What do you think about Laurie’s decision to tell all on Cheryl and Gareth? Here are the Crikey readers who think Laurie did the wrong thing to blow the lid on the affair.

A for acidic

U for unfair

R for resentful

I for insincere

E for egotistical

O for old

A for anachronistic

K for knifing

E for empty

S for salacious

Unfortunately I couldn’t incorporate nasty, bitter, mean, bullying, hypocritical, double standards, weak, malicious and malevolent. I’d previously had respect for this man. How many others are now going to get on the bandwagon?

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What I would like to know about is why we were not told about this so-called sordid affair earlier by the so-called ace journalists of the time, Oakes and his mob? Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got no love for Kernot and in fact consider here a traitor to the Dems whom I do not vote for, but the smelly bit about the whole affair is this:

‘If the affair had been going on between two Liberal politicians, Oakes would have been right there on Packer’s press every day until the Liberal party had suffered so much damage they would have lost government. I watch Question time almost every day and I listen to lots of talk back but little or nothing was mentioned about this affair.

Reason: because it would have damaged the Labor party. This puts Oakes and his mob at the top of the list of sanctimonious hypocrites, who’d have the cheek to walk into a brothel, with a bible in one hand and their appendage in the other.

What sickens me about the whole business and media like the ABC and journalists like Oakes is that they are not forced to make their political allegiances known before they make political comment. I mean, the dogs are barking about bias in the ABC which is our public broadcaster, and where there’s smoke there’s fire, but you won’t get any of their commentators to state who they vote for.

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Laurie Oakes is a dirty old man.

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Laurie the Hutt’s deplorable revelations concerning Ms Kernot and Mr Evans have outraged many who believe such personal matters ought remain private. This is yet another example of small men in the media seeking to destroy any woman who dares to pursue a high profile public career.

But as it would seem that it is now open season on the private lives of parliamentarians, let us consider another long-standing “open secret”, this time concerning a member from the other side of the House.

[CRIKEY: Goes on to peddle another Canberra rumour which we won’t publish here.]

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I think Laurie Oaks is an unmitigated bastard! I’ll buy Cheryl’s book even if I hadn’t intended to before!

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I used to have a lot of respect for Oakes. His interviews and political assessments were usually fair and of substance. I am no Kernot fan, but his actions on this story have been disgusting and what you would expect from Mike Munro. Maybe Laurie is getting tired and is eyeing off the ACA chair, because he has certainly just finished his career as a credible political journo.


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Laurie Oakes is a cad and a bounder. To give poor Cheryl a serve like this at this stage of her life is nastiness and bitchiness personified. He would make a great replacement for Ros Reines.

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I never liked Kernot (overrated, dishonest, whinger etc) but this exposure of the affair is a disgrace. The affair cannot credibly be justified as an issue of public interest.

Is it now incumbent upon Crikey and The Bulletin to be even handed and detail the rest of the ‘muck’ about what their journalists know about the affairs of politicians? Isn’t an affair a Cabinet Minister may be having much more relevant to the public interest than Kernot’s?

I heard Margo Kingston blabbing on tonight about the real ‘villain’ being Evans then she said it was Crean! Well in all this the enduring villain may be Oakes because his legacy may be taking Australian politics further down the tabloid gutter.

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I think it appalling that this ratbag should use his media power to settle old scores.

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Hell has no fury as a media identity scorned…

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Dear Crikey

I have no problem with you revealing what the “big secret” was once Oakes had written his Bulletin column.

However, Oakes was not doing his job in sitting on this information. When Evans told Parliament it wasn’t true, or when he got his “proof”, whichever came last, Oakes should have broken the story. A Minister lying to Parliament about ANYTHING is a story which is in the public interest (as distinct from what the public’s interested in).

To come out with it now is self-serving. I don’t read the Bulletin but I will reconsider watching Sunday from now on. I object to a journalist flexing his muscle in this way: he is there to report and arguably comment on events. If it was OK to reveal it now it should have been revealed then; if not OK then, it’s not OK now.

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Dear Steve

I agree with you – Laurie Oakes had no business running this story. There is no real public interest in what two retired politicians did or didn’t get up to. He hasn’t really linked the alleged affair to her defection and subsequent political demise. If anything, it’s sexist and disrespectful to all women that their private lives should see them painted as tarts while men are patted on the back for “getting some”. He seems to be saying that her ideological shift was prompted by the affair and that we should somehow link her sex life to everything else she does in life, which he does not ask of anyone else, certainly not male politicians.

I have respected Laurie Oakes as credible and experienced journalist for many years – and if he said it then you could believe it to be true. But by displaying this remarkable act of pettiness (if only the result of his actions were petty!) in response to some rather soft personal criticism he has done nothing but lower himself down to the level of the rest of the thin-skinned shock-jocks who like to give it but can’t take it.

I look forward to more news from Canberra’s new non-current affairs (sexual) reporter as he exposes the rest of the immoral goings-on – or will the pollies just avoid ticking him off now for fear of seeing their big secret revealed?

Look out for Laurie moonlighting for the National Enquirer!

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A man scorned????