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Crikey says: smear or story? Probably neither

Should you care about Julia Gillard and the Slater & Gordon saga? Read our cheat sheet (and Mark Latham’s take) and decide for yourself. Why you should stop picking on Andrea Yu. Film and TV production has entered a new golden age. And how games are making it big via their consoles.

Tens of thousands of words in dozens of articles; some very good journalism and some stories incomprehensible to casual readers. Somehow we’re expected to believe, according to the blood-thirsty conservative commentariat, Julia Gillard acted so badly as a Slater & Gordon lawyer some two decades ago that her role as Prime Minister of Australia in 2012 should be in question.

And you’re only allowed to be in two camps: that Gillard has “serious questions to answer”, as the opposition has been baying, or you’re an apologist for the PM and her government.

We’re not either. Mostly, we’re just confused.

So we went back. We read it all from the start. Every word in every article. What are the genuinely new revelations that have emerged since The Australian began covering the story in July? And should voters care about any of them?

(You owe us. Big time.)

Read Matthew Knott’s forensic breakdown in Crikey today and make up your own mind. But the conclusion seems fairly obvious to us. Gillard was naive, perhaps even incompetent, in her dealings with her then-boyfriend and other union heavies while working on accounts at the firm. But she didn’t commit corruption or embezzlement. She didn’t break any laws. She didn’t knowingly gain from any transaction. She didn’t lie about anything. She has adequately answered every legitimate claim.

Perhaps a smoking gun is still out there. We doubt it. And until someone finds one, it’s time to move on.

Because now, some four months after the political agenda was sidetracked by his saga, the government’s enemies are no closer to throwing them out. The end result might reflect much more poorly on those so desperate to keep it alive than it does the Prime Minister.

5
  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 16 November 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    It’s line ball for me, I’m apathetic : Limited News is just pathetic.

    She was a young woman - probably flattered by all the attention - what did she do that others didn’t to some greater or lesser degree - but that was 20 years ago.

    Would these op-ed hacks, leading this feeding frenzy, like to be hung by their indiscretions at that age, or have the politician’s they’re sponsoring done over the same? But where is that going to happen - considering the proportion of that perception market they control?

  • 2
    Posted Friday, 16 November 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I thank Crikey very much for this. Even for me, a political tragic, the Australian’s campaign has been way too much this person and that statement changed 20 years later, and too little (none, actually) specific allegation. So now I just skip it all the other media and wait for Crikey to draw my attention to anything that may be important.

  • 3
    AR
    Posted Friday, 16 November 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    The PM put it well to Polonius of the Press Gallery (always wrong, ever the windbag - utterly empty)when he intoned “there are questions to answers..”,”what questions?”
    And answer came there none; not then, not since and, on current form, not in the geologic future.

  • 4
    Posted Friday, 16 November 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, Murdock’s hacks complain bitterly about anyone who whispers the slightest word against their boy. Whilst carrying on with this farce. And people still mistake the Oz for a news source.

  • 5
    Posted Monday, 19 November 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Boring, the whole thing smacks of desperation. Boring.

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