Forget about the maryjane and whether or not Peter Garrett, Bono, Daniel Johns and Natalie Imbruglia inhaled or not while listening to the demo tapes of Silverchair’s latest.

Where there’s smoke there’s fire, true – but this fire should singe the government.

Johns said it was a “stupid joke”. But, as the Sydney Morning Herald‘s “Stay In Touch” column asks today, “how did this fantasy come to be general news? People say silly things on Triple J every day of the week.”

They only go on to half answer their question:

One source particularly keen to disseminate the Johns fantasy on Monday was the office of the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull. A news alert about the interview was emailed from the minister’s office to journalists about midday, with an “FYI” note, but as suddenly as it arrived, the email was recalled. Apparently Turnbull’s staff thought better of their helpful notification.

A spokesman for the minister said yesterday there was nothing provocative about the email, which was sent to the wrong group list due to a keyboard slip-up, and was not intended for all media. It was thus recalled immediately.

Yet again, we seem to see one of those dirt units that aren’t dirt units in action; a taxpayer-funded rapid response media monitoring effort designed to highlight opposition slip-ups — or potential slip-ups – suddenly alerting us to their existence with a slip-up of their own.