Kevin Rudd’s Media advisors have decided that no more television cameras will be allowed into radio studios to record the on air radio interviews. They say that they want radio to be separate from TV, but in reality most journos know that it’s because Rudd uses a lot of notes on radio (which doesn’t look good on TV) and long radio interviews are the most likely place that mistakes may be made. A cameraman in the Press Gallery who was rostered to cover an ABC radio interview (something that has been done for a decade or more) first discovered the ban when the studio door was locked and was told to p-ss of by Lachlan Harris, one of Rudd’s media advisors. Senior TV journalists in the gallery are up in arms and action will be taken to try and change the ban. A boycott of Rudd on TV might do the trick!

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan is not alone in believing that the Howard Government’s first home buyer mortgage scheme has been rorted by the millionaire class in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Confidential Treasury figures obtained by the NSW Labor Government in the early 2000s showed that super rich sons and daughters living in the blue ribbon Liberal seats in the eastern suburbs (Malcolm Turnbull territory) and the North Shore (Brendan Nelson, Bronwyn Bishop and Tony Abbott localities) were applying for the grants to buy homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases, the cost of the home was more than $1 million and rich families used their legal and financial know-how to apply for grants for all their sons and daughters and set them up in sumptuous homes and apartments. This helped to fuel the insane real estate boom whose consequences are now causing extreme hardship in the mortgage belts of the city. The then deputy premier Dr Andrew Refshauge was so outraged by the abuse/misuse of Treasurer Peter Costello’s grants scheme that he urged publication of the figures showing how much of the money intended for battling newlyweds was in fact being grabbed by the wealthiest, greediest and least deserving. But the then Treasurer Michael Egan would have none of it. His government was making windfall revenue from stamp duty and he didn’t want to do anything to harm the stream.

Have you noticed that this new government has been a bit quiet in the world of sport? They’re all gung-ho at telling everyone how important it is that sports people shouldn’t drink, shouldn’t do drugs, etc… But other than ad-hoc announcements, which they think will get some good media attention – they don’t have anything long-term. Despite obesity and preventive health being on the agenda, and that sport clearly as a role to play there, they have no clear support for sport. They can’t even decide who is going to sit on the board of the Australian Sports Commission. The government has rolled over the appointments of five board appointee several times over the past six months. The likes of Alan Jones, Roy Masters and Kieran Perkins are all being asked to extend their appointments temporarily as the government just can’t get its sh-t together to decide who is going to lead the Sports Commission (and the AIS). Pretty poor form if you ask me… You might also be interested to hear that the rumour mill says that Bob Hawke is one of the rumoured people to join the board of the Commission – a nice little appointment for an ex-PM!

The PM&C cafeteria in Barton is now stocking No-Doze and Berocca…

SBS will shortly launch a rebranding campaign, based heavily on market research jargon and the need to combat “the fragmentation of eyeballs.” A token connection to SBS’s distant past as a multicultural media organisation will be retained.

Julia Gillard’s office had an answering machine on yesterday at lunchtime (and no, sadly, the message isn’t by Gillard herself). It’s only the office of the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, but you think they could forward the phone to somewhere – perhaps one of the staggering 34 division heads within her mega-Department?

The ATSB has launched a full investigation into the after dark frolics of a Virgin Blue and Jetstar jet over Launceston airport last Thursday night. The incident occurred minutes after the control tower was closed and fog set in. The jets flew toward each other almost head on after each decided to go around for a second landing approach. The decision to investigate was made after one last piece of information from one of the carriers was sent to the safety bureau at its request.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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