So the idea was to subject one of the media trends of our time to some analysis, and glean what we could about the state of the industry and the way media companies really work. Or perhaps we just wanted an excuse to rehash the juicy bits.

In any case, the analysis founders on the banality of the material. How much penetrating analysis can you write about a bunch of boys in a d-ck swinging competition? (Excuse the pun).

The trend is litigation. Over the last few months and years there has been a succession of cases in which media executives have taken their rivalries and hurts to court. The result has been a rash of statements of claim, affidavits and evidence from the witness box which give us  insights into how these men (and they are all men) see themselves, and how they talk.

Let’s look back over the highlights. Or lowlights. There was sacked Herald Sun boss Bruce Guthrie’s account of how he was sacked. “You’re going to have to eat a shit sandwich” he was told by News CEO John Hartigan. And Blunden, the man who had the knife deeply between Guthrie’s ribs, claiming to him “I’m sick to my stomach” when he was sacked.

Given that we know Blunden was trying to get Guthrie sacked, how’s this as an account of frank and fair dealing between grown up men?

Blunden: “We’re at war.”

Guthrie: “What’s it all about?”

Blunden: “It’s not just me driving this, there are others involved.”

Add to this all the evidence about who was on a junket and when, who deceived the readers and when, and the magical potency, or lack of it, of Collingwood on the front page. It hardly makes you want to go into the newspaper industry, particularly if you lack a penis.

A little further back there is the famous Mark Llewellyn Channel Nine boning saga. When Llewellyn was appointed head of current affairs, he was told what a talent he was, what a “gun”. Then he got his share of “shit sandwich” and this piece of insight into male bonding by the Channel boss Eddie McGuire: “It’s like a footy team. If you are on my team you will be looked after for life. We’ll be blood brothers.”

Yeah, right. Seems to ignore the fact that footy players are off (and here I adopt newsroom vernacular) like a bride’s pyjamas these days as soon as someone offers more money. And of course before that day was out, Llewellyn was off too — to Channel Seven.

Perhaps the most poignant insight, though, comes from this alleged statement by Channel Seven CEO David Leckie, quoted in the current litigation over Warburton’s defection from Channel Seven to Channel Ten. Leckie, a real talent, is alleged to have been on the way out, subject to a “pincer movement” designed to try and get him to go gracefully.  He knew it. But he couldn’t let go.

“Between Nine and Seven I’ve been a CEO for 20 years,” Leckie is said to have mused. “I’m tired, it’s time, I have no choice. I will still be involved though. I will not leave my office, I will still call people, I will still call the shots. I am the frigging boss of the f-ckwits at WAN, I will fix them right up.”

What a lonely man.

And so we see exposed men who are so caught up in the role, so dependent on the feeling of power and money and who gets the corner office that they cannot imagine themselves having an existence outside the role they have been given.

They boost each other’s egos: “you’re a great talent, mate”; “you’re anointed”.

But the moment when your mate is most congratulating you may well also be the moment he is preparing that nasty sandwich, or honing the knife to be inserted between your ribs.

And what about the women? The only females who got a mention in these dramas were off stage. Jessica Rowe on the end of the boning, for example. Then there was Rupert’s sister, Janet Calvert Jones and Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon, who acted as alleged spurs to action, but the blokes could only guess about what they might be up to. Nobody talked to them.

There are also the wives, who are supposedly consulted about career moves, and always standing by their men, but never so close that they actually get on stage. Perhaps they are wise.

The lesson of it all? First, the old cliché: keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Second, there is the quality of management. None of these cases should ever have gone to court. Egos should have been reined in by News Limited a long way short of the court room in the Guthrie case. Channel Nine should have managed its executives better, rather than setting them on each other as though they were participants in a cock fight. Likewise, I suspect, Channel Seven in the more recent litigation.

Nobody really wins in court, although Guthrie can claim to have done better than most.

Another thought: there must be many less high-profile cases, perhaps equally or more revealing, that we don’t hear about.

Every now and then I get wind of a workers comp case, or unfair dismissal, or a bullying claim involving people further down the tree in media companies. These cases don’t hit the headlines. Sometimes there are settlements with a “no speakies” clause that prevents them from becoming public.

Then there are the cases that never get to court, because someone has the sense to settle. Like the many News editors who get pushed off the carousel. I know of at least one who went for unfair dismissal, and got a quiet settlement. What about the Fairfax CEOs (how many is it now?) who leave disgruntled, but silent?

There must be untold stories of settlements and negotiations, and unreported court cases as well.

And we’d like to know about them. If you know about an unreported litigation or near litigation that says something about how our media companies work, drop me a line.