Upstanding members of the Australian media were outraged this week when our normally well-mannered PM uttered… a rude word!


And quite so: newsrooms tend to be places of refinement and good manners; havens of civility, where genteel colleagues cultivate an atmosphere of common courtesy and mutual respect. Thus it came as quite the shock to reporters nation-wide, when their virgin ears were assaulted by Kevin Rudd’s foul-mouthed proclamation on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night programme that politicians might be engaged in a “political sh-t-storm”*

Insiders have told Crikey that, upon witnessing the PM’s gaucherie, Glenn Milne elicited a loud “Uh-maaah!”, while Malcolm Farr was found weeping in a corner with his fingers in his ears. Michelle Grattan remains in a critical, but stable, condition.

Of course, here at Crikey, we swear like sailors and regularly punctuate our work day with fist fights and swigs of whiskey, but our hearts go out to our more cultivated counterparts in the mainstream media, who were evidently so affronted by Rudd’s outburst that they accorded the “story” days of coverage and analysis.

It must have been a stunt!” they exclaimed — one devised by boorish image consultants and uncouth ALP party hacks.

Sky News commissioned some hard-hitting research:

Several newspapers sought the expert opinion of Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle — who has a deep, long-standing anthropological interest in the social characteristics of ‘common’ people and their churlish ways — while others relied on relevant and insightful political analysis from that well-known political think tank, the Schizophrenia Research Institute.

It’s quite inspiring to see journalists soldier on with this dynamic reporting in the face of such a distressing issue.  

We just hope Kevin and those bawdy roughnecks at the ALP have learned a valuable lesson. Next time, it will be straight to the naughty corner for some time out, then off to bed with no supper.

*note, Crikey hyphenates rude words to avoid spam filters.

Peter Fray

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