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.