News Limited has made sure the U-turn in its coverage of the Schapelle
Corby case stays on track by bringing out two more of the group’s
heavyweight columnists to support yesterday’s “rein in the rednecks” tirade from Piers Akerman.

Andrew Bolt and Paul Kelly have been sent on to the road to ensure the
U-turn stays in place and to attempt to reposition News Limited as
serious and responsible, following their three days of tabloid hysteria
in the wake of the Corby verdict last Friday.

Under the heading “Corby and the mob,” in the Herald Sun, Bolt joins Akerman in a mouth-frothing frenzy that begins like this (fasten your seat belts):

“And now to the verdict on the Schapelle Corby
case. I find the defendent guilty of xenophobia, spite, boorishness and
a self-rightous tribal hysteria.

No, I don’t mean Corby.

I’m referring to the weeping and bellowing mob that is demanding we do
all it takes – even starve the poorest Indonesians – to free this
convicted drug trafficker. “Our” Schapelle.

Over at The Australian, Paul Kelly today writes
about the “media-induced campaign over the Schapelle Corby case” which
is “counterproductive for Corby, damaging for our national interest and
suggests an immaturity in Australia that will rebound on us as a
nation.” Australia, he says, has “badly mishandled the Corby case
and it has a long way to run. Corby has been let down by her legal team
and a reckless popular media.”

CRIKEY: Hold on a minute. Who
exactly are Akerman, Bolt and Kelly referring to when they write about
“xenophobia, spite, boorishness and a self-rightous tribal hysteria,”
or “rednecks” or a “reckless popular media”? Surely not their own
stable? Surely not the Daily Telegraph or the Herald Sun, who between them over three days from last Friday to Monday ran these headlines?

“INSIDE CORBY’S NIGHTMARE” … “Day of outrage to show our disgust”
… “Hellhole she’ll call home for 20 years” … “NATION’S FURY” …
“20 years in hell and prosecutors still demand life” … “Nation’s fury
at sentence” … “ALONE AND AFRAID” … “Family fears suicide” …
“Let’s hurt Bali in the pocket” … “Indonesia must look at grotesque
anomolies” … “A NATION REVOLTS” … “Fury erupts at Corby jail term”
… “From support to damnation” … “Horrors await in jail hellhole”
… “Corby’s ex-lover backs trade ban” … “Australia is crying now”
… “Share of hell in grotty cell” … “Embassy phones run hot with
hate” … ‘DAYS OF HATE” … “Cellmates ‘are giving her hell'” …
“National donations backlash”