For days now — weeks? — it’s possible — the papers and TV news have been busy with endless speculation passed off as fact detailing what a gaggle of self-proclaimed experts have either been told or imagine is the content of tonight’s Federal Budget. There is no clearer demonstration of the strange media obsession with being first. No better model of how speculation can be passed off as reportable fact. Here’s what we know for sure: at 7.30pm tonight Wayne Swan will deliver his budget speech.

The details of the 2009 Federal Budget will be contained in it. Everything reported before then has been a guess.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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