A casual reader might think this story which heads the most read list on the website of The West Australian this morning was a confession to Janette by John for the Prime Minister does seem to have the kiss of death about him.

Everything that can go wrong with the John Howard election campaign is going wrong so it would not be surprising to learn that the astronomers who may have unwittingly hastened the end of the universe by simply looking at it were using a Liberal Party telescope. Public interest in the federal election continues to grow as polling day approaches but that interest has coincided with a rash of bad news stories for the Coalition.

In the Crikey Daily Reality Check of what is being read on internet news sites, 19 of the top 50 stories were about the election. Of that 19 only two were in any way favourable to the Government’s re-election bid. Topping the list with seven appearances was the Liberal Party embarrassment over one of its campaign teams being caught delivering fake letters linking Labor with the Bali bombers. The story fitted in nicely with all the references to dirty tricks campaigns that Labor Leader Kevin Rudd has made in recent weeks.

So too did the three stories about the rescue of the latest load of boat people. Children overboard might have worked at the time but reviving memories of that great lie from the past was not what Mr Howard wanted as he set about telling people that changing the government would change the country.

Changing the country might just be what people want as they contemplate Paul Keating’s advice in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning that:

… the principal reason the public should take the opportunity to kill off the Howard Government has less to do with broken promises on interest rates or even its draconian WorkChoices industrial laws, and everything to do with restoring a moral basis to our public life.”

That Keating article also made the best read list along with another article criticising the Howard record.

Kevin Rudd received positive treatment with four reports of his National Press Club address receiving prominent attention. The Prime Minister’s address to the business community in Sydney had but two entries. The remaining political story outlined the woes of independent Senate candidate Nick Xenophon who was criticised yesterday by the woman he helped get elected to the South Australian upper house.

Sydney Morning Herald

  1. Liberal shame over fake pamphlet
  2. A chance to rebuild, after a decade of moral erosion
  3. MacGill too old, too slow, says Muralitharan
  4. A rock god remembered
  5. Lost in mail: data of 25m people

The Age

  1. Liberal race hate scam exposed on poll eve
  2. Steady as she flows, heavy rain boosts reserves
  3. US leads world in jailing children for life
  4. New boat, new election, no politicking
  5. Doctor offers ‘tree man’ hope of a new life, warts and all

The Australian

  1. Bureaucrats face Rudd axe
  2. Libs dirt tactic exposed
  3. Mugabe moves to take over mining
  4. Fishing blitz ‘forced’ bid for…
  5. I’m ready to lead: Rudd


  • Rudd makes pitch for Australia’s future
  • Navy complicated boat rescue: Greens
  • Howard outlines top 5 priorities if re-elected
  • Monster sea scorpion was ‘bigger than man’
  • Fake flyer meant as a joke: Lib MP

The West Australian

  1. Honey, I doomed the Universe
  2. Ban Ben from WAFL
  3. Saudi gang rape victim to fight lashing sentence
  4. Steffensen ‘can’t make Beijing Games’
  5. Man killed in freak boating accident

Sydney Telegraph

  1. Did honeymoon turn to murder?
  2. Selfish Howard ‘wasted’ mandate
  3. Liberal exec denies ‘Chaser’ prank
  4. The Right Brain vs Left Brain
  5. Big Willie parties in paradise

Melbourne Herald Sun

  1. Right Brain v Left Brain
  2. Demetriou’s $7m Toorak base
  3. G-Train’s return ticket
  4. Neighbours set to move
  5. Howard slams fake Islam leaflet


  1. 50-year-old fire finally put out
  2. Adelaide misses out on 5c air fares
  3. Big blow for Mr X
  4. Boof and Elliott save SA
  5. Trains: More standing room

Courier Mail

  1. Granny, 102, in nude calendar
  2. Rudd’s vow to cut public service
  3. Poll smear a ‘Chaser-style prank’
  4. Olympian’s Schoolies drug bust
  5. Howard’s really focused


  1. Girl to have arm taken off back
  2. ‘Tree-man’ has experts baffled
  3. Britney’s been bad for a long time
  4. Diver’s dying moments captured
  5. Boxer Mike Tyson suffers final…