Dear Christian: Why was the “awkward” question put
to the PM by one of the survivors of the London bombings,
asking whether the attacks were brought on by our presence in Iraq,
sooooo exciting that the media was still rabbiting on about it 24
hours later?

Dear Malcolm: It would be harder to get a better seemingly
deep story. Although the prime minister has the acting range of Jessica
Simpson, he plays the father of the nation role adequately enough. The images
of the PM with victims were always going to be good – and then for that
question to be asked. Bliss! You can invest almost any significance you want in
it. It fits every view of Australia’s
involvement in Iraq. No doubt the news directors and the PM spinners are desperately
hoping there were some Australian witnesses to the second round of attacks.
Dear Christian: How on earth do journos keep their patience
with spin doctors when they know they’re being fed a line? Are they that
desperate to get the story?

Dear David: There’s been an interesting debate in the
Crikey Dailies this week about why politicians and public figures can’t admit
they’re wrong, how that sets them up for boll*ckings over backflips. There are
certain games that spinners and media play – games that we’re left out of – but
sometimes the spin doctors just go too far or get too desperate. Then journos
turn – like when the 7:30 Report asked on Tuesday why pharmacists enjoy such protection from

Even the Australian Medical
Association can’t understand why pharmacy owners are such a

protected species
with exclusive access to the lucrative Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
worth $6 billion a
year, a large part of which is the pharmacists’ own
profit margin.
But when The 7:30 Report raised the doctors’

concerns with Michael Tatchell he
had to
refer to his off camera minder for a comeback. The Australian Medical

Association raises the question of why doctors don’t
have to be the ones to own
medical practices and yet

pharmacists are the only ones allowed to own

MICHAEL TATCHELL: Um, sorry. I was going to
say something along the lines of we’re not talking about doctors here. Yes, but
they’re all in the health profession.

EMMA ALBERICI: It’s a valid question.

MICHAEL TATCHELL: It’s a valid question. I
just want to get the best answer…

Whoops! And they’ve been negotiating on
this issue for how many years?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey