The emails have been pouring in from various people calling for legal action against Glenn Milne and News Ltd for their multi-platform physical and editorial attacks over the past four days.

The Australian’s Strewth column managed a brief item today pointing out that Milne assaulted the wrong bloke, which was the least they could do after running a cut down version of Milne’s outrageous Sunday column in Monday’s paper.

However, there doesn’t appear to be anything in the News Ltd tabloids so I’m still rocking up to kinder and explaining to the mums that I had nothing to do with what Milne claims triggered the attack.

The lawyers reckon it is an open and shut case and the blood does boil when you read contributions such as this one from Sunday Telegraph columnist Rebecca Wilson, an old drinking buddy of News Ltd CEO John Hartigan:


We don’t normally condone misbehaviour on the booze but our Saint this week is colleague Glenn Milne for shoving Crikey’s Stephen Mayne off the stage at the Walkleys. Milne simply did something many others have wanted to do for years.

Surprise, surprise, Wilson has been criticised in Crikey over the years, just like SMH blogger Jack Marx, who came off second best in a flood of postings after pushing a similar line yesterday.

Marx perhaps should have read this Dylan Welch piece in the SMH online yesterday before launching his spray.

The Crikey debate about Marx being sponsored by a liquor brand can be seen here. If Marx really wants a stronger response, then he should clearly be advocating litigation not violence.

There are plenty of people saying don’t litigate and I’m the first to argue that journalists who sue are hypocritical because they have a platform to reply.

However, you have to remember the history here. When shock jock Steve Price attempted to destroy me in 2001 with a Supreme Court blitzkrieg that spanned a defamation action, a civil contempt of court action and an injunction freezing the sale of our house, he was cheered on by the Murdoch tabloids.

Indeed, Price used the Herald Sun’s lawyers and rather than criticising a clearly excessive legal assault, the paper’s editor, Peter Blunden, rewarded the abusive shock jock with a well-paid weekly column.

Given this venomous history, can you imagine the reaction if I’d assaulted Milne? The cops would have already been called, just like The Daily Telegraph did when Mark Latham smashed their camera.

Any decision on suing will depend on what appears in the Murdoch tabloids next Sunday.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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