Oh for God’s sake. Far from joining the howls of outrage over Tony Eastley’s run-in with Amanda Vanstone, I stand amazed at his restraint. DIMIA, under the ghastly Ruddock and now Cruella de Vanstone, is a tyrannical and incompetent bureaucracy out of control. It deserves the most searching questions.

I have heard the Eastley tape. His shot about dropping people from cars was a sardonic one-liner, well within the bounds of reasonable interviewing practice.

Vanstone, smart lawyer that she is, seized the opportunity to deflect opprobrium from herself by the tried and true technique of having a shot at the messenger. It worked, to a point: reliable as ever, the usual government toadies – Miranda Devine et al – trooped into line with howls of ABC bias.

The only blunder was in the ABC pooh-bahs censoring the transcript. Bad call, that.

CRIKEY: Media Watch weighed in last night as you can see here. And you can listen to an unedited audio file of the original interview here.