Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:
As Terence Cole’s
Ring Cycle reaches the “Wagnerian crescendo” predicted by Christian
Kerr, we wondered who would play the leads. But one main role – Wotan,
the king of the Gods consumed by an insatiable lust for power – cast
Kevin Rudd has been ubiquitous. Figures from Media
Monitors show he appeared as a spokesman on radio and TV 599 times in
the past two weeks, and 3,290 times if you include appearances on shows
like John Laws that are syndicated into more than one market. In the
same period he appeared in the print media as a spokesman (as opposed
to incidental mentions) 250 times.
In the same period, Julia
Gillard appeared in the electronic media 230 times and Stephen Smith
just 160. Kim Beazley, who was frantically launching new policies, got
867 appearances. (Their press figures are Gillard 176, Smith 78,
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Since the issue broke at the end of last
October, Rudd has been spending about 80% of his shadow portfolio time
on Cole. For a long time it was running best in the broadsheets and on
the ABC, but the story reached its climax this week when the big
tabloids, The Tele and HeraldSun, started to run it big. That’s what the voters in marginal seats read.
staff are now cautious about where their bloke’s Icarus-like ascent
might end. Cole’s conclusion leads into an Easter longer weekend. By
Tuesday the drip feed of Wheatgate stories could slow, maybe even fade
Then it will be onto the next serious subject for Labor’s upwardly mobile shadow.