In his recent lively dialogue with
Crikey subscribers, Mark Latham complained that so many editors and
columnists criticised in his Diaries have produced columns and
articles about the book without responding to the matters raised about
them. “It’s like an enormous cone of silence has descended on
Australia’s commentariat.”

So this week, we’ve been emailing the
media types attacked by Latham. The reponses are dribbling in. Some
short and sweet.

From our old mate Piers Akerman: “Neither Latham nor
Crikey, which published more of his gratuitous insults, deserve
responses.”

From Phillip Adams: “G’day Crikey…I’m only insulted I wasn’t more insulted.”

From Janet Albrechtsen: “Thanks for your email but I’ll decline.”

To the longer and more considered. This from the 7.30 Report‘s Michael Brissenden:

Firstly I do find it surprising that Latham describes me as
being “anti-politics.” This from a man who these days seems to be happy
preaching “anti-politics” at every possible moment. His criticism of me
was that I didn’t take the campaign seriously enough. No prime time
television program devoted more time and analysis to the issues that
defined the campaign than we did. Almost every campaign piece dealt
with the substantive issue of the day … whether it was health policy,
economic policy, forests etc. We did so in some depth and many times
these issues were followed up by interviews with Kerry O’Brien or
companion pieces that explored the issues even more. Along the way of
course we had some fun.

How can Latham – or any politician for
that matter – expect us all to take politics seriously all the time
when the campaigns in particular are dominated by stunts designed
exclusively for the nightly TV news image?

How can anyone take
signing a big cheque with a big felt tipped pen seriously? Our coverage
of the campaign was thorough, considered and at times, dare I say it,
even entertaining. But then Mark Latham wouldn’t want politics to be
accessible, would he?

Having said that, I did find some of his
diary entries informative and as many others have observed, I do also
think there is a timely critique of Labor’s problems struggling to
break through … It is a shame that most of that has been overshadowed
by the focus his writing puts on his own personal vendettas and
problems.

We’ll collate all the media responses and put
them on site. And if you’ve been sledged by Latham, and we haven’t yet
contacted you, drop us a line and have your say: [email protected]

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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