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TV & Radio

Nov 22, 2011

Flannery: Hadley concocted story on my waterside home

Of all the responses to Robert Manne's Quarterly Essay on The Australian it is the letter from Tim Flannery published in the latest edition that adds the juiciest grist to the mill.

Of all the responses to Robert Manne’s Quarterly Essay on The Australian — a defence from Weekend Oz editor Nick Cater, more criticism from Jay Rosen, Ian Lowe, Rodney Tiffen, Jack Waterford and Mark Latham — it is the letter from Tim Flannery published in the latest edition (in bookshops and online this month) that adds the juiciest grist to the mill.

The environmental activist reveals for the first time how he was set up by radio shock jock Ray Hadley, who fuelled a fierce campaign from News Limited papers against the Australian of the Year.

In July, Hadley took a call on his 2GB program from “David” proclaiming to be a neighbour of Flannery’s. Flannery owned a waterfront home, the caller said, detailing its precise location and highlighting his apparent hypocrisy on sea level rises.

The story took off: Andrew Bolt took to his blog with further details of the house (including a Google map) and its value, The Daily Telegraph went to print with a story, and after promising an “intelligent article” on the issue of sea level rises, Flannery claims, The Australian‘s Ean Higgins wrote a piece rehashing the Hadley revelations.

Flannery did his own investigation. He found an address for “David” and made a house call. Flannery writes:

“His stammering voice was so unlike the smart-alec tone I’d heard on the radio that at first I thought I had the wrong person. But he soon admitted that he knew Ray Hadley. In fact, he worked for him.

“David then stated emphatically that he had not called Ray Hadley at all. Instead Hadley had asked him to appear on the show, and had called him. David said that Hadley had sought him out after learning that I lived nearby. The story, and all of the supposed ‘facts’ that David was to raise during the interview, had, according to David, been assembled beforehand by Hadley and his team … David stated: ‘You’re on the other side of the fence [regarding climate change] … they hate you … they’re out to get you.'”

As Flannery pointed out to any journalist who asked, his house in fact sits above the most radical projections of sea level rises.

He launched legal action against The Oz and won a withdrawal of the article, publication of a page-three apology and $5000 in legal costs. He writes:

“The experience has taught me several things about the hate media in Australia. First, as they seek to slur those they hate, they do not hesitate to manufacture a story if one does not exist. Second, as the story is picked up by other opinionists, they are prone to weave ever more scandalous fictional tidbits from the blogosphere into the story. Third, in their efforts to obtain an interview some journalists will lie and ignore the truth when it’s inconvenient to them.”

Crikey left a message on Hadley’s phone while he was on air this morning which has so far not be returned.

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87 comments

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87 thoughts on “Flannery: Hadley concocted story on my waterside home

  1. Mike Flanagan

    Thankyou Crickey for bringing such distasteful and unscrupulous behaviour to public’s attention.
    These people should be held in contempt by the community as the bow to the pressure of their irresponsible rent seeking backers at the communities’ risk.

  2. John Ryan

    If true I would not be holding my breath to hear from big mouth thin skinned Hadley,he like all the 2GB stable is a coward dish it but cant take it.
    It was the same on his farce of a Footy show.

  3. Procrustes Kelleher

    Could someone explain why this issue hasn’t been pursued by the ACA or whomever? How does Hadley’s employer keep him on air after that act? How do the powers that be justify no suspension of the station’s licence? Do we just live with’ such unethical, obnoxious and probably illegal behaviour? I must be so out of touch . . .

  4. rubiginosa

    Parents of Australia, don’t let your children grow up to be pathetic, shrieking, white males who should know — and behave — better.

  5. Microseris

    And so begins a myth deniers will run with for years, long after the true story has been exposed.

  6. C@tmomma

    Why hasn’t Tim Flannery reported Ray Hadley to The Press Council?

  7. Fran Barlow

    The above claim was still uncontested in Wikipedia at the Flannery reference until I edited the page just now to reflect this information.

  8. Edward James

    When I listen to 2GB I find it wise to have my ullshitb filter adjusted. Having plants call in is a habit radio shock jocks can’t seem to do without. So called shock jocks are not journalist they are more likely to be identifed as entertainers, which gives them a convenient escape from the oversight of the press council.

  9. Edward James

    The Flannery Hadley story above has hotted up this morning on 2GB! http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds Edward James

  10. Ray

    I have just listened to Ray Hadley and the confirmation that I heard from the people he spoke to that day makes Tim Flannery out to be a liar, You can hear the pod cast on the 2gb site

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