It was the turn of former James Hardie chief spin doctor, Greg Baxter to be grilled in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday about his role in public statements by the company that it had left enough money in its asbestos compensation fund to meet all claims.

News limited papers, particularly the Telegraph and The Australian, have followed the James Hardie story closely in the past, recording every dodgy and questionable move by the company to short change asbestos victims. However, no mention in either paper this morning (according to a Factiva search) of Baxter’s denials that he put the words “fully funded” in the infamous media release.

Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Baxter is now director of corporate affairs at News Limited.

The Courier Mail seemed to be the only News outlet interested. It ran a short AAP report in the Business pages but not the bit that reported his News Limited position.

Baxter is one of those people journalists forget about when they’re criticising other corporates for having spin doctors.

Peter Fray

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