I popped up to the local Myer at 9am
this morning where the ladies in the book department were still
unpacking their skinny consignment of just 36 copies of the Lathan Diaries which only arrived on the goods dock at 8.30am.

The
lady on the till joked that she was looking forward to to seeing if she
was in it “because everyone else seems to be.” I had quick squiz at the
index and declared, “hey, look, we’ve cracked it for three mentions.”

Two
more sales staff joined the excited frenzy to check out what Iron Mark
had said about “Crikey.com,” although given the sledging, it would have
been nice if the index had got our name right. The ladies looked at me
strangely when they read the terrible things Iron Mark said, which
were as follows:

On page 309, we have the following:

Once I dealt with Nelson, the media moved onto its next
rumour, its next chance to land the big fish: a bucks’ night video.
Apparently the sh*t sheet Crikey started it on Friday. Then, Louise Dodson in the SMH
on Saturday: ‘The Labor Leader is yet to respond to other revelations,
reports of a raunchy video taken at his bucks’ night before his second
marriage.’

Then the Dwarf (Glenn Milne) was onto it yesterday:
‘Over the past 48 hours, there’s been fevered speculation in Canberra
about the existence of a raunchy bucks’ night video involving Latham,
and whether that was the smoking gun to be fired by Sunday.

On page 394, there is a reference to the bogus Kate Ellis rumour:

Another piece of smut sent to haunt me? More rumours and media speculation: perhaps another Crikey/Dodson/Milne/Price special? Let me guess: the Latham/Ellis video, shot by security cameras at the Holy Grail.

Page 403:

The media serve it (intrusive gossip) up because they know
it’s a huge money-spinner. In fact, it has become our dominant public
culture: on television, talkback radio, gossip magazines (more brands
of them at the supermarket than lollies to tempt the kids), gossip
columns (even the broadsheets have them now) and online rags like
Crikey (the most popular website in Parliament House). I used to think
of the internet as a force for liberating the information-poor, but all
it has done is liberate the voyeurs and make them worse.

CRIKEY: Fair cop and plenty of material for a new Crikey mug or two. You should read what Media Watch said about the buck’s night video rumour on July 12 last year. Also check out our detailed explanation at the time here.
I can add today that we received the tip from a former Murdoch hack now
with a politically prominent PR firm. We certainly didn’t start the
rumour but by emailing it to 4,900 subscribers at the time, we did
increase its circulation, but it wasn’t published on our website. In
terms of our popularity at Parliament House there would be several more
visited websites than ours, but no-one else can claim to hit the email
inboxes of 216 people with aph.gov.au addresses like we do now. Iron
Mark, like so many others before him, doesn’t understand that we are
primarily an email newsletter, not a website.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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