“Rogue” US reporter Jerry Hagstrom – the agriculture journalist for Congress Daily
who was the first journalist to publish the inflated AWB Iraqi wheat
contracts and the first to break the kickbacks story in the US –
doesn’t make the cut with Australia in Washington any more.

was refused entry to a press conference given by Agriculture Minister
Peter McGuaran in Washington last week – he was told it was
specifically for Australian journos. Then he says he was booted off
embassy grounds to wait outside on the street for the meeting to
convene. The embassy claims it was all a muck-up.

incident does follow a pattern of how differently the embassy has
treated me since I started covering the AWB story”, Hagstrom said via
email from the US.

He says that since he broke the story back
in 2003 he’s been frozen out of Australian diplomatic circles. Prior to
his AWB reporting, Hagstrom says he used to lunch regularly with
embassy officials, informing them on the state of the US agriculture

“I was also on the embassy social list and invited to
parties, art openings and film showings. After I wrote the first AWB
story, I never got another invitation.”

Peter Fray

Ending soon: Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%