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.
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“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.