Crikey,

I can’t believe you continue to run
articles about the News Ltd-Malcolm Noad feud without
going to the heart of it. Which is:

Noad was a career News Ltd man and a family friend of the Hartigans.
When Malcolm’s brother Graeme married Gerri Hartigan’s good friend
Carolyn (Clark) in the 70s, the Hartigans joined the Noads on their
honeymoon sailing around the Whitsundays. Malcolm got a start at News
Ltd straight from school and was helped in his career in no small part
through Hartigan, although his own ability took him to the top.

Why then the sudden attack on Noad by everyone at News? Can anyone ever recall any other
former News executive being mauled by the organisation? Fat chance. It would never have been published
and the author would be on the road to oblivion.

Noad, a former
director of news, resigned some 16 months ago to become Bulldogs CEO because it
was made clear to him by Hartigan that he had no
future at the company. The reason for the falling out was partly explained by
Noad in one of the emails he sent to the league media
and sports editors to defend himself against the News onslaught: that during the
Sydney Olympics Wilson, who had a senior role in looking after News’s corporate
interests at the Games, stuffed up to such a degree that Lachlan Murdoch told
Noad, her boss at the time, to sack her. Noad told the journos in one of
his emails that Wilson has always felt that Noad
should have stuck up for her.

So why should this involve Hartigan? Because the pair have been “good friends” since
some time after Wilson got the job as Superleague PR
some nine years ago. Yes, good friends means lovers, and every journo in Sydney knows
about it. When Danny Weidler revealed that Wilson lost
her driver’s licence for drink-driving, Hartigan put his personal car at her disposal for part of
each day. The fearless Annette Sharp even ran a picture of the car in the
Sun-Herald without mentioning whose it was (I suspect it was her editor who took
out the name), and the plates were blacked out.

Hartigan and Wilson
are fair game because News exposes this sort of stuff about other people all the
time, but also by campaigning against Noad in print,
they leave the story open to its fullest scrutiny. What a gutless lot the News
journos are to just fall in behind the company line.
It wouldn’t have happened had the late Chippy Frilingos, an imposing personality and long-time Noad mentor, still been at
News.

One more thing: could anyone else
name any other journalist sacked at the direction of the Murdochs who not only made it back to News but in such a
high-profile position? It couldn’t happen without the patronage of a very senior
executive such as Hartigan. When Wilson was sacked in
2000 Hartigan was powerless because he wasn’t CEO, but
Editor in Chief of the Telegraphs. As such, he had zero influence of areas
outside editorial.

There are two sides: Noad says if he didn’t sack Wilson, he faced being sacked
himself by Murdoch; Wilson and Hartigan believe Noad rolled over too easily and should have stuck up for
Wilson.

Every editor in Sydney knows this
stuff but won’t run it for fear of running foul of Hartigan and News. Who knows when they might need a job back
there? But if Hartigan had something like this on one
of them he’d run it in a heartbeat if it suited Rupert’s
interests.

That leaves Crikey.