So what do you think of Crikey’s policy to disclose Cheryl and Gareth’s affair before Laurie Oakes had let the cat completely out of the bag? Here is the case against.


Only one of your correspondents and none of those I have seen in other publications have touched on the real point in this story.

Simply, what choice did Cheryl have? Two in fact, and only two. Human decency (remember that?) suggests that she could not under any circumstances destroy or harm Gareth’s family by ‘revealing all’ in the book.

Her only other choice was to never publish her memoirs, which hardly seems reasonable or good for the public. As you are aware, it is a well established convention that autobiographical (and biographical) publications exclude material which would be particularly hurtful or damaging to living people.

The main result of you and your mate Laurie’s (I didn’t think you were his mate till I heard your sycophantic descriptions of him on Media Report) self-important revelations is serious and gratuitous damage to a family and its individuals. The second major result is assisting in the process of decline of Australian journalistic practice towards a lowest common denominator that appalls in its possibilities. Thanks a lot.

There MAY have been a point to revealing the truth “in the public interest” at the time – but now that it is well past and of no further influence there is absolutely no excuse for it.

Your willingness to play Laurie Oake’s game is pretty despicable, especially when you agree that his real motivation was his own personal miffedness because Cheryl didn’t fete him the way he wanted to be feted. Now that really is a great reason to wreck a family, or risk that.

What are you saying? That any time anyone writes a book it is open slather to dump on whoever or whatever is or is not mentioned there? Why don’t you stop and think why it may not have been in the book in the first place. Not only or necessarily to save Cheryl’s own bacon, you thoughtless block-headed lunk!

Very disappointedly yours




Dear Stephen (for that’s your name)

Please cut my sub. I have just waded through a box full of your emails. Truly, no one cares if a friend of your friend saw Gareth Smooching Cheryl All those Years Ago.

(I am overseas in a place where internet time is not cheap (London it happens)). You were destined for better things than this pap. Liberalism: pshawww.

Please re-credit me my subscription.

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I don’t agree that anyone should’ve run the Kernot/Evans story – I prefer such junk to be left out of political discussion. But as you say, it’s out there.

But if Crikey has a role in this, I’d suggest it is to inform us of any relationship misdemeanours committed by Laurie Oakes. Surely his moral high ground defence of exposing Kernot and Evans has opened the door on his own behaviour?

If journos want to play these games, and if they want to claim they are doing it for reasons of moral integrity, then they should be fair game too. And who is in a better position to reveal all that Crikey?

So come on – what do you know about Laurie that we don’t?


What about Mrs Evans and Mr Kernot


I’d like to add my two cents worth to the current Kernot burning at the stake. I’d have to say that I’m pretty unimpressed by it all. Firstly with that slug Oakes who apparently is acting out of revenge at some perceived slight and secondly, with you guys by fanning the flames. Leaving the slug aside for the moment, what is it exactly that you hope to achieve with this? What is it about this woman that makes people react in this way? Do you think it is at all reasonable to publicly humiliate Mrs Evans and Mr Kernot, just so that you, as part of the conservative press, can “get some of your own back”? Is it because she defected to the Labor Party? Is it because Evans apparently lied in answering a question that had should never be asked in the first place? Is it because she is a left leaning personality, thus offending the so-called right wing head-kickers (who, by the way, would not last thirty seconds in a real blue)?

Let’s deal with Oakes. It is said, and I have no reason to doubt this because I read it on your website, that he demands that stories come to him. And that he was treated like a mere mortal way back when Mrs Kernot first defected. Do we really have to allow him to dictate what is released to the public? Can we assume that he will now “go public” on the Packer break-up, given that he wasn’t the first to know? Didn’t think so. Why can’t cowards like him, and people in your sphere of influence, start to dig a bit deeper on some of the real stories that have been lurking around for years like:

* The defection of the other slug, Colston. That one stunk to high heaven, with corruption written all over it. And what has been done by the conservative press? Nothing.

* The unending lies that the Howard Government has been responsible for over the years. Kids overboard, Colston (again), GST, Dubai, Mabo, Heffernan and on and on and on. No-one ever pursues him. He is, without a doubt, the most evil Prime Minister this country has ever had, and he is going to get away, scott free. At least until someone has the guts to dig just a little bit deeper. Under Fairfax, Packer and Murdoch? Not just yet, but one day.

But no. All you can do is persecute a woman who has done nothing other than be different. And, by assocation, persecute the people closest to her – those who have done absolutely nothing to deserve this. No doubt you, the conservative press, will just go on tapping that racist runt over the knuckles every now and then, but always taking time out to label unionists as “thugs” but ignoring the likes of Reith and Abbott and Ruddock and the rest of the racist garbage that form this government.

We deserve better from this government (we won’t get it) and better from you in bringing them to account – that’s up to you. You’re the one who gets all the mentions in Parliament


Subscriber with a bad case of the shits

You muckrakers and copyright breachers

Dear Stephen,

Hope the yoga helps. It seems a bit rich for you to whinge about Rehame et al, when you republish (presumably with no payment) stories that are the copyright of others (Laurie Oakes), which definitely bring you income (subscriptions) and publicity (potential income).

But I’m more amazed when you put a spin on them that wasn’t in the original copy. I didn’t read anywhere that Oakes actually WROTE that Cheryl and Gareth were having an affair — that’s your interpretation. How could he – or you – possibly know, beyond any shadow of a doubt? You couldn’t, period.

And if you’re planning on ruining a family (or two), that’s the kind of knowledge (aka proof!) I’d want before publishing.

If you suspect a personal interest, you’re right. I was the victim of just such a rumour – that I’d been having an affair, the result of which was that my wife left me and we’re now divorced. I was not having an affair, it was completely untrue. Sorry, but you can’t fix stuff like that with money or humble retractions.


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Crikey should sue Rehame

We’ve had this response from a reader to the first email:

I note with interest the first attack on the ‘CBS – Against’ page. This email is an answer to that anonymous correspondent.

Crikey’s use of Oakes’s writing could be constituted as “Fair Use”. It was only a fraction of the material, clearly quoted and sourced, and necessary for Crikey to explain what was happening.

Rehame, on the other hand, has archived Crikey and (this is the critical point), sold those archives on for money, without Crikey’s permission. Subtle technicality is the very soul of the law.

It is permissible to quote some sections of other work in a piece that will be sold, yes, and Crikey falls into this camp. However it is not good copyright mojo to sell material which was 100% someone else’s work without their permission. I am not a lawyer, but I’d say that Rehame had a case to answer here. Sue, baby, sue.

On the point of what Oakes said: I thought that Crikey made it very clear that Oakes did *not* reveal “The Secret”, which is why Crikey proceeded to do so. It’s easy to make those kinds of mistakes when you are holding your own thoughts in mind. I have done it often.

I agree that rumours can be extremely destructive, and I am truly sorry about your wife. If nothing else, I can understand why you are angry. I guess we both hope that the truth – and not shady rumour – will eventually be revealed, one way or the other.


Even Oakes looked embarrassed


Just saw Oakes on ACA. Even he looked embarrassed about what he was doing.

Incidentally, your explanation for disclosure was very weak. Do you seriously see it as your role to repeat every rumour in Parliament House about who’s rooting who?

Also, heard your Crullers on Late Night Live. Why must most Crikeysters feel the need to .. sneer? It is not becoming.

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Laurie Oakes is not “incensed at what he sees as the hypocrisy…”.

The Sphere was incensed from day one of Cheryl’s defection because he was left out of the loop. That’s why he, rather lamely, called her a “DemoRat” at the first press conference.

Oakes does a great imitation of what, in Mark Latham’s words, The Rodent does in America; Oakes performs that act on pollies who are kind enough to keep him informed. Kernot’s crime was to not tell Laurie before jumping ship. [CRIKEY: And to slam Laurie in the book, we hear.]

And as for his bringing up this rumour right now – he is just a grub. Laurie Oakes epitomises the press gallery condition of dealing in anything but substance.

Isn’t he at retiring age soon?

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I would not cancel my sub over this, but I strongly disapprove of Laurie Oakes raising the matter and you choosing to circulate it.

I am no fan of Cheryl Kernot (quite the contrary!) and if the rumours of her affair are true then I also do not approve of her behaviour in that regard. My personal standards would preclude such behaviour. But I do not presume to judge that everyone else should adopt those standards in their personal lives.

Whether I approve of her behaviour or not, I can see no justification for causing the inevitable pain to both her and Gareth Evans and their families in the name of “disclosure”. It can benefit no one, only cause harm and distress.

To claim, as Oakes has, that this disclosure is necessary for a full understanding of the events surrounding her political demise, while technically true, is sophistry at its worst. For you to claim that your credibility would be damaged if you failed to repeat the rumours is similarly specious.

I am disappointed and I hope you will think deeply about the consequences for people’s lives before repeating this type of action.

Best Regards,

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Two points not because they’re important but because I’m bored (and can’t count):

1) How do you know Laurie wasn’t talking about the other big secret?

2) “Cheryl’s husband Gavin certainly knew about it and is said to have taken it very badly. It contributed to the breakdown of their marriage which in turn contributed to Cheryl’s own ill…” You’re presenting this as fact, not rumour. Has Laurie’s piece changed your mind from your previously held belief it was rumour?

3) Perhaps, if Laurie believed the rumour to be true, his approach was the least dishonourable way of outing Cheryl: identify the issue without disclosing the detail. Then again, I bet he didn’t attempt to confirm his sources with Cheryl or Gareth first.


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Dear Stephen


Have you met Mrs Evans? (Dr Evans, actually. She is an econometrician.)

She leaves a flake like Kernot for dead.

Not an ‘affair’ with much future. Like Kernot herself. Yesterday’s news.

Let’s all get back to Tashy-bashing, please, and other useful things.