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TV & Radio

Nov 23, 2011

Hadley v Flannery: who's telling the truth?

Ray Hadley blasted Tim Flannery and Crikey over claims the 2GB host arranged a call to his program that sparked a flurry of criticism over his waterfront property. But Flannery is standing by his story.


Tim Flannery is standing by claims 2GB host Ray Hadley arranged a call to his program that sparked a flurry of criticism over his waterfront property.

Hadley took to the airwaves today with a fierce rebuttal, branding the environmental campaigner a “low bastard” and demanding an apology for comments he made in the current edition of Quarterly Essay.

As Crikey reported yesterday, Flannery tracked down the neighbour, “David”, who called Hadley’s program and revealed the location of his home on the Hawkesbury River. Hadley used the discussion to brand Flannery a hypocrite for warning of sea level rises while living by the water, an attack which was later picked up by Andrew Bolt and News Limited titles The Daily Telegraph and The Australian.

Hadley had David back on the program today, who insisted he’d never met the radio host and had called the program himself.

“Not true at all, never worked for you, Ray,” the caller said, claiming Flannery “tried to bully me and tried to silence me”.

“He [Flannery] said basically all people who listen to 2GB are crazy and he tried to basically draw a comparison with what happened in Norway the week before,” he said.

Hadley raged against Flannery and Crikey (without mentioning Quarterly Essay) at various points in his program today, demanding an apology and threatening legal action. Listen to the audio here.

“The only thing I’ve got in life is my reputation,” he exclaimed. “Yesterday in Crikey you sullied my reputation with lie after lie after lie. I today demand from you and Crikey an apology, a written apology for the lies you wrote about me yesterday …

“Is there nothing you won’t do to try and discredit your opponents? You’re lower than you could ever possibly be to do something like that …

“When we go to a defamation court sometime in the future, professor, I’ll rely on that tape from David exposing you for what you are. An unmitigated liar who’s tried to sully my reputation by an attack on me yesterday which was completely and utterly false. And I hope the decent people at Crikey, who are after truth and justice, publish the apology in the form that it’s written having published that thing yesterday …

“You low bastard. You low bastard. Fair dinkum.”

Flannery strongly denied threatening David and told Crikey this afternoon he stands by everything he wrote.

The former Australian of the Year explains he went to visit David with his wife, who took notes of the conversation which back his version of events.

According to Flannery, David initially said “I work for them” before clarifying he was a car detailer who worked on Hadley’s car and others at 2GB.

“Mr Hadley needs to take it up with David,” Flannery said from Perth.

“I stand by everything I wrote.”

Flannery wrote in Quarterly Essay of his meeting with David:

“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.'”

Crikey sought comment from Hadley before publication yesterday but is yet to hear directly from the 2GB host.

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60 thoughts on “Hadley v Flannery: who’s telling the truth?

  1. Oscar Jones

    Good grief-poor old Hadley on the warpath with intent to prove he can fill Alan Jone’s pumps.

    As a Labor voter there is one thing I am pleased about : and that is that we have the very honest but tough Greg Smith as AG. Smith is not about to be influenced by shock jocks fulminating as though they should have right to influence government policy just because the last State lot jumped when commanded.

    Hadley sounds like a bully and he does not speak for the people, just the dills who listen to him. Flanery should ignore the redneck.

  2. heavylambs

    Good on Flannery for confronting Hadley. I listened to the whole transcript of the ‘story’, which was nothing but vindictive gossip revealing the unwitting ignorance of those taking part. Very sad indeed.

  3. Verio Browning

    To paraphrase the biblical text: “by their tone ye shall know them” – and thus, I know who I believe and it sure isn’t that big mouth from the airways. He sounds a tad caught out to me.

  4. Microseris

    Let me see who do I believe? Palaeontologist, environmentalist, museum director, author and former Australian of the year or an angry, bully boy, redneck shock jock. Mmmm…

  5. CliffG

    Whatever the truth, isn’t it interesting that Hadley’s “reputation” matters, but he lives off trashing everyone elses? These abusive aggressive radio characters, (tough guys hiding in radio studios behind a microphone and a cut off button) who are abusing public airwaves attacking individuals, need to be honed in. It has gone on long enough.

  6. Stevo the Working Twistie

    While I can see Mr Hadley is upset, this episode in no way detracts from his reputation, which last time I checked was as a lowest-common-denominator shock jock and bloviator of the first water.

  7. Jeanette Kennett

    Should be easy enough to verify if David is a car detailer and has worked on 2GB cars. If he is, Hadley won’t go to court because it would come out instantly. He’ll just huff and puff.

  8. dag

    I think we all know who is so low they could parachute out of a snakes behind and still have time to free fall. I am surprised why Flannery would bother with these worthless jokes. He’ll end up with a bus load of loud mouths on his front lawn holding I love Ray signs.

  9. rhwombat

    Methinks the Hadley doth protest too much. Too much form Ray, too many witnesses. You’re stuffed.

  10. Bosch Anthony

    ahh ray specifically said he won’t be taking legal action. Seems like this site reports in the same way as the tele. The spin just goes in the other direction.

  11. cane greiggs

    hay everyone, davo rang up and said he didn’t do it. that dear readers is undeniable PROOF that ray ray is innocent beyond all shred of evidence.

  12. Loretta Touzell

    Tim Flannery is a very expensive joke! We are paying him with our own taxes to delude the Australian public, and to scare our children! At the same time he lives on a waterfront property that he knows will not be overrun by the sea, in our lifetime or the next!

    It is because of people like him that we are paying too much for electricity – for nothing! Just ask yourself – where is all this money going, billions & billions – while the average person cannot afford to pay for basic electricity. Someone is getting VERY rich – and it is people like Flannery who are pathing their way!

  13. Kennelly Peter

    Mmm. Hadley or Flannery? Is it a trick question?

  14. rhwombat

    ….and why do you think “ray” won’t take legal action Bosch Anthony? Could it be that he known that he’d lose, and be liable for more than Flannery has already won from the Rupertarians? Come in spinner!

  15. mrsynik

    Crikey, thank heaven’s you’ve now got Mike Carlton on your quality journalism project. I do hope he comes out swaying against the low life former cabbie – just as he used to when he was on air.

  16. Archer

    Please Tim, say it ain’t so…..

    For crying out loud, you are going to have to accept that skeptics are going to hold our ambassador of doom to the highest possible standards because he advocates the worst possible scenarios. If he so much as farts he will be held to account. So if Flannery buys a water side home and drives a boat without regard for the ecosystem what do you think is going to happen?

    Strictly speaking his lifestyle goes against his own advice. With his constant traveling, that portion of his carbon foot print alone must be massive.

    He went for Hadley first but wasn’t expecting the meticulous record keeping. He lost.

  17. Suzanne Blake

    Flannery has been exposed here. There is a witness and his reputation is up for debate.

    It just goes to show how desperate their so called ‘climate scientists’ are at protecting their paid jobs. In Flannery’s case $180,000 a year for 3 days work a week for Gillard.

  18. Suzanne Blake

    The fact are Hadley has a witness, Flannery has his reputation, which has been exposed.

    Just proves the point that these PAID climate scientists will say whatever to protect their PAID climate work

  19. Suzanne Blake

    Hadley 10 – Flannery 0 today

  20. B Miles

    I’m going to go and watch replies of the muppet show. I’ll get as much sense as written so far but at least it will be funnier.

  21. B Miles

    Ooops just dicked myself – replays!

  22. Matthew of Canberra

    Tim flannery … THREATEN SOMEBODY?!!

    Yeah. Right. He’s about as dangerous as a bobble hat. Thoroughly threatening.

    I just listened to the second hadley spot, and I’m even more resolved to make sure I’m wired for sound before ever dealing with people in that line of work.

    Oh, and david … if tim’s missus was there, that’s what we call a “witness”.

  23. Bird Tony

    Me thinks the people who are backing the wrong horse in this two horse race are also the ones responsible for the entire country being shafted by Julia n Bob and all the new non environmentally beneficial taxes we don`t need.Cheers muppets!

  24. Matthew of Canberra

    I also quite like the backflip – from “I don’t sue” to “when we go to a defamation court”.

    Listeners will remember whichever one suits them, I guess.

  25. R Julie

    Regardless of whether or not Ray Hadley knows ‘Dave’, Tim Flannery is doing everything he is telling everyone else not to do, which by my reckoning makes him a complete hypocrite.
    And what gives him the right to track ‘Dave’ down in his own home and try to intimidate him?

  26. Planet OK

    I understand that it is difficult to consider more than one fact at a time, but let’s try. Hadley said he did not sue people. Then he called Flannery a bastard. Then he mentioned a future court case. Now, what is Hadley most likely to be talking about in the last point. Is he, (a) planning to take Flannery to court, or (b) worried that Flannery will sue him, AGAIN. Obviously it’s b. Try to keep up people.

  27. Rohan

    Either Hadley has just massively out-bullshitted Flannery or he’s telling the truth.

    Hopefully we’ll know soon enough..

  28. Fran Barlow

    Thanks again Jason for running this. The time is long overdue for these media-bullies to be called to account. I’m hoping that Flannery will sue.

  29. Ron Paul 2012

    I don’t care about who got who and who organized what….

    But the question that should be asked is did Flannery buy a house after he made sea rise predictions and is the house within the distance of these sea rises…

    If it is, I suppose it doesn’t matter a whole heap, Flannery would stand by his remarks. however thousands of people will make the decision to live by the sea over the next few years….if some where considering not to purchase land/properties due to sea rise predictions, he should at least admit they have a few years to enjoy their views?

    Surley this is an investment decision type discussion.

    Let’s just say all government departments/representatives are telling people sea levels are going to rise, it dosnt make sense to give rise to ocean front market uncertainty by having prominent representatives move closer to the sea…

    Insider trading perhaps….

  30. warwick

    James Murdoch is gone, Lachlan’s in trouble here, house of cards is falling.

  31. jeebus

    I see, Suzanne. You only accept scientific findings from people who weren’t paid to do the research. No medicine for you then, dear.

  32. Godotcab

    So, Suzanne Blake,

    If it comes out that Hadley did set it up with an employee, present or former, I suppose you’ll be writing again to say that Hadley is exposed.

    We’ll be waiting.

    It’s tiresome that the bloviators have to be exposed, but they do have to be exposed. Facts matter.

  33. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jeebus

    You know with the medicine companies where you stand. They pay incentives and provide travel etc to the Doctors, so when I get a script which is rare, I get a generic.

    With Professor F you you its cash for comments. Says one thing does another.

    He has been pants dropped here and there is a witness. The guy David is not Hadleys car detailer, thats the HB spin factory working on their latest s sheet.

    @ Godotcab

    Hadley has a reputation for checking facts and re-checking. He wouldn’t be left wanting. But sure, if that happens, I would gladly do as you say

  34. Filth Dimension

    Every time I read Suzanne Blake’s tripe I feel like I’m loosing brain cells.

    On the basis of SB’s latest posts I would say she needs to purchase a new monitor. One that is less reflective.

    No one here has any more proof than anyone else of who is right or wrong. Your opinions are unlikely to sway anyone. The level of debate here has reached pre-school level.

  35. Neil Walker

    Meanwhile over at The Australian, they’ve taken the opportunity of republishing the lie about Tim Flannery’s property (via caller “Dave”) that they were forced to apologise and pay damages for.


    The print edition calls Flannery a “controversial activist” yet this phrase is omitted from the online version. Wonder why?

    (Ray Hadley is still radio talkback king in both copies)

  36. Neil Walker

    Scratch that – the online edition does refer to Tim Flannery as a “controversial activist”. So it must be true.

  37. John Ryan

    Nobody on 2GB would know how to check a fact they just lie and make it up empty vessels make the most noise,bit like you suzanne

  38. Son of foro


    ‘She’ is a ‘he’. Actually, ‘she(SB)’ is a ‘he (TTH) he(GW)’.

    Best not to expend too many brain cells.

  39. Haines Gregory

    I wonder about our faux professors. Can they ever be believed? They love the limelight and pronounce apodictically on almost any topic. Flannery is certainly one. Beats me how he holds a job at Macquarie. Others include Manne, Behrendt and Garnaut.

  40. calyptorhynchus

    This is making my head spin, we seem to descending ever deeper into insanity. The gutter-press is claiming Flannery lives in a house near sea-level, he has shown that his house is well above any projected sea-level rise.

    Why is there still noise going on?

  41. Fran Barlow

    [Tim Flannery is doing everything he is telling everyone else not to do, which by my reckoning makes him a complete hypocrite.]

    No, he isn’t. He’s endorsing the IPCC-consensus. What people do with that information is entirely a matter for them. As it goes, the upper band of SLR predictions by 2100 (i.e. long after Flannery and almost all of his nearly adult or older neighbours will have died) are 1.1m. His property is well above that, though if, in 2100 SLR is 1.1m then his property (and everyione else’s at the same elevation and location will probably be worth a lot less since it will be somewhat more exposed.

    [And what gives him the right to track ‘Dave’ down in his own home and try to intimidate him?]

    Petitio principii — there’s no evidence that he did intimidate or try to intimidate ‘Dave’. Unlike Hadley, he has no leverage at all with ‘Dave’. ‘Dave’ has not complained. He certainly has a right to clarify the circumstances in which ‘Dave’ participated in an invasion of Fallnery’s privacy and safety and standing. It is a fine thing that he di too because now we have further evidence of the malfeasance of what Flannery rightly calls the ‘hate media’.

  42. heavylambs

    “Suzanne”,Flannery has owned property on the Hawkesbury since the late 1990s,long before he took on the CC commissioner job..I’ve told you this before,but I guess spambots cannot be expected to respond realistically.

    This whole ‘conversation’ is quite daft. If Hadley had any intention of behaving like a real human being he would have approached Flannery for clarification and comment prior to putting on his ‘fearless battler with the hard questions’ schtick…For the Hadleys of this world,the chance to call a publicly prominent figure a ‘low-life bastard’ on air is the pinnacle of achievement,however. Too primally satisfying to pass up.

  43. Adams Steve

    “Flannery has owned property on the Hawkesbury since the late 1990s”.

    At that time he was still predicting extreme sea level rises that would have inundated his investment in less than a decade. Did he really believe those projections, or was he just trying to scare us?

  44. TormentedbytheDs

    Just a thought. On this thread and the previous Hadley vs Flannery thread a lot of pro Hadley comments
    seem to be from people I don’t recognise from previous posts. Not you SB etc. As it only takes a few seconds to change a profile, it would be easy to generate a lot of noise with just one account.

  45. Adams Steve

    @Jason Whittaker

    Flannery wrote of David “… he soon admitted that he knew Ray Hadley. In fact, he worked for him.” That misrepresents car detailing as a working relationship.

    Assuming that 2GB’s records are accurate, David may have misled Flannery about who initiated his first on-air call to Hadley, or Flannery may have misrepresented him on that matter too.

    Therefore the question you should ask is not whether Hadley or Flannery has lied over this incident, but whether Flannery of “David” has done so.

  46. Damo

    So in a nut shell; Ray Hadley, Suzanne Blake, and some bloke called Dave, can’t differentiate between x and y.

    No surprises there, more of a reflection on our education system then anything else.

  47. B Jason

    Wasn’t Flannery the genius who said a few years ago that Queensland would never again experience flooding rains.?

  48. Paul2012

    Flannery must be a complete idiot. He screwed himself with this weak story. If Hadley and the caller had known each other and been so bold and brazen as to concoct and act out a false and factually defamatory interaction on air (implausible if you listen to the audio), WHAT WOULD MAKE THIS GUY MAKE SUCH A ‘CONFESSION’ TO FLANNERY!!!! It makes ZERO sense and Flannery has ZERO evidence.

    Why on earth would Hadley even go to such lengths to concoct something so obscure like this.

    The evidence to me really does suggest that Flannery is a complete lowlife scam artist and Hadley should sue or he will keep doing things like this.

  49. Oscar Jones

    Suzanne Blake- but Flannery has a witness as well doesn’t he ?. He took his wife along who has confirmed his version of events.

    So really this is a matter of who you give the most credence to.

    You know Suzanne you sound awfully like the Parrot’s ‘Verity’ from the North Shore Liberal party member who rings him all the time. You are not perchance related are you ?

  50. Suzanne Blake

    @ Oscar Jones

    You cannot be serious. Flannery wife is not independant, David and his wife are…

    Nice try Oscar, but grabbing at straws.

    The reason she is not independant is because she benefits from the $180k pc salary for 3 days work a week he gets from Gillard

  51. Oscar Jones

    Paul2012- the same applies to the otherside. Shock jocks do have form though. One well, known one (now retired) I was friendly with always wanted me or family members to ring up.

  52. Suzanne Blake

    @ heavylambs

    Flannery is not the only ALPer to have a property on the water and not ditch it while the prices are good before sea water covers it

    Bob Hawke has a waterfront with a jetty at Northbridge in Middle Harbour Sydney

    Deborah O’Neill (ALP Marginal) sold her house at Copacabana high up with views and bought a property at Bensville on the water a short distance away.

  53. Suzanne Blake

    @ TormentedbytheDs

    Sorry to disappoint you but I have one account, one subscription, one profile and one set of views.

  54. Fran Barlow

    [Wasn’t Flannery the genius who said a few years ago that Queensland would never again experience flooding rains.?]

    No. That was a Murdochratic beatup, led by the Blot … As usual, and like now, they were making stuff up.

  55. Enkl

    I heard him say on radio a few years ago (maybe 2007?) that our dams would never be full again. It is not the same statement, but similar enough that I could imagine him saying the other too.

  56. Joe Trembole

    “Filth Dimension
    Posted Thursday, 24 November 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Every time I read Suzanne Blake’s tripe I feel like I’m loosing brain cells.

    No one here has any more proof than anyone else of who is right or wrong. Your opinions are unlikely to sway anyone. The level of debate here has reached pre-school level.”

    You mean pre-school level like not beng able to spell “losing”?
    Don’t even try to claim a typo.

  57. Fran Barlow


    I spent quite some time a while back on these verballing claims by the Murdochracy and I could not find a single one that stood up.

  58. Williamson Stuart

    Very true Fran, Flannery is a fraud and no-one verballed him if they did he would sue. However the Hadley affair is different. If it were a soccer match I would have Flannery leading One Nil at half time. thanks to a Hadley own goal.

    Hadley could clear this up with easily attainable phone and e-mail records. Why is he sitting on them?

  59. Suzanne Blake

    @ Williamson Stuart

    In this cash for comments debate, the guilty are easily identified.

    Hadley did detail exactly by minute what happened when, when he got emails and phone calls, it was so precise.

  60. Filth Dimension

    @Joe Trembole

    We truly have regressed.

    It’s being, not beng.

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