The malignant piece of work by an alleged "ABC Insider" in today's Crikey, is wrong in its assertions , riddled with inaccuracy, and libellous. In the first place, I never once lifted a finger to have Paul Lyneham removed from his 7.30 Report job. Secondly, whether or not there is any truth at all in the Crikey story that Paul missed an interview with then Opposition Leader John Hewson on Mabo policy because he was out of town on a private engagement, I haven't got the faintest recollection of it. Thirdly, Paul Lyneham remained in his 7.30 Report job for 18 months after John Hewson lost his leadership (in mid-1994) so the incident (if it happened at all) could hardly be said to have hastened Paul's departure. I happily remained in my Lateline job until December, 1995. My move to the new National 7.30 Report based in Sydney as editor and compere, was initiated and strongly pushed by senior ABC management, primarily by then Managing Director Brian Johns. It was a position I did not seek, and accepted with some misgiving. 

Finally, the suggestion that I "presumably went completely berserk over Lyneham's unreliability" is contemptible as well as stupid. Although sadly, my very close personal relationship with Paul broke down for reasons very few people know or understand, I still regard him as one of the finest journalists this country has produced. I was instrumental in persuading him to accept the 7.30 Report Canberra job in the first place, back in 1987, when he was working at the Seven Network's Canberra bureau. 

This is the second time I have been gravely libelled on Crikey. I can't for the life of me understand how you can justify running such poisonous, irresponsible and anonymously-authored crap.