Kevin Rudd said today that he was only speaking in his capacity “as a parent” when he fumed on Nine’s Today two weeks ago, that Bill Henson’s photographs were “absolutely revolting”.

In fact it’s not a distinction he made before shooting from the lip on Nine (click here), which makes his comments today on Jon Faine’s program (click here) self-serving and mendacious. But that isn’t the real point at issue. Kevin Rudd and others were never in any doubt as to the political worth of airing the disgust they felt on first glimpsing the works of Bill Henson.

The point is that when the Prime Minister assaults an Australian artist who is simultaneously being heavied by the police as the producer of material that is “absolutely revolting”, he sets off a chain of discussion and events that go far beyond the capacity of “just a parent”. But then he knew that.

PS. Monday is the Queen’s Birthday Holiday. Out of respect, Crikey will not publish. Sorry WA. Everybody else, have fun!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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