! use the full words the first time, then abbreviate if you will.

    I don’t support Conroy’s actions - I don’t agree with censorship, but I do believe in parents supervising their kids while they’re on a computer or phone or??? I think there should be a govt education program, advising parents not to put personal computers in their kids bedrooms; or allow kids to use laptops away from any scrutiny/protection of their parents. It’s just dumb, and has proved to be tragic! Don’t put TV’s in there either. Encourage the kids to read instead or converse with family members or?

  • 43
    Michael Wilbur-Ham
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink


    Howard did the sensible solution of providing internet filters to parents. I don’t recall him going into the election proposing a mandatory internet filter.

    Rudd went to the last election promising an opt-in kid safe option. Once elected, this changed until at one stage they really wanted to ban all x-rated content, and do this during the current term.

    What is a particular worry is that this makes clear that those who support the internet filter want to go much further than just what is currently RC.

    It is also noteworthy that Conroy made the promise recently that the filter would remain just RC content. But he did this just after Rudd had back-flipped over many other issues, including action on climate change.

    But Conroy (and the Rudd government) are even more devious, because Conroy knows perfectly well that to get the filter to block more all that he needs to do is declare that content Refused Classification.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this sort of change is not something that needs approval by parliament.

    It seems that the influence of the religious right is more of a threat to our freedoms under Rudd than it was under Howard.

  • 44
    zut alors
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I suspect Walters has tipped the scales on the entire profession so that journalists are now rated as odious as real estate agents.

  • 45
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:31 pm | Permalink


    You are all correct, but MICHAEL WILBUR-HAM comes the closest-IMHO-when he says.

    This is not Howardsville, it is Ruddsville”.

    I tend to think it is both of them. It’s what happens when a populist type prime minister gets into power. As with many other countries Oz is undergoing a dramatic shift to the right. Also Kevin Rudd has got ‘religion’ and John Howard used the believers of ‘religion’ to appeal to the masses.

    As Basil Fawlty would have said. Cheough! Cheouf?

  • 46
    Michael Wilbur-Ham
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink


    Sorry, RC is the abbreviation of Refused Classification. As with most ratings (eg PG, M) it is usual not to spell this out (but I see the reason why I should have done so).

    Note that there are two types of RC. One is for content such as the movie Ken Park. This movie is RC, but in Victoria it is legal to own and to show in private. (It is illegal to sell, import, or show publicly.) So this RC content is sort of legal.

    The other type is things like kiddy porn which is illegal to have, and, rightly, having this can get you jailed.

    Conroy (and thus the Labor government) like to give people the impression that RC is just this illegal to own material.

    I actually did a quick evaluation of PC based internet filters when I worked at the Telstra Research Labs. NetNanny was next to useless, but there was one good product.

    The key to good parental supervision was that the good system had a log of activity. A parent who looked at this log would know what their kids were doing. (And if the filter had been bypassed this would show up as no activity.)

    It was unusual to get paid to search for porn and info on drugs. (I decided not to try to beat the filters looking for anything worse than this).

  • 47
    Michael Wilbur-Ham
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink


    In another thread today my comment that Rudd was right-wing was attacked.

    This is how I ended up defending my claim …

    The average tax as a percentage of GDP for OECD countries is 36%.

    Australia’s is at 30.5 %

    (Figures from Wikipedia - thus not definitive, but a good start).

    Even though Australia has a much lower tax rate than most OECD countries, Rudd went to the last election promising tax CUTS (as did Howard).

    Isn’t this a very simple way of showing that compared to the OECD countries, Rudd is right-wing?

  • 48
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    MICHAEL WILBUR-HAM: Absolutely correct. Under Rudd we have achieved the status of Oz-Taliban. This includes all the weird religious sects out there. ie Catholicism, all fundamentalist Christians, Scientology, is it the Ring of Fire-Steve Fielding’s mob? Seventh Day Adventists, Hill Song, the whatnot Brethren, and so on down the list.

    We have the Oz Taliban (the ultra-religious right-wing loonies) And the Muslim Taliban.

    Let’s hope it doesn’t lead to outright war. With Oz fundamentalism facing Muslim fundamentalism. What an obscene thought!

  • 49
    Jeremy Williams
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Its funny how all of these people, the premier etc assumed he lied to his wife. I used to live with a gay guy and plenty of his friends had pretend marriages that was understood by both parties. Sickening justification by Walters who made him god ?

  • 50
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Off the subject as it may be, this is the same “Ch 7” “giving” us what is probably the biggest AFL game of the year half an hour before midnight.