Another day, another chapter in the boy’s own adventure that is Australia’s broadsheet newspapers online.

Overnight Fairfax sacked their star, Walkley-winning blogger Jack Marx for suggesting that Kevin Rudd might be capable of maintaining an er-ction. Whether this assertion may have provided a long-awaited point of difference with John Howard is moot, the issue is rather one of editorial timidity. Why hire Captain Edgy and then fire him when he says something that borders on the risque/unthinkable/implausible (depending on your point of view)?

Of course the Fairfax papers have their reputations to think of, and nowhere is this of more biting importance than in their online incarnations. At the time of writing, the most read story on the The Sydney Morning Herald‘s website is a compilation of ”What the gossip magazines say”, a hard-hitting piece of investigative insight that only just manages to edge out ”Dwarf’s p-nis gets stuck to vacuum cleaner” at number two. This is clearly quality journalism writ large, an environment in which the likes of Jack Marx and his imaginings of Rudderly tumescence can have had no easy place.

And while Fairfax is ruling a red line through selected bloggers — could someone finally bow to the wishes of an increasingly agitated nation and get rid of Sam and the City? Please.