Perth’s weekend tabloid The Sunday
Times
has barged into the confrontation between WA Police
Minister John D’Orazio and The West
Australian.
Last week The West named Mr D’Orazio as the
“Godfather” in a deal between two long-time friends, Bayswater Council employee,
Adam Spagnolo, and businessman, Tony Drago, to share council carpet
laying contracts.

Drago and Spagnolo had a spat over Spagnolo wanting his son,
Emilio, to get half of Drago’s carpet laying business that would have privileged access to
council work. But Drago baulked
at the demand and according to The West
the Police Minister, and former Bayswater Council mayor, met them in his
electorate to patch up the dispute.

D’Orazio
rejects that interpretation and threatened legal action if The West didn’t publish a
front page apology. The West‘sSaturday
edition made much of the paper’s decision to stand its ground. “Despite
threatening to sue The West and gag it from publishing further reports on the Godfather affair, Mr D’Orazio did not launch legal action yesterday,” The West reported.

And so on. So how could The Sunday Times get into this juicy story? Easy. By putting its
ace political reporter, Joe Spagnolo, no relative of Adam, onto it. Joe promptly interviewed
Tony Drago who contradicted what The West had been alleging. His story was
billed as an exclusive and headlined – “No Deal with John D’Orazio”.

And under Tony’s
picture, the caption – “Backing his mate: Tony Drago says Police Minister John
D’Orazio was merely a mediator in a dispute between mates.”

In other words,
not a “Godfather”, just someone giving fatherly advice.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW