There’s been an awful lot of hypocrisy this week over the story about the dawn service, Kevin Rudd and Joe Hockey, but a couple of points need to be made.

The Nine Network has been desperate to get one or both on the Today Show or Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s program, either in a one-off or permanent relationship. Don’t let Nine or anyone else say anything different: Nine went desperate and dragged in Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott as competition to Rudd and Hockey.

Will Howard now order Abbott off air as he forced Hockey? What will Gillard do? There is certainly no bond of friendship between the two like Rudd and Hockey.

If the two continue, will the News Ltd press turn on them and will Glenn Milne claim that James Packer is upset as he claimed Seven’s Kerry Stokes was upset at Sunrise and its executive producer, Adam Boland? Will he and other News Ltd media now look at the role of the Repatriation Commission and the way it has been manipulated by the Howard Government, or would that be too close to home and the source of the emails?

And the ABC program, Australian Story remains defiant at the ham-fisted threat from the Nine Network to block Todd Russell, one of the Beaconsfield miners from appearing last Monday night. Nine had threatened to injunct the program because Russell was contracted to Nine. Australian Story ignored the hysterical threat and Nine’s threat evaporated.

But it does explain the confused leadership at the network when it could not see that appearing to be overbearing about 40 seconds and two grabs from Todd Russell (two good grabs mind you that said a lot about his rescue and the people who rescued him) was not clever.

It’s the story of the two miners and their rescue that’s the story, not Nine’s rights under any contract. It’s also why in the case of Sunrise there has been no damage to audience numbers and no advantage to Nine’s Today Show.

Yesterday’s appearance by Rudd on the KAK show prompted a small rise in ratings and audience to 157,000. The program usually gets around 120,000 to 150,000 and last week was watched by 178,000 one morning.

So Kevin’s rumba was an OK result, but nothing like getting Peter Costello to do the Macarena like KAK did on the Today Show a few years ago.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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