Hi Stephen, wrong again, I’m afraid. Yesterday you wrote:

“It
proves the old adage that News Ltd editors rarely get sacked and leave
in a huff. Rupert likes to keep them in the tent and Howe will join a
long line of former editors wiling away their time in “management” or
occupying some lower editorial rank, including Rocky Miller, Ian Moore,
Piers Akerman, Steve Howard, Campbell Reid, Alan Farrally, Peter Wylie,
Martin Beesley, Des Houghton and Mark Day.”

In 1977, when I was editor-in-chief of the Daily Mirror and The Australian,
I resigned from News Limited and left the company to work for
Australian Consolidated Press. In 1990 I accepted an offer to write a
weekly column for The Daily Telegraph. I was a freelance contributor. In 1999 I accepted an offer to be a freelance contributor and columnist for The Australian’s
Media section. Since 1977 I have never wiled away a moment in News Ltd
management, or occupied any editorial rank. I remain a freelancer.

Stephen Mayne writes:

Mark, I didn’t say you were on staff. Your News Ltd “rank” includes being financially supported at The Truth,
owning a farm with News Ltd executive chairman John Hartigan, attending
the famously boozy John Lyons lunch in 1998 with Col Allan, John
Hartigan, Lachlan Murdoch and Piers Akerman and wandering past The Daily Telegraph’s
newsdesk when I was chief of staff with tips. A genuine freelancer
usually writes for multiple publications. When were you last published
in Fairfax or ACP? You’re a paid up, card-carrying Murdoch henchman, as
you proved again yesterday.

Also, I’d like to correct one more point in yesterday’s extraordinary attack in The Australian.
You wrote: “Murdoch in the mind of Mayne and his followers is berated
as the controller of 70 per cent of the nation’s mastheads. He is
portrayed as the gatekeeper of our thought processes. He is demonised
as the dictator of editorial policies across the nation. He is a
monopolistic opponent of diversity. He is too powerful and
all-powerful. Yet he cannot shut up a single commentator on a website.”

Firstly,
Crikey is primarily an email newsletter, 80% of what I write doesn’t
appear on any website. Secondly, whilst it wasn’t Rupert personally,
News Ltd certainly attempted to contribute to the destruction of Crikey.

When
shock jock Steve Price sued for defamation in the Victorian Supreme
Court January 2001, he used News Ltd’s favourite Melbourne libel
lawyers, Adrian Anderson and Will Houghton QC. Did the Herald Sun
provide any support to an old colleague for Price’s outrageously
heavy-handed attack, spending $170,000 through a dozen court
appearances over 14 months which included a civil contempt of court
action and an injunction on the sale of our family home?

Nope, they instead rewarded Price after he initiated this legal blizzard by making him a Herald Sun columnist. Senior Herald Sun editorial staff also gathered proxies to keep Anderson on the Melbourne Press Club committee and he was feted with Herald Sun awards at the Quill Awards for supposedly campaigning on press freedom issues.

It
just goes to show, if you cross Murdoch and his minions, notions of
press freedom are quickly superseded by a desire to destroy the enemy.
And did the Herald Sun report any of this? Barely a word? I rest my case.