Paul Lyneham was outed
as a Young Liberal long before his death. John Button did it at some
debate they took part in – one of those comedy fundraiser things where
Lyneham applied his usual collection of acerbic clichés to politicians
and Button returned fire by outing him. Lyneham confessed on the spot
and sought forgiveness.

In the 1990 election, Lyneham destroyed
Peacock by asking him what Australia’s GDP was. Peacock had been
promising to lift GDP, and Lyneham asked if he was going to lift it, he
must know what it was to start with. It was one of those left field
unpredictable questions, but Peacock handled it badly, Lyneham
persisted and Peacock looked stupid.

A few days later I was at a
Liberal fundraiser where senior Liberals all made clear their absolute
hatred of Lyneham for what he did and promised if they won, he would be
the first on the block. How times change!

Kerry O’Brien, of
course, was never forgiven for the 93 election debate, for what were
described as the “supplementaries” he asked of Hewson. The Liberals
thought these biased because they attempted to tie Hewson down on
technical details of the GST – which was right in line with Keating’s
campaign strategy.

O’Brien, of course, was a Labor staffer in the Whitlam government.

Meanwhile, an ABC expert writes:

Kerry
O’Brien would not have known about the incident where Paul Lyneham was
unavailable to interview John Hewson. It was a traumatic time because
Lyneham and Andrew Olle, then host of the NSW edition of The 7.30 Report, both left the ABC at the same time and Ollie died only a few weeks later.

If
anyone was directly shafted by O’Brien it was Andrew. The driving
forces behind the move were Paul Williams and Ian Carroll and the most
amazing thing was that Andrew seemed genuinely surprised, although
others could see it coming. Anyway, Kerry’s summary to Crikey is
factually correct if not more than a little bit disingenuous.

Peter Fray

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