Crikey wants to keep the pressure on itself to maintain high levels of
accuracy so we’re publishing a monthly error watch tally from our daily
sealed sections which are emailed to 4800 subscribers.  We’ve just added our February corrections to the list.

February 17 – Barry Everingham

Barry Everingham was never a Whitlam staffer as we reported yesterday in, ‘The Sophie snarl – is she the new Kev the Rev?

February 15 – Bruce Baird apology

This email from Bruce Baird’s staffer came in on Friday:

“Dear Crikey,

Could you please note that the Tourism Council was wound up some three years after Mr Baird left that organisation.

He left the Tourism Council in good shape. There was never any
suggestion that expenditure by Mr Baird ever led to the wind up of the
organisation. There were two other Managing Directors of the
organisation following Mr Baird’s departure from the organisation
before the TCA was wound up.

We therefore request that an apology be published immediately. Failing
that, Mr Baird will have no alternative but to take legal action.

Yours sincerely,

Brendan C Lyon
Office of the Hon Bruce Baird MP
Federal Member for Cook”

CRIKEY: Consider it done. Three years is a long time and you can’t
blame the demise of an organisation on the third last CEO. Crikey now
believes that Bruce Baird did an excellent job running the Tourism

February 12 – Brandis and Grassby

Okay, we accept that it wasn’t Al Grassby who said “traditionally most
of our imports come from overseas”. It was Kep Enderby, who was
apparently Minister for Trade at the time.

And it was Senator George “Washington” Brandis who claimed Clayfield
for the Libs in the Queensland state elections on ABC radio at 7pm.
Clayfield never looked like a win for the Libs.

January 29 – Churchie

In today’s first sealed in a story on global PR victories for Aussie
firms we said, “Rowland winning the related ‘Recovery from crisis’
category for ‘saving Churchie’s (Anglican Church Grammar School in
Sydney) reputation in the face of sexual abuse claims’.”

But we were wrong about Sydney. “Churchie” is actually in Brisbane.

January 23 – Gardy and Barry Coulter

Firstly, we wrongly fingered Mark Gardy as the editor of MX who
reproduced the Foxtel press release on Wednesday’s front page. He’s
been out of there for about a year and the current editor is Toni
Hetherington. Apologies Mark.

Another feisty subscriber has corrected one of our political stunts to:

“Who was the clown that suggested that Barry Coulter drank Ranger
Uranium Mine tailings dam water? Did they honestly think that mine
management would allow it? If the salinity didn’t make him immediately
throw up, he would have been shitting for a month due to the high

What he did is drink water from Retention Pond 1, which is simply a
rainwater run-off collection pond installed to allow settling out of
dust and solids run-off from the mine site so it doesn’t directly wash
into Magela Creek.

Every year the mine would routinely apply for release of the water at
the start of the wet season when the creek flow was sufficiently high,
and after considering water quality data the Department of Mines would
issue approval.

And every year the greenies would claim that the uranium mine as
dumping contaminated water, which the
naive/stupid/irresponsible/unethical media would compliantly report
without question.

CSIRO researches determined that the pond was the healthiest water body
in Kakadu, mainly because it’s the only permanent one (all the natural
billabongs either dry up annually or evaporate sufficiently to heavy
impact on the native aquatic fauna present).

The biggest risk that Coulter faced was a bellyache from the naturally
occurring bacteria present in the pond, which was still enough to cause
a nervous couple of days for mine staff.

The Territorian”

January 21 – Hookes coverage and garnish or garner?

In today’s sealed section on the death of David Hookes conceded, “We
were wrong to describe The Age’s coverage as “measured” yesterday
because they printed the name of Micevic’s St Albans street, which
meant any vigilantes could track him down in the whitepages, and car
registration number in yesterday’s paper.”

Today’s sealed also said, “Ian Woodward is not factionally aligned, so
may well be able to garnish the support of the independent
conservatives who flourish in the area.”

On the topic of Ian Woodward’s supposed challenge to Alan Cadman, we
have to admit that food has nothing to do with the support of the
independent conservatives in the area.  What Woodward really needs
to do is “garner” support.

January 16 – Literals

Unfortunately, we used “advice” when it should have been “advise” in the lead item about the NAB.

January 15 – Murdoch’s lodgings, the Dugong Shark, Keith Moore and Michael Bowers


Oh dear, we were doing so well too….

Yesterday’s edition was our worst for a while in terms of errors.
Firstly, Judy Joye has been in touch to say that the Murdochs and
Nicole Kidman definitely did not stay at their place in Palmie.

We did email Judy a couple of hours before the edition went out but
trusted the “Palmie Milkman” who was clearly having a major lend of us.

Secondly, as we’ve already mentioned in item 5, The Oz did name two of the four suspended NAB traders yesterday.

Thirdly, the ACA story on David Ireland concerned farming the Wobbegong, not the Dugong Shark

Just goes to show, you should not arrange for the bookkeeper to come
around at 2pm such that the edition gets sent out before the last
minute checking we’ve been doing more of lately.

While we’re at, we may as well correct a couple of left over issues from last year.

We were a bit harsh on the Herald Sun’s Keith Moore for suggesting he’d
done a huge backflip with his Dennis Tanner coverage. Firstly, he got a
good scoop with the Tanner interview and it was exhaustively
researched. He then simply got another good scoop about the missing
x-ray which suggested suicide was improbable. Sure, it weakened
Tanner’s argument but two good scoops don’t necessarily make a backflip.

Finally, we heard from SMH pictorial editor Michael Bowers last year
and he assured us the stories of his tactics when chasing photos and
competing with News Ltd were nothing like we portrayed them.

Apologies to all concerned and we’ll try to keep a running total of corrections this year to improve the accountability.

January 14 – NAB, Iron Mark, Rupert Murdoch’s lodgings and the Fin


An interesting angle on this is that NAB’s failure to prevent
unauthorised gambling on FX options is going to cost taxpayers $54
million as the losses will be tax deductible. That’s a fair number of
doctors, university places, hospital equipment or whatever down the

And why haven’t any of the media named the four suspended traders?
We’ll happily do it if one of the 29 NAB workers on our data base cares
to drop us a line to [email protected]

We corrected that as follows the next day:

“We were wrong yesterday when we had a go at the media for not naming
the suspended traders – The Australian did name two of them, Luke Duffy
and David Bullen, on the front page yesterday. And the Fin named the
other two, Vince Vicarra and London-based Gianni Gray, today.”


Yesterday’s sealed section on Mark Latham’s Westie credentials may have
been a little unfair, according to a Crikey mole.  This source
says that the Labor leader was moved out of his own electorate of
Werriwa by a redistribution – not because he decided to shimmy up a few
more rungs of the ladder to somewhere more salubrious.

However, “Pitching Wedge” – no relation to Wendy – has written in demanding to know what is it with Latham and golf courses.

“Back in 1992, Latham also lived next to another golf course,” Pitching Wedge writes.

“At that stage he was just Hizzoner the Mayor of Bankstown, and Latham
was accused of delaying a council decision on development plans for a
golf club, after the Council received a petition against club.


A well informed subscriber writes:

“The Murdoch clan is ensconsed at Ian Joye’s beachside palace, as
reported by my Palmy friend who works as a domestic servicing the house.

But they move out on the 14th January to be replaced by Nicole Kidman and her family.

The Palmy Milkman”

Ireland has been the “wildlife guru” for Seven’s Sunrise show for the
last 18 months but having signed with Nine it is interesting that he
cropped us this week on A Current Affair in a big debate about the
merits of farming the Dugong Shark.

Check it out here:

January 13 – Malcolm Turnbull, Iron Mark and media dynasty correstions

This was effectively a correction left over from last year:

CRIKEY: We reported last year that Malcolm Turnbull had committed to
buy Chisholm’s Palmy retreat although this doesn’t appear to have
eventuated and Rhonda Chisholm was spotted at a party in Palmy recently
suggesting the Murdochs weren’t at their place. We’ll give a free
subscription to anyone who can come up with the goods on Rupert’s Palmy


A Liberal voter writes:

“Dear Crikey,

Just a short note regarding your piece on the impending Mark Latham profile in The Australian Women’s Weekly.

The author tells us the interview was conducted in Latham’s Werriwa
home. Wrong – Latham lives in the neighbouring seat of Macarthur and
has done since 1998 according to the NSW Land Title Registry when he
abandoned the voters of Werriwa. He and the former wife bought the
place in Glen Alpine (arguably the most exclusive part of the seat
adjacent to a golf course) moving from Denham Court in his seat of
Werriwa in the process (arguably the most exclusive part of Werriwa –
some million dollar plus homes on acreage for the CEOs of companies in
the nearby Industrial Estate at Ingleburn).

All is from the man who pretends to truly represent Sydney’s West and
his own seat – yet he’s not lived there for over five years.

Cheers, Westie watcher”


When you stick a two year old nepotism list on a website you are
inviting dozens of emails correcting and updating the information but
this was probably the most amusing we’ve received so far:

“I read in your article on media dynasties that Jamie Angel: the 2DAY
FM personality is the son of retired Channel Ten reporter Jim Angel.
I’m sure this will come as a great surprise to Jamie and his family and
friends in the Inverell area who have always believed he was the son of
the late surveyor and camping shop proprietor who died many years ago.”

January 12 – AMCOR ciggie packaging error

We carried this about Amcor:


Victoria has arguably the toughest anti-tobacco laws in the world? Lo
and behold, did you know that Melbourne-based Amcor is now the world’s
biggest producer of cigarette packaging.

The challenge is for any subscriber to find a company publication where
this fact is revealed. In fact, the words cigarette or tobacco rarely
appear in any prominent Amcor publications.”

And corrected it as follows the following day after numerous emails from subscribers:


We’ve had a number of responses to yesterday’s story on Amcor’s booming
cigarette packaging business, pointing us to several company
publications which mention it.

While we’re happy to concede they have not really hidden it, they’re
not really talking up their high performing business either.

The following are some of the cigarette packaging mentions found by
subscribers, but we’re still like some more detail, like how many
packets Amcor make each year and which countries or brands do they
mainly supply?

“Dear Crikey,

It’s a fair point you raised about Amcor yesterday, but it should be
noted tobacco packaging is mentioned on Pg. 7 in their most recent full
year results media statement released August 21, 2003 where the company
provides a divisional breakdown.

In the first line Amcor says: “Amcor Rentsch is the European leader in
tobacco packaging and a leading supplier of specialty folding cartons
for the cosmetics and confectionery industries.”

For the record the unit has a strong year with sales up 15% to A$549
million and EBITA up a massive 73% to A$84.1 million. It is worth
noting volume growth in Western Europe was helped by the introduction
of tougher EU regulations covering health warnings on cigarette cartons.

“New designs from customers led to strong sales for product development services,” Amcor said.

Dow Jones journalist”

Another subscriber writes:

“I really wish they wouldn’t, and might buy a share or two if they
didn’t, but you can’t really accuse them of concealing their links with

Try “Amcor” and “tobacco” or “cigarettes” on Google and you’ll see the
link made on thousands of sites, and those at the top of the list are

But still I wish they’d stop and I gather they may not be Melbourne-based for much longer.


Finally, there was this:

“Err, I just did a google search for the two words: Amcor tobacco – got
a few references off their own web site such as
and many others… They actually use the words “We are the global leaders in tobacco packaging” on that page.”

WE also carried the following addition to the political nepotism list:

“Gordon Hockley: state MP for Bentleigh’s son Andrew Hockley worked for
Senator Robert Ray and is now a senior public servant in the Premiers

However, this was quietly removed from the site after a letter from the
son concerned set us straight on how his father had absolutely nothing
to do with his appointment to the bureaucracy and his stint with Robert
Ray was way back in 1987.


Do we have an advance on John Brogden as far as young political
advisers go?  How about another New South Wales pol that was just
a wee lad when he first came to prominence, Gary Punch.

He was just 25 when he became Member for Barton in 1983 and went on to
become a minister – but he had already been a notably youthful mayor of
Punchbowl and an adviser to Frank Walker during his time as Nifty’s
A-G.  One old time reckons he can’t have been over 21.  Any
details, anyone?

Correction – Frank Walker was actually Mayor of Hurstville at the age
of 21. And Frank Walker and Gary Punch were in different factions.

January 9 – unfair political nepotism addition

We carried this rather unfair addition to the political nepotism list:

“Senator Spot Turnbull: the former Tasmanian Labor Treasurer was forced
to resign when found asking for bribes for the Tatts family to start up
in Tassie. Went on to become Mayor of Launceston and an independent
senator for Tasmania. He used to engage his secretary on half rate and
give the other half to his daughter Marsha, who is now Lady (Andrew)
Grimwade. Spot is over 90 and still lives in the Melbourne suburb of

This has now been reduced and corrected to the following on the site:

“Spot Turnbull: the former Tasmanian Labor Treasurer and Australia’s
first Independent Senator employed his daughter, now Lady Grimwade, for
three weeks over Christmas in the 1950s. Spot turns 96 in January and
lives in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern.”

Spot was cleared of some unfounded allegations on the bribes matter.

January 7 – political nepotism correction

A correction was run from an entry on the political nepotism list:

“Dear, We note in your recent edition of the Crikey Alerts
Service and now on your website, you assert that Michelle O’Byrne MP
employs her husband.  This is not the case. Her husband, Priam
Arumugam is a marine engineer and works in that capacity.  We
believe that it would therefore be appropriate for you to remove the
statement and to acknowledge that the previous placement by Crikey was
in error.


January 6 – Mrs Beattie’s appointment

We carried the following item:

A Queensland nurse writes:

“I am simply amazed that there is no comment about Heather Beattie’s
appointment to an associate professor position in nursing at the
University of Queensland.

The Premier’s wife has jumped through hoops that “normal” academics
have to wait years and years for with numerous research publications
and granting success. She apparently has very few research papers

The nursing profession was informed about her appointment by reading
the Sunday Mail! Then Premier Peter gets a DSc from UQ as well. What is
the deal? Why isn’t anyone asking any questions?

The Registered Nurse”

Which was a little harsh so we ran the following on January 8:


A subscriber writes:

“Dear Crikey,

In relation to the item in Tuesday’s sealed section regarding Peter
Beattie’s wife Heather being appointed as an Associate Professor in
Nursing at the University of Queensland, it should be noted that for
several years she has had a similar position at the Australian Catholic
University in Brisbane, where Mrs Beattie completed her Doctorate of
Education in 2002.

Whilst I don’t know the full details of her appointment to UQ, I think
your contributor is being unfair to Mrs Beattie, who at least earned
her doctorate.

Husband of ACU nursing student”

January 5 -  Patrick Corp about face

An AAP report carried in a variety of papers claiming that Crikey was
running for the Patrick Corp board at the AGM on February 5 was wrong.
Crikey told the journalist a few weeks earlier of plans to run but then
changed his mind and didn’t advise the journalist. Sorry.