I hope John Howard is eating his broccoli. All those morning walks without wearing a hat. I know it’s only the morning sun but it rises early in these days before daylight saving. Maybe readers of The Age will forward him the article from today’s top five on the paper’s website that suggests broccoli can prevent the damage from the ultraviolet light that often leads to skin cancer.

Whatever; the broccoli story is the closest the most read list in the very serious Melbourne broadsheet gets to politics this morning. Nude beaches, nude sports and nude clubs for people on naked holidays make far more interesting reading than coverage of an election campaign. Was it a good or a bad thing that Michelle Grattan was nowhere in sight?

The Age website was not alone in having its top five stores a politics free zone. The election campaign did not rate in The West Australian, news.com.au, the Sydney Daily Telegraph, the Melbourne Herald Sun and the Brisbane Courier Mail either.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of this daily survey of what stories really interest people is how long the left brain versus right brain controversy will continue to dominate on the tabloid sites. Personally I have received more emails on this shadow lady than any other subject with some suggesting that the whole thing is a hoax with others adamant that everything is above board. I think the Murdoch tabloids should be conducting their on site polls on this subject rather than soliciting opinions on whether Gretel Killeen should go from Channel 10 as the Tele is this morning.

And while it is yet to make any paper’s top five list, I should note that news.com.au has started regular coverage of the reaction to John Howard’s morning walks. After two days confronting a heckler the hatless PM this morning was “feted by dozens of well-wishers on his early morning walk in Adelaide” and that “dozens of joggers and walkers wished Mr Howard luck during the election campaign and one man even high-fived the prime minister.”

Crikey will keep you posted on this important measure of Prime Ministerial popularity as part of its regular Reality Checks.

Sydney Morning Herald

  1. The end of a crazy life
  2. Big visitor sails in – just
  3. My blood boils: we knew we were going to crash
  4. A smarter vision for the future? Not Ruddy likely
  5. Man sues council over dive into life of paralysis

The Age

  1. From small change to $300m: the too-short life of John Ilhan
  2. Great Hugh and cry bombs
  3. It’s child abuse and it’s time it was cut out
  4. Broccoli blocks sun damage, not stares
  5. Skin deep

The Australian

  1. ‘Crazy John’ Ilhan dead at 42
  2. Cheney ‘struck Hicks deal’ with PM
  3. Howard braces for inflation figures
  4. PM’s $4bn grab for grey vote
  5. Wildfire evacuees flock to stadium


  • ‘Crazy John’ dead at 42
  • Cheney, Howard ‘did deal on Hicks’
  • PM unveils $4b for pensioners, carers
  • Killer cut baby from victim’s womb to pass as her own
  • Tributes flow for ‘Crazy John’

The West Australian

  1. West Aussie wins $30m in record Oz Lotto draw
  2. Cousins unlikely to play again: Matthews
  3. Armed bandit strikes at restaurant
  4. Underpants bulge blamed on steroids
  5. Axe falls at Freo

Sydney Telegraph

  1. The Right Brain vs Left Brain
  2. Toilet tryst picture
  3. Health crisis leaves mum in tears
  4. Idol’s Dicko canned by US critics
  5. Little Dean’s dad paroled

Melbourne Herald Sun

  1. Right Brain v Left Brain
  2. Dream ends for ‘Crazy’ John
  3. Troops dig Krystal
  4. Sex charge against Copperfield
  5. If you’ve got it, flaunt it


  1. Call to dump Qantas
  2. Driver, 80, in slow-speed chase
  3. Labor landslide in Hindmarsh
  4. Police lament ‘act of cowardice’
  5. Amber outrage over Mary

Courier Mail

  1. Smoking does not keep you slim -…
  2. Maddie left alone every night
  3. Left Brain v Right Brain Test
  4. Probe into union car sale
  5. Spice Girls shoot ends badly


  1. Man levitates outside the White…
  2. I love The Chaser, says TT host
  3. Schoolgirl, 11, smashes…
  4. Dannii and Shaz in TV ‘bust-up’
  5. Is this a road to disaster?