In almost seven years of Crikey there have been plenty of verbal and written brickbats. But Glenn Milne’s performance at the Walkleys last night was the first ever physical attack.
While most observers initially thought it was a scripted stunt, I knew from the moment Milne appeared on stage with wild drunken eyes and a red face that this was a situation that could easily spill out of control.
Milne was raving away that I was “a disgrace” for defaming journalists, without substantiation, and before you could blink he’d sent me flying off the stage.
It was a four foot drop and I’ve been hobbling around this morning with a slightly sprained right ankle. But there won’t be any excessive reaction such as pursuing charges.
That said, a personal apology would be nice. I sought out News Ltd spindoctor Greg Baxter last night and he refused to give an inch. Combine that with the churlish coverage in The Australian and The Daily Telegraph and the failure of Milne or anyone at News Ltd to get in touch so far and you get a sense about the culture we’re dealing with.
I told Baxter last night that his initial intransigence clearly suggested it would be fine for me to push Rupert Murdoch off the stage at next year’s News Corp AGM. Yeah, right.
The reaction from everyone at the Walkleys last night was one of stunned amazement. Sure, Milne might have been disappointed not to win a Walkley for his Costello leadership deal scoop, but what an earth did we say about him to spark a physical attack on national television?
Crikey has had a few cracks at Milne over the years but when you consider his role in stories such as John Brogden’s demise and Mark Latham’s buck’s night video, he’s hardly in position to start lashing out.
I didn’t get home until 4am and there were 27 messages on the mobile when I turned it on at 10am. The media have been running hot and the swollen ankle has even been shown off to Channel Ten.
Some shock jocks have said I should have stood my ground and jobbed Milne, but despite being a foot shorter than me he has stacked on the weight and had the potential to land a powerful haymaker.
Besides, I’ve never actually thrown a punch at anyone and wasn’t about to start with Glenn Milne.