Nov 25, 2011

Coba Point residents back Flannery in 2GB spat

Residents of the Sydney riverside retreat of Coba Point have backed environmentalist Tim Flannery in his bitter climate spat with 2GB presenter Ray Hadley and a dissenting neighbour David.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

Residents of the Sydney riverside retreat of Coba Point have backed environmentalist Tim Flannery in his bitter climate spat with 2GB presenter Ray Hadley and a dissenting neighbour David.

And notes of a crucial August rendezvous between David and Flannery, compiled by the former Australian of the Year’s anthropologist wife Alex, appear to lend weight to the Professor’s version of events.

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65 thoughts on “Coba Point residents back Flannery in 2GB spat

  1. 2dogs

    @ SB and ENKL

    When ENKL states: “What were your lawyers thinking of in letting you publish this?” I can only assume that there is a breach in the law that is so obvious that an armchair critic who gets all his legal expertise from Law and Order can see that Crikey does not have a legal leg to stand on.
    I am asking ENKL, with all his knowledge in legal matters, to point out to me specifically what particular law(s) have CLEARLY been broken to the point of it having legal implications on Crikey (of course keeping in mind that The Quarterly Essay lawyers who were also not “thinking” when they published the story and will be subject to the same).

  2. B.Tolputt

    Not at all, truth is a defence as is publishing an “honest opinion”. Flannery reported on David’s statements and, given the weight of evidence, I would posit that David’s retraction under pressure would not be viewed as credible. Based on those statements, Hadley’s claims that there was no setup because David called in are not convincing. It doesn’t take a criminal mastermind to say “call up at time X and we’ll chat on air about Flannery”.

    Flannery already has the evidence to backup the publishing of claims made by David (witness to the statement & corroborating evidence from neighbours) which can serve as the basis for an honestly held opinion regarding it being a setup. Hadley would have to prove them false or, at the very least, lacking credibility in order to extract damages from the proceeding. With 2GB’s star witness having been caught telling a different story to his neighbours than claimed on radio – I think Hadley would be hard up doing it legally… hence his sticking to radio on the matter.

  3. Hewett Michael

    It amazes me that a ‘news organisation’ such as Crikey reports things that aren’t true. Take this one,”They say the professor pilots a polluting boat and regularly speeds through “no wash” zones around Berowra Waters”. Now did Hadley say it or did David? Well David made the claim, does Flannerys boat pollute? Unless he rows it, yes. Does he speed, David claimed it, not Hadley. Hadley repeated Davids claim but attributed that claim to David. Does Flannery have that property at Berowra? Yes of course, he admits it. Is it fair to question why a person that preaches to us about rising sea levels would purchase a property on the river? I think it is, don’t you?

    Now if Crikeys journalists were any good, why haven’t they checked to see if David has actually worked for Hadley? Flannery has claimed David did, Flannery claims David said he did but to Hadley, David said he never has. Why hasn’t Crikey checked if David did? If Flannery can find David, Why can’t Crikey? Flannery could give you Davids name. Why haven’t you checked out Flannerys claims and reported those without checking to see if Flannery is telling the truth?

    The media is under a lot of scrutiny at the present time, one of those reasons being because of perceived imbalance in reporting. Crikey’s reporting is extremely biased and certainly does not report both sides before deciding who is telling the truth. I was always told this was a left wing rag, now I know it for myself. Understand this Crikey, if the government and greens have their way, the same scrutiny that they want to apply to newscorp, will be applied to you. That means you will have to check on and reprt both sides in your articles. Won’t life be great for you then?

  4. CliffG

    Isn’t it time to stop treating these powerful radio shock-thugs like they’re some kind of a joke? They are exploiting public airwaves, not their own property, to influence huge numbers of people with baseless, or worse contrived personal attacks, vicious diatribes, disinformation, arrogance and abusive and unacceptable on air language? Why do we just nod and do nothing? Can’t action be taken to stop this?
    There should be an inquiry of the kind currently running in the UK into the appropriation of radio airwaves, especially in Sydney. These people can’t be allowed to just shred people’s lives and reputations in the way they do with impunity.
    It’s a national disgrace.
    Mind you it also seems to say something about the general thuggery of Sydney that so many people seem to enjoy these abominations as fun and entertainment. Kyle has a million listeners. What does that say about his audience? But to justify it as “popular” says nothing about the damage it is doing, both to individuals and their families as well as to the quality and demeaner of public debate and information.

  5. CliffG

    These radio thugs can rip into whomever they choose. But the minute someone tries to set the record straight they scream,”I’ll sue you!” They are gutless lying cowards, hiding being bullying and threat. Isn’t it time Australia stood up to them and turned off their mikes?

  6. Enkl


    Defamation, of course. The defamatory claim, attributed to David, is that David’s initial on-air call to Hadley was solicited by Hadley.

    Consider the possible defences to a defamation action in respect of the initial publication of the claim by Crikey on Tuesday …
    Truth? No, the detailed 2GB logs prove the claim to be untrue.
    Opinion? No, the claim is a matter of fact, not one of opinion.
    Unintentional? No, the claim was the main point of the article.
    Trivial? No, the claim had clear potential to damage Hadley’s reputation.
    Political debate? Probably not, the claim does not relate to a matter of government policy.
    Further, a message left on Hadley’s phone would not satisfy the test for having made a reasonable attempt to seek a response from Hadley.

    So, Crikey’s Tuesday article was probably defamatory.
    Hadley’s response on Wednesday morning, in which he detailed information from the 2GB logs to prove the claim false, should have led Crikey to at least publish the details of his rebutal, if not acknowledge the falsehood of the claim and apologise.

    To repeat the claim today in this form is even more clearly actionable, because Crikey was fully aware that it was untrue, so even the previously dubious political debate defence is not available.

  7. Tom McLoughlin

    Hadley sounds like a whiner. Just like Bolt and Jones – all three of them are whiners.

  8. 2dogs


    *Sigh* I still fail to see how this is the HUGE legal blunder that you are making it out to be.
    Deformation is defined as follows:
    The publication of any false imputation concerning a person, or a member of his family, whether living or dead, by which (a) the reputation of that person is likely to be injured or (b) he is likely to be injured in his profession or trade or (c) other persons are likely to be induced to shun, avoid, ridicule or despise him.

    Having reread the original Crikey article the only way that I can see Crikey getting into legal trouble is if the conversation between Tim and David never took place as they have simple reported what others have said in a fairly factual manner. The only possible “false” component to the story would be the following:
    “Flannery did his own investigation. He found an address for “David” and made a house call.”

    I believe that how Crikey laied out this article well within the law (ohh is that Law and Order on TV right now?)

  9. heavylambs

    ENKL,it seems like David had a story for Hadley when he rang in and a story for Flannery when confronted on the pier… so Flannery,if misled by David, has nothing to answer for. You seem to be indifferent to the fact that it was Hadley who started this boofheaded intrusion into someone’s private life. Hadley chose to air unchecked claims in a manner deliberately designed to belittle Flannery. Just a shitty piece of gossip,followed by the preposterous sound of Hadley trying to claim some high ground with his manufactured outrage and staged man-of -the -people rubbish when Flannery said “enough!” So you can quit lawyerin’ and get informed.

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