Journalist and author, Paul Barry certainly has a
curious view of privacy, or the idea of it.

working on an unauthorised biography of Shane Warne
and elaborated on his ambitions in this story in today’s Australian.

the on line version, shortened to Shane Warne and no mention of Barry’s book on
One Tel or Kerry Packer

as there was in the actual edition
of The Australian.

story claimed that James Packer “once complimented the author for writing a
‘fair and balanced’ account of his father’s life.

online version omitted that reference but left one in to Alan Bond, whom Barry
chased in print and for Four Corners on the

But it
was his comment in The Australian about Warne’s privacy that should raise

“Barry was bemused by
the cricketer’s alleged statement that it should be illegal to write a book
about someone without their permission.”It would be a
strange country if we had laws against that,” he said. “He’s a public figure and
sells all sorts of things to the public, so he’s given away his rights to

The episode is
reminiscent of another snub towards the author, by Alan Bond, who stomped on
Barry’s business card when he handed it to him and asked if he remembered who he
was. As Bond ground the journalist’s card into the ground, Barry remarked “So
you do remember?”

“I thought I’d turn up
at the press conference and ask him a few things at the end,” Barry said

Barry said he had first
written to Warne as a matter of courtesy when he had decided to write the unauthorised biography.

“I told him it wouldn’t
be hostile … I’m writing the book because I think he’s a fantastic

Now, Barry should know better than to claim that a person in the public eye
has no right to privacy. Of course they do, or is Mr Barry now a member of the

Mr Barry can write
anything he wants about Shane Warne, so long as it doesn’t defame. There is
nothing wrong with an unauthorized biography; in fact they can be important in
getting facts about public figures into the broader community that enable us to
better understand those figures.

But Mr Barry has
to respect Mr Warne’s privacy: Mr Barry would claim an invasion of his privacy if someone
was to start fossicking around in his

After all, by his own standards, Mr Barry is a public figure through his authorship, his time
at Four Corners, Media Watch, Fairfax and the Nine Network’s
(Packer-owned) , 60 minutes and A Current