When Paul Lyneham was still with the ABC in Canberra for The 7.30 Report he was increasingly distracted by his speaking commitments. At the time it was generally thought that Red Kerry wanted to get rid of Lyneham and the chance came at last when Lyneham flew to Perth early one day.

Just after he left Canberra, Opposition Leader John Hewson’s office rang to offer to go on The 7.30 Report with Lyneham to reveal the opposition’s position on Mabo. It was a big story at the time but Lyneham couldn’t do it and the offer was moved to Nine and Sunday.

It supposedly hastened the end of Lyneham’s role on The 7.30 Report and Red Kerry, who presumably went completely berserk over Lyneham’s unreliability, has been in the chair ever since.

It may be speaking ill of the dead, and Paul Lyneham remains a Canberra legend of the first order, but it has the ring of truth about the kind of conflicts the well-paid speaking circuit delivers.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW